Back to All Events

African medicine journey retreat — Gabon (early January)


  • Coco beach village Gabon (map)

This is a shamanic Bwiti initiation with plant medicine iboga.

Life will not be the same again after this.

It’s a journey: a wild ride where you let your heart crack wide, wide open. You cleanse, surrender and receive messages that heal ongoing difficulties and aching questions of Life. It gets your heart and soul in the driver’s seat. It brings clarity. Awakens Love.

Two Nimas (consecrated shamans) will be facilitating a fully traditional 10-day medicine retreat in their village in Gabon. It will be a group for six participants from 3-13 January, 2020.

There are not many consecrated Nimas who we personally trust offering this. This is a unique opportunity for transformation.

This is for you if you…

  • Want to break free of any lingering issues / trauma / self-limiting beliefs.

  • You want to overcome addictions (including mental patterns like depression)

  • Want to heal relationships with your mother, father, family, past relationships.

  • Need to deepen genuine self-love.

  • Feel stuck and are struggling to reach the next level of Freedom and Ease (keep slipping backwards!)

  • Want answers from the Universe.

  • Want to step into more Power, Love, Freedom.

  • Feel there’s something more… something calling you to bigness.

  • You're excited by intrepid traveling.

  • You don't have a heart condition.

If you’re feeling the call, come. It’s your heart—who knows—calling.

Spaces are very limited (6 people) so please book your space now.

Any questions, get in touch.

I am SO excited to journey with you.

Medicine-inspired art by Chor Boogie

Medicine-inspired art by Chor Boogie

How the traditional African plant medicine experience works, end to end:

DAY 1

Make your way to Libreville, Gabon on 3 January. Spend one night in Libreville at hotel Tropicana by the beach. Flying to Libreville is definitely the easiest and recommended option.

DAY 2

On 4 January, we will take a boat trip to Cocobeach Village which takes 2-4 hours depending of weather conditions.

DAY 3-7

From 5-9 January, we begin the purification and introspection process. This is highly important. It’s a purification using different techniques to prepare the mind and body for the spiritual journey. As part of this process, there are a series of independent and shaman-led purification baths, time for introspection and meditation, and journalling.

During these days, you have a private consultation with the Nima to express intentions and issues you’re looking to work through on the journey.

When the purification and introspection is complete, we have a ceremony in the temple and imbibe the medicine.

*I’ll share more about the journey itself in the FAQs*

DAY 8-9

On 10-11 January, we close the spiritual ceremony and resting the body.

During this time, you may still be feeling the plant, but it’s not as intense as the journey night itself.

Your body will also need some rest, so we’ll do that. We’ll eat light meals, swim in the ocean and natural pool, ground, sleep, journal, be on the land in the village. It’s a personal time to come back to the physical plane, so you can follow your own needs and what best serves you.

Everyone will have a 1:1 meeting with the Nima to support you interpreting your journey.

DAY 10

We depart Libreville by boat on 12 January. Again, the trip will take 2-4h depending of weather. We’ll spend this night in Libreville at hotel Tropicana by the beach. We’ll have a closing dinner.

DAY 11

Depart from Libreville on 13 January.

Who are the Shamans (Nima) and team?

— The Nimas —

We are working with two consecrated and well-respected shamans for this retreat. Nkama Essone Germaine (Mama Germaine) and her spiritual son, Grégory Puente.

Mama Germaine is a powerful Nima from Gabon who has been working with the tradition in Cocobeach for decades.

Mama Germaine is a powerful Nima from Gabon who has been working with the tradition in Cocobeach for decades.

Mama Germaine is a powerful local shaman who has been working in the Bwitist tradition in Cocobeach Village for decades. She trained Gregory in the Bwitist Mystery tradition and is highly respected and trusted.

Grégory Puente met the Bwitist Tradition in May 1999 while doing his military service in Gabon. After several visits, he decided in 2002 to live full-time in Gabon to deepen his training.

Gregory’s master consecrated him as Nima in the Bwitist tradition on 28th December 2013.

Grégory Puente, the Nima, at the beginning of a retreat in Brazil, 2018.

Grégory Puente, the Nima, at the beginning of a retreat in Brazil, 2018.

Gregory serves as a ‘bridge’ between worlds and a ‘bridge’ between continents and cultures, offering a ‘Discovery of the Bwiti tradition and African plant medicine' in Gabon and globally.

Listen to Gregory’s podcast interview about Bwiti initiations and the iboga experience.

