What is a Tepi of bamboo?
A tepi is a blowpipe designed for receiving rapé from a healer, facilitator, or partner. Traditionally made from hollow bones, nowadays the most popular choice of material is natural bamboo wood.
The tepi pipe allows more forceful application, which can intensify the medicine’s effects. At the same time, it facilitates an intimate connection between the giver and receiver, connecting them by mouth, nose, breath, and intention. In a ceremony, a tepi is the preferred choice over a kuripe.
Although a tepi will allow you to ingest rapé whenever a willing partner is available to help out, this doesn’t mean you should approach this sacred medicine as if it were a recreational snuff; treat it with respect in order to form a spiritual alliance and benefit from its powerful healing properties.
What is the best way to work with rapé?
The tepi is easy to use: load up your preferred blend in one end, have your partner place it against their mouth, place the other end into your nostril, and have your partner blow the powder through the pipe.
According to indigenous belief, you should always receive rapé into the left nostril first, as a symbol of death, and then into the right one, to represent rebirth.
The Brazilian tribe of Yawanawá describes three different ways to blow rapé with regards to your intention for the experience:
- Short and strong: for alertness and presence
- Long and strong: for cleansing the mind
- Long, starting soft, ending strong: for deep meditation, entering into an altered state of consciousness, and ceremonial use
You are advised to keep a spitting bucket nearby once you ingest the rapé. Proper insufflation can result in an accumulation of phlegm or mucous in the back of your throat. You need to spit this out as it is undesirable (and even toxic) to keep it in your body. A good way to prevent the sludge from dripping down your throat is to keep your head down so it will drip down through your nose.
Aim to keep the rapé in your nostrils for as long as you can, while breathing through your nose, so the medicine can be absorbed through the mucous membrane. Once you feel ready (or an urge to), you can blow your nose with a tissue. You are advised to sit with the medicine for about half an hour after application, meditating and examining its effects.
How much should I take?
If you’re a beginner, you’re advised to start with a pea-sized amount of rapé, then increase it as you get comfortable. We are all unique, and everyone needs to experiment to find the perfect dosage.
How often should I use rapé?
You are recommended to not work with rapé more than two times per day, especially in the beginning. However, if you are working through a period of intense stress or weakness/illness, you may consider using it more regularly. Otherwise, you may find that using rapé once in a while or only in preparation for an ayahuasca ceremony is the ideal frequency for you. Please tune in to your intuition and listen to the spirit of these sacred medicines to learn what works best for you.
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