Whoring the Goddess – Ayahuasca takes her revenge.


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!

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!


** ~ **

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.

kyle nolan2
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.

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.

master mancoluto
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

seven deadly sins
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.


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.

whoring the goddess3

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.


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.





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

  1. Thank you for your article!
    I’ve been healed from my depressions by Ayahuasca and went to a retreat in Peru to get healing for some other health problems. Although the centre and the people there were very nice, I’ve had some very very dark and even traumatising nights, where dark spirits tried to lure me to “their side” by promising me money, power and “everything I could ever imagine” The shaman later said, that his centre was under attack from jealous Shamans. I don’t think he was deliberately “dark”, but I think, he got a bit lured away from the pure and good side, because he was a lot into money and I also think he enjoyed to be a powerful shaman. But obviously, he was not powerful enough to protect the tourists in his centre from dark forces. I still have the feeling, something dark is trying to block me from unfolding my spirituality and I’m trying to find ways to clean myself from it.
    I think, Ayahuasca has great potential, when treated with respect and with the right intentions. You pointed it out very well.

  2. We’ve had so many people come to us for help after or during an ayahusca adventure. The problem is always the same. The shamans used black magic to extort blind obedience, money, sex or free work out of innocent,ignorant participants.
    The magic is extremely powerful and quite damaging on all levels -physically, mentally, energetically, emotionally and Spiritually.
    One woman from California is so addicted to the ayahusca experience that she keeps participating in the ceremonies for the high and just pays us to clean out the black magic later. Crazy???
    Yes, the Spirits are angry. They’re angry because the shamans are abusing Spiritual power for personal gain in a way that is very harmful to all.

  3. Since so many of the comments are on various facebook threads, I am posting some here to preserve the conversation here, where it can be more easily found by all..

    Jesse Lee
    Jesse Lee Jade Richardson, this is one of many reasons to always go to something where you might not be you for a while with someone who is capable of chilling and babysitting if possible 😉 however it would be a disservice to those whom are not ‘assholes’ (lets reserve fake for later) if we did not do a little more than post a scary article. “In late 2012” a couple deaths are deaths indeed but the inflammatory nature of the title of your post’s article implies that it’s a common (perhaps even more than average) occurrence to be raped or killed. and, as this place isn’t ripe with tales of the same, i can only think (even after reading the article) that this is just meant as inflammatory fuel.

    if i might take a moment and say if you and yours personally experienced this and all you were thinking of is another’s safety then that’s nice, but one must also remember how one’s message is able to be received. most people do not listen to conspiracy theorists, so to be the only dissenting voice is hard, or even one of a minority can be hard.

    With that in mind, would you have any specific tips, tools or skills, that one might be able to utilize to _help_ determine their retreat or shaman is not such a bad human?
    Like · Reply · 14 hrs · Edited
    Ivan Vostlojevitsk
    Ivan Vostlojevitsk There’s no such a thing as authentic healer. Just healers with good intentions and healers with not so good intentions and backthoughts. Happens everywhere where money or power is involved.
    Like · Reply · 8 · 14 hrs
    6 Replies · 6 hrs
    Tor Ragnar Lodbrok
    Tor Ragnar Lodbrok A really good read!!
    Like · Reply · 3 · 14 hrs
    Ivor Buckett
    Ivor Buckett Interesting article
    Like · Reply · 2 · 14 hrs
    Erik Bullon
    Erik Bullon plastic shamans and wikipedia experts looking to make a living of this,maggots in a rotten corpse
    Like · Reply · 5 · 14 hrs
    1 Reply
    Eric Edwards
    Eric Edwards Certainly true, but this article is a little misleading
    Like · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs
    Romeo Mationg Marquez Jr.
    Romeo Mationg Marquez Jr. I adore the drama
    Like · Reply · 2 · 13 hrs
    3 Replies · 10 hrs
    Pavel Chmátal
    Pavel Chmátal It is truth that in place like Iquitos and Pucallpa 5-10% of medicine people trust and follow Medicine
    Like · Reply · 13 hrs
    Mitch Davis
    Mitch Davis Jack Kimble Davis
    Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs
    Pavel Chmátal
    Pavel Chmátal Do you have a contact for authors ?
    Like · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs
    Neil Lawrence Joy
    Neil Lawrence Joy If a person were particularly concerned about such rare instances, then you could always opt to seek the sacred plant medicine in Brazil within the confines of the Santo Daime church or one of the other similar like organisations.. it would much likely be a better approach since this is a society of people whom worship the plant and cherish it’s wisdom,without any of the unknown influences of poverty, sin and or incompetence.Let’s just remember that the plant doesn’t lie to nobody.. Aho!!!!
    Like · Reply · 9 · 12 hrs
    1 Reply
    Helle Kaasik
    Helle Kaasik All strong medicines can be dangerous if used improperly. No surprise that taking a strong psychoactive medicine of unknown dose and composition from a financially motivated stranger is not safe.

    Unfortunately this article is one-sided and fear-mongering. Feeding paranoias about “revenge” and scaring people with ugly pictures does not do any good. After having received one’s healing with the help of ayahuasca one could promote positive use of it, not seek attention with scary stories.
    Like · Reply · 10 · 12 hrs
    5 Replies · 1 hr
    Tor Ragnar Lodbrok
    Tor Ragnar Lodbrok 👏 wise words
    Like · Reply · 11 hrs
    Howard Ferrer
    Howard Ferrer Why do people take long trips to the jungle when you can do it here?
    Like · Reply · 4 · 10 hrs
    17 Replies · 2 hrs
    Susan Raby-Dunne
    Susan Raby-Dunne I just say what I always say, “Do your homework, or yer askin’ for it.”
    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 hrs
    1 Reply
    Manon Chamberland
    Manon Chamberland Great article, Wise word….. won’t stop the fake/charlatan of this world and so on but Life will in due time….not mine to judge
    Like · Reply · 1 · 10 hrs · Edited
    2 Replies · 10 hrs
    Jonah Licquid
    Jonah Licquid I will not deny any of this as that would be foolish I’m sure it happens and by no means am I blaming any when I say I feel the simple fact of matter is use common sense. This shouldn’t be a weekend thing this should be something you prepare for something you research and study as well as prepare yourself and get to know your shaman. Maybe it’s just a gift of mine but I’d like to believe it’s not when I say I can feel people out I won’t goes are far into auras but on a simplistic level I could sense if my shaman. Was good or evil and if he was evil or I felt just something was off other then the normal slight awkwardness of the moment I would not put myself in that moment to begin with and wait tell the time was right. This is something I personally need to do in my life and I feel that it will come when it’s right not when it’s convenient or I think it’s right, I will know it is
    Like · Reply · 2 · 10 hrs
    Susan Raby-Dunne
    Susan Raby-Dunne I agree. Preparation is critical; diet, mental, emotional – and then researching where you’re going and who you will be with, in my case by word of mouth. I was thinking about taking Ayahuasca for about 25 years before I did it.
    Like · Reply · 3 · 10 hrs
    1 Reply
    David Villarruel
    David Villarruel Not surprise and wont stop except something great happens. Ayahuasca is a channel where transit Good and Evil, so its part of life tha we have to cohabit with this kind of things.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs
    Derek Snider
    Derek Snider This article has a lot of misleading information. Yes, there have been some deaths, but I’m not sure if any of these deaths were from “standard” ayahuasca. Most involved other factors — the brew that Kyle Nolan had contained tropane alkaloids from brugmansia (aka toé), other brews, like the one that killed Jane Maiangowi had large amounts of tobacco leaves (nicotine overdose), and she had also been quite dehydrated from participating in a sweat lodge, some deaths attributed to ayahuasca in the media were actually from drinking purification brews of tobacco.

    While I am certain that Grandmother Ayahuasca is not impressed with charlatan shamans misusing sacred medicine, I am not of the option that Her wrath is directed towards those seeking Her out rather than those desecrating Her.
    Like · Reply · 4 · 9 hrs
    3 Replies · 51 mins
    Federica Muller
    Federica Muller It is super important to know your shaman, I have had the opportunity to know a few and the misfortune to see a ceremony go wrong where a shaman did indeed offer a soul. This was done secretly and we all watched, it was horrible. But what was more terrifying is that the person did struggle with madness until he had a car accident. He almost died, it’s a miracle he survived. The shaman went on to use his power to get two girls in bed with him, one of the girls went missing. There really is a war going on in the spiritual world, one where the fight must be done with light, good intentions and prayer. Ayahuasca gives you the power to know and each individual does with that what he pleases. The problem is the distribution of ayahuasca has gotten out of control. Shamans no longer hold the responsibility of the vine. I urge you to be careful.
    Unlike · Reply · 5 · 9 hrs
    11 Replies · 1 hr
    Jesse Lee
    Jesse Lee never fear, you can only give what you choose. one ‘must’ never lose anything in any ceremony no matter the agent except that which one is willing to give
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs
    2 Replies · 9 hrs
    Ted Morris
    Ted Morris I’ve experience a lot of what you speak of, now I feel like I have a mark on my head from those Ayawaska Aliens…yea it feels like they are waiting for me on the other side…when I do ceremony of my own, I have to call on strong spirits to insure those bad ones leave..yes I’ld say there is some kind of psychic war going on that is much larger than anyone could imagine..I made it back in my waking life ok…but I will never take ayawaska again
    Like · Reply · 3 · 9 hrs
    3 Replies · 48 mins
    Meike Rieger
    Meike Rieger Really????
    Like · Reply · 9 hrs
    2 Replies · 9 hrs
    Gustavo Caldarelli
    Gustavo Caldarelli It is public knowledge now that most known so called shamans are in the bizness for profit and fame
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs · Edited
    1 Reply
    Meike Rieger
    Meike Rieger Shamanism is about Power. And most men cannot handle power as we also see in politics. So I can imagine what’s going on there. They should all study about what is real power and what isn’t. Real power is NOT raping a woman. Real Power is what kundalini yogis do or tibetan Buddhists.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs
    27 Replies · 6 hrs
    Eric Edwards
    Eric Edwards And what was that ayahuasca cult following comment? That was what fucked with me the most
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs
    Enri Ventitre
    Enri Ventitre
    Like · Reply · 7 hrs
    Angel Majao
    Angel Majao Hey dont slut shame Ayahuasca!!!
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs
    1 Reply
    Christian Gomez
    Christian Gomez This is true. Some of us are working hard to flush out these predators
    Like · Reply · 4 · 6 hrs
    Tyler Gosnell
    Tyler Gosnell Spiritual authority is an oxymoron. No one knows what’s in your head better than you do. If you absolutely have to take it with other people, take it only with those who you’ve known for a long period of time and have earned your trust.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 2 hrs · Edited
    Ted Morris
    Ted Morris many of us are aware of male homosapien predators..but one should also be forewarned of the spiritual predators that one might encounter in ayahuasca experience, I have seen first hand many people arrive at a higher state through the medicine but I have also first hand seem someone who perminant lost their mind through the medicine…let me say I am not here to try and convince the atheist or purely psychological ayahuasca taker..but their are bad spirits out their in the aya world..as well as good..and some people do get taken by the bad..the worst advice I have ever seen is when some one has a horrible experience and their community tells them the solution is to keep taking the medicine to over power the ill experience…their is brain chemistry involved and brain chemestry is not dependant upon will power
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · 1 hr
    1 Reply

