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Daniel Pinchbeck - Mazatec Indians

Identifier

002596

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

The Mazatec people inhabit an area known as the Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, as well as some communities in the adjacent states of Puebla and Veracruz.

Mazatec tradition includes the cultivation of plants for spiritual and ritualistic use. Plants and fungi used for this purpose include psilocybin mushrooms, psychoactive morning glory seeds (from species such as Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa), and Salvia divinorum.

A description of the experience

Daniel Pinchbeck – Opening the Head

The mushrooms central to Mazatec traditions come in many varieties.  Each variant has its own purpose. 

One is used for divination, another for healing, another for good luck upon starting a new undertaking. 

This meticulous discrimination reminded me of the Indians in the Amazon who recognise many types of ayahuasca vine, each one causing different visions. 

These visual differences are imperceptible to highly trained Western botanists. 

As Levi-Srauss described in the Savage Mind, Indians are attuned to botanical subtleties at a level beyond our comprehension.

The source of the experience

South American shamanism

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Symbols

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Psilocybin

Suppressions

Ayahuasca

Commonsteps

References