The shaman gives and takes life. To become a shaman, you go alone into the forest and wrap your entire body in embira. You lie down at a path intersection with your arms and legs outstretched. First come the night butterflies, the husu, who completely cover your body. Next comes the yuxin who eats the husu until reaching your head. Then you grab him tightly. He transforms into a murmuru palm, which is covered in spines. If you’re strong enough and don’t let go, the murmuru transforms into a snake, which wraps around your body. If you keep hold, he transforms into a jaguar. You continue holding him. And this continues until finally you’re left holding nothing. You’ve won the ordeal and you can speak: you explain that you want to receive muka and he gives it to you”.
- Shaman Siã Kaxinawá, Acre, Brazil.

A Huni Kui Shaman smokes herbs during a ritual. Brazil, 2014.
Photography: Lunae Parracho

Issue 47- Interview with Ales Kot (Zero, The Surface, Material)

Interview with Ales Kot (@ales_kot)

Fetch and Mitch talk with Ales Kot. Ales speaks about the impact his family history and his own history has had on his writing, the internet’s role in change, his views psychoactive substances, and what it means to practice shamanism.

Ales’ current books include Zero, The Surface, and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier.
Material #1 is available on 5/27/15
Wolf #1 is available on 7/22/15

Ales Kot on…

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This theme belongs to the most ancient stratum of Goddess worship, and there is a ritual connected to it. You know, in Africa when a woman wished to become a priestess of the Goddess, she had to defile herself by marriage or relationship to a horrible old ogre, an old man or a woman whom she would serve. And only through this service would she come to wisdom and an understanding that there is a secret relationship between ugliness and beauty; inside the light is darkness and inside the darkness light. If she wished to be a servant of the Great Earth Mother, she had to meet the three aspects of the Goddess: the Beautiful Maiden, the Matron, and the Old Hag.
—  Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa

If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yea…
Normally when you go into a 'magic' shop 80% of the stuff they're selling is bullshit

Maybe they sell crystals, dried herbs (which are way past their expiration date and have been stored incorrectly), and some figurines of gods/goddesses.

But most of the time they’re full of ‘love spell books’, 'fairy friends’, 'angel guide books’ and some figurines of fairies and dragons.

Most of this stuff is bullshit and completely useless to a practicing witch but I still live in hope of being able to purchase my supplies locally.

However, purely by chance (i was looking for some jewelry) I came across an etsy shop called wildwizardcrafts. Browsing through their products, I was amazed.  This is the first online 'store’ I’ve ever come across which instead of trying to sell me bottled 'spells’ and 'potions’ actually sells ingredients for everything and they all look pretty fresh since I think he gets them locally.

let me give you an example:

  1. Mistletoe 

  2. Yew 

  3. Juniper berries, wood and leaves 

  4. Blackthorn witch pins 

  5. Oak/Rowan/Willow/Birch/Apple/etc. wood products
  6. Bones/Skulls (Raven, Crow, Deer, Wolf, Bison, Bobcat etc.) 


  7. As well as Fur, Teeth, Claws, Feathers, Feet and Antlers of various animals.
  8. Need a Rabbit Foot to make a Luck Charm/Curse?

  9. How about Crossroad and/or Graveyard Dirt?

  10. Rowan Tree Bark? Rock Salt? Sage? for that extra protection - Yep to all three

  11. Dandelion and Fern Roots? Moss? Mushrooms? Berries? - So much!
  12. Railroad Spike? Horseshoe? Iron Nails?

This is close to the perfect 'shop’ for any magic practitioner. Now I personally wouldn’t have any use for some of these ingredients because I know what kind of spells they’re used for… but damn, this place has pretty much everything! 

“The shamanic faith is that humanity is not without allies. There are forces friendly to our struggle to birth ourselves as an intelligent species. But they are quiet and shy; they are to be sought, not in the arrival of alien star fleets in the skies of earth, but nearby, in wilderness solitude, in the ambiance of waterfalls, and yes, in the grasslands and pastures now too rarely beneath our feet.”

- Terence McKenna
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution

Image Credit: stroggtank @ DeviantArt

“The shaman moves between realities, a magical athlete of states of consciousness engaged in mythic feats. The shaman is a middle man between ordinary reality and nonordinary reality, as Castaneda has dramatically described. The shaman is also a “power-broker” in the sense of manipulating spiritual power to help people, to put them into a healthy equilibrium.”

- Michael Harner
The Way of the Shaman

Image Credit: Annelie Solis

We have entered the time of the return of the Shaman.~~

As the world around us continues to evolve with a huge increase in technological advances, the world within us is pulling us towards our true essence – Spirit and the realm of Nature. This paradox in seemingly opposite directions is actually an act of stability and harmony. But only if we listen and follow that inner pull. The Shaman within each of us desires to awaken and ignite our connection to nature, arousing our awareness of Spirit and illuminating our pathway of purpose.

