How Do the Sacred Power Plants Heal?
In advance, I would like to remind you of the particular circumstances that we should take into account at the cure and teaching with Shamanic Medicine, which is a system of knowledge and practices focused on the medicinal alteration of the therapist’s and the patient’s consciousness and perception. The specialized anthropological literature, terms this modification of the consciousness and perception as “Shamanic Conscious- ness” or “Shamanic Ecstasy of Consciousness.”
We know from the comparative ethnoanthropological investigations of Mircea ELIADE (“Shamanism and Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy”) and the trans-cultural psychological studies of Carlos’ Gustav JUNG (“The Archetypes of the Collective Subconscious”) that the Shamanism represents a universal phenomenon. Its fundamental and indispensable feature consists of this transformation of the consciousness, activated shamanically.
However, when revising the bibliography related with Shamanism, it is easy to have present that most of the studies are unsatisfactory due to their descriptive, highly observant and theoretical nature of investigation. They focus only on the social, ethnological, ethnobotanical, anthropological and mythological conditions of the shamanic cure; and this only from the conceptual conditions of the shamanically non-altered consciousness of the investigators. We qualify this type of investigation technically as inductive or speculatively ascendant, that is to try to understand something that is ignored or beyond the own knowledge through starting from one’s own knowledge. Most of the investigators of this topic not even intend to break the chains of the inductive investigation and maintain bottled in their rational and scientific vision. And those few investigators, those that were initiate personally in the “Shamanic Ecstasy of Consciousness”, knowing, consequently, the utility and healing effectiveness of its action and medicinal instruments, almost have not been considered by doctors and formal scientists so far.
They prefer namely to remain caught in their intellectual, scientific view of the world. The reason for it is that they are afraid of not being able to handle the worlds, with which they would have to confront in the shamanic state of consciousness. I even heard saying University professors in Psychiatry that they would be afraid of not being able to come along with what eventually could manifest within themselves. They are afraid of a psychotic exit of such an experience. However, this represents a sad certificate of incompetence, particularly with such people, who pretend that their vocational and professional reason of being is dedicated to the understanding and the cure of people, who suffer from mental disorders, of whatsoever nature.
All those ostensible “scientific” supports that were carried out about the shamanic conception of life and consciousness only from a shamanically non-altered conceptual and cognitive position of the investigators, lack seriousness and they represent only a group of fragmentary, faulty and really not very scientific speculations. They ignore the personal experience of the psychosomatic and psychoenergetic phenomenology of the “Shamanic Ecstasy of Consciousness”, which is the fundamental therapeutic principle of the Shamanic Medicine all over the world.
Well, the shamanic cure of the illness happens inside this extraordinary state of conscious- ness that distinguishes itself, to say it in the simplest terms, by a “Being outside” (“Ecstasy”) of the daily, common and well-known perception of reality. Alone from this new point or dislocated angle of view can the accustomed optics of our own psychosomatic reality be made uncertain. We term this shamanic procedure therefore “Interruption of the Routine”; that is the interruption of seeing oneself with one’s conditioned eyes and the view darkened by one’s personal preferences, values, interests and objectives of life.
The main objective of our Seminaries consequently consists of the shared awakening and living experience of this “Shamanic Ecstasy of Consciousness”, because with it also takes place simultaneously the awakening of our inherent and natural healing potency (“The Doctor Within”). For this, we make use of the shamanic methods transmitted since immemorial times as a universal strategy of the whole humanity for the acquisition of personal and collective knowledge, strength and health.
In the South American tradition of Shamanism, the diverse methods known and used for the instrumentation of the shamanic transformation of the consciousness usually imply the ingestion of medicines known as “Sacred Power Plants”. They are sacred because they act like psychotro- pic biocatalysts on the intrinsic structures of the individual’s most intimate and therefore sacred areas, unblocking energetic stagnations and “vitaminizing” energy deficiencies there. In short, ill- ness always means to have an excess of negative energies (not compatible with the harmonious flow of the vital energies) or a deficiency of positive energies.
We therefore do not need a bigger argument that the expert use of the “Shamanic (Psychocatalytic) Medicines” in the context of the Shamanic Medicine has nothing to do with the chaotic and inexpert use of narcotics in the context of the tragic phenomenon of drug addiction in our modern times. The shamanic use of these medicines is due to millennial wisdom and repre- sents the medical and cultural inheritance of all the indigenous people of South America since times immemorial.
In general, the South American lineage of Indian Shamanism distinguishes itself of an imposing abundance of very extraordinary healing plants.Among them we also find these “Sacred Power Plants”, as for example the SAN PEDRO Cactus (botanical name: Trichocereus Pacchanoi) of the Andean mountains and – among many others – the AYAHUASCA Vine (botanical name: Banisteriopsis Caapi) of the tropical forests of the Amazon basin. To them we owe the activation and energetic transformation of the lucid every day’s consciousness and of the sensorial routine perception into the “Shamanic Ecstasy of Consciousness”, which is indispensable for the shamanic cure. Because through waking up that latent “Doctor Within” in the deepest (archetypal or transpersonal) layers of our subconsciousness, simultaneously takes place a rectifying reprogramming of the not well driven vital impulses and a liberating transformation of blocked vital energy patterns.
It is surprising that in the contemporary medical literature these Shamanic Plants and Medicines and their active principles are still qualified incorrectly as “Hallucinogenic Plants or Substances”. This denomination is completely false, because “hallucination” means to perceive something that does not exist. Nevertheless, the shamanic medicines rather facilitate the percep- tion of the unknown symbols of our inner reality in the deepest layers of our subconsciousness; and of entities, ingredients and subtle energy emissions of the external reality, those that are not perceptible for our five coarse senses.
