Anthony Esposito ~ Lead Iboga Provider
In early 2013, the Spirit of Iboga called Anthony to heal the root causes of his depression, anxiety, addictions, and PTSD from sexual trauma. His experience was so powerful and profound that it became immediately clear he would serve the sacred medicine and spread the teachings of the Bwiti tradition.
Just weeks after his initial life-changing ceremony, Anthony returned to Costa Rican and began working with the medicine both on a personal level and in a training capacity under a 10th generation Bwiti shaman. In December of 2013, he traveled to Gabon, Africa, and completed a Full Initiation into the Bwiti tradition. In July of 2015, he returned to Gabon and underwent a Rites of Passage, a journey the Bwiti use as a passageway from childhood to adulthood.
Through his dedication to finding peace within himself, and by facing his own truth, Anthony has unveiled his innate ability to help others access their own healing power. He maintains deep gratitude for all of his experiences—the challenging and the beautiful—which have shaped his path and led him to harness his mind and connect to his heart, passion, and purpose.
He has developed a deep relationship with the Spirit of Iboga, and has extensive experience leading ceremonies, serving the medicine, guiding the guests on explorations of spiritual self-discovery, and assisting them through the transformations that follow.
Today, Anthony spends his time between Costa Rica and Austin, Texas with his wife Amber (known as the chief of the village). Anthony’s deep connections to Self, and to the Spirit of Iboga, allow him to guide others through sacred ceremony and through the integration of these teachings.
Amber Antonelli ~ Provider Apprentice & Chief of the Village
Life for Amber as a young child was simple and relatively calm. Though her parents split at the age of 4, they remained close in both business and the parenting partnership. Early adolescence brought a wave of trauma and disconnection and by high school she was into full blown drug and alcohol abuse. Gratefully most of this was experimental and addiction never set in. However Amber felt ill at ease much of the time, always searching outside herself for answers.
In 2007 Amber and Anthony met and fell in love immediately. After a few years of very challenging and codependent ups and downs, she found her spiritual path quite by “accident” when Anthony was seeking relief from depression, anxiety and addiction.
Initially it was their work with Ayahuasca that began to open Amber’s heart and her mind and began to ease the feelings of disconnection that had plagued much of her life. One of the first and most profound shifts was in the approach to her vocation.
Since childhood Amber had a passion for cooking which grew quickly into a lifelong career. In 2011, after returning from months of deep personal work in Peru, Amber created her conscious culinary business, The Naked Bite, cultivating a connection with food in a whole new way. She began to channel her teachings from this higher consciousness into her passion for healing foods, educating others to shift their approach their body, mind, spirit.
Amber’s immense internal shifts had begun, but it wasn’t until a few years later through her work with Iboga, that some of the deepest teachings fell into place. Amber connected to the Iboga medicine easily and has since healed on many levels through the infinite wisdom of this powerful teacher plant. Coupled with many other healing modalities and her own connection to her highest wisdom, Amber has found a deep power within.
Working with Iboga has heightened Amber’s already strong intuition to best serve those during this aspect of their healing path. She believes strongly in a wholistic approach to the journey within. She draws from her own personal process as well as trainings in multiple methodologies to innovate the most compassionate, loving and mindful container for Awaken Your Soul guests to do some of the deepest work of their lives.
Amber will be traveling to Gabon in November 2018 for her “official” initiation into the bwiti tradition.
Raven Marie ~ Facilitator, Reiki Master & Retreat Manager
At the age of 29 Raven found herself feeling the weight of years of unresolved past wounds, verbal abuse, sexual trauma and deep-rooted feelings of abandonment. At the time she worked as a bottle server in the Miami nightlife scene. She was also dabbling with coke, drinking excessively and feeling as if her life was going nowhere fast. She struggled with anxiety, depression and sadness.
During this time Raven received a visit from a benevolent being showing her as a ball of light and being surrounded by other light beings blessing her on her journey. This encounter was a turning point for her, the desire to free herself from years of pain was ignited.
