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I am surprised at this time by the production of such diversity and the desecration of these things at the same time. Something that has really caught my attention is the assault on the market for a product that has become increasingly popular worldwide and certainly in Peru. I am speaking of the use of Ayawaska.

When I entered deeply into the history on the subject of power plants in the world, called entheogens today, I saw that some of them had a strictly reserved sacred use, or ritualistic ceremony. While in other places it was more popular, it was assigned to very precise geographical areas with nature as genius guides determined because of its production.

For example, people from Europe knew mushrooms; in North America they also used mushrooms and a little to the south, peyote. In Africa, Iboga was one of their power plants. In other tropical regions Datura was used. In the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon the use of Ayawaska is common. In the deserts and mountains of the Andes the power plant used was Wachuma. It has said certainly, that all ancient peoples from China, Siberia, Africa and Central America had for their ritualistic practices for their own entheogens which will be too abundant to enumerate. In the ones described perhaps four are the most known to the Western world and these are: "mushrooms," "Peyote," "Ayawaska" and "Wachuma." And while our ancestors practiced the use of these power plants, they were subject to special moments in shamanic rituals for major community decisions or precise therapeutic actions, nowadays the use of one of them has gone beyond this principle to the point that in the market "Belen" in Iquitos to the market "San Pedro" in Cusco any curious or clueless tourists can go to look for Ayawaska like a panacea to solve their existential problems or emotional issues or just to have a hallucinogenic flight. It has become like folklore to see how in these markets hippies and winning mystics circulate with a bottle of Ayawaska ready to share it with any individual willing to have an adventure to mitigate the use of marijuana, cocaine or other drugs that the market dictates. The sacred use of Ayawaska that occurred in the Amazon has been perverted by a few dollars simply because the market demands it, and the tourist is one of those directly responsible for not understanding the principle of respect for the sacredness of this power plant.

Before it was the shaman or master from the community who would direct with caution and respect a ceremony of this kind, now it is enough to have a few dollars to consume these products and of course the smartest tourists will become shamans themselves after a few shots of this product. It's ok that someone wants to justify that this is the age of knowledge, but the forms of prostitution of this product that once was sacred has gone to extremes. I've met some of my countrymen and many foreigners, who have shared their stories, some experiences have been extreme to the point of nearly costing them their lives for entering territories that were not suitable for what they wanted to do. This has happened in the North of Peru between the coast and the rain forests, where some of these naÔve people entered to the North Coast and to the jungles between Iquitos, Pucallpa and Puerto Maldonado and after some time suffered severe attacks. First in energy levels and then down to the physical level, and this happened as a sort of defense of their own scenarios by the ayawaskeros residents in the jungles and at the coast by the wachumeros, the reason was simple: respect your space and magical plant where they grow. Then they both understood, the ayawaskeros and the wachumeros that they could live peacefully each in their space without violating what nature has given them as a fortress that is their own power plants.

While the ayawaskeros from the Amazon and the wachumeros from the Coast and the mountains in the Andes have learned to respect each other in their environments, why do the others not? It is clear that once again the market prevails and in Iquitos and Cusco the hippies, mystics and tourists have abused the principle of respect to satisfy their egos and personal appetites and have even transported the great grandmother Ayawaska not only to the coast and mountains in Peru, but also to other countries prostituting the vital principle of each power plant. In Peru the Wachuma power plant is used on the coast and in the mountains, and Ayawaska is used in the Amazon, the abuse of this principle will lead in time to severe confrontations between the two sides. Dear tourist, do not be the direct sponsor of this aggression, and I recommend that if you want to take Ayawaska, do it in the Amazon between Peru and Brazil, but do not get to the intransigence of doing it in remote scenarios to the very nature of Ayawaska as Cusco or any other country which is not the Amazonian territory, and do it with experimented people, with responsible people and not with any adventurer, which many abound. ēThe use of a power plant would have as the main reason a desire to awaken a higher consciousness, to learn how to change your life and how to heal if necessary. Surely for some people, these results must be real, but I've seen both in Iquitos and Cusco and especially in Pisac in the Sacred Valley, where tourists consume Ayawaska if not daily, at least several times in a week, and they did not go through a remarkable change and many continue to be as ordinary as regular people. Some tourists drink it as much as seven times in just ten days because they bought a tourist package like that, and yet others will return as often as they think necessary in order to continue consuming Ayawaska.

