Category Archives: Eagle’s Wing

Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman – Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Part 2


Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman, Enrique Lopez talks with our group about Amazonian shamanism, medicinal, and the spiritual properties of plants. Video taken at Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat at Mishana in Peru, March 2008. (part 2).

Click for Info on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in the Amazon Rain forest in Peru.

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Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman – Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Part 1


Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman, Enrique Lopez talks with our group about Amazonian shamanism, medicinal, and the spiritual properties of plants. Video taken at Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat at Mishana in Peru, March 2008

Click for details about our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in Peru

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Shipibo – Conibo Art Exhibition, Lima Peru 2002 – ‘Una Ventana hacia el Infinito’


Shipibo - Conibo Art Exhibition, Lima Peru 2002 - ‘Una Ventana hacia el Infinito’In 2002 the ICPNA held an exhibition called, ‘Una Ventana hacia el Infinito’ (A window into the infinite) of Shipibo – Conibo art in Lima.

This is a video collage of photos I took at the exhibition.

Soundtrack, Shipibo shaman Enrique Lopez chanting an Ayahuasca Icaro.

Click for info on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats with Shipibo Shamans – www.shamanism.co.uk

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Ayahuasca – Medicine for the Soul Part 5


Ayahuasca - Medicine for the SoulAyahuasca, is regarded as the ‘gateway’ to the Soul. The fifth and concluding part of this article explores this fascinating plant brew from the Amazon Rainforest. Ayahuasca is the jungle medicine of the upper Amazon.  It is made from the ayahuasca vine ( Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The two make a potent medicine, which takes one into the visionary world.  The vine is an inhibitor, which contains harmala and harmaline among other alkaloids, and the leaf contains vision-inducing alkaloids. As with all natural medicines, it is a mixture of many alkaloids that makes their unique properties.

In this context, the teacher plants can provide a doorway to great and meaningful insights in the adventure of personal growth and healing. The growth and healing has therefore to be also in the physical world, thereby offering the opportunity to reveal  our emotions, traumatic and turbulent experiences hidden or otherwise and so these can be released and ourselves restored. This access to our soul companion (our greater selves) , this flowing omni-present force guiding our life which presents with what are often called euphemistically “growth opportunities” for us to overcome. The plant teachers can show us these, where we can transcend linear time itself, and we journey within this eternal now at the very place in time where we experienced such a difficult event or suffered a troubled pervasive period in our life. We can re-experience this albeit from a different perspective, learn what happened, the reasons why it occurred and the subsequent impact and consequences on our life, and then to release any pain and trauma locked within our being. This release within the Ayahuasca experience is called ‘la purga’ our purge, when we literally purge this pain from our being, it is not only the contents of our stomach which are being released but also the deeply stored bile and sourness in our bodies generated from these difficult events. The plants offer us the potential for deep soul healing so we can become stronger and more able to engage fully in the precious gift of life.

Developing a personal relationship with Ayahuasca is within a background of an ancient body of practices. The oldest know object related to the use of ayahuasca is a ceremonial cup, hewn out of stone, with engraved ornamentation, which was found in the Pastaza culture of the Ecuadorian Amazon from 500 B.C. to 50 A.D. It is deposited in the collection of the Ethnological Museum of the Central University (Quito, Ecuador). This indicates that ayahuasca potions were known and used at least 2,500 years ago.

For example, there is a dietary regimen, and prohibitions regarding libidinous thoughts and activity. These considerations need to be respected and can not be ignored if one embarks on a path of communion with the plant. On observation and study (also called trial and error), this regime helps us to become more ‘plant like’, therefore increasing our receptivity to the plant-spirit-mind.

Many of my visionary experiences with Ayahuasca have led to a deeper understanding of my life and the role that various people had played in it. Sometimes I became those people, lived their lives, and came to understand why they did what they did, what decisions they had to make in their lives. These revelatory experiences invariably led to some form of closure with that person, like completing an open chapter, or a profound healing of my relationship with that person.

Medicines like ayahuasca can help us along our path but we still have to do the work ourselves.  My experience is that these kind of allies can help us open the doors of perception, but what we do when we get there is entirely our own challenge.

