He said he was going to make us a tea to help us clean the house. He’d made me tea many times before, so I thought nothing of it. He brought the tea into the living room, where I was sitting on the navy-blue velvet sofa. This sofa had seen so much in the two short years I’d owned it since moving to L.A. It had seen so much in the nine months he had been living with me. We were preparing to leave L.A. together and start a farm. I had trusted him and not trusted him, and after this, I would never trust him fully again.
I drank my tea, which tasted terrible. Way too earthy for my taste.
“What’s in this?” I asked him. He smiled and changed the subject. “I’ve got to go to the bathroom,” he replied. And he left.
I could hear him in the bathroom when I started to feel a little nauseous. Then, I felt dizzy.
“Oh my God, what did you give me?!” I exclaimed loud enough for him to hear. And then, I simply couldn’t move. I sat back on the sofa and watched the sky darken with the sunset. I could still hear him in the bathroom, but there was nothing I could do now. I began to see fractals in everything — the turquoise mosaic cow skull on my coffee table, The giant weeping trees outside my front window — everything was dancing and melting at the same time.
I heard him flush the toilet. He came and sat next to me on the couch. “It’s mushrooms,” he said. It was hard for me to speak, but I did.
“How could you do this to me?!”
“I just thought it would make house cleaning fun!”
“Leave me alone!” I cried. He got up and left. It was then I began to feel the pain. I don’t know how I knew what that pain was, but I knew it wasn’t mine. At least not personally. I felt physical pain in my body and my heart hurt, physically hurt. I began to feel the pain of every feminine being on the planet throughout all time — children, women, the earth herself — every time the masculine had taken from her without consent.
Rape. Murder. Extraction of the feminine essence. Logging. The lack of my own consent, translated and amplified in my journey.
For the next three hours I endured this pain visually, physically, spiritually. I wept with pain and knowing. Occasionally my boyfriend would sit beside me and try to comfort me. Each time I told him to never touch me again.
Finally, I remembered that someone had told me once that you can co-create your journey with medicine.
“Enough,” I said. “I’ve seen enough, endured enough. Show me something else.”
The pain began to shift. The scene began to shift.
I was standing in front of a black hole, a void. I could see the swirling force amplifying, like wind. I could feel the immense power on my skin, like an electric hurricane. My hair, blown back, the force so strong I could barely keep my eyes open.
I gaze into the void, trembling from its power. I am not afraid, but humbled.
After some time, a voice says, “This power is now yours.” I know what it means. It means that this awesome force I am facing is being bestowed upon me.
“No,” I reply, shaking my head. “I don’t want it. It is too much responsibility.”
“It’s too late. It’s yours. You’ve earned it. Now you have to learn to wield it.”
As I feel the truth of these words I stop resisting, and I can feel this power enter me, filling me from my womb, its heat and fury spreading throughout my body.
And then the scene changes yet again. I am seeing the birth of everything — galaxies, planets, Earth, animals, humans — every aspect of the realm we occupy is birthed through a vagina. I can FEEL it being birthed.
This power birthed everything. And I am its vessel, I realized.
Sometimes initiations are chosen and sometimes they are thrust upon us. My mushroom initiation began a 3-year journey of learning to wield this power, a power that I believe we all have access to.
The power of creation.
And this initiation, more than any other I’ve experienced, changed my relationship to power. From something that is mine and that I consciously or unconsciously seek to gain or hold to something that I am humbly responsible for and use to co-create with Source for the benefit of all beings everywhere.
It also changed the way I see and engage with plant medicine. My journey to learning to wield this power was also a journey in cultivating a relationship with the mushrooms. A relationship that is now a partnership in sharing them with others. A co-creation to benefit both the mushrooms and humanity.
Because I have realized that we need each other.