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16th January 2012
you can't spell shaman without sham
last week when i was in misahualli i went with some friends to see a shaman for an ayahuasca ceremony. if you didn't know, ayahuasca is a plant which when mixed with other plants create a powerful hallucinogenic drink. side effects include powerful, psychedelic visions and violent vomiting - sounds fun right?! i actually tried it before a few years ago when i first went to peru. i don't think i ever got around to writing or posting about that experience. well this experience was altogether different - and not in a good way. i suppose i should have guessed something wasn't right when the canoe driver that took us revealed that the shaman was his girlfriends father. small things like the non-traditional dress, the lack of music and chanting, and the fact that the preparation was pure, un-mixed ayahuasca - which tasted a little like bacon - also didn't sit right. i think he was a shaman of sorts, he performed a cleansing ceremony which looked, sounded and felt legitimate, but all three of us felt no effects at all from the drink. on the positive side i learnt that i can sit pretty still for 13 minutes whilst my spirit is being cleansed. plus i've got a lot more appreciation for the shaman that i saw last night, and will see again tomorrow. but that's a whole other story.

here's the original
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16/01/2012
you can't spell shaman without sham
last week when i was in misahualli i went with some friends to see a shaman for an ayahuasca ceremony. if you didn't know, ayahuasca is a plant which when mixed with other plants create a powerful hallucinogenic drink. side effects include powerful, psychedelic visions and violent vomiting - sounds fun right?! i actually tried it before a few years ago when i first went to peru. i don't think i ever got around to writing or posting about that experience. well this experience was altogether different - and not in a good way. i suppose i should have guessed something wasn't right when the canoe driver that took us revealed that the shaman was his girlfriends father. small things like the non-traditional dress, the lack of music and chanting, and the fact that the preparation was pure, un-mixed ayahuasca - which tasted a little like bacon - also didn't sit right. i think he was a shaman of sorts, he performed a cleansing ceremony which looked, sounded and felt legitimate, but all three of us felt no effects at all from the drink. on the positive side i learnt that i can sit pretty still for 13 minutes whilst my spirit is being cleansed. plus i've got a lot more appreciation for the shaman that i saw last night, and will see again tomorrow. but that's a whole other story.

here's the original