According to the Bwitist genesis, the hallucinogenic properties of the iboga were first discovered by the Pygmies in the interior of the jungle. They in turn passed their knowledge on the neighboring people, the Apindji and the Mitsogho, who started the first Bwitist rituals. Later on, this knowledge was passed on to the Fang, the Eshira and other ethnic groups throughout southern Gabon.
Shamanism, an ancient Tradition found in cultures throughout the world, values a balanced relationship between humanity and Nature. Because of the recent alarming increase in pollution and exploitation of the environment, along with the consequential negative ramifications, such as the emergence of new illnesses,
In a volume devoted to the study of shamanism and hallucinogenic drugs it is important to include data concerning a group whose experiences with the hallucinogenic peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii) in shamanistic rituals resulted in serious conflict and, ultimately, proscription of the ceremonial use of the drug.
Living in harmony with the environment and the laws of Nature is one of the central ideas of Rastafarianism. To live in accordance with the Earth is to live in accordance with Jah; it is incorporated into the morality that is Rastafarian consciousness. The Rasta’s reverence for nature is influenced by the traditional African religions which are still practiced in Jamaica and which have also influenced Christianity on the island tremendously. Hinduism, too, has influenced many Rastafarian beliefs and practices.
Maria Sabina, Mazatec healer, curandera, and Shaman, a native of Huautla de Jimenez, in the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, passed away in 1985 at the age of 91. She is famous for the role she played in introducing the sacred mushroom ceremony, velada to the world.
An ethnobotanist by profession and idealist by avocation, Dr. Mark Plotkin has enough credentials and media appearances to boost anybody’s ego. Plotkin is president of the Amazon Conservation Team (ACT), Research Associate for the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, and is Harvard, Yale, and Tufts educated.
One look at the leading causes of death in America should alert any thinking being to the idea that something truly is amiss with drug laws worldwide. These statistics show us what the real health dangers in our society are and bring in to question the government’s policies on drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
Widely hailed as the “Father of Ethnobotany,” Richard Evans Schultes carried out pioneering research on the relationship between people and plants in the Americas for many decades. He spent decades studying the use of entheogens with various indigenous groups and remains one of the leading contributors in his field.
“You look more modern than I thought you’d be,” said the visitor as we sat in my comfortable living room overlooking the ocean that surrounds the island of Kaua’i. He glanced at my large screen TV, the VCR, and the Tabora seascape on the wall with a faint trace of disapproval. Clearly I did not fit his model of what a shaman is supposed to look like.
F. imbricata is held sacred for its powers as an incense, as the plant produces a large quantity of fragrant smoke when burned. In Chile, and many other South American countries, the fresh or dried herbage is burned during most all traditional ceremonies, festivals, offerings to nature deities, and so forth. Many native peoples keep bundles of the branches to light as incense whenever purification, cleansing, or an energy shift is needed. When an individual is ill, the sick room is filled with the smoke of F. imbricata, which is said to banish unwanted spirits and demons, and to push away the darkness of sickness. In the Atacama Desert, this incense is burned to purify spaces, and to calm and liberate the spirits of the dead.
The effort to win over Afghans on former Taliban turf in Marja has put American and NATO commanders in the unusual position of arguing against opium eradication, pitting them against some Afghan officials who are pushing to destroy the harvest.
The two traditional Mazatec methods are quite inefficient in that they require many more leaves than do the other methods, but they are very safe! Traditionally the leaves are taken in a semi-darkened place as part of a healing or religious ceremony. At least one person is present to watch over the people who have taken Salvia.