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Introduction: Spirituality and Wisdom in a Globalized World

Throughout history, human cultures have found ways to encode essential wisdom and spiritual insights for the generations to come. Beyond written language, spiritual and moral guidance has been encoded in myth, legend, story, ritual, and worship. As humans, we have been gifted with the ultimate gift: we are free to choose how to live our lives, how to organize our societies, and how to best use the bountiful resources this planet has to offer. We are free to choose what kind of lives we want to live — within the context of our own historical times and the sort of societies and cultures  that we are born into. Across time and space, philosophers have spent endless afternoons gazing at the skies or the bonfires, debating about what constitutes a life well lived. Influential treatises have been written on ethics, morals, theology and economics, as people try to make sense of how to best orient and organize human communities to make the best of this precious human experience and that unique gift — the gift of free will.

Of course, humans are complex creatures. The thirst for power, dominion and control inherent to our human make-up is bound to influence, in different times and places, notions and ideas about wisdom, what it means to live a good life, and who is worthy of having access to this crucial knowledge. Institutions —religious, political and educational— have risen to prominence with the sole mandate of gatekeeping wisdom, of controlling access to the remarkable ways in which humans can develop a clear, personal channel to the divine. Councils have been formed by monarchs and priests with the explicit intention of driving a line between the exoteric and the esoteric, the sacred and the profane; which doctrines are given freely to the masses, and which tools and practices are kept hidden from the common man. Which myths, stories and medicines are fit for public consumption, and which ones are locked away, reserved for the initiated elites.

Today, we are blessed to live in a world where globalization and information technologies have literally put the whole corpus of human knowledge on the palm of our hand. This is not to say that everything we need to reach enlightenment is our smartphone — but rather that the possibility to access perennial wisdom is there for anyone. People can travel to Rishikesh or Dharmsala in India to study yoga or Mahayana Buddhism, walk the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain or work with plant teachers in Peru, Mexico or West Africa. Even if we don’t want to travel far, teachers and schools of almost every imaginable spiritual or mystical tradition can probably be found not too far from where we live. The myths and stories of cultures across space and time are available for anyone willing to listen. And, remarkably, the wisdom that they encode, although varied and diverse in shape and form, is remarkably consistent in its essence: the perennial heart of wisdom, in its many, beautiful forms, points out to the same, basic cosmic rules for living a good life in alignment with Source.

The Universal Principle of Polarity

One of the core principles in this planetary-wide perennial wisdom, is the principle of balance and harmony. The physical and spiritual worlds are defined by polarities, opposing yet complementary dual forces engaged in an exquisite and delicate dance, always striving for perfect balance. Think about the physical forces of attraction and repulsion, like the opposite sides of a magnet. As a metaphor, we can say that when a pendulum swings in one direction, the principle of harmony ensures that it will then swing in the opposite direction with equal force and momentum. We see this in every aspect of life, with social and cultural processes continuously correcting and over-correcting, engaged in a dialectical process destined to eventually land in its optimal range. In the political sphere, we have the ever-present dual forces of innovation and conservation that define almost every political system; on one hand, the youthful, rebellious spirit that wants to transform, deconstruct, replace and re-create. On the other hand, the opposite energy that asks to slow down, that labors to maintain and preserve structures and institutions, to remind us that some things are the way that they are for a good reason. Of course, harmony and balance can be achieved only when both forces are given their proper place and treated with respect and reverence. Not every new idea is inherently better; not every old institution deserved to be preserved. True progress happens with the wisdom of discernment, and discernment requires an harmonious relationship between these polar archetypal forces.

Living in the world today, it isn’t difficult to notice that something about it is direly out of balance. Our current systems are not sustainable, and a big part of our current predicament can be attributed to a lack of balance between crucial polarities. The logics of power, domination, aggression, competition and extraction have seemingly reached a boiling point where we risk irreversibly damaging our life support systems if we fail to collectively correct the course. These logics of aggressive dominance and exploitation are typical of the institutions that drive global policy, from government to media to the military-industrial complex or the guiding forces of corporatism. They are so ingrained in global culture that it is difficult to imagine an alternative to these systems: they have become naturalized, synonymous with human nature. “Humans are just power-seeking, greedy, competitive, aggressive beings by nature”, some people like to argue. And sure, we are all of that. However, we are also, on the same token, compassionate,  generous, collaborative and kind beings by nature. Can we imagine a reality where human society is defined by collaboration, instead of competition? By generosity, instead of greed? Compassion and kindness, instead of aggression and domination?

