Plant Medicines

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Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is an incredibly powerful mixture of healing plants from the Amazon rainforest and she is one of our greatest plant teachers. The intelligence of this plant never fails to blow me away.

Amazingly, the shamans discovered this powerful mixture because they were told by the spirits of the other plants in the Amazon where to find them. Out of all of the millions of plants in the Amazon rainforest, the shamans could not have accidentally stumbled upon this life changing mixture.

The traditional and most powerful Ayahuasca mixture consists of Banisteiropsis Caapi vine and the Chacruna leaf. The Chacruna leaf contains the psychoactive component known as Dimethyltryptamine or DMT and the Ayahuasca vine (Banisteiropsis Caapi) herself contains an MAO (Monoamine Oxidase) inhibitor allowing the DMT from the chacruna to enter the person’s system.

Although the Ayahuasca vine contains no actual psychoactive substance, without her the experience is not the same. The vine helps to guide and protect us as we travel deeply through different realms of consciousness. Some people replace the vine and Chacruna leaf with plants such as Harmala and Mimosa. While these plants are incredibly powerful and healing, they just aren’t the same as Ayahuasca herself. They are now dubbed 'anahuasca', because they are analogue plants. They give a similar experience, but the plant spirits present are different. They are amazing in their own right, but the different brews should not be confused.

Ayahuasca knows what you need

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A ceremony with Ayahuasca usually lasts between 4-8 hours. Though it can feel like you have been gone a lifetime. Ayahuasca is incredibly intelligent and knows just what it is that you need in order to heal. She can take you to the heights of heaven or right into your own issues so that you can deal with them and heal them. It can be a challenging or a liberating experience. Each journey with the medicine is unique and I know that for me, my life would be very different without this teacher plant. It is important to remember that wherever Ayahuasca takes you, she takes you there with love.

When I first worked with this plant medicine, she informed me that she would be taking up permanent residence in my energy field and the mother vine is now one of my most powerful guides. At the time I had no idea why this was until I was later told by various shamans that I too must walk the path of shamanism. The mother vine is now present in all of my healings, but more so when I am performing entity removal.

She injects a bitter taste into the person’s energy body, forcing the entities to leave. In ceremonies I have also witnessed myself and others purging entities out of their system. Ayahuasca is an amazing medicine for this. She doesn’t mess around when it comes to unwanted entities. This is also the reason why having a trained shaman present with you during ceremony is incredibly important. Shamans can see and feel the entities leaving the person’s body during a ceremony and deal with them accordingly so they do not linger.

Ayahuasca means 'vine of the souls'

Ayahuasca literally translates to vine of the souls. “Aya” meaning “spirit/soul” and “huasca” meaning “rope/woody vine”. This is generally why it is described as a death and rebirth experience.

It is said that an Ayahuasca experience is like getting 10 years of therapy in one night. I must say that I agree with this, having been in actual therapy myself for a long time as a teenager and getting absolutely nowhere. Ayahuasca got straight to work with me when I first encountered her.

She is a medicine of the night time and is used for deep introspection. An experience with this medicine allows an opportunity for things that you might not even know about yourself to present themselves. For me, the most truly amazing thing about this medicine is that once you drink her, she is with you for life. The ceremony is extremely important but so are the following weeks and months after a ceremony. Ayahuasca will continue to present you with lessons when you get home from a retreat. This is why after every ceremony we offer a group sharing circle in order to integrate your experience with the medicine and offer continued support once you get home from one of our retreats.

Read more about The Wider Reality plant medicine retreats here.


Pusanga

Pusanga is a plant medicine concoction from South America, and it's used for both physical and psychological conditions. It can  helps us with health, love, career and wealth... many things,  but those seem to be the most common concerns.

We make pusanga by taking a small glass bottle and half filling it with vodka, which acts as a preservative.  We embark on a journey into nature, something we call a plant walk. During this walk we start to bring our chattering mind to a halt, aiming to get into a meditative state. We become present, paying attention to the feel of each footstep on the earth, etc.

