Women’s Ayahuasca Retreat : August 2016 : Sacred Valley

About This Event

11 Day Retreat with a Shipiba Maestra, Naomi Athena & Gisela Agilar

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In all cultures throughout time there has always been a place where women retreat, and step deep into the journey...

Come and retreat in the energies of the sacred feminine with a Shipiba Maestra where the power of the jungle meets the tranquility of the mountains.

Experience 11 days of Ceremony in the beautiful Sacred Valley of Peru. 

Sit in the circle of sisterhood and experience the healing capacity of plant wisdom, intimate community & powerful ceremony. Hosted at Sacha Munay, Arin (originally known as Yoga Mandala) in the Sacred Valley on lushful land just a walk away from a beautiful waterfall, this retreat is only for those who are interested in doing deep healing work. With the support of skilled and experienced facilitators, and an Ayahuasca Maestra with over 30 years experience, this retreat offers a unique and special opportunity to step deep into your journey. 

So much love, thought, and care goes into creating these retreats for participants, and we are so grateful to share this medicine with those who feel the call.

This retreat is filled with various supportive activities that can help integrate the work that is taking place within the ceremonies. Yoga, and writing meditions, concious movement, and sharing circles will take place throughout. Hikes up through beautiful mountain ruins on sacred Land. We also take time to come together to process integration and commitments for after sisters leave.There will be one on one support available throughout your process to offer guidance and support. 

We willl close with the powerful changing woman ceremony, a time for us to dream together and call in the changes that we want to cement into our being in sacred circle. 5 Ayahuasca Ceremonies, Plant Cleanses,Yoga, Changing Woman Ceremony, Sacred Hikes, Sharing Circles, Sound Healing, Movement meditations, Healthy nutritious meals made with love.

We will begin the retreat with a traditional Andean Despacho. A beautiful ceremonial offering to pachamama and the the Apus(mountains). This is to give offering to lands we will be working on, as well as a time to ask for support from the land and its medicines to help us on our journey inwards. The despacho is in the spirit of ayni and reciprocity and it is a powerful ceremony that is rooted in the wisdom of walking in balance on this beautiful planet. This Andean ceremony will be with Grandma Maria Apaza, a female alto-mesayoq from Q'eros. She is an Andean wisdom keeper and a wise respected elder carrying the ancient traditions of the lands. 

Ayahuasca Ceremonies with Shipibo Healers.

The maestra for this retreat will be announced in the coming month. Feel free to take a look at the different healers we work with.

We work with respected and trusted Shipiba Healers who travel from the jungles of Pucallpa, their native land, to join us in these sacred mountains for a deep healing journey.

The shipibo are a beautiful tribe of approximately 35,000 people located in the basin of the amazon jungle in Peru. They live in various different villages along the Ucayali River.

The Shipibo culture and their relationship with the plants are completely interwoven. Traditional Shipibo healers spend 15-20 years dieting and apprenticing with plant medicines. Spending at times years in isolation dieting different plants. During these diets, the healers receive healing songs from the plants called “ikaros”. After many years of training they can help heal people by removing blockages and dark energies, by singing these medicine songs directly to people during an Ayahuasca ceremony.

Working alongside Ayahuasca and various other master plants, the spirits of the plants support the healers in their healing work. The pharmacopeia that exists in the jungle is an incredible resource that many shipibo healers have. These ceremonies can be a powerful catalyst for healing. The ceremonies will take place at night time in the dark. Our maestra will do individual work on each person during  ceremonies. It is our commitment to the people attending, that we will hold a safe and supportive space throughout the retreat inside and outside of ceremony.

In a rapidly changing and expanding modern world, it is a true blessing that  women such as her still exist today. We feel very blessed and grateful to be able to do this type of work with grandmother wisdom carriers who continue to share the knowledge of Spirit and the Earths kindness with us in ceremony.

This retreat will be facilitated by:

Naomi Athena

Naomi began working with Ayahuasca in 2009, and over the last 5 years, has been dieting and studying fairly intensely with a traditional shipibo lineage, spending months at a time in retreat in traditional dieta. She brings a lot of experience and love to the table for those who want to dive deep into their process. Having experienced such profound transformation working with the Plants and the Medicine, she is inspired to create opportunities where others may explore this ancient path. Naomi has been studying traditional forms of medicine, healing and shamanism for the last 9 years, and has been blessed to sit with many different elders, wisdom carriers and medicine people in the north and the south.

She currently runs earth elemental healing, a Healing and body work practice that has supported many people on their life journey. She also facilitates classes, workshops, rituals, ceremonies and women’s work. She is the mother of two beautiful children, an aspiring herbalist, Life Coach, Yoga teacher, Doula, Artist, Sound healer, and Body worker. A global mut, Born in Greece, and raised in the Philippine islands on the Pacific Ocean. Her father indigenous Venezuelan and connected to the amazon, her mother south african. She carries a deep love for the earth and its wisdom in all the does, and is deeply devoted to the healing and evolution of humanity.

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Gisela Aguliar

Gisela is a Beautiful Peruvian woman who started her journey with the medicine 7 years ago in the Peruvian Jungle. She  continues to learn with the same shipibo elders, Manuela Mahua and Horacio Brito. She has done 2 traditional tree dietas; Huairacaspi for three months and Ayahuma for 2 months, and continues to deepen her relationship with Ayahuasca through ceremonies and retreats. Through her work with the medicine, she decided to listen and follow her heart’s calling more and quit her full-time job in a business company in Lima and moved to the Sacred Valley, where she co-founded a holistic Montessori Kindergarten for small kids, where she teaches art and music to the children. Two years ago, she also started to work as a facilitator in ayahuasca workshops out of a real love to serve and share. Gigi is a joyous soul to everyone who meets her. She is currently truly really enjoying her life in the valley and the medicine path that continues to guide her in new and amazing directions.  

Our Chef:

Roberto Laurens is a student of mysticism, Meditation, Health and well-being.  He brings a deep sense of mindfulness to the kitchen, letting it become a sacred space, transforming ordinary ingredients into food infused with consciousness. Two years ago Roberto founded the Culture of Love, a Culinary Arts initiative with a focus on mindful eating and healthy food. Providing healthy, local, flavourful and gluten free dishes, vegan and vegetarian options, as well as replenishing teas that leave one who has sat at Roberto’s table feeling nourished.  One bite of Roberto’s food and you can taste the love in it. Culture of love offers holistic catering throughout the Sacred Valley.  We love having Roberto’s gentle energy and beautiful presence on our retreats.

Before booking online we’d love to talk with you!

Please contact us via email (contact info blocked)

The first step in registering is to visit our website and fill out the form under “booking”.  Please also send us an e-mail to let us know you have submitted your form.  

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We cannot accept your deposit until we’ve confirmed through dialogue your medical history, and any previous experience working with the medicine.  Please be advised that anyone taking SSRI’s or with a history of serious mental health issues will not be able to attend.  We are committed to offering the highest quality care to those attending.  We believe in the tremendous healing available through this work, but such issues should be addressed one on one.  Thank you for your understanding.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Please feel free to contact us for more details:

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More Details for August 20-30, 2016:

Tree of Light Retreats: Women's Ayahuasca Retreat 

Arrival date is August 20th, where we will settle in for lunch and have a group circle for everyone to come and meet and aclimatize. The second night, we will have our first ceremony.

