The Journey Book Project

Jungle Fever > by Rak Razam

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We're 45 kilometres out of Iquitos, deep in the Peruvian Amazon, in the great green web of nature with our native Shaman, Percy Garcia. He has the boyish enthusiasm of a physical education teacher, which is reinforced by his western garb - Nike sneakers, tracky dacks and soccer shirt, but he's been trained since he was a boy in the world of the spirits, and of the great plant medicine - ayahuasca.

The night is alive with the sounds of insects and animals, like a constant hum of electricity. The maloca - a wall-less jungle hut - is lit by candles and mattresses litter the floor for the gringos to crash on as their bodies surrender to the pull of the medicine, and their spirits soar.

Percy's gotten changed into his ceremonial garb, a curious mish-mash of western clothes and indigenous bling bling that visually sums up the changing nature of Amazonian shamanism. Jaguar t-shirt, silk spotted pants and trainers, a feathered parrot hat with blue, red and yellow feathers around his forehead, offset with Christian rosary beads and a chacapa leaf fan in one hand.

He sits behind a makeshift altar, a wooden box covered with an intricate, geometrical patterned cloth that the local Shipibo Indians weave to represent the patterns one sees on ayahuasca. The altar is covered with ceremonial objects, little rainbow bead dolls, wooden cups, giant mapacho cigarettes filled with organic jungle tobacco, Nicotinia rustica, a smoke that cleanses and purifies and banishes bad spirits. Percy's got about a hundred mapacho cigarettes on the altar like he's expecting a horde of demons tonight, or he's having a stoner party with Cheech and Chong as the honoured guests. And last but not least, in plastic two litre San Luis water bottles, a thick, dark brown liquid - ayahuasca, the 'vine of souls'.

Psychedelic Horizons


Are you hungry for subversion? Is a world spiralling out of balance finally ready for the multi-dimensional reality revealed by psychedelics? Martin Williams reviews a new book by Thomas B. Roberts, "Psychedelic Horizons" that thinks it might be so...

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I CAN SEE SPIRITS> by Dan(iel) MacKinlay

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I went to a conference in the bush, some months ago. We had some big ideas about living the new world, the lot of us.

We were all dressed up and ready to reject convention for a little experimental moment or two. We set up tents and generators and sound systems around a little dam in the hills where the trees stood greying in dried mud, near a big pink hacienda that the property ownes lived in, and we ate lumpy porridge and hash cookies around flaming steel drums with our temporary neighbours in the tent city. There was a bondage marquee and everything.

There were some big parties there too. I remember one night in the courtyard of the hacienda seeing the kids from the next kombi dressed up in silver and black bodysuits and masks, twirling flames on the dance floor with a cheering audience of five hundred people. They made a better spectacle than they did porridge. There were big magenta lights in rotating concentric spirals on the audience, and speaker stacks tall enough to pop passing cattle in a consummate bass kick. There were flaming kerosene ropes of woven kevlar, and moth-people on stilts. There were paramedics in green overalls, including an undercover cop.

All in all, a fine show, especially when you're tripping off your hairless nipples.

As I stood there, agape, a small man in parachute pants and a baseball cap shouted in my ear, 'Hey mate, are ya on anything?'

My drug-paranoid cop-detectors were tingling. The man was so obviously undercover that he may as well have had a flashing blue light on his head and a nightstick in his jocks.

'Ah, no, my friend,' I squeaked in a gap between flanged snare hits, 'I'm here for the music.'

'Shit, that's no good,' he said, 'Put ya finger in `ere,' playing with his front pocket.

That was a tense moment. But he fished out a little baggie of cocaine before I could make any disastrous social errors.

'Go on,' he said, 'It doesn' cost me anything,' and held his stash out to me.

He swigged champagne from a bottle while I stuffed my nose. There was a conversational pause for me to choke on my confused sinuses in. Damn. I don't do cocaine very often. His voice rose over my splutters and the sound system: `I just come back, from the indig'nous welcome to the land. Didja see the Bundgalung welcome dance?'

*Cough* I said.

'They're the tradish'nal land owners round here. Gotta give `em respect for lettin' us have tha party, eh?. Shit, they're a tough crew, though. Had a bitta drink with `em before. Whew.'

The fire twirling was winding up, and the sound system getting louder.

'Hey, you should drop by and see `em, say thanks. They're the mob playin' cricket all day by the big marquee.'

I realised I had nothing to say to this man and his shiny teeth.

'Bundgalung? Right. I see my friends over there looking like they need me...'

I turned back to the crowd, who were officially commencing the shaking of their booties to the phat techno soundz.

Yeah. I was going to show them up. So I did.

I pulled moves so awesome that other innocent partiers thew me envious looks. They were daring me to go further, challenging my style. I wasn't rising to the bait, I was unstoppable, I was a techno Travolta. Limbs icily controlled, motions clinically precise, motions simple and transcendently passionate, an essay in the art of modern dance.

Then the cocaine wore off.



winter gold

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winter gold


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fungaipencil drawing

Mushroom Dreaming

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Mushroom Dreaming

San Pedro

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San Pedro

San Pedro is a psychoactive species of cactus which comprises of about thirty species. They are mainly found in the Andes and grows up to twenty feet high. The traditional preparation of the cactus involves boiling slices of the stem for a number of hours and then after it has cooled drinking it (contains mescaline). San Pedro cactus has been a continuous tradi


SalviaSalvia Divanorum grows throughout the mountainous Oaxaca region of Mexico, and is cultivated by the Mazatec Indians for their divinatory and healing practices.This image captures a brief moment of clarity achieved when using the plant and also shows the seperation of colour and time many people associate with it.

REBIRTH - The Psychedelic Movement Comes of Age > Rak Razam

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This story is reprinted in The Journeybook: Travels on the Frontiers of Consciousness anthology out now from Undergrowth. Please visit The Journeybook

LSD problem child or wonder drug?


In the End I was cast out of the alchemists' den, a lost mystic exile from the beats, wandering the naked streets of Basel at dawn and transmitting a lovely fix. I was high on acid, a green tab of Hofmann's bicycle wheel I had reverently acquired from the Californian High Priest nights before, high in the hotel room overlooking the tram depot opposite the Basel Congress Centre. Site of the conference diabolique with Dr. Albert Hofmann, the 100 year old Alchemist that birthed LSD - the 'Problem Child' that switched on the world.

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