Aya Awakenings: a Shamanic Odyssey

North Atlantic Books
Trade Paperback: 504 pages (2nd print)
US $26.95
ISBN-10: 1583948007
ISBN-13: 978-1583948002

With a new introduction by Dennis McKenna and forward by Rak Razam

Book Cover Hi-res

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Author Photo Hi_res

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Rak Razam, Peru, 2006


In researching the mystery of ayahuasca “experiential journalist” Rak Razam undergoes his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes the vine reveals. On the way he encounters a motley crew of characters from rogue scientists that conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts; brujo-black magicians wielding their psychic darts; and dozens of indigenous and Western shamans that slowly unravel his cultured mind and reveal the magical landscape of the spirit world.

AYA is ultimately a literary memoir and a love song to something intimately familiar to the human spirit.


‘An excellent work! I thoroughly enjoyed it… This is definitely the best thing I’ve read on ayahuasca tourism, and beyond that, the whole apparent re-emergence of shamanic consciousness as a force for change and evolution on a global scale.’

- Dr. Dennis McKenna , Ph.D
‘AYA: a shamanic odyssey is well written, skeptical and thoughtful–a truly honest and mind-opening contribution to the field. This historical account takes the reader on a memorable – and deeply personal – journey into the hearts and minds of those who carry on the shamanic traditions of ayahuasca.’

- Rick Doblin, Ph.D , founder and president of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies)

‘As Razam so aptly demonstrates, a new kind of traveler is emerging – one who embarks into the mysterious and uncharted domain within, where they aim to conquer their own heart. Written in the tradition of a great adventure narrative, AYA is a timely story for a new emerging era. ‘

- Yossi Ghinsberg , author of Lost in the Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Adventure and Survival (Harper Collins)

About the author:

Rak Razam is a freelance writer, experiential journalist and media provocateur specializing in underground and counter-culture, spirituality and technology issues. He is the gonzo reporter-at-large for Australian Penthouse and is writing for and co-editing Undergrowth magazine online. He has written and edited for magazines and companies including The Age, the Australian newspaper, Eye On, High Times, Zavtone (Japan), Dream Creation (UK), Mushroom Magazine (Germany), Sensis (AUS), Bread TV and See advertising.