While it’s doubtful that any movie will ever be quite as impactful as a deep psychedelic journey, Rak Razam’s new documentary Aya: Awakenings comes incredibly close. Adapted from Rak’s 2009 book “Aya: A Shamanic Journey,” it chronicles the Australian journalist’s uncanny experiences with ayahuasca and DMT in South America.
We sat down with Rak Razam, the writer, producer, and main subject of the new film Aya: Awakenings, for a 45-minute interview covering everything from the legacy of Terence McKenna to the intense 5-MeO-DMT trip that occurs at the climax of the film.
The documentary, an adaptation of the book of the same name, covers the ayahuasca tourism phenomenon through the lens of Rak’s personal experiences in Peru.
In the summer of 2006, an Australian journalist named Rak Razam ventured to South America to put together a story on Amazonian shamanism for Australian Penthouse. In the thick of the Peruvian jungle, he repeatedly drank ayahuasca, a powerful psychedelic tea made from a vine called Banisteriopsis Caapi and plant leaves containing the hallucinogenic compound DMT.
The last time I came to South America I was seeking the mystery of ayahuasca, but this time the “vine of spirits” was no mystery. After drinking with over two dozen curanderos throughout Peru, as recounted in my memoir Aya: A Shamanic Odyssey, and living through a grand quest to unite the separate streams of Amazonian and Andean shamanism, I had come to understand that ayahuasca was like a woman, la Madre, the mother, and from the infinite abundance of her giving all things were made manifest.
Evolver Network Director Magenta Imagination Healer interviews author, filmmaker and new-wave entheogenic explorer Rak Razam on the western ayahuasca movement and the re-emergence of global shamanism. Here they talk about Razam’s recently re-released book, Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey and the film adaption due out Jan 2014, and what the reclamation of entheogenic shamanism means to Western culture in general as it engages with indigenous wisdom.
Ben Lee may seem like an unlikely prophet, but his finely crafted indy pop artifacts have been challenging the status quo since 1993, when he first exploded on the Australian music scene at the tender age of 14 with the band Noise Addict. After some defining releases on the Beastie Boys’ Grand Royal Records label, Lee’s adult solo career took off with pop anthems like “Gamble Everything for Love,” and “Catch my Disease” from the 2005 album Awake is the New Sleep.