A church of devoted hearts, walking together on the path of awakening. Guided by our Holy Sacrament Ayahuasca and the celestial and divine beings of the astral, we walk the path of awakening and devotion, practicing and studying the different religions and traditions that share our common connection to the realm of spirit.
Here is a little bit of our story.
My name is Kai Karrel, I am the Padrinho and founder of the Church of the Celestial Heart; I wish to share a bit of the magic that brought this church to be what it is today. A journey of unspeakable wonders, miracles, trials, triumphs, and everything in between.
The journey of forming this church has taken so many shapes and forms, yet began with a single sincere and heartfelt prayer to find and experience divinity within me. This prayer was spoken almost four decades ago... from the heart of a young, innocent child. I was eight years old at the time. Little did I know how profound and life-changing the answer to this prayer would be.
Though I cannot explain why, my thirst for a deeper understanding of the spiritual could not be quenched. No matter how much I tried or what modality I practiced, nothing seemed to satisfy my inner longing for the Divine.
This hunger led me through decades of searching, living in ashrams, practicing a multitude of religions and spiritual paths, offering workshops, guiding meditation retreats, and yet… without an answer to that innocent prayer. After so many years of study, I had so many words to describe what I thought I knew… yet my innocent heart’s desire spoke even louder and did not let me rest.
Until… one day… guided by divine grace, I could finally hear the whispering melody of Divinity and have my prayer answered by the Queen of The Forest herself, Ayahuasca. After my first night of partaking with the sacrament, I was asked by a friend why I was crying, and with a silent smile and a heart that was filled, I said – I am finally home; I now know what the rest of my life is calling for.
That day was the first day of the most incredible and mythical journey that led me to travel across Peru and Brazil into the jungles, forests, and rivers and meet mystical beings of both seen and unseen worlds.
As I started my journey with plant medicine, I was mostly introduced to ceremonies led in the Peruvian tradition, happening mostly in the dark and involving singing to the plants and animals of the forest. I would experience a vast landscape of internal visions which will lead to profound healing and an ever-deepening sense of awe. However, quite early on, my experience did not seem to match the facilitation style. I would shake uncontrollably; my hands would move, and the inner vision matched more of an angelic scene rather than a visit to the jungle, as the songs and Icaros sung would indicate. I encountered angelic spirits, Queens and Kings, and a highly evolved order which just didn't feel in alignment with what the ceremonies were about. After a few years of this specific study, I met with the Santo Daime - an Afro-Brazilian Catholic church originating in Brazil that would change my life and my experience of this path forever.
The Brazilian traditions, style and the content of the work were in absolute harmony with my own inner world of experience. The spiritu-religious content of the ceremony was a perfect match to my own vibration within this path. I soon became initiated into the mysteries of this school and kept expanding upon this body of wisdom.
Santo Daime studies the depth of mediumship - the access, understanding, and interaction with the world of spirit. And thus, my uncontrollable shaking and visions were now explained and put into context. I could finally understand the inner landscape of partaking in this ceremony more than ever before. The path ahead was leading me to study mediumship even more than any field of study I have ever undertaken. Being now able to navigate this mysterious and uncharted land, slowly coming to understand the realms of spirit and continuing further with my own process of evolution and healing.
After studying for a few years with different indigenous shamans, teachers, medicine circles, and traditions, whether Brazilian, Peruvian, Colombian, or others, I have come to the conclusion that for me to truly develop and grow within this path, I need a different set and setting, where the spoken language is one I understand, the prayers and teachings are more direct and guided, and the integration of the experience into my life is constant and continues beyond the scope of the ceremonies.
After consulting with my teachers and following their guidance, I founded the Church of the Celestial Heart. A syncretic church based on the teachings of the different Brazilian traditions, such as Santo Daime, Umbandaime, and Candomblé, yet offered in English, bringing forth an even deeper focus on guidance and instruction within the ceremonies themselves. What emerged from this fusion between my lifelong religious practice and the direct communion with Mother Ayahuasca has become a profound ceremonial methodology that offers guidance towards devotion, awakening, and the profound direct experience of Divinity and the realm of spirit.
In order to develop the church, its doctrine, and its theological foundation, I have devoted my life to the continuous study, initiation, and practice of the different traditions which constitute the syncretic nature of its faith. I frequently visit my teachers in Brazil, primarily our Santo Daime mother church, Fraternidade do Coração, led by my dear friend and teacher, Padrinho Sergio Negri; our main school of Umbanda, Barquinha, and mediumship – Arca da Montanha Azul, led by Mestre Philippe Bandeira de Melo, and last but not least, my Pai de Santo – Professor Sidnei Barreto Nogueira, my teacher of Candomblé.
Over the years, our sacred ceremonies and methodologies have expanded to cover a multitude of different rituals, such as the celebration of our different traditions and religious holidays, the performance of rites of passage (such as weddings and welcoming newborn children), and numerous ceremonial themes in support of the development of consciousness and awakening. Celestial Heart has its own channeled book of prayers – ‘Prayerful Heart,’ which includes over 300 prayers channeled and received in order to guide us through the ceremonies and help us evolve within our faith.
Celestial Heart has a thriving community of devoted members who support each other in their studies, their devotion, and the integration of our different ceremonies. In difference to most ceremonial settings with our sacrament, our church encourages our members to express themselves within the ceremony, whether in song or poetry, offering teachings, and for those who have been initiated and trained, offering healing and support to their brothers and sisters.