Hamilton Souther – The Incredible Journey into Shamanism and a Life of Service


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In this episode, hosts Joe and Kyle interview Hamilton Souther, Shaman of Blue Morpho. In this episode, they cover Hamilton’s incredible journey from Western life into becoming a Shaman and the spirit teachings that he experienced along the way.

3 Key Points:

  1. Hamilton Souther, a Shaman of Blue Morpho, shares his experience from living a normal Western life to his journey of his calling, learning and training to become a Shaman. He shares amazing examples of connectedness and spirit while living amongst the natives.
  2. A common concept that comes out of an Ayahuasca ceremony is that the plants care for you. The teachings that come from the plants are peace oriented and resolution oriented and opening of creativity and problem solving.
  3. Shamanic training is a long and extremely difficult journey. Training comes to the people that feel the deepest calling, because you have to commit your whole life to it.

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Show Notes

About Hamilton

  • He grew up in Silicon Valley
  • He went to CU Boulder for Anthropology
    • He was interested in humanity
    • He wanted to travel and had opportunities to
  • He had some near death experiences and accidents when he was younger
  • The year after he graduated from college he would go into spontaneous awakenings and altered states of consciousness while totally sober
    • He would have really intense visionary experiences in those states
    • Those experiences were so powerful which led him into training and into his Ayahuasca experiences
  • He felt without purpose and gave himself up to something greater
  • He turned to shamanism to try to explain the nature of those experiences

Spontaneous Awakening

  • Kyle mentions that this can happen, that substances are not always required for an ‘awakening’
  • Hamilton says he wanted to connect to something other than himself
    • The path took him to Peru, and there was a possibility of meeting people with Ayahuasca
    • He was being called to it and knew they were real and it led to his ‘apprenticeship’ as a Shaman
    • It wasn’t by accident that he was there, he had visions that he was supposed to stay there and to learn

Discernment

  • Coming from a scientific background, he demanded (from the spirit guide) that the process be practical and grounded in reason and logic
    • He used doubt in a way that he was able to use a lot of proof and truth toward his belief system rather than just being naive and believing these messages too early
  • He couldn’t envision how to evolve from the vomiting, defecating human on the ground to the composed shaman in the room
  • Even though he spoke the language, he couldn’t understand what the people were saying when they shared their stories
    • It seemed like a different world to him
  • The first few years were learning how to survive in the jungle and learn how to live off of the food
    • He says it was like reliving his childhood, he had no idea how to walk through the forest like he knew how to walk down a street growing up
    • The first house he lived in out of college was one he built himself with locals
  • These experiences were so far from what he grew up in
  • Toward the end of his apprenticeship, ceremony started to look less impossible and more of something he would dedicate his life to

Spirit

  • In the indigenous communities, everybody sees spirits, especially at night
  • And not just in the Ayahuasca culture, its everybody. They thought the jungle was literally alive with spirits
  • They would say things like “call me if you need me” and they meant it telepathically
  • Hamilton says “sure enough, they do answer when you call”.
    • He was in Southern Peru at a pizzeria, and they were in ceremony, and they started to call to him
    • He had to excuse himself from the table and go outside and sit with himself and went into an Ayahuasca vision and the two men in ceremony said to him in the vision “we just wanted to call to say hi”
    • So Hamilton, using his doubt, wrote down the place and the time of when this happened, and when he returned from his travels and got back to the community, the two men gave him the coordinates and time where Hamilton was when they called him. It matched perfectly
    • He realized then and there that they had a very different understanding of the forest and of space time and they were tapped into another kind of knowledge and wisdom
    • That’s what he was looking for when he came down to the Amazon in the first place
    • “The mysteries of consciousness are really unexplored and are not studied by science at all” – Hamilton
    • For Westerners, reality and how it is experienced is just a tiny slice of total consciousness
  • “When you’re in the amazon, and you’re living in the forest and you’re participating in these visionary experiences, you see the interconnectedness of life.” – Hamilton
  • “Globally we’ve all agreed that education, literacy and participating in the economy is worth it. I think it’s worth it to really address on a massive scale what were facing collectively. It’s a part of our natural evolution.” – Hamilton
  • The plants have a very specific role to play, and that they care
    • That’s a common concept that comes out of an Ayahuasca ceremony, that the plants care for you
    • The teachings that come from the plants are peace oriented and resolution oriented and opening of creativity and problem solving
    • Especially with the environmental crisis, people who turn to Ayahuasca start to care for the environment
  • Psychedelic plants have a huge role to play in global life, individual growth and collective change

Blue Morpho

  • Its a center that Hamilton and the shamans that he works with created
  • They did a ceremony to talk with the plants to make sure that this was okay to use as an offering to everyone
  • It started in 2003 and evolved over the years to practice traditional ceremony and now San Pedro
  • People come from all over the world to visit them
  • The majority of the people are really coming for the right reasons, with clear intentions for transformation, growth, exploration and personal healing
  • Over 17 years they have focused on bettering services and professionalism and they believe they have truly succeeded
  • Ayahuasca is just one aspect of Amazonian plant medicine
    • There are hundred of plants with medicinal healing properties
    • The Dieta is a period of time where you go into deep individual isolation and connection to a specific medicinal plant where you create a relationship with a plant
    • Then you go into the Ayahuasca ceremony and Icaros are sung and you drink the Ayahuasca
    • Then the Dieta is a time where there are restrictions such as abstinence, no alcohol, strict food diet, no medications, etc. and you go into a meditative state for healing for a time of a few days, to weeks to even months

Shaman Training

  • Training comes to the people that feel the deepest calling, because you have to commit your whole life to it
  • Then, you find a lineage of shamans that are willing to accept you (if you aren’t born into a lineage of shamans)
  • It’s a journey, and you have to find a group of people open for training
    • It’s different from any kind of training from the western world, it’s a tremendous journey, and it could take years to decades
    • Its meant to be a test, and incredibly difficult
    • When Hamilton trained, he was told that 1 out of 100 make it to be actual shamans
  • It’s really a job of service, not an exalted one
    • The reason the training is so incredibly difficult, is so that you can sit with people, who are going through extremely difficult, and transformational experiences and you can be there for them and love and support them unconditionally with the strength gained through the training process
    • “Its a role of service, you have to be able to deal with any form of suffering that people come to you with.” – Hamilton

Final Thoughts

  • Stay open minded
  • He warns about a dystopian world
  • We need to be the change makers, and there is a lot we can do
    • We are incredibly powerful, especially when we are united in common goals
    • Whether they are about human rights or the climate
  • There is something mysterious about life itself

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About Hamilton Souther

Hamilton Souther

Hamilton focuses his work on Universal Spiritual Philosophy. He is bilingual in English and Spanish, has a Bachelors degree in Anthropology, and has studied shamanism in California, Cusco, and the Amazon. Hamilton was given the title of Master Shaman by Alberto Torres Davila and Julio Llerena Pinedo after completing an apprenticeship under Alberto and Julio. He guides ceremonies and leads shamanic workshops, in which he shares Universal Spiritual Philosophy.