Click to visit our website for details on our Ayahuasca & Yoga Retreats in the Amazon 

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Ayahuasca – Medicine for the Soul Part 4


Ayahuasca - Medicine for the Soul Part 4Ayahuasca, is regarded as the ‘gateway’ to the Soul. The fourth part of this article continues to explore this fascinating plant brew from the Amazon Rainforest. Ayahuasca is the jungle medicine of the upper Amazon. It is made from the ayahuasca vine ( Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The two make a potent medicine, which takes one into the visionary world. The vine is an inhibitor, which contains harmala and harmaline among other alkaloids, and the leaf contains vision-inducing alkaloids. As with all natural medicines, it is a mixture of many alkaloids that makes their unique properties.

I discovered that Ayahuasca is a medicine, so unlike the Western understanding, a medicine which works on every level, on the physical and non-physical beings, our consciousness, our emotions, and our spirit. It is as if you are drinking not just a liquid brew but imbibing an ‘other’ intelligence which knows exactly what is needed to help you. This is a communion in the true sense of the word, an intense experience of euphoria and ecstasy. A journey of deep and profoundly meaningful personal and trans-personal insights , a searchlight on the hidden thoughts and feelings in the sub-conscious mind, an erasing of the ego boundaries and a merging with the greater field of consciousness of creation.

The was more and more to experience, dieting some of the teacher plants such as Ajo Sacha and Guyasa, I felt my senses being altered , expanded in some ineffable way, and becoming aware of the song, the very rhythm of the rainforest. There was sound, smells, and sights around me, which I had not been aware of in my normal everyday waking state. I could zoom in on smells, and sound, I realised that the rainforest was one entity with the insects, birds, and animals being a part of the totality of the rainforest. I am in paradise when lying in my hammock; it is like floating within a living three-dimensional sensorial experience of sound, colour, smell, movement, and vibration all in harmony and great beauty.

The work with the visionary plants not only provides a philosophical frame of reference for my life so to speak, but is also a path for deep soul healing, and generates a desire to engage fully and with enthusiasm the world around me. Celestial visions are always very nice and pleasing but they must never cloud, disguise, or distract our real purpose to live in the full embodiment of being a human on this beautiful planet and striving to enrich that special and unique experience, our ‘earth walk’. I recall some years ago when I led a group to the Amazon Rainforest, our initial gathering with our shaman Javier Arevalo so we could all introduce ourselves. Javier was very curious about Westerners, and was interested in knowing what we were searching for with the visionary plants. One participant stood up and said she wanted a clear and definitive understanding of the male and female principles of the universe, the cosmic “ying and yang” as she put it. Well Javier was totally mystified by this question, as when I have attended his sessions with local people who visit him for a consultation or session they ask about everyday problems and concerns such as “is my boyfriend / husband / girlfriend cheating on me?”, or “why am I unlucky in finding a job?”, “I need help to overcome this disease”. Well we worked with our participant to explore what the real question was behind her initial enquiry, finally she said that she was really looking for love in her life, and of course, Javier could understand this deep desire completely, and was subsequently able to help her discover and reconcile the inner obstacles, which had been preventing this.

Visit our website for details on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in the Amazon

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Introducing our Yoga Teacher at the Amazon Ayahuasca Retreats


Our Yoga Teacher at our Amazon Ayahuasca RetreatsOver the years at our Ayahuasca and Plant Spirit Shamanism Retreats on an ad hoc basis we have invited yoga teachers to the Retreats to hold Yoga, Chi Gung and meditation classes. This has worked very well with Ayahuasca and the plants, and we have found a real synergy between these two bodies of practices. Now that Eugene Bersuker (a Russian American) has joined our team at our Retreat programmes. We have now (officially) incorporated Yoga, Chi Gong, and Meditation classes in our programme.

Eugene is a qualified Yoga teacher, trained in India, Shivananda Saraswati School of Yoga. Traditional Hatha and Yoga for Healing. Yoga postures and meditations used to relieve tensions, purify mind/body, and raise vibrations. An instructor in Chi Gong, and Eugene is also a Licensed Massage Therapist – Swedish and Shiatsu.

Visit our website for details on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in the Amazon

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Ayahuasca – Medicine for the Soul Part 3


Ayahuasca - Medicine for the Soul Part 3Ayahuasca, is regarded as the ‘gateway’ to the Soul. The third part of this article continues to explore this fascinating plant brew from the Amazon Rainforest. Ayahuasca is the jungle medicine of the upper Amazon.

