The major plant of the Amazon
Among the different plants offered in a retreat is tobacco juice, the plant at the top of traditional medicine, according to indigenous people and many ancestral medicine traditions around the globe.
The Amazonian purge of tobacco juice is very powerful. The Indians often say that ‘smoking leads to death and that tobacco juice leads to life’. They thus consider that tobacco juice transmits strength, protection, solidity, positive energy, structure, ability to decide, awareness and light.
A male force
The drunk tobacco contains the four elements and confers a male force that strengthens our anchoring in reality and is beneficial to women and men. It is also an educational plant.
The purging of tobacco, a male plant, is usually managed by an authorized person called a ‘tabaquero’ or a ‘tabaquera’.
Tobacco purges are regularly organized in Europe (see contact).
The course of a purge (‘purga’)
The purge (‘purga’ in Spanish) is done in groups and follows a very specific ritual. The Indians use this ritual to activate the energy and spiritual power of tobacco juice. Participants then drink this juice followed by warm water.
The spirit of tobacco is responsible for identifying what has to be eliminated. Yet on an empty stomach, participants vomit certain ‘loads’ carried since birth and that our body cannot assimilate because they are toxic. For the curanderos, these are ‘negative energies’ that materialize.
This very particular process is a challenge to describe: it must be experienced to truly understand all its sensory and spiritual dimensions.
Tobacco juice is a decoction. It can help to overcome various blockages resulting from:
- transgressions of natural laws
(side effects, toxins from certain medications, unbalanced food, pollution, trauma of war…)
- moral and psychological suffering
- transgenerational inheritance
(incest memories, abuse, domestic violence, miscarriage…)
Freeing yourself from addictions
Smoking, drugs, joints, alcohol, internet & smartphones, pornography, games: tobacco juice is a powerful way to free oneself from addictions and all artificial ways of escaping reality (illusions, invasive imagination…) Because it fights addiction, Tobacco juice is not addictive.
Opening the doors of spirituality
In Amazonian culture, the Amerindians consider that each medicinal plant has its own principle, which communicates, teaches and is healing. It opens and structures the traditional retreats of Amazonian medicines because it deeply cleans the energy body. Let us note that all the great spiritual traditions agree on one point: cleansing the body (diet, fasting, healing sessions, bathing plants, sweat lodge) is a compulsory step to awakening.
On the difference between smoked and drank tobacco
Smoking tobacco is an escape…
To escape unpleasant reality we create a bubble, by erecting a barrier in the face of reality and of others. We symbolically search refuge with mummy by sucking our thumb when confronted with anxiety.
Smoked tobacco is highly cancerigenous, i.e. causing death (3.5 to 4 million deaths each year in the world, one of the first three world plagues with malaria and poliomyelitis).
Lung cancers (80%), cancers of the oral cavity, cancers affecting the pharynx, the oesophagus, the pancreas (30%), the bladder (40%) , kidneys and the urinary tract, the uterus of the young woman, lungs and bronchial tubes. We can also quote infarcts, breathing problems, emphysema…
…But drank tobacco is a liberation!
It is thorough cleansing and scouring. It enables us to vomit personal and transgenerational things, it brings us back into our body and makes us aware of immediate reality, orders things in our mind, tidies them up, clarifies, awakens, verticalizes, opens our intellect to metaphysical realities (Darmaka) and purifies the soul (Nirmanakaya). Tobacco juice is powerful, purifying, substantial, penetrating, structuring, hearty, reassuring, pervading, equitable, silent, rigourous, faithful, well-advising, reliable, security providing, joyous. It changes our conscience level and brings about new awakenings; it grounds and substantiates our presence. It makes us grow up, fortifies and revitalizes us, provides us with quiet empowerment that will eventually lead to the progressive death of our Ego. It enables regeneration and reconnects us with our neglected body, with energies, with outside and inside reality, with our psyche, with our intellect and the highest levels of our soul. In Amazonia, taking a tobacco healing sessions even is an exorcising ritual! The shaman will expulse the perverse energies through the soplada (a tobacco juice healing ritual). So, we can choose between smoking and drinking tobacco.
Drinking tobacco juice: the death of the Ego
Smoking it means the death of our spiritual being to the advantage of a virtual, imaginary Ego.
Drinking tobacco juice means the death of the virtual and imaginary Ego to the advantage of the being-that-incarnates-the-spirit.
In a way, one could say tobacco symbolizes the choice of Free Will in front of the Key of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This key is placed in front of any human being who has become conscious enough of himself.
Either I drink tobacco and I choose spiritual life, or I smoke it, and that leads me to spiritual and even physical death.
Distinguishing the approaches
What is a genuine retreat?The word retreat is now widely used…
However, a retreat is not just a workshop or a seminar. It is more: it is the fact of withdrawing freely from the outside world, in an isolated, natural, silent and supportive place.
A retreat allows, among other things, to return to the outside world as better match with its being.
‘Traditional medicine’ and Conventional Medicine‘Traditional medicine’ differs from Western conventional medicine but does not oppose it. Traditional Amazonian medicine comes from ancestral knowledge and is practised by ‘curanderos’.
Body & soul
The principle of healingThe principle of healing is traditional care using energy, which contributes to overall wellness. It focuses on the unseen causes of ill-being. The “healing” is different from the official notions of “treatment” reserved for the medical world. The tradition of South American healing is the product of cross-breeding and blending of traditions.
A part of shamanismThe word ‘shamanism’ is widely used in the world today… It actually covers many different traditions and practices.
Role of purging
Why ‘curanderos’ use perfume to cure?The shamans ‘perfumeros’ treat by blowing perfume on the body of the patients, by ‘blowing’ (‘soplar’ in Spanish) as it is done with the smoke of tobacco.
Reaching our consciousness
Just like animals at night, it allows us to locate ourselves in space and time during the night session. It also gives us the possibility to better integrate and digest the auditory and visual perceptions received.
A shield against discomfort
In the other world of visions of the Amazonian corianders, olfaction becomes a tool of learning, as much as the vision. The olfactory feelings of the curandero are accompanied by symbols and give valuable information.
Finally, for the curandero, as for the participants, the evanescence of the light scent will make it possible to find land, to return to port, to dock on the banks, with a finally pacified spirit. This is also the essence… of these flower essences.
SpiritualityThis word is used a lot…
What ‘spirituality’ can mean in the context of a retreat:
- Freely questioning the meaning of life.
- Let be surprised by a new representation of the world.
- To root his approach in a corporeal experience and a verbal accompaniment, (Spirituality is not opposed to psychotherapy or conventional medicine).
- To welcome silence, trees, nature, simplicity as auxiliaries of awareness.
- Freeing engrammed memories, conditioning to go towards an emancipation.
- Going more autonomy, fewer dependencies, less avoidance.
- Discover what animates us (work, quality of life, relationships, place of life), how our vitality is embodied the best.
- Discovering that what we believe to be separate goes in concert: the body and the mind, the feminine and the masculine, man and nature, the self and its environment, the visible and the invisible.