Category Archives: amazon rainforest

Pablo Amaringo | Los Loros – Jigsaw Puzzle

Pablo Amaringo | Los Loros

Pablo Amaringo : Los Loros Jigsaw PuzzleA celebration of the beauty and harmony of the Amazon’s flora and
fauna, Los Loros (The Parrots) is the work of Peruvian painter Pablo
Amaringo (1938–2009). Recognized as one of the world’s great
visionary artists, Amaringo was renowned for his intricate, colorful
paintings inspired by shamanic visions. Entirely self-taught, he
painted Amazonian landscapes with meticulous botanical precision.

Pablo Amaringo : Los Loros Jigsaw PuzzleIn 1988 Amaringo co-founded the Usko-Ayar Amazonian
School of Painting in Pucallpa, Peru, whose students, aged eight to
twenty-four, are educated free of cost. The school—dedicated to
documenting the flora, fauna, and culture of the Amazon and inspiring
people everywhere to revere and care for the living Earth—originated
the pictorial style known as neo-Amazonian art. To see more of
Pablo Amaringo’s beautiful art, visit


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Beyond Red Alert: Super Floods in the Amazon – Help Needed!

Floods in Iquitos

Unremitting torrential rainstorms in combination with a greater than normal glacial melt in the Andes has over the past few months created widespread flooding in the city of Iquitos and the neighbouring areas located in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. The water levels in Amazon River and its tributaries such as the Nanay and the Itaya rivers have overflowed and a huge part of the city has become inundated. Many villages and communities have been washed away or are submerged. Over 100,000 people have been displaced by the floods. A State of Emergency was belatedly declared by the Peruvian Government on March 30th.  Marco Paredes, regional head of Senamhi (National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology) expects that the water levels of the rivers will continue to grow. There are also grave concerns about sanitation, and the subsequent spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria.

Bill Grimes the proprietor of the Dawn on the Amazon River Cruises and the fabulous like named cafe (delicious food btw) located on the Malecon has been keeping people posted on the situation with narratives and photos (some of these photos are on ths post), but more than that Bill and his friends have been purchasing drinking water, food, and other emergency supplies and distributing these to isolated villages and communities in the outlying areas.

Iquitos Flood

Bill needs assistance to continue this vital work. Donations will be most welcome to continue and expand the rescue work to allow him to purchase and distribute more emergency supplies. I’ve known Bill for a few years and frequent his cafe whenever I’m in Iquitos, all I can say is that he is one of the genuine ‘good guys’.

You can help in two ways:

  •  Donate money or / and
  • Raise awareness of this appalling situation by posting this on Face book, Blogs, and other social media.

If you would like to send a donation to Bill and his friends; you can do this via Western Union , MoneyGram, or, The details are as follows;

Destination Iquitos Peru, South America.

Recipient; Marmelita Flores Pua De Grimes

Make sure to spell Marmelita’s (Bill’s wife) full name correctly. It must match her National ID card (DNI). The clerk will give you a multi-digit number to identify your transaction. Email the number to Bill and Bill and Marmelita can collect from the Interbank office in town.

Thanks for making a difference.

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The Exquisite Geometric Art of the Shipibo: Catalogue

Shipibo Art - Unique Geometric designsAn inventory of my collection of Shipibo Artisan work. I have been collecting for many years and there are some exemplary pieces in the collection. I’ve assembled an 80 page catalogue of their beautiful work.

It is time to get these wonderful textiles and artisan work out of a trunk, and share them with the world. Many items are for sale, and a price list is included. In addition I’ve included an article about the unique geometric designs of the Shipibo people.

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The Sublime Sounds of the Rainforest

‘Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream”

Sounds of the Rainforest: The Amazon Rainforest when the sun sets;  the jungle becomes alive with a rich tapestry of sounds. If you listen carefully you can hear in the background Ayahuasca Icaros being chanted by Shipibo Shaman Enrique Lopez during an Ayahuasca Ceremony. Recorded 2008 Part 1

Sounds of the Rainforest: The Amazon Rainforest when the sun sets; the jungle becomes alive with a rich tapestry of sounds. Recorded 2008 in Mishana Part 2

My perfect jungle palace

Perfection - my Jungle Palace!

