Ayahuasca culture is like an iceberg, with 9/10ths of its mass under the surface – and Aya is the book to tip it over the edge…
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, “experiential journalist” Rak Razam 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.
In researching the mystery of ayahuasca Razam undergoes his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes the vine reveals. On the way he encounters a motley crew of characters from rogue scientists who conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts; brujo-black magicians wielding their psychic darts; and dozens of indigenous and Western shamans who slowly unravel his cultured mind and reveal the magical landscape of the spirit world.
Razam lyrically documents his experiences with the vine and his burgeoning relationship with the plants. He parallels his story with the history of Amazonian shamanism and the current surge of Western interest, using advances in modern physics and consciousness research to provide a definitive overview of this fast-growing global subculture and the impact it is having on the world.
And the more he drinks this potent jungle medicine the deeper it leads him: from the wet jungles where the ayahuasca vine grows to the middle of the Amazon, and on into the raging heart of consciousness itself.
This book is for those people who are interested in not just shamanism, but what it represents – a direct connection to the planet and a spiritual way to engage with the world. Razam’s journalistic eye for detail captures a unique adventure that echoes the archetypal Western quest, propelling the reader on a cosmological travel memoir that is at turns beautiful, terrifying, mind-blowing and ultimately, cathartic.
“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…”