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Pulling from the Source: An Amazonian Healing Story

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 13:32
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February 22nd, 2017

By Matt Toussaint

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Symphonious sounds of the ceremony lull, retreating into the background as the jungle’s choir of frogs and insects dot the sonic landscape. Nature’s song is a welcome and harmonious complement to the driving pulse of icaros chanted by the shamans, the conductors of this ancient yet immanent ritual. Artists of spirit, shamans or curanderos paint the landscapes of consciousness using sound to bring to life and weave together the textures, shades and colors of experience. The icaros are the vehicle through which spirit is made manifest and given intent to complete a task: healing, a protective shield, opening vision, calming a turbulent mind, blessing sacred space.

When I first came to the jungle to drink ayahuasca, what really impacted my experience was how fundamental and essential the icaros were to the ceremony. The multi-dimensional symphony conducted inside the ayahuasca space was like nothing I had ever dreamed of experiencing. Just witnessing this unearthly yet penetratingly familiar spectacle for the first time changed my world tremendously – and challenged my understanding of possibility.

Widely regarded as the principal means through which Amazonian shamans perform their magical feats, the icaro is not the only wand in the wizard’s chest. Indeed it is a chest of great diversity and ingenuity. What can be loosely described as Amazonian shamanism is a variable and dynamic collection of healing arts that are bundled together; a living entity that produces and reproduces new forms and expressions with each new generation, even with each new practitioner. The wands in the wizard chest are not static or dogmatic. They morph as the ethereal plant-spirits from which they originate.


Also by Matt Toussaint:

  • Beyond the Ground: An Esoteric Lesson in Grounding (highly recommended reading!)
  • FACEBOOK]: (An interactive community of over 3,500,000)






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