Interpreting Messages in Ceremony

People often ask me how they should interpret messages received in ceremony.

I find this complex because I believe the Mother Vine establishes a deeply personal and unique connection with every one of us, and through different ways of communication. While I don’t feel my insights are complete or the absolute truth, I try to guide people with what I’ve learned from years of working with the medicinal plants.

I’d like to share two anecdotes:

Fei is a very protective mother and worries continuously about her children during her retreat. Because she’s deep in the jungle, she can’t reach out to see how they’re doing, which adds to her anxiety. Her unhealthy ego makes it impossible for her to go inwards, creating a thought loop of fear and distress that she can’t stop.

In ceremony, Fei receives a vision of one of her children walking on the street, without supervision. The child is abducted. Fei is unable to surrender to the vision and starts to panic. She wants to leave the Maloca, but she is not allowed, so she remains in a state of fear and panic, unable to see the vision for what it is: a metaphor. The next morning, still in a frenzy, she demands to contact home to check if her child is still at home. She receives confirmation that the child is fine. What happened here?

Theo receives a message from Ayahuasca about the dream partner he would have in the near future. He is surprised because he had almost given up on meeting this person after so many disappointments in love. He allows himself to dream again and leaves the retreat full of hope and love in his heart, expecting to meet his dream partner not too long from now. The Mother Vine had told him this, after all! However, a year later, this dream partner still hasn’t shown up in his expected time frame. Not only is Theo utterly disappointed, but he also feels deceived by the Mother Vine. What happened here?

It is hard to provide a clear, one-size-fits-all answer…

Still, there are themes around how the Vine communicates with us. For Fei, the Vine showed a lot of fear held inside of her, that she projects onto her children. In ceremony, her deepest fears came to the surface as an opportunity for her to acknowledge them, feel them, and then release them. This is a common theme in Ayahuasca visions – the surfacing of deep-rooted fears, insecurities, and shadows. This can be incredibly unsettling, especially because the visions can feel very visceral, very real. It can feel as if this is actually happening now. Still, Ayahuasca’s motherly spirit never gives us what we cannot handle or what we are not ready for, but we have to be willing to surrender to her wisdom to receive what we need.

For Theo, sometimes Ayahuasca brings up our deepest desires, that we can then feel with our entire Being. When we become aware of our deepest desires, we can acknowledge the force that subconsciously drives our thoughts, emotions, and actions in our lives. We can then investigate them and make a conscious choice if we want our lives to be driven by this desire or not. Sometimes our desires do not serve our highest and greatest good, and can hold us prisoners in a loop we cannot escape. Ayahuasca gives us an opportunity to become aware of our desires. It then becomes our choice to release or hold onto our desires. In Theo’s case, the lesson may be to learn to reach inside for love, instead of depending on an outside source to be loved and nurtured. Ayahuasca opened up an awareness of a deep, deep desire to be loved, perhaps for companionship, perhaps for stability. It is now Theo’s choice how he’d like to act with this knowledge; does he want to seek partnership? Or does he want to seek love and stability within himself instead?

Visions in ceremony must be interpreted with caution, because they are often a reflection of our dreams and desires. Yet people have also seen their visions manifest. How do we make sense of this? In my opinion, Ayahuasca operates in a multidimensional realm where potentials for our future are presented to us. Sometimes these potentials will manifest, and sometimes they won’t. No one and no thing will ever be able to guarantee a particular outcome for the future. This is not just the case with the Mother Vine, but also with psychics, tarot readers, and soothsayers. We are given a prediction of the future based on the potentials that are present NOW. Since life is such a complex soup of potentials, and since our future usually involves others and their free will as well, there is no such thing as a fixed outcome.

So always use your intuition when interpreting your ceremonies. Use discernment when you look for outside confirmation. Allow room for several interpretations, and consider that the Mother Vine uncovers our deepest fears and desires to help us heal ourselves and step into our highest potentials.

I hope you find this blog helpful! I would love to hear about your insights on interpreting messages in ceremony.

In gratitude

by | May 23, 2017 | Ayahuasca, Plant Medicine


  1. Curynn

    My intention was that I wanted clarity:
    My experience was that I was told several things. First that I needed to feel again, that I am a healer and that I need to touch people because I have the motherly loving touch the people crave and need. I was told that “she” was so proud of me, that I am unbelievably strong.
    “She” told me she would always be there for me like a sister, inside loving me.
    “She” told me how to break a nervous habit I have, and to walk into a room like a Queen.

    You see, I am a quiet person who tends to keep to myself, I can have nervous energy sometimes but I feel it’s because that energy is probably supposed to be being directed to something else not necessarily because I’m a nervous person. So all these things would help balance me out.
    However- I’m not what to do with the idea of touching people. It’s never occurred to me as a profession. Personally I’d rather use my energy to build or create things- and this is where I am now confused.

  2. Elliot

    this was very helpful reading following several ceremonies that had left me feeling frustrated and confused. you really helped to illuminate the experience in a very clear and concise manner. thank you!

  3. Vinay

    Great post thank you!

  4. Todji Kurtzman

    I examine how the vision made me feel, and that is the medicine’s diagnosis, as well as my own guidance.

    Medicine tests our nervous systems response when a “real situation” is simulated in ceremony.

    Following the medicine’s directive in real life, when we felt uncomfortable with it in ceremony, will lead to a teaching when we hit a hard wall on that trajectory, and that is how we are healed.

    There are no mistakes, only healings.

  5. Hendee

    Thank you for your interpretation. It helped me. Ayahuasca has commanded me to have a baby. She was very clear on her “commandment”.

    I surrendered and told her I promised to do it, and than purged.

    However I cannot logically bring myself to having a baby. My soul has no rest since. I feel like I have disobeyed my spirit and Mother Nature and allow my fears (logical) to control my life.
    Please help me intergrate this powerful message.

    • Victoria Wenners

      Do you feel at all commanded or pressured by society, family or friends to become a mother? Sadly, the idea that woman have some sacred responsibility to bear children else risk becoming obsolete pariahs is not uncommon.

      • Omar

        I think all humans feel some sort of expectation or obligation to reproduce that comes from our culture, society, family, friends, co-workers… Women do bear a larger brunt of it being the life givers.

    • Claudia

      Having a baby is the greatest act of creation, that’s why it’s best to have it in perfect awareness and integrity.
      Thus, there are more acts of creation, everything that comes through you, maybe giving birth to a project or an idea.

    • Jennifer kearney

      Maybe it’s you creating something only you can create. Don’t allow your brain to analyze it but accept that you are a powerful creator and joyfully look for and ask for messages and guidance daily on it. As you look and the baby picture you can’t see the real vision and as your brain tells you you must make a baby, you aren’t allowing new messages. Aya opens your heart & mind to start the journey. It’s a process not a one time fix. That’s my interpretation. Blessings 🙏🌿❤