Süster Strubelt wrote her MA thesis on Iboga healing ceremonies in Gabon, and was initiated into the Mabandji women’s cult in 2003. After completing her initial studies in psychology and sociology, she worked as a journalist in Central America. As a clinical psychologist she worked in different pediatric hospitals in Germany and in the development aid in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Rwanda. She is trained in systemic family therapy and hypnotherapy. Her main scientific interest is the psychological impact of possession trance in healing cults in Latin-America and Africa.
Uwe Maas has worked as a clinical pediatrician in different hospitals in Germany, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Rwanda. During a working visit at the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Gabon (1999), he developed friendship with traditional Mitsogho healers, and his interest in their practices led him to be initiated into the Missoko men’s cult in 2001. Uwe is a classical and folk violinist. One of his main interests are possible spiritual messages in prehistoric rock paintings.
TITLE: Do worldwide iconographic parallels in prehistoric rock art reflect common psychedelic experiences?
According to a theory of the South African archeologist David Lewis-Williams, prehistoric rock art, dating back up to 40.000 years ago, depicts experiences of shamans under the influence of psychedelic substances. This theory has polarized the discussion about the meaning of these earliest expressions of human art. Lewis-Williams’ opponents interprete the art as representations in the context of early totemism or even just as scenes of everyday life in a hunter-gatherer society. To present, there is no archeologic proof for the use of psychedelics in these early societies. During 15 years after their iboga initiation in Gabon, the authors visited about 1000 rock painting sites in Southern and Central Africa, Northern and Latin America and Europe, trying to understand their spiritual message. Do the striking iconographic parallels reflect common experiences of altered states of conscience? The authors want to share a glimpse of the beauty of this art and open a discussion about it‘s spritual background to an experienced public.