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Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul Paperback – October 10, 2003
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"Her narrative and descriptions are extremely rich and sensitive and communicate the complexities of her visions and reactions very well." (Stephen Joseph, Library Journal, January 2004, Vol. 129 No. 1)
From the Back Cover
“Joan Parisi Wilcox paints a riveting account of her spiritual odyssey of self-awareness via the Vine of the Soul. The botany and chemistry of ayahuasca and other plant medicines, the ritual cleansing diets, and the magical worldview of vegetalistas are all described in engaging detail. Her dreams and inner voyages precipitate confrontations with the liminal challenges of existence.”
--Jon Hanna, author of the Psychedelic Resource List
Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul is an autobiographical account of the author’s work with ayahuasca, a potent and sacred plant brew of the Amazon region that is known for its extraordinary visionary and healing powers. As she learned from her experience, with the help of ayahuasca we are able to grasp our paradoxical nature, the first step to acceptance of ourselves in both our glorious and dark aspects. Ayahuasca teaches how to dispel the illusions we hold about ourselves, making it possible for us to release our true nature and our power.
This book reveals the ritual protocols that must be followed before receiving the powers of the plant spirit from an ayahuasquero, a healing master, and the sacred songs, icaros, that are sung when imbibing the substance. Although the use of ayahuasca is growing among “underground” spiritual seekers and through the burgeoning ayahuasca tourism trade in South America, few of its seekers understand how it is used traditionally and the importance of the rituals the indigenous people follow. With this book, the author hopes to restore the importance of these indigenous practices so that we may truly understand all the gifts of ayahuasca.
JOAN PARISI WILCOX has been initiated into the Q’ero shamanic tradition of the Andes and is the author of Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge: The Mystical World of the Q’ero Indians of Peru. She lives in North Carolina.
Top Customer Reviews
In addition, I think there is little that is self-indulgent about this author. Some reviewers have charged the author with wearing rose-colored glasses and romanticizing her experiences. Have they read the same book? Maybe their memory is selective. I found the author to be surprisingly frank, especially about her fears and about the embarrassing situations that came up during her ayahuasca retreat. She certainly doesn't try to "pretty" things up in the least. Yes, she does take an intensely spiritual perspective, even what some might call "New Age," which some might not agree with. But I found her insights heart-felt and sincere. I also found her experiences caused me to ask a lot of questions about my own journey.Read more ›
Although Wilcox offers plenty of fascinating intellectual insights, this book is first and foremost a personal account of her experience with Ayahusaca, and it is the autobiographical nature of the book that makes it so engaging. Wilcox actually experienced "the substance of the thing from the inside" and then openly shared it with us in her book. If and until the rest of have the chance to experience the "Vine of the Soul" for ourselves, this book is the next best thing.
Unfortunately for Wilcox, it seems as though she undertakes her Ayahuasca adventure with the main goal being that of writing a book about Ayahuasca.
Her book is cobbled together as well. She patches her shoddy writing up with quotes from other writers, and she gives long and detailed accounts of her dreams and visions that are not interesting.
She also has, evidently at one time, memorized a list of vocabulary words in preparation to take a standardized test, possibly the GRE. It's obvious that she memorized this list because GRE words are liberally dispersed all throughout this Ayahuasca book.
Undulate and coalesce are Wilcox's two favorite GRE words. I know this because Wilcox uses undulate on almost every page of her book. When she is not using undulate, she is using coalesce.
I can't understand why her editor didn't insist that she go through and make different word choices for variety. You can't use the same two GRE words over and over again on every page of your book and then call yourself a writer--it's unacceptable.
And lest I forget, there is also a terrible interview with a shaman included in the book. During the interview, Wilcox clearly states that the shaman is bored and no longer wants to answer her stupid questions.
It was about halfway through this book that I began to wonder if the Ayahuasca would ever be able to cure Wilcox's pretty obvious pretension. A pretension that is almost palpable in all its horrible glory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Since I have thought about taking a trip to Peru to experience an aya retreat this woman's personal experience was eloquent and thoughtful as well as real and meaningful. Read morePublished on March 1, 2014 by Joscelyn
This is the personal account of the author's well planned and intentional journey to Peru to experience ayahausca in a very authentic setting, particularly compared with the almost... Read morePublished on December 29, 2013 by Rachel
This book didn't hold much interest for me. There was some fascinating tales of peoples lives and the positive effects of their Ayahuasca experiences, but all quite forgettable in... Read morePublished on September 6, 2013 by Hagatthewell
Worth a read! The author makes no issue of her less than lifetime experience with ayahuasca, making her account very personal and readable in that context. Read morePublished on February 6, 2011 by Krackenback
Joan Parisi Wilcox did a wonderful job at describing her experiences with the sacred, mind-altering,entheogen,drink of the Amazon called Ayahuasca. Read morePublished on May 20, 2010 by Willam Sens
This is not a book I would recommend unless you want to read an account of one woman's Peruvian ayahuasca experiences. Read morePublished on December 7, 2009 by Kelly A. Thomas
Having traveled to the Sacred Valley of Peru on numerous occasions I've come to know and understand the benefits of this amazing "Plant Teacher" AYAHUASCA. Read morePublished on October 12, 2009 by Itchy Brother
I too feel this is a self indulgent and amateur work that lacks any kind of rigour or frankly much information of any real interest. Read morePublished on April 27, 2009 by Patrikos