I have been investigating modified states of consciousness for over twenty-five years. I have carried out field research in Mexico with Mazatec shamans, as well as worked extensively with Ayahuasca, San Pedro, and other sacred plants in their native habitats.
I have a postgraduate degree in clinical psychology. For more than 20 years I had my private practice in Buenos Aires, starting with psychoanalysis and later progressed to transactional analysis and transpersonal psychology, and much later to shamanism and spiritual practices.
Since 1996, I have been hosting retreats in both the Peruvian and the Brazilian Amazon. At these retreats participants have the opportunity to “meet” the ancient plant teacher ayahuasca in it’s natural environment – the jungle.
In 2004, Zoe Seven and I co-founded TheVine Spiritual Center in the Atlantic forest of Bahia, Brazil, a space created to hold retreats for those interested in spiritual pursuits.
Nowadays my work is in the spiritual realm so I don’t practice psychotherapy anymore. However, integrating my expertise in psychology, hypnotherapy, modified states of consciousness, and shamanism resulted in an effective method for spiritual development and ayahuasca integration — which is the current focus of my work and the core of my workshops during the retreats.
I got my M.S. in Information Security and had a full-time career as a Software Developer until 2015. I started my journey with Ayahuasca on a retreat at Spirit Vine in 2014 during which I realized a profound shift in consciousness. I also realized I had to do a lot more work to live in my essence.
I returned as a volunteer in February 2015 to learn more about myself. I discovered that I loved helping people during the retreats and also living in the jungle felt like I was home. Following this calling, I now live here as a full time volunteer assisting Silvia in facilitating the retreats. Apart from this, I work as a freelance software developer, manage the website, help taking care of the center, Silvia’s dogs, my fishes, and my gardens.
I am always researching and learning ways to increase my consciousness and awareness. I regularly practice yoga and meditation, and the workshops and ayahuasca ceremonies during the retreats are always abundantly helpful in my growth. You can learn more about me through my blog.
At the start, Silvia used to host large conference-style ayahuasca retreats in Peru and Brazil, where she invited experts in the fields of ayahuasca, shamanism, entheogens, psychedelic research, and other related areas.
Since there is an abundance of information available online nowadays, she has transformed her retreats to work in a more interpersonal style. During the retreats she conducts workshops where she teaches techniques to participants so they can navigate the ayahuasca journeys and reconnect with their own power and align with their higher self.
Below is a list of well-known and talented speakers who have presented at Spirit Vine.
Zoe7 co-founded TheVine Center along with Silvia in 2004. He was an international lecturer, author, and cartographer of altered states of consciousness and also the author of 2 books (Into The Voidand Back From The Void) which depict his experiments fusing psychoactive plants and compounds together with computer-based neuro-technology devices (a.k.a “mind machines”).
He has written for entheogen and neuro-technology related magazines including The AVS Journal, MAPS Bulletin, and the Entheogen Review and has also been interviewed on radio and television programs.
Rick Doblin, PhD
He is the founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a non-profit membership-based research and educational organization that sponsors clinical studies designed to obtain FDA approval for the use of MDMA as a prescription medicine.
Rick obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University with a dissertation focused on the regulation of the medical use of psychedelics and marijuana. Doblin’s commitment to drug law reform through the vehicle of research derives from a deeply felt sense of outrage at the infringement of personal freedom inherent in the laws criminalizing the use of psychedelics and marijuana.
His professional goal is to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.
Rick Doblin is also a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork practitioner, from Stan and Christina Grof’s first certification training program.
Alistair is a TV journalist and presenter in the UK with long experience of Buddhist meditation. He’s studied with monks from the Tibetan and Thai Forest tradition and completed numerous retreats in Scotland, Devon, California and Thailand. He teaches courses in basic meditation practice up on Holy Island in Scotland each summer.
A couple of years ago, he filmed the documentary The Man Who Drank the Universe which recorded his experiences with Ayahuasca in Bahia, Brazil.