— The assistants and harpist—

Mama Germaine and Grégory both work with initiated assistants and a harpist from their village. They’re all awesome, experienced and trustworthy.

— The organisers —

My beloved and me. We take this really seriously. We are not on a trendy plant medicine bandwagon.

We open our hearts to the responsibility of sharing this with the world with honesty, diligence, and the motivation of Love.

About Cocobeach Village

The retreat is taking place at Coco Beach village in Gabon. It is where Gregory studied with his masters and lived for 19 years. It is a local village, with local-style and safe accommodation. It’s beautiful area, but it’s real: it’s not a luxury resort.

coco beach.jpg

How much and booking

EARLY BIRD PRICES (first two places)

2100 Euro | AU$3,400 | US$2,300 | NZ$3,650

[early bird has sold out]

FULL PRICE:

2,220 Euro | AU$3,600 | US$2,430 | NZ$3,860

To secure your spot, please transfer a non refundable deposit of 500 Euro via PayPal or TransferWise (details will be send to you upon request).

Visa applications need to be done online at https://evisa.dgdi.ga or at your nearest Gabonese consulate in advance. Please contact us for more information.

What’s included: For two nights accommodation at hotel Tropicana in Libreville, two boat trips to Cocobeach village, basic accommodation at Cocobeach village during the ceremony, meals in Cocobeach village, and the Bwiti initiation ceremony.

What is not included: Flights to and from Libreville, Gabon; Meals and drinks in Libreville, Gabon; Visa fee; International vaccination certificate (yellow fever vaccination) costs.; Personal spendings.

Profits go to the shaman and their communities that facilitate ceremonies (including building Bwiti initiation temples).

Note that this retreat is not suitable for those with serious medical/psychological conditions. A detailed application must be completed in advance prior to being accepted.

FAQs about the African plant medicine and journey experience

What is the African plant medicine and where does it come from?

Listen to Gregory’s podcast interview about Bwiti initiations and iboga experience. Highly recommended.

BWITI

The sacred plant is from Gabon, West Africa and is used there by people in the Bwiti tradition. It’s a root bark that when ingested produces intense visionary experiences and healing. Bwiti tribes use the sacred plant for healing, rites of passage and initiation.

The Bwiti tradition is made up of a group of ancestral mystico-spiritual initiatory rites using the root of the sacred plant medicine tree. It allows initiates to enter into other fields of consciousness and the spirit to travel to the sounds of musical instruments and sacred chants. From this journey within themselves, they bring back perceptions and experiences. There are two principal streams at the heart of this tradition, each one linked to a sacred instrument.

THE SACRED PLANT FOR HEALING

There are clinics in the west who use this ibogaine (an a single alkaloid extract of the 22 found in iboga) to heal people of addiction or substance abuse problems (most often heroin).

“This sacred plant medicine can offer tremendous insight to one’s past, and help them better understand how things in the past have led to their current state of mind. When considering this medicine, some other common reasons individuals seek it out include:

• Addiction (including thought patterns)

• Eating disorders

• Depression

• Self-limiting beliefs

• Overcoming past trauma”

THE SACRED PLANT FOR EXPANSION

“With this sacred plant, there is a concept of going deeper within the mind. Shamans that have used the sacred substance for generations believe that the sacred plant helps one access the infinite nature we all contain. It has been used for thousands of years in both rites of passage ceremonies, and as a powerful spiritual conduit.

The medicine is sometimes referred to as “the stern father” for the messages it provides. The medicine can be firm, showing you the mistakes you have made, without any sugar coating. This “stern father,” however, is part of your true self, offering the lessons necessary to heed the personal growth and change you desires.

The sacred plant is considered one of the most powerful plant medicines there is.” [quotes from experienceibogaine.com]

For the name of the plant medicine, contact me.

How the journey works, specifically:

When you’ve eaten the wood, you have an overnight journey (6-10 hours), with some days of integration after.

After preparing with days of purification and meditating, you eat your portion of the sacred plant.

It is quite bitter, but it is the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge after all and don’t expect that to taste like candy!

Then, you lay down in your own little bed space in the temple and journey until dawn. A musician will play the Sacred Harp during the whole journey.

It’s a solo experience. You close your eyes and basically dream while awake, communing with Spirits, with your Higher Self. You don’t sleep.

There is no talking or interacting.

Once the dawn rises, the medicine is less intense. You may still receive many downloads the following day(s), but you’re not in the thick of it anymore.

