Image of cover of The Fellowship of the River by Joe Tafur
Cover Art by Markus Drassl

The Fellowship of the River

Available on Amazon
and createspace

From the back cover:

“This is the medicine of the future, the big answer to what ails us in the West. For millennia the doctor and the medicine man were one and the same person. Dr. Tafur takes us into the heart of the Amazon and shows us how spirit can heal the body, how love can repair the soul, and how awakening to our higher purpose and mission in life can open the doors to health and long life. Brilliant!”

Alberto Villoldo, PhD, bestselling author of Shaman, Healer, Sage and One Spirit Medicine

“Dr. Tafur's timely book takes us on an enchanted adventure through the emerging world of Amazonian shamanism.  All along the way, he engages the reader with personal stories that illuminate his exciting and evolving philosophy of medicine and healing.”

Andrew Weil, MD, bestselling author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

Western medicine has not been particularly successful at getting people relief from conditions like depression, chronic pain, migraine headaches, addiction, and PTSD. Dr. Tafur helps us to understand why.

I have watched people spend years in frustration and thousands of dollars consulting an army of specialists, without getting real relief from their problem. Because these and others are diseases deeply connected with the state of our emotional bodies. Too often, the Western medical approach fails to address the emotional dimension of illness. This is where traditional plant medicines, with their ability to alter consciousness and open channels of communication to our emotions, offer so much promise.

The stories shared here demonstrate the astonishing—mystical, colorful, metaphysical—effects of ayahuasca and Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine. Follow Dr. Tafur through the Amazon jungle as he develops a breakthrough understanding of how psychoactive plants interact with the complex network that connects our minds and hearts to our physical anatomy. What Dr. Tafur presents here is nothing short of a paradigm shift for modern medicine, where sacred plants, used properly in ceremony, take their place as important tools in the doctor’s medicine chest, offering the missing elements of emotional and spiritual healing that have eluded us for so long.

Available on Amazon
and createspace


I remember my first ceremony vividly. I was anxious as I entered the dimly lit maloka [medicine house] and took a spot on an available mat. This maloka was a large jungle roundhouse big enough for about 25 people. With its high ceiling, the maloka was like a thatched roof cathedral. It had a dirt floor, covered in elegantly woven mats of some kind of natural fiber. These mats were smooth, soft, and intricate, like a snake’s skin. At the center of the space however the floor was left bare, exposed earth. Natural wood beams formed a high conical ceiling, which was supported by a large central post; in that ample space above us, I figured, there would be plenty of room for soaring thoughts and visions.

I watched as others were called up to sit in front of the shaman and receive ayahuasca. One by one, we were given our dose of the tea, a small cup of murky liquid not always welcomed by the gut. Fortunately, my first dose went down fairly easily.

I headed back to my mat with the peculiar taste of the thick jungle fluid lingering in my mouth. Waiting for the effect, I sat back and lit a mapacho cigarette, rolled from local Amazonian black tobacco (Nicotiana rustica). My new friends at the healing center had told me that this would help clear the taste from my mouth. It did help, and so I puffed my mapacho, without inhaling as advised, and I sat back against the sturdy wooden wall supporting the sacred space. [Read more...]

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