Photos, Artwork, & Musings on Life, Spirit, Entheogens, Time, & Travel

Dr. Iboga

“The time has come for more psychedelic explorers to come out of the closet about the benefits of these life-changing visionary plants. I want to live in a world where exploring a self-improving, 100 percent natural drug doesn’t come with jail time. Where peaceful navigation of different realms of consciousness is a basic human right.”
Genna Marie Robustelli


This is from a very interesting article I found in The Tico Times (Costa Rica) from Genna Robustelli, about the effects and healing nature of the very intense entheogen called Iboga, native to Africa. I liked this report because it is focused on the curanderismo (healing) aspects of the experience, both from a physical standpoint and from a psychological/spiritual one. Encountering Dr. Iboga, as with Mother Ayahuasca, can result in a no-holds-barred, hard-core analysis of one’s situation in life and can bring clarity and new commitment to it. These experiences are unquestionably worth the discomforts one endures, but neither is an easy path to take.

Often, so called “trip reports” from psychic or entheogenic explorers can be so subjective or symbolic to that person that they are difficult for anyone else to completely relate to. This includes my own such reports from Ayahuasca experiences. Genna’s report is nicely described and gives what I can perceive is an authentic view of the physical and visionary effects that resulted. Although intrigued by Iboga, I have gravitated to Ayahuasca and felt that Iboga may not be the right path for me. I have to say, however, that I’m tempted by this particular set, setting, and approach. I’d like to see if it could help my own situation and provide another glimpse into that Other dimension that is so tantalizingly close to us, and yet seems so alien to our common lives. Iboga is obviously another powerful chemical ‘technology’ that can reveal the operating system of our souls and bodies – opening Blake’s doors of perception to reveal not only the Infinite, but our very selves within it.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

― William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


“No medicinal value? No medicinal value my ass. This plant’s medicinal value is indescribable – it’s off the charts. And to abuse this plant would be an incredible feat of human determination.”
Genna Marie Robustelli


4 responses

  1. Chris

    David–Though the article on Iboga was certainly interesting, I got a sense that the plant medicine sessions were a recent sideline for this upscale yoga spa. While I don’t question their integrity or good intentions, I do wonder about their competence to deal with clients’ physical or psychological crises during session.

    I’ve only done aya nine times, all of them in a traditional setting, but after the first session it was apparent that the cuerandera had great expertise and had created a virtual circle of protection in our maloca. I wonder if that ability is part of a yoga teacher’s skill set.

    January 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    • Chris, I appreciate your comment and I agree with you. After looking it over more, it does seem to be a very expensive place focused on yoga with the iboga as a sideline offering. There are certainly other venues with, perhaps, more authentic or responsible shamanic leaders doing this.
      I’ve experienced eight Ayahuasca sessions, but not iboga. It’s home and tribal setting is in Gabon, Africa, and to parallel an indigenous Amazonian ayahuasca experience, one would need to engage with the Bwitis in that country. Nothing against doing that very thing, but it’s interesting to see iboga coming into the West and being administered in somewhat different ways from the traditional ones. That’s happening with Ayahuasca, too, and although I’m fairly committed to the traditional tribal set and setting for it for myself, I’m seeing it expand into new forms and venues as it gets taken up by non-indigenous folks and I’m open to that as long as serious, responsible leaders are maintained. For me personally, the full-on traditional Bwiti experience is probably just too much – not something I would do, or perhaps need to do.

      What interested me most about this article was that it was not sensationalistic or misinformed about the nature of this or other types of entheogenic experience, but was focused on the curanderismo or healing aspects and didn’t gloss over the difficulties of working with it. That’s nice to see.

      January 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

      • Chris

        From the little I’ve read in Daniel Pinchbeck’s book about the traditional iboga ceremony on its own home ground, I don’t think I’ll be going to visit the Bwiti in this lifetime. They play too rough!

        January 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm

  2. Yeah, that’s what I meant. It’s a very serious, demanding, and rough traditional ceremony there in its homeland, designed really for those with serious issues to resolve. Very good medicine, but very powerful and not to be approached casually. Although Ayahuasca can and often is as powerful, (and sometimes pretty rough, too), she is generally more accommodating to the spiritual seeker who is not specifically engaging with the tea to solve some deep physical or psychological/spiritual issue. That said, we aren’t always aware of our deep issues until confronted with them by these great medicines.

    January 23, 2014 at 3:25 pm

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