Initiated by the Spirits: Healing the Ills of Modernity through Shamanism, Psychedelics and the Power of the Sacred

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$18.95  $17.62
Green Fire Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.72 inches | 1.04 pounds

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About the Author
Frédérique Apffel-Marglin, PhD. is Professor Emerita, Department of Anthropology at Smith College and has also taught at Harvard, Wellesley, and Wesleyan University. She founded the Sachamama Center for BioCultural Regeneration (SCBR) in the Peruvian High Amazon in 2009, which she directs. She has authored or edited fifteen books and published some 70 articles and book chapters. Her most recent book, co-edited with Stefano Varese, is Contemporary Voices from Anima Mundi: A Reappraisal (2020).
Randy Chung Gonzales is a self-trained architect and visual artist who was born and raised in Lamas, Peru. In June of 2016 he was initiated by disembodied spirits into shamanic knowledge and power, and since then he has been given powers by other indigenous spirits as well as the Virgin of Guadalupe. He receives regular teachings from a disembodied Ashaninka shaman, offers healing to others, and directs an ecological center in the forest called in English "The Place of the Sacred Mountain."
The loss of enchantment-that natural disposition of children, mystics, and Indigenous People to wonder and remain at peace with cosmic mysteries-may be recovered through psychedelics and shamanism, suggest Randy Chung Gonzales and Frédérique Apffel-Marglin. Not everything has a rational answer and silence itself may be needed to ground our wisdom once again in awe. This extraordinary book, written by a heretical anthropologist and an unorthodox shaman in a profound mystical and intellectual dialogue, is proof that we modern individuals are still in time to recover and practice the ancient, original, and indigenous wisdom that may heal the cosmos. -Stefano Varese, Professor of Indigenous Studies, University of California, Davis
This book explores the return of a therapeutic understanding of visionary altered states, of substances that alter psychic perceptions, and of medicines that speak to us of their potentials. Just as the Book of Job says, "Look to the Earth and she shall teach you," we read here the story of teachings and wisdom that come from plants.-John Grim, Co-Director, Yale University Forum on Religion and Ecology
In this book, Frédérique Apffel-Marglin documents the spontaneous and deliberate development of Randy Chung Gonzales as an ayahuasquero and spiritual healer, while also sharing her own transformation into an advocate for the global acceptance of the healing power of this indigenous spiritual path. Together they help us understand how the indigenous spiritualties that have survived the onslaught of the West can help heal the world, ecologically and socially.-Dr. Michael James Winkelman, author of Shamanism: A Biopsychosocial Paradigm of Consciousness and Healing
The Peruvian forest and its healing powers come alive in this remarkable book, written in the dual voices of a western scholar and a Peruvian shaman. Presenting a scathing critique of modernist devastation, Initiated by the Spirits affirms our primal connection with the Great Mother, who reveals herself in magical ways, especially in visions that Shaman Randy Chung Gonzales draws with beauty and precision. His stories echo many indigenous accounts, heard across eons and cultures, when human hubris did not interfere with our ability to recognize the pulse of the mountain, the flight of the eagle, and the call of the medicinal plants. Initiated by the Spirits argues convincingly that it is possible to emerge from the nightmare of the Anthropocene and reinvigorate the Anima Mundi. -Neela Bhattacharya Saxena, author of Absent Mother God of the West: A Kali Lover's Journey into Christianity and Judaism