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Shamanism 101: The Most Comprehensive Guide about Shamanic Practices

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What is the practice of Shamanism?        

Shamanism is a healing system, a path of ancient wisdom, a practical philosophy, spiritual discipline and a way of life. It is estimated to be between forty and twenty thousand years old.

It emerged in different parts of the planet (on all continents) and was not, nor is it, exclusive to any particular ethnic group. It has been and is practiced in various geographical and climatic regions: jungles, forests, mountains, plains and deserts, tundra, arctic, and coasts; and in areas of varying population density, from the most populated to the most isolated from nature.

So many years and so many cultures have given rise to a great diversity of shamanic traditions, so it is sometimes difficult to encompass them all in the same discipline.
However, one can speak of "shamanism" (in the singular) because these traditions share a worldview, a quest, and a way of relating to life and the environment.

The four pillars of the practice

In order to understand how shamanic practice is carried out, it is useful to differentiate four phases or aspects, which we will call pillars.
Although they are described separately because each one is a specific procedure, in reality they are in constant interaction, they are interdependent and their practice takes place in a circular process. 

It is a circular process in the sense that, once the four steps have been carried out, the process is usually enriched by a new cycle from the previous one. Likewise, the order of these steps is dynamic and variable, so that it is not always necessary to follow the same sequence.

The pillars are the ones that follow:

  • Establishing the objective or purpose.
  • Build energy or power.
  • Cleansing or releasing the path.
  • Connect to sources of help.

Establish the goal or purpose

Establishing the objective or purpose is to define what we want to achieve in the present and why we are going to carry out a particular practice.

The purposes can be broad and general, or concrete and specific. Increasing the energy level, growing spiritually, harmonizing, achieving well-being and peace, having more confidence would be examples of general purposes.

Concrete purposes are defined more narrowly and precisely. Examples of these would be to have more energy available to run for a while in the morning, to have kinder attitudes towards a particular person, to resolve a certain conflict, to value something in particular, to relax before going to sleep, to take the next step in the development of a skill or ability.

In general terms, we could say that when we establish clear and specific objectives, we can be more effective. This does not mean that we should not set ourselves something general, but that it is usually more useful to work with something in particular, especially if we are in the middle of learning or putting something into action.

Although from the spiritual perspective these specifications would not be necessary, since the Spirit knows everything, for the rest of our being, that is, our physical, emotional and mental aspect, the specification is of great help.

Defining what we want to achieve does not imply "guaranteeing" results, because things do not always unfold in time and form according to our criteria, desires, and personal expectations, but rather they unfold according to the vibrations of the spirit.

To establish a purpose is to define where we want to go and how we are going to respond to our circumstances, what we want to change and transform in relation to our experience of reality, what we want to be, do or think. It involves defining a direction and doing all that is required to get there.

Building power or energy

All human beings have, or are in fact, energy. Energy is vibration, movement. Power is the ability to direct energy toward some goal.

To increase energy means to increase vibration or movement, at any level of expression: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To increase power means to increase our ability to consciously and voluntarily direct energy towards a given objective.

The more energy we give to something, the greater its deployment. How do we give energy? Fundamentally, through attention and intention. But in addition to energy, we need power, the ability to direct that energy towards a goal.

How do we direct energy? Basically through the processes of choice. What do we choose? We choose, for example, the value that things have for us, their importance and their meaning.

We also choose our intentions, actions, thoughts and images, as well as the most suitable techniques or methods to achieve our goals and transform ourselves.

Clearing the way

This is another fundamental part of our practice: freeing the path of blockages and interference so that energy and power can flow properly.

What are the fundamental blockages? Synthetically we can say that they are the following:

  • On a physical level: excessive muscle tension.
  • On an emotional level: fears, anger, and guilt.
  • At a mental level: conflicts, doubts, and confusion.
  • At a spiritual level: lack of faith and confidence.

What helps to release these blockages?

  • On a physical level: relaxation.
  • On an emotional level: acceptance and calmness (healing fear, anger, and guilt)
  • On a mental level: decision or choice (resolving conflicts, doubts, and confusion).
  • On a spiritual level: connecting with the Source.

Connecting to sources of help

The shamanic path seeks to integrate the spiritual experience into the material world. It does not seek to transcend the physical world, but to harmonize our relationship with it and experience both worlds (spiritual and material) as two integrated aspects of the same reality. The material world is the manifested aspect, and the spiritual world is the invisible and non-manifested aspect.

Everything that exists on the planet has its spiritual counterpart, with which we can connect, exchange energy and information. In the spiritual world, there are also spirits, energies or helping forces with which the practitioner can interact. These energies or forces provide us with guidance, knowledge, teachings, protection and permanent help in our lives, even when we are not always aware of it. We can connect consciously and deliberately to seek guidance, healing, love, power, and wisdom.

Depending on this perspective, we all have helping forces, whether we believe it or not. Becoming aware of this connection allows us to go beyond our personal boundaries and transcend our sense of separation from Source.

The spiritual forces collaborate unconditionally with us, with our purposes, growth and development; they respond to our questions and requests. Through the practice we learn to listen and interpret their answers.

There would be much more to say on each of these topics, but here I only wanted to make a brief presentation. And now, a final comment.

Since time immemorial shamans have accumulated observations and experiences about life and what helps us to live in harmony on the planet. The shamanic practice may be seen as something "supernatural", but in reality it only encompasses a greater extent of the natural. This practice goes beyond habitual perception, beyond notions that limit existence to what we can think, see, touch or hear.

To walk this path it is not necessary to start from trust. Shamanism is a pragmatic discipline based on personal verification. When trust is not a starting point, it is usually a point of arrival and arises as a consequence of the persisting and adequate practice.

As experience is gained, trust increases, and the greater the trust, the greater the effectiveness. The process is again circular: experience strengthens faith, and faith opens us up to ever greater levels of effectiveness and experience.

Everyone is somewhere in the circle. To keep moving forward we need to define where we want to go, increase our energy, clear the way and remember that we always have help. When we build the pillars, the Universe helps us to build.

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​What is a Shaman? Different types of ​Healers

It would be very simplistic to assume that all shamans are great teachers or exceptional sages. Shamans arise from the human collective, and therefore in this select group of people we find all aspects of human nature. Like other people, shamans exhibit different skills, talents, and motivations within their vocation.

Within their collective, shamans differentiate between the apprentice, the average individual, the one who is good at his or her job, and the true master. There is, therefore, a first category that relates to skill level.Obviously, there are shamans who are more skilled than others, regardless of their years of experience.

Experience is important, although it is not everything. Apart from skill and years of experience, one shaman may have more talent than another. This manifests itself in values. Values are related to what is meaningful and important to the shaman, and determine what a shaman will or will not do with his or her talents, skills, and knowledge.

There are four value systems that influence the behavior of shamans. Thus we can find everything, some mediocre and others exceptional:

1. Survival-oriented shamans.

The first and most primitive of the shamanic value systems is the one focused on survival. These are usually very superstitious, distrustful and willing to do anything to survive. This may include killing their opponents, practicing black magic or sorcery to harm others and achieve their selfish ends.

They are absolutely ruthless and do not understand concepts such as love, service or altruism. They often sacrifice animals and use intoxicating substances for their rites, such as alcoholic ferments.

Their power is based on fear, and their use of the plants of power is usually for divinatory purposes ( where we find hunting, enemies, etc.), with the purpose of purging the physical body or as a means of acquiring courage for war.

The visions with the plants of power are usually chaotic and without apparent meaning, so they are considered an unpleasant side effect and do not usually sing icarus (the medicine songs that activate the powers of the plants).

They are not very intuitive, they are rigid and inflexible and their way of thinking is that any problem or illness is caused by others and they perceive others as enemies.

2. Self-oriented shamans.

After the survival-oriented shaman comes the category of shamans who tend to give priority to their reputation. The important and significant thing is to make oneself known and to be successful regardless of the means employed to do so.

Some are very skilled in handling the physical and energetic world and have some help from the invisible world, although not on a higher level. And although in many cases they heal people, that is not their motivation, but to become rich and empowered.

They are people who engage in shamanism as a business, not as a vocation and use their techniques or knowledge to satisfy their selfish purposes. Sometimes they show a great charisma with which they attract people, but it is only the visible layer of an excessive ego.

3. Service-oriented shamans.

This group of shamans is motivated by service and helps others. They have a deep understanding of people's psychology and generate great empathy in people. They do not necessarily draw on their tradition for guidance, but rather allow themselves to be guided by it.

So it is not surprising that they incorporate elements that are not from their tradition if they consider that they benefit people. These shamans are flexible and open-minded and show great healing powers and are always willing to help others. They have the ability to handle certain kinds of invisible allies that help them in their work.

4. Wisdom oriented shamans.

Wisdom oriented shamans are the great teachers. They are very intuitive, they see others as transparent. They tend to be direct and are very compassionate and loving. They are highly respected and often even leaders of their communities. They show great skill, strength and humility.

Their abilities sometimes become legendary as they master both physical reality and the invisible world. They have a "vertical" vision of the human being and stand out for their impeccability. They are usually accompanied by beings of light, great invisible beings that are invoked in the ceremonies for the transformation and healing of the participants.

Who can be a Shaman?

Usually, individuals are initiated into shamanism in three main ways: self-decision, hereditary transmission, and the confrontation of a crisis that leads them to consider the role of shaman. No matter what the method of selection, the future shaman must participate in a period of rigorous training and pass a series of tests.

A shaman is usually a person with very special characteristics within his or her culture. For example, in some cultures, the fact that a person is born with a physical deformity is a sign that he or she may be a shaman.

In others, if a person manages to survive a lightning discharge then they have shamanic potential, and in some communities being a woman is a requirement for becoming a shaman. Several cultures understand that to be a shaman one must first be ill, physically or emotionally, and go through the process of healing from that illness.

