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 …
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
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.
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 …
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!!!
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 …
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, …
In the words of Dennis McKenna; Peter Gorman has “been way, way beyond the chrysanthemum on many a dark jungle night.” Gorman’s long awaited book Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming tells the story of his long, deep relationship with ayahuasca. This book review, and an interview with the author, sets up camp to explore the edges of an astonishing journey.
Steve Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon, talks about the differences — and similarities — between healers and sorcerers in the Upper Amazon.
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.
Marcelo Bolshaw Gomes
“Kambô circulates in the heart. Our shaman said that when we take Kambô it makes the heart move accurately, so that things flow, bringing good things to the person. It is as if there was a cloud on the person, preventing the good things to come, then, when it takes the Kambô; it comes a ‘green light’ which opens its ways, making things easier.”
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.
The Peruvian National Institute of Culture resolved that indigenous ayahuasca rituals — “one of the fundamental pillars of the identity of Amazonian peoples” — are part of the national cultural heritage of Peru, and are to be protected, in order to ensure their cultural continuity.
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 …
Analogues are plants or chemicals used in place of the traditional constituents of the ayahuasca brew. Two of the most common are Peganum harmala and Mimosa hostilis, as replacements for the B. caapi vine, and DMT-containing admixture plants, respectively.