Anthropology

Ayahuasca in the heart of Europe

In recent years, the topic of ayahuasca has also been publicly discussed in the Czech Republic due to the disclosure of prevalent use of ayahuasca by the Czech Psychedelic Society and other organizations aiming to raise awareness about its preparation, use, integration, spirituality, and therapeutic potential.

Ayahuasca is utilized in so-called autonomous zones: situations and environments in which people gather who experience their situation as unacceptable or unsatisfactory. Therefore, they are defiant in terms of laws, mechanisms, and institutions that maintain discipline and control in society … Ayahuasca has become a subject of tourist interest in the last decades, and rituals are sometimes performed by people not only with a bad reputation, but also without any preparation. Some of them use the culture of the indigenous ethnic groups of the Amazon inappropriately.10 For this reason, there is a risk is that ayahuasca will be removed from ritual and ceremonial spaces as a result of glocalization, and could come to be viewed as a drug used in psychotherapy only. A plant that is traditionally considered sacred would become a product provided at exclusive private clinics and centers for personal development. Sacred medicine would transform into the subject of commerce, used in the spirit of economic opportunism without consideration of the limitation of resources and will be provided for high fees. In the eyes of users, participating in the ayahuasca ritual would turn into an exotic holiday.

Original Article (Chacruna):
Ayahuasca in the Heart of Europe
Artwork Fair Use: Szarka Gyula

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