In our first article, I ranted a little about the general set of expectations that modern psychonauts have for our Spagyrics, and for the more subtle forms of plant entheogens in general.
All is not lost, though, and it is possible to make the transition from blast-off drug-dependent spirituality to an intelligent and meaningful dialogue with the plant beings. Both of us here have taken that journey, from years of working with very strong substances to tuning in to the quieter voices of the plants. We know whereof we speak, we’re not just preaching, we have practiced.
Years ago (almost 18 now, wow!) we started working with the shamanic plants because we wanted an alternative way to connect with the important teachings they offer, both for ourselves and others. Our years in the trenches since then, seeing people mowed down by the trials that drug-based spirituality can bring, have strengthened that commitment.
What we learned from creating Spagyrics of medicinal plants is what we wanted to apply to the entheogenic plants, too. That is, all plants are an expression of the life force of Nature, and that life force is the source of the message that plant communicates. In Echinacea, that message is about immunity. Damiana speaks of the joy of intimacy, and green ones like Salvia divinorum or the Ayahuasca plants talk to us about wisdom and insight.
Like the plants, we are physical beings, and it is chemicals that carry the message from their bodies to ours. But the chemicals are not the source of the effects, any more than the receptors in our brains are the source of our wisdom.
Once we realize this, we also see that there is no magic pill, no instantly-enlightening perfect substance that will rocket our being into the empyrean heavens of perfect crystalline wisdom. There are substances that seem to do that, blasting us into that space for a few moments or even hours, but then we splash down again, here, only a little better for it, disoriented and dis-integrated.
For the real climb up that mountain, personal effort is required, and an expectation that you will need to do at least half the work. The growth of wisdom needs to be grounded in the real, day-to-day self, not left in some other sphere to jump into occasionally. It’s here in this world that we live, and here where the wisdom is needed, and if the wisdom you gain is grounded here, it will be available to you here.
So, some connection to the will, personality, self-consciousness, and self-control is needed throughout the journey, and this is only possible with a refined and subtle approach to the plants.
This is a path of working with the self and the plants as tools towards specific aims, rather than expecting the plant chemicals to do all the work for you.
The end result is much easier on the body, and more fruitful in the soul. Real wisdom, grounded in real experience, useful in the real world. If this is the kind of intelligent relationship you’re looking for with plants, click here to read our next article in this series.