Plant Spirit Shamanism – Planta Maestras – The Shaman’s Academics – Section 2


One particular of the features of this plant is its capacity to boost one’s psychological and emotional toughness. For this purpose it is regarded as a ‘great balancer’, restoring connection and equilibrium between our rational head and thoughts. For example, it is fantastic at countering shyness and can greatly enhance one’s sense of individual worth and authority by encouraging to overcome painful memories (of earlier embarrassments and ‘failures’, and so on).

Mocura is also utilized in floral baths to both equally cleanse and safeguard versus malevolent forces this kind of as sorcery and envidia (envy). Its medicinal attributes incorporate aid from bronchial asthma, bronchitis, and the reduction of body fat and cholesterol.

In the West, there are a amount of crops that have similar effects and convey tranquil and harmony to the soul. These include things like lavender – which Pliny regarded as so powerful that even on the lookout upon it provides peace – meadowsweet, pine, and rosemary.

Burning pine needles will purify the ambiance of a home and a pine branch hung more than the entrance door will bring harmony and pleasure to the property. Rosemary, in particular when burned, is cleansing and centring, and it is mentioned that if you concentrate on the smoke with a concern in head, rosemary will also supply the response. There is a European belief that carrying rosemary leaves will safeguard you from sadness. It is also rather pleasurable to consume with honey as a weak tea.

In conditions of entire body energetics and magical makes use of, moss, orange, and strawberry leaves are efficient at getting rid of lousy luck, and loosestrife, myrtle, and violet leaves enable to overcome concern.


This plant is frequently made use of to recover children who are struggling from mal aire (‘bad air’), a illness which can happen when a family member dies and leaves the baby not happy and sleepless. The spirit of the useless particular person lingers, it is claimed, since it is unhappy to go and knowledgeable of the grief around it, so it stays in the house and attempts to comfort and ease its loved ones. This proximity to loss of life, on the other hand, can make young children unwell.

Rosa sisa is also used to deliver great luck and harmony in general. A person of the techniques that terrible luck can result is as a result of the magical force of envidia. A jealous neighbour might, for occasion, toss a handful of graveyard filth into your household to spread sadness and weighty inner thoughts. Those people in the dwelling develop into bored, agitated, or restless as a consequence. The solution is to get a bucket of drinking water and crushed rosa sisa flowers and totally wash the floors to dispel the evil magic.

Several Peruvians also increase rosa sisa in the vicinity of the entrance doorway of their houses to take up the negativity of persons who pass by and appear in enviously to see what belongings they have. The bouquets convert black when this transpires, but go back again to their normal colour when the unfavorable vitality is dispersed as a result of their roots to the Earth.

Rosa sisa is also utilized for making desires occur correct, by blowing on the petals with a want in intellect, like we do with dandelions. It can make these wishes take place because it is bright like the sunlight and contains the strength of great fortune.

Marigolds have identical magical utilizes in the West. Aemilius Macer, as long in the past as the 13th century, wrote that merely gazing at the bouquets will draw “wicked humours out of the head”, “ease and comfort the coronary heart” and make “the sight vibrant and clean”. In Europe, just as in Peru, marigolds are frequently grown beside the entrance door or hung in garlands to protect people within from magical attacks. For the exact same rationale, and to empower the spirit, marigold petals can be scattered beneath the mattress (where by they will also make certain good – and typically prophetic – dreams) or added to bathtub drinking water to convey quiet and refreshment to the physique and soul.

As properly as consuming marigold tea, the petals can be used in salads or extra to rice and pulses as a different way of dieting them. Bodily, the tea is very good for bringing down fevers (in particular in youngsters), for gastritis, gallbladder complications, and tonsillitis. Rubbed on the pores and skin, marigold petals will heal skin health conditions, cuts, bruises, and rashes.

Choices, to produce harmony in the self and property, consist of gardenia, meadowsweet, and passion flower.


Indigenous folks cultivate various versions of medicinal sedges to deal with a extensive array of health and fitness issues. Sedge roots, for illustration, are utilised to handle headaches, fevers, cramps, dysentery and wounds, as effectively easing childbirth and shielding babies from health issues.

Distinctive sedge kinds are cultivated by Shipibo women of all ages to strengthen their competencies in weaving magical tapestries that embody the spiritual universe, and it is customary when a woman is extremely youthful for her mom to squeeze a couple drops of sap from the piri piri seed into her eyes to give her the skill to have visions of the patterns she will make when she is older. The males cultivate sedges to strengthen their searching abilities.

