// herbal & entheogenic plant medicine symposium \\
Oct 18-20, 2019 : A Radical Herbalist Gathering : Uki, NNSW Australia
:: our speakers ::
PSILOCYBIN AS AN AGENT OF INSIGHT, A TEACHER, AND ELDER :
James W. Jesso is an author, public speaker, and podcast host with a deep respect for psychedelic medicines. His work is inspired by his healing path through depression, substance abuse, and trauma, and focuses on translating the profound insights of the psychedelic experience into a higher quality of life, for both the individual and society.
As a creative entrepreneur, James has successfully utilized crowdfunding to independently publish two books, launch an interview-based podcast, and tour around the world both as a speaker and a researcher of psychedelic plants, cultures, and medicine. Although mostly in his home country of Canada, his more than one-hundred public speaking events since 2011 spans over eleven different countries. He has also authored numerous articles, essays, as well as having done radio, podcast, and print interviews.
His two books, Decomposing The Shadow: Lessons From The Psilocybin Mushroom (2013) and The True Light Of Darkness(2015), present a model for working with the ‘magic’ psilocybin mushroom as an ally in personal transformation and in developing psychospiritual maturity.
Adventures Through The Mind — his podcast and youtube channel — is an effort to contribute to the psychedelic culture at large. Featuring interviews with luminaries in science, art, and culture across a range of disciplines, this platform expands James’ work into a more broad exploration of progressive social developments, and the potential role psychedelics might play within them.
THE MIND OF PLANTS (AND THE GAMES WE PLAY)
Monica Gagliano is a research associate professor in evolutionary ecology and former fellow of the Australian Research Council. She is currently based at the University of Sydney as a Research Affiliate at the Sydney Environment Institute and a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, where she has opened the doors of the brand-new BI Lab–Biological Intelligence Lab. Though she began her career by studying animal behaviour, she quickly turned her attention to plant behaviour and cognition.
In recent years, she has blazed the trail for a brand new field called plant bioacoustics, showing that plants do make sounds; and by demonstrating experimentally that learning is not the exclusive province of animals, Gagliano has re-ignited the discourse on plant subjectivity and ethical and legal standing. Her studies have led her to author numerous groundbreaking scientific articles and to co-edit The Green Thread: Dialogues with the Vegetal World (Lexington Books, 2015), The Language of Plants: Science, Philosophy and Literature (Minnesota University Press, 2017) and Memory and Learning in Plants (Springer, 2018) and The Mind of Plants (forthcoming). Her research transcends the view of plants as the objects of scientific materialism and encourages us to rethink plants as people–beings with subjectivity, consciousness, and volition, and hence having the capacity for their own perspectives and voices.
In her latest book, Thus Spoke the Plant: A Remarkable Journey of Groundbreaking Scientific Discoveries and Personal Encounters with Plants (North Atlantic Books, 2018), which she calls a “phyto-biography”, she describes her experiments that opened the space to begin to understand how to make contact with this other-than-human intelligence.
For more information: www.monicagagliano.com
DEEP ECOLOGY :
Deep ecology is a key to the change we need. To deep ecology, underlying all the symptoms of the environmental crisis lies a psychological or spiritual root – the illusion of separation from the rest of the natural world which stems from anthropocentrism or human-centeredness.
Conditioned since the Old Testament to “subdue and dominate” nature, the modern psyche is radically alienated from the air, water and soil which underpin life and this is reflected in the rapid shredding of all natural systems in the name of economic development. Deep ecology reminds us that the world is not a pyramid with humans on top, but a web. We humans are but one strand in that web and as we destroy this web, we destroy the foundations for all complex life including our own.
While we maintain a self-image created in the matrix of anthropocentric culture, a shrunken and illusory sense of self that doesn't include the air and water and soil, we will experience nature as "outside" our self and fail to recognise that the nature "out there" and the nature "in here" are one and the same. Many people INTELLECTUALLY realise that we are inseparable from Nature and that the sense of separation that we feel is socially conditioned and illusory.
The deep ecology workshops created by Joanna Macy and John Seed enable us to find an end to this illusion and EXPERIENCE our rootedness in the living Earth.
For more information: www.johnseed.net
MIND STATES TO WATCH OUT FOR :
Psychedelics can catalyse many different profound states of mind, and not all of those states of mind are positive. Integration and changes in one’s personal life can require a lot of attention, due to the complexity of the human psychological makeup. Many times, people can go backwards into regressive states if they are not careful. The question then is, how to deal with these resultant states and what to watch out for, and how to navigate these mind states in oneself and others.
