“I came to this potent cultural melting pot on an assignment for Australian Penthouse, which was one of the few magazines to embrace the story I was chasing – a look at what the almost mythical archetype of the shaman was really like in the 21st century. And under the trappings, the shacapa fans and the rattles, I found a business of shamanism selling a psychedelic experience: a central mystery that is at turns beautiful, terrifying, mindblowing and ultimately, cathartic.

“Alongside photographer Vance Gellert and Audio Engineer John Bowman, I interviewed and drank ayahuasca with over twenty curanderos, and met some of the ayahuasqueros whose business is enlightenment, as well as the seekers that drink this potent vegetal medicine.”

- Rak Razam

So what makes AYA different from any of the New Age/ shamanism books on the market already?

Read it and you will see that AYA has a hip, breakneck style of reporting aimed at a wider mainstream audience, delicately threaded with deep insights and understandings of the Peruvian shamanistic view of reality. It’s a classic spiritual quest, but it also explores the history of Amazonian shamanism and the current boom in ayahuasca use by Westerners across the world.

Excerpts from these interviews have been published in High Times, Filmmaker Magazine online and to read the story that seeded the book, visit Undergrowth:

Rak Razam

Experiential Journalist

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