ayahuasca – Psychedelic Frontier http://psychedelicfrontier.com make the most of your dose Mon, 29 Oct 2018 14:42:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.2 48719013 Ayahuasca: A Skeptic’s Notes http://psychedelicfrontier.com/ayahuasca-skeptics-notes/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/ayahuasca-skeptics-notes/#comments Wed, 27 Dec 2017 12:04:38 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4273 Ayahuasca: A Skeptic’s Notes


I was drinking coffee in the courtyard of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when I finally mastered the pronunciation of the word “ayahuasca.”

Redmond Blake, who was sitting across from me in dark shades and a baby blue painter’s jacket, was explaining the Medicine to me. A few days earlier, he’d returned from a weekend-long ayahuasca ceremony in Ojai led by disciples of a powerful shaman from Peru. Under the protection of the Mother, he had taken an astonishing journey through a beautiful and frightening spirit land. As I listened to Red’s stories in the cool shadows of LA palm trees, the earthy fragrance of the ancient tar pits bubbling around us, his words sounded as fantastical and strange as a tale from the Arabian Nights.

On his journey, Red met a goddess that took his hand and propelled him into the heavens.

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Damning Critique of ESC, the Sustainable Ayahuasca Non-Profit http://psychedelicfrontier.com/critique-esc-sustainable-ayahuasca/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/critique-esc-sustainable-ayahuasca/#comments Mon, 22 Dec 2014 21:16:15 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3620 Damning Critique of ESC, the Sustainable Ayahuasca Non-Profit

You may have heard of ESC, the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council which bills itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives by assuring the sustainability and safe use of traditional plants.” They recently raised over $20,000 in an Indiegogo campaign. Their aims may seem honorable enough, but not everyone is impressed. Below is a scathing condemnation of the ESC’s structure, methods, and plans for the future, signed by a number of academics and other concerned parties. (via PsyPressUK)


Statement Critiquing the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) (*)

We, the academics and other experts undersigned, manifest publically our rejection of the ESC’s methods and goals. The following statement has been made public after more than one year of “dialogues” and correspondence with the ESC, as we do not feel our concerns have been properly addressed.

The information below is a reflection based on the ESC’s reports and materials available online, in podcasts, in public representations and interviews, and from private letters and emails exchanged between us.

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Interview: Armand Daigle, Author of Psychedelic Memoir ‘Thank Earth You’ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/armand-daigle-thank-earth-you/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/armand-daigle-thank-earth-you/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 14:42:03 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3366 Interview: Armand Daigle, Author of Psychedelic Memoir ‘Thank Earth You’

Fed up with his 9-to-5 engineering job, Armand Daigle quit, joined a fledgling media production company, and wrote a memoir called Thank Earth You about his personal transformation. His story contains two incredible psychedelic experiences, one with mushrooms and one with ayahuasca, which propelled him to continue in his new direction. Armand has a way of revealing both the deeply personal and deeply psychedelic in a compelling, readable, and very funny way. Anyone who has questioned the rat race and the trappings of modern culture will relate.

I’ll be publishing two full chapters from Thank Earth You in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s an interview with author Armand Daigle. You can buy the paperback here, and read the first chapter for free on Armand’s website.


At the beginning of the book, you’re dissatisfied with your engineering job, “choked red by the chains of cubical slavery.” But you reach a breaking point, quit your job, and chart a new course.

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Are Entities and Plant Spirits Real? http://psychedelicfrontier.com/entities-plant-spirits-skeptics-guide-tripping/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/entities-plant-spirits-skeptics-guide-tripping/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:41:27 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=2211 Are Entities and Plant Spirits Real?

Trips are like dreams. A genuine insight may bubble up from deep in your subconscious, handily solving a problem that your sober mind found intractable. Or you might emerge with absolute nonsense, the product of synapses firing without the guidance of logic and consistency.

You don’t take your dreams as absolute truth upon waking, and psychedelics should be no different. It’s crucial to think critically about which lessons to take back into consensus reality, and which to leave behind.

Wisdom or Dogma?

Many psychonauts spread their personal beliefs and speculations as though they were fact. Sometimes they take an ancient myth, like Amazonian animism, and dress it up in the new-age language of spirits, energies, and vibrations. “Mother Ayahuasca,” they say, “is the plant world’s way of communicating with us, raising us to a higher vibration.”

Other times they’ll offer a testable scientific hypothesis, but disguise it as established fact.

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Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead http://psychedelicfrontier.com/bungee-jumping-godhead-interview-rak-razam/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/bungee-jumping-godhead-interview-rak-razam/#respond Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:30:56 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=2100 Bungee Jumping Into the Godhead

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…

Rak Razam

I sat down with Rak Razam, the writer, producer, and main subject of the new film Aya: Awakenings, for a 45-minute interview covering everything from the legacy of Terence McKenna to the intense 5-MeO-DMT trip that occurs at the climax of the film.

