Despacho Ceremony with Q’ero Elders

Despacho is a beautiful, old tradition in the Q’ero lineage of Peru that has been used for centuries for a variety of occasions and celebrations. It can be said that it is generally used to celebrate all sides of humane experiences – births, deaths, expressions of gratitude – but a profound observer may soon realise that the despacho ceremony has multiple layers and may also be used for a deeper physical and emotional healing in order to restore harmony and balance in one’s life.

It also serves as a direct prayer and offering to Mother Earth (Pachamama) and many spirits from the Q’ero pantheon. Continue reading “Despacho Ceremony with Q’ero Elders”

Education as a solid foundation for plant-based medicinal work

As much as I progressed in the light of the plant-based medicinal work in the past couple of beautiful and very beneficial years, I think it would be an act of immature, if not perpetual ignorance to deny the dark side of the Ayahuasca boom and the growing dangers of the unregulated world of psychedelic tourism and, the role and impact of foreign visitors training themselves to be shamans, where the lack of understanding of the cultural frames and the substance we now gladly expose ourselves to is widely ignored or simply unstudied. Importantly, the danger a cultural theft, alongside many other not so “light-soaked” pieces of a larger image (sexual predatory), is often unmentioned.

Continue reading “Education as a solid foundation for plant-based medicinal work”

Yachay and Mariri

Indigenous shamanism is full of intriguing beliefs and fascinating stories. Those of you who have had worked with indigenous healers can probably see them spitting, clearing their throats or coughing a lot throughout various ceremonies. As much as it may just look as just a simple physical reaction there is a deeper and more metaphysical meaning to this. Continue reading “Yachay and Mariri”

Just a Family Meeting

¿Que hora es? – asks our Maestra Juana, as the day slowly changes into the night.

– Son las ocho. – somebody replies and, as with the touch of a magic wand, the rainforest starts its cacophonic concert of buzzes, pings, and rustles of hundreds of insects, birds, reptiles, and mammals. The jungle never sleeps.

Nature opens its portal. Permission to enter is given.
The night is about to unfold.

Continue reading “Just a Family Meeting”

Samá – The Soul Diet

Samá in Shipibo language or ‘dieta’ is a therapeutic and spiritual practice of isolation and working and integrating with plant medicine. A huge part of this deep traditional experience is to create a direct interaction with plant spirits and their energy and ignite a deep, conscious and complex healing process. It can be seen as a traditional support foundation upon which the structure of deeper and extended, time-wise, work with plant medicine is built. Continue reading “Samá – The Soul Diet”

Noya Rao – The Path of Truth

Noya Rao is almost a mythical tree that grows in the Amazonian forest. Little to no information is to be found on this majestic tree, and it’s all for a very valid reason, that needs to be underlined in the first paragraph – to protect it. Within the Shipibo-Conibo tribe’s traditions, who are widely considered to have the most symbiotic and very conscious approach to plant-based medicine, Noya Rao is generally seen as the great-great-grand Mother of all the other plants. Little information is to be found about this sacred plant online, so here is what I have learnt from the local communities, my Maestra and from my own research, narrowing it down to only what is allowed to be shared by its guardians. Continue reading “Noya Rao – The Path of Truth”

The Mystery of Toro Muerto’s Petroglyphs

Petroglifos de Toro Muerto (Coordinates: 16°13’20”S 72°30’28”W) is certainly one of the most amazing places I have ever discovered. Founded by the Wari (Huari) culture (500-900 AC) and located in the high Peruvian desert, part of the Colca Valley, Toro Muerto (Eng. Dead Bull) is a collection of ancient petroglyphs scattered over the area of over 5 km2 and consisted of thousands of volcanic boulders from two relatively close volcanoes, the Chachani and Coropuna, with thousands of carvings portraying people, various animals, birds, lizards and mysterious patterns. The site blew my mind to pieces. I found this isolated spot exceptional for at least few reasons. Continue reading “The Mystery of Toro Muerto’s Petroglyphs”