The Journey Book Project

Percy Garcia interview> by Rak Razam

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Percy Garcia Lozano comes from a tradition of curanderos and was initiated into the science of ayahuasca at age ten. Now in his early 30s he is one of the new breed of indigenous shamans straddling two worlds – his indigenous heritage and the globalized 21st century. He lives in Iquitos and balances his work between treating locals and the growing rise of Western ayahuasca seekers.

translation by Chuck

RAK: Percy, how long have you been a curandero?

PERCY: I come from a tradition where you are born to become a curandero. You don’t choose to become a curandero. And the person who wants to enter the science of curandismo when he is older, it is because he will be called. He will have a calling.

The tradition I have learned has been handed down to me by my grandfather, who was himself a powerful maestro. So I have been preparing myself [to be a curandero] since I was ten. I am the only grandson that follows the tradition with healing plants. My grandfather – Enrique Garcia Mozombite – prepared me to have the strength to complement ayahuasca and to be strong enough to work with this most sacred of plants. It was a long and enduring initiation, in that the apprentice curandero must come to know not just the kind of plants available and the properties of each, but establish a relationship with the spirits in the plants. It’s a very demanding job being a curandero, and many youth aren’t carrying on the traditions.

RAK: What Is your understanding of ayahuasca and the world of the spirits?

PERCY: Ayahuasca is Quechua for ‘vine of the dead (souls)’, but at the same time, as a healer, we don’t call the dead spirits – we call them Allies. Ayahuasca is medicine. It is strength, intelligence, wisdom and healing. In this way everything is in accord with tradition. While nature represents what life is, ayahuasca is the mother of us all. I have used the vine since I was 14 years old and started on a long series of diets with the master plants. The diets were simple to begin with and as the years progressed my ability to do more intensive diets increased, as did my connection with the plants. It is a long and hard road to travel to become a vegetalista healer, one who heals with plants, especially when this knowledge starts when you are a child. But I learned about the spirit in the ‘vine of souls’, ayahuasca, and how to prepare it, as well as other medicinal plants like chacruna and others...

This is an excerpt from the forthcoming book: The Ayahuasca Sessions, conversations with indigenous curanderos and Western shamans  by Rak Razam. For the full interview download the PDF below.


Spirit Molecule documentary Australian tour

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Undergrowth.org  and Entheogenesis Australis   present the 2010 Spirit Molecule documentary Australian tour, with screenings across the country in December followed by talks with the writer/director Mitch Schultz. Tickets are AUD $23/20 concession, and advance bookings are recommended.

All tickets sold through www.greentix.com.au  see dates and links below.


AYA: A Shamanic Odyssey > by Rak Razam

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 “The vine has 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…”

What is Amazonian shamanism and why is it important to the world today, as we stand on the brink of environmental change and global transformation? Traveling on a magazine assignment to Peru, Rak Razam - editor and co-founder of Undergrowth.org, sets out to discover the answers. He joins a growing movement of Western tourists coming for the legal experience of ayahuasca – the “vine of souls” – a South American hallucinogenic plant that is said to heal, and connect to the divine.


Undergrowth presents ENTHEO:GENESIS @ The Australian Centre for the Moving Image - 15th April 2009

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Undergrowth & The Journeybook  presents the Melbourne Premiere  of “Entheogenesis: Awakening the Divine Within” film screening and discussion at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square, Wednesday the 15th April, 2009. The screening will include a discussion of issues relating to topics covered, with speakers in conjunction from the Undergrowth collective followed by an afterparty at Loop Bar from 10pm till late.


Bohemian Masquerade Ball > Thornbury Theatre Sat 7th March

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Syndicate of Initiative presents THE BOHEMIAN MASQUERADE BALL, a grand carnivale of undergound culture; a debaucherous boiling pot of live music, theatre, circus, video and performance art. This MARCH 7TH we will be holding the event at our largest venue to date, the exquisite THORNBURY THEATRE, Australia's first talking cinema. With it's velour carpets, gold bannisters & ornate ceiling, the 100 year old theatre promises to be the perfect venue for this spectacular event.

With over 100 performers from as far and wide as Tasmania, Brisbane, Sydney & the best local acts from Melbourne, the Ball will feature an eclectic mixture of sounds, stunts, and spectacles, spread across 4 stages. The crowd will be whipped into a frenzy by;


Undergrowth #8: The Journeybook

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 NOW FOR SALE AT THE JOURNEYBOOK WEBSITE:

 www.thejourneybook.com

Undergrowth #8: The Journeybook is an essential map of hyperspace for the contemporary psychonaut and the uninitiated alike. Travel through time and space and partake of mushrooms at Harvard, hemp in Nimbin, DMT in the Amazon and anti-depressents in the suburbs of the West, to name but a few of the experiences which await you. Dance at Dionysian festivals, meet alchemists in the laboratories of Switzerland, trippers in the corporate highrises of Brisvegas, and journey to the edge of the universe within our anthology’s pages...


Richard King speaks on Entheogenic Religion at EGA 2008

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 Click here for the full MP3 podcast from EGA 2008

 

and some further reading on the ongoing Resacralising Movement in Australia:

 

The Medicines of Transition  

 ”Invisible, indivisible unspeakable radiance that you are.”
                            -  From a song whose name is at present unknown to me.


Fun Gai by Naturesface

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Fun Gai by Naturesface

Resacralising the Earth> by Richard King

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This is an advance look at of one of the key presentations at the forthcoming  Entheogenesis Australis 2008 Symposium...

 

The Medical Marijuana Movement, alongside the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and others are doing great work to publicise the medical benefits of psychedelics, but greater effort is needed in promoting a return to the entheogenic foundations of religion and the spiritual arena. The time is right fort each of us advocate that organised religion reinstate the Earth/Ecological Sacraments, at least at special Earth Masses and Retreats.


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The Night Doctors > by Tim Parish

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The Night Doctors > by Tim Parish

'The Night Doctors'
by Tim Parish
ink on paper
Japan, 2008

from the exhibition 'Visions of Mu'.

Somewhere between midnight and dawn, in a small room on the border of Thailand and Laos my friend Cassandra told me about a vision she had had in the Amazonian jungle a few months earlier. 

'I felt as if all the creatures of the forest, the insects, the snakes, the creatures of the night were surrounding me and ripping my body to pieces" she told me matterof factly. "It wasn't painful, but there was no escaping the fact that my body had been torn to shreds and I had to confront the reality that I was no longer alive..." - and that was only the beginning of her eight hour long Ayahuasca journey.


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