Ayahuasca Article 2
Prominent evidence indicates that people have always sought out substances to alter their consciousness throughout history, as well as prehistory. In that sense, ayahuasca could be seen as just another one of these substances that is currently enjoying a certain vogue cache.
If you are unfamiliar with ayahuasca, it’s tea brewed from two particular South American plants, theBanisteriopsis caapi vine and thePsychotria viridis leaf. Neither plant has an effect separately, but when combined, they generate a powerful psychoactive brew. When ingested, it takes one on a powerful journey to inner worlds with an intense amplification of spiritual immersion.
There are tens of thousands of plant species in the Amazon. The statistical odds of experimenting among the possible combinations of plants to achieve such a recipe are beyond staggering, one in tens of millions of possibilities—a feat that giant pharmaceutical labs cannot imagine attempting. When the indigenous tribes are asked how they ever arrived at knowing which plants to select, they say the plant spirits told them which ones to use.
A History of Ayahuasca Use
Ayahuasca has been in use by native peoples in the Amazon for as long as their mythology goes back. For these indigenous people, it’s a living, sacred thing, a spirit that their shamans, or “ayahuasqueros,” sing to during ceremonial sessions. These songs are called icaros and are learned from spirits or elder shamans and are used to offer protection and summon healing energy.
Ayahuasca Shaman in the Amazon
While anthropologists and ethnobotanists first brought information of this practice to the western world, it was Terence McKenna and his brother, Dennis, who are credited for having the most influence in spreading its use and popularity. Terence, who embodied the term psychonaut, was dedicated, arguably obsessed, with discovering pathways to the wisdom realms of expanded consciousness so often revered in traditional tribal cultures around the world. It was through the McKenna brothers’ books and Terence’s extraordinary gift as a spell-weaving orator that so many were drawn to explore ayahuasca and adapt it into their spiritual pharmacopeia.
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