Do you have to go to Peru???

topic posted Sun, March 11, 2007 - 9:36 AM by  kat
Hey everyone - I'm relatively new to this tribe. i've been hanging out and reading threads for a while now trying to get the "lay of the land," so to speak. one thing i've noticed is that nearly everyone on here has either been to Peru/the Amazon, or seems to pretty much assume they will need to go there to experience the ayawaska ceremony. is this really the case? and if so, why? isn't ayawaska now legal in a sacramental context in the US? and aren't there other countries where it's legal? or is there something about the experience that you feel needs to happen in the jungle setting for it to be complete?

last fall a friend gave me an old ipod which has allowed me to start (re-)listening to a bunch of podcasts (palenque norte, etc) and old talks by terence mckenna. several times i've heard references to other plant species that contain DMT and/or MAOIs, many of which are not Amazonian jungle plants (Illinois bundle-weed, for example). if there is something about the plant spirit itself that resonates in the experience, i would think that you would simply want to create a brew that is native to the area where you are??

i admit this is something of a selfish question - I'd love to experience ayawaska, but my life is such that i can't see myself being able to drop everything and spend a wad of cash flying off to Peru for a couple of weeks anytime soon. and in fact, the whole idea of jet-setting around the globe kind of goes against the concepts of sustainability and eco-friendliness that i (and i'm sure many of you) am trying to live my life within. how do y'all reconcile all this? are there people (shamans, or whatever) trying to create localized ayawaska-like ceremonial experiences with native plant species elsewhere?

that's a lot for a first post! i guess i'll stop now and listen.
posted by:
offline kat
  • I've been helped by the Lady and it wasn't in the Amazon. Although the drift I'm getting from the experienced people is that the expereience is best in her home. So maybe one day I'll go to her home but in the mean time I'll invite her to mine.
  • No, you don't have to go to Peru or to South America to experience Ayahuasca.
    • "is there something about the experience that you feel needs to happen in the jungle setting for it to be complete?"

      IMHO it does need to be in a natural setting to be "complete," but if not that, you should at least have living plants with you. Even potted plants. (Aya helps you "trip" on other Plants, so to speak, and not just by ingesting them. Making the DMT plants orally active is only one way that she potentiates the Plant Spirits to work and communicate with you. The jungle contains such intense Plant energies that when you drink Aya in the jungle, ALL the Plants can enter your experience, not just the ones you drank. The Plant spirits are not trapped inside simple physical molecules.)

      Aya can help you communicate with the Plants of your own region as well. I have always had connection with Plants; I can tell intuitively what Plants are edible, medicinal, poisonous, and which are native and which are introduced. So I know that humans have this ability. I forage for my own wild food and medicine, and always leave Tobacco or prayers for the spirits of those Plants. But Aya has increased this Plant connection by orders of magnitude. And also stripped away any reticence I ever may have had about talking about Plants as living, communicating beings. Aya can make you not just aware of the Plants as living beings -- she can bring you deeply inside of the consciousness of the Plant world, so that you experience the world in the way that Plants do, so that you "look out at the world" through Plant "eyes," so to speak.

      You can make Ayahuasca with any tryptamine plant you want, or a wide variety of other Plants, including herbs not even considered to be psychoactive (but don't do this randomly, but guided by Plant communication as it develops). Dieta helps make you "transparent" to the Plants. (Dieta is considered important for personal healing as well, because it makes your spirit transparent for the Plants to work on it. In the Amazon, dieta is practiced both to learn how to do Plant healing and to be healed oneself.) Adding those other herbs to the brew is only one option for working with them. For some people, it is not even necessary to continue to drink Aya once they are opened to the Plant world. (Which I do think happens more easily in the jungle, where the Plant energy is so intense it can blow your circuits, and then forever more you walk this earth as a hybrid plant-human.) Ayahuasca helps people discover medicines and how to work with them, including all her different admixtures. She would probably work well with your local plants. They don't even need to be tryptamine plants; just drink strong Vine brew and sit at the base of an ancient Oak tree. If you don't have Vine, though, all you have is orally active DMT, not Ayahuasca.
      • kat
        offline 7
        "IMHO it does need to be in a natural setting to be "complete,"" - yes, agreed, definitely.

