As a volunteer at Arkana Spiritual Center, I have been afforded a special glimpse into what true healing looks like. I have grown up in a culture in which “healing” looks like pill bottles, syrups, creams, drugs, and chemicals. In the United States, mental illness and physical illness are only ever met with medication; medication that was synthetically created, mass-produced, and now sits stale on the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies. In my experience, this kind of “healing” is shallow. I don’t discount the temporary relief that these medicines may bring, but the majority of these products are only serving to address the secondary symptoms of much deeper, internal problems that exist in our physical bodies and our soul bodies. The healing work that is being carried out at Arkana Spiritual Center involves diving deep into the darkest, most hidden parts of ourselves, and confronting the internal suffering that manifests in the sicknesses we face.
At Arkana, we want to help find the best medicine for you. What medicine heals your soul. As such, the center has brought together a series of powerful medicines and tools that each individual can choose from to help you reach their deepest state of personal healing. The main focuses of the center are as following…
Traditional Ayahuasca ceremonies with Shipibo shamans
Ayahuasca has used by the shamans of the Amazon region for healing and divinatory purposes for thousands of years. ‘Grandmother Ayahuasca’ acts as a guide to help reveal the roots of illness in her patients, and aids in the path to lasting healing. The Shipibo culture is well known for shamanism and plant medicine. The tribe seems to have a particularly strong relationship with Grandmother Ayahuasca and many consider the Shipibo to be the most highly skilled ayahuasca healers in the Peruvian Amazon.
Local Wachuma (San Pedro) ceremonies
The Wachuma cactus, also known as Huachuma or San Pedro, has perhaps the longest history of use of any plant medicines in South America. Its ceremonial use dates back almost 3,500 years and its traditions continue today. Wachuma medicine, considered to be a male energy, is known as a “heart opener” and works beautifully in conjunction with our Ayahuasca ceremonies. It is traditionally used for physical purification and expanding consciousness.
A mix of tobacco and other herbs, rapé is a sacred, very rare, very powerful, profoundly healing and cleansing miracle-medicine. By purging deep-seated toxins, you emerge from experience feeling calmer, more focused, and more in line with your true self.
Sometimes referred to as a “touch of the divine,” Mexican Sapo is a powerful medicine derived from the poison of desert frogs. This is most significantly a holistic reset that allows for a deep release of destructive emotional and mental patterns, as well as an influx of life force that is both inspirational and healing.
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, the type of yoga we focus on in the center, is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind and connecting with the world of the soul and spirit. The practice encourages and develops concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life. At Arkana we incorporate different forms of the practice, such as transcendental, breath, mantras, and silent meditation.
Sound has been utilized in various cultures for thousands of years as a tool for healing. Whether through the use of mantras as with the Hindis or the Icaros (medicine melodies) of various Indigenous peoples from Central and South America, these various techniques all have the same intention: to move us from a place of imbalance to a place of balance. Here at Arkana we will use a mix of voice and different ancient instruments to cleanse the soul and raise energy.
In ceremonial doses, raw cacao is a powerful heart opener that paves the way to transformation through self-love and honoring the divine and joy in life. A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, it aids in any transformational shift you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, release old patterns and traumas, or move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao allows you to the insight and awareness to move towards that goal.
“We sit in darkness on an earthen floor. Hot vapor condenses and drips down my skin as I hug my knees against my chest and breathe lightly to cool the scalding vapor before it reaches my lungs. The beat of a drum, leather stretched over a wooden frame, penetrates my chest, and we begin to sing in Spanish, on and on.” This is a temazcalli– a fire ceremony set in the womb of the steam house, it is a total purification of the body, mind, and soul, as well as an offering to Mother Earth.
Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person’s health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods, but at Arkana we focus specifically on Jantsu massage – a rebirth in water, and Shiatsu massage – assisted yoga that helps with chakra activation and unblocking energy points.
We are what we eat. The food energy we consume is a vital component in determining our overall well-being. Observing your diet and positively transforming it has the potential to change your life. At Arkana we will implement diets from local shamans that include the consumption of fresh local plants. Moreover, the diets will focus on healing of the body and connecting with the spirits of the plants.