My first real encounter with the plant world of the shamans was when I first arrived in the Amazon some fourteen years ago. The moment I stepped off the aeroplane in Iquitos it felt as if I had been hit by bolt of energy. I felt so energised that I didn’t sleep for two days, my senses were at a heightened state of awareness, and it felt as if I could hear the heartbeat of the rainforest itself.

Iquitos is a city in the Amazon rainforest, there are no roads (completed anyway) to it. The only way to get there is via aeroplane or by river boat. The city in the 19th century was the centre of the Rubber industry but by the early 20th century the rubber trade had moved to the Far East, and the city had fallen into neglect and disrepair. It is now a place without an apparent purpose resplendent in its post-colonial splendour literally in the middle of nowhere, a true frontier town.

I recall my first moments in Iquitos standing on the Malecon at the edge of the city overlooking the river and some 3000 miles of pure rainforest spread out in front of me, an exhilarating experience which still fills me with wonder and awe.

I had come to Iquitos out of a long-standing interest and desire to experience at first hand the living tradition of plant spirit medicines and of course, the magical brew of Ayahuasca of which I had heard so much about.

I was not to be disappointed; my first sessions with a shaman in an open jungle clearing changed my view and understanding of life, a spiritual epiphany. I experienced being in the very centre of creation. I had the realisation and experience that I was not separate but an intrinsic part, a discrete element in the vast cosmic mind or field of consciousness, and that we were all connected. All part of the one great mind, and our experience of ‘separateness’ was no more than an illusion, generated by our being in our bodily vehicle which housed our senses.

One of my most profound experiences in an Ayahuasca ceremony, when I found myself transported to what I felt as the centre of creation. I was in the cosmos witnessing totality, planets, stars, nebulas, and universes forming. Everywhere stretched vast patterns of intricate geometric and fluid complexity constantly changing size and form. The chanting of the shaman was filling every cell with an electric force, every port of my body was vibrating and it felt as if I was being bodily lifted into the air. I was in a temple of sound, vibration and bliss. Gathered around me were giants in ornate costumes of gold and multi-coloured feathers blowing smoke and fanning me, these were the spirits of Ayahuasca, and then this soft gentle and exquisitely soft and sensual voice spoke to me of creation and the universal mind.

To reinforce this poetic insight, the words appeared before me in bold neon like script. When I related this after the session to the maestro said, “Ayahuasca wanted you to understand”, and he continued; “Ayahuasca opens doors to different dimensions. Often the mind can be obstructed from accessing inner knowledge. Ayahuasca can open up the mind to abstract things that cannot be seen in the material world. If I hadn’t had the experience, I would not be able to believe that a tree could have its own world or have a spirit. But when you begin to discover these dimensions personally, little by little you begin to recognise and accept the mystery of it.”

Visit our website www.shamanism.co.uk

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Ayahuasca Brewing – Video Clip taken on Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat Nov 2007


Ayahuasca Brewing – Video Clip taken on Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat Nov 2007

Our group participating in the brewing of Ayahuasca, with Huitoto shaman Lucho. The background voice is Eugene Bersuker who has joined our team facilitating our Retreat Programme.

Ayahuasca Brewing - Video Clip taken on Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat Nov 2007 - Eugene BersukerEugene is a Russian-American Yoga teacher, trained in India, Shivananda Saraswati School of Yoga. Traditional Hatha and Yoga for Healing. Yoga postures and meditations used to relieve tensions, purify mind/body, and raise vibrations. An instructor in Chi Gong, and Eugene is also a Licensed Massage Therapist – Swedish and Shiatsu.

Eugene will be offering Yoga and meditation classes, with individual massages available (fee payable) during our Retreats at Mishana.

Visit our website for details on our Amazon Ayahuasca and yoga Retreats

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Ayahuasca Retreat – February 2003, Amazon Rainforest Peru


Ayahuasca Retreat - February 2003, Amazon Rainforest PeruImages from Eagle’s Wing Ayahuasca Retreat February 2003. On the soundtrack are maestros Artidoro and Shipibo Guillermo Arevalo chanting Icaros. Both Artidoro and Guillermo were at the Retreat.

Visit our website www.shamanism.co.uk for details on our Andean and Amazon Ayahuasca Yoga Retreats

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