        "If you don't have Vine, though, all you have is orally active DMT, not Ayahuasca. " - again, agreed, to a point - but i would think that there might be an equally powerful plant for other places, that would have a natural connection to that place in much the same way as Aya is the Lady of the rainforest. i will think on this some more. and yes, it would not be aya - chemically, it might be analogous, but spiritually it might be worlds apart. or not. again, i will think on this.

        thank you.

        • "i would think that there might be an equally powerful plant for other places, that would have a natural connection to that place in much the same way as Aya is the Lady of the rainforest. i will think on this some more. and yes, it would not be aya - chemically, it might be analogous, but spiritually it might be worlds apart. or not."

          All of the Plants are teachers, whether chemically psychoactive or not. They are all powerful. They are not "equally" powerful, because, like human teachers, Plant teachers each have their own unique personality and gifts. They are not "more" or "less" than each other.

          In the mechanistic society that is the dominant society, we individual humans are all like interchangeable parts of a machine, interchangeable roles, like the parts of a car. You or I could stand behind the cash register at the supermarket, and as long as we did the job right, it wouldn't matter if it were you or I doing the scanning. Your unique gifts, your unique personality, your unique way of expressing the One Consciousness wouldn't matter. All that would matter would be how many items you could scan in an hour. Customers prefer the "more powerful" cashiers, those who can scan the most items in an hour. But those that can scan the same number of items are interchangeable, and replaceable. And customers are interchangeable too. They are measured only in numbers and numbers of dollars they spend. They are all components of a machine.

          But the cashier scanning your items is so much =more= than the ability to scan your items. They may be interchangeable in the role of cashier, but they each have unique stories, unique lives, unique gifts they each bring to the world. Each one of them has the potential to form a human relationship with you. The slowest cashier ("least powerful" by those who measure them all by a single measuring stick) might have the deepest wisdom. Maybe that slow cashier might look deep into your eyes and make a human connection that stays with you. Maybe some deep human understanding might pass between you in that moment, and you are more than two interchangeable components of a machine -- you are two living beings with a connection. And the more you discover each other's uniqueness, the more you understand your oneness as well (even if that seems to contradict human logic).

          Getting to know the Plant spirits is sort of like meeting the eyes of the clerk at the grocery store and suddenly making a wordless human connection. The mechanistic society encourages us to think of the Plants as interchangeable, if they can play the same role. It encourages us not to see the "person" behind the mechanistic role (though, ironically, my local grocery chain teaches its cashiers to follow a script which includes greeting each customer and thanking them using their name, which is printed by computer on a sales slip. The chain knows that it is good business to create an illusion of human contact for those in the customer role. But think of the difference between that and a business with whom you have a real human relation, the corner store owned by a family you have known your whole life, which supports your business as well, and you care about each other. Once, people lived in communities, which were networks of such living human relations. Being part of a bioregional community is much like being a rooted part of a human community)

          Every time you eat a plant or use it for medicine or use it for its psychoactive effects on your brain, you could just do it like you and it were just parts of a machine, interacting only at a physical level, or you could make that contact. You can communicate at more levels than just the physical roles. Ayahuasca vine can play the role of an MAOI, and so can other Plants, just as many different people could play the role of cashier; they have an analogous relationship to you when playing that role. But it is possible to get to know the "people" behind that cash register, and appreciate their unique personalities and gifts, and become friends with them.

          Ayahuasca, the Vine, has her own unique gifts. And one message I have received from her repeatedly is that her time on the world stage is short, but very important for this critical time in our history. She has several gifts, one important one being healing, and another one being her ability to work as a translator and mediator between the Plant world and the Human world, the ability to teach humans how to communicate with Plants, at a very deep level. The deepest Plant Spirit work on Earth is that of the region of Ayahuasca's homeland. And she does carry the spirit of the jungle with her. But she is connected with the entire Plant world. She can work with almost any other Plants -- in different ways. Admixtures in the brew are only one of the many ways that she works with other Plants and teaches Humans how to better communicate and work with them. (I wonder, if a human teacher were coming from another bioregion to teach about communicating with Plants, would they be unable to teach you because they come from another region? Can books written by people who come from other places teach us?)

