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From the Amazon to Australia: A Dumontian analysis of ayahuasca healing

From the Amazon to Australia: A Dumontian analysis of ayahuasca healing

The psychoactive beverage ayahuasca is used differently in Australia compared to in its homeland of indigenous Amazonia. The simplicity of this statement is haunted by an immense complexity. The types of uses of ayahuasca are by no means unified in the Amazon. Although anthropologists have noted that different indigenous peoples in the Amazon use ayahuasca for … Continue reading

A very short history of ayahuasca expansion and its relevance to social science

A very short history of ayahuasca expansion and its relevance to social science

“Drugs are like chameleons. They take on the characteristics of the culture they are in” Des Tramacchi. The mercurial psychoactive effects of ayahuasca seemingly allow the substance to accommodate a diverse range of cultural worlds or ways of life. Over the last 150 years ayahuasca use spread across parts of indigenous Amazonia through the notorious rubber tapping industries of … Continue reading

Synesthesia and shapeshifting: Amazonian shamanism and transcorporeality

Synesthesia and shapeshifting: Amazonian shamanism and transcorporeality

This blog entry presents ideas on the types of sensory and cognitive effects of the psychoactive substances that enable Amazonian shamans to not only see the spirits of animals, plants, and meteorological phenomena but to see from the perspectives of the spirits, that is, to shapeshift. Exploring recent studies on synesthesia, the paper proposes a theoretical basis to the … Continue reading

Moral Inversions: Junkies, dope fiends, pill poppers, and ayahuasca drinkers

Moral Inversions: Junkies, dope fiends, pill poppers, and ayahuasca drinkers

Charles Taylor defines moral orientation as: our sense of respect for and obligations to others… our understandings of what makes a full life … [and] the range of notions concerned with dignity … [i.e.] the characteristics by which we think of ourselves as commanding (or failing to command) the respect of those around us. (1989,15) … Continue reading