ANCIENT SHIPIBO RITUALS
Many of the most ancient Shipibo rituals have fallen into disuse due to the loss of knowledge following the disappearance of the “Merayas”, a title which denotes no ordinary shaman. Merayas are those who have reached the very peak of shamanic achievement; they can travel, fully aware, in each of the four worlds known to the Shipibo culture and they have achieved the ability to harmonize fully their auras with the beings of nature, and see these supernatural creatures who live in the interior of the forest and the great aquatic and cosmic realms. The Merayas practised special rituals since time immemorial – or for at least 5,000 years, according to the best historical estimates.
Heberto’s grandfather, Don Guillermo Ramirez (or Yosi Ocha, to give him his Shipibo name), is widely believed to have been the last of the Merayas. The historical record describes Yosi Ocha as a prolific writer and defender of the Shipibo-Conibo culture. Upon his death, Don Guillermo entrusted his grandson Heberto with a precious gift – his handwritten records meticulously describing hidden treasures of the Shipibo-Conibo tradition carefully guarded through countless generations. This startling gift came along with the enormous responsibility of preserving this ancestral tradition in its pure original essence.
It is thanks to Don Guillermo’s writings and training that his grandson Heberto, has been able to establish The Peruvian Institute for Shamanism and Natural Medicine and revive some exceptional shamanic practices and Shipibo rituals, such as the Special Ritual of Spiritual Purification, the Ritual of Remocaspi, the Ritual of Chullchaki Caspi, the Fire Ritual, the Smoke Ritual, the Ritual of Yacumama (a tribute to Mother Water), the Ritual of Sachamama (a tribute to Mother Earth) and the Ritual of the Meraya. To our knowledge, Yosi Ocha is the only centre that has been able to preserve and still practices today a great variety of traditional rituals following the authentic Meraya tradition.