The walk should start to feel guided, which means we should relinquish the urge to control it.  We allow ourselves to be pulled toward whichever plants seem to call to us. We take a leaf, petal, or piece of stem or bark from the plant, and in return we exchange a part of ourselves. Usually this is saliva, which we place on the area that we took from.

We thank the plant for sharing itself,  and move onto the next that calls to us. When you are done, you will have a beautiful mix of plants in your bottle.

It is possible that the plant will have a message for you. If you are receptive, you may get the sense that it is asking you to slow down, or to trust in life, for example. Plants have an innate intelligence, but it's hard to perceive while we are caught up in our mind chatter. Being open to the teachings of plants is one way of expanding our awareness.

When we return to where we started, we may add some other substances into the mix, such as:

  • Essential oils
  • Agua Florida
  • White sage
  • Rose water
  • Tobacco,
  • Other plant medicines
  • Aromatic resin (e.g frankincense or pine)

Next, we'll fill the rest of the space in the bottle with spring water.

We will then go outside again to charge the pusanga with positive intentions.  We do this by holding our bottles up to the light and giving thanks to to the plants we are working with that day. The plant spirits conspire with you to bring about your positive intentions, and the intentions are the powerful force that charges the pusanga potion.

When you want to use your pusanga,you might put a few drops on your temples, or put a little in the bath. This connects you to the spirits of the plants, and reinforces your intention. As you would with a law of attraction practice, you should apply your pusanga and then forget about it. This bypasses the rational mind so that the plants can get to work. 


Rapeh

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Rapé (or rapeh) is a sacred shamanic snuff made up from various Amazonian  plants, flowers and leaves.

It is made by Amazonian tribes, all of which have their own recipes. Their carefully chosen ingredients are ground into a  powder and this powder is often mixed with Mapacho tobacco. Mapacho is used for many reasons in the Amazon, as it has strong healing powers and works well with other master plants.

Rapé takes a lot of time and effort to make. The shamans  who make it can spend hours upon hours singing and rattling to it, as well as  praying and infusing it with intentions.  This is one of the reasons we see it as a truly sacred medicine. Native Indians consider taking Rapé to be a kind of prayer to  nature. In this way, they connect with the plant spirits and get answers to their questions.  

Our Rapé  comes from the indigenous people of the Yawanawa tribe, situated between Peru and Bolivia. Their Rapé is made from ashes from the sacred Tsunu tree (the 'tree of dreams', which shamans use for healing spiritual issues), Mapacho tobacco, and various medicinal plants.

This tribe says that the purpose of Rapé is freedom from the physical body, so that you may astral travel and connect with your own spirit.  Rapé releases trapped energies, balancing them, while clearing your peripheral vision. Different types of Rapé will each have their own vibrational quality, so the effects on your energy field can vary dramatically.  

Using Rapeh

We use a small, double-ended bone or bamboo pipe to administer the  Rapé; this is known as a 'Tepi'. The Rapé powder is blown up each nostril one after the other. Rapé is used for the following purposes:

  • Releasing  trauma stored in the body
  • Releasing trapped emotions stored in the physical, spiritual or emotional body
  • Releasing negative energies and entities
  • Chakra opening and balancing
  • Decalcifying and opening the third eye (pineal gland)
  •  Connecting you to source and spirit
  • Facilitating deep meditative states

Some  Rapé powders are mildly stimulating, or create psychoactive effects.  Because they help to release trapped energies,  you may find that you purge after using it. Purging doesn't necessarily mean vomiting, of course. You may also experience excessive saliva or a runny nose. It's possible that you might want to go to the toilet afterwards.  The key with all the medicinal plants is to let go and trust that if you need to purge, it is because the plant spirits  are working with your body. There is no point in suppressing this, as you're essentially holding onto your traumas this way.


For every human illness, somewhere in the world there exists a plant which is the cure. I believe that there is a healing potential locked inside plants which is integral with their evolution, just as it is part of human evolution to learn to tap this wonderful gift of nature.
— Rudolf Steiner