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The Best Possible "Gateway Drug"

This is a story about one of my first powerful plant spirit medicine experiences. It was one that took me by total surprise, and shifted how I forever live in this body.

10 years ago, I was out in the woods with the School of Forest Medicine, and the plant we were going to meet was Cascara Sagrada (sacred bark). I knew nothing of this plant, and was looking forward to seeing what my experience in her presence would be.

As I lay down under the branches of the tree, I introduced myself, an opened my heart to try to perceive what I could from this beautiful plant.

I was surprised when she immediately swept me away on an inner journey. I was whisked up in a golden sac that hung from a branch above, which felt like being cradled inside of a cozy womb.

Cascara then brought me back to the moment of my birth, where the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck, choking me as I tried to enter the world. I saw clearly how the trauma of that experience was instilled in my energy body, and my shaking body in present time was crying and releasing a lifetime of holding that terror inside of me.

As Cascara’s spirit gently held me as I sobbed, I heard a song pour through me as clear as day. A song she was singing to me. I had been a part of the plant spirit medicine community in Portland for about a year at the time, and knew of people receiving songs from plants. I just never believed I'd be one of the recipients. I didn’t think I worked in that way. So when I heard this song, I was both shocked and grateful.

As she sang, she helped me visualize the rebirth of myself in a way that was smooth and easy, comforting and nourishing. The song, a huge part of the medicine, helped my system relax and release.

This song was one I didn’t think I could possibly sing. My voice was unsure and rough, and the song was delicate and beautiful. Yet I knew it was part of the medicine for me, to help me open my throat chakra that had been choked and harmed at birth.

I was terrified to share the song with my group, but I choked it out, shaky and raw. I took a ton of courage for me to sing that song to the group. And I know it didn’t sound pretty.

The healing of my throat chakra has continued to unfold from that moment, and I can now sing that song with confidence and have received countless other songs from the plant and Earth spirits.

Over the years of working with plant medicine I've grown to find an even wider base of support than I could have imagined when I first began. The plants have continued to open doorways and pathways for me that I didn't know existed.

They've helped deepen my experience of myself, as a human walking alongside the non-human world, and through interacting with them have discovered more about myself than I ever knew was there.

The plants were kind of a like a gateway drug for me, in the best possible way. They've opened me up to more and more mystery and depth and connection with the Earth and the Spirit realms that I didn't even know I was seeking. That I didn't even know existed.

And now, when things feel hard, I turn to the plant world. I turn to the world of the unseen they've unveiled to me. This has become my biggest source of trust, deeper than anything material or visible. And that’s what I lean into when I am overwhelmed or lost.

With the myriad of experiences and validations concerning the serendipitous and magical world, including my experience with Cascara, I am in deep communion with the knowing that I don’t know much.

The only thing I do know, through my work with the plant realm, is that there’s SO MUCH waiting to be explored and uncovered when we choose to say yes to the unknown.

If you're on the precipice, awaiting a deeper exploration of the magical unknown, Call Into Darkness: Deepening Plant Allyship is here for you. In this class you will receive the tinctures of 6 beloved plant allies, and each week you will be guided in a healing journey with one of them, as well as receive information on the medicine, and journal prompts to integrate the experience. We will have 3 live calls during the course, so you will be with others to share this journey with you into the fertile darkness.


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