By Leia Friedwoman
The PsychedologistSep 07, 2023
A Table of Our Own with Ayize Jama-Everett
Ayize Jama-Everett holds three Master’s degrees: Divinity, Psychology, and in Fine Arts, Writing. He blends these degrees in all his work, often identifying as a guerilla theologian, a community-based therapist, and an afro-futurist in the same breath. He’s taught at Starr King School for the Ministry, California College of the Arts, The University of California, Riverside, Western Colorado College, and several private High schools for over twenty years. His expertise includes working with adolescents, the history of substance use in the United States, the history of Sacred Plant medicines in the Maghreb, the religious roots of political violence from Ireland to the Middle East, educational arts pedagogy, and Afrofuturism. He’s published four novels (The Liminal series )and two graphic novels(Box of Bones and The last Count of Monte Cristo). As an associate professor at Starr King, he teaches The Sacred and the Substance, a course that examines the role of consciousness altering plants in religions around the world. He also coordinates the Psychedelics and the Seminary lecture series for Starr King, which invites luminaries from the Psychedelic world to discuss their orientations to faith and religion.
Ayize is the producer of a documentary about Black people and psychedelics entitled A Table of Our Own. His shorter works can be found in the LA Review of Books, The Believer, and Racebaitr. He is a Board member of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, leading their initiative to look at the role of psychedelics in the mental health of People of color and poor people. Ayize also serves as a board member to Access to Doorways, a non-profit committed to increasing the number of Queer and BIPOC people involved in psychedelics at every stage. In addition, he serves as a board-level advisor to Psychedelics Today, focusing on their VITAL psychedelics training program. He’s also served in an advising capacity at UC Berkeley Center for psychedelic science, has been a guest lecturer at the California Institute of Integral Studies Psychedelic Therapies and research center, and was a featured speaker at Stanford’s first Psychedelics and design symposium.
A Table of Our Own is a groundbreaking documentary about Black People and Psychedelics/Plant Medicine. Although Ayize wears many hats, from therapist to writer to professor, filmmaking was not something he ever saw himself doing. He shares about the process of seeing this project through, including the fact that no major psychedelic organizations put forth support to make it happen.
Through discussion of one of his books, Box of Bones, the topic of stories arises - who gets to tell the stories, and why? The cornerstone of therapy is, what stories are you telling yourself, and why? Stories always reinforce a narrative.
Adjacent to this and the discussion of evil, Ayize pushes back on the “hurt people hurt people” trope - not all hurt people hurt people. Some hurt people hurt people, some hurt people protect people, help people, say “never again, I’m not going to let that happen to me or anyone else.”
During and following this conversation, I find myself reflecting on the position of privilege that is to take a stance that evil does not exist. In the context of harms in community, Ayize puts forth that people who want to avoid conflict will ask what was going on for that person who caused harm? You get to ask the question because you haven't been hurt.
The conversation winds down with a tip of the hat to speaking the truth, and all of the people who have come together to birth A Table of Our Own.
A Table of Our Own on IG
“The greatest tool the colonizer has is the mind of the colonized” - Franz Fanon
Love Beyond Binaries with Kai Cheng Thom
A riveting and dynamic conversation about love, community and complexity with the phenomenal Kai Cheng Thom! We hear about her act of prayer in a collapsing world: FALLING BACK IN LOVE WITH BEING HUMAN, a book of poems and rituals for connecting with the unlovable in ourselves and others.
Kai Cheng shares about her early experiences with being conscious of consciousness, daydreaming and intentionally projecting self into another world, and wondering, 'is this the real reality?’. A thread of nonbinaristic thinking weaves throughout the episode.
We hear about led Kai Cheng to writing her most recent essay, The Village and The Woods, a venture into inquiring about a problem with no name. This essay explores the anatomy of the cycle of social panic: how community, initially a place of refuge, can turn more and more horrifying; the seductive urge to raise ourselves “above” and maintain that above status, even (especially?) in social justice communities; the importance of going more slowly and resisting the urge to dive into that swift right/wrong pattern. Can we really tell the story, slowly understand all of the different threads of what happened? What are the extenuating factors?
Recognizing that abuse is about power, Kai Cheng offers a meta and a micro example of how we can train our sense perceptions to hold onto multiple threads in a story and hopefully gain a holistic understanding of what’s going on. Holding onto complexity - which can be difficult with activation and trauma - and tending to our own nervous systems and the collective nervous system, especially involves the responsibility held by the bystanders, and the capacity for nuance. That egregious harm is real, that the monster/innocent binary doesn’t allow us to address different grades of harm, and that we all deserve to be able to say “I am hurt right now, I was let down, and I need community,” and be met with support.
We transition back to poetry, and being in touch with the wild divine. Kai Cheng reads Leia’s favorite poem from the book (and, perhaps, favorite poem ever), To Jesus. We muse on the beauty and power of ritual and symbolic action, and on personal relationships with the divine.
Bio: Kai Cheng Thom, MSW, MSc, is a certified Somatic Sex Educator, Qualified Mediator, Clinical Hypnotherapist and Certified Professional Coach based in tkaronto/Toronto. She is also the author of six award-winning books in various genres, including the recently released poetry and self-help collection Falling Back In Love With Being Human. Kai Cheng's work focuses on the intersection of social justice, pleasure activism, and transformative approaches to healing conflict. A noted speaker and practitioner of somatic wellness, healing, and group process facilitation, Kai Cheng supports individuals and groups who are seeking to repair relationships and make transformative change. She also teaches as Adjunct Faculty at the Institute for the Study of Somatic Sex Education.
The Magic and the Mundane with Soma Phoenix of Psillygirls
I’m a huge fan of Soma and Psillygirls! She graces the podcast with her brilliant presence. Topics include the deliciousness of air, magical thinking, the balance of dreaming/wishing while having two feet on the ground in this reality.
Soma appears in the documentary A Table of Our Own, which you can catch at the Grand Lake Theater this Wednesday, Sept 13 2023 at 7PM! Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-table-of-our-own-fundraiser-tickets-679867601297?aff=oddtdtcreator
Can’t make the fundraiser? Please consider Donating! (in the note, write: A Table of Our Own) https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=PZXHTWF9ZYFYA
This is a fundraising viewing for the film, which premiered to a standing room only crowd at Psychedelic Science this past June. If you attend the fundraiser in Oakland, you will not only have the chance to witness the impactful documentary first hand, but also contribute to the ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the potential benefits of plant medicine and the connection Black people have to it.
In this episode, Soma shares about letting our strengths lead us and working holistically, from the root to the fruit. We discuss colonization and this larger cultural turning point we find ourselves in - recognizing that water, air, and the climate are incredibly precious and are in danger for everyone.
We gush over our love for the plants and the mushrooms (all of them, but specifically tulsi, cordyceps and cannabis), and Soma imparts some wisdom from her experience cultivating medicine. We talk about having reverence and being in intentional relationship with the plants and mushrooms we work with, paying mind to patterns of “using” them that can lower our frequency and make us stagnant. The conversation wraps up with a nudge for all of us to “remember your why.”
Bio: Soma Phoenix is a psychedelic researcher and integration consultant who works with individuals seeking healing from trauma and spiritual transformation. As an attorney, Soma advocates for drug policy reform and supports the idea of cognitive liberty, or freedom to explore consciousness on our own terms. Soma provides private integration support services and is the founder of Psillygirls, an organization devoted to community building, spiritual support, and discourse around psychedelic experiences and insights.
A Deep Dive into Midnight Water with Dr. Katherine MacLean
A deep, thoughtful and bright conversation with Dr. Katherine MacLean, my friend and colleague! Love is the starting point for this episode. Katherine shares wisdom from her experiences with life, death, psychedelics and forgiveness. We talk about how lower doses of medicine can also be healing. Katherine shares about the psychedelic experience of publishing a personal memoir, Midnight Water, and the process that led her to choosing to write the truth.