Picture Gallery of Mishana on Flickr

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Human and Nature Magazine 人与自然 – A Feature on the Amazon Rainforest

A feature on the Amazon Rainforest from 人与自然 ‘Human and Nature’ Magazine published in China March 2012 Issue. Includes some of my photos, one with the visionary artist Pablo Amaringo showing his art. The feature is titled;

地球之肺中的 which means ‘The Wonderful world of the Lungs of the Earth’

The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo

Pablo Amaringo with Nukno Machashka

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Encounter With an Amazonian Ayahuasca Shaman

Javier Arevalo - Shaman

The Ayahuasca article with an interview of the shaman Javier Arevalo by Howard G Charing & Peter Cloudsley appeared in ‘Healing Today’ Magazine August 2001. The article was published with its original title and without the girls in bikinis and serenading guitar players!

Javier brewing Ayahuasca

Javier at Mishana

Javier giving me a floral bath

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A Golden Guide to Hallucinogenic Plants

A Golden Guide to Hallucinogenic Plants by Richard Evans Schultes & Elmer W. Smith

Published in 1976,  this book has been out of print for many years. It is  beautifully illustrated with detailed botanical paintings and extremely  informative narratives. There is a conspiracy theory that it was removed from publication (albeit after four editions!)  due to pressure by the authorities. In the Golden Guide Collectors page it says ” I will finish my tutorial by talking about the myths on Hallucinogenic Plants. Almost every time I see this book for sale it’s mentioned that it was pulled, suppressed, recalled or words to that effect. I’m sure this book was frowned upon when it showed up in libraries. And Golden Press probably was pressured to quit publishing this title. But it took a while. The softcover went through 4 printings. And the large hardcover went through 2 printings. The ultimate reason Golden Press quit publishing this book may never be known”.

Schultes Foreword

Hallucinogenic plants have been used by man for thousands of years, probably since he began gathering plants for food . The hallucinogens have continued to receive the attention of civilized man through the ages. Recently, we have gone through a period during which sophisticated Western society has “discovered ” hallucinogens, and some sectors of that society have ta ken up,for one reason or another, the use of such plants. This trend may be destined to continue.

It is,therefore,important for us to learn as much as we can about ha llucinogenic plants. A great body of scientific literature has been published a bout their uses and their effects, but the information is often locked away in technical journals. The interested layman has a right to sound information on which to base his opm1ons. This book has been written partly to provide that kind of information.

No matter whether we believe that man’s intake of hallucinogens in primitive or sophisticated societies constitutes use, misuse, or abuse, hallucinogenic plants have undeniably played an exten sive role in human culture and probably shall continue to do so. It follows that a clear understanding of these physically and socially potent agents should be a part of man’s general education.

R . E . S


RICHARD EVANS SCHULTES, Ph.D., F.L.S., is professor of natural sciences and director of the Botanical Museum at Harvard University. An internationally known botanist specializing in narcotic, medicinal and poisonous plants, Dr. Schultes spent some 14 years in South America living among Indian tribes in order to investigate directly their uses of such plants. Dr. Schultes is the recipient of numerous honors, among them a decoration from the government of Colombia for his work in the Amazon, and is a member of several American and foreign academies of science, including the National Academy of Sciences. He is editor of the journal Economic Botany and the author of many scientific papers; with Albert Hofmann he wrote The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens.

ELMER W. SMITH, a new England Yankee by birth and inclination, is a free-lance artist, self-taught in art, with an M.S. degree from the University of Massachusetts. He illustrated the Golden Guide ORCHIDS, and has traveled and collected in the Amazon with his friend and colleague the author of HALLUCINOGENIC PLANTS. Smith’s work appears in children’s books as well as in scientific journals, and he has illustrated numerous textbooks in the field of biology. Currently he is an artist at the Botanical Museum of Harvard University.

