Acacia vs. Ayahuasca: Similarities & Differences

You’ve probably heard, by now, about Ayahuasca. While it’s been used for thousands of years, it’s really been over the past few years that it’s exploded all over the internet as a buzzword for celebrities and influencers, and there are all sorts of memes floating around.

My Journey with Ayahuasca

For any of you who are not yet familiar, it is a profound healing medicine that has been cultivated amongst the many tribes who live along the Amazon from Peru to Brazil. It is a brew that can be mixed with other plants, but its basic ingredients are the bark of the Ayahuasca vine, which acts as an MAOI (an opener for DMT), and the Chacruna leaf, which holds the DMT (also known as the Spirit Molecule), which brings visions.

My first experience with Ayahuasca was on February 15th, 2002 in the Bay Area of California, and I had the privilege and honor of doing deep work with a beloved Peruvian Mestizo Ayahuasquero, Don José Campos, as well as some other amazing (and some not so amazing) facilitators both locally in Northern California and in the Amazon.

My experience with Ayahuasca is, I believe, a bit unusual in that she immediately took me under her wing, was gentle with me, and over the next couple of decades would speak to me very much like a wise elder and mentor. She initiated me directly, showed Herself to me in Her Goddess form, and gifted me with countless and truly ineffable gifts and deep healing.

I honor my deep, sacred relationship with Mama Ayahuasca, and am endlessly grateful for those who serve this medicine in a good way. It truly is a path of devotion that requires, if it is offered in a good way, a complete surrender to the power and majesty of the medicine.

While I was initiated and given permission to serve Ayahuasca, I never felt the deep spiritual alignment to serve it. It would have been a great “business” move since it is getting so much notoriety, but, as I mentioned, I am deeply aware of how important it is to treat these medicines with great reverence, and to only serve in ways that are fully aligned.

My Journey with Acacia & Syrian Rue

A few years ago, I was invited by a new friend to come and sit with a medicine that was new to me. It is a medicine that holds the same chemical compounds as Ayahuasca, but is made with Acacia (which holds the DMT), and Syrian Rue (which offers the MAOI). After sitting with this medicine for about a year, and helped to serve in these medicines, I (and my medicine partner and soul family partner, Dr. Matthew) was invited and encouraged to start offering this new medicine. This time, I felt the very aligned and full strength “YES” in my body, heart, and mind.

Because it is new (though it has ancient roots in Egyptian, Hebrew, and Persian spirituality, texts, and artwork), many people have not yet heard about this amazing medicine, and often ask me how do they compare.

“. . . there is some speculation that the Egyptians may have used [Acacia DMT] as a way to contact the Otherworld.”

~Isioplolis, Isis, the Acacia Goddess

How do you compare Ayahuasca & Acacia/Syrian Rue?

The first thing I will say is that this is a spiritually difficult question to answer, because they both are profound, gracious, and loving mentors for me, and comparisons in my world or perception are a sign of disrespect and diminish the sense of their ineffable and sacred presence in my life. AND at the same time, I understand that it is really helpful to know, because they are not the same. They are different Master Plants with differences in their frequencies.

To Sum it Up Simply . . .

If I were to put it all in an easy to digest nutshell, I would say that Ayahuasca brings us into the deep, rich, and infinitely powerful (and sometimes overwhelmingly vibrant) nature of the sacred womb of Mother Earth where we face the death of our ego, and the invitation to surrender into our immortality if we can really let go and be embraced by that dark womb of infinite possibility. Acacia brings us into the sacred consciousness of the cosmos where we can embrace, if we let go of our need to control and “know,” our connection with all other consciousness, limitless and infinitely gracious.

Both of these medicines open up awareness to a power so great that it can be frighteningly humbling, and this is where the ego death happens. We truly see where we have thought we were in control and it is such a little speck of dust in comparison to the infinite and multi-dimensional Source that is.

With great respect and gratitude for both of these beloved healers in my life, I share with you a bit about Acacia (Acacia & Syrian Rue) Medicine, and some of the ways in which I experience their differences as I commune with them.

Ayahuasca seems harder to integrate than Acacia journeys

While I, for many years, had profound healing journeys with Ayahuasca, many times the visions that came didn’t necessarily have any particular grounded connection with the healing I received. Sometimes it was clear I was healing something specific, but I often felt like I had some cool things to share about, but wasn’t really certain how it all pertained to my life outside of my ceremonial work. I believe that is the case for many people, and why it is so important and helpful to do integration work afterward.