The documentary, an adaptation of the book of the same name, covers the ayahuasca tourism phenomenon through the lens of Rak’s personal experiences in Peru.


The Interview

Stream it here or download the mp3.

Rak describes his film as an etheogenic journey for the audience:

There’s this synesthesia that happens in the film, where because of the narration taking you on the emotional left-brain journey, and the soundscapes and the visuals, it hits all the right spots of our sensory modalities and triggers a shamanic reaction.

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A Treatise on Psychedelics Part 3/3: The Implications http://psychedelicfrontier.com/a-treatise-on-psychedelics-part-33-the-implications/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/a-treatise-on-psychedelics-part-33-the-implications/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 16:40:53 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=1304 A Treatise on Psychedelics Part 3/3: The Implications

This guest post by Martijn Schirp continues from Part 1 and Part 2, discussing the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research that he attended. It was originally published on higHExistence.com.

What are the larger implications of the mystical experience? One aspect of the mystical experience is what psychology calls “ego death.” If we anchor our worldview on the self and constantly think self-oriented thoughts, we are blinded to our interconnection with everything around us. This privatized perspective is utterly destructive to everything alien to it. Psychedelics can “kill” the ego responsible for this self-oriented perspective, opening us up to a greater, more boundless reality.

Some thinkers, beginning with Vernadsky and Teilhard de Chardin, have conceived of  a “noösphere”–the thinking stratum, the effect of consciousness on the physical world. It’s comparable to the biosphere, a living stratum consisting of all ecosystems. The biosphere emerges from the geosphere, or the collection of all matter; the noosphere, in turn, emerges from the interactions of minds in the biosphere.

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Tierra Vida: An Ayahuasca Journey http://psychedelicfrontier.com/tierra-vida-an-ayahuasca-journey/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/tierra-vida-an-ayahuasca-journey/#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 19:18:29 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=1011 Tierra Vida: An Ayahuasca Journey

There have been a flurry of ayahuasca documentaries lately, but I think this one takes the cake. In 2012, Alex Ward lived out of a backpack for 8 months, participated in over forty shamanic ceremonies, and went exploring “far beyond the veil of reality with Ayahuasca.” A freelance artist and filmmaker, Alex was originally looking for artistic inspiration to spur his creative pursuits. But as he puts it, “I got a little more than I bargained for.”

Lucky for us, he made a short (26 min) video testimonial about the experience and what he learned from it. Check it out! Alex’s voice is hypnotic and even the music by The Fossil Club is sublime.

Alex has also produced a whole series of testimonials featuring the likes of Rick Doblin, Simon G Powell, and others called The Psychedelic Dialogues. You can find more of his work on his website, and connect with him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Sacredness Is in the Eye of the Beholder http://psychedelicfrontier.com/sacredness-eye-beholder/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/sacredness-eye-beholder/#comments Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:00:48 +0000 http://www.psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=321 Sacredness Is in the Eye of the Beholder

There is a logical fallacy that psychonauts tend to make called the Appeal to Tradition. Just as it sounds, this is when someone describes a particular method or system as superior because it is traditional. The truth, of course, is that a solution’s stature as a tradition has no bearing on its effectiveness. A tradition may be passed on for many generations and still remain fundamentally flawed.

Even psychonauts with the best of intentions commit this logical error. Having come to deeply respect a particular entheogenic tradition — for instance, the Amazonian ayahuasca ceremony — they insist that it is sacred. They begin to scoff at casual recreational users, claiming that the only proper way to ingest the “sacrament” is with a certain attitude or in the context of a certain tradition. “DMT is an ancient and sacred spiritual molecule,” they intone with grave voices (or what I imagine to be grave voices, as I read their posts on various forums).

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Graham Hancock: the War on Consciousness http://psychedelicfrontier.com/graham-hancock-and-the-war-on-consciousness/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/graham-hancock-and-the-war-on-consciousness/#comments Sat, 23 Mar 2013 19:54:18 +0000 http://www.psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=152 Graham Hancock: the War on Consciousness

I find Graham Hancock’s TED talk about The War on Consciousness extremely compelling. He starts the 19 minute talk by touching upon cave art and the emergence of humanity as “fully symbolic creatures” who express themselves with language and drawings. From the 2 minute to the 10 minute mark, he talks about his experience with ayahuasca and how, when he finally decided to listen to the lessons it impressed upon him, it transformed his life.

But my favorite part is the last six minutes, where Hancock describes the fundamental human right to sovereign consciousness and the war being waged against it. He concisely exposes the hypocrisy of a society that sanctions some drugs, such as pharmaceuticals, nicotine, and alcohol, while prohibiting plants that have been used in sacred traditions to unite with ourselves, each other, and the divine for many centuries. I highly recommend the whole video, but especially the final section starting at 12:15.

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