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Ayahuasca (Santo Daime)

spiritual leadership

Master Irineu (1930-1971)

Pd. Sebastião (1971-1990)

Pd. Alfredo (1990-present)

Ayahuasca (Santo Daime)

Ayahuasca is an entheogenic tea originating from the Amazonian forest. For thousands of years, ayahuasca has been used by the native people of the forest in both religious ceremonies as shamanistic and therapeutic practices. The brown colored and bitter tasting tea is known under many names: yagé, nepe, kabi, natema, hoasca, daime, and ayahuasca. This last name comes from the Quechua language of the ancient Incas, and means 'vine of the soul'.


Ayahuasca is in the entheogen family. An 'entheogen' is a substance that takes one closer to God and other divine beings. Other known entheogens are peyote, San Pedro, some mushrooms and certain African plants like the Iboga root. All are power plants known by shamans and spiritual leaders to hold vital, healthy information and to open the doorway to the spiritual world. These plants have been revealing themselves for thousands of years. Entheogens, traditionally used as spiritual food, in the context of ritual, serve to create a shift in consciousness that opens up access to the Divine.


For many, the initial motivation to drink the tea is the desire for healing. Through the ayahuasca and the mediums that know how to work with its energy, people have been healed from drug addiction, cancer, emotional trauma and other serious ailments. A more common kind of healing is a purifying or cleansing of old thoughts and behavior patterns that are not for the highest good and do not serve a person anymore. Sometimes, this cleansing is accompanied by a physical purging where the individual vomits or 'throws out' the beverage. This phenomenon also indicates that the human body will only accept the quantity of ayahuasca that it can use.

Jagube & Rainha

Ayahuasca is made by combining the vine of the 'Jagube' (Banisteriopsis Caapi) with the leaves of the shrub called 'Rainha' (Psychotria Viridis). Both ingredients are being cooked together for several hours, in order to release their active substances to the tea. While the leaf of the Rainha naturally contains the psycho-active substance DMT (dimethyltriptamine), the vine of the Jagube contains MAOI (harmine, harmaline), which together produce the known spiritual effects. The Jagube is considered by shamans to be the 'spirit' of the tea, the guide through the experience.


The story goes, that during the time of the Spanish invasion of Peru from 1532 to 1534, the Inca prince Hayauasca took this knowledge with him to the Amazonian rainforest, and diffused it among the many indian tribes. It was only much later, with the ongoing urbanisation in Brazil, that the beverage reached civilization again. So it happened that, at the beginning of the twentieth century, a tall and strong rubber tapper from African origin called Raimundo Irineu Serra got befriended with Peruvian shamans, who introduced him to this beverage called ayahuasca.

South-America (1532-1910)

The story goes, that at the time of the Spanish invasion of Peru, the Inca prince Hayauasca took his sacred beverage with him into the rainforest, and diffused the knowledge among the many indian tribes.

Ayahuasca Visions

'Ayahuasca Visions' is a collection of paintings by native medicine man Pablo Amaringo, interpreted by anthropologist Luís Eduardo Luna. Amaringo paints the detailed visions he experienced under the influence of ayahuasca. In his paintings one meets the living spirits of beneficial as well as the ancient and wise guardians of esoteric knowledge.

Forest of Visions

Part biography, part document of spiritual wisdom, 'Forest of Visions' is a fascinating story that satisfies on many levels. Author Alex Polari de Alverga spent years as a political prisoner during military rule in Brazil. He recounts his spiritual transformation after release under the tutelage of Padrinho Sebastião, one of the founders of the Santo Daime religion.