Whoring the Goddess – Ayahuasca takes her revenge.

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Beware ye pilgrims who be messing with the sacred medicina!

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

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

This time it came by email:

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

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

Help us! We have no voice!

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

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

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

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** ~ **

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

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

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Kyle, right, with his triplet siblings.

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The shaman shrugged his shoulders.

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

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Maestro Mancoluto

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

Mixed up Americans!

Yeah…… we get a lot of em.”

 

 

 

But that wasn’t how it went down.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But this stuff works.

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

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

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

The rules have been broken.

The sacred circles breached.

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

Not all of which will be deadly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have been warned.

Take care.

 

 

 

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. This reminds me of the Prime Directive. =

    and in reverse ….

    and also reminds me about Japan’s long history of growth thru “borrow and reject”
    of all the new ideas they learned from outside of Japan.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 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 Westerners are greedy for other worldly experiences. 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 more ‘light plants’, or visionart aids (to the traditional and safe Chakruna or Chaliponga) to make the visions more awesome, including dangerous ones like To’e (Brugmansia), and Chric Sanango. They are even adding stuff like Sapo and Kambo to their programmes! You can say they are playing with fire with so much stuff in the mix! And why other than to seell themselves apart from other ‘competition’, in this big money industry?!

    Ayahuasca vine alone is Ayahuasca. Traditionally Ayahuasca can be made with just that vine alone. Ayahuasca is SAFE, will not kill. What has killed is too much nicotine from tobacco in Ayahuasca brews, or tobacco purges that have ‘gone wrong’, prior to ceremony. Tobacco and Brugmansia is very toxic in large amounts. Actually it doesn’t take much to kill.

    So, Ayahuasca isn’t reaping revenge or anything like that, greed is. It just happens that tourist centres are making Ayahuasca with toxic plants, and not looking after their guests properly. 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.

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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’.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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”.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

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

    :: Travel Update ::
    Gualaquiza —> Saraguro
    ~Ecuador
    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.

  18. 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?

    Dave
    (anonymous)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

    Regards.

  28. *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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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,
    Lilly

  35. 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.

  36. 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

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

  38. 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.

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

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

    History is littered with such tragedies.

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