Transportation & Accomodation:

There will be a 10am pick up in Pisac on August 20th. (more details to come. We are working out a discounted price with a hotel in Pisac for you on the night of the 19th). It will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes to arrive at Sach'a Munay. On August 30th you will be transported back to Pisac after breakfast. Cost of transportation is included in the price, and hotel/hostel reservations are at your own expense. We highly recommend you stay in Pisac on the night of the 19th, if not even a day or two before.  Pisac is 35 minutes from Cusco, however it is a few thousand feet lower, and therefore much easier for altitude adjustment

Ceremonies:

We feel very blessed to work with trusted & loving Grandmother Maestras for our retreats. Shipibo Ayahuasca ceremonies take place at night-time in the dark. The medicine songs that are sung are called “ikaros”. During every ceremony each person will receive individualized work from the Maestra, as she sings personally to each person. We believe and have witnessed in our own experiences that this level of care helps to remove blockages and allows for deep healing to take place. There is a lot of support, before and after for integration with what can come up in ceremony.  If you need help within the ceremony, because we only work with small groups, you will always receive a lot of support if you happen to need it. This said, we encourage participants to rely on themselves as much as possible in this kind of spirit work, as it can be a very empowering process. Participants have shared over and over how they felt a new found strength and compassion for themselves when working through through challenges that naturally arise as an opportunity in this type of shamanic work

Schedule:

Arrival date is the 20th, where we will settle in for lunch and have a group circle for everyone to come and meet and aclimatize. The second night, we will have our first ceremony. There will be ceremonies on the following days: 21st, 22nd, 24th, 26th, 28th, 29th . On ceremony days only breakfast and lunch will be served. Throughout the retreat, there will be various activities planned for everyday. This said, we have made a concious choice to not create a jam packed schedule as the point of this work is to retreat and work with what is arising. For many people the act of not doing, is one of the hardest parts of being on retreat, and yet so much healing and revelation can come when we slow down.You will receive a schedule upon arival, though please know nothing is mandatory, and to listen to your own rhythm as you dive into this work. 

Recomendations for Preparation:

It is our recommendation for 2 weeks before you arrive, that you begin to follow an Ayahuasca diet. The nature of this retreat is to do very deep work and beginning the diet is part of your preparation and commitment to your journey.

Decrease caffeine and sugar

No drugs or alcohol

(please let us know if you are taking any pharmaceutical medications)

No pork

Decrease your salt intake

Eat a simple diet without spicy foods or anything heavily fried

We recommend no sex unless you are in a committed partnership

What to bring:

The sun can be quite strong during the day and the nights are cold, so bring clothes for both temperatures. Make sure to have enough warm clothes for the nights in ceremony as august nights can be chilly.

A head-lamp with an option for RED light setting (very important for ceremony) or a flash light you dont mind covering with red tape. 

Journal

Spiritual/educational books to read

Comfortable shoes for hiking if you want to explore the mountains

Extra money: at the end the Maestra will have traditional Shipibo crafts & beautiful hand-woven tapestries to sell.

Cost & Deposit:

11 Day Retreat $1850usd

There is a 40% non-refundable deposit to reserve your place. ($740.00 usd)


The Creators of Tree of Light Retreats:

Tree of Light Retreats is co-created by Naomi and Carolina. Naomi had a powerful vision in ceremony of women coming together to heal themselves and the planet, at around the same time that carolina felt a call to begin sharing the medicine and the tradition that had changed her life. They met in the Sacred Valley of Peru, and know in their hearts that the medicine brought them together to create a safe and supportive space for healing.  With their many years of experience with Ayahuasca and facilitating others, they have created retreats with the most trusted Shipibo healers and feel deeply called to support others on this path.  As Mothers with small children they bring this special energy to the loving and intimate space they hold inside and outside of ceremony. We’re happy to share that for 2016 retreats will be offered February, May, June, July, August, October and November. A couple of these retreats will be opening the space for men to join us as well. Please see our website for details.

Cancellation Policy:*The 40% deposit is transferable, and non-refundable.

Please see our website for further details.

Venue Highlights

Our center consists of three distinct campuses, Munay Sonqo Mesa, Sach’a Munay Jardin and our latest addition the Santuario. All areas

Amenities

  • Free Wifi
  • Sauna
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Tour Assistance
  • Cafe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescetarian
  • Ayurvedic
  • Meat
  • Organic
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free

Menu/Cuisine

We offer an amazing cuisine well-suited to the individual’s transformative journey. We provide locally-grown, fresh, and mostly organic produce. Meals are generally vegetarian, however chicken and fish are served upon request. Our phenomenal Peruvian chef Martin loves to respond and adapt to each unique group’s culinary needs and desires.

ayahuasca ayahuasca healing divine feminine grandmother healers peru shamanism shipibo tree of light retreats womens medicine womens retreat

Reviews  
  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Nae Lyndley   January 31, 2020

      Words or dollars simply don't amount. Priceless & life altering

    I had wanted to work with Ayahuasca for many year but knew with this deep work it is so important you do your research and to find a place that I would feel safe & supported as shadow work isn't easy. I have many friends that had been to Peru to find Ayahuasca, had positive experiences and recommended retreat centers they had been to... This process of finding the right place can be overwhelming as there are so many retreat centers out there but i can't stress enough not to rush into making a decision and listen to your heart. Although I value my trusted friends I didn't feel any of the places recommended truly resonated with me and I would also be choosing to go to the places they had recommended out fear and based on their experiences. So I kept searching and my heart led me to Tree Of Light Retreats. Initally I looked up "womens only" centres as I had masculine trauma I wanted to get free of, and in fear I didn't want to have to work or be around men while going through this process. (Tree of Light came up in the search because they used to offer womens only retreats but in recent times decided to open it up to both men and women) However, from the moment I started reading the bio and after watching a video of Carolina and Pedro on their website I felt a deep sense of care and support, like this was the place for me. So I enquired to see if they still had womens only retreats but unfortunately (at the time it seemed unfortunate) they no longer offered this. I felt a little disappointed, but with everything I had read and from the moment I started communicating with Carolina she answered all of my questions and concerns and came up with a plan to make me feel as comfortable as possible to work through this, nothing was too big to ask, too hard or crazy. This confirmed that this was the right place for me and once i arrived i felt at ease, safe and at home. In hind sight I am beyond grateful I didn't go down that path of doing a women's only retreat because I got some much more then I feel I would have if I did. Carolina and Pedro both hold a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy, and have done extensively on themselves to hold such sacred, loving, accepting and supportive space for all that come to drink with them. Not only do they hold space but they empower you to do your own healing and give you all the tools and information you need to work through whatever it is that has drawn you here, as well as once you leave the retreat. Carolina is a beautiful loving and nurturing spirit, upon meeting her you will feel very at ease to express anything and everything. She appears petite, she is sweet and softly spoken and then in ceremony she transforms into a very powerful warrioress of pure light, a truly leader and born to do this work. And dear Pedro, wow the most beautiful kind hearted man and brother of my heart. Initially I didn't want a bar of masculine energy but Pedro during this process but is a perfect balance of both masculine and feminine. I felt so safe working with him, held and truly loved and respected like a sister. It is hard to put into words the love I have in my heart for these two beautiful beings. My experience at Tree of Light left me with healing, answers, tools, gratitude like I've never felt before and my heart cracked open wider then I ever thought possible which continues to grow... The schedule was perfect with enough time between ceremony and activities to allow for reflections, rest and recovery. The facilities and rooms were just divine, some of the nicest i had found on my search. All of the staff and the helpers were lovely and the food was amazing!! I wouldn't sit anywhere else and when mother Ayahuasca calls me back it will be to sit in their circle at Tree Of Light Reteats once again. Many thanks, love and blessing Carolina and Pedro for all you do for the collective.

