Whoring the Goddess – Ayahuasca takes her revenge.

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Beware ye pilgrims who be messing with the sacred medicina!

 It is well past time to call this out: real people ARE dying in ayahuasca ceremonies – and not all those deaths are accidental.  The Vine of the Dead always came with a curse, so beware the cup you drink from!

For more insight to Ayahuasca; its safe use and abuses FOLLOW ME

This time it came by email:

Another one is dead. Hundreds are in trouble and they do not understand. Thousands have been lured into black magic!

There is war in the spiritual worlds, we are losing the trust of the Great Goddess.

Help us! We have no voice!

… this, from one of the leading healers using the powerful, psychotropic San Pedro cactus in all Ecuador. And the third such message to find me in three decades.

For the second time in all the years I have been working with traditional healers in the plant medicine world, I am stepping into this story to beg for caution and respect among those of you using sacred plant medicines for any reason.

On behalf of jungle healers and curranderos, I send this as a warning to the ‘ayahuasca community’, and all those seeking ‘ceremony’. The covenants are breached, the chemistry gone bad – the dark omens around the sacred plants of South America are well in force so beware the cup your drink from!

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** ~ **

In late 2012, the 18-year-old body of American, Kyle Nolan, was scratched out of a shallow jungle grave in the remote jungle of Peru. The man who had hastily and secretly stuffed the corpse into the ground, shaman Jose Manuel Pineda, who also calls himself Maestro  Mancoluto, was the same one who handed the troubled teen the dose of ayahuasca that led to to his lonely and unimaginable death.

But Kyle’s was not the first death in ayahuasca circles.  And it certainly wasn’t the first to be lied about. Kyle Nolan, who went to Peru in search of direction, meaning and help in his young life, is most certainly not the last one who will die in a shamanic ‘healing’ ceremony.

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Kyle, right, with his triplet siblings.

Others have already, and many more will follow them as murder, mischief, abuse, injury and rape contaminate the so-called ‘ayahuasca community’.

 

 

 

British teen, Henry Miller, was found dumped by the side of a jungle road after paying 50 pounds to join a tourist henry milleradventure drinking the brew, yage, in Colombia in 2014. The gap year traveler is believed to have taken ill, been removed by the tribal ‘shaman’ and disposed of while the other tour members were kept out of sight. His story is reported by The Guardian here.

Two men died after consuming  ayahuasca in a massive “purification” ceremony in the north of Colombia in 2011. Prosecutors said the two were part of a group of at least 80. They were said to have ‘passed out’ but when taken to hospital, believed to be ‘in trance’ doctors  declared them to be dead.

A 71-year-old Canadian, Jane Maiangowi, died after being served ayahuasca by Ecuadorian shaman, Juan Uyunkar, in Canada. He was tried and given 150 hours of community service.

And Leslie Allison, a fit, vibrant young woman traveling in Ecuador suffered horrific injuries during an ayahuasca ceremony near Vilcabamba in Ecuador in 2016. She died in that ceremony, with many people watching. The cause and surrounding events remain unknown because even the other tourists there, Western participants, mostly refuse to speak up.

This is hardly surprising, given what is passing for normal in this, and other ‘medicine’ towns. You can see the sort of ‘club’ that prospers in places like this, here, in article about silence, secrecy and violence in Vilcabamba, and here, in a story about how the indigenous are persecuted for fighting back.

You can be pretty certain that here, as well as in most places where you can dabble in ‘sacred ceremony’, if things go wrong, NOBODY WILL HELP YOU! And if things go really badly wrong, you will be abandoned. This will likely be interpreted as a special experience for you to meet your angels, fate, karma, animal spirit, whatever….

In Leslie’s case, despite s0 many witnesses, her case remains unsolved and a close secret. What is known is that, on January 14th something went seriously wrong at a ceremony facilitated by persons of extremely dubious character and history from the afflicted gringo village of Vilcabamba.

These people were already known to have been involved in a myriad of misdeeds. Leslie was participating in some sort of shamanic ‘exercise’ by which she possibly received her fatal injuries and may have ultimately been left alone, suffering an agonizing death while others watched on. Some later said it had been beautiful. And that she had turned into a butterfly.

The shaman, Miguel Chiriap, a Shuar ‘healer’ who is feared by other medicine workers, and well-known across the region, refuses to comment and remains at large, pending investigations. His team did, however, post this comment on his website.

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Miguel Chiriap   at http://www.tsunki-chiriap-ayahuasca.org

But Leslie’s case is what inspired long-time, highly trained and experienced workers with plant medicines to contact me in an appeal to get the word out – that things have gone very wrong. That even ancestral ayahuascaros are scared.

That it is possible that the plants and the spirits they summon have become malicious. That people are being ritualistically sacrificed. That there is a very dark story in the lucrative skirts of ‘ayahuasca tourism’ and its New Age shamanic cult.

In Kyle’s case, as in many others, the details were at first hidden. It is likely that other dead bodies remain undiscovered. And it is a fact that sexual abuse, possession and other serious problems are rife in ‘ceremonial’ circles.

