On the 21st March 2019, on the day of the Summer to Autumn equinox, and with the Full Moon in Libra, I partook in a San Pedro cactus healing ceremony, in the garden of one of my closest friends.
San Pedro cactus, or Mescaline is an ancient plant medicine that has been used ceremonially for 3,000 years in South America. It is most likeable, perhaps to the fairly well known "Ayahuasca" ceremonies which; the first recordings of also date as far back as 3000 years.
San Pedro is known in South American culture as "the greatest plant teacher" of all time. The common misconception that I want to address is the grouping together with party drugs that plant medicine is sometimes subjected to.
Traditionally it has been reserved for, revered and respected as a platform for deep healing, approached consciously and with prior intention set in place as to what "issues" within the subconscious mind one might want to heal. Which is precisely what I did.
I've mentioned in previous blogs, and in some Instagram posts, that this past year I have gone through a separation with my husband, and partner of 6 years.
My view is that, in this past year I outgrew the relationship. The love I began to cultivate for myself was greater than the love he was able to show me, or had towards me, and so I had to speak my truth and I stepped away.
But why did I get into that relationship in the first place? Where did my prior discrepancy in self love come from? Why did I choose to be with someone who did not seem to care much for me?
It has been a hard time that has culminated recently for me, in some exaggerated fears of the future, which have caused reactions within my seemingly large "pain body". All understandable.
And so, only about three weeks ago when I was really hitting a low time, I had a very dear friend and her fiance pop over for a cup of tea. Mid conversation they casually dropped,
"So what are you doing on the 21st March? Its the equinox, a super full moon, and we are going to have a San Pedro healing ceremony at our place if you'd like to come?"
I had never done San Pedro prior to this, and while drugs and psychedelics are not really my thing, I instantly thought back to one of the few experiences that I had dabbled in magic mushrooms, or psilocybin.
I last took mushrooms about 7 years ago at the end of a really long hard year or so. I specifically noticed that the experience cleared out a lot of negative thinking.
It was as though in some way I was healed of a fair amount of pain and negativity. I even remember the next day and as it was wearing off, feeling as though I was left purified in some way...and that feeling never left me. I have not done them since.
There are now myriad studies and research that has been done to prove the beneficial effects of magic mushrooms in healing depression and other mental ailments. Click here to have a look at one such article on Guardian.com.
So, a few weeks ago when Mel and Ben offered this to me, something deep within me knew it was an opportunity not to pass up. I just felt it in my bones.
My San Pedro trip was the day before yesterday. The couple of weeks leading up to it was particularly hard, and I knew that I had to go into the ceremony with intentions of what I wanted to be healed within me.
I had my beautiful friend Maria over for a cup of tea the evening before, and we were discussing our deepest fears, desires and thoughts, as we do.
"I have always felt that I carry a lot of pain" I said to Maria.
"I don't know where it comes from, but there is something that really weighs me down at times. Something within me that I can't quite place my finger on."
I continued brainstorming for ideas of what intentions to bring to San Pedro
"And I always believe essentially that when it comes to men and relationships, that I am not cared for."
"In the beginning of them...if I am honest with myself" I continued
"I am in a state of fear rather than love. I feel that I need to get to a point where I am loved, looking for it outside of myself. Rather than just already being in my own state of love, and trust."
Or, I love so deeply and wholeheartedly, but I end up in relationships with men who don't have the capacity, or the will to love me in the way I deserve to be loved back"
"I suppose that's why I chose to marry a man, who essentially didn't care much for me" I quipped.
"And what of these blocks to feeling pleasure that I have had on and off, at certain times through my life" I continued
"...at times I have had the most amazingly electrifying and orgasmic physical connections with men, but the majority of the sex that I have had over the years, has unfortunately been less than fulfilling"
"I know my body does not lie, but if only my mind could figure out what it was saying to me"
"These are the things that I want to be healed within me" I said to Maria, and to myself with utter conviction, as I stood in the kitchen putting the cutlery back into the drawer.
The next day, as I was waking up, fasting, gathering my basket of incense, fruit, blankets, crystals and tea, and driving the 20 minute journey to arrive at 10am...I knew that it was the right decision, and I felt as though San Pedro was reassuring me.
I arrived on time. Mel came out to see me, we had a hug and went quietly into the house. In the living space she was burning some lemon oil and there was panpipe music playing quietly in the background. The boys were straining off the cactus soup in a crockpot that they had brewed up for a large number of hours the day before, and then had left under the light of the almost full moon.
Set up outside, was a large, low rectangular wooden table on the lawn, surrounded by floor cushions and some rugs. On the table sat some burning sage, a number of crystals, singing bowls and other trinkets.
I was on edge, but I knew that I was there for good reason.
I knew I was there with strong intention for some of my deep subconscious programming to be be healed, or to be shown how to heal myself. I didn't know what to expect.
Ben and Rani brought out the cactus drink into the garden in glass bottles and jugs, roughly a litre each. We all assumed our spots on the floor cushions and there was a moment of stillness between us.
Ben said a few words of guidance before hand. He reminded us of the phases of a Mescaline ceremony, the bitter taste of the drink hits the stomach and after a while, waves of nausea come over you.
"It's ok if this doesn't happen, but if it does, it's important to let yourself vomit...but only after about 45 minutes, so that the active ingredient manages to get through to your bloodstream." He urged. "After this phase is when the trip typically starts."
I was so nervous. We all said what we felt to say, I mentioned to everyone that I was there very intently, and I was open to the healing of some of my deepest wounds.
"I don't know what's going to happen, guys. I might cry, I might scream, I have no idea. I have never done this before. But I want you all to know that I am intent on gleaning what I can from this experience, so don't worry about me, I am here with clear intention and am going to be doing whatever it is I need, and purge whatever is within me in, order to process this."
Funnily enough; as I had the first few gulps of this foul tasting bitter green liquid, something inside me recognised it as medicine.
Within about 45 minutes we had all managed to struggle down our dosage and the waves of nausea were hitting us. We had a bit of a giggle and a supportive pat on the back for each other as we all went through this phase, then it subsided.
We found ourselves calm and relaxed, at times sitting at the table, talking, wandering around. An hour must have passed.
The onset of the trip was actually very slow. It came on gently. There was a nice grounded and calm feeling. I realised, as the time was passing that I could see patterns when I closed my eyes. After a little while longer I could see them with my eyes open too.
It was as though I could see how everything was alive and moving. And how everything was within everything. All time and space, all energetic and physical, intertwined. Past, future...everything was here and now.
I could feel the rush of sensual energy through my body, the joy of being, the deliciousness of the divine feminine energy of love, passion, creativity and potent sexuality that not is within me, but is me.
It is hard to explain, but that's just the ultimate truth of what I was experiencing...awe, magic, divinity, connectedness, that all is within us and we are within everything. I looked up at Mel as I was reaching up and touching the clouds and said, knowingly,
"This is all already within us...it is as though we are just able to connect to it right now...the plant is showing us the way it already is"
It has been said that San Pedro just shifts your frequency to be able to perceive what is already occurring in the natural world. We only have five senses and can only perceive 0.0035% of the electromagnetic spectrum!
The Sensual Woman
I suddenly needed to take my clothes off. I was wearing a jumpsuit, that I thought would be comfortable as I could move easily in it, but I needed to be free, it still felt too restrictive. I asked Mel for a bikini top and lay down on the earth outside in underwear.
As I lay on the grass, gently moving on the ground, I became aware of feeling a bit inappropriate in front of the boys. Or ashamed? Should I be lying here, near naked on the lawn? Is it suggestive? Is it wrong?
"Oh, but I am so damn comfortable here, this is what I want to do right now...no, this is what I need to do right now. I'm tripping. It's fine, I thought."
"I am actually feeling incredibly sensual right now, I am connected to everything...I am pulsating with life. God, it feels good being a woman!"
I lay there quietly connecting with the abundant pleasure and sensuality dancing between my body and the universe.
But my mind wondered back to whether or not this was respectable? What must I look like? I felt my body immediately restrict and close down to the flow of sensuality, and an intuitive understanding dawned on me.
Women are innately sensual creatures. The female body, in it's natural state is full of potent sensual pleasure, and magical creativity. We are sexual, we are alive, and we are life giving.
All I wanted to do was move, and writhe, on all fours, on my back...I just wanted to dance, and I wanted to make love, I wanted to be wild and free.
But the world we live in does not allow us to be that way. We have been made to restrict, made to tense up, to stand straight, to cross our legs, to have the correct demeanour... firstly because of our need to survive in a less than perfect world, but also because of the actual psychological suppression of female sexuality over the years.
And then, as I was laying there, an another overwhelmingly poignant realisation occurred. I was taken aback by the sense of love and respect I had for myself as a woman in that moment. The fact that I created a child, the sacredness of it.
Not in a glorified way...just a complete sense of awe and respect at this vehicle of life that I am.
And in that moment, I felt myself as all things that I, within this body, had ever been, and all that I am yet to be. I was the child, I was the mother, I was the crone. I came full circle with my entire being right then and there. It was all present.
I looked down at my stomach and I could see it beating, flesh and blood, alive and pulsating. It became starkly clear just how sacred I was as a woman. As a life giving being. Such potential within the womb, and the belly.
The Abused Woman
And then the sadness came. For the realisation that the female body and the female psyche has withstood ages of suppression and abuse. I believe that at this point I slipped into an energetic memory of a past life.
I looked down at my hands and they were covered in mud, or blood, or both. I felt as though I was dressed in rags, skin and bone, crumbling, I had been through so much pain that my mind had disassociated from my experience.
It is important to note, that I was completely present as myself in this life, I was not out of touch with my current reality and existence, its not as though I became this woman, it was more a remembrance and realisation of this energetic imprint within my consciousness.
I felt like a beaten, abused, raped and otherwise unregarded shell of a woman. An absolute tragedy.
I realised that all that we have ever experienced before, is within us now. In the body and in the psyche. I was being made aware of the ancestral memory in our DNA, and in our collective unconscious. Everything within everything.
And then I realised how much tension we as women, carry in our bodies and in our collective psyche, because of the history of the suppression, and abuse of our sexuality. I became aware of the great feminine wound, that impacts collective female consciousness.
Yes, I was safe there on the lawn. But there were times I not been safe before, many times over, as have countless other women. I realised that there is a big part of me that still carries that tension.
Pleasure exists in being soft enough to receive
I must have been relaying what I was feeling to my friends because Rani looked at me, a beautiful Brazilian man with a soft demeanour, and said purposefully,
"Look at you, you are so strong"
I felt a heavy twinge in my back and replied,
"Thank you so much, that is kind. But all I want is to be soft"
As women, we need to be soft in order to feel. We need to be receptive to feeling and to receiving pleasure. We need to allow ourselves to feel pleasure from a perspective of trusting that it's there, rather than searching for it. It is an entirely different feeling to the driven energy of the masculine.
But, all too often we are not able to be soft. So many of us have built up walls of protection in our minds, our pysches and our bodies, to protect either against the subconscious fear and sadness left from centuries of suppression and abuse, or from dissociation from the present moment.
As I lay there feeling this past experience, feeling so broken and abused, so beyond the fear of even protecting myself, that I had slipped into the feeling of detached submission. Over powered, futile. Simply no more feeling. The atrocious reality of this huge wound in myself, and in the collective female psyche, became clear to me.
I never grieved for the self that went through that pain. Perhaps no one ever had. And I lay there on the Earth and I sobbed the deepest cries I have ever felt. It was as though they were streaming up through the deepest recesses of my memory and being released, being heard, seen and being felt in that present moment.
I looked at Rani. He was so kind. He was so loving. He has a mother, a wife, daughters, I thought to myself. He is someone's precious boy.
And then another understanding came to me.
Just as much as there is a great feminine wound, there is also as much guilt within the masculine collective consciousness, because of this.
The masculine collective consciousness holds deep guilt that there is rape, there is sexual violence, there is suppression of their own mother and of their own lover.
