Ayahuasca, also commonly called Yagé, or Daime, is a brew of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared with the Banisteriopsis Caapi vine. It is usually mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing species of shrubs from the genus Psychotria.
For introduction, I’d start with this presentation by Graham Hancock: “Ayahuasca and the War on Consciousness“:
- Note: This is “part 3” in a series of blogposts, shifting the focus from sharing about literal news to other horizons, started with ‘Four Levels of Perception‘ and ‘Three types of Time‘.
As part of the way I see out of the sickness of this technological juggernaut, we must, each individually and as groups (however we’ve affiliated ourselves), dare to admit what we have done outside of alignment with the Sacred/Heart, or what we are doing as such, without sugar-coating it with explanations, justifications, superficial story lines or finger-pointing avoidance mechanisms.
Face it, and allow healing.
As I see it, this requires massive humbling. If we mean it, that we love this world, and each other and this beautiful planet full of sentient beings, wonders and beauty, then we must commit ourselves to a courage so vast and unreasonable, so completely unscripted and unknown, that the ‘where this is going’ can expand to include beautiful harmonious peaceful prosperous ecologically sustainable community alternatives. Ceremonies, when lead in integrity by well-trained and ethically operating shamans, are incredibly helpful to heal psycho-social wounds and to assist in making the necessary shifts, especially in combination with powerful plant spirit medicines such as Ayahuasca. My impression is that many people share this view.
As visionary artist Alex Grey explains eloquently in the video below (or here), we somehow need to come to terms with our wrongdoing, and forgive each other. The discord underlying so much of this insane materialistic culture, can be pacified. Nations have to forgive nations. Alex Grey:
“because the basis of our being is LOVE… and if we can get to our common Source… and How much we love our planet, how much we can love each other, how much God has loved us in order to give us such a beautiful world… we need every resource to wake people up to just how beautiful we are… and how worth preserving everything is…“
Watch full interview excerpt:
I’ve tried to put a small collection of “good introductory videos into the world of Ayahuasca” together. There are probably many more, and perhaps better ones (Please share in comments, if you know an excellent one that ought to be included) Here’s some of the ones I watched and found worth sharing:
- Same presentation by Graham Hancock, edited differently and with Spanish subtitles:
- Two clear informative presentations by Dr. Gabor Mate:
- More Documentaries and perspectives:
- For more options, see also this Ayahuasca Playlist !
- And I dig what Taylor Marie (who had a great experience at http://www.napusamai-ayahuasca.com/) has to say and is doing since breaking out of the mainstream prison mold. Here’s one of her earliest videos:
- By the way: I do not vouch for ANYONE, simply because one shaman or organization that may have been ideal for one person does not mean it’s the best match for another. You have to use your own intuition and common sense.
- A friend of mine had good experiences with 10 days at ‘Blue Morpho’ in Peru. Hamilton Souther, founder of the Blue Morpho Tours, has been healing people with plant medicines for more than a decade. You can listen to him on this podcast: http://reset.me/podcast/ayahuasca-cannabis-shaman-hamilton-souther/
I wish you all amazingly beautiful healing journeys, however you go about it. It my sense is that this might be helpful for many people, if not most; and especially for scientists and activists, which it may assist in shifting out of conventional physics and politicking.
My own journey into this medicine world…
- For me, it basically began by having been propelled by a need for healing from a powerful unsupervised ‘Spiritual Emergency‘ (a sub-category of –in my case, well over a decade ago– acute psychotic PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome), not understood by most contemporary psychiatrists at that time), my very internal personal journey to wellness brought about a broad and in some cases quite in-depth & experiential exploration of various wisdom traditions. From one thing came another. As a result, my background now includes experiential knowledge of various healing modalities, over a decade of in-depth practice and study of Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism, a multi-year training in Peruvian Shamanic Energy Medicine, as well as the blessing of having been able to participate in sacred Ayahuasca Ceremonies in a couple different traditions in North and South America. Ayahuasca has been absolutely instrumental in making enormous progress in my healing, and explorations. See also my blogpost on PTSD.
Normally I only work with people I consider top-notch qualified shamans from the Amazon, but intense inspirations regarding “breaking the spell of the nuclear era” (more about that some other time) lead me to learn to brew ayahuasca myself and conduct solo ceremonies for when group ceremonies are not available when and where I’m called to do one. In order to be able to perform ayahuasca ceremonies in “demon-infested nuclear industry areas”, for instance, I ventured into this psychonauticly dangerous territory myself in the past year. After reading anthropological reports, for my own solo ceremonies, I chose to mix the Banisterio Caapi vine with Psychotria Viridis leaves, one of the traditional recipes. But there’s so much more to it than I’ll go into here. And it is extremely NOT RECOMMENDED to do on your own without lots of training, at least in some tradition that works with ‘lineage’.
Here’s one of many videos on the topic:
Of course I have much to learn still. This might turn into a life-long journey. And, before anyone gets the stupid idea to do what I did: I cannot stress enough that making your own medicine is dangerous, requiring (in my own opinion) at the very minimum a decade of intensive spiritual training in a sacred lineage context. (Without which I think it may actually be impossible to even gauge how dangerous this can be). Lineage is extremely important here. None of the people and groups I mention teach what the making and administering of this sacred brew involves, though, which entails A LOT more than just mixing ingredients and boiling ‘m. It really should only be done by a team of qualified shamans, from prayerful sustainable harvesting in the jungle to sacred ceremony, upholding the highest ethics and lineage integrity; otherwise it can be result in serious psycho-spiritual disorientation. I’ve done my brewing in a very specific lineage-guided way (guided through the veils, not through a physically present teacher), a way that has its own inherent traps to look out for.
