Ayahuasca is a psychoactive tea that has a long history of ritual use among indigenous groups of the Upper Amazon. Made from the ayahuasca vine and the leaves of a shrub, ayahuasca is associated with healing in collective ceremonies and in more intimate contexts, generally under the direction of specialist – an ayahuasquero. These are experienced practitioners who guide the ceremony and the drinker’s experience.
Ayahuasca has moved out of the Amazon and ceremonies happen nightly, with Hollywood stars, Wall Street players and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs now drinking the brew. Why? What effect might ayahuasca be having on our culture? Could it be the LSD of our time? Does the brew, which seems to inspire environmental action, simplified lifestyles and more communitarian behaviour, act as an antidote to frenzied consumerist culture?
In this lecture, Sophia Rokhlin, author of When Plants Dream, will discuss the economic, legal and cultural dimensions of the psychoactive potion’s popularity. Following her talk, there will be a chance to ask Sophia your questions and have your copy of When Plants Dream signed.