Julian Palmer has been deeply exploring psychoactive plants for the last 19 years and has spoken at conferences and events in Australia and overseas on this subject over the last 16 years. He facilitates non-traditional spaces for psychedelic plant medicine work and is also the inventor of ‘Changa'. In 2014 Julian published his 1st book, Articulations: On The Utilisation and Meanings of Psychedelics, which is his summation and understandings related to how psychedelics work and how they can most effectively utilised.
You can find his personal web site here: www.julianpalmerism.com
ADVANCED ENERGY WORK FOR HEALTH PRACTITIONERS & ENTHEOGENIC HEALERS :
This is a practical workshop on the energetic preparation of multidimensional healing spaces and the use of advanced energy healing techniques. It includes practical methods for balancing your personal energy and creating a safe energetic workspace, plus an introduction to working with lightbody en- ergy geometries.
Steve McDonald is an energy healer, futurist and change agent. He has practiced Taoist martial and healing energy arts since 1999, from the Wudang Shan tradition of central China. Steve has also trained in the Hermetic mys- tery tradition since 2004. He is founder of the non-profit change agency AADII and co-founder of Psychedelic Research in Science & Medicine (PRISM).
Lila has been working with medicinal plants and indigenous ways of healing for twenty three years, beginning her journey in the Atacama Desert of Peru. She is initiated as sangoma, traditional healer and seer, in the Shona tradition of South Africa, where she was born. She has spent much time engaging with cultural wisdom teachings and plants in a medicinal capacity, learning the optimal ways to open our perception to the natural kingdoms around us.
Her academic background is in Anthropology, Linguistics, Philosophy and Transpersonal Psychology, with a Diploma in Integral Coaching. Her current work is a systemic body of knowledge she has received directly through the plant kingdom and dreams. It addresses the universal allocations of medicine in natural bodies and the “Five Pillars of Medicine” that follow specific timeless principles. Her talks and workshops facilitate the practical application of harnessing this wisdom in our lives. She currently runs several workshops on plant medicine, plant communication, and facilitating deep connection with self, other and environment.
FIVE PILLARS OF MEDICINE :
"Wake up and write this down!" were the words I heard as I was dipping off into sleep. "There are only five pillars of medicine. And all medicine, across all time, fits into these pillars... "The teaching proceeded to stream through, showing me the five modes of medicine, the ancient systems that use them, and how we draw on them instinctively in our daily lives.."
In this inspirational talk Lila will share a system of knowledge she has received over several years through dreams and plants. Since undergoing initiation in a traditional lineage in South Africa a portal of inspiration and receptivity began to open with greater flow, and knowledge began to be transferred spontaneously through dreams, plants and the natural kingdom.
We will hear the story of her meeting with a Cedar tree, where it shared the distinct allocations of medicine across all natural bodies, and the "Five Pillars of Medicine” that came through a dream after a day of ceremony with a Zulu elder.
Together these bodies of knowledge reveal a deeper patterning in our nature that can be used in an evolutionary and medicinal capacity. They are timeless principles which we are already governed by. In coming to consciously harness these natural rhythms we can find deep wisdom and orientation within this organic map of ourselves and the world.
This inspiring information and intuitive system can be applied in our daily lives as a systemic medicinal tool on all levels of being, we conduct our own evolution and blossoming. Simple direct heart knowledge, reminding us of our true nature!
For more information: www.earthimagineers.org
THE USE OF PSYCHEDEILC PLANTS IN RELATION TO THE PREDICTED CLIMATE COLLAPE / PHASE SHIFT
A wide ranging talk from a humourous angle that will draw from my autobiographical experiences as someone who has been walking the plant medicine healing path for the last 5 years and has been facilitating for the last 2 years.
Nick Sun was an award winning stand up comedian for 13 years. Then he drank Ayahuasca and life got very strange. He has since spent the last 5 years walking the plant path and relaying his experiences of his self-apprenticeship from a humourous and irreverent point of view on his popular underground blog. His talk will explore ways of connecting the use of psychedelic plants to a wider environmental awareness in relation to the predicted climate collapse/phase shift.
For more information: www.nicksun.com
ACACIA – THE TREES ARE THE MEDICINE :
An introduction to Acacia, propagation and planting workshop. A hands on approach to cultivating a relationship with our medicine trees from seed to tree to seed.
Communacacian has been exploring the cultivation and conservation of entheogenic Acacia in Australia for the past seven years, with a strong focus on the rare and threatened species. He believes the key to ensuring these important trees are protected and accessible to future generations lies within education and a hands on approach. Drawing upon his career in horticulture and arboriculture, Communacacian has been sharing his cultivation, field exploration and experiential insights at various festivals and ethno-botanical events in recent years.
