Ayahuasca Inspired Art: Howard G Charing
November 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, 90cm x 70cm
Plant Spirit Shamanism with a foreword by Pablo Amaringo 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”)
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 are communing with the spirits of the plants themselves. 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 them allies of their own.
Pablo Amaringo with Howard G Charing presenting the book ‘Plant Spirit Shamanism’. Pablo contributed an inspirational foreword to the book.
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:
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:
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:
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. www.AmazonConvergence.com
Begin communing with plant spirits on September 22nd.
Exciting news – a new book from Alex Grey is being published this year (November). I’m really looking forward to this.
How Alex Grey’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness
• Includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork
• Contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances
• Offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the Networked Self
Revealing the interwoven energies of body and soul, love and spirit that illuminate the core of each being, Alex Grey’s mystic paintings articulate the realms of consciousness encountered during visits to entheogenic heaven worlds. His painting Net of Being—inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey—has reached millions as the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album, 10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses— from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos—embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.
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 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)
This 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”
Note: Ayahuasca 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
Psychedelics and Creativity – MAPS Volume X number 3 2000
MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES
A fascinating exploration and analysis of the beauty and importance of psychedelics and creativity, with interviews, reviews and art by;
Ayahuasca Inspired art, a set on Flickr.
A gallery on Flickr of my Ayahuasca Inspired Art.
‘Americans on Ayahuasca’ an article published in Catalyst Magazine by Trisha McMillan, featuring paintings by Pablo Amaringo from the book ‘The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo’ by Howard G Charing and Peter Cloudsley
Visit the website of the book; The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo, to see the featured paintings, articles, interviews, and photo galleries.
Benjamin Ochavano Is a traditional Shipibo Muraya .He is in his late eighties, and his chants (icaros) sung in the Shipibo language are extraordinary beautiful and with a powerful and extensive vocal range.
Note: This interview was with Peter Cloudsley and Howard G Charing on the Rio Tamishaku in 2002. The article has been revised to include end notes, plant classifications, and some additional photos. I last met up with Benjamin in Pisaq January 2010, he still looking strong and very robust – he is in his late eighties! Benjamin is holding ayahuasca ceremonies in the Cuzco area, and if anyone has an opportunity to drink with this traditional Shipibo Muraya and Palero and hear his amazing icaros – go for it!
An interview titled ‘Love, Magic, and the Vine of the Soul’. Amazonian shaman Javier Arevalo interviewed by Howard g Charing, and Peter Cloudsley. This article first appeared in Sacred Hoop Magazine issue 36 in 2002