27 June 2010

Three Great Ayahuasca Videos

The Man Who Drank The Universe

Documentary following Alistair Appleton's experiences with ayahuasca, a powerful plant medicine used for thousands of years by the Amazonian shaman. In October 2004, Alistair, a British TV presenter and till then, tee-total Buddhist, agreed to drink this hallucinogenic tea with 10 other participants under the watchful eye of Argentinian psychotherapist Silvia Polivoy. His life was about to change for good...

Jungle Trip

Piers Gibbon, an English voiceover actor, decides he wants to become a shaman and takes a film crew to Peru to document his journey.

Heaven Earth

"Heaven Earth" from Harald Scherz on Vimeo.

Ayahuasca documentary featuring interviews discussing various topics of the Amazonian plant medicine ayahuasca. Includes interviews with Percy Garcia Lozano, Ron Wheelock, Alan Shoemaker, and others.

For more ayahuasca videos click here, or find more links to the best ayahuasca videos here.

23 June 2010

Pablo Amaringo Ayahuasca Visions

Ayahuasca Visions

The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman

Written by Pablo Amaringo and Luis Eduardo Luna
North Atlantic Books  ISBN: 978-1-55643-311-5

Pablo Amaringo (1943-2009) was an artist from Pucallpa, Peru who painted colorful and intricate paintings inspired by visions he had after drinking the entheogenic plant tea ayahuasca. These are samples from his book Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman published in 1999 with co-author Luis Eduardo Luna. For more samples visit the Pablo Amaringo Ayahuasca Visions Gallery.




17 June 2010

Recent books on ayahuasca

Two really cool books on ayahuasca have been released in the last couple of months, Stephan Beyer's Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon and Peter Gorman's Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming. I haven't had a chance to read them yet but I will as soon as I can. On an ayahuasca forum I read the comparison that Beyer's book is like a view of ayahuasca use in the Amazon from the sky, while Gorman's book is a view from the jungle floor. Both sound like a good read and are valuable and welcome additions to the growing library of ayahuasca literature.

Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon

In the Upper Amazon, mestizos are the Spanish-speaking descendants of Hispanic colonizers and the indigenous peoples of the jungle. Some mestizos have migrated to Amazon towns and cities, such as Iquitos and Pucallpa; most remain in small villages, their houses perched on stilts on the shores of the rivers that are their primary means of travel. Here in the jungle, they have retained features of the Hispanic tradition, including a folk Catholicism and traditional Hispanic medicine. And they have incorporated much of the religious tradition of the Amazon, especially its healing, sorcery, shamanism, and the use of potent plant hallucinogens, including ayahuasca. The result is a uniquely eclectic shamanist culture that continues not only to fascinate outsiders with its brilliant visionary art but also to attract thousands of seekers each year with the promise of visionary experiences of their own.

Ayahuasca shamanism is now part of global culture. The visionary ayahuasca paintings of Pablo C├ęsar Amaringo are available to a world market in a sumptuous coffee-table book; international ayahuasca tourists exert a profound economic and cultural pull on previously isolated local practitioners; ayahuasca shamanism, once the terrain of anthropologists, is the subject of novels and spiritual memoirs. Ayahuasca shamans perform their healing rituals in Ontario and Wisconsin.

Singing to the Plants sets forth, in accessible form, just what this shamanism is about -- what happens at an ayahuasca healing ceremony, how the apprentice shaman forms a spiritual relationship with the healing plant spirits, how sorcerers inflict the harm that the shaman heals, and the ways that plants are used in healing, love magic, and sorcery. The work emphasizes both the uniqueness of this highly eclectic and absorptive shamanism -- plant spirits dressed in surgical scrubs, extraterrestrial doctors speaking computer language -- and its deep roots in shamanist beliefs and practices, both healing and sorcery, common to the Upper Amazon. The work seeks to understand this form of shamanism, its relationship to other shamanisms, and its survival in the new global economy, through anthropology, ethnobotany, cognitive psychology, legal history, and personal memoir.

Ayahuasca in My Blood: 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming

Finally, after 25 years of incubation, Peter Gorman's book is out. Ayahuasca in My Blood - 25 Years of Medicine Dreaming concerns his longstanding relationship with the Amazonian visionary medicine. Here's what people have said about it:

 “Unlike many writing about ayahuasca, Peter Gorman knows this plant and these forests long and well. Explorer, ethnobotanist, writer and raconteur – Gorman is uniquely qualified to tell this incredible tale. A wild mixture of adventure, horror, spirituality, tenderness, and insight, Ayahuasca in My Blood is most highly recommended!” -- Mark J. Plotkin, Ph.D, President, Amazon Conservation Team and author of Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice.

“Long before ayahuasca tourism became a pastime for rich gringos, Peter Gorman was knocking around Iquitos and the Amazon. He's traveled the rivers and quaffed the brew with the best (and the worst) of them and been way, way beyond the chrysanthemum on many a dark jungle night. This is the intensely personal story of an old-school jungle rat for whom ayahuasca is not just a hobby, but a life-long quest.” -- Dennis McKenna, Ph.D, noted ethnopharmacologist, co-author of The Invisible Landscape, co-founder of the Institute of Natural Products Research and founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute.

“I have known and traveled with Peter for almost a decade and was present for a number of the events he included in this book as well as many others. Don Julio was the most powerful man I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Further, as a trained scientist I believe the plant medicine truly offers a doorway to a rich world that needs to be understood in our postmodern lives. This is destined to become a must read for anyone who is serious about understanding the world of the shaman.” -- Lynn Chilson – CEO Chilson Enterprises, Inc.