Category Archives: Shaman Plants

Evolver Intensives: Plant Spirit Shamanism – Exploring Plant Consciousness

Plant Spirit Shamanism – Exploring Plant Consciousness
Host: Howard G. Charing
Join Howard G. Charing, the “Medicine Hunter” Chris Kilham, Steve Beyer, and Sitaramaya of the Amazon Convergence, for this groundbreaking series where we will explore techniques to communicate with the plant world, accessing their elder species wisdom for personal and collective healing.
Four Sessions, Starting September 22nd at 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London
In this groundbreaking series, we will explore techniques to communicate with the plant world, accessing their elder species wisdom for personal and collective healing. The modern West has dismissed the idea that plants have awareness, but indigenous cultures believe that plants possess consciousness and have a spirit, as well. Some recent scientific research supports the shamanic worldview, such as the research on plant sentience explored in the book The Secret Life of Plants.The visionary plants – ayahuasca, mushrooms, peyote, iboga, and so on – can help the modern mind access the indigenous way of knowledge and thought. For many people, shamanic experience provides an opening into the hidden dimensions of plant knowledge and wisdom. By exploring shamanic traditions, you can learn time-honored techniques for making this connection.While we as human beings make use of plants constantly – our clothing, our food, our medicine – we rarely make a conscious connection with the plant world, which some indigenous groups call the “green nation.” One basic insight that many people bring back from visionary plant work is that we as humans urgently need to redefine our relationship to nature, from believing we have dominion over it to realizing we are part of it. As we discover this, we realize that the nonhuman beings surrounding us, including plants, have crucial knowledge to transmit
to us. It is not only the visionary plants such as ayahuasca that have much to teach us: many plants have teachings we can access when we learn how to listen and receive from them.In this course, you will explore the wisdom of plants and ways to access their intelligence to deepen your connection with nature and become more resilient, self-sufficient, and healthy.In this series you will:

  • Learn practical exercises to explore plant consciousness and work directly with plant allies to connect with a profound wisdom and intelligence
  • Expand our understanding of healing to include shamanic approach to disease and depression as spiritual imbalance, revealing paths towards personal transformation, increased vitality, and achieving greater health
  • Explore the physical and psycho-spiritual properties of the plants themselves, from the familiar tobacco to the exotic and controversial pusanga, the famed ‘love potion’ of the Amazon
  • Probe deeply into the mystery of the potent and transformative Ayahuasca, revealing the ‘spirit vine’s’ recent history, the experience of ceremony, the shamans who perform them, and the myth and origins of the brew itself
  • Discuss the significance of the visionary experience itself through the teachings and art of Pablo Amaringo
  • Address the problem of institutional reactions against this type of exploration, and discuss safe ways to access the inner depths of our being
  • Discover the concept of the ‘diet,’ a body of practices through which the shaman incorporates the plant spirit into their own and learns from the plant itself how to invoke the healing power

Sessions 1 and 2: Medicine for the Soul
Saturday, September 22nd and 29th (with Chris Kilham) at 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London

‘Whether the plant is to heal the body or the spirit or whether it is part of an apprenticeship, what makes it work is your good intention towards the plant. They are beings, which have their own forms or they can be like human beings with faces and bodies. When the spirit accepts the person, and the person has the will, the spirit grants them energy. The path to knowledge opens, and the healing takes place’ Guillermo Arevalo – Shipibo Maestro

In the Amazonian tradition working with planta maestras (teacher plants) is known as the ‘Diet’. The working can be seen as a conscious body of actions to incorporate the plant spirit into one’s own spirit. From this incorporation or union, the plant spirit informs and teaches the maestro or apprentice. They learn the magical chants (icaros) which invoke the power of the plant, how to use the plant for healing purposes, and how to strengthen the dieter both psychologically and physically.

Indigenous cultures perceive life very differently from our modern world, and there is a treasure house of plant knowledge that has remained obscured from Western mainstream thinking, yet is available through transforming our perception and challenging established thinking by exploring the ideas and practices of the cultures that are closer to the natural world than us.

In these sessions, we’ll explore:

  • How Nature itself is a living organism which must be considered as an expression of the One Life, and that man and the Universe are one in their essential nature, and that there is a ‘magnetic’ attraction between every part of nature and its corresponding part in man.
  • We explore the ways that shamans engage with the other consciousness of the plants, and work with the spirit of the plants in a variety of ways, for example; the attributes such as colours and aromas of the flowers, the shape and outer form of the plant.
  • We also explore the concept of the famed ‘love’ potion of the Amazon, the pusanga, and the ethical issues surrounding this.
  • We look at the qualities and powers of some of the healing, and sensory expanding plants, such as; Ajo Sacha , Guayusa, Chric Sanango, Mocura, Jergon Sacha, Tobacco, and how people interact with the plants in other ways such as the floral bath.

