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Aya Awakenings

A Shamanic Odyssey
By:
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
North Atlantic Books
 | 
January, 2014
ISBN:
9781583948002
Quantity: 
2
$31.00 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Experiential journalist Rak Razam sets out to document the thriving business of 21st-century hallucinogenic shamanism starting with a trip to the annual Amazonian Shaman Conference in Iquitos, Peru, where he meets a motley crew of “spiritual tourists,” rogue scientists that conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts, brujo—black magicians—wielding their psychic darts, and indigenous and Western healers and guides, all in town to partake of the ritual—and the medicine—of ayahuasca, “the vine of souls.” Combining his personal story with the history of Amazonian shamanism, Razam takes the reader along on an entertaining, enlightening adventure.

The vine had spread her tendrils across the world and a genuine archaic revival was underway. My bags were packed, South America beckoned, and the ancient mysteries of the rainforest awaited. I wanted in on it…

In areas of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, the traditional herbal brew known as ayahuasca or yajé is legally used to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit by connecting it to the web of life. Aya Awakenings works as a cautionary tale, a travelogue, and a memoir, but primarily acts as a portal through which readers are able to gain more information about the perils and the promise of spiritual reconnection through ayahuasca.

In researching ayahuasca, Razam has his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes the vine reveals.

Razam documents his experiences with the vine and his burgeoning relationship with the plants, seeing the connections under the skin of things and the way the world threads together.

Razam’s eye for detail captures a unique spiritual adventure that echoes the archetypal Western quest, propelling the reader on a cosmological travel memoir that is at turns beautiful, terrifying, mind-blowing and ultimately, cathartic. Part journalistic account, part travelogue adventure-memoir, Aya is ultimately a love song to something intimately familiar to the human spirit.

“The best Canterbury Tales of the modern pilgrimage to Iquitos.” —Richard Meech, filmmaker, director of the documentary Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca.

Also available by Rak Razam are Aya: Awakenings DVD and The Ayahuasca Sessions.

Publisher’s Description: 

Experiential journalist Rak Razam sets out to document the thriving business of 21st-century hallucinogenic shamanism starting with a trip to the annual Amazonian Shaman Conference in Iquitos, Peru, where he meets a motley crew of "spiritual tourists," rogue scientists, black magicians, and indigenous and Western healers and guides, all in town to partake of the ritual--and the medicine--of ayahuasca, "the vine of souls." Combining his personal story with the history of Amazonian shamanism, Razam takes the reader along on an entertaining, enlightening adventure.

In areas of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, the traditional herbal brew known as ayahuasca or yaj is legally used to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit by connecting it to the web of life. Sting and Tori Amos have admitted sampling it in Latin America, as has Paul Simon, who chronicled the experience in his song "Spirit Voices." Aya Awakenings works as a cautionary tale, a travelogue, and a memoir, but primarily acts as a portal through which readers are able to gain more information about the perils and the promise of spiritual reconnection through ayahuasca.

"A memorable--and deeply personal--journey into the hearts and minds of those who carry on the shamanic traditions of ayahuasca."--Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Contents
Foreword by Dennis McKenna Preface by Rak Razam
Departure
1 Seekers of the Mystery; 2 Wheel of Fortune; 3 Jungle Fever; 4 Space Cadets; 5 Cosmovision; 6 Hamburger Universe; 7 Surfing; 8 Ayahuasca Disco; 9 Logos; 10 Night of the Black Puma; 11 Downtime; 12 Seeds; 13 Beasts Initiation; 14 Shaman School; 15 Snakes and Ladders; 16 Heart of Darkness; 17 Return to the Source; 18 The Love Creek Session; 19 The High Frontier; 20 Stairway to Heaven; 21 Going Down to the River to Pray; 22 The Hero's Journey
Return
23 Secret Women's Business; 24 The Prime Directive; 25 One River; 26 When Stones Dream; 27 Paying the Earth; 28 Talking with Kevin; 29 Illuminated; 30 Final Flight Index Bibliography
Author's Note

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