Chullachaki Caspi

Byrsonima christianeae

King of the Jungle

Chullachaki is the King of the Jungle.

Its spirit is very well known in Amazonian culture. It has a disproportionately large head, and one of its feet is bigger than the other. Chulla Chaqui literally means “large feet”.

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The spirit of this tree is very welll-known in Amazonian folklore. Similar to the mushroom, it is a protector spirit for the forest as a whole. Also known as the king of the jungle, Chullachaki guards the forest and will seek to punish those who treat it without respect. For those who come in peace and with good intentions, Chullachaki will show great hospitality and proudly show you its domain.

When searching on the internet, I found many sources of information on this spirit. Most of them paint it as an evil spirit that will lure you away into the depths of the forest and kill you. A Christian website that I passed by even declared it to be a kind of devil born of superstition, and encouraged readers to fight it with prayer! All I can say to that is that Chulla Chaki pays you back in kind. Come in peace, and you’ll find a friend.

The Chulla Chaqui spirit provides cleansing to the physical body. Shamans use it to transcend physical body ailments.

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Spirit Story

On a guided forest walk during an Ayahuasca retreat, we reached a grove of Chullachaki trees. The shamans had told us to approach the grove respectfully, and to ask permission to enter of the Chulla Chauqui rather than just barging in. I could sense that this spirit places great value on respect and courtesy, and I felt glad that my parents had taught me how to be a polite guest.

During our stay, and as our shaman guide told us stories of Chullachaki Caspi, I set next to one of the trees and blew Mapacho smoke on it. I was surprised at the small size of these trees, and I especially noticed the soft, tender and intensely green moss the grew all over their trunks. I introduced myself to the tree I sat by, and carefully stroked its furry layer of green moss.

A few days later I happened by again and sang a little song to the grove.

When the last ceremony of our retreat was in full swing, I felt Chullachaki Caspi come into the space. “If you ever need a place to relax and be safe, you’re welcome to hang out in my grove” it said.

Thank you, Chullachaki Caspi! I will.