Tobacco snuff is a sacred shamanic medicine or tool, that has been used by tribes of the Amazon basin for thousands of years and is an essential part of their tribal culture and history. Rapé is the name for one of many of these snuffs, and it’s foundation lies by numerous indiginous tribes in Acre, Brazil. Curiously, Rapé is not sniffed, snorted or inhaled. Instead, it is administered (blown) into the nostrils with a special blowpipe called “Kuripe” (self administration) or “Tepi” (another person administers). This “blow” is quite forceful and not specifically pleasant. It can be rather shocking. The appearance of a Rapé is a grey- to sand coloured, very fine and dry dust. It is traditionally prepared by ceremonial pounding of Tobacco (N. rustica) with tree ashes, followed by patiently filtering it through a fine mesh, resulting in a dust as fine as 125 micron. The varieties of Tobacco used are not the commonly known N. tabacum, but N. rustica, such as “Corda” or “Moi” and in cases also “Mapacho”. Given the potency …
Carlos Castaneda talks of impeccability, and I believe it is useful to understand how much is expected of you, if you are to engage in this sort of work. In this work, anything that is out of alignment will be shown and brought to the surface very quickly. If there is major stuff you haven’t at least looked at, then it can compromise the space.
This story gives a sense of what “Pachamama” means (the feminine universe) and also gives a sense of the Andean conception of gender roles.
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.”
For decades, researchers have puzzled over the mystery of the origin of Ayahuasca, especially the question of how the synergy was discovered between the the two components of the brew: the vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) with a monoamine oxidase inhibiting (MAOI) action and the leaf (Psychotria viridis or Diplopterys cabrerana), which requires that MAOI action to make their dimethyltryptamine (DMT) orally active.
If you have decided to travel to Peru or other areas in South America to drink ayahuasca, I hope that you have a wonderful experience and return safely to tell everyone about your adventures. Here are several things you can do to help ensure that your trip is safe and productive.
This is a path of uniting stories. An invitation into deeper relation with the many things that fuel, heal, and energize us; that which is alive all around us, co-creates with us. This a path of dissolving separation. A path of connectivity.
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 …
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)
An interview with Donal Ruane, Irish author, researcher and explorer, about his views on Ayahuasca, shamanism, plants, and his meeting with Pablo Amaringo. First published in Dreamflesh, a journal of altered states, archaic consciousness, prehistoric art and shamanism.
We slowly can come to understand ourselves as focal points of the Whole, learning to broaden our conception of ‘self’ to include communities, ecosystems, the planet and galaxy, and beyond. For all these compose the primordial definitions of our being.
Steve Beyer’s Singing to the Plants, writes Morgan Maher, is “a wild ride out and across the jungles of mestizo shamanism. The book, and its wonderful cast of characters, curanderos, animals, plants, spirits and stories presents honest, accurate, respectful, levelheaded and, at times, outrageously marvelous descriptions of the environments and climates of mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon.” Morgan interviews the author.
What is mestizo shamanism? The Loreto province of northeastern Peru (and to a lesser extent to Ucayali province south of it) is virtually unique in Latin America in that indigenous shamanic practices have been adopted and adapted by the mestizo population, and become a part of the mestizo culture. While mestizo curanderismo is not unknown elsewhere in the Spanish-speaking world, it is almost always found in isolated rural areas. Among most mestizo populations, there is strong social pressure to distance oneself from the scorned indigenous world and embrace the prestigious Spanish/western world, and only in the most isolated rural regions would mestizos continue indigenous practices. And in the modern world, with television and mass communication, such pockets of isolation are fast disappearing. Yet, in the province of Loreto in northeastern Peru, not only does an active mestizo shamanism thrive, but it thrives even in urban centers. Especially in the city of Iquitos – population about 400,000. (Iquitos resident Alan Shoemaker quoted the Iquitos police chief as estimating that on any given Friday, 10% of the …
The ayahuasca trip is not especially unitive: indeed, one of its hallmarks is the sense of communication with other life forms or consciousnesses. And while a sense of “all is One” is sometimes reported in the midst of the ayahuasca experience, it’s more common to read reports of visions of phenomena – manifestation, not essence.
A true light pierces the encrustations around the heart and this is the beginning of a turing, a deep reorientation, from someone who looks at the past and regrets, to a reborn one who faces the future and the light.
An personal overview of Ayahuasca covering some indigenous traditions and phenomenological aspects.
By Steve Beyer
This post answers the very basic questions you may have been afraid to ask about ayahuasca in the Upper Amazon — what it is, what is in it, what it does, how it is used, how it fits into the religious culture of the region, and how it tastes. If you are new to the subject of ayahuasca, this is a good place to start.
By Peter Gorman
Among the flora of the world as we know it, several plants are not just allies, they are considered Master Plant Teachers. You might extend that to read: Master Plant Teachers of Man. These plants might be considered gate keepers. These plants are the plants that allow us, we humans, to slow down enough to communicate with the mountains; to speed up enough to communicate with a hummingbird, to visit the other realms past and present and simultaneous that are here but that we don’t ordinarily see or hear within the band widths of our senses.
“All who drink this holy beverage must not only try to see beautiful things without correcting their faults, but give shape to perfection of their own personality to take their place in this battalion and follow this line. If they would act this way, they could say, I am a brother” – Mestre Irineu
They travel on boas. Indeed, sometimes they turn into boas; if the woman sleeping next to you turns into a boa during the night, that is a good sign that you have been seduced by a mermaid.