Contributing writer for Wake Up World
“A strong man cannot help a weaker unless the weaker is willing to be helped, and even then the weak man must become strong of himself; he must, by his own efforts, develop the strength which he admires in another. None but himself can alter his condition.” – James Allen,
Often, I hear people say things that just aren’t right. One of these notions that I feel need clarity is the idea that one must be called by the sacred plant teachers in order to work with them. There are few things that I want to explain in this regard.
First of all, I have to say that it is true to a point. You have to be receptive enough to be drawn to it. And that is your calling. Your ability to receive the teaching is your right of passage. The invitation to the world of Spirit doesn’t come in a fancy envelope like those you get when you are being invited to a wedding. The invitation manifests in your curiosity and an attraction to it. If you feel it in your heart, that means you are invited.
I see some confusion among people who have heard about plant medicine healing but have not pushed themselves deeper into it while hiding behind all kinds of excuses. Scrolling through all the reasons why they should wait longer, I found one worth addressing. “I am waiting to be called,” they say.
Where does it come from? Which voice is actually speaking in you? Is this a voice coming from the depth of your soul that is seeking healing and understanding or, is it the voice of your Ego that stops you pursuing a path of healing and knowledge?
Have you ever seen a person who survived a motorcycle or car accident, laying on the road bleeding and refusing medical help while saying “I am waiting to be called by the ambulance”? Of course not! Unless a person is unconscious, medical help would be the only thing on his or her mind. This person understands the urgency.
Imagine for a moment someone whose house is on fire but instead of calling the firefighters, expects the firefighters to call him. “I am waiting to be called by the firefighters while watching my house burn down”. Obviously absurd.
Or perhaps someone who is drowning in a swimming pool would only accept a lifeguard with a special invitation. “I am waiting for a lifeguard to see me drowning and jump into the water to save my life”. Hilarious, is it not?
You might object by saying that these all are extreme examples and the answer is obvious. But let’s take another person who simply has a toothache and instead of running to a dentist’s office waits for a dentist to call him to offer him a tooth treatment. Sounds ridiculous, right?
The urgency is obvious once again, although in this case, the situation is not life-threatening. Although these examples are dealing with physical body and its well-being, your psyche should be seen in a similar way.
Your psyche is your psychological body, an essential part of your physical body and in fact, the governing body. Who are you without your mind? A biological factory that uses calories to produce movement? A bio-organism without a purpose? Your psyche is the captain of your ship. And if the captain gets confused or sick, the ship gets lost at sea. The same happens in life when people fall into dark corners of the mind where fear and confusion take over and run the ship into an iceberg. The collision is inevitable and it’s only a matter of when not if this happens.
Understanding the urgency for your spiritual connection and mental stability is just as important as calling the firefighters when your home is on fire. Because in fact, metaphorically speaking, your house is on fire. Actually, everyone’s house is on fire these days. Mental health and sanity should be your priorities in life. Everything else is secondary. If you lose your mind, something that is very easy to do these days, then nothing in your life can give you happiness. Even your loved ones. Your healthy mind is your safety, not your bank account.
“I am waiting to be called’’, is a voice coming from your Ego which is masquerading itself under a mask. Do you really think that you are so important that Divine entities will bother reaching out to you with a personal invitation, perhaps even begging for your “holiness” to agree to host them in your body? They don’t need you to be well, you need them to be well. They are already dwelling in the divine realm.
Self-importance is not only silly; it is harmful to you and it often creates obstacles that simply block you from healing and growing. But let’s take a step aside and see this from a different angle.
What if you are being called every time you hear about plant medicine, regardless of whether you read it in an article or hear about it from someone? But in your view, you don’t see it as a calling. It’s unofficial, so to speak. It’s just a random message floating around cyberspace.
For example, a post with lovely cacti by Huachuma Wasi popping up on your Instagram. It doesn’t have your name on it, nor has it been signed by Huachuma cactus. Nevertheless, it is a calling for those who have ears to hear. One who understands the urgency is actively seeking help. And this is the right dynamic between us and plant medicine. We must seek for it, not wait until we are being called.
My striving for plant medicine shamanism was unstoppable and this is why my life today is what it is. Pure bliss! If I had been sitting and waiting to be called, my life would never be what it is today and I would never have known what true happiness feels like. That is simply a fact. Through sacred plant medicine, I found a woman of my heart with whom I began a family and we now have two beautiful daughters. The spiritual and earthly are both well balanced in my life which has resulted in constant joy and happiness.
I was a spiritual seeker who was tired of words and concepts about awakening. I simply wanted to wake up and live my life fully.
In fact, you are being called often but you haven’t heard the calling. Every time you hear about Ayahuasca, Huachuma or Peyote, this is the calling to humanity of which you are a part. Your name is on it and you are invited. The rest is your Ego and pride playing games with you. If you stretch out your hand to the Divine, a handshake will follow. It’s only a matter of perception that stands between you and sacred plant medicine.
The bottom line is that help is available today like it has never been before. And it has become so easy to find for those who understand that most of the obstacles are imaginary. As long as airplanes are flying, help is just a flight away from you. It is true that traveling has become more difficult in the last two years as the world has sunk into coivd psychoses. Nevertheless, it is still possible and people are coming to visit us in Peru all the time. These are the people who understand that living in fear is not healthy and in fact, is not living at all. They want more from life and rightly so. And they get rewarded generously with a healing, energetic reset, recharge, and self-invigoration.
Whether you will be our next guest or not, is beside the point. You should visit Mother Nature as often as you can with or without us. We are just one of those places where your visit is properly received.