He is a Peruvian shaman, teacher and artist, and has Lamista, Cocama and Piro Indian ancestors.
Pablo Amaringo is fluent in English, Spanish, and Quechua with knowledge of the Cocama, Amahuaca and Shipibo tribes. He was 10 years old when he first took Ayahuasca and was shown distant places, ancient cultures, others civilizations and the magical world of spirits.
In his work Pablo creates works of art which bring to life his shamanic visions along with paintings of the rain forest and its spirits and deities. Likewise during his workshops, he instructs the students to develop their capacity of perception, visual memory and concentration so as to successfully translate inner experience into art.
Pablo is the co-author of the book, Ayahuasca Visions, and lives in the city of Pucalpa, Peru, where he has an art school and teaches regularly.
Alex Grey (born November 29, 1953) is an American visionary artist, author, teacher, and Vajrayana practitioner. His body of work spans a variety of forms including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors (CoSM), a non-profit church supporting Visionary Culture in Wappingers Falls, New York.
In 2004 Grey published his collected works in Visions, a limited-edition boxed set which contains a portfolio of new works along with his Sacred Mirrors and Transfigurations. Net of Being, released by Inner Traditions in 2012, explores how Alex Grey’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness and a new symbology of the Networked Self. Net of Being contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band Tool plus his worldwide live-painting performances, and offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness.
David Icke was a professional soccer player for Coventry City and later for Hereford before rheumatoid arthritis forced him to quit at the age of 21. He then turned to journalism and then to television, becoming a sports correspondent on BBC 2’s “Newsnight” and contributing regularly to BBC1’s “Grandstand.”He went on to become a national spokesman for Britains’s Green Party before a visit to a medium and healer set him on the journey of discovery which was to change his life.
David Icke has written several books, including The Robot’s Rebellion, Truth Vibrations, Heal the World, The Biggest Secret, Children of the Matrix, Tales from the Time Loop and Infinite Love is the Only Truth, which describes his 2003 experience with Ayahuasca at one of our retreats.
Jonathan Ott Is a prolific and highly regarded writer, translator, publisher, reviewer and pundit on virtually every aspect of entheogen botany, chemistry, pharmacology, bioassay, culture, history, and politics. Known for the classics Ayahuasca Analogues and Pharmacoteon. In addition to his abundance with the written word, Ott has produced and co-produced numerous conferences and seminars on entheogens over the past 25+ years. Articles and excerpts of his books have been translated into numerous other languages.
Jonathan’s writing has appeared in Harvard Botanical Museum Leaflets, Curare, Eleusis, Entheogen Law Reporter, Entheogen Review, Head, High Times, Journal of Cognitive Liberties, Journal of Psychedelic Drugs, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, MAPS Bulletin, and other publications.
Her work has been exhibited internationally as well as being published in books, calendars and magazines such as Illuminatus, Drinking Lightning, Craftsman House, One Source, Sacred Journeys, Markowitz Publishers, The Return Of The Great Goddess, Shambhala Publishing, Celebrating Women’s Spirituality, The Crossing Press, Magical Blend, Expose and Nexus.
Martina studied sculpting at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. As a painter and sculptor, Martina Hoffmann, intersperses her life of creating art with giving painting technique workshops with Robert Venosa.
The Fantastic Realism art of Robert Venosa has been exhibited worldwide and is represented in major collections, including those of noted museums, rock stars and European aristocracy.
In addition to painting, sculpting and film design (pre-sketches and conceptual design) for the movie Dune, and Fire in the Sky for Paramount Pictures, and Race for Atlantis (for IMAX), his work has also been the subject of three books: Manas Manna, Noospheres, and Illuminatus, featuring text by Terence McKenna. Similarly, his paintings have also been featured on a number of album covers, including those of Santana and Kitaro.
