Ayahuasca Tourism vs Tradition: The Clash Between Western Psychonauts & Traditional Practitioners (Jerónimo M. Muñoz)

Notes on Ayahuasca Tourism vs Tradition: The Clash Between Western Psychonauts & Traditional Practitioners (Jerónimo M. Muñoz)

From the 3rd Amazonian Shamanism Conference, Iquitos, Peru — 2007

The 45+ minute talk is a critique of what some call ‘New Age Plastic Shamans‘, and the interaction of different cultures and how they influence each other — taking focus is the interaction of gringo tourist seeking authentic shamans — the somewhat misguided imagination many gringos have of what a true medicine man should be: the idealized buddha-like delusions many seekers believe-in are highlighted.

Jerónimo M. Muñoz begins the talk about his journey making a documentary film focused on entheogens.

  • Touching mainly on culture and not being guilty of the seemingly corrupting influence of encounters with the other.
  • Some may call it progress, others cultural destruction — but no matter how you look at the forces Muñoz brings attention to here, we are left with only a deeper awareness of a complex issue that must be addressed by each person individually.
  • Not to mention, knowing about the socio-cultural issues surrounding commercialized representations of traditional medicine will help any seeker venturing to experience ayahuasca in the modern world to be prepared to deal with the realities that are more than not quite different than the romantic notions many people would hope to encounter in an beyond human spiritual adept, shaman.
  • Great comparison to a German and cowboys…

First, Muñoz began his filmmaking about entheogens in Mexico in the village where Maria Sabina was from — Maria was a Mazatec shaman women who was found by R. Gordon Wasson (former J.P. Morgan banker) who found her while he was searching for a mushroom cult. He wrote an article in Life magazine called ‘The Magic Mushroom’. Due to this article, Timothy Leary encountered mushrooms in Mexico inspired from the article in Life magazine.

Mr. Muñoz, a Spanish filmmaker with a deep interest in entheogens, follows in Wasson’s footstep and becomes down due to the commercialization and change in ambiance due to what he seems to associate with the fame of Maria Sabina.

He even visited her family and discovers how the influx of visitors destabilized the village of Maria Sabina….

Then Muñoz takes ololiuqui (a species of morning glory that has LSD-like properties) and has a terrible night and realized how far out he was and felt stupid…and how one’s interest can turn destructive.

“This general interest can be very destructive of certain places…even the arrival of money…it destabilizes the place…it creates frictions…it creates envy…it was good intentions all around…”

Talk is about gringos not ayahuasca. Muñoz was forced to look at himself again and again and again — he had tunnel vision and seeking the substances, or plants, and not paying attention to the rest of the life, the culture.

Once he left the study of entheogens, he started to read anthropology but this was more the perspective of the gringo then it led him to colonialism…

Insidious process that is a slow eroding, we take more & more & more & more, we take the resources then their souls…

Take away, argument: today colonialism continues but today it is a cultural colonialism — it’s just a process that continues regardless of the fact that we are good but our very presence is an imposition. Some would argue that the phenomena of the ayahuasca retreat in South America is a continuation of this process.

“I want to talk a little bit about this process…the pastoral idea the idea that somewhere else people live in complete harmony with nature — even the Greeks believed this 3,000 years ago and somehow we lost contact with nature.

The idea of idealizing native people is not true — they are human beings, idealizing them is saying, ‘they are not like us’ but they are… they are a person.

This idea is very powerful. They are people, living in a particularly fucked-up situation in the world.”

People were disappointed who went deep in the jungle and thought they were ripped-off. They were seeking an old wise-man, a buddha, an ideal that doesn’t exist and they were very disappointed and they feel let down, ripped off (Similar to the myth of the cowboy in the West).

I’d been a fucking idiot with a head full of bullshit ideas that weren’t true — and it’s totally disrespectful…”

The problem is we feel empty and we want to fill the lack… “I will play the indian that I want the indians to be”.

Take a picture… trying to grab things that can’t be grabbed and we end up with empty forms… (being a basketball player is not in your sneakers).

  • Learn the icaros, all we’re grabbing is empty forms…
  • What we’re discovering is how the rest of the world lives and goes to the doctor (traditional medicine).

“By looking at these things you destroy them”. “….please, please, please be very careful. If you’re gonna enter other peoples culture, try and walk on your tip toes. Try to be a fly on the wall. Try to shut your mouth and open your eyes. Try to be careful…we are German cowboys.”


The above text are notes created while watching the above video lecture — Ayahuasca Tourism vs Tradition: The Clash Between Western Psychonauts & Traditional Practitioners (Jerónimo M. Muñoz)


Did you know that ayahuasca can be effective for detox, including THC detox?

Ayahuasca Science: Scientist Drink Ayahuasca & Experience Transformation

In late 2010, two Australian scientists were invited by colleagues from Norway to experience “a real adventure” at an Ayahuasca center outside of Lima, Peru. They traveled together to the center, far from populated areas in the mountainous region, for a 4-day Ayahuasca experience with a Peruvian curandero.

The curandero is a traditional healer dedicated to curing both physical and spiritual illnesses, and may also play the role of psychiatrist along with that of doctor and healer.

The scientists participated in the Ayahuasca ceremony on the first night at the center, with decidedly mixed results.

Would the trained scientist stumble upon evidence that could be considered ayahuasca science?

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Ayahuasca and the Fight for Psychedelic Consciousness

“If you can’t see it then, you’ll never know it. I feel sorry for you.”

