After my Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica I was eager to share the teachings of Tonic Herbalism, the intelligence of Mycelium and the Mushroom Kingdom with my Dad to aid his domestic ways and gardening pastime. Yet resistance lingered, I was eager to avoid a conversation where he might presume I was taking substances…
Now I’m sitting in San José Airport with $8 left in my account, some dried plantain leaf exorcising a staph infection from my swollen leg, the day after a series of plant medicine ceremonies that shattered my world into oblivion and 10 hours into my ill-booked 48 hour journey back to Australia. Its safe to say, if there was a moment that were to be the death of me, that would be it.
I had messaged my sister in the days prior, where I shared my experience sitting with plant medicine, briefly offering details of my meeting with the universe through DMT before the jungle internet timed out. To think amidst my decaying identity in the airport I would be opening messages from Emily profusely apologising for telling the entire family, she was under the impression DMT was a herbal tea…
After more of my life went out the window and awakening to my family’s first introduction to DMT through google searches big pharma endorsed statement: “WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS DRUG”… It highlighted societies misconception regarding plant medicine, so I figured this article may be a means of broadening ones perspective of the natural world.
DMT’s compounds are present in our body and are theoretically created in the pineal gland (third eye) which is connected to our dream state, consciousness and is our direct channel to source. Our bodies naturally produce Dimethyltryptamine, it is alive in flora & fauna and renown as ‘The Spirit Molecule’ thanks to Dr. Rick Strassman’s groundbreaking research. The body releases DMT during a near death experience or during REM sleep, although there are other practices that can stimulate the release of DMT from the brain to unlock higher states of consciousness. Tribes around the world have a rich history working with plant medicines such as San Pedro, Ayahausca, Peyote, Acacia (to name a few) for shamanic ritual and ceremonial purposes. Similarly to medicinal hallucinogens like mescaline and psilocybin, they are great visionaries, healers and inter-dimensional guides. Such plant allies have been used within cultures around the world for millennia, in fact your indigenous ancestors would have worked with healing plants before the rise of our reliance on modern medicine after the industrial revolution. The plateau of conventional medicine and the endemic of spirit we see today within society prompts a new conversation, a revision of ancient ways and returning to those of the natural world.
It arose synchronistically, a dear friend planted the seed in the days prior that she had a little bundle of medicinal juju she had left over from a sitting in Columbia. We were unattached and open to the flow, to be honest I had forgotten about it until spirit created (the space in our schedule and a divine alignment.)
We walked together from the centre of the eco-community, across a bridge along the winding path, foliage draped down from above, cocooning us in natures sweet embrace, the journey to my Iguana Casita was a pilgrimage in its own rite. Open walls to the elements, nothing in the space but a bed with a shabby mosquito net and a prayerfully constructed altar made together with a weaving of nature and an appointment with the jungle.
Sitting in circle with my sisters paying our respects at the altar through tobacco, blessings and prayers to the lineage and wisdom of this sacred gift from Mother Earth. We proceeded one at a time consciously holding space for each others journey. Next thing you know I was summoned.
Immediately I was overcome with unfathomable amounts of joy, the living embodiment of effortless laughter which could not be contained. Instantaneously everything began morphing, I couldn’t count how many hands my friends grew if I tried. I was surrounded by something comparable to avatar women, native spirits of the Elemental kingdom laced with galactic genetic makeup. Through my kaleidoscope vision I gazed as their third eyes widened guided by a formless pulsing vibration, emitting energetic technicolour mandalas.
Beautifully bizarre sounds glitching through their whispers to my soul. Absorbing the molecular language of telepathy, tapping into thousands of multidimensional senses, the lineage of the universe blossoming within this oneness. Infused within this tapestry of infinite paradise I began to understand the blueprint of this experience as a science of life. Natures meridians surging through my veins, liquefying the self with ancient wisdom, creating a crystalline effect within my cellular body.
Through the melting of the internal and external spaces, momentarily I no longer existed in the physical realm, yet still I maintained awareness. Breathing became light to the point of the unknown, life was breathing my body through psychedelic, geometric, spiralling formlessness which transcended any concept of time or space. As I finally closed my eyes euphoria washed over my spirit, reigniting the laughter rhythmically to a child-like state of blissful serendipity.
I feel it’s important to convey that I am not encouraging the use of plant medicine through this sharing of my personal experience. Psychoactive plants are revered traditionally and are only deemed as drugs due to societies appropriation of them in that manner. Although in complete honesty, they aren’t for everyone and should be facilitated in a safe manner. There are many other alternative pathways of healing that can open similar doors. They are designed to be journeyed with respectfully and ceremoniously. The setting of the environment is an incredibly important factor, you really need to know yourself, hold a clear intention, know your limits, stay true to your inner compass, the boundaries of yourself, your surroundings and trust in those you share such experiences with collectively holding space.
The plants are initiatory healers, that can work in a myriad of ways. They can act as a catalyst for awakening, to speak deeper to this – it is favourable to do adequate preparation. On a physical level disciplinary practices are recommended in the lead up, so that on arrival you aren’t spending a whole journey wobbling, unravelling the excess baggage you accumulated prior by not cleansing emotionally, energetically, mentally debris that would distract you from tending to your intention. Spiritually if you have felt or received a calling from a plant teacher, a ceremony will organically unfold in a perfect order and sequence in the lead up to a meeting with the medicine. I have found in my own personal experience having worked closely with plant medicine the past few years, if a ceremony is sought after or forced, if there are delays, changes, if it is not synchronistic in nature, it probably isn’t aligned. It should feel like a full bodied YES, sometimes accompanied naturally by a little resistance, learn to listen to your intuitive knowing above all else.
Another factor if you journey regularly, is to know when to have a breather from plant medicine and allow space for the expansion of integration. I spent many years spiritually bypassing, outsourcing and seeking healing in my journey externally only to realise that I am in fact the medicine, the secret ingredient is my own spirit. My path in this moment of life isn’t as intensively entwined with these plants, I’m still a fond admirer and devotee yet if the medicine has shown me anything its that I am always connected and can tune back into these frequencies at any time with or without ingesting.
The plants become apart of you, you see the inseparable spirit within all things. Seeing nature within your own inner ecology forms a marriage, an imprint within your DNA and cellular memory, an awakening to the truth that you, like the flora are telluric – ‘of the earth’. As I allow the integration of these spiritual experiences and teachings of consciousness to simmer and filter into my life what I am learning from them is the gift of embodiment, grounding into the remembering of who I am as a human being, as a light belonging in this body, connected to everything.