I saw that in most of these people the abuse of this drink has done little to almost nothing to help them learn about the purpose of their own lives. Instead of seeking liberation from attachment and emotional limitations as a main purpose of life, the Ayawaska vendors have made the tourists become dependent on the product and when a person is dependent on some substance, he simply becomes an addict, and this is the path of drug addiction. Surely, there is no shortage of seekers with respect to the riches of Mother Earth, I donít refer to them, and I salute them for their dedication and reverence to the virtues of Pachamama. In the shamanic journey, the shaman master cannot create dependency on their students, and the main teaching of a power plant is ďnot dependency,Ē anything contrary to this undermines this principle and unfortunately this is what the market offers, making the essence of things becoming dire.

It's a shame that our great grandmother Ayawaska was transformed into a product of dependency, reason out of all kinds of understanding of the principle for which it was discovered by the great masters of yesteryear in the history of humankind. I do not imagine that in the past our wise forefathers held rituals for their inhabitants every time someone came to mind because it had become an addiction and any mere activity required the indiscriminate consumption of a sacred plant.

The shamanic path is a path of respect for the magic that exists in nature, to the wisdom of the plants, to the ancient wisdom of the masters. The modern world is taking the Great Mother Ayawaska to scenarios of different vibrations, disrespecting what those very lands produce. Mother Earth is so fascinating that it has power plants worldwide; as a right of respect the inhabitants of each region should benefit from what the land offers and they should also discover all its secrets to serve in times of great need for personal or social changes.

In the land where we find Peyote we must discover it, learn and serve from Peyote. In the land that produces mushrooms we have to enter to this fascinating world and use mushrooms. In the land which produces Ayawaska -the Amazon, we must discover it and use it in her habitat. The land that produces Wachuma between the deserts and mountains in the Andes, we must discover it and use it; in this way we will celebrate the richness of Mother Earth for not abandoning any of her children.

I greet to the sincere seekers, and alert to whom are immersed in practices taught to the essence of each power plant in their places of origin. Moving the grandmother Ayawaska to other latitudes outside the Amazon habitat is already a severe insult to the power plant that exists in that habitat. If we do not learn the lesson, then Pachamama will react. I have heard that there have been already some dead people for the consumption of Ayawaska in Canada, USA and of course also in Peru, and in Pisac the number one in the Sacred Valley of the Incas for abusing in this consumption. I have seen how it has been prostituted, the use of Ayawaska, where most consumers seek to satisfy many vain appetites of everyday such as search "what hair color they like best," "that dress is the most appropriate to go to a meeting," "what must be my job," "how to understand my continual conflict with my mother in law," "I'm in love with someone and donít know if it's my soul mate," "I do not understand my relation with my family," etc., etc., then the tourists consume Ayawaska to find solutions to many domestic things, which by their nature can be solved with good advice and a good decision in wanting changes in life.

Many believe Ayawaska is the panacea to solve any problem and come to Peru with the expectation to transform their lives or to be healed from any severe ailment; these results certainly for some are possible, but what I've seen in many is the opposite. In Peru we have now the abundance of stores and centers offering Ayawaska to the highest bidder, I donít know if between Iquitos to Cusco reach hundreds, but if this is the case, the Peruvian society continues in ignorance, corruption and misery, and if those hundreds of centers that sell Ayawaska would exist to make changes in the individual, this is not working.

The unfortunate fate of our grandmother Ayawaska at this time is to become the "New Mystic Drug." Dear tourist, do not be complicit in this assault and if in your land there are mushrooms, then use it if you feel this your way. If in your country you have and are attracted to Peyote then discover its secrets. If you come to Peru and want to consume Ayawaska, do it in the jungle, in the Amazon mantle, the grandmother will thank you and offer her secrets if you're ready for this experience. I share this message of liberation and wish you a path of freedom.

Tupaq Katari

From lake Titikaka

About the author:
I love the Andes and am devote to the ancient history of the Inkas and pre-Inkas. Lake Titikaka is my base but am a citizen of the world.


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