Saturday, 30 August 2014

Tobacco - plant of the spirits

This sacred plant, in shamanism called mapacho, is totally organic and it is grown without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and does not contain any of the toxic additives used in commercial cigarettes. Tobacco shamanism is using Nicotiana rustica, Amazonian wild Tobacco, which is 15 to 18 times as high in nicotine as Nicotiana tabacum. Tobacco has been cultivated and used for rituals as far back as 8,000 years ago, and may be the first cultivated plant here in South America where is the origin of this plant, but even before Europeans began spreading it across the world it had traveled throughout the Americas and even to Australia and Africa, though these species may not have had a high nicotine content. By the way in wrong hands its use can be dangerous. Equivalent of 60-120 mg of the substance placed on the tongue or the skin are said to kill a man. Is investigated that 64 % of all amout of nicotin occures in leaves.

This amazing sacred plant is used through a lot of generations of indians in all Amazon. Are written a lot of books about it by different anthropologists and ethnobotanics. Mapacho is used extensively in Peruvian shamanism (in Ayahuasca ceremonies). This sacred shamanic plant has its own spirit. It is used to provide protection for energetic body of individual participants and for the ceremonial space. It is used to open energetic centers of participants to receive positive energies and seal participants from negative energies and for close centers after ceremony or after diet with medicinal plants. Some native tribes use Tobacco as a universal medicine against all illness. Therepeutically against the snakebites and strong medicine against differente worms. Powder from burned tobacco is good desinfection (antiinflamation) for wound or cut and also on the entry spot on the skin to stupefy the insect larvae and to facilitate its extraction, f.e. mosquito worm or botfly. Nicotine is a really powerful insect killer. The indians used the Tobacco to relieve thirst and also to relive hunger and to be able to pass days without the necessity to eat or to drink. When they have to go for a long walk through the desert or other lonely place without water or food, they use small balls made of tobacco. They take the leaves (of tobacco) and chew them with a certain powder they prepared from burned Conchas de Almejas, and, chewing, they mix them until it is a mass, from which they prepare these little balls…. 

The preceding ethnographic survey discusses tobacco use in South America from nearly three hundred societies and according to six different methods of internal (gastrointestinal and respiratory) application: chewing, drinking, licking, rectal, snuffing, smokable. Of these, smoking (cigars, cigarettes, or pipes) proves the most common, occuring in 233 cases and more often, by far, than all other cases of internal application combined. The most frequent use in Amazonia is smoking in one form or another occurs are those which adopted the custom through association with Europeans in post-Contact times. Among some cultures, tobacco use replaced Coca, the leaves can be boiled in water or chewed in the mouth and mixed with saliva. 

Sometimes they sell it rolled in a semi-dry banana leaf for smoke or for keep it tight and dry like a mass of Tobacco, the log is up to 10" long and weighs about a pound. After they must to slice off a disc of leaf and dry in the fire to be prepared for smoke or drink juice of tobacco through the nose from some shell. It can make you strong nicotine rush in your tissues of nose, if you keep snorting it can lead do drink it and after to vomiting and mild trance (is mostly in Quechua ceremonies in highlands or in the ceremonies with San Pedro). Usually shamans also prepare "vomitivo", what is a cup of tobacco tea for really strong purification of the body, it makes you vomiting and mareation approximately 5 - 6 hours. 

We can say that the less amount of tobacco is used it becomes more powerfull. Tobacco has its sacred importance and using is as a prayer or ceremony with submission. It doesn't mean to have a custom in daily smoking one pack of cigaretts as a psychical and physical addiction. Pure tobacco has its special smell, and mostly isn't inhalated inside the lungs, only in the mouth. If you want to inhal inside you must to be carefull, because mapacho is too much strong and is good to use just some part of the smoke, not all. Also this small amount can cure if you please nature for help in something and you put some intention. And you will be surprised how strong this tobacco can be. It helps so much in cleaning and curing during ceremonies with Ayahuasca, you can feel it so well, just smoking can make you vomiting, also people are more sensitive during the ceremony. The most important for work with tobacco is intention of tabaquero. Of course everybody can smoke mapacho with a good intention, submission and open heart to the nature or some prayer.

Some shamans say that Tobacco is the most powerfull plant of this Planet. It is the Plant of Power. It is a Power Food for the spirits. That is why we offer pinches of Tobacco to plants when we gather them. It is a nourishment that feeds the spirits and strengthens them. If you place prayer intentions and songs in Tobacco when it is growing, it absorbs that energy and acts like a kind of spiritual megaphone for your prayers when you release them. And some shamans say that one of human task is cultivate Tobacco for the spirits, because they cannot do it themselves. Tobacco feeds also our own spirits when we consume it. The trouble is, consuming Tobacco unconsciously means that only a little bit of the Power comes in, and, more important, it doesn't reach your Spirit, the depths within you that are crying to be fed. 

In Amazon Shamanism the most important for work with all plants, include Tobacco, is a special diet what can be various of different cultures. But commonly it means without salt, sugar, oil, all sexual activities, spice and others. Person who is learning about medicinal plants is in many diets with different plants and each one takes for a one to three weeks. Also one diet can be just with Tobacco. During diets apprentice receives various knowledges about healing effects and using of plants by his own visions or dreams. He connects to the spirits of the nature and plants and they become like a part of him. Shaman who is initiated in work with tobacco is called "tabaquero".

How is written up, for work with Tobacco is necessary prayer and itnention. The commercial Tobacco growers and companies dedicate this intention to the Tobacco they grow, to feed the spirit of addiction in us. That addiction is intentional and it is because the Tobacco companies put that intention in, both physically (through the hundreds of additive chemicals that can legally constitute 20% of dry weight, not to mention tons of pesticides) and spiritually (through their Intent) dedicate this most sacred of Power Plants to this purpose, of creating addiction. You take the most Powerful of Power plants and say, "Addict millions of people and place them under our command so they have to feed us money" , that Power plant will magnify your intent and give you Powerful results. Tobacco also shows when is used carelessly and unconsciously, they can cause harm and sickness. There is only one Power, which can be shaped and used in different ways, up to us.

All men who are working in the jungle or just go inside have a custom, they don't take only machete but also a pack of mapachos for smoking for their protection. Also is a custom in some part of the jungle, when they find some snake they give him a little bit of Tobacco on some stick, if this snake survives then has a good soul, if not then has a bad soul.

If you want to try tobacco we highly recommend for the first time to stay with some person or shaman who knows this work and who can help you. Here is just summary information what shamans share with others or our own experiences. But is necessary to say, that in the same case of other plants, also Tobacco is surrounds with a lot of secrets what knows only nature or maybe one day it will show us and we will know more about this amazing plant.

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