The conversation flows through more themes: being reborn, working with recognizing, owning and releasing burdens. At a certain point, Katherine stopped trying to exile or destroy the parts of her consciousness that were tormenting her, and befriended them, after recognizing that “there might be another way.” She shares about how a story can be like water, and about the magic of mist.
We discuss the medicines as having character, personality, intention. Hooray for the Psychedelic breadcrumbs! Katherine speaks to the miracle of letting go of one way of trying to heal yourself, which often pits you against the problem. We explore the idea of monsters as invisible, ever present aspects of our own minds. The topic shifts to forgiveness, and Katherine reads from a chapter of Midnight Water.
Katherine MacLean, PhD is a writer, research scientist, mother and adventure-seeker. She has spent the past two decades studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics, surviving motherhood, and learning a lot about death and grief. Her debut book covering all of this terrain - Midnight Water: A Psychedelic Memoir - is available in print (now) and audio formats (soon).
Finding pleasure in the spirals of healing with Ariel Szabo
Ariel Szabo, a midwife of intimacy and connection, and dear friend, comes on the podcast for a deep and yummy conversation about pleasure, grief and spirals. In this episode we discuss imagination, dearmoring, vulnerability, conflict as an opportunity to get closer, and the practice of using pleasure to integrate all parts of us. Ariel shares about bodywork and the gift it offers through giving and receiving it, seeing people come alive when they give themselves permission to express themselves fully.
We hear about genital de-armoring, a practice that brings presence and loving connection to our body's resistance and blocks to liberate them. The conversation turns to a discussion of shame and grief. We talk about masturbation, the commonness of childhood sexual abuse and Ariel’s journey of healing and integration. We celebrate the magic of mirror work.
The conversation, unsurprisingly, turns to plants and how much we love them. Plants as teachers, showing us possibility, plants resourcing us to feel. We touch on how colonization has impacted us in our bodies and as a society, and the beauty in reclaiming our inherent belonging with the plant, animal and fungi kingdoms.
Ariel shares about two upcoming offerings as well - Temple of the Womb, a six week in-person immersive in Salem, MA this fall and an Ayahuasca & Huachuma Plant Medicine retreat in Peru in March 2024.
Bio: Ariel is dedicated to walking with people back to their bodies, their hearts, and their souls. Formally trained as a sexological bodyworker, somatic sex educator, and psychedelic therapist; all in service of supporting people in remembering their inherent value and belonging. She weaves together spiritual and western teachings, integrating the wisdom she receives from the consciousness of the plants and elements she sits with and western knowledge on working with the nervous system and trauma.
Links: IG - @sacredmoonflower
Listening inside of the silence with Spirit Traveler
Spirit Traveler, my beloved twin and much admired role model, comes on the podcast for an enlightening conversation about getting the lesson, giving thanks and keeping it moving!
Topics include growing up in Detroit, day dreaming and cloud gazing; how she got her name; being sensitive and intuitive, finding support and mentorship to understand and develop her gifts; changing perspective about food and the energy and vibrations that come along with anything we consume or do; being the vessel.
Spirit also shares about saying thank you for those who are responsible for who I am; pausing and giving thanks, being present, and giving back to community.
“Each moment can be as good as you allow it to be.”
“Remember to take the same medicine that you give others.”
“Death is sad, though through understanding life’s cycles, it is a blessing.”
We talk about singing and tap dancing, and Spirit expresses her views on how being technical can stifle us from being fully self expressed. We can be mindful not to let the laws and rules restrict our full self expression, our art.
Serenity Prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference
We’re All Doing Time - https://humankindness.org/product/were-all-doing-time-by-bo-lozoff/
Where Land Based Healing and Addiction Recovery Meets Psychedelic Ceremony
Leia reads an article that she wrote for DoubleBlind Magazine. This reading is the unabridged version of the article. An edited version, titled Why Connecting to the Earth May Be a Vital Part of Psychedelic Healing, is available at https://doubleblindmag.com/permaculture-healing-sacred-rebels-recovery/
Shades of Awareness: Exploring Racial Consciousness with Claude King, LCPC
Claude L. King is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Employee Assistance Consultant based in the Chicagoland Area with 13 years of experience in the mental health field. He specializes in working with teens, young adults, and working professionals with a focus on work-life balance, employee mental health, emotional regulation, stress-management, mindfulness, positive parenting, and healthy masculinity. In addition to his therapy practice, Claude is the founder of CK Psych and conducts trainings and workshops on various mental health and wellness topics for corporations and community-based organizations. Through his work, Claude is committed to promoting mental wellness, improving emotional health, and empowering individuals to live their best lives.
In this episode, Claude shares that his earliest experiences with consciousness were around race. As he grew up, he recognized that the phenomenon of race extended beyond physical appearance, to things that had happened historically and even that were still happening now, such as educational disparities. He questioned why this was the case.
Now he works as a therapist, with a passion for men’s mental health, specifically men of color. We discuss Gabor Mate’s insight about trauma being not what happens to you, but what happens inside of you as a result of what happens to you, and that having support can make a huge difference in processing difficult or traumatic experiences. Claude wants people to know that therapy is a process, that it’s not necessarily an immediate deep dive into one’s darkest traumas and secrets. It takes time to build rapport and develop trust, and that is part of the therapeutic process.
We touch on shame, the stigma around mental health, trying to conform our authentic selves into the norms society deems to be appropriate, and the need for therapists to recognize the societal context we are in and to look at how it's impacting us and our mental health. Finally, we discuss honoring the coping mechanisms that we’ve had to develop out of survival as an integral part of shifting into new coping mechanisms and ways of looking at the world, and giving ourselves grace as we learn something new.
Land Based Healing, Holistic Recovery and Permaculture at Sacred Rebels Recovery
Makena and Sapha are the founders of Sacred Rebels Recovery, a project supporting individuals in recovery from addiction through land based treatment and plant medicine in Peru, in association with Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual.
According to the International Journal of Indigenous Health, land-based healing is a culturally defined practice, program, or service that takes place in an urban nature-based, rural, or remote location, on a land base that has been intentionally spiritually cultivated, honored, and respected (Hanson, 2012). The land is situated as firmly relational within an Indigenous pedagogy, and is understood to be an active “partner to the person or people engaged in the healing process” (Hanson, 2012, p. 2). Steps are taken to identify how an individual or community’s relationship with the land, self, and others has been disrupted and how best to help renew this relationship (Laurie, 2013). This has also been referred to as “land-based intervention” in the literature (Walsh et al., 2018).
Sapha and Makena discuss the importance of being in community, how they were first exposed to permaculture, and the magical way that gardens attract community and offer a meeting place for connection to spark. We also explore some ways that permaculture can be practiced, either to reproduce colonial systems or to deconstruct them.
The conversation turns to addiction, and the prejudice that people who use psychedelics can face from the recovery community. Sacred Rebels Recovery is bringing together land based healing with community, both in the jungle and virtually. Sapha and Makena share about working alongside the local community village Llanchama (sounds like yawn-chama), which neighbors Nihue Rao, about 1 hour away from Iquitos by motocar/river boat. This collaboration adds value to the recovery journey, as knowledge and healing is shared and integrated.
Sapha and Makena shared with me in an email that Sacred Rebels Recovery is indigenous owned and operated, and visitors/residents have the opportunity to access psychedelic therapy and permaculture during the inpatient treatment process, which is generally not available with treatment in North America. The modalities are traditional indigenous healing practices held in a traditional container by indigenous people.
Land based healing abroad adds a layer of adventure to the experience and an opportunity for the individual to be away from the city or town they used drugs in for an extended period of time. They also get the chance to experience a different culture, art, spirituality, and way of life. Their time away gives the family or closest care of the individual seeking treatment a break and ability to create healthy distance to allow space for healing on both sides. Seeking treatment internationally can also be more cost effective.
Sapha and Makena’s intention as stewards of the land is to develop food forests and systems that can thrive with native medicinal and edible plants, so the local community can continue to cultivate and enjoy the fruits of the land for years to come. They are also hosting ayahuasca retreats and residential programs for individuals on a path of addiction recovery.
