Friday, April 17, 2015

"The Color Shaman" - Excerpt from HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story - One Couple's Quest for the Sacred IBOGA Medicine & the Cure for Addiction

"...his masterful art flowed from a very deep source. Chor wanted to uplift people with his colors. He called himself a 'color therapist,' though I liked to call him a 'color shaman.' His magical implement was spray-paint. He painted portals to realms of archetypal wisdom. He brought unthinkable beauty into existence. Third-eye symbols silently spoke to the gasping anonymous heart. Faces of the first cosmic lovers looked out from multidimensional sea storms. Regal queens and urban love-goddesses emerged from morphing kaleidoscopes, telepathically transmitting the answers to all our human questions. Moving symphonies of every imaginable hue spoke timeless truths. He turned barren city walls, canvases, cars, and any surface that he could legally transform into an eyeful of ecstasy that hinted at a future utopia..."

- excerpt from my memoir:
HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story - One Couple's Quest for the Sacred Iboga Medicine & the Cure for Addiction 


Please support the IndieGogo campaign to help publish the 1st run!

Painting by Chor Boogie ‪#‎chorboogie‬

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

IBOGA ~ Resources & Respect....

When my mother first read my memoir about our experience with the African sacred plant medicine known as iboga (she’s a cool mom, alright), she said, “I feel like I’ve taken iboga just from reading this book.” Not every- one needs to take iboga for healing or awakening, for it is an extremely powerful visionary medicine. Maybe
reading this book is enough iboga for you. Maybe there is another kind of medicine for you, for there are many different kinds of mental, physical, and spiritual medicine on this planet to suit billions of radically different human beings. Is iboga for you? Listen for the quiet call of the soul.

If you are called, approach this ancient medicine with great respect and clear intentions. Choose your provider with great care. As shaman Moughenda says, “taking iboga without a qualified guide is like driving a car while blindfolded.”

Iboga and Ibogaine share some similar actions, but there are distinct differences in both content and context:

•  Iboga is the natural plant, with the full spectrum of original alkaloids present. The psychoactive root bark is taken as fresh shavings, powder, tea, or natural extract. Iboga is generally experienced within the context of shamanic African traditions, primarily the Bwiti, and this is how we experienced the medicine. We advocate for iboga to be administered only by qualified African lineage providers, for the African people have been studying iboga for thousands of years and hold a vast and sophisticated body of knowledge about this medicine. It is vital to honor the indigenous wisdom keepers by receiving their teachings and blessings. In the same breath, some traditional providers may be unfamiliar with the medical conditions, addictions, or contraindicated pharmaceutical drugs of foreigners. Furthermore, “psychedelic tourism” can breed inexperienced, opportunistic providers anywhere. Discernment is advised.

• Ibogaine is a pharmaceutical extract of one alkaloid from iboga, isolated from a spectrum of many naturally occurring alkaloids in the iboga plant. Some ibogaine may be produced semisynthetically from from another plant called Voacanga africana rather than the Bwiti sacrament known as Tabernanthe iboga. We hear that ibogaine has been very helpful for some individuals, though it was not what we experienced. Ibogaine is generally experienced in a medical and Western therapeutic setting. Ibogaine must be administered only under medical supervision by qualified providers and therapists.  

So how do we find a “qualified” provider, in this day and age, in the face of unregulated medical treatments and traditional shamanic cultures that do not provide diplomas or licenses in the same way? We consult with the global psychedelic community (resources below), ask a million questions, and listen to our intuition. We are in uncharted territory, as there is still much medical research and social integration needed as enthnobotanical psychedelic medicines flow into industrialized countries.

As empowered seekers, it is important to remember that even those regarded to be “qualified” providers are still very human, subject to human issues, to be held accountable for honorable conduct and a good standard of care.

Under no circumstance should iboga (or ibogaine) be taken alone or with an inexperienced sitter. Familiarity with other plant medicines or psychedelics does not qualify someone to handle iboga. Iboga should never be mail ordered, as the quality, frequency, and purity are generally compromised.

A good iboga provider will require specific medical screening before treatment. Iboga can be fatal with certain medical conditions, when combined with other drugs, or with improper dosage. Such accidents can be avoided with good protocol.

If an addiction is being treated, the provider must be highly experienced and knowledgeable about the many delicate medical details involved with detox. Iboga can have a great range of potency and quality, and poor quality medicine may not be effective for addiction treatment. A good provider will know the potency and quality of their medicine.

