The Rise Of La Madre: Ayahuasca Beyond The Amazon

The Rise Of La Madre: Ayahuasca Beyond The Amazon

Panelists: Bia Labate, Alex Gearin, Rak Razam, Mudge,
Katia Honour, A. Spengler & Facilitated by Steve McDonald

Synopsis: While the origins of Ayahuasca use in the Amazon Basin remain lost in the mists of prehistory, La Madre came to the attention of the modern western world during the 1960’s, most notably through the work of authors William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg and the Ethnobotanist/Biologist Richard Evans Schultes. Since then, La Madre has spread her tendrils well beyond the Amazon as part of a largely underground spiritual renaissance. This discussion panel will explore its global cultural impact.

Dr Bia Labate – Beatriz Caiuby Labate has a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil. Her main areas of interest are the study of psychoactive substances, drug policy, shamanism, ritual, and religion. She is Visiting Professor at the Drug Policy Program of the Center for Economic Research and Education (CIDE) in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She is also co-founder of the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Studies of Psychoactives (NEIP), and editor of NEIP’s website ( She is author, co-author, and co-editor of twelve books, one special-edition journal, and several peer-reviewed articles.

Alex Gearin is doing PhD research at The University of Queensland
in anthropology focusing on Australian practices of the traditionally
indigenous Amazonian psychoactive drink ayahuasca. His research
interests include the ethics and sensory dynamics of shamanism and alternative religion.

Katia Honour [Panel Guest]: Described an ‘entheo’ artist, Katia is currently completing a Masters of Fine Art thesis on “Co-existence of inner and outer worlds: Representing the phenomena of altered states of consciousness as an oscillation between mystical,
psychological and psychedelic perspectives” with a series of paintings to offer an experience of the phenomenon beyond literal descriptions.

Steve McDonald [Panel Facilitator] is a founder and chief strategist with Mythaphi, a transmedia company focused on emerging culture and technology. He is also a founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM), a non profit research organisation.
He has a background in emergency response as a civilian rescue helicopter pilot and is a former army officer and war veteran.

Rak Razam is the world’s leading ‘experiential’ journalist, writing about and helping shape the emergence of a new cultural paradigm in the 21st century. Author of the critically acclaimed book Aya Awakenings: A Shamanic Odyssey and the companion volume of interviews, The Ayahuasca Sessions (, he is a frequent lecturer on ayahuasca and the shamanic revival sweeping the West. He wrote, produced and co-directed the groundbreaking new visionary documentary Aya: Awakenings ( that toured across 10 cities in the USA in early 2014.

A. Spengler has bachelors degrees in Social Communications and in Social Sciences, a post-graduation in Public Policies and undertook research about ayahuasca use in Australia as a PhD candidate at the University of Western Sydney.


Bookmark and Share