Thousands of years ago, the roots of the Ghost Dance ritual was born from an ancient Toltec god, the Plumed Serpent, Quetzalcoatl. As a gift to his children, the Plumed Serpent gave the people the Prince of Plants: Desheto. The Mazatecan Indians of Oaxaca still benefit from plant knowledge communicated through Desheto’s pre-Colombian mushroom ritual. For many years the Prince of Plants shared this hidden history of the Americas with his scribe, Michael Stuart Ani. To deepen Ani’s knowledge, the Prince of Plants sent Ani on a journey through the most remote tribes of the Americas to find the last remnants of the ancient Ghost Dance ritual.

From 1988 to 2002, the founder of Talking Plants, Michael Stuart Ani set the groundwork for rainforest protection and environmentalism in Los Angeles, California by founding the Amazonia Foundation, a central part of a medical outreach program introduced to fight the epidemics among the Yanomami tribe of Venezuela.

Michael Stuart Ani is one of the very few people alive who has received presidential permission from the Venezuelan government to live among the uncontacted Amazon tribes of the Yanomami. He earned this honor by using both traditional and modern medicinal methods to fight epidemics among the Yanomami for 14 years. Ani is a 30-year inductee of the Explorers Club and is a recognized authority on pre-Columbian rituals, with expertise in ethnobotany and Talking Plants.

Michael Stuart Ani is dedicated to advancing the use of botanical cures to promote the healing of the planet and her people. His mission is to share what he has learned in his fifty-five-year journey among the most remote tribes of the Americas in hopes that his message will further efforts to heal the planet. He believes that the health of the world depends on humanity realizing that medicinal plants are the key to the future.

With the Amazonia Foundation, Michael Stuart Ani brought the rainforest movement to Los Angeles in the 1980’s. In 1992, he co-won the “Best of Festival” and “Best of Broadcast” from the US Environmental Film Festival for Yanomami: Keepers of the Flame. He also directed Going Home, a documentary for the Catalina Island Conservancy, that tells the story of the repatriation of the last, purebred American bison to the Lakota people.

Napoleon Chagnon, world-renowned anthropologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences, said of Ani, “Michael gave a brilliant account of his work with the Yanomamo. He is extremely knowledgeable, experienced, and has their best interests at heart.”

H. B. Nicholson, professor emeritus of anthropology at UCLA, and renowned specialist of the study of ancient Mexico, called Ani a living artifact.

Francis Huxley, world-famous British botanist, anthropologist, and author, said Michael Stuart Ani was the only modern practitioner of real magic that he had ever witnessed.