Encounters with the Amazon’s Sacred Vine
Santa Fe & London, Synergetic Press. 2016.
Edited by Luis Eduardo Luna & Stephen F. White
Foreword by Ralph Metzner.
This is a new edition of a collection of essays first published fifteen years before – but vastly expanded with much new material and fantastic color illustrations of art based on ayahuasca visions. My own edited collection of essays on Sacred Vine of Spirits – Ayahuasca had also synchronistically first come out fifteen years previously. Ayahuasca has become a phenomenon of cultural transmigration – from being an obscure medicinal plant concoction with purgative virtues used by certain Amazonian tribal shamans, it has moved into urban population centers in Brazil, Columbia and Peru and given rise to three distinct religious churches that use the “tea” in their ceremonies. Neo-shamanic hybrid rituals using ayahuasca have evolved in North America and Europe. Part I of the Ayahuasca Reader is about myths and testimonies from the indigenous peoples that use the concoction in their healing ceremonies.
Part II contains writings from Western anthropologists and explorers who have encountered the indigenous peoples who use ayahuasca – Richard Spruce, Michael Harner, Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff, Wade Davis, Susana Bustos, Jan Kounen, Luis Eduardo Luna, Jeremy Narby, Dennis McKenna and others.
Part III gives the words from some of the hymns of the three Brazilian ayahuasca churches: Santo Daime, Uniao de Vegetal, Barquinha. Part IV contains modern writers, in Spanish and English, on their ayahuasca experiences – Allen Ginsberg, F. Bruce Lamb, César Calvo, Dale Pendell, Stephen F. White and others.
This book is a treasure trove of insights and discoveries … inspired by the depth and poetry of the ayahuasca visions.