Guest speaker biography

David ‘Slocum’ Hewson


David 'Slocum' Hewson has spent his working career as an artist, and the last 10 years have been largely dedicated to painting subjects from the Peruvian Amazon. He strongly believes in the connection between creativity, in all its forms and the healing process.

In recent years, Slocum has opened Amaru Spirit, a lodge based in the Amazonian Rainforest. He and his partner Yolita, are dedicated to healing the body and spirit through cleansing, nutrition and the sacred use of ayahuasca. It is Slocum’s view that a modern understanding of nutrition and physical cleansing can be added to the ancient shamanic art of healing the body and spirit through ayahuasca, and the two are necessary and synergistic.


Conference session

Human Consciousness and the Traditional Amazonian Plant Dieta

The Plant Dieta, is a discipline required of Amazonian shamans, healers, and apprentices who wish to learn directly from the plant spirits. Itimplies much more than mere dietary restrictions of avoiding salt, sugar, meat, and alcohol. It is an extensive period of complete isolation for weeks or even months, and often the apprentice must fend for himself in the wilderness. The dieta is a complex and challenging practice.

Usually a person’s initial dieta is determined by the curandero to cleanse and detox the system, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Later if the initiate can go further and continue the dieta to actually learn from the plant and how to use it this wisdom to help others

Dietas are for deep cleansing and grounding which have a profound effect on consciousness. When dense or negative energy is released from the body, and there is a spiritual practice in place to support this, an inner balance and comes into the emotional and physical bodies. This inner alignment is a part of the process of the Plant Dieta.

In this presentation Slocum explains the healing powers of plants. This covers not only the ‘medicinal’ aspect but also how the traditional vegetalista, a shaman who has gained his or her knowledge directly from the spirit or consciousness of the plant itself. He describes how a Westerner can work with the plants in this tradition.