  4. This subject is huge & many facets… I have been witness to many people’s ” hangover ” to their Ayahuasca adventurous discovery ceremonies….Many times my comment was well chalk that one down to experience & thank god your still here to tell me about your adventure!!.. As a qualified Medical Herbalist & registered nurse I have always stipulated & lectured on the subject of plant medicine isnt safe in the wrong hands…. just because your taking a natural medicinal plant doesnt mean it is safe!….I studied formally for 6 years in the herbal world some 20 years ago…each & everyday I learn something new about plants…such a vast diverse subject.. The best advice to give anyone about plant medicine is respect mother nature!!… Jade’s article is a brilliant touch of this truely freaky powerful plant & people’s “fascination” for Ayahuasca to try & conquer its power…. Brilliant insight!!

  5. many of us are aware of male homosapien predators..but one should also be forewarned of the spiritual predators that one might encounter in ayahuasca experience, I have seen first hand many people arrive at a higher state through the medicine but I have also first hand seem someone who perminant lost their mind through the medicine…let me say I am not here to try and convince the atheist or purely psychological ayahuasca taker..but their are bad spirits out their in the aya world..as well as good..and some people do get taken by the bad..the worst advice I have ever seen is when some one has a horrible experience and their community tells them the solution is to keep taking the medicine to over power the ill experience…their is brain chemistry involved and brain chemestry is not dependant upon will power

    1. Great Article filled with important truths..heeding this warning. I have witnessed some of these things in Los Angeles, over the past 4 years. It does not matter if it is Daime…heed the warnings.

  6. It does not matter what community you go to to take it. Heed the warning..Daime whatever. The message is clear and true. I have been watching the circles here in the L.A. area for 4 years now.
    Again the message is true.

  7. From an Ecuadorian author and academic, JJJ – Question is why the majority of ayahuasca or san pedro users are americans?…I know that substance since i was a kid, here in Ecuador, but recently I can see waves and waves of american pilgrims dragged to the jungle to ayahuasca trips conducted for crooks dressed as “Chamanes”. Is there any info about the “real” thing and this fake trips?…and why you want to try it?…that is NOT for everyone, specially if you come from a city. That experience may get you killed.

  8. And from another Ecuadorian, who knew Leslie Allison and is afraid to expose herself, but writes…. Again you nail it !! Being involved in this circles in my early youth, and after investigating the Chiriap’s and the other shamans involved in the death of my friend Leslie, the horrific injuries of her body and the level of secrecy, involving people in the government and high authorities covering out the event; I can say with no doubt she was sacrificed in this black magic ceremonies.

  9. People it is very simple.

    Ayahuasca opens the doors. Psychically and energetically. It opens things by force!
    Not in a gentle way, but by force. This is of course noticed and taken advantage of.

    This planet, since ancient times, has harbored fallen angels and demonic entities. “Bad spirits” if you will. (This is whole subject onto itself, which 99.9% of ayahuasca takers know not much about.) Because Earth is an infested planet, taking any psychedelic plants or using psychic powers through other practices, astral traveling and channeling, is a bit like playing Russian roulette, whilst being bitten by a snake and walking on a tight rope, 1000 meters above ground.
    You’re going to fall eventually. It’s only a matter of time, not an “if.”

    On other planets, in other creations, it might be safe to do many things, but it is not so here. This is why even spirituality is corruptible, even “sacred practices” are corruptible, even the most pure of intentions can end in tragedy. All of this was warned about in Biblical texts, but not many people take heed and thus suffer the consequences. By having to hit the wall full speed first and learn the hard way. No one wants to be told not to do something, but perhaps there are reasons for it. Just as it is good to tell a child when to cross the street and never to place their fingers inside electrical sockets!

    There are many people who have studied the more energetic aspects of the nature of reality, in tandem with history, they have very pertinent knowledge which is unfortunately not reaching into the ayahuasca communities. And this is leaving ayahuasca newbies open and ripe for the taking. And even the so called shamans, have limited knowledge and many times distorted knowledge, with biases inbuilt.

    Humans tend to think that they can handle it. But it is a bit like an ant saying to a human, that it can “handle it”. We all know how quickly the human can squash an ant.

    Humans think that “bad spirits” will not happen to me, I am a good person. Well that kind of thinking has never worked, and only prevents you from educating yourself, on what is really out there, before seeking to have “an experience”. It is not by mere coincidence that humanity was warned about various practices, especially those concerned with spiritual and energetic realities, in some religions and spiritual traditions. But people, especially “ayahuasca tourists” like to think that this is all a bit of a joke and that there are no demons, no devil, no other realities…. Like children they do not know, until the hard experience of life teaches them otherwise. Some never make it through, just like in real life.

    Some seek spiritual experiences but do not know of the influences that have been infused into them, because the experience itself is not entirely under your control. You are within, undergoing it, and various mental programs may be inserted whilst you are in that vulnerable position. These programs can be destructive.

    Energy points may be manipulated on the body, to open it to control of negative entities, in order to lead you down a path towards ever more occult based practices, which may lead towards alien channeled material, or other programs and practices, which I would rather not list. (Tons of people are coming out of all this, with horrendous stories of what they went through.)

    Those coming into ayahuasca ceremonies, from an atheist point of view, are like sheep, their very world view being both their protection and their weakness. Depending upon the person, some are targeted for who they are, it does not matter what worldview they hold in their mind.

    People sometimes do not believe things. But all it takes is for them to have 1, just 1 “mystical” experience and this is akin to a child receiving the greatest toy they could imagine, or akin to seeing your parents after a very long time. For a child there is nothing greater. So the human mind is impressed by “higher reality” demonstrations of knowledge, technology and “magical” powers. All norms, but which destabilize and create obsession inside most people. Even though they never were interested in such things prior. That’s how sensitive and easily led the psyche of most humans is, it does not matter, if you are a young adult, or mid-aged or older. Everyone, everyone, has there weakness. Reading each individual is no problem for fallen beings, they are masters of taylor made deception.

    They need people to influence and/or possess. And for those people to bring more people to places and practices which open those new people to the same.

    As much as ayahuasca has done good for many, the fact that we do live on a very infested planet, attempting healing through this means, is a 50/50 chance. Real healing comes gradually, gently and appropriately, time-wise, and it does not need psychedelics to force its hand.
    Real healing always comes from God.

    But try telling that to many, who first need to hit their head, and hit it hard, for 20 or more years, before they come to the same conclusion.

    One is always encouraged to ask God for healing, rather than to always think that it must come from the self solely, through one’s own deeds. Sometimes we do not even know, what needs healing and what needs to be addressed first.

    1. This is really beautiful. I have tried Aya once and felt that strong force. I didn’t like it. In my life, God has indeed provided some strong awakening experiences in the form of traumas. It felt like people who were really drawn to ayahuasca were trying to self-induce these almost traumatic experiences. Go and violently be shown the dark and the light in an intense experience that is hard to integrate into daily life.

      Discipline is what’s needed in the spiritual path, not big horse pills of spiritual experience. Day-to-day healthy choices and practices are where it’s at. Those are sustainable growth, with lasting power.

      That being said, I do believe the brew has potential to really help someone. It will work best though for someone who is really doing their daily work. Just like psychedelics of the 60s, many will come to it as a spiritual quick fix and get caught up in the rainbows without ever doing their own deep work out in the real world.

      These sacraments are something to be respected for sure. Most of the youth of america doesn’t really know what respect is. To be offered these ceremonies is a gift and one should really do something with the gift and hold it in reverence.

      In regards to shamans, I prefer to work with medicines that are more gentle in their workings, that way I don’t need a shaman to guide me. If you’re going to use a medicine that is so strong it needs a shaman to guide, please do your homework and choose wisely. Sometimes you get an unsettling gut feeling about someone. Trust it. Don’t just let your ego talk it away as being nervous about the ceremony or something.

      My mom had schizophrenia. I have always shied away from intense medicine journeys. Always been super moderate in dose and frequency when ever I do partake. Maybe that’s just my inner wisdom respecting the power of the plant and not asking for trouble. People can and do go crazy. A profoundly intense experience like with strong plant medicine journeys can tip the scale for someone who might be weak and teetering in their psyche.

      It can tip the scale towards crazy, or tip the scale towards ego maniacal tendencies or power/money hungry trips. Shamans were living their simple roles as village healers before ayahuasca tourism started. They had healthy positions within their communities, then the westerners came and blew it all up. I can imagine it being hard not being seduced by the ideas of money and power when you’re used to such simple ways of living.

      Another thing, I know some plant medicine traditions the highly-trained and initiated shamans were the ones who took the medicine. They took the medicine for insight and diagnosed the client’s dis-ease. They didn’t invite the uninitiated client to take the medicine! Also, often times shamans had a “shelf life” so to speak and others would step in once a shaman had done their time. There was so much respect given to the medicine that one knew that it was dangerous to take it over and over and over for years and years. Another factor in this might be that the shaman had learned from the experiences and could take that wisdom and integrate it into everyday living, not needing a plant spirit to help diagnose anymore. The plant was alive in his/her psyche at that point.

