How to Give Someone a Soplada of Sacred Amazonian Hapé Medicine – Step by Step

In the Amazon, since pre-Columbian times, Indians have been taking powdered medicinal herbs through the nose. Called rapé – pronounced ha-PAY – in the Brazilian Amazon, among the tribes the sharing of medicinal snuff takes place in aspects of life; from formal ritual use in rites of puberty, initiation, and festivals, to simply hanging out with friends.

Rapé is traditionally consumed in a ceremonial way. This is because the medicinal plants used to make the rapé blend are considered to be both sacred and healing.

Also, depending on the specific blend of medicinal plants in the rapé, the experience can range from fragrant, to highly stimulating, to totally psychoactive. Rapé is used as a form of prayer and a way to connect with Nature.

MUST-READ Rapé – the Sacred Amazonian Snuff You Blow Up Your Nose

Amazonian rapé is consumed in two ways:

  • As a “Soplada” given by a shaman or medicine brother / sister via a blowpipe called a “Tepi”
  • Self-administered, via a blowpipe called a “Kuripe”

Gorgeous bone Tepi with Ganesha head, made by Carlito Hare Haux Neto

Appreciation of the art of sacred rapé is spreading around the world, introduced to people outside the Amazon via ayahuasca ceremonies by traveling shamans or by Westerners that have spent time in the jungle. Rapé is also increasingly being consumed socially, as a recreational drug, rather than as a form of prayer.

To minimize the recrealization of this sacred plant medicine and practice, here are some guidelines to follow when administering a rapé soplada to a friend. Before proceeding, I recommend you read the article below to understand the appropriate set and setting for a sacred rapé ritual.

MUST-READ The Modern Shamanic Guide to Taking Rapé – the Sacred Medicinal Snuff of the Amazon

Buddy-Assisted Rapé – Step-by-Step

Blowing the Tepi involves an intimate connection between the rapé giver and receiver. Both are closely connected by mouth, nose and breath, and both need to open and allow the other spirit’s and intention to enter, allowing the healing to take place.

The person blowing needs to be an experienced tribe member – like a shaman, or your medicine brother or sister – as the blower sends their intention and spirit to the person inhaling.

That takes a strong mind and clear focus. Hence, the essence of this blowing ritual does not depend on the strength of your blowing, but whether you can share yourself while doing it and thereby empowering the receiver.

These ‘blowing rituals’ are of great importance in the shamanic tradition, which perceives the healing energy of breath (Soplada) as a major tool for healing.


Visitors to the indigenous territories of the Brazilian Amazon will be invited to share rapé with the tribe.

Where to Get a Tepi

Your tepi – the pipe you use to administer rapé to your partner – should be personal to you. Traditionally these are hand-made and are painted or decorated with meaningful designs and objects. 

However if you aren’t able to make your own tepi, Waking Herbs offers various different applicators, including engraved copper (pictured below) and mahogany.

Copper tepis, pipes for administering tobacco snuff

How Much Rapé Should You Serve?

Appropriate dosage really depends on the kind of rapé that is being taken and the individual on the receiving end. In Brazil, the Indians are used to taking copious amounts of rapé in one session. I’m often astounded at the amount of rapé that gets shoveled into the end of a tepi – and the recipient’s ability to take it, without throwing up or passing out. Because rapé is more difficult to procure outside of Brazil, North American shamans tend to use smaller quantities of rapé.

For buddy-administered rapé – it’s important for the person serving the rapé to make an intuitive and ethical assessment on the appropriate amount of rapé to offer the recipient of your soplada. Where are they from? What is their experience? How strong is your rapé?

A pea-sized scoop of rapé in each nostril is a good starting dosage for beginners.

Too much rapé can make your companion projectile vomit – which may be a good thing from the point of view of purification – but not at all what the other was wanting.

Err on the cautious side, you can always have another round.

Overdosing is less of an issue with self-administered rapé.

MUST-READ How to Self-Administer Sacred Amazonian Rapé Medicinal Snuff – Step by Step

Guidelines for the Soplada Blower

Step 1: Find a quiet location where you can sit face to face. Ground down into the present moment.

Step 2: Look at the rapé recipient in the eyes and connect with that person.

Step 3: Give your recipient an orientation of what to expect, instructions on how to receive the rapé, and invite them to set an intention for the ritual.

Step 4: Ask how much rapé they would like to receive and how hard of a soplada they wish to have. If the recipient isn’t sure, follow the guidelines below on how to assess the appropriate amount of rapé to serve.

Step 5: Begin your rapé chant or prayer, connect with the spirit of the Forest, the spirits of the healing plants and ask them to bless the recipient.

Step 6: Staying grounded in the present moment, load half the amount of rapé from your palm into the far end of your Tepi. Then position the end of the Tepi snug against the opening of the recipients nostril so no rapé gets blown into the person’s eye.

Step 7: Mindfully blow the rapé into one nostril. Stay present with the recipient and tune into where the person is at with their experience.

Step 8: Check in with the recipient. Did they want a softer soplada? Harder? More rapé? Less rapé? Load the remainder of the rapé into the far end of your Tepi, then position the top snug against the opening of the opposite nostril.

Step 9: Mindfully blow the rapé into the other nostril. Stay present with the recipient and tune into where the person is at with their experience.

Step 10: After the second soplada, you may want to energetically assist in the removal of any blockages. With your fingers you may trace the movement of the rapé along the bridge of the nose up towards the crown of the head, as well as along the recipient’s temples. You may want to brush with downward strokes along the sides of their heads, and snap your fingers to dispel any negative energy.