          Each teacher is unique, even though ultimately they are teaching the same thing. The mechanistic society has such a thing as "substitute teachers," because even education is an assembly-line machine. But your relationship with a true spiritual teacher is unique, because it is a unique interaction between your uniqueness and the teacher's uniqueness. Plants teach us what seems to be contradictory to human logic, that the more we appreciate and cherish our uniqueness, the more we understand our oneness. Aya is unique. Other Plant teachers are unique. But they all tap into the same wisdom. And you don't have to actually ingest a Plant in order to receive its teachings. That is only one way.

          Aya, as a teacher, can help teach you deep communication with the Plants who comprise the ecosystem of which you are a part. That is part of her work upon this Earth: to help humans to open up to ALL Plant communication. But she is not the only Teacher. All Plants can teach you.
  • Illegal it is for all in the US other than Santo Daime. You can find info about SD and likely get in invite. I heard there were several Aya groups around the country but the feds clamped down on people brining in the vine, chakruna, etc. 3-4 years ago, tapping phones, putting a well-known supplier from Peru in jail in Florida, etc., and many of the groups wisely shut down. Put the vibe out there and see if you attract a group nearby. Obviously details cannot be discussed in the tribe.

    Other than that, I find it best to experience Her in her home in the Amazon. I save my cash and go down 1-2 times a year. No match for the overall experience. Aside from the yage, up here, the closest thing I have found is salvia divinorum, which is legal. Different spirits and experiences, but for me as visual and enlightening.

    Here's some info about legality in other countries and there's a lot more out on the web:

    Good luck!
    • kat
      offline 7
      thanks for the info. wow, that's pretty scary. i had kind of thought that after the whole supreme court win, that they would leave ayawaskeros alone. good to know this before i decided to order up a bunch of vine online! i don't really want my first ayawaska experience to involve being bailed out of jail. Peru is looking better and better all the time.

      i've been trying to find out more about the UDV branch in NM, which i think is the one that won the court case, but they are very secretive, it seems, and i am a long way from there (about 2500 miles, i think). almost as easy to go to Peru. :-/ i'd also heard they are based in a neo-Christian philosophy - which is NOT how i would want to approach it; i want to be to whatever comes, if you know what i mean.

      erowid tries really hard, but often their information is woefully out of date.

      thanks again! namaste, and perhaps i'll eventually see you in Peru.
      • Unsu...
        its not illegal to posses or order plants for ingesting ayahuasca from online sources.
        ordering prebrewed ayahausca from peru might be a bit scetchy... but its not illegal to order plants... if your going to order plants and brew them up nowthat ordering them is not illegal but brewing them is and haveing a prebrewed cup of ayahausca in your fridge is the ayahuasca has in it dmt from viridis or any of the other tryptamine admixtures... well thats against the law. brewing is against the law if your working with a tryptaine contianing plant in your brew. brewing tryptamine contianing plants in the united states is considered manufacturing DMT. which is stupid for sure. i think the UDV ( not the santo damie which i beleive they are still not legaly able to work with the damie in the states) has to have thier ayahausca sent to them prebrewed in the united states.
        no one is getting busted really for privately ordering plants... and i have heard of very few people actualy getting into any legal problems with privately and discretely theoreticly brewing the plants and drinking it...
        if you grow plants that contian harmine and harmaline as well as dimethyltrptamine in your home or property for private consumption... more power to you...
        word to the wise... move to hawaii...
  • Unsu...
    you rock by the way!!!!

    ". and in fact, the whole idea of jet-setting around the globe kind of goes against the concepts of sustainability and eco-friendliness that i (and i'm sure many of you) am trying to live my life within. how do y'all reconcile all this? are there people (shamans, or whatever) trying to create localized ayawaska-like ceremonial experiences with native plant species elsewhere?"

    the answer is YES to the above...

    come and join us...
    • kat
      offline 7
      aw, thanks :-)

