Medicine & Ritual
“I swear to God. I swear at God. I won’t mention what He does to me. I lack nothing I need unless you count everything I want.” –Kaveh Akbar, Calling a Wolf a Wolf
The first journey I ever had, full journey, not the day I sucked on grapefruit all day to potentiate my mushroom chocolates with my best friend freshman year of college, frolicing through the woods at 10 pm watching our hands disappear into the bark. This was deeper, illuminating bits of me I was terrified to see. When I was 25, a man I had been dating three months told me he was moving to Boulder and asked me: do you want to do something new with your life or do you want to stay here and get drunk all the time? Like a gun to the temple, God, that’s a no-brainer. I was impulsive, freshly off house arrest, freshly undressed and growing my hair back after I shaved it in a black out. Adjusted my black bob wig, and said
“Sure. Sounds fun. But I have to ask my probation officer.”
I had lived in Virginia my whole life and was quite literally drowning on a daily basis. Third arrest. Second ultimatum received by a man (stop drinking or else). First time I ever considered the word “addiction” had more personal meaning to me than just something that runs in my family. Maybe a little more close to my chest than affecting those I cared about. The state cared nothing about whether I went to Colorado. I merely had to continue to get my paper signed saying I was attending AA, which I was, and then would resume downing jugs of wine when I got home, purple shit eating grin and no fucking clue where I was or what I was doing but always waking up in the middle of some imminent consequence. They said I had to go to AA. They didn’t say I had to participate.
My ex and I decided to have a big send off and go to Bonarroo, the huge music festival in Tennessee, and though I had quit drinking for my boyfriend, maybe four weeks by then, I told him I was going to have one last festivity. I blacked out immediately upon arrival and remember wearing my iPod at some point while Deerhunter was playing, texting my ex and telling him I was lost. Ended up watching The Wizard of Oz alone and fighting with my boyfriend over text. Undeterred, we bought a bag of psilocybin the next day and I decided to be the bigger person, since I had done this before, and take more than my ex and lead us on our journey.
Cut to me lying on the ground in the middle of the walkway. Cut to me staring at the Ferris Wheel mouth wide open. Cut to me asking him if he can see the scary faces too. Cut to someone high fiving us and offering us a stuffed animal. Cut to me watching a grasshopper slowly walk across the grass as Florence and The Machine played in the background and I heard a voice somewhere, a whisper. I turned to my ex and said “I’m an alcoholic. God told me I’m an alocholic and I don’t care what you do but I’m never gonna drink again.”
Cut to me drinking two beers the next day and poignant. Reflecting on the taste and the way it never seemed to hold me long. The way it enraptured me only in longing, but in actualizing the euphoria faded away. Cut to me throwing out my pack of cigarettes the next day, the ride back. Cut to me never drinking again. Cut to me never smoking cigarettes again. It’s been 12 years since I drank save one time when I drank a THC tincture to get high shortly after my dad died. I felt like he wanted the vodka the THC had been soaked in and I felt no real regret stumbling up the stairs, mumbling this isn’t terrible but it’s definitely not for me. I don’t even think about drinking. I don’t pine for it and if you would have told me that one day I’d tell you I don’t think about alcohol at all, I would slap you in your smug lying face feeling this some subtle acerbic judgement of how I spend my time.
“All I do is think about alcohol. All I do is think about not drinking alcohol, then drinking her again.”
They say you shouldn’t start the story in a boring way but capture the person first. Or exert expertise. Show rather than tell you have the sincerest understanding of subject matter. You are qualified. You are above all entranced by the dance between medicine and drugs, the fine line we draw based on how society has learned to handle the substance, and the depth of each compound. That it contains pieces of God and that it contains pieces of hell. That it is both addicting and freeing. Since that journey, I’ve had many more journeys; psilocybin, acid, thc, kratom, and most recently and even more potent for healing, MDMA. I have experience guiding people through these substances and with them, on them as well. I have experience mixing medicines. Mixing medicines with herbs. Taking too much and having a hard time, a bad time, a panic attack. Taking a small amount and merely seeing the sun shine through a branch and connecting the branch to the cardinal that usually means the dead is nearby. Feeling intuition take over my spine. Feeling the sun on my clavicle. Feeling the levity of death in life.
I am happy to offer medicinal journeys to people. I am happy to offer my expertise for those who want to journey on their own. I am excited for this new path I am on and to also continue using herbs and supplements to heal as well. Incorporate my herbalism training. Incorporate my reiki certification. My social work experience. Even my doula training. My years of helping and caregiving for the elderly. And my years of being stuck in a labyrinth of shadow, reaching. Learning every nook of myself. Learning the properties of the Earth and the medicine she offered me, almost baneful at times but in the right dose, clarifying. The poultice and the wound often come from the same exact place.
This is merely an introductory post. I am excited to elucidate these journeys more but TL:DR–I am offering guided MDMA sessions and select guided Psilocybin journeys as well. I will share more about my journeys with each. Above all else, please
“just say yes and step into the consequence.”
–kaveh akbar, calling a wolf a wolf