Given that the plant is utilized for this sort of a large assortment of ailments, its powers have been the moment dismissed as superstition. Pharmacological investigate, nevertheless, has now unveiled the existence of ergot alkaloids within these plants, which are recognized to have varied results on the overall body – from stimulation of the anxious technique to the constriction of blood vessels. These alkaloids are responsible for the extensive array of sedge utilizes, but occur, not from the plant by itself, but from a fungus that infects it.

There are a range of Western crops that are also claimed to deliver visions – i.e. communion with the greater spirit of the world. The leaves of coltsfoot and angelica, when smoked, for case in point, will induce this sort of visions, and damiana, when burned, will also make these results.

Angelica has very long been regarded as a religious plant with almost supernatural powers. It is linked to the archangel Raphael, who appeared in the dreams of a medieval monk and uncovered the plant as a heal for plague. Indigenous Us residents utilised it in compresses to heal distressing swellings and believed it sucked the spirit of pain out of the overall body just before casting it to the 4 winds. It has also been heralded as an aid to beating alcohol dependancy as its standard use makes a dislike for the taste of liquor. Current investigation implies that it can also enable the overall body combat the unfold of most cancers. Its leaves can be included to salads and this is another way to diet this plant.

Coltsfoot is a further plant with wide-ranging qualities but is most really regarded for its relaxing consequences on respiratory and bronchial troubles. A single way of dieting it, paradoxically, is to use it in herbal cigarettes. These can be created by adding a greater section of coltsfoot to other aromatic and relaxing herbs these types of as skullcap or chamomile. Lower the herbs to modest lengths and combine them thoroughly with a small honey dissolved in h2o, then unfold the blend out and enable it to dry for a couple of times. It can then be rolled to make cigarettes or smoked in a pipe.


Una de Gato (‘cat’s claw’) is a tropical vine that grows in the rainforests. It will get its name from the smaller thorns at the base of the leaves, which glimpse like a cat’s claw and enable the vine to wind alone close to trees, climbing to a height of up to 150 ft. The interior bark of the vine has been used for generations to deal with inflammations, colds, viral infections, arthritis, and tumors. It also has anti-inflammatory and blood-cleansing houses, and will clean up out the overall intestinal tract to handle a wide array of digestive challenges these types of as gastric ulcers, parasites, and dysentery.

Its most famed high quality, even so, is its powerful ability to enhance the body’s immune procedure, and it is deemed by several shamans to be a ‘balancer’, returning the body’s functions to a healthier equilibrium.

From a psycho-spiritual or shamanic point of view, disorder ordinarily arises from a spiritual imbalance within the patient producing him to turn out to be de-spirited or to drop heart (in the West we would connect with this melancholy). Curiously, Thomas Bartram, in his Encyclopedia of Organic Drugs, writes that in the West “some psychiatrists believe that [problems of the immune system, where the body attacks itself] to be a self-produced phenomenon due to an unresolved feeling of guilt or dislike of self… Individuals who are joyful at their residence and operate generally appreciate a strong immune program”. The psychiatric perspective, in this sense, is not so distinct from the shamanic perspective. Cat’s claw is considered to heal health issues by restoring the peace of the spirit as very well as the harmony involving spirit and body.

The medicinal properties of this plant are formally regarded by the Peruvian government and it is a secured (for export) plant. It is, however, greatly out there in the West in capsule sort and this is one particular way of dieting it, even though its religious impacts will be much less sturdy, because, after a plant has been processed in this way, a lot of its spirit is missing.

Echinacea can also be used as a substitute for cat’s claw and will stimulate the immune program and confirm effective against despair and exhaustion. As an substitute, you could try a combination of borage, cinnamon, and blackberry, all of which are regarded as lifting the spirits and great healers in general.


The resin of the chullachaqui caspi tree, extracted from the trunk in the same way as rubber from the rubber tree, can be made use of as a poultice or smeared straight onto wounds to heal deep cuts and cease haemorrhages. For skin complications, this kind of as psoriasis, the bark can be grated and boiled in h2o whilst the affected person sits before it, protected with a blanket, to receive a steam tub. It is critical to take out the bark without the need of killing the tree, having said that, which can in any other case have major non secular repercussions. Oil can also be extracted by boiling the bark, and this can be produced into capsules.

