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Amazon Magic: The Life Story of Ayahuasquero & Shaman Don Agustin Rivas Vasquez Paperback – January 1, 2000
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Jaya Bear portrays the spirit world of nature, through the warmth and knowledge of Don Rivas -- Brant Secunda, Huichol Shaman and Director of the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies
This beautiful narrative is full of mystery, smells, sounds, and a reality far from the center of our experience. -- Winona La Duke, activist and author of Last Standing Woman
About the Author
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He very much likes to talk mainly how good he was at chasing women (he even goes on to tell how he had sex with a river dolphin). But there are a lot of other strange stories and happenings in the book as well, for example about giant boas, yacurunas robbing people, shamans transforming into owls etc.
I happened to visit Tamshyacu myself and I can tell that these kind of stories seem to be relatively widespread in the region. For example they tell that there are boas (or anacondas) that are 40 meters long, I argued that according to scientific books they are only 10+ meters with majority being even smaller, but they insisted that scientists are wrong and "hay mas grandes". Also they tell you that there is a city in the bottom of amazon...well the level of water was relatively low in the river and I insisted that the rooftops should be seen. In response to that they had to admit that this is only something in the visions of ayahuasca, but went on to tell a story about a boy who while once playing with others in the river vanished into a vortex and then three shamans came together and after doing their magic for three days were able to pull out the boy and apparently it was the boy who told these accounts.
But the book definitly is worth reading regardless if you belive all this or not. But I dont think that if a story is strange then it automatically has to be a lie. Remember, in the old times people belived that earth is flat and similarily rejected all stories about stones falling from sky (meteorites) but were proven wrong in the end. It could be similar case here.
Don Agustin Rivas Vasquez (1933-) was born in Tamshiyacu, Peru, a small jungle town along the Amazon River. What is was to grow up in this totally different (from us) environment...learn to be a shaman...and acquire the skills to use healing plant medicines such as ayahuasca, are the subjects of this fascinating new book.
Amazon Magic enables the reader to walk in the shoes of a shaman and understand his experiences and adventures...and his training and discipline to achieve his widely-regarded status as a profound healer. This reviewer was fascinated by not only plant medicines, but the spirits that reside in the jungle. And how ayahuasca, for instance, can help one see the spirits, and the demons. "Each of us has our demons, and ayahuasca shows them to us so we can face them and heal. Ayahuasca teaches us truth about ourselves".
Author, world traveler, artist and student of many spiritual cultures, Jaya Bear, felt drawn to travel to Peru after her husband died. She met Don Agustin Rivas Vasquez, and has continued to work closely with him since that time.
The result is Amazon Magic, a fascinating look at a culture and individual that have made an impact. Jaya Bear presents this revelation in an easily- read- and- understood fashion that captures Don Agustin's words, love and compassion!
Top international reviews
On subsequent visits we visited his other tambo/finca further into la selva and took Ayahuasca together in those days he would never to presume to call himself an Ayahuasquero, I was therefore delighted and surprised to find this book in which my old friend has surpassed himself and brought the message of Ayahuasca to the masses.
Personally I think this secret should stay in the Jungle where it belongs with the few real Ayahuasqueros that still exist, but I really enjoyed the book and wish him all the best from my heart and in the unlikely case that he gets to read this -Augustine amigo mio,me debes una escultura de la virgin Maria ,algun dia te buscare, suerte,abrazos Ricardo...