Charing This interview is about Pablo Amaringo and his beautiful art that were inspired through Ayahuasca. Howard G. Charing gives us insight on his life and paintings in this interview in a unique perspective that only he could provide. As well as detailed descriptions of the ceremonies and experiences revolving around Ayahuasca. This interview is a walk between worlds and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
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Charing This interview is about Pablo Amaringo and his beautiful art that were inspired through Ayahuasca. Howard G. Charing gives us insight on his life and paintings in this interview in a unique perspective that only he could provide. As well as detailed descriptions of the ceremonies and experiences revolving around Ayahuasca. This interview is a walk between worlds and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. Could you please tell us how you got involved with Pablo and the creation of this wonderful book The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo?
View slideshow: Howard G. We did some ad-hoc interviews with him which were published, and we made notes about his about his paintings but the actual inspiration to work with Pablo on a major project such as this book came out of the blue — it came suddenly during an Ayahuasca ceremony at Mishana in the Peruvian Amazon. The ceremony culminated in what I can only describe as a lightning flash and a powerful message from the Ayahuasca to work with Pablo on a book of his new paintings.
The following day, I discussed the idea with Peter—he and I had worked together, since the s, organizing ayahuasca and plant diet retreats in the Amazon, and we decided to visit Pablo in Pucallpa at the earliest opportunity, which was in February , to discuss the idea of doing a book with him. All in all, this was a complex project.
Pablo gave us hundreds of pages of his notes and journals, which he had kept in his house. We had many meetings with Pablo to discuss and explore the multifaceted qualities of his paintings. Each session generated new questions, which necessitated further trips to Pucallpa before we were in a position to complete the narratives that accompany the paintings themselves.
Angeles Avatares by Pablo Amaringo 2. Howard: We were really delighted and honoured by their contribution to the book. When we approached them to write a contribution, they were all happy to do this despite their busy work schedules.
That book had an enormous impact when it was published in Both of these books introduced novel concepts and in my view are in the vanguard of the literature on evolving human consciousness. Steve wrote an informative and insightful piece for the book which was wonderful. Howard: Pablo had an extraordinary life, and in the book Peter worked extensively with Pablo in documenting some of his amazing stories and experiences.
Pablo was so incredibly talented as an artist that he could paint freehand an exact replica of a banknote. That particular skill actually led him into certain problems with the authorities as you can imagine, and many of these stories are included in the book.
The first thing that comes to mind is his eclectic knowledge of so many mystical traditions, and a vast wisdom. Pablo defined knowledge in two categories, firstly gnosis knowledge , and epignosis above knowledge. He would illustrate this by an example — you can read all the research papers, and literature about Ayahuasca, understand its chemical composition and so on, this is gnosis; but only when you drink Ayahuasca is there the possibility of realisation of this knowledge, or epignosis.
Love for him was an example of epignosis. Auca Yachai by Pablo Amaringo One of the most gratifying aspects of working with Pablo on the book was that many of the narratives contained not only descriptions, mythological insights of the paintings etc but also an explicit spiritual teaching.
I know sorcery is a difficult notion for Westerners to comprehend, but it is real and effective, and in fact is a part of the fabric of life in the Amazon. In his paintings and accompanying narratives in the book Pablo shines light on these practices.
Describe his art for his and some of the themes he embraced he literally through Ayahuasca was getting a glimpse of the otherside and sharing it with us on canvas right? Howard: Pablo was drinking Ayahuasca for many years, and he had perfect recall of his visions, which he painted in meticulous detail.
His work is characterised by botanically accurate and identifiable depictions of plants and the elements of his visions, the spirit beings, sub-aquatic and subterranean realms, celestial palaces, animals and birds of the rainforest, extra-terrestrial vessels, angels, and the Ayahuasca ceremony often with the shaman engaged in healing their patients. There are a multitude of themes, for example there was a powerful ecological theme present throughout his work.
He said that nature provided all the medicines that we need, and that the destruction of the rainforest would be totally detrimental to humanity. An important part of this is the descriptions of the plants, their medicinal, their ritual and shamanic usage. The ecological theme also included the natural cycles of rain, fertility of plants and the inter-relationship of animals, plants, and humans in a finely tuned balance, sometimes this was expressed allegorically or in mythological terms.
Jehua Supai by Pablo Amaringo Also the substance of creation, of matter itself, in effect Pablo was describing the Higgs-Boson particles, although he called them espirtones. His work reveals a cosmos constituted of varying densities of vibration from the Earth to the highest celestial realms.
In essence Pablo described through his art a vast cosmic plan, in this cosmic vision life exists throughout the universe, there are universes nested within universes and an incalculable number of smaller worlds like the Earth. For Pablo the Supreme Being or God is a term for the totality of the dynamic energy that has always existed, and always will, it is eternal. Pablo was able to access this cosmic vision through drinking Ayahuasca, and this was what he was ultimately embodying through his art.
Please tell us about Ayahuasca and its history and the rituals surrounding it and its purpose in your perspective. I have never done it but would love to. I live in Florida in the United States and they still think Marijuana is crack here or something amidst their madness and ignorance. So I am not sure if I will ever have the chance to do it.
But I would. Howard: Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine Banisteriopsis Caapi and the leaf of the Chacruna plant Psychotria Viridis. The combination by brewing for hours of these two plants produces a potent medicine that has the potential to heal our deepest emotional wounds.
We can fully relive our painful life experiences and release or purge a gentler term than vomiting them from our body and psyche, and in a sense be purified. So essentially I would say that ayahuasca is a medicine that works through our physical and spiritual bodies.
It is a formidable and awe-inspiring experience and I need to add the caveat that due to its potency is not suitable for everybody. It is important to follow the rules for example avoiding certain foods, sexual activity, and libidinous thoughts, and to drink in a ceremony with a capable and trusted shaman without any shred of doubt. Historically there is evidence that ayahuasca has been a central part of the spiritual and cultural life of the Amazonian peoples for many hundreds of years.
In fact the oldest known object related to ayahuasca is a ceremonial cup hewn from stone found in the Ecuadorian Amazon dated BC to 50 AD. This indicates that ayahuasca potions were known and used at least 2, years ago. Unai Shipash by Pablo Amaringo The origins of this brew are only in legend, but you still have to consider how the indigenous peoples discovered how to prepare the ayahuasca brew by the combination of just two distinct plants amongst the many thousands of plants in the rainforest.
Experiences with Amazonian people and folklore are shared through out the book. Can you tell us about their life and spiritual belief system? Howard: As I mentioned earlier, there is a rich textural mythological fabric, in the same way that we in the West have. Our fairy tales are a faint echo of a whisper of this, we have stories of enchanting perfumes, of magical flowers and beanstalks; animals that talk with humans such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Bears and so on.
The difference is that in the Amazon these legends have not been domesticated, and seen only as a fantasy. I know shamans who swear that they have encountered magical creatures such as the chullachaqui the enigmatic hairy jungle dwarf or the pucabufeo Amazonian Pink dolphin taking human form, these magical creatures are depicted by Pablo in the book, and in one of the most fascinating anecdotes by Pablo described in the book, is his encounter with the yacuruna when he was a boy of seven years old the yacuruna are primordial beings that inhabit the sub-aquatic realms.
Also Pablo talks about the awesome exploits of his grandfather and great-uncle both powerful paleros a specialised and powerful shaman who primarily works with hardwood trees, the resins, the roots, and the barks.
There is a huge volume of information, ranging from the use of the fibre of the plant tamshi to clean their teeth and prevent decay, plants to heal wounds, and customs surrounding death and burial rites. In fact when I was working on the narrative of this painting, there was so much material I realised that I could write a book just about this painting. Pablo Amaringo was a healer since the age of 10 and a curandero. Howard: Curandero means healer which is the main role of a shaman.
The traditional generic term would be vegetalista, which denotes they have received their power from the plant kingdom. There are many sub-specialisations of the vegetalista, for example: Palero — a curandero who works with the bark, roots, and resins of trees; Perfumero — specialist in the perfumes of plants and flowers; Ayahuasquero — a Specialist in ayahuasca; Chontero — a curandero who works with chonta magical darts.
It is clear that Pablo always had close connection to spirit and experienced life as magical. Conventional religion per se never had meaning for him; he could access the soul of the world directly through nature where he came to understand that there was a divine creative consciousness that permeated and held the world in place. Many of his paintings illustrate this theme. Pablo drank ayahuasca for the first time when he was ten with his grandfather.
His first vision was of mermaids in the water under a renaco tree, he still painted this vision well into his later years.
Ondas de la Ayahuasca by Pablo Amaringo 8. His paintings have evolved in texture and detail since his earlier work as per his first book. In the new book Pablo explains in his introduction that he felt much freer to express himself now and be open about his experiences, as before he was concerned about being misinterpreted and criticised for being heretical by the Catholic Church.
Pablo discusses the purpose of his work in his introduction. I continue to work holding shamanic workshops, individual healing sessions and gatherings here. L to R: Peter , Pablo, Howard Thank you. I knew deep down that he might not make it through to the publication of the book. We knew that this book would be his testament as a visionary, sage, and artist. Pablo died in November , I attended the wake and funeral in Pucallpa, it was a sad time, but also at the wake many people came together to speak about their memories of him, how he influenced them, graced their lives and to celebrate his work and life.
His legacy lives with his art, his visions, the Usko Ayar School, and the many young people that he has helped over the years. The school was not only about art, but also included spiritual and ecological teachings, the school was very important to Pablo to share his wisdom and knowledge with children and young people, to help them perceive the world through different eyes. Peter and I have put together a website with has all the paintings featured in the book, as well as interviews, features, and photo galleries of Pablo through the years.
Just being with him was an enlightening experience, and I feel ever so privileged to have known Pablo as a friend and teacher. I wrote was a real labour of love to honour the beautiful man Pablo Amaringo. As the source of all life on earth, the sun represents the blessings of the divine celestial pattern, the ultimate source of all life in the universe which we call God. Ayahuasca is one of the most remarkable gifts from the plant realm as it contains chemicals identical to the neurotransmitters found in the human brain.
When you drink ayahuasca the sensory neurons which transmit messages inside the brain are enhanced so that a person can receive wisdom and knowledge. The shamans in the ceremony are curing a man suffering from mental illness caused by an imbalance in his pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Jehua Supai — Espiritus Sublimes Here you see a sumiruna, a great maestro and man of esoteric knowledge who can transform his physical body into pure spirit.
He is surrounded by a magnificent aguajal: a wet area where aguaje palms grow. An aguajal is a temple of nature, a beautiful sacred grove where the spirits like to gather. He calls the yana puyurunas, spirit people of black clouds whose faces appear in the sky above him.
They teach how to heal using the wind, the mist and the dew.
The Ayahuasca Visions of Peruvian Artist Pablo Amaringo
He was a master communicator of the ayahuasca experience. He was entirely self-taught, and able to paint with meticulous botanical precision the Amazonian landscapes and the essential mythic content of his visions. His paintings depict the visions that he received during his years of practice as an ayahuasquero plant healer , they capture the spirits, sub-aquatic cities, celestial realms, extra-terrestrial beings of great wisdom, sorcerers in battle with shamans, all revealed to him by ayahuasca. On the day they remove the cover, they should prepare themselves by bathing and meditating.
The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo
Period 1985-1989 for sale