Medicine music A.K.A Icaros

This marvelous sounds are medicine for your mind and soul, lets know more about Icaro also know as medicine music.

This music is referred as Icaro (Quechua: ikaro) that is a South American indigenous colloquialism for magic or alchemy or any esoteric modality by which an experienced user can channel their energy to manifest their will into the cosmos.

Nowadays, this term is commonly used to describe the medicine songs performed in ceremonies such as Ayahuasca, especially by shamans in this ceremonies to induce a profound state of healing, awareness or amazement.

The word icaro is believed to derive from the Quechua verb ikaray, which means “to blow smoke in order to heal”. In the book The Witchdoctor’s Apprentice , pioneering botanist Nicole Maxwell trek through the Peruvian Amazon rainforest seeking ancient medicines from indigenous tribes. She commonly encounters tribes using the word “icaro” to describe the seemingly supernatural powers of shamans or witch doctors to evoke their will. Usually, this term was used by the natives to describe instances of dark magic, such as the means by which brujos would summon jungle predators or illnesses to kill their enemies, but it has also been used to describe positive things, like the knowledge of medicinal spells, formulas and plants.

Icaro is most commonly used to describe the medicine songs used by shamans in healing ceremonies, such as with the psychedelic brew ayahuasca. These songs can be performed by whistling, singing with the voice or vocables, or playing an instrument such as the didgeridoo or flute.

Usually involve a mastery of advanced techniques to evoke the healing effects. They can be performed by the shaman alone, by the group of participants, by a live ensemble or disk jockey, or by any combination of these. Some icaros are created or modified by shamans, and many are passed down from previous lineages of healers. Due to the complexity of certain performance techniques, it may take many years to learn certain icaros.

Functionally, they are used to enhance or subdue the effects of plant medicines, to evoke plant spirits, to invite the spirits of others or the deceased, to dispel dark spirits, or to protect those present, and to manage the ceremony.

Did you know?

Experienced shamans can recite hundreds of icaros, that’s amazing.

  • In ayahuasca ceremonies of Iquitos, Peru, you may find any of the following are considered an icaro:
  • Shaking a chakapa at a consistent tempo.
  • Shaking a chakapa in different corners of the room.
  • Blowing mapacho smoke.
  • Mouth-made sound effects of wind or fast-moving air.
  • Purging sounds and mannerisms.
  • Invitations of spirits or forces.
  • Hypnotic speaking.