They say a true shaman will not call themselves a shaman.

Jonathon Weisberger is an ethnobotanist and plant medicine expert with decades of experience guiding and participating in sacred ceremonies. He prefers not to be called a shaman, rather a facilitator, an ally of life, and a spiritual friend.

Plant medicines such as Ayahuasca are spreading virally throughout the West right now, as they provide a level of deep cleansing and healing that many people in the modern world desperately need.

More and more “shamans” are popping up — offering their services to create inner-change and healing for those who are willing to drink from the magic cup.

But are there any real shamans left?

Are the true masters of plant medicine anywhere to be found?

What sacred indigenous wisdom do we need to keep in mind as we adapt these spiritual technologies to modern times?

And what negative consequences are arising from trying to heal the world rapidly with psychedelics?

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plant medicine


plant medicine

To truly consider these questions with an open mind is too painful for those who blindly follow, and likely too unorthodox for those who blindly reject. But for those somewhere in the middle, this podcast is for you.

Jonathon Weisberger was born in California but raised from a very young age in Ecuador. For over 15 years, he has been leading avid adventurers into remote regions of Ecuador, Peru, and Costa Rica to rediscover Nature’s beauty and intelligence.

For over 10 years (1990-2000), Jonathon lived and collaborated with 5 distinct indigenous tribes in the Upper Amazon, including the Secoya tribe where he learned to cook the sacred plant medicine Yagé, a Columbian form of ayahuasca.

In the following mind-bending episode, we ask Jonathon questions such as how to deal with life if we’re feeling lost, how we can learn to experience the world in an animistic way, and what “real” shamanic work is all about.

This discussion is electric. You may feel overwhelmed by the speed at which Jonathon is able to connect raw knowledge with his poetic perspectives, but it’s one hell of a ride.

Shamanism explores an area that contemporary Western science knows little about—the mind.”
― Jonathon Weisberger

“A shaman is someone who can choose the moment of their own death. The shamans are few. People who practice shamanic practices are many.”

― Jonathon Weisberger

Jonathon clarifies aspects related to the conventional wisdom on ayahuasca drinking and the new culture that surrounds it, as well as how phenomenological truths hold a sacred space in our world of objects and scientific facts.


If science is defined or understood as a mode of seeking knowledge, a means of interpreting nature in a way that can be demonstrated to others, then the plant-medicine traditions of the Amazon as they have been practiced constitute an authentic scientific discipline.”

― Jonathon Miller Weisberger

Jonathon also talks about his time spent with the Secoya tribe, explaining their philosophy and way of life. Yagé is for more than just healing, it can make you more energized and resilient.

Among the Secoya, clear guidelines regulate preparation of the medicine. They are adamant about this preparation method and insist that the guidelines be followed. I’ve already discussed some fundamentals of harvesting the plants. When respected, all the elements and subtle factors combine to make a potent and efficacious medicine, necessary for a positive and healing ceremony.”

― Jonathon Miller Weisberger

We also explore in the discussion with Jonathon:

  • The role of a “bad trip” when drinking plant medicine
  • What a “dieta” is and how following one may benefit us
  • The amazing character traits of Jonathon’s Secoya mentor
  • How we can improve our spiritual position
  • What it means to “sin” and alternatively live a sin-free life

If you are interested in plant medicine …

Come to Apotheosis 2.0

Jonathon helped facilitate the Yagé ceremony at the very first HighExistence retreat, Apotheosis 1.0. We are planning our next retreat in the Netherlands at the end of October 2018. Visit the Apotheosis website here to learn more about the retreat and apply.

Jonathon’s Projects: