Kentucky Ayahuasca Documentary Review: What You Need to Know About Shaman Steve Hupps

Are you seeking healing from severe emotional and physical issues? Do you want to be free from addiction or depression?

Many are going through some emotional baggage that cannot be seen. The worst thing about them is the fact that they do not go away even after several years. Several victims of trauma and abuse from childhood admitted that the terrifying experience still haunts them and it affects their health, relationships, and the way they live. It cripples them and makes them feel that they do not deserve to be loved.

It’s not easy to deal with that type of emotional and physical issues because finding a solution seemed impossible. If there was a solution, it wouldn’t probably take a lifetime for some to endure it. But a documentary entitled Kentucky Ayahuasca follows troubled people who find peace and healing from severe emotional and physical issues with the help of ayahuasca and Shaman Steve Hupp.

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The documentary will give one a concrete glimpse of the different battles people face in silence and see how Mother Aya works and turns one’s life around. It also gives one a more candid picture of redemption and transformation as you see how the individuals in the documentary gain back their lives.

The next sections will cover more about the docuseries which is very interesting. For those who are looking for a new solution to heal or simply want to see how ayahuasca works, the videos from the documentary are helpful.

What is Kentucky Ayahuasca

Kentucky Ayahuasca is a TV show documenting the administration of ayahuasca, a controversial hallucinogenic drug via a shamanic healer. It follows Steve Hupp, a very popular shaman who founded Aya Quest.

He offers ayahuasca retreat ceremonies to people seeking healing from severe emotional and physical issues. The participants willingly share their aya journey to the camera.

The documentary series has 10 episodes and was hosted by Vice Media LLC. Kentucky Ayahuasca is informative, realistic, and it’s very helpful especially for those who are totally new to ayahuasca and want to witness its power. The documentary has everything you need to understand the potential of the magical brewed from South America that transforms lives.

Why People Seek Ayahuasca

The people in the documentary seek ayahuasca for a simple reason – they want healing and freedom from a certain burden that they couldn’t just put away on their own.

There are various stories from people who already tried ayahuasca on the web and the people in the documentary came across those and wanted to experience it. The magical brew made from the plants from Amazon could give one a brand new life and the docuseries show exactly how that was made possible.

The episodes followed several individuals seeking healing from severe emotional and physical issues who were convinced that Shaman Steve Hupp could help them through ayahuasca.

The documentary features people from different walks of life battling different struggles from sex addictions, feelings of low self-worth and inability to express emotions. One episode features Jules, a transgender woman who seeks self-love and acceptance through the power of ayahuasca because her mom couldn’t embrace her sexuality.

A former military medic turned to shaman Steve for relief from post-traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD), another wanted help to confront his anxiety, and a different person needed aid in overcoming abandonment issues after her mom admitted her to a psych ward and not believing that she was a victim of sex abused.

The woman said it affected her parenting because her mom didn’t make her feel safe, so she kept on telling her kids not to trust anyone. Another woman wants to free herself from the intense damage caused by her predator dad.

Some individuals wanted to release their anger, find a new identity, learn how to forgive others and themselves. Episode 10 featured an individual seeking freedom from binge eating after surviving the Virginia Tech shooting and a woman who suffered from depression and who didn’t feel like she deserved to be loved.

The last episode also featured a man struggling with opioid addiction after feeling that her mom didn’t protect him from his abusive stepfather. He attempted suicide two years before he visited Shaman Steve and at the time, he was desperate to have a positive perspective in life because his traumatic experience during his childhood had already affected his relationship with his wife and children.

Those individuals appeared okay physically, but they were going through severe emotional and physical issues for years. And those problems have affected the way they live their lives, handle relationships, converse with their inner selves, conduct themselves, make decisions, eat, and even work.

Those people turn to Shaman Steve Hupp because they knew he works with people seeking healing from severe emotional and physical issues and that’s exactly what they wanted for themselves.

They had heavy burdens that they had been keeping for years and the documentary showed how Mother Aya can give one healing by changing the way one thinks and respond to the old things that used to haunt or defeat them.

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Who is Shaman Steve Hupp

Steve Hupp is the owner and facilitator of Aya Quest, a Native American Church in Kentucky, which was featured in Vice Media LLC series Kentucky Ayahuasca.

Steve is a convicted felon and bank robber. He was also a stone-cold atheist before he became a shaman. Since the first time he used ayahuasca, he immediately experienced the effects. Ayahuasca touched his emotions, thoughts, feelings, guilt, and everything within him that he repressed. He described it “as totally profound” especially that it changed his life.

