The Special Possession Ritual
The Special Possession Ritual of the Spirit of the Palo Maestro may only be carried out by a highly adept shaman with any of the palos maestros such as Challachaki Caspi, Remocaspi, Tamamuri, Lapuna, and many others. This ritual could only be undertaken by tabaqueros, toeceros (shamans specialised in the use of toé), paleros (specialists in palos maestros), or by merayas generally. Through prayer and incantation, and the ingestion of mapacho by the shaman, the spirit of the master tree is entreated to enter and take possession of the body of the shaman. Each patient can then communicate directly with the spirit of the tree, receiving its health-giving and healing energies and its protection, as well as answers to his or her questions.
This ritual is an unforgettably powerful experience: at Ashi Meraya it is conducted by Maestro Heberto, who may be assisted by his late grandfather, Maestro Guillermo, or Soi Rahua, who interprets the responses of the palo maestro’s spirit, speaking through Heberto in the Shipibo language; question and answer sessions are therefore recorded so that Heberto can translate the replies once he comes out of trance. Whilst there may be other, equally adept shamans working deep in the Amazon rain-forest, we are not aware of any other centres able to offer the special possession ritual.