The Way Of The Shaman Michael Harner

Posted By Ina Woolcott

This book offers a comprehensive, compelling insight into Shamanism and it’s ways, teachings and the lessons to be learned from their simple yet structured lives. Beautifully written by Harner, conveying true empathy for the subject and making every situation and occasion seem as though happening before your very eyes. This is a book for those either already interested in shamanism, and yet it is also simple enough to follow for the uninitiated. A hard-to-put-down book. A nice accompaniment to Carlos Castaneda’s books!

Carlos Castaneda What Is A Nagual

By Ina Woolcott

The term Nagual has several definitions – one who is good in talking, shape shifter, witch and animal co-essence. Co-essence is the name of a being, which has its origins in ancient and widely accepted Mesoamerican beliefs that one part of our soul (or figures baring resemblance to humans i.e. gods) uncovers itself as a kind of animal, or a remarkable occurrence such as a loud clap of thunder or a strong gust of wind, of a spiritual nature. This belief is still current today in a lot of parts of Mesoamerica.

Shape-shifting can be perceived as a change in the physical form or shape of a person or animal. Sometimes this is referred to as metamorphosis, morphing, transformation, transmogrification, Therianthropy, mimic or by other terms.

Witches allegedly have supernatural or magical powers. They are of either sex and practise witchcraft. Male witches are generally called sorcerer, wizard, warlock or most commonly magician.

Carlos Castaneda used the term Nagual in his books to depict a person who has the skills to guide people to new areas of awareness and alternate realities just as valid as ours. Don Juan Matus, the shaman teacher of Carlos Castaneda often called himself the Nagual of his apprentices. Don Juan, describes the Nagual in one of Castaneda’s books to “… Turn everything into what it really is: the abstract, the spirit, the Nagual.” The Nagual is something hard to define or even name. It cant be known through words alone, it must be experienced to understand the true essence of what Nagual is.

The Nagual is also a state of awareness, where an alternate dimension of everyday reality is experienced. Some say Nagual is All That Is, and that it is concentrated into a shape known as the Tonal. The Nagual and Tonal being dual expressions of reality and existence, are seen either in the First Attention, where we experience the Tonal, or the Second Attention where we experience the Nagual.

Nagual’s in Carlos Castaneda’s system are a direct line to All That Is, and pass their knowledge on to their apprentices helping them obtain what some call ‘total freedom’. The apprentices goal is the Second Attention or Nagual awareness. In some traditions psychoactive plants are used to induce this state, and other states, of awareness. When able to perceive the Second Attention, one is regarded as a ‘seer’.

Modern beliefs based on Castaneda’s work see reality as multi-dimensional. It can be said that people only see a limited view of the multi dimensional reality for the duration of any given experience.

My People The Sioux Luther Standing Bear

When it was first published in 1928, Luther Standing Bear’s autobiographical account of his tribe and tribesmen was hailed by Van Wyck Brooks as “one of the most engaging and veracious we have ever had.” It remains a landmark in Indian literature, among the 1st books about Indians written from the Indian’s point of view by an Indian. Born in the 1860’s, to a Lakota chief, Standing Bear was in the first class at Carlisle Indian School, he witnessed the Ghost Dance uprising from the Pine Ridge Reservation, he toured Europe with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, and devoted his later years to the Indian rights movement of the 1920’s and 1930’s. The introduction is written by the Winner of the National Humanities Medal, Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve (Lakota Sioux), who is the author of 20 books, including “Completing the Circle” and “The Trickster and the Troll”, both available in Bison Books editions.

The Wind Is My Mother Bear Heart Molly Larkin

I love this book, I have read it many times and recommend it to anyone, whether interested in Native American Culture or not. This is a book about life. Easy to read, but jam packed with wisdom and direction.

