When I started writing this article it was to be as an introduction for how to open and close a ceremony, but then this introduction became a topic of its own and so I’ve decided to post this first as I feel it’s important to understand plant medicines from this sacred point of view first.
We live in modern times… times where people’s understanding of plant medicine and it’s light, it’s knowledge and it’s wisdom is fast becoming non-existent, non-existent with the majority of people in modern society. These plants are being used for their hallucinogenic effects or effects to relax the body, physical effects instead of taking away or understanding its deeper spiritual effects if you will. They are being used not as medicine in it’s full capacity, but as an aid to having an experience, sometimes these experiences can be in settings that, on an energy level is very dangerous and completely sacrilegious, such as warehouse raves, clubs and house parties etc.
We are not just talking about medicines such as Ayahuasca or San Pedro or Peyote, but also medicines such as mushrooms, marijuana, hapé (rapé). The understanding that these medicines carry a consciousness and have a voice is being fast decimated by our need to get high, to escape, to forget the ordeal of the pressures and the pain of this modern world that we are creating and the ironic thing is, that as we continue to use these medicines in this narrow-minded way to help us to deal with the symptoms of our fractures, it’s precisely these medicines that could help us to relieve not just these effects of modern society, but they can aid to cure us, if only we were open to seeing them in a different way, to adjust our focus, then these plants could lead to our permanent healing.
We are also in times where the old rituals and traditions of medicine are far, far away from people’s reality in current life, Rituals and traditions that seem stuck in time, that havent evolved along with the evolution of man that they were intended for. We need to question why this is and its relevance and whether such rituals and traditions are really expressions of the plant medicine itself, or have we become too involved in carrying out these acts in such a specific way and in the process forgotten the word, the light, the expression of the medicine.
As an example, sometimes the rigidness of old traditional rituals leaves no room for fluidity, for change, this goes against one of the core principles of the universe and of evolution, which is that everything is always changing, everything is always fluid. This doesn’t mean to say that the old traditions should be forgotten or abolished, it’s not to say that we should adopt a new ‘neo-shamanism’ approach to plant medicine, but we need to truly respect and honour the elders, the ancestors, the healing and light they carry and the purpose of those rituals, in a way we need to understand the line between calling and honouring the ancestors within a ceremony and the obsession of rituals over such callings and honouring within a ceremony, which can lead to a focus away from the purpose of the ceremony.
Through an understanding like this we can start to see the gap between traditional medicine set in its ways and our modern understanding of it in life is being stretched far apart. It’s time to come back to the core principles of plant medicine, it’s light and it’s connection to the universe, to start to understand her basic rules and in this way to start to listen to the messages of the medicine again, to truly listen to the message of consciousness again.
We must start with the teachings of sacredness. If you’ve been to one of our retreats, you will have heard me say that “everything is sacred… from the air we breathe to every single thought that we allow into our mind, everything is sacred”. In this same way when we eat something, we are allowing it’s vibration, it’s light, it’s consciousness into our body. This is as true for plant medicine as it is for drinking a glass of water. In this way before we take something into our body, we should acknowledge it, with the universe as its source, with the elements for it’s survival and its spirit for its consciousness, knowledge, healing capacity and light.
Sacredness should be understood in a way that if we start something with an acknowledgement, then we should finish our experience with it in the same way, by acknowledgement. We should also then respect its qualities and its time with us, in a way that can best allow it to share those qualities with us. Plant medicines carry vibration, when we ingest them we take on that vibration, so a way to respect this is not to put any thing within us which could interfere with that vibration such as food, so better not to eat anything during this time. Also outside vibrations could interfere with the vibration of these plant medicines, so it’s best to respect this by way of NOT allowing yourself to be in a place such as a club or party etc, but to go somewhere with a complimentary vibration to the medicine we are journeying with, such as to be in a ceremony with other people and then to be in a place of nature. We then have to consider ourselves and our purpose for spending time with this medicine, do we have a purpose for this? Are we in a suitable frame of mind? Have we taken into consideration the vibration of this medicine and how it will physically and mentally affect us? Are we prepared with all necessary equipment we will need for this journey, for this experience?
In this way we need to respect these plants, we need to respect them by acknowledging them, acknowledging their purpose, their light, their vibration, their healing capacity. We also need to respect them by experiencing them in a surrounding, in a setting where we can feel their vibration, where we can have undisturbed time to feel their vibration, where we can allow them to show us through visions, through their light, through their consciousness, that after we have found the correct place for this, that we have made sure to set aside time, that we have made sure we won’t be disturbed, that we then open a ceremony or to be in one.
I want to also point out that by talking about opening a ceremony, this is not a guide to ‘do it yourself’ if you’ve never tried, this is more of an understanding of what is necessary to understand the sacredness of plant medicine.
I did however, feel to express how to open and close a ceremony also, and as I wrote this, I know some people may be horrified that here I am writing such things as this… “what’s going to happen if people start opening and closing ceremonies all over the place”… well… it’s simply because people are taking and experiencing these plants already and if this article can make a difference for someone, then it’s making a difference for good.
Also, it’s better if people perform the opening and closing of a ceremony with some basic guidance as I feel this will then start to deepen people’s understanding of what they are doing and why… maybe some people after reading this will have realisations and not experiment with plant medicines ever again, maybe people will start to have deeper healing and understanding whilst experiencing these plant medicines in a way that they haven’t before… I hope so.
This will be the purpose for my next article and this creates my purpose of why I feel to share this information… so that we can really start to look at what we are doing, why and in the right context of sacredness, respect, setting, connection, healing and protection.
Blessings Maq Umaqe