After Kyle’s ceremony, no mention was made by anybody that the journey had gone bad, that Kyle was dead, or even missing. It wasn’t until the shy triplet failed to make his return flight to California that his family knew something was wrong. When his mother and sister flew to Peru to find him, they headed to the Shimbre Centre, 9 miles from Puerto Maldonado, where Kyle was last heard of, and were told, to their faces, by the men who had disposed of his dead body, that he was last seen wandering off into the jungle.

The shaman shrugged his shoulders.

The center owner, Roberto Velez, a derivatives broker from New York City, had been warned already that Maestro Mancoluto had gone maverick, that people were at risk, that the ayahuasca ceremonies were dangerous. But he just shook his head.

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Maestro Mancoluto

Crazy kid!  Just… “wandered away, disconsolate, walking down the dirt road out, pulling his wheeled luggage.”

Mixed up Americans!

Yeah…… we get a lot of em.”

 

 

 

But that wasn’t how it went down.

After Peruvian police got involved Mancoluto broke. He fessed up to the death. He told authorities that he was a direct descendant of aliens from Mars, and had sent Kyle out into the jungle by night, under the effects of ayahuasca, to make a quest which he would oversee telepathicly  from the shelter of his hut. He told them Kyle had died. He told them he had dragged his dead body out into the jungle to get rid of it. He took them to the shallow grave.

Velez closed the centre, though you can still see it online and apparently book a ‘transformational tour’ here. Maestro Mancoluto got 3 years’ probation for secretly burying a body, and who knows what hell Kyle’s family went through, but you can read a message from his dad, Sean Bruce Nolan, here.

Meanwhile, loud, apparently stupid, and unfathomably cruel people from the ‘ayahuasca community’ had a field day on social media, saying Kyle should have been more careful, being out in the jungle. If you follow the comments here, you can see how deluded and viscous this cult has become. You will likely see a similar thread following this story too.

Why?    Easy. Money! Influence. Power. Those are the main reasons the ‘community’ so viciously defends itself, and why it is not more transparent.

And why do people even venture down this path?   That’s easy too: because it works.

There is no doubt that ayauasca, its associated ceremonies, allied plants and ‘shamanic’ care do work. I can attest to it myself. And I have the medical evidence to prove it.

In 2008, by sheer accident, I ended up in the care of an ayahuasca healer – on advice of American medical doctors, after a 3-year health crisis that ended up as crippling arthritis, systemic swelling, loss of muscle mass, welts, depression and ‘irreversible’ joint deterioration, chronic fatigue, memory loss and extreme pain returned while I was at work in the Amazon.

The plant worker diagnosed me in hours, cured me in a week, and in nearly 10 years I have never had a remission, despite being assured by professors of Medicine from three different disciplines at three leading hospitals in Australia and the USA, that I would never be cured.

He never called himself a shaman. He made most of his earnings as a photocopy repair guy.

But this stuff works.

It works like a plane can fly – in the hands of a pilot, and not just in the hands of somebody who has, you know, flown alot. In the same way that getting a heart transplant does not make you an expert on doing a heart transplant. But that’s not what the new wave of ‘shaman’ seem to think. They propose that taking the plant medicines or hanging out with the powerful healers who use them actually entitles them to step up and market their own new powers, cashing in on the massive depression, addiction, illness and brag value of ‘ceremony’.

People – sensible people, hopeful people, and many vain and lost people – in their hundreds and thousands go to ayahuasca ceremonies all over the world – looking for cures for physical, emotional, spiritual and social pain. It is also why thousands of people ‘dressed’ as healers prey on their hopes and dollars, and why things are going extremely bad in the plant medicine scene.

But there are deeper, darker and more ancient reasons too. As the true plant workers themselves have warned, and as I have been asked to write about, to warn all of you playing with the plant medicines, or considering taking your own quest to seek their powers – the medicine is dangerous! She does not suffer disrespect.

The rules have been broken.

The sacred circles breached.

The goddess is on the warpath ~ and she is taking her revenge!

Not all of which will be deadly.

Shaman, several of whom made contact with me to ask me to write this, are all too well-aware that the powerful sacraments they have used for generations to heal, inspire, educate and initiate their communities are themselves alive. They are living liquids, alive with the intelligence and also the character of the Goddess – the prime creator. She has the face of an anaconda, and sometimes a puma. She has the body of a bird, and sometimes an alligator. She turns up as fairy, demon, devil or virgin, and she does not like to be messed with.

Ayahuasca, it is NO secret, has a relish for revenge.

And the curranderos who work with her include among her punishments for misuse, disrespect, or breach of etiquette such

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Hieronymus Bosch’s Seven Deadly Sins and the Last Four Things.

things as madness, bad luck, confusion, accidents, delusions of grandeur, lustiness, perversion, sickness, and a headlong plunge into the sometimes hardtoputafingeron realm of the deadly sins; avarice, greed, sloth, lust, anger, pride. Surprisingly, perfectly correlating with the Christian and even Buddhist pathways to suffering and evil.

