Podcast 452 – “Kambo, Sananga and Rapé”


Guest speakers: Ginny Rutherford & Shonagh Home

Ginny Rutherford


Today’s podcast features an interview of Ginny Rutherford by Shonagh Home. Ginny is a Certified Transformational Life Coach in the Seattle area. She has studied Alchemical Tarot for the past 5 years and uses the Tarot in her coaching to get insight for her clients and information on their next step. She has spent time in the jungle of Peru participating in the Shamanic ceremonies using Ayahausca. She also uses Amazonian Kambo, Sananga and Rape’ as healing and cleansing medicines. She will be completing her intensive Kambo practitioner training through the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners) in July. She does currently offer Kambo ceremonies in the Seattle area and can be reached at ginny (at) kambokiss (dot) com or go to her Facebook page Kambo Kiss.


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Kambo Kiss

Kambô is a traditional medicine used by native people in the Amazonian rainforest. It is made from a waxy secretion collected from the back and sides of the giant monkey tree frog, Phyllomedusa bicolor.

Sapo In My Soul: The Matsés Frog Medicine By Peter Gorman (Sapo is another name for kambo.)

Shonagh Home is a teacher, shamanic practitioner, and the author of

‘Ix Chel Wisdom: 7 Teachings from the Mayan Sacred Feminine,’

‘Love and Spirit Medicine’

and the upcoming, ‘Honeybee Wisdom: A Modern Melissae Speaks.’

Website: www.shonaghhome.com

Contact: shonagh.home (at) comcast (dot) net

Posted in Ayahuasca, Consciousness, Culture, Ginny Rutherford, Kambo / Sapo, Shonagh Home.


  1. And i mean that only about GINNY Wannabe not Shonagh who seems to know her business and asked good questions.

  2. I was so disappointed and angry after this podcast. I have been using this medicine for over 5 years and traveling to the jungles of S.A. for 10. Rape’ is used traditionally in ceremony in Brazil, but not Peru for example which is just one of her guesses in this horrible podcast. A healer? Really? Because you went to Peru once, because you flew to CA for Frog medicine or because you have been using tarot for 1 year? Hmmmmmm….WTF?
    Please check with your sources and have ONLY authentic speakers. I am so tired of the misinformation!

  3. Joseph T, you got it. The problem is the uber capitalist culture. It is not the youths fault that advertisers pray on their minds like hungry pedophiles.

    In tribal cultures, the youths aren’t like the youths or adults in our culture, because their brains haven’t been subjected to so much endless bombardment of brainwashing.

    I appreciate Shonagh’s point, but I think it is an important distinction to make, that the problem is a cultural one.

  4. response to Sasha
    I agree that a culture that cannot hear and receive with respect the voices of the young is crippled, diseased. I teach art and know how much my young students have to say and how much it means to me to know them, hear them, see their work. Capitalism regards youth and youthfulness as a market to be exploited for profit, for cannon fodder, for symbolic vitality. But many young folks too are seduced by the allure of freedom and abundance without cost despite many warnings. The urge to put money at the center is the driving force of capitalism for all ages.
    Anyway I feel I know what Shonagh was talking about and that it was not to criticize youth but to criticize a culture that is stuck in immature patterns and is unable to see how easily they are being exploited. Perhaps it is that I have phrased sentences in a very similar way and know what I was trying to get at.

  5. Joseph T: Yes, but I wouldn’t say that is age related even metaphorically per se, but more related to the values of Uber capitalism in general. The fact is the country needs to be shaken up by the youth (the only demographic that voted for Kerry over Bush).

    I’m being a bit picky here of course, but I think it’s an important point not to blame these issues on age even metaphorically, but the cultural mindset in general (cue Terrence).

  6. For a more insightful view of how frog venom is harvested see youtube “Peru 2014 Kambo frog venom harvest” Try to see it from the frogs perspective!

  7. to Sasha on “nation of children” comment.
    I took Shonagh’s comment to be non-literal and refer to a youthful mindset and values that are obsessed with outward appearance, status, sex, competition, and consumption. To me, too many americans are not so much children as teen agers, kind of clueless and cock-sure.