Ayahuasca’s REAL healing

One of the last (well, I thought it was the very last) journeys I had with Ayahuasca, she told me “You’re going to get the REAL healing from me. Lots of people want and get the amusement park ride with the colors and lights, but now you are going to get the real healing.” That night, I sat completely sober. I was curious about what it all meant, and then, within a couple of weeks, I started on a deep and very dark night of the soul.

Fortunately, I had spent a lifetime studying, researching, and working with my own and others’ consciousness, subconscious, and human psychology and development, and I knew that Mama Ayahuasca was giving me a great gift. Fortunately, I had powerful tools I had developed to be able to do deep subconscious healing, trauma healing, core wound healing, because I needed them all to scrape my way through the vast hole of depression that I fell into for 2 1/2 months.

I would jerk awake as I tried to sleep, afraid I was dying. I spent days without caring for myself, not brushing my teeth, not eating, really truly barely getting by, learning to love myself, learning to love all of the heaviness inside of me, learning to embrace all of my shame, my “brokenness,” my stuckness, and apparent powerlessness over this darkness.

Over time, with the help of a few aids: Cannabis (which, when I remembered to ingest, would get me up out of bed, caring for myself, doing yoga, meditating, and getting out in Nature), teaching a Sacred Feminine Mystery School (the journey with those archetypes showed me the next steps), and attending sacred Chanupa (pipe) ceremonies with Medicine Path Native American Church, I found my way through to the light.

Ayahuasca’s Healing & Dark Night of the Soul

On the other side of it, I felt so much joy that seemed unconditional. I felt cleared out of that deep old trauma. While I would NEVER have signed up for it, I was eternally grateful for walking through that deep dark night (well, more like 80 nights) of the soul.

That was the gift of Ayahuasca.

Acacia has come into my life relatively recently, within the past 3 1/2 years, and so it is hard to say how she is different from her sister, Ayahuasca, because I was in such a profoundly different place when I stepped into my work with Acacia. I do not fear what the medicine may offer me because I know, no matter how bad it may seem, it will always provide vastly more valuable gifts than any “price” I may pay during the journey.

Acacia Expands Consciousness & Keeps it Expanded

What I can say with confidence is that Acacia has helped me to truly expand my consciousness in ways that stay expanded even once I have grounded back in from my journey. I have reached states of non-duality with the help of Acacia that continue to guide my thoughts, behaviors, and decisions on a daily basis. I have been able to experience a bridge that stays strong between my human consciousness and my multi-dimensional self, which I hadn’t experienced ever in my life, even though I have had multi-dimensional experiences my whole life, and would often, as a child, slip into ecstatic states of Samadhi where I was one with everything. Now, I feel like I can reach that place and leave the doors open and come back into my material, 3D reality and continue to look back through that doorway that’s open and see the bridge that got me there.

I have received the gift of truly honoring my life, my body, and my time as a Sacred Gift, and finally breaking through old fears and resistance based in a “not worthy” wounding and rescuer/martyr programming that were hardwired from birth.

Yes, this is a progression that can’t just be attributed to Acacia. Meditation, intimate relationships, life, and other amazing sacred medicines have all played key roles, and with Acacia, I feel like it is easy to access states of non-dual reality that really stay with me. I feel more able to truly see and accept the perfection of all things, my role in my life, my personal power, and my ability to effect change from present moment awareness.

I process this medicine myself now, with the great generosity and tutelage of a dear spirit brother, sound shaman, and benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. Bless your life, brother!

Most of the plant matter is removed from the Acacia medicine, so it is easier to digest and causes much less nausea, though purging can still occur.

It is a great honor to work with this medicine, and we provide a group ceremony with the sacred Acacia & Syrian Rue medicine each month.

You must apply to attend any of our Sacred Plant Medicine ceremonies to make sure it is a good fit. Safe and Sacred are key words for us and are the first part of our mission – which is to provide safe and sacred spaces for our diverse community to learn, heal, and grow together.

Come & Sit with Us in an Acacia/Syrian Rue Ceremony

If you are interested in attending either a group ceremony with us, or working with us privately (including destination retreats for private groups), please visit our sacred medicine page: You are also always welcome to just reach out with any questions. We are a very small nonprofit, and we value cultivating personal relationships with our community. You can reach us here:

Blessings on your sacred healing path, and as always, may the Source be with you!

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