34. Womb Wisdom, Addiction, & the Way of the Wounded Healer - Anja Robinson

IN THE INTRO:

  • Free Handcrafted Healing Herbal Oils online workshop!

  • Evolutionary health, symptoms as adaptations, why there's no such thing as the optimal diet, and why we didn't necessarily evolve to be healthy

  • One of our last remaining collective/ancestral rituals

IN THE INTERVIEW:

  • Why to start herbally & nutritionally preparing for your period at ovulation

  • Understanding nutritional needs throughout the menstrual cycle

  • Tracking your period

  • Coffee & chocolate for the cycling woman- good or bad?

  • Iron, blood, oxygen, and women

  • How Anja overcame six years of alcohol and drug abuse and built a healthy, healing life

  • We share our stories of growing up with an alcoholic parent, and of our mothers' deaths, and what it feels like when you get that phone call we all dread

  • A super important but always overlooked perspective on nutrient deficiency in addicts and the role of nutrition in recovery

  • It's never too late to change your path

  • When Anja found out about her German great-grandmother being the town mystic and Tarot reader, and how this ancestor's sensitivity has echoed down through the motherline

  • Food, drink, and herbs for winter nourishment

  • Carminitives: a simple, delicious, and healing class of herbal medicine that you already have in your kitchen

 

LINKS:

BOOKS-

*The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel E. Lieberman

*Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

*Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom by Dr. Christianne Northrup

*Sex, Time, and Power: How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution by Leonard Shlain

*The Alphabet Vs the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain

*It's OK That You're Not OK by Megan Devine (and her website Refuge In Grief)

*Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm: Beyond the Doors of Perception into the Dreaming of Earth by Stephen Harrod Buhner

PODCASTS-

*LifeSpa with John Douillard

*Dr. Gabor Mate on Russell Brand's Under the Skin podcast

Past Medicine Stories episodes mentioned-

*8 w/ Stephen Harrod Buhner (sensory gating channels)

*18 w/ Suuzi Hazen (iron, liver, evolution)

*20 w/ Kami McBride (herbalism, oils, menstrual wellness)

*30 w/ Cilla Whatcott (fever, illness, immunity)

MISCELLANEOUS- 

*My video An Herbalist's Perspective on Cold & Flu

*Period Tracker apps

*Dr. Zach Bush

32. Having Cancer, Facing Grief, & Choosing Your Own Healing Path - Tara Coyote

Choosing an unconventional treatment route for a disease that scares us all, what it looks like when you really face your grief, and a beautiful story of ancestral echoes, connections, and healing.

In the Intro:

  • Only you know the healing path that's right for you

  • Defining "alternative medicine" & (yet another) plea for nuanced thinking

  • The metabolic approach to cancer

In the Interview:

  • Meeting at the Death Cafe

  • How Tara came to choose the cancer treatments that she did, and what her protocol looks like

  • Apitherapy: the medicinal properties of bee venom

  • Healing with horses

  • Being embodied during grief and the power of grief rituals 

  • The gifts of a cancer diagnosis

  • Feeling your ancestry in the earth

  • The uncanny echoes between the lives of Tara and the grandmother she never knew, and a discussion of intergenerational trauma and healing

  • Dealing with a major life disruption in the midst of a cancer journey

Show Notes:

26. Ancestral Reverence as Devotion to the Earth - Daniel Foor

Your body is your ancestor altar, how hungry ghosts affect the living, the earth as the repository of ancestral wisdom, & more...

In the Intro:

  • Cleatus B. Wright , January 20, 1929 - February 27th, 1929

In the Interview:

  • The hunger for our ancestors

  • The story of Daniel's first ancestral connection, and the healing that followed

  • The ancestors are the collective wisdom of our species in all its beauty and trauma

  • Time collapses when in communion with the ancestors

  • Not all of the dead are equally well

  • The deeply embedded alcoholism in my fatherline

  • Addiction as the hunger of the dead moving through the bodies of the living, and the act of taking the substance as a form of ancestral communion

  • There are very few personal problems- a look at unmetabolized ancestral pain and systemic injustice

  • The dead can change

  • Ancestral forgetting as a function of the damage wrought by colonialism

  • We don't arrive at healing by exiling those who commit harm: an approach for white folks wishing to address their slave owning/colonizing/oppressive ancestral legacy (rather than ignoring it or living in perpetual guilt)

  • The role of the ancestors in social and earth justice

  • The interweaving of ritual, genealogical research, and healing

  • Synchronicity

  • They are shaking us awake in the burning house- the growing sense of urgency coming to us from the ancestors at this pivotal point in human history

  • The dead are in the earth, and the ancestors are animating the earth that is our bodies

  • Approaching activism in a more ritual oriented way

  • When a child is a returning of an ancestral lineage, mothering is my main form of ancestral reverence, and remembering that our children are the future ancestors of our further descendants

  • Are souls that die suddenly lost in limbo?

