Plant Spirit Shamanism Pusanga an interview with perfumeros

The healing power of fragrance.

Plant spirit shamanism, perfume, aromatherapy, scent, incense, shamanism, shamans, healing, herbs, herbalism, love, pusanga, relationships, ayahuasca, magic, sorcery

Fragrance has long been associated with the arts of love. In Japan, Geisha girls priced their services according to the number of incense sticks consumed during love-making, while in Indian tantric rituals, men were anointed with sandalwood, and women with jasmine, patchouli, amber, musk, and with Saffron crushed and smeared beneath their feet. In Europe in the 17 and 1800s, the use of eau de Cologne became a widespread and fashionable trend, where the morning ritual in many homes began with its application before a suitor of either sex would call upon a lover. This blend of rosemary, neroli, bergamot and lemon was also used internally, mixed with wine, eaten on sugar lumps, even taken as an enema, to refresh the inner self and cleanse the spirit so that lovers could meet each other with a pure heart. But it is, perhaps, in Peru, that the magic of perfumed love has reached its highest skill, in the formulation of pusanga, which is often referred to as the love medicine of the Amazon, although it is far more than that. Specialists in the use of fragrance to change luck and attract good fortune are known as perfumeros. One such specialist is Artidoro. Another is Javier Aravelo, an ayahuasca shaman who also works with fragrance.

Artidoro, how did your involvement with perfumes begin? The story of my path of medicine began when I saw a brother-in-law who healed and chanted I used to watch how the curanderos worked. I loved listening to what they talked about, how they prepared their remedies, their canticos [magical chants, similar to icaros]. Then I went off on my own deep into the jungle, to know the plants little by little, to smell the leaves and roots of all the different medicines. I had no maestro to learn from so I dieted plants for a year and a half alone, and then I returned to the city. I used agua florida, timalina, camalonga, and dedicated myself to studying all about smells.

How do you use perfumes to help people now? I get people coming for help with family problems where the woman has gone away from the man or the man has gone away from his children.

Supposing the woman has gone off, I use pusanga to bring her back so that the family can consolidate again. I call the plant spirits which work for that pusanga plants such as renaco, huayanche, lamarosa, sangapilla, and I call her spirit back to her home. Or lets say the mama is here with me and the father is far away. I pull him back so he returns to his home. In a short time he will be thinking of his children and his wife, and he comes back.

I dont need to have the actual plants in front of me, I call their spirits. I make my own perfumes from plants, no chemicals. They have wonderful smells, and I chant at the same time as I rub them on the children and the woman. Then the man starts thinking or dreaming of them.