Ancestral use of Rapé

Recommendations for the therapeutic / spiritual use of Rapé

Rapé is a sacred medicine and can be a tool of great power. Some people wonder, Does Rapé cause dependency? The sacred use of Rapé does not cause dependency; improper use is another story.

To prevent your relationship with Rapé from becoming a dependency, it is a good warning to follow some guidelines to maintain the sacredness of rapé:

To receive this ancient medicine, we will try to be receptive and focusing a beautiful prayer or positive intention.

The atmosphere and setting greatly influence the shooting experience. The ideal place to take rapé is in nature, or in a sacred and quiet space, with songs or music of suitable vibration. This allows you to experience in depth the effect of Rapé and access a contemplative state.

Avoid taking rapé in inappropriate places: bus stops, in commercial areas, spaces with people who are not related to spiritual activity, or where you can be interrupted by someone who does not understand what you are doing and its meaning.

You should avoid applying Rapé in public (who does not know this practice). According to the Huni Kuin, the person who applies can receive negative energy from the observer, since when they do not understand it, they see in the taking a vice instead of a sacred medicine.

Rapé is a sacred medicine, a powerful spirit of the forest that must be treated as such. It is a very strong medicine that can bring good or bad depending on its use.

As with any type of master plant, rapé can be abused and consumed in less sacred and more recreational ways. Abuse (misuse) of rapé can damage your sinuses, creating sinus problems and damage to your respiratory system.

Rapé is not taken every moment. For those who study it, it is recommended to take it in the morning, on an empty stomach, at the end of the afternoon, after work and at night, before going to sleep, to bring good dreams and have a peaceful night. In rituals it can be taken several times depending on the need. It is also advisable to take breaks for a few days.

Taking Rapé in the sun is not recommended, especially when the sun is more intense.

It is not recommended to lend the application instruments, mainly the kuripé, unless it is a person who takes Rapé and in whom you fully trust.

Take only Rapé from whom you know and trust. Avoid taking Rapé from unknown provenance.

-To receive the medicine we must be receptive, and in inner stillness.

-At the moment of being projected, the breath is held, closing the glottis as if we were going to submerge ourselves under water, in order to prevent the rapé from going down the throat and bronchi.

-Immediately after being projected, we will breathe through the mouth, refraining from breathing through the nose for a few seconds, in order to prevent the rapé from going down in the form of powder through the respiratory tract.

-It is a good idea to have a bottle of water and paper close by to blow your nose when necessary (Wait at least a few minutes after being projected). If you think you are going to be thirsty, better drink water before taking rapé.

-Don’t eat immediately before taking rapé, because if the medicine is strong, it can “turn” the stomach and even cause vomiting. If you think the medicine can make you vomit, have a place where it is easy to access.

-Make sure, as far as possible, that no one interrupts your contemplative moment, in which you will be especially sensitive.

kuripe rapé

Projectors: Tepi and Kuripé

The rapé is projected by a tool called Tepi or Kuripé by blowing (it is never snorted or inhaled).

It is projected in both nostrils, balancing the two energy meridians of the body, the right or yang side is associated with the masculine or rational and the left or ying, with the feminine and the intuitive. For this reason, it must always be applied in both holes, so that the energy meridians are aligned.

Rapé applicators are sacred shamanic tools that consist of a tube usually made of bamboo or bone. There are two kinds of projectors, one for personal use and one for blowing rapé to another person:

The “Kuripe” or autoprojector, is a small V-shaped tube that connects the mouth with the nostril, and serves to take snuff individually.

The “Tepi” is a longer tube, with which another person blows or projects the snuff to the receiver.

The Rapé puffs

There are several puffs that can be used, varying in duration, intensity, and closure. The breath used in the projection and our own connection with medicine greatly influence the effect of rapé.

Very strong and very weak murmurs, or with interruptions, should be avoided, since they are not good for the person applying or for the person receiving.

When using Rapé, we must bear in mind that what enters us are sacred plants from the mountains, the forest, and the healing spirits of the Amazon jungle. Therefore, it is always good to have respect towards the sacred tobacco and towards all the ancestral energies of the Amazon and nature.

kuripe rapé

How much Rapé should be served?

The appropriate dose depends on the kind of snuff, the individual receiving it, and the situation itself. In Brazil, Indians are used to taking large amounts of snuff in one sitting. It is amazing how much snuff the natives put into the end of a tepi, and the ability of the recipient to take it, without vomiting or fainting. In an Ayahuasca ceremony or a round of Rapé, it is normal to use higher doses than in more everyday moments.

For those who are starting out, it is best to start with small amounts, and gradually increase it as they gain confidence and deepen their relationship with medicine.

Can anyone apply Rapé?

There is a difference between self-applying Rapé and applying to others. Self-application is suitable for everyone who does their study with this medicine, essential for them to identify their own personal power together with rapé.

It is recommended that self-application be started after the person has undergone a proper ritual initiation, thus becoming aware of this powerful medicine. For the experienced, self-application is done before applying to others, as a form of connection and protection.

Not everyone can apply Rapé to others. Within indigenous traditions, those who apply Rapé to other people, needs to do a prior study, with strong applications, to deepen their knowledge of medicine. As a preparation, a special diet is carried out where sugar, sexual intercourse, meat and salt are removed.

