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Vision In one of my Ayahuasca journeys, some other lifetime ago (pun intended), Madre Ayahuasca brought me to a large tree with fluorescent light around it. This tree had a door, and just above, on a branch, a bird rested. I immediately understood that this door represented a gate through which I could enter. There […]

Illuminating the Path


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In one of my Ayahuasca journeys, some other lifetime ago (pun intended), Madre Ayahuasca brought me to a large tree with fluorescent light around it. This tree had a door, and just above, on a branch, a bird rested. I immediately understood that this door represented a gate through which I could enter. There was a large spiral staircase in the tree, where a bright light came from. I took the first steps on the stairs. For a moment I looked at the side of the tree. Dark winding branches danced with the flow up. It lived! As I turned my eyes upwards, I felt a moment of calmness. I saw a bright light shining and light is always good I said to myself to calm my ego. It gave me courage to ignore the bizarre interior, full of winding branches, and made the journey upwards. Once at the top of the stairs I suddenly found myself above the clouds. In the distance I saw a little native woman posing as a gatekeeper. You know, if you are at the airport and go through customs to have your passport checked. She looked at me slightly surly and mysteriously. Then she focused on my heart and let me know that I was allowed to walk on to the invisible gate, which was slightly behind her. A little hesitantly I walked through the gate and to my great surprise I was transported to the jungle. Four shamans were waiting for me here. A fifth shaman came and sat before me and repeated the word “Ucayali” a few times. After spending some time with the shaman with whom I could communicate telepathically, Ayahuasca took me along. The image zoomed out and I saw Peru from a helicopter view. The place name Iquitos stood out prominently with a landmark next to it, the image shifted and I saw a large winding river and another landmark. “Do I have to go to Peru, Madre?” , I asked. When Madre Ayahuasca said, “Let go, sweetheart, God will provide.” I felt a peace come over me. I knew that this was an invitation to do more and more in-depth work in order to constantly raise our own ceremonies to a higher level. With open arms I immediately accepted this.

The evening after my journey I went to Google to find various combinations of the word, Ucayali. It turns out to be a region and river, the Ucayali River. Okay, we’re getting somewhere … I laughed. The city of Pucallpa also borders this river. Then I started looking for Ayahuasca centers near Iquitos, because I got to see this place name. I then decided not to do anything with it anymore, because Madre Ayahuasca said I could let it go. Somehow I had a sense of shame, because how could I doubt the messages from Madre? I knew she knew me and I let go of the feeling by accepting that I apparently needed confirmation. “Madre knows best so I flow with her.”

Almost half a year after my vision I learned that a Peruvian (female) shaman would come to the Netherlands to give her “dieta”. It felt good and I decided to google her in the evening. The internet informed me about her background. Maestra Manuela Mahua comes from a respected family line of Shipibo healers in the Ucayali region of the Peruvian Amazon.

She then was 70 years old and has more than 50 years of experience in working with plant medicines. She started drinking Ayahuasca with her father at the age of 13. Today she also helps and teaches Shipibo and foreigners, and she maintains her relationship with the plants by doing dietas. When I found out that she had worked at The Temple of the Way of Light, the circle was complete for me. The picture was complete and my intuition said it was good.

I am so grateful that I am able to organize my life together with my wonderful team in order to be able to fully devote myself, to Ayahuasca and other plant medicines. Since I know it is an infinite growth process, I was so ready to do more in-depth work. Also as a goal to bring more knowledge from Peru to integrate into our ceremonies here in Europe. With pure and loving intentions, I entered the world of Curandismo, Master Plant Dietas and Ayahuasca, led by a special female teacher.

What is a dieta anyway?

The Shipibo tradition of the Samá or “Dieta” is a spiritual or therapeutic way of healing through isolation and abstinence from taking certain foods and interacting with certain energies. By following these dietas, one can enter into deep relationships with the plant spirits and use these questions to heal the body and mind. Lessons come to us spontaneously in the course of the diet, through meditation, dreams and ceremony, even after the diet ends. To facilitate the teachings and true healing one must have the discipline and follow certain requirements that focus on isolation and abstinence from certain foods and activities. Ignoring these requirements can disrupt the diet period and even harm health and well-being. A dieta is opened by the Maestra or Maestro and must be closed at the end in order to be able to continue life, energetically protected.

Noya Rao

During the dieta, I had the honor to be able to diet with a special Master Tree, the Noya Rao, so that I can achieve more depth in working with Ayahuasca. (This is exceptional, I was told, because most dietas last 2-3 months on average and sometimes only once or twice have the possibility to drink the Noya Rao.) The Noya Rao stands for Light and Truth and is also called Palo Volador (flying tree / love), or Palo Sagrado (holy tree). She illuminates the darkness in yourself. There are various stories from the Shipibo tradition about these trees. The similarity is that the Noya Rao is very rare and sacred. The tree remained legendary because it disappeared for many years and was only found again a few years ago. As far as we know, there are only three living Noya Rao trees left. A dieta with the Noya Rao is primarily a period of learning and the teachings are of great value, not only for personal development and spiritual growth, but also for a full understanding of the shamanic power or more generally: the path of the healer . Noya Rao is considered pure light. It is a real privilege to be able to diet this tree.