The conversation also includes a discussion of the ways that ayahuasca and other native jungle plants have supported us in our individual recovery/mental health journeys.
There were various candid appearances in the background of this episode, from people splitting wood, dogs barking, planes flying overhead, birds singing, motorcars, to other jungle creatures. Thank you for your patience and understanding :)
Loving Pause & Sacred Subtleties with Éva-Milan Zsiga / Coyote
Éva-Milan Zsiga (aka Coyote) is a writer, preschool teacher, artist and mindfulness meditation facilitator interested in finding awe in the “mundane” and emanating reminders of meeting ourselves where we are. She is a holistic-health advocate and “jack of all trades,” learning to embrace her fullness and multitudes, with each breath - shifting nervousness to excitement and fear into fascination.
Raised in Brooklyn, N.Y, Éva-Milan has had the honor to offer tools and techniques of mindfulness through her guided meditations for the past 7 years- in NYC, Mexico, and virtually- far and wide.
Some things that tickle her soul & bring her joy are;
-moss, frogs, & many animals (sparrows!)
-communing with the ocean on a surfboard
-the vagus nerve & learning more about the fascinating human brain
-traveling the world"
Éva-Milan’s website: http://www.waterforease.com/sos
Embracing Death with Ellen Wong
Ellen Wong is a Chinese-American psychedelic death doula who guides medicine journeys, breathwork, sound and somatic root healing. She companions people in reclaiming life through facing death.
In this rich and potent episode, we discuss ancestral wounding around the sharing of emotions, embracing the light and dark within ourselves, accountability, developing the tools to sit with discomfort that comes with taking responsibility, anger and grief, technology, and astrology and revolution. Ellen shares about coming into a more loving relationship with religious trauma, representation in medicine spaces, death doula work, the mundane as the special sauce of life, and turning toward nature and her own intuition to direct her toward what feels resonant.
Sharing the Medicine with Caitlin Bernhard MSN, FNP
Caitlin and I recorded this juicy and nourishing conversation over herbal tea in her home (you may hear her ancient kitty, Mimi, chime in occasionally). We talk about stories, masks, meditation and reiki, her relationship to the plants, eating with the seasons, food as medicine, herbs and astrology, the moon, cannabis, and microdosing various medicines (including those that are more famously known for macrodosing). A recurring theme in the dialogue is tapping into the enormous universe while dropping down into the earth, connecting to being a Being who is crossing these many and various plains of existence.
Caitlin Bernhard, MSN, FNP is a radical wellness clinician and an expert in plant medicine and cannabis care. Caitlin has been an herbalist since she first started playing with plants and she has an extensive background in holistic health. She is also a Family Nurse Practitioner and Integrative Health Coach specializing in cannabis and preventative medicine. Combining her passion for science, plants, healing, and fun, she created Azalla Wellness & Education LLCs, her clinical practice and education platform. She resides in western Massachusetts, where she can be found watching for hawks and listening to rivers.
Supporting Others by Being Human with Karen Kieffer
Karen Kieffer, my dear friend and colleague, comes on the podcast to talk consciousness and her journey with cancer.
Bio: Karen Kieffer currently is.
She is a trauma therapist, trainer, and integration coach, as well as mom, sister, daughter, friend, plant mom, and cancer egghead. She has lived in Massachusetts for over 30 years, but may soon become a nomad.
In this episode: What is reality? Karen discusses out of body experiences, pleasure activism, and how culture shapes us. Karen mentions her path to social work, the experience of being disabled by depression, peer support, becoming trauma informed, becoming a therapist, and her present work. She shares about open dialogue, a systems approach to mental health and working with families. A theme of this conversation is supporting others by being human. Karen has also helped white people understand why issues of race can be so hard for us. We discuss somatics, complexity, resilient movements, and psychedelics.
bell hooks - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/17/bell-hooks-obituary
Resmaa Menakem - https://www.resmaa.com/
Pleasure Activism by adrienne marie brown - https://www.akpress.org/pleasure-activism.html
Kimberly Ann Johnson and Stephen Jenkins - https://orphanwisdom.com/2021/10/31/kimberly-ann-johnson-interviews-stephen-jenkinson-on-spirit-work-conspiracies-elderhood-and-grief/
Talk about cancer Leia described in Intro: https://youtu.be/6VXTiI7eWD4
A Philosophical Talk about Consciousness with Facundo Raganato
Facundo Raganato, writer, poet, artist, and philosopher comes on the podcast to talk about understanding philosophy through introspection and self-awareness. We talk about conscious dreaming, lucid dreaming, and how our being is ruled by the subconscious. Other topics include alchemy, astrology, empowering ourselves through adversity, and some of Facundo's work, including the book The Author, and his forthcoming game, The Mystic Mountain, which engages the player with different virtues.
Leia reads a poem that recently touched her: The Ocean of my Life, by Antonella Russo-Ball. At the end of the episode, you'll hear music by Raganato!
IG, FB, twitter: @facundoraganato
Bio: Facundo Raganato, award-winning author, composer, artist, alchemist & philosopher.
He is dedicated to studying the bridge between Art and Spirituality and its integration for the growth of the soul. His books, music and artistic projects always aim to reflect awareness of the spiritual for the expansion of consciousness with the transcendence of our sacred humanity.
Reconciling the Self with Acacea Lewis
Acacea Lewis is a friend and amazing interdimensional being who I deeply respect, appreciate and enjoy! We met at the Detroit Psychedelics Conference back in 2018, where she spoke about a brilliant array of topics (you can hear more in a prior episode of the Psychedologist, entitled "Detroit Psychedelics Conference"). Acacea has a lot of knowledge and wisdom to share, and while she has been known to teach, she's currently doing the hermit thing. So if you find her, you are in luck!
In this episode, Acacea shares about reconciling the self, impermanence, individuality (or, what it means to have your own life). She imparts that life is a prolonged experience of building our own funeral pyre. We talk about grieving, and Acacea shares some reflections from her experience of losing her wife, Mike, one year ago.
Leia asks about how to reconcile manifestation / the law attraction, with feeling our feelings / giving our emotions time and space to be felt and expressed. Acacea offers suggestions such as what might help someone become at peace with their own journey. We talk about death as an evolution, love as suffering's polar opposite, and how only love can heal suffering.
Also discussed are dreams as a way to emerge from grief, the divine practice of giving offerings to oneself, how to sit with and unpack our hatred, interview it, and undo the knots in the heart (without taking scissors to the damn thing), through patience and a magnifying glass that allows the emotions to unfold and reveal subtle qualities to you. Acacea finishes by offering that we can feed love to our emotions, embrace the ritual of silence, and hold ourselves accountable to our own needs.
FB - Akashic Thunder
The Embodied Nature of Grief with Sherry Walling
A conversation about grief, prayer, religion, loss, pleasure and pain, love, parenthood, IFS, and movement with the fantastic Dr. Sherry Walling!
Dr. Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, author, and mental health advocate. Her company, ZenFounder, helps entrepreneurs and leaders navigate transition, rapid growth, loss, and any manner of complex human experience. Sherry hosts the ZenFounder podcast, as well as Mind Curious, a podcast series exploring innovations in mental health care via psychedelics.
Her new book, Touching Two Worlds, is a poetic, incisive exploration of grief and joy in the aftermath of loss. Her best-selling book, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Keeping Your Shit Together, combines the insight and warmth of a therapist with the truth-telling mirth of someone who has been there.
Sherry and her husband, Rob, reside in Minneapolis where they spend their time driving their children to music lessons. She has also been known to occasionally perform as a circus aerialist.
@sherrywalling on Insta and Twitter
The talk Leia mentioned in the episode, Decolonizing the Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFvjqHDHhmk
Sound Healing with TiTa Espindola
TiTa Espindola comes on the show to talk about sound healing, singing bowls and musical medicine.