What people have said:

“Every time I read a book where a native american speak I am in tears, the beautifulness and simplicity of their speech, and at the same time the deep meaing of their words and they connection with the Earth and all life is so natural for them…”

“Bear Heart has shown in simple words what honesty, courage, spirituality and beauty can really mean and how it can work to develop the reader and stir the soul. He says ‘find your own path’, at the same time I would suggest that him writing about his, will give a searcher a helping hand. The humour in the book is wonderful and the insight into the many levels that we can exist on can lead to a greater awareness of the universe we dwell in. I am left with respect for the immense humility he has displayed writing in this style. To be clear though, this book is not about being flowery or fanciful, Bear Heart’s story is about a tough journey as well as a wonder-full one and all who go down the spirit road will know what I mean by that. Thank you.”

The Wind Is My Mother, is a truly amazing book, by an even more amazing man. Grandfather Bear Heart tells us his story, from a child, up to the present time. It tells of his quest for knowledge about the ways of the Shaman, and his teachers along the way. Any time that I’m feeling depressed, I reread this book. It is a very uplifting work, and demonstrates that while the man is one of great Shamanic skills, he also is very humble, and humorous. Grandfather Bear Heart is a man of immense passion for Mother Earth and all her children. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Native American Spirituality, or just in becoming a better person. After reading it, try to attend one of the Bear Tribe’s Medicine Wheel Gatherings, where he frequently gives seminars. It, and he, will truly change your life, as it did mine.”

Death As An Ally How Shamans Perceive Death

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

In traditional wisdom and knowledge, life is a continuum that does not end at the moment of death. One of the most important traditional tasks of the seer, shaman, medicine man or woman is to assist people who are either dying or the spirits of those who have died to make the transition into great domain of consciousness. This body of practices is known as Psychopomp, from the Greek word psychopompos, which literally means ‘conductor of souls’. In Greek mythology, the god Hermes served as the escort for the dead into the afterlife. This concept of a guide or intermediary between the living and the dead is a collective theme found in most religions and mythologies.

Death and Dying

In shamanism death and birth are closely related to each other. One of the roles of the shaman is as a midwife of dying, to help, guide, or usher the soul or essence of the dying person into the unity of the afterlife. This is the work of the Psychopomp, conductor of souls.

There are many ‘cosmographies’ of where souls go when they die, each dependent on the culture and society they originated in. Shamanism is not a system of belief or faith, it is a system of knowledge, and is directly experienced first hand by the senses. The world that Shamans work in is not a consensus reality, i.e. what we have agreed is reality. The Shaman sees i.e. experiences with all the senses, and is the mediator between the everyday physical world and an alternate reality. The roots of shamanism pre-date recorded history. The earliest findings date back over 40,000 years. Shamanism is the ancestral mother of the human spiritual experience.

In the great panorama of creation, many cultures have structured and formed a navigable cosmography. The shaman navigates and journeys in a cosmos experienced as three great realms revolving around a great axis, known as the great tree, or axis mundi. They are known as the, Upper World, Lower World, and Middle Worlds. Central to all these realms is the Axis Mundi, which is the central axis, which connects these three realms.

These realms have been structured and implemented in ways relevant to our culture and the world we live in. These three worlds have been renamed but are still present; The Upper World, the realm of our ancestors, religious or spiritual leaders, the gods, the spirit guides, is known as Heaven. The Middle World has been simply moulded into meaning our physical world or Earth, and the Lower World, the traditional place of sustenance and nourishment, the home where the spiritual power of the natural world, the plants, animals resides, has become demonised, and renamed as Hell.

The problem here is that the Lower World has become demonised, and turned into a travesty of it’s original meaning and embodiment of the living force of the natural world, and has become a very ‘bad’ place where all the wicked (disobedient) people go to suffer eternal damnation, hellfire, and other such terrible punishments. From a shamanic and a psychological perspective this has created the major problem of separation. By demonising the Lower World, the place which holds the feminine qualities of nurturing, and sustenance, we have as a society managed to disconnect ourselves from these very attributes. The story of the Garden of Eden fundamentally underlies this separation. If we consider the unifying principle of ‘so above, so below’, we are also looking at the cosmography of the human soul.

