Steve Beyer is a researcher in ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, shamanism, and hallucinogenic plants and fungi. His interests center on the indigenous ceremonial use of the sacred plants — ayahuasca and other psychoactive and healing plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals, and teonanácatl and other mushrooms and plants in Mesoamerican healing ceremonies — and on the legal status, uses, effects, and therapeutic potential of naturally occurring and synthesized hallucinogens, empathogens, and entheogens.He is the author of Singing to the plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. Jan Irvin is an independent researcher, author, and lecturer. He is the author of several books, including The Holy Mushroom: Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity, and co-author of Astrotheology & Shamanism: Christianity’s Pagan Roots. He is the curator of the official website for John Marco Allegro, the controversial Dead Sea Scrolls scholar, and in 2009 he republished Allegro’s famous 1970 classic, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, in a fortieth anniversary edition. Jan is the editor of …
Premiering tonight in Canada on CBC’s The Nature of Things, (8pm EST, November 10, 2011) The Jungle Prescription tells of ayahuasca and its encounter with the West, as played out through the story of two doctors; Dr. J. Mabit in Peru and Dr. Gabor Maté in Canada.
By Stephen Trichter, Psy.D.
As the use of ayahuasca shifts to use outside of its original cultural context, we must examine how the spread of this healing practice can not only bring the benefits for which it was originally intended, but how its transfer into a new cultural framework potentially can also cause distress and harm.
(Painting by Augustin Lesage)
While the ways that ayahuasca helps some people to overcome addictions is not entirely understood, the volume of people claiming success with addiction or dependency points to something well worth knowing much more about.
The bodies of Amazon rainforest activist Joao Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo are carried to burial by friends and relatives, in the municipal cemetery of Maraba, in Brazil, on May 26, 2011. The identity of those responsible for the shooting in northern Brazil on Tuesday has not yet been determined, but da Silva predicted his own death six months ago, and was the recipient of frequent death threats by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers. “I will protect the forest at all costs. That is why I could get a bullet in my head at any moment — because I denounce the loggers and charcoal producers,” he said. Watch his speech at TEDxAmazonia, below, in which he says he believes killing trees in the rainforest is murder (click the “cc” button in the player for English subtitles). ; The murders of da Silva and his wife took place as Brazil’s Congress debates a divisive bill that threatens to further expand deforestation. Da Silva and Espirito Santo were active in the …
A manuscript that links Conan Doyle, fellow novelist H Rider Haggard and a hallucinogenic plant from South America
There seems to be a very productive moment in Brazilian biomedical researches on ayahuasca. I am pleased to announce the publication of a new text in our site about the therapeutic potentials of harmine, an alkaloid present in the vine Banisteriopsis caapi (compenent of the ayahuasca brew).
Javier Armijo is one of the leaders in the conservation of Ecuadorian rain forest through ecotourism, and a member of the newly formed Dutch foundation “Save the Native Forest”. On the 20th February 2011 he was hit by a truck of the PROINPETROL oil company. The Company do not answer calls from any of the relatives.
This is an edited transcript of a series of conversations between Howard G. Charing, author of The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo, and Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. These talks took place during the summer of 2010, at the kitchen table and on the front stoop of Steve’s house in Chicago. Some drinking and cigar smoking was involved. Howard: I read Singing to the Plants several times, and I found it not only an extremely well researched book but also inspirational; it came through to me as a true labor of love. I understand that you originally envisioned the book to address more of an academic, anthropological audience, which is the reason that you wanted it to be published by the University of New Mexico Press; but you have created much more than an academic work. When you talk about your teachers, doña María and don Roberto, your warmth, humanity, and respect for them shines through. You asked them to describe their history, …
A Brazilian judge has blocked plans to build a huge hydro-electric dam in the Amazon rainforest because of environmental concerns.
Amazing new footage of a tribe under voluntary isolation from brasil. One of the new threats to these tribes are the migration of Voluntarily Isolated Indigenous Peoples from Peru, escaping illegal logging and oil companies. Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, has publicly suggested the Voluntarily Isolated Indigenous Peoples do not exist. In an article published in Peru’s El Comercio newspaper in october 2007, he is quoted saying: “Against oil, they (the environmentalists) have created the figure of the ‘uncontacted’ native jungle dweller; that is, unknown but presumed, and thus millions of hectares cannot be explored, and Peru’s petroleum must remain underground while the world is paying US$90 per barrel. They prefer that Peru continue importing its oil and getting poorer.” PLEASE watch the footage and sign the Petition urging Alan Garcia to Protect the “uncontacted” tribes of Peru!