The lungs of the Earth. The most biodiverse place of Gaia. The home of the Ayahuasca vine and countless other medicinal species of plant., as well as known and unknown indigenous cultures.

Preparation for the Ayahuasca Experience

Howard G. Charing
After being virtually ignored by Western civilization for centuries, there has been a huge surge of interest in Ayahuasca recently. There is a growing belief that it is a kind of ‘medicine for our times’, giving hope to people with ‘incurable’ diseases like cancer and HIV, drug addictions and inspiring answers to the big ecological problems of modern civilization.

On the Origins of Ayahuasca

Daniel Mirante
How could such a complex synergistic potion be discovered amongst over 80,000 catalogued plant species of the Amazon forest? Studying Ayahuasca, modern minds have puzzled the origins of the discovery of the Great Medicine, since it is commonly said that being a synergistic potion, there is no effect when only one of the plants are consumed.

Mestizo Shamanism and Vegetalistas

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 …

Basic scholar readings on ayahuasca

It is a relevant query of kreepmusic that prompted me to post a list of some of the readings I consider basic to think ayahuasca. This is a selection from our (Partner and I) own modest collection of documents. Stock and choice are personal and I assume the indicative rather than comprehensive nature of this list. In order not to restrict too much the panel of good quality informative readings, I did prefer to put the following commented bibliography under the broader heading adjective “scholar” rather than “scientific”. For example Wizard of the Upper Amazon and its sequel Rio Tigre and Beyond, the first person autobiography of the famous mestizo ayahuasquero Manuel Córdova-Rios, narrated by Bruce Lamb, have not been written and published like academic/scientific works. Yet, two anthropologists specialists of ayahuasca, who have met Don Manuel (including LE Luna), and I, consider this story as a valuable piece of ethnographical work, worth to be included in scholar and scientific bibliographies (the early critics of Amahuaca specialist Robert Carneiro, relayed by Jonathan Ott, are largely …