They say that while people posing as shaman, even if they really believe they have that gift, are putting others at severe physical risk. They are exposing them to a ferocity of magic, degradation of character, and profound spiritual violence. They warn of a psychic war well beyond what the Western imagination is prepared to cope with ~ no matter how many tattoos it boasts.

They say those who use the sacred medicines for profit, for cultivating beauty, influence, attention, power or the allegiance of other narcissistic energies or entities are making pacts with a force of darkness likely beyond their worst nightmares. And they are sucking everybody they work with down the same hell-hole. Let’s call it the A-hole.

In short, they warn there is a war over souls that has avalanched into ayahuasca circles, once a safe and scrupulously defended ritual ground.

They say that incompetent, uninitiated, power-focused imposters are being used by forces beyond their capacity to suck hundreds of thousands of unwitting souls into a dark spell of confusion, vanity and malice that is ignored as silly and hysterical and anti-competitive by the very same charlatans who got us into this mess.

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You can take it or leave it. But I am here to warn you – not all is anything like what it even remotely seems in the fantastic, powerful, mysterious world of ritual ethnogen use. In the years’ of research I have made into plant medicine and the horrific emergence of the plant medicine tourism industry,  and it’s twisted cousin, the New Age ayahuasca cult, I have heard countless stories of molestation, of terror, abuse, meddling with sacred recipes by adding speed, acid, mushrooms and alcohol to the mix, and stories of people fleeing ‘ceremonies’ in Bali, Australia and the US for fear of their lives or sanity.

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If you believe these plants have the power to help you, then you need to consider that they are equally able to harm you – and the worst fate might not be death.

For those who have lost a child, sibling, loved one to the dark side of plant ceremony, there may be no greater loneliness. Cases are unreported, unpunished and ‘shaman’ are profoundly, gob-smackingly UNaccountable, despite their grand promises.

Here’s a simple case study of how some ‘shaman’ are created.

In 2009, American lawyer, runaway dad and pancreatic patient, Scott Fisher, (now selling himself as a ‘yoga teacher; in Wisconsin, USA) left his partner and one-year-old son secretly, overnight, to make a quest for health and vision in Peru.

He had been experiencing hostile encounters with aliens, sickness and loss of meaning. He had been profoundly addicted to pot for a long time. He indeed got well in Peru. He became strong, well and ambitious. He went to Australia where his vision for his life as a shaman and worker with plant medicines crystalized more and more as real employment began to seem less likely.

By 2015, Fisher had returned to Ecuador, where he did set himself up as a ‘shaman’ giving the hallucinatory cactus, San Pedro, to tourists and expats for US$50.

He was never trained by any shaman or even met an actual shaman. All his experience came from experimenting with recreational drugs, and associating with gringo-turned-shaman as a living. He was becoming increasingly remote, violent and paranoid. But he was making the threads of a living.

In that year I went with him to make ceremony, after having worked with plants and been healed and inspired by them for more than 2 decades, and had one of the most violent, miserable, dark experiences of my life.

Here are the images of what Scott looked like before and after the two years he got involved with entrepreneurs in the healing movement, and began working with plants – so judge for yourself. And know that it is not only those who take the medicine, but those who give it who put themselves in danger if they do not understand the boundaries.

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What I want you to consider, and what many others with deep respect and confidence in the powers of ayahuasca and the other plant medicines is that there is no doubt that extremely dark and dangerous realities are afoot in the mystic realm.

You have been warned.

Take care.

 

 

 


142 thoughts on “Whoring the Goddess – Ayahuasca takes her revenge.

  1. Hi Bernhard, I followed this link and saw your articles… we write with Avery different style, but explore the same ideas. I see you’ve referenced my post, and thanks for your link here. I have read some of your work over a while – you explore a lot of important and also kooky ideas from a very rational place. My interest is reporting on cultures who do not necessarily use ‘reason’ as their highest form of reckoning. I feel that reason is not as reliable as we hoped. But I like a nice, steady line of argument – it’s a nice contrast from my more circular storytelling. So.. my question is; which parts of my article do you ‘certainly not agree with’? Maybe we can have a useful exchange on the various difference in perspective being offered? That might be very helpful to everybody? Just remembering – the views I write about are journalistic – in that, in part, they represent the points of view of the shaman, who do not usually write – so I would like to feel my work serves on their behalf, and not just as a platform for my opinion.

  2. Hi Jonathan, thank you. Yes, I have heard of your piece – can you send it here so perhaps others can read it? I am sure it has come across my desk. Have got a mountain of notes on my interviews and experiences in the jungle, and in the medicine ‘scene’ – just walking up to it carefully, and with a very big cup of tea, now. Feels like its a good time to tug away at a few veils, and also to start this conversation about the ‘other than rational world’, and its wonders and taboos. I really appreciate the encouragement.

  3. Reblogged this on Cymraes's Corner and commented:
    A long, but important read – well researched, with links. What occurs to me after reading this is simple: not everyone seems to be what they claim to be, especially when money is concerned. The first lesson of Malkuth (this earthly plane) is to discern. Yet the New Age bleeds it’s ‘ethic’s’ even into our sphere of community – it brings with it an unhealthy trust of everyone, and this cannot be tolerated. It’s dangerous, as this article shows, to trust blindly those who say we can…

    Another aspect of this is the Spirits themselves – as the author points out, in these instances the reality is people are dying; why? Because these things are dangerous – the plant concerned here, is like our own native hallucinogens are poisonous, deadly poisonous, that is why they act on the body as they do, and if they are administered wrongly or used by a susceptible person, they can, and will cause death.

    History is littered with such tragedies.

  4. These medicine plants have been used by native people for thousands of years while western people have known them for less than 200 years.
    Who is angry? The spirit of Ayahuasca, or is it showing the people their own inner dark side? The bad here is the bad inside the people that humans need to become aware of. Nature is showing people their destructive side that has been destroying earth and nature.
    But in it´s essence this article is not shamanic info but new-age. This is the same propaganda as has been spread by monotheistic religions for ages. They say nature is bad and dangerous, keep away. But that is too black and white. Reality is never black and white, it has many dimensions. People who think that way don’t have shamanic information. This article is based on fear and want for control, a Western illusion.
    Many people go to South America with the perspective on medicine plants as something that is, is not allowed. From this perspective a person goes through a bad situation and comes back to the West and is just going to make this Western perspective even stronger. Who talks about how many people die in Hospitals from wrong doses or wrong medicines? People don’t talk about that because they still trust the system. A Western acknowledges system that is not safe at all. Life is not save.
    Ayahuasca is spreading to many people, that is also this spirit´s intention. This is a way of this spirit to give consciousness to humanity.
    All people can’t drink Ayahuasca, sometimes they can have allergies. Some people are not compatible to the spirit of ayahuasca, this applies to people with lot of prejudice or people who are very much afraid. We are all, all is one and one is unique in itself. We can see all in a vision with Ayahuasca and we need to be stable, strong and prepared before that. All medicine can be poison or healing. Look at the snake´s poison, in the right amount it is a powerful medicine. To call that revenge is as much as calling a wolf, bear, snake bad or evil. But nature is never evil.
    Again and again the same situation: first a plant is “dangerous or bad”, after that enslaved/controlled, and than sold by the medicine industry. (Fear + control leads to more money…)
    We can choose many vocations but shaman is nor for everyone. First of all the tradition and most of all nature must be respected. But it needs to be done with consciousness and preparations, grounded and open-minded at the same time.
    The writer of this article is mirroring herself perfectly in the topic and the picture is pure fear propaganda. This propaganda wants to stop an important plant medicine by creating fear. Who will trust any shaman in the jungle anymore? People are going to ask for certificates or guarantees that no real shaman could provide, but only those who work with the Western world. This is the way of fear and control.

  5. Hürriyet, the author described a situation far away from the traditional use. It sounds more like a rave party of the worst kind (even worse) then what the real shamans are doing, and it probably bring shame to the serious people there.

  6. Hi, apart from being a fan of your writing, i had a query for you. I came across your blog while researching the ‘other side’ of ayahuasca. Or rather ayahuasca tourism. I was looking into that in order to complete a manuscript i started three years ago. Could you mail me pls? I have a small, quick enquiry. fernandezbj at gmail dot com.

  7. Are you in fact saying that the spirit of ayahuasca has turned malicious? And if so, is it localized at specific retreat centers? Or globally?
    I’ve been considering an ayahuasca journey as a further exploration of consciousness – a 20-year path for me. And now I’m having second thoughts, after reading your post.
    What might you suggest?
    Thank you.

  8. Lots and lots of fear in your writing. It’s OK to warn people, but this is just a cascade of fear. I guess each of us chooses what to focus on in life, and for some of us, sadly, it’s the fear. I don’t know what caused this in your life, but may you one day become free of you fears!

  9. It’s always amysing to receive these ‘diagnostic’ comments from life’s armchair psychoanalysis…the knife-edged tone of their caring messages, the blunt superiority, the utter failure to understand the dynamics of literary role play.. and satire… ‘spirituality’ has a lot to answer for. Its muddy footprints 👣 all over the place…

  10. Hola,

    I wanted to express my appreciation for this article, and that you included links to many helpful sources for people to get a taste of what is happening.

    I am a vegetalista and have been so for a little over 13 years (desde recibiendo mi corona). I can attest positively that when I first began to guide ceremonies, the vast majority of participants were first timers, and with relatively sincere intentions for healing and spiritual growth. This has radically changed, to such an extent that I chose back in 2011 to no longer guide ceremony in any place that I did not live, or where I was not hosted by one of my initiated apprentices; and I categorically stopped guiding ceremonies in various places even if I had apprentices.

    Since 2011 I have been actively warning people that la Abuelita Ayahuasca was going to bring a retributive force of unprecedented proportions to the world due to the abuse, misuse, sorcery, and charlatanism. Ayahuascas’ retributive side I would liken to the tests of Spider Woman medicine… She gives allot of rope, quietly, secretly, assaying the hearts, and then she pulls, and when she does, those caught in the web are few who escape her fury.

