Yage or Ayahuasca, scientific and shamanic definition

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Yage” also known as “Ayahuasca” is a powerful sacred medicine of the Amazon, a millenary tradition used for several indigenous communities as a powerful tool for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing and awakening. Let’s explore the Wikipedia definition of the brew:

“Ayahuasca (ayawaska pronounced [ajaˈwaska] in the Quechua language) is a brew of various psychoactive infusions or decoctionsprepared with the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. It is usually mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing species of shrubs from the genus Psychotria. The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Peru, is known by a number of different names (see below). It has been reported that some effects can be had from consuming the caapi vine alone, but that DMT-containing plants (such as Psychotria) remain inactive when drunk as a brew without a source of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as B. caapi. How indigenous peoples discovered the synergistic properties of the plants used in the ayahuasca brew remains unclear. While many indigenous Amazonian people say they received the instructions directly from plants and plant spirits, researchers have devised a number of alternative theories to explain its discovery.”

Let’s take a look at this interview with Howard G Charing, one of the authors the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo” one of the world’s great visionary artists and a healer since he was 10. Pablo Amaringo was renowned for his intricate, colorful paintings inspired by his shamanic visions: http://www.ayahuascavisions.com/

“Howard: Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The combination (by brewing for hours) of these two plants produces a potent medicine that has the potential to heal our deepest emotional wounds. We can fully relive our painful life experiences and release or purge (a gentler term than vomiting) them from our body and psyche, and in a sense be purified. So essentially I would say that ayahuasca is a medicine that works through our physical and spiritual bodies. Of course having said that, ayahuasca is much more than a medicine, it is an encounter with an ‘other’ and greater consciousness, and has the potential to open a gateway to other realities that co-exist with our physical reality where one can experience the unity, totality, and the sublime nature of creation. It is a formidable and awe-inspiring experience and I need to add the caveat that due to its potency is not suitable for everybody. It is important to follow the rules for example avoiding certain foods, sexual activity, and libidinous thoughts, and to drink in a ceremony with a capable and trusted shaman without any shred of doubt. Historically there is evidence that ayahuasca has been a central part of the spiritual and cultural life of the Amazonian peoples for many hundreds of years. In fact the oldest known object related to ayahuasca is a ceremonial cup hewn from stone found in the Ecuadorian Amazon dated 500 BC to 50 AD. It is in the collection of the Ethnological Museum of the Central University in Quito. This indicates that ayahuasca potions were known and used at least 2,000 years ago.”

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One response to “Yage or Ayahuasca, scientific and shamanic definition

  1. Pingback: This was exactly what my ayahuasca experience was like! Told by Darpan. | melanie's blog·

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