And as I looked at Rani again, and reflected on what he saw in me...such strength to survive...I realised that this strength comes from love, the love that we essentially have for our children, for we are the mothers of the human race.
So as deep as the great feminine wound is, and as deep as the guilt within the masculine collective psyche goes, our love as women, and our forgiveness goes deeper still.
To be honest I don't know how many lives like that I might have lived, but I have a feeling it was more than one. I cried so deeply and let all the pain out, and it was gone. And there I was again, in the garden on a hot sunny day, connected to the joy of the present moment again, connected, alive, joyful, content, I was soft again.
My Inner Child
I lay there on my back, holding a couple of crystals, placing them around my stomach and womb, and I started to give myself Reiki, and I noticed the power of our intention, and just how important it is to connect with a sense of self healing. I lay there and thought..."I actually do not do this nearly enough!"
Then I looked down at myself and I suddenly felt undernourished. I felt like I was not getting nearly enough sustenance, not enough self- love, not enough rest. I looked at my body and I thought. Gosh I'm skinny.
Now, I actually am a very slight person. I have fluctuated over the years, like most people would, but it was slowly becoming aware that lately, and often times over the years I restrict my needs, and that this receiving of things, of sustenance, the receiving of time and space, is directly related to my capacity to receive pleasure.
My tendency to rush through the day, rush through chores, push on with tasks, sometimes forget meals, eat small amounts on the fly.
And the list began to go on,
Not ask for what I need, to apologise too much, to worry about other people's feelings instead of my own, to sit uncomfortably in a chair for longer than necessary because I can't be bothered to get comfortable. And then the penny dropped.
What about my pleasure? What about my sustenance? What about my gratification? Everything; physical, sexual, emotional. The fact that I don't eat as much chocolate as I would like, or feel that little twinge of guilt when I buy myself some new clothes.
Something within me is still blocked to pleasure. Something in me feels that I don't deserve, or cannot ask for the time, the space, the energy to receive pleasure, or whatever else I need.
I married a man who did not prioritise one ounce of my pleasure. My wellbeing? Sure. But my pleasure? Not an ounce. Of course he would make an effort to give me an orgasm once in a while, but perhaps only because I had asked. Why did I choose this for myself?
I found myself with my head between my knees sitting at the bottom of the garden, alone, and my subconscious mind took me back to a memory of a feeling a long, long time ago...at the very beginning of my life.
I was born into a family of two young parents, and with an older brother. My parents had a very turbulent relationship. It wasn't a happy home. I was the smallest, yes, but also by nature I am very benevolent, forgiving, unassuming, gentle in my wishes, and wants for other people.
So this, combined with the fact that there was already not enough love, time or attention to go around, meant that I shrunk away, so as to not overburden an already crumbling household.
I have carried this into my adult life. I shy away, I do not state my needs often. And again, I sat at the bottom of the garden, and I shed a tear for the baby girl who was so concerned about everyone else, that she still forgets to take what she needs.
Some other experiences and visions occurred, but I am trying to keep this blog digestible, and the key tenets of what I have already outlined are strongly linked to pleasure, self love, and self worth...which is the backbone of the philosophy of this business, so I will leave you here...
I do believe that what I experienced that day, is not just something that exists within my own psyche, but exists in the collective consciousness of human kind.
I came home that night, I lit candles, I danced, and I made love to myself.
I woke up the next day, and since then, I have the understanding that I really need to put myself first, and even though I am not as self neglecting as I was a year ago, there is still room for improvement.
There is all the time and the space for me, there are all the pleasures and joys and contentments to be had right now, and right here within my own sphere. I do not need to ask for scraps of love from men, I do not need to chase something that is outside of me.
Love is already here. For love is within everything, and everything is within me.
I went out yesterday and I bought myself some new clothes, a new crystal and some incense, and I felt so deserving, gifting to myself, as I handed over my money.
I have decided to set up new boundaries of respect with my ex husband, I stand in my own power, and I claim all the time and space that I need to be in alignment with my own wellness.
San Pedro has connected me to the Earth, and to myself like never before. I have a newfound sense of gratitude in knowing that I am, and that we all are divinity embodied.
No more acting otherwise.