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Review: The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge by Jeremy Narby My rating: 4 of 5 stars I eagerly anticipated this book as I had heard it mentioned as a classic on Ayahuasca and as a good reference point in a number of other books and Ayahuasca and shamanism. The author begins in typical Ayahuasca tourist fashion, and undertakes you on his Amazonian journey with a shaman, partaking in the sacred Yage ceremony. If anything I was a little disappointed with the author’s own experiences and felt that he had perhaps misunderstood his visions a little. I read on, however, and the novel turned into a page-turning thriller. The research done on the twins / dual serpent cosmology myths was fantastic and a revelation to me. It was clear that Narby had done a great deal of research on his hypothesis. I think to anybody studying shamanism, the middle chapters of Narby’s book are essential. As the book moved towards the DNA link with Ayahuasca I was at first sceptical but the author wrote in a convincing manner and I felt that the extremely distant link was well-pointed out and certainly a possibility though I can see the scientists more easily dismissing ‘The Cosmic Serpent’ than perhaps the ancient medicine men who I would imagine would be more open-minded. As an apprentice ayahuasquero myself, who has studied exclusively on my own in the West, I think that there is a lot more to the DNA link than meets the eye. Ayahuasca is a substance which does alter the mind in a tremendous way and I See true possibilities that it is what we call DNA triggering some of the visions. I think the book highlights, not how much we know of science, but how little we know of ancient shamanism. A true understanding of Ayahuasca and the power it harnesses, if well understood could drastically improve our world, if nothing less than to bind Western man back to his natural roots. View all my reviews

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Ayahuasca In My Blood: 25 Years Of Medicine Dreaming – by Peter Gorman

This autobiographic tale of one man’s relationship with the most sacred vine, shows Peter Gorman as a true pioneer. Ayahuasca is still very much an unknown quantity in the West and Gorman’s 25 years of experience make him a critical read for anyone considering experimenting with Ayahuasca, as the ‘Vine Of The Soul’ becomes more fashionable in mainstream society. I’ve had a few Ayahuasca sessions myself and I can relate to the rather bizarre and powerful nature of the sessions he describes. It really does put you in a different frame of mind and in a way is something that cannot very easily be put into words. Gorman does really well in painting a vivid picture of the alternate realities that Ayahuasca drinkers experience. It does become a life changing experience and the way Gorman seems to struggle between his life and family in the ‘real’ world and his mystic Amazonian adventures forms a key element to his story. Ayahuasca becomes a belief system to him, a religion, and he uses the vine ever more so to seek out answers to all aspects of his own life, and once he begins to master its application to himself, like a real shaman, he begins to turn his attention during the rituals upon the lives of friends and families and how he can help them for the better.  The descriptions of his jungle adventures and the detailed depictions of the shamen that guide him and the traditional ceremonies themselves gave a true insight into how the vine should be most appropriately used. I’ve never journeyed into the Amazon (though I would very much love to go there) and experienced a genuine ritual, but from what Gorman has revealed, I shall be applying some of his techniques in my next Ayahuasca encounter. I think that for every individual and every experience, the vine is truly unique. Its power is unfurling and almost omnipotent and to a non-initiate, maybe Gorman’s experiences would seem a little far-fetched and fictional. I believe every aspect of his tale and I think that the Ayahuasca has given him the insight and courage to have presented many of his deeper emotional thoughts about his family and genuine struggles in life in an open and honest fashion. It has made him realise his own imperfections and has guided him into being a better and stronger person. I’ve read quite a…

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Shaman Of The Tribe

In ancient times, every tribe had a shaman who was the medecine man and spiritual leader of the community. Often under the influence of locally produced drugs such as Mescaline or Ayahuasca or Iboga, in ecstatic trances, the shaman would bring back from the spiritual world key knowledge that would help his fellow tribesmen.As society developed, so did organised religion and the shamen were locked up and kept away as ‘madmen’ while priests and vicars served the rulers and books took over from the ancient medecines. In recent times we have seen club culture develop and society has taken an about turn. Banging to the beat of a shamanic drum, DJs have taken the place of the local choirs as people seek to trance out in the company of others in raves and nightclubs. We have gone full circle and today’s shaman is the DJ. Welcome to a mix of tribal sounds from the 21st Century. Go into a trance and in your state of bliss remember the ancients… :::TRACKLISTING::: 1. Blue States & The Adi Tribe – Hello Kombai [Kensaltown Records] 2. Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart (Foxbase Beta Mix) [White] 3. Primal Scream – Loaded (Terry Farley Re-Mix) [Junior Boys Own] 4. Cosmic Boogie – Railroad Man (Ashley Beedle’s Soul Train Edit) [White] 5. Black Science Orchestra – New Jersey Deep [Junior Boys Own] 6. Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (Kamouflage Loves Fred remix) [White] 7. Last Rhythm – Last Rhythm (Tom Middleton Mix) [White] 8. Armand Van Helden – The Witch Doctor (Eddie Thoenick remix) [White] 9. Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer (Denis A remix) [White] 10. Little Boots – Earthquake (Sasha remix) [679 Recordings] 11. Denis A – Heaven [Plastic Music] 12. The Luna Project – I Wanna Be Free (Original Factory Mix) [White] 13. Adam Freeland & The Suri Tribe – Kin [Kensaltown Records] 14. Hybrid & The Suri Tribe – Komoru [Kensaltown Records] 15. Moodswings – Redemption Song [React] Wez G – Shaman Of The Tribe by Wezg on Mixcloud

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