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Naysha: Sacred plants and exorcism

During my shamanic training it was never easy to take the next step and it was never easy to overcome a fear. A shaman with fears is not good, especially in the moments when bravery is needed. At the same time that higher light energies exist, there are also dark energies. Dark energies are not God or the spirit creation. Dark energies are a human creation.

When we came to this experience as humans we forgot our divinity and got lost in pleasures. Our souls went down different paths because of our free will. We learnt to hate, to steal, to lie, and more. These feelings, actions and thoughts also are energies; low frequencies of energies. But also inside this dark energy there exist levels of consciousness. Some souls decide not to return to the light after death. They continue living the emotions that they could not let go of, such as hate and resentment. This is not about hell or heaven. For me that does not exist.

I believe that what many religions describe as “hell”, and people with near death or other kind of supernatural experiences describes as hell, is an intermediate state between the human and spirit world. A state in between, a shadow state we can call it. You cannot pass to the light until your decide that light is your origin and you cannot return as human. These spirits are still attached to the human world. But also when we are spirits, we have a choice. We always have a choice. They will see the light when they understand that only light is possible, and that the light is where they come from.

For me this intermediate dimension that we have created with our bad feelings and attachments is the shadow state which can explain things like witchcraft. Witchcraft is not Gods creation. Witchcraft was created in Africa, were researchers’ claim the first humans came from, so we can assume that witchcraft and humans came together. Exactly when and how? No idea, but I believe that at some point in our story there was a really dark moment and it was from this dark time the shadow spirits could communicate with the shamans in the ceremonies. Remember that plant medicines OPEN spaces, not only for different dimensions inside yourself, but also in reality. So these shamans got in contact with these shadow spirits and before that the shamans did not know of those kinds of energies, so some shamans learnt from those spirits. The shadow spirits understood very well the tricks of the human ego and some shamans felt really great with all this new information. And since then dark spirits also come to ceremonies and can again enter the human dimension and continue spreading hate and other bad feelings.

It’s very easy to learn witchcraft. Learning how to heal is what is difficult. Witchcraft is a sad reality and I will take time on this subject for another article.

Ok, until this point we are clear that these shadow states are what we can call the demon state. Every bad feeling, every bad thought, like “I want to kill myself” creates a demon, a low energy vibration around you. This is what we see as ugly visions during plant ceremonies. It’s our own creation. And every bad feeling, thought or reinforcement to this kind of thought, “I want to kill myself” for example, will feed the energy. That’s why there are different levels of consciousness to the low frequencies. Some of them have personalities like you and me. Yes, I have seen them. My first experience with exorcism in ceremonies started in my third year, when I was helping a shaman during ceremonies. I was watching his back , especially during exorcisms.

In my experience there are three kinds of “demons”.

  1. The ones that have a mission, like wanting to stop you from finding your mission. Normally the people experience these kinds of demons. They are born with these energies, they feel depressed almost all their lives and they describe something like “I really want to feel, but I cannot. It’s like I have a block in my heart that does not allow me to feel. I want to feel love. I know my family love me, but I want to feel it. I know I love them, but I cannot feel them. What’s wrong with me?”
    These energies usually have a very clear mission. When they manage to disconnect people from their hearts they disconnect them from their life path as well. Life becomes a sad reality for these people.
  2. The ones that came by accident, for example through playing with a Ouija board. Some of these games are not so innocent and really work. Sometimes people get in touch with energies that were passing by and they call them to our human dimension through portals like the Ouija board, and because these energies don’t have a particular mission, they manifest more intensely. Then it can be like in movies with exorcism, because these energies are not supposed to be here. They don’t have a purpose.
  3. The ones that come by trauma. Sometimes during our spiritual experience as humans we experience very traumatic situations that OPEN US, such as the death of someone very close. When you are open and vulnerable energies that are around you can attach. Normally these are not very strong energies, but they can create discomfort like the sensation of being disconnected.

People with the first and second group of demons are difficult to work with using plants. They normally do not feel anything; they cannot see. They are disconnected, so then it is good to work with diets. A shaman will recognize the demon energy inside of the person, normally through a plant ceremony and sometimes before that. We can smell these entities. I have personal experience from a very difficult exorcism where I could literally feel the evil in my skin. It was awful, but I am still here. That’s why, dear readers, working with plants is not a funny hobby. It’s serious work.