  • Nae Lyndley   January 30, 2020

      Words or dollars simply don't amount. Priceless & life altering

    I had wanted to work with Ayahuasca for many year but knew with this deep work it is so important you do your research and to find a place that I would feel safe & supported as shadow work isn't easy. I have many friends that had been to Peru to find Ayahuasca, had positive experiences and recommended retreat centers they had been to... This process of finding the right place can be overwhelming as there are so many retreat centers out there but i can't stress enough not to rush into making a decision and listen to your heart. Although I value my trusted friends I didn't feel any of the places recommended truly resonated with me and I would also be choosing to go to the places they had recommended out fear and based on their experiences. So I kept searching and my heart led me to Tree Of Light Retreats. Initally I looked up "womens only" centres as I had masculine trauma I wanted to get free of, and in fear I didn't want to have to work or be around men while going through this process. (Tree of Light came up in the search because they used to offer womens only retreats but in recent times decided to open it up to both men and women) However, from the moment I started reading the bio and after watching a video of Carolina and Pedro on their website I felt a deep sense of care and support, like this was the place for me. So I enquired to see if they still had womens only retreats but unfortunately (at the time it seemed unfortunate) they no longer offered this. I felt a little disappointed, but with everything I had read and from the moment I started communicating with Carolina she answered all of my questions and concerns and came up with a plan to make me feel as comfortable as possible to work through this, nothing was too big to ask, too hard or crazy. This confirmed that this was the right place for me and once i arrived i felt at ease, safe and at home. In hind sight I am beyond grateful I didn't go down that path of doing a women's only retreat because I got some much more then I feel I would have if I did. Carolina and Pedro both hold a perfect balance of masculine and feminine energy, and have done extensively on themselves to hold such sacred, loving, accepting and supportive space for all that come to drink with them. Not only do they hold space but they empower you to do your own healing and give you all the tools and information you need to work through whatever it is that has drawn you here, as well as once you leave the retreat. Carolina is a beautiful loving and nurturing spirit, upon meeting her you will feel very at ease to express anything and everything. She appears petite, she is sweet and softly spoken and then in ceremony she transforms into a very powerful warrioress of pure light, a truly leader and born to do this work. And dear Pedro, wow the most beautiful kind hearted man and brother of my heart. Initially I didn't want a bar of masculine energy but Pedro during this process but is a perfect balance of both masculine and feminine. I felt so safe working with him, held and truly loved and respected like a sister. It is hard to put into words the love I have in my heart for these two beautiful beings. My experience at Tree of Light left me with healing, answers, tools, gratitude like I've never felt before and my heart cracked open wider then I ever thought possible which continues to grow... The schedule was perfect with enough time between ceremony and activities to allow for reflections, rest and recovery. The facilities and rooms were just divine, some of the nicest i had found on my search. All of the staff and the helpers were lovely and the food was amazing!! I wouldn't sit anywhere else and when mother Ayahuasca calls me back it will be to sit in their circle at Tree Of Light Reteats once again. Many thanks, love and blessing Carolina and Pedro for all you do for the collective.

  • Ashley Welling   October 10, 2019

      Life Changing!

    Wow! I really don’t have the right words to express how this place changed my life. Most of my friends now call me Ayahuasca Ashley because I left a different person. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for having The Tree of Light helping me see what is really important in life. As a single Mom of two boys I had to make sure I was safe in this journey. After hours of research I decided this was the place for me. They took care of me and helped me work through a lot of past trauma and sexual abuse. I saw the light! I’ll forever be thankful for this life changing journey I was able to have. Thank you Tree of Light for this beautiful work you do! ❤️

  • Sean Adams   September 25, 2019

      Tree of Light is exceptional medicine!

    Pedro and Carolina are skilled and caring healers, but also, the plants they are working with, and their way of doing things are different than what you will find at most places. I have visited a few centers in the Amazon, so I would like to share some perspective as to how this compares to other places you might consider. I have been to two retreats with Tree of Light, and have been involved in shamanism for five years prior to that. It has been a long journey for me until finding something that I'm happy to refer people to. I can enthusiastically recommend this place both for first-timers, and experienced "dieteros". Even having attended many retreats with many different shamans, there is a level of "shadow work" that was necessary for me to heal, which had evaded me until working with Noyarao. Specifically, there were problems with my breathing that were linked to old traumas, which only began to resolve after my retreat with Tree of Light. It is a special way of doing things that goes deeper than other kinds of medicine. Moreover, although there are many so-called "powerful" shamans in the jungle, I have seen that westerners might glamorize the idea of going far out into the jungle to work with shamans who are as geographically/culturally/ethnically remote as possible. Yes it is quite an experience. I am grateful that there are people who have gone into the jungle to build centers and make that medicine available to us. It is where I started, and they helped me a lot in the beginning. However, it is also a mixed bag out there - the jungle can be a little crazy. I am grateful for the lessons, but it is time for me to graduate from that world. Let's say that in the jungle, it is not easy to find people who are working with both competence and integrity. On the other hand, Pedro and Carolina are well trained in the Shipibo tradition, but are also working with a strong understanding of western culture, and even western medicine. This lends a greater level of a precision to the work, to be able to see better what is going on with a guest, and understand specifically what the person needs to heal. While it is important to be able to see and work on the energetic/spiritual plane, the power of these tools is amplified when the healers are able to relate to the guest's life experience. They are able to explain how the healing process works, and guide people through their specific journey. As of this writing, the team is in the process of relocating from Peru to Costa Rica. I attended their final retreat in Peru, and will also be on their first retreat in Costa Rica. While Peru is a beautiful country and I have enjoyed many visits there, I can tell you that on the last retreat up in the Andes, it was the winter time and we were all pretty chilly up there. We were all bundled up in our coats and blankets, hearing Pedro and Carolina talk about Costa Rica, we were all thinking that this move sounds like a pretty amazing plan. I am looking forward to seeing them again in Costa Rica. Maybe I will see you there too!

  • Lauren Milam   September 11, 2019

      Life Changing

    First, I would very much like to thank the facilitators for their hard work and dedication, in honor of me, for me during each ceremony. I want to thank you all for holding space and listening to my story, and bringing about change with the medicine. I don’t even know where to begin. This journey has changed so so many aspects of my life. Through the toughest, darkest times in medicine, to the most beautiful sunrises in Peru soon to be Costa Rica. I’m forever changed. Humbled. To Carolina, you are such a warm person, full of compassion and love. You connected me with the most maternal feminine part of myself that I didn’t know existed. I never knew how disconnected I was to my true essence. You have taught me what being a woman is, and what I have to look forward to. You embody change, healing, nurture, compassion and true femininity. You are a gift to this world, and through this medicine. Pedro, you healed the masculine part of my life. I no longer look at the world with the same eyes. You showed me love from a fathers eyes. Which I didn’t know was even possible. The night you sang to me, where I saw you carrying this little baby. I felt so connected. I truly believe that was me at the first moment of trauma, my forgotten, hidden, last piece. You connected me with my real father. Instead of abandonment and hurt, I saw him holding me, smiling. I saw warmth and love. All I can say is thank you. You are passionate and kind. You have such a warm smile and welcoming voice. You are such a big role model for what a man can be. You played such an instrumental part of my healing. Both of you, have made this journey incredible. Hard, yet. Easy. I felt safe, secure, even in the hardest moments. I never felt alone. You empower us to work on our own, be our own saviors. It was so beautiful to see. I’ve come home to a whole new life. A different person looks back at me in the mirror. I don’t recognize the hurt traumatized girl I used to be anymore. I’ve thanked her, but I no longer need her. My journey is nowhere near complete. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I need more medicine to continue this growth and healing. I can’t imagine what more digging will do, will uncover. I already feel like a whole new person as is. If anyone is on the fence about this facility, here is this: this medicine works like nothing I could explain. You grow and heal YEARS. This facility in particular allows this growth. It nurtures and encourages. Both Carolina and Pedro carry ancient wisdom, which I saw in medicine. You feel safe, loved, even when you are scared and hurt. They truly care about you, and your journey. They take a vested interest in your past, if you are willing to share. They are here to make this world a more beautiful place. They have a gift, working together, brings both balance and harmony. I just wanted to reach out and say thank you. Thank you for what you are doing. Thank you for opening your hearts to those who seek guidance. I was meant to experience this journey with you. I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ll see you soon in Costa Rica 💕 Thank you Many thanks and blessings -L

  • Kerri Ann   September 07, 2019

      Life-Altering Experience

    I have partaken in two retreats with Tree of Light within one year’s time. From the first experience, to the next, I have incurred deep and profound healing in my life, inside and outside of ceremony, in so many ways. Carolina and Pedro are a gift to humanity, who work on themselves deeply, while holding the medicine of ayahuasca in the highest integrity. For my first retreat, while excited to experience my true calling to this work, I was naturally nervous and apprehensive. When observing how Carolina and Pedro conduct their retreat: the thorough information they provide, insights into expectations, support whenever you need them, and enlightenment towards trusting the process, I immediately became at ease and knew I was in the right hands. After becoming familiar with the process of the plant medicine work , participating in two retreats now, I can affirm that the gentle and cohesive balance of both their natures delivers just the right recipe for what I needed for ultimate healing, inside and outside of the retreat center. Both of them are beautiful people who were supportive in my process and tended to give me exactly what I needed, even when I wasn’t aware of it myself. Their ability to have an innate knowing and sense shows how much of their own inner work they do. Carolina and Pedro have supported my own work in illuminating my shadows and bringing in the light, but teaching me in a way that has helped me find my power within to help heal and love myself. A beautiful gift it has been indeed! I am grateful to have found Tree of Light and am thrilled as they embark on their new journey in moving their retreat to Costa Rica. I can only see myself drinking medicine with them, as I trust in and honor them completely. They are family (which is how they make you feel) and I can’t wait to sit with them again in the future. Kerri

  • Cameron Wenaus   July 20, 2019

      Clear, clean and powerful.

