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The Hummingbird's Journey to God: Perspectives on San Pedro; the Cactus of Vision [Paperback]

Ross Heaven
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Nov. 16 2009
The Hummingbird's Journey to God San Pedro, a visionary and hallucinogenic brew derived from the mescaline-based Trichocereus pachanoi or 'cactus of vision', is one of Peru's most important and powerful teacher plants. For thousands of years this brew has been drunk by spiritual seekers and those who need healing, and it has cured a wide variety of physical problems.

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Review

The Hummingbird's Journey to God includes an introduction by Dr David Luke of Northampton University who is currently engaged on research into states of non-ordinary reality and the ESP-enhancing potential of ayahuasca and San Pedro. (Dr David Luke.)

About the Author

Ross Heaven is a psychologist and healer and the director of The Four Gates Foundation, one of Europe's leading organisations for the preservation and teaching of indigenous wisdom. He lives in Southern England, UK

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating journey March 16 2011
By ruille
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book exceeded my expectations. It encompasses far more than one person's experience with San Pedro. The author has interviewed a number of people who've taken the plant medicine and tell their own stories. These he combines with our collective journey to heal ourselves and find meaning in our lives. He combines research and scholarship with his own experiences with San Pedro.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars San Pedro and Us April 16 2010
By D. Moler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ross Heaven is the author of "Plant Spirit Shamanism", "Vodou Shamanism", and many other books on the subject. A psychologist, healer, and founder of the Four Gates Foundation he is an expert on the teachings and healing practices of indigenous wisdom. I was particularly interested in this book not because of my my previous knowledge of his work, but that there are very few books in the market on the plant teacher cactus called San Pedro, or Wachuma.

Heaven gives a nice, easy-to-read account of the history, use, and healing philosophy behind San Pedro. What makes the book engaging is his expressive opinions on certain ritualistic practices, though he is quick to encourage everyone to discover what is right for them: traditional or non-traditional practices, wherever San Pedro guides you. He also includes a very interesting chapter on psychosomatic illness. Excellent stuff!

I usually like to pick a quote out of the book I am reviewing that best encapsulates the overall atmosphere of the work: "San Pedro is another route to opening the door behind which our true capabilities have been locked away by our culture." Heaven eloquently examines the conflicts arising from the Western perspective of the natural world and how San Pedro's teachings are applied. A very relevant discussion to be had in this day and age.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid book of San Pedro wisdom May 1 2011
By MysticJaguar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are few books about entheogens that are either not dry scientific essays or self-promoting glory stories, and are genuine gems of experience. This book is one of those gems. Ross shares with us his own, and other's, experiences of San Pedro. I appreciate that he shows us the simplier approach of La Gringa's (daylight) lineage as contrasted to the syncretic theatre that is often present in Andean San Pedro ceremonials.

There are so many gems, and secrets, about San Pedro and the experience that this is a worthy read to anyone doing any level of research involving San Predro or Andean shamanism in general. We can only hope that more authors come forward to provide these kinds of information on ancient ways to view our world and it's, and our, healing.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An informative read on San Pedro in a shamanic setting Feb. 6 2011
By Krackenback - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ross Heaven has written a few books and this one on San Pedro is one of the better ones. He is honest and forthright in identifying statistical shortcomings and allows the reader to form their own ideas. The area of San Pedro doesn't have a great variety of information beyond the stereotypical 'PC' academic 'all altered states are bad!' and this book is a welcome addition.

San Pedro has the ability (when approached respectfully and with clear intent) to change lives and health states profoundly and very much for the better. This book conveys much of the amazing San Pedro without overwhelming the reader in pseudo-spiritual hyperbole [very 'well done' to the author for this!]

The good - Well organised and readable! In many cases, the author has a clear point to make and sets about leading the reader there in a clever narrative. Ross Heaven also avoids the whole 'Noble Savage' concept, which is also a welcome relief from some of the other texts on these types of subjects. His descriptions and interviews are clear, well articulated and nicely framed within the context of the book's flow.

The bad - There are a few spots where it truly feels like the publisher wanted some more pages after the fact and the resulting text is, unfortunately, quite aimless and poorly integrated (the circumstances of writing are unknown to me - I am using this as an illustration, not portraying events unknown to me).

The last word - For anyone intending to use San Pedro or partake in shamanic work, this book is a valuable and worthy library addition. Especially where the eitiology of some shamanic practices are questionable, the author shares some pertinent points and the opinions of others highly qualified to comment. This book will stay on my bookcase and will probably be read again a few more times.

P.S. - The interview with La Gringa is a gem and shares much of the nature of San Pedro shamanism in a very approachable way - well done!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful plant medicine book! Dec 29 2009
By Randall T. Monk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in information about South American plant medicine delivered in an informative manner, which captivates the reader, you will want this book in your personal library. As I read this book I was drawn in like it was a novel rather than non-fiction. I loved it! I found the personal interviews and stories very interesting.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AGELESS NOT NEW AGE Oct. 23 2012
By steven p harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read and researched lots of info on the shamanic traditions happening in Peru, this book kind of stands on its own.Quite frankly i was originally kind of put off by the somewhat new age title(which was explained early on in the book as a Andean mythology fable which helped me to loosen my judgements of the work)and the authors name,Ross Heaven.Is that a real name????This became very interesting information very quickly as it headed steadfastly into the usage of San Pedro.There is plenty of ayahuasca info out there but almost nothing of San pedro.The work was no nonsense as it questioned some of the practices of the shamans as being unneccesary.Just like modern orthodox religion has some totally irrelevant, obsolete practices leftover from the misty dawn of time the same standards where applied to the shamans.It would be hard to question the peruvian curendaras(healers) with their great knowledge,skill and wisdom but the author did just that.He came across a shaman(called la gringa) from south africa where shamanism is also used who explained that some of the methods where not so suitable for westerners and where designed for indigenous peoples.Some contact of my own with a Andean healer backed this information up.Let the sacred plants do the work, la gringa and the author tell us.There is sometimes a fundamental difference in how westerners and indigenous peoples approach the plant teachers.The indigenous peoples see it as a medicine for healing, whereas westerners look to it for spiritual wisdom or some level of enlightenment.The spirit world is more apparent to the indigenous peoples so there is no hurry to explore it unless something goes wrong.Westerners are bombarded with health information(some good some not so good)so there is no need to explore it until something goes wrong.In conclusion all species perceive only what they need to perceive to survive.Couple that with the knowledge that your brain is not just some processing machine, it is also a filter that keeps things out to keep you from being crushed due to sensory overload.These teacher plants somehow remove these filters so you perceive more of what you are surrounded by.These are sometimes called hallucinations,but that is not an accurate description.How do you explain two or more people having the same hallucination at the same time.This book acknowledges this and expounds,check it out
STEVEN P HARRISON
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