Now, we are not arguing for some sort of rose-tinted utopia where humans have transcended any sort of aggressive instinct or competitive drive. These primal forces exist for a reason: they are part of our unique evolutionary history and the reason why humans are such a wildly successful species.  If humans were purely compassionate creatures —for example— devoid of the capacity for aggression, we would have never made it out of the African savannah. We wouldn’t have been able to hunt in order to provide protein for our communities; we would just feel bad for the poor antelopes, and starve to death. Aggression and compassion are both important. Competition and collaboration are both essential social attitudes, crucial for survival under different circumstances. Humans are highly malleable and adaptive creatures. We have been endowed with a wide arsenal of behavioral attitudes and character traits, which have helped us evolve — in less that ten thousand years or so— from disorganized and scattered groups of hunters and gatherers to a truly global civilization with quantum computers, international space stations and tiny rectangles we can hold in the palm of our hands to access the full depository of accumulated human knowledge on demand. Every aspect of our humanity has played a role in our success as a species. Every trait, every attribute, every propensity. We should not demonize what has made us uniquely and successfully human. However —and this is the key here— without the proper balance, these same attributes that have helped us thrive, might very well be the reason for our own demise.

Many mythologies around the world have coded wisdom related to these polarities. When talking about the primary importance of harmony and balance, perennial wisdom teaches us about the masculine and feminine continuum. Different cultures code this with different symbols: the Ying and Yang of the Tao, or the dyad of Shiva and Shakti in the Vedic traditions. In many cultures and places, the Sun and the Moon fulfilled these polar roles. Observing the natural world, we can discern that males and females of the same species tend to behave differently. Males are often endowed with higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that increases the propensity for aggression. Males are often more competitive, as they are often under a much higher evolutionary stress to outcompete other males and impress the female enough to ensure she is ready to breed. This is nature’s way to ensure that only the best genetic material is passed on to the next generation, depending on what evolution is selecting for in term of adaptive traits that increase the fitness of that species in a given environment.

The Sacred Dance

When spiritual teachers talk about the sacred feminine and the sacred masculine, they are often referring back to this perennial categorization of perceived traits as a way to encode a crucial, primary truth: its not that women cannot be aggressive or that men cannot be compassionate or collaborative. Rather, is that certain ways of being can be best described or characterized as masculine, or active, while others can be described as feminine, or receptive. We often times hear all sorts of different attributes and qualities being characterized as “masculine” while others are characterized as “feminine”; for example, some people would say that logic, rational thought and leadership are masculine traits while emotionality, creativity and nurturing are feminine ones. Of course, in our modern world not everybody feels conformable with these distinctions — and often, rightly so. For decades, women have been gaslit by men by appealing to their supposed emotionality — “oh you’re just overreacting”, or “you’re just being dramatic”. Not that long ago, this was also the basis for psychiatric diagnoses such as “hysteria” —an anachronistic term that referred to an “ungovernable emotional excess” used to pathologize women.

A useful way to think about these traits is to think about the previously mentioned Ying Yang of Chinese philosophy. In this symbol, we have the polar opposites represents as the black and the white sections of the whole. However, embedded in each section, we find a smaller circle of the opposite color. The Ying and Yang symbolizes that polarities, dualities and divisions are not absolute; within each polarity, we always find traces of its opposite. The masculine always contains the feminine and the feminine always contains the masculine. These are not absolute attributes, but relative ones, and there are always exceptions to prove the rule. Besides, one is not better than the other: rationality is not better than intuition and logic is not more valuable than emotionality or creativity. We do live in a paradigm that seems to value rationality more than it does intuition— but thats not an absolute truth. Rather, its a consequence of the dominant values of a given society and historical moment — and the institutions that hold the power.

Some people, for example, would argue that our times are characterized by patriarchal values that devalue feminine ways of knowing and being, hence the preference given to rationality and logic. And its not that women cannot embody rationality or logic — that would be silly. But rather, that when those values are given precedence, other ways of being and knowing are devalued, for everybody. So must of us are not as emotionally intelligent as we could be, or as in tune with our intuition as we’d like to, or as comfortable in our libidinal creative energy as we’d hope for.  If we think about tit his way, we can see that this is not really about essentializing gender at all — but about fundamental orientations to knowing and being in the world, based on primordial archetypes — such as Ying and Yang; the active principle and the receptive principle, the masculine and the feminine.