We have also lost along the expressway to modern civilisation this concept of the transition of the human soul from the physical world into the great realms of existence. People who die in sudden death, accident, confused, unhappy, drugged, people who lack power, murdered, killed in war, often disappear in the Middle World, and may be unable to make their transition, or not have an awareness of where and who they are. The work of the conductor of souls is to help these deceased individuals make that journey.

The shaman would embark on a spirit journey, to find the person who had died in unfortunate circumstances such as an accidental death. They would start from the place that the person died, and in their trance vision of expanded awareness spiral outwards in concentric circles to find them. Once located, it is then the work of the shaman to help them make that transition to another place, and be welcomed and re-united with loved ones.

This is Psychopomp work, helping the deceased to another world. There is an enormous fear of death in our society, and a renewed interest in this kind of work could provide re-assurance to those who are dying, and their loved ones.

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.

Medition Journeys

I’ve been experiencing extreme ‘disturbances’ most explained via reading my timeline chronologically… Wondering if anyone has any idea how to get ‘purposeful’ memes out of my life – how’s that for an odd question. I would also love your thoughts on My Copenhagen Interpretation of Certainty of Memes, Uncertainty, Complementarity of Color, etc.

The kicker of this whole freakin’ saga spewed here is that I found the ‘perfect place, a whole area that I loved’ and thought things were actually going to go well . . . when…

The People Below – Who Seem To Be THE CAUSALLY CONNECTED to MY SUDDEN ‘ENERGY ISSUES’ – that I Never Had, Nor Experienced, Nor Thought Existed!!!! for 44 Years of My Life – Until I Generate A Bunch of Good Energy for Myself and now I’ve Paid The Folks During the Last Three Years, Regrettably:

Dr. Barb MacDonald during physical exam: “Oh, I’ve met ‘The All’.” (Calamity: What the fuck is she talking about ???) other than seemingly knowing christian science shit I don’t know NOR WANT. See their definition of ‘All / God’….and many more.

Tami Rogers, *** (Ms. I am an Energy idiot, Light, a shaman, & cure psychic vampires, body/soul shit), $$$$ Tami actually repeated words that these ‘conscious-aware’ things????? frequency fuckers??? I’m dealing (euphemism) with had mentioned, seeming knowing ??their?? vibe?? How convenient….

Marc Felix, Ph.D. (healer, shaman-better than psycho-anyl), Marc says: “I removed some ‘metaphysical presences, but I wish you had seen me sooner and can’t help.” $$

Dr. Dirk Vandersloot (cured of a heart prob?! by cobras in the Phillipines), Dirk gives ya’ these little pellets with those great ‘old school’ classic names…did nothing for me.

Cheryl Evangelos (christian scientist perverted to shaman/essence healer), she does what Tami Rogers did “Oh! We have “PuppetMasters here” – Meaning the ‘things fucking with me’ and then launched into shit where I’m supposed to try and believe shit I don’t to get rid of these things….and buy some flower essences.

While each of these people seem to ‘pre-cept’ what I’m dealing with, take some money with their curricula vitae, business cards, and alleged knowledge of this crap, and I’m worse now than back in July 2011 when this started – worse and heavier every day.

Nan Mass and David Corbin (journey experts, shaman, etc. “I wasn’t trying hard enough NOT TO BE HURT by ‘this entity/frequency thing’ ” Says Nan Moss – “You may have to move from the area.”) (and Nan & David basically fucked the ‘so-called spirits’ related to MY name and My caring they shook out and blew off while leaving their bad karma behind)

C. Allie Knowlton and Evelyn Rysdyk at True North (healers, entities, shaman, etc.), who during their so called healing treatment – not only didn’t understand what was coming through THEM! – the ignored by problems to the point one of my ‘entities’ was about to leave and it got shoved back in… (I know, things I never thought I’d be saying, never mind spewing here….)

