A great read for seekers and thrill-seekers interested in ayahuasca tourism, entheogens, and counterculture studies, this companion volume to the author’s memoir Aya Awakenings collects in-depth interviews with native Amazonian curanderos (healers) and Western shamans traveling the “gringo trail” in the jungles of Central and South America in search of a direct encounter with ayahuasca’s multidimensional reality.
In areas of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, the traditional herbal brew known as ayahuasca or yajé is legally used to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit by connecting it to the web of life; Sting and Tori Amos have admitted sampling it in Latin America, as has Paul Simon, who chronicled the experience in his song “Spirit Voices.” Australian journalist Rak Razam documents the thriving business of 21st-century Amazonian hallucinogenic shamanism from multiple perspectives, revealing the stark differences between indigenous and foreign approaches as well as the commonalities.
1. INDIGENOUS CURANDEROS
Adela Navas De Garcia Guillermo; Percy Garcia Lozano; Elias Mamallacta; Don Francisco Montes Shuna; Norma Panduro Navarro and Paula Harbrink Numan; Don Juan Tangoa Paima; Sara Alicia Ferreira Yaimes
2. WESTERN SHAMANS
Kevin Furnas; Scott Petersen; Carlos Tanner; Ron Wheelock
3. AYAHUASCA WORKERS
Chuck; Jan Kounen; Dennis McKenna; Alan Shoemaker
Alexis; Brian; Javier; Joel and Elsa; Pedro; Rachel ; Rolando; Wind Spirit Center