Have you experienced skepticism or misconceptions about working with plant medicines?
In conversation with the larger world of healing, there are a lot of ideas about what it means to work with plant medicines. I often feel misunderstood.
People are concerned about choosing mind-altering medicines “to get high” or “have a trip.” Others are concerned it’s not the “real” way to do healing work. I understand these concerns and address them best I can. There is a wide range of experiences and people from varying backgrounds out there working with plant medicines. The key is to make sure we are alignment with ourselves and our healing paths, and to take responsibility for our own paths.
I see these medicines as sacred tools and teachers, that can open up infinite possibilities in consciousness. If we hold them with respect and truly integrate the lessons back into our lives, into our bodies, into our thoughts, actions, energies, we can be in an incredibly beautiful and profound healing relationship with them.
In the recent interviews I have been conducting, a few common concerns people experience are :
Concern #1: Over-use or becoming addicted to plant medicines
Choosing to work with a plant is opening up to a very deep intimate relationship. And like any other relationship (such as those with humans) - they can be unhealthy and turn addictive or abusive. And on the other side, they can be based on love, respect, reverence - a healthy nourishing relationship. Those who find themselves in unhealthy situations with plant medicines, and other relationships in life, could benefit from support and guidance to uncover the unhealthy patterns. We all need reflections from those we trust to help us see where we are out of alignment. The plants do just this as well, but when we are deep in the healing process, we need many angles from which to work. If someone has a history of unhealthy relationships, addictions, and trauma, working with plant medicines is advised only in conjunction with other healing and therapeutic modalities to truly get to the core of the healing.
Concern #2: Ceremony circles are conducting business out of alignment from the original intention of healing and awakening.
There can be a variety of issues with this. One is being over focused on the plant(s) as the healers, while the human counterparts are not fully trained to properly hold the healing container, and are behaving in ways not in service of others. Another issue is that circles can get stuck into a loop of more medicine is better, which plays easily into the consumerist conditioning in Western cultures where we are always assuming more and harder is better - that’s the way you “make” it in the world. Even the facilitators themselves can slide into this place, getting caught in the financial benefits and status/popularity/entertainer cycles that can be common in the plant medicine world. This can quickly begin to resemble the predominant power structure here in society that most of us are trying to move away from.
It is a matter of preference, and I personally prefer the healing containers from those I trust and are competently trained, often in a variety of healing modalities for many years, if not decades. I look for facilitators that are supportive of the learning process of all participant- they help hold, guide, and empower the individuals in their own healing, awakening and connection with the plants.
Of course, there are many circles where this is not at play, but this dynamic is what can give plant medicine a negative reputation. We can do our part by seeking out those circles who are in alignment with our own values for healing and humanity, not that are siphoning energy in an unhealthy way to feed the shadows of those "in charge."
Concern #3: People working with plant medicines are not in touch with reality or not doing their spiritual work.
The plants medicines are powerful teachers and awakeners. People who choose to work with plants must have their own energetic and spiritual practices to be able to support and sustain the rapid pacing of the work that gets uncovered by the plants. The plants open up consciousness, so that reality can be drastically shifted and altered immediately, and there is an immense responsibility on care-taking for that process. Esoteric, Eastern and indigenous traditions all have frameworks for which to hold this deep level of work. This includes the support of community that holds this transformation as a real part of human development. Western society does not have these frameworks and community level support. Yet, it is beginning to form, as those working with the plant medicine are realizing the importance of developing spiritual and energetic practices, integration work, and reaching out for supportive community.
Everything is malleable. Our power lies in our perception. Be curious, flexible and open to the unimaginable. We are in the midst of great change.
If we are truly committed to our transformation, we must dive into the unexplored territories of the heart and be wiling to learn from the wisdom sitting patiently waiting to be discovered.
This requires a skill that we can’t develop until we have the courage to go there. Let everything we think we know, drop aside. We dance in curiosity, like an explorer in a faraway land.
In our world, we shy away from feeling the intensity of the emotions in this exploration. But traveling in, where we experience them deeply, we get to know them, their teachings, their wisdom, and their guidance.
Lean into support, for the journey in can be dark and uncomfortable. We need others who can reflect our own truth and essence back to us, no matter what it is. Sometimes these are in the form of other people, other times it can be consciousness, plants, animals, or Mother Earth herself.
Let yourself feel fully, reach out for support and offer love to all expressions you discover along the journey.
I’m currently available for private support sessions where we bring in the wisdom of the plants, the Earth, and consciousness to guide you deeper. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Protectress of Mother Earth, Energy Healing, Plant Medicine Integration, Coach, Writer