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Glossary shamanic

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Daño: (n) Witchcraft. Damage, loss, hurt, harm.

Diet (Eng): (n) The literal translation of the Spanish term dieta. It refers to shamanic apprenticeship training as it is done in the Amazon. It is much more than just a "diet." Along with the implicit food restrictions (no salt, sugar, spices, oils, fats, alcohol, stimulants, pork meat -- and in some cases no chicken or red meat too ), there are other specific conditions to respect, among which two are very important: sexual abstinence and physical seclusion. The alterated state of consciousness needed to access the plant spirit world is achieved by these restrictions while being alone in the forest with the shaman/teacher. That is the traditional way. During the period of the diet, the apprentice must also refrain from entering in contact with menstruating women, at any level (including having his/her clothes touched/washed by, or having his/her food prepared by a lady in this condition). Traditionally, it is only the shaman who should attend the apprentice during the time of his/her diet, and should bring/prepare food.




Encantero (Span): (n) A curandero specialized in working with the encantos.


Encanto (Span): (n) Literally, enchantment. A special stone with healing properties. Encantos can have different colours -- black, white, aqua, red, emerald -- with each colour corresponding to a specific use in curing an illness. The stones can be of a peculiar shape, resembling, a snake or  jaguar claw. The spirit of the stone protects and gives special dreams to the owner of the stone. Vegetalistas claim that the true nature of these stones is seen under the effects of ayahuasca, when one is able to see the powerful spirits that live inside them. They are used for healing -- for instance, by rubbing the patient with an encanto in the place where illness is located  or as a defense by invoking the spirits.


Estimular el canto (Span): Literally, to stimulate the singing.  Ayahuasca sessions are noted for visual and auditory (even olfactory) hallucinations of spirits dancing and singing and playing instruments. Guardian spirits bring icaros to the vegetalista


Genio (Span): (n) Guardian spirits of an animal or plant.


Hechicería (Span): (n) Sorcery

Hechicero (Span): (n) A sorcerer

Huairacaspi: (Cedrelinga catenaeformis) Also called el tornillo. It is good for chronic diarrhea, hepatitis, arthritis, broken bones, and cold in the body. As a teacher plant it is good for disorientation, and sense of being lost. After drinking you need to take a shower as it makes you sweat out all the toxins.


Huito: (n) (Genipa americana) Medicinal fruit which is a curative of respiratory diseases.


icaro, ikaro (Span.): (n) Derived most likely from the jungle the Spanish word icaro designates the magical lyrics, incantations, either whistled or spoken, learned by the shaman through the diet of plant teachers. Magical or medicine song that constitute the quintessence of shamanic power and are acquired from spirit helpers. Icaros are given to the shaman by the spirits of the plants the shaman is ingesting and learning to heal with. The icaro has material and immaterial qualities representing a transference of the spirits of the entheogenic plants with all of the animal and human form manifestations into the shaman’s own body. Once you know the icaro of a plant, you no longer need to consume that plant. Icaros must be sung perfectly for them to work.  Air or force charged with positive


Jergón (Amaz): (n) A poisonous snake of the Amazon basin.


Maestro (Span): (n) A great sorcerer.  A teacher of shamanism or vegetalismo.

Mal aire, mal viento (Span): (n) Literally, evil air, often associated with the spirit of a dead person and can produce illness. The aires are the owners of and command the spaces where they live and can occupy trees, rainbows, thunder, caves and springs. They can cause soul loss, pregnancy, fever, etc. The vegetalistas believe the air is alive and conscious.


Mal aire de agua (Span): (n) An illness caused by an evil breeze from the water.


Mal aire de difunto (Span): (n) Literally, bad air of the deceased, an illness produced by the spirit of a deceased person.


MalignoAn evil spirit which usually hovers over quiet spots of riverbanks in the summer and may be recognized by the high pitched whistle it gives out.


Manchari: (n) Fright, one of the reasons for soul loss

Mapacho: (n) Nicotiana rustica, a strong jungle tobacco used ceremonially by other vegetalistas. The vegetalista places tobacco as an offering to the ayahuasca spirit before cutting it.  The food of the mariri: if not nourished with mapacho smoke the mariri can come out of the mouth of the vegetalista, exposing him to the danger of having it cut off by a brujo, and thus remain unprotected.


Mareación (Span): (n) (1) The visionary effect of ayahuasca.

Medicine: (n) (Eng) (1) The mastery of the uses of the realms of space/time, energy and spirit for healing, personal power, divination, and protection. (2) Shamanic healing.

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