(Photograph: Graciela Iturbide)
Susan Beaulieu, Healing Justice Director, is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of the Red Lake Nation. Susan has worked directly with Indigenous communities over 17 years in a variety of capacities including project development, training and facilitation. Her primary focus the last 7 years has been helping communities, organizations, and individuals understand the impacts of unresolved individual, ancestral and collective trauma, and to develop strategies to support healing.
“Integration and reciprocity - integration is about bringing our experiences and healing into this work and creating change - that in itself is a form of reciprocity (not doing this is a disrespect to the medicine).”
“The suppressors should not decide how marginalized communities heal.”
Acacea Lewis is the Founder of Divine Master Alchemy LLC, and Divine Master University, a school for Entheogenic Cultural Literacy and Applied Naturopathic Medicine Research. Acacea is a student of Baba Kilindi Iyi, and teachers from other systems, as well as an independent researcher and lifetime student of the psilocybin mushroom. She shares her first-hand experiences and provides undergraduate-level research papers, books, and some medical research to help bridge and integrate the fields of medical science, spiritual systems, and cultural anthropology.
Acacea talks about how our dualistic language does not allow us to fully interpret concepts in their full meanings and how this is a direct conflict of our experience. For example, South American Aztecs referred to psilocybin as teonanacatl, which in our language translates to "god's flesh," or “flesh of the gods” - but the actual meaning is closer to “flesh of the deity that you create.”
So if you are consuming the god that you are, would you blend it up in a Vitamix? Acacea talks about being more intentional with consumption - such as chewing it with honey, and allowing yourself to break it down and consume in a more thoughtful and respectful manner. One where you can connect further with the mushroom.
She is a founding board member of the Psychedelic Association of Canada, the medical chair of the Vancouver Island University Post Graduate Certificate in Psychedelic Medicine assisted Therapy and Roots to Thrive Program.
Dr. Pam Kryshow questions now that psychedelic medicines are returning to systems of health care and wellness, is there a ‘best’ model for therapy? What are the options for creating environments for healing and wellness while honoring local history, creating community, and ensuring accessibility for all?
She discusses, that although being blindfolded in a room with a therapist could be beneficial to some - healing through plants should be done within community.
Pam also recommends to therapists and students alike: Go in nature every day, breathe, play, laugh, use humor.
The Dank Duchess is an international Hashish Consultant, Cannabis Cultivator, and Public Speaker using all media to help spread cannabis and psychedelic wellness awareness globally.
“Psychedelics don’t save us, they allow us to love ourselves so we can be better people to our colleagues which Impacts our community.. It’s one small ripple at a time.”
Mushrooms helped her find the truth in herself!
Ifetayo Harvey founded the People of Color Psychedelic Collective (POCPC). The POCPC educates and builds community with people of color interested in psychedelics and ending the war on drugs.
Ifetayo asks one of the most important questions the whole conference:
“Are we really going to let corporations and the government tell us how to use psychedelics?”
For those unfamiliar, the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference stands as a venerable institution among psychedelic gatherings worldwide. Celebrating its 12th year in 2023, the conference unfolded on the grounds of the UBC Campus in Vancouver, Canada, spanning from November 3rd to 5th. Distinguished by its pioneering spirit, this event diverges from the conventional by placing emphasis on the realms of spirit, connection, diversity, culture, and personal experience. In contrast to many other global conferences, it steers away from a primary focus on economic and scientific facets, making it a distinctive fixture in the industry and our calendar.