The singing of icaros, the songs of the shaman, is integral to the ayahuasca healing experience, often directing the ayahuasca ceremony and any visions that arise. The shaman has songs for each person's needs, the vibrations of which summon plant spirits and healing energies with words that tell of nature's ability to heal.
The icaros empower and direct the ayahuasca so it can act with greater intensity and focus on your behalf. For instance, an icaro may call in the energy of a stream or sacred waterfall to wash away illness and assist with your ayahuasca healing, or it may summon brightly colored flowers with the power to attract good fortune. Icaros may also call in the spirits of specific plants to effect healing and cleanse the energies of those in the ayahuasca ceremony.
As the shaman sings, you may even see these things in your visions. In fact, ayahuasca was once known by the scientific name telepathine because of its ability to work in this way. Another common ayahuasca experience is to see rainbows streaming from the shaman's mouth as he sings to you, becoming white light or healing colors as they enter your energy field.
The ayahuasca healing takes place as the vibrations of the icaros rearrange the patterns, wave forms and frequency of your energy system. As a result of this shift in energy, you become, in a sense, a new person who can see and understand life from a new perspective. Any sadness, illness, anger or other unhelpful energies are transformed into ecstasy, well-being and love.
The singing of icaros is frequently accompanied by the shacapa, a leaf rattle used to hold the rhythm of the song. Traditional bead and gourd rattles may also be used. These have a different sound, and therefore different energy than the shacapa, and are used to alter the ayhuasca healing effect of the icaro on the participants.
In addition to singing icaros, some ayahuasqueros use other musical instruments, including small harps, bells or drums. The vibrational energy of these instruments are directed by the ayahuasquero to clear and straighten the energies of those in the ayahuasca ceremony.