Hapé (pronounced ha-PAY and also known as rapé, rapeh, or hapeh) is a blend of powdered medicinal herbs that the Indians of the Amazon basin have been consuming through the nose since pre-Columbian times.
Sharing hapé, or “passando rapé,” takes place in all aspects of Amazonian life. Hapé is used in formal rituals, including rites of puberty, initiation, and festivals; but it is also taken simply while hanging out with friends.
Medicinal hapé is traditionally consumed in a ritualistic way. This is because it is believed that the act of sharing hapé connects you with the forces of Nature and allows you to receive the healing and blessings of sacred, medicinal plants.
Depending on the specific combination medicinal plants used in the hapé blend, the experience can range from fragrant, to stimulating, to completely psychoactive.
For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to administer shamanic stuff ceremonially, check out this Master Class with Brazilian medicine priestess Aluna Lua:
Amazonian hapé is consumed in two primary 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”
Determining Hapé Dosage
Aerodynamically, it’s considerably harder to overdose yourself with self-administered hapé via a kuripe. However, if you have a regular practice of consuming hapé on your own, it’s good to be mindful that it doesn’t turn into an addiction or personal vice. When you are receiving a soplada in a ritualistic way, it’s easier to treat the experience as a ceremony. Alone, it’s easier to treat the hapé as a substance.
For beginners, start with a pea-sized amount of hapé for each nostril. You can gradually increase the dose as you get more confident and experienced.
Ultimately, to fully experience the intensity of the hapé, it’s much better to have a friend blow you than to blow yourself. But if you don’t have a friend around who knows how to deliver a hapé soplada, here are step-by-step instructions on how you can self-administer medicinal hapé.
How to Self-Administer Hapé – Step-by-Step
The most important success factor in self-administering medicinal hapé is finding that perfect fit Kuripe. You are really going to need to test this out as best you can. Simply holding the Kuripe up to your mouth and nostril does not mean it will easily send a strong jet of snuff into your nose once you get down to it. If you are shopping for a Kuripe, you really do want to put one end into your mouth and another into your nostril before choosing which Kuripe to purchase. It’s a bit like trying a toothbrush before selecting the one you want to buy. I know it’s weird.
If you end up with a Kuripe that doesn’t snugly connect your mouth with your nose, and you can’t just go to the Kuripe store and exchange it, the best thing you can do is saw down one end until it does fit.
If you are unable to travel to find a physical shop selling Kuripes, Waking Herbs offers a high-quality selection that you can order online and try out at home. These copper hand-engraved Kuripes, pictured below, are our favorites. You can also buy mahogany or marble Kuripes.
Here are the steps to self-administering hapé through a Kuripe:
Step 1: Find an appropriate place to take your hapé.
Step 2: Ground yourself into the present moment and focus on your intention for this prayer. What information are you hoping to receive from the plant medicine. What guidance are you seeking from the spirits of the Forest?
Step 3: Recite your hapé chant of prayer as you measure out the amount of hapé you want to consume on the palm of your hand.
Step 4: Load up the nose end of your hapé applicator with half the amount on your palm. Tap the V end on a hard surface to remove any stuck hapé or air pockets.
Step 5: Take a deep breath, place the mouth end of your Kuripe into your mouth and fit the nose end snugly into your nostril.
Step 6: Lean forward a little, close your eyes (so you don’t blow hapé into them) and forcibly blow the hapé into your nostril.
Step 7: Take a moment to experience the first dosage of hapé. Do you need more, do you need less?
Step 8: When you are ready, load up the nose end of your Kuripe with the rest of the hapé on your palm. Tap the V end on a hard surface to remove any stuck hapé or air pockets.
Step 9: Take a deep breath, place the mouth end of your Kuripe into your mouth and fit the nose end snugly into the opposite nostril.
Step 10: Lean forward a little, close your eyes (so you don’t blow hapé into them) and forcibly blow the hapé into your nostril.
Step 11: Take a moment to experience the hapé. You can move the force of the hapé through your channels with your fingers. Place your fingers on your middle fingers on the top of the bridge of your nose, move the energy of the hapé up your forehead and and run all your fingers along the top and sides of your heads. Brush the energy down the back of your head, along your shoulders and off into the air. You can snap your fingers to clear any old, stuck or negative energy that is being moved out of your field.
Step 12: Ground into the present moment and allow your consciousness to connect to Nature, to the healing plants in the medicine you just consumed. Lean forward to minimize hapé backdrip. Feel the ground with your hands.
Video Thumbnail Credit: Geenss Archenti Flores
Once the experience of the hapé has subsided, you may want to clean yourself up to feel more fresh, by rinsing your nostrils or patting cold water on your face.
In a similar way to working with master plant teachers like Huachuma or Ayahuasca, when you take hapé you are also signing up for an apprenticeship with the medicinal plants in your hapé blend, but on a more subtle level. As you keep taking your hapé, you enter into a dialogue with the plants. I invite you to listen.
If you’re now interested in learning how to administer a soplada of hapé to someone else, check out our step-by-step guide here.