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All of this may sound appealing on the surface- it did to me.I was enamored with Pisac’s majestic landscape, its small-town feel, friendly markets, and host of international travelers.You can also register/purchase workshops in-studio at the Front Desk or call us anytime: 248-608-6668.This small Andean town just 45 minutes outside Cusco has become a major point of introduction for young travelers coming to Peru looking to expand their consciousness through shamanic traditions.They are bystanders and perhaps even victims to this situation, not the perpetuators of it.It’s the traveler’s responsibility to do their research and support reputable, ethical, and authentic shamanic practitioners.

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Essentially an “ayahuasca rock concert,” these gatherings exemplify a type of fast-food shamanism that Pisac has unfortunately become iconic for.Yet this honorable perspective is not an excuse for travelers and would-be shamans to appropriate these traditions and continue to marginalize local indigenous people.Perhaps the biggest challenge for a traveler looking for a shamanic experience is to accept this duality, and to choose their experiences wisely.The problem is that this unchecked trend of mixing-and-matching gives people a very twisted idea about what shamanic plant medicine is.It normalizes appropriation, paints a false picture of living traditions, and perhaps even dishonors the indigenous people who fought and died for their culture. Anyone who has visited Peru can speak to the countless Peruvian “shamans” who will gladly offer you their services.Head into any café, and you will discover a bulletin board plastered with advertisements for community sound healing events, aroma-therapy massage, permaculture projects, astrological counseling, and of course, shamanic plant medicine ceremonies.Andean coca readings, mountaintop San Pedro cactus ceremonies, and Ayahuasca retreats mixed with a healthy dose of yoga and juice fasting abound in this quaint mountain pueblo.Yet after living in Pisac and the Sacred Valley for several months, I came to understand the shamanic-hipster vibe of this place by another term: Colonialism.Peru has a profound history of shamanic plant medicine use, dating back far into the pre-Incan era.Many of them even act the part, and will gladly whip out their panpipe flute and rattle, because playing a flute makes you a shaman, right?Yet the reality is that these people are responding to a demand created by foreigners putting a high price on plant medicine traditions.

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