The map is never the territory; the symbolic layers —such as the Ying Yang— allow us to access  the realm of direct experience so we can strive for our own balance. This balance is essential for sustainable development and well-being. It fosters environments where creativity and rationality coexist, where action is tempered with reflection, and where leadership is exercised with empathy and inclusivity. By honoring and integrating both divine masculine and divine feminine qualities, individuals and societies can achieve greater harmony, resilience, and fulfillment. When we talk about the higher feminine qualities, we call them Divine. They are divine in as much as they refer to the integrated, embodied and mature feminine traits, in the same way that the divine masculine refers to the enlightened, pro-social and protective masculinity as opposed to the exploitative, demeaning and dominating ones.

The Divine Feminine

In many ancient cultures, the Divine Feminine was revered through various goddesses and archetypes. From Isis in Egyptian mythology to Kuan Yin in Eastern traditions, these deities symbolize different facets of the feminine principle. Isis represents the magic of transformation and resurrection, while Kuan Yin embodies boundless compassion and mercy. In the Hindu pantheon, the goddesses Kali, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Parvati or Durga all represent primary attributes of the divine feminine natural forces and its integral role in the cosmic order. The reverence for the Divine Feminine has deep historical roots. In pre-patriarchal societies, goddesses were often worshipped as the primary deities. These cultures understood the cyclical nature of life and death, honoring the feminine as the source of all creation. The Great Mother was seen as the wellspring of fertility, wisdom, and life as a whole.

As we argued above, throughout human history there have been multiple attempts to control and suppress wisdom for the sake of social and political control. Most notably, the rise of patriarchal systems systematically suppressed the predominance of the Divine Feminine. The shift towards male-dominated religions and societies marginalized feminine deities and principles, relegating them to the periphery. This suppression was not just about gender roles but also about a fundamental shift in how humanity perceived and interacted with the world. The emphasis on dominance, control, and linear progression overshadowed the cyclical, nurturing, and intuitive aspects of existence.

And again— none of this is about demonizing masculinity, masculine traits or men. We need masculinity — in its divine, awakened dimensions, the ones that can we met by the awakened, divine feminine. The reawakening of the Divine Feminine is not about destroying the patriarchy or fully  returning to a matriarchal society —but about integrating enlightened feminine principles into our collective consciousness. It calls for a harmonization of the masculine and feminine, creating a balanced approach to life that can lead to a more inclusive and holistic approach to life in general and our spiritual practices in particular, emphasizing the importance of inner work, emotional healing, and connection with nature. One example of this last point is the renewed interest in lunar cycles. The moon, a classic feminine archetype, with its waxing and waning phases, symbolizes the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth—a core principle of the Divine Feminine. By aligning our spiritual practices with the moon’s rhythms, we can attune ourselves to the natural flow of energy, nurturing a deeper connection with our intuition and inner wisdom.

Embracing the Divine Feminine is not just a collective endeavor but also a deeply personal journey. It invites each and every one of us, men and women, to reconnect with aspects of ourselves that have been neglected or suppressed. This process often involves healing from past wounds, including  those related to gender and identity. For many, this journey begins with self-compassion. The Divine Feminine teaches us to nurture ourselves, to honor our emotions, and to create space for healing. This is a radical departure from the often overly self-critical and overly-judgmental mindset fostered by patriarchal societies. By prioritizing self-compassion, we can break free from cycles of shame and guilt, embracing a more loving and accepting relationship with ourselves.

To come back —whole circle— to the place we started from, the healing potential of the Divine Feminine extends beyond the individual to encompass communities and the planet as a whole. In relationship, for example, the Divine Feminine fosters empathy, communication, and mutual support. It invites people and communities to cultivate deeper connections based on understanding and respect, leading to more harmonious and fulfilling relationships. Extending these principles outwards from our immediate community, we can keep expanding the layers of belonging towards society as a whole, where the Divine Feminine calls for a reevaluation of our values and priorities. It can challenge, for example,  the dominance of materialism and competition, helping us strive towards a more compassionate and cooperative approach, and, eventually, more equitable and sustainable systems and structures.

The current environmental crisis is a clear reflection of the imbalance between the masculine and feminine principles. The exploitation and domination of nature are manifestations of a disconnected, immature patriarchal mindset. Reawakening and embodying the Divine Feminine is crucial as we embark in the most important task of our lifetimes: cultivating a more harmonious relationship with the earth, prioritizing sustainability, regeneration, and respect for all living beings and radically shifting the ways we engage with our Mother Earth, a living, sentient being that sustains all life. What if instead of inheriting a dying planet to our children, we could foster and cultivate a renewed sense of stewardship and reverence for the natural world?

