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The Shipibo people are an ancient tribe who live in the Amazon rainforest in Peru. They still practice their spiritual customs and traditions after thousands of years. In the last forty years, there has been a continual rise in people’s interest in traditional indigenous cultures that engage with the unseen forces of nature. ‘ Look deep into nature then you will understand everything better’ - Einstein.


In the Amazon, hunters can smell urine at forty paces and tell you what species left it behind. The taxonomy of Amazonian shamans is remarkable when they begin to characterize and systematize creation. They can consistently distinguish different plants at great distance. You ask a shaman what the foundation of their taxonomy is and they say, ‘Well, the plants talk to us’. To our rational mind, it is nonsense to think that plants can talk. Yet, it is only nonsense because it does not fit in our paradigm. When we consider the possibility that different society’s belief systems create different levels of perceptions but also different realities, what does that say to you?


Sulmira is a Shipibo shaman, whose name means grounded bright shinging light. It is custom for Shipibo people to ingest different plants, flowers and trees with the intention to connect with the spirit of the plant while living in isolation for 2-6 months and eating a very simple diet. Sulmira spoke to me about a plant called Marosa, which taught her about love and protection. This plant has a feminine vibration, she continues. ‘Each plant has a different personality just like people. People will receive different messages from each plant depending on how they get on.’


Shipibo shamans often receive healing songs or ‘icaros’ from the plants while there are in isolation. They use these songs as healing tools in ceremonies. Icaros are then translated into geometric colourful tapestries, which embody the healing messages of the icaros.


Nothing is really solid. Everything is connected; we are constantly moving within a vibrational matrix. There is consciousness in all living things. Consciousness communicates continuously by vibrations of electromagnetic frequencies. Earth is alive and holds the knowledge that we seek, our consciousness affects what Earth reveals.


Marosa - Plant that Sulmira dieted in isolation, which gave her an icaros or healing song about love and protection.

Icaros de Marosa- Shows how Sulmira adapts this icaros  in  different ways during ceremonies  depending of the healing necessary

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In Shipibo culture,  the icaros from the plants are translated into geometric tapestries which embody the healing message from the plant

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