Mr. Boogie & I had the great pleasure of visiting the Ibogasoul retreat center for one month in Canada, where we supported one 8 day psycho-spiritual retreat and one 9 day detox retreat, both with natural iboga medicine and traditional Bwiti ceremony.
Ibogasoul was founded by Mark Howard and Robyn Rock. The center features sustainably and ceremonially harvested iboga medicine, with all of the naturally occurring alkaloids present. Mark and Robyn are clearly devoted providers, doing everything possible to help guests feel comfortable, safe, and cared for.
Before each medicine ceremony, with candlelight and Bwiti music filling the room, Mark offered traditional Bwiti wisdom transmissions called Fire Talks, helping people to study life, study themselves, and navigate the medicine. Mark also kept everyone cracking up and smiling while delivering the deep material. It was inspiring to witness Mark's attentive and skillful facilitation throughout each ceremony, from dusk to dawn and beyond.
Ibogasoul moves between British Columbia and Nelson in Canada. Their various locations offer a beautiful, comfortable, and immaculate retreat center.
We watched miracle after miracle there... Not to say that any plant medicine or ceremony is a "miracle," however the experience can be miraculous with these key elements: quality facilitation, a safe setting, pure & potent medicine, the full participation of guests, and Grace.
Some people have the false notion that the iboga medicine is some kind of "magic pill" that makes everything better, when in fact it is an intense journey likened to climbing the Himalayas within. It is WORK. And the guests who came to Ibogasoul were highly intentional, present, and committed to their process. People struggling with substance addiction, depression, anxiety, and trauma all gained a new light in their eyes, clarity in their minds, and a sense of physical cleansing. Several people were successfully freed from their chains of high dose opioid dependency. Everyone stood a little straighter and prouder, yet a little gentler and more relaxed in their skin—like a green tree in the wind, looking freshly "polished" by the end of their retreat, all effects I often see with iboga.
We enjoyed delicious, healthy comfort food created by the Ibogasoul chef, Rachael Anthony. She was very attentive and conscientious about each guest's unique dietary requests: gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian, dairy free, etc. When working with powerful plant medicine and spiritual ceremony, I have found that great healthy food is key! This helps to support our digestive system, the cleansing process, and the soul's delight.
The house manager, Geoff, was a phenomenal host. Kind and meticulous, he kept the ship running and made sure everyone had their special needs met. I fondly nicknamed him "MacGyver" because it seemed he could fix any broken thing or resolve any urgent matter that arose. Though a gentleman in every way, he was tough and skilled, and he brought an incredible protective energy in the center.
We were blessed to have Bette visiting at the same time, an established iboga provider and a living treasure of ceremony experience. She contributed many deep insights to the Fire Talks and healing divine mother energy to the aftercare.
Ibogasoul is fairly unique, being traditional Bwiti providers who also offer highly skilled medical support, available round-the-clock. This is Ibogasoul's medical director Patrick Fishley (shown above) is a seasoned critical care & intensive care registered nurse with over 700 iboga & ibogaine treatments under his belt. He has a solid understanding of the various contraindicated medical conditions, street drugs, and pharmaceutical medications. More, he is ACLS certified; this is an important medical emergency credential for all iboga & ibogaine treatments, whether detox or psycho-spiritual. With his guidance, guests can be properly prepared for their iboga treatment according to their unique medical situation.
Patrick is available during the actual iboga ceremonies, and he is also available on site 24/7 for the entire retreat. Adverse events are rare with good medical screening, however if they do occur, they are more likely to occur in the 24-48 hours after initial administration of the medicine rather than in the treatment itself. It was great to see their deep commitment to qualified medical support.
Patrick also happens to be one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, a true spiritual warrior with a healer's heart!
Check out my interviews with Patrick about general iboga info & microdosing considerations.
I was blessed to be able to support my friend Robyn Rock with the traditional Bwiti spiritual shower.
The spiritual shower is a powerful cleansing ceremony. Many medicinal plants, both African & local, are carefully blessed with the unique recipient in mind. The guest is washed with the soaked aromatic plants (while wearing light clothing). The spirits of the plants and the water are activated with intentions and prayers. All of the physical senses are cleansed and awakened. The ritual supports the guest to release the past and consciously bring in the new path. It is most often included in the psycho-spiritual retreat format (vs. detox). Robyn is a true heart-centered priestess and ritual artist!
I am super grateful for the spiritual shower that I received there from my Bwiti elder, Maud, who was also visiting at that time. I've never felt cleaner!
The natural environment and views surrounding Ibogasoul were stunning! Several times during the retreats, guests were taken on outings to bask in the fresh air, trees, and views of the bay.
I would gladly send my own family members to Ibogasoul. I am grateful to see such commitment, integrity, and grounded care from providers of this sacred medicine.
Iboga & ibogaine are illegal in the United States (sadly!). If you choose to experience these sacred medicines without legal persecution, you will have to go countries where these medicines are legal or unregulated such as Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, or Africa.
There are always various risks associated with psychoactive/entheogenic medicines, and they may not be ideal for everyone. This page is for informational and harm reduction purposes only. This page is NOT intended as professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment recommendation, personal suggestion, or endorsement. Please always seek appropriate medical and psychiatric care for your conditions—from carefully selected and qualified providers that respect your personal choices for healthcare.