Herwig Schoen, Reconnective Therapy (A New Healing Paradigm!!!!) He was recommended by someone else. I call him and his Office Manager Tracy Joy Miller says Herwig can treat me from Langley Island, WA – AND WANTS TO KNOW MY DENTITION! (YES, MY TEETH FILLINGS AND NUMBERS) AND HYDRATE…

Note in his book too that he seems ‘chemically’ aware of many ‘human elements.’ Gonna start eating cancer patients alive by pointing out THC chemical numbers – crystalline elements – dopamine – in your book, Herwig?

There was a so-called Science Picture posted here re: What Love is – chemically/pathologically.


Jane Austen: There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.

If you equate or factor in the ‘meridian line / earth energy’ – per my loving the grass, the sky, the sun and my cat on July 1, 2013 – and 6,000,000,000 either loving, hating, fighting, shopping . . . I like to think that even Werner Heisenberg knew better than to fuck with that….

Now to close this with Jesse James: PAY UP SUCKERS & FUCKERS!!!!!!!

I’ve been mad for three years – I haven’t been “alone” in three years. NOW TO GET EVEN. PAY BACK IS NAMED CALAMITY AND I’M A BITCH.

p.s. This computer and email was phished both locally and Craig’s List at the beginning of all this – if anyone has access to June / July 2011 records – knock yourselves out…. Fuck it. I’ve been phished, fished, flooded, deserted, and hurt bad, to put it mildly.

(See Craig’s List Phishers Using Occupy Movement Numbers (Herwig #’s + Meme’s) on The Missed Connections and Other Too.)


Or just knowing that your home, your chemicals, your brain waves, neurons, photons are no longer safe or respected by any human being, 6,000,000,000 old or 6,000,000,000 new. Got Kids?

Anyone hear the news piece on NPR about ‘uploading consciousnesses’ onto computers…. Well, go read my post + wiki on that word and add the American Heritage Dictionary multiple definitions of ‘consciousness: self, syn, and money’.

War & Peace

(Note: If I see or hear another ‘mantra,’ or ‘all beings’ I’ll scream. Research Philology) Go fuck a Monad too.

I’ve actually left out a few names and $$$…. T.T.F.N. -Calamity in The Growlery

Trees A Short And Sweet Poem By Joyce Kilmer

I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree
A tree who’s hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earths sweet flowing breath
A tree that looks to god all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray
A tree that must in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair
Upon whos bosom snow has lain
Who intimately lives with rain
Poems are made by fools like me
But only god can make a tree