If you read my second book the Mescaline Confession: Breaking through the Walls of Delusion, which was published in 2018, a year before the world went mad, you will find that the book ends with a warning of a chaotic future. The sense of urgency is hard to miss. And surely, things have gotten worse since.
But it is still not too late to embrace mother nature and heal yourself from the paralyzing fear that is being used to control your mind. It is still possible to shed it like a serpent sheds its old skin and get it out from the fabric of your soul. There is still time to heal and reconnect. Plant medicine is calling you to help you. It doesn’t need you for its sake. It dwells in its eternal peace regardless.
Those who are deeply immersed in plant medicine work are nodding their heads and smiling. They know this to be true. I thought about this last night during an Ayahuasca ceremony. Her sacred space is indestructible by Earthly madness. Even with a complete destruction of the rainforest she will not die. She just cannot die because she is an immortal spirit encumbered in an earthly vine.
What can die with the destruction of the rainforest is our ability to experience it, which would be an immense loss for humanity. Therefore, we must prevail in preserving both the rainforest and the ancient shamanic tradition. Mother Earth will thrive with or without us, as she has done for millions of years. The question is whether we will thrive with her or perish in a dark chapter of human history, taking all human achievements in art, literature, science, technology and architecture into oblivion.
Awakening is an individual process; it is not the fate of a crowd. And this is exactly why it’s possible. Crowds are guided by forces to which you become invisible the moment you wake up. You seemly become undetectable by their radars. When you work with sacred plants intentionally and with great respect, you find out that in fact, healing is awakening and awakening is healing. Your consciousness expands as you heal yourself and this healing opens you up even more to a whole new world of perception and feelings.
I wish I could convey in words how calm it feels to sit by a river right now and write these words for you during the Huachuma ceremony. This sound alone would heal your depression and anxiety. It’s why we are here, connecting to it and listening. But words are limited. They can only point the way. Direct experience is the ultimate healer and teacher.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is the fact that our world is fragile and can be destroyed at any time. I’m also certain that it has shown people that saving for retirement is not life’s priority. Life, in fact, is the priority, and living it now.
A fool cannot learn from the wise but the wise can learn from a fool. Learning is a quality of wisdom. To me, 2020 was the year when I stopped relying on the future. The future, I realized, is not guaranteed. The present moment is truly all we have and we can choose how we live it.
I see my time on this planet as a divine currency that I am given to spend at will. And finally, in my 40th year I’ve understood how precious it is. I waste no time on anything that is not supportive of my life and my family. Life begins at 40t – this has turned out to be actually true. At least it was true for me.
Plant medicine played a significant role in my personal process of growth. Without it, I would be among confused, lost souls who are still at the mercy of spiritual teachers, begging for drops of wisdom to satisfy their spiritual thirst. And if they are lucky, they are given just enough to stay alive while not actually living.
My gratitude to plant teachers is immense and has no limits. And if you think that I am too loud and screaming about it, I think, I only whisper.
We must go back to nature for healing and guidance if we want to stay sane while living in an insane world, a world that is getting madder by the day. As one of our guests who visited our center three times in the years prior to pandemic has recently said: “If before it was a privilege to come here to share sacred medicine together, today it is simply a matter of salvation.” I cannot agree with her more. It truly is. Life demands courage and spiritual strength that comes from a deep connection between us and the Mother Nature.
I believe that Nature is the cure for our confusion, fear, depression and anxiety. I believe that Nature is the way through this mess. You cannot be depressed and walk through the woods at the same time. Life is a choice. You can choose to wait for the calling and suffer meanwhile, or you can choose to be well and happy right now. The choice is yours.
In Paul’s epistle to Timothy he says: “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called …” (1Timothy 6:12a NIV). If we replace a few words, we can read it as following: “Fight the good fight of awakening and freedom. Take hold of the healing to which you were called.” To a non-religious person, reading it this way just makes more sense. It is quite obvious that the biblical message has not been spoken in a passive voice. Taking a hold of the eternal life means a forceful advancement towards the Kingdom of Heaven, not a passive waiting. Striving is an active force. Personally speaking, I have found my Kingdom of Heaven here on Earth working with Huachuma cactus. This is also why its post-colonial name is San Pedro. Apostle Peter held the key to Heaven. A real Huachuma experience makes you experience the heavenly realm, consequently, it was called San Pedro, the one who holds the key to Heaven.
The bottom line here is that just sitting and waiting for a miracle to happen in your life might prove to be a waste of time. Your healing and well-being is your responsibility and waiting for it to happen is like waiting for a rain in a desert.
Might never happen.
Striving for good is good and we are becoming better people in the process.
Please watch our film The Cure
Recommended articles by Sergey Baranov:
- Stop Waiting for the Shift – Make the Shift!
- Plant Medicine is Your Ticket to the Real World
- Psychological Immunity During The Time of COVID
- Plant Medicine vs COVID Anxiety
- Why Huachuma (San Pedro) in 2021?
- The 21st year of the 21st Century: A Year of Chaos and Great Awakening
- Psychedelic Therapy and the Democratization of Psychoactive Experience
- Militarized Psychiatry vs Plant Medicine
- Huachuma: The Unforgettable Mystery
- What is Shamanic Healing?
About the author:
Sergey Baranov is the founder of Huachuma Wasi, a healing center in The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Peru. He is the author of Path: Seeking Truth in a World of Lies, The Mescaline Confession: Breaking Through the Walls of Delusion and The Cactus of Sanity: Huachuma in a Time of Chaos. Sergey’s passion for life on Earth and its preservation is the driving force behind his work. You can contact Sergey at www.huachumawasi.com. Follow Sergey on Instagram @huachumawasi