      I guess my main point here is that as usual, we westerners just walked into someone else’s culture and started messing with things before we really knew what we were doing. Now the world is reaping the consequences of our foolhardy actions.

      With love and blessings. I’m not trying to judge, just sharing my perceptions.


    2. Hi again,
      of the many posts you have sent the last days, I am just going to add this one, because I think you’re making the same points over and over. The articles I write are not expressions of my ‘opinion’, but of the teachings and the warnings I have been researching, and have been asked to pass on – not by ‘outside’ experts, but by people who use the medicines, and are presently marginalised and overwhelmed by the torrent of ‘new arrivals’ who have a lot of opinion, and very little actual understanding of the depth and nature of this process – nor respect for the rituals and their reasons.
      I understand your interest, but you seem fixated on your point, and I do not yet understand where you draw your credibility from, to be so emphatic. Perhaps you can explain.
      What I think you are missing, and what you do not understand, are the primary facts of animist belief.
      In a worldview in which the cosmos is alive, all things are understood to have their nature.
      Though you call ‘jealousy and revenge’ ‘out dated’ emotions (which I find a staggering suggestion), they are, in almost every spiritual tradition, (and in every major religion, especially Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Voodoo) understood to be PRIMARY conditions of the godhead. In Bali, for example, jealousy is regarded as the primary source of imbalance – the source of black magic, and a normal social reality which the people pay special attention to mediating in the visible world and beseeching the gods and spirits to tone in the invisible.
      Particular attention is paid to ceremony, ritual and attitude which protects the living from any malice, unease, anger or jealousy from each other, from mischievous spirits (who are included in the pantheon as valid and natural), and the dead.. not just here in Bali, but in almost every non-materialist culture on the planet.
      It is understood, by every pet owner, that animals get jealous. Perhaps this will help you bridge from what you seem to be cleaving to so hard – a human-centric viewpoint, underpinned by a peculiarly ‘rational’ fixation, that excludes the nuance and even the fact of the culture whose sacrament you claim to know so well?
      In the Amazon, particularly Iquitos, jealousy, rivalry and revenge are well-known and feared aspects, not only of the plant medicines, but of the shaman, who are frequently at battle – both locally, and in magic. Anybody who knows the place knows of the ayahuasca wars which frequently lead to curses, illness and often death among the curranderos who use the plants, the spirits and ordinary means to vie for power, cash and vengeance.
      You are offering a pure chemistry response to something that yes, has fascinating chemistry – doesn’t everything?! – but is well beyond the bounds of our ordinary equations.
      A Western idea, sadly raised on the idea that God and spirit is abstract, dead, or at least off-planet, and does not count for the effects of intention, prayer and energies other than its own feeble efforts of intellect (except when ‘manifesting its dream lifes etc) would do well, I think, to refrain from defining the lines of boundary around a cosmology radically different to its own.
      Ayahuasca is far from safe. And even those who use it benevolently are ritually-bound to seek protection when in ceremony.
      Ayahuasca is dangerous, and therein lies her power.

      1. A brilliantly put response PassionFruitCowGirl. No idea what you were responding to, but I love what you conveyed. On so many levels and in so many aspects.
        I originally stumbled upon this article through following a trail of incoming links to an article I wrote years ago on The Dark Side Of Ayahuasca. One of your readers linked to it a year or two ago. I didn’t devote the time then to actually read your article in its entirety. Today, following a ping-back from someone extensively quoting the Dark Side of Ayahuasca article, I again stumbled on your blog and this article. Your article here was also referenced, and I figured I’d take a peak. So here I am again. Round two. This is a quick note, now longer than expected, to simply say bravo! And here’s a hand up saying hear ye, hear ye. Keep up the great work, and the deep real expression of your explorations in consciousness. Jonathan

        1. 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.

  10. Thank you very much for writing this. I know ayahuasca since quite few years, and even despite my many experiences, I still fell into a trap… I went to a very well known shaman from Peru and was abused sexually. For long time afterwards I needed psychotherapy and other forms of help, as he manipulated me to believe that I made it up and I was “in a process”. This was extremely difficult and confusing for me. Later on I found out that there are many other like me, who had the same experience with this shaman, but not much can be done about it… And he continues to work and travels all over the world with his “medicine”, using ayahuasca to get women, power, money, fame… I wonder how the spirits don’t stop him?

    1. yes i have heard this time and again, so why would you not leave the name of the “shaman” and the name of where he works from here for everyone to see and be warned??? this is so odd to me, if you dont want it to happen to someone else, then tell people about it!

    2. fortunately or unfortunately the spirit world dances both sides of the fence … the question that arises for me in this world is the need for a solid grounded being and its subsequent development .. the shaman that works with the spirit without being is subject to the sway of good and bad spirits …wholely subjective …the training for years is not in the ayahuasca but the development of discernment so as to walk honourably in this world and the other …. We stand at the beginning of a great learning process in the development of being … bad experiences are almost inevitable in order for us learn by out experience …. experience is not what happens to you but how you respond to what happens to you ….i personally sat 200 journey before i moved from my sitting position …. and when i did it was because i was told to do so.. this is not a weekend workshop … it is ones life …. peace blessings and great depth

  11. From a facebook thread in Bali…

    Christine Zimmer Ive done it last year in Peru (altho I didnt intend to first) and it was probably THE most healing and profound experience I ever had. But at the center there was talk about “black magic”and “evil shamans” in the area. But maybe it was just competitive “fights”between rivals.I dont know.
    Without a doubt, you are very vulnerable in that state, and receptive. I would NOT recomment Ayahuasca to people who havent done much inner work yet (as you descend in sort of an underworld and you dont want to face your worst demons without a solid spiritual knowledge) and obvs choose your shaman/center carefully.Do research, ask around, listen to your gut feeling. Know how to prepare and protect yourself, ask for guidance and protection, set a good intention (ask Ayahuasca to be “gentle”) and it should be fine.

    Anna Marie Inglis Is Ayahuasca available in Ubud?

    Keith Hancock That looks frighteningly like Tony Blair.

    Wen her other writing about Vilcabamba sounds significantly like the Bali bule phenomenon

    Jeremiah Abrams Everyone wants the gift of the gods, few are willing to pay for it. The payment is in the requisite moral effort for such inquiry. Sensational this story is, but missing the point, not the right account by any stretch for those seeking the gift. The m…See More

    Jeremiah Abrams Btw, anyone who calls themselves a shaman is likely not.

    Jade Richardson Jeremiah, you are well on my list of people who over-state their abilities, and draw in the vulnerable to make a dollar. I would be VERY careful sizing up against me if I were you. I am WAY out of your league when it comes to credentials to make these sorts of judgments. ie – I am not compromised by either marketing or profit. Your activities verge on the shameful.

    Jody Branson where is the part where Jeremiah is sizing up against you Jade?

    Jade Richardson First off, I think,working with some of the parent and friends of the dead and the ‘lost’, this story is far from ‘sensational’. It is under-stated, if anything. And secondly, when the topic falls into the hands of either the profiteers, or their potential customers, then that is exactly the moment when journalists should turn up. And thirdly, what the xyz is a ‘download’ anyway?

    Shely Ourana There are better, more authentic paths to self awareness, self knowledge, healing and transcendence, than substance use (whatever psychedelic you choose), if that’s your intent.

    Awakening is a slow, natural process…. ripping the doors off the Otherworld, and prematurely opening own psyche to it, is a dangerous and often debilitating game.
    There’s more mischief behind those doors than most people have any idea of…

    And being “forewarned” is no protection or shield… the number of entity tainted gurus, “healers”, shamans and mystics plying their trade is beyond description.
    Beware the glamour…

    Anna Marie Inglis Bunch of dangerous trippers.
    Shamans my arse

    Crystal Dev the medicine is here to help us.. it’s not for everyone but if people choose that path……. here’s to tolerance for every path to awakening including the wisdom from our dear plant kingdom..

    Josh Roberts This article is very pertinent, and several years overdue. It’s no secret that the western shaman oh so rarely carries the wisdom of the lineage.

    Yes, the plants are incredible healers.. Yes, many western shamans are desperately in need of healing….See More

    Jade Richardson Well, I would really love to see the coverage on the death of Leslie Allison. And so would her parents.

    Anna Marie Inglis AGAIN I ask:
    Is Ayahuasca available in Ubud?
    Like · Reply · 22 hrs

    Jade Richardson Nobody wants to answer that, I am afraid, because it is illegal in Indonesia, upon penalty of death.

    Crystal Dev all plant parts are legal. Australia & US are currently contemplating legalizing outright..

    Anna Marie Inglis All plant parts are legal. Can you expand

    Crystal Dev the plants themselves are legal…only when combined does it change that..

    Anna Marie Inglis Combined?

    Crystal Dev yes ayahuasca is a blend of two plants..

    Anna Marie Inglis The other being?

    Crystal Dev chacruna (psychotria viridis)

    Jade Richardson That’s not true, Crystal Dev. That is absolutely misleading. Ayahuasca is not a plant. It is a recipe. And it is not just a mix of two plants either, as anybody who works with this ‘medicine’ should know. I thought you’d gone off in a huff anyway?

    Jade Richardson Australia is absolutely not looking to legalise this concoction. it is a class A banned substance, which is one reason why the people who sell it hide themselves here in Aus and in most other places too.

    Crystal Dev nope i’m here.. ayahuasca is a plant…again get your facts straight. it is banisteriopsis caapi vine but the word has come to mean the combination of the two plants that i mentioned: vine & chacruna. some dark shamans might mix in datura or other plants but that is irresponsible and their own prerogative.. true ayahuasca is only these two plants period.

    Crystal Dev http://www.hangthebankers.com/australia-legalise…/

    Australia to consider legalising ayahuasca and DMT
    It’s the hallucinogenic compound that’s…

    Jade Richardson Please could you step aside from this dialogue – you are not adding anything useful. Like I said, bickering is not useful, nobody enjoys watching it, and I think perhaps there are other conversations you might be more productive in.

