52. Decolonizing the Mind: You Belong to Your Ancestors - Tamira Cousett

Embodying the blessing of being a child of diverse lineages, being rooted first in our ancestral stories and second in our cultural narratives, embracing our inherent worth as we step into the work we came here to do, and so much more...

IN THE INTRO:

  • Imaginal remembering

  • How primal human posture has greatly diminished my pain

  • Gathering the stories of your elders

IN THE INTERVIEW:

  • Tamira’s childhood experiences with the unseen, and how that was (not) held in her family

  • We are accountable to our ancestors

  • The process of remembering and learning to be in daily, direct communication with those who hold the container for our lives

  • Being a bridge between our children and the ancestors- incorporating small ritual into our lives and sharing our peoples’ stories

  • Our children are the ancestors returning as the new faces of the lineage

  • The evolution of Tamira’s ancestral healing journey as a black woman in the south with both African and European ancestors

  • Seeing today’s -isms as rituals of disconnection that feed shame and hatred and anger, which further fuel racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc.

  • Remembering that black and white are not ancestral categories and stepping back to view the larger historical narratives of our people

  • The story of the harmonizing of two of Tamira’s lineages, one of West African descent and one of European- what was shown to her during the ceremony and how the healing changed her life (we cry)

  • Victimhood, blame, forgiveness, and how our redemption is tied into one another’s

  • Claiming first the identity of being a child of your ancestors before being anchored in the (very real and valid) identities the world assigns you

  • Ancestral connection banishes imposter syndrome- you belong with and to your people always, they’re holding the container of your life so that you can bring your medicine forward (and when we feel this belonging this we are much less likely to perpetuate cultural and personal harms)

  • Holding space for childrens’ grief, and the generations of unmetabolized grief wreaking havoc on our culture

LINKS:

GET THE PDF TRANSCRIPT OF THIS EPISODE HERE.

Donate to the Transcription Fund

49. Grieving the Spirits of the Land & Bringing Healing to the Ancestors

Mariee Sioux’s music is medicine for the living and medicine for the dead, a direct portal both to and from the ancestors and the land spirits. In this interview she shares profound stories of hurt, healing, and visions gifted from the otherworld.

IN THE INTRO:

  • Making grief more beautiful and more bearable

  • How to enter the Giveaway of the Grief in Exile album

Songs played during this episode are-

  1. Wild Eyes

  2. Black Snakes

  3. Grief in Exile

  4. Two Tongues

IN THE INTERVIEW:

  • Mariee never dreamed she’d be a musician & how that ended up happening

  • Mariee’s connection with her indigenous Mexican and American maternal ancestors and her Hungarian and Polish paternal ancestors

  • Songs pouring through you and the magical process of bringing something into being

  • When the ancestors choose one person in their lineage to drop their stories into

  • Ethnic stereotypes and what people will say to your face

  • Mariee’s work with the Nisenan, the native people of the lands she and I live on, and how growing up here she literally never knew there were remaining tribal members here

  • “I experienced so many spirits on the land that hadn’t been grieved”

  • Some deep medicine stories- how this podcast has changed Mariee’s life (so much interweaving serendipity, since her music opens and closes every episode)

  • How datura embedded into Mariee’s consciousness and how that plant relationship touched her life, even before she’d ever worked with the plant physically

  • The amazing ancestral vision Mariee was gifted that supports the music and voice medicine she carries in this lifetime

  • The different ways that people who come from lineages with unmetabolized grief and trauma [all of us] carry that ancestral inheritance

  • How magic and the synchronicities start showing up once we commit to following our soul calling

  • A digression on the Aquarian archetype

LINKS

Get the PDF transcript of this episode here.

Donate to the Transcription Fund
Mariee Sioux cover final.jpeg

40. Ancient Medicine & the Love of the Ancestors - Atava Garcia Swiecicki

We each carry our own unique ancestral medicine, and can (and should!) spend a lifetime uncovering it. A teacher of herbal, folk, and indigenous medicine, Atava is deeply grounded in and a powerful guide through this sacred work.