TiTa is a Brazilian, 3rd generation singer that has been invested in creating healing journeys with music using the power of the voice, guitar, drums, bowls and other sacred instruments.
From a popular music background and many years dedicated to studying music and the voice, for the past three years TiTa has been exploring research and knowledge on different therapeutic sound modalities to combine into her offerings. A certified Sound Healer, she also completed training in Quantum Sound Therapy, Rhythms for Healing Advanced Facilitation and the Arimany Method, to mention some, and now is pursuing a certification as Modern Meditation Teacher.
In her performances she seeks to bring mindful experiences combined with sounds and music, playing the instruments, singing mantras, indigenous songs and music that speak directly to the heart with intention, awareness, and transformation.
Fox, editor and producer of The Psychedologist, comes on the podcast to celebrate our 100th episode! We talk about his experiences with psychedelics and he shares his thoughts for any of the more straight-laced listeners who might be thinking of trying out journey work for themselves. We set the intention to do 1,000 episodes of the Psychedologist, and have Fox on as a guest for every 100th episode.
While Fox provides encouragement to folks who might be on the fence about trying psychedelics, we want to be clear that psychedelics aren't necessarily for everyone. Please be responsible for your own choices, do your research to find out if its a good fit for you, and go about it in the safest way possible. Just as psychedelics can call to us, there can also be a time when we feel the call to shift to using other tools, and that's great, too :)
Jiminy Cricket, for anyone who wasn't sure:
A collection of ThatWasEpic give-away videos:
David Carradine playing a Chinese character and promoting Eastern philosophy to a young Fox:
Consent is Psychedelic
This episode is a reading of the article I wrote in June 2021, entitled "Consent is Psychedelic.. Here's Why." This article was published in Doubleblind Magazine, and is an adaptation of a longer article which I wrote for Psychedelic Press UK, published in 2020.
I hope that reflecting on the interactions and intersections of Consent and Psychedelics is as interesting and fruitful for you as it is for me :)
Gina of Treatment Room Inc
A dialogue with the fantastic Gina Tacconi-Moore! We chat about trauma and the body, the nervous system, consciousness and mystical experiences.
Bio: A pioneer in the world of manual therapy with knowledge that goes far beyond the four walls that house your primary care physician, Gina Tacconi-Moore spends her time answering mystery pain with the motto: “It’s not magic—it’s mobility.”
As an accomplished clinician and businesswoman, Gina has been running her own practice, The Treatment Room, in all of its iterations since 2013. Aside from working as a member of the medical staff for CrossFit Regionals from 2013 to 2018, she is a renowned consultant for high profile sports organizations and clients nationwide including the NFL, MLB, and PGA. Gina’s unique approach to pain management and relief is rooted not only in her copious manual therapy certifications, but also in her extraordinary prosection work. Most notably, Gina was a part of the team at the PLASTINARIUM lab in Guben, Germany that prepared the world’s first plastinated model of the human fascial system.
Even with this impressive roster, Gina still finds time to pursue her own love for CrossFit, weightlifting, literature, and the art of interior design. There’s truly never a dull day in Denton County, Texas where she lives with her husband, Alexander, and their dog, Dorian.
A dialogue about PSIT with Shawna Pelton
Bio: Shawna is a Transformational Guide of 20 years helping everyday leaders who feel stuck with an opportunity to heal from unresolved trauma, rewire the Nervous System for safety & success, stop self-sabotaging behavior and patterns of resistance, feel more confident to communicate your boundaries, and prosper with purpose.
*This is a conversation originally published on the Quantum Shift Podcast. Shawna, my friend and colleague, invited me on to discuss PSIT - Psychedelic Somatic Interactional Therapy, and therapeutic psychedelic work in general.**
Please note - PSIT is a fascinating and powerful modality. Similar to psychedelics, it should be approached with great care, intentionality and respect. And, it is not for everyone. Proceed with caution, learn all about how it works so you have an understanding of what you're doing, follow the instructions (including the importance of having internal resources to call upon in order to navigate the destabilization that will come up) and seek out an experienced facilitator.
This article has great tips about vetting a psychedelic guide, and much of it could apply to vetting a PSIT facilitator:
Life, Death and everything in between with Gabi Dias
Gabi Dias is originally from Brazil and now works in New York City as an educator of consciousness integrated with the physical body. She is a Reiki Master and a forever student. She is also initiated in Shamanic wisdom, Tantra, Sacred Death and Birthing Doula, and an Energy Intuitive healer.
In this episode, we talk about Gabi's history, her awakening in 2019, and her path with plant medicines, shamanism, tantra, doula work and more.
Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin
This episode is an interview with Nilson Tuwe Huni Kuin, translated by Gabi Dias. Tuwe is a spiritual leader and Chief of his tribe, the Huni Kuin people of the Brazilian Amazon. Tuwe is from a long tradition of medicine people. He shares with the support of all his ancestors and community. Tuwe has a clear connection with the spiritual world and strives to build harmony for all people.
Tuwe lives in the Huni Kuin (Kaxinawá) Indigenous Territory of Rio Humaitá, São Vicente village, in the city of Tarauacá in Acre, Brazil. This is a 5 day boat ride from the nearest town. He is a filmmaker and has already produced a documentary about the indigenous peoples who still live voluntarily isolated in the Western Amazon, located on the border strip between Brazil and Peru.
As an Agroforestry agent, he also works in the Environmental Territorial Management of his homeland and surroundings. He is also a leader, thinker and messenger for his people, both domestically and internationally.
He has been researching his culture, cultivating his native spirituality and following the path of sacred medicines from a very young age with his father. Tuwe is the youngest son of the Tribal leader, Vicente Saboia Nawa Iba Nai Bai Huni Kuin, who worked for the protection of the Rio Humaitá Indigenous Land and for the rights and empowerment of his people. Although his father is no longer on this physical plane, he lives on as a warrior and a patriarch of the Huni Kuin Land of the Humaitá River.
Kufikiri Imara and A Table of Our Own
Kufikiri comes on the podcast to talk about his journey in this life and a new project, called A Table of Our Own.
The goal of A Table of Our Own is to create a documentary about a gathering of Black luminaries, highlight those doing great work in the psychedelic space and expand the reach of these important ways of healing to more Black people. Another wish is to further de-stigmatize these substances so that they’re no longer seen as “White people stuff” and more as the natural balms and salves to Black people’s psyches that we’ve been using for millennia.
The conference will be a three-day, invite-only, all-Black affair. It will focus on those who’ve had experience in the areas of psychedelics and the arts, activism, academics, sciences, entrepreneur, cultivators, and those still working in the underground scene. The documentary will cover not only the conference but the current state of Black people in the psychedelic space as a whole.
Bio: Kufikiri Imara; born and raised on unceded Huichin territory of the Ohlone people (Oakland, California). With parents that were involved in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960's and 1970's, he grew up in a family and community that strongly emphasized cultural awareness and social responsibility. He volunteered with Green Earth Poets Society in NYC, bringing poetry to incarcerated African-American youth. He was an early member of the Entheogen Integration Circle in NYC, supporting marginalized communities within the larger psychedelic community. His past studies with Sacred Garden Community were focused on deepening his understanding as someone who holds space, and was focused on growing diversity. A former member of the Decriminalize Nature Oakland grassroots collective, after his efforts to help see the landmark resolution passed, he went on to head the DNO committee on Outreach, Education, Access, & Integration. He was part of the team of instructors for the first of its kind above ground training, with the former OLP, in Jamaica, on psychedelic assisted therapy that included engagement. He lent his voice to the Horizons Media documentary film Covid-19, Black Lives, & Psychedelics. He was the inaugural facilitator for the BIPOC Entheogen Integration Circle in partnership with the San Francisco Psychedelic Society. Kufikiri Imara is a globally recognized voice on championing the important issues of access, education, and inclusion within the larger psychedelic community.
Forgiveness with Ana Holub
Ana Holub, MA comes on the show to talk about edges, forgiveness, letting go, and psychedelics.
Ana teaches about forgiveness, recovery from addiction, and psychedelic integration. She holds a BA in Peace Studies and an MA in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University School of Law. Ana was honored as a Champion of Forgiveness by the Worldwide Forgiveness Alliance in 2018. She is a frequent speaker on peacemaking and the use of psychedelic medicines for addiction recovery, trauma healing and spiritual liberation. She has a private practice in Ashland, Oregon. www.anaholub.com
***Forgiveness: an essential practice for Psychedelic Navigation - class coming up May 18th, 2022 from 8:30-10PM EST***
In this workshop, you'll learn how to let go of traumatic memories from a respected expert on forgiveness and peacemaking. Ana will teach her simple and profound method that unites emotional healing with spiritual awakening. It's the perfect way to connect with yourself before diving into a medicine journey, and it's a skill you can practice to enhance your navigation of psychedelic states. No prior experience is required. This workshop is spiritual and non-religious. Everyone is welcome in the world of forgiveness!
Radical Healership with Laura Mae Northrup, MFT
Laura Mae Northrup, MFT is an author, educator, somatic psychotherapist, and podcaster. Her book Radical Healership is a spiritually-informed and anticapitalist guide for healing practitioners who seek to build a values-driven healing practice. She is the host and creator of the podcast Inside Eyes, an audio series about people using entheogens and psychedelics to heal from sexual trauma. Her work focuses on defining sexual violence through a spiritual and politicized lens, mentoring healing practitioners in creating a meaningful path, and supporting the spiritual integrity of our collective humanity.
In this episode, Laura comes back on the Psychedologist to discuss her new book, Radical Healership. I *highly* recommend this book for anyone thinking of or already in a helping or healing profession. Laura helps me talk through some challenges that I have faced in my coaching practice, we discuss the process of birthing this book, and the many challenges and opportunities of building a values-driven practice in a profit driven world.
Use the Code: "psychedologist" (no quotes) to get 35% off AND free shipping on your copy of Radical Healership!! Available from 2/22-3/22, valid for both e-copies and print
Dangerous Wisdom with Nikos Patedakis, PhD, PDC
Nikos is a consulting philosopher who works with individuals and groups in support of the mutual healing of ourselves, our culture, and the world we share. He helps people apply the greatest untapped resource we have (the wisdom traditions of the world) in order to think in genuinely new ways, and to fulfill our fuller potentials. He also teaches and consults on ecoliteracy, teaching, learning, leading, and performance.
In this episode, you'll hear us mention a few terms which may be unfamiliar to you. Here is a brief description:
Many traumatic events (e.g., car accidents, natural disasters, etc.) are of time-limited duration. In some cases, people experience chronic trauma that continues or repeats for months or years at a time. This may lead to the development of complex PTSD (cPTSD).
In addition to PTSD symptoms (a persistent sense of threat, e.g. hypervigilance and being easily startled; avoiding reminders of the traumas; and re-experiencing or reliving the traumas), people with cPTSD may also experience interpersonal problems, negative self-concept, fragmented identity, interpersonal sensitivity, affect dysregulation, and self-destructive or reckless/risk taking behaviors. In addition to the symptoms above, survivors of prolonged child abuse have an increased risk of both self-injury and repeated victimization, for example relationships with abusive people, sexual harassment, and rape.
The Eleusinian Mysteries:
The Eleusinian mysteries held an incredibly important role in ancient Greek culture, and they involved a secret initiation rite for which people prepared many months, perhaps as long as a year and a half. As a surprisingly well-kept secret, we have limited evidence for what happened in this and similar initiation rites, but it may have involved the use of holotropic medicines and an experience of death that allowed initiates to verify that the soul transcends the body and will continue in some way after biological death.
Nikos' Website: www.dangerouswisdom.org
Free teachings related to compassion: dangerouswisdom.org/resources-2
A course based on Nikos' book about wisdom-based learning:
Nikos highly recommends Extraordinary Knowing, by Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer. Find a contemplation of the book here: dangerouswisdom.org/dw-podcast/this-changes-everything
studies we mention in the episode:
Differential Effects of Ethical Education, Physical Hatha Yoga, and Mantra Meditation on Well-Being and Stress in Healthy Participants
Classic Psychedelic Use and Mechanisms of Mental Health: Exploring the Mediating Roles of Spirituality and Emotion Processing on Symptoms of Anxiety, Depressed Mood, and Disordered Eating in a Community Sample
A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind
Shelby of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine
Shelby is a volunteer with the community organization Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, who recently advocated for decriminalization in Easthampton, MA. Shelby has an interest and background in environmental and biological science, as well as culinary and visual arts. They sustained a traumatic brain injury as a child; this shaped the way they live and the way their mind works.
In this episode, we talk about prohibition, decriminalization and public health. Shelby shares about their experience with having a TBI, and their thoughts about pharmaceutical medications, the medical system, at home psychedelic use, and community psychedelic use. The conversation turns to identity, and the trap of putting people into boxes. Shelby recounts their experience of growing up nonbinary in a rural area without a lot of support. We wrap up the conversation by talking about gender, nudity, and our mutual love of plants.
Michou Olivera of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine
Michou is an intuitive self-realization and psychedelic guide. She is a wisdom keeper, a seeker and speaker of truth, and lover of life advocating for facing fears, female masculinity, and living with integrity and authenticity. Michou is called to help connect people to their truth and higher consciousness though psychedelic medicine.
For several years people from around the world have found her on social media for guidance in overcoming adversities in life, rewiring negative thought patterns, and navigating health/mental health and addiction challenges. She holds space for peoples' journeys and educates the public about safe psychedelic consumption, sharing wisdom in helping people integrate their psychedelic experiences. Originally from Half Moon Bay, California, and Michou has called western Massachusetts home for the last several years.
James Davis of Bay Staters for Natural Medicine
James is a volunteer for Bay Staters for Natural Medicine, a grassroots community group educating city leaders on plant medicines and the war on drugs. His passion is rooted in experiences growing up in a neighborhood plagued by prohibition-linked violence and seeing loved ones struggle with addiction.
In his day job, he works as legislative director to a Massachusetts state representative that chairs the legislature's cannabis committee and formerly did legislative work for the City Council of Berkeley. He holds a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) from USC and a B.A. in economics and history from Columbia. His views do not necessarily represent his employer's.
John Robertson, Maps of the Mind and R/Evolution
John and Leia discuss important considerations for approaching work with psychedelics, such as managing expectations, setting intentions, being open and allowing of experience, trusting the value of what comes up and trusting the process, working with disappointment, sliding back into old patterns post-experience, coming back to ourselves in honoring and accepting where we are, recognizing the non-linearity of psychedelic healing and transformation.
We touch on the larger structures that we live in, the times we are in today, and how those can make it difficult to integrate and be fully integrated in ourselves. That metamorphosis can be painful, but is also part of a larger process of becoming more beautiful and full. Becoming empowered and standing up for what we believe in.
The topic of becoming more whole comes up, through integration in ourselves and in the collective. John speaks to the value of integrity, developing our character, being responsible and honest, especially as we hold space for others. Psychedelics can help us connect to the deepest sense of self, seeing hard truths, welcoming them and integrating them.
John talks about his upcoming course, R/Evolution, a deep dive for psychedelic explorers who want to develop, expand and deepen their practice and make the most of their experiences.
Bio: John is a psychedelic explorer, activist, and guide. His work focuses on access, empowerment, and community – and his current mission is to spread the wondrous gifts of psychedelics by helping people learn how to use them effectively. John blogs at Maps of the Mind. You can find him on Twitter at @mapsofthemind.
Jemie and Matt of Psychable
Jemie Sae Koo and Matt Zemon share about the life events that led them to finding their current path with Psychable, the #1 trusted and comprehensive online community dedicated to connecting those interested in legally exploring psychedelic-assisted therapy with practitioners who can support them.
