The Ritual of Chullachaki Caspi and other Palos Maestros
The Chullachaki Caspi is a very important master, or teacher, tree, which is recognised as the guardian, or gate-keeper, of the jungle. Shamans diet the bark of this tree to receive its medicine, its protective energies and arcanas. In shamanic terms, arcana means spiritual defence or protection, and is considered to be an actual spirit being. Generally in the course of an ayahuasca ceremony, but it may also be done in ceremonies of San Pedro or tobacco, the shaman will confer on each participant a spiritual protector. These protectors, or arcanas, may be in the form of animals, plants, or objects. Thus a shaman might provide an eagle to one participant and an anaconda to another, to protect them from all evil spirits: the choice of arcana is dictated by the spirits, and channelled by the shaman.
The Chullachaki Caspi ritual is carried out both to seek the protective energies provided by the spirit of the tree, and also to ask permission to enter – and stay overnight – in the jungle. The energy of the Chullachaki Caspi reinforces the strength of the arcana, and for this reason it is important for retreat particpants and shamans alike to undertake Chullachaki Caspi rituals frequently.