My first plant medicine journey was an ayahuasca sit back in 2018. It was intense, and incredible but, I had nothing on what I experienced this weekend. Working with Gabi Curandeira- a multidisciplinary, medicine woman, and healer. I was guided through a ceremony that has changed my life forever. It was personal, it was emotionally expansive, and it was extremely spiritually safe. It was everything I needed, and nothing I expected. I had 3 intention going in to the ceremony: 1.) to connect deeper into my TRUE self, 2.) to develop a deeper connection to my Ancestors, and 3.) further attune my character as a Man. What I received was a perfect reflection of those intentions in messages of love, wisdom, and clarity. More on that another time..
Plant based medicines have been helping and healing people for thousands (yes, thousands) of years. Indigenous people such as María Sabina have surrendered to the depths necessary to be eternal students of what Mother Earth has made abundantly available. That surrender continues to develop into a connectedness that has never left us, even while we often abuse the Earth, and the healers that make it available to us.
Psilocybin- the naturally occurring psychedelic compound in mushrooms is what is often focused on when conversations around mushrooms occur. Folks hear stories about their favorite Rockstar or writer "tripping balls", or know the free love recreational Woodstock stories of the 1970's. But until the the mid 20th century, the use of mushrooms was predominantly spiritual and or religious. The start of the change from spirit to spectator came on June 29, 1955, when a vice president at J.P. Morgan named R. Gordon Wasson traveled to Mexico in search of the Mazatec Curandera (medicine woman) María Sabina. Wasson successfully found Marí Sabina and, in his words, become the, “first white [man] in recorded history to eat the divine mushrooms.” However, “From the moment the foreigners arrived to search for God, the saint children lost their purity" (María Sabina). The publicity from Wasson's visit was devastating for the Mazatec community, who blamed Sabina for bringing misfortune to the village and defiling the "velada ritual". Federales continuously raided Sabina’s home which eventually was ransacked and burned down. Tourists rented cabins in neighboring villages, had bad trips and went raving naked through town. While María lived a long life to the beautiful age of 91, her sacred healing partner (the mushroom) had become an illegal Class 1 drug even though pharmaceutical companies made billions off of synthetic versions of it. A complete desecration due to white privilege the World has seen time and time again.
But today, Shaman's and advocates such as Gabi Curandeira & The Ancestor Project are bringing spiritual harmony back to how people experience the divine mushroom. They provide "education, ceremony and integration for modern journeyers rooted in reverence and respect for ancestral wisdom" (The Ancestor Project) a safe path to, and through the medicine María Sabina truly gave her life for.
For more info on plant medicine check out this interview with The Ancestor Project