"A new world is only a new mind."
William Carlos Williams
If you've come across this page, chance are: you're feeling called to work with one of the most powerful plant medicines on Earth.
Or perhaps you've already returned from a life-changing sequence of ceremonies, and you're seeking guidance on how to close the yawning divide between the mystical reality you just experienced and the reality of your everyday life.
While it can be helpful to speak with your shaman or ceremony facilitator, that person may/may not have the counseling experience & un-bias belief system necessary to best guide you. On the other hand, a seasoned therapist without plant medicine experience may find it difficult to hold space for, or authentically understand, the profound, meaningful, internal adventures you had during your ceremonies. The ideal option, it seems, is to speak with someone who has both professional counseling skills and years of experience working with plant medicines.
I've worked with an array of entheogens over the course of my life, including Ayahuasca, Wachuma, Peyote, Hapé, Psilocybin, Chiric Sanango, and Iboga - and I believe that when used for integral purposes, and with the proper guidance and care, plant medicines can be a blessing. However, the majority of focus on plant medicines is often related to the ceremonies themselves, rather than the preparations beforehand and - most importantly - the integration afterwards.
To fully heal, evolve, expand, understand, and alchemize new energies, you must put in the dedication and hard work after the ceremonies to make real, rooted changes. That initial post-ceremony bliss and ethereal clarity only last for so long, and when you begin to "land" back in the raw, messy world and feel the gap between the glorious plant medicine realms and the reality of your everyday life, the solution is not to hurriedly sign up for your next retreat...nor is it to cocoon yourself solely within your plant medicine community. Most likely, the solution is stay on the ground and begin the process of integration.
Of course this sort of inner work may not sound as enticing and majestic as an ayahuasca ceremony itself, but once you authentically go through the process of integrating the lessons/visions/insights/healings you received during your ceremonies, your entire life will become more magical and profound than any medicine ceremony imaginable! And, ultimately, isn't that the goal?
I'm neither an advocate for or against plant medicines.
Just as I'm neither an advocate for or against any particular religion.
I'm an advocate for your personal evolution - real evolution that involves vertical transformation, not just horizontal change.
When I was facing a scary health situation, my partner pointed out to me: a surgeon will most likely see surgery as the solution. A nutritionist will see nutrition as the solution. A talk-therapist will see conversations as the solution. An ayahuasquero will see plant medicines as the solution. The list of specialists and remedies goes on. So which of these approaches is correct?
That depends. It all depends on your unique physical, mental, and spiritual compositions, as well as where you are along your path, and what modality/modalities will offer the most direct, lasting, satisfying, safe road to your healing & empowerment. When seeking anything in life - healing, awakening, inspiration, clarity, worldly success, etc. - there isn't a "one size fits all" method to get you there. That's why it's beneficial to receive guidance from someone who has personal and professional experience with a multitude of modalities but is not attached to any of them.
After working on and off with ayahuasca for over a decade, I feel embodied by her and no longer desire or require ingestion of that medicine to gather the guidance she brings. I access those same realms and insights during regular, everyday life. And - I say this as humbly as possible and with full acknowledgment that I'm merely an imperfect human - I feel as if the spirit of ayahuasca has set me free "as the medicine herself" to carry her powerful energy inside me, so that in my own little way I can be medicine in the world.
There is a time to seek plant-guided healing, out-of-body experiences, cosmic/inter-dimensional exploration, lessons from past lives, and deep dives into the innermost crevices of our minds, memories, and traumas. But there is also a time to stop the seeking completely and to simply, deeply arrive. Arrive in the present moment, fully embodied, fully aware, and without the desire to be anything other than what you are. As a wise Navajo chief once said to a group of us, sitting around a ceremonial fire, "Don't look to the Creator for answers. Be in the created. That's everything you need."
To learn about the ayahuasca preparation and integration therapies I offer, continue past the photos.