100 Ways to Blow Rapé
There are many ways to blow Rapé: Long and slow, quick and sharp, and everything in between. You will soon learn to judge what is most appropriate, depending on your particular style or the needs of the person you are serving. A short, quick blow of Rapé has more of an awakening effect: a quick, uplifting hit. A nice and slow, long blow can be more meditative.
How you finish the blow is also important: trailing off will weaken the effect of the Rapé; it’s much better to finish with a deliberate ‘click’ – so to speak. As you finish your blow, put your tongue to the roof of the mouth, in the same spot you’d place the tip of the tongue during yoga. It takes a bit of practice, but you will see how this technique gives a more satisfying blow.
What is a Kuripe?
A snuff auto applicator is a V-shaped instrument designed to help you blow Rapé for yourself. It is called a “Kuripe” in the native language.The Kuripe is used in the following way: You load it with the right amount of Shamanic Snuff for your personal need. Then one end is put in the mouth and the other in the nose. Without inhaling one gently blows the Rapé into the nose. Kuripes can be made of different materials. The most common materials are bamboo or bone, but they can also be made of metal or wood.
What is a Tepi?
A two person Rapé applicator is a Tepi. The people in the forest use it for ceremonial Rapé sharing. There are an endless variety of models and possibilities. In the old days the indigenous used a long bamboo or reed to blow, as became famous from anthropology movies. Nowadays they are usually a bit less dramatic, but depending on the quantity of medicine and strength of the blow it can be very strong.
Varieties of Rapé Blowing Styles
The different kinds of blowing Rapé matter more than just how you are administering the snuff. Different blowing styles will result in different kinds of experiences and results.
The Short and Sharp Blow
The short and sharp blow is known in Brazil as the “Beija Flor,” or Hummingbird. It is a nice short hit that ‘wakes you up’ – a more energizing application.
The Long and Sharp Blow
A long and sharp blow has an uplifting and deep effect: great for use with more substantial quantities of Rapé to really take you to that next level.
The Long and Slow Blow
A long and slow Rapé blowing style is called the “Jiboiá” – the Boa Constrictor. The Boa is a sacred medicine animal that is highly revered by indigenous peoples. Just like the Boa, this blow is long, slow and gentle, with an acceleration at the end. It’s perfect for using smaller amounts of Rapé to induce a contemplative, meditative state. With larger quantities, it can induce a deep meditative state.
After you have blown Rapé for yourself, or received the Rapé from someone else, it is best to close your eyes and concentrate. Don’t breathe trough your nose but through your mouth and let the Rapé sweat a bit. When it starts to run down either spit it out or blow your nose, or both.
Working with Rapé is a cleansing process, so spit out any residual snuff you feel dripping down your throat. Keep some tissue to hand and let nature and the Rapé do its work.
Though Haux has become a byword for Rapé users, and can have many meanings, it has never been uttered lightly in traditional societies. Many in the older generation frown upon the way the word has become common currency among young people and non-indigenous today. When you say ‘Haux’ and offer your prayers at the start of a Rapé session you are effectively swearing an oath that you are working for the highest healing good of the recipient, and for the good of mankind. In indigenous tradition, this word is very powerful: so don’t speak it lightly, and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
How to Test a New Kuripe or Tepi
Whether you have obtained a new Kuripe or Tepi, or are shopping for one in a market, it’s good to test that it’s right for you. There are several things to check for to make sure your Rapé pipe is suited to you.
Testing a Kuripe
A Kuripe is a very personal instrument. Since they are generally handmade from natural materials, each one is unique. First check whether the Kuripe is a good fit between your mouth and nose. Then load it and test how it blows. See if you like the feel of it, or whether it feels too ‘closed.’ Does it flow smoothly or is it constricted? It also depends on whether you like a stronger or gentler Rapé experience. Remember: it’s worth choosing carefully since some Kuripes won’t be quite right for you, and others will be just perfect. You can generally trust Kuripes that are made by a reputable source, but trust your intuition to find the Kuripe that’s calling to you.
Testing a Tepi
Do you like a more open mouthpiece that gives a stronger blow, or a narrower one for a more gentle experience? Make sure the nose piece of the Tepi fits your nostril. As with the Kuripe, there’s no formula for the perfect pipe: it depends on your personal preference. If you are new to Rapé, it will take some time to figure out what works for you. When you find the right Tepi, you will know.
Serving Rapé to a Novice
Go easy on them, don’t try to impress or test them, and resist any impulse to give them a strong experience. Use a small amount and be gentle! Some people may have a powerful experience with only tiny quantities. Not long ago, I gave a tiny blow of Rapé to a friend – a big guy and a long-time smoker. His blood pressure fell sharply and he had to lie down. With time, people will have opportunities to try stronger blows. Most people who take Rapé will at some point have a really powerful experience. It might not be pleasant, but it will teach you something.
Make sure you ave a clean mind, breath and intention. Giving Rapé requires responsibility: after all, you are blowing your life force into the other person’s core, so you need to be aware, clean and clear.
In the indigenous traditions from the North to the deep South of the Americas, a common thread in nearly all cultures is the use of tobacco. And with that, comes the consideration of tobacco a a sacred plant, independent of the way it is used. It is smoked, it is chewed, it is inhaled in liquid form, it is inhaled in powder form, some tribes make paste of it… the ways it is used are many, but always with the greatest respect. In our Western culture, especially with cigarettes and our style of instant gratification, tobacco has become just another substance. With the reappearance of ceremonial culture from the indigenous people and the Shamanic Snuff Rapé that came with it, there is a new understanding being born of the sacredness of tobacco. To use it not every five minutes but to use it at the right moment. To stop what you are doing, to be more introspective and to really experience the effect in your inner silence.
We ask to please consider this, and use the plant with care and as a medicine for your betterment so it doesn’t turn into just another habit.