Written for Daily Hive by Mimi Young, a shamanic medicine teacher and founder of Ceremonie.
As science continues to gain clarity around the historical and cross-cultural use of entheogen plant medicines, it’s also making strides in understanding how the role of such plants impact the Default Mode Network, increase neuroplasticity, and overall well-being.
But I am not a scientist.
If you’re interested in that, there are plenty of scientific resources out there, including food-agriculture journalist Michael Pollan’s recent work How to Change Your Mind. It looks at new scientific discoveries around entheogen medicines and how they can teach us about consciousness, depression, addiction, death, and transcendence.
From the perspective of a ritualist and a shamanic medicine teacher, I’m interested in how plants play a role in the belief of ourselves and the stories we choose to live based on these beliefs.
First, some context:
Since the advent of fire, across the world there has emerged a universal story that goes something like this: in many community groups, the Holy Individual who was considered the Healer, Medicine Wo/man, High Priestess, Sage, Shaman, Teacher or other Wise One, received a sacred gift from Spirit, the gift of the burning herb. It could have been used as smudge, incense, or as inhaled herbal smoke (think: the pipe). Regardless, this became a way for voices from this reality to reach the other realms…
The Healer experienced visual and aromatic smoke, and the burning herb temporarily altered their electromagnetic energy field so they could receive messages from other realms and come up with solutions that could potentially shift reality. This was known as a “peak experience”, and the Healer would walk down the proverbial mountain afterwards to share their gifts with the people. The Healer bore a tremendous privilege by participating in a relationship with the “plant teacher” (the burning herb), and also the responsibility to share and sometimes facilitate the evolution of their group.
Fast forward to modern times. Many of us enjoy lighting incense. Some may even smudge. And with the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada approaching in October, many more of us will also be smoking it.
And while many of us already know that cannabis can be relaxing, bring about feelings of euphoria, and ease pain and inflammation, not enough are yet aware aware of cannabis as a teacher, one that inspires us to examine our beliefs, release negative habits, and write new stories for our lives. We are in an age in which every individual can be – and is – a Healer. We all can receive this privilege as long as we choose to relate to her in this way.
This Wednesday (July 18), I’ll be hosting a women’s-only outdoor event in Vancouver called WOMEN, WEED & WISDOM to explore how you can relate to cannabis in ritual, understand its energetic correspondences, and learn from it as a teacher. We will learn context, application, and integration of this in our everyday lives.
When: July 18, 2018
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: To be disclosed with ticket purchase