Icaros are Shamanic songs and chants learned directly from the spirits of the plants through rigorous plant dietas, or from a human Maestro. The icaro may be offered for protection, called an "arkana", to summon healing spirits, or to conduct healing energy to the patient through the Curandero. Icaros are used to communicate with the spirits of the natural world, to heal the sick, and to provoke different kinds of visual displays or visions in patients medicated with Ayahuasca.
The icaros guide and structure the vision during our Ayahuasca ceremonies. The icaros can also modify the visions themselves. There are icaros for increasing or diminishing the intensity and color of the visions, changing the color perceived, directing the emotional contents of the visions, evoking spirits, and calling in many types of healing energies.
Vegetalistas and Curanderos are masters of synesthesia. Through using the most interesting acoustic effects produced by whistling and singing, the geometric designs can be seen acoustically. The Maestros refer to an icaro as “my painted song,” “my words with those designs,” or “my ringing pattern.”
The icaros are the quintessence of Shamanic healing energy. A skilled Curandero is able to orchestrate profoundly cathartic, deeply healing and transformative visions through her or his magic melodies.