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The Icaros and the ayahuasquero fasting

Updated: May 17, 2021

Javier at the maloka, the sacred place where the Ayahuasca rituals take place.

This is the second part of our extensive interview with the ayahuasquero Javier Zavala, who is in charge of the Ayahuasca sessions in our Deep Journey retreat in the Peruvian rainforest. In this section, he talks about the importance of the Icaros and the dieting in the process to become an ayahuasquero master.


El Propósito del Ayahuasca.

Viaje Profundo: Atmósfera.

What can you tell us about the Icaros?

The Icaros are the chants that the ayahuasqueros use during the Ayahuasca ceremony. They are the helm of the ship and help us to control the flow and level of intensity of the session. During the higher state of the Ayahuasca trip, the Icaros serve as guidance for the person, like a lighthouse in the dark. It opens up perception and the shaman can connect and feel the energy of the people present in the ceremony more clearly. With the singing I am calling the spirit of the plant to heal and clean all the persons involved.

Do you sign any kind of Icaros or do you have personal ones?

One of the most important things during all the process of dieting alone in the mountain is to receive your own Icaros from the Ayahuasca. During the fasting, together with another master plants, the spirit of the plant comes to you, either with a melody or whispered words in a daydream state or in your dreams, and teach you your own chants. Nevertheless, there are Icaros inherited from other ayahuasqueros masters that you can use with their permission.

Are the personal Icaros always learned during the fasting?

Absolutely. That’s because you are a lot more susceptible and cleaner to channel the energies. During the diet, the master plants connect your heart and brain, and purify your physical and astral body. It feels like they tear your body apart to put it all back together again. It is a reset of who you have been until that moment and you feel very different afterwards. I am 53 years old and feel much younger now.