Once again, the Unnamed Path is hosting a spiritual gathering for Men-Who-Love-Men called Stone and Stang, this time in sunny Northern California. This event is open to MWLM of all pagan and alternative spiritual paths.
In order for a man to fuck, he himself must be willing to be soul-fucked by Spirit.
I understand that this topic may be somewhat provocative. There are many schools of thought about spirituality and the use of psychoactive substances. This post isn’t here to convert you or even to shift your thinking; I’m just writing what I know. The only thing I will say is that if you are called to explore this path, do so with equal amounts of curiosity and caution. Folks, this kind of work is not for beginners and will eventually force you to face deep aspects of your Self. Parts that will resist scrutiny. If this work calls to you, explore your community to find an experienced guide for your journey. It will be worth the effort.
I can remember very clearly the first time I experienced trance with the help of a plant ally. While still living in Austin, I worked with a beautiful spirit named Liz. She is an artist and Healer of incredible grace. We were able to talk about many aspects of spirituality in an open, honest way. When she felt the time was right, she introduced me to a man that she had been working with for some time, a bodyworker who healed with the help of the plant spirit of ganja, or marijuana. I received the most intense massage session ever that day. Now, I had smoked pot before, but always in a very recreational way. The work began that day opened me to a completely new experience, one that I credit as the foundation for my spiritual Journey. A spiritual 2 x 4, if you will.
My session opened with a short check-in and space for questions. Instead of asking if I had any particular issues or problems to work on, I was encouraged to simply let go and allow the plant to do its work. One of my Brother Initiates of the Unnamed Path shared a story about using an entheogen to ask for answers about a life issue he was having. While the experience was a success, he reported that the journey continued long after he had his answer, with much unpleasantness. Personally, I do not feel that searching for specific information is suited for working with an entheogenic plant spirit guide. Rather, I encourage the journeyer to simply open to the wisdom of the plant teacher. It basically has you until IT is ready to let you go.
For much of the massage, I remember seeing a vast, forested valley, with sunlight streaming down on me through the clouds. I believe this vision expanded my capacity to Listen and to communicate with other allies, including animals, plants and spirits. However, it would be many years, and a move from Texas to California, before I understood what that meant.
During some of my earliest shamanic studies, I became acquainted with two Healers, a couple. I first met them when they were still teaching drum-making workshops. Yes, I would complete work on a healing tool that I still use, a 15-inch hide drum. Little did I know that the two instructors also introduced others to working with entheogenic helpers. About five years after that initial meeting, I would be reintroduced to my Teachers in a very different context.
A long-time friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in working with psychoactives in a ritual way. I recalled my Austin experience and agreed immediately. He was assisting two shamans who used plant medicines for deeply transformative work, and I was highly intrigued. My friend was also very involved in spiritual work for gay men, and had arranged for the teachers to meet with a circle of sacred brothers. I later leaned that the Teachers worked with varied groups all over the world, but sitting in meditation with other Men Who Love Men holds particular fascination for me. Cue Too Wong Foo:
Ultimately, the experience, and the subsequent work I completed, changed the foundational ideas I hold about the nature of the Universe. In my visions, I see geometric patterns of light, hear crystalline sounds that echo the Creation, and experience an overall sense of floating in a singularity/white hole, energy moving in and out my center. I saw this video recently and was reminded of the visuals. You’re next thought may sound something like, “But aren’t those just hallucinations?” Perhaps. However, the expanded awareness and creativity that have manifested in my own life tell a different story. I feel that I have come to understand what the Ancients have always known: plant spirit allies can help unlock doors inside ourselves. What you are shown on the other side is between you and Spirit, but I know now that the plant allies WANT to help us open our eyes and truly see the connections that exist between all things. They call for us to return to our place in the global circle of life instead of destroying everything in our path. As they encourage, the plant helpers also show us “tough love,” forcing us to confront the deeply held secrets that fester in the dark. It’s a difficult road to walk but the benefits are many. For more information about psychoactive substances visit erowid.org. You decide.