    There are places throughout the world now over-run with Ayahuasca sorcery and occult forces. All of California, Austin Texas, and throughout Florida to name but a few. There is a spiritual and occult war waging between different factions who have adopted the use of Ayahuasca in their rituals (as opposed to ceremony); there are satanic cults who are using perverse practices such as the use of menstrual blood and semen, there are Voudon/Yoruba/Santeria circles who are also using Ayahuasca, there are Indians from non-Ayahuasca cultures who are jumping on the Ayahuasca commercialization bandwagon and being hosted up from Central and South America and being given consideration as knowledgeable merely due to the fact they are “Indian” (Indian romanticism), there are brujos/sorcerers dedicated to red and black paths that are being given venues in Europe and the Western world without any comprehension of the forces being invited.

    Possession is now rampant in every circle that I see working with the master plants. There is the very sinister forms that including killing, ritual sacrifice, energetic vampirism, manipulation for sex, power and money; and there is also the less discernible kind that attaches to people, feeding their darkest appetites, false sense of love, unity, peace, connection, sense of purpose and meaning – going so far as fueling the sense of authority of self leading people to proclaim themselves “Shamans”, “Healers”, “Sound Healers”, “Tantrikas”, and etc.; and then there is the kind that simply breaks people producing psychosis, and profound illness beyond the reach of most to help.

    I might add that this condition is not limited to Ayahuasca use; its Huachuma, psychedelic mushrooms, DMT, MDMA and various other experimental mixtures that are being used alongside one another; such as the now globally syndicated circles of “Chocolate Mushrooms” and “Heart Opener (Sassafras/MDMA)” of Armand and Kelly Lynn Gitter.

    There are only a very limited number of curanderos who are capable of bona-fide authentic exorcisms; and the western culture and mind is not equipped, qualified, or educated to support a container for exorcisms to take place in a constructive manner due to the extremes that may be required; such as subduing the patient, rigorous prayer, and etc. There is now a very real global crisis.

    Regrettably, this has all been prophesied to take place if humanity chose the path of materialism with Abuelita; and the prophecies and she say, time has run out.

    My speciality has been in intervention in such cult like circles and “communities” where master plants and the occult have lead to extreme possessions of the people AND the land/property. In 2008 I intervened in Encinitas California where a person had died from DMT use, I unsuccessfully attempted to intervene back in 2008-9 in the artist community Northern California that included were the Oakland fire took place in 2016; more recently, from 2016-2018 I completely broke up an offshoot of the Armand Chocolate cult in Southern Florida that got involved with a mishmash of Ayahuasca, Kambo, Rape, Mushrooms, Marijuana, LSD, Indigenous practices, the Occult and deviant sexual practices. This was my last intervention… After this a limit was set, and I was prohibited from any further interventions or exorcisms until that which has been set in motion has run its course. Consider this a cause for EXTREME ALARM.

    I was the first vegetalista to give a national interview in the USA back in 2007 – in that interview I warned, that “Some people need to be frightened by the way they live their lives.” I stand by this statement to this day.

    There is a very important ancestral component to master plants very little understood – or perhaps simply little respected – by the Western and European cultures and mind, and now being emulated by indigenous people as well.

    Moreover, a curandero isn’t a path someone “desires” or “wants”, it is a DON. A spiritual calling, and it is a difficult path of austerities, fasting, diets, sexual abstinence and discipline that goes beyond the demands upon lay persons.

    Simply put, if the purported curandero/medicine person does not have an ancestral connection, either natively in their blood, or by virtue of initiation into a lineage by a person that does, they fail the first criteria. And if they do not hold the requisite DIETA of the respective master plant, they fail the second. If they, or their teacher or apprentice (or in some contexts the community or Church) do to not make the medicines themselves, they fail the third litmus test. After these, one has to adequately assess the philosophical and spiritual framework of the guide/medicine person, as well as their qualifications in the medical art; as even a brujo/sorcerer can fulfill the first three criteria (in some degree).

    Traditionally the master plants, and speaking for Ayahuasca and its various analogues such as Cohoba (Taino) in particularly, were reserved for the medicine people, chiefs, initiates and for patients requiring such medicine for specific healing purposes. Ayahuasca was not then, nor is it now intended for the masses. That the Spirit of Ayahuasca gifted to humanity through certain lineages, such as the UDV, Santo Daime or POB the blessing to widen its reach through a unique and blessed sincretism, does not mean in any way whatsoever that it is intended for consumption by the masses; and this evidenced that even in the Santo Daime tradition many accounts of possession have taken place – some of which I have been personally called to doctor.

    I have elderly Shipibo grandmothers who are able to weave the most beautiful Ayahuasca patterns, and yet have never in their life participated in an Ayahuasca ceremony. Something to take to heart and consider.