By Joyce Kilmer

Ayahuasca Retreats And Workshops Interview With An Amazonian Shaman In Peru

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

After being virtually ignored by Western civilization for centuries, there has been a huge surge of interest in Ayahuasca recently. There is a growing belief that it is a kind of ‘medicine for our times’, giving hope to people with ‘incurable’ diseases like cancer and HIV, drug addictions and inspiring answers to the big ecological problems of modern civilization. Interviewed with Peter Cloudsley.\r\n\r\nAfter being virtually ignored by Western civilization for centuries, there has been a huge surge of interest in Ayahuasca recently. There is a growing belief that it is a kind of ‘medicine for our times’, giving hope to people with ‘incurable’ diseases like cancer and HIV, drug addictions and inspiring answers to the big ecological problems of modern civilization. \r\n\r\nAyahuasca is not a drug, it is regarded as a gateway to another reality, a reality which co-exists with our physical world. From this reality an experience of the totality of inter-connectedness can be personally experienced. Ayahuasca is also known as La Purga (The Purge) due to it’s powerful physical ‘clearing’ effect, but it is more than just physical clearing it is also an energetic clearing of personal history as well. It is never to be taken lightly and only under the supervision of a shaman who is well versed in the ways of the plant.\r\n\r\nSpirituality is at the centre of the Ayahuasca experience. Purification and cleansing of body, mind, and spirit in a shamanic ceremony can be the beginning of a process of profound personal and spiritual discovery. This process can continue indefinitely even if one never drinks Ayahuasca again. One thing is sure, and that is that every person gets a unique experience. We believe that by seriously looking at the way Ayahuasca is used we can improve our life experience and benefit more from this medicine.\r\nAyahuasca is the jungle medicine of the upper Amazon. It is made from the ayahuasca vine ( Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The two make a potent medicine which opens the doors to experiencing the energetic world which underlies the world of everyday. The vine is an inhibitor which contains harmala and harmaline among other alkaloids, and the leaf contains vision inducing alkaloids. As with all natural medicines, it is a mixture of many alkaloids that makes their unique properties. For example, Peyote, the cactus used by the North Native Americans, is said to contain 32 active alkaloids, so when one of those alkaloids, mescaline (LSD) is synthesised in a laboratory, contrary to popular opinion, the result is not at all the same. \r\n\r\n Ayahuasca is a name derived from two Quechua words: aya means spirit, ancestor, deceased person, and huasca means vine or rope, hence it is known as vine of the dead or vine of the soul. It is also known by many other local names including yaje, caapi, natema, pinde, daime, mihi, & dapa. It plays a central role in the spiritual, religious and cultural traditions of the Indigenous and Mestizo (mixed blood) poeples of the upper Amazon, Orinoco plains and the Pacific coast of Colombia and Equador. \r\nThe plants are collected from the rainforest in a sacred way and it is said that a shaman can find plentiful sources of the vine by listening for the \\\’drumbeat\\\’ that emanates from them. The mixture is prepared by cutting the vines to cookable lengths, scraping and cleaning them, pounding them into a pulp, and then adding the chacruna leaves. The mixture is then boiled about twelve hours until it is a thick brown liquid. \r\n\r\nTo understand ayahuasca in the local context, one cannot avoid taking a look at the ecological environment, such as the rainforest, cultural environment and indigenous cultures. This has structured the cultural content of ayahuasca.\r\n\r\nOne of the more romantic stories takes place amongst the Shipibo people who live up the river in the heart of the jungle in the Peruvian Amazon.\r\nThis tale is centered around women, more so than men, as they look after the children and their health, whilst the men are out hunting and fishing. Men are more interested in plants that aid their inner spirits when hunting , whilst women are more interested in plants that will allow their children to grow.