:Entheogenic Plant Spirits and the Spirit Worker

Author's Introductory Notes

These essays on psychotropic plants, their spirits, and the role they play for a spirit worker are the result of working directly with the plant spirits. I am not a medical or scientific expert. I do not have a formal educational background in these fields, only diligent, personal, on-going study on a strictly amateur level. These essays have little to do with hard science and everything to do with spirits and spiritual forces, which are neither hard nor particularly scientific.  This is not a complete or definitive work; there is still a great deal to be done and I will continue to add information.  I am offering this collection to other spirit-workers in a similar position, whose respective paths have led them to the tradition of sacred plants, in the hopes that this will augment their own practice.  I am not responsible for the use or misuse of the information presented; the choices you make are your own, as are the consequences of your actions.  Because it is to the spirit-workers and other serious practitioners that I'm hoping to speak, I won't be covering the basics. I'm expecting you to be comfortable and familiar with altered states of consciousness and know how to handle them when they happen (through whatever means you use to induce these states). I assume the reader knows how to accurately communicate with spirits in some fashion.

Each person is different and their experiences with these plants will be different as well. It's for this reason that, except when giving examples, I avoid stating many specifics particularly when it comes to information like the amount of any given herb needed to produce a physical effect. I have debated with myself about how much to share since there is so much room for abuse. There is potential for any of the information I have seen fit to share to be used for recreation or other abusive pursuits, and it's not without a great deal of thought that I have placed this information in words.  I am expecting (and hoping!) that the reader who wishes to engage in active practice on this path has a firm concept of Right Action, by whatever term you define it; Right Action as discussed here has to do with establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship with the plant spirits, which may include specific rites, obligations, and taboos associated with them. Right Action is a core morality that governs how much we give, how much we take, and how that continual exchange is tended.

Of the number of spiritual disciplines a serious practitioner may engage in, the path of sacred plants presents very real dangers to the physical body and, as I explain elsewhere, the spiritual self as well. These plants are not benign vegetables or simple mosses. They are powerful, potent beings. Misuse can lead to illness, injury, and even death. One must be highly disciplined in order to resist addictive tendencies.  Many of these plants are very seductive, and specialize in catching people.  The required discipline exists past the teacup of brewed psycedelics and extends into the way one lives. For those on this path full-time, many forms of indulgence are discouraged, even outright forbidden. Some of the reasons I adhere to a vegan diet and observe other restrictions are related to the physical side of this path. My long-time indulgence in coffee and caffeine was also challenged, so I have to be careful that my sometime use does not turn into habit.  The path of sacred plants stresses the connection that we have to our surroundings, what we allow into our bodies and how that affects us. A great deal of the information herein applies equally to the full- and part-time practitioners, though the level of commitment and taboo will vary depending on why you're exploring this path and what you need to get out of it.

I truly believe that the only way to learn this path is to be taught directly from the plants themselves; even with a qualified instructor, going directly to the plants for their lessons is necessary because it is them that you will be forming this working relationship with. No book will give you the wisdom that experience will; the only way to do this work is to DO it. Not reading about it, not thinking about it, DOING it. That being said, I feel that sharing this information via this medium is a needed thing. There is information available about entheogenic and psychoactive plants, but precious little about how one uses these plants as a part of spiritual work or about the spirits.  I'm aware that some readers will not find everything applicable to their unique situations. You may have already dealt with plant spirits of this variety before and have a very different relationship with them then I do.  I ask the patience of these individuals; I have tried to keep these articles as general as possible in order to cover the concerns that I imagine the majority of people will have.  If you have any specific questions, you are more than welcome to email me but I don't promise to have an answer; this is a reflection of my own work and I certainly haven't done all there is to be done.  Again, I am not an expert, medical, legal or otherwise so am unable to give advice on these matters.  I am only someone who has done the work, and I encourage you to do the same (but please be safe). 

Aside from sharing this work because my Gods have asked me to, I'm doing so because I love these plants.  This has easily been some of the most enjoyable spirit work I've been involved in; I find it fascinating, invigorating, and continually surprising.  Even though I can't mistake any spirit's place in my life as an indication of friendship on their part, I do consider these plants and these spirits part of my circle of friends.  They are my partners, allies, and teachers.  They are also dangerous and coming to a mutual trust that doesn't exploit my faith in them is a constant balancing act; these spirits can be wily.  Writing this has been a challenge not just because I worry about some foolish person doing harm to themselves or others, but because I worry about some foolish person doing harm to the spirits I love.  I'm just sentimental that way, I guess.

So here it is.  Enjoy it in health.  


© Silence Maestas, 2006