    Jade Richardson You can see the proper debate here. The issue is that the law is racing to keep up with the problem. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayahuasca
    Ayahuasca – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Ayahuasca (UK /ˌaɪjəˈwæskə/; US /ˌaɪjəˈwɑːskə/), also commonly called yagé (/jɑːˈheɪ/ or /jæˈheɪ/), is an entheogenic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the Psychotria viridis leaf.[1] The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the Indigenous peoples of Amaz…

    Jade Richardson However, to get back on track, what I have explained in the article, and what most decent people in this field agree on, is that the gringo ‘shaman’ who use this sacrament have stolen it from its rightful custodians, smuggled it to land where it was ne…See More

    Jade Richardson DMT is a class A illegal substance, and that is why some of the most active salesmen of it in USA and AUS carry it secretly, and have been placed in Interpol lists. Should I remind you that in Australia, bringing any foriegn plant material into the country is a criminal offence, whether it is airport flowers of mystic rocketfuel. You guys are out of order, whichever way you look at it.

    Shely Ourana The raw plant material can be legally imported into Indonesia.
    They only got around to criminalising mushrooms last year or so…
    What the Ubud Bubble is brewing with the herb is probably of little interest. … it doesn’t affect local politics.

    Crystal Dev
    Crystal Dev Jade Richardson so your asking me to step aside from the debate.. first of all anyone is free to express their views and when i see someone post information which is misleading others then i feel to also present the side for the plants. and so you normally ask those to step aside when they challenge your mistatements? again a display of your tolerance for others and their personal chosen path to awakening? as to the idea that this medicine has been stolen from its rightful custodians..we are all custodians of this planet and this is univeral wisdom that we are talking about. it would be like saying you cannot do meditation in the west but need to go to thailand to do so or yoga should only be done in india. it’s a ridiculous idea and many shamans support that the plant travels across the whole planet (as well as fulfilling an ancient prophecy of indigenous elders) and helps to awaken all of it’s residents. many things are illegal around the world but have you looked into the underlying reasons…or should we just trust that the governments and authorities only have our best interest in mind so better just get in line and follow them without any protest?

    Jade Richardson Honestly, you are really beginning to bore me now.

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  12. From Ubud, Bali, where ‘entrepreneur’ ‘shaman’ who have arrived via the ‘medicine’ scene in South America and eastcoast Australia have established a strong underground ayahuasca movement, claiming they are under instructions from the plant to spread her ‘healing’ across the planet.
    Indonesia has a death penalty for drugs. However, they remain rife, and their use is wildly escalating among the Yoga, dance, healing crew, mostly on the cache of ayahuasca, and the ‘cool’ of those who claim to be capable of managing it….

    Wen – i’d like to thank you Jade, for bringing this warning from those you work with. i’ve suspected something dark, malevolent, and deceptively clothed in “light” for a long time now, and noticed it’s prevalence in Ubud.
    i agree with Shely to a degree too, although I wouldn’t say the plant paths are any less authentic than non-plant paths. entheogens have long led us to meditative paths into the unseen world. merely reading Terence McKenna on DMT (it was many years later before it came to me gracefully) decades ago was enough to set my feet on a path of sorts.
    and to all the detractors, read the article again, the author is by no means saying that the plant path has no value. it’s a cautionary tale. and many of the blessed naive in Ubud would do well to take heed.

    Shely Ourana There’s a lot of “hijacking” going on behind the “love n light” scene nowdays… that’s also polarising in the “Split”… there’s an old joke…. “Where’s the best place to hide the Devil?” “In a church”. More relevant than ever… less obvious than ever….

  13. Thanks for the post. I’ve only skimmed through it, and didn’t read it “word for word”, but I got the jist of it. I did know about the young American man who was buried out in the jungle, and I think that there was some sort of accident involving his death, but can’t recall. The others, I’m not sure of, but I’ll look into this a little more at a later date.

    Not taking the time to fully understand the article, please excuse me for shooting from the hip here. As you know, I never used a shaman when I took Ayahuasca. I didn’t go to Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, nor any other country. I also didn’t utilize one of the few locations here in the USA which administer Ayahuasca to those interested. Had I a vast amount of funds to my avail, I wouldn’t hesitate going to an Ayahuasca retreat, but I think that one of the “known & trusted” retreats would be of great benefit.

    There are several ways of making Ayahuasca. Any plant, bush, or tree with a significant amount of dmt present would suffice, along with any plant part that contains a significant amount of the second substance, or ingredient which contains a MAOI, or RIMA. These 2 things (the dmt, and maoi or rima) make up the basic ingredients for making ayahuasca. A well-versed shaman usually adds ‘other’ substances or ingredients to the soup (tea), and these added ingredients may or may not have side effects, or may be capable or fatality. Any given Ayahuasca brew can have many other ingredients added to the brew, and may be tailored to various stages that one might be involved in with their Ayahuasca experience. In my case, all I took was the bark of a tree, and crushed up Syrian Rue seeds (considered a RIMA, and not an MAOI). There are dangers with eating certain foods while taking an MAOI.

    A shaman can be of great benefit, though, for other things involved with an Ayahuasca experience. There is definitely a possibility that one might encounter an entity of less than good character, and a shaman can notice this happening to someone, and steer them away from such entities. A shaman can also invoke certain entities, for most legitimate shamen have been trained, and curtailed by a mentor, or another shaman, and more likely than not, a shaman’s mode of practice & instruction has been tried & proven to be effective. These are not yo-yos with feathers in their hair. They know what they’re doing.

    I could really go on & on with this subject, but mind you that I’ve but one Ayahuasca experience under my belt, and am in no way an expert on the subject, but probably know a little more than most who have never had any hands-on experience with it. Having said, I can say that I know what I know, and my personal knowledge of Ayahuasca is not speculation. Ayahuasca, the anti-drug, is the only substance for which was capable of giving me a fair analysis of who or what God is. Is this worth the risk of an encounter with an evil entity, or being the 1 in every 25,000+ of the possible people that have reportedly died from their Ayahuasca journey? For myself it was, and it is.

  14. ❤ I send love to you all. I create LOVE for us all and I am thankful, first for this article that expresses a lot what I felt and never said, while reading my bell of truth was ringing. Second I am grateful to be still alive and third that my experiences (and with the help of other light workers) reminded me that the medicine we are looking for is already here and now within us all … It's LOVE.

    1. You’re right, Love can be extremely powerful!
      Have you had experience with black magic? If yes, I’d be grateful for some advices on how you managed to let the love win 🙂
      btw: are you German? (Your name 😉 )

  15. Thanks for writing this article!
    I’ve been involved with ayahuasca in 2009 with a group in Belgium. I had a really horrible experience. I would never recommend anyone to do ayahuasca & whenever I say that to people, they always try to convince me that it is all fine. ‘It is all fine, love & light’, was what those shamans also told me when after a ceremony I wasn’t able to go back into my body. There was no compassion, help or even the slightest understanding of healing and knowing what to do when things got wrong.
    Those “shamans” can tell you to trust them, to trust the process, but really most of them are just out to enlarge their group, raise their income and gain more power over people who seek healing through ayahuasca. It messed up a really beautiful part of my life & cost me the loss of trust in people in situations where you are at the verge of death itself.
    Spend time in nature, be creative, write, have good conversations with kindred spirits… You will evolve as much in life or even more then when trying ayahuasca. It isn’t worth the risk of becoming totally mentally messed up!!

  16. From personal experience dealing with severe possession and dark shamanism in the jungle, I am glad to see more posts like this coming out. Keep in mind you need to be careful with what you think is communicating to you, for those aware of psychic communications in ceremonies.. they can be coming from anyone or anything and pretending to be a benevolent intelligence or the “spirit of ayahuasca” and that is how a lot of people are getting ensnared. You become so vulnerable after opening up with the entheogen that anything or anyone can really find their way in if they try.

    Here’s two other great articles on the same subjects:

  17. I think it is very important to make clear that it is not the plant that is ‘taking revenge’, she is not vengeful. She is the Life Force of Divine Wisdom which flows within and animates all things. What happens when we commune with Her is that we become hyper aware of those places that are stuck and stagnate as She flows through all aspects of our being. We can no longer deny or hide from our shadow side as this too is an aspect of Creation. As a Teacher Plant She shows us what we need to learn in order to see differently and bring about transformation trough the realization of the Truth. It is only through humility, compassion, and a heart centered intention that Her teaching can come about within the individual. That is the role of the Curandera. She/He has dived deep into the shadow, and has learned how to navigate it through the guidance and wisdom of the Teacher Plant. It takes many years to learn how to transform oneself in this way, and to integrate the Wisdom Teachings into ones being throughout daily life. Once accomplished, they then are able to hold a space for others to do the same, thereby aiding and assisting the Plant to do Her work through their awareness. What happens when a shaman has not undertaken this journey is that their unhealed shadow side becomes the predominate force that is coming through their leadership. Their shadow side is magnified and in turn magnifies other’s shadow side. And so the circus begins. It is the unhealed healer, not the Plant, who is reeking havoc. Traditionally, for thousands of years, women were the wisdom keepers of the plant medicines and mysteries of transformation. They were the ones who guided those in need through their journey of the rejuvenative cycles of death, re-birth, and liberation. This is the natural domain of the women, as she has an intimate relationship to this through her monthly moon cycles, childbearing, and nurturing the child, the sick, and the elderly during their time of transition. For thousands of years she was the one who tended the garden, made the food, gathered the plants, discovered and made the medicines; while the males were the hunters, protectors, and builders who care for the physical needs of the community. Both men and women were respected equally for the importance of the role they played within the survival of the community. I believe that for thousands of years we cultivated an egalitarian system of living. It was absolutely essential to do so for the survival of the tribe. It was not until a few thousand years ago that the role of women was usurped with the overthrow of the egalitarian system for the hierarchical system through patriarchy when women became something to be owned, and nature something to be conquered used for personal gain. I want it to be clear that this is not about man vs. women. Both men and women have been damaged by this overthrow, and each is equally in need of healing so we can return to balance. I am sure that each one reading this is well aware of the multitude of ways in which this imbalance is playing out in our world today and threatening the very existence of all life on Earth. So what we are witnessing within the “New age Ayahuasaca cult” is nothing more then a the same imbalance we see throughout all of society. We are in great need of restoring this balance. Ayahuasca, and all the Teacher Plants, carry the Wisdom Teachings that can show us how to do this. They are an incredible gift to all of humanity, and are very much needed at this time. They should not be confused with the unhealed ‘healers’ who claim to understand their teachings.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting response. Just one thing I sincerely want to clarify, and that is that the plant, the ‘intelligence’ credited to the plant is indeed vengeful. As anybody who understands the protocols, the ceremony, the icara, all of the process of walking into her domain should know, she is feared for her jealousy. This is not my opinion, but the strict warning given over and over again by curranderos. Just as you would not abuse a Western ‘medicine’, or indeed a powerful person, or fool with the major arcana of recreational drugs – there are consequences. They are predictable. I feel it is important to clarify this point, because it is central to the whole crisis of the neo-shaman scene.