What shamans do when people with these kinds of entities come to ceremonies?

First is to check in a ceremony to be 100 % sure that there is an entity.

Second is to evaluate the power of the entities. Some are easier to take out than others.

Third. Normally all people with entities should go to diets to clean energies. This makes the demons energy weaker and weaker, so they will show up during the ceremony. Normally they will try to hide from the shamans, if they can.

Fourth. After the diet there is a ceremony, normally with special Ayahuasca or San Pedro cooked with an extra plant, like Toe, Ajosacha or Pinon Colorado. There are different sorts and it always depends on the level of energy that we are dealing with. In cases of San Pedro shamans cactus with four lines are the favorites for exorcism. During the ceremony the demon is expelled with help of the shaman’s icaros. These ceremonies are not violent like in movies, but there is always a risk, so the shaman will have support from another shaman to do the exorcism.

After the exorcism people normally do not remember much, but they suddenly feel much much better. Finally they can get in touch with their hearts and some, if not all, can finally get in touch with the visions of Ayahuasca.

My personal experience with demons and dark energies is not to fight them. When you deal with these energies , what you do is to increase your light. When your light is strong there is no space for darkness. Nature does not support these dark energies. They are tired of them, so nature is a big ally. When the shaman has taken out this kind of energy, then the nature spirits take care of the rest. Once I saw a Roman army coming from the forest to take an entity with them. I look at them and asked “What are you going to do with him (the demon)?” They just said “Do not feel sorry for him. He does not feel for you. Do not worry. We have been looking for him for a long time.” And then they disappeared with the screaming entity.

Love and gratitude
Naysha Silva

Photo: Cuckoo by andrea floris on Flickr

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Fear, sadness and parasitic energies

How do you recommend getting rid of/dealing with fear/sadness/low frequency energies or entities and patterns, shamanically or just normally?

Well, first I’d divide it up. Fear and sadness are feelings which are often best dealt with by facing them. That is my main method in such things. Go where the energy is strongest. If something is scary, go there. Often things are scarier at a distance than they are up close. When we face them we are eventually done with them and can move on. Having said so it is important not to get caught up in things either, which I have seen many be with sadness.

Entities are a different thing altogether for me. They are actual parasitic energies which often give you certain emotions, such as fear or sadness, but they do not actually belong to the person. In most cases though the person will think the emotions are theirs. This is quite common when it comes to mental health issues and diagnoses. I have done some extraction work and it depends very much on the type of energy and on the clients determination. Some energies are really nasty and will put up a gruesome fight, while others are just lazy, heavy. The latter are much easier to remove. It isn’t unusual that people have several such energies. I’m always careful to point out that having such energies does not make you a bad person in any way, even if such energies often convince people to do bad things.

Patterns or repetitions can also be connected to parasitic energies, but are also something quite different. I use a four step process for practically all work with personal development. I think it is an excellent way of working through such things.

When you say go into the energy, what do you do after you go into it (for fear or sadness)?

Why do bad parasitic energies exist and is it possible for us to eradicate them from existence? Does a very pure diet help? What do you do about the nasty ones that fight back?

Feelings

Fear and sadness have the most power over when we don’t dare to face them. They thrive in the corner of our eye, but lose their power over us when we look directly at them. To go into the energy simply means to dare to meet that which scares us. Looking straight at these feelings and acknowledging them usually makes them evaporate all together. Most fears are nothing but imaginations. They are tricks played on us by the mind, and the same goes for much sadness.

In some cases our fear and sadness have real reasons. The same is still true; even emotions that have real causes have the most power over us when we try to evade them. By confronting them they will lose most of their power over us, but they will also give us information on how to solve the underlying issues. Go into them, be conscious and aware. Investigate. What is this? What are the reasons? Are there specific situations that need to be healed? Where in the body is it located? How does it manifest in my life? These are the kind of questions to ask.

What many find when examining themselves is that the feelings they have aren’t actually theirs. I have already mentioned that the mind can play games with us. It is also possible to pick up feelings from other people. Feelings are contagious, just as laughter or yawning is. Sensitive people often pick things up from others. Becoming aware of which feelings are our own and which belong to others can make it easier to close the door on feelings that don’t belong to us.