“Our own inner nature comes into harmony when we bring life to plants and grow with them, from seed to tree to seed.”
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED HERBALISM :
Many people face challenges in accessing herbal medicine services. Community supported herbalism uses the power of community networks to bring herbal medicine to everyone regardless of circumstances. This workshop will explore a model of community supported herbalism being trialled in the Somerset region of South East Queensland.
Kerrie Oakes is the chapter co-ordinator for the South-East Qld chapter of Herbalists Without Borders. She holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in Western Herbal Medicine, Education and Community Welfare. She has local, state and federal experience in community development, youthwork, policy making and disaster management. Currently she manages the Somerset Community Supported Herb Clinics project with a network of three monthly clinics, 15 local gardeners, and close links to local council and government service providers. She is a member of the NHAA and CMA. The topic is related to her proposal for undertaking a PhD researching the contribution of community-based herbalism to health systems.
For more information: www.ganael.com.au
PANEL MODERATOR :
A Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner, Space Facilitator, Harm Reduction worker & Musician. Rachel has a background in growing, preparing and offering traditional, herbal & shamanic medicines, facilitating health & detox retreats, utilising sound for integration, and working in harm reduction & substance education. Passionate about the therapeutic use of entheogenics & psychoactives. Co-founder & facilitator at Mulai Lagi Iboga, EntheoBotanica & FreeEarth Foundation.
ENTHEARCHIES PAST & FUTURE :
‘Enthearchy’ refers to a form of social organisation where political authority is informed by entheogenic immersions. In this talk I hope to draw on the collective knowledge of attendees to sketch out a rough typology of past societies that might properly count as enthearchies. Time permitting, we will use these examples to inform a conversation about how psychoactives (whether derived from plants, fungi, animals, or labs), might – or should – be integrated into political structures and processes in the future.
Sebastian Job, Ph.D teaches at NIDA (the National Institute for Dramatic Arts) and is an Honorary Associate in the Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney. His research focuses on the psychological, cultural, and educational potential of traditional and new psychoactive substances.
CONFESSIONS OF A TOP BAR KENYAN HIVE CUSTODIAN :
Confessions of a Top Bar Kenyan Hive Custodian is a talk about the mystical and sacred nature of bees. The first time the furry carpet of bees emerge from the nucleus colony is supernatural. They are a complex super-organism that cannot survive as an individual, a sum greater than it’s parts. Bee’s are symbolic of our interconnection and symbiosis with the eco-system. They are a significant part of the plant human relationship.
The first word out of everybody’s mouth is ‘honey’ but so many more resonant ideas emerge with bee custodianship. James Lovelock’s Gaia Hypothesis, Jung's Collective Unconscious, cymatics, the tao, frequencies and patterns of the universe.
This talk plots an empirical journey with Apis mellifera the European Honey bee, from making a top bar hive, overwintering a nucleus colony, transporting and rehousing the bees, inspecting frames on warre and TBK hives, planting bee forage, observing spectacles like bearding, swarming, festooning and watching the way their pollination influences plants. I would like to cover bee bread, propolis, wax and honey, healing, cleansing, preserving and life giving. Gods consumed ambrosia to stay immortal in Greek mythology. Sacred mead from Teutonic mythology was used in ritual communion with the supernatural. Honey and ghee were mixed with Soma from India. There is mad honey from the giant bees of Nepal with psychedelic properties that come from Rhododendron nectar and pollen.
I would like to cover bee society, bee dancing, worlds invisible to the human eye and senses, like ultraviolet and magneto-reception, the history and mythology of the bee and their importance in the continuity of the human race.
Being a bee custodian is still trial and error with cross combing, bees in my gloves and collapsing frames, but endlessly fascinating trying to understand their different sounds and phenomena. I studied natural beekeeping with Tim Malfoy and try to respect their wildness.
My background is video; commercial VFX and video art installation. The path from humming servers and post production to the world of permaculture, medicinal herbs, sacred plants, edible weeds and bees has been revelatory. The most beautiful sound is an Acacia in full bloom covered in bees.
EMBODIED HERBALISM & HERBAL ALCHEMY - BRINGING THE FEMININE BACK INTO HERBALISM :
As herbalism becomes increasingly focused on chemical constituents and actions, the herb as a living spirit being is not considered, and we are losing connection with what herbs and plants are all about. The herbs are being taken out of herbalism!
In this discussion, we'll explore the concept of embodied herbalism, what it is, why we need to remember it now more than ever and ways to go about it.
