Selected Works

Nonfiction
The scholarly and personal odyssey of Dr. Hillary S. Webb, whose study of the indigenous Andean concept of yanantin or "complementary opposites" through the use of the mescaline cactus huachuma led to a personal and professional transformation.
Interviews with twenty-four of the leading writers and teachers of shamanism in the Western world.
Explores the shaman's role as healer, priest, and visionary; the journey from neophyte to "master of ecstasy."

Quick Links

Find Authors

Works (click on book title for more info and to order)

Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World: Complementary Dualism in Modern Peru

Chapter Two: Mind and Body: Spirit and Flesh
The next afternoon, I returned to the Plaza to meet Amado and Juan Luis. On my way, I cut through one of the tourist markets and once again tried to engage in conversation with some of the vendors about yanantin. Just as before, my questions were received with strange looks and even suspicious uncertainty. As I approached the Plaza, I found Amado and Juan Luis already standing near the fountain waiting for me. I liked Juan Luis immediately. As I was to learn, he had a perpetually impish look on his face, giving one the impression that he was always about to tell the world’s funniest—and dirtiest—joke. In fact, he often was. He laughed easily and often, the kind of laugh that seemed to bubble up from the depths of him and explode forth, like the carbonation in a bottle of soda that had been shaken and then opened suddenly. One got the impression that, once started, it might not be able to be contained. Just the sound of it would have me doubled over in laughter whether I understood what was being said or not. Unlike Amado, Juan Luis had the lighter skin and rounder features of a mestizo, a mix of indigenous and Spanish descent. His hair was curly and stuck out at all angles. After we greeted each other with hugs and kisses, I followed Amado and Juan Luis up to one of the second-floor balcónes overlooking the square. Amado and Juan Luis each ordered a slice of apple cake and a ponche de leche—warm, sweetened milk mixed with pisco, a corn alcohol made in the Pisco region of Peru. Though delicious, I had learned on one of my previous trips to Peru that ponche goes down a little too easily and that the resulting hangover, combined with the altitude, felt like being kicked in the head by a llama. I ordered a maté de coca instead. … (To continue reading, click on book title)

Traveling between the Worlds: Conversations with Contemporary Shamans

Hillary S. Webb: What do you mean when you say, “Part of shamanic mastery is learning to swim in this liquid universe”?

Oscar Miro-Quesada: Anyone who has done any work in shamanism knows that the universe is not a static state. It is more like an ocean, very liquid, very fluid. When doing magical flight or shamanic journeying, the soul or consciousness is actually separating from the physical vehicle and entering into that ocean of possibility. The shaman needs to learn to disengage his or her consciousness from the body and float freely in that ocean. The trick is in embracing the great mystery and in trusting that the universal world is a safe place to float. In a true shamanic journey, you need to put your personal will aside and allow Divine will to take over.

HSW: Which is probably one of the hardest parts of this work. The death of one’s attachment to being in charge.

OMQ: A true practitioner of shamanism learns to trust that there is a larger source that is guiding you and directing your journey. Otherwise, you are constantly fighting it. The currents then become very threatening, and you feel like you are drowning. When you realize that there is no reason to hang on, because you realize that you are already dead, then you can just surrender and become the liquid universe itself. ... (To continue excerpt, click on book title)

Exploring Shamanism: Using Ancient Rites to Discover the Unlimited Healing Powers of Cosmos and Consciousness

The shaman is a man or woman who can, at will, enter into altered states of consciousness and make contact with the realms of spirit in order to receive knowledge and healing power. Exploring Shamanism examines the art and science of this ancient spiritual practice. (To view Table of Contents, click on the book title)