Widely recognized by anthropologists as the most powerful and widespread shamanic hallucigen, ayahuasca has been used by native Indian and mestizo shamans in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador for healing and divination for thousands of years. Made from the Amazonian vine Banisteriopsis caapiand the DMT-laden leaf of Psychotria viridis, ayahuasca is regarded as the embodiment of intelligent plant beings who can offer spiritual teachings and healing kwledge to those who respectfully engage with them. Many Western-trained physicians and psychologists w ackwledge that ayahuasca allows access to spiritual dimensions of consciousness, otherworldly realms and beings, and visionary experiences indistinguishable from classic religious mysticism. With contributions from leading psychoactive scholars Dennis J. McKenna, Ph.D., Charles S. Grob, M.D., and J. C. Calloway, Ph.D., on the ethpharmacology, psychology, phytochemistry, and neuropharmacology of ayahuasca, Ralph Metzner provides a comprehensive exploration of the chemical, biological, psychological, and experiential dimensions of this Amazonian hallucigen. He includes more than 20 firsthand accounts from people who have participated in ayahuasca rituals and experienced major life changes as a result. He details the scientific discovery of ayahuasca's sophisticated psychoactive delivery system in the brain and body as well as the deep psychological impact of this potent entheogen. He concludes with his own findings on ayahuasca, including its applications in medicine and psychology, and compares the worldview revealed by ayahuasca visions to that of modern cultures.
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He studied psychology and psychopharmacology at Harvard University and was part of the Psilocybin Research Project with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass). He is the author of Green Psychology, coauthor of The Psychedelic Experience, and editor of Sacred Mushroom of Visions: Teonanacatl. He lives in Sonoma, California.
Inner Traditions Bear and Company
Date of Publication
Mind, Body & Spirit: General
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
Park Street Press,U.S.
13 b&w illustrations
Trade paperback (US)
3rd Edition, New Edition of Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca