Plants that are teachers are cagey and mysterious. They are mysterious because of my preconceived notions of what constitutes consciousness and plants do not fall into that box. I use the word cagey to describe the teacher as being shrewd, but also it seems as part of the curriculum the prof leaves out certain details that will give you the full answer to the question you have posed as a problem. As well, the plants will enable your ego self to fully embrace something you wish to pursue, such as spiritual enlightenment, and within that trap is then work to do to free yourself from the delusion. In other words there is an expectation that you will put in the effort and do the homework required to reveal what it is you are seeking. I ran into a San Pedro shaman on my last adventure who had experience with Mother Ayahuasca but gave up working with the plant because he grew tired of what he perceived as this game she was playing with him. She presented to him a challenge enveloped inside a riddle; a riddle he did not want to figure out. He instead gravitated towards the cactus because it was more direct. Yes even beyond our myopic human gender peculiarities these eternal feminine/masculine stereotypical traits hold true!
However I posit that uncovering the mystery or the answer is well worth the wait plus the effort and this makes an indelible impression upon you when you have to unravel the solution. As a teaching tool it is more effective because the journey to the answer will stick with you more readily and there is a great feeling of satisfaction in discovering. When these answers have hit me and the bulb in my head is lit up, I have been left speechless with a feeling of such gratitude for the knowledge revealed to me.
I will try to condense what I am getting at here as it involves my journey that takes place over the course of multiple years. To make a long introduction to my relationship with plants short, let me just say that my interest in ancient Egypt, specifically the Great Goddess, led me to seek her out and she eventually led me into the Amazon jungle to find her. Find her I did in May of 2013, however one thing I did ask of her was a way to feel her presence with me at all times. My initial visit to SpiritQuest in April of 2015 is where she revealed to me her energy representative within a black stone with fine whirling purple strands of energy within this stone. I did not know what the black shiny rock was at the time but upon returning home I eventually discovered it to be obsidian and I obtained a piece of obsidian as a reminder of my encounters with her energy. When I returned to SpiritQuest in June of 2016 I brought this obsidian talisman with me, obstentially to keep her close during ceremonies that can become challenging. During the third Ayahuasca ceremony I was at long last able to still my mind completely and later on in that ceremony as I held my obsidian in my left hand and gazed upon it the Goddess appeared within it, came out of the black reflection as a luminescent fairy, and then returned to her home in the black obsidian letting me know that if I carry this rock on my person she will always be with me. In the summer of 2017 as I continued to integrate my lessons and explore consciousness I was longing for a deeper connection with my Goddess and wanting to feel the inseparability of all within creation. I was sitting outside on my deck in communion with my sacred tobacco teacher Mapacho, gazing into my obsidian. It was a bright and sunny day and reflecting back at me were the trees and blue sky. It was one of those incredible and ineffable moments of sheer wonder and amazement. My Goddess had implanted herself in the obsidian so that one day I would see in its reflection an image of nature and thus make the startling connection that yes you have the obsidian as a reminder of the presence of the Goddess with you but if you just look around at nature you will see her everywhere all the time! I sat there in awe.
I wrote a poem about my feelings regarding the mysterious presence of the power of the Goddess that is always with us.
At the same time I longed to physically feel the inseparable connection of all things within creation. From a conceptual standpoint I understood it but I wanted a vision and I wanted to feel it. I planned another trip to South America in order to commune with the sacred plant teacher Huachuma, first in the Amazon jungle at SpiritQuest and then later on in the Andes mountains of Ecuador. My first stop was Cuzco, which is the old Inkan capital at high altitude in the Andes of Peru. From there I visited Machu Picchu and then climbed a sacred mountain to prepare myself for class. Once in the jungle I made it my intention to feel this unity. It was not as I expected; of course it wasn't, as it never is. Instead of an euphoric feeling of bliss because of the interconnection of all, I felt the pain and loneliness of being the all and in order to alleviate this feeling and spread Love I realized why she separated into the many. However I still was experiencing as feelings the needs and greed of the many feeding off the power provided. Mothers are eternal caregivers, take on the burdens of her children and their suffering, and never ask for anything in return. In retrospect it is the sacrifice of the Great Mother for her children, something she does through Love, and without hesitation. My Huachuma ceremonies, though the domain of a wise grandfather type energy, are forever focused on respect for the mother. I struggled with this realization that the no division I was seeking isn't all smiles and sunshine. During the climatic Vilca ceremony four days later I was given a glimpse of my origin and where I will return. The message was a message of Love; I am made of Love and to Love I shall return. Love comes from the heart and the heart is the conduit of the cosmic soul. When you connect to it then Love freely flows into and out of you. In the Andes mountains in Ecuador I felt the same family vibe; a reaffirmation of my relationship to the Great Goddess and more lessons from Grandfather. We are the children of this unity I seek. On the plane ride home I was listening to an Alan Watts lecture and he addressed the very thing I had been searching for. To paraphrase, he said the unity I seek is found in finally seeing that everything goes with everything else. You cannot separate things. We objectify and ignore the background in order to fool ourselves into believing in this separation. We are clearly not. I was pretty astounded to get this lesson at this time on the final leg of the journey home.
I fully accepted this explanation and was content with never getting a desired vision of no division. So this past Sunday I mysteriously intuited my piece of black obsidian had something to tell me. I was wandering through the forest with my dog on a gorgeous spring sunny day and I thought when I get home I'm going to smoke some Mapacho on my deck and bring my obsidian out with me. So I did and gazed into the stone in order to reflect nature back to remind me of my Lady. However this time I could not separate or angle myself away from the image being projected. I looked at myself in the shiny mirrored surface as one with the trees and the blue sky I normally ignore as background. It hit me gently; it was incredible; this is what I had asked for. This is the vision of no division - my reflected face being one with nature. I sat there and marvelled at my good fortune.