2017 ended very differently than it had started. The world I had known for years was no longer there. The future that I thought I was heading into was no more. In August of 2016, I was brought to the path of the Tower. This would be the beginning of a series of events that has caused a deep transformation within me.Through this initiation, conducted by a group of close ceremonial brothers and sisters, I began this new path. And while I am still piecing together different stories and different narratives surrounding this transition, I thought it good to explore more deeply how the Tower energy can manifest in one’s life.
There are many reasons why this eclipse was important. Not just because the last full solar eclipse was on June 8th, 1918, with the next one being on April 8th, 2024. What this eclipse did was close out the energetic gateway that was opened a few weeks prior. On August 8th 2017 there was a partial lunar eclipse that set in motion a shift both mentally and emotionally. It was visible over Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. This Gateway traversed the sign of Leo and as such brings a strong sense of strength and spirituality.
How does one fix past karmic ties? The knots of experience needed to be slowly untied so as not to cause any more psychic damage. I am reminded of a personal revelation from a ceremony last year. In this revelation, I had asked for a deeper understanding of how this type of work actually heals us. The response was quite simple: the conscious mind needs to acknowledge the experience through remembering and in that moment with a practice of mindfulness must not reattach again to the suffering. Remembering to do this in the midst of a deep emotional remembering is not an easy thing to do.
What follows is a basic explanation of plant spirit shamanism and its place within the greater alchemical tradition of the west. Plant spirit shamanism is one of the oldest traditions in cultures around the world, both mundane and magical. In the Amazonian traditions, the term used would be vegetalista, rather than shaman. A vegetalista is they who have received their power from the plants. Learning the plant life that is around us in nature was and still is one of the most important magical practices. What is food? What is medicine? What heals and what harms? It is arguably humans first foray into spirituality; traversing the Garden of Eden, developing relationships with spirits and peoples of the world. King Solomon had his angels and jinn, while the shaman has his plant allies, chants and power objects.
One area of spiritual practice that is likely to be overlooked by the average psychonaut is the Qabalah. The Hermetic Qabalah in particular. Beyond the circles of underground occultists and chaos magicians, the Qabalah to many comes with a lot of religious baggage because of its associations with Jewish belief or, God forbid, pop culture. But what if the concept of the Tree of Life, that poetic structure of manifestation and creation of the universe that stands at the center of the Qabalah, were to be a fitting symbol for the psychedelic experience? I propose that it is indeed THE psychedelic symbol psychonauts and modern spiritualists are searching. It exists as both a philosophy and as a practical spiritual methodology the psychonaut can use to “know thyself.” From pathworking to astral projection, dream interpretation to creating art, the toolbox of the modern Qabalistic magician holds the keys to understanding and integrating the psychedelic experience.