Mazatec – People of southern Mexico in Central America. The Mazatec’s shamanic healing use of mushrooms aided Richard Schultes in isolating a curative agent useful in the development of a new heart drug. Their blend of indigenous animism and Catholic Christianity resulted in their naming of the powerful sage species Salvia divinorum after the Virgin Mary as “Ska Maria Pastora.” Although it is valued by psychonauts and some neo-shamans as an aid in exploring and altering states of consciousness, salvia’s Mazatec use is primarily as an aid to purification prior to healing and divination. The visions it inspires are understood to require singing to aid incorporation into everyday life and health.
Historical Dictionary of Shamanism by Graham Harvey and Robert J. Wallis 2007