by Alex Seymour
A vivid portrait of both the traumas of war and the shamanic healing ceremonies of ayahuasca
• Explains how our culture lacks rites of passage and how shamanic ritual can fill this gap
• Reveals how ayahuasca frees your consciousness from inherited beliefs, fears, and traumatic experience, allowing healing from PTSD, alcoholism, and addiction
• Details the author’s experiences in Afghanistan, sailing on the Amazon river with a shaman, and the many ayahuasca ceremonies he experienced in the jungle
After returning from a tour of duty during the war in Afghanistan, Alex Seymour needed a way to cope with the extremes he experienced as a member of the Royal Marine Commandos, losing 7 men in his unit, and having his best friend critically injured by a Taliban bomb. Drawing upon his pre-deployment experiences with DMT and psilocybin mushrooms, Alex knew that entheogens could help him release his fears and traumas. But he also knew that simply taking psychedelics wasn’t enough–he needed ceremony, something sacred to draw meaning from his experiences, to help him reassess not only the war and his role in it, but his entire life. So he set out for the Amazon in search of the hallucinogenic brew known as ayahuasca and a shaman to guide him. The result is a crazy, page-turning adventure where he journeys deep into the jungle and himself.
Alex soon finds himself deep within the jungle on an incredible adventure, sailing on the Amazon river with an ayahuasca shaman and his troop of 8 female shamanas, whose ethereal songs help guide participants during the nightly ayahuasca ceremonies. Accompanied by others seeking wisdom and a redemptive experience from their First World professional lives, Alex finds his core beliefs fundamentally challenged, replaced by the power of direct experience of the sacred, which allows him to release his fears from the war and set an inspiring path for the future.
Painting a vivid portrait of both the anguish of war and the transcendent world of shamanic ritual, the author shows how young people often enlist in the military to satisfy our human need for a rite of passage into adulthood, a ritual sorely missing in our culture. He explores how ayahuasca can offer a way to help soldiers prepare for war and help combat veterans heal from war and overcome PTSD–as well as alcoholism and addiction. From Afghanistan to the Amazon, the author shows how ayahuasca frees your consciousness from inherited beliefs and fears, offering a truly transformative rite of passage.
Psychedelic Marine is a great read for anyone looking to understand the life of a soldier and the journey to reestablish some sort of normalcy into everyday life using an open mind. It truly gave me a glimpse of the driving force and the after effects of some people that serve in the military. Seymour did an excellent job illustrating something that most people, including myself, have no clue about. PTSD is a problem that we as a society have been less than stellar to address. He opens a healthy dialogue of using methods that are frowned upon by society.