    Working with Athena and Jermey was a direct transmission of simplicity, clarity and humility. I very much appreciated the care and guidance she constantly gave during ceremony. I also appreciated that there wasn't anything 'extra' no apparent ego was interwoven in the ceremony. That is a trait I usually see in buddhist teachers so I really appreciated that in ceremony. Lots of laughter and gentleness. Also it was one of the most powerful ceremonies of my life which I'm still working to unpack. A deep thank you for holding such elegant space for me to do my work.

  • Vas Ka   July 20, 2019

      Beautiful soul

    I did a week long retreat with Athena and had the most beautiful and life changing experience of my life! It's hard to describe the feeling of having her around in the best way possible. She is there when you need her or help in general, but only in the right moments when you are ready to receive. She is very loving and caring and has helped me personally break down a few walls that I was putting in my own path. Any chance I could have to spend more time with her, I would gladly take in a second. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to meet her and learn from her and patiently await the next time I see her and all the beautiful ladies that were part of the retreat. Thank you so much for everything Athena <3

  • Michelle   July 12, 2019

      A powerful, grounded, compassionate and wise woman. A storyteller.

    I attended a two day retreat with Athena in 2018. Being in ceremony with Athena was such a blessing, she created the environment, and initiated a process that allowed me to dive deep within. Athena provided a grounding fulcrum which I was able to use to anchor myself while I journeyed. She created a safe, sacred space for healing. She took the time to ensure each individual under her care was well. I felt deeply cared for. She provided me with some support that was specific to my needs and it it helped me tremendously. In ceremony I witnessed many spirits come through Athena as she guided our group - the hummingbird, the wolf, the bear, the wise elder - many spirits shared their voices. She is a story teller, a singer, a healer, a carrier and protector of the medicine. Thank you Athena - truly.

  • Kristina Coons   July 08, 2019

      A true teacher

    I am very blessed to have found true teachers in my life. I consider Athena (and her partner Jeremy) to be two of those. Athena is real, allowing space for you to grow and rise and expand in your own gifts and become empowered to heal yourself. She does an amazing job of leaving her ego away from ceremony so that the purity of the work may come through. I never knew what to expect from a ceremony, but I felt so safe and supported that I continue to get called back! I appreciate and respect everything she does. She truly walks her talk and is an incredible soul to be in the presence of. I recommend connecting with her in whatever capacity to are feeling called to. Your life will be uplifted.

  • Leigh   June 30, 2019

      A gift from Great Spirit

    Working with and sitting with Athena in ceremony for a few years now has completely changed my life in such a beautiful way. When I first met this amazing sister and medicine woman I was in such despair and my life was not working on many different planes. Through gentle guidance, clearing and transmission of light, she has seen me through a miraculous transformation in my life and being. I now am so much lighter, joyful and carry my own medicine with a grounded sense of being, love and compassion for myself and others. I am forever grateful for this beautiful spirit.

  • Judy Wang   June 30, 2019

      True healer

    I first worked with Athena in 2016, when I was finishing my studies. The years leading to that point was a heady mixture of adventures and tumult. Desperate to recover my health and sanity, I looked at a number of healing retreats before coming across Athena. I felt an electrical connection right away. Her international upbringing made it likely that I could trust her with the particular wounds that come with growing up in multiple cultures. When I reached out to her, I was expecting a brief and impersonal response, but what I got was a sincere note that acknowledged my journey. Health and safety are of the utmost importance to me. Athena’s personal touch made me feel she would look after me. Three years and many retreats later, I feel the same way. The beautiful souls she shares her practice with, Gigi, Mahsa, and Jeremy, are a reflection of the love and integrity she lives by. In ceremonies, I am especially impressed by the deftness with which she guides wayward attention to a grounded state. She is able to do so in ceremonies that last the whole night and move through different phases. I am grateful to sit with a maestra who understands my desire to go deep and is compassionate toward what arises. I will forever remember the time when we spent the night in the ceremonial space after one of the most meaningful experiences in my life. As night turned into morning, she called my name to see if I was asleep. I heard her but was too exhausted to respond. Still she whispered to me, "Buenas noches, hermana." Then she made her way to the exit, every sock-muffled footstep a kiss.

  • James Binnie   June 29, 2019

      Gifted intuitive healer

    Athena is a powerful and graceful facilitator who posseses a very deep well of experience. She is very intuitive, compassionate and capable of channelling and holding powerful energies. She is a natural healer. I have been to 13 ceremonies she has facilitated and have always felt safe with her and in expert hands. If you're looking for someone who walks the walk Athena is your woman.

  • Kelly Bateson   June 28, 2019

      There are no words ♥️

    Joining Athena on retreat may have been the most powerful week of my life! So much healing, so much transformation and there are truly no words for the immense amount of gratitude I feel for her and the most important work she is doing. I am incredibly honored to have been able to work with such a powerful healer and am looking forward to working with her again. At her retreat I felt safe, loved and so deeply cared for. I can’t even express how full my heart was, coming home after just 7 days. If you are called to the medicine and need to work with a healer who is not only doing her own work but also committed to a path of integrity, Athena is your girl! Hands down the retreat I’ve been to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your commitment to this path Athena!!!

  • Katie Greenwood   June 27, 2019

      Light in the Darkness

    I met Athena and Jeremy over a year ago when I had the blessing of sitting with them in ceremony that they facilitated. Immediately, I know I was in a safe and sacred space and in the presence of genuine healers. Their medicine is beautiful and powerful and has helped me so much on my journey. I have also had many healing sessions with Athena. She truly is the light for me as I navigate a deep soul journey. She has supported and been there to guide me when I need her most. I am so grateful to have found such a beautiful soul sister. Anyone would be blessed to work with her. Much love and gratitude 🙏❤️

  • Ryan Grant   June 27, 2019

      One of a kind

    I've had the immense pleasure of taking part in three separate plant medicine ceremonies with Athena and her husband Jeremy. As someone who has incredible difficulty in 'letting go', I immediately felt so comfortable with Athena's attention to detail surrounding all aspects of the ceremony. In my last ceremony with them, I was having a difficult time (still struggling to 'let go') and was constantly being brought back to my centre by Athena and her incredibly kind, nurturing spirit. I LOVE how Athena brings the best of the ceremonial traditions from Peru but also mixes that in with an upbringing in more traditional Western culture. So amazing and unique to sit with someone who is so incredibly knowledgeable with the ancient ways but yet can also relate to the modern world! Athena was also so attentive to proper integration and followed up, regularly checking in with me to see how I was doing or to see if I had any questions. I soooooo highly recommend Athena to anyone that is looking at going down this path of inner discovery!!

  • kirstin mclean   June 12, 2019

      Think carefully before going here.

