Use of medicinal Rapé
Rapé is a sacred medicine and a tool of great power used for thousands of years by tribes of the Amazon.
To prevent the relationship with Rapé from becoming a dependency, some guidelines must be followed to maintain the sacredness of snuff:
To receive this ancient medicine, try to be receptive, quiet and focusing on a beautiful prayer or positive intention.
The environment and setting greatly influence the shooting experience. The ideal place to take Rapéf is in nature, or in a quiet space, which allows you to experience the effect of Rapé in depth and access a contemplative state.
You should avoid taking Rapé in inappropriate places: bus stops, in commercial areas, spaces with people who are not related to spiritual activity, or where you may be interrupted by someone who does not understand what you are doing and its meaning.
You should avoid applying Rapé in public (who are not aware of this practice). According to the Huni Kuin, the person who applies it can receive negative energy from the observer, since not understanding it, he sees the intake as a vice instead of a sacred medicine.
Rapé is an indigenous medicine, it contains a powerful spirit that must be treated as such, since it can bring good or evil 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 could damage the sinuses, creating sinus problems and damage to the 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.
It is not recommended to take Rapé under the sun, 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 whom you fully trust.
Only take Rapé from those you know and trust. Avoid taking Rapé of unknown origin.
-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 when submerged under water, in order to prevent the Rapé from going down into the throat and bronchi.
-Immediately after being projected, one should breathe through the mouth, refraining from breathing through the nose for a few seconds, in order to prevent the Rapé from going down the respiratory tract in the form of dust.
-It is a good idea to have a bottle of water and paper ready nearby to blow your nose when necessary (Wait at least a few minutes after being blown). If you are going to be thirsty, it is better to drink water before taking it.
-You should not eat immediately before taking Rapé, since if the medicine is strong, it can “stir” the stomach and cause vomiting.
-You should ensure, as far as possible, that other people do not interrupt the contemplative moment, in which you are especially sensitive.
Projectors: Tepi and Kuripé
The rapé is projected by means of a utensil 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 Rapé individually.
The “Tepi” is a longer tube, with which another person blows or projects the Rapé 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 Mapacho and towards all the ancestral energies of the Amazon and nature.
How much Rapé should be served?
The appropriate dose depends on the kind of Rapé, the individual receiving it, and the situation itself. In Brazil, Indians are used to taking large amounts of Rapé in one sitting. It is amazing how much Rapé 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.
When a person blows Rapé on another, an energy exchange takes place between both, mainly for the person receiving it, and it is important to know well what energy is being received.
According to traditions, intention is key; Rapé can cure or generate ailments, depending on the intention behind the blow.
Applying Rapé is a great responsibility. You must know and fully trust whoever applies Rapé to us. And also whoever applies must be aware that he receives energy from the person to whom he “blows”, and therefore must be able to handle and understand the powerful energy of Rapé.
How to apply medicinal Rapé to another person:
Blowing the Tepi implies responsibility, since a connection is produced between the one who applies Rapé and the one who receives it.
It requires a firm mind and a clear, pure and luminous focus.
The essence of this ritual does not depend on the strength of the breath. It is important for the person serving the to make an intuitive and ethical assessment of the appropriate amount of Rapé 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 cause you to vomit, which may be good from a purification point of view, but not what you requested or needed at the time.
It is better to be cautious than exaggerated, there is always time to do a second take.
Guidelines for the Rapé Receiver
Make sure that the person who is going to project the Rapé to you has personal experience in using the medicine, and, above all, that his energy towards you is pure, luminous and selfless. Because Rapé is used in a shamanic way, it could become a means for someone with ulterior motives to place a bad prayer or intention on you.
Rapé should only be shared with people you know and trust, NEVER from a person or “shaman” from whom you perceive “bad vibes”, or if you are not convinced that you want to take it.
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 lend 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, will listen to you?
Step 2: Upon receiving the breath, feel that new vibrational state that you have accessed, and the silencing of the internal dialogue. Feel free to communicate anything you need. More Rapé? Less? More or less strength?
Step 3: Inhale deeply. Remember to close the back of your nasal passage as if you were going underwater. Take the second puff of Rapé in the other nostril.
When Rapé is taken, learning with medicinal plants begins.
The blower must always be a scholar with some personal experience with medicine. Receiving the first puff of Rapé is a sacred initiation in the use of medicine, and must always be performed by someone who deeply understands medicine, its prayer, intention, and is, ultimately, medicine. A bad snuff-giver can only give bad snuff, with bad effects. Without being the only or the best way, below follows 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 recipient in the eyes and connect with the essence of that person. If necessary, it is time to cleanse yourself, the medicine itself, and the recipient with rosewood, copal, or other incense.
Step 2: Give your recipient an orientation on what to expect. If he doesn’t know, explain to him about the sacredness of Mapacho, 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 want the puff, if appropriate.
Step 3: Begin your Rapé chanting or prayer, or do your prayer silently. It can be done in many ways, the fundamental thing is to focus a pure and luminous intention for the recipient. 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 his or her breath during the blow, and in the following seconds to breathe through the mouth, under no circumstances 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 underwater. This is important because if not done, the recipient will get a jet of Rapé into their sinuses and respiratory system, causing them to cough, notice painful irritation, choke, and possibly vomit.
Step 5: Charge your Tepi and blow the Rapé into one nostril. Stay present with the receiver. Load the Tepi again, and blow the snuff carefully 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 feel the desire to help remove some energetic obstruction.
Step 7: Close the session with your prayer, or in silence.
Caring for the sacred medicinal Rapé kit
To periodically clean the Rapé applicator, you can use a clean cloth, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (hydrogen peroxide). Depending on the materials used to construct the applicator, care must be taken to prevent the adhesives holding the bamboo V tubes from coming off.
In humid places like the jungle, caution must be taken to prevent moisture from accumulating inside the applicator and ending up generating mold.
Storing medicinal Rapé
In ancient times, Rapé was stored in hollow gourds or giant snails. Today, a glass container with a screw-on or airtight lid, stored in a cool, dry place, is the best option for storing snuff.
Keep in mind that medicinal Rapé has a shelf life and loses its effectiveness over time. If the Rapé becomes moldy, or acquires an unpleasant odor, it would need to be discarded.