Iboga is not a “magic bullet” for addiction treatment. Iboga is a profound healer and plant teacher. Iboga offers a great opportunity, and the rest is up to you. Furthermore, iboga is not a crutch to break addictions repeatedly, for the medicine will not allow it’s gifts to be plundered, and regarding the medicine with an exploitative attitude can be dangerous.

Other factors can help to sustain the freedom from addiction that iboga offers: spiritual disciplines such as yoga and meditation, ongoing counseling, healthy diet, good community, a safe and nourishing environment,  therapeutic  touch,  12-Step  programs, and other support groups.

Unfortunately, iboga and ibogaine are still illegal in the United States as well as other countries, even for traditional practitioners and qualified medical practitioners. Sadly, this may be due to many complex political factors, corporate economic interests, and puritanical prejudices. We do not recommend seeking iboga
any place where the sacrament is illegal.

All this said, iboga is wonderful medicine, in the right hands and the right place.

As awareness and demand for iboga grows, we must proceed with care with regards to sustainability, the effects of foreign use on the indigenous Bwiti people, and legal export. For more information on iboga sustainability and related political issues, connect with the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance.

EDUCATE yourself before pursuing an experience with iboga. Here are some great organizations with more practical information and references for medical studies:

Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance (GITA)

International Center for Ethnobotanical Educations, Research, & Service (ICEERS)

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

Psychedelic News

My Eboga Essentials

This introduction is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose conditions, prescribe treatments, or otherwise replace medical advice. Medicinal Media LLC & E. Bast disclaim any liability, loss, injury, or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any elements of this website or memoir.

Iboga Provider Listings:
*The providers noted here have all trained in depth with our shaman Moughenda and his Bwiti tribe in Africa.

Mark Howard & Robyn Rock at Ibogasoul in Canada:

Amber Richards & Corey Gauthier at Sacred Soul in Canada:

Gary Cook, Jeff Cook, Sandy Cook, & Steven Callahan at the Iboga Wellness Center in Costa Rica:

Moughenda is the Bwiti shaman that we worked with, and we had a wonderful experience with him. His Costa Rica healing center has since closed and he is currently back in Africa leading initiatory journeys. Please note: these journeys to Africa can be very physically challenging with regards to extreme heat, biting insects, and rustic conditions. Contact Michael Cassidy for more info on Moughenda's retreats:

Additional support for sobriety:

Phoenix Multisport fosters a supportive, physically active community for individuals who are recovering from alcohol and substance abuse and those who choose to live a sober life. Through pursuits such as climbing, hiking, running, strength training, yoga, road/mountain biking, socials and other activities, we seek to help our members develop and maintain the emotional strength they need to stay sober.

My New Leaf is creating a new gamified, web-based, addiction recovery app that draws heavily on evidenced-based best practices and theoretical perspectives. The web-based app is also being designed to deploy on iOS and Android mobile devices with an anticipated alpha launch date in late 2015.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Goddesses... Everywhere... Just sitting there...

I LOVE beings. Beautiful radiant crazy wild devoted dangerous strong weak beings.

I see the divinity in ordinary humans. They glow… with subtle halos. I am filled with awe daily. I marvel... How does it all happen? How do these beings come to exist? What a show! 

...Somehow I am able to navigate my mundane tasks while existing in this dumb-struck state of awe.

Feminine beings send me into a special flavor of awe. Women & the Female-in-spirit. The dreamers of creation. Their feminine power effortlessly clears my mind and softens my heart. Women, rooted to the earth while synced to the sky via lunar cycles. The mothers. The Grandmothers. Women seem to float a few inches above the ground.

I am a Goddess-worshiper. Something about the feminine face of God sparks my heart - especially. It's not about which gender is better. It's just a profound, destined affinity. Perhaps it's just my place in the cosmic mandala of devotees. There is balance in all things.

So, as I make my way through city streets, subway trains, errands, anywhere in the rat race really, I hold back from offering spontaneous puja rituals in wild devotion. Spontaneous puja is not really a social norm - yet. Instead, I just offer a few words, still loaded with adoration, but ones that likely won't freak them out.

Then I channel this impulse into "performance art," where people seem more likely to tolerate weirdness when there is a stage and costumes.

Please share if you like… 

Photos from the Romanticism Show with Chor Boogie & Enchantress at Project 1 Gallery in San Francisco, curated by Brooke Waterhouse.