Session 3: Ayahuasca Visions
Saturday, October 6th (with Steve Beyer) at 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London

“We are not talking about passive agents of transformation, we are talking about an intelligence, a consciousness, an alive and other mind, a spirit, which of course we have no place in our society. Nature is alive and is talking to us. This is not a metaphor.” Terence McKenna

At its most fundamental level, the modern Western reality or dream is a materialistic one. It is a reality of separation and disconnection from the natural world with all the consequences that this has reaped, that being a massive ecological crisis. ·We know that things do not have to be this way, and we know that we have the potential to create a very different world by transforming our collective dream so to speak.

Plant hallucinogens offer a means of breaking through this trance of the collective dream into a more expansive, freeing, and information-rich universe which holds infinite possibilities for other realities and futures. These plants do not lead us away from ourselves, into an unbalanced frame of mind, as our doctors and politicians warn, but deeper into ourselves and our potential, to a place where we can find greater balance through genuine self-awareness. To quote the Dalai Lama ‘World peace begins with inner peace’.

In this session, we’ll explore:

  • The surge of interest in ayahuasca in the recent years. Is it a ‘medicine for our times?’ And how it can give hope to people with incurable diseases, offer a way to powerful personal transformation, and allow us to access inspiring answers to the major problems of modern civilization.
  • We will discuss and explore the experience of the Ayahuasca ceremony, Shamans, and the nature of the brew itself.
  • We will examine the healing properties of Ayahuasca, and consider the mythology and mystery of the brew itself. For example how the indigenous peoples of the Amazon learned to combine the plants which make up the Ayahuasca brew.
  • We will also explore the spiritual and visionary aspect of the relationship with the brew and ourselves, and the significance of visionary and ayahuasca inspired art in the human experience. The great visionary artist Pablo Amaringo had much wisdom to reveal about this sublime relationship between plant and human. Howard will be sharing some of Pablo’s insights and teachings imparted to him over the years.

Session 4: Integration, Incorporation, and the Future
Saturday, October 13th (with Sitaramaya) at 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London

In this session, we will:

  • Look at ways of establishing the connection to plants, with practical exercises so participants can explore the world of the plant consciousness and enable you to work deeply with your plant allies and experience this connection for yourself.
  • Examine how the psycho-spiritual, or shamanic perspective, of disease that usually arises from a spiritual imbalance within the individual causing him or her to become de-spirited or to lose heart (in the West we would call this depression) and we will look at ways that we can work with plants for personal transformation, increase our vitality, and bring ourselves into equilibrium for our well-being and health.
  • Since the hallucinogenic experience is a part of our biological blueprint, we will look into the embedded institutional reaction to individual expansion of consciousness, and how to safely explore the inner depths of our being
Chris Kilham
Saturday, September 29th 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London
Chris Kilham is a medicine hunter, author and educator. The founder of Medicine Hunter Inc., Chris has conducted medicinal research in over 30 countries. Chris is The FOX News Medicine Hunter and appears on FOX News Health TV both online and in US and international television markets. He also writes a weekly FOX News Health Column and is on the Medical Advisory Board of The Dr. Oz Show. As Explorer in Residence for Naturexof Avignon, France, Chris conducts medicinal plant research for the largest botanical extraction company in the world. He is also an advisory board member of the Naturex Foundation, which funds community development projects in various countries.At the University of Massachusetts at Amherst Chris teaches the popular ethnobotany course The Shaman’s Pharmacythrough the Department of Plant & Soil Sciences. This intensive immersion course takes students to the Peruvian Amazon, where they learn about medicinal plants, the rainforest, and native culture.Chris works with companies to develop and popularize traditional plant-based food and medicinal products into market successes. These include kava, maca, rhodiola, schisandra, horny goat weed, catuaba, tamanu oil, herbal beverages and dozens of other plants. He is currently building market demand for cat’s claw and dragon’s blood, both medicinal plants from the Amazon rainforest.Chris is the author of fourteen books, including Hot Plants, The Five Tibetans, Psyche Delicacies, Tales from the Medicine Trail and Kava, Medicine Hunting in Paradise. Chris also writes articles on plant medicines for several publications, and is a contributing columnist for FOX News Health. Richard Branson features Chris in his new book, Screw Business as Usual. For a complete bio, visit Chris’ site here:
Steve Beyer
Saturday, October 6th 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London
Steve Beyer has a law degree and doctorates in both religion and psychology. He has published 3 books on Buddhism and Tibetan language and religion. Steve has been a university professor, trial lawyer, wilderness guide, peacemaker and community builder. He studied plant medicine in North America and in the Upper Amazon.His recent book Singing to the Plants demonstrates encyclopedic knowledge about Amazonian plant medicine and covers many important aspects of ayahuasca shamanism. About the book, Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., said, “A classic volume that provides its readers with an unsurpassed understanding of the healing power of shamanism, its use of spiritual rituals and visionary plants such as ayahuasca, and both its light and its dark sides, its sophistication and its humor.”
Saturday, October 13th 12pm San Francisco • 3pm New York • 8pm London

