Written By Alex Gearin (PhD, Anthropology).
When a Cambridge University researcher took a famous ayahuasca shaman to his first cinema experience, the Yaminahua shaman José Choro concluded that the cinema “was not as good as strong shori (ayahuasca)”. For the shaman the psychedelic brew ayahuasca was somewhat similar to cinema. In fact, ayahuasca is casually referred to among indigenous people of the Amazon as the “cinema of the jungle.”
“Artists and animators have been attracted to the vividness, beauty and complexity of ayahuasca visions”
The ayahuasca brew strongly activates parts of the brain that are triggered when we are seeing things in ordinary, sober reality; it also activates parts of the brain involved in multi-sensory integration. The visions, or so-called “hallucinations,” happen when our physical eyes are closed and our “mind’s eye” opens up with a little help from ayahuasca.
Artists and animators have been attracted to the vividness, beauty and complexity of ayahuasca visions. Some animators try to replicate the visual patterns and designs of ayahuasca visions in objective ways or in the most accurate way they can. In other approaches, animators attempt to generate a feeling in the viewers that is similar to the feeling of drinking ayahuasca. In both approaches (and often the two are mixed), the result can be nothing short of eye-bending, mind-candy that opens a portal of the soul through the interface of your screen.
Enjoy this selection of my top 8 ayahuasca animations on the Internet, presented in no particular order.
If you’ve got other favorite ayahuasca animations, please share them with us in the comments section below!
The people who brought you the historic documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule have been at it again, and the visuals are extraordinary! You can check out the full-length documentary for free at http://drinkthejungle.com
2. Renegade aka Blueberry
There are a series of ayahuasca scenes in this “Acid Western” feature film about a U.S. Marshal who attempts to heal the dark memories of the death of his wife. Apparently, the animators who made these scenes first drank ayahuasca multiple times. I haven’t been able to verify this, but the profound animations suggest it is true!
3. Song of the Amazon
In this little-known video about “Shipibo Plant Spirit Knowledge”, you are taken on an audiovisual and conceptual journey into the shamanic universe of the indigenous ayahuasca healer Armando Cerrano Alvarez.
4. Ayahuasca Serpents
You can’t miss the prolific body of psychedelic animation on http://ttaass.com Check out this organic, mind-bending journey into the serpentine world of ayahuasca visions.
5. Calling The Others
Tuning viewers into the solar, inner radiance of the Earth, Simon Haiduk and his team offer a beautiful journey into the womb of creation. While they don’t explicitly reference ayahuasca, I would be surprised if they rejected the connection.
6. Within The Mystery
This is an intense visual feast of symbolic alien languages. The artist makes reference to ayahuasca and to other psychedelics when introducing the film. Click here to check out more of mystic art by Hakan Hisim! hakanhisim.net
7. Shipibo Fire
This time, the Shipibo-style tapestry is made into an ocular, multi-modal cosmic interface.
8. Jurema Journey
I simply had to include this one. It’s too weird to not include! Take a journey into the unpredictable imagination of Myskox W et. al.; a journey into a story of healing with ayahuasca.
If you enjoyed this list of 8 ayahuasca animations, don’t be shy, share it with your friends!
Graham Townsley & Howard Reid, 1989. “The Shaman and His Apprentice”. BBC, 50 min. London, England.
Oscar Saez 2014. Authentic Ayahuasca. in Labate & Cavnar Ayahuasca Shamanism in the Amazon and Beyond. Oxford Uni Press, New York
de Araujo, D. 2016. Ayahuasca & The Brain. Online kahpi course: http://courses.kahpi.net/courses/Ayahuasca-and-the-brain