    These values seem to peak in high school and early adulthood, but in many ways they saturate the culture permanently and show up in old senators’ sexual predations and idiotic use of football analogies to describe war and torture. Age alone, as your comments suggest, does not bring wisdom. Unfortunately there is a lot of life-long wisdom that is being ignored in our culture in favor of ideas that appeal to an undeveloped and immature personality.

  8. Hello Shonagh,

    Thank you for the clarification. I had to think about it for some time.

    I think a lot of it has to do with imprinting, particularly the imprinting created through the current educational system. The education system imprints an authoritarian mindset, which stays with people often for the duration of their lives, particularly if they don’t at some stage receive some form of illumination or develop critical thinking skills.

    I think it is no mistake that authoritarian leaders in the past have sought to control the minds of the youth through institutional systems, and have used these to bolster their own credibility in the eyes of the populace.

    As a Canadian one need look no further for examples of cultural genocide using ‘re-education’/’education’ as guise than the Canadian residential schools, which were used to destroy native cultures and particularly their languages.

    As you know language is the key to cultural transmission. If it can be stamped out and circumvented using ‘education,’ it can destroy a culture. This was used in Canada to separate children from the knowledge of their elders. In that sense the native peoples were left without that connection, and it could be said that since we have been separated from our own ancient roots as Europeans the same thing has been done to us in the guise of ‘education.’

    In many ways we have been taught to be ashamed of our own roots. Religion did it by calling our ancestors pagans, heathens, savages, and inheriting the Roman view schools did it by calling them barbarians. There has also been a sort of modernist trend against European ancestral tradition, which in many ways is actually similar to the former process.

  9. Great conversation thanks for the time and energy put into it! I almost skipped this episode as I do not have a strong interest in frog sweat…but very insightful!

  10. Dear Lorenzo, why did you censor my last post to your reply?

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Because the discussion was getting too personal and going nowhere.]

  11. Shanogh and Ginny, I loved this discussion.
    I had never heard of kambo before this, and I hate to admit that I almost skipped over it when you guys said it wasn’t a psychedelic … I guess I assumed right off the bat that it must do nothing if it doesn’t induce visions.

    Glad I listened all the way through. It sounds very interesting and I’d definitely like to look into it in the near future.
    Do you have any idea about how many practitioners there are in the US?
    Is this something just now making it’s way to North America, or have there been healers using this outside S. America for awhile?

    Anyway, thanks both of you and thanks Lorenzo for keeping this thing going every week.

  12. Hi Ginny, thanks for trying to answer some of my questions but you didn’t answer whether or not you gain financially from the medicine that you practice. Like how much would it cost me to participate in one of the Kambo ceremonies that you speak of? And how does being paid money for the Kambo sweat help the tribes to hold onto their land if they own the land already? Thanks Ginny

  13. Hi Darren,

    I am sorry but I did not have a chance to fully answer you questions. The only way to know that you are getting the real Kambo is to either go to the jungle or have it administered by a reputable practitioner. There is the IAKP (International Association of Kambo Practitioners) that have IAKP trained practitioners that follow a code of conduct. I am going to the training in July for 2 weeks. Thanks for asking these important questions.


  14. Hi Darren,

    Yes, the tribes do make money on the frog sweat. This does allow them to hold onto their land from the rubber, soy and logging corporations.


  15. Okay Jason,
    I will try to answer some of your questions but it is my feeling that your are more interested in battle than in actual understanding. That just comes from my intuition and no scientific proof.
    I waited to answer your questions because I was not sure if I could sufficiently answer them as you are very stuck in your mental construct and to understand something fully, I feel, that you must also understand with your emotional and spiritual bodies. Just my opinion but also my experience.

    I have put a rubber band around my wrist for a long period of time and it made a mark that took some time to fully disappear, but I was not injured in any way. I also have an indentation around my finger where I wear a ring and it takes months for the indentation to go away, but still I am not injured. Does that make sense?

    I really don’t care whether you know the extent of my sincerity. I am only telling you my belief and experience. It you can take away from that something that is helpful to you, great.
    Otherwise, let it go. All we have are our stories to tell of our own Hero’s Journey.

    I don’t mind being questioned as long as it is done with good will. But my feeling is that you have another agenda and I am not interested in wasting my time on such lack of good will.

    Again, if you have a specific question, I would be happy to answer it but your blah, blah, blah is not helpful in coming to some understanding. Just get to the point and ask the question.

    And now I am just bored with this conversation.

    Much Love,

  16. Oh, I forgot to mention that for me kambo felt exactly like I’d imagine sitting in a big microwave oven would feel like. Only moments after application there is a big rush of heat and it feels exactly like you are being cooked in a microwave oven on high power.

  17. I did kambo (we called it sapo) with Matses indians in the upper amazon. It was truly horrible and left my face and lips swollen; I looked like a frog. Afterward I did feel great though! It was not treated as a sacred ritual so much as a hilarious ordeal poison which was fun to watch people do. Kids gathered to laugh at us. The Matses where I was pretty much use it as an appetite suppressant and pre-hunting trip good luck ritual. Also, I was (mistakenly?) under the impression that only the Matses used sapo and that the Matses do not use ayahuasca. Also, the Matses use snuff they called nu nu, is that the same as the snuff mentioned in this episode?

  18. Dear Jason,

    First, let’s reset this conversation. I did take offense at your inference that my social, financial and material situation should be taken into account in order to deem if my “rhetoric” is legit in some way. I haven’t noted anyone else on the salon being asked that kind of thing. That’s how I read it and if my ire amuses you, well, I find that disturbing. I personally do not see how any of that impacts a person’s integrity. I know so many people from many different backgrounds and it is the quality of their character that I judge them by.

    In your note to Ginny, I was actually the one talking about an “artificial construct” and the construct I refer to is the system we are in, which is an overlay on nature and ourselves. Nature is a living being. You are a living being. I am a living being. Our societal structures are concepts and they create a reality that is held together by collective consent. As a wise elder friend of mine once said, “Reality is the most malleable substance in the world, in the universe.”

    In studying the commercial system in which we operate, it occurred to me that the folks who created that have created reality for all of us. They have told us what we can and cannot do, they have created the monetary system, which enslaves us into debt, they control the media, the institutions, etc. etc. It’s a construct. It’s the illusion. The whole thing is a spell – a very seductive spell that sucks us in and takes us away from our true nature. It’s the world of form. Form is the shadow cast by substance. I don’t see the intelligences found through the plant/fungus medicines as constructs. That is the world of substance one travels into, leaving the world of form behind to discover the deeper layers beneath the construct. I hope that makes sense.

    Best to you,


  19. Hello Sasha.

    I was not referring to our leaders with that comment. Our leaders are an abomination. The “nation of children” comment refers to people in general who have not been initiated into adulthood as was once common in the past. Therefore, we have a nation of people who have been infantilized into wanting what they want when they want it, reluctant to take responsibility for their actions, looking to government to do it for them, etc. That mindset determines our leadership and we in this country are in a guardian/ward relationship, where the state dictates to us what we can and cannot do, and it is getting more authoritarian by the day.
    Best to you, Shonagh

  20. Ginny, Shonagh, where are you? Why don’t you answer my valid questions? Are you trapped on the shadow side? Has Mamah grounded you? Do you need help, over?

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: OK, Jason, how much money do you make each year? Were you a trust fund kid. Did you go to college and pay for it yourself. I’m curious to know if your financial and social situation make you eligible to understand what is being said here. … Yes, I am making a negative comment. So let’s let this be the last of the negativity in this discussion.]

  21. Hello Ginny and Shonagh

    Do the people who harvest the frog sweat get paid for what they harvest from the frogs? That is, is there a trade in frog sweat operating and how much do the harvesters get paid for said harvested frog sweat? How can a participant be sure that it is actually said frog sweat that’s being administered and not some inferior substitute that may be potentially harmful to the participant?

  22. I enjoyed the talk, but have a qualm with the ‘nation of children’ comment. I would actually call America a plutocratic gerontocracy. The word Senate comes from the Latin Senex ‘elder’ cognate for senior, senile etc., as the Roman senate was made up of elders, something which continues today in America.

