Psychedelic Shamanic Magick – A Guide to the Ritual Application of Sacred Visionary Plant
The plants studied here are ayahuasca and iboga as well as the psilocybin mushroom. They find their application in a ritual context, using elementary shamanic tools, enhanced by the application of conscious willpower to effect transformation of self and circumstances or to receive messages from the otherworld. Berman’s account inspires regret for a more innocent time when Amazonian curanderos were not for sale and western seekers were but few. The author finds his teacher in a Peruvian mestizo by the name of Alberto Reategui Sangama to whom he keeps returning to compare and find meaning in other shamanic work in Mexico and Ecuador. This encompassing book provides a helpful guide for all who wish to engage in ritual, be it by themselves or as part of a group, illuminating the powerful use of the elements. (sgs)
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance; rejuvenate internal organs; halt snoring, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is. Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head. You will never breathe the same again. No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly.
Riverhead Books, May 2020
Good Chemistry: The Science of Connection, from Soul to Psychedelics
Julie Holland, M.D.
The key to understanding the science of connection is oxytocin—a neurotransmitter and hormone produced in our bodies that allows us to trust and bond. It fosters attachment between mothers and infants, romantic partners, friends, and even with our pets. There are many ways to reach this state of mental and physical wellbeing that modern medicine has overlooked. The implications for our happiness and health are profound. We can find oneness in meditation, in community, or in awe at the beauty around us. Another option: psychedelic medicines that can catalyze a connection with the self, with nature, or the cosmos. Good Chemistry points us on the right path to forging true and deeper attachments with our own souls, to one another, and even to our planet, helping us heal ourselves and our world.
Harper Wave, June 2020
Magdalena: River of Dreams
The highly regarded Canadian ethnobotanist, anthropologist, author and photographer has given us a new book about a country he knows and loves so well and has done so much for that, in 2019, he was made an honorary Colombian. With him we travel near one thousand kilometers up the Rio Magdalena, the country’s main artery, and learn about its past, present and future by way of its history, music, literature, poetry and longing – while meeting the people who live on its banks. Only when navigating the commercial and cultural corridor that is the Magdalena can a traveler “wash ashore in a coastal desert, follow waterways through wetlands as wide as the sky, ascend narrow tracks through dense tropical forests, and reach verdant Andean valley rising to the soaring ice-clad summits.” (sgs)
Vintage Publishing, August 2020
Candice Iloh is a first-generation Nigerian-American writer, teaching artist and youth educator. She has performed her work around the United States, most notably at Nuyorican Poets Café in New York City, the Women Poets & HipHop celebration at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, and as a part of the Africa in Motion performing arts series at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C. Her first novel takes us through the life of Ada – the daughter of a Nigerian immigrant father and an African American mother who struggles to craft her identity in the world and within her own family. Candice Iloh weaves the key moments of Ada’s young life into a luminous narrative about family, belonging, sexuality, and confronting our deepest truths in order to feel whole.
Penguin-Random House, September 2020