Mystery School

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Insights

The inaugural Mckenna Academy Mystery School was presented in Peru by Alexandre Tannous in 2019. The program included diverse experiences, where participants engaged in deep meditations, shamanic ceremonies, sound healing sessions, and profound discussions about the nature of reality. The next Mystery School will be announced under our Retreats section.


The choice of the Sacred Valley as the backdrop for our enigmatic Mystery Schools is no coincidence. Known by the indigenous Quechua people as “Wilcamayo,” which means “sacred river,” this region has long been revered as a sacred space where the energy of the Earth and the cosmos converge. With its awe-inspiring landscapes, ancient ruins, and vibrant spiritual traditions, the Sacred Valley provides the perfect canvas for participants to delve into the realms of consciousness.


Dennis McKenna Ph.D. has focused his research on the interdisciplinary study of Amazonian ethnopharmacology. He has conducted extensive ethnobotanical fieldwork in the PeruvianAmazon. His doctoral research (University of British Columbia, 1984) focused on the ethnopharmacology of ayahuasca and oo-koo-he, two tryptamine-based hallucinogens used by indigenous peoples in the Northwest Amazon. He is a founding board member of the Heffter Research Institute, and was a key organizer and participant in the Hoasca Project, the first biomedical investigation of ayahuasca. He is the younger brother of Terence McKenna. From 2000 to 2017, he taught courses on Ethnopharmacology and Plants in Human affairs in the Center for Spirituality and Healing at the University of Minnesota. In 2019, in collaboration with colleagues, he incorporated a new non-profit, the McKenna Academy of Natural Philosophy. He emigrated to Canada in the spring of 2019 together with his wife Sheila, and now resides in Abbotsford, B.C.


Alexandre Tannous is an ethnomusicologist, sound therapist and sound researcher and an advisor to the McKenna Academy. For the past 22 years he has been researching the therapeutic and esoteric properties of sound from three different perspectives – Western scientific, Eastern philosophical, and shamanic societal beliefs – to gain a deeper understanding of how, and to what extent, sound has been used to affect human consciousness. This search has led him to the intersection where art, science, philosophy, and spirituality intersect. His ethnomusicological approach entails a social scientific study of sound use in several traditional contexts—religious, spiritual, holistic, and cultural—for various purposes and occasions in entertainment, worship, meditation, and rituals of healing and trance.

More information on Alexandre Tannous can be found on his website

Promotional Affiliates

Much gratitude to the following partner organizations that are helping to promote our events.

If you are interested in supporting as a Promotional Affiliate, please email

Related Programs

View All