I guess what I'm getting at is this: There are names for each of the types of rain in Iquitos and surrounding area. When you've lived there a while, someone will teach you those names: Warme lluvia, llubia loca, borracho, tempesto and so forth. If you have not been there long enough to know even the names of the rains, then you probably don't understand the culture. And if someone doesn't understand the basic culture, it's hard to fathom them understanding the medicine or where it came from. I'm nobody's boss. I'm nobody. But when I talk about a "dansa", fast or slow, do you know what that means? Do you understand that it is the most critical component of all of the culture? Probably not, because you/anyone will never be invited to a "dansa". But if someone doesn't know that, what can they know about the culture that created and embraced ayahuasca? That's what I'm concerned with. And I've got 100 more things like those that you only learn from living there a long long time and living there immersed in their culture, not living as an outsider. Believe me, I learned the hard way and I'm a lousy student. I'm no one's elder. I'm the baby at the knee trying to learn. But I've seen a lot of crazy stuff: One person went to a center where the curandero was gone. The waterboy for the curandero made the ceremony and the person opened a center for him and he became famous as the ayahuasquero who didn't sing icaros. Truth was, he'd never been in a ceremony and so didn't know that icaros were sung. Yet he became a spiritual leader. I know 40 "curanderos" who never heard of cuma langa, Doing a ceremony without it risks a lot of negative spirits showing up. All the old timers have it. They all make their own. The old timers make arcanas, umbrellas that keep uninvited spirits out of ceremony. That's very important. A lot of people I've been with in the last several years don't know anything about that. People buy ayahuasca from other people to use at ceremony. That's just wrong. Make your own and serve it yourself. If someone else makes it it is not necessarily your spirit you are serving. And if it's not, you have no control over that spirit. Why would someone subject a guest to that possibility? These are just a few things to be wary of, and if I'm harsh, I apologize. But I think I speak from experience, and though I'm nobody, I know some of the basic tenets of making the ceremony meaningful and I'm not sure that some of the other people do. I wish they would ask to learn. I am not happy that they jump out in front as if knowledge will be picked up along the way, when that's not the best way.
I'm just talking, I know. And what the hell do I know? Nothing.