UserWiki:David Hedlund/Talk:List of entheogens - malevolent usage

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Especially within Amazonian Shamanism, there is a notion that sooner or later the apprentice shaman will be tempted by the spirits to use his practice for harm. If he is then unable to control his urges, he will inevitably go down the path of sorcery.


In some areas, there are purported malevolent sorcerers who masquerade as real shamans and who entice tourists to drink ayahuasca in their presence. Shamans believe one of the purposes for this is to steal one's energy and/or power, of which they believe every person has a limited stockpile.[1]

Tsentsak (invisible pathogenic projectiles) are only visible under the influence of a psychoactive substance called natemä, which is the Jívaro word for ayahuasca.[2] When the shaman imbibes natemä, the world of spirits becomes visible. It is at this time that sorcerers and bewitching shamans can send tsentsak to their victims, while conversely, healers and curing shamans can remove tsentsak from their afflicted patients.

Nicotiana rustica

Tsentsak are believed to possess their own agency and volition as living spirits that constantly desire to kill and consume human flesh.[3] A shaman must learn to control their darts lest they escape and cause unintended harm. To facilitate control of tsentsak they must be nourished by the consumption of mapacho (Nicotiana rustica), which can be smoked or imbibed as an infusion.

"Huichol shamans "with a bad heart"— i.e. in their malevolent role, as sorcerers— also use tobacco to speed "arrows of sickness" to their victims."[4]


"A malevolent shaman might also use Datura to cause illness and even death to others. In his visions he might divine a man's true name to use in an incantation; he might find out a man's secret weaknesses and work on these. Even drought, famine, and other natural disasters were attributed to evil shamans. According to Russell Ruiz, repeated use of Datura brought on pronounced changes in character; the user became more and more antisocial. Those with great shamanistic power acquired through years of Datura drinking frequently lived apart from other people (cf. Blackburn 1974:text 78), and they often had reputations for capricious malevolence."[5]

External links


  1. Campos, Don Jose (2011). The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms. 
  2. Harner 1973, pg. 17
  3. Beyer 2009, pg. 85
  4. Furst, Peter T. (1976). Hallucinogens and culture (3. print. ed.). San Francisco: Chandler & Sharp. ISBN 0-88316-517-1.