Plant Spirit Helpers (Hallucinogenic Drugs)

    Where do Shamans stand on the use of natural drugs, such as marijuana?

Dear Murder,
     That is one heck of a handle you have there!
So far as where shamans stand on the use of natural drugs such as marijuana goes, I can only offer my opinion:
     Some drugs such as mushrooms, peyote and ayahuasca are used within some cultures by shamans as assistants or sacred medicines for helping them reach an altered state of consciousness during which time the user divines things of importance or performs doctorings. Other cultures make no use of these medicines. In my ways, these are generally not used. To my knowledge, no one uses marijuana for this purpose, probably because its effects are not strong enough.

(Justin in Germany had a number of questions. Therefore, I have responded in-line. The text in italics is Justin's questions.)

Hello Justin,

     I was wondering if you had found methods of travelling to other realms and experiencing them without the use of power plants.


     For a long time I took the Meditation/Christ route with lots of energy work and meditation and often experienced dream like visions and the like. About two years ago I had my first Ayahuasca experience, and I am sure you appreciate the difference between the clarity and type of realms experienced with Aya and those experienced on a meditational level.

     I do not, and have not particularly practiced meditation nor taken ayahuasca, so can not really appreciate the difference.

     Q1: I have found myself more and more drawn to shamanism and wanted to ask if in your opinion such Aya realms can be experienced, challenges surpassed and knowledge gained without the use of enthogens?

     I can not speak to the use of ayahuasca as my experience is limited to peyote and mushrooms, native plants to this continent. In those cases, and speaking for myself and others I have known, the use of enthogens is not required. However, they may offer a crutch to those who have difficulty surrendering to the movement of spirit.

     Q2: I have a problem that wont seem to go away. It is a conflict insofar as I cannot reconcile my Ayahuasca experience to my previous and just as real belief system and somewhat vague experiences that I previously had on my other meditational path.
     It seems as though I have come to a fork in the road - on the one side is the more alien than alien reality of Ayahuasca and on the other side is the vague white light etc of the meditational experience.
     I appreciate that a shaman has a foot in each world, but for me I have one part of me in the Aya realms, another in the totally different realms /experience of Gods white light and the other here in 3D. This seems to be causing me a lot of concern and I was wondering if you could offer and insight that could relieve my dilemma. (can get pretty heavy at times).

     I have heard it described that being shaman can be compared to being permanently "tripping" yet having learned how to master the condition so as to be able to function within the mundane world. I would not dispute that alegory.
      If I understand what you mean by "God's white light", I do not see shamanism as leaving that behind, but recognizing that it is a part of the shamanic experience. In other words, don't leave one behind while embracing that additional. "Additional" is the operative word here.
     I have a concern about the use of helpers like ayahuasca. It seems that ayahuascaras (ayahuasca shamans) forever rely on the helper. In the way I was taught, we were to learn to do things with assistance, then to learn to do them without. Then again, I do not know that ayahuascaras require the helper, but instead utilize it as an integral part of the ceremonial ritual.
     You may also wish to pose your question to Miguel A. Kavlin. He may be in Europe at this time, but I am sure he would respond as available. Miguel's e-mail is Miguel's site is
     Let me know if I can be of further assistance.

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