A self-proclaimed ‘medicine woman’ was among two people arrested in Barcelona province for holding mind bending Ayahuasca ceremonies modelled as a form of spiritual and mental healing process.
A team of National Police burst in on a ceremony last Saturday night, November 5, just as it was about to get started, surprising a number of people sitting in a circle around a blanket covered in various items of drug paraphernalia.
In the process, officers nabbed stashes of money in cash and various suspicious substances, thought to be hallucinogens such as ayahuasca, snuff, hallucinogenic mushrooms and San Pedro cactus.
Such ceremonies, which employ the use of prohibited substances, claim to be ‘transcendent therapies’, which can help to overcome personal difficulties and raise one’s consciousness to new levels – and can cost hundreds of euros for a two or three night retreat.
Police were alerted to the activities of the pair by ‘concerned citizens’ who tipped them off through an email hotline.
One of them describes herself as a ‘shaman priestess, psychotherapist and coach’ who offers various therapeutic techniques such as reiki, akashic records and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
Police sources claim that the psychoactive substances pose a ‘grave risk’ to the health of the users, and that the arrested couple were using them to ‘capture and control’ their guests. They also profited financially from the scheme.
Other Ayahuasca shamans in Barcelona describe the ceremonies as involving small groups so that each individual is cared for in the process.
The principles of the listed are those of ‘respect, ethics, security, professionalism’.
‘We will be with you before, during and after the process to provide you with all the care you need so that you have no doubts or fears, but psychotherapeutic support,’ they write.