The purge in shamanism and the Ayahuasca ceremony

Conference, June 22, 2017


Natem is a substance intended to be ingested. Therefore, it undergoes the digestive process. As it always occurs in these cases, digestion usually takes some time. As that process moves forward, even more active substances are absorbed, which will greatly alter our perception, our body and our consciousness. Over the hours, the body absorbs more and more properties, and we feel how our perception and our consciousness are progressively altering.

Naturally, after we’ve taken Natem, digestion takes place, and finally bowel movement occurs. Throughout this whole process, our body reacts as if we were an anaconda: it takes all the essence of the plant's extract. The longer the Natem stays in our body, the more properties we will absorb. On the contrary, the quicker it abandons our organism, the less material to absorb: the active substances to be absorbed will be fewer, and there’ll be minor physical and psychical changes.

If we interrupt the natural process of drinking, digesting, assimilating and eliminating the medicine, the intensity of the drink's effect would greatly diminish. If so, the effects we will experience will be much smaller.

The first, worst and most severe form of disruption is vomiting, since in this case we will cut the digestion process too soon, and the Natem will not reach the intestine to be absorbed through the small and large intestine. We can assert that if the Natem reaches the intestine, we will be able to absorb its properties and be under its intense effects until about twelve hours. Natem containing a good amount of Yaji, for example, has an important laxative effect. Natem grains of more than forty years have also been used. This means that they have considerable potency, which activates purging mechanisms (vomiting or diarrhea) much more easily.

Whether we vomit soon or we go to the bathroom with diarrhea more than once, we'll be expelling the substance from the body. If we expel the substance, of course, nothing will remain, and no effect will occur; It is likely to be weak. Somehow we can take it back, if we've lost the medicine. But if early vomiting or diarrhea is repeated, we'll lose it again.

In Shuar tradition and culture, a good take is one shot. And that single shot is maintained and cared for as a warrior, a man. A man, a warrior, knows how to drink. He can take the Natem with dignity. He does not vomit, he does not experience diarrhea, and this resistance is a sign of power. In fact, those who show weakness in expelling the Natem from their organism, are mocked and they are not so respected. That's why there are diets: you have to eat well. And eating right is something that lasts a lifetime. It is not enough to say: "I am going to make a diet because I am going to take ayahuasca". Honestly, if we do not eat well, we cannot continue on this. There will always be vomiting and diarrhea, and you will not be able to get out of that first stage of the process. You have to be strong, you have to get the sacred touch of Arutam, the energy, the intensity.

Diet is important, but what whe've already said about sex is fundamental in order to keep all body pressures on. When a man ejaculates, he loses all of his pressures, and then he cannot retain something like the Natem: it leaves his body. Likewise, it loses the desire to live, the will, the strength. It should be remembered that we are only an electric stream. We are a sacred cramp. Throbbing tensions that grow like rivers, throb like stars and grow like the moon. We must also understand that if we take too many relaxing substances, whether or not they are legal drugs, such as cannabis, opium and so many others, our bodies' pressures are going to sink. And they're going to weaken, too.

I cannot endure a sacrament, a ceremonial drink whose sole purpose is to communion with the jungle and Arutam if we are in a state of weakness. We'll have to look for a simpler way, more suitable to more fragile people. The path of the Uwishin was a way for the Shuar peoples to become true animals, in beasts; To live in the jungle and also to be leaders, shamans, parents, warriors. Hence comes their power to heal people, and to improve people's health. Its purpose is to make life grow in us, so we can get closer to it. In such a way we become the animals that one day - through the resistance of reason - we ceased to be. Every single thing that we let weakened, some day, and then go sick inside ourselves.

No one can be filled with Arutam, really, and live full of Arutam and his sacred touch, if he does not become that beast, in that pure instinct, living from the Arutam with confidence and with an empty mind. We all want to be that very animal that, someday, we betrayed and abandoned. And when we are sick, there's no justification in our minds and in our hearts, which is worth the absence of the sacred touch and health. Neither money, power, objectives, or purposes.

Neither believing that we do things well, nor believing that we do things wrong: that cognitive error in our behavior weakens our minds. And many times, when we see how the medicine grows inside us, and we see its effects, we already want to spit it out, or perhaps we feel a sudden need to empty our bowels.

That's why we are afraid to feel and to see. It’s the monster that we’ve fed; the hidden shadow, inside us. We have to get the medicine in, and when we know that we’re not going to vomit, when we know that we’re not going to empty our bowels, at least not too much - because we’ll have to go to the bathroom every so often: it’s important to clean out our intestines. I’m talking about one diarrhea over another: that is, when we’ve ended up discarding all the medicine from our bodies. One can realize, once we’re in the bathroom, when all the medicine comes out. We must try to keep it inside the body, and hook it up inside us to absorb all of its essence. That will give us between twelve and fourteen hours of trance, at least. You know how much you could learn in such a lot of time? It could change us entirely, in our bodies, our minds and our inner tendencies.

We must transform ourselves, even in sickness. And we must overcome our shadow, our most stubborn resistances, just to heal and release ourselves. Do you know how great it could be to stay in trance for so many hours? Do you know how beneficial it could be for us to change in all aspects of our lives?

If we’re afraid to see, if we don’t want to see, then we just don’t need to come here. There’s something I’ll never be able help you with: to change your will. The Natem, the path of Uwishin, is very deep, and strong enough to fight against darkness, shadow and disease. That’s why it is the most spectacular thing, and the best known substance to heal us, as long as it’s in the hands of a great Uwishin, of a great Shaman. If that were the case, you could even perform miracles with people. But for that very reason, given that purity, given that authenticity, this whole thing becomes something very inaccessible to most people. That’s why some people try to modify the recipes, transforming them into soft infusions that are often called "ayahuasca", which is often mingled with leaves of Yaji (chakruna), whose effect will consist of just a few visions. Or they choose to consume substances to have faster, easier and shorter effects, through the use of DMT-based substances or something like that.

As I’ve said before: mighty should be our will to realize Arutam, to transform our lives and to be filled with the sacred touch.