  • I ask Daniel a vulnerable question about my mom, who died in a car accident in November 2015

  • The most important way that we prepare for death is to be ethical and kind

  • Animism: living humans are just one kind of person / coming into relationship with the wider web of being

Links:

13. Psychedelic Healing: From Microdosing to Transcendence - Jim Fadiman

Safe, therapeutic, and sacred psychedelic journeys have the potential to enact profound transformation and healing on both a personal and a societal level. Many mistake these substances for party drugs, but their true medicine lies in the properly prepared and undertaken journey inward.

Scientists were just starting to understand the therapeutic benefits of LSD, psilocybin, and more in the 1960's when the many studies being done were suddenly shut down. Research is thriving again today, and we are beginning to understand their role in healing addiction, PTSD, anxiety and depression, and so much more.

James Fadiman has been at the forefront of this research for over 50 years. He is a writer and researcher with a PhD in Psychology and is the author of many books, including The Psychedelic Explorers Guide, which details how both journeyers and guides can create optimal conditions to have the best possible experience. Jim has also popularized the phenomenon of microdosing (taking tiny, sub-perceptual microdoses of psychedelic substances to enhance performance and treat ailments). 

In the Intro:

  • How Jim and I met

  • The amazing free resource Jim is making available to listeners

In the Interview:

  • That feeling when the future Ram Dass gives you LSD in Paris and changes your life forever

  • Ken Kesey, Albert Hoffman, Huston Smith and other heroes of mine who Jim knew

  • Why psychedelic research got shut down in the 60's and what was being researched then

  • How psychedelics work

  • How to have safe, therapeutic, and sacred journeys

  • Microdosing for: depression, colds, menstrual problems, asthma, allergies, stroke, and SO MUCH MORE

  • Dying is absolutely safe

Links:

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10. Living in Your Ancestral Human Body - Katy Bowman

Birth and death are the bookends that mark every human life, and in them and in between them there is movement. Our ancestors moved in a variety of ways throughout their days- foraging, hunting, seeking new landscapes, building shelter, birthing and carrying children, breastfeeding, processing food, finding water, etc. Physiologically, we are the exact same species; our bodies are identical to those of our prehistoric forebears.

Our biology hasn't changed, but our culture and physical environments have. Today, even the most active among us are mostly sedentary, and exercisers have just as many health problems and experience just as much injury as non-exercisers. We don't need more exercise (yay!), we need more MOVEMENT.

A biomechanist by training and a problem-solver at heart, Katy Bowman is radically changing our assumptions about what it means to live in an ancient human body in a modern and ever-changing world. She makes movement fun and shows people how to integrate it into every aspect of their lives. Her award-winning blog and podcast, Move Your DNA, reach hundreds of thousands of people every month, and thousands have taken her live classes. Her funny, wise, life-changing books have been critically acclaimed and translated worldwide.

In the Intro:

  • How Katy's work changed my concept of myself & what I'm capable of

  • Giveaway, Upcoming Event, etc.

  • Herb Learnin'- herbs are not "pseudo pharmaceuticals"

In the Interview:

  • Ancestral movement: stepping outside ourselves and looking at the wide scope of human time

  • Exercise as monoculture and movement as permaculture

  • Stacking your life- integrating movement into everything else

  • Finding your own roots (not someone else’s), and why 2018 is the year Katie finds her ancestors

  • Katy’s connection to the great-grandmother she was named after

  • Self reliance and how we’re shaped by the times we live in

  • The recent unassisted home death of Katy’s father, and the parallels Katy saw between that and birth

  • The many other deaths in Katy’s life within a 12 month period and how her movement practice kept her in a state of grace throughout the process

  • Movement as a metabolizer of stress and emotions

  • Bringing movement into grief- wailing, keening, caring for the body, (pallbearing!)

