What is Rapé Snuff?

Ancestral meaning of snuff

Rapé is a sacred medicine used for thousands of years by different tribes that live in the Amazon, and can be a great tool to calm the mind and connect with the essence of the universe.

Snuff is composed mainly of finely ground and sifted tobacco, ashes from ceremonial fire, and other sacred plants that determine its subtle alchemy. The result is a very fine spicy powder, in which the crystals of the plants can be perceived.

Although each recipe for snuff is prepared with different plants, the grandfather Tobacco is always present with few exceptions, since it helps to order, integrate and balance the other medicines and direct them with a specific purpose.

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum, or Nicotiana Rústica), is a master plant that is found on all continents and has been linked to man since ancient times. Above all, tobacco is a single gateway with the spirit and the universe.

For all these reasons, the tobacco is considered the most important of the master plants, the one that acts as director of the symphony orchestra.

Types of Rapé / Snuff 

Rapé varieties with the highest proportion of ash are lighter and greyish; They are considered “Air” varieties, their effect is more stimulating, and they are indicated for situations in which we want to rise and float, connect with the subtle and the divine. They are varieties generally recommended for beginners.

Rapé varieties with a higher proportion of tobacco are darker and brownish; They are varieties “Of earth”, their effect is more sedative, and they are indicated to connect with the depth, the roots, the ancestors. They are varieties indicated for more advanced users.

Between these two extremes, there is a wide range of varieties, each with its own spirit and subtleties, that will determine whether the Rapé has healing, concentration, warrior or other connections.

Some of the snuffs are named after the tribes that use them, such as the Yawanawa, Nukini, Manchinery, and Katukina tribes.

Proper use

Rapé is an ancient medicine, and its proper consumption provides us with healing, strength, and connection with the universe and with ourselves. In order for it to be a healing tool and not a self-destructive practice, we must give it an ancestral use, with a pure intention and great respect, and understand that taking snuff is a path of learning.

In the West, there is a tendency to disconnect from its medicinal and sacred purpose, giving it a social and superficial use in inappropriate contexts. Used well, snuff is a wonderful ally and traveling companion. When buying snuff, let’s make sure to give it back its place as an ancient healing medicine for body and mind.

How often is  Rapé snuff appropriate?

By buying snuff, you are acquiring a powerful tool with which to refine one of our most valuable weapons: the mind. The dose and the frequency depend on the real and conscious spiritual need of the individual, as it happens with all medicine; of the relation of each one with her and of the moment of its evolution.

In the case of Rapé, the correct use is measured before by the quality of the intake than by the quantity; respecting its sacred character and always putting forth a luminous prayer and a pure intention.

It is known that excesses and extremes are not usually good medicine. It is common that at the beginning of the relationship with Rapé, one has an inordinate hunger to take many daily feedings, and to explore and feel its physical effects.

This is not worrying, as long as a correct ritual use is made, since over time the relationship becomes balanced, and the student begins to appreciate its energetic and spiritual effects above the physical sensations, and in a natural way, it begins to use when the spirit requires it.


History of Snuff in Europe

The monk Ramón Pane, who accompanied Columbus on his second trip to the Americas, in 1493, observed that the indigenous people of the region that now corresponds to Haiti absorbed tobacco by means of a cane, and the same custom was observed by the Portuguese in the indigenous people of Brazil.

By order of Felipe II, the doctor and botanist Francisco Hernández de Boncalo, was the one who introduced the first tobacco seeds to Europe in 1577, and they were sown around Toledo.

In 1561, the French ambassador in Lisbon, Jean Nicot, sent snuff to Catherine de Medici, wife of King Henry II of France, as a medicinal treatment for the migraines suffered by her son. She fell in love with this powdered tobacco, and it became popular as both a medicinal and recreational remedy among the elite.

It soon began to be consumed in Europe among the wealthiest groups, since tobacco, in all its formats, was then a luxury good.

It was during the 18th century that snuff became a completely widespread fashion among the European aristocracy. Smoking tobacco was destined for the masses, and the consumption of snuff became the largest costumbrista and social ritual in Europe among bourgeois and aristocratic societies.

At the beginning of the 20th century, in England, people only smoked in lower-class bars, because aristocrats could buy snuff, and they only consumed snuff.

Thus, snuff gradually became an inseparable ally of the nobility. Louis XIII, Charles II of England, Frederick the Great, William III and his wife, Napoleon, George III and his wife, Benedict XIII, and so many other aristocrats, were habitual snuff users.

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