They provide an exploration of the concept of conscious capitalism, through the lens of the Northstar Pledge. You'll hear them discuss:
Walking the walk, embodying the work
How language matters
Studying the traditions, doing your homework, understanding matters on a deeper level
Building trust, being transparent, speaking from one’s own lived experience
No competition: sharing so everyone can win, standing on the shoulders of giants
Considering the gravity: thinking about the patients first, including affordability and accessibility
Focusing on the process (there is no “one-size fits-all” solution)
Paying it forward, reciprocity
Being energetically aligned with investors
Finding a way to work within the system as it exists while making change
The importance of sharing our experiences and trusting our own inner healing intelligence
Matt reached out to me after the recording to give the correct name of the experiment that he referenced in the show: Rick Doblin's long-term follow-up and critique of Pahnke's Good Friday Experiment. You can learn more about this experiment and Rick's critique here:
Jemie Sae Koo is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Psychable. She has more than 15 years of extensive digital and marketing experience working with global brands including Amazon, Disney, H&M, Intel, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Salesforce, Toyota, Taco Bell, and YouTube. A serial entrepreneur, Jemie builds companies rooted in corporate social responsibility. She leverages consumer insights, data, and analytics to sustainably scale businesses efficiently and effectively - resulting in the creation of industry-first new business totaling $250M+. Jemie holds a Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California, Irvine in International Studies and Sociology with a minor in Business Management and is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Jemie serves on the Executive Board of the American Heart Association and enjoys traveling, cooking, yoga, hiking, and meditation.
Matt is the Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of Psychable. A serial entrepreneur with two successful exits, Matt began his career founding Red Sky Productions, an entertainment company specializing in American Indian Talent, working closely with the National Congress of American Indians. Matt is also the co-founder of Take2Minutes, a nonprofit dedicated to helping to improve happiness, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London.
Part II of the Psychedelic Goldrush Discussion with Rafael and Alyssa
Rafael Lancelotta and Alyssa Gursky come on the podcast for a Round 2 to talk about the Psychedelic Goldrush. This time, the question is, what do we do about it?
We explore our different perspectives on a collective vision in the psychedelic movement, at the institutional, community and interpersonal level. Can we integrate all of what we are coming up against, and address it nonviolently, or with different tactics than the ones that create the problems in the first place?
Becca Williams, emotions therapist and clinical nutritionist
Becca Williams, emotions therapist and clinical nutritionist, comes on the Psychedologist to talk about Emotional Liberation. We hear about Becca’s personal work with shame, and how she learned to heal herself by working through difficult emotions. She gives us a peek into what Emotional Liberation is - a structured container and sacred space that embraces eastern wisdom and western medicine to learn the language of emotions through direct experience. Becca discusses how understanding emotions provides a bridge to intuition, and that integration is the process of taking what we learned intuitively and internally from an experience and applying it to our outer world.
The conversation shifts to boundaries, and what Becca calls the "doormat mentality." She describes how microdosing cannabis or psilocybin can bring things up and move them through faster, and how psilocybin microdosing can be an antidote to shame. The episode wraps up with topics like surrendering to healing, and finding flow.
Bio: Becca Williams is an emotions therapist and educator who specializes in cannabis and psilocybin microdosing-assisted emotional & trauma recovery. Her practice integrates ancient healing modalities that utilize expressive movement and breathwork techniques with the judicious use of cannabis. Becca is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, a certified Emotional Liberation® facilitator and a long-time cannabis advocate and activist. She holds certificates from healer.com in Cannabis Core Curriculum, Dosage Protocols & Methodologies, CBD Essentials and Clinical Application. Becca has worked as a group facilitator, speaker, and mentor for personal and collective transformation for more than two decades. She was the founder of MJ Straight Talk, which aired on the Free Speech Network.
Becca is on the board of the American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine and a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
Dr. Adele Lafrance on fear, healing and love
Dr. Adele Lafrance is a clinical psychologist, research scientist, author and co-developer of emotion-focused treatment modalities, including Emotion-Focused Family Therapy.
Her latest book, What to Say to Kids When Nothing Seems to Work, is a neuroscience-informed effort to help parents support their kids. With colleagues, she also makes a wealth of caregiving resources available at no cost at Mental Health Foundations.
Adele is also a leader in the research and practice of psychedelic medicine, with a focus on ayahuasca, MDMA, psilocybin and ketamine. Currently, she is the clinical investigator and strategy lead for the MAPS-sponsored MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study for eating disorders and a collaborator/clinical support on the Imperial College study for psilocybin and anorexia nervosa. She is a founding member of the Love Project.
Adele has a particular interest in mechanisms and models of healing, including emotion processing, spirituality and family-based psychedelic psychotherapy. She is a frequent contributor in the media relating to emotion, health and the science of psychedelics.
Roundtable on the Psychedelic Goldrush w/ Lyss and Rafael
Global interest in psychedelic substances increases by the day, and although clinical trials have yielded positive results, psychedelic research and clinical practice is in its infancy. We find ourselves at a unique moment in time where increased access to information about psychedelics, even to the psychedelics themselves, is moving forward at a faster rate than the cultural and relational foundations can shift to accommodate this change in a safe, accessible, meaningful way.
Alyssa Gursky and Rafael Lancelotta come on the Psychedologist to discuss the implications of this psychedelic "gold rush." We talk about how the vast and rapid growth of psychedelic businesses and therapies is not trauma informed. We ponder questions such as, can psychedelics relieve the mental health crisis in the world, or is this an oversimplified pipe-dream, similar to the revolution SSRIs were expected to be? How does privilege come into play when it comes to psychedelic healing? Should we slow things down, rather than pressing forward to bring psychedelic therapies to the general population? Is there a more responsible, ethical, trauma informed model for rolling out psychedelic therapies than what is currently happening in the psychedelic landscape?
David Krantz Returns
David Krantz returns! In this episode, we talk about a paper he recently co-authored, "The Role of Psychedelics and Counseling in Mental Health Treatment." Leia shares about her recent training in psychedelic somatic interactional psychotherapy, and in true form, the conversation follows a rich myriad of twists and turns from there, including but not limited to the nervous system, psychological transference, power dynamics, relationship, and kink.
David is a certified Epigenetic Coach, Mental Health Counseling Masters Student at Western Carolina University, and sought-after expert in the field of individualized genetic-based nutrition and peak performance. As a lifelong musician, David sees the various systems of the body as parts of a complex symphony. And, as a coach, he excels at helping clients fine-tune those parts to create resonant harmonious health.
David is best known for developing a proprietary genetic test that helps people understand their unique and individual response to cannabinoids and was nominated in 2019 as a Top 100 Health innovator by the International Forum For Healthcare Advancement. An artist by nature, David enjoys working with others who have a deep passion for getting the most out of life.
Healing Justice with Dr. Diana Quinn
Dr. Diana Quinn, naturopathic physician, ceremonialist, and end of life doula comes on the show to talk about healing justice, nature, connection, language, and finding the way forward.
Diana Quinn ND (she/her) is a licensed naturopathic doctor and healing justice practitioner specializing in integrative mental health, grief and end of life care, and decolonized healing modalities. A queer mestiza Xicana, her work centers Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. She offers monthly psychedelic integration circles for BIPOC and queer folks, entheogenic support for individuals and groups, and psychedelic education for healthcare professionals. She is a member of the Psychedelic Medicine Association, the Chacruna Institute for Psychedelic Plant Medicines, and the Queer Psychedelic Collective. For more information visit drdianaquinn.com and follow her on FB, IG and Twitter @drdianaquinn.
A Not-So-Brief History of the Healing Justice Movement by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha: https://micemagazine.ca/issue-two/not-so-brief-personal-history-healing-justice-movement-2010%E2%80%932016
Susan Raffo on healing justice and disrupting the medical industrial complex: https://www.susanraffo.com/blog/healing-histories-disrupting-the-medical-industrial-complex-1
The history of healing justice movement: https://www.susanraffo.com/blog/healing-justice-at-the-us-social-forum-a-report-from-atlanta-detroit-and-beyond
Robin Wall Kimmerer on the language of animacy: https://orionmagazine.org/article/robin-wall-kimmerer-language-animacy/
Free monthly integration circles: one for BIPOC, one for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks https://www.drdianaquinn.com/events
Autism on Acid - a conversation with Aaron and Justine
Aaron and Justine come on the show to talk about Autism on Acid, the Autistic Psychedelic Community, and the neurodiversity paradigm.
