Today I’m talking with Michael Thornhill, co-founder of Casa Galactica, an ayahuasca healing and evolutionary retreat based in Peru. He’s a traditionally-trained plant spirit healer and professional advocate for trauma-informed care. With Casa Galactica, Michael and his wife blend Eastern medicines with Western mindsets to transform years of suffering into an empowered state of mind.
Michael’s journey with plant medicine began with his journey in healing from addiction, trauma, and abuse. His struggle with substances began young and continued into his late 20s when he started to explore meditation and sound healing. From there, he was drawn to ayahuasca.
For Michael, ayahuasca was able to address the root cause of his addiction, alerting him to the fact that the life he lived was out of line with his deeper self. Following the medicine to Peru, Michael learned with indigenous teachers and found a deeper calling in guiding others to the same freedom and liberation he experienced. “There’s more to your life than just healing trauma,” Michael says. “It’s waiting for you.”
Ayahuasca refers to the ayahuasca vine and the leaves of the chacruna plant. The plant has a high concentration of DMT, while the vine acts as an MAO inhibitor. allowing for a deeper journey with the medicine. Journeys can last from 3-6 hours, in which the “veil of illusion dissolves,” allowing you to dive deeper, reframe repressed trauma, and heal past events.
Ayahuasca ceremonies are part of the national heritage of Peru, stemming from a long history of plant medicine wisdom. Ayahuasca is not only legal in Peru, but encouraged and protected as a form of healing. Other indigenous cultures throughout the world have lost their practices with plant medicine. Michael explains that ayahuasca is not a ‘drug,’ but a plant medicine, as it is something that helps you heal. Drugs are to escape. Plant medicines let you look closer,
Casa Galactica advocates for trauma-informed plant medicine journeys, sharing shamanic wisdom in a context that’s empowering and accessible for Western mindsets. Michael and his wife’s 10-day retreats consist of 4 ceremonies, which they found was enough time to get the most out of the plant’s healing. 10 days at Casa Galactica can catalyze life for the next 10 years, in Michael’s opinion.
Sitting with ayahuasca can be a difficult experience, especially when repressed trauma is surfacing. That’s why Michael and his wife focus on holding a safe space and being with their clients every step of the way. They pride themselves on transparency and intention, providing as much information and preparation as they can leading up to and throughout the retreat. Despite the difficulty, Michael says that sitting with the medicine “has always been worth it.” Even after ‘bad’ ceremonies, he himself came out feeling like a different person.
Michael hopes listeners learn that there are different options for healing and that while plant medicines are less known or understood in the western world, they are an option. “It’s all going to be okay,” he says as something he knows for certain.
Listen in to learn more about the medical and diet guidelines for ayahuasca journeys, the cost of Casa Galactica’s 10-day retreats, and how to book a free 30-minute consultation with Michael and his wife.
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