What does ayahuasca have to do with it?

In the beginning of this text we spoke of the many ways through which people have been able to access wisdom throughout history, and how keeping the means of direct experience of the divine hidden from the common man has been a primary concern of the institutions who have a vested interest in mediating between us and the sacred. Churches and governments of all kinds made it a point to persecute and destroy shamanic traditions all over the world, from Europe to central Asia to the Americas, as shamanic practices challenged the hegemony of the priestly classes. What would happen if anyone could have access to the spiritual realms, without the need for a middleman tasked with delivering a second-hand, low-resolution representation of the sacred? What if we could experience the sacred directly, and we found reliable ways to do so safely and consistently?

As we’ve seen in previous entries of this blog, ayahuasca is a traditional brew made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant. Indigenous cultures in the Amazon have used it for centuries in shamanic rituals for healing, spiritual insight, social coherence, and connection to the divine. The brew induces visionary states and deep introspection, facilitating a journey into the subconscious mind where unresolved emotions, traumas, and spiritual insights can be accessed and processed. The relationship between ayahuasca and the Sacred Feminine is thus deeply intertwined. Ayahuasca, often referred to as “Mother Ayahuasca,” embodies the nurturing, intuitive, and transformative qualities of the Sacred Feminine, offering profound insights and emotional healing to those who seek her wisdom.

We have seen throughout this text that the Sacred Feminine is often understood to represent qualities such as compassion, intuition, creativity, and nurturing as a whole. These attributes resonate strongly with the experiences of the many guests who have attended our ayahuasca ceremonies — as well as our dedicated staff. Often personified as a maternal spirit, Mother —or Grandmother Ayahuasca— guides participants through their inner landscapes with a nurturing yet firm presence, much like a compassionate mother guiding her children; stern but fair, tough but kind, she will not hesitate to give you a gentle nudge or even give you a proverbial kick in the ass —all for the benefit of your own growth.

The Ayahuasca ceremonies that we offer are designed to create a sacred space where our guests can heal from past traumas and emotional wounds. The nurturing energy of the Sacred Feminine within ayahuasca facilitates this healing process. Participants frequently report feelings of being held and supported by a loving, maternal presence as they navigate difficult memories and emotions. This nurturing aspect helps to dissolve fear and resistance, allowing for deep emotional release and healing, while diminishing the anxiety and apprehension that is a natural part of any new and exciting experience.

Furthermore, we have seen that some of the primary qualities associated with the Sacred Feminine are intuition and inner wisdom. Ayahuasca enhances our intuitive abilities, allowing us to access insights and knowledge that lie beyond the rational mind. This connection to intuition helps our guests gain clarity on complex life issues, discover their true selves, and make decisions that are truly aligned with their highest good. The intuitive guidance received during ayahuasca journeys is often experienced as a dialogue with a wise, feminine spirit, offering profound teachings and revelations. Ayahuasca is also known for her ability to catalyze deep personal transformation, akin to a spiritual rebirth. The process often involves shedding old patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve us, to make space for the new, updated versions of who we are becoming. This transformative journey mirrors the cycles of symbolic death and rebirth associated with the Sacred Feminine, as ayahuasca supports the evolution and renewal of our higher selves.

Lastly, the ayahuasca ceremonies themselves are rituals that honor the Sacred Feminine. In our resort, these ceremonies are conducted with the utmost respect for the plant spirits and the natural world, a reflection of the feminine principles of reverence for life and interconnectedness. The ceremonies include carefully curated elements such as music, ikaros, and other sacred practices, all of which contribute to creating a safe and comfortable container for profound spiritual transformation and healing.

The relationship between ayahuasca and the Sacred Feminine is a powerful testament to the interconnectedness of healing, intuition, and transformation. Mother Ayahuasca is committed to provide her children with profound, healing journeys into the depths of the psyche, facilitating emotional healing and spiritual growth. By heeding the call for reconnection to our own inner feminine, we can reconnect with our latent inner wisdom, heal past wounds, and experience a profound sense of renewal and transformation. This sacred relationship invites us to honor and integrate the feminine qualities within ourselves and our spiritual practices, fostering a more balanced and harmonious existence —with ourselves, our families, our communities, and mother Earth and all of her creatures as a whole.

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