Psyche

Exploring the experiential realms of the medicine and working with it in life-positive ways

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.”

CARTA ABIERTA DE APOYO AL PUEBLO COFÁN Y CONTRA LAS ACTIVIDADES DE ALBERTO JOSÉ VARELA

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 de pueblo Cofán emiten comunicado sobre Ayahuasca Internacional

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 …

Decolonise

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 …

In the Woods with Baphomet

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!!!

Food Medicine Life

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.

Jan Irvin Talks with Steve Beyer

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 …

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)

Howard Charing Talks with Steve Beyer

This is an edited transcript of a series of conversations between Howard G. Charing, author of The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo, and Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon. These talks took place during the summer of 2010, at the kitchen table and on the front stoop of Steve’s house in Chicago. Some drinking and cigar smoking was involved. Howard: I read Singing to the Plants several times, and I found it not only an extremely well researched book but also inspirational; it came through to me as a true labor of love. I understand that you originally envisioned the book to address more of an academic, anthropological audience, which is the reason that you wanted it to be published by the University of New Mexico Press; but you have created much more than an academic work. When you talk about your teachers, doña María and don Roberto, your warmth, humanity, and respect for them shines through. You asked them to describe their history, …