    Based on my experience of Tree of Light, I could not possibly recommend this retreat. I have hesitated for may months to post this, unsure of how to put my concerns into words, but when I heard the alarming news that the facilitators are moving away from working with Sihipibo maestras, I felt it was important to share my experience. Where to begin? With the most powerfully damaging aspect, I suppose. Under the influence of ayahuasca, we are open, vulnerable, delicate. A good facilitator should hold their clients with respect, grace and neutrality. I had a distressing moment in ceremony (as happens, this is ok) but the after-care was sloppy at best, and utterly dangerous at worst. Carolina encouraged me to make the very worst interpretation of this moment, encouraging me to believe that I had suppressed memories of abuse. There was no sense of neutrality, no support for me to find the meaning for myself. As a result, I returned home utterly confused, half-believing that this abuse was true. (It wasn't.) What followed was the worst mental health episode of my life - suicidal, OCD, episodes of self-harm, anxiety, depression - none of which I have ever experienced before. And all due to an irresponsible facilitator encouraging me for 10 days to believe something that wasn't true. I have done deep work with some excellent practitioners in the UK to recover from the trauma of working with Tree of Light. I have seen how shamanic work can be conducted with humility and love, and by a shaman who keeps their own energy clean in ceremony. The ceremonies at Tree of Light were confused, with two facilitators and the maestra singing at once. In addition, the icaros from one facilitator were extremely painful, as if they were coming from a place of trauma. Many of the others in my group agreed on this. It is my feeling that some of Tree of Light's work is ego-driven, that there is a fascination with 'shadow' at the expense of light and that this makes for a potentially very dangerous situation. If it weren't for the shamanic connections I have in the UK, and incredible family and friends, I'm not sure I could have recovered from this. I believe in plant medicines and their power, and I was able to take some powerful messages froths retreat - profound and beautiful, life-changing experiences. These came about despite, not because of, how the space was held. I know many people feel differently, and I respect that. I am sure the facilitator has a different take on the experience too. All I can do is share how it felt for me. All of that aside, Las Chullpas is an amazing place. With tremendous food, warm and caring staff, beautiful grounds, cosy rooms, some gentle dogs, a cat, and a llama or two. It's a very special place. I had to give a couple of stars for the venue alone!

  • Maureen Donohue   June 07, 2019

      Exciting, Scary & Magical!

    I am a Reiki Master/Teacher in private practice and have been holding space for individuals and groups for almost 2 decades. When I was researching Ayahuasca retreats I was looking for a small group encounter and facilitators who had a lot of experience, that is why I chose to come to work with Carolina & Pedro. Am I grateful I did! My experience with them both in and out of ceremony was so powerful that not only am I coming back to retreat with them less than a year later, but I am also bringing a group with me! The level of experience they bring is evident. As a teacher I understand that we are only able to hold space, to channel, when we've done enough of our own work to be able to step out of the way and allow the Energy to move through us. There is a feeling of safety when the whole experience is elevated to such a pure level. Carolina and Pedro clearly have years of training and have done so much personal clearing that the Medicine Work flowed freely. They exhibit compassion, understanding, good humor and safe boundaries. For my personal journey I have to seek out Teachers, classes and experiences that allow me to grow and stretch past what I think are my limits. Carolina and Pedro offer that freedom. They are Teachers of Teachers and I will continue to sit with them as often as possible as long as they are serving. I left Tree of Light last November and I'm just now writing a review. Describing my experience of the Medicine Ceremonies and the aftereffects is challenging. It's like trying to explain energy work; it's an experience, it's literally multidimensional and it's so very personal. My experience is unique to me just as yours will be for you! I can tell you that many of the physical circumstances in my life changed when I got home. This is a Master plant, it's not one and done. People, places and situations in my life that weren't vibrating at my newly elevated frequency fell away. I'm not going to lie it's been a lot of ups and downs over the last 6 months, but I knew that the Medicine was clearing old things out of my life to make way for new and wonderful experiences! The results have been exciting, scary and magical! Carolina and Pedro, I bow at your feet, thank you for being such incredible holders of Light, Truth, Love and Commitment to this Path. I can't wait to see you soon!

  • Jake Wing   July 26, 2018

      More than I could have imagined or asked for!

    This March (2018) I attended my first 10-day retreat with Tree of Light Retreats, and my experience was beyond anything I could have imagined or expected! This was my first experience in working with the Medicine and I walked into the experience with expectations of challenge, growth, and doing a lot of internal work. What I did not expect was the degree to which being supported through this work would affect my process and ability to integrate. My experience at our retreat was one of breaking me open be authentic with myself in my own healing process. This has involved learning to allow and accept emotions which I have previously lacked the awareness that I have even suppressed. Throughout the first few days of my time with TOLR I kept the self-doubt and emotions that were bubbling up mostly to myself, though it was only after communicating my process with both Carolina and Pedro that I had truly opened the floodgates to my progress. Midway through our retreat I began to fully open up regarding my experience and about my insecurities around my own process, and it was through this unfolding that I first glimpsed the depth of knowledge, experience, and understanding that this two blessed beings possess. In meeting me with a gentleness and compassion that I could not have fathomed, I was assisted in moving through my doubts, worries, shame, and fears. Their method and facilitation, both in and out of Ceremony, not only assisted me in my process but as well empowered me to continue in this path as the retreat progressed. I stand in my power in taking responsibility for my personal journey whilst walking my path in absolute gratitude for the support in which I was held in my process. Mama Aya is a powerful teacher, and working with this group openly and in trust gifted me with the opportunity to fully utilize this opportunity for growth. The best single statement that I could make to describe and summarize my experience with Juana, Carolina, Pedro is: "To be held in a container of compassion". The love expressed by this beautiful Maesta (Juana) and the facilitators (Carolina & Pedro) is so evident in through their support of the group that it is almost tangible in the air that fills my lungs, even three months later back in California. Beyond the container that was both effectively created and held by Carolina and Pedro, every other aspect of this retreat supported me in ways that I could not have even realized until receiving the gifts of the environment they have fostered as a part of their offering. The lodging accomodations were beautiful and comfortable (the bed was comfier than mine at home!) and the shower was one the highlights of my mornings following Ceremony. And the food was INCREDIBLE! Nancy and her kitchen crew were fantastic, encouraging, and their creations were nourishing and delicious! Las Chullpas was as well absolutely gorgeous. I look forward to returning for my next retreat as soon as I am able! I would HIGHLY recommend (and already have numerous times) this retreat center to anyone interested in an authentic and fully supported experience working with this Medicine; regardless of previous experience (or lack thereof). Sending my love to Any and All who may be reading this and blessing YOU in your work, regardless of where your path takes you <3

  • Amrita Marjo   June 13, 2018

      Immense gratitude

    I was guided by my intuition and dreams to participate a women's retreat in Tree of Light retreats and work with Noya Rao. I was afraid because some parts of me knew there would be dark places I would be visiting and that it was time to face some deeper and darked layers. But because I trust my guidance I knew I would have to go through the fear. As that is the way to freedom. Noya Rao is full on shadow work as his light is so bright nothing can hide from it and in Tree of Light retreats this is also their focus to dive to the darkest depths so that light can enter there and replace the darkness. I went deep, I don't even have words for most of it. The suffering and struggle that I went through.. but trusting the medicine and the process that it would pass and the light would find it's way in. And it did. And I found love in me and I fell love with myself first time in my life. This is a priceless gift. This dieta gave me a new direction on my journey and courage and confidence to start taking action in sharing my work and stepping up. I hold so much gratitude for Carolina, Pedro and Gigi for holding space for this strong and challenging work and for being in service creating a safe and supported container. From the bottom of my heart I recommend working with them when you want to go deep and heal painful wounds and find your light.

  • Basha Dunin   June 12, 2018

      I just want to say thank you a million times :)

    I spent a month with Caroline & Pedro, Juanita & Manuela, Ayahuasca, Bobinsana & Noya Rao at Tree of Light Retreat and after almost a year from that time in Peru, I can honestly to myself admit that it was absolutely „the changing point” of my life. It was very difficult and heavy experience, but this make us grow. There are no such words, and certainly not in my English dictionary;) to express the gratitude I feel for each person, thanks to whom I could have this hard but sooo valuable journey. Thanks to the extraordinary devotion and support of wonderful Shamans, and Carolina and Pedro, this difficult experience was the most beautiful in my life. I am very grateful to them that I can be at the point of life in which I am, and I did not suppose I could be in. During the retreat I fell to the very bottom of myself, but their hand was always nearby to help me find a good path. If not their extraordinary knowledge, experience, patience (!!!), always support and willingness to help, listen and care, I would probably get lost in my shadows and i would not find myself, that I was looking for. Everyone of them and they all together, built such a beautiful, safe space that I knew that I could be carried away to the darkest sides of myself and im still safe. Caroline and Pedro are beautiful people who will stay in my heart forever. They have enabled me to change my life. They were a wonderful support in this difficult but valuable journey. I can not express the gratitude I have for them. And I know they are always close to me. Always, despite the fact that they are thousands of miles away, they provide advice and support, which gives an extraordinary sense of security in my further journey. And the journey is infinite, but I know that they are close to me and it makes it easier, happier and safer. And this is beautiful! Thank you for where I am now and for always being close! Love !!! If you are wondering where to go to Peru to begin or continue your jurney with Ayahuasca - You're in the right place. In Tree of Light Retreats. LOVE FOREVER!