    Bendiciones

  11. Thanks for the comment by Francisco Ernesto, and the original article raising a subject that is rarely reported. I am one of the Western types that found Ayahuasca and decidicated my life to this rigourous path in order to be a Shaman, or guide. I have seen possessions, near deaths, and been the victim of energetic vampirism by the Shaman who trained me. I spent three months in the jungle this year in a Shamanic dieta where much harm was overturned and “fixed”. But not without great cost to my energy and well being.

    Look, demonic possession comes with the territory, that’s the job of the Shaman, to heal if possible these attachments and deeper possessions. Its serious business and thats why very few people are qualified to do it. But it isnt a reason to fear Ayahuasca or not come. Do you go to the doctor with horrible diseases? Does the doctor run away? No, it’s common enough in our degraded society.

    However a note on things to watch out for as regards dark Shamans, or those operating unconsciously in a damaging way.

    If they drink alcohol on a regular basis, they are probably not a good shaman. Also if they cross medicines a lot, like going from ayahuasca to marijuana to smoking DMT in 24 hours, be warned. That’s also not good.

    Another sign that I’ve noticed is some shamans have lovers or girlfriends with very dark, witchy energy. One wonders how such a powerful man/woman ended up with a disturbing person in their bed!

    Also watch out for any Shaman who is revered by their circle to an extent that it becomes cult like. To some extent its bound to happen, as people express their gratitude for being healed, but what can happen is the Shaman beings to rely on and use this energy source to support him or herself. The clients turn into batteries! And you see this sometimes where people who have done lots of journeys with one group look drained and half dead. Another bad sign.

    Most possession is sexual in nature. So its critical to respect the rules about no sex before and after ceremonies. Ayahuasca specifically isnt a fun park with safety bars, it’s a portal to the cosmos and everything is possible. If the Shaman doesnt keep the room safe, bad energies can come in. It’s happened to me more than once and I’ve seen malevolent spirits jump around the circle with very reputable Shamans. They dealt with it, it was fine. But the jungle is a heavy place, lots of occult shamans there. You’re probably safer in a friends living room (with wifi off) with a loving and experienced Shaman than in some gringo orientated center in Peru. But I found a wonderful shaman outside of Iquitos who healed me in a loving way. Never had one dark experience except when he asked me for more money! Hey most Peruvians are money obsessed…its a fact.

    Use your instincts they are never wrong, if you see some dark shit, then it is, dont let the fact that you’re new make you feel like you just don’t get it. But Ayahuasca goes deep and drags up lots of your own darkness, also dont let the ego scare you away from needed healing. Fine line.
    Much love, Jess

  12. I have family there in Vilca. It’s a horrible place. My brother went fucking crazy and gave all his money away somehow over a course of 3 or 4 years. I have no idea exactly what happened but he turned into a raging angry person after living in the area. I am thankful you wrote what you did.

  13. The undeniable facts are that in many ways it is true what is said here. It could come across as alarmist as and every story has two sides but personally I have taken Ayahuasca many times over twenty years and from the start I was warned that it is not a game and I can confirm that it is absolutely not a game. Yes, you can get a lot of help, insights and beautiful experiences etc. from this sacred plant but if you do not integrate them and learn that there are two sides to all things you can end up worse than when you started. For me it has been a great help BUT not without tremendous difficulties.
    There are many brujos out there also that have secret resentment of whites and really want revenge, Ayahuasca can be a vehicle for that revenge and for them to “show off” their power.
    The world of Amazonian Shamanism is a world outside what we know, it is a sometimes savage world and the sorcery and black magic of a brujo can totally destroy your mind, kill you even….
    There are many westerners that are too superficial to understand it all, they think that all is colour of roses… but the magical forces of the Light and the Dark are extremely powerful. I am less and less inclined to share about these things with just anyone because the thing is that when you step into the world of shamanism you either learn to swim or you don’t and if you can’t swim its better to get out of the water or you are going to drown.
    If you try to big yourself up, becoming a new age shaman you could be biting off more than you can chew. Westerners have known ayahuasca and shamanism for, at the most 50 years when it first began to emerge so we do not know it well enough to know for sure the depth it has even though many of us so easily fall into the trap of thinking we know something about shamanism after a couple of ceremonies.
    I have met people that have been severely affected by Ayahuasca experiences given out by naive westerners who don’t know what they are doing, just acting like it is the latest “thing” and when a serious situation presents they do not know what to do. The results are sobering to see. At the same time, as well as naive westerners, there are very malicious Indigenous.. not all indigenous are good guys just cos they have some feathers on…. No way, and I have also seen cases of people that have been made seriously ill from brujeria.
    I have met people in Uk that are doing ceremonies for 80 people at £200 per person (do the maths, thats one nights “work”), I met and spoke with one of the people that are run these ceremonies. I asked her a few questions, basic questions about shamanism and it was obvious from the answers that she knew very little, she had never even been to the Amazon. I found it rather concerning to discover that and such folk jet set around the world doing Aya retreats.