Parasitic energies

It is also common that feelings that aren’t ours still seem to originate from within and that is where parasitic energies come into the equation. Parasitic energies have their own agenda and will often give us feelings, but disguise them as our own. It can help to simply be aware of which feelings are our own and which belong to the parasitic energy, so that we can sort our feelings accordingly, but doing so won’t actually solve the problem. It will only help us handle the situation.

A pure diet is always good for you and many parasitic energies will undermine you by luring you to keep a poor diet, but a pure diet will not remove such an energy. At least I do not know of any such diets. They need to be removed, but to do so you should work with someone who knows what they are doing, or it might be dangerous. I recently wrote a post about a method to remove such energies and gave a few other tips that can be useful in that process. There I also briefly mention how to deal with the nastier types of parasites.

Let me elaborate a little from that post. There are different kinds of parasitic energies and they are more or less difficult to handle. Here are three common types that I have encountered:

  • Lazy parasites. These are quite unconscious and are more like slugs or ticks. They suck energy from the host and give them bad thoughts and habits, but they are not aggressive or consciously manipulative. Such energies can give laziness, low self-esteem and such. They are quite easy to remove and won’t put up a fight.
  • Past life parasites. Trauma from past lives can take on the form of parasitic energies in this life. It is more conscious than the lazy parasite and can be both communicative and manipulative.
  • Demons. A demon is conscious, communicative, very manipulative and can be very aggressive. They are also parasites, since they feed off the person’s energy, but in other aspects they are quite different from the two other that I have mentioned. I have a feeling that demons are souls that are part of the human reincarnation cycle, but I’m still missing some parts of the puzzle.
Eliminating bad energies

Good and bad are human concepts. At another level of consciousness good and bad cease to exist. Things simply are. For the human soul there is no such thing as good or bad. There are simply different experiences and the soul wants to experience them all. Before we are born our soul will choose many of the experiences we have in life and it will not only chose the happy stuff. It will choose sickness, abuse, addiction, poverty, hunger and stigma too, simply to have the experience and by that also the possibility to draw lessons from it.

Wanting to eradicate what we conceive as “bad” is a very human thought. No, we cannot eradicate parasitic energies, but we can free people of parasites and by doing so we can also help such energies to evolve and become something other than what they are right now, or become “good” in the long run, to put it in human terms.

Photo: Adrian ii by Joel Bombardier on Flickr

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Extracting parasitic energies and demons

DO NOT DO THIS
UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE AFRAID.
IT IS NOT A GAME.

A method for removing parasitic energies from a person

This method was explained to me by mother Ayahuasca and pieced together the understanding I already had. When doing such work I ask for help from Archangel Ishmael, but other angels and spirits can be equally helpful to work with.

  1. Call in/meditate with the energy you are working with. When I do so Ishmael appears right behind me and I can easily channel his energy to my hands.
  2. While standing up, locate the parasitic energy. It will likely be attached in a specific place, such as a chakra or the spine.
  3. To remove the energy you must first detach it. I do so by channelling Ishmael’s power through my hands into the spot where the parasitic energy is attached.
    ∙ Another way that I have encountered is by pumping in energy at the base of the spine to detach the parasitic energy.
  4. When the energy is detached, push the energy out into a limb and out, for example through a foot into the ground. It is best to do this in nature. If done indoors the parasitic energy can linger and try to get back in, but once it realizes that it won’t be getting back in it will move on.
    ∙ Another way of doing this is to have the client hold a crystal in one hand and to push the parasitic energy into it. After that it can be released somewhere else.

In the event of possible violent extraction

If the parasitic energy is strong and aggressive it can take over the person’s body and violently fight for its survival. If the person is well rested and fit that can pose quite a challenge or even a hazard. One way of lessening the intruding energy’s ability to do so can be to weaken the body, so that there is less force in the fight. That can be done by dieting, fasting and working with the person when s/he is tired. I have heard that it is quite common to also have several strong helpers that can hold the person if s/he becomes violent.

