Shamans in many cultures seek the aid of powerful plants (sometimes understood to be other-than-human persons and even shamans in their own right). While many of these plants are labeled by Westerners (whether academics or enthusiasts) as hallucinogenic, psychotropic, entheogenic, or vision inspiring, it is as purgatives— vomit inducers—that they are valued by many indigenous shamans. Gordon Wasson and others interested in Central American mushrooms were apologetic and embarrassed about having to vomit under the influence of mushrooms, but the curandera (doctor), Maria Sabina, was insistent that vomiting is not only part of the healing process but in fact the most important help offered by the mushrooms. She said, “If the patient fails to vomit, I have to vomit for them.” As Andy Letcher demonstrates in relation to psilocybin, the positive value now attached by Westerners to the visions resulting from ingestion of such plants is of recent origin. Previously both the nausea and the “hallucinations” (false dreams) were considered signs of poisoning. With the global spread of movements like the ayahuasca-centered Santo Daime and increasing knowledge of the peyote-centered Native American Church, perhaps purgative purification will be revalued, too. Until then, vomiting should be added to Carlos Fausto’s list of signs that distinguish indigenous shamanisms from neo-shamanism.

Historical dictionary of shamanism. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vomiting — Vom it*ing, n. The spasmodic ejection of matter from the stomach through the mouth. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Vomiting — Emesis redirects here. For the butterfly genus, see Emesis (genus). Heaving redirects here. For the up and down motion, see Heave. Puke redirects here. For the district in Albania, see Pukë District. For the town in Albania, see Pukë. Vomiting …   Wikipedia

  • vomiting — Forcible ejection of the stomach contents from the mouth, usually following nausea. Causes include illness, motion sickness, certain drugs, inner ear disorders, and head injury. Vomiting may occur without nausea (e.g., after extreme exertion).… …   Universalium

  • vomiting — The ejection of matter from the stomach in retrograde fashion through the esophagus and mouth. SYN: emesis (1), vomition, vomitus (1). cerebral v. v. due to intracranial disease …   Medical dictionary

  • vomiting — n. to cause, induce vomiting * * * induce vomiting to cause …   Combinatory dictionary

  • vomiting — n. the reflex action of ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Vomiting is controlled by a special centre in the brain that may be stimulated by drugs (e.g. apomorphine) acting directly on it; or by impulses transmitted through… …   The new mediacal dictionary

  • Vomiting — Vomit Vom it, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Vomited}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Vomiting}.] [Cf. L. vomere, vomitum, and v. freq. vomitare. See {Vomit}, n.] To eject the contents of the stomach by the mouth; to puke; to spew. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • vomiting — noun The action of the verb vomit …   Wiktionary

  • vomiting — Synonyms and related words: abscess, ague, airsickness, anemia, ankylosis, anoxia, apnea, asphyxiation, asthma, ataxia, atrophy, backache, barf, bleeding, blennorhea, cachexia, cachexy, car sickness, chill, chills, colic, constipation, convulsion …   Moby Thesaurus

  • vomiting — vom·it || vÉ‘mɪt / vÉ’m n. stomach contents which have been expelled through the mouth v. eject stomach contents through the mouth; throw up …   English contemporary dictionary

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