We can all agree by now that there’s no easy fix, right?
There’s no magic pill or magic word you can say to automatically slay your demons. In turn, it would appear that turning to face them straight on is the best way to shrink your gargantuan-seeming problems into a more manageable, human size. This is no easy feat, but most of us at one point or another, will have to make the choice to be courageous (the only real chance we have at reaching our potential) or living the status quo for the rest of our lives. Those opting for the former, will realize that they are not alone. We can undertake certain practices which will greatly diminish our suffering. And there are teachers who can help guide us through the process.
Grandfather Sanango, as he’s known in the world of Amazonian spirits and shamans, is regarded my many as one of these teachers. As with most plants used for spiritual purposes in the Amazon region, Chiric Sanango is regarded as not only flora, but as a spirit with great powers. Regarded as the male counterpart to the more commonly referenced ayahuasca, it is often ingested along with ayahuasca in shamanic retreats in Peru and other South American countries.
Chiric Sanango is a flowering shrub, and member of the nightshade family, which has been cultivated for millennia by people in the Amazon. It is used often to treat fevers, alleviate pain associated with arthritis, and to increase libido. Beyond this, it’s also used by shamans to transform our inner landscape. Chiric sanango, it is said, is a strict yet compassionate teacher. His goal is to align us with our higher selves, while opening our hearts to the unity of universal love.
Chiric Sanango is not something to play around with. It is, as ayahuasca, datura and toé, a master plant. It is recommended to work with an experienced shaman when aiming to learn from the master plants, being that their physical, mental and spiritual effects are intense and could even be fatal if taken inappropriately. It is a practice that requires a great deal of discipline: this is not yet another way to “get high.”
There are many retreats in the Amazon region which offer to guide participants through a deep transformation experience, which in Chiric Sanango’s case, involves spending eight days (or more) in an isolated jungle hut, with no contact to the outside world or other humans apart from a designated shaman who has experienced the medicine. Referred to as a “plant diet,” the process requires significant commitment, both before and after the retreat, including avoiding certain foods and activities for up to six months before the retreat. It is said that the purer one is upon arriving to meet Grandfather Sanango, the more effectively the medicine is able to take hold.
As it’s been tied into the wave of ayahuasca tourism which began in the 1960s and has escalated to near mythical proportions, it’s important to recognize that there while many retreats and shamans are authentic, there are reports of money-hungry individuals who are willing to put a seeker’s life in danger in order to snag some cash from them. Be careful, and do not skimp on finding the most reputable experience. And believe us, these reputable services are not charging chump change.
Individuals who wish to meet Grandfather Sanango must be prepared to experience unpleasant side effects of the plant. Lack of coordination and motor skills, nauseousness, vomiting, dizziness, an itching sensation (“chiric” means “itchy” in the native Peruvian language of Quechua), a complete release of repressed emotions, and everyone’s favorite “temporary insanity.” Of course the shamans and the plant’s proponents would assure you that all interim discomfort will pay out in a big way. If you’re feeling consistently insane, perhaps what you need is a friendly dose of temporary insanity to help dig you out of your rut.
Chiric Sanango is said to stand apart from its master plant brethren in that its experience and effects will stay with you for many years. There are reports of individuals who have studied under master Sanango only to feel its hallucinogenic effects randomly months or even years down the line. On Scott Turner’s “Ayahuasca Magic” YouTube channel, he claims that combining Chiric Sanango with Ayahuasca can help to make the journey more with the mother plant more pleasant, and less excruciating on all levels.
Most people seek the same thing from Chiric Sanango: the plant is said to open the gates toward emotional healing. Associated with the sacral chakra, Grandfather Sanango has helped many individuals cultivate a higher level of self-esteem, which in turn alters greatly their treatment of themselves and their view of “the other.” Some individuals report better understanding the mighty connectedness that exists between all living things following their experience with Chiric Sanango. Others attest to its power of rising levels of mental clarity. It is said to be a warming plant. Not only warming up a cold body, but also a cold heart – allowing the seeker to feel a more broad sense of identity that aligns with his brothers and sisters across the planet.
If ingested properly, such as with a shaman as part of an isolation diet, the plant can allow for greater introspection and understanding of the emotions that are being released. As the experience can be trying, many individuals report that it’s the hardest but most rewarding thing they’ve ever done in their life. It is to say that there will be great moments of discomfort, to be followed by great and long-lasting relief. It has been suggested that the intense physical effects the plant procures are truly what alters the mind. Perhaps, the two cannot be separated.
The effects of chiric sanango on the nervous system are evident, including having a relaxing effect, and can even heal and realign the muscular structure. Thus its indication for those suffering from chronic pain such as arthritis.
In most cases, the plant will be ingested orally, through a tea-like substance of soaked leaves. It may also be used as a medicinal bath. The shamanic tradition tells us that eating the leaves raw is the most potent option. When it comes to dealing with Grandfather Sanango, it’s not child’s play. Leave it to the professionals. We’re not saying you need to pay thousands of dollars to go cozy up at lush resort in Peru in order to benefit from this medicine, but if indeed Grandfather Sanango is a spirit with a soul, it’s best to respect him. In turn, your treatment will be that much more benevolent.
Rough and tumble Great Lakes girl transported to Latin America. Hopeless romantic. Book collector. Treehugger. My mind rests among the stars. Tweet me at @fryechild, find me as @gypsy_fire on Instagram.
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