Icaro means "song" in Quechua– specifically, sacred medicinal songs of the healing traditions. Each song brings a particular energy, spirit, or essence for help with healing, and can be used like a prescription. Traditionally, the songs originate from the plants, who gift them to the healers during their diets. The songs can call the healing properties of the plants without needing to have the plants physically administered. These songs have been passed on for generations through oral tradition.

Icaros are specific to certain lineages and teachers, though there is overlap and cross-pollination. The songs exist in many languages including Quechua, Spanish, and tribal languages. Many contain a mixture, reflecting that the songs are alive and evolve to serve the communities that carry them.

Icaros give wings to our prayers. They are powerful tools that help us change the nature of our inner and outer worlds. Like mantras from the east, Icaros gather power with repetition through the ages and generations. Each time we sing them we unite energetically with every other repetition and singer.

Icaros are sacred songs, and so are not used lightly, shared in public settings, or sung commercially. Please keep the tradition strong and whole by treating these songs with respect and reverence.

These sacred songs are by their very nature flexible and fluid, seeking in each incantation not to be accurate, but to be effective. Therefore, sharing a printed textual version is like taking a photograph of a dance; though the photograph carries a piece of the truth, we must be careful not to confuse the photograph with the thing itself. To create and uphold the power of these songs requires more than rote memorization and rehearsal. The enchanting beauty of the songs is not the end goal, but rather symptomatic of many underlying factors being held in alignment between past, present, future, inner worlds, and outer worlds. Our intention in this songbook is to offer information about these songs in the service of greater meaning, connection, and reverence without diminishing the multidimensional and ineffable qualities of the tradition.