  • Keep moving because “there’s always another wave coming”

  • Katy’s recurring whale dream and the moment she lived it in real life

  • Reverence for the capacity and consciousness of cetaceans

  • Katy helps me break through my limited thinking around some of the things I spend most of my time doing (while sitting still)

  • The conscious practice of paying attention to what captures your imagination

Links:

ancestral movement

9. Know Thyself: Weaving Myth & Magic Into Everyday Life - Ariella Daly

Here's the secret about magic: it's not elusive, it's not hard to find, and it's everywhere. Magic happens when we follow the mythic threads that call to our soul and travel ever deeper into ourselves. We court magic when we take our inner yearnings seriously- by paying attention to dreams, symbols, old stories, ancestry, etc.-  and more & more meaning and synchronicity become woven into the fabric of our daily lives.

Ariella is a beekeeper, musician, and storyteller.  A student of the Path of Pollen, she has studied honey bee shamanism and the way of the Melissae for the past 8 years in the United Kingdom. She developed an interested in earth wisdom at an early age, creating her first herb garden and herbal remedies at the age of 15.  Plant lore and an affinity for traditional folk music led her to study the myth and folk wisdom of her Celtic ancestry.  As a result, she has over 25 years experience designing, leading, and participating in Celtic and earth-based practices and ceremony.  She believes in the power of body as guide and nature as ally, and is committed to fostering relationships between the human and non-human world.  She employs her skills with group facilitation in a number of workshops and classes focused on beekeeping, dreamwork, and women's embodied wisdom.  

In the Intro:

  • Dreamwork

  • Me, my birthday, my dead mom, & something meaningful that happened

  • Herb Learnin’- the myth of precise dosage

  • Finding plant resonances

In the Interview:

  • The beautiful stories behind the meaning of Ariella’s name

  • How the tales her father told her as a child planted a seed that started Ari following the mythic threads of her Celtic ancestry a decade later and inspired many pilgrimages to her ancestral countries

  • Reclaiming the lost indigenous and women’s wisdom from your line

  • The grief of displacement and how our animal bodies recognize our ancestral homelands

  • Ariella’s devastating miscarriage and the lessons and healing that followed (including how her lost daughter brought the bees into her life) and how our biggest traumas are what we weave our gold out of

  • Ari’s initiation into ancestral, shamanic beekeeping

  • Folklore & magic of place: that feeling when the fae folk/spirits of the land appear and offer you entrance to the Otherworld as you’re standing at midnight on a sacred hill at Glastonbury that centuries of lore say is a powerful portal (a true story)

  • Raven meaning & medicine

  • Spontaneous, heart-opening healing: “the piece of me that left came back in”

  • “My whole life has been led by listening to the animals and plants”

  • Embodying your ancestry through story, music, the land

  • How to study and work with Ari

Links:

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8. Planetary Intelligence, Ancestral Resonance, & the Perception of the Heart - Stephen Harrod Buhner

There is a vast intelligence in Nature, which both precedes and envelopes human consciousness. By opening our doors of perception- the heart, the senses, the nervous system- we can engage in communion with this field and come to know the world in which we are embedded as sentient, responsive, and ever-adapting, just as our ancestors did.

Stephen Harrod Buhner is an earth poet and the award-winning author of twenty books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He teaches about the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth. 

In the intro:

  • The attentive noticing of the soul

  • An herbalist's perspective on cold & flu

  • Empowerment & herbalism

  • Giveaway!

In the interview:

  • Stephen’s memories of his physician great-grandfather, and how DNA carries more than just physical information down through the generations

  • The tendency toward high sensitivity in plant people

  • Sensory gating channels & discerning meaning from the touch of the world upon us

  • The doors of perception & how psychedelics, or “neurognostics”, effect them

  • Plant perception and the neural networks in root systems- humans do not have a monopoly on intelligence

  • The function of psychedelics in the ecosystem, apart from and long before human use

  • The birth of James Lovelock’s Gaia theory and how real innovation & paradigm shifts can only happen outside of institutions

  • How we can recover the intelligence of the heart in the direct perception of nature