Raven then quit her job with a trail of financial debt hanging on her sleeve. She gave up her apartment and car and moved in with her best friend throwing herself into day-long meditations and seclusion. Ironically she was then hired to manage a restaurant and lounge in Dubai and although the opportunity was incredibly expansive, Raven very quickly after the move realized it was not the right fit.
Back in Miami Raven was led to the natural healing modality of Reiki. Her study of Reiki became the bridge between her own personal trauma and deep healing. For three years she rode a rollercoaster of extreme highs and profound lows experiencing a stint of homelessness, emotional upheavals, repairing the relationship with her father and the relationship with herself most importantly. She found solace in being in service through Reiki to Cancer patients, children, animals, friends and family.
Raven was then led to Costa Rica and began working with retreat centers and providing consulting and support to local wellness programs. This is where she encountered Iboga for the first time. This would become the redefining moment of who she was and how she would walk through life from that moment forward.
Working with Iboga granted her the opportunity to heal trauma throughout her ancestral lineage, as well as heal the deepest layers of her sexual trauma. She was freed from many things and in turn felt the love of Iboga so deeply that she will follow the call to Africa this November to be initiated into the medicine.
Raven is a Reiki Master, Advanced Belief Clearing Practitioner and a Holistic Stress Management and Ho’oponopono instructor. Using her own life experiences and lessons learned along the way she uses the gift of storytelling and these multiple modalities to inspire others to live with passion, to take risks, be unafraid to make mistakes and to recognize that pain can be transcended into power and love.
Carre Sutton ~ Guest Provider during specific retreats
Carré was raised in Northern California without much connection to spirituality. Her life was driven by a deep sense of separation. At age 17 -after running away from home-Carré experienced a defining moment: She met her first Tibetan teacher, Lama Tsultrim Allione. The refuge she found with the teachings of the Buddha filled the painful void. She has since studied the wisdom of Buddhism for over 30 years.
After a series of surprising and serendipitous invitations, Carre found herself in the middle of a high profile career in the entertainment industry and in a marriage steeped in domestic violence.
The despair and depression brought on by the abusive marriage, eating disorders, sexual assaults and led to addiction to cocaine and heroin. It felt like Carre had completely lost herself. It was a near-death experience and a heart surgery at age 30 that was the wake-up call, leading to her divorce and a return to the spiritual path.
This renewed devotion and dedication brought Carre to Nepal to deepen her recovery with a strong meditation practice, yoga teacher training, many intensive retreats and a 5 year vow of celibacy in preparation to become a Tibetan Buddhist nun. Then unexpectedly she met the man who was to be her husband. Matthew Sutton and Carre were married and now have two daughters.
During these years of parallel responsibilities to self-expression, spiritual practice and family, Carre was introduced to Indigenous Wisdom traditions and sacred plant medicines, which offered her yet deeper physical healing and spiritual alignment. She had heard about them during her addiction battles and someone had actually sent her a one word anonymous message – Iboga. She had no idea its meaning.
And then in 2014, Carre was invited to sit with the Iboga medicine. Iboga offered a dramatic increase in personal growth and learning. With her dedication; numerous physical and emotional traumas were healed.
In July of 2017 she arrived in Gabon, West Africa to be initiated into the Dissumba lineage of B’witi by Master Atome, a B’witi Priest for 50 years. This year Carre will return to Gabon to study and be initiated in the Misokko tradition with a 10th generation B’witi Shaman from that lineage.
For Carre her spiritual commitment to this path has made it possible for a happy marriage, co-parenting her two daughters and speaking her truth as a professional working for positive change.
“It is my belief, my understanding and my deepest knowing that the blessings of my teachers and my spiritual learning have made my present life possible. I am so fortunate to have had these wonderful, wise and pure teachers from all of these traditions. The teachings and practices they have entrusted informed my path and enabled me to be of service to others. All of these traditions lead to the same, pure place, the same goal: freedom.”