    I have met others that told be they had been initiated in “Supay Magic” in Peru, they were very chuffed about that. They don’t know what Supay Magic is… This magic involves you ingesting and “insect” coughed up by the Shaman. Supay roughly means devil by the way but the people don’t know that and it sounds exotic of course. So Supay magic also enables the Brujo to influence you at distance.

    I don’t say this or back up this article to be down on Shamanism or the use of the plants, it is a very very deep and interesting world, its a universe even, and one can learn many many things about oneself, about plants, natural medicine, the human condition, potential etc. and it is a genuine path that one can follow but it is just that, it is a very deep and serious path and if you enter you need to know what you are entering. The astral world is a a world and it has its folk that live there, just as the jungle or forest is a world full of forces, spirits etc. and you as a little human spirit being enter that world and you are new there, you know virtually nothing about how all that functions. You need to learn some basic survival tools to stay OK in the inner worlds that you can enter. The bottom line is DO NOT BELIEVE SOMETHING just cos you saw it, question everything, observe everything, OBSERVE yourself, develop daily meditation practice without plants and take it seriously, all of it. Its the same like if you drive a car in a busy city, you have to learn to drive the car well or you are going to crash, if you don’t know the traffic rules, you are going to get caught by the police and fined. Everyone knows you can die easily in a car crash, therefore when you drive you are usually careful. In the world of sacred plant shamanism same logic applies.

  14. Another well researched article Jade. I’ve been working with the medicine for 10 years with an authentic Shaman, who married an American and lives in Miami. While in Peru for an artist residency program that lasted several months, I encountered the Ayahausca Culture of westerners and what you say is true. The same thing has happened with the true intention of Yoga after it left India, however the stakes here are highest. Recently I met someone from Florida who went to a so called church in Orlando to take the medicine and was tormented for 4 hours by demons. He believes the entire place is a front for satanic worshipers. So what you are saying is happening in places worldwide. I’m grateful to have experienced love, light and healing. I warn others to be careful. Thanks for your insights and lovely writing style. A pleasure to read.

  15. Thank you for revealing the evil that has occurred, people need to know. It’s no surprise, though because such is inherent in the world pf sorcery. People need to know that anyone practicing sorcery (Greek pharmakeia;( pharmakon – a drug)] shall not inherit of the Kingdom of God says The Lord through the Bible, in the letter to the Galatians chapter 5 verse 20- 21. Also, see the book of Revelation in the Chapter 9, verse 21; and chapter 18 verse 23 which has this word: pharmakeia. Lord Jesus Christ is the only one who saves and is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. There is no other and all who have come before Him are robbers and thieves. Dear souls, please turn towards the true , living God while there is yet time. The New Testament is reliable, the KJV is the most literal and 6,200+ words longer.The Greek Old Testament is the reliable version, not the Hebrew text in the Bible; it is referred to as the Septuagint. Brenton’s translation is the reliable one and the slight modernizations to his translation. The one in book form to get is the 2nd edtion published by the Ex Fontibus Company, it has 3 angels on the cover. God Bless.

  16. Thank you.
    Yes. I would say that the helix of yoga and ‘medicine’ work has now hit an exponential diabolical edge which is basically just ensuring the absolute trashing of both – unless you can find safe hands – but the problem now being that ‘safe hands’ are now reluctant to share or teach, due to the theft and disrespect and overall dingbattery and overt narcism of those who have plundered off these traditions. I lived close to this as it was unfolding and I am willing to stand up straight and say that most of those who made ‘careers’ off this scene knew full well they were faking it, and had nothing but contempt for those who were naive enough to fall into their clutches. It is truly evil what has happened, no matter how much incense or lululemon you spray over it.

  17. No everybody is ‘selling’ something.
    My aim is to encourage some good old fashioned sense in an era of Dingbat ethics and scoundrels in every corner.
    conversation is a good place to start… but that has been well crushed by the ‘spiritual scene’ which detests criticism and ostracises those who admit to its dark secrets.

  18. This is an interesting article I keep coming back to. It is a subject of much controversy however a conversation certainly worth having.

    What many people seem to forget is that all psychedelic compounds are a double edged sword and Ayahuasca is no exception. In fact Ayahuasca is much more ancient than many of the modern psychedelic discoveries and as such the spirits one can encounter during such an experience are much more ancient.

    To be able to open the space, hold the space and guide people through in the safest possible way isn’t absolutely necessary prerequisite to any Ayahuasca ceremony.

    I have a friend who spent years training at Ayahuasca ceremonies in Europe before moving on to living with the shamans in Peru. Whilst the European ceremonies were very much centred around new age philosophy and love and light teachings, he was shocked to discover how many indigenous shamans were also using Ayahuasca for black magic and voodoo as well as guidance and healing.

    There is a dark side to everything, and even the established scientific medical community is rife with it. However when it comes to plant medicines and psychedelic compounds, they seem to be shrouded with an awe of beauty and majesty. Those who participate in ceremonies are very quick to tell their tales of beautiful experiences and encounters with divine beings, we’re not so quick to mention the nights where we sat there in agony wishing the experience would be over.

