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Books For Ayahuasca Explorers

I was recently asked for some book recommendations by someone who is exploring journeywork with Ayahuasca. I figured I might as well put this list here, so that other people can enjoy as well. Some of the books I’ve only read part of, but I’ve certainly enjoyed what I’ve gotten out of them thus far.

I’m not going to say that these are the best books, but these are the ones I know about and feel good about suggesting. If you are familiar with the topic and have some other ideas, please feel free to let me know, I’m happy to edit this over time, or have a part 2 to this blog down the line.

Notes: Blog image by Pablo Amaringo. The links to amazon are affiliate links

  1. Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology) by Mircea Eliade. This is a classic, and one of the first books on shamanism that I ever read. It gave me some very helpful reference points in my early days of exploration. It doesn’t focus simply on ayahuasca or psychedelic shamanism, but surveys traditions from all over the world.
  2. Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon By Stephan Beyer I like Stephan a lot. I think he’s a good man with a kind heart. He’s also deeply profound. This is his account of working with his teacher in the Upper Amazon. He discusses a wide range of subtle issues, healing, sorcery, dream states, spirit animals, and the like.
  3. The Fellowship of the River: A Medical Doctor’s Exploration into Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine by Joe Tafur This book allows us to look at plant medicine through the eyes of a disaffected Medical Doctor. Joe suffered from depression brought on by the pressure and hollowness of the modern medical system, and discovered healing for himself and others through his work with healers in the Amazon.
  4. The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo This is an art book. Pablo Amaringo is a super brilliant artist from Peru. His work is elegant and intricate, able to show such a range of experience and conveying such subtlety and depth. It’s really gorgeous.
  5. After the Ceremony Ends: A Companion Guide to Help You Integrate Visionary Plant Medicine Experiences by Katherine CoderThis is a book specifically about Psychedelic Integration and Aftercare. Which is good! We need more of this. It’s a sweet book, very accessible, and full of easy to follow tips and practices.
  6. The Falling Sky: Words of a Yanomami Shaman by Davi Kopenawa. I haven’t actually read this one yet, but I really, really want to. I got turned onto it in a very good article on reality sandwich by Jeremy Narby about the relationships that Amazonian Shamans have with invisible entities. Narby, whose books also deserve recognition, likes The Falling Sky because it is written by a very gifted Peruvian Shaman who has a profound understanding of the medicine. I’m looking forward to it. Maybe we should even start a book club with this one.
  7. The Shaman and Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms by Don Jose CamposThis has also been on my reading list for a while.  I’m including it because the person that asked me to suggest the books is working with someone in Don Jose’s lineage, and they mentioned this book to me in the conversation. Although I haven’t read it yet, I’ve heard only good things about both the book and Don Jose himself.  It’s probably going to be great.

That’s the list! I certainly hope you enjoy it, and let me know what you think.  I’m also available if you’d like to work with me on the concepts and practices in Coder’s book, After the Ceremony Ends. It would be my joy.