    The rulers go by the brand ‘conservatives’ which harks back to an illusion of a good old age of golden values. There was a recent study that showed that people trusted Baskerville font more than other fonts. Baskerville fonts suggests good old fashioned values. It’s like this with conservatism. It is a brand that a certain portion of the population identify with particularly the older generation.


    I’m definitively not saying that people shouldn’t listen to the wisdom of elders, but I definitely would not by any means call this ‘a nation of children’ when it is overwhelmingly ruled by the old.

  23. Hi Ginny

    No, I’m not saying that only those of a certain social, financial and material status can follow these practices. I don’t know about that and can only assume so that’s why I asked the question to find out from the horse’s mouth so to speak, to clarify and correct my assumptions.

    With regard to beliefs matching rhetoric, as I stated above, it’s one thing to get on a podium and profess a certain belief surrounded by the support of those who agree with you. But it’s quite another to be questioned by someone outside your immediate circle in the interests of balance and a wider informed perspective. How do we as your audience know the extent of the sincerity of what you claim given that we don’t know the circumstances of your every day life and choices? For example, you could be making negative statements about certain aspects of society and culture etc, but still be acting in similar ways yourself either knowingly or unknowingly. I believe the best way to verify if a person is being sincere is to observe their life circumstances to see if they match what the person is preaching/expressing. Especially in the case of claiming to have a magical cure for the ills of society and humanity which I assume you are claiming.

    Also, you said that the frogs that give off the substance that you use are not hurt in any way. Then you state that “it takes 2 months for the binding marks on the frog to heal and go away”. Can you see the contradiction in what you have stated?

    You also diminish our culture and society as an “artificial construct”. Please tell me what in this world isn’t an artificial construct whether in our own minds or in the material world. What you describe as the beings behind these plants could also be put in the category of the artificial construct and even more so given that they are intangible. How do you know that it’s not all an illusion no matter how subtle the phenomena and who truly has the authority to claim with absolute conviction that one thing is real and another is not which you also seem to be claiming?

    Another one of your statements that I find contradicting and somewhat confusing is when you say that divine love can only be found within and not without one’s self. Yet you objectify and worship plant medicines which are from without. Are we to believe that if the plants weren’t there then you wouldn’t be able to find or connect with the divinity within? And could it be that the plant medicines that you speak of are legal simply because they haven’t been made illegal yet? What forms of valid research are being done or have been done to varify their safe use in society at large?

    Finally Ginny, if I may, do you benefit in any financial way from your plant medicine teachings to other people? If so, would you still do the same teaching were you not paid to do so?

    All the best to you Ginny and I look forwrd to your reply soon. Cheers Jason 🙂

  24. I enjoyed reading the previous comments.

    Jason, Jin : I suggest that the ‘intent’ of a person/seeker would play a strong part in successfully being able to partake and explore exotic substances in the course of exploring life and the alternative, regardless of all other factors.

    As Shonagh pointed out :

    “In fact, nature will provide you with every opportunity to consume certain substances and gain an alternate view of the world and she will do it for free if you have the curiosity and the commitment to explore the possibilities.”

    I think curiosity and commitment are the key factors that override others like finances, status, and so on and so forth.

    However, I do agree – to an extent – that those who are well off, higher up on the ladder (more money, time, resources, contacts, etc), if they make the choice to partake and explore these things have more freedom to do so (again, to an extent).

    Comes down to choice, really. Regardless of who you are, where you are, what you are… the door is open and the possibility is there.

  25. Dear Shonagh

    Sounds like I hit a tender nerve according to your defensive reply to my “inquisition” of your greater life in the world. That was not my intention at all and I’m sorry if my questions made you uncomfortable. However, I did find your initial reply somewhat amusing especially when you gave me some insight into what you do for a living etc when it was ‘none of my business’ anyway. Why couldn’t you just have told me your workaday circumstances without your assertion that I was attempting to judge you in some way when that wasn’t my intent?

    If I have questions about anything I believe it’s my right to ask in order for me to reach an informed opinion on a particular matter. I never believe what anyone says or claims simply on face value lest I fall prey to potential bullshit. My middle name is Billy, not silly!