Sita began working in the physical and spirit plant realms after a thirteen year period of abstinence from all alcohol and drugs and followed a dietary regime to support her work with the spiritual aspect of the plants.  After her first Ayahuasca ceremony, she came to the deep realization that the thirteen preceding years had been a preparation for her work with Master Plant Wisdom.  She continues to travel and learn in the jungles of Peru and is applying the technology of plant diets to plants in the North.  Together with Kwinto, they have established the Light of the Vine™, headquartered in Varillal, Peru and where the land is being conserved to protect the plants, trees, animals and waterways from development.  She further supports the work of Kwintobheue™, bringing forth ancient plant technologies and shamanic practice to the modern culture.
Over the last twenty years, Sita has founded several organizations including,™ and Light of the Vine™.  She is the founder of Conscious Path Creation™ and Quantum Path Creation™. She uses her western Life Coaching skills in conjunction with Indigenous ceremonial work to help people integrate their learning into the practical and spiritual aspects of everyday life. Through PlantTeachers™, she leads groups and organizes conferences in the Amazon.

Sita organised the first major show of Pablo Amaringo’s art in Venice, California in 2009. She has appeared in Los Angeles as a guest on the Ayahuasca monologues.

Howard G. Charing is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest. ·He is co-author of ‘Plant Spirit Shamanism’ (Destiny Books USA) 2006, and co-author of ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ (Inner Traditions USA) 2011
Review of Plant Spirit Shamanism“The book is not simply a dry academic discussion of these topics, although that alone would be intrinsically interesting. Instead, it provides cross-cultural perspectives on all aspects of plant-spirit based healing. . . Whether you want to learn to practice plant-spirit medicine–or simply want to gain a better understanding of it–this book will be a useful addition to your botanical library.” Dennis J. McKenna, Ph.D., HerbalGram, Journal of American Botanical Council, No. 78, May/July 2008
The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo AmaringoRecognized as one of the world’s great visionary artists, Pablo Amaringo was renowned for his intricate, colorful paintings inspired by his shamanic visions. A master communicator of the ayahuasca experience–where snakes, jaguars, subterranean beings, celestial palaces, aliens, and spacecraft all converge–Amaringo’s art presents a doorway to the transcendent worlds of ayahuasca intended for contemplation, meditation, and inspiration.Illustrating the evolution of his intricate and colorful art, this book contains 48 full-color reproductions of Amaringo’s latest works with detailed explorations of the rich Amazonian mythology underlying each painting. Through their longstanding relationship with Amaringo, co-authors Charing and Cloudsley are able to share the personal stories behind his visions and experiences with Amazonian people and folklore, capturing Amaringo’s powerful ecological and spiritual message through his art and words. With contributions by Graham Hancock, Jeremy Narby, Robert Venosa, Dennis McKenna, Stephan Beyer, and Jan Kounen, this book brings the ayahuasca experience to life as we travel on Amaringo’s visionary brush and palette.Website: Blog:
By participating in this online course, you will receive:

  • Four 90-minute live video seminars with Howard and his featured guests
  • At least 30 minutes of question and answer time in each seminar
  • Participation in a private online community with other students
  • Unlimited online access to video recordings of all seminars
  • PDF articles about course topics from Howard and each of the guests

Begin communing with plant spirits on September 22nd.

PRICE: $90
Early-Bird $75 through September 10th.
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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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Plant Spirit Shamanism – Russian edition

Plant Spirit Shamanism - Russian edition

An in-depth look at the role of plant spirits in shamanic rituals from around the world

In Plant Spirit Shamanism, the authors explore the use of one of the major allies of shamans for healing, seeing, dreaming, and empowerment–plant spirits. After observing great similarities in the use of plants among shamans throughout the world, they discovered the reason behind these similarities: Rather than dealing with the “medical properties” of the plants or specific healing techniques, shamans commune with the spirits of the plants themselves.

From their years of in-depth shamanic work in the Amazon, Haiti, and Europe, including extensive field interviews with master shamans, the authors present the core methods of plant shamanism used in healing rituals the world over: soul retrieval, spirit extraction, sin eating, and the Amazonian tradition of pusanga (love medicine). They explain the techniques shamans use to establish connections to plant spirits and provide practical exercises as well as a directory of traditional Amazonian and Caribbean healing plants and their common North American equivalents so readers can explore the world of plant spirits and make allies of their own.


Plant Spirit Shamanism takes readers into realms that defy rational logic and scientific theory, showing graphically that we humans are not the only intelligent life on this planet. From their extensive travels to indigenous cultures that understand life very differently from those in the ‘developed’ world, the authors reveal a wealth of plant knowledge that has been lost to Western civilization. This book is both a fascinating read and a considerable challenge to the orthodox mind.”
(Leo Rutherford, author of The Way of Shamanism and Your Shamanic Path )

Pablo Amaringo with Howard G Charing

Pablo Amaringo wrote an inspirational foreword for the book.

“This is an incredible book, a book with depth that speaks to the soul. . . . The knowledge in this book could very easily be put to good use in everyday life, which makes it a ‘keeper; for any healer’s library.”
(Bonnie Cehovet, Angelfire, Sept 2006 )

Plant Spirit Shamanism explores not the usual medicinal qualities of plants, but shamanic communications with the spirits of the plants themselves. . . . Healers will find this essential to understanding plant processes.”
(Diane C. Donovon, California Bookwatch, Nov 2006 )

“A practical and useful guide for healing on a deeper level, using Mother Nature’s power.”
(Vicky Thompson, New Connexion, Nov-Dec 2006 )

“Healers will find this essential to understanding plant processes.”
(California Bookwatch, Nov 2006 )

“The book is not simply a dry academic discussion of these topics, although that alone would be intrinsically interesting. Instead, it provides cross-cultural perspectives on all aspects of plant-spirit based healing. . . . Whether you want to learn to practice plant-spirit medicine–or simply want to gain a better understanding of it–this book will be a useful addition to your botanical library.” (
Dennis J. McKenna, Ph.D., HerbalGram, Journal of American Botanical Council, No. 78, May/July 2008 )

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Shipibo Ayahuasca Shamans – Interviews


The Shipibo are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Peruvian Amazon. These ethnic groups each have their own languages, traditions and culture. The Shipibo which currently number about 20,000 are spread out in communities through the Pucallpa / Ucayali river region. They are highly regarded in the Amazon as being masters of Ayahuasca .

This booklet contains original source interviews with three Shipibo ayahuasca shamans. By Howard G Charing and Peter Cloudsley.

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Shamans of Peru – CD

Shamans of Peru CD, Ceremonial Chants, Icaros, and Music

Shamans of Peru CD, Ceremonial Chants, Icaros, and Music


Ceremonial Chants, Icaros, and Music

Shamans of Peru – Recorded on Eagle’s Wing Journeys to Peru

Contains chants and dramatic effects of six different ceremonies with shamans who have worked with Eagle’s Wing Groups. Two ceremonies with San Pedro maestros working in the atmospheric ruins of Puruchucu; two ayahuasca shamans, a man and a woman, in separate sessions working in a jungle temple on the River Momon, outside Iquitos; a Shipibo shaman working in Yarinacocha, outside Pucullpa; and lastly, a despacho in the ruins of Pisaq, Cusco. In addition there are three tracks of atmospheric music played on pre-Colombian instruments.

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Ayahuasca Shaman Interview

Interview with an Amazonian Shaman

By Howard G. Charing & Peter Cloudsley

Originally published in Sacred Hoop Magazine Issue 36, 2002, (Titled, Love Magic and the Vine of the Soul)

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Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman – Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Part 4

Used by Shipibo shamans for ceremonial workAyahuasca 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 Retreatat Mishana in Peru, March 2008.

Visit our website for info on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in Peru

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Ayahuasca Shipibo Shaman – Medicinal Plants of the Amazon Part 3

Shipibo Shaman with Ajo Sacha plant 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.

Visit our website for info on our Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats in Peru

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