  • Thörin Hy   June 09, 2018

      Seriously the Best Retreats

    I've done 4 retreats with Tree of Light over the years, including the month long, and keep coming back because Carolina, Pedro, and Juana hold the safest most powerful, and supportive spaces and retreats I have ever been to. Yes, Noya Rao is an extremely powerful tree and if you choose to diet it, instead of Bobinsana or not dieting at all, it Will pull up your biggest traumas and pain, and it is never pleasant or fun to feel pain. But Noya Rao pulls up your pain for healing so it can be seen, understood, made peace with and released. Our pain from whatever unpleasant experiences we have lived, is already inside us, and already affecting us negatively, even if it's shoved deep into our subconscious. And it needs to come to the surface to heal, and Tree of Light Retreats is the most amazing place to be held and supported and Helped as this healing happens. It doesn't matter how hard life has been or what you have been through, Noya Rao, Pedro, Carolina, Juana, and your own hard work and willingness to face your life, Will be powerful enough to heal you and bring more love and light and happiness into your life. Truly facing what we've been through in life isn't always fun, but I know Tree of Light Retreats is one of the best places on the planet to do so, and I have received extremely life changing healing and overcome some really severe pain to regain my happiness and Joy by working with them. Seriously the best medicine retreats ever. In truth and Love. -Soren P.s. Pedro and Carolina's icaros are ridiculously healing and beautiful songs from the spirit of Noya Rao sung with such pure and good intentions for our healing. I love them and find myself humming them to myself all the time :) <3

  • Rachael Gumnut Grace   June 08, 2018

      One of the most trustworthy, safe and effective ayahuasca experiences of my life.

    I was so blessed to be able to take part in Tree of Light's March 2018 retreat. I'd been working with plant medicine for around three years, exclusively in the Sacred Valley area and at one point got the opportunity to sit in on a single ceremony with Carolina and Peter. After working with many different healers, I was extremely impressed by the tight container that they both held for the participants that night. Full of integrity and tangible experience. The retreat I subsequently attended was just as impressively held. The depth of combined experience Juanita (the ayahuascera), Carolina and Pedro held made for an incredibly deep, intense experience. They guided each and every one of us through our journeys to the best of their abilities and always were there for every single person. Pedro and Carolina are committed to this path, it is literally their lives. Everything they do is aligned and pointed in the direction of guiding others through their own healing. It wasn't an easy retreat for one single person during those 10 days. Carolina, Pedro and Juanita were definitely faced with many challenges that called them to step up into their full potential as guides, healers, facilitators, managers and friends. I believe they rose to this challenge every time. This is a truly SUPPORTIVE retreat, one of the few in Sacred Valley from my experience. Ayahuasca isn't for the faint-hearted and I will always send anyone who wishes to drink Tree of Light's way. Thank you Carolina and Pedro for your wonderful role in my journey. It was vital and perfect. See you both again soon xoxooxo

  • Jane Mayer   June 07, 2018

      Beautiful space held for challenging dieta

    Carolina, Pedro and Juana hold a beautiful, loving and honest space for their retreats, working with a very powerful tree that illuminates the darkest of our shadows. Together, the sounds of their icaros have supported me in addressing and starting the healing of some of the deepest wounds in my body, and their continual follow-up support is like no other center where I've dieted. Working with Noya Rao (or any tree) is much deeper and stronger than working with Ayahuasca alone, and the combination of indigenous tradition coupled with powerful Western integration provides a tightly held container for deep work. I recommend them to everyone I know, and trust them with my heart.

  • Yohanas   June 07, 2018

      Most powerful, healing Ayahuasca retreat center

    I cannot rave enough about my powerful experiences with the Tree of Light Retreats. I have completed two life-changing retreats with them to date and was happy to travel all the way to Peru from my home in the U.S. Carolina and Pedro, who are the retreat facilitators, are the most loving, compassionate, effective healers I have ever come across -- and I have done a ton of this work. The space they create in the ceremonies through their experience with the medicine and facilitating ceremonies creates a super safe, protected environment where you feel comfortable delving deeply within yourself to do the transformative work that Ayahuasca allows for. The maestra/shaman I have worked with both retreats is Juana. Her intuition and understanding of what requires healing within participants was absolutely mind-blowing. I had some very intense traumas come up in a ceremony and went to her for a "massage" the next day. In the massages, she basically moves energy around in our bodies -- and she literally had me bawling my eyes out by moving the energy where I told her I felt the trauma during ceremony. More than just how effective Carolina and Pedro are, I have to express my most heartfelt gratitude for the sincere love and care that they exude in how they show up in the world and how kindly they treat every person on retreat. I'm not kidding when I say that my whole conception of what it means to be "loving" transformed from the example they set. They address all participants and everyone around them as "brother" and "sister" and show such patience and compassion in the way that they support you as deep issues inevitably arise during the retreat. They even have made themselves available multiple times for Skype conversations to provide guidance and support after retreats. I simply cannot speak highly enough about this center. If you find yourself ready for transformation and are willing to be courageous in truly looking deeply at yourself to heal and transform your life, I strongly encourage you to attend!

  • Pedro Tree of Light Retreats   June 07, 2018

      In response to Esther's review

    Hello all, This is Pedro and Carolina from Tree of Light Retreats. We feel it's important for us to write an official response to the review from Esther Rouah. It is extremely rare for us to come across such a difficult situation with any of our participants and it is very disheartening for us to read this review. We could go through point by point and defend ourselves, but we prefer to just say that we feel as though we have been unjustly accused of many false things and that she has strongly misquoted us and generally twisted our words in order to discredit us and paint our highly regarded work in the most negative and biased light possible. We would also like to state that her leaving the retreat early was a mutual decision and that we did in fact part ways on agreeable and amicable terms, at the time. This was clearly the best option when she had decided to no longer participate in our ceremonies, was entirely reluctant to receive any kind of care or guidance from us or our maestra, and was also having a very strong negative impact on other participants. The ONE person who was referred to as “going through hell, crying, banging on the floor” etc was going through a very big process which lead to a life changing transformation. The situation was handled with great care and attention from us and our maestra and the energy of the space was quickly contained. This person is forever grateful for the support he received and cannot speak highly enough of his experience with us. We are well and traditionally trained to handle situations like these if and when they arise, and all of this is done with the greatest honor and care for everyone's unique healing journey. This is real medicine work. Despite many lengthy email exchanges and an ongoing effort to open Esther's perception of her experiences and what we were witnessing, from the lens of our years of experience in facilitating this medicine work for hundreds of people, she still insisted on making this public. We stand 100% behind our work and our Maestra, and our integrity is of the utmost importance to us. It's a reality of working with Ayahuasca that if you are unable to recognize and take responsibility for your own shadows and healing it can be very easy to make projections onto those holding the space. This is an unfortunate and at times challenging aspect of our work, however we stand tall to these rare challenges because outside of them, our hearts remain completely full from the hundreds of people who have received deep and lasting healing through our work. We are currently asking more of our past participants to share their experiences with us, and we're sure this will give a much clearer picture of the work which we truly do. In the meantime we already have many inspiring healing stories which we encourage you to watch on our YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6E6pHokz8X4qs3c8hp4D-Q Sincerely in service to the healing of others, The team at Tree of Light Retreats

  • Marni Samuels   June 07, 2018

      Such A Blessing

    I was blessed to diet NoyaRao with the Tree of Light Retreats family last year in Peru. I have been working with Ayahuasca and dieting regularly for the last 8 years, and this was by far the most transformative, loving, profound space that I have experienced. Some people say that the NoyaRao plant brings pure light into our Being, and this is true. But as it does so, that pure light can illuminate the shadows in very intense ways, and I definitely had some moments where I really needed help and energetic support to move through the places that I felt stuck in seemingly bottomless pits of my own darkness. Because of this, I was indescribably grateful to feel so deeply held and supported by Carolina and Pedro. Both Carolina and Pedro came and sang to me multiple times throughout the dieta, and every time I could feel not only their loving hearts, but also the depth of their ability as healers. They helped me in so many ways, and treated me as family. Juanita, the Shipibo curandera who led the dieta, is one of the most incredibly loving and powerful healers I have ever met. I had dieted with 4 different shamans over the years before meeting her, but none of them felt completely legitimate or in integrity to me. Juanita carries a power and a spiritual connection that is like nothing I have ever witnessed before, and I will most likely only diet with her in the future. I ended up going to the jungle to continue my dieta with Juanita for an additional 4 weeks, and I will never stop being grateful for the incredible healing that I received. Because I have spent so much time immersed in the world of Ayahuasca, I have people constantly ask me for retreat referrals in Peru. The truth is, because of the rampant lack of integrity I am very apprehensive about where I send people. But over and over again I send people to Carolina & Pedro and the Tree of Light Retreats, because I know that they create a container that is deeply in alignment, highly supportive, and full of love.

