Rapé is a legal sacred shamanic medicine that has been used by healers of the Amazon basin for thousands of years. It is pronounced ‘ha-peh’ in English, but is also referred to as ‘hape’, ‘hapi’, or ‘rapay’ by Westerners. These medicines are very rare, sacred, powerful, and profoundly healing and cleansing, and are made in a very sacred and labor intensive process. Rapé is a complex herbal snuff composed of a blend of pulverized Amazonian medicinal plants, trees, leaves, seeds, and other sacred ingredients, often with a tabacco base.
Traditionally, Rapé is applied by using a pipe made from bamboo, which is blow through each nostril on both sides. It can be self-administered using a "kuripe", a V-shaped self-applicator pipe which connects the mouth to the nostrils. It can also be administered by another person using a "tepi", a blow pipe which connects the blower’s mouth to the other person’s nostrils.
As the blend is blown high up into the nostrils, it immediately focuses the mind, stops the chattering, and opens the entire freed mindspace for your intentions. Furthermore, rapé helps releasing emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling a thorough grounding of your mind. Likewise, rapé is used to re-align the user with their energy channels and with their higher self, and to intensify their connection with the world and the universe. In addition, rapé paves the way for detoxifying the body and cleans out all excess mucus, toxins, and bacteria, thereby, assisting in fighting colds, sniffles and certain kinds can even help with the flu. Blowing the Tepi involves an intimate connection between the rapé giver and receiver. Both are closely connected by mouth, nose and by breath, and both need to open and allow the other spirit and intention to enter, permitting the healing to take place. After blowing, it is recommended to sit with the medicine and meditate for about a half hour or so. It is best to remain with the eyes closed, while inhaling and exhaling slowly (more effective through the nose), enabling a thorough grounding and maintenance of focus.
Today, indigenous tribes in the Amazon basin continue to use rapé in all aspects of life, from formal ritual use in rites of puberty, initiation, cashiri drinkings festivals, social gatherings and healing ceremonies, to simply tuning into Nature and the healing power of sacred plant medicines alone or with friends.
Traditionally, rapé is applied by using a pipe made from bamboo or bone, which is blown through each nostril on both sides. You always blow into the left nostril first to represent a metaphorical death, and then into the right nostril to represent rebirth. You always put the shorter end of either pipe in your mouth to blow, and the longer end goes inside the nostril.
According to the Brazilian Yawanawa Tribe, there are three different ways to blow rapé:
Some recommend working with rapé twice per day to begin with – once in the morning and once in the evening. However, this depends on each person’s tolerance levels and also their personal situation. If you are going through a particularly stressful and sick period, you may decide to use it more regularly. For some people several times a week is fine, or only during Ayahuasca or other medicine ceremonies. For others, they may need to work intensively with these medicines to do some very deep work, purging, and intensive healing. Please listen to your body, intuition, and the spirit of these sacred medicines – they will guide you, as to what’s best for you personally.
A half a pea-sized amount of rapé for each nostril for beginners, and then increasing the dosage after prolonged use of one type of rapé. However, everyone has naturally difference tolerance levels, so some people may require larger doses, and others smaller doses. Please experiment to see what works for you personally.
If you have a lot of phlegm or mucous in the back of your throat, dripping down your throat, or in your mouth, then spit it out immediately, as it’s toxic or negative energy that is being released and expelled. You do not want to swallow it back inside. In order to prevent the rapé from dripping into your throat, you will want to keep your head down so it will drip down through your nose and not in your throat.
You should try to keep the rapé in your nostrils for as long as comfortably possible so the medicine can be absorbed through the bloodstream. It is best to breathe in through the nose if possible for this. Then, you can blow your nose with tissue as many times as it’s necessary for you.
Chakra Openings. (2019). How to use Rapé. [online] Available at: https://chakraopenings.com/pages/what-is-rape [Accessed 4 May 2019].
Liana, L. (2017). Rapé - the Sacred Amazonian Snuff You Blow Up Your Nose. [online] EntheoNation. Available at: https://entheonation.com/blog/rape-amazonian-snuff/ [Accessed 4 May 2019].
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