Art by Josh Usmani Money is a complicated force woven within our cultural psychology, and when you combine it with our spiritual pursuits, the energies can go haywire. Most of us have no problem justifying the cost of our iPhones, our doctor-prescribed medications, our exotic vacations, jewelry and clothes and food and furniture; even the cost of a spa massage. If the items we want or need are beyond our reach, we find a way through savings and patience, or putting in extra elbow grease and effort. Humans are manifesting monsters when we have our eye on the prize. For many of us, however, paying for a spiritual experience brings up all kinds of resistance and stories. There’s a lot of discourse that proposes a process that brings you closer to God should be free; perhaps because it’s our birthright to know our divinity. How does someone have the audacity to charge for that? But what if the reverse is true? Isn’t it audacious to assume someone’s life calling should be given away? Isn’t the …
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 …
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.
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
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.”
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.
Underlying the intricate geometric patterns of great complexity displayed in the art of the Shipibo people is a concept of an all pervading magical reality which can challenge the Western linguistic heritage and rational mind. The Ethnologist Angelika Gebhart-Sayer, calls this “visual music”.
Two rhythmic instruments are used in shamanic performance in the Upper Amazon — the shacapa, the leaf-bundle rattle; and the maraca, the seed-filled gourd rattle. Whether shacapa or maraca, rattles are the most important shamanic tool in the Amazon — the equivalent of the shaman’s drum elsewhere.
What kind of wonders exist in the great beyond? With Ayahuasca as my guide, here’s a trip to the other side.
One hundred renowned anthropologists, members of non-governmental organizations, and other specialists…
Cien prestigiosos antropólogos, expertos y miembros de ONGS, que trabajan o han trabajado en Colombia con los pueblos originarios, y en ámbitos afines, han firmado “la carta de los 100” una carta abierta mostrando su apoyo a las autoridades del pueblo Cofán denunciantes de las actividades del señor Alberto José Varela relacionadas con el Yajé (también conocido como Ayahuasca). En este pronunciamiento público de las autoridades cofanes se afirma que: La organización del señor Alberto José Varela realiza encuentros para dar el remedio del Yajé de manera engañosa, aludiendo a una supuesta autorización o aval de las autoridades indígenas yageceras de Colombia. Que esta organización ha convertido el remedio del Yajé en un lucrativo negocio, poniendo en serio riesgo la vida y la salud de los participantes que acuden a sus ceremonias. Con esta Carta Abierta de Apoyo al Pueblo Cofán se denuncia el uso indebido por parte del señor Varela del nombre y las tradiciones de los pueblos originarios de Colombia, y concretamente del pueblo Cofán, que emplea fraudulentamente para legitimar sus actividades comerciales. También …
Representantes del pueblo Cofán acaban de hacer público un pronunciamiento público acerca del señor Alberto Varela y la organización que preside, llamada “AYAHUASCA INTERNACIONAL” y una supuesta “autorización” que Alberto Varela recibió por parte de la máxima autoridad tradicional del pueblo Cofán Querubín Queta Alvarado. El texto de cuatro páginas expone como la organización privada Ayahuasca Internacional ha utilizado de forma ilegítima el nombre de los taitas cofanes de Colombia para legitimar su actividad: “Por lo tanto al señor ALBERTO JOSÉ VARELA, NO se le ha dado instrucción o formación en el conocimiento de la Medicina Sagrada del YAGÉ. JAMÁS se le ha autorizado para su porte y uso en sus giras internacionales, razón por la cual lo que se afirma en la supuesta “autorización”, es completamente FALSO.” (extracto del texto) Sin duda, se trata de un texto implacable que responde con dureza ante lo que se percibe como una usurpación de la tradición y las costumbres ancestrales del pueblo Cofán. Para ver el documento completo pincha aquí. ———————————— COMUNICADO: El suscrito Gobernador del Resguardo …
In a world where some have far more than a fair share, leaving others literally in the dust, we will still compete for gold, for sex, for water, for shelter. Traumatised from this process of ponerisation – the process where selfish, psychotic behaviours are in effect rewarded in a hierarchical ‘death race 2000’ situation of ‘grab yours whilst you can’. And now we sit in the circle, together, hoping we are not the bottom of this particular hierarchy. For a thousand years or more we have been in a system where we outsourced our method or craft of internal work to external figures, the church, the priests. Some people have always been considered ‘more holy’ than others, more pure, more in contact with the spiritual dimension of life. So we ask for the priest and healer to intercede for our departed ones, our suffering kin, our own fate. Because people can be unsure of the reality or competency of their own sacred connection to God and Universe, because the connection is a bit shaky, we …
An important new book, Ayahuasca y Salud, brings together perspectives from the social and biomedical sciences as well as personal accounts of ayahuasca shamans and practitioners in order to address diverse indigenous, mestizo and Western concepts of health, illness and curing related to the use of ayahuasca.
This is not a book review but a personal visionquest in the woods accompanied by The Book of Baphomet
The newly evolved deity Baphomet is the all encompassing energy of Life we all meet in our enthogenic journeys. SHe is the Great Spirit, the Anima Mundi we all need to feel more connected to. The Deity Baphomet has got his deep ecological voice with the help of 5-MEO-DMT and I believe this book might inspire the journier with new ways of working with this energy while having fun. A great read!!!
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 …
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)