  • Esther Rouah   April 01, 2018

      Working in Love and Light

    There are many ways of working with Ayahuasca. Unfortunately, the way they work at the Tree of Light retreats wasn’t for me. Although I hesitated in writing this review, I feel it is important to share my opinion so people can make a more informed choice about where to do this profound and sacred work, and who they choose to work with. I chose this retreat because it is one of the rare places where you can diet Noya Rao, a beautiful tree which helps make visions clearer. On the second day of my retreat, I went for a massage with the Maestra Juana. I wanted to get to know her better as she played an important part in this retreat. So I paid 100 soles for a massage with her, and in the 15 min that followed I got to see something that really hurt me and completely put me off working with her. She examined me very quickly, she gave me no diagnosis, and the only thing she noticed about me was the gold pendant necklace I was wearing. She asked me to give it to her. I laughed and pretended not to understand. As I was getting dressed again, she went on to sell me a bottle of flower water for 300 soles (almost 100 American Dollars for 500ml) to “clean my body”. I left the room confused and feeling like I had been ripped off. She seemed to be more interested in my wallet than my health, which is not what I wanted from the great Bone Settler and Healer she was meant to be. When I reported what happened to Carolina and Pedro, they told me that this was the way Shipibos treat people and money and it was a "cultural thing". They put the blame on me saying this was mainly showing my own trust issues and and that I was only spreading negativity. Pedro later on even called me ignorant. It is true that I found it hard to trust her after that, and refused her help during ceremonies as she did not seem to have good intentions towards me. The ceremonies themselves were very dark as they only do "Shadow Work". I found the way that Juana, Carolina and Pedro, all singing over each other, created an unbearable cacophony. Their icaros, sang in a purposely hurtful way, do seem to bring out the worst traumas in people. As a result, the whole room turns into complete chaos, with participants going through hell, crying, banging on the floor, puking their guts out, all in the loudest way and for hours… In this theatre of horrors, I was not able to get into my process, constantly distracted by all the noise and dark energies flying around. The only time I managed to get into my process is when another participant, a more mature lady, was singing beautiful medicine songs, bringing calmness and light back into the ceremony. I have only participated in 17 ceremonies in my life, including other retreats of 14 days and 5 days. I know Ayahuasca can be very challenging, even in an environment where the space is held in a gentle and loving way. And a lot of work can still be achieved! I believe only love can heal pain, not more hurt or abuse. I found all the added pain and drama at the Tree of Light retreat unnecessary and very dangerous. When I voiced my concerns to Carolina and Pedro and said that I wish to work with Ayahuasca in a way of Love and Light, they told me I was unwilling to look at my shadows and do the work. Carolina decided to close my diet there and then, and the next morning I was asked to leave the retreat as my presence was seen as too “challenging”. They still haven’t refunded me properly for the days I was not allowed to attend as the retreat fee is non refundable. So all in all, I found the Tree of Light retreat a massive disappointment and a great waste of my time, money and energy. If like me you wish to work with Ayahuasca with more love and respect towards yourself and others, there are many places you can go to like the Ayahuasca Foundation, The Garden of Peace or the Spirit Quest Sanctuary. This interview with Maestro Don Howard explains very well the way I would prefer to work with this Great Spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzYJnDrA35c&t=7s&list=LL3xZRoMIoC7vsSRAlzSsDWg&index=38

  • Steve Joyce   August 03, 2017

      Butterflies in the Dark

    I have never written about my experience of a ceremony before. However I felt forced by an intelligence, other than my own (you probably know what I mean). In the 'Tree of Light' ceremony I sat in a few days ago I encountered a very unusual energy. As Junita sang her Icaros I felt as if we're being gently educated in a new 'grammar' for love and healing. I could not understand a single word of what Junita was singing. Yet it was as if I was being gracefully, lovingly invited into the shade of an ancient tree where light and dark danced in ancient wisdom together. All the most profound human experiences are unwordable. For me this experience reminded me of the butterfly-collectors dilemma. Immediately upon pinning the butterfly to the cork board the most important aspect was lost. Wittgenstein said "when you name me, you negate me" - so I shall resist the urge to use clumsy pins, and scruffy cork to collect this experience for you. Only to say that - I saw a magnificent 'creature', created from light and dark, in the jungle of my own experience. If destiny is kind I may yet glimpse it again before this physical form evaporates. Love and gratitude for the exceptional support and professional care guys :)

  • Anne-Lotta Schubert   February 08, 2016

      The wisdom within

    There is a very fine and beautiful quality to Athena's work as a medicine woman and healer. She is brave, strong and bold and touched me so much with her ability to connect with me on a very transcendent, deep level. With her I was able to finally work on and face some of my rather deep rooted issues - so much so that I was able to move on, change and step towards the light. Experiencing her working with song and touch is such a special beautiful treat and resonated with my body and soul for a long time.I found true inspiration in her work with me and would highly recommend Athena to anyone who is seeking true healing, being rooted and enlightenment.

  • Adam Stone   January 19, 2016

      Sacred Journey

    It has been such a beautiful journey watching the amazing transformations that take place in these retreats. I have been blessed to sit through a few, and have seen powerful things unfold. Working in this shipibo lineage allows a different kind of remembering to take place. A memory from our not too distant past, when our ancestors would walk in balance with the earth and sky. A reharmonizing happening inside these ceremonies. The Maloka the womb of the Great mother, birthing something new and sacred every other night. Coming back to the beating heart. The ancient song that lives inside of us. The light that is hiding deep inside of us waiting for its chance to shine so bright ...

  • Carole Luz Trepanier   January 19, 2016

      Power Woman

    Athena has been instrumental to my personal healing journey. In her grounded, nurturing way, she has held sacred space, invoked spirit, gathered the women, sung to the bones, guided journeys, voiced her heart, unearthed the depths, birthed the new, and seen through-and-through. I am ever-grateful for her wise and loving offering. Highly recommended.

  • Christian Schmiedel   January 15, 2016

      Dedicated Spirit

    I have known Athena and her family for many years now and very much admire the congruency between their ideals and the life-path they have chosen to create for themselves. I have been to many events and some ceremonies hosted by Athena and Jeremy and have always come back with a better sense of my own definition and place in the world. Athena is a healer whose kindness, dedication and reverence for Spirit and our Earth-Mother are evident at first glance. Many have been the occasions where I have felt gratitude for the gifts she shares so freely and wisely. Medicine Woman is she... dedicated to the healing and harmony of all her relations. Blessed are those who are fortunate enough to work with her.

  • Lynn MacDonald   January 14, 2016

      Athena is a shining light and a gentle spirit

    Athena is a wonderful guide for healing and wholeness. She brings her authentic nature with all of her own healing experiences to each interaction and we are left feeling supported and nurtured on our own paths. Working with Athena, I was able to connect with a deep healing part of myself and I was able to tap into my own inner wisdom. Thank you so much Athena. I would recommend joining any retreat or healing experience where Athena is facilitating. You will be in amazing hands.