Sue has been working in the field of complementary health care for over 20 years. She trained as a past life therapist with Dr Roger Woolger, a pioneer in the field of past life therapy. Sue teaches workshops to help people connect with and clear past life issues and offers one-on-one sessions for those who wish to explore their past lives more deeply and remember the eternal nature of their soul.
She also trained in Shamanic practice with Sandra Ingerman and is well-known at the College of Psychic Studies, London, where she gives workshops on past lives, shamanic journeying, the chakras, soul mates and the power of love. Sue is also the author of 3 books: Bodies & Souls, Soul Doctor, & Soulmates.
Richard Glen Boire
Richard Glen Boire (rgb) is Co-Director and Legal Counsel for the Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics. He is a writer, social systems analyst and legal scholar, specializing in cognitive liberty dissident thinking and control theory.
Mr. Boire received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law), in 1990. His dedication to examining the developing legal and cultural issues related to freedom of thought has led to a varied and unique career.
In addition to authoring several books, Mr. Boire’s articles and essays have appeared in a wide spectrum of magazines and journals, from mainstream and scholarly, to underground and aesthetic-focused. He has been a featured speaker at conferences both in the U.S. and internationally, and has provided interviews via print, radio, and television.
Christine Page, M.D.
She has almost 30 years of experience in the healing professions as a physician in hospital, in general practice and as a homeopath. Her vast interest in all forms of healing enabled her to play a major part in the widespread use of complementary medicine in the British National Health Service.
She is the author of five books: Frontiers of Health, Beyond the Obvious, and The Mind, Body, Spirit Workbook, and her latest, Spiritual Alchemy, all published by the C.W. Daniel Co. Ltd. England.
Isabela Hartz Isabela was born in Rio de Janeiro and she has been involved with Santo Daime – one of the names given to ayahuasca by religious organizations that uses the brew as a sacrament – since 1984, living for several years in Céu do Mapiá, the spiritual center of the doctrinal line created by Sebastião Mota de Melo, founder of CEFLURIS and Shaman’s Drum.
Isabela Hartz has done numerous exhibitions in Brazil and has worked as a fashion designer as well as created the cover art for over one hundred books. Some of her work has been exhibited at the Richard F. Brush Gallery of St. Lawrence University, in Canton, New York.
He received his MA in humanistic psychology from the University of West Georgia, and his Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Temple University. Currently, he is an associate professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, where he teaches transpersonal psychology and psychotherapy, biofeedback applications in consciousness studies, and qualitative research methods.
In addition, Frank Echenhofer is also the Director of the Consciousness and Physiology Research Laboratory at CIIS. His research includes three decades of studies in Sufism, Tibetan Buddhism. At the retreat, he reported on this ayahuasca research in the context of neuroscience and the spiritual traditions.
Andrés Hu was Born in 1964 in Mexico City. He has an academic background which includes a degree in Contemporary Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Beijing and a Master’s degree from a co-program of the University of Singapore/Harvard University in Public Policy. He is fluent in: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog.
Hu has spent most of his life in Asia, including over 10 years in China. He has studied different forms of Yoga, Tai-chi, Chi-Kung, Pranic Healing, Reiki and several shamanic practices. Hu has taught Yoga in the Philippines, where he is the Director of the Yoga Foundation of the Philippines and in Mexico where he was a lecturer at the First National Congress of Yoga, celebrated in 2002.
Simone Ribeiro de Paula
She graduated from Universidade UNICEUB with a degree in biology and has been working with essential oils since 2003.
She mone promotes Sustainable Biodiversity at events such as PuroRítmo Festival da Consciência in Brasília.
Simone is a member of OSCIP ALAVANCA, Organização da Sociedade Civil de Interesse Público which also the sustainability of local communities such as Comunidade Quilombola de Sant´Ana do Caatinga in Minas Gerais, Brasil. She also works as na educator in environmental issues.
Simone is a partner and Biologist at RAIZANDO Óleos Essenciais. Founded in 2004 RAIZANDO Industries prides itself in planting various plants and herbs using a agroflorestal eco system in the middle of the jungle.
