DOI: 10.14704/nq.2011.9.2.410

Identifying Spiritual Content in First-Person Reports from Ayahuasca Sessions

Stanley Krippner, Joseph Sulla


There has been little rigorous research on the spiritual content of ayahuasca sessions, despite the tribal use of this herbal concoction and the existence of three Brazilian churches in which ayahuasca is considered a sacrament. The Casto Spirituality Scoring System, a reliable measure designed to identify spiritual content in dream reports, was utilized to answer the following question: "Is it possible to identify spiritual content in ayahuasca reports?" This system was found to be feasible in identifying "spiritual objects," "spiritual characters," "spiritual settings," "spiritual activities," "spiritual emotions," and "spiritual experiences" in ayahuasca reports taken from pertinent literature. The Casto system defines "spiritual" as one's focus on, and/or reverence, openness, and connectedness to something of significance believed to be beyond one's full understanding and/or individual existence.


ayahuasca, spirituality, Casto Spirituality Scoring System, Barquina, Santo Daime, União de Vegetal, shamanism

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