Stephan Beyer Talks About Plant Medicines on April 27 "Why Shamanism Now?" with Christina Pratt

On her radio show "Why Shamanism Now? A Practical Path to Authenticityā€¯, teacher, author, and founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing Christina Pratt talks to author, professor, and peacemaker Stephan Beyer to discuss his new book Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon.

Portland, OR, April 23, 2010 --( Streaming live on the Co-Creator Radio Network ( on Tuesday, April 27, at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern time, on her show "Why Shamanism Now?: A Practical Path to Authenticity,” shaman and founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing Christina Pratt welcomes special guest Stephan Beyer -- professor, and peacemaker and author of the recently released book, Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon.

In this episode of “Why Shamanism Now?” titled “Shamanism and Plant Medicines,” Beyer tells listeners: “Singing to the Plants seeks to understand one form of shamanism, its relationship to other shamanisms, and its survival in the new global economy, through anthropology, ethnobotany, cognitive psychology, legal history, and my own experiences with two master healers of the Amazon.” Beyer and Pratt discuss the use of plant medicines (plant hallucinogens or entheogens) in shamanism in the Upper Amazon and its relevance—“should we or shouldn’t we”—in shamanic practices outside of these traditions, and reach into the depths of Beyer’s personal experience to discuss the healing potential of shamanism as well as the potential to do harm through attack sorcery. Pratt and Beyers explore the idea that shamanism is “irreducibly social” such that all shamanic healing -- as well as harming -- takes place within a cultural context where shared values like trust, reciprocity, or generosity are at the root of personal illness and suffering.

Christina Pratt is an authentic, non-traditional contemporary shaman. In practice since 1990, she specializes in mending the soul and transforming the parts of life that feel impossible. A teacher of exceptional clarity, humor, and inspiration, Pratt brings the power of shamanism into the practical grasp of anyone willing to take responsibility for improving the quality of their life. Her well-received book, An Encyclopedia of Shamanism (Rosen), is an 800-page, two-volume set with over 750 in-depth entries that clearly discuss the basic concepts of shamanism, methods, and traditions of over 50 different shamanic peoples. Pratt is the founder of the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing in Portland, OR, and New York, NY, creator of the original Foundations of Shamanism and Shamanic Healing course at the University of Minnesota, and a frequent and honored speaker for the American Holistic Medical Association.

Stephan Beyer is the author of a new book, Singing to the Plant -- a beautiful guide to mestizo shamanism in the Upper Amazon and the use of the sacred, plant medicine ayahuasca. Beyer holds doctorates in both religious studies and psychology, was a lawyer and a litigator as well as a wilderness guide, peacemaker, community builder. He has worked with ayahuasca and other sacred plants in the Amazon, peyote in ceremonies of the Native American Church, and huachuma in Peruvian mesa rituals; undertaken numerous four-day and four-night solo vision fasts in Death Valley, the Pecos Wilderness, and the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico; and lived in a Tibetan monastery. From these experiences have come books on Buddhism, Tibetan language and religion, and now, mestizo shamanism. Beyer has long had an interest in wilderness survival in a variety of terrains, especially jungle survival. “As I learned more and more about the ways in which indigenous people survive — indeed, flourish — in the wilderness, it became increasingly clear to me that wilderness survival included a significant spiritual component — the maintenance of right relationships both with human persons and with the other-than-human persons who fill the indigenous world. Thus I began to explore wilderness spirituality, to learn ways to live in harmony with the natural world, striving, like indigenous people, to be in right relationship with the plant and animal spirits of the wilderness.” In addition to studying how indigenous peoples of North and South America survive and thrive, Beyer studies sacred plant medicine with traditional herbalists in North America and curanderos in the Upper Amazon, where Beyer has received coronación by banco ayahuasquero don Roberto Acho Jurama.

"Why Shamanism Now?", a live internet talk radio with host Christina Pratt, airs Tuesdays at 11 a.m. Pacific time/2 p.m. Eastern time Prior episodes from "Why Shamanism Now" can be downloaded for free from the iTunes library ( Christina also talks about Shamanic Healing on You Tube (

For more information on Christina Pratt, the Last Mask Center for Shamanic Healing, and workshops and classes with Pratt, or to order An Encyclopedia of Shamanism at a special discounted rate, visit For additional information or to arrange an interview with Pratt, please contact Linda Woznicki, 845-417-8811,

Renaissance Resources
Linda Woznicki