  • Visionary plant encounters & knowing plants through dreaming states

  • Aisthesis- the exchange of soul essence between two life forms

  • The misunderstood nature, vast intelligence, and ecological necessity of bacterial & viral life forms

  • The age of miracle drugs is over, just as so many people are stepping into the world of herbalism

  • Herbs are much better able to deal with infections and disease than technological medicine is

  • Stephen’s opinion on whether or not humans, and the earth, will survive

  • What happened in the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918: “The thing we haven’t learned is the dangers of our hubris”

  • True self-empowerment v reliance on outside medical knowledge

  • The paradigm shift that happens when you realize that all around you are plants with exceptional medicine that you can learn to use

  • The process of eldering and the point when the inevitability of dying becomes predominant

  • Herbal lineage, the march of generations, and young folks as the torch-bearers for the future of herbalism

Links:

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6. Naming Your Lineage & Deeply Releasing Fear - Amy Mea Woodruff

When she was 7 months pregnant, Amy Mea Woodruff's best friend was murdered by a stranger in her home. Amy speaks about this experience publicly for the first time, sharing the alternative grieving pathway she quickly carved out for herself as she sought to nurture and protect the life growing inside of her while simultaneously mourning the loss of her beloved soul sister.

Experiences from her past that had grounded Amy deeply into herself were an anchor throughout this process, including the conscious use of psychedelics and a longstanding practice of learning about and connecting with her ancestors. 

Amy (aka Daughter of the Sun) is a mother, craftswoman, land steward, budding flower farmer, and the founder and organizer of the Spirit Weavers Gathering.

 

In the Intro:

My experience with Spirit Weavers (from skeptic to enthusiast)

My first psychedelic experience

 

In the Interview:

Amy (Mea)’s two (& more!) names

Claiming your lineage and invoking your ancestors by speaking their names aloud

Amy shares the story of her best friend Cheree’s murder and her grieving and healing process

My and Amy’s journeys with forgiving the people who caused the deaths of our loved ones

Diving deep with Amanita muscaria & the time/space collapse (we also each speak about our relationship with cannabis)

Naming the land that raised us and listening to indigenous women

Amy’s feral childhood, Choctaw & Cherokee ancestors, and the wild foodways she grew up with

The challenges and rewards of founding and running the Spirit Weavers Gathering

Stewarding land and listening to nature

 

LINKS:

Amy's blog post expanding on this conversation and sharing photos of Cheree and of her ancestors

The Spirit Weavers Gathering

Alela Diane

Hawane Rios talk

Lyla June on the For the Wild podcast- On Resistance and Forgiveness in the Final Years of Patriarchy

Stay on the Spirit Weavers land in Southern Oregon via HipCamp

Music by Mariee Sioux (from the song Wild Eyes)

Mythic Medicinals herbals

Which Magical Herb is Your Spirit Medicine? quiz

Medicine Stories Facebook Group

Medicine Stories Patreon

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5. Reclaiming the Ancient Human Way of Death - Cari & Richard Leversee

Six days before leaving her body, Cari Leversee and her husband Richard spoke with me about their journey together unto death. Cari died the way she had lived- with curiosity and grace, exploring, learning, and teaching every day. Our conversation is both profound and beautiful, and I am honored to have been a conduit through which Cari's wisdom, in her time of dying, can reach a wider audience.

In the intro:

  • How some people become exalted beings in their time of dying

In the interview:

  • Dying out loud + creating a living funeral

  • Approaching death with wonder, & finding love in the face of terror

  • Mushrooms & microbes as honored elders / Cari’s experience microdosing on psilocybin during the dying process  / Mushrooms teach us to lead with soul consciousness, show us how to die, and greatly reduce fear in terminal patients

  • Bringing together the love and life and grief and pain and agony of death is where the healing happens

  • Grief and love are not different emotions- the depth of love equals the depth of grief

  • Home funerals: ecstasy, healing, and community / Alternative options for body disposal- deep sea burial, alkaline hydrolosis (or water cremation), green burial / Casket art

  • “I want to go into my death with my arms open”

  • What it is like to watch your beloved life partner die, “I have no intention of getting over my grief.”

  • How our culture gets grief wrong

  • I ask Cari if she's afraid

  • In death, you recognize the true source of self

In the Outro:

  • Cari's passing

  • We die how we lived

  • More about microdosing

Links:

Cari Leversee