I love shamans and witch doctors. They represent a time when humans knew much more and much less about the natural world. They created fantastical stories and entities to explain all facets of experience. McKenna likens them to guides of the psychedelic spirit world. He thought ayahuasca was a conduit to communicate with aliens in other dimensions and shamans could help you understand this journey. They are a savage version of Virgil guiding Dante through the concentric circles of psychedelic hell.