Thursday, 4 January 2018

Book Review: San Pedro; The Gateway to Wisdom by Ross Heaven

This book review first appeared in New Dawn issue 165 November / December, 2017. © Brett Lothian.

 Book Review: San Pedro: The Gateway to Wisdom by Ross Heaven.

Being an avid San Pedro enthusiast for over two decades now and a big fan of Ross Heaven’s straight shooting approach to his writing, I was very excited to hear about this book during my interview with Ross for New Dawn Special Issue, Volume 10, Number 5, in October 2016. I can honestly say that now having read the book, that I was not at all disappointed, once again, Ross Heaven has created a true gem for those who are interested in San Pedro, shamanism and shamanic plant medicine with this truly excellent entry in his new shamanic plant medicine series, San Pedro: The Gateway to Wisdom.

The shamanic plant medicine series is written to provide the reader with a succinct and practical introduction to specific teacher or power plants, their history, shamanic uses, healing applications and benefits, as well as the things to be aware of when working with these plants, including ceremonial procedures and safety precautions.  These plants are known to the western world as entheogens, substances that ‘reveal the god within’ and in shamanic cultures as allies, helpful spirits that confer power and pass on insights and information. This series reveals the truth about these plants and provides an insight into their uses as well as the precautions to take so that the reader is properly informed of their choices and not reliant upon the disinformation and propaganda of the western world’s insane war on drugs.

Taking us back in time to the dawn of San Pedro use with the Chavin de Huantar culture of ancient Peru, the author takes us through the trials and tribulations of the Andean shaman in their quest to maintain the use of these miraculous plants in the face of the brutal and blood thirsty Catholic Inquisition. Having evolved in their practice to placate their Spanish invaders, the Andean shaman quite brilliantly and aptly began to associate Saint Peter (as the holder of the keys to heaven) with the various Trichocereus species that are collectively known today as San Pedro (Saint Peter) or Huachuma in the traditional Quechua language of Peru. Merging their traditional practice within a Christian setting, thankfully the Andean shaman managed to continue the use of San Pedro cacti for shamanic purposes right up until today, where it is undergoing a revival in popularity, thanks in large to writers such as Ross Heaven.

Importantly, the author explains for the reader just how these beautiful, serene giants conduct healing and open the heart, in our increasingly sick and cold world. Exploring the key themes and lessons that arise from shamanic work with San Pedro, including new case studies of those who have been healed by them, Ross Heaven literally unlocks the gates to this mysterious world of the Andean shaman, for all of us to look inside and understand. Taking this further into the realms of creativity and active magic, San Pedro: The gateway to wisdom is a fantastic introduction to this mysterious world that is just beyond the veil of normal reality. Also providing valuable information on working safely and responsibly with San Pedro, the author provides the reader with everything they need to know to get the most out of their work with these ancient healing plants. 

Whilst San Pedro may not be as well-known as other shamanic plant medicines such as Ayahuasca, it is perhaps an even better shamanic plant medicine for most people to begin their journey in shamanism and shamanic healing. It’s gentle, loving energy and miraculous healing powers are so very needed today, in our increasingly uncaring modern world. With this new guide to San Pedro by Ross Heaven, you too can experience the magic, healing and love of this truly special ally. Quite simply a must have for anyone that is interested in San Pedro, Trichocereus cacti and true shamanic healing. I highly recommend this wonderful medicine and remarkable guide to San Pedro: The gateway to wisdom.

P.S. If you are a fan of Ross Heavens work, you may be interested in my exclusive interview with him for New Dawn magazine, where he discusses various  aspects of shamanism, just how shamanic plant medicine works and much more! You can find the interview at the following link ~ How Shamanic Plant Medicine Works: Interview with Ross Heaven.

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