      1. “the protocols, the ceremony, the icara, all of the process of walking into her domain” I’d like to know more of this.

      2. I wrote this response with complete awareness of of what the curranderos say, and I am not questioning their experience, just their lack of awareness. I have worked with the Medicine quite a bit. It is the essence of the Divine Mother, and there is no ego in the Divine Mother. I still hold true that the Plant is not vengeful or jealous. When you are in that field you have a direct link to all of creation, and more acutely, other curranderos who are sharing that field, regardless of where they are in time or space. . As I said above, what is being tapped into is the jealous and vengeful intentions of many of the curranderos who are directing the energy. It is not the Plant. This has a direct and inseparable link to the rule of the patriarchy who have suppressed the Divine Feminine in their jealous, vengeful takeover which is woven into all aspects of our consciousness and is what we are here to heal at this time. What we are seeing in the neo-shaman scene is no different than what we are seeing being played out all over the planet. This is a very multilayered and complex subject. Regardless, I feel it is a great disservice to blame the Plant. Curranderos need to step up and take responsibility for what they are doing to the hearts and minds of those who come to them indeed of guidance. Blaming the Plant does not support them in doing this. I have no doubt that we will see a great shift in all of this very soon. Let it be known that the Goddess is not a whore, nor is she vengeful. Quite the contrary. Thank you for this opportunity to share.

        1. Claudette, I am not sure the curranderos would be all that impressed with your comments. And I am not sure either, if they would care too much that you think they have a ‘lack of awareness’. I wonder what you think gives you either the right or even the vaguest authority to make your comments? I wonder who you are to know the personality of the goddess so well? I wonder on what grounds you think you are so right, when you speak as a lone voice against a collective, who are reaching out to help others in what is obviously a shambles? And I wonder where on Earth you get your ideas? The goddess is very much a whore, as the whole of Tantra, and the deep fields of Hindu willingly explore. She is everything, all arising, including whores, and even irritating feminists, who try to turn everything into an issue of Patriachy…. yawn. Come on ladies – admit that it’s not really all about daddy…. the female aspect has just as fierce a shadow as the male, so let’s get sensible, respectful, humble, and simple. The message is; plant medicines are not toys. They are not a golden ticket to the Land of the Flutterby Elf Fairy Queen either – they are dangerous business, and should be respected as such.

        2. I kinda like Claudette’s opinion but that’s because what I follow parallels her remarks on the nature of the Mother. Based on what I know she is infinitely more than anything known at present or conjured up by us so far and I would not slur an entity that is more loving and compassionate than as I said any concept of humans.

    1. The entities – both life affirming and life consuming are everywhere around us. It is simply whether the door is open to let them in and whether one’s filter lets in life affirming or life consuming entities.

  18. I drank Ayahuasca for the first time in Europe in 1999 and feel very grateful for the experience. I have not been to the jungle in all these years and I don’t have any desire to go. The sacrament until today has been a teacher and guide and has uplifted and deepened my life. I was lucky to have been introduced to the plants in a respectful way practicing discipline and meditation. I never had any ‘bad’ experiences which does not mean that this work has not been challenging. I don’t think Ayahuasca is for every one just because it is now worldwide available. All ancient and traditional practices with or without plant medicines need to be held sacred in order to benefit humanity. Anything else will have different causes and effects and these are not created by the plants but by the people using them.

  19. Very interesting article and comments, thank you! I have never tried ayahuasca, but my daughter just asked me to channel an answer to her question about the explosion of plant medicine use. Her guides told her of the pros and cons, and concluded that there are “more profound and longer laster methods of bringing their whole beings into alignment with All That Is.”

    “…we understand your question, your concerns, your quest for light and paths which follow only the light. We congratulate you on recognising that there are paths which use darkness to provide drama, to obfuscate the message, to entrap the initiates in a cycle of repetition and even addiction.
    Yes the power of the plant’s own essence, its very chemical makeup, can be used in a way which follows the light, and has been used in this way by those who have been initiated by teachers who have studied for eons, as you might say. And we do see some experimentation with use in order to provide quick reactions, dramatic releases, supposed insights. Those people who follow this path, both the ones who are providing the initiates with the plant medicine, and the initiates themselves, are oftentimes not prepared to take the path of finding the light in smaller steps, in deeper investigation, in going within in a natural and now totally possible way due to the raising of the vibration of spirituality on your Earth planet.
    Do not be concerned in a profound way however, for these practitioners, both the bringers of the medicines and those who are partaking of the medicines, are also benefiting from learning about the reactions and insights that are received. Some are sparking a part of their remembrance which will bring them more speedily to the path of the light that you refer to. The path of reconnecting the whole body, all the bodies — the energetic, the etheric, the emotional, the physical — and thus allowing full connection with the energies of your beloved Gaia and beyond. For some people will only come to this path after experimenting with other more popular and trending methods of provoking the senses.
    Some do indeed receive profoundly affecting results which they can use to create their art, their scientific experimentation and inventions, and to reconfigure relationships which are in an endless loop of sadness and depression. You could say that this is a ‘kick start’ for some. But we also caution that it can be a ‘kick start’ to opening doors to darker areas of one’s soul.”

    Full message here:


    How many times do i have to say this before the world returns to some semblance of her natural order that was disrupted by colonialism?

    1. this is a good phrase, one for the traveler, the explorer, the adventurer, the colonializer… never borrow from cultures that you don’t have a birthright to. kind of an analogy for the complexity and diversity of the universe.

    2. I take your point but that would mean the developing world would never drive cars or use modern agriculture methods and medicinal progress. Which perhaps might be a good thing

  21. How many people die from anti-depressant medication every year? How many people die standing on a cliff watching the waves? It is always pilot error! These people all made choices to be where they were at the time they died. Not such good choices apparently. The Ayahuasca opens the door to the spirit world. There is no good or evil, up or down. The door is open, what you do inside is up to you. You can conjure up almost anything imaginable. It isn’t the plants doing anything, it’s the consciousness of the person taking the plants. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Your life is your responsibility, your choices can kill you. If Ayahusca didn’t knock on your door I suggest you wait until it does, because if not, than it isn’t for you. Snake venom can kill you and it can also cure you.

    If u want to drink medicine safely and legally in the US look up the Santo Daime church they are all over the us. You go sit with a shaman you don’t know you are risking your life!

    1. Oh dear…. there are so many reasons and ways to shoot this argument down. But I will leave it here to stand as an indicator for the kind of thinking and the ‘reason’ that got us into this mess in the first place.

  22. Thank you, yeh we know, the genie is out of the bottle 🙂 it’s good it’s bad it’s healing and it’s sad, those seeking power, mystical power & or the commercialisation of it’s use will be ass whipped, that’s usually the very 1st download she shares, if you take all the steps yourself for yourself for your soul never follow a shaman less be it for a dream he comes in. You can’t buy a set of Majik Toolz from a Shaman, the’re not his to sell. This is the last bastion of hope in the last dayz of time. It can’t be monetized as the monetary system itself is what she has been sent here to destroy all that bought ego or the worry you saved up for the pain you paid for all the way down to the funeral plan insurance. When you awaken tomorrow morning ask who was it you just paid to awaken ?

  23. Ayahuasca isn’t a whore, but a tool. Greed and personal power are the main reason it is abused, simple fact is too many tourists are ready to throw around money in a poor country will do this.

    The rise of malpractice causes deaths, not Ayahuasca. Also, most deaths reported due to Tobacco and poor on site treatment (if any!)

    Yes, Ayahuasca can be used in negative ways, but NO, it’s not killing people.

  24. My gosh, my anthropology teacher would probably cite this as an example of misusing cultural ceremonies, etc. In fact, that’s one of the first things we learned about: If you do not do something in its proper way or misconstrue it somehow, it will not work and/or seriously the gods or spirits you’re trying to contact.
    It’s like when you don’t follow instructions on something, even if there’s a clear danger involved. *insert eyeroll here*
    By the way, I was hoping I could respond to you through email although I’m not sure where it’s located on your blog. If you get the chance, could you direct to it? 🙂

  25. I noticed a pattern: abusive charlatans often claim madrecita told them to do whatever it is they are doing, being becoming a “spiritual”leader, opening a church, conducting ceremonies for 50 people at once, etc., etc… They claim they are merely following madrecita’s will, they are listening to “the calling”! These kind of claims became so common that I began to doubt and question ayahuasca altogether, and moved on. BUT it’s still hard to see naive people being taken advantage of, AND then being victim blamed (she deserved it/she attracted it and should take responsability for it/she couldnt handle her bad trip, etc., etc.), so thank you for caring, and for raising awareness. 🙂


    1. Some say that people that fall for charlatons like that are ‘mugs’.

      Simply put, there is no substitute for doing some proper research!

  26. I too am concerned for the mislead within these so called healing circles. Just a few weeks ago a woman died in a Kentucky based Ayahuasca church? Cause of death still not released though.? Be careful out there! Prayer and fasting is a wonderful alternative!

  27. I had many encounter with the dark side of ayahuasca.The wicked chamans are using the net building incredible and false biography.Also they use the language of love, them like evolution and consciousness,or the divine feminine and etc …they use everything to lure you mind goo d language;psychology and black magic included.

  28. But this might be true not only for the ayahuasca world but for every spiritual entreprise and even human enterprise.But it is not reason for loosing hope or becoming paranoid but just staying aware.Actually I have faith that the goos side will take over yet we have to open eyes and realize that meanwhile a battle is going on

  29. I came across this post randomly. Wow. Agreed. Beyond. And, I am well aware of this. I had my 1st ceremony experience exactly one month before you posted this. And, “She” showed me this. She told me about Her abuse. I will never forget it. Ever. It is still very very visceral in my mind. Very powerful experience. Life changing.

  30. I read this post with great interest and appreciate the warnings but can you point me to a succinct guide to follow for ayahuasca and how to determine the legitimacy of the shaman and or the center one might approach?
    Sorry if this information is buried above

      1. I feel i need to make this clear; there’s so much nonsense in this thread!

        Firstly Ayahuasca is a brew made with Ayahuasca vine, and additional ‘light plants’ and ‘helpers’. The Ayahuasca vine is safe if used responsibly. This can be said for the ‘helpers’ and ‘light plants’. What this translates to is that care needs to be taken to ensure that contraindicated medications or foods are not consumed prior to ceremony. and that light/helper plants are used correctly: To/e can be highly toxic if used in excess, and tobacco can easily kill, and has been implicated in several tourist deaths.

        Why are deaths making headlines?

        In Peru it’s called ‘Ayahuasca tourism’. It’s legal, and a booming industry with some centres making several 1000’s of dollars per week, if not daily. You wonder why there are problems, it’s plain greed. Just a business driven by tourism. Before it was something intrepid explorers did, now it is mainstreamed. That is where the problems start. Plenty of Charlatons abound, safety is the last concern, that is the route of the problems. If it was Alcohol, it would
        be the same. Greed and money based intention is the biggest issue. We hear of tourists getting into problems but not being taken to hospital, and dying. Simple stuff like that is killing people!

        Luckily thanks to the work of some good gringo’s these points are being addressed. Research wisely and look to sites like Ayahuasca.com for advice.

        1. There’s a little but of nonsense in what you write too, but I will let it pass. There is the consideration too, that those who have closest links to the ‘light’ plants (whatever you mean by that metaphor) are actually rather pleased to have been able to unleash a storm of bad experience and confusion on the colonial forces that oppress and exploit them while harvesting their dominion, the natural world, for trinkets, junk and gluttony.

  31. I seriously doubt that Ayahuasca is ‘taking revenge’ over the nastiness of the past Colonial invasion. Seriously no. That might make a great writing topic, but what’s killing tourists is simple negligence caused by greed. That same greed which is responsible for all the past and present problems we see in the world today.

    1. You seem to ‘know’ an awful lot.
      The explanations, warning and insights I report on here are based on almost a year’s study with one of the oldest and most influential of Banco Shaman in the Amazon Basin, but I am sure you would know best.

      1. I spent time in Peru and have also spent a lot of time studying respected resources. I have kept up to date with the going’s on of the above Curandero’s and all the negative press. I am also friends with respected Gringo’s living in Iquitos who have first hand info on what is going on, and the news coming out of that region.

        You write great stories, and i love reading your stuff, but i think in this case you’re misguided. Whilst i understand what you are trying to say, and partially agree with parts of it, what i am saying is that a lot of the so called ‘revenge’, is not really as much to do with Ayahuasca , rather old fashioned human emotions like greed. This is something the West bought with them to countries like Peru when they started throwing big bucks around. The same thing happened to Maria Sabina, the famous Mexican Curandero.

        You could simply say that tourism itself is a potential vector for such potential ills. This is why guidebooks like ‘lonely planet’ try and preach the virtues of ‘responsible tourism’.

        Again, i will re iterate why people have been dying in countries like Peru, Colombia, etc…It is because Western tourists are greedy for other worldly experiences, and want to ‘cram in’ these popular things . They want what they can’t have in their own country. Gold is boring, but psychadelic experiences with Ayahuasca aren’t: These are their new ‘trinkets’, these are their new ‘gluttonies’.

        And you know what, these ‘Centres’ know that,(as do the charlatons and rip off artists). They know that these greedy tourists want their awesome otherworldy experience to tell their friends, they also know they want awesome curing at the same time!! So what do these (also greedy Western run centres) do? They add ‘gimmicks’ to their treatment programms. They add tobacco purges, and add dangerously excessive amounts of ‘vision enhancing’ plants, like To’e (Brugmansia), or Chiric Sanango. They are even adding stuff like Sapo and Kambo to their programmes as well, so they can charge higher prices!

        Just a reminder for those who may be unaware: Ayahuasca vine alone IS Ayahuasca:Traditionally Ayahuasca can be made with just that vine alone, without even anything else! Ayahuasca is SAFE, will not kill. What HAS killed is the addition of too much nicotine from tobacco in Ayahuasca brews, or tobacco purges that have ‘gone wrong’, prior to ceremony. Tobacco (and Brugmansia/ Chiric Sanango) is very toxic in large amounts. Actually it doesn’t take much to kill.

        So, Ayahuasca isn’t reaping revenge or anything like that, malpractice and greed is. It just happens that tourist centres are making Ayahuasca with toxic plants, and not looking after their guests properly if they get into trouble.
        That is what happens because of greed and Negligence. It is unregulated, which makes matters worse. Some places have failed to take proper medical action, because they are afraid negative press will impact on their business, and clients have died because of that. The ‘Shamans’ in your articles are good examples of what i am saying here.

        This is about the irresponsible and negligent actions within what is now a big money industry that was created by Westerners with greedy and healing intentions ( of all contradictions!), to take advantage of Western clients who are more than happy to seek out these new experiences because they are used to materialism, and looking for another kind of ‘gold’.

        The problem has nothing to do with Ayahuasca itself, which is unfortunately being blamed by the misinformed, and especially the mainstream press. In fact these kind of deaths have happened in similar other circumstances too, such as Alcohol Prohibition in the States.

        1. Just saw another woman died in Peru in Nov. At an Ayahuasca ceremony! Does anybody have info? My concern deepens and extends toward the MIS guided claims of this “work”.

            1. Hi, please don’t get the idea I cover every death or rape or abuse of ayahuasca – it would be endless!
              And also, I am sure there are cases of treatment that don’t go well, and where people cannot be cured. Can you please copy me a link to this story?

            2. Reference Sacred valley death; There’s info about it on Facebook. Try the sacred valley events group, they apparently have more info. I got the info from another source, but they got it from there.

  32. I experienced the underlying resentment of the curanderos which although treating you with affection, always see you as a source of income. Don’t expect integrity or transparency.. or even assistance when something goes wrong.
    My basic trust is shuttered; that might just be my individual little story.. But be careful out there.

    1. Hmmm… I think, in some way, so many of you are more than a decade too late to get what you think you need.
      And in another, so many have overlooked the mysticism in this.
      You do not CHOOSE an encounter of this sort, you are CHOSEN for it. You cannot shop for ayahuasca, but only really put yourself in the way of it. I had an experience here in Bali with an Australian woman last month who claims to be a healer, gifted thru her ongoing journey with cancer. Because she has cancer, she claims a healing power. This is a slightly odd logic for a Westerner, but it is the same that has created the ‘shaman fiasco’ – I have drunk the brew, therefore I can drive the brew.
      She charges about 5 times more that any Balinese healer, despite being self-proclaimed, and with no experience at all, and des;pite coming from a culture that does not credit ‘epiphany’ or even intuition.. weird. I had a ‘healing’ session with her, after which she felt she had done a better job than usual on me, and decided to double her price. Now, this is not the behaviour of a currandero, it is the behaviour of an unscrupulous business person – but are the two mutually exclusive??
      The basic issue is that, in a traditional sense, ‘healing’ was never a ‘business’. It was a role, bestowed on one troubled soul, for the benefit of all, in a society based on sharing of unlimited resources in a living, and spiritually dangerous cosmos.
      Your ‘trust’ may not really be shattered, just, perhaps, your ‘assumptions’.

  33. A witness writes about being at the scene of Leslie’s death….

    :: Travel Update ::
    Gualaquiza —> Saraguro
    An experience like no other.
    Death. It is inevitable. No matter how much we want to live long, healthy lives, it does not matter. We are all dying and death can come at any moment. Natem in the Shuar language means, “birth – death – rebirth,” but more in the spiritual sense. An EGO death. Natem helps you have a spiritual rebirth. At our first sharing circle I expressed how I wish I wanted to die and that I hope everyone here at Natemamu will die. Everyone laughed and thanked me. Natem, Ayahuasca, Yage, Miracle Plant, or whatever name you would like to call it is also not only for a spiritual rebirth, this jungle juice, this drink of the gods, vine of the soul, this plant medicine cures diseases & illnesses. A small group of people within our group had come to be healed. Blindness, MS, crohn’s, spinal degeneration disease, cancer, and for a personal demon to be removed.

    This Natemamu ritual has been going on for thousands of years within the Shuar community. Within the world of plant medicines there is nothing quite like a Natemamu ritual. This is not a normal ceremony. Natemamu is were you drink only the ayahuasca vine tea in huge quantities in a short period of time for 4 days straight. The end result is a deep cleanse, cellular deep.

    The first few days we enjoyed our days at the jungle compound of Miguel Chiriap, the Maestro, a Uwishin. At night we formed a medicine circle, drank Natem, traveled to other dimensions, and sang medicine songs. Before Miguel opened the Natemamu ceremony, we went for a silent walk into the jungle. Hiking with a blazing Ecuadorian mid-day sun, dense jungle heat, we made our way to a sacred waterfall where the Tsunkis live, waterfall Spirits. Miguel lead us in the ancient ceremony of Tunakaramamu. Placing a tobacco leaf in our mouths we prayed to the Spirits to come to us in our visions, to show themselves to us, to heal us. Then diving into the water we swam under the waterfall. Pachamama baptism. Screaming out, energy pumping, primal instincts rising, we all climbed up onto a rock and placed the tobacco leaf down on the rock along with our intentions. Facing away from the waterfall we prayed again to the Spirits and walked away, making sure we never turned around and leave whatever negative energies behind. Back at our jungle camp we had a tobacco ceremony. Each one of us had to drink a cup of tobacco juice. The tobacco juice goes down and comes right back up, hopefully. Otherwise you are going to have a long night. The sounds of people purging filled the jungle. I went back and drank more and purged more and felt extremely energized with strength. That night we slept out in the Amazon. No protection besides the Sacred Fire which burned all night.