Aftercare

If a parasitic energy has been in place for a long time there will be other unfavourable patterns that have gathered together with it, such as habits, ways of thinking and so on. Removing the parasitic energy doesn’t mean that habits and thought patterns automatically disappear. You need to be aware of which behaviours are your own and which are effects of the intruding energy. Work to find patterns that aren’t yours and change or reprogram them.

There will also be a void after the energy and you need to be careful not to invite new parasitic energies in its place. As with many things in life uncertainty is often more scary than that which you know is bad. We stay in bad relationships because we are afraid to move out into uncertainty. It is the same with parasitic energies. You not only need to kick them out, you also need to keep the door closed.

Closing the door

There are many things one can do to close the door. Here are a few:

  1. The Promise. Promise yourself to keep them out. One way of doing that is to say out loud that no such entity is welcome in your body. Here is a technique for giving yourself a strong promise.
  2. Protect yourself. Some like to imagine themselves surrounded by heavenly light, call on angels or wear protective jewellery. Others feel no need for protection and don’t need it. Do or don’t do in any way that you feel is good for you.
  3. Fight off attacks. Be observant of your body, feelings and thoughts. If you feel that you are under attack, call on your protection, say “you are not welcome here” and stand your ground. Keep the door shut.
  4. Change behaviours. As I wrote above we may have other negative patterns that are linked to the parasitic energy, but that have not been removed. Observe yourself and make changes or reprogram yourself. Here is a post about reprogramming.
  5. Solve underlying issues. Many parasitic energies are covering up deeper issues or trauma. By solving them you permanently close that door, because the energies can no longer use your triggers and insecurities to sneak back in.

Photo: Christine by Kurtis Garbutt on Flickr

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A guide to safely working with visionary plants, psychedelic medicines and life in general

Before you even think about it

Why am I doing this?

Before you consider working with visionary plants or other psychedelic medicines it is helpful to ask yourself why you want to do so. Your purpose for using a plant or substance is very important for the outcome and you will want to create an environment for your experience that matches your purpose.

I have identified four reasons for using substances, but there are certainly many more.

Recreational use
Many use plants or substances simply to have fun and explore. They take it at a party or for an adventure with friends. The altered states that psychedelics provide are often very pleasant and uplifting, and at the same time often feel very meaningful. Some plants and substances fit well in a social context, while others do not.

Medicinal use
Visionary plants and psychedelics are powerful tools for healing emotionally and mentally, but sometimes also physically. They often bring clarity to the situation and give tools, which is a starting point for working with one’s self-healing. It is also common for them to lower mental barriers or defences you might have towards dealing with a situation. This makes them powerful tools for deep therapeutic work where breakthrough experiences are common, but working in that way takes courage, safety and it is advisable to have an experienced person by your side.

Spiritual use
Visionary plants have been used in spiritual practice for many thousands of years and all over the globe. The plants themselves have spirits that communicate with us and are often respectfully referred to as teachers. Working from a spiritual understanding opens up possibilities to such things as being in contact with the spirit world, receiving messages from the other side or other entities, extracting intruding entities, working with past life issues, and so on. Here it is equally important to have courage, work in a safe environment and to have an experienced person by your side. For someone who works with visionary plants and psychedelics at this level there is often no strict division between medicinal use and spiritual use, since the spiritual work has healing effects.

AbUse
Abuse is important to be aware about, but it is uncommon that people abuse visionary plants or certain psychedelics. They are well renowned for being anti-addictive and often break abusive cycles, which make them excellent for treating and even curing addiction.

Am I ready?

Meditating by Take Back Your Health on Flickr.
Meditating by Take Back Your Health on Flickr.

Why are you considering visionary plants or psychedelic medicines? Many who consciously seek such paths feel stuck in one way or another. They come looking for healing and insight and a way to get unstuck. In some cases people are so intrigued by the medicine that they forget to ask themselves if they actually need it. They can often do more good for themselves by simple means of working out, eating healthier, taking up a meditation practice, doing yoga, making other life style choices and such.

Visionary plants and psychedelics are very powerful tools for working with personal and spiritual development and should be treated with respect. They should not be confused with drugs. To work with visionary plants or psychedelics you need to be mentally prepared to meet whatever comes up. If you know that you are not prepared to see and work through that which you have stored away sub-consciously, you should definitely not use these tools.

If you on the other hand are committed to healing and growing and want to gain access to knowledge so that you can help yourself, then visionary plants and psychedelics might be the closest thing to a miracle that you can find.

Medical background

There might be medical reasons for you not to use certain plants or substances. Check reliable sources for what might be relevant to you. Your shaman, guide or therapist should be able to help you out. In countries where such medicines are legal it might also be good also to ask your medical doctor.

It is not uncommon to be asked to hold a diet or do other lifestyle changes before or after working with visionary plants and psychedelics. If you do a one day fast before it is mainly to prepare your body and make the effect more powerful, but if you are asked to do a longer diet the diet is often also part of your healing.

It should be noted that the most popular visionary plants and psychedelic medicines are physically very safe to work with. Practically nobody dies from them. The potential risks are rather at the mental level, where people who are not willing to change can have very challenging and even terrifying experiences. The problem in that case is not the medicine, but the person’s unwillingness to work with what comes up. Such risks are greatly reduced when working under guidance with a therapeutic or spiritual intention.

There is a general caution when it comes to people who suffer from severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia. The fear is that the plants or substances might trigger the person to become even more sick. There are however other ways of understanding those illnesses. If the illness for example actually is a parasitic energy attached to the person, then visionary plants can be ideal to work with under the guidance of a shaman or such.

Preparation

Intention

81078079The clearer your intention, the easier it will often be for you to find answers, simply because it will focus you in that direction. Some intentions are very precise, such as finding the answer to a specific question. Other intentions can be very broad, but still not vague. Saying “Give me what I need and the strength to handle it” for example.

The mere fact that you are setting a conscious intention sends out the signal that you are open for receiving and working with yourself, which will make it easier to receive and work with yourself. Not setting an intention sends out an unconscious garbled signal possibly inviting things that you are not ready to work with.

I do however have the feeling that the plants consciously don’t give me what I want, but what I need. If my intention is in line with what is best for me, then the answers will be very clear. If my intentions are off, then they won’t be answered. If that happens it is important to be open to listen for what is really best for me.

Promise to yourself

One part to the intention and mental preparation that I find most helpful is to consciously and solemnly promise yourself to deal with whatever comes up. However challenging, hard or nasty it is, you will be courageous, face it and work through it. Having promised yourself to do so, you will be less likely to try to avoid unpleasant challenges, and meeting them head on you will surely solve them.

Set & setting

The concept of set and setting is a great tool for understanding some of the basic steps that lead you to have a certain experience.

Set, as in mindset
Where are you mentally and emotionally right now? What is going on inside you? What is going on in your life? Your experience will in one way or another reflect what is going on with you and what you need in life right now. To be safe you should be in a mindset where you are prepared and capable to handle the challenges you face.

Someone who is unstable and unwilling to face themselves and make changes in their life should not take visionary plants or psychedelics. If one for example uncovers disturbing hidden memories and then tries to suppress them again, there is a risk of re-traumatizing oneself. The same mechanism that can make it a miracle plant or substance for some, can make it a hellish nightmare for others. When we use visionary plants and psychedelics we often delve into the subconscious and find new things to bring to the conscious level. From the conscious level we can then begin working with it in order to heal and grow. One needs to be ready to take that ride.

Setting
Is simply the surroundings. Who are you with? Where are you? Do you feel safe? My best experiences have been by myself, with one other person or with a small group of friends that I like and feel safe with. It has always been understood that we take care of each other if anything happens. And above all, they have taken place in nature.

In your mind, place yourself in different places and with different people and feel the vibe of them and how well that reflects what you want to accomplish. A garden. A national park. In a cabin by a lake. In an art studio. At a rave party. In a pub. In a hospital. In a car. On a boat. In a ceremony. With a shaman. With friends. With bullies. With drunks. With your parents. In a messy dorm room. On a tropical beach. In a hut in the rainforest.

There are so many variations and some of them are obviously bad. Make yours good. Reports of bad trips almost always begin with the person not knowing about or ignoring to create the right set and setting.

Navigating the psychedelic experience

Go with the flow

Winter Walk by jimmy brown on Flickr.
Winter Walk by jimmy brown on Flickr.

