In the great Amazon rainforest and the high Andes Mountains, highly skilled shamans preserve and practice a rapidly vanishing medicine that may hold the key to most human ills, whether those ills are physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. A shaman is a person who bridges the spiritual and phenomenal worlds, who possesses healing knowledge, and who enjoys an esteemed place in traditional Amazonian and South American native society. The shaman is a doctor, an herbalist, a priest, an advisor, a psychologist, a guide. In the course of my South American investigations into natural methods of healing, I have met and learned from many shamans. And even as the developed world is racing away from the healing benefits of nature and into the toxic arms of big pharma, shamans still help to maintain the health of native people in traditional communities. Additionally, shamans understand human disease not just as an imbalance in enzymes, hormones and immune factors, but as a disturbance of spirit.
For decades I have traveled the globe seeking plant-based remedies that enhance health and well being. I have sought cures for common and uncommon diseases, and have spent time with shamans, healers, and medicine men and women in faraway indigenous native communities, learning their healing secrets. These talented people have shared their wisdom, and have opened up their minds, hearts and homes to me. In this work I have traveled, worked and studied in the Amazon rainforest, the greatest rainforest on earth. I have also worked extensively in the Andes. In these regions I have had the good fortune to spend time in the company of shamans. In my estimation, the shamans of the Amazon rainforest and the Andes are among the most talented healers and medicinal experts in the world. They possess knowledge we do not possess, they demonstrate perceptual abilities different from our own, and they know how to use energy, medicinal plants and powerful psychoactive potions to effect healing and promote a state of balance. True healing brings into order the body, mind and spirit with the past, presence and future.
The various shamans shown here on this web site are and have been part of my own journey of discovery. They are friends, teachers, allies, guides. They have taught me much and have helped me to gain a better understanding of healing. At the very same time that I have enjoyed and gained great benefit from the knowledge and wisdom of shamans, I have been sobered and appalled by the vast and rapid destruction of the natural environment in general, and the Amazon rainforest in particular. As if set on a deliberate course to systematically destroy the ecology of our planet, various entities, from timber operations to gigantic soy corporations to petroleum companies, are cutting down, burning, and otherwise laying to waste the precious, irreplaceable Amazon. It is unmitigated mayhem of the most horrific and egregious kind.
Inclusion of these shamans on this web site is both an acknowledgment of their contributions to my learning, and a tribute to important ways of knowledge and healing that are dying out in the twilight of indigenous cultural history. Shamans possess knowledge that can benefit all of humanity, and wisdom that can help to mitigate the wholesale destruction of our fair planet.
By Chris Kilham, Medicine Hunter