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Exploring the world of Amazonian shamanism, Aya: Awakenings will appeal to new age "spiritual tourists," alternative-minded counterculture seekers, and global backpackers interested in psychedelics. This film will also attract people with an interest in the history of Amazonian shamanism and the art, music, and culture of the region.

Experiential journalist Rak Razam sets out to document the thriving business of 21st-century hallucinogenic shamanism starting with a trip to the annual Amazonian Shaman Conference in Iquitos, Peru, where he meets a motley crew of "spiritual tourists," rogue scientists, black magicians, and indigenous and Western healers and guides, all in town to partake of the ritual--and the medicine--of ayahuasca, "the vine of souls." Combining his personal story with the history of Amazonian shamanism, Razam takes the reader along on an entertaining, enlightening adventure.

In areas of Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru, the traditional herbal brew known as ayahuasca or yajé is legally used to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit by connecting it to the web of life. Sting and Tori Amos have admitted sampling it in Latin America, as has Paul Simon, who chronicled the experience in his song "Spirit Voices." Aya Awakenings works as a cautionary tale, a travelogue, and a memoir, but primarily acts as a portal through which readers are able to gain more information about the perils and the promise of spiritual reconnection through ayahuasca.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781583948002

    November 1, 2013

    North Atlantic

    504 pages

    RRP $56.99

    Online retailers

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  • Audio Book

    9781583948163

    January 15, 2014

    North Atlantic

    RRP $45.00

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    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Rak Razam

The Ayahuasca Sessions

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