In all honesty, – too late now, but – my experiential background, going by conversations I’ve had with traditional tribal shamans about this, is most likely still insufficient to do ayahuasca by myself (it would involve many years of training and initiations for that very purpose). At the time it really felt like I had no other choice. It was a lineage energy basically commanding me, “do this or die” (but not in such a literal way, it was “the nudging onward” that was intense like that). I still feel that way (both that the best choice was to follow the unseen but very palpable encouragement, and that doing this alone is conventionally insane). Yet… what else to do when my calling actually required of me that I could made this brew, so I could conduct ceremonies to get beyond the dominant paradigm.
Why don’t I offer public ceremonies myself? Because the Ayahuasca and the lineage working with me through the invisible world has not clarified to me that that is where I need to take this journey. It’s not really up to me. That I’m not a “properly trained ayahuascero” is actually irrelevant (to me – It should not be irrelevant to you). I started my training by “throwing myself into the fire”, so to speak. I learn to navigate through surrender, through praying with the plant spirit(s), and especially by applying all I’ve learned from my Buddhist meditation master. I would never have been able to do this relatively safely (if that ego-concept even applies in that realm) without all the seemingly unrelated training and experiences mentioned above. Maybe that can serve as a conditional warning too. None of my previous teachers and organizations I trained or worked with knew/know of, nor would endorse, nor would approve (I think) of my choice to do that “solo”, as far as I know. It’s generally frowned upon and/or considered nuts.
Ceremonial group circle settings, when done right, are far more powerfully healing anyways.
- How I’ve worked with it:
The gist of how Ayahuasca helps me access ways of dealing with various global deeply probematic issues (including nuclear disasters) lies hidden in this famous quote from the great 8th century CE Mahasiddha Saraha, who profoundly stated,
“Within my body are all the sacred places of the world, and the most profound pilgrimage I can ever make is within my own body.”
The same, so I found, can be said about my “traumatized” body-mind, which has served as a gateway to seemingly desecrated places, provided I (acting as a healer of sorts) can find the bodily locations with energy blockages holding similar heavy karma found at resonating desecrated sites. So for this purpose, I would put it this way:
“Within my body are all the desecrated places of the world, and the most profound ‘healing the world’ I can do, is through my own body.”
The body is like an antenna that you can tune and direct with intention. A lot of people like to tune in to happiness and bliss (very popular), and that’s fine, but we are multi-dimensional beings capable of so much more than grooving on the bliss scene. So, I take time out to seek discomfort (sitting still will bring it on eventually too, just takes much longer), then heighten the experience of my own similarly traumatic karma (so no soothing with marijuana or glossing it over with pharmaceuticals, nor overriding the negative thoughts connected to it, no positive affirmations, none of that), by leaning deeply into the physical sensations, and praying with the Ayahuasca for her to show me what I need to see, until it shows me “its medicine.”
That intensification can be done through very disciplined silent meditation over long periods as well, and various other ways working with sensory deprivation, breathwork, chants, etc., but I have found nothing faster and more intense as heightening my patterns through working with Ayahuasca, who mysteriously lets the teachers of what I call “the Lineage of Awakened Ones” (which for me includes inspirational figures such as the Padmasambhava, Christ, and others) to come forth in some way or another, and guide me. Somehow.
(If you think I’m delusional in this field, then you should definitely read this.)
And so it went that, while aiming to abide by strict spiritual ahimsa guidelines at all times, yet breaking state and federal spells, as well as carefully bypassing certain moralistic dogmas of organized religion, (and seemingly “reckless” to outsiders:) knowingly risking liberty and sanity, by default of the intentions and prayers I sent out to the Kosmos, I tumbled ‘down the rabbit hole‘, into the spiritual task of taking on the very energetics at the core of nuclear military-industrial powerhouse, at least to the extend is was a factor in my own karma. (More about that another time).
So, this quest into the depths of atomic fission turned out to have been running parallel and intimately interconnected with the long rocky journey to heal myself of psychologically projecting and behaviorally acting out / shutting down, as well as finding insights and becoming able to somehow relay the pertinent information regarding these very dynamics.
It is in the process of this personal healing that I discovered that the very internal archetypal dynamics I found at work within myself, within so-called “PTSS” in my case, appear to also underlie the current predicament of our collective biosphere-destroying technosphere, like a perfect micro-macro cosmic mirroring. As such, the heartbreak triggered by the enfolding social and environmental disasters are a gateway to both personal and planetary healing. We just have to dare to feel “our situation” more fully, without jumping to conclusions, nor acting out reactionarily. No small task. Sit mindfully for a month every year for a decade and watch your mind soften through freakout after freakout, you might get a clue of how hard that actually is…
That’s probably plenty for a superficial introduction to this topic and my journey with it.
Please do not believe a word I say. Find out for yourself, if you must.
My venturing outside of the prescribed confines of modern medicine to heal myself, simply expanded into a half decade of parallel in-depth shamanic investigations into the nature of ‘modernity‘ (understood here as an umbrella term for modern-era technosphere-biosphere interaction phenomena). It just happened that way. People are free to say whatever they want, of course, yet NO ONE can vouch for me: no presumed ‘authorities’, nor spiritual teachers, neither dharma nor church organizations, so any of the most relevant training background I have cannot even verified. Unlike these people, I have no credentials of any mainstream-conventional significance. See also my –> Disclaimer <–
- Here’s one more, from the above-mentioned playlist: