Every tree, every plant, has a spirit. People may say that the plant has no mind. I tell them that
the plant is alive & conscious. A plant may not talk, but there is a spirit in it that is conscious,
that sees everything, which is the soul of the plant, its essence, what makes it alive. The channels
through which the water & sap move are the veins of the spirit.
PART I: PLANT-TEACHERS AND SHAMANIC POWERS
PREPARATION OF AYAHUASCA
floor of ponas [iriartea exorrhiza, Socratea sp., and a hammock in the centre.
We see a certain riversidev egetalista who for many years has been dedicated to
obtaining knowledge throughayahuasca. He begins by cutting anayahuasca liana
that is climbing up acapirona tree [Calycophyllum spruceanum]. To do just this,
thevegetalista had to follow a required discipline. He has not been with his wife for
three days. He has had no contact with ill-tempered or bad-living people. He has
eaten no salty, sweet, or bitter food. He has not gotten drunk. He is clean, according
to the requirements of this purge.He gets up early in the morning and goes to take
anayahuasca rope or liana. He goes out with his cigarette, taking with him his
tobacco. He puts at the foot of theayahuasca plant an offering of tobacco, matches,
and some dry leaves of the heart of the banana tree in the manner of paper to wrap
the tobacco. Then he says to the grandfather [theayahuasca spirit]: "Here I put
your tobacco for you, your matches, your banana leaf for you to wrap your tobacco.
I ask you, grandfather; to permit me to take your plant for medicine, not to cause
any harm to anybody, but to cure sick people. Then theveg etalista observes the
"chicua," then it must not be taken. Theve getalista just has to leave it for another
day, because there can be danger, the enemy can attack him, he can be killed, or
something else can happen. If the animal says ~~chis, chis, chicua," it means that at
first things will go well, but afterwards they will go wrong. Perhaps he will not be
able to cure the sick person as desired.After obtaining theayahuasca , the
he has taken in the morning while fasting. First he puts theayahuasca in the pot,
whistles anicaro ~ power song, and blows on the pot. Then he adds thechacruna,
putting the side which has received sun downwards with the "spurs" upwards.Th en
he puts another layer of crushedayahuasca on it, the twelve to fifteen pieces he has
ground. He again takes two handfuls ofchacruna leaves and pours water on them,
filling the pot to the top.
In order for the purge to be effective, the pot must be made of clay, not aluminium
or other material. Thevegetalista adds a handful of tobacco to make the mixture
boil, and any other ingredient he may usually add when he prepares theayahuasca
purge. He can add two leaves of toe [Brugmansia sp.], or also two pieces of ground
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