During the study period, the person uses Rapé daily, praying and asking for instruction and the blessing of the spirit of this medicine.

The reason why this study should be carried out is simple: when one person blows Rapé on another, there is an energy exchange between the two, mainly for the recipient, and it is important to know well what energy is being received.

The intention is key here; According to traditions, Rapé can heal or cause ailments, depending on the intention behind the breath.

Applying Rapé is a great responsibility. We must know and fully trust whoever applies Rapé to us. And also whoever applies must be aware that he receives energy from the person whom he “blows”, and therefore must be able to handle and understand the powerful energy of Rapé.


kuripe rapé

How Rapé is applied to another person:

Blowing the Tepi implies a responsibility, since there is a connection between the donor of rapé and the recipient. Both are closely connected by the donor’s mouth and the recipient’s nasal passage, through breathing or blowing.

It requires a steady mind and a clear, pure and bright focus.

The essence of this ritual does not depend on the force of the breath. It is important for the person serving the rapé to make an intuitive and ethical assessment of the appropriate amount of snuff to offer to the recipient.

Where it is? What is your physical condition? What is your experience? How strong is your rapé? Too much rapé can make your partner vomit, which may be good from a purification point of view, but not what they requested or needed at the time.

It is preferable to be cautious to exaggerated, there is always time to do a second round.

Guidelines for the Rapé Recipient
Make sure that the person who is going to project the rapé to you has personal experience in the use of medicine, and, above all, that their energy towards you is pure, luminous and disinterested. Because rapé is used in a shamanic way, it could become a means for someone with ulterior motives to put a bad prayer or intention on you.

Share rapé only with people you know and trust, NEVER receive it from a person or shaman from whom you are getting “bad vibes”.

Step 1: Find a quiet place where you can sit face to face. Evaluate how much rapé you want to receive, and communicate it. Look into the eyes of the person who will give you the tip and connect with that person. Focus on the intention of this ritual. What are you looking for in medicine? What prayer do you have so that “God”, “The spirits of Nature”, “The quantum field” “Your inner being”, or however you prefer to define it, hears you?

Step 2: As you receive the breath, feel that new vibrational state that you have accessed, and the silence of the internal dialogue. Feel free to communicate whatever you need. More snuff? Less? More or less force?

Step 3: Inhale deeply. Remember to close the back of her nasal passage as if you were going to submerge yourself underwater. Receive the second puff of rapé into the other nostril.

In a similar way to working with master plants such as Wachuma or Ayahuasca, when you take rapé you begin an apprenticeship with the medicinal plants of the rapé variety. While taking the rapé, you enter into a dialogue with the plants.

kuripe rapé

Guidelines for the blower:

The blower should always be a scholar with some personal experience with medicine. Receiving the first blow of rapé is a sacred initiation in the use of medicine, and should always be performed by someone who deeply understands medicine, its prayer, intention, and is, ultimately, medicine. A bad giver of rapé could only give bad rapé, with bad effect. Without being the only or the best way, below is an example of how the sacred medicine of rapé is given.

Step 1: Find a quiet place where you can sit face to face. Look the rapé  receiver in the eye and connect with that person’s essence. If necessary, it is time to clean with rosewood, copal, or other incense, both yourself, the medicine itself and the recipient.

Step 2: Give your recipient guidance on what to expect. If they do not know, explain about the sacredness of tobacco, its proper use, and its physical and spiritual properties. Give him instructions on how to receive the rapé and invite him to set an intention for the ritual. Ask how much rapé you would like to receive and how strongly you would like the puff, if appropriate.

Step 3: Begin your rapé chant or prayer, or pray silently. It can be done in many ways, the fundamental thing is to focus a pure and luminous intention for the receiver. Connect with the spirit of the forest, with the spirits of the healing plants and ask them to bless the recipient.

Step 4: Instruct the receiver to hold their breath during the blow, and to breathe through the mouth for the next few seconds, never through the nose. This will cause the recipient to contract their throat muscles to close the back of their nasal passage, as if they were going to dive under water. This is important because if not done, the recipient will get a spurt of rapé into their sinuses and respiratory system, causing them to cough, notice painful irritation, gag, and possibly vomit.

Step 5: Load your Tepi and blow the rapé into one nostril. Remain present with the receiver. Reload the Tepi, and carefully blow the rapé into the other nostril. Stay present with the receiver and tune in to where the person is with their experience.

Step 6: After the second blow, you may intuitively have a desire to help remove some energy blockage.

Taking care of your Sacred Rapé Kit

Is good to clean often the rapé applicator, you can use a clean cloth, and alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide). Depending on the materials that were used to construct the applicator, care must be taken to prevent the adhesives that hold the bamboo V tubes from peeling off.

In humid places like the jungle, care must be taken to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the applicator and eventually creating mold.

Storage of medicinal Rapé

In the past, rapé was stored in hollow gourds or giant snails. Currently, a glass container with a screw-on or airtight lid, stored in a cool, dry place, is the best option for storing rapé. If you find that your rapé is starting to get wet (it can happen in certain environmental conditions), you can spread it on a cloth or a clean smooth surface and dry it in the sun.

Keep in mind that medicinal rapé has a shelf life and loses its effectiveness over time. If the rapé becomes moldy, it will have a distinct acrid odor, in which case it should be discarded.

Sacred use of Rapé