Written by Algoth’s Grove
“She bent down and kissed my forehead, the love I felt was something from another dimension, it was poetry, it was a mother I never knew back home. The feeling has never left, not even when I opened my eyes and came back to the candlelit room facing the shaman…”
Psychoactive plant medicine is a debate that has rocked the modern world. It’s a debate that rests solely on the experience of the individual and the path that they walk. Plant medicine is not drug use, it is not meant for getting high and anyone who uses the plant spirits for a joy ride is a fool. In the shamanic path, regardless of the plant spirit that you walk alongside, there is an intense respect and a deep love for the teachings and for the wisdom granted by the plant spirit. It takes years to develop a trust, and even longer to be able to teach and/or heal using plant medicine, however, this path is not for everyone.
The plant spirits themselves have completely different lessons, vastly different personalities and undoubtedly different worlds in which you enter. Not all plant medicine is psychoactive and is able to produce vivid hallucinations, or visions, but (and here comes the interesting fact) all of them will change your perception. Even the tobacco spirit, used by millions of people worldwide changes the experience and the perception of the person. For the purpose of this article we will cover 4 main psychoactive plant spirits, the medicine is deep, the landscape is vast, and the spirits are ones that are not to be trifled with.
Ayahuasca, the Mother of all plant teachers. She has specific songs dedicated to her journeys and once you have ingested her spirit into your very soul, she never leaves. The journey is never the same, not in oneself and not in the people who have met her. Each person receives a different journey every time and each person who has met her has no doubt that serious change has occurred.
The shamanic tale is a beautiful romantic one. It speaks of ‘first father’ and his wife being the leaders of the first shamans. He was the direct link to the divine and it was said that he communed with the gods constantly. When it was time for him and his wife to leave this dimension and move on, the people were afraid and said that they would lose contact with the gods. ‘First father’ calmed their fears and told them that a plant would grow from his body out of his grave and a vine from the body of his wife through her grave, and so when mixing these two together, brewing them, singing the iqaros and using the medicine they would be able to commune with the gods long after he was gone. He told them to keep the medicine pure and never to pollute it, but the modern world has forgotten the tales of ‘first father’…
Ayahuasca is in its original recipe a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaf of the Psychotria viridis which is more commonly known as Chakruna. It is sadly not used with this combination in many ayahuasca ceremonies found today, and now the medicine is mixed with all sorts of different combinations. The original recipe contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine), which is the active ingredient that produces the visions. The teacher though, affectionately referred to as Mama Aya, is known as one of the biggest plant spirit teachers known to man. Her work is hard, her lessons are fierce and you will not be the same after a session with her. It is not wise to use ayahuasca without a shaman trained in her medicine, it is safer to have someone bring you out of the journey if the need arises, the mind on ayahuasca is not something for the faint hearted. Ayahuasca journeying comes with an intense warning: Do not do soul journeying if you wish not to be changed. It is and will be unlike anything you have ever experienced and you will continue to comprehend her teachings and have ‘aha’ moments years after your journeying experience. Do not take this road lightly.
The Marijuana teacher is known by hundreds of different names. He has been used, abused, mixed and contorted into a quick high, a street substance that produces some good times and even a gateway drug. Yet, Brother Marijuana, unlike Sister Salvia has not destroyed those who have sought to disrespect this powerful medicine. Hallucinations are rare, but the mental journey is vast. The world of Brother Marijuana is far smaller in comparison to Mother Ayahuasca and the work done and lessons learned are of a completely different nature.
According to recent studies our very biological structure is hardwired to fit like a puzzle with the plant medicine of Brother Marijuana. It is called the endocannabinoid system and named so after cannabis. It produces healing on both a physical and mental level and the healing varies from person to person. Today, we see brother marijuana in balms, ointments, tea’s and all sorts of edible goodies. We have experienced a sudden urge by humanity to legalise this medicine because of the intense healing that this plant medicine provides. The endocannabinoid system is part of us, it has always been, but it is only activated when ingesting the marijuana plant.
Join us next week for part 2 containing Grandma Psilocybin and Sister Salvia…