Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul

Excerpts & Samples

By Joan Parisi Wilcox

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Joan Parisi Wilcox

Joan Parisi Wilcox
Joan Parisi Wilcox has been studying the spiritual arts of Peru since 1993 and has received the rites of the Q’ero and other Andean masters. She is the author of Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul and has published articles in Shaman’s Drum and  More...



A comprehensive autobiographical account of the transforming experiences possible with ayahuasca

• Reveals the protocols of a traditional ayahuasca retreat and the importance of its ritual diet, isolation, and sacred songs

• Relates an extensive personal account of the traditional indigenous use of ayahuasca for healing and revelation

Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul is an autobiographical account of the author’s work with ayahuasca, a potent and sacred plant brew of the Amazon  region that is known for its extraordinary visionary and healing powers. As she learned from her experience, with the help of ayahuasca we are able to grasp our paradoxical nature, the first step to acceptance of ourselves in both our glorious and dark aspects. Ayahuasca teaches us how to release the illusions we hold about ourselves and makes it possible to integrate our many diverse aspects to acquire our true power.

This book reveals the ritual protocols that must be followed prior to partaking of ayahuasca, including the traditional preparatory “diet”--which requires enduring austere conditions, isolation, and only small amounts of bland food before receiving the powers of the plant spirit from an ayahuasquero, a healing master--and the sacred songs, icaros, that are sung when imbibing the substance. Although the use of ayahuasca is growing among “underground” spiritual seekers and through the burgeoning ayahuasca tourism trade in South America, few of its seekers understand how it is used traditionally and the importance of the rituals the indigenous people follow. With this book, the author hopes to restore the importance of these indigenous practices so that we may truly understand all the gifts of ayahuasca.

“Joan Parisi Wilcox paints a riveting account of her spiritual odyssey of self-awareness via the Vine of the Soul. The botany and chemistry of ayahuasca and other plant medicines, the ritual cleansing diets, and the magical worldview of vegetalistas are all described in engaging detail. Her dreams and inner voyages precipitate confrontations with the liminal challenges of existence.”

Jon Hanna, author of the Psychedelic Resource List

"Her narrative and descriptions are extremely rich and sensitive and communicate the complexities of her visions and reactions very well."
Stephen Joseph, Library Journal, January 2004, Vol. 129 No. 1