The structure of the Shipibo ceremony (Ayahuasca)

The ceremony began with receiving a soplado (blessing / protection) with Mapacho (holy tobacco). After sunset the Maestra blessed the Noya Rao and the Ayahuasca. After I had drunk the medicine, the candle was blown out and I had to wait silently for the “mareacion” (effect of the medicine). As soon as the Maestra felt the mareacion, she started singing her “icaros”. Icaros are healing songs that the Maestra’s and Maestro’s receive from the plant spirits during their diet. These icaros carry a high vibration and with this they could move the energy. She also sang these songs to fill the space with the energy that was needed at that time. There are different types of icaros from healing, cleansing, joy and light to protection. The Maestra sang individually for each traveler in each ceremony to ensure that everyone received the necessary in the course of the dieta. As soon as she had sung to everyone and the energies had dissolved, the ceremony was over and we could go to our room.

In the last night ceremony I received an Arkana (protection). Manuela closed me energetically to ‘seal’ the work done and received during the dieta. The Arkana made sure that I could do all the things that I was not allowed to do during the diet. Think for example of the food I was not allowed to eat and having sex etc. All in all, the structure of the ceremony does not differ much from ours and these experiences have made a major contribution to raising our ceremonies to a higher level.

General insights

To include you in my personal experiences, I would first like to highlight some of the general insights that I have received during my diet and traveling.

I realized that by observing Manuela that working with Ayahuasca is really precision work. She moved through the room like a surgeon, who was able to flawlessly turn the relevant energies into light and sang exactly what everyone needed to heal individually. She wasn’t controlling the energy, she was guiding it.

The plant spirits / plant doctors came through to perform energetic ‘operations’. It became very clear to me that every plant has its own ibo (owner – own spirit). The plants communicate in general through the sacred patterns that we can perceive as travelers during our journey. Each pattern therefore embodies a specific plant spirit. It is then also the plant spirits that transmit the icaros to the receiver, in this case to the Maestra, and by humming the invitation with her it boosted the energetic vibration.

She opened herself up as a channel to sing the icaros. Everything on behalf of God/ Source / Creator / Great Spirit etc.

What made it so special for me, too, was that I understood at a deeper level that, by dieting Master Plants, I can strengthen relationships / connections with Plant Spirits. Because of this, I was invited to tune into the higher dimensions with focus, so that I was better able to receive sacred lessons. These lessons were very clear and relate to my whole being and important tasks here on earth. For example, I have received many confirmations regarding my vision of how to work with the medicine plants.

What may be clear is that working with Ayahuasca is not something that people just can do. It requires deep knowledge and experience to be able to guide ceremonies.

Personal insights

My personal insights focused on embracing and carrying my inner child close to me. Ayahuasca and the Noya Rao told me that I may remember myself daily to give my inner child comfort and love. Little Daphne needs this to feel safe and it gives me strength to stay in my true light. By learning to contemplate or embrace a fear, a new situation was created to transform it into light.

Gently blowing out accumulated ‘pinching’ energies made it clear that this ‘technique’ works much more effectively when released.

With emphasis on being servant and humble to the immense light and love that resides in all of us, we need not be afraid that it will turn the ego side and we are able to lay the building blocks for the new world .

The nice thing about my relationship with Madre Ayahuasca is that she usually treats me to a present after quite some deep dark parts. (as if I get a sticker from her) So I experienced a wonderful reunion with a special guide and it became clear to me that the tree in my earlier vision concerned the Noya Rao.

Madre Ayahuasca announced that the jungle of Peru was waiting for me. She said that she loves Shipibo healers extremely and that the crossing to “our” west has been a well-considered “decision” (in consultation with Great Spirit), with the promise that suitable students can stand up and grow into “true” shamans . The way I have seen it, we are actually more assistants to God and we can become the true servants that we should be. As a result, we guard the space (ceremony room) in collaboration with the Great Spirit.

For me, it is the Divine energy that flows through us and works with us. She did say that it requires a fair amount of perseverance and free will to subject myself to the teachings and experiences. I feel more than grateful that I have received the green light to work with the plants and to keep learning. The icaros will continue to come through step by step and I will learn a lot more in the coming decades. After all, we are never finished learning and I look forward to it!

The words that have been etched deep into my soul during my diet: I am a strong woman, protected by God, guided by Plant Spirit and nurtured by Madre.

It was a very special experience to learn, heal and be under the wings of Maestra Manuela. The safe setting and the beautiful icaros that Manuela that she personally sang for me made me get to know myself and working with the plants on a deeper level. To continue the work here in the Netherlands is also a nice confirmation.

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Back in 2015, Metsa Noma started its journey in Europe, making its home in The Netherlands. Like strong vines, our dedication reached Peru, creating a special place for healing journeys.

Metsa Noma isn't just a place for inner journey's; it's a living commitment experienced in every icaro, leaf, and brick in our sacred home. We're known for creating meaningful ceremonies and retreats, along with offering helpful guidance through coaching.

Guided by the ancient wisdom of sacred plants, our commitment extends beyond geographical boundaries, shaping the transformative experiences of those embarking on their unique journeys. While we may not be of Shipibo origin, our maestro and the sacred plants gracefully teach us in the art of singing Shipibo Icaros, creating safe environments, and upholding the traditions of Shipibo Konibo. It's a testament to the universal language of healing and respect that transcends cultural distinctions.

Metsa Noma warmly invites you—a promise to explore love, healing, and rediscovery. Your adventure, with commitment and expert guidance, awaits in the caring arms of Metsa Noma, where the extraordinary becomes a beautiful melody in life's transformative story.

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