Vine of the Soul: Introduction to a Secret Me
Good morning, reader. I invite you to join me on a Journey of my own self-discovery. After a few years of indecision, I have decided to write about my personal experiences with shamanism & plant entheogens. Entheogens are natural plants that produce an altered state of consciousness. Entheogens differ from hallucinogens in that they are not created in a lab by a chemist, but are instead a direct product of nature.
I have personally had the honor of working with several plant entheogens. As an herbalist and student of shamanism, the connection of shamanic cultures to plant teachers was one I could not ignore. The decision to explore this aspect of shamanism was challenging for me. I have personally been affected by family members and close friends who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol. I struggled with the aspects of the illegality of using these plants. I researched. I asked questions. Finally, I traveled to a country where the use of shamanic plant entheogens was legal. I sought out well-known and reputable shamans whose lives were dedicated to healing others through the use of Ayahuasca.
I, like many others, experience Ayahuasca as an intelligent entity that is willing and able to teach powerful though sometimes painful lessons. The self-knowledge I have gained through my work with the shamans and Ayahuasca seems the equivalent of many years of psychotherapy. Ayahuasca has provided me with spiritual, physical, emotional and mental healing. I have been given knowledge of myself and been gifted with teachings from this amazing plant. In an increasingly complicated world, perhaps this is one simple solution. Shamans and people of shamanic cultures understand something many Westerners have forgotten: we are just one small part of a whole, and there is much to learn from the living world, seen and unseen, around us.
I hope that you enjoy this Journey with me, and that you find something of value for yourself within these upcoming blog posts. I don’t know how many blogs I will write, but I have stacks of notebooks detailing my personal spiritual experiences.
Please note that my purpose in these writings is to share my personal experiences. I am not suggesting that working with plant entheogens is an appropriate path for everyone. In fact, I caution anyone who wishes to work with these plants to do so only after great consideration. All people considering this path of exploration should work diligently to find authentic healers to work with. You will need to travel to a country outside the U.S. where these extraordinary plants are not forbidden for use. Persons with addiction issues, those who have been diagnosed with mental illness and people with deep emotional issues should work directly with healers who have the knowledge and professional background to address after-effects that may arise from this profound work.