The notorious incrimination of these “Psychocatalytic Medicines” as “Drugs” (!?) by the WHO (World Health Organization) is not only untenable, examined closely at the wisdom of Sha- manism, but is totally absurd and truly grotesque, because – among other benefits – the “Sacred Power Plants” are also extremely capable to cure the very drug addiction. In addition, due to their own dynamics they produce an interior confrontation with oneself.
The Shamanic Plants and Medicines are not hallucinogens but “Psychocatalysts” that facilitate the perception of the unknown material in our subconsciousness with lucid consciousness. That in no way tends to lead a person to euphoric and pleasant experiences. For this reason, they are very inadequate of pro- ducing an addiction. Rather, from this same interior confrontation derives the possibility to become aware of impure or hidden pathogenic energies in the structures of our subconsciousness and to cleanse and transform them shamanically.
However, not few people shrink back from a shamanic cure of their problems, because they fear this inner confrontation. However, the enemy in the case of an illness is already indoors, whether we want to see it or not. Thus, an ostrich strategy really cannot lead to a healing.
We should wonder: Why have the Psychocatalytic or Shamanic Medicines been forbid- den? They do not produce any dependence and prove true through their unique healing power – inaccessible for the Formal Medicine –, if an experienced shaman uses them expertly. Did they forbid these medicines only because the doctors do not know how to handle them? Consider that the doctors use such heavy, gravely addictive poisons, as the opium and its products legally in our clinics!
In the interest for the health of the whole humanity, the rejuvenated investigation of the heal- ing effects of these psychocatalytic medicines has ended up being from now on an unconditional demand of our time that we should not postpone any more. However, it should be carried through seriously this time, i.e. under a competent, shamanic guidance!
If the use of the opium and morphine, being drugs with only palliative but no healing ef- fects, is accepted and legalized in the Western Mainstream Medicine,, with much more reason should we authorize the Shamanic Plants and Medicines that are recognized anthropologically as traditional medicines of the shamanic healing system. The right of the indigenous peoples to use these medicines and to exercise its medicinal wisdom of millennial tradition is inalienable. Consequently, their expressed recognition in the legal health codes and laws on the matter is very necessary.
A historical model and example for the official recognition of the Psychocatalytic Plants and Medicines in the context of the Shamanic Medicine represents the Native Church of Amer- ica. It legally officiates and watches over these shamanic sacraments since 1980, when the North American president Jimmy Carter subscribed an agreement, allowing the use of the Shamanic Plants inside this Church and exempting them this way from the list of forbidden psychotropic sub- stances of the Convention of Vienna from 1979. With more reason should these medicines be offi- cial in Venezuela (and in all South America), where their use is a millennial inheritance and still a daily reality in the indigenous communities.
The catalytic activation of our subconsciousness produces the awakening of our rusty vital capacities. From there springs forth the reactivation of our natural, original and sensitive interaction – frequently already lost since much time – with the energies of nature and our celestial Father’s Divine Spirit, the almighty Creator. Due to this “vitaminization” and reconnection with the physical and spiritual vibrations of life, nearly all health disturbances (disharmonies of our subtle body) can become healthy again at their very energetic root. To them belong the lack of happiness and of the reason of living (in serious Depressions, Schizophrenia or Addictive Illnesses), inexplicable anguish (frequently as a consequence of traumatic experiences in the past lifetime), morbid personality features (as paranoiac or passionate habits); equally as disorders of the organic functions and Degenerative Illnesses, as the Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
However, I should still advance a thing: In the millennial tradition of Shamanism, the world of vision and faith still represented the unanswerable path toward the cure. Through our inner awakening, we will experience the domina- tion of the constraining shackles of our thoughts and accustomed mental patterns, beginning now to discover the marvels of an indescribable, mystic and extremely healing perception of reality.
We are totally aware that the phenomenon “Shamanism”, falling progressively since al- ready some decades in the footlights of the public media, has become a topic in fashion and precisely for that reason also a problematic and contradictory topic for many people. In our days, numerous chatterers, pseudo-shamans, businesspersons and writers of sensationalist articles, attracted in certain way like moths by these footlights, poison the nectar of the wisdom of the Sha- manic Medicine taken care of for millennia. Never confuse Shamanic Medicine with the doubtful practices and the black magic of the witchdoctors, sorcerers, occultists, impostors and swindlers, for it, in fact, represents the inherited wisdom of our ancestors of humanity, directed toward the ingenious activation of our internal healing potential.
For obvious reasons, it is very impossible for the non-professional to be able to separate in this field the straw from the wheat, since there is little wheat (authentic shamans), a lot of straw and still much more non-professionals with frequently adventurous, subjective and speculative views on Shamanism. However, we should not allow becoming victims of the erroneous opinion that there is no wheat, because the field had begun to cover entirely with weeds. For that reason, we are sincerely glad to have found with Dr. Hampejs an authentic wisdom holder of Indian Shamanism.
Anyone that wants to discover the mystic phenomena of the shamanic cure has to be willing, from the very beginning, to abandon attitudes of intellectual or scientific arrogance. For the uninitiated participants, these experiences still are strange and unknown at first and it needs an expert leadership, to be able to benefit from them for the sake of healing purposes. Try, with an open heart, to understand yourself as a student that goes learning in a very new way, if you want to reach the access to those secrets of the life, which Shamanic Medicine can provide.