The Visionary Root of African Shamanism
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2007(pb,1st eng ed,fine)
Park Street Press
FROM THE EROWID REVIEW #
- Review by Lux, 2008 Nov 20
an uneven book that makes a heroic effort to describe the potent psychedelic entheogen from many points of view. It describes the use of this plant by the Bwiti tradition of West Central Africa from its earliest recorded history in the nineteenth century through the present day.. . . (more)
BACK COVER #Iboga, spiritual ally of African shamans since antiquity, yields ibogaine, a powerful psychotropic substance. It is used mainly in Gabon and Cameroon in a secret initiatory tradition called bwiti-ngenza, in which physical and psychological illnesses can be rooted out and cured. Intense psychological conditioning that includes the rites of confession, contacting and honoring one's ancestors, and construction of an in-depth psychological inventory are all part of the initiate's encounter with this sacred root.
Like many visionary and initiatory plants, iboga is a key that gives access to other modes of being and consciousness. Despite its suppression by the FDA since the 1960s, and more recently by the DEA, researchers have shown that ibogaine provides a powerful adjunct to psychology due to its miraculous ability to break addictions--most notably to heroin. To the followers of the Bwiti religion, ibogaine is the indispensable means by which humans can truly communicate with the deepest reaches of their soul and with the spirits of their ancestors. This book details the traditions and techniques of iboga's use by African shamans and the essential role it occupies in that community in order to preserve this knowledge and show how ibogaine may have an important role to play in our modern world.
BLURBS #"...entertaining and wise, and packed with information. For those interested in psychoactive plants and African shamanism, this book is a rare joy and a must read."
-- Jeremy Narby, author of The Cosmic Serpent and Intelligence in Nature