In ancient times, people prayed for a plant that would teach them how to dream. There is a myth of two boys canoeing down a river to find a spirit village which had manifested on the other side of the river. By arrival to this place they went up a staircase to heaven where theysaw all of their ancestors, generation after generation. These ancestors gifted them with this plant and said, “this is a plant that can help your people and connect you to the dream world.”. After waking up they would still have this plant and they would take it back to their community and guayusa became a central part of their culture.
Nowadays guayusa is used to interpret dreams. Families gather around before dawn to share their dreams, right before they go hunting. Riffing off the sacred powers of the drink, they help each other decode their night visions, which they believe to be directly related to the future. The Quechua members take their dreams very seriously. The dream that they have the night before is specifically used for guiding them in the following days. This is a way for them to divide labour and figure out who would go hunting and who would stay close to the house.