The fight for psychedelic consciousness has been an ongoing battle in the Western World for ages. A recent event highlighting the oppression of psychedelic consciousness is the TEDx censoring of Graham Hancock’s ayahuasca talk.

Yet, as you will see from the video below, there has been massive oppression of psychedelic consciousness for decades–if not ages.

Find out the details of how psychedelic consciousness can be utilized to enhance the world in the video below.

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Ayahuasca Experience Delivers a Message of Love

Sitaramaya speaks to a packed house at the Los Angeles Ayahuasca Monologues: Tales of the Spirit Vine event.

In this video she talks about the benefits of Ayahuasca and her encounters with it while drinking with an Asháninka Shaman deep in the Peruvian Amazon.

She had taken Ayahuasca in other countries, mostly in Brazil–for Sitaramaya, ayahuasca called to her and that is why she went to the jungle.

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Ayahuasca Transforms Life of Young Actress

From the Amazon in Peru, amidst the bugs, Taylor Marie explains how her last few months in Peru have been extremely different than all her past because of the way ayahuasca has transformed her life.

Ms. Marie looks-out for snakes as she speaks. She explains that the purpose of this video is to go along with the first video where she talked about her life changing experience with Ayahuasca. In this video we come to understand Ms. Marie’s perspective and the details about her ayahuasca journey that was so life changing.

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Madventures Scary Ayahuasca Experience

“The Amazonian basin is home for 60,000 to 80,000 different plants, many still unknown for their medicinal potential. The medicine ayahuasca is said to heal both psychological and physiological problems, from heroin addiction to Parkinson’s disease. Now, try telling that to the medical industry.” (Source: Riku, Madventures)


In this part of a 2009 episode of Madventures III, the hosts, Riku and Tunna, enter the Amazonian jungle to meet with a local shaman and partake of the medicine brewed from the Amazonian Sacred Vine of the Spirits: AYAHUASCA.

Riku’s aim is to take part in a ritual which will force him to face and defeat his worst fears, by breaking through his own defenses; Tunna anticipates a purifying, cathartic experience that will show him “what his subconsciousness hides.”

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Ayahuasca, a Level 5 Psychedelic Experience

With the right ayahuasca recipe and proper shamanic guidance, the ayahuasca journey can best be categorized as a Level 5 Psychedelic Experience.

A psychedelic experience is an altered state of awareness induced by the use of psychotropic drugs such as psilocybin, LSD, and mescaline. Many spiritual practices utilize psychotropic drugs to achieve states of mind unhindered by normal mental filters.

Timothy Leary’s book, “The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual Based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead,” describes characteristics of increasingly deep levels of awareness induced by psychotropics.

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Ayahuasca Experience and the War on Consciousness

Graham Hancock goes in-depth talking about how an Ayahuasca experience served to catalyze the end of his marijuana use.

100,000 years ago, Hancock argues, we became fully symbolic creatures and that–at this time in history–we can see the emergence of cave art throughout the world.

In parallel with this, Hancock claims, there is much evidence connecting the change in our species to being symbolic-beings and the emergence of human’s interrelation to the consumption of entheogenic plants Continue reading

Steve Beyer Ayahuasca Tea Expert

For more than forty years, Steve Beyer has been motivated by the alter states of consciousness provided by visionary and entheogenic plants. He is an independent researcher in ethnobotany, shamanism, ethno-medicine, hallucinogenic plants and fungi. Steve Beyer has doctorate degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology and will be presenting at the Multidisciplinary Associations for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Psychedelic Science 2013 conference primarily as an Anthropologist.

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Sting on Ayahuasca

The English musician Sting, in this video, talks about his experience with Ayahuasca. The video is decent quality, it  seems that the up-loader used a camcorder to record this piece from a broadcast television show. In the clip, author of the book Breaking Open the Head, Daniel Pinchbeck, asks Sting questions about his ayahuasca journey and whether or not it is related to Sting’s founding of the Rainforest Foundation.

The Rainforest Foundation was founded in 1989 by Sting and his wife Trudie Styler, after they saw first-hand the destruction of the Amazon rainforests, and the devastating impact it had on the lives of the indigenous peoples who lived there.

Sting counters saying that he’d been to the rainforest before taking ayahuasca. But, even more interesting, Sting states in the video that his first Religious Experience happened while participating in an ayahuasca ceremony.

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Graham Hancock: The Case for Ayahuasca

“It tastes absolutely disgusting. It is hard to imagine a more horrific and unpleasant taste. And…you have to brace yourself, physically and mentally, before pouring this beverage down your throat.”

With these words of wisdom, Graham Hancock–author and spiritual investigator–describes his experience with ayahuasca and moves forward to make a case for ayahuasca.

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Inventing Fardow, a Terence McKenna Ayahuasca Trip


This video’s raison d’etre is a questioner who asks McKenna: “Can you describe a magical shamanic battle and how it would occur?” Then, Terence McKenna responds with a in-depth anecdote that includes recalling a time in his youth when he invented the word fardow.

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Easy Ayahuasca Recipe Video (Review)

This website has no affiliation with the producers of this video nor can we validate the authenticity of the presented ayahuasca recipe and the supposed “Authentic Ayahuasca Ingredients” advertised on the link posted in the video. Proceed at your own risk.


The Ayahuasca Recipe Guide video above provides an ayahuasca cooking process that it claims will take between five and ten hours to complete. This time frame does not include the fact that between Step 6 and Step 7, the recipe requires you to leave the liquids in a refrigerator overnight.

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