Other Worlds Documentary: The Cosmology of Ayahuasca

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“Other Worlds,” a documentary by French filmmaker Jan Kounen, is an informative journey into the cosmology of ayahuasca shamanism practiced in the Peruvian Amazon.

screenshot from the ayahuasca shamanism documentary "Other Worlds"

Ayahuasca trips to the Amazon River Basin have become popular in recent years for those seeking to experience the divine mysteries contained in the “Vine of the Ancestors.”

Other Worlds – Documentary on Ayahuasca Shamanism

Ayahuasca is used largely as a religious sacrament. Those whose usage of ayahuasca is performed in non-traditional contexts often align themselves with the philosophies and cosmologies associated with ayahuasca shamanism, as practiced among indigenous peoples like the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia. The religion Santo Daime uses it as well.


Other Worlds, is a documentary on Ayahuasca, made by French filmmaker Jan Kounen, who also directed the film Blueberry (aka Renegade).

Filmed mostly in the Peruvian Amazon around Iquitos, it features several well known experts and shamans interviewed about the nature of the Ayahuasca experience. This includes Jeremy Narby author of Cosmic Serpent, the artists Pablo Amaringo and Alex Grey, Stanislav Grob and also Rick Strassman author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule.

Sacred Use of The Divine Vine of Immortality

While non-native users know of the spiritual applications of ayahuasca, a less well-known traditional usage focuses on the medicinal properties of ayahuasca. Its purgative properties are highly important (many refer to it as la purga, “the purge”). The intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea it induces can clear the body of worms and other tropical parasites, and harmala alkaloids themselves have been shown to be anthelmintic. Thus, this action is twofold; a direct action on the parasites by these harmala alkaloids (particularly harmine in ayahuasca) works to kill the parasites, and parasites are expelled through the increased intestinal motility that is caused by these alkaloids.

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