The German poet Goethe never attended an ayahuasca ceremony. Nonetheless, his words contain useful advice for those wishing to explore visionary realms. In his poem The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Goethe describes a young apprentice who must clean his master’s workshop while the latter is away. The apprentice doesn’t want to do this by hand, so he uses one of his master’s spells to enchant a broom to clean for him.
The broom begins fetching water and scrubbing the floor. Soon the floor is flooded as the apprentice realizes he doesn’t know how to end the spell. He tries splitting the broom in two with an axe, but each half becomes a whole new broom and the chaos doubles as torrents of water crash their way through the workshop. When all seems lost, the sorcerer returns and breaks the spell, sternly warning that the spirits should only be called by those who understand them.