pablo amaringo

︎Artist, Painting, Spirituality   
︎ Melt

“Nature is not mute. Modern man is deaf” - Terance McKenna.

Acclaimed Peruvian artist, Pablo Amaringo is renowned for his intricate and colourful entheogenic visions from drinking the sacred Ayahuasca plant brew. His vivid and detailed paintings, filled with animals, plants, spirits and mythological beings, illuminate the shaman's world. In his paintings he meets the living spirits of beneficial and harmful plants, visitors from distant galaxies, and the ancestral guardians of esoteric knowledge.
Initially encouraged to paint by anthropologist Luis Eduardo Luna and ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna (brother of Terance), after realising the wealth of botanical information contained within his works, they began a mutual relationship, helping him sell his works in Europe and America, whilst detailing the symbolic, mythic and folkloric aspects of the Peruvian rainforest that would accompany their scientific research. 

The seventh of thirteen children, Amaringo was born into a family of healers (Vegetalismos), refering to his paternal grandfather as a Muaya - a specific type of shaman, who after taking six gourds of ayahuasca became invisible and acquired the ability to speak with animals.
With his father giving him his first ayahuasca experience at the age of seven, it wasnt until 1970 that Amaringo became a true Vegetalista. Travelling Peru extensively during a seven year period, he used many techniques to help his patients, ranging from suctions, restorations of the soul, hydrotherapy and massage. In 1977, however, he abandoned his shamanic practices enitrely.
After being injured by a sorcerer (a curandera who had previously cured his sister of an illness, but in the process had lost her powers to Amaringo) he was eventually cured, but on the condition that the only way to reverse the sorcery and to continue practicing shamanism was to kill the curandera.
He refused, and subsequently gave up his ayahuasca practices to focus solely on turning his recollections into artworks.

“Langauge is an imperfect way of communication. The spirits don’t talk, but express themselves through images.” - Pablo Amaringo.

Shamanism resembles an academic discipline (such as anthropology or molecular biology); with its practitioners, fundamental researchers, specialists, and schools of thought it is a way of apprehending the world that evolves constantly. One thing is certain: Both indigenous and mestizo shamans consider people like the Shipibo-Conibo, the Tukano, the Kamsá, and the Huitoto as the equivalents to universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and the Sorbonne; they are the highest reference in matters of knowledge. In this sense, ayahuasca-based shamanism is an essentially indigenous phenomenon. It belongs to the indigenous people of Western Amazonia, who hold the keys to a way of knowing that they have practiced without interruption for at least five thousand years. In comparison, the universities of the Western world are less than nine hundred years old (Narby).

In 1988, through a collaboration with Luis Eduardo Luna and his wife, Sirpa Rasanen, the Ukso-Ayar Amazonian School of Painting was established with the aim of teaching symbolic practices surrounding ayahuasca ceremonies, as well as conservation of botanical knowledge. Usko-Ayar (meaning ‘Spiritual Prince’ in Quecha) is still open and is free for all students.

Further Reading ︎
The Cosmic Serpent, by Jeremey Narby
Ayahuasca Visions, by Pablo Amaringo & Luis Eduardo Luna