The Back Cover Blurb

What are hallucinogenic plants? How do they affect mind and body? Who uses them — and why? This unique Golden Guide surveys the role of psychoactive plants in primitive and civilized societies from early times to the present. The first nontechnical guide to both the cultural significance and physiological effects of hallucinogens, hallucinogenic plants will fascinate general readers and students of anthropology and history as well as botanists and other specialists. All of the wild and cultivated species considered are illustrated in brilliant full color.

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The Evolution of the painting ‘Chacruna Versucum (Canción de la Chacruna)’ – by Pablo Amaringo

The Evolution of the painting ‘Chacruna Versucum’ (Canción de la Chacruna) by Pablo Amaringo

Two versions of this painting are presented in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’. We originally had Chacruna Versucum professionally photographed in April 2007. The following year Pablo showed us a revised version of this work. This was an exception as he had painted over the original canvas (something that he did not usually do). Pablo commented that on reflection he regretted repainting the canvas, and this is one of the reasons we felt it important to include both versions. We talked with him to understand his thinking and development between the two paintings. Versucum is a Latin word meaning “verse,” or “canto.” (Note that both versions are dated 2003 on the paintings.)

Chacruna Versucum (2003) by Pablo AmaringoChacruna Versucum 2003 Version (Summary Narrative)

The five dryads sing gently to heal through the circle of chacruna leaves; they transmit love and healing energy. These fairies accompany the plants of the rainforest. They represent the five outer senses, and the many inner faculties which are derived from them: intelligence, consideration, knowledge, discernment, spiritual perception and wisdom. In the central circle the celestial aspects of chacruna are represented by the circle of leaves while the ayahuasca vine represents the Earth.


Chacruna Versucum 2007 Version (Summary Narrative)

Chacruna Versucum 2007 version by Pablo AmaringoThis is the second version of the painting which was painted on top of the first. In the centre Pablo added the triangle of life to represent body, soul and spirit, and the triangular geometry of the human body. The triangle has an eye on each corner to symbolise intelligence, wisdom and the merging of wisdom with ignorance. Our inner depths are reflected through our eyes. Pablo adds the golden horses around the circle to represent the energy from working with ayahuasca and also elaborates on how the yacurunas kidnap the man fishing from his canoe in the cocha.

Pablo said “After I had painted the earlier version, I realized that chacruna has many other attributes and I wanted to emphasise its celestial aspects. This is the reason why I have painted this second”

NoteAyahuasca is a sacred medicine of the indigenous people living in the Upper Amazon area of South America. Ayahuasca is a name derived from two Quechua words: aya means “spirit, ancestor, deceased person,” and huasca means “vine” or “rope.” Hence it is known as “vine of the dead” or “vine of the soul.” It is important to note that the term ayahuasca refers to both the vine itself (Banisteriopsis caapi), and the psychoactive brew made from combining the vine with at least one other ingredient, typically the leaves of the chacruna plant (Psychotria viridis). The vine is an inhibitor that contains harmala alkaloids, and the leaf contains vision-inducing alkaloids (DMT). Chacruna (Psychotria viridis) leaves are boiled with the ayahuasca vine to produce the ayahuasca brew.


This painting  is featured in the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo‘  published by Inner Traditions 2011. Authors Howard G Charing and Peter Cloudsley.

Click to visit the website of the book for articles and interviews with Pablo Amaringo, also photo galleries and see the paintings with summary narratives.

To purchase high quality fine art reproductions and Greeting Cards of the paintings click to visit our store

25% Promotional Discount until December 31st 2012. Promotion Code: JXXUEV


The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo


Pablo Amaringo at Usko Ayar 2007

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Frotacion de Coca

Frotacion de COCA by Howard G Charing
Frotacion de COCA, a photo by Howard G Charing on Flickr.

Frotacion de COCA  Erythroxylum  – The Peruvian ‘Tiger Balm’ reinforced with Wira Sacha aka Sacha Inchi (Plukenetia volubilis).

The frotacion is also good to relieve insect bites, and It’s a very pretty little tin as well.

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