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 [...]
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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’s Singing to the Plants, writes Morgan Maher, is “a wild ride out and across the jungles of mestizo shamanism. The book, and its wonderful cast of characters, curanderos, animals, plants, spirits and stories presents honest, accurate, respectful, levelheaded and, at times, outrageously marvelous descriptions of the environments and climates of mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon.” Morgan interviews the author.
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 [...]
By Peter Gorman
Among the flora of the world as we know it, several plants are not just allies, they are considered Master Plant Teachers. You might extend that to read: Master Plant Teachers of Man. These plants might be considered gate keepers. These plants are the plants that allow us, we humans, to slow down enough to communicate with the mountains; to speed up enough to communicate with a hummingbird, to visit the other realms past and present and simultaneous that are here but that we don’t ordinarily see or hear within the band widths of our senses.
Dieta describes behavioral regimens that allow one to move most safely and effectively into working relationships with such plants. These relationships can bring about profound transformations, and the dietas are designed to best facilitate them.
Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, releases a paper outlining a hypothesis that entheogenic plants including ayahuasca analogues formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times.