Aaron Paul Orsini is the author of Autism On Acid: How LSD Helped Me Understand, Navigate, Alter & Appreciate My Autistic Perceptions. He is also the cofounder of the Autistic Psychedelic Community, a peer support group for neurodivergent individuals interested in discussing psychedelics. He is currently editing his second book, a neurodiversity-minded anthology of psychedelic essays that is available for preorder via
Justine is presently a graduate student in pharmacology at University of California, Irvine under the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She also received her BSc in Neurobiology from UCI and earned membership into the National Honor Society in Neuroscience. Currently, she is investigating the therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds with respect to autism and other neurological conditions. In conjunction with her academic pursuits, she co-founded the Autistic Psychedelic Community with Aaron Orsini where she co-facilitates online support for members, elucidating evidence-based research and neuroscience-related topics.
A Journey Behind the Scenes and Down the Rabbit Hole of Wild Darlings Sing the Blues
Wild Darlings Sing the Blues is a feature-length documentary following The Wild Darlings, a queer healing arts collective of black women and non-binary artists, as they embark on an epic road trip from New York to a plantation in Mississippi.
In this episode of The Psychedologist, we go behind the scenes and down the rabbit hole of Wild Darlings Sing the Blues with director, Nova Scott-James, and Grandmother Sangoma, the matriarch of the journey.
The Wild Darlings approach abuse through the lens of ancestral trauma. This journey to the site of America’s core wound is a physicalization of the work done by each cast-member: to revisit painful memories, and to alchemize suffering into wisdom and magic.
Accompanied by three wise elders, the Darlings are tasked with harnessing their collective spiritual gifts, to bless the plantation land and honor their ancestors. As the group explores their experiences of racialized and gender based violence, they create a performance art homage to The Blues.
This visionary film invites viewers to connect with the healer within themselves. Wild Darlings is a visionary alchemical union of spiritual activism, ancient healing arts and cinema.
Please donate to the GoFundMe:
Decolonizing the mind with Dr. Michael Yellow Bird
What an honor to host Dr. Michael Yellow Bird on the podcast! In this episode, we hear about the cycle of water; how Spirit embodies everything (and THAT is consciousness); that trauma has a consciousness; and that consciousness is shared: it goes beyond the individual. He shares about the clown who can show us that there is humor in death; he also says that indigenous peoples have safeguards to keep them well and healthy.
The conversation turns to the topic of colonization and oppression, and how this makes people ill, and changes the brain and body. Dr. Yellow Bird discusses the collectivist gene, and how we can all get back to our ancestral heritage (I have been working on this lately and I find it very consciousness positive, indeed).
Another critical point that comes up is the misuse of the term decolonization. Dr. Yellow Bird breaks down the stages of settler colonialism (exposure, contamination, infection, assimilation) and the stages of decolonization (purification, renaissance, enlightenment). Decolonization MUST be done in consultation and relationship with indigenous people. Dr. Yellow Bird is hopeful that we can use western and indigenous science to propel people forward.
The episode wraps up with some discussion of the medicine wheel; approaching new ideas, medicine, places, cultures with respect; and being a great observer.
Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD, is Dean and Professor of the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba. He is an enrolled member of the MHA Nation (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara) in North Dakota, USA. He has held faculty and administrative appointments at the University of British Columbia, University of Kansas, Arizona State University, Humboldt State University, and North Dakota State University. His research focuses on the effects of colonization and methods of decolonization, ancestral health, intermittent fasting, Indigenous mindfulness, neurodecolonization, mindful decolonization, and the cultural significance of Rez dogs.
He is the founder, director, and principal investigator of The Centre for Mindful Decolonization and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, research reports, and the co-editor of four books:
For Indigenous Eyes Only: The Decolonization Handbook, 2005
For Indigenous Minds Only: A Decolonization Handbook, 2012
Indigenous Social Work around the World: towards Culturally Relevant Education and Practice, 2008
Decolonizing Social Work, 2013
He is the co-author of two recent books,: A Sahnish (Arikara) Ethnobotany (2020), and Decolonizing Holistic Pathways Towards Integrative Healing in Social Work (2021).
Evelyn Hale comes on the podcast to talk about trauma, healing, her personal journey, and a question I ask myself often: "what is trauma and what is me?"
Evelyn Hale, formerly Shelbi DuBord, is a Trauma Coach, Master Healer, and intuitive with a rich background in psychology and personal transformation. Her consciousness journey threads back to childhood when her body locked away memories of trauma. As an adult, she recovered repressed memories stored in her body and learned how to unlock the hidden emotions that were keeping her stuck in cycles of self-sabotage and limiting beliefs. She helps women reconnect to the deep well of wisdom within their pain so they can wake up to their own power. Through this healing, they end the cycle of generational trauma for their lineage and for the collective.
Download Evelyn’s free Trauma Bundle at https://www.evelynhale.com/trauma-bundle
Connect with Evelyn on Instagram @inner.light.healing
Health at Every Size with Shira Collings
Shira Collings comes on the show to discuss Health at Every Size, Intuitive Eating, Embodiment, Control, and being who we are.
Shira is a graduate student in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Tampa, Florida. She hopes to work with people with eating disorders, substance use concerns, and histories of trauma. She is a strong advocate of the Health At Every Size paradigm, and her work is informed by feminism, fat liberation, queer studies, and disability studies.
Poodle Science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H89QQfXtc-k
Desiree Wells of Abundant Eden
"It was me and a backpack, recreating myself and no going back"
Leia visits Abundant Eden to hear from a long time farmer and permaculturist, Desiree Wells. This is a great episode with considerations for anyone who is starry eyed, dreaming of moving to the tropics and living off the land.
Desiree begins by talking about how she first came to Costa Rica around the time of the Y2K panic. We hear about Desiree's unicorn aka glorified great dane aka beautiful white horse, Athena, who she rescued from a flood during a storm that blew out over 50 bridges. She talks about the trials and tribulations of finding where you fit in. The paradox of working the land full time - no project ever really gets done.
Desiree shares about the value of growing with perennials (and how one can more easily traverse borders with sticks instead of seeds). She talks about bioregional mapping and some of the mother farms (and farmers) she has worked with.. Randy, founder of Sendero Natural, joins the conversation. We discuss some of the changes he has seen in Costa Rica in the last few decades, and how society has impacted people to value degrees and educations that don't actually give us the skills to provide for ourselves.
The three of us talk about being good neighbors and the complexity of being white people coming to Costa Rica amidst a trend toward gentrification. The shadow side of "intentional community" and "conscious" community. The colonialism of permaculture. The secret to starting a successful community (or at least, avoiding disaster): develop an exit strategy. Desiree imparts more important lessons: get your own backyard straight before you're trying to get your hands in someone else's backyard or teach them how to farm/do permaculture. Linking with our neighbors, doing it for each other, with each other.
Desiree will be part of a PERMACULTURE DESIGN COURSE in Southern Costa Rica April 11-May 7. This will be a pre-planting season "BootCamp" initiation. The course will be run in alignment with the new moon, centering on the four elements over the course of four weeks. The course includes 6 fieldtrips, other special guest speakers to be announced, a seed exchange to follow in May, and all who complete it will receive a permaculture design certificate.
