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Head Over Heels at Green Angels, June 2004

Head Over Heels at Green Angels

An evening of talks, films and music around the theme of altered states, religion and healing to celebrate the launch of the website.

Sincere apologies to all who made the effort to come along. Due to circumstances beyond our control the electricity was pulled at around 10.45pm. This resulted in Donal being unable to deliver the talk he had planned because it required slides & a slide projector. Also, cult film director Richard Stanley was unable to present his documentry film on Haitian voodoo The White Darkness. We hope to organise a similar event in the near future to present both of these works. Sorry again for any inconvenience.

Here’s what did happen:

Tobacco healing ritual performed by Donal Ruane

The evening began with a traditional healing ritual using indigenous tobacco (nicotiana rustica), the most sacred plant of them all in the Americas, and aguardiente, a sugar-cane rum used by mestizo shamans.

Donal and Daniel Waterman

Donal Ruane using tobacco smoke

Donal administering aguardiente

Neo-shamanic healing practices in contemporary Holland: a talk by Daniel Waterman

You can read Daniel’s talk here.

The rise and development of contemporary Brazilian Ayahuasca churches in the West: a talk by Stuart Verity

Stuart explored the ritual and religious use of ayahuasca by Brazilian syncretic churches and its spread into Europe and America. The orderly functioning of these religious organizations appears to help validate a more tolerant approach to the drug question, which places less emphasis on the purely pharmacological aspects of the question and gives more attention to the physical, social and cultural setting in which the use of psychoactive substances occurs.

A preview of Stories on a Stick

Donal showed a short clip from his forthcoming film.

Questions about the film and Donal’s experiences in the Amazon were interrupted by the loss of electricity in the building, but with an emergency light and candles, Donal discussed mestizo shamanism and ayahuasca in depth.

Beyond recreation, psychedelics, ritual and time: a talk by Dave Lee

You can read Dave’s talk here.

Music by The Stella Maris Drone Orchestra

Deprived of electricity the Stellas treated those left at the end of a long night to an improvised acoustic jam.

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