Jerónimo Mazarrasa is the Social Innovation Coordinator at the International Center of Ethnobotanical Education Research and Services (ICEERS Foundation) and he is also a coordinator of the Platform for the Defense of Ayahuasca (Plantaforma). In the past decade he has produced and written a documentary about the Brazilian Ayahuasca churches and, subsequently, one about the use of Ayahuasca in the treatment of drug addiction. He has traveled extensively through South America, researching a broad range of Ayahuasca practices, and has lectured internationally on ayahuasca tourism and the appropriation of indigenous knowledge. For the past five years he calls Ibiza home, where he runs The Council Tree, a series of monthly lectures on indigenous knowledge, people, and plants.
At Beyond Psychedelics 2018, Jeronimo’s talk is titled “Charging for Ceremony: Polemics around Money in Shamanism”.
How do you feel about the current situation around psychedelics?
Hopeful, I think the psychedelic renaissance has already begun.
What do you consider to be the biggest challenges of the current psychedelic movement?
Dealing with diversity, and the tension between the underground, rebellious, and antiauthoritarian ethos of most psychedelic people and the standardization and regulation that our society demands in order to absorb just about any practice.
Do you think psychedelic experience (and/or altered state of consciousness induced by other means) should be compulsory part of training for mental health professionals?
A well-known Spanish psychologist in the 50s said that he believed that LSD would become “the initiation ritual of the psychiatrists of the future” I think it’s still a good vision.
How do you envision the ideal society in terms of psychoactive substances and altered states of consciousness?
I would like to believe that one day there would be a places outside the cities, by nature, where people could go when they were confused, life had dealt them a hard hand or people needed to reconnect with themselves. In these places people who were extensively trained would administer these substances. After some time patients would return to society ready to apply the lessons they’d learned.
What do you consider to be the greatest benefit of psychedelics?
They show us that the world can be a more interesting, wonderful, magical place than we’d dared to imagine.