News from around the planet about Ayahuasca

New York times runs surprisingly balanced report on Santo Daime for rehabilitation of prisoners

“We are considered the trash of Brazil, but this place accepts us,” said Darci Altair Santos da Silva, 43, a construction worker serving a 13-year sentence for sexual abuse of a child under 14. “I know what I did was very cruel. The tea helped me reflect on this fact, on the possibility that one day I can find redemption.”

Public Statement to the Ayahuasca Community

We offer our most heartfelt condolences for the Nolan family on the tragic loss of their son, Kyle. We, the undersigned, people who had direct experience with Shimbre, or have concern over what has transpired, believe Kyle was not given this medicine in a safe or supportive traditional environment. During the Shimbre ‘incident’ we believe this sacred medicine was administered by an irresponsible practitioner who did not follow the ancient traditional practice of staying with the seeker or student to insure physical and spiritual safety.

Ayahuasca Conference at Willka T’ika June 3 – 9, 2012

Hi, this is going out to people in the ayahuasca community who may be interested in this upcoming workshop at Willka T’ika in the Urubamba Valley of Peru. It is a beautiful retreat center located in the Sacred Valley within a day’s travel of Machu Picchu, Pisac and other Inca sites.  The retreat will include three ceremonies facilitated by Wayra, a young Quechua ayahuasquero who is well respected in the community.  I will be providing ‘entertainment’ on the off-days, making some presentations on the usual topics. See this link for details: Here is another link to the Willka T’ika main web site: Please join us if you can!  This year is the 100th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of Machu PIcchu by Hiram Bingham.  Rumor has it that the site may be close indefinitely while they figure out how to keep it from being destroyed by too many tourists. So this year may be the last chance to see this amazing site for a while. Please pass this along to friends who may be interested, and …

Ayahuasca: Beyond the Amazon – Risks and Challenges of a Spreading Tradition

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)

Rainforest activists murdered in Brazil

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 …

Immediate Justice for Javier Armijos

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.

Ayahuasca Weaving Destinies

Summary: Ayahuasca (or yajé), the sacred plant remedy of the Amazon, has been the subject of academic studies, travel narratives and documentaries but rarely do they tell the inside story. This novel lifts shamanism out of the category of anthropology or self-help to reveal how the mysterious powers of yajé highlight the debilities of those who seek enlightenment from it. Ayahuasca Weaving Destinies is the parable of the sorcerer´s apprentice in a post-industrial context. Taita Franciscano of the Putumayo, “last of the traditional healers”, knew the risks his culture would face when, defying the taboo, he invited white men to his rituals to win Western recognition for his tribe´s medicinal heritage. The irreverent sage may even have welcomed the opportunity to play with fire. But not even his visionary gifts foresaw what would happen when a cast of conflictive characters were drawn into his dream of founding a botanical garden. Among them are the ambitious anthropologist who “discovered” yajé, the autobiographical narrator, a militant indigenous leader, a “revolutionary” poet, several legendary shamans, including the still-living …