Anthropology

Sex + setting: friends don’t let friends sleep with shamans

Within the first three months of her visit to the Peruvian jungle, [she] had “some highly questionable and sexually inappropriate incidents” with one of them. She realized that “the shamans were not enlightened beings but normal men—some abusing their powers as healers.”  Sex with a shaman while under this influence, or even within a certain time range of having partaken of that brew and ceremony, can never be consensual.

There’s no shortage of authentic male Amazonian shamans with strong codes of ethics. Sadly, however, there are also far too many who are masters at seduction and coercion. The abuses they carry out range from fondling or groping people during ceremonies, to inappropriate romantic relationships, to rape. Women, men, and transgender people can all be dramatically affected by the experience … “Spirituality is our core essence,” Kilham says. “The multi-layered aspects of vulnerability make that a circumstance in which you should not have any overlay of sexual engagement. In this situation, it’s fundamentally unwise and potentially injurious to engage sexually. To avoid any possibility of that, you just eliminate sex from the equation entirely. In doing so, you make the spiritual engagement safer.” A key part of the experience at ayahuasca retreats is participating in la dieta, which calls for abstaining from ingesting alcohol, caffeine, and certain foods such as salt and sugar and from engaging in any sexual activity for a certain period before, during and after ceremony (including the full time at the retreat). In the medicine space, people often seek help with relationship and sexual issues, and engaging in sex can damage or distract from the healing process. Tafur says avoiding sex during la dieta is purifying and prevents your energy from getting tangled up with someone else’s while you’re sorting through your own body, mind, spirit and heart during ceremony.

Original Article (LA Yoga):
Sex + Setting: Friends don’t Let Friends Sleep with Shamans
Artwork Fair Use: Ministério da Cultura

Caves all the way down

The whole fungus: civil

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