The further, a lot more non secular, objective of this tree is to assistance the shaman or his affected individual get close to the spirit of the forest and in contact with the vibration and rhythm of the Earth. By means of this reconnection with mother nature, it will improve an unsettled head and help to floor a human being who is disturbed. It will also information and safeguard the apprentice shaman and display him how to recognise which plants can recover.

The tree has large buttress roots as it grows in sandy soil the place roots cannot go deep (chulla in Quechua signifies ‘twisted foot’ and chaqui is the plant). This kinds part of Amazonian mythology, in tales of the jungle ‘dwarf’, the chullachaqui, which is said to have a human visual appeal, with 1 exception: his twisted foot. The chullachaqui is the protector of the animals, and life in destinations where by the tree also grows. The legend is that if you are dropped in the forest and meet up with a close friend or relatives member, it is most likely the chullachaqui who has taken their kind. He will be friendly and advise going for a stroll so he can manual you or present you one thing of desire. If you go, nonetheless, he will guide you deep into the rainforest until eventually you are lost, and you will then endure insanity or turn out to be a chullachaqui by yourself.

Ross has speculated that the reference is to the initiation of the plant shaman, who should go deep into the jungle to pursue his craft by having to know the crops and the forest. These kinds of trials can, without a doubt, direct to insanity or even demise for the unwary, but for those who succeed, they will grow to be good healers, in touch with the spirits of nature, like the chullachaqui himself. For people who are not completely ready to fulfill these troubles, the guidance of the jungle shamans is easy: when out strolling in the forest, should really you experience a mate or a loved ones member, normally seem at his feet, as the chullachaqui will attempt to retain his twisted foot absent from you. Do not go with him – convert back and operate away!

The chullachaqui, symbolically, is a tree and the motif of the ‘world tree’ – the religious centre of the universe which connects the material and immaterial planes – occurs in many cultures and is often to do with initiation. In Haiti, it is Papa Loko (a variant of the phrase iroco, which is the title of an African tree) who satisfies the shaman-to-be in the dark woods at evening to initiate him into the Vodou religion. In Siberia, also, there is a custom that the shaman-elect have to climb a silver birch though in a condition of trance and make top secret, spirit-provided, markings on just one of its topmost branches.

When it is exciting to speculate about the initiatory symbolism of the chullachaqui, it must also be pointed out that Amazonian shamans regard it as pretty genuine staying. Javier Aravelo, for instance, has a photograph of a chullachaqui’s tambo, which he swears is authentic. The tambo is a hut that stands about 4 ft significant and is made use of as a dwelling. Javier learned this a single following to a cultivated yard deep in the if not wild rainforest

In the West, we have our individual tradition of magical trees. Just one of these is willow, a tree sacred to the Druids. Ancient British burial mounds and present day day cemeteries are equally frequently lined with willow, symbolising the gateway this tree gives among the living and the useless, spirit and subject. The brooms of witches are also certain with willow, enabling their flight to the otherworld.

To deepen a link to the Earth and the spirit, willow can be ‘dieted’ in put of chullachaqui caspi by burning crushed bark fragments with white sandalwood or myrrh and bathing in the smoke.

CHUCHUHUASI: Greater Lifestyle Drive

This is a further Amazonian tree which sorts an essential component of the jungle pharmacopoeia. The bark can be chewed as a remedy for tummy ache, fevers, arthritis, circulation, and bronchial troubles, but it is instead bitter and so a lot more generally it is macerated in aguardiente or boiled in h2o and honey.

Western options consist of burdock for arthritis and for ‘fevers’ as they manifest through the skin in the type of eczema, psoriasis, zits, etcetera, and ginseng for challenges of the circulation. Kola is good for stomach issues (diarrhoea and dysentery, and so forth) and observed palmetto is a normal tonic which is handy for bronchial difficulties.

Chuchuhuasi is also regarded as a “libido stimulant” and aphrodisiac, supplying the man or woman who drinks it a renewed perception of life and vigour. With these qualities in mind, chuchuhuasi is the primary component in cocktails at several bars and dining places in Iquitos, on the banking institutions of the Amazon river, the most well-known of which is the Chuchuhuasi Bitter, in which it is combined with limes, ice, and honey.

In the West, vegetation with similar aphrodisiac qualities include burdock, ginseng, kola, and noticed palmetto berries. These are not just aids to sexual efficiency, but reconnect the dieter to the joy of living and a appreciate of involvement with others.