\r\nThere was one particular woman who was very interested in plants, who liked to pick the leaves of different plants. She would then crush the leaves into a pot and soak them in water over night. She would then take a bath every morning before sunrise (the way to find out about various plants and their effects is to bathe in them). She bathed in them every morning until she had a dream. In her dream a woman came and said, “why are you bathing every day?” She answered “I am doing this as I want you to teach me.” The other woman said “You must seek out my uncle, his name is Kamarampi. I will show you where to find him”. The woman led the other woman to her uncle. The uncle showed her how to mix the leaves of the chacruna, which was a bush she had taken leaves from to bathe in. He showed her how to prepare the brew of Ayahuasca, he told her to go and tell the people the knowledge of how to use the brew. \r\n\r\nOne of the many mysteries surrounding Ayahuasca is how the vine became to be used with the Chacruna leaves as although they both come from the same soil but always grow apart otherwise the ayahuasca winds around the Chacruna and kills it. No one knows this but we get a clue from how the shamans interact with the plant. Javier Arevalo a shaman from the Peruvian Amazon told us “ that his grandfather and uncles used to sit around after taking ayahuasca and he said that ayahuasca was originally taken alone and in the visions they saw that chacruna was missing. Ayahuasca would say I am the doctor that gives the vision. His grandfather responded, how can we find this plant? The response in the vision was, you can find it by turning two corners. So they went around two corners and found a bush which attracted them which was chacruna i.e the ayahuasca showed them. \r\n\r\nThis is a fundamental principle, in the visions it is the spirit doctor of ayahuasca which tells them what is wrong with their patient, what medicine they need, or who has caused the illness or malaise. \r\n\r\nAyahuasca and the spirit of plants.\r\n\r\nIn the West there are lots of stories like ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ reminding us that plants have spirit power, Alice in Wonderland explored this world too. There is a large body of knowledge of power plants even if the form has been adapted to fairy tales and ‘domesticated’, not to under rate the richness of Grimms’ tales.\r\n\r\nAll the plants used in medicine today were known by our ancestors. McKenna suggested that the evolution from primates to humans was achieved when we left the tropical rain forest to inhabit the savannah regions. We learned to stand on two legs and consumed psychotropic mushrooms. Interaction of plant and animal, change of diet meant a change of consciousness. Goats have a habit of eating all kinds of herbs which is why in the Andes, you are not supposed to eat goat’s milk or meat if you are having mental problems. In Lapland the reindeer eat the hallucinogenic mushrooms and the shamans drink their urine which has been “processed”. \r\n\r\nWhen a person drinks Ayahuasca, especially with a trusted shaman, there is a chance to learn and trust the plant. You discover that it works in its own way. It is a great moment getting to this point. Then there is the question of whether the plant trusts us, because it can be abused and used for getting the wrong kind of personal power. Without intention, vision, preparation, and a shaman, it is a drug not a healing medicine. \r\n\r\nIn the Amazonian world Ayahuasca, as indeed all plants, has a spirit which is angelic but also has human emotions projected like jealousy, vengefulness, wroth etc. When it is being prepared, the shaman has to watch over it at all the time to prevent bad spirits being introduced. The fire needs tending regularly throughout the 10 hours concoction and the shaman should diet during this time. It is said that the spirit of Ayahuasca is very jealous and that if the rules of its preparation are not respected it is resentful. We wonder if this is a cultural thing or would it happen to us Westerners as well. During our interviews we constantly found that the general rules about the working of Ayahuasca did not always match up with our own experiences. For example the addition of toe (bella dona) and tobacco to induce vomiting is supposed to make you have a clear head the next morning but we found sometimes it was the other way round. We found it hard to pin down which were the decisive factors. \r\n\r\nSexual abstinence is another thing which is emphasised yet this seems to be a very individual thing. It would seem though, on reflection, that the purpose and intentions of the shaman are among the more important factors, that he follows the diet during preparation and for the session. At all times he is placing his energy where the Ayahuasca is. This also means that not anyone can be present to watch the brewing process, their quality as people as well as whether they had dieted, practised abstinence or had a period, all have an influence. When we watched the shaman Javier Arevalo preparing, his wife would do the washing and shredding of the Ayahuasca. After it had boiled for a while, Javier lit a large mapacho (hand rolled jungle tobacco) and blew smoke over the top of the concoction. The two of us were invited to do this as well. When this is done you can feel a blast from the boiling Ayahuasca in your face. Later in the session, the shaman or the person who has blown the smoke, feels the return of this blast and passes it on to his clients.