THE NEW SHAMANISM
By Johana Sand
San Pedro is indigenous to the Andres, where it has been used for thousands of years in this region as a main vehicle to access the inner worlds for connection and healing. We propose using entheogenic plants (entheogen means “connecting with the Divine within”) to align with the paradigm shift that so many of us are strongly sensing. This is a shift from identifying with the egoic or separate self to a deeper and continual realization that we ourselves are the essence of Consciousness.
For those who strongly sense this Reality, these plants can enhance and deepen our “seeing” through amplifying our ground of Being and reducing the ego-mind center, allowing us to consciously shift blocks through working in these greatly expanded altered states. What remains is a seeing a simpler and more objective truth, beyond the Veil.
In the more traditional use of mind-altering substances or “medicine,” a shaman serves as the intermediary to the spirit world and moves energy or heals someone of their “dis-ease.” Rather, we will utilize an experienced guide who will create an environment that greatly supports deeply connecting with the Source Field so that participants can transform or ‘heal’ through realizing this state of presence within themselves. This guide will also be available whenever needed.
Here are some guidelines to be aware of through this journey:
- If your expansion is easy into these higher frequencies, maintain your awareness and ask for clarity to continue to experience this as your ‘normal’ consciousness. Be aware that any breakthroughs you experience with these altered states must be practiced in your daily life so that they not just another memory of a “spiritual experience.
- Remember that in order to let go of something, you first need to see what it is. If you experience any difficulties or feel inner contractions (usually brought about by fears and old beliefs about yourself or a fixed reality), focus on being more aware and see clearly through these illusions so that they can be transformed and their energy released. Available tools to move any energy blocks may include bodywork or a group focus. A one-on-one focus with the guide will also be available.
PROTOCOL AND STRUCTURE
A maximum of eight people is ideal if most are already experienced with journeying. If several are new to using this medicine, a smaller number of participants, together with one or two experienced people is appropriate.
- Dosage is very important and will be suggested by our experienced guide. While a smaller dose can be effective as an illuminator, a medium or higher dose can take you into “hyper-space.”
- Nausea and vomiting might potentially arise. There are both natural and pharmaceutical products that can assuage these aspects.
- While participation in any group activity will be voluntary, there should be no distractions to a larger group focus. If anyone prefers to be alone, this space will be provided.
- When the medicine is initially ingested, an intention and blessing will be expressed to set the direction.
- Some form of group focus in the middle of the journey works well to amplify the collective frequency and to heal and deepen the connection with the “Field.” This may include guided meditation and/or voluntarily sharing input from participants.
- A process to end the ceremony can help integrate whatever has been seen or learned. People can share within a circle or with a partner and then return to the larger circle to highlight their journey.
- Sexual energy should not be indulged in a group setting. Boundaries need to be carefully observed and appropriate touching (holding hands, etc.) should be clearly agreed upon by both parties.
- Diet Preparation:
- It is best to eat a clean diet and drink a lot of water at least three days before the journey and exclude alcohol, drugs, excessive sugar, caffeine and other stimulants.
- If it is a day-time journey, refrain from eating in the morning, although liquids are alright if not too stimulating. If you are used to coffee-use a small amount.
- If you feel you need food during the journey in the first or mid-part of the day, refrain from including the rest of the group. It works best to eat later in the day, as eating may bring the energy down.
- Eating together is a connecting activity at the end of the day.
- Food will be prepared in advance to share with others.
- While the use of Ayahausca tends to be a more solitary journey, the cactus San Pedro can enhance a sense of connecting within a group. To keep the frequency high, avoid telling repetitive “stories” from your ego identity or sharing personal opinions and listen at a deeper level if you share with others.
- Excessive ritualist practices should be avoided, as these can take energy from deeper inner reflection.
- A gathering several days to a week after the journey, if possible, may be useful to get more clarity through the mirror of collective sharing.
To sum up, San Pedro is a potent medicine and are not for everyone. If you feel a calling, you will know if this is right for you. It is a tool that can accelerate one’s life journey but can also be intense. If you go mainly to the higher frequencies where ego-centric problems of our “ordinary mind” do not exist, you might experience a sense of “coming down” in the days following. If the reverse is true and “egoic contractions” are highlighted during the journey, you may experience higher levels of energy in the following days. Either way, the intention is to consciously use whatever “experience” you are having to seek greater truth and clarity.
Johana Sand, who serves as a plant medicine facilitator, lives in Cuenca, Ecuador, and has been using plant medicines as a tool for over thirty years. She has experienced a synergy with these plants that has pointed to the same awareness within the ancient enlightenment traditions of Advaita Vedanta, Kashmir Shaivism and various strains of Buddhism. Modern quantum science and neuro-science similarly point to that ‘field’ which everything emanates from. She has been a student and teacher of the above ‘Self-Realization pointers’ and with her partner, operated a school for consciousness development in Los Angeles for fifteen years.
Johana has journeyed extensively with three different plant species: Psilocybin mushrooms, Ayahuasca and San Pedro. She currently focuses on San Pedro, which is indigenous to the Andes. After experiencing many traditional or shamanic rituals, she has seen that some type of framework is needed to better experience these medicines, together with a commitment to apply the knowledge given in one’s daily life.