  • Mary Stavrou   January 13, 2016

      A Old and Wise Soul in a Young Body

    I have enjoyed two retreats with Athena. The type of spiritual retreats that Athena guides you through are not for the faint of heart. If you are going to be guided you must know deeply in your heart you can trust your guide. Athena is that person for me. She is a soft and loving and yet strong and firm. She resonates Mother essence. I trust her implicitly to guide me through the experiences for the highest good of my soul. Each experience, through her guidance/presence, has deepened my connection to myself, higher self and nature. I am extremely grateful for all she has done for me. I look forward to the retreats she brings to our community. Even as I read these words, they seem inadequate to communicate how deeply she has touched me. Thank you so much Athena....

  • Robyn Brehaut   January 13, 2016

      Soul Sister

    I worked with Athena in ceremony this past year, and was aware of the strength and magic she holds through her heart and voice. She walks in integrity both in this world and the spirit world. She holds a strong protective container for those under her watch in ceremony. Athena is following her heart path offering this work, and is dedicated to tradition but also to her own soul's wisdom that has come here at this time for all of us who are called to work with her. Athena has a pure heart and this comes through her work in a beautiful way. I would recommend her to anyone searching for a loving, accepting, safe space to dive into their deep inner work.

  • Carolyn Ranger   March 26, 2015

      precious gem

    I first met Athena over a year ago when I was feeling unwell. A common friend had referred me for a massage. I did not know I was in for such a treat. It turned out to be much more than I had expected. From the very beginning, she demonstrated compassion and listening skills which immediately put me at ease. She proceed with a thorough treatment during which she sang. I was shocked, her voice and songs were so soothing. She was careful and considerate and even played in my hair, I felt nurtured, in good hands. I am so grateful for meeting Athena. Of course, I wanted to see her again. Luckily, I did and I discovered a very generous and knowledgeable woman. Since I was going to South America to pursue my search for alternative therapies, she referred me to a shaman from whom she had been learning for some time. He spoke very highly of Athena. Thanks to her support, I had an unforgettable experience in Peru. Upon returning home, I was eager to connect again. She hosted a changing woman ceremony to which I participated. Prior to the event, she maintained harmonious correspondence with the participants. The day was well planned and filled with activities tailored to the group and appropriate to its intention. I felt very comfortable and safe in the space she had created although I did not know anyone else. By the end of the day, this inspiring group of women came together to form a tender sister hood. Her devotion to healing arts proved to be outstanding although she is humble about her extensive learning journey. On another occasion, I attended an Ecstatic dance event that she was hosting. Her positive energy and enthusiasm were contagious. Again, she was able to create a safe space in which I was able to let go and feel relaxed. Her contributions to the community are greatly appreciated and very inspiring. Naomi is an incredible facilitator and truly dedicated to helping others. I can't wait for the privilege to share space with her again. I know in my heart and deep in my soul, that she has played an important role in my recuperation and healing. I am forever grateful.

  • Saira Monica   March 16, 2015

      Athena is a shining light

    Taking a retreat with Athena is an uplifting experience. She will take you on a journey into the heart of who you are, where you will find strength, courage, and wisdom. Athena is a highly intuitive woman. She cares deeply, helping to illuminate the path for those who choose to walk with her. I look forward to joining her in ceremony again soon.

  • Zoe Guzman   March 15, 2015

      Amazing Retreats!

    I've been blessed to be a part of several of Athena's retreats. Athena has the ability to create a sacred and safe space. Each retreat I've been to I found tremendous healing and transformation. The facilitation and step by step process allowed me to go to new found depths. I highly recommend any retreat Athena has to offer. I also had the privilege of receiving a massage by Athena. She is skilled with her hands and has trained extensively to understand the body. Her massages are full of medicine songs making them incredibly potent. I've left feeling a million times lighter. 5 stars for sure!!

  • Christina Masotti   March 03, 2015

      Getting to Know a Shining Star

    I am happy to share here my experiences with Athena, both as a person and as a leader in Ceremony. I have engaged in Ceremony within community for many many years, so I know when the space and people are cared for and regarded as sacred. Working and getting to know Athena over the last couple years has been wonderful. Sign of the changing times where the sacred feminine and their innate gifts are emerging once again for all to learn and heal by. What the world needs are authentic, wise, and gentle leaders of ceremony, and Athena fits this bill 100%. She holds space, ceremony, and wisdom as well as any I have had the honor to sit with. Blessings Athena and all who are graced to work with her through this journey call life.

  • Craolyn LaWl   March 02, 2015

      Healing Hands :)

    How to begin describing Athena? She is a beautiful, kind, generous woman who seeks only to walk with healing footsteps across this earth’s journey. I have known Athena for many years and have been touched by her spirit’s powerful healing nature. There was one time I could barely move around or bend over without feeling such awful back pain and without asking me for anything, she asked if she could help me. She sang her beautiful soothing songs and used her magical hands to move some of the pain out of my back. I became functional again that day after days of suffering. This is but one account of the many times I have thereafter seeked to receive her help, from counselling to physical ailments; she has an all round holistic approach to healing and does her best to offer you what you need with a fair exchange. Athena has helped transform my way of seeing the world for the better and has activated positive growth in many lives. I am so blessed that our paths have crossed and grateful to her in so many ways. May your paths cross as well! :)

  • Ed Simon   February 26, 2015

      A truly gifted inspirational healer

    I have had the blessing of knowing Athena several years – and though I have been to many of her events over that time, I am struck by what incredibly strong, wonderful memories I have of ones that happened even years ago. And in one-to-one sessions, her clarity and spiritual insight is unmistakable. Athena is truly gifted healer, musician, muse, advisor, and nurturer; I feel so fortunate to know this infinitely generous and loving person. In all her deeds, she exhibits so much remarkable drive and inspiration; spending time with her is a delight one will always treasure.

  • Alexandra   February 26, 2015

      A wise woman

    I have sat in ceremonies and events that Athena has hosted, facilitated or organized, many, many times now. Each time is as transformative as the last and I always walk away grateful and filled with life again. I find Athena has a gift for intuiting the direction and creating the space needed for the people that show up. Her medicine, skill, knowledge and presence are very unique and down to earth. You will find a strong, loving and humble woman, walking this ancient path that we all are walking, and filling her medicine bag to share with those around her. I appreciate her guidance and direction in ceremony, as well as the ample room she leaves for my own wisdom and healing to arrive. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found her and to know that I can always come back to sit in ceremony with her and remember the beauty of life again.

  • Steven Daniluk   February 25, 2015

      Authentic Magic

    Athena possesses an innate power and depth of spirit. In a world flooded by 'eager to lead' organizers her extent and earnestness of development is both deeply comforting and inspirational. Athena has invoked several fundamental developments within me, in both ceremony and waking life. If there is ever a chance to draw from this authentic spiritual guild and medicine woman I would highly recommend you seize the opportunity.

  • Tahtianna   February 25, 2015

      Mother to all

    Athena is a brilliant Light in this world. I am truly blessed to be held and supported on my journey by her love and wisdom. Athena is a gifted and talented healer who brings a deep sense of benevolent love to all as she facilitates one's own inner healing. She sings like an angel, has a mega-watt smile, and knows how to laugh and forgive. She helped me find my voice, my integrity, and my passion. She sees people for who they really are inside, and honours one's inner spirit. She has been my teacher for many years, and for that, I am extremely grateful. If you ever feel called to sit in ceremony or receive a healing massage with her, you are in for a treat. May the Great Spirit bless all you beautiful souls. Thank you Athena for bringing all that you bring to this planet!

  • Caroline Dowell   February 20, 2015

      a beautiful heart

    "In all she touches, Athena continues to leave one with a deep sense of groundedness, caring and creativity - a breath of fresh air, just when you need one. Her love and admiration for all of life is truly a prize." - A. Porter

  • Juan Escobar   February 11, 2015

      A Natural Healer

    What you are first struck by when you meet Athena, is her incandescent smile. It is genuine and comes from her heart. It is an outward reflection of her love, caring and desire to be of service to anyone in need, and to the larger project of healing and making this world a slightly better place. I have had the good fortune to be in dieta with her, and have seen first hand her dedication to the medicine and her deep love and dedication to the sometimes challenging work that this path can entail. She is a true wise-woman, who brings her own unique blend of caring, grace, humor and wit to the work of healing and personal transformation. Count yourself blessed if you ever have a chance to work with her:)

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We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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