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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Reprint edition (30 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594774625
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594774621
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


""Black Smoke" is a wonderful, beautifully written story . . . a true adventure told in a style that rivals the best of novels. This first-person account by an extraordinary woman of her inner and outer journey through darkness into light is a must read for anyone interested in healing."--John Perkins, "The New York Times" best-selling author of "Shapeshifting, Spirit of the Shuar "and "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" "This book will thrill and support all readers traveling--or wishing to travel themselves--into the unknown and the mystery of the human spirit."--Josie RavenWing, author of "The Book of Miracles "

About the Author

Margaret De Wys is a composer and sound installation artist whose musical works have premiered with dance groups and orchestras across the country and been performed at venues including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. Since her initial experience with ayahuasca, she has traveled extensively and worked closely with many traditional healers throughout the world. Currently working with Joao de Deus in Brazil, where they see more than 1,200 people a day, she also takes groups to the Amazon in Ecuador to work with Carlos, the shaman who healed her of breast cancer. The author of "Ecstatic Healing," she lives in upstate New York.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the most honest and eye opening books about the Aya journey. Realistic, not idealistic. Very moving and beautiful.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
a little tea and thee... 25 Oct 2014
By Connie C. Cox - Published on
Format: Paperback
Black Smoke: A women’s Journey of Healing, Wild Love and Transformation in the Amazon was published in 2009. It tells the story about an upper middle class white woman who, in the year 2000, attends a meeting in Guatemala of Healers from across the Americas. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was seeking a cure. At this gathering she was initiated into the “Vine of the Maestros or La Mendicina Sagrada;” otherwise known as Ayahuasca. The Uwishin, Carlos, tells her that the vine has allowed him to see a black smoke residing in her breast and, by using the same medicine, he can help her. Our lady is shocked at his diagnosis as she has told no one about it in South America!
I first learned of this plant in Michigan during a 1993 weekend gathering led by Luz Clara, a Mapuchi Shamaness that included a healing ceremony and education about various techniques the Mapuchi employs. During a break in our studies, I sat with others in circle and listed to an American physician of Hispanic ancestry talk about his experiences with what he called the vine of death.
Someone in the group asked if this plant was anything like LSD:
“Not in any way! This is a sacred plant used to teach those who cannot use ordinary means to access knowledge about spiritual dimensions. It is called the “Vine of Death” and believe me, I felt like I had died after my first round with it.”
He then reported the vine itself had to be pounded into pulp and then boiled so that its hallucinogenic capacities could be extracted. A drink was made from this and other ingredients:
“We drank the Ayahuasca and I was afraid of dying; afterwards, we all started throwing up and this convinced me I was going to die in spite of being told otherwise by our Teachers in the amazon. I had to try this several times before I had any visions but when I did I experienced reality in a completely different way. My senses were enhanced and an ant crawling on my skin felt like the brush of a comb. I had visions of how everything in life works together. Even stones impact humanity and visa versa. I know from this experience that everything is one….there is no separation.”
After hearing those things I was both intrigued and fearful about the possibilities of using Ayahuasca for myself as a teacher plant! Since that time I have increased my knowledge about this plant, its use and preparation, and the legacy to human kind it can offer. I have not used it – yet! The closest I have come is by using Maria Juana in a sacred way versus just trying to get a buzz!
So I read “Black Smoke” in the hopes of learning more about the relationship between Teacher and Student; when I say Teacher, I am referring both to La Mendicina Sagrada and to Margaret’s teacher, Carlos. But I learned there are many ways to look at this after reading the book.
Margaret’s relationship to both Teachers was fraught with emotional, spiritual and physical boundary issues. She became willing to test those limits only after developing a life threating illness. Unbeknownst to her, the cure to the illness was a death sentence to parts of her life that had long ago withered. Much has been written in both allopathic and holistic literature about the nature of the teacher – student relationship. There are strict and moderate views of what is acceptable. A twist on a popular saying illustrates this: “When the student is ready, the teacher will come… when the teacher is ready the student arrives!” Carlos the Uwishin also had his boundaries tested: how would he deal with the luxuries provided for him when he began healing in the western world? And, after that world imprisoned him following the death of a group member post Ayahuasca ingestion, how would his own boundaries change? The larger question is how might a capitalist society change in response to the plants impact?
It seems important for me to note that some spiritual seekers can gain access to knowledge and experience without the use of hallucinogenic drugs and others cannot (i.e., Don Juan’s use of hallucinogenic plants with Carlos Casteneda). Balance is the real energy behind all healing.
So, yes; read this book and take from it what your highest self needs!
Good at the start..... 9 Oct 2014
By Mohini M N Mayers - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book started off very well and was fascinating reading for a while. But half way through it began to drag. It became obvious that the shaman guy was just using the author for his own purposes. I wondered how she could have been so thick as not to realize that much. The book would have been much better if she had stopped writing after she found herself cured of her illness. The second half of the book is just too full of sickening hype for her so called teacher. I can't imagine how she could have tossed her husband and daughter aside for such a faker.
read this book! you will be amazed 19 Jun 2014
By deliana - Published on
Format: Paperback
Read this book! You will be amazed to hear the real, genuine, honest story of an American woman who goes to look for cancer treatment outside the world of NYC hospitals and surgeons. She starts ayahuasca treatment in Ecuador, with a real, genuine native American/Ecuadorian healer. And this changes her life and the life of the healer ... for ever. The story moves to different locations - Manhattan, upstate New York, Canada... I could not stop reading, until I closed the last page. This is not a tourist ayahuasca story, it is the real thing. Well-written, deep, of many levels - an amazing book!
Worth reading ! 29 Sep 2014
By Wyfy Issente - Published on
Format: Paperback
She was ahead of the curve, before ayahuasca was mainstream. This book is basically authentic....altho there might be some embellishment...(i've read alot on the i think there's some exageration in it. Her writing style is unscintillating ( not good, not really bad either).
Same as first book 6 Oct 2014
By Judith O'Brien - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book should be noted as being also the same book as her first = while i enjoyed it Greatly, it is unfair to hide this fact by using a different way of marketing ***
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