It’s important to note that the Nima reserves the right not to serve the plant medicine at the session, if deemed unsafe for any specific individual. The medicine has been used for thousands of years for the purpose of knowing one’s true self.

Like the purification baths you will receive, the plant is another tool that is used to become initiated into the Gabonese Bwitist Tradition, it is helpful but not indispensable. Regarding health issues, if taking this plant means taking a dangerous risk for someone, The Spirit will tell the Nima the right tool to use for this person instead.

What’s the difference between this African plant medicine and Ayahausca?

Some say that the visions are more personal and ways of perceiving are not just visual (i.e. you may feel, know, hear, taste, smell, remember in the visions). Iboga experiences are precise and efficiently get to the heart whatever’s troubling you. A person imbibing iboga has a lot of agency in the journey — you can easily interact with the visions, ask questions and receive clear answers.

Here are some articles that compare the difference:

https://experienceibogaine.com/psych…/ibogaine-vs-ayahuasca/

https://www.aubreymarcus.com/…/aubrey-ma…/ayahuasca-vs-iboga

Personally, I’ve experienced both and I don’t feel the need to compare them.

They’re both awesome, potent, sacred. They’ll both heal, reveal, cleanse, restore, and activate you.

The main decider is what are you feeling called to?

How long is the journey?

The journey is for one night only (6-10 hours) though we have three cleansing days before and three integration days after.

What happens to your body when you eat the medicine? Puke?

You might purge at some point in the night.

You don’t sleep for a full night and it can take a couple of days to fully recover (it’s different for each person) and land back on the earth.

For me, it’s a bit like having ecstatic Sex to make a baby (making love) and then giving birth (can be uncomfortable!). And then you have the most precious thing in your arms: Love. So it’s worth it. Everyone’s journey is different, but you receive exactly what you need.

Who’s there to help me during the journey / retreat?

You have midwives for the experience: the Nima (shaman), three experienced assistants, Spirits and your Higher Self.

And beyond the journey, my beloved and I support all your organisational Qs.

Is it safe to take this medicine? What risks are there?

The dose is always a safe dose. The shaman consults the spirits who then determine how much should be given. Very occasionally the spirits have advised Gregory and Mama Germaine not to give the sacred wood at all, but to use other practices of song, prayer and ritual bathing.

If necessary, the shaman knows how to reduce the effects of the medicine once already taken and can support the person to come back to earth quickly.

There are ample days days for integration after so people have plenty of time to come back to earth with the shaman present.

During the ceremony there are temple guardians (who are initiated and worked with the shaman before) who help people go to the toilet / whatever they need. So you aren’t left to handle yourself. The support is essential when you’re on the medicine.

In terms of vulnerability on a medicine, are women safe to do this?

The shamans work with a team of initiated men and women who are always present during the full ceremony. There is no potential for harmful or self-serving acts, though self-serving is not the intent of the Nima, anyway! When asked, the Nima says his role is to serve and support healing, not take and abuse. Gregory believes any shaman who abuses their power are not really shamans—not in service to Spirit, Love, Peace and Wisdom. They’re just serving themselves. No-shit and impeccable, Gregory is a shaman in service of the people, of Good. My beloved and I have been working with him for years and highly trusts him. I trust him 100% too. Same for Mama Germaine.

How do I know this plant medicine journey is right for me this time?

You’ll feel a YES stir somewhere deep inside of you.

Maybe it’s a loud siren in your soul, or possibly it’s a quiet meow that says, go.

Your Yes may also be mixed with nervousness, what-ifs, hesitation or fear. That’s okay. Listen to the call for expansion, not the fear.

(And don’t for a minute let (a lack of) money make the decision for you! Your soul is akin to God. If it’s right for you to be at this retreat, it will happen. Talk to me for money manifestation practices too x )

Is it legal to do this?

In Gabon, it is. Lots of other parts of the world, no.

How is the sacred plant sourced?

The Nima personally grows and also carefully sources the sacred plant to preserve the wellbeing of the species.

Helpful resources

Bwiti and iboga plant medicine journeys: the experience and the mystery (interview with Gregory Puente)

Joe Rogan talks about his journey with this plant medicine

Podcast interviewing artist, Tantra teacher and awesome woman on this plant medicine

Iboga Preparation Guide – How to Get the Most From Your Healing Ceremony

Everything you need to know about Ibogaine (note that ibogaine is the compound in iboga and we use the plant not in a clinic, but in a sacred shamanic ceremony.

Further Qs + booking

Get in touch with me, pronto! It’s a small retreat and I’ll love to share it with you.