    When we returned back at home base, Natemamu was to begin. 4 days of cleansing. We all took turns playing the massive wooden drums, scrapping the bark off of the ayahuasca vine, and putting positive vibrations into the Natemamu tea with group singing of medicine songs. Finally the time had come. Day 1 of Natemamu. Miguel gave each one of us a Shuar name. I was named Shahroop. Miguel’s sons painted our faces. The women’s face paint is for the Tsunki Spirits and men the Jaguar Spirit. When we enter into the Spirit world the Spirits can recognize us with our painted faces and call us by our Shuar names. Facing each other with women on one side and men on the other, a line of bowls filled with Natemamu tea in between us, Miguel lead us in a prayer, spoke words of wisdom, then him and his sons called out, “Marta, Marta, Marta!”

    Drink, drink, drink!

    Oh, the taste. The taste was horrible. Indescribable. We are suppose to drink as much as possible until the massive pots of Natemamu tea are finished. I was able to get 2 liters down before my first purge. This continued on for 16+ bowls for me. More than 4 galloons of Natemamu tea and all of it purged. It was extremely difficult & tiering, especially mentally, to continuously drink a foul tasting tea then projectile vomiting it all out over and over again. Some people in the group were only able to get a few bowls before they vibrated away and went to lie down.

    It becomes very difficult to stand & walk. You actually need a stick to keep yourself up. I powered on and took a cup of the ceremonial Natem medicine after the drinking & purging. Oddly enough I had very little effects. But other people had some of the most intense experiences. My new friend Leslie was one of them. Leslie was on her knees, jerking up, and quietly going through a process. Miguel worked on her tirelessly. Other healers worked on her tirelessly. They were doing their best to calm her down, to take away the energies, to turn down the power of the medicine. A few of us stopped and sang to her. I sung to her and watched over her for awhile. She continued to repeat the movements. Up on her knees, throwing herself down face first, arms spread out, then back up onto her knees.

    As I watched her I knew this was very strange and serious. Her movements were precise, repeated, and bizarre. But what do I know? I walked away, hours passed and she still hadn’t stopped. I figured everything would be okay, she was going through a process, a deep spiritual cleansing. In the morning she would share this experience with all of us. We would be all amazed at be story. The next morning we received the news. Leslie had died. Our group was shocked. People were crying. I was in total disbelief. This is beyond rare. People don’t die drinking this medicine. How could this happen?

    The group split up. Fear was in the air. Distrust was in people’s hearts. When people drink medicine together, purge out the negatives together, sing together, and share their experiences with each other, the bond that is formed is tight. Having Leslie die, even though many of us had just met her was heart breaking. Sadness like no other. A dozen people out of the 32 in the group left and the rest stayed. I chose to stay. To see it through, to finish the process, to take on the challenge, to face the fear, and to summit a mountain of death.

    We only completed 3 days of the Natemamu. We weren’t aloud to make the medicine. The drums weren’t played. Things were different. Our group was in mourning. In the 30 years Miguel has been practicing, this has never happened. Miguel has served probably thousands of cups of medicine to people and no one ever died. He’s held Natemamu for years and never a death. On the second day of Natemamu the entire Chiriap family participated in the ceremony. In the Shuar tradition if there is a death in the family, a day of Natemamu is held to purge out any negative vibrations. I was only able to get down 2 bowls but the vibrations & effects were super strong. Visual trails, body vibrating, continuous purging, diarrhea, weird sickness/nausea and closed-eyed visuals. I was wrecked.

    The third night, an impossible to swallow 2 bowls, but no effects. Very strange & not predictable results and effects. Our group had finished what we started. Natemamu was over and our medicine family was tighter than ever. We went through one of the toughest processes a person can go through: death. Plus Natemamu.

    It is still not clear how Leslie died. Rumors are spreading. We will have to wait and see what the autopsy says. You should be aware of the potential dangers of drinking this medicine. This is not a recreational activity. This is serious.

    The following ceremonies after Natemamu kept getting better, the medicine got stronger, the visions more clearer, the downloads more profound, and our group continued to get closer. Everyday it was something new. Nature walks were I learned about other plant medicines, jungle hikes, deeper conversations, the family caught an anaconda, I found a new best friend, and everyday I felt better & better. We had a ceremony on a river beach where the Shuar have been having ceremonies for thousands of years. A Shuar holy place and many people had visions of this sacred Shuar spiritual temple. Tsunkis came and showed themselves to people. Three Uwishins were present that night, singing songs, and preformed cleansings. It was one of the best ceremonies and experiences of my life.

    Natemamu. The entire experience, from the beginning to the end, the ups and downs, the process, the challenge, it was life changing. We even had a Shuar wedding! After I finished the 3rd day of Natemamu I said I would never do that again, now I can’t wait to complete another Natemamu. Maybe even organize one. Interested?

    The people with the illnesses. Crohn’s: did not finish but his symptoms went away and he only has minor pains in his stomach. MS: did not finish, but no symptoms. Cancer: She could literally feel the medicine eating away at her cancer and then pooped out the cancer. She was able to feel the cancer before the Natemamu, now she doesn’t feel it as much. Im going to see if is she has been cured after her doctor visit. Blindness: Twice in the past two weeks she regained her vision monetarily from drinking Natem & the work of the Uwishin. There’s hope! Demon: Sometimes its best not to ask.

    I watched the documentaries, I heard the stories, now I am able to say with first hand experience that this planet medicine can help cure/ fight against major diseases. I was only here for 2 weeks and I witnessed healing on a holy level. Miguel has been working for 30 years. How many people has he healed? Not even mentioning my own inner spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical healing along with other’s personal healing. The best benefit I found instantly: my heart is burning with Love. Literally my chest was constantly burning hot. I could feel it and other people could feel it when we hugged. An amazing sensation and to know that my Love has developed deeper & raised to a whole new level. What a blessing. I can’t wait to feel the other positive results.

    Over the past 2 weeks all Miguel spoken about is how to heal yourself in positive ways, how to find, cultivate, & spread love, the importance of responsibilities, how to create & maintain relationships with people, Mother Earth & Great Spirit, and you own Spirit, how to develop into a person of positive energy.

    What a lesson this was.

  34. Hi Passionfruitcowgirl,

    I relate to a lot of what you have said in this article and would appreciate being able to ask you a few questions. I have had a ‘medicine’ experience around a month before you posted this blog and since then my world has been turned upside down and there have been almost no avenues of help through people who understand this world. Could I message you personally?


    1. Hi Anonymous Dave,
      Hmm…you are not the only one. I have been getting more and more messages like this the last year. Oh dear. Yes, go ahead and message me here for a conversation and if I can help I will – I won’t publish your next messages, just this one, in order to be able to reply.

        1. Hi there. Yes 🙂 Me too.
          I have had a few odd folk come of the platform and into others and cause mischief.
          If you write to me here I wont publish your response, but will write back to you privately. promise.

          1. I am not involved with any workshops or retreats. I think I am pretty transparent that I don’t support that sort of thing at all.
            I am using my writing on the issue to ‘sell’ my own alternative, or even recommend anybody – is that what you mean?

  35. OK cool.

    Firstly, I am curious about your own involvement in these sort of retreats, or practices. Since this experience I am much more cautious about all spiritual disciplines and practices, and revealing too much about what I have experienced and what I may know.

  36. Finally these kinds of articles are coming up. But we need much more.
    Also I haved worked with Juan Uyunkar, and this article is written as he was the one who killed the lady in Canada. Not true, apparently the lady had large doses of tobacco and the nicotine and other compounds which caused a lot of toxicity. This also happened in a woman’s retreat center in Peru, nicotine and other compounds OD.

    He was let free and found not guilty from the dead of the lady. He did go to jail and was charged but only because Ayahuasca is a banned controlled substance in Canada. However in this article and in others the writers are misinformed and accusing Juan of something he did not do.

    Why do I say this? Because I know Juan and he does not even smoke and doesnt allow smoking in his ceremonies, he told me the native people in the ceremony in Canada were smoking a lot and he did not like it. Is all in google, search the veredicts. So please do your research before posting things accusing people of positive or negative actions. I think these dark forces tried to blame the dead to Juan because he did a good job helping people. Not to mention that that in many many ceremonies he was paid a very little percentage of the profits, and where did the majority of the cash went to? You guest it, fellow money hungry gringos.

    We need more articles explaining the dark side too, but these need to be really well researched.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Wanderer – I can assure you that I and the other writers and researchers work hard at these stories,and you can see the link to the court reports for this case in the article. If you have more to share, please do – you are welcome.
      What I do want to say, and this is very hard for a Western mind to grasp unless that mind has actually experienced shamanic society, is that it is almost useless to rely on fact, evidence and reason when delving into the world of magic. The safest route, I feel, is to hand utter respect, and even awe, to those who conduct the ceremonies, understand the protection and the protocol, and to fear them too, when they are crossed.

    2. In response to Wanderer, yes, it is important to be factually correct. The facts i have been made aware of is that almost all deaths are dues to some kind of NEGLIGENCE. What do i mean by that you ask? Well things like clients not telling the truth about being free from medications that can interact dangerously, or Curandero’s who use an Ayahuasca with too much Tobacco or Toe added to it, which can be deadly in large amounts, or Tobacco purges that are done wrong, or simply not taking care of clients properly who could choke on their own vomit, or who have some kind of bad reaction and are not offered any medical assistence.
      There is no ‘woo woo’ in that, no ‘revenge’, no, that is just about something we call NEGLECT.

      1. Neglect may well be a factor, especially among the ‘gringo shaman’, who are apprenticed and, as described this week in an interview with a Peruvian currandero, equivalent to babies.
        However, ‘woo woo’, as you put it, is most certainly alive and well and very real, and if you don’t appreciate that, I do wonder why you are even in this conversation?
        Let me put it like this – the foundation of absolutely everything in ayahuasca is that the more than human world is very much alive, participating and intelligent. The vine is called ‘the spirit vine’, ‘the mother vine’, the vine of the dead’ – not because of the chemistry – the people who know this medicine, abhor the idea of it being called a ‘drug’. But perhaps, when it is treated as such, that is the limit to which one can receive its blessings.

