Working with Ayahuasca is a spiritual tradition that is from the jungle regions of the Amazon basin generally to contact healing entities of the plants and animals but not exclusively to the plants and animals, but also to the spirit doctors or surgeons to enable the shamans to help heal people’s lives from spiritual, mental and physical maladies. Each shaman has their individual healing abilities and not all shamans of Ayahuasca work with the same healing energies, hence the different abilities of different shamans. On the other side of the coin there are Brujos or Sorcerers of Ayahuasca that work with the Devils of the jungle and negative spirits to cause harm, it would be very difficult for one to distinguish the difference between those of a positive or negative inclination so one would have to be cautious in whom one might work with, these things remain very occult. All the Ayahuasca shamans work with both sides, positive and negative for different purposes, for example, the healers or curanderos call protective or more aggressive spirits to protect the ceremonies and patients from the Brujos and negative spirits when they begin Ayahuasca ceremonies which can be likened to soldiers or guards, because Ayahuasca opens a doorway for the participant to spiritual realms.
Since I have upwards of eleven years traveling back and forth to Peru, not only to Iquitos but to several ancient temples through the country and now living in Iquitos for about two years and dealing with many different types of shamans and many ceremonies I would like to share a little more of this world that is really so new to so many who come to the Amazon seeking healing, knowledge and spiritual advancement, “so to speak” with Ayahuasca. Through the accumulation of a large repository of knowledge regarding the many types of spiritual practitioners and the different levels of experience and ability of most of these “people” both here and in the United States, I would like to share and define a portion of what these different practices are called and little about how they operate . The western mind is generally not open to acceptance of the idea that these “magical” practices could be real or even exist which is understandable considering the mental programming one receives in western society. Whether one believes or not is not the issue but to define and explain what type of spiritual practices I have been exposed to and witnessed is what I would like to share here. I will compile a short list here and in the future define more thoroughly a comprehensive detailed discussion with actual events and experiences in the future.
Different types of Spiritual Practices of the Amazon
Ayahuasqueros – Work with Ayahuasca in their healing or harming rituals that open up the visionary space and world of Ayahuasca. Depending on the training and experience of the shaman, defines the level of ability and work that can be done during Ayahuasca ceremonies.
Palero (South American) – A Palero diets and works with many different spirit trees and plants to learn the medicine that those trees and plants contain. The trees and plants teach the Palero Shaman how to heal many different infirmities. Here in Peru, they are called a Vegetalista Curanderos. During the special diets with these trees and plants one can accept both positive and negative abilities. But when one accepts the negative abilities it is like a diabolical pact so one would have to be careful during these diets if one would not want to change his or her nature.
Perfumero – Is a shaman that works at enchanting different perfumes that people can use for attraction, love, good luck in business, etc., generally raising the perceived charisma of the person or enchanting another if the perfume is applied to another.
Pusangero – A shaman trained in the art of preparing different Pusangas which is generally plants that are powdered, prepared and enchanted generally to attract and ensnare the opposite sex.
Espiritista – A type of shaman that is trained to contact either positive or negative spirits to find out information or do work of a positive or negative nature.
Ganandero – A type of shaman that works with spirits of the dead and animal sacrifices to accomplish ones ends. Is definitely more of a negative nature. More prevalent on the coast of Peru not much known in the jungle regions. They are known to be fairly strong in their abilities.
Tobaccero – Is a Shaman that trains drinking Tobacco in special diets and learns different healing techniques but again the person drinking can accept either positive or negative abilities and knowledge. Tobacco is considered the Queen of the jungle and is great in cleaning the body of energetic intrusion.
Oracionista – Is a type of healer that learns special prayers to heal and/or harm they work with different classes of spirits. One example is the prayers learned associated with San Cipriano who was a sorcerer and later turned to God and became a Saint. The Oracionista is generally considered very powerful in their work and again of a positive or negative inclination.
Toero – A Shaman that diets and works with Toe’ which is in the Brugmansia family of flowering plants better known as Angel Trumpet to learn what this spirit plant has to offer. It is very strong and dangerous. Again can be used for positive or negative purposes.
Calomongero – Shaman that works with the seeds of the Calamonga plant which is believed to be a very poisonous Oleander species again teaching healing and possible harming abilities depending on what the one training accepts.
Sananguero – Is a Shaman that learns from the plant Chiri Sanango healing or harming abilities depending on the apprentice.
Huachumero – Is a type of Shaman Healer that works with the Huachuma or San Pedro Cactus which is considered the Grandfather spirit very wise and over all the other medicines, organizing and directing the other medicines within the bodies and spirits of the ones that properly work with this sacred medicine. Connecting and learning from spirits of the ancestors’ different healing techniques and universal knowledge. A Huachumero can incorporate their medicine within the different healing camps of the other medicines. A Huachumero works with very high spirits to help heal the spirit of the person for the elevation and advancement of ones’ spiritual life. A Huachumero is neutral in his medicine. The Huachumero has usually trained as a Palero and Tobeccero also.
Don – The Don is not select to special individuals, but everyone has a Don, but most do not discover it in his or her lifetime. It is the spiritual and Celestial connection for the sole purpose of healing spiritually and physically. It is a gift given by the Creative principal, Universe or God. It is not given by any of the plant medicines but a direct connection to the celestial realms. Each Don has his or her unique talents, abilities and knowledge that is given at birth.
So when one delves into the work with Ayahuasca it is probably good to have a good idea of what this work is all about from the source itself, the shamans’ body of knowledge. So as people come from throughout the world to work with Ayahuasca and these other modalities, realize that there are spirits or as they say genies within the plants that teach. This work opens up individuals to great healing that can benefit themselves and others or harm. There are healers or curanderos and there are Brujos or sorcerers here in the Amazon and all over our planet.