\r\n\r\nIt is also important that none of the clients watch the process of preparation. In particular, a woman passing by who was having her period, could leave a bad energy with the medicine. This is a vexed question, the origins of which seem to be traceable to Christian, Amazonian and countless other traditions. \r\n\r\nAnthropologists call it taboo for want of a rational explanation, but as with all things of the primordial world, there are reasons inherited from ancestral times, which may have been forgotten. At the dawn of time, realities were very different from what they are today. Mythology may shed some light on the matter, but one thing is sure we don’t really know! However it’s reasonable to make the assumption that our ancestors were not frivolous.\r\n\r\nWe worked extensively with Javier Arevalo and we had many discussions on the role of the Amazonian shaman and the use of ayahuasca. Javier comes from Nuevo Progreso, a community of 50 families on the Rio Napo, Department of Loreto, Peru. Several generations of his family before him have been shamans and already at the age of 17, he knew this would be his future. However it was not until he was 20 when his father died from a ‘virote’ (a poisoned dart in the spiritual world) sent by a jealous brujo, (sorcerer) that he felt compelled to follow the arduous five-year apprenticeship to be a shaman. \r\n\r\nJavier, what is the role of a shaman?\r\nHe learns everything about the rain forest and uses that knowledge to heal his people since they do not have money for Western style doctors. He uses Ayahuasca to discover in his visions, which plants will be effective for which illnesses.\r\n\r\nHow do you perceive this?\r\nThe sprits or plant doctors tell us. As they are pure, they are made happy when we are too, so we must diet in order to attract them. That means we should not eat salt, sugar or alcohol, and abstain from sex. The spirits come and say, for example they will cure in two months if the patient takes a particular plant. Then the shaman goes out to look for the plant.\r\n\r\nIt is said that every environments has the necessary plants to heal the people?\r\nYes, every plant has a spirit, the shaman goes into the forest as part of his apprenticeship and spends two years taking plants and roots. He takes Ayahuasca too and the spirit tells him what it cures. Then the shaman tries another plant, each time remembering which ailment is cured by what.\r\n\r\nDoes each shaman have to find it all out for himself or is there a body of knowledge handed down?\r\nThe maestro goes with the apprentice into the wilderness and gives him the different plants and it is like a test or trial to overcome. The maestro is usually a member of family. In my case both my grandfather and my uncle were maestros. You go off deep into the forest with your maestro and make a very simple shelter or ‘tambo’. A shaman must not live in a big house, its just for sleeping and dieting.\r\n\r\nHow long do you have to diet the plant?\r\nJust one day to know its process, the next day you move onto another. This is if you do not return to the city, you can get through a lot of plants. This is different from dieting a plant for a month say.\r\n\r\nSo does every condition or illness have a particular plant to remedy it or is it a spirit energy which comes through the plant which can cure many things?\r\nOne plant may cure lots of ailments. A particular plant has a spirit which can either heal or kill. As for example with another shaman (who we worked with earlier) , who had not dieted Ayahuasca correctly and poom! it caused fever and people caught colds.\r\n\r\nSo why would a plant kill or cure?\r\nBecause an hechicero (sorcerer) also learns from the plants. He may for example learn from dieting a plant which has spines or phlegm which could be good for certain things. But if he is bad no one can stop him and in the night ‘ffoooo’ he uses it for harm or to kill. These are the brujos who come back from the forest with eyes red like the huayruro (red beans with black spots). He is a bad shaman and we have to cure the people they harm. \r\n\r\nWho would want to do such things?\r\nThere are some people who have a squabble with someone, and then they go off to see a brujo and say “this Senora talks too much and has insulted me, kill her and I’ll pay you”. They pay them and they do harm.\r\n\r\nBut the shaman who made us ill did not do it intentionally.\r\nNo, of ignorance. It was a shaman from the city not from the forest. He went away and left us to mop up the ill effects. He may have had a good teacher but does not diet, he is very fat! (People in the jungle are rarely fat.)\r\nIn addition he probably eats the day of the session and that is why he threw up himself!\r\n\r\nHow does this affect Westerners?\r\nIt doesn’t matter, they will probably throw up and not have any vision because when he blows he has condiments on his breath. However, it matters much less if the clients have eaten or not stuck rigorously to the diet. The important thing is that the shaman diets.\r\n\r\nNote: There is much discrepancy between shamans concerning the question of vomiting. Some say it is necessary for the body to rid itself of what ever is necessary and that if they are not sick they might get ill. (Ayahusaca is often referred to as La Purga.) Others say if you vomit you will not have such good vision and on no account should a shaman vomit.