Step 11: Close the session with a prayer, Haux, or Aho.

Need more guidance? Watch how the Indians do it.


Video Thumbnail Credit: Geenss Archenti Flores


Guidelines for the Rapé Recipient

Step 1: Find a quiet location where you can sit face to face. Ground down into the present moment.

Step 2: Look in the eyes of the person who will give you a soplada and connect with that person.

Step 3: Check in with yourself on the amount of rapé you would like to receive, eyeball what feels like the amount you need when the soplada blower pours the medicine into their palm, and let the person know.

Step 4: Focus on the intention of this ritual. What insight are you seeking? What prayer do you have that you want the spirits of Nature to hear?

Step 5: As the soplada blower begins their blessing, tune into Nature and your Spirit Guides.

Step 6: Inhale deeply. Then assist the soplada blower in positioning the end of the Tepi snugly against the opening of one nostril.

Step 7: IMPORTANT Now contract your throat muscles to close the back of your nasal passage as if you were going to submerge yourself under water. When you block off the back of your nasal passage, most of the rapé will stay in the front or your nasal passage, and drip forward.

This is important because IF YOU DON’T close off the back of your nasal passage, you will get a jetstream of rapé shooting into your sinuses, causing you to cough, gag, and potentially vomit on your friend. If you are feeling a lot of gag-causing backdrip, lean forward.

Step 8: Give yourself a moment to pull it together. Ground into the present moment. Feel free to communicate to the soplada giver anything you need. More rapé? Less rapé? More force? Less force? Ready for the next nostril?

Step 9: Inhale deeply. Then assist the soplada blower in positioning the end of the Tepi snugly against the opening of the opposite nostril.

Step 10: REMEMBER To contract your throat muscles to close the back of your nasal passage as if you were going to submerge yourself under water. Receive the second blast of rapé.

Step 11: Hold the sacred rapé in your nose as long as possible in order for your sinuses to fully absorb the medicine. Your eyes are probably tearing at this point, and your nose is probably starting to drip. Just hold a wad of tissue paper up against your nostrils. Feel it. Feel the Forest. Open your consciousness. Ground into the present moment.

Step 12: When you feel complete, you can indicate completion to the soplada giver by moving back or stepping away. Allow the soplada giver to close the session with a prayer, Haux, or Aho. Close the ritual with your own prayer, Haux, or Aho.

Step 13: Find a nice, comfortable place to contemplate Nature.

Modern shaman rapé kit by Carlito Hare Haux Neto

Modern shaman rapé kit by Carlito Hare Haux Neto

Once the experience of the rapé has subsided, you may want to clean yourself up to feel more fresh, and to wash off any caked rapé boogers that could be sticking to the outside of your nose. Washing your face and rinsing your nostrils out with cold, clean water is also really nice.

In a similar way to working with master plant teachers like huachuma or ayahuasca, when you take rapé you are also signing up for an apprenticeship with the medicinal plants in your rapé blend, but on a more subtle level. As you keep taking your rapé, you enter into a dialogue with the plants. I invite you to listen.

For more guidance (and a practical demonstration) on administering shamanic stuff ceremonially, check out this Master Class with Brazilian medicine priestess Aluna Lua:

Learn to Serve Hapé Like an Amazonian

Deepen your alliance with the Tobacco Master Plant & enhance your shamanic faciliation skills. Sign up and:

  • Be initiated into Divine Father Tobacco Wisdom
  • Receive the Principles of Impeccable Tobacco Guardianship & serve hapé with the highest healing energy
  • Learn Hapé administration & self-application techniques  to support a range of shamanic intentions
  • Get an introduction to Huni Kuin traditions & vocabulary

What Do You Think? Please Share in the Comments Below

  • How do you like to share rapé?
  • Do you have any variations or specific techniques on how you like to give sopladas?

Image Credits
The Rapé Indígena Facebook Group
The Rapé Sagrado da Floresta Facebook Group
The Arte do Rapé Facebook Group
Carlito Hare Haux Neto'

About Lorna Liana

Lorna Liana is a new media strategist and lifestyle business coach to visionary entrepreneurs. She travels the world while running her business as a digital nomad. Lorna's boutique agency provides “done for you” web design, development and online marketing services for social ventures, sustainable brands, transformational coaches and new paradigm thought leaders. She is also a personal development junkie, and 20 year practitioner of shamanism, with extensive training in Tibetan Bon Shamanism and the ayahuasca traditions of the Amazon Basin. A self-professed ayahuasca snob and perennial ayahuasca tourist, Lorna has been drinking ayahuasca since 2004. She's been in approximately 150 ayahuasca ceremonies (from terrible to fantastic), and tasted wide variety of ayahuasca brews (from awful to exquisite). Her ayahuasca experience spans 30+ different shamans and facilitators, 7 indigenous tribes, several Brazilian churches, and a host of neo-shamanic circles, in Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Europe, the US, and Asia. Through this widely-varied background, she hopes to shed some perspective on the globalization of ayahuasca.


  1.' Dan on March 4, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    I wonder if there are different methods of blowing, and what are the implications of each one.

  2.' Matthias Korn on September 10, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Yes, there are several different ways of blowing. I can only talk about the Yawanawá here. All of the different kinds of blowing are connected to certain animals, the turtle, the snake, the jaguar, the humming bird etc. Since you are inviting the spirits of the forest to guide you in your cleansing process (the pajés (shamans) call it “work”), faculties of the Rapé as of the animals involved may play a role. However, the crucial role will always be your intention.

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