Ayahuasca made him come to terms with his past, including the selfish decision he did. Before that, he would always blame others for what he did. He admitted to feeding his dark side and not embracing the light side of himself. But Mother Aya, as what he called it, called him to “find balance.”

“I am living proof of the power of Ayahuasca, that if I can change, anyone can, because I was lost in materialism, drug abuse, alchoholism and pride which led me on a 5 yr bank robbing spree that ended with me in Federal Prison, which is where I met my first Shaman who was a Cell Mate, he was there on immigration issues and was awaiting deportation, we became friends and my odessy began. Ayahuasca is an amazing and powerful tool, but YOU must do the work one day at a time,” Steve said.

He was overjoyed with his spiritual experience that he wanted to share it with others. Steve wanted to learn how to brew ayahuasca. He made several attempts before he discovered the perfect recipe.

Hupp and his family have opened Aya Quest, deep in the Bible Belt of Kentucky to help the people who are seeking enlightenment, salvation or freedom from any number of afflictions including PTSD, healing from severe emotional and physical abuse and addiction of all kinds.

He found a building in Campbellsville, a junked-out laundromat. It was in a mobile home park and it was a little building. There he started doing ayahuasca ceremonies for 15 years already and he has already helped many. Shaman Steve has already led over 1000 spiritual sessions with Mother Aya.

What Happened During The Retreat

Shaman Steve Hupp offers a 3-day and 2-night ceremony. They only handle a few participants in every session probably 5 or less to ensure that they can monitor every participant.

On the first night, the participants were normally nervous and excited at the same time. All of them had the same comment about the drink, they found it bitter, nutty, muddy, and earthy. For them, it smells really bad. It was rancid!

It usually takes a couple of minutes before ayahuasca works. They usually wait 20 minutes or less to feel a difference. But sometimes they take another shot of the brew if they didn’t feel anything after that time. Most of them felt calm and less emotional once the drink works. They found a sense of peace and joy that they couldn’t comprehend.

Then suddenly, boom!

Some felt nervous and remembered the bullying and abused they experienced in their childhood years. The bad experience that they tried to suppress resurfaces and haunts them making them feel terrible, weak, and vulnerable.

Some of them puked and according to them, when they puked, they felt lighter. It was as if they released the negative energy inside them, including the pain, distrust, failure, disappointments, fears, illness and everything that had been holding them back from fulfilling what they want in life.

Others experienced levitation, some saw shapes, objects, lights, animals, stars and other out of this world visuals. One said he saw an octopus, another said he saw a snake and a black panther.

Some participants also felt an instant connection with the Earth, many of them felt like they went through the darkest part of their lives and came to light. During this ceremony, some cried, others laughed, many also lay down in their bed with eyes wide open, but their minds were somewhere else.

Shaman Steve Hupp and his wife, Terri, are well-versed and very comforting. They take the time to talk with the participants and ask them questions, so they will open up about the struggles that they battle inside them. The couple knows the right words to say.

The participants look comfortable while talking to them. It’s as if they found someone who understood them. Shaman Steve Hupp and Terri know how to break the walls to get one talking about how they feel. They are comforting and easy to talk with.

On the second day, Steve makes special activities for each participant to help them get over their old self. For instance, in one episode, he used the hypnotic mirror technique to help Jules, a transgender woman, find self-love and acceptance and it worked. The following day, Jules was glowing and she looked happier and more confident. She was very different from the person when she first appeared in the center.

In another episode, he used a hammock to make one feel like she was back in her mom’s embryo to convince her she’s safe and protected. In other episodes, shaman Steve let the participants create symbols that represent themselves and they burned it to let the universe know that their old selves were gone. It was a way to let the universe know they were destroying and letting go of whatever burden that was holding them back.

On the third day, shaman Steve will talk to the participants to discuss their experience before they leave the place. He will give them words of encouragement and support as they part ways and face the battle on their own.

The best thing about Steve is that he doesn’t give false hope to the participants. He usually reminds them that they are leaving as different individuals compared to the time they arrived, but the world doesn’t change.

The things they left at home are still the same, but hopefully, with their experience, they would have gained a different perspective and would have reacted differently when confronted with their old way of life.

Another great thing about the videos is that it gives an update about the participants two months after they left the center and they appear happier and healthier. It seemed that Mother Aya had touched their lives for good because they looked like they were in a better place in terms of their present life and what they wanted for themselves.