\r\n\r\nWhy and how did you become a shaman?\r\nI never thought of being a shaman. I took Ayahuasca from 14 years old just to clean my stomach. Later my father said I heard you chanting, you are going to be a shaman. I don’t want to I said. Later when I was 20 my father died from sorcery so then I wanted to learn in order to take vengeance. During my apprenticeship I had a change of heart and understood that God knew best in such situations.\r\n\r\nWhy did the brujo want to kill your father?\r\nBecause he was a curandero who had cured someone who had been harmed by the brujo. It happens because we curanderos undo the work of the brujos and they get angry with us. This is the famous spiritual battle between the brujos. When you cure you send the bad magic back to where it comes from and the brujos get their own dirty medicine back. This is why there is a fight between the good and the bad.\r\n\r\nHoward tells story of his battle with one of Javier’s assistants 3 weeks earlier.\r\n(Javier laughs a lot and explains.) Well because he was not really a shaman, he works as a guide, he drinks liquor. Then when he takes Ayahuasca and chants icaros he is not pure and his doctors don’t take any notice of him. The spirits start bothering (molesting) the people participating in the session. That is what happened to Howard. When I take Ayahuasca I talk to the doctors who give visions, I ask them to cure, I have dominion over them because I diet. If I don’t, they make you crazy or annoy you.\r\n\r\nSo if the shaman cannot control himself, then the spirits get out of hand?\r\nIf you can’t dominate the spirits of the jungle you are nobody, instead of curing they run away or take no notice of you.\r\n\r\nSo the control of the spirits is fundamental?\r\nSpirits are like angels. God withstood 40 days of hunger and temptation by the devil and was resurrected. That’s what we have to do too.\r\n\r\nThis is Christianity, but your (Javier’s) people were practicing long before the missionaries came. Is it possible to separate the Christian from the wisdom of the jungle?\r\n\r\nNo, no, they work together. But it has nothing to do with going to a church. You learn all this in the wilderness. The spirits there are the angels of each plant to which you add your will to heal the client. This is the will of Christ.\r\n\r\nWhere does the power of the shaman end and the spirits begin?\r\n\r\nThe shaman receives the power from the jungle, he doesn’t have any power of his own that he doesn’t get from the forest.\r\n\r\nWhen I look at you by day I see just a normal young man, when you wear your clothes and move into the ayahuasca space you become different, a different presence, you become larger… \r\n\r\n(Javier laughs!) The medicine is not in the body, the body can wear clothes for example, and you see that by day. But at night you don’t see my body, you see my spirit which receives the medicine which transforms me through the vision. I have to be pure so as to be a receptacle of the spirit of the medicine. It is essential too for a shaman to be happy, the shaman laughs at everything, because a happy heart is what cures. He can’t have a long face or fight with his wife and children.\r\n\r\nYou started off with a desire for revenge, what changed you into a shaman?\r\nMy grandfather saw that my heart was bitter and he told me that it would not get me anywhere. My heart was still hard and wanted to kill! Bit by bit through taking the very plants that I had intended to use for revenge, the spirits told me it was wrong to kill and my heart softened.

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.

Albert Hofmann Father Of Lsd Dead

Posted by Ina Woolcott

Dr. Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD, and the man who launched a thousand trips died age102 on the 29th April 2008. I wish we would have gone to Basel this year now – ironically we did say that we should go this year as it nay be the last time we see Albert Hoffman, who first synthesized the drug in 1938 and then learned of its hallucinatory effects 5 years later, after accidentally ingesting it.

Dr. Hofmann called LSD ‘Medicine for the Soul, and although he took LSD hundreds of times, he saw it as a powerful and potentially dangerous psychotropic drug that demanded respect. The pleasures of the psychedelic experience were unimportant to him, rather it was the drug’s value as a revelatory aid for contemplating and understanding what he saw as humanity’s oneness with nature. That perception of union, which came to Dr. Hofmann as an almost religious epiphany while still a child, directed much of his personal and professional life. His love for life can be seen clearly in his face no matter what age. You can clearly see his loving soul shine through.

According to Rick Doblin, president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Dr Hofmann died of a heart attack at his home in Basel, in a statement posted on the association’s website.