The illusion of economical stress, violence and upheaval that penetrates the psyche of humankind right now is actually the perfect platform for the Shaman to emerge. When the cloak of media and excess materialism begins to fall away, what is left is what matters – community, family, relationships, the beauty of nature, and a deep connection with Spirit. Our inner Shaman develops and thrives within the natural world of rhythm, harmony, wellness and wholeness; this is the essence of who we truly are. This essence is thirsting to take front and centre stage in our lives so that we may experience the beauty, wisdom and peace that we came here to be.

The fundamental nature of the role of a Shaman in both ancient and contemporary societies is to create and sustain equilibrium and wholeness for Mother Earth and her inhabitants. This role is becoming increasingly necessary causing people to awaken and remember their purpose. Our awareness of our inner Shaman is intensifying and we are being called to embrace our path. The Shaman or Shamanic Practitioner takes on many different roles to achieve wholeness. For some it may be the role of healer, activist, teacher, intuitive advisor or even bringing sweet shamanic medicine into seemingly mundane roles. The common denominator is a developing and deepening a connection to nature and increased intuitive awareness.

Nature is the teacher of harmony and wholeness. When we are aligned with inner rhythm and the natural world our Shamanic instincts awaken and we embark upon the journey of traveling the inner worlds of consciousness. If we follow our instincts, we are lead to the right circumstances to further develop our gifts and talents so that our unwavering, constant connection to Spirit becomes a natural, harmonious way of life. When challenge arises, our response comes from wisdom rather than fear. We hold onto our power and utilize that force as a beacon of light and love that inspires others as it permeates and fuels every aspect of our life. We are aligned with our own rhythm and listen to the heartbeat of nature to guide us as the rhythm shifts.

May we celebrate the return of the Shaman. Let us step sacredly upon our Earth Mother and listen to her song. Dance to the rhythm of the wind, let your passion ignite by the light of fire, drink from the waters of joy and be nourished by the abundance that is all around you.

~Melinda Rodrigues

Pathways of Wisdom

Amazonian serpent entities include the Yakumama, mother of the water, Sachamama, mother of the jungle, and Huairamama, mother of the sky. These entities are illustrated in the painting by the artist and shaman Pablo Amaringo (in Ayahuasca Visions: The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman, 1999, North Atlantic Books).

“Indigenous shamanic tribes around the world share a surprising understanding. From the Dogon of West Africa to the Australian Aboriginals, the Maoris of New Zealand, the Hawaiians of the Pacific, the Incas of South America and the Mayas in Central America, all believe that humans were seeded from a planet orbiting a sun in the Pleiades, which are also known as the Seven Sisters. In other words, they believe that when a people becomes advanced enough, their shamans go out and help life forms to evolve into sentient beings in new locations in the universe. So shamans believe that life can be found everywhere in this physical universe, and that advanced souls exist on other planets and have a hand in helping others who are just starting out elsewhere. Through their dreams, shamans visit locations beyond the earth and can describe in vivid detail what conditions are like there and the beings who inhabit them. These they refer to as the star nation or star people. Scientists have been amazed that the Dogon people, living without plumbing or electricity have calculated the exact distances to various celestial bodies like the sun and the moon, as well as the exact distance to the Pleiades. When asked how they do it, their response is simply to say that they go to these places all the time.

Shamans are known for their ability to journey to various worlds, to retrieve knowledge, to conduct soul retrievals, to find lost objects, to map the universe, and to communicate with life forms in other locations.”

- José Luis Stevens
Awaken the Inner Shaman: A Guide to the Power Path of the Heart

Image Credit: Annelie Solis

I was so fed up with the sex-object-witches, teenage shiny slick things in hats and stripper outfits that are EVERYWHERE… I was looking for “classical” witches, women rich in experience and also in age, women who are not sex objects or shiny eye candy. And I found this.

WOMEN OF POWER’ is a series of 29 portraits and interviews of modern-day Polish witches, healers, enchantresses, visionaries and spiritual leaders.   

Poland is more than 90% Catholic. Christianity, introduced now many centuries ago, erased almost all traces of paganism, witchcraft and shamanic traditions. For some, especially women, this has left a yearning for something more. Katarzyna Majak, feeling a personal void and the need for other knowledge set out on a search for women identifying themselves with the spirituality of their ancestors, be it Mother Goddess, pagan beliefs, and other old sources of wisdom. Her fascinating journey from woman to woman (the youngest in her early 30s, the oldest in her late 80s) led her all over her native land as she sought female wisdom and the plurality of spiritual paths hidden within Poland’s mono-religious society.

Clockwise: Maria, the Pipe Carrier for Poland and honorary member of a Native American community (they didn’t say which, unfortunately :/), Elwing, a modern Druid, and a Whisperer - a kind of Russian-Orthodox Witch. (It’s complicated.)