The Ayahuasca (Banisteropsis caapi), or ‘rope of the spirits’ in Quechua, is the master plant of the Amazonian rainforest that is combined with Chacruna (Psicotria viridis) into a brew said to have spiritual healing powers. For thousands of years shamans have used its properties to cure the body and the soul and to connect with gods and nature. Activities before and after the ceremony (that can last as long as eight hours) are focused on the well-being of guests partaking in the ceremony. They are requested to respect both the spiritual and physical rigors of taking Ayahuasca by fasting, resting and practicing sexual abstinence in advance of the ceremony.
I can imagine the brainstorming session when they were figuring out how to pitch this story:
Boss: Okay, so, what have we got?
Account Manager: Our clients want to promote their ancient psychedelic drug rituals in the rainforest.
Intern: hehe hehe, cool (doing his best Bevis & Butthead imitation) (giggles around the conference table)
Boss: Is it legal?
AM: Peru’s government declared ayuhuasca part of their cultural heritage in 2008.
Intern: And it’s totally mind-blowing.
(all heads turns towards Intern)
Intern: What? Haven’t any of your tried it??
AM (looking a little uncomfortable, his tie suddenly a bit too tight): Well, I, uh, smoked a bit of reefer back in college.
UPS driver walks in.
Driver: Delivery from … Rainforest Expeditions?, looking around the table.
Boss: Oh, I’ll take that. (Glimmer in her eye, she quickly grabs the box out of the Intern’s expecting hands). Meeting adjourned.