Ancient Shamanic Healing: Amaru Spirit Lodge, Iquitos, Peru

***NOTE: Because we no longer maintain this blog, but we want the reader to have access to our most current information, here is a link to the most recent sharing of Amaru and of Ayahuasca’s effect for Wind’s Awakening, as posted on our webpage – www.windandallison.com***

Many people have heard of various healing shamanic practices which are designed to bring the seeker into a higher state of consciousness. Fewer have found themselves wandering into this great unknown. Perhaps it’s social taboos, or more likely it is a matter of simply not knowing these things exist or where to find the opportunities.

Wind’s awakened consciousness made him curious about ancient methods of greater “knowing”, and eventually landed him in the jungles of Peru’s Amazon region to explore this calling. One week after his arrival he found himself sitting somewhat apprehensively in the dark ceremonial hut of Amaru Spirit Lodge, away from roads and surrounded only by the night sounds of the rainforest. What happened next is notoriously described in his subsequent book Follies of an Awakening Fool.

The life Wind once lived is long gone, replaced by things that only a plant like ayahuasca can show us. Only trained shamans should hold these ceremonies, which is why we sought the insights of Wind’s shaman from Iquitos, Peru to answer a few questions for the next seeker…which just may be you.

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Madre Ayahuasca – Artwork Original by Slocum

What is your healing center all about (why was it started and what are you doing now)?

We are Amaru Spirit, based in the Amazon rain-forest, outside Iquitos, Peru. Amaru Spirit is run by me, David ‘Slocum’ Hewson, and my partner, Yolita. We are dedicated to healing the body and spirit through cleansing, nutrition and the sacred use of ayahuasca.

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Slocum, Yolita, and mindful protege


I spent years traveling and living in other countries and this year I have been living outside the states for 20 years now. I loved traveling and discovering different ways of living that are fulfilling outside the “American dream” and against all odds found my place in the raw jungle environment, and the wanderlust has faded. The irony is through all the traveling and searching I eventually discovered myself and it was never “out there” but in the peace in my heart.

Very glad I did; I experienced many things and traveled the opposite ends of the world only to discover the longest journey was from my head to my heart.

I was fine living as an artist and knew it was a calling from the age of 5; however at mid-life I got another calling to be at service to people, world service, very far from my normal paradigm. Through a series of modalities of creative lifestyle, proper nutrition, cleansing the body internally, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, za-zen practice, plant medicine, and eliminating toxic environments I discovered it is possible to liberate ourselves and enlightenment can be achieved in our lifetime…

…and what I mean by enlightenment is not the presence of anything just the absence of ego.

Do you offer any volunteering opportunities?

We have an apprenticeship program for three months that is listed on the site, we are not a large operation and do not take volunteers unless they are biodynamic, permaculture-oriented to facilitate our own sustainability with the superfoods that we can produce here. (Also, Amaru Spirit is very environmentally conscious – including solar panels as their power source).

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Superfoods diet

Tell us about your dietivos, plant ceremonies….essentially anything you want to spotlight about Amaru and you/your  other shamans.

Through word of mouth we are attracting a level of people that are not beginners and who want the training that curanderos do to prepare themselves for healing, ceremony and initiation. We concentrate heavily on initiation of master plant diets, to give a foundation for what should be behind all people working with Ayahuasca, unfortunately that is not always the case here. The body has to be cleansed and prepared to actually receive the messages of ayahuasca. Ayahuasca brought me here but I discovered a whole other realm through my own initiation with someone who knows what he is doing through diets.

The trick here is to find someone who actually knows what they are doing and after a lot of frustration and disappointment I eventually found someone. When my box got blown open and I could get beyond myself and totally accepting that I was not in control, I started to operate from a more genuine, sincere place; that was not easy.

I work with a native ayahuasquero for ceremonies. We also do ceremony with singing bowls and long periods of silence. We work a lot with black and thunder ayahuasca which works on the subconscious and is better with silence; here they call it working medicine not ceremony medicine because few shamans can even sing when the medicine is that strong.

I have total control over the preparation of our medicine; we never use (what) we do not cook which many places do here and as far as I know we are the only place that cooks with stainless steel – not aluminum.

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Pacha Mama – Original Artwork by Slocum

We offer a variety of things here: liver/gall bladder flush, colon and kidney cleanse, master plant dietas, healing dietas, ayahuasca and san pedro ceremonies, tobacco, and chiric sanago ceremonies. We have a strong ayurveda foundation and integrate a lot of raw superfoods, proper nutrition and conscious eating: cleansing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual or lack thereof spiritual connection.

Can you share some basic information about Amaru: room costs, sizes, where is it located and how do you get there?

We cost 110 USD/night, lodging, superfoods and plant medicine. We are a 30 minute boat ride from Belen, Iquitos up the Itaya river. We usually pick people up at the airport or some central location in the city and take them out, once they know the route they can do it on their own. For more information click here.

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Healing lodge entrance

Website and social media links:

The web site with all contact and FAQ information is: http://www.amaruspirit.com
Slocum’s artwork can be found here: http://www.amaruspirit.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amaruspirit

If you’re thinking of plant diets or an ayahuasca ceremony, contact Slocum first to discuss what you’re looking for. Wind’s journey was intense, as is the process of seeing deeper into one’s Self. For more information on Wind’s journey post-ayahuasca, follow his blog here. Best wishes to you on your path to deeper discovery!

Have any experiences of your own that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section!

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