The very best way to meet that which is challenging or even frightening is by accepting and diving right into it. Meet your fears head on by accepting and working through that which scares you. When you do so you will eventually resolve whatever is bothering you and come out on the other side, wiser and free of it. As long as you try to avoid whatever it is you will still in some way be trapped by it. Distracting yourself won’t solve your problem, but only add stress to it.

Unfortunately many are so used to avoiding discomfort that it seems counter-intuitive to face what is troubling you. Instead of meeting the discomfort it is common now-a-days to put a lid on things, distract ourselves or even sedate ourselves. That attitude can be very harmful when we work with plants or psychedelics, since they work in the opposite direction by raising our awareness and pointing us to the real issue.

While there are those who warn people to get in contact with their subconscious, that is the whole point of the exercise with visionary plants and psychedelics. So when you are faced by something, however awful it might seem, your best response is to accept it and go with the flow. Work through it and come out on the other side.

Acceptance is an important step

The first step in working with change is to bring awareness to the situation. We need to become aware that change is needed, but to be able to change we also need to accept how things are right now. It doesn’t mean that we need to approve of how things are, be ok with them, or anything like it. It just means that you need to accept the current situation as it really is in order to change it. Otherwise your actions will at best be misdirected, and at worst harmful for your growth.

Being aware and having accepted what is leads you on to be able to work with your change. The actual change might be quick like turning on a switch, or it might take much hard work. When you have worked through it all it is important also to acknowledge it by being grateful. Those who forget to be grateful often forget what they have to be grateful for.

Although the emphasis here was on acceptance, these four steps together form a very simple, yet powerful method of personal development.

  1. Awareness
  2. Acceptance
  3. Change
  4. Thankfulness

One major aspect of plant teachers and psychedelics is to help us in that process. They help us bring awareness and often also show us how we need to change, but for the healing and growing to take place we need to accept how things are and put in the necessary work to change ourselves.

Changing the variables of setting

When you feel bad during a journey it can be because you actually have something that you need to deal with. In that case, accept it and dive right in. There are however times when people feel bad without being able to locate why. When the discomfort isn’t caused by something internal, it is caused by something external. When it is external simple changes in your environment can very quickly make you feel better. You can for example try this:

  • change your body position
  • look at your bodily needs. Do you need to go to the bathroom, drink something or are you hot/cold?
  • change the music, turn it off/on
  • change the lighting
  • change what you’re doing
  • change rooms or go outside/inside
  • change company

Any one of these variables and many more like them can affect your wellbeing without you even noticing it. By deliberately changing them you can figure out where the problem lies. The setting you have chosen has its own map of possibilities that can be changed to change the way you feel, for good and bad.

Change is the only constant

Nothing lasts forever. The effects of the plant or substance that you have taken will eventually fade away. Whatever you are experiencing right now will soon be no more than a memory. This can be comforting to remember when things are especially challenging. If someone is having a hard time and needs comforting, remind them that this too will pass.

Emergency landing

You should plan your journey so that this information is never needed, but if you really need to land from the experience you should eat. We raise our vibration when we work with visionary plants and psychedelics, so by eating we lower ourselves again. Food is earth and helps you find roots, but it can be quite a challenge to eat in that state since even a watermelon might taste like soil. Eating to land is a safe and natural way of landing, but it takes time and you will still feel some effects. It is also possible to cut the energy of some plants with lemon or chilli. I would definitely not recommend alcohol or other drugs or medicines to come down.

Calling the police/ambulance

A few people get the knee-jerk reaction to call the police if things get scary. In most cases it is a really bad idea to ask help from the police, since they really have no idea what they are dealing with. Their training does not include how to take care of tripping people and that insensitivity can be quite disrupting or even traumatizing. But of course, if there is a real emergency where the police or ambulance is needed – call them.

A spiritual perspective

The well known Mexican mushroom shaman Maria Sabina.
The well known Mexican mushroom shaman Maria Sabina.

The traditions that have worked with these visionary plants for many millennia are spiritual. They take into account such things as other realities, spirits, intrusive energies and past lives. The plants themselves are entities that can be communicated with and they are often honourably referred to as teachers. The plant teachers are naturally occurring and among others include San Pedro, Peyote, psilocybin mushrooms and Ayahuasca. These all have powerful entities connected to them who often heal and teach us things.