So, was it effective? Most of them have a positive experience after their ayahuasca experience. In fact, some of them wanted to try it again because it made them feel good. They felt taken care of, they became happier, more confident and self-assured. Many of them had also found their purpose which made the trip all worth it.

Warning Before Booking An Ayahuasca Trip

As I read more about Kentucky ayahuasca, I also came across some horrible stories. In 2016, a woman named Lindsay Marie Poole died after collapsing at a Native Merican church in Berea.

A lawsuit was filed in Madison Circuit Court alleging that she died due to “negligence.” The lawsuit is still active, according to Lexington attorney Trey Moore.

Meanwhile, the Berea-church is still operational. But on its website(1), it states that it is not affiliated with Aya Quest or “any other self-proclaimed Native American Church that is not Oklevueha or that does not have tribal backing.”

In 2017, Katherine Lowry Logan, a court-appointed representative of the family, filed a lawsuit due to Poole’s death alleging that she died due to “negligence.”

Poole was pronounced dead on Aug. 7 at St. Joseph Berea Hospital after collapsing at Oklevueha Native American Church. The Berea police investigated the incident but no criminal charges have been filed.

Based on Logans’ lawsuit, Poole “endured pain, suffering and mental anguish before her death.” But it doesn’t go into details about Poole’s death or why she collapsed.

Thus, it is very important to choose a reputable and trusted ayahuasca center who knows how to take care and look after their clients because safety remains the top priority. Despite the risks, the benefits of Ayahuasca outweigh the harm that’s why many visit Hupp because they know he works with people seeking healing from severe emotional and physical issues.

Is Ayahuasca Legal In The US?

Ayahuasca contains Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), a controlled substance that is ordinarily not legal to possess or distribute, according to federal law. However, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 makes exceptions for people with sincerely held religious beliefs.

A 2006 Supreme Court ruling held that the government failed to prove a compelling interest in regulating a church’s use of drugs for religious purposes. That’s why in Kentucky, you will find the magical brew in churches because it is protected by law as long as it is in line with religion.

Although ayahuasca ceremonies are legal in churches, the shamans carrying out the ceremonies should be knowledgeable about it and the participants should be aware that the promising brew is not for everyone. Individuals taking stimulants and antidepressants are discouraged from taking it as it might have a negative interaction. Ayahuasca can be an antidepressant in itself.

Dr. Ashley Webb, director of the Kentucky Poison Control Center(2), said that DMT activates serotonin receptors in the brain and causes the hallucinogenic effect.

Participants in ceremonies who take stimulant medication can be subjected to “an incredibly elevated blood pressure and temperature,” she said.

The material used to make an ayahuasca tea recipe, which is given to church participants, “is not like a controlled pharmaceutical product, where you know exactly what you’re getting,” Webb added.

The episodes of Viceland Kentucky Ayahuasca episodes are accessible online, you can watch the videos on YouTube.

How Much Does Kentucky Ayahuasca Cost?

Ayahuasca in Kentucky is much cheaper compared to getting it in Amazon or any South American country. Actually, it’s a lot cheaper especially for those in Kentucky because they do not have to book a flight and there are already several retreat centers in the United States.

Spending a weekend with Aya Quest or Peaceful Mountain Way will only cost $395 and that’s a multi-day event with two ceremonies. But one has to be a member to participate and the membership fee costs $150. The good thing is that membership is only paid once.

Attending an ayahuasca ceremony in Kentucky costs lesser because it is more accessible. One does not have to take a flight that may cost $2,000 or more alone. Also, it is best especially for those who only have a weekend to spare for their aya adventure.

There are tons of retreat centers in Kentucky that costs less than a thousand and they have an effective and reputable shaman who can help one confront their issues and enjoy healing.


Kentucky Ayahuasca is a great docuseries. Each video shows different individuals battling severe depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction and other physical and mental conditions, and how Ayahuasca works in giving them hope, healing, and new life.

Shaman Steve Hupp has helped a lot of people by assisting them to encounter Mother Aya. Those people were broken, sick and depressed. Some of them even experienced physical illnesses due to the emotional turmoil they were feeling. Others were struggling with their relationships. They wanted to be whole but they were breaking what they already had due to distrust and traumatic past.

Those pains were healed as the participants developed a fresher perspective. They enjoy a new life because they react differently from the same ghost that used to leave them helpless and vulnerable.

Mother Aya offers one the opportunity to heal, be whole again and live with all the possibilities life has to offer. However, one still has to do his part and let it work in their lives to fully see the results.