The Shaman, the healer of the village
During your stay in the Amazon jungle, you will certainly have the opportunity to meet the healers in the villages habited by indigenous people: The Shaman.
Becoming a shaman is not simple. It often becomes father to son and a very important required knowing all the virtues of each plant. (I remind you that in one hectare of Amazon forest are up to 220 different species of trees).
The shaman is presented as the intercessor between man and nature spirits.
This term comes from the Tungus (Siberian language), ‘Shaman’ (person with knowledge).
It is both: sage, therapist, healer and seer. It is initiated and custodian of culture, belief and practices of shamanism, of the people from he came. He is found primarily in societies respecting the traditions.
His role is mainly played by men with very different functions in traditional societies, including the leadership of the tribe, the development and direction of the rituals, the healing, and the knowledge of plants or psychic direct action, the education, the advises; these roles are often combined.
They often live away from villages, in a quiet and relaxing place.
The abilities of shamans are supposed to be: extra sensory perceptions, psychic powers, vary according to the traditions and individuality of the shaman (telepathy, prescience, vision at great distances, guessing…).
It can connect the underworld, the afterlife, that of living through a series of personal transformations, sometimes by the use of psychotropic substances, guided by a older shaman, according to a master disciple relationship.
The shaman has gained his popularity for an audience, in the modern societies, in search of mystical experiences or after reading some books.
Indeed, it has been reported some cases of terminal illness, which could be stopped through herbal treatments prescribed by shamans.
There are also offers of shamanics initiations based in a psychotropic substance as the ayahuasca, for example, made the headlines, causing debate and controversy over their potential harmfulness and the possible difficulties that could face the occidentals who engage in such practices blindly.
The ayahuasca, a millenary drink, used by the South American Indians, specifically in the Amazon region, was used as an instrument of extreme religiosity.
Because of its bitterness, the fresh bark is sometimes chewed or reduced to powder.
Taking the plant is in a ritual setting, preferably directed and controlled by a shaman.
When ayahuasca is consumed in a group ritual, vomiting is considered part of the experiment.
The effects appear soon after ingestion (from 30 minutes) and continue for several hours. (Colored hallucinations, an intoxication which ends in a deep sleep filled with dreams, transform of sizes).