Chemical substances such as LSD do not have entities attached to them. LSD can give many of the same effects by unleashing the persons own potential, but without the support of a plant entity, what comes out of it is left up to the person who has taken the substance.

These traditions also work with the understanding that people have an energetic body where blockages can lead to physical illness later on.

Respecting the substance and yourself

If one understands that the plants are actually powerful entities who help us work with ourselves, it goes without saying that one should meet them in a respectful manner. In traditional settings that is reflected in the ceremony, but respectful should not be confused with tradition or ceremony. Being respectful means being of good intention, willing to better yourself and treating the plant as the teacher and helper that it is. Respectful is making the effort to integrate the insights you have gained. Respect can be seen in how we prepare ourselves for meeting the plant, in what setting we choose, what clothes we wear and how we treat and help those we journey with.

There are certainly many ways of being disrespectful, but some of the more common are using the plant as a drug, using it with bad intentions and mixing it with other plants or substances. If you want to mix the plant with something else, then first ask its permission.

Navigating alternative realities

Visionary plants and psychedelics open doors to realities that are often hidden to us. To put it plainly – there are such things as spirits, angels and demons. Many sicknesses, especially mental ones, are actually caused by parasitic energies.

Some people have a natural instinct on to how to handle other realities, while others can feel very lost and vulnerable. If you have no knowledge of how to navigate such realities it is good to have a guide who does.

As so often it is really only fear itself that you have to worry about. If you feel that you need protection, then you should absolutely call it in. If you feel that you don’t need protection, then most likely you are fine without it.

Integrate the experience, live the insight

Plants and substances are tools that will show you what you are doing wrong and what you need to do in order to get un-stuck, heal and so on. They will usually not heal you, but will rather leave that work for you to do. What you do following the ceremony is therefore of utmost importance. To heal you need to properly integrate and live the insights that you have found. As long as you do so you are still on your way.

If you on the other hand go back home and don’t bother taking care of the insights you have gained, then you will quickly find yourself in the same misery again. It might even be worse, because you have become conscious about what you should do. In that case you stagnate and stand still. A person who comes back for the same answers over and over is probably not genuinely interested in evolving, but is rather seeking thrills. If you come back for the same answers you will soon find that the plants get fed up with you, in the same way that any therapist would if you kept coming back with the exact same issue. If they do get angry with you, your journeys will rapidly become increasingly uncomfortable.

Some people are very able to work with themselves after the experience, while others need the support of others. When doing such journeying with friends one has a support group in each other, but if one takes help of a shaman or therapist for the experience it isn’t always obvious where you can get the support you need afterwards.

To make positive changes in your life you need to focus on integration. If it is all about the experience and not about the integration, you will find yourself going nowhere.

How all of this applies to life in general

If you take a step back and exclude all plants and substances from this text you will notice that most of what I have written is applicable to life in general. Let me take a few examples.

Setting
Depressed people often unconsciously program themselves to be miserable. Everything around them is carefully rigged to keep their mood down. They are in a setting which is poison to them. If they applied the same technique of changing variables in their surroundings they could often solve their situation without medication. But instead of changing the music, changing clothes, relationships or jobs, many people medicate themselves. By doing so they are in many cases actually sedating themselves in order to continue functioning in an environment that is harmful to them.

Go with the flow
Our society is obsessed with avoiding the uncomfortable, at the cost of never actually solving it. Instead of facing the discomfort we sedate or distract ourselves from problems. If people in general were given the tools and courage to face their pain, sorrow, shame, anxiety and whatever else is bothering them, we would see far more healing at the mental and emotional level than doctors, therapist, shamans and medications can ever hope to give us.

Integration is the key
People are full of bright ideas and answers, but they are all quite pointless if you do not let them live. Insights that aren’t translated into action are only insights in theory. For them to have importance in your life you must do something with them.

A last note

b0397bda0b639548ff44316fb4e1f456Much of this text deals with the issue of challenging experiences with visionary plants and psychedelics, but I need to add that most of my experiences with psychedelic medicine have been joyful, marvellous, beautiful and eye-opening. There is so much love and wonder and I function so much better because of my experiences. So even if I believe in being prepared for challenges, leave the door wide open for your journey to be something totally other than challenging, because most of the time it will be.

Main picture: part of the painting Person Planet by Alex Grey

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