    It’s one thing to stand on the podium surrounded by others who agree with you but it’s quite another to expose yourself to questions and queries from those outside your immediate group. Have you heard of the term “conformation bias” which is antithetical to the scientific method and thus prone to misleading or unsubstantiated assumptions. We all have to be mindful of that including my dear self.

    Well Shonagh, thanks for your spirited reply to my initial post. I hope you are able to continue successfully on your path of investigation into and with the nature without and within. May you be always healthy and happy with what ever you do.

    Cheers, Jason 🙂

  26. Hi Jason,

    I’m afraid I am missing the point of your comment. Are you saying that only those of a certain “social, financial and material status” can follow these practices? It sounds like you are making assumptions without any facts. If you have a direct question, I would be happy to answer it for you but your comments make no sense to me and I am wondering what they have to do with anything Shonagh and I were discussing.?????

    Warm Regards,

  27. Who is, or is not impoverished may be a subjective label depending on the perspective of the people making such a statement. Who are we, a bunch of westerners to point our fingers at indigenous peoples and say they are traditionally “impoverished”?

    One could easily argue that many in the west are far far more impoverished than indigenous peoples who still have some traditional lifeways intact, depending on what is taken to have value as equity in life etc…

  28. Good point Jason, the irony is that these practices are historically the habits of the impoverished and non westernized natives… Now for a westerner to experience them he/she has to be quite urbane or at least endowed with a healthy income… Academics, white collar professionals, the retired or those betrothed to such a person. These aren’t likely to be retail employees with dependents. Gives a whole new meaning to the topic of defining what “class” a substance is in.

  29. Dear Jason,

    I find it curious that you are suggesting I share my “social, financial and material status” in order for you – judge, jury and, dare I say, executioner – to see if my “new spiritual beliefs” match my “rhetoric.” Hmmm. Is this because I’m white and sound like I’m in a certain financial bracket? I have listened to other podcasts here and have read the comments and don’t recall anyone else calling for such an inquisition. The short answer is that it’s none of your business. That said, it might surprise you to know that mushrooms grow in the ground free of charge where I live. I work part-time on a farm for a pittance but it pays my general expenses and it’s meaningful work. I get help with my rent, thank God, and the shamanic work I do with people literally puts food on the table for two athlete teenagers and myself. My primary spiritual teacher these days is nature and fortunately the trees don’t charge me to sit with them. In fact, nature will provide you with every opportunity to consume certain substances and gain an alternate view of the world and she will do it for free if you have the curiosity and the commitment to explore the possibilities. I don’t judge people on the basis of their “social, financial and material status.” I like to get to know them. Perhaps you will one day discover that people are far deeper than the surface story you perceive.


  30. Peter Gorman, who has featured on the Salon before, recently published a great book on the subject of kambo (also known as Sapo). I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the traditional use of this medicine. It’s called Sapo In My Soul.

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Thank you for that information. I didn’t know about this before. Here is a link to Peter’s book: http://astore.amazon.com/matrixmasterscom/detail/0692353496 ]

  31. It’s always interesting to hear how different people come to terms with how their lives are and how they attempt to make changes. However, it would also be good to know what these people’s social, financial and material status is in order to see if their new spiritual beliefs match their rhetoric. It seems to me that to be able to partake in the consumption of certain substances for an alternate view of the world you would have to be fairly well off and materially secure, eg, have money behind you, a well paying job, lots of free time from the drudgery of survival, skin in the game so to speak. Like, how do Ginny Rutherford and Shonagh Home manage to pay their rent, put food on the table and basically live in a world that makes it so hard to have good ideals whilst needing to live at the same time. I’m curious to know.

    Cheers, Jason 🙂

  32. The featured topic of Kambo was intriguing. I had not heard of it before, but now I am aware. Also, very insightful topics covered (as usual with these salon podcasts) that resonated deep within; served as a reminder of what truly matters.

    P.S. Lorenzo, a few weeks back I received my signed copy of your novel, as well as “The Spirit of the Internet”. That was a surprise and a half. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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