Year: 2017

Why I Quit Ayahuasca Shamanism After 11 Years and 1,000 Ceremonies

I’m alive because of Ayahuasca. I am connected, soulful, expanded, and spilling over with self-love, mostly because of the blessing of attending around 1,000 sacred plant ceremonies. But if my intuition proves correct, I will never drink Ayahuasca or any other plant medicine again. Why? Because it worked too well. Let me explain. The Standard Story: Ayahuasca Saved My Life When I first found Ayahuasca – or rather, when she first found me – I was deeply depressed, though I pretended to be the happiest chirpy ass blonde LA girl you would ever meet. I had paralyzingly painful migraine headaches at least every 2 weeks. I drank alcohol almost every single day, as much as my body could handle. I did drugs most weekends to escape and to feel better, but increasingly, they were making me feel worse. I was fake. I was miserable. I was dying inside and out. In short, I was on a fast-track to total self-destruction, but I appeared as though I had the ultimate dream life. I had a famous …

“Para Curar, Solamente Para Curar”

I lay down on the floor, on a comfortable mattress in the center of the room. And I waited. And waited. Eyes closed, I began to see things: patterns of light and energy moving in time with the music. This continued for about half hour, and then a thought came to my mind: “This is too much.” … nd then, something miraculous. I heard, as though from outside myself and within myself at once, a soft voice.

“Templo Sacrosanto” by Pablo Amaringo

Visionary Experiences

Painting – “Templo Sacrosanto” by Pablo Amaringo

There are a number of human experiences — I am thinking of such things as hallucinations, lucid dreams, visions, out-of-body experiences — that are characterized by presentness, detail, externality, and three-dimensional explorable spacefulness. We can call these visionary experiences. Such visionary experiences appear to be a central and consistent component of shamanism generally — most prominently, for example, in the ayahuasca shamanism of the Upper Amazon

Four Transformations that Ayahuasca Tourism is Producing in the Traditional Ayahuasca Practice

A look into Western assumptions and modifications of traditional ayahuasca practices. “The ayahuasca brew is known locally as “the purge”: rather than to address a specific disease, the locals consume it to cleanse the stomach and the blood, throw up bad energy and attract good luck: hunting, sales, wife or husband. Thus, the purgative property of the remedy (result of the vine’s alkaloids, Banisteriopsis caapi) is privileged over its visionary property (due to the DMT of the chacruna, Psychotria viridis).

Westerners, in popular texts and widespread opinion, celebrate DMT; the vine’s function is to allow the DMT not to be destroyed in the stomach but instead reach the bloodstream.”

The globalization of Ayahuasca: Harm reduction or benefit maximization?

This paper explores some of the philosophical and policy implications of contemporary ayahuasca use. It addresses the issue of the social construction of ayahuasca as a medicine, a sacrament and a “plant teacher.” Issues of harm reduction with respect to ayahuasca use are explored, but so too is the corollary notion of “benefit maximization.”