We'll have a look at herbal alchemy, the art of spagyric medicine making and how this can be a model for understanding and practicing embodied herbalism.
Heidi runs various circles and online courses in Shamanic Herbalism, Herbal Alchemy & plant spirit communication. Author of Wild Flower Walker: A Pilgrimage to Nature on the Bibbulmun Track, she is passionate about reawakening and deepening our innate connection with Nature. She has a 20 year background deeply embedded with plants, herbalism, homeopathy and more recently midwifery. For the last four years, she has been receiving and remembering a flower activation pathway from her nature guides...soon to be shared.
MEDICINAL FUNGI -
BASIC CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES :
Many Australian forests contain a variety of medicinal species of fungi – with care and attention we can cultivate local species in a sustainable way, with known provenance, using organic techniques. This workshop will focus on the cultivation of medicinal species of wood-inhabiting fungi. The main technique will be the peroxide agar tek – a useful technique that can be used in any kitchen. Hands on learning is very important as a part of the learning experience, as is a direct question answer interaction between the facilitator and the audience, so this workshop will encourage participation. The main technique will be demonstrated then the space opened to invite approximately 10 participants to try the technique. In the remaining time the workshop will introduce how to move from the agar culture to grains then to bulk substrate. Species included in discussion will be Ganoderma sp., Trametes sp., Hericium sp. (non- native), and Shiitake sp. (non-native). As part of the workshop Darklight and Jess Saunders have offered to help and share their own expertise.
Caine Barlow has been cultivating and studying fungi for 12 years. Having studied mycology at a university level he is no stranger to spending time in labs, but has a prefer- ence to creating work spaces within kitchen environments allowing a little more creativity in basic methods of cloning and propagating mycelium. Caine enjoys modifying existing techniques, experimenting with substrates and hacking together equipment for growing environments, of course with a preference for the outdoors if possible. He has spent a lot of time walking amongst the forests of Southern Tasmania – the variety of forest types, from dry sclerophyll forest to callidendrous rainforest, allows the opportunity to see fungi in a multitude of environmental roles. Observing these has inspired Caine to work with fungi in a variety of ways, from cultivation of culinary and medicinal species, to investigating mycoremediation, mycorestoration, and the role of mycorrhizal fungi in natural and agricultural systems. As a regular contributor, “trusted identifier” and admin on a variety of website forums and facebook groups, Caine’s aims are to encourage learning, inspire others to see fungi in a new light, show how easy they are to grow, and educate as to how important they are as an environmental catalyst for growth.
Caine has an instagram “Guerrilla Mycology” where he blogs about his cultivation techniques and the enthnomycology of fungi he finds in the field.
TOWARDS AN ENTHEOGENIC ECOSOPHY :
This presentation is a synthesis of findings from my 2015 Honours Thesis and explores the notion of ‘ecological wisdom’ through a mapping of the ‘deep ecology’ philosophy onto key themes that arise from the entheogenic experience. This exploration also brings forth pragmatic implications for how we utilise and apply the ability of entheogenic plants to invoke ‘the ecological-self’; one connected to the web-of-life and inseparable from its complexity.
Jef Baker’s long-standing fascination with psychoactive plants led him to complete his Bachelor of Arts at Southern Cross University in 2015 with an Honours thesis looking at the Deep Ecology of Ayahuasca Discourse. Jef is president of the Sydney chapter of The Australian Psychedelic Society, global moderator at 5meodmt.org as well as admin/moderator for several psychedelic related Facebook pages including his own group Entheogenic Anthropology.
Face Book: Entheogenic Anthropology
RITUAL AND HERBALISM
Ritual, ceremony and intention are key tools to connect with the sacred nature of plants, whether psychoactive or medic- inal. Relationship to plants in the imaginal realms has a long history that is strongly connected with the practice of herbal medicine and earth-based spirituality. This talk explores the anthropology and practice of ritual in herbalism and en- theogens, and discusses the need for multiple ways of knowing the world and the plants that inhabit it.
Stephanie Hazel is a practicing clinical herbalist, passionate about reinvigorat- ing the ancient tradition of Western herbal medicine. She has been working closely with herbs and medicinal plants for 13 years, including 5 years in the Happy Herb Company where she was an actively engaged in fighting for plant freedom. As well as practicing clinical herbal medicine in Melbourne, Stephanie is also a senior partner with One Health Organisation, an NGO promoting holistic approaches to public health.
For Stephanie, the true path of herbal medicine aims to understand each indi- vidual deeply, finding their unique state of balance whilst connecting us to the Earth, the Plants and our own Wild Souls.
