Conducted by: John Alexander. Translator: Howard Lawler. Redacted by: Victoria Alexander
Victoria can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
JA = John Alexander
JA: Victoria said she saw your spirit guides.
DR: Yes, yes. They come to me when I drink Ayahuasca. In the Ayahuasca State I call for the doctors to come. Doctor Ayahuasca is the doctor that makes all the medicines. I call each doctor, whether it’s a plant or a spirit doctor, to come to help me heal. All the maestros, all the curanderos who work with Ayahuasca come back to work with other curanderos after they die. The word for these spirit doctors is genio. Some of these spirits I knew before they died.
JA: Are they different now from when they were alive?
DR: They come in union with Ayahuasca. They have become one with Ayahuasca. And with the bringing of these medicines that comes when Dr. Ayahuasca is summoned. They are part of that. They are joined with that. These spirit doctors, the genios, live on other planets and come here when we call them. By their powers, they can tell when we are drinking Ayahuasca.
JA: How do they get here?
DR: They can come like air. They are able to come here virtually instantly just by thinking about coming here. When they think of coming here, they are here.
JA: What is the difference between spirits from other planets and from earth?
DR: Those from planets don’t have earthly bodies, they are in spirit form. They have other forms. Those that are from the earth manifest in an earthly form that can be recognized as of the earth. Sometimes when they come they look like dragons. Sometimes they look like eagles or birds. Some of these birds live in the very top of mountains but they can fly into space.
JA: From your area, which is quite a distance down river from Iquitos, have you heard of any instances of people being taken by these spirits?
DR: Yes, people do see things like this. They often come from the water. They transform. They first come in what looks like a boat. It comes from underneath the water. It has lights on it that are flashing. Inside this boat that comes from beneath the water, there are people who look like spirits. They look like the genios.
JA: Have you seen this yourself?
DR: Yes. They have the form of people. I have only seen them from a distance of about 50 meters. They have the form of people but I can’t describe their appearance in detail. They are humanoid.
JA: Are there cases of people being harmed by these spirits?
DR: Oh, yes. There are cases where they have harmed people. If people are in a canoe or motor boat what happens is a whirlpool forms and this pulls the boat into the whirlpool. They are sucked down into the whirlpool and they disappear. This also happens in cases of witchcraft in order to get rid of people. Witches cause them to get caught in a whirlpool.
JA: How often has this happened?
DR: Not just once. Several times.
JA: Are these disappearances ever reported to the police?
DR: Okay, for example, I’m a shaman. What I would do in the case of a person missing is go into an Ayahuasca ceremony and speak with the spirits to try and find out what happened to the person.
JA: Can you go into the Ayahuasca state without taking Ayahuasca?
DR: No, no. To go into that state I have to drink Ayahuasca.
JA: How many times have you taken Ayahuasca?
DR: I’ve taken Ayahuasca thousands of times.
JA: Have you ever taken Ayahuasca during the day?
DR: Yes, I have experienced Ayahuasca in the daytime, but I do not see as well in the daytime. I can see much better at night.
JA: What happens when you die?
DR: You go to the underworld – Inferno, that is, Hell, if you have led a bad life. After you serve your penance you can be released from Hell. It’s not forever. If you leave clean of sin you then go straight to glory. If you die in sin, your spirit is going to suffer.
JA: Tell me about the spirits you encounter during an Ayahuasca ceremony.
DR: The spirits come back through the trunk – the stem – of the Ayahuasca. This form of Ayahuasca is called “Cielo Ayahuasca,” which means “Ayahuasca of Heaven” because it is the pathway through which healing spirits travel back to earth. They come through the vine into the curandero to bring their healing from Heaven. “Cielo” in Spanish has two meanings. It means “Heaven” and “sky.” It’s the same word and many people loosely interpret it to mean “Sky Ayahuasca.” What it really means is “Ayahuasca of Heaven and its pathway from Heaven to earth.”
JA: What is the most important thing I can ask you?
DR: What you need to know about Ayahuasca is that there are many things to learn, and many things to see. There are many medicines to be found along the path. This has the power to heal everything that’s bad in a person, especially disease. Because Doctor Ayahuasca tells us what the disease or what the problem is with the person and what causes the problem. In many cases its witchcraft or some bad intention or something generated by the bad intention or the will of others. When I can find out what it is and who did it, I can take it out.
JA: On earth we have seen new diseases like AIDS and Ebola. Where do they come from? Can curanderos stop these diseases?
DR: These come at the same time from the same world – from this world. They emerge at the same time.
JA: Can they be prevented?
DR: For every disease like this that comes along there are treatments. There are medicines. Even for AIDS there are vegetable medicines that work very well to control it and people don’t always die from it. One of these remedies for people infected with AIDS is to eat tortoise. When the tortoise – from the time it hatches and throughout it’s life – eats a variety of forest fruits and plants which keep it from getting sick. The tortoise never gets sick. It has a strong immune system. So eating the meat of the tortoise passes on the strength of its immune system to the person who eats it. Here, we very much believe in the strong adage “You are what you eat.” That’s why we don’t eat pork because pigs eat a lot of stuff that we wouldn’t think of eating. So basically what people eat makes them conscious that they are part of the food chain. They are in that flow of nutrient or flow of medicine depending on what characteristics that plant has.
JA: What have I not asked you that I should?
DR: I have dedicated myself to shamanism to help people. There are people who come who want to learn how to be a curandero, how to be a shaman. They have to be dedicated to learning the good side of it and not the lies. They have to learn how to do good and not to carry forth the lies.
JA: Are you training anyone?
DR: Right now the only one is my son. My son is studying under me. My son is 28 years old.
Victoria Alexander: When you were working on Tom, I saw that your icaro [power song] called forth a spirit. He was dancing rhythmically to your icaro. He was powerfully built, very tall, and wore a headdress of feathers. When I asked who he was, and how to make contact with him, I was unable to get his attention. Who was he? DR: (nods and smiles) This is Lashingo. It is a spirit guide of the ——– tribe. He has worked with me for years. You would not have been able to contact him.
HOWARD LAWLER: You probably would not have been able to contact him. These spirit helpers are very specific to the people they work with. They don’t work with just anybody. Just anybody can’t call them. They’re not going to respond. This kind of work – when he comes back through the door to be in this world for a brief period of time – he is specifically an ally of Don Romulo. But with time, you certainly would find your own sprit doctors who would work with you. There are many out there that who are unaffiliated and waiting for the right person to come along. But there is a destiny to this and when the spirit meets you on the other side and makes that commitment to you then that spirit is with you forever. I have my spirit doctors also. They are mine, they come to me in my work and they are with me. Its not any one person who is gifted to have this connection but anyone can attain it if they want to.