      ... you know with a moniker like "katuah" i'm all in for anything bioregionally-focused. looks interesting! thanks for the links! hmmm..... maybe i should start a tribe for bioregionalists in general?
      • Unsu...
        the best and the worst shamen are everywhere, there are places like Leticia Colombia where there are good shamen to, Ecuador is kind of rocky in the jungle at the moment, the Shuar are at war witht the petroleum interests Cobija ,Bolivia has a group of Dimistas which are open to visitors seeking healing, and i highley recommend trying aya with the Santo Dimes they are really into music and have a kind of Christian base but very egoless and singing and playing music together is very healing. Beautiful people. i have heard the best egoless shamans in peru are Kush and Alfonso around the Cusco area and a couple in Pucalpa, peru that i can t recall their names at the moment. i definatley think the medicine reaches you when you seek it wherever you are, and thats a great place wherever it is.
        • Unsu...
          that would be great to have a tribe for just plain old bioregionalism... lol... you should do that..
          i kinda feel that if your going to get the message that ayahuasca has to offer... which seems to be that of green conciousness that its moot point to go about destroying the earth just to work with her... when there are plenty of other local plants an way of working with regional methods that dont have so much of an ecological foot print as importantion from south america as well as flying there... between the plants that can be wildcrafted as well as grown in your area... theres no need to have such a devistating foot print just to drink ayahuasca... just seems silly to me... i know alot of people will argue with me on that one... so many have... but still ive had the local plant and animal spirits have perhaps an even longer lasting and more intigrated impact on my life personal... and this is partialy because i get to interact with them all day long. they are right in front of me while the amazon is pretty far away and alien to me.
          but thats just MY opinion...
          ive challenged people many times to look at the ecological foot print of thier ayahuasca use as well as thier tours to the amazon and no one ever looks at it seriously.
  • T.
    offline 1
    Some of the better Shamans used to come to US in the early 90's but not anymore....Jaya bear google first entry..Spirit Journey .does trips to Peru to see Don Augustine Rivas, the shaman I worked with 5 times....funny thing...I asked if anyone else here had done the ceremony with Don Augustine and many said they had met him and he came off like a jerk but the man i knew was as close to a Saint as you can go figure...
    • I have worked with Don Agustine Rivas 9 times myself and I also have had the experience of him as a very caring man. His camp and the experiences there have been life changing for me! By the way, Jaya Bear doesn't work with Don Agustine anymore and brings groups to shamans in Pucallpa now.
  • Traveling to exotic places to take psychoactive substances has been discussed in another tribe as a sort of middle class entheogenic tourism. It might be a good idea as a total cultural experience, but reminds me too much of people who used to go to India to seek enlightenment and find gurus. It's looking outside your self, your own culture, for something more exciting and exotic. The difference and freshness of it often makes it seem unique and superior to what one has known, the “grass is greener” effect. There is also a tendency for industrial city dwellers to idealize more “primitive”, tribal, or less technological people. As far as the substances themselves, you can grow some, most of them are available for any of several vendors on the net, and you can even buy them on ebay. Set and setting are everything, and getting that is often more difficult than the substances to take them in. A ceremony or ritual is a guided trip, which isn’t a bad idea if you don’t know where you’re going.
    • The thing that I have found really useful by drinking aya in the Amazon is the help of the ayahuasquero, who, if s/he is experienced, has a great many stories to tell that can help you make sense of the energetic experiences. I did not come here to drink ayahuasca, but to work (or rather because my partner works here, I just write and could be anywhere, really); but I have also found that it is a long process (maybe I am just daft!) and that if I'd come here for a few weeks to drink ayahuasca I would have been exactly that: a middle-class tourist on a trip trip.

      Also, when asked about taking ayahuasca home with us to Europe, the ayahuasquero said that we should brew it here and not on what would be dried out plants by the time we got home. Perhaps this is just his superstition, perhaps it is his respect and loyalty to the plant spirit, perhaps....

      In addition to the sensible exchanges in which the healer can help you make sense of what is going on - if for instance you ask the spirit a question, but can't make fully sense of the answers she gives you, s/he can help by telling more stories (about the stories) - I feel here that I am part of something age-old - in Europe in the psychedelic scene and even with close, good friends whom I respect for their many years of practising these matters, I feel that we're isolated individuals or atoms in the wind.

      Finally, when you have a "too strong" dose that sends you out into into waters that feel impossible to navigate, the ayahuasquero can sing and dance you to your senses (I guess a good piece of music can potentially always do that).

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