Ayahuasca

Video: Jaguar Eating Ayahuasca: simply to purge?

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A video, embedded below, is circulating the ayahuasca surfers’ realm. It shows, whether true or not, a jaguar feeding on the ayahuasca vine. The jaguar is a very centrally important figure in the cosmovision of many Amazonian ayahuasca cultures, the observations of which continue to spawn many speculations about the various practices and myths around the jaguar (and ayahuasca).

A very early observation states that:

“Ingestion of Ayahuasca usually induces nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and leads to either an euphoric or an aggressive state. Frequently the Indian sees overpowering attacks of huge snakes or jaguars. These animals often humiliate him because he is a mere man. The repetitiveness with which snakes and jaguars occur in Ayahuasca visions has intrigues psychologists. It is understandable that these animals play such a role, since they are the only beings respected and feared by the Indians of the tropical forest; because of their power and stealth, they have assumed a place of primacy in aboriginal religious beliefs.

In many tribes, the shaman becomes a feline during the intoxication, exercising his powers as a cat. Yekwana medicine men mimic the roars of jaguars. Tukano Ayahuasca-takers may experience nightmares of jaguar jaws swallowing them or huge snakes approaching and coiling around their bodies … shamans of the Conibo-Shipibo tribe acquire great snakes as personal possessions to defend themselves in supernatural battles against other powerful shamans.

The drug may be the shaman’s tool to diagnose illness or to ward off impending disaster, to guess the wiles of an enemy, to prophesy the future. But it is more than the shaman’s tool. It enters into almost all aspects of the life of the people who use it, to an extent equalled by hardly any other hallucinogen. Partakers, shamans or not, see all the gods, the first human beings, and animals, and come to understand the establishment of their social order.”

Did the shamans learn from the jaguars to use the plant? Is there a cosmic connection, therefore, through the ayahuasca between the jaguar and people that live with the cats and the ayahuasca plant?

The Jaguar Theory notes that:

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Can ayahuasca heal the crisis of capitalism?

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Ayahuasca is going global“, said a prominent psychedelic researcher recently, and it is also going mainstream as part of journeying across the planet. In the Californian TV series “Weeds” the leading act, Marie-Louise Parker’s character, Nancy Botwin, drinks ayahuasca under rather suspect circumstances with the leader of a drug-, guns- and human- trafficking Mexican mafia, who is also the mayor of Tijuana for added comic value. The ceremony is led by a young shaman who is told by the spirit of the medicinal brew not to give it to Nancy; she is not ready for it, so to speak, but he uses the words “I should not give it to her” and the gangster boss says “that’s alright, I’ll give it to her then”. Not off to a good start, but then again what do those shamans know about what a mobster’s girlfriend needs?

Watch the ayahuasca sequence here:

There are various issues at play here. Firstly, the most obvious one of the slightly forced drinking where the strong male insists that the little girl drinks despite warnings by the learned practitioner. That, however, is not so bad, – perhaps he knew better..

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Leave the Oil in the Soil: Yasuni, ITT, the Huaorani people and the Amazon.

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There is a potentially radical process unfolding – keep the oil in the soil:

“In the heart of the Amazon basin lies the most biologically diverse forest on the planet, Yasuní. Yasuní National Park is home to the Waorani and some of the last indigenous peoples still living in isolation in the Amazon, whose ancestral lands sit atop Ecuador’s largest undeveloped oil reserves, the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil block … In 2007, the new government of President Correa has offered an unprecedented and historic proposal: Ecuador will not allow extraction of the ITT oil fields in Yasuní, if the world community can create a compensation trust to leave the oil permanently in the ground and fund Ecuador’s sustainable development into the future. The groups listed on this website portal, LiveYasuni.org, endorse this policy.

For a general overview visit http://www.sosyasuni.org/ – which is part of the Amazonia por la Vida Campaign (which is incidentally also the subtitle of the colonos blog) – and which is a social movement to expand the “keep the oil in the soil” proposal to include not only the ITT blocks, but the whole region, which is home to one of the world’s greatest diversity of species (some of which are from before last ice age) and home also to the Huaorani people and along the Napo river there are many Kichwa communities as well. Missing from the proposal, then, are at least:

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Invitation to Expedition in the Napo-Ucayali Corridor: June/July 2008

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It is still early days of planning, but a small group of people are planning to travel, for the second time, down the Napo river – doing workshops relevant for indigenous peoples’ struggles, such as shamanic civil rights, and healing sessions in communities along the 1000km long and very exciting route from the beginning of the River Napo in Tena, Ecuador to Iquitos (where it meets the Amazon and the Ucayali rivers). The journey goes through one of the most biodiverse regions in the world – right past the Yasuni National Park, before crossing the border into Peru. After visiting The 4th International Amazonian Shamanism Conference: Magic, Myths and Miracles, which will be held in Iquitos, Peru – July 19th – 26th, 2008, we might continue to Pucallpa….

Sunrise on the River Napo

Contemporary developments in the global economy are very significant for the Amazon rain forest. While this might be said to be true for anywhere at any point in time there are nevertheless good reasons for paying special attention to what maybe the last battle for the survival of the largest rain forest in the world, the loss of which it should need no further justification to lament – and that is the basis upon which this invitation is written….

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UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: the real work continues!

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About a month ago the global indigenous peoples’ struggle reached a milestone.

Here are some comments and resources collected and followed by a brief reflection.

First from Resistance Studies:

“The United Nations have overwhelmingly approved the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: after over a decade of negotiations, and a year of Canada trying to stall the final vote on it in the General Assembly” says Nicole Scabus, the International Advisor of the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade.

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Quiet as the night..

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Tonight there was a special energy in the air – something tranquil, quiet as the night it enveloped the movements of those awake and the dreams of those asleep. It had been raining – finally. The rainy season arrived for a day and a half, it rained.

The forest is dying of thirst, it cannot breathe; but tonight it lived for a moment. The rain had come and the rain forest sighed in relief – a deep breath and the half moon lit the night.

We retire into our tents and into our dreams“, tomorrow we enter the future of our lives, so we better be ready!

Social movements oppose Correa: can he sit on the fence?

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The environmentally insensitive actions of Rafael Correa —that has been a blog subject for a while— opposed by social movements in the constituent assembly:

NO PERMITIRAN INGRESO DE PETROBRAS AL YASUNI

Cuestionan posición ambiental del Presidente Correa en Brasil

Los movimientos sociales, pueblos indígenas, organizaciones campesinas y poderes locales de la amazonía ecuatoriana no permitirán la explotación petrolera del ITT y bloque 31 y la entrada de Petrobrás al Yasuní, porque es una compañía transnacional acusada de violar las leyes del Ecuador, provocar graves perjuicios económicos en la explotación del campo Palo Azul e impactos ambientales, por lo cual enfrenta una solicitud de caducidad contractual en el Ministerio de Energía y Minas, informó Fernando Villavicencio, vocero del Frente “Somos Poder Constituyente”.

 

Los movimientos sociales cuestionan la afirmación del Presidente Correa realizada en Brasil de que “la pobreza es el principal peligro para el medio ambiente”, eso es desconocer una realidad inobjetable de la historia, de que la principal causa de la contaminación y del propio empobrecimiento es la voracidad extractivista de las transnacionales que privilegian la acumulación de capital sobre los intereses del ser humano y la naturaleza.

 

More information on Ecuador Indymedia

Interview with a Yachak.

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These are notes from an interview with a Kichwa Yachak – a traditional healer of Napo in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Fidel Andy is an “ayahuasquero“, who uses primarily the ayahuasca medicine to heal people. Read the rest of this entry »

Cultural Corridor Letter to the world!

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Hi World,

This letter was sent in an email to a conference organiser, but it looks like it could be read by anyone interested in these matters:

One of the projects that I am fiddling with here (on the side of my PhD) concerns a network of community-based botanical gardens in the Napo-Ucayali corridor.

As you might be aware, Correa, Lula and Chavez (for instance an oil pipeline to Argentina), as well as of course the Peruvian state, have great plans for “corredores inter-oceanicos” which will essentially, finally, cut the Amazon apart in order to bring cheap consumer goods, in the short term, to the Brasilian cities, and in the long term to all of the continent, of course, –and the last trees and oil and other natural resources back to China, so that they can produce the plastics to come here….

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Ayahuasca in San Francisco: coming down the Cordillera Blanca and back up with spirit juice.

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It had been two long days, coming down from the Cordillera Blanca from Huaraz via La Union and Huanuco at the door step to the Peruvian Amazon. As far as the mines, some hours before La Union, there had been decent roads, of course for the trucks carrying away the sub-terranean resources to the Canadian bottom line. The ugly appearance of mining facilities and the steady stream of full-sized lorries carrying ton after ton tears your heart apart, -like the mines tear the heart out of the mountains. The Cordillera Blanca is an outstandingly beautiful area – never quite seen anything like it.

In 1966, the Alpamayo mountain was declared “the most beautiful mountain in the world” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization“.

The (swim in the) Chinancocha lake speaks for itself:

But the mining business is growing and the mountains shrinking, and the water quality around the mines – down the rivers far away – becoming an ever more dismal health threat:

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Ayahuasca: shifting the assemblage point

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Drank ayahuasca tonight, for the fourth time. One thought worth reporting might be explained by way of the great fiction of Carlos Castaneda and his concept of “assemblage point”. Anyone is free to think what they like about his work, but like flies to shit the figures speak for themselves: it is popular. For me the books were instrumental, formative, eye-opening in my early 20s – great metaphors and possibilities for thought patterns, well wrapped in humourous prose in words attributed to Don Juan.

So what did he say? Well…. get off your flippin’ tits, init? Almost.

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Navigating the fractral geometry of emotions on wings of clarity.

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On reading the previous entry on Ayahuasca a good friend speculated on the plant spirit’s helpfulness in the context of creativity – the big question: what to do next?

This is a kind of reply.

The big questions about taking steps, and about moving through time and space as a creative being, can indeed be reflected on, for want of a better term for the kind of clarity that the plant spirits induces, with Ayahuasca.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bd/Julia_set_%28indigo%29.png/180px-Julia_set_%28indigo%29.png

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Ayahuasca: the fire this time!

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Trip report (wham bam thank you):

Third time drinking ayahuasca with the local curandero. The first two sessions were ritual and moments of acquaintance with each other and with the plant spirit. With concentration and focus we encountered ayahuasca faintly in a dream like trance. El curandero kept saying that there was only one plant in the drink – he only works with one plant at a time, although he is well versed in a wide range of plants, including San Pedro and the dangerous Angel’s Trumpet:

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