    That being said, personally speaking those difficult experiences were well worth the effort involved as in order to reach the light at the end of the tunnel, I had to travel through the darkness first. But it was certainly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do.

    To be honest with you the vast majority of experiences people have with Ayahuasca are overwhelmingly positive. However the more one spends time in the Ayahuasca community the more horror stories you begin to hear, though far and few they might be. Screams in the night, suicides after ceremony, mental health problems etc. In most of these cases however it is difficult to say whether or not the medicine was a crucial factor in the outcome.

    For example, in the case of someone killing themselves following a ceremony, were they suicidal before the ceremony? Would they have killed themselves even if they hadn’t taken the medicine? These are questions that we can only speculate upon, however the fact we are asking them in the first place is an indication there are issues that need addressing. Which we are doing.

    It is wise to be cautious in regards to this subject however not the point it should put somebody off completely. If one is drawn to the medicine and genuinely feels a deep calling to it, I would certainly recommend a ceremony to them. However if somebody has a mere curiosity brought about by maybe hearing somebody else’s story but doesn’t really feel like the medicine is for them, I think they should follow that feeling.

    In other words go with your instincts.

    There will always be an element of risk to everything we do. If one wants to experience the wonders of skydiving they’re going to have to build up the courage in order to make the plunge and accept that there is a certain degree of risk. The same applies to rock climbing, white water rafting, surfing and so on.

    And that’s not to liken the Ayahuasca experience to thrill seeking, however in the same regard, the old saying:

    “Feel the fear and do it anyway”

    Still applies.

    But that does not mean one should not be responsible in making their decisions, if you were going to jump out of an aeroplane for example, it would make sense to triple check your parachute is in working order before doing so. In the same regard due diligence should be paid to choosing an Ayahuasca facilitator and the guidelines given should be adhered to (dietary requirements, prescription medication etc).

    A lot of people might think the Ayahuasca experience just opens you up up to illusionary hallucinations, it does not. First it opens you up to yourself, then it opens portals to other realms. Some of these realms feature indescribably majestic beauty, other realms feature horrors You could barely begin to describe.

    And in a similar regard to playing with fire, it is wise one knows what they’re doing before conjuring spirits.

    It reminds me the Humphrey Osmond quote:

    “To fathom Hell or soar angelic, just take a pinch of psychedelic”

    As I said before, all psychedelics are a double edged sword. If we take the example of LSD, it’s very easy to get swept up in the romanticism of the flower power, love & light movement of the 60s, but people generally don’t discuss the Crowleyism, black magic, voodoo & so on that one begins to discover the deeper you delve into the LSD community. Now some stand in defence of all this and claim it to be misunderstood, but without going into specifics, or arguing over pendantics, there is a very clear dark side to the experience that is somewhat overshadowed by the love & light brigade.

    In the same regard, the light workers are very quick to tout the healing wonders of ayahuasca, but very quick to dismiss the stories or black magic shamans performing voodoo rituals in the dark of night. They’re very quick to excuse the horror stories on when things do go terribly wrong.

    As with everything in life, Ayahuasca has a dark side. And this is likely due to our own shadows that we so desperately try to hide from ourselves.

    Ayahuasca is a very powerful medicine and not all that it conjurs is smiles and sunshine.

    Does that mean nobody should take ayahuasca? No.

    But people should certainly do their research before doing so. Like I said, the vast majority of experiences with Ayahuasca are incredibly positive. It’s just the negative ones, though few they might be in contrast, can be devastating.

    Ayahuasca stirs up ancient spirits not all of which have our best interests at heart.

    And whilst it is very easy to dismiss all of this as silly superstition or paranoia, it’s not so easy to put aside once you have experienced such things directly. Ayahuasca is quite literally a magic potion.

    Magick is very real.

    Everything is magick.

    The fact we are even alive attests to this.

    And magic is neither good nor bad, it is like fire in the sense it can be used to build or destroy. It is a tool that can be used for either intention. Most people who use it do so safely, however it would be foolish to think people aren’t using it with ill intention.

    And just as with fire, the biggest threat to safety is in the hands of somebody who does not know how to use it! It’s all fine and well playing with fire until it gets out of control. Then what are you going to do? In the wrong hands it can engulf and destroy you.

    I hold a great love and respect for the Spirit of Ayahuasca, the blessing she has given me and the lessons she has taught me.

    But she does bite.

    Ultimately light and dark exist on the same spectrum, however I know which side of that spectrum I’d rather be on.

    Go with love.
    Do the research.
    Find people you trust.
    Follow the guidelines.
    Stay humble.
    Surrender.

    This is the best advice I would give to anybody contemplating working with plant medicine.

  19. I participated in 4 aya ceremonies at Rythmia, actually.
    I wish I didn’t. I wish I’d never heard of it.
    I believe aya opens the door to the demonic. There’s a reason it’s associated with a serpent. Satan is the Prince of lies and masquerades as an Angel of light… Yes you can go the Satan for healing, and sell your soul to get it. Jesus Christ is the only truth and the only way.

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