IN THE INTRO:

  • Synchronicity, mushroom medicine, and the deer dress

  • Herbal Medicine Giveaway

  • Ancestral Apothecary's Student of Color Scholarship Fund- investing in herbal education is investing in the health of your community

  • The Ancestor Song

IN THE INTERVIEW:

  • Invocation

  • When an ancestor becomes an ally from the other side

  • How to know when it's really a message from spirit and not just our own projection

  • Food as the one surviving cultural tradition within a family

  • Remembering your indigenous mind

  • How giving time and attention to our roots can heal relationships among the living

  • Ancestral connection and reverence work never ends

  • Healing is in our bones, our blood, our DNA

  • Being witnessed in our stories

  • Remembering that the plants are (literally) our ancestors

  • Using plants to ground deeply when talking about and facing ancestral issues like colonization and slavery- we're never alone as long as we have our plant allies

  • Making space for people of color to explore and reclaim their ancestral medicine 

  • Teaching healing skills so that people can treat those within their own communities and not need saving from elsewhere

  • Herbalists are the grassroots community healers

  • You're going to be a better herbalist and healer if you're rooted in your own ancestral traditions

  • We all come from people who work with plants

  • Love is the basic fundamental vibration that keeps the universe moving- how love and community saw Atava through uterine cancer & remembering to reweave the energy of love back into the healing arts

  • A beautiful death: how the love we give and receive in this life carries us into the realm of the ancestors

LINKS:

Get the PDF transcript of this episode here.

Donate to the Transcription Fund
Photo of me wearing Atava’s dress on the land of Mariee Sioux’s family in 2009 (so young!)

Photo of me wearing Atava’s dress on the land of Mariee Sioux’s family in 2009 (so young!)

38. Healing Our Indigenous European Ancestors - Lyla June

Our task as European-ancestored people, seeing what's been hidden beyond our short-sighted view of history, and why healing isn't possible in the absence of love.

IN THE INTRO:

  • Who gets to claim their ancestors?

  • Healing broken lineages

  • Cultural appropriation & reparations

IN THE INTERVIEW:

  • How Lyla, raised to acknowledge only her Native American side, came to understand and honor her indigenous European ancestors

  • What happens when people hate their ancestors (and therefore themselves)

  • Making space for everyone's healing- permission to grieve all the ancestral traumas 

  • Going way back in time to understand colonizer/oppressor actions

  • Lyla's early experiences with sexual abuse, alcohol, and drugs and how they informed her perspective on restorative justice

  • Pilgrimage to the Sacred Motherland of Europe- "These mountains may have lost their people, but that doesn't mean they don't need ceremony"

  • Seeing through the thin wall of time that dominates our understanding of history & remembering that the vast majority of our ancestors lived before cultures and humans got broken

  • Indigenous languages are the sound of the land speaking through the people

  • Love is the only thing worth doing here

  • Where do we go from here? It depends on where we came from

LINKS:

Get the PDF transcript of this episode here.

Donate to the Transcription Fund

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:

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

Take my fun Which Healing 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

3. Becoming the Medicine & Seeing the Wide Arc of Time - Sophia Rose

There is a wider reality behind and beyond the everyday world, and Sophia Rose's approach to plant medicine and healing reflects this in myriad ways. From using herbs in dream work to incorporating plant smoke in ritual to connecting with departed loved ones through flowers, the natural world provides countless doorways into the unseen.

Sophia Rose is a clinically trained and magically minded folk herbalist, word weaver, and educator based in Austin, Texas. Through the long-running La Abeja Herbs and her new project Garden Party, her writing is medicine to the soul and her plant potions are medicine to the body for thousands of people worldwide. I am honored to bring some of Sophia's personal story medicine to more folks with this interview.

We talk about:

  • The archetypal energy of datura (moonflower)

  • We are holographic representations of plants

  • Dreaming with herbs

  • Working with smoke medicine

  • Seeing the wide arc of time

  • Sophia’s healing journey after a friend’s suicide

  • Intuitive grieving and grief as a sacred responsibility

  • Sophia’s radical reconceptualization of what death is

  • The last ancestor who had a whole heart

  • Your name is your first lesson

  • We work with plant medicine so that we can become the medicine

Links:

Garden Party

La Abeja Herbs

Music by Mariee Sioux (from the song Wild Eyes)

Mythic Medicinals herbals

Take my fun Which Healing Herb is Your Spirit Medicine? quiz

Medicine Stories Facebook Group

Medicine Stories Patreon

Datura