Further logistic information TBA on www.ecomaste.com
FuenteVerde #iriecycles #AbundantEdenNursery
email firstname.lastname@example.org directly
Maité is celebrated for her ability to channel music that pulls listeners deep into presence with the Divine. Her music is a call to action; a transmission of Pure, Divine Love that guides listeners back to a remembrance of who they truly are. Channeling deep wisdom through her brilliant yet humble lyrics, and channeling the gentle magnificence of nature through her production, every particle in the space is listening as her music speaks to each cell of your being. In addition to sharing her musical medicine, MAiTÉ is a teacher and mentor offering one on one work, retreats, and courses to those on the path of Self Expression, Self Inquiry, and Self Realization.
In this episode we get deep and personal. Maité talks to Leia about false selves, the usefulness of ego, the tendency to escape the present moment and how we can move into more self presence. We discuss the process of trying to heal the wounds and unmet needs of our childhoods through romantic partnerships. So many themes arise, like deprograming, facing hard truths, taking responsibility, being authentic, playing with consciousness, and the many faces and expressions of ego.
Maité shares her teacher's wisdom: "the plants are neither good nor bad; they're just powerful." She talks about the importance of the container, of approaching psychedelic plant medicine work with care and intention, and integrating afterward. We discuss working with medicine in community versus doing it alone. Maité shares about emotions and eating, and her experience with wounds rising up during a fast. (and check out this song that she received during that experience: https://open.spotify.com/track/2VG8V8SnMVJp7bQZbNRbnN?si=k_FunyGBQK25hwkrTnPJXw)
We finish the conversation by talking about codependency, and how we can disrupt it by breaking scripts, and the ways that spiritual/emotional bypassing can arise in that process.
Revillaging the Inhabitants with Danielle Bellevita
A former corporate project manager of information technology systems, Dani retired to travel re-creationally as The Mobile Office Mystic, a published author, peace-making educator and facilitator of flow. She plays at the global intersections of permaculture and festival production organizing art and music, social justice activism, and local community-building ecosystems from the camps of Standing Rock to jungles in Central America. Her joy is in bridging the virtual tech world with the living natural wild, making lots of maps, matches, magic... and a little bit of mischief.
In this episode..
Danibelle shares about her life's journey, from Detroit to the mountains of the pacific northwest to Standing Rock to Costa Rica, and learning to listen to where she is called. She shares about village building, or as she likes to say, revillaging the inhabitants; we talk about decolonization and bringing what we have to offer to the people of a place in order to restore connection.
We hear about the ABCs of living in Community (starting with awareness, boundaries, and consent); surrounding ourselves with people who nurture our growth and learning; recognizing our interrelatedness with all of life and hence, our responsibility to care for it properly; how mama nature has sent us all to our rooms, and figuring out what to do when we come out (like clean up the messes we made).
Dani calls for us to invest the resources that have been taken from the earth and give them back; she discusses her passion for bridging the worlds of the virtual with the wild, and new projects that she is working on in the realm of regenerative altruism with blockchain technology, community currency and decentralized platforms.
She is using her experience living in the gift economy to build the future of giving with giveth.io, in partnership with gaiaprotection.org and the sdgimpactfund.org. You can get a sneak peek of what is coming at https://beta.giveth.io/dacs/5f6247fe151f6621fa36ca4c.
Synergistic Herbal and Psychedelic Medicine with Reishi Strauss
Reishi and Leia drop in at Finca AMRTA in Costa Rica to discuss favorite herbs & fungi and how they impact our consciousness, particularly synergy of non-Psychedelic plants and fungi paired with entheogenic plants and fungi. Reishi also speaks to the techniques of microdosing and offers critical commentary on the popular “Stamets Stack”. We close the episode with a call to respect and protect the wild populations of plants (particularly those becoming popularized) and the indigenous people who steward the traditions surrounding their use.
Reishi Strauss is an Appalachian-born herbalist and mycologist now based in the Pacific Northwest, where she attended Bastyr University and received her Bachelor’s of Science in Herbal Science. A lover of the intersections between science and spirit, Reishi loves to connect with plants in the laboratory, in the forest, in a witches’ brew under the full moon, and research databases. A believer in the psychedelic nature of ALL plants, Reishi has a strong passion to weave together all plants and mushrooms into the tapestry of human relationship. She is also passionate about utilizing plant medicines in a way that is respectful and reciprocal to the Earth and the indigenous communities who steward them.
Connect with Reishi more through her Instagram @earth_and_spirit or check out her plant medicine creations on her website
The path of freedom with Galia Tanay, Ph.D.
Galia Tanay Ph.D., comes on the show to share about her life's journey from imagination and exploring the mind, depression, meditation, higher education in psychology, and the wisdom she gained along the way. Topics discussed are the mental health system / medical model, and its narrow concept of what is acceptable; Galia's realization that "being a part of the system without any call for radical change did not feel ethical”; founding a program for mindfulness based therapies for practitioners, creating a network of therapists grounded in systemic perspectives on human suffering; the growing demand for alternatives to the medical and psychiatric models, and that we can all help develop those new models; the war on consciousness, the war on weirdness; the need for communities in our society with cognitive and sexual freedom; the danger of commodifying and marketing psychedelics; the complex phenomena of depression; dismantling the “cage” by creating an environment with space for community, sharing, and expression; Sacred Pleasure by Riane Eisler, and moving away from authority, toward dialogue and boundaries and respecting autonomy; acknowledging and taking responsibility around hierarchies (and what a painful process it can be), to give ourselves the chance to envision and enact alternatives; that we can all take the steps to live differently, to dismantle hierarchies in wider and wider circles; that therapeutic processes are processes of building an alternative life, and restoring the ability to listen to one’s internal compass; self compassion; and that we must all stay WEIRD!
Dr. Galia Tanay is a practitioner of the ancient ways and teacher on the path of freedom. She spent many years in deep traditional Buddhist practice and had been teaching intensive meditation retreats for the past 8 years. Galia is a certified Yoga teacher who teaches Yoga therapy and emphasizes the embodiment in awareness practice. Galia has a Phd in Psychology and for many years had worked with patients as well as taught and trained therapists in academic and non-academic programs. For 13 years Galia has been working with psychedelics, mainly Psilocybin mushrooms and Ayahuasca, traveling through these altered states and accompanying others on this path. Galia is a vocal artist, a musician and a writer who believe that freedom is a form of art and creativity is necessary in our coming home to our being.
Nova Scott James on consciousness and decolonizing identity
Nova Scott-James (she/her and they/them) is a filmmaker, innovation doula and community organizer from Harlem, NYC. Her childhood experiences of being flooded with the sounds and culture of jazz has impacted her creative aesthetic greatly as her work honors improvisation, altered states of consciousness, ritual and collaboration. Nova is also a reiki practitioner and dedicated intuitive worker – she uses these abilities to serve people as a director and creative coach by guiding them in honoring their creative genius.
This episode begins with a discussion of consciousness as a force throughout Nova’s life. She explains how watching films as a child helped her connect with and soothe herself amidst experiences of racial and gender based trauma, and how, from her own spiritual experiences, she came to understand film as an astral projection.
Nova tells us about the healing integration of childhood trauma that came from creating My Third Eye (“a silent meditation on the relationship between a little girl and the male family member sexually abusing her examines the pain of intergenerational black familial trauma, but also the gift of spiritual independence”).
We explore the wisdom in viewing all of life as aspects of ceremony, and how this vision creates a strong foundation for expanding our capacity for greater and deeper consciousness.
Decolonizing identity is a theme in Nova’s work. She tells us about Wild Darlings Sing the Blues, an Afro-surrealist documentary she created about a group of queer women and nonbinary people of color building a healing sanctuary together.
Nova also delves into creating the workshop “Embodied Justice: How can non-black allies effect anti-racist change?” taking place July 7th. We talk about the importance of doing this work in an embodied way and the many tools that can be used, such as innovation and play.
Themes of this conversation range from doing the soul work to refine the stories we want to tell; to the discomfort of looking at and moving through our biases; cultivating a willingness to do things differently; and that any break down being an opportunity for a breakthrough.
I highly recommend attending the workshop Embodied Justice on July 7th! Ticket link is on her website, www.mothershipalchemy.com