Learn about native Amazonian practices of drinking ayahuasca for healing and consciousness expansion.

Taught by world renowned anthropologist Glenn H. Shepard Jr. Ph.D., this course offers a profound journey into the often misunderstood realms of shamanic healing, culture and knowledge.

In this short course, you’ll learn about:

  • Global shamanic techniques of healing and consciousness expansion
  • Common uses of ayahuasca among native Amazonian people
  • How culture, ecology and belief entwine in native healing techniques
  • What shamans mean when they say ayahuasca offers “True Seeing” and a clear, pure window onto reality.

“Glenn Shepard is an outstanding anthropologist specializing in Amazonian shamanism and ayahuasca. This online course he has designed will surely be of wide interest to anyone interested in psychedelics and shamanism.”

Michael Harner, PhD. Author of the book: The Way of the Shaman: A Guide to Power and Healing

There is a special alliance between plants, culture and consciousness in the shamanic techniques of native people of the Amazon rainforest. In this course, Glenn H. Shepard teaches us about the importance of nature and ecology for shamanic understandings of reality and healing. You’ll also learn about how techniques of native shamanism are transforming and adapting in global society.

The course begins with fast-paced lessons about how Western society has largely misunderstood shamanism for over 100 years. This sets the backdrop for teachings about how psychedelic plants and fungi have been used by humans for thousands of years in different parts of the globe.

Dr. Shepard draws upon his 30 years of research in the Amazon rainforest and other parts of the world. He offers advanced understandings of the intelligence and artistry within so-called “tribal” techniques of psychedelic healing and consciousness expansion.

Course Overview

  • 01
    Course Introduction
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    • Introduction
  • 02
    The Anthropology of Shamanism
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    • “The Shaman as Neurotic”: Early Anthropological (Mis)understandings (7:42)
    • “Techniques of Ecstasy”: Early Anthropological (Mis)understandings (7:13)
    • A Prehistory of Psychoactive Plants in The Americas (6:25)
    • The Most Important Shamanic Plant in the Americas (10:25)
    • Shamanism Goes Global: The Psychedelic 1950s and 1960s (7:17)
    • Shamanism Goes Global: Brazilian Ayahuasca Religions and Vegetalismo (7:31)
    • Will the Real Ayahuasca Shaman Please Stand Up (11:14)
  • 03
    Ayahuasca and Shamanism in South America
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    • Before Ayahuasca: The Diversity of Psychoactive Preparations (10:28)
    • Toé: The Ultimate Poison and Medicine (12:41)
    • The Expansion of Ayahuasca Among Indigenous Peoples (6:05)
    • Different Ayahuasca Preparations (9:18)
    • Psychoactive Plants in Medicine & Shamanism (11:32)
    • The International Ayahuasca Expansion (7:02)
  • 04
    Health, Medicine and Ethnobotany in The Amazon
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    • Concepts of Well-being: Ecology, Society and the Self (12:22)
    • How Cultural Beliefs Can Heal: Body, Soul, Substance, Cosmos (9:25)
    • Medicine, Botany and The Senses: Introducing the Matsigenka and Yora (3:31)
    • Comparing Matsigenka and Yora Plant Medicine Systems (10:11)
    • Indigenous Understandings of Illness and Healing (9:14)
    • Love Magic and Homeopathic Shamans (7:53)
    • Ayahuasca, Reality and “True Seeing” (5:56)
    • Integrating Ecological, Bodily, Spiritual and Social Healing (4:21)

Glenn H. Shepard, Jr. (PhD) Anthropologist

Meet Your Instructor

Glenn H. Shepard, Jr., is an anthropologist and ethnobotanist who has worked with diverse indigenous groups of Peru, Brazil, and Mexico and speaks more than ten languages. He received his Ph.D in medical anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1999. His doctoral research focused on herbal medicine, emotions and shamanism, including ayahuasca use, among two neighbouring Amazonian cultures in the remote Peruvian Amazon: the Matsigenka and the Piro. He first began researching shamanism and ayahuasca among indigenous Amazonian groups in the late 1980s. He has published widely on shamanism, psychoactive botanicals, medical anthropology, human ecology, and indigenous environmental knowledge. He is currently a curator and researcher in indigenous ethnology at the Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi in Belem do Pará, Brazil.
Glenn H. Shepard, Jr. (PhD) Anthropologist


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