As the Western resurgence in entheogenic shamanism grows, teething issues abound. Joshua Wickerham is one of the founders of the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, a new NGO dedicated to facilitating the safe and sustainable cultural use of ayahuasca, iboga and other plant sacraments. Here Wickerham chats with experiential journalist Rak Razam on the need for a fair trade system for cultivating entheogens like ayahuasca, applying NGO standards to an emerging spiritual paradigm, navigating the huge political issues between curanderos, operators and the law, and the minefield of cultural and ethical considerations.
How can the conservation of bio-diversity be balanced against the rapid growth of the shamanic community worldwide? What differences do sacred medicines make to running a Western NGO? Can shamanism be regulated into the Western experience without being commodified?
The groundbreaking shamanic documentary Aya: Awakenings is now available for viewing and download on Vimeo on Demand. You can read the book that inspired the film and join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Originally aired on: Dec 14, 2013