In most cultures, becoming a shaman requires a process characterized by extended periods of loneliness and isolation. The future shaman has to face different types of sacrifices, trials, and learning.

Shamanic initiation is a complex and painful process where often the mental and physical health of the individual is at stake. It is a period where the person interacts with the spirit world with the aim of learning about the nature of illnesses and ways to cure them.

A predominant theme in shamanic initiation is death and rebirth. The shaman has visions where he perceives his body dismembered or perceived as a skeleton. In these visions, the future shaman experiences his death and then resurrects as a totally transformed person.

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Shamanic worldview

For the shaman, the universe is divided into three worlds: the underworld, the middle world, and the upper world. These three worlds are known in various cultures as the Cosmic Tree.

In the underworld are the animals of power and the spirits of the dead. In this world the shaman is confronted with everything that threatens the health of the individual. Also, in the underworld are his spirit guides and the lost souls of his patients. This lower world is symbolically represented by the roots and by the serpent.

The upper world is the one where the spiritual masters, the gods and the higher spirits dwell. Shamans travel to the upper world to obtain knowledge and wisdom. That superior world is represented by the branches of the tree and the condor.

And the intermediate world is the one in which human beings live and constitutes the ordinary reality we know. Shamans can travel to this world to control bad weather and to know what is happening elsewhere. This middle world is represented by the tree trunk and the puma.These three worlds are connected by the so-called axis mundi.

In the shamanic worldview there are no dogmas or fixed rules, although it is based on a series of premises or principles, which can be synthesized as follows: 

  • ​Everything is energy and everything has some degree of consciousness: everything is alive.  
  • ​In the Universe everything is connected and we can experience the connections and communicate with all things.  
  • ​The Universe has a material and a spiritual aspect and these are not separate, even though we perceive them as separate.  
  • The spiritual aspect creates the material.
  • ​We can experience connections and communicate with all things.
  • ​We can learn, get help, healing and guidance from the elements of nature.
  • ​We can consciously and deliberately access the spiritual plane to connect with sources of Love, Power and Wisdom and co-create our experience of reality.
  • ​We can communicate with nature and the spiritual world through direct, symbolic or intuitive experiences.
  • ​This worldview is (in current terms) symbolic, ecological and holistic.

The shamans already knew from ancient times, many of the things that with time, have been corroborated by science in our days. They already knew, for example, that matter and energy are a continuum, that energy can be transformed into matter and matter into energy, that our consciousness and intentions influence and modify both matter and energy.​

Principles, concepts and teachings of Shamanism

On a general level, ​shamanism is based on the idea that the visible world, also called the natural world, is dominated by a series of spirits or forces that we cannot see but which affect and trigger effects on the lives of human beings on this plane.

In this sense, unlike other religions that are deeply associated with animism and are led by members of a society, the shamanic tradition uses particular knowledge and skills to find the answers it seeks.

Although there are many variants of shamanism around the world, there are a number of elements that they share and in which they coincide since their first practitioners and their first expansions, among which are fundamentally the following:

  • ​The shaman is able to establish a communication with the spirit world
  • Spirits exist and they play a fundamental role in human life and in human societies.
  • The shaman can evoke images of animals to serve as signs or guides.
  • In shamanism, spirits can be both good and evil.
  • The shaman can extract his spirit from his body in order to enter the supernatural world.
  • The use of techniques to induce shamanic trance is generated to incite visionary ecstasy.

Conception of the soul

In most cultures, the soul is used to explain phenomena that seem to be related, so key aspects such as healing are related to the soul from the belief system of people who are led by the shaman, since this process allows the recovery of the soul when it suffers from a disease that must be cured.

The illness

It is believed that the causes that provoke the appearance of illnesses are due to the spiritual world, since it is the malicious spirits or witchcraft that affect human beings, so shamanism seeks a cure from the spiritual world to counteract its physical and spiritual effects and thus heal it.

Thus, the shaman enters the body of the sick person to confront the evil spirit in him and succeeds in healing him when he banishes the malicious spirit from his body.

In addition to this, shamans from different places use a regime of herbs to complement the treatment, so many of them learn about the use of plants and thus can take advantage of their effects and their healing properties, however, this can only be done after asking permission from their guardian spirit.

Spirits

Without doubt one of the key elements of shamanism is the belief in spirits, which, it is believed, in different cultures, can also explain different phenomena.

An example of this is the importance of the storytelling, which allows a better understanding of a person's belief system, as well as the ability to memorize texts, songs, even play an instrument, since this would be a sign of their ability to achieve contact with spirits.

Witchcraft

The belief in witchcraft is another of the most frequent elements within several societies that practice shamanism. Part of the traditions considers that shamans are those who can heal acts caused by sorcerers who wish to do harm, although others consider that shamans have such power to even kill, which shapes the belief that shamans not only do good but can also do harm.

​Methods

The process of the shaman in the transition of consciousness when entering the trance, may involve the use of various methods that are used absolutely or even together, among them are activities such as dancing, singing, listening to music, playing instruments such as drums, fasting, conducting vigils, consumption and use of potent plants such as incense to alter the state of consciousness, cannabis, ayahuasca, san pedro, and tobacco, among many others.

​On the other hand, another essential aspect of the shaman is his diet, which is closely linked to the particular customs of his tradition, since different restrictions are fulfilled according to his beliefs.

One of the most used diets by shamans and apprentices is the one constituted in the ayahuasca ceremony, which abstains from consuming foods that contain tyramine since they can induce hypertensive crises when they are consumed with monoamine oxidase inhibitors that are contained within the ayahuasca brews.

Music in shamanism

Music and songs are essential elements within shamanism and are related to its traditions in various cultures. Some of the songs used are used as a process of imitating the sounds of nature, which can fulfill various functions that can be initially separated from shamanism, such as attracting hunting animals, entertainment, among others.

​Thus, music, as one of the oldest arts in the world, seeks to connect the human being with his spiritual self in which the vibrations of the spirit seeks the spiritual path to access his inner god and to the spiritual entities that provide him with the wisdom and strength not only to heal but also to resolve conflicts within this earthly plane.

The existence and what exists 

For the follower of shamanism, everything in the world is linked to everything. Although this belief is somehow close to pantheism, the truth is that for shamanism is much simpler, but also much more profound, since it considers that the world works as a large network in which everything that exists is maintained, and its knowledge allows to put in contact anything that is created at an energetic level and at a material level.

​In this way, shamanism considers that everything is alive, from the stones to the stars, the trees, the rivers, the animals, etc., which have their own vital vibration that not only connects them but also shares with everything that exists.

In addition to this vital vibration, everything that exists also contains a characteristic consciousness that separates from that of the human being, although it may or may not unite with it. Ultimately, in shamanism there is the soul in everything, and this can be understood.

Conception of reality

For shamanism, there are parts of reality that can be internal, however, they can still affect external perceptions and regulate them in such a way that they can modify precise knowledge and in this way, external reality, producing changes, alterations and modifications in this reality. For this reason, the shaman works to recover and build harmony in the environment in which he or she finds himself or herself and in the human being who is ill.

Shamanic practice

The journey of the shaman's consciousness outside the limits of ordinary reality is the particularity of his practice, his specialty. It is through his trance that the shaman enters into contact with the spirit world and, from these parallel worlds, retrieves information which will be crucial for the maintenance of the well-being of the community and its members.

For the shaman, the purpose of the practice of healing is not to avoid death or pain but to help the individual connect with his soul and find meaning in life. Finding the purpose of life will let the individual know his place in his community.

From this perspective, illness has its origin and meaning in the individual's inner world. To be healthy means to be in harmony with the different dimensions of life and everything around us.

In essence, we should say that not all shamans heal in the same way. But there are some principles that are common to all shamans to restore harmony to people. Some of the most commonly used methods in shamanic healing are: the shamanic journey with drums or rattles, medicinal plants, psychotropic plants, incense, chants or the imposition of hands, to name a few examples.

Rites of Shamanism

The diffusion of shamanism has generated a series of changes within the shamanic rites, but it is possible to identify a series of aspects that have not been modified, among them we find the following

 1. A large part of the rites begin with the purification of the shaman, as well as the purification of the patient and the people who accompany the process. This will be done with a fumigation, for which sacred herbs are used, followed by a ritual bath or a steam system. This process is also called energetic cleansing.

2. This is followed by the ritual of offering and propitiation, which includes rhythmic dance movements, followed by the consumption of substances with high or moderate hallucinogenic value such as Andean Ayahuasca. However, this last step may differ from one culture to another.

After this, the shaman makes a diagnosis when he reaches his state of relaxation with the help of the pendulum, although it can also be replaced by the rattle or the maraca. With the use of this element, the shaman evaluates and explores the body of the patient, who remains lying on a surface with the palm of the left hand down, while his right hand waves the maraca over his own hand.

When the first change in the sound of the maraca is perceived, the shaman will have to make an effort to see from the inner vision, the area in which the alteration was exercised, since that is where the patient's illness is installed. The use of the pendulum makes it possible to confirm the existence of a blockage of energy in a certain area of the body.

In other cases, the shaman can use the pressure on the arm to make a diagnosis, an aspect that is assimilated into the medical history of conventional doctors, in which the arm is examined with the palm down. In this way, the shaman asks a diagnostic question that can be asked aloud or mentally, presses the arm and receives the answer. In case the arm resists the pressure, the answer is negative, while if it is positive, the arm will go down very easily.

These are just a few examples because each shaman in different cultures can operate differently.

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Shamanic Trance Methodologies

Generally, the shaman enters into a trance to access the subtle world, the invisible world, and to be able to move around the Cosmic Tree. Just as we have always explored the physical world around us, shamans have explored the non-visible realms of reality, bringing back the knowledge and information that allows them to act as mediators, healers, and guides.

This other reality or invisible world has been defined by different shamanic cultures in very different ways, considering it very often as one of the layers of the Cosmic Tree.

In order to make this journey possible, shamans have developed a series of methods that allow them to modify their consciousness so that it is not anchored on the physical plane. In this way, while the shaman is in a trance, he moves a part of his consciousness to these other levels of reality. This type of trance is called the Flight of the Soul or the Shamanic Journey.

The methods used are very diverse, and sometimes several methods are combined at once. Some of the most common methods to carry out these trances are Drumming or rattling, dancing, singing, shamanic breathing, fasting, waking, sweat lodging, vision quests, or the use of sacred or entheogenic plants.

Trance, the basis of shamanic activity, is a modified state of consciousness where the rules of rational thought are disarticulated by forces and dynamics of the psyche that are still difficult to understand today. The ordered world of mental logic is altered by access to a world where energy and information are transformed into symbols and where symbolic actions are transformed into real events.

Shamanic guides and allies

In order to perform many of his functions, the shaman must have the help of his powerful allies who will protect and guide him.

The shaman has a wide range of spiritual entities at his disposal: the ancestors, the spirits of plants and animals of power, and an infinite number of subtle beings. Without guardian spirits or allies, shamans are unprotected in their trances and can thus confront the origin of the evil which afflicts their patient or their community.

For shamans, animals have a prominent role because they possess the life force and very specific qualities that humans lack, such as flight, have claws, survive underwater, etc.; especially some animals, such as big felines, bears, deer, birds, and reptiles like snakes.

Animals are, in this way, possessors of certain powers, so they are located within the ambit of what is beyond human reach, either as deities, as representatives or manifestations of the same, or as symbols of diverse faculties or forces. And simultaneously, among all the beings of nature, animals are the closest to human beings, thus establishing deep bonds and becoming powerful allies of human beings.

The act of caring for one's ancestors is a practice that is lost in the night of time and has been maintained to a greater or lesser extent to the present day. Ancestor worship is a practice originating in the shamanic world that is based on the belief that members of a clan who have died enter into a new existence, from where they take an interest in the affairs of their descendants.

For this reason, since time immemorial, the importance of honoring one's ancestors has been that this rite ensured the good disposition of the dead towards the living and, therefore, guaranteed the well-being of new generations.

For example, in the Taino tribes of present-day Costa Rica, ancestors were worshipped, since it was believed that when they died they had become protective spirits with supernatural powers. Thus, the shamans are in charge of communicating with the ancestors and acting as mediators between the two worlds.

Tools of the shaman

In the course of his work, the shaman requires a series of symbolic elements and objects that allow him to perform the healing processes, as well as to improve his process of concentration and trance induction. It is important to emphasize that these are a series of tools which prevail in all cultures where shamanism is practiced, and are frequent objects. Among them are:

The altar: generally the altar they use is simple, as it consists of a cloth that is placed on the floor or a small blanket, a table can also be used, and on it are placed the other elements to be used.

The mask: although it is not an essential element, it is usually used by most cultures, since the mask represents a means of expression that puts the internal potentials in evidence.

A feather: the use of the feather has to do with the belief of the human being's aura since it is considered that it has a physical structure similar to it, so during the processes the auric fibers are combed which symbolize the unraveling of the physical and spiritual problems and discomforts that the human being may have affected by the evil spirits.

The pendulum: besides being one of the most ancient elements linked to shamanism, it is also one of the most important in the processes of shamans, so it is present in the cultures of the world that practice it.
The pendulum is used in order to establish communication between the conscious and the subconscious so that the shaman can locate the area of the body where the imbalance that is causing the illness in the being is installed.

A maraca: often a rattle can also be used, which, when shaken over the body of the sick person, exerts a series of changes in its sound, which are interpreted by the shaman from the training he receives to give them meaning, a process in which it can work similarly to the pendulum.

The drum: this instrument is one of the indispensable elements within the shamanic tradition since in fact it has had very few variations over time and its adoption within the practicing cultures.
The drum is the instrument used by the shaman to make contact with entities from other worlds, as well as to establish contact with other planes of reality through which he can generate an altered state of mind, a process which allows him to reach the state of relaxation which will facilitate his entering into communion with his environment and with himself.

The candles: fire is one of the key elements of shamanism, which is symbolized by the candle, so it is one of its main instruments in the healing process. The fire allows the shaman to have access to a state of superconsciousness since it serves as a focal point that reaches the concentration and relaxation needed to establish the contact he seeks.

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Sacred Shamanic Places

​These are a series of geographical elements that are considered special places for the transition of shamanic journeys, which is why they are considered sacred places that take on vital importance in their practices, among them are:

The sacred tree

Its location consolidates one of the most important sacred sites of shamanism. The most famous tree is the Yggdrasil, known as the "ash tree of the universe" or "the tree of life", typical of Nordic mythology. However, it is known that all cultures practicing shamanism have their own sacred tree. Trees such as apple trees, oaks, cypresses and laurels usually appear for this purpose.

The cave

The location and use of caves represents the perfect space for shamanism, as it is considered the purest representation of the connection between the return to the womb, with the earth element, and the connection with the ancestors. If we refer to the first human beings and their habits, the cave represents a fundamental space, since it has been the refuge for many of these communities, as well as the place of worship where several representations have been found that show the connection of man with the environment that surrounds him in his daily life, since they leave evidence on the walls of the experiences of these first communities.

The staircase

Although it may sound a little strange, the truth is that the staircase comprises one of the most important transition sites within Shamanism, especially those in the shape of a spiral that may be curious to anyone interested in getting started in Shamanism, since it is precisely the shape of this staircase that symbolizes the transition to another space. The stairs do not necessarily "lead" to a specific place, as their construction takes on a symbolic value of connection with the underworld.

The bridge and the well

​Similar to the representation of the staircase, the bridge also takes on a sense of transition, however, it is taken because it crosses a stream of water, so it represents this connection as an element that is capable of connecting realities. Likewise, it takes a great value as an element that allows to overcome narrow paths or with difficulty, uniting the two worlds where the water symbolizes the separation of realities from the borders.

Following the connection with the element of water, the well also takes on great meaning in shamanism, even if it is a well made by human beings or natural, so it is directly related to the rites of divination, as well as miraculous healings and even legends of immortality.

The lake and the river

The lakes are also one of the sacred spaces of this set of beliefs since it is taken as a kind of door that gives access to the other world. A great variety of myths and legends also appear in them, including strange animals that live within its waters, so that they represent one of the main centers of worship, but also of pilgrimage. An example of this is Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world, whose waters are the sweetest in which there are very important legends.

Likewise, another of the water currents, the rivers, also represent one of the most important spaces of shamanism, as the river is considered as a giver of life and also as a way of access to the other world.

The mountains

On the other hand, the mountains in shamanism are the representation of the natural way of access to the dwelling of the gods who are found in the beyond. While many cultures have a deep respect for mountains, in shamanism they are also revered and feared in equal measure. To climb mountains is to be able to be much closer to the gods. In addition, mountains represent access to secret places that can hold treasures, being the only constructions that can bring humans closer to heaven.

​Shamanism survives today in the world, especially in indigenous peoples where its value prevails and their beliefs are closely linked to the practices of their daily lives. Likewise, the practice of the beliefs that shamanism brings together lives mostly in rural areas, such as jungles, deserts, tundras and other spaces, including also urban areas, as it has been found in towns, suburbs, cities and villages, extended especially in the American continent.

Spiritual call of the shaman

Although there is talk of a shamanic initiation process, the belief in a call from the mediums has also stood out, which is explained as a form of inheritance of shamanic work that can pass from one person to another through a series of extraordinary processes including visions of astral travel, among others.

Under this premise, the shaman who has received the call can walk without a fixed direction in the process, as well as move away from his family and clans; isolation which commits him in his search until he finds it.

In this process, the shaman understands the call and understands the mission he has from that moment on in society. However, before taking any action, he must overcome a series of tests that allow him not only to strengthen himself but also to lead him to a space of abandonment over the life he has led up to that moment, moving on to spiritual rebirth.

From the moment of the call, the shaman begins to know the secrets and hidden aspects of the rites, as well as has an approach to the spiritual language, the names and terms of the spiritual guides he will have, and even receives the identification of a part of the evil spirits of the spirit world.

Types of Shamanism in the World

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Neoshamanism

The New Age movement has appropriated some ideas of shamanism, as well as beliefs and practices of Eastern religions and different indigenous cultures. As with other appropriations, the original followers of these traditions condemn their use, considering it superficially understood and misapplied.

But certainly there is a great effort in some circles of therapists, anthropologists and researchers to rescue shamanism and offer it in more modern forms so that at least part of this great legacy of ancestral knowledge can be integrated and help in many ways people living in an industrialized society.

Michael Harner has been a pioneering anthropologist in recovering some of the shamanic practices of various indigenous cultures and adapting them to today's world. Harner has faced much criticism for believing that parts of diverse shamanic traditions can be taken out of context to form some form of universal shamanic tradition.

Some of these neo-shamans also focus on the ritual use of psychedelics or entheogens, as well as others focus on traditional ceremonial magic. They claim to be based on traditions employed in ancient Europe, where they believe many shamanic practices and other mystical systems were suppressed by the Christian church. One example is witchcraft in the Middle Ages, which is now considered a vestige of ancient shamanic practices in Europe.

Today we can find many currents that refer to neoshamanism with names such as Essential Shamanism, Transcultural Shamanism, or Universal Shamanism.

In his book The Way of the Shaman, Harner recounts how he himself began these practices, studying and living in close contact with tribal shamans in various parts of the world.

In Core Shamanism he condensed and reduced to the essential core (core shamanism) the methods of the different shamanic traditions, making them accessible also to Westerners.

Michael Harner discovered that the common characteristic of all shamans is the spiritual journey into reality beyond the everyday world, the journey of the soul into non-ordinary reality.

In that reality, normally invisible to us, shamans come into contact with spiritual entities that they call allies and that they meet mostly in the form of animals (Guiding Animals) and spiritual Masters (ancestors, mythological figures, sages). Allies give the shaman the power and knowledge to help and heal himself, others and the world.

Each person can make the journey into non-ordinary reality. This is Michael Harner's second great discovery. We do not need intermediaries to harness the wisdom and healing powers of the universe. Spirituality is an innate capacity of the human being. That is why complex rituals are not necessary.

Celtic Shamanism

Celtic shamanism is essentially a way of seeing reality, and at the same time to act within this vision of reality. The shaman perceives the universe differently from other human beings and makes direct experiences that transcend those of normal people.

Celtic cosmology was very simple, there was this world, the material world and the Other World, the invisible world, and the two worlds were intimately connected, they were neither separate nor allocated in different spaces or dimensions.

The transition from this world to the Other World could take place with a simple transposition of consciousness. In fact, many Celtic chants refer to a continuous transformation of one's own appearance, to indicate that the shaman is able to 'travel' in the consciousnesses and forms of other beings. These other beings can be animals, birds, plants, trees, rocks or even simple objects or body parts. For this reason, for example, the cult of the head was very present in their practices.

For the Celts temples were not places built by men, as for example the Romans did, but were forests, glades, trees, rivers or springs. To connect with their ancestors it was enough to go to a certain forest, or talk to a tree or tap into a spring. The sacredness of a place was known as such, it was not necessary to build sanctuaries or churches, it was the natural elements that determined the sacred.

Besides the cult of Nature, the Celts had the cult of their ancestors. These were anthropocentric spirits, meaning not spirits transcended to other Worlds, but spirits who remained strongly connected with their community and therefore able to strike with their powers the neighbouring or enemy communities without compassion. For this reason, Celtic spiritual practices were very much feared by other peoples and even among their own tribes or factions.

In Celtic shamanism there are elements common to other cultures that have a solid shamanic tradition and are the following:

1) shamans are able to access a particular state of consciousness, in which 2) they experience a journey into the non-ordinary realms of existence, where 3) they gather knowledge and power which they then use for themselves or for the benefit of other members of their social group.

In the Celts the shamans are called druids. Their knowledge of the non-ordinary world and the beings of nature has influenced spiritual traditions in Europe to this day; we meet them in the monks of the Middle Ages, in Grail researchers and in today's poets.

Indeed, the power of speech was well known among the Celts. Through words it was possible to make spells, healings, but it was also possible to strike an adversary.

In the ancient worlds the vision of the universe was much more focused with what was available, with things already created on this earth, to form the Circle of Life - the Celtic form of the braid twisted around itself.

All created things participate in the same Circle of Life, in the same power, and therefore they can "exchange" power, life and consciousness.  And in Celtic traditions there was the fascination of the "exchange of Heads", to indicate the ability to enter, by exchanging, into other participants in the Circle of Life.

We see therefore that to have a deep shamanic experience from the Celtic point of view, it is necessary to "get out of one's own head".

Amergin's song is one of the oldest testimonies of Celtic literature:

​I am the wind on the sea;
I am the wave of the sea;
I am the bull of seven battles;
I am the eagle on the rock
I am a flash from the sun;
I am the most beautiful of plants;
I am a strong wild boar;
I am a salmon in the water;
I am a lake in the plain;
I am the word of knowledge;
I am the head of the spear in battle;
I am the god that puts fire in the head;
Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills?
Who can tell the ages of the moon?
Who can tell the place where the sun rests?

Siberian and Mongolian Shamanism

North Asia, and especially Siberia, is considered the place par excellence of shamanism. There are different ethnic groups that practice it even today, it is in fact the most widespread spiritual practice in those areas. The word shaman derives from the term saman used in various Siberian ethnic groups, the largest is Evenk.

Mongolian shamanism is very similar to Siberian shamanism.

In Mongolian and Siberian shamanism there are three fundamental concepts.

The first is that the world is alive. plants, animals, rocks and water all have spirits. These spirits must be respected and considered, otherwise the earth may become hostile or sterile. So the protection and balance of one's environment becomes a very important thing.

The second concept is personal responsibility. Mongolian shamans believe in the concept of chaimato buyan, very close to the concept of Karma. Being responsible for one's own actions is a characteristic sign of human beings.

The third concept is balance. Balance is important to maintain harmony within oneself, the community and the environment. When things are no longer in balance there are painful effects. In this case the intervention of a shaman is necessary.

In these traditions there are three types of shamans: white, black and yellow shamans.

Shamanism in the Americas

Shamanism in the Americas is very articulated, here are some local indications.

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Shamanism Between American Natives: Medicine Men/Women

Native American cultures and First Nations have different religious systems. There has never been a single religion or spiritual system. Many Native American cultures have healers, masters of ceremonies, singers, mystics, storytellers and 'Medicine People', but none of them use the term 'shaman' to describe these spiritual guides.

Rather, as in other indigenous cultures around the world, these figures are given names in the original language that are not taught to outsiders.

The Medicine Man is the mediator with the spiritual world, connecting with the community. These Medicine Humans use crystals, rocks or other natural elements to make diagnoses, some can use trance. The use of the drum is widespread in almost all tribes.

Mayan Shamanism

​The Mayan peoples of Guatemala, Belize and South Mexico make very sophisticated practices of shamanism, using astrology and elements such as fire. Through the relationship with fire, almost always present in Mayan ceremonies, it is possible to make divinations and healings.

Shamanism of the Amazon area: Curanderos/Ayahuasqueros

In the Amazon basin and northern regions, the shaman healer is known as a curandero. There are different types of curanderos that use different techniques and sacred plants. There are also different levels of specialization.

Ayahuasqueros are Peruvian shamans specializing in Ayahuasca, a medicinal plant used for physical and psychological healing and divine revelation.

Shamanism in Australia: The Dreamtime

In Australian or Aboriginal shamanism, the dadirri is considered a special quality that allows us to come into contact with a deep spring within us. The connection with this source requires the achievement of a state of calm, of deep awareness. It is similar to what we Westerners call 'contemplation' or 'meditation', well known in various practices related to shamanism.

In Aboriginal thought, there is simply no impassable abyss between the human and the divine. This is why Aborigines had no need to develop an organized religion run by a bureaucratic, layered priesthood. What they do have, however, is an authentic spiritual egalitarianism in which, as individuals, they can access Dreamtime through trance, giving them direct and immediate access to spiritual dimensions through the shamanic techniques of ecstasy.

This ability gives them an unshakeable authority to make evolved philosophical observations. For example, like the religious thanatologists of other spiritual traditions, Aborigines describe the progression of human consciousness after death as "survival in the infinite". They know from first-hand experience that the point of contact with the infinitude of individual cosmic consciousness continues to expand after death as long as it is co-extensive with it... until it literally 'becomes' it.

The Aboriginal Dreamtime

Aboriginal Dreamtime' is that part of Aboriginal culture that explains the origins and knowledge of the land and its people. Aboriginal people have the longest historical-cultural continuity of any other people on Earth - dating back - according to some estimates - 65 thousand years. Dreamtime is Aboriginal Religion and Culture.

The Dreamtime contains various aspects: the history of things that have happened, as the universe has come to be, how human beings were created and how the Creator intended the purpose of the human being in the cosmos.

As in all other cultures - one speaks of the Gods and Goddesses who created the Earth - some of whom were loving - while others were cruel.

Aboriginal Australians speak of jiva or guruwari, a seed of power deposited in the earth. In the Aboriginal worldview, every activity, event, or important life process that takes place in a particular place leaves a vibrational residue in the earth, just as plants leave the image of themselves through seeds. The shape of the earth - its mountains, rocks, riverbeds, and pools of water - and its invisible vibrations are the echoes of the events that led that place to creation.

Everything in the natural world is a symbolic imprint of the metaphysical beings whose action created our world. As in the seed, the power of every place on earth is coupled with the memory of its origin.

The Aborigines called this "Dreaming" of a place, and this Dreaming constitutes the sacredness of the earth. Only in extraordinary states of consciousness can one be aware of or in tune with the inner dream of the Earth.

Australian Aboriginal shamans - "intelligent men" or "men of high rank" - describe the "heavenly ascensions" to meet "the Gods of Heaven", such as Baiame, Biral, Goin and Bundjil.

The shamanic Aboriginal "death and resurrection" experience of tribal initiation of "high ranking men" finds interesting parallels with modern UFO abduction stories.

The "chosen one" (voluntarily or spontaneously) is attacked by "spirits", ritually "killed" and then experiences a wonderful journey (usually a climb to heaven in a strange kingdom) and meets the "god of heaven". His life is restored - a new life as the shaman of the tribe.

Ritual death and resurrection, abduction by powerful beings, ritual removal or re-settlement of body parts, symbolic dismemberment, implantation of objects, aerial ascents and journeys to strange worlds, personal empowerment and transformation - these and many other phenomena are recurring elements in the extraordinary shamanic tradition.


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What is San Pedro Cactus? The Sacred Plant Explained

Reading time: 8 Minutes

In this article you will really discover everything about San Pedro:

Introduction: History

Echinopsis Pachanoi, also known as San Pedro Cactus, is a cactus native to the Andes of Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador. It grows at an altitude of about 2000-3000 meters and is widely used as an ornamental plant. In these countries, however, it is best known for its hallucinogenic and healing properties. Especially the Moche civilization has made use of it using the cactus for healing and divination purposes.
In South America, the Echinopsis Pachanoi is known by many different names: Achuma, Huachuma, Wachuma, Aguacolla, Hahuacollay or Giganton describe what is most commonly known as "San Pedro Cactus" in Western civilizations.

It is said that the traditions of using the San Pedro cactus in Peru date back more than 3000 years. The oldest archaeological evidence suggesting the use of San Pedro is a stone carving (see photo below) of a huachumero shaman of the Chavín civilization in the old temple of Universal Consciousness at Chavín de Huantar, in northern Peru.
According to archaeologists, the carving dates back to at least 1500 BC, and probably even beyond. There are also old Chavin textures that portray the cactus with jaguars and hummingbirds surrounding it.

shaman chavin sculpture Reiki Shamanic Healing Berlin Alessandro Ferrari

Photo distributed under license CC BY-SA 4.0

It is difficult to establish a continuity of use between the traditional use and the current one of San Pedro in the Andes area. One thing that is certain, however, is the fact that the use of the plant changed dramatically with the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. Coming from the traditional view of the Christian world, the use of San Pedro has been transformed to serve the doctrine of the church.

In fact, the name "San Pedro" refers to the St. Peter of the New Testament.

According to legend, it was St. Peter who held the keys to the heavenly doors; a strong reference to the transcendent moods that San Pedro can induce.

Still today, the cactus is used by the indigenous people of the Andes and on the coasts of Peru and Ecuador for the same medicinal and therapeutic purposes that are inherent in the plant.

Today's San Pedro ceremonies take place for the same reasons as ever: to cure spiritual, emotional, mental or physical diseases, to predict the future through the prophetic and divinatory qualities of the plant, to fight witchcraft, to bring success to their exploits and to awaken love and enthusiasm for life. It may be precisely for these reasons that South America has seen a strong increase in tourism for San Pedro in recent years.

San Pedro as Medicine: Properties and Usage

The San Pedro Ceremony is truly transformative and surprising. The San Pedro is a very powerful cure, the effect lasts twice as long as the Ayahuasca, and opens the heart to love and peace towards oneself and the world. Ayahuasca is often represented as the female part of the two sacred master plants and San Pedro is the male part. My shaman friends in Peru say that Ayahuasca shows you what you need to change, gives you an idea of your challenges and problems, and San Pedro (Wachuma) gives you the power to make that change happen.

Often, in a healing experience, the mind is on the way to the wisdom of the heart. The San Pedro goes straight to the heart and bypasses the defenses of the mind and the resistance of the ego. There can therefore be surprising transformations for people who have a lot of mental activity that holds them back from healing, with fantastic openings of the heart's energy center.

Ayahuasca is more of an inner journey into the universe within you, while San Pedro is more of an outer journey that shows you how other dimensions merge with physical reality, showing you your multidimensional nature. Your motor skills are not as affected by the San Pedro as they are by the Ayahuasca, which is why you usually take walks in nature during the ceremony.

Among the most common effects that this master plant can make you feel there is the possibility to bring back to mind distant memories, which you thought you had forgotten on which you can then go to work with the help of the spirit of San Pedro. You can also acquire an increased ability to see and feel the world around you by feeling an unconditional love for any being or earthly creature and for any inanimate form and entity.

Throughout the history of its use, San Pedro has been known to function as a powerful medicine with the ability to cure "unknown diseases". While one can belittle this conception as a simple superstition of primitive tribes in the Andes, there is actually science that suggests medicinal benefits from taking San Pedro. Research has shown that San Pedro is able to reduce hypertension, reduce the risk of heart disease, treat nerve disease and alleviate joint problems.

Cactus San Pedro has also been associated with powerful antimicrobial properties that prevent the growth of more than a dozen strains of penicillin-resistant bacteria, such as Staphylococcus.

San Pedro contains high concentrations of the psychoactive compound called mescaline, so there is much controversy surrounding this "substance". It should be kept in mind, however, that mescaline does not produce physical dependence.

The Preparation of the Cactus

San Pedro Cactus Reiki Shamanic Healing Berlin Alessandro Ferrari

The preparation of San Pedro for healing use takes a long time. Sometimes it takes up to 24 hours for the entire preparation process. First, the plant is cut into small pieces. Then, the pieces are boiled until they are very soft. Once they are soft enough, they are crushed and filtered of all their liquid. The liquid is then added to the water used for boiling the plant.

The resulting solution is reduced until only a highly concentrated bitter green liquid remains. The liquid is then drunk by those attending the ceremony. Today, the preparation of the cactus takes only four or five hours, with about 30cm of San Pedro being chopped and processed.

It is important not to ingest the waxy coating of the cactus or its plugs. The same applies to the central section of the cactus.

The San Pedro Ceremony

Before the San Pedro ceremony can begin, three different elements must be present to allow Shamanic Healing: the spiritual power of the shaman, the mescaline that strengthens him and an altar, called mesa. The mesa is covered with objects loaded with spiritual energy that is divided into three zones. The area on the left is associated with death, the central area is a neutral zone that is associated with balance and the area on the right is associated with the gift of life.

For a real ceremony, all three sections must be present. The left area is used to reveal the disease, the central field is used to balance negative and positive energies, and the right is used by the shaman to find the right blend of healing herbs. Just like the chants (Icaros) that are sung during Ayahuasca ceremonies, the objects of the mesa allow the shaman to structure the experience of his patients so that healing can take place.

Usually, the ritual takes place at night or during the day depending on the type of shaman and consists of a long preliminary purification ceremony followed by the ritual itself. The ceremonial acts consist of prayers, invocations, and songs that are accompanied by the beat of a shamanic rattle. Through these acts, the gods of the indigenous and Catholic faiths are invoked.

Then the purification ceremony ends and the medicine is drunk. Usually, it is the shaman who drinks the first cup. Then it's up to the participants of the ceremony. Normally the medicine consists only of the pure extract of San Pedro. If necessary my shaman teacher Gendo also helps patients with Reiki to support them in the process with the plant.

In this way the energy can flow freely throughout the physical body and also into the higher bodies, balancing the Chakras and allowing a faster healing.

After his vision has been activated by the plant, the shaman can see the cause of the patient's illness. As a treatment, the shaman sometimes stops to massage or aspirate on parts of the patients' bodies. He aspires to extract the supernatural source of patients' ailments. In some severe cases, it is believed that the forces that cause the disease are powerful enough to attack the patient during the ceremony. This is dangerous and requires immediate attention from the shaman. He will then engage the attacking forces in battle.

During this part of the ceremony if it is daytime you usually walk in nature and connect with Mother Earth.
The ceremony can be integrated with the Ritual of the Rapé or the Ritual of the Sananga. In addition, there is also the possibility of doing shamanic baptisms in the sacred river.

When the first part of the ceremony is over, each patient goes from the shaman to his mesa. The shaman then identifies the herbs that will be used to wish the patient good luck. He will also identify the herbs on the right side of the brim that will cure the disorders of the patient.

After identifying the appropriate herbs, the shaman throws some coca leaves. This form of divination is intended to confirm whether he has made the right choices. In the end, some shamans blow Agua de Florida, water, sugar, and powder on each of the patients. Then there is a final blessing or prayer. Each participant is then offered a bottle of sacred herbs.


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What is Sananga? Discover the Sacred Eye Drops used by Shamans

Reading time: 8 Minutes

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What is Sananga eye drops?

Sananga is a tropical plant that grows along the Amazon rivers in South America.
This powerful sacred medicine of shamans is used for various medicinal purposes ranging from healing physical and spiritual ailments. It is used to clearing the mind and energies and obtaining a complete new form of perception and approach.

Use and Medicinal Effects

Sananga can be applied to the eyes, but there are many ways to use this sacred plant: when used to counteract malaria, it is applied by nasal infusion. When used for wounds, it is cut and applied externally. For digestive problems or nausea is applied as a tincture. For coughs and fevers, and for use as an antivenom, it is applied orally by decoction.
The flowers and leaves are used to make a tea that has strong aphrodisiac effects and, in addition, increases the capacity of lucid dreaming and calms. When dry rhizomes are mixed with tobacco and smoked, they are reported to produce hallucinogenic effects.

The pure spirit of Sananga supports a deep cleansing of the blocked energies on the emotional, physical and spiritual levels. Sananga can balance and increase your energies, and find the roots of your illnesses and blockages, leading to complete balance, concentration and peace of mind.

Furthermore, the drops will expand your vision and spiritual awareness, and enhance your ability to read other people's intentions.

In addition, Sananga increases your long-range vision, which is important for future visualizations and predictions. 

sananga eye drops eye reiki shamanic healing berlin alessandro ferrari

What is Sananga made of?
Origin, preparation and application

Sananga is a native Amazonian plant, but grows in many other tropical areas, including Africa and Asia. There are about 499 botanically identifiable species of the family Cyperaceae and about 30 different types of Sananga, belonging to only three species: Eleutherine Bulbosa, Cyperus Articulatus and Cyperus Prolixus Kunth. Thus, there are many types of Sananga that are used by shamans, each with its own specific use and spirit.

Sananga is used on its own, but it is also known as an additive to Ayahuasca beverages. The shamans acknowledged this sacred plant for hundreds of years as an important plant of the Shaman, however, Sananga has also been introduced into Western medical practices: already in the early twentieth century, Americans used Sananga extracted fluids, sold as a drug called 'Adrue', as a herbal remedy for stomach and intestinal pains. The same drug, Adrue, was used in higher doses as a sedative for anxious or nervous patients who, in turn, enjoyed its dreamy, euphoric side effects.

For most prescriptions the rhizomes or stems are dried and pulverized and then prepared as tea, bath, or eye drops. However, each tribe has its own way of using this magical plant, the Shipibo tribe, for example, crushes fresh rhizomes and extracts the juice to make eye drops.

Medical Benefits of Sananga

Detoxifies the body. Increases visual perception and improves colors.
Clears long-standing internal anger.
Helps with mental disorders such as addiction, depression and anxiety, restores energy field.
Treats spiritual illnesses caused by negative energies in the body.

In addition to this, the drops are also used to cure and improve a wide range of eye problems such as myopia, depth and color perception, image definition and detection accuracy. In addition, this magical medicine is indicated in cases of serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and blindness.

Although Sananga is famous for its effects on vision and visualization, this medicine is considered an indigenous multipurpose remedy. It is applied for febrifugal diseases, emetics, diuretics, painkillers and several others.

In addition, Sananga is often used to cure skin diseases (dermatitis), suppress appetite, alleviate dental problems and counter wounds from snakebite and poisoning, heal eye injuries and rheumatism. Another important curative aspect of the botanical family is its widely explored antimicrobial activity, which demonstrated that this family has a strong antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, antifertility/contraceptive, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory effect.

sananga eye drops sacred patterns reiki shamanic healing berlin alessandro ferrari

Traditional Uses of the Plant

Traditionally, tribes like the Matsés use Sananga as a hunting tool to obtain clear perception and concentration, and to allow detection of subtle movements in the dark jungle.

On the other hand, the drops can allow strong visualizations of the prey or the plant to be hunted, allowing a quick and successful search. Sananga is often combined with other hunting tools, such as Kambo, which further improve hunting skills. For most indigenous tribes, hunting means survival and therefore means an exceptionally important and crucial skill.

Tribes believe that becoming a good hunter and a good seeker can only be achieved by using sacred plants. These sacred plants improve perception and sharpness, intention, sense of smell, endurance and luck. Therefore, hunting tools such as Sananga and Kambo represent about a quarter of all medicinal plants used in indigenous tribes.

Kanawasta. In Shipibo this word means "to focus better on art". Sananga drops are used to improve the ability to focus on crafts such as sewing, painting, embroidery and the production of handcrafted pottery - which is carried out by the women of the tribe. The Shipibo are famous for their embroidery and textile painting.
From an early age, Shipibo women are initiated by their mothers and grandmothers in this practice. A Shipibo says: "When I was a little girl, my mother put drops of Sananga in my eyes so that I would have the vision for the patterns of my paintings".

Wekunwarti. In Shipibo this word can be translated as 'for better vision'. Sananga drops are used before and during Ayahuasca ceremonies, and are told to open the participant to the world of visions and improve their ability to "see" things on their multidimensional journey to other worlds. After the use of eye drops, the visions become clearer and more detailed.
Shipibo members also say that eye drops are 'to look far' - allowing for a better ability to foresee upcoming events and intentions.

Active components and Effects

Active components: All these substances have a broad spectrum of action in the body, including vasoconstricting effects at the circulatory or neurotransmission level. Sananga contains several different biologically active alkaloids, including flavonoids, polyphenols, saponins, tannins and terpenes, although their biological actions are mainly attributed to cyperons, which are believed to show antimalarial and prooxidant effects.

On the other hand, studies have shown that Sananga reeds, which itself contains a large amount of ergot alkaloids, the full spectrum of effects and bioactive ingredients contained in this sacred plant is still not fully understood. In addition, as the plant does not reproduce by seeds but by vegetation there are many different subspecies of Sananga divergent and alkaloid composition.

It is said that Sananga contains a large amount of alkaloids, it has been suggested that Sanaga includes the potent active ingredient ibogaine, however, this statement has not yet been defined proven. In addition to ibogaine, other alkaloids such as coronaridine, quebraquine, heineanine, 3-hydroxyconaridine, ibogamine, and vocanine are also believed to be found in Sananga. All of these alkaloids have powerful psychoactive effects and can also exert strong antibiotic effects.

There may be small differences in the composition of Sananga: the Becchete of the Matsés tribe contains Tabernaemontana undulata roots, while the Sananga drops of the Kaxinawá tribe contain Kunakip (Tabernaemontana sananho) roots. It is known that these two roots produce a strong vision (waimatai) that are very useful for a successful hunt. 

​Precautions and Dose

Note: contact lenses should be removed before applying Sananga to the eyes.

Before thinking about dosage, you should pay attention to the power of your thoughts: each medicine can only achieve and cure what one firmly intends and believes.

Just one drop per eye is enough for a powerful Sananga session. It is recommended to find a quiet and quiet place, either in nature, or at home in a quiet environment and with meditative music. Acute effects will disappear after 10-15 minutes, although subtle later effects may last for days.

Be sure to lie down to allow good application and keep your eyes closed during the session. It is important to apply one drop to both eyes, and do not wait with the second drop, apply it immediately to balance the energies in both eyes. Thereafter, you should blink with your eyelids for a moment to distribute the fluid over the entire eye. Ideally, a healer should apply the Sananga to you supporting the entire process with Reiki.

Shortly after application to the eyes, most people report a strong burning sensation and a release of energy into the body and emotions. However, these effects reside after a few minutes, and can be relieved by focusing on your breathing and visualizing how the pain removes your blocked energies and produces deep healing.

In addition, you may also experience vomiting and bowel movements, which are additional indications for the elimination of blocked energies and diseases. Try to surrender completely and relax as much as possible.

The best way is to totally abandon yourself. Let yourself go completely and embrace that feeling. And at that moment, the healing can really begin to happen and do miracles.


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I'm waiting for you with open arms to start together a beautiful journey with the loving spirit of Sananga. Book your session now at this link:

What is Shamanic Reiki and the Power of Sacred Master Plants

Reading time: 17 Minutes

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Since the beginning of time, Spirituality has been present in the human race; it is therefore an undeniable state of its nature and its capacity to interpret the cosmos, which gives a purpose and a meaning to its existence.

This ancient Spirituality has always been linked to the understanding of the surrounding environment represented by the earth, which is the donor of physical life, for this reason called Mother Earth or Pachamama. It is the sky that sustains life through the water that falls on it, and for this reason it has been called Father Sky.

That is why Shamanism is the most authentic and pure way to remember our roots, already forgotten by many in the present age.

The "Power Plants or Master Plants" play a very important role in this process, because they are the sons and daughters messengers of ancestral wisdom, to help man to remember his purpose and his union with the cosmos.

Shamanic Reiki is defined as the ability to learn to heal and channel internal energies (intention, thought and emotions) and external energies (lived experiences, the 5 elements of nature) for the evolution and awakening of consciousness, leading to happiness free from any conditioning and attachment.

What is Reiki? Origin and History

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Reiki is a word of Japanese origin, which dates back to the time of Grand Master Mikao Usui in 1922. His word is composed of two words REI: UNIVERSAL SOURCE and KI: ENERGY. Therefore, the word Reiki is defined as a universal source of energy from which to learn how to channel one's own happiness and that of many beings.

But this healing energy is much older than the word Reiki, because the word is only a way to define something much greater. Much earlier in Egypt this energy was already known and was called KA (Divine Essence, Pure Personality. It is the spiritual energy that animates and gives life to men and gods). In China it was known as TAO (infinite and mysterious energy that cannot be defined). In old India it is called PRANA (The universal energy that manifests itself in man), while in Andean shamanism it is called KAWSAY PACHA (Cosmos of living energy). He may also have received many names, depending on the time and culture in which he was practiced. It is also important to know that it is a luminous energy that is everywhere, the same word God is born from the ancient Greek Deux, whose translation is Light.

So it can be called in many ways, but it is the same energy of loving healing. For the same reason the word Reiki today has been taken as synonymous with well-being and health, adopted by many other types of paths, but originally it is Japanese and coined by master Mikao Usui to define and channel the wisdom gained in his experience of satori (Enlightenment).

When Reiki is applied for healing purposes, it begins to transmute the energies of our body, mind and spirit. Reiki accelerates self-healing, opens the mind and spirit to the true causes of illness and pain, which have their origin in the mind. The Usui Reiki System is a natural art of healing, employing the loving energy that vibrates in all beings and things manifested by creation.

The Usui System of Natural Healing continues to be transmitted through the Reiki Masters. In the past this was an oral tradition (Kuden), today there are many books and texts on Reiki, but for the transmission of energy and lineage it is necessary to be in physical presence and have a true human contact with a Reiki Master, to receive that deeper teaching. The Masters are committed to the art of Healing, its lineage, the principles of Reiki and the lifestyle that this entails.

In fact, the lineage in Reiki is the only possible certification that tells the story of one's own personal Reiki.

Benefits of Shamanic Reiki

Andean Shamanic Reiki works at every level and naturally adapts to the needs of the receiver. Reiki is excellent for treating physical, mental, emotional and spiritual problems and gives wonderful results.

Reiki treatment increases the body's natural ability to heal.
It increases vitality and energy, body functions, mind, emotions, essence and aura.
Reiki treatment releases blocked energy and promotes relaxation and reduces stress, chronic fatigue, fears, phobias, addictions.

Reiki energy has an innate intelligence and goes where the body and aura need it.
It helps to purify the body from the energy and physical toxins, increases its power over time, increases energy, intuition, meditation and spiritual evolution.
It strengthens the immune system, balances the endocrine system and normalizes blood pressure.
Reiki is absorbed by every cell in the body in the necessary amount and flows where there is a deficiency.

I wrote an article about "What is Reiki for?", read it here.

The Shamanic Reiki Lifestyle: The GOKAI
(The five principles of Reiki) 

reiki shamanic healing berlin Alessandro Ferrari

Reiki: "Secret method to attract happiness. Wonderful medicine for all diseases of the body and soul".

1. Just for today I abandon my worries

2. Just for today I abandon anger

3. Just for today am I grateful (I honor my parents, teachers and elders)

4. Just today do I work honestly on myself.

5. Just for today I flow and I am compassionate towards all sentient beings.

The Gokai have a very strong energy in the practice of every Reiki Practitioner and many times they are not given the importance that they really have. They were inspired by Emperor Hiroito, the last emperor of Japan, who was very attached to the arts and poetry. Mikao used them as a sympathizer of the emperor, took them and made them part of his teachings, but with a much deeper and more introspective nuance.

These are 5 principles that every Reiki Practitioner should practice, meditate and deepen every day.

Just for Today - Kyo Dake

It refers to the value of each day. The only thing that really exists is the present, not the past or the future. Life is today. Today is the experience of every moment and the way we live this moment determines our life. The power of the now is giant and has a unique power, because to be happy it is necessary to make decisions that lead to that happiness, not yesterday, not tomorrow, NOW. This precept invites you to live life in this moment, to take charge of and transmute all those energies in the present (here and now), in this day.

"Just for today" refers to the other five principles.

Just for today I abandon the worries - Kyo Dake Shinpai Suna

The concern is powerless and useless, it is a huge waste of mental energy and has never solved anything. Instead of worrying, exercise in each of your actions and take care of them. If you act with an enlightened heart, you will cross the world without generating any karmic imprint. Learn the art of letting go the mind and its fears, to transmute them into faith.

A great Master used to say, "Each day has enough trouble of its own.".

Just for today I abandon anger - Kyo Dake Okoru Na

Have you ever seen or experienced that anger solves something without causing pain? Feeling anger, irritation, hurts you and hurts others, doesn't help, doesn't work, realize it and start looking for another approach that turns anger into wisdom. Anger is just another energy, but it's not part of your essence.

The energy moves under the universal law of cause and effect, one thing leads to another; fear leads to concern, concern leads to control, control inexorably does not go as we want and frustration originates, and from frustration comes anger and with it the physical illness and many troubles of the world. If you want to cut the chain, turn off all the fear that is the root of everything.

Learn to look at it and observe yourself when it comes and you'll get rid of it.

Selfish people are destroyed through anger, resentment and hatred. Through Reiki we can learn to harmonize our emotions and our spirit. Do not confuse this with repressing anger, you have to channel and transform it.

Just for today I'm grateful to you - Kyo Dake Kansha Shite

Be grateful to others and to the power of nature, because you have been given the gift of life. Gratitude is an energy of high consciousness. We lose ourselves when we forget the feeling of gratification and gratitude.

Many beings to desire what they do not have, lose what they do have.

Gratitude generates abundance, just like a loving mother or grandmother when she gives you your favorite food, and if you thank her, she happily serves you another dish. Our beautiful Pachamama is the same: thank every day the gift of life, the gift of breath, your food, the beings who love you and so gratitude will begin to be an integral part of your essence, you will never miss anything.

Precisely for this reason, "Thanksgiving is for the wise".

Just for today I work honestly on myself. - Kyo Dake Goo Hage Me

Dedicate time to your personal and spiritual growth. Begin to develop the spiritual discipline necessary to achieve your full happiness, the old bad habits are no longer good companions on this journey. The most sacred value of the universe are Time and Space, thanks to them life as we know can exist. Give time and space to your practice and you will see how heaven will reward you.

It's like watering a plant and what you water grows.

Don't waste time criticizing or judging others. Bring all that energy to your being, to awaken all the potential you have inside. You have a lot of work to do, be constant.

Just for today I flow and am compassionate with all sentient beings. Kyo Dake Hito Ni Shinsetsu Ni

Taking care of Nature, our Planet and all living things, especially our fellow human beings, is the only task worth doing in this world.

If people help each other, a healthy community is built for the first time. There is no difference between oneself and others in terms of importance in the universal dimension. It is the same spirit that exists. Remember the Great Law of the Cosmic Mirror, where all that happens to you is a reflection of your inner self. So being kind to others also means taking care of yourself. This feeling will naturally develop during the practice of Reiki, discovering a lesson of love and harmony in everything that surrounds you.

Shamanism as a Healing Path

Shamanism is a totally experiential path, where the healer, before offering a certain master plant or ceremony/experience, must first of all have lived it himself. By experiencing first-hand the benefits that this can bring. Therefore, for a being to declare himself a Shaman, he must have had many experiences, put all wisdom and knowledge to the test to see its truthfulness and effectiveness.

The Shaman is a Chakaruna (man or woman bridge) between the world above and the world below, his purpose is to maintain the balance between the two planes. For this reason it occupies different types of vehicles and tools that help it to heal and get in touch with the invisible world of spirits and all the energies that move there.

The Shamanic Reiki Practitioner is a healer par excellence, that using all his knowledge and with the help of visible and invisible guides, has managed to heal himself first and foremost and free himself from the afflicted states of mind. For the same reason he is ready to help free other beings.

He is a wise being who does not act quickly, but observes until the right moment to act appears, is patient with himself and with others, speaks lovingly and sincerely, does not seek a result or even less control, but lives in every moment in the hands of the great spirit and its plans. He does not make enemies, nor fears demons, because he knows that they are the reflection of his subconscious, then he integrates them with the immortal love and makes them his allies.

The Shamanic Reiki Practitioner must find the magic that is hidden in everything created. Where some see chance or fortune, he must see the universal causality and synchronicity that has meant that, where some lose themselves in labeling, structuring and shaping things, he can instead see the solar and lunar energies that move between the shadows, where everyone analyzes he must intuit, where all have lost their calm he must remain serene, when all cry and flee before death, he must smile and embrace it.

​Therapeutic Use of Sacred Plants

reiki shamanic healing berlin Alessandro Ferrari

Every living being that pulsates on this planet is a reflection of the cosmos, "As it is above, so it is below, and as it is below, so it is above," says the ancient universal law. For the same reason every pulsing being in this world has something to show us, something to teach us and we have something to learn and integrate.

Therefore, the great vegetable kingdom has many things to teach us, we just need to become its observers. For example, every plant wisely searches for sunlight that is thousands of miles away, it is miraculous that something as small as a flower seeks something far away and that is millions of times larger than it, but at the same time something as small gives a purpose to something so big, this is the miracle. We must learn from him and know that the solar vitamin is fundamental in the organism for the fixation of calcium, as well as other minerals in the bones, and the main form in which it is acquired is being exposed to the Sun, this allows us to develop and grow like a plant. Thanking the Father Sun at sunrise and in its twilight, is to thank life and be in union with the cosmos. Never complain about such a beautiful gift.

At the same time, every plant, every flower, every tree, has a different purpose, a different size, a different shape, a different aroma. We must also learn from this and accept diversity and differences, because this is the beauty of life.

Each plant also has different properties, with different virtues and gifts. Our ancestors have been wise in this regard, since herbal medicine is thousands of years old and they have kept its records in many ways.

For example, a plant of hierbabuena, has relaxing properties and for the digestive system, ginger helps us with infectious processes and others also have aromatic properties, oils and other for bathing, in short is a gigantic fan for different uses as well as therapeutic.

Within this plant kingdom, there are some very special plants, which work not only physically, but rather at the level of the subconscious and unconscious, these plants are the bridges between the world of man and the world of the gods, so they are given the name of sacred plants or plants of power and at the same time they are also called mother plants, because they have to teach human beings and show them the great truth. These wonderful plants are daughters and sons of the sun and the earth and bring us a message of healing, liberation and wisdom, so their fear makes no sense. You must love them, not fear them.

There is a huge variety of these authentic nature spirits, each of whom is waiting for you: each one is a master in himself and each one has a message and a teaching for your happiness and your awakening.

​Determining Factors of the Medicine

There is an enormous amount of disinformation and ignorance based on sacred plants, which produces a lot of fear and their rejection. Part of our mission as Shamanic Reiki Practitioners is to appreciate and value such a beautiful gift given by Mother Earth and then share it with those who need it. Einstein said, "It is easier to divide an atom than to disintegrate a prejudice," so sometimes the task is not easy, but with love everything can be done.

A Master Plant is and always will be a living experience, so its teaching is direct and profound, and allows evolutionary shortcuts in our learning and understanding of the cosmos and its energies. What can cost years of experience to acquire and integrate, with the right guidance of a Sacred Plant, can be shown in a few seconds.

It is not enough to recklessly try these plants, or give them to everyone, to the right and to the left. The plant also needs us, it needs a channel that understands it and knows how to direct its energy. Remember that a remedy at low doses has no effect and that in excessive doses it could be a poison. The middle way is the path of the Shamanic Reiki Practitioner, but the only way to walk and learn in Shamanism is to live it. That's why TRUST and FAITH deposited in the plant and in the being that guides and teaches, is a fundamental pillar in shamanic learning and the origin of all wisdom. The old disciple-teacher relationship, the earth and the sky, the moon and the sun, is lived in a human and at the same time divine experience. The same act of taking the plant is the proof of faith in Shamanism.

In order for a Sacred Plant to be energetically activated and reach its maximum potential, it needs two basic ingredients that are LOVE and WISDOM, without them no ceremony and healing makes any sense and therefore loses its ability to free human beings from their afflictive states, here is where it ends up becoming a form of escape and, worse, a vice. Remember that love and wisdom are the key.

Which Master Plants do I use in my Shamanic Reiki ceremonies and sessions? Mainly 4:

Coca Leaves
Tobacco
Rapé
Sananga

When I work in Perù I use as well another Master Plant:

San Pedro Cactus

​Channeling Reiki: The Power of Treatments

In the initiates, the energy of Universal Reiki flows through one's being. Reiki is a subtle energy. The energy usually comes from the crown chakra, passes through the heart chakra and flows through the arms to the hands and from there goes where it is needed. This seems to be the uniform pattern of the flow of Reiki and many other healing energy systems.

Reiki is an energy that works in a descending way, so we cannot receive a negative energy or disease from the patient, because we become just a channel of light. We could say that the cosmos is the great mountain where the waters accumulate and the Reiki Practitioner is the river where they circulate, so no energy can go against that beneficial and powerful current.

The basic energy of Reiki has always been the ACTIVATED INTENTION.

Reiki uses the energy of the Ki or universal life force to make changes and transmute blockages in the energy body, to promote the preservation of well-being and health.

A therapist, harmonizes to heal.
Energy healing is very effective when the person follows an active treatment (followed) in a path, at the first session the patient will experience a lot of well-being and it is always advisable to perform at least 3 sessions per person.

Do you want to know more about a Reiki Session? Here there is an article about it.

​Reiki as a Path to Awakening

Humanity is thousands of years old, more than science imagines. There have been complex civilizations in this world as they are now, with many technological advances even more advanced than now. Just see ancient cultures such as the Maya, Aztecs and pre-Incan cultures. Even more ancient are the cultures of Egypt, the Sumerians and so far comes science. More ancient are the civilizations of the lost continents of Atlantis and Lemuria, the true origin of all the other cultures mentioned above. But everything is cyclical and, as the great universal law says, what has a beginning will have an end, as well as this modern lifestyle based on fossil fuels and everything that accompanies it will have an end.

In Shamanism, we talk about a RECALL, a reminder of who you are, your life purpose, your cosmic purpose. But the human being does not remember, lives in a IGNORANCE (Avidya), the ignorance of not knowing its origin, its mission, nor know where it is going. From this ignorance of not knowing, comes the ignorance of the attachment to material things and all the erroneous beliefs that generate pain and affliction in this world.

REMEMBERING is fundamental today, to revive the old glories where science and spirituality were one, where mind, body and soul were harmoniously aligned with the universal currents of knowing how to live. Hence it comes the importance of ancestral wisdom that helps us to remember and awaken in this present the knowledge of our ancestors to recover the lost harmony.

And it is here that the process of self-healing takes on its fundamental role. Because the only way to restore your balance and alignment of bodies in harmony with the great source of being, is your SELF-HEALING and all the benefits that it attracts. Love your body which is the vehicle you have been given to live this short but wonderful human experience, take care of it and use it wisely, it is your temple. Love your mind and learn to calm it (Meditative states), love your emotional body and learn to channel its energies (Love Detachment). If you follow these noble steps every time you will feel better and lighter. You can become an oasis for other beings who live in a desert and are thirsty for refreshing wisdom that extinguishes all afflicted states. True Medicine is PURE WISDOM, you should appreciate it as a treasure.

With Reiki you have been given a nice gift, you're coming back to remember again. Never lose faith and like the old sages: live your life, moment by moment.


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What is Rapeh? Everything you need to know about this Shamanic Tool

Reading time: 7 Minutes

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What is Rapeh?

The Rapeh o Rapé is a tool of shamanic sacred medicine, a spirit of stellar medicine, which has been used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin for thousands of years.

In practice it is a complex mixture of various medicinal plants of the Amazon, whose main ingredient is Nicotiana rustica, a strong tobacco 20 times more potent than Nicotiana tabacum, used in cigarettes.

This sacred medicine can have a psychoactive or stimulating effect, depending on the plants used to prepare it.

When used during shamanic ceremonies, it can cause very deep experiences. For shamans and indigenous peoples, the Rapeh is sacred, in fact it is considered a spirit of nature. The Shaman uses it in prayer rituals to invoke the forces of nature for healing and to receive the blessings of the forest.

How Rapeh is prepared? Tobacco and other Ingredients  

The main ingredient of Rapeh is Nicotiana rustica, but its preparation is usually enriched with other finely ground vegetable ingredients or alkaline ashes. These can be tonka beans, cinnamon, banana peel and many others. Some preparations contain hallucinogenic plants such as mocambo, anadenanthera, chacruna, virola, etc.. Shamanic tribes usually keep the exact ingredients of their Rapeh secret.

Very important is the presence of Grandfather Tobacco which helps to order, integrate and balance the other ingredients, and to direct and channel them towards a specific intent. At the same time, Tobacco is a port of connection with the spirit and the universe and helps us to awaken the essential purity of ourselves and of every medicine.

Tobacco is now one of the most consumed plants. Its most common forms are cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

Almost all products derived from this plant have acquired a negative reputation throughout history; during the time that this innocent plant has accompanied us. Tobacco producers have modified the "tobacco" to such an extent that it loses all its beneficial properties. Transforming it into a product that encourages excessive consumption, and that creates dependence. For this purpose, they have used highly toxic chemical additives.

However, it is not the fault of the tobacco, but of the human being. A cigarette made only from dried tobacco leaves and grown at home can help to get out of a lung disease.

It serves as an antiseptic and astringent for all conditions and infections that may occur in the respiratory tract, unlike the products we find on the market today.

Fortunately, there are products that have been protected and kept out of the tentacles of the large tobacco multinationals. One of these is Rapeh.

green rape snuff kuripe reiki shamanic healing berlin

The ritual of the "entrega" of the Rapeh

To take the Rapeh in the traditional way you need two people. Your ritual partner uses a bamboo or bone pipe (called "Tepi" in Brazil) to blow the mixture into your nostrils. There is another type of pipe called "Kuripe" that is used for self application. The Kuripe is V-shaped and connects the mouth to the nose, so you can blow your own medicine.

The Rapeh is blown with a pipe in each nostril, balancing the two hemispheres of the brain, our feminine and masculine side, yin and yang. To receive the medicine we must be receptive, calm and hold our breath.

The closure of the glottis prevents the powder from falling down the throat and the bronchus. The Western practice of inhaling tobacco is a distortion of the original scheme of this type of medicine. When inhaled, tobacco does not reach the frontal cavities or sinuses and penetrates the lower respiratory tract causing irritation. In this way it does not fulfil its essential purpose of cleaning up the mind and upper canals.

The entrega of the Rapeh (i.e. the act of receiving the blow in each nostril) helps us to heal from individualism and reminds us that we need each other, that some medicines are taken by ourselves and others are received by the hands of a brother or sister.

Those who blow the Rapeh must be centered and empty, moving from its energy center, not to put anything of themselves and simply to be a channel, knowing that the work is done by the ancestors, by the spirit of the plant. In this way, those who receive the blow can let themselves go to medicine, put themselves in its hands as their ancestors have put themselves in ours.

The use of Rapeh produces a strong stimulation of the mucous membranes, which can be experienced as a hard internal hit. This intense hit opens the mind, allowing the stated intentions to do their job. The Rapeh helps the person to free himself from emotional, physical and mental diseases. It frees the person from negative energy and confusion.

Healers of the Amazon rainforest use Rapeh to balance their energy and connect with their higher self and universe. The ritual of the Rapeh is also considered a form of purification and detoxification of the body. Tobacco dissolves the mucus and eliminates bacteria, thus helping to combat inflammation and various diseases.

It is important to remember that removing the medicinal and sacred purpose, thus giving it a social and superficial use in inappropriate contexts, leads to the use of the strength of plants to feed diseases instead of to fight them, which has happened with cigarettes.

What are the effects and benefits of Rapeh? What is it used for? 

The dose and frequency depend on the real and conscious need of the spirit, like all natural sacred medicine, in the relationship of each one with it and for each moment of one's evolution. It is well known that excesses and extremes are usually not good medicine, and that it is not only the quantity but also the quality that makes the difference, and especially the quality of attention and heart that we devote to the moment of the ritual.

In addition, Rapeh is an air medicine. In the act of blowing we receive the blessing of the Grandfather Wind, universal source of energy, which cleanses our perception, clearing the mind and opening the upper energy channels, to connect with the highest part of our being.

Tobacco and natural medicines help to eliminate entities, energy parasites, contamination and interference in internal dialogue. After receiving Rapeh's entrega, the medicine goes up cleaning, ordering and aligning our energy field, especially the centers or chakras of the third eye and crown, and then up and down the spine, the Tree of Life.

It is also a medicine for the body, which helps to expel mucus and parasites from the frontal and paranasal sinuses. It eliminates headaches, mental confusion and dizziness, as it decompresses the pressure of the skull.

A Rapeh ceremony in a medical circle helps to synchronize and align the attention and perception of participants in moments of opening or transition in the ritual.

It is also a medicine for the vision of the spirit, helping us to free the mind and stop the inner dialogue, to be truly present so that we can see beyond our mental interpretations.

tepi pipe rapé shamanic medicine-reiki shamanic healing berlin

Medical use of Rapeh

Indigenous peoples in South Africa use tobacco to help wounds heal faster, fight ulcers and repel insects. It is used to reduce fatigue, pain, hunger and thirst and to increase endurance. Rapeh can also clean the respiratory tract. Many people find that after having performed the ritual of Rapeh, they can breathe more freely and have a better sense of smell. There are special mixtures of Rapeh that are used against flu, although this is mainly the work of other herbs that are present in the mixture. In high doses, Rapeh can purify the body by inducing sweating and sometimes even vomiting or going to the bathroom. Tobacco alkaloids have an antidepressant and stimulating effect.

Some argue that Rapeh can repair the pineal gland by decalcifying it. The pineal gland produces melatonin, and thus regulates our sleep rhythm. It is also called the third eye and is located in the center of the brain. The pineal gland has an important function in the central nervous system and is potentially involved in diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Although there is as yet no confirmed scientific evidence, there is a theory that tobacco nicotine can help control these diseases. This issue is currently being investigated and studied.

About 90% of people with schizophrenia smoke. They do so as a form of self-medication. Rapeh is much less harmful than smoking and therefore schizophrenic people can benefit from the use of the tobacco plant nasally in the form of Rapeh to avoid the harmful use of cigarettes.

Do you want to know more about Shamanic Reiki Healing Sessions? Here you will find an article about Shamanic Reiki.


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