    3. I totally agree with you. I also took ayahuasca under maestro Juan and all just well. He is a well-respected man in Ecuador and a lot of people are saying only good things about him. And as another example for the bad habits like smoking, I attended a ceremony with a girl that lied to him she was not taking drugs and immediately after taking the ayahuasca, she started raging out like she was possesed and she was calm down by maestro Juan with some icaros and she told her something like: “Don’t be afraid my child, you will not die, the medicine is taking care of you and it will heal you”. Despite this unfortunate event, he is very clear and decisive at all ceremonies and asking you if you abused bad substances.

  37. I am in this article because i understand that Ayahuasca is a medicine, and about it’s spiritual working, far more than you do. I also know when to differentiate between ‘woo woo’ claims and the sad reality of shoddy ‘workmanship’, ie negligence. In every example you used to make your claims, there was grosse negligence involved. It’s easy to see, so why do you deny it?

    Furthermore, When i say there is no ‘woo woo’, what i mean is that when tourists die because of NEGLIGENCE, then that is the cause of death, and not any kind of Ayahuasca ‘revenge’. In fact i have never heard anything so far fetched, neither have i ever called Ayahuasca a ‘drug’!

    What i have heard is that ‘Brujo’s’ exist and that is why i say that the vine has no ill intention, and that any such intention could only come from a bad person with such ill intentions, never the vine.

    Let me illustrate my point: You say that Ayahuasca is ‘jealous’, but actually Ayahuasca is not jealous, but a spirit that want’s you to pay attention to his/her teachings. Curandero’s talk about forming a ‘relationship’ with the vine, and by that they mean that when you partake in the practice that the vine wants to teach you, and wants your attention so that you may learn. The vine does not have any evil intentions, for that can only come from people who lack discipline and who are spiritually immature and dumb, ie Brujos. It is a serious kind of work, and the vine wants good people with the willing to learn.

    Therefore,It is very clear to me that Negligence is the most likely cause, and to further add proof; ALL the examples you have provided were proven to be so. Why can’t you accept that? That is what troubles me. I have no issues with the fact that Ayahuasca refers to the Spiritual realms, and i fully understand the ‘calling’, etc, but to me anyway, it seems obvious that these deaths are a result of a combination of both ill prepared tourists, internet marketing hype, and retreats that are more concerned about their money making abilities and pride than truly about caring for sick people, or people who encounter problems.

    If you have properly researched those deaths, you would have been made aware of those realities, but somehow you are in denial. I have said what i can say, i cannot add to it any more. I don’t think i can make it any more obvious than that. Tourists die in South America also in bus crashes, also examples of what poor countries are well known for, poor standards of living is another word.


    1. Thank you – by your tone, your style, arrogance and nasty attitude, you have superbly illustrated exactly how it is that some of those who dabble in ayahuasca do not reap benefits – but rather, suffer an amplification of unsavory personality traits and inflations, of which they are, apparently, unaware.
      Case in point displayed in full fight here.
      oh dear.

  38. *Neglect may well be a factor, especially among the ‘gringo shaman’*

    Probably more to do with the Native Curandero’s actually. Just look at your above examples. Oh, and let’s not include the many ‘well documented’ reports of sexual abuse. Maybe you SHOULD make a post to address that?

  39. Thank you for the article. I could not agree more with you. By my own experience I know exactly what youre talking about. This is a very corrupt world. I did not read the comment section, but I know that there will always be those out there defending ‘their’ medicine. Or their maestro or their circle…I am spending the last 10 years trying to recover from my very first encounter with the medicine(men)…I acknowledge the healing and I’ve seen it too…..but black magic, witchcraft, all this shit IS real…and much worst that we can ever imagine. And yes some people do not get ouf of this alive. you have been warned..so true

  40. I’m glad I was able to purchase a preparation and take it by myself in the jungle…I did not feel like participating in a “ceremony” with a bunch of touristos. It seemed a bit like a scam but I had no idea there was so much abuse going on. I didn’t go to Peru with the intention of doing it, I just wanted to walk around in the Andes, see the Inca ruins, maybe hike in a rain forest; I was in Cusco and assumed that all the Ayahuasca ceremonies were in Iquitos or Puerto Maldonado, but it seemed to be everywhere the tourists are. I had some good experiences but I had been prepared through previous ordeals and time in forests here in the U.S. I did have a local in Pisac say a strange thing to me once, regarding the plant, that “there is alot of black magic in the jungle.” I feel fortunate to have avoided that. I definitely feel that this path is for the few, those who have previously worked with entheogens, who have already confronted darker energies, and who have a pure love of the earth and life. There are very few people I would recommend an ayahuasca trip to…If you can’t handle mushrooms at your friends house, your not going to be able to handle DMT in a dark forest. Especially with magicians who may themselves be victims of powers beyond their control. As for the goddess punishing people, a westerner who had learned to make the preparation and was selling it to get by had, along with his girlfriend, become infected with a mysterious skin infection that no western doctor or shaman could cure. It was the opinion of locals that he was being punished for selling the preparation without permission…why else would even shamans fail to cure him? I do seriously believe the plant is a sentient spirit (as are psilycibn mushrooms) tied to the rain forest and which can serve as a “bridge” between the consciousness of an individual human and the primordial life-energy of the earth, and can guide us and / or punish us as it (or she) would punish a disobedient child.

  41. In response to some of the comments: no plant belongs to any particular culture or people. How does a shaman become a shaman? They learned from the plant and from others. The natives call this the ‘vine of death’ because they lack the technology to produce a standardized product. To do this right, you need to review clinical reports for each of the cases where something went medically wrong: a proper forensic investigation should reveal some kind of error pattern which could be avoided. If there is a risk of overdose, you must standardize dosage units and purity — and then you adjust for body mass on delivery. There has to be a scientific method. The problem is not the drug, but those who prepare and administer it. You need some expensive lab equipment for quality control, and you need people who know how to use it. I think the right way to do this involves the creation of Ayahuasca centers purpose-built for the experience from the ground up, where ‘shamans’ and medical professionals work together to make it all go as smoothly as possible. How would Disney do Ayahuasca retreats? That’s what we ought to aim for. I know that offends some people who think it should remain in the jungle but I disagree: in terms of statistics, alcohol is the more dangerous drug. If people are willing to spend all this money to have an Ayahuasca experience, it should be spent on a system which promotes more positive outcomes. We have characterized the problems, now let’s devise some solutions which incorporate Aya into OUR culture for the ultimate benefit of the whole planet.

  42. Hi everyone,
    I am here reading this post because of my ” experience ” with santo daime aka ayahuasca.
    The ceremony took place in my hometown, a european city, with a “shaman” from north America living here for many years. He has been to Brasil many many times for the santo daime and eventually became a shaman himself.
    As for me, i felt i had a calling from Ayahuasca several months before the santo daime ceremony, but actually i was planning to go to Peru to experience the authentic jungle native shaman ceremony, with the icaros and all the proper preparation. I didn’ t even know about santo daime until two weeks prior to the ceremony. I thought it was a sign that i encountered Ayahuasca in my hometown, that it was the time for me to do it and i didn’ t have to go to Peru actually, that this was my chance, now.
    I knew exactly was i was asking from it, i needed to discover my true self and set myself free from depression, negative self-image and addictions both emotional and physical. I had some psychotherapy work done, had some acid experiences and also smoked dmt once one year before.
    The santo daime ceremony took place last December. I already knew that with Ayahuasca i needed to make a certain diet to clean myself, but the thing is that the guys from daime said that it wasn t necessary. That made me wonder actually… Anyway, i did my preperation as well as i could and went to do the ” work” as they use to call it.
    I won’ t go into much detail about the ceremony, apart from that there was an altar with a cross and pictures of saint Mary and that we had to sing christian humns in Portuguese during the ceremony to stay ” centered” . That made me really confused as i had a totally different view on Ayahuasca.
    Of course they had already told me that santo daime was a mixture of native American- African – Catholic and even though i had decided i was ok with it, when the actual ceremony took place i felt really strange.
    I had one cup and a half from the brew, sitting in a chair singing hymns i couldn t actually understand why and NOTHING happened. It just didn’ t work on me. When the ceremony finished i bursted into tears feeling a huge dissapointment and failure. The shaman told me not to worry and that the daime knew what it was doing, that it worked on other levels without me understanding it.
    The thing is that after that i fell into the deepest depression of my life, i felt tortured, helpless, full of fear and negative self-talk and spiritually drained. Especially the first 3-4 months were a living nightmare. Until now that i am writing this i feel under this influence but a bit lighter, though i feel as if its never gonna end.
    Has anyone had an experience similar to mine or at least explain to me what actually happened because i just can’ t define it. I’ ve read several things on the net including this article but i just can’ t get to a conclusion. Is it spiritual attack or is it that it opened the Pandora’ s box of my psyche? Still, why didn’ t i have any effect during the ceremony?
    I apologize for my big post and i hope for someone to answer, i would very much appreciate it guys.

    Thank you in advance,

  43. Thank you passionfruitcowgirl for this opportunity..
    I entered the magical realm of the great Grandmother around ten years ago. Invited while doing shaking meditation on the Island of the Gods,sat in the circle in a Northern European capital a few weeks later. Having done my homework spiritually since trauma at age 4, I knew what I had accomplished thus far, and knew I had work still cut out.. Knew instantly I was with the right medicine. The technology of Her resonated with knowledge from deep inside. But She is jealous, She requires attention and focus. Her realm is unspeakable. I am the child and the warrior there. I need to stay within my heart, activate my protection. Stay focused and aware. And do my work..Walk with Her, towards God, with God,In God and back home. To have access to this ancient technology outside its natural habitat calls for double awareness..The absolute knowledge how it is removed from the jungle, how it is replanted. How the preparation is done, by who, with what intention… How oneself prepares, with what intention one arrives face to face with the great Grandmother..And who is by ones side? This list is endless and should deter from rushing into the great mystery like a pac man figurine…. And to also know the great master.. Tobacco. For he is the great teacher and we need be humble in his presence. Like many of us I have witnessed the dark, fought with it and know its cunning ways. The power therein we need be aware of. This work is not kindergarten.. I have worked with a many but met only One. Stay safe brothers and sisters, stay awake. Love is the liberation. Thank you Passionfruitcowgirl..pass on your knowledge. Blessings from the North.

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