From ayahuasca vine and chilipanga leaves shaman brew a yagé.
Yagé is the vision vine, the vine of the soul, the celebrated medicine plant of Amazon region. It is prepared by scrapping the bark from the woody stem of a liana (picture) and boiling it with chilipanga leaves. The Amazon tribes see the yagé as a magical medicine that frees the soul and heals the body.
Yagé is associated with the art of healing. It is yagé that allows the body to heal until the soul can soar into the spiritual world to visit yagé people, the beings of the spirit realm, the dwelling place of spirits.
The world has many layers, all of them inhabited by people, animals, spirits.
The yagé allows to visit these realms in the clothing of the jaguar, or in the anaconda skin or the hair of the wild pig.
Yagé is more than a shamanic tool, it is the source of wisdom itself, the ultimate spring of knowledge for the entire society of tribes of Amazonian basin. To drink yagé is to learn and to be healed. It is the vehicle by which each person acquires power and direct experience of the divine.
Before a shaman are: a fan of leaves (see the picture on index page), the spirit, waira sacha, the wind brush to sweep away darkness. Next to it are red and blue macaw feathers to paint the visions, and necklaces of seeds, the sound of the forest.
The bark of ayahuasca (banisteriopsis caapi) is scraped off and small pieces are heated in water with the leaves of chilipanga (diplopterys cabrerana) and leaves of a coffee family shrub (psychotria viridis).
The psychoactive ingredients in the ayahuasca are beta-carbolines harmine and harmaline. The chilipanga adds tryptamines, powerful psychoactive compounds marked by astonishing visual imagery