We will venture into the realm of Wildcrafting remedies. We’ll explore some local Natives and our friendly weeds and how to harvest with honour and the moon. Delve into some light alchemy of crafting your own remedies from these plant allies.
Homegrown herbalist, self-explored alchemist and loving mother, Hannah Forrester is an Australian born witch, handcrafting from Goonengerry, NSW. As the name suggests, she’s a woman of the forest, who has always had her hands in the Earth. From early days being alongside her mother in the garden, delving into conservation ecology and then again to just doing what seemed the only way – gardening in community. From the Garden, she has mostly self-taught and intuitively explored how to concoct growing herbs and spells into alchemical potions. Alongside these ways, she practices Arvigo® Maya Therapy with the purpose of womb and body connection. A wombyn of the Earth devoted to serve her Mother Earth.
Facebook: Plant & Sun
The body is designed to heal and regenerate. Primed with powerful self-healing mechanisms that can be activated through plant medicines, we are at last moving into an era of an increasingly symbiotic relationship with the Earth.
The biggest resistance to our embodied awakening in this transformational evolutionary leap that is underway is the body’s powerful addiction to the bio-chemistry of fear. We’ve been in fear since the moment of conception and, metaphysically, we’ve been in it since the beginning of time. For many of us this keeps us in a state of physical, emotional and psychological unwellness and often running around in circles on our journey of healing.
The body’s primary self-healing mechanisms, like the mind and the endocannabinoid system, can be activated with earth-sourced medicines and micro-dosing protocols. By bringing our conscious attention to the frequency of the body when it is in a healing bio-chemistry, we can begin to practice the tools that enable us to activate this frequency without the exogenous activator. This process can then be enhanced and maintained through diet and lifestyle.
Cannabis medicines are powerful tools in this process because the directly connect to systems in the body. Known as the genesis plant, both cannabis and hemp are also powerful healing tools for the Earth. Metaphysically speaking, the activated body’s self-healing connects energetically to the primary self-healing mechanisms of the Earth.
As a multi-modality healer, I am supporting my clients to develop a growing awareness of their connection to their bodies as energetic and able to be healed through frequencies. When we can consciously connect to this embodied truth, we are able to awaken in the reality of duality. We are God the Soul embodied in God the Earth. This is the frequency of unlimited quantum manifestation. This is also the frequency of healing for our bodies and for the Earth.
Deborah is a multi-modality healer, holistic and intuitive counsellor, Kambo and EFT practitioner, plant worshiper, Earth healer and on an extraordinary journey of becoming herself.
For more information: www.theactivatedself.com.au
PLANT INTELLIGENCE & THE GAIAN SYSTEM PANEL DISCUSSION
Tim Williams is a Permaculture Designer, Visionary, Humanitarian, Herbalist, and Entheobotanical Custodian, Space Holder & Propagator. He has been working with plants and in the field of plant medicines for around a decade. He is a keen advocate for Iboga therapies, particularly for addiction interruption.
Co-founder & facilitator at Mulai Lagi Iboga and Founder & Principal Participant at FreeEarthFoundation.
BEYOND PHYTO MEDICINE PANEL DISCUSSION
Miriam is, first and foremost, a humble student of Nature.
Beyond this, she is a clinical herbalist with a fascination and deep reverence for traditional modes of perception, and how these can weave their way into the 21st century clinic.
She is currently completing an apprenticeship (or more accurately, an initiation) where she is exploring and experimenting with the ways in which medicine and art, philosophy and science, and the mythic and logic marry and merge to birth a truly integrated practice of western herbal medicine that is rooted in the tradition, lore and story of the Ancient West.
Her work is also underpinned by the absolute belief that personal health cannot exist without collective health - that well-being is at once personal, and transpersonal. Outside of the clinic, she runs a community herbal platform called the Open Heart Apothecary – a vehicle through which people can connect to each other, their roots and Nature through herbal education.
Miriam sees the practice of herbal medicine as the sacred synthesis of applying the knowledge we have learnt cognitively, while remaining open to the somatic wisdom of the dark unknown. She owes much of her inspiration to other-than-human intelligences - to mountain, stone and moon who have struck awe into her heart and allowed her a glimpse through the veil, if only for a moment.
BEYOND PHYTO MEDICINE PANEL DISCUSSION
Elen Jones has been working in Nimbin, on the frontline of rebel herbalism for almost 20 years. As the founder of the Nimbin Herbs Learning Centre, she advocates for access to transformative education about medicinal herbs.
Specialising in the edgy territory between herbs, drug law reform & psychedelics she is a spokeswoman for an integrated approach to healing, one that scaffolds psychological development as a form of social activism.