Monday, April 28, 2014

A Little about Julio

Someone heard a tape of my friend and teacher, Julio, singing during an ayahuasca session. It was from 1996, and the ceremony was just Julio and I. I asked him for the ceremony because my son Marco, then probably 7, was in his third week in the hospital in Lima because his kidneys had failed. Steroids were bringing him back and after he was stable--and more or less the doctor and my wife, now my wife/ex-wife, Chepa--threw me out of the hospital for being so demanding regarding Marco--I went to Iquitos and from there to see Julio.
    So the person asked me Julio's lineage when they heard the songs. I told her the rough outline.

Julio was a mestizo who sort of did the work on his own for much of his life. His family was probably from Contamana or thereabouts, in the area of Pucallpa. He was shot in the war, went to a vegetalista to have his leg healed, realized the man was poisoning him and left. Reentered the war, was shot again, heard about a curandero in Iquitos and went to him. The man worked well. Julio left and finished his mililtary stint, went to return to study but the curandero was no longer in Iquitos. So Julio went out into the woods near his brother's place on a small river and began to work with the plants, trying to figure out what the man made the medicine with. Julio got it, got songs from the plants and started to work. He did later spend some time learning from someone in Requena, which was a small river town when he was there.
    So some songs he learned from others, some were his own--now copied by a lot of people who want to claim they were students of Julio's. He always changed his ceremony by adding or deleting different songs; a lot of that depended on what work he needed to do, which directed him to use different admixture plants when making the medicine, which then each had their own songs.


Sean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Siebie said...

I listened to this podcast the other day - - and Hamilton Souther says he was trained by a "Julio", is it the same Julio?

Peter Gorman said...

Yes. Hamilton was primarily Bolon's (Davila's) student, but Julio certainly came into the picture.

Siebie said...

Ah! Thanks Peter! I'm rereading your book, since I might have a possible Ayahuasca ceremony coming up - my first - and I remembered there was something you have to ask the spirits to determine if they're good or bad - "are you my teacher?" - read that yesterday again ;) Think I'm ready now, if a person can ever be ready!