John Qureshi, D.O, is a registered osteopath specialising in cranial osteopathy. He has a practice at no.1 Harley Street London and has taught extensively to both undergraduate and post-graduate students.
He is also an advisor to The Sunday Times “Whats the Alternative” column which is where he read about Silvia’s retreats.
John will be available on the retreats he attends to discuss people’s health concerns, if any, and offer cranial osteopathic demostrations.
Adriano De Carvalho
He graduated from the Universidade Católica de Brasília with a degree in chemistry, and has been working with essential oils since 1998. Adriano has extracted essential oils from native species towards gastroprotective and ulcer healing effects from Hyptis spicigera Lam (Lamiaceae).
He is also President of OSCIP ALAVANCA, an Organization that promotes public sustainment projects of local communities in Quilombola de Sant´Ana do Caatinga in the city os Minas Gerais, Brasil.
Adriano is also a partner and chemist of RAIZANDO Óleos Essenciais. Which was founded in 2004. RAIZANDO industries plants medicinal herbs in na agroflorestal eco system in the middle of the jungle. He extracts essential oils using stainless steel equipment and sends them for cromotography to Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and if approved, then the oils are filtered, dried, packaged and distributed through the web site:
Ana Cortez started participating with SpiritVine Center in 2008. She has also worked with Ayahuasca in the Shipibo tranditions as well as done ceremonial work with the Huichol indians.
In her facilitation at SpiritVine, Ana drew from a diverse background including 13 years in the Gurdjieff Foundation, training with Dr. Eric Pearl (founder of Reconnective Healing), her studies of the “Magical Passes” (or Tensegrity) with the direct lineage of Carlos Castenada and her 30 plus years of innovation with Divinatory Science in collaboration with her Father, Oracle Artist C.J. Freeman.
Ana has a regular podcast, online Workshop, 2 published books and does Oracle Readings, Spiritual Counseling, and Energy Healing.
Waki Nongeya Edi
Seeker, musician, lucid dreamer, circle and inipi facilitator, web & visual designer. Since the early steps on the path he recognizes the voice of ancient cultures inside. This resonance brings him close to shamanic techniques for lucid dreaming and astral body journeys, to Black Elk and Osho’s vision.
Interested into the “zero level” of music — it’s primal, tribal source, the original heartbeat — since 1991 he realizes several albums and soundtracks for theatrical/dance pieces. He facilitates percussion circles in mental and therapeutic institutes, effective for catharsis and a space for listening inside and outside, for interconnection.
Blessed by meeting Sudhiro Miyaca Olowan, brother and teacher, who shares with him experiences and rituals and from whom he keeps learning the Lakota teachings received from Wallace Black Elk and John Fire Lame Deer and their ceremonies: Inipi (sweat lodge) and Hanbleceyapi (to cry for a vision). Now he’s sharing with the Sacred Circles the healing power of drums, chanting, rituals.
Vistara A. Calamita
Seeker, musician, green buildings designer. Geobiology, Feng-Shui and Vastu consultant, Master Reiki, Chi Neng Qi Gong instructor. Accredited in the Italian Academy of Feng Shui Architecture / Institue of Research for Human and Environmental Sustainability.
In 1999 she recognizes Osho as a Master of life and in the following years she could experiment and practice in deep different meditation, growth and awareness techniques, like Rebirthing, Voicing, Primal, Bioenergetic, Healing Techniques, with therapists like Sudha, Pratibha, Niranjan Sapkal, Shunyo, Norma Van Osten.
Guided by a nomadic spirit and curiosity around different places on this planet, breathing, remembering and learning from different people and cultures she advances in her studies and touches the healing power of our own voice, the connection with the existence, the Divine. In 2006 she meet Sudhiro Miyaca Olowan, brother and teacher, coming in touch with the Lakota people and their ceremonies. That’s the starting point of different musical projects and the Sacred Circle project.