In the Amazon tradition, when an apprentice follows the path of the curandero (“healer”), he follows diets that allow him to connect with the spirits of the plants. In this moment of deep communion and meditation, in total isolation, he can then receive icaros, healing songs taught directly to him by the plants he is dieting.

Today I would like to share with you a personal icaro, which I received during my shamanic practice. This icaro is a prayer to the spirit of Tobacco (or Mapacho), a very powerful and central teacher plant in Amazonian shamanism.

Tobacco is a grounding, calming, cleansing and protecting plant. It is used in many ways: either in sopladas (tobacco smoke is blown on the person being treated), as a purgative decoction, or as a snuff powder (called Rapé – pronounced Ha-pey). Rapé combines Mapacho with different plants or tree ashes, and many recipes exist depending on the tribes and the people who prepare it. It is a very powerful medicine that calms the mind and opens the heart.

It was while working with Tobacco that I received one day this icaro, which I now use regularly in treatments and ceremonies. It is very effective when energies are too intense or chaotic, and it brings serenity and grounding.

In the Amazon, some shamans don’t want to share the icaros they received from the plants. A bit like a war treasure, they keep them jealously, and sometimes only whisper them to prevent them from being stolen. However, I have been receiving the same message for a few weeks now when I prayed with Tobacco or performed Rapé ceremonies: it is now time for the plants to widely spread their healing energy, wisdom and science. In these particularly troubled times, the Mapacho asked me to share this icaro, to help those who need to calm their fears, mental agitation or anxiety.

So I decided to help, at my humble level, the spirit of the Mapacho to share its energy. One evening, I did a Rapé ceremony to connect with the  spirit of the plant, I settled down near a river (which you can hear in the background), and I recorded this chant. Thanks also to the crickets for their backup vocals. In this delicate period of our history, may this icaro help you to stay in the eye of the storm.

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Stunning artwork by Luis Tamani : https://www.luis-tamani.com