The Other Plants
Another of our wonder plants concoctions is pusanga. We do pusanga ceremonies on our retreats for the physical and psychological benefits.
Pusanga is a form of plant magic from South America that helps us with love, health, wealth or career - the four most commonly chosen concerns.
A small, 250 ml bottle half full of vodka is taken out into nature. The plant walk is where you slow your thoughts and movements right down, being aware of planting each foot on the ground, then lifting the leg to take the next step, you are now in a receptive state.
You allow your walk to be guided, surrendering any wish to control your direction. When you encounter a plant that attracts you, thank it for its gifts, and collect a piece. It may be a flower, a leaf, a twig, a bud, a piece of bark. When you are ready, move on until you feel you have visited the plants you want to. In each encounter, be open to the possibility that the plant may wish to share a simple message with you. "Slow down", "relax", "trust" are common communications.
At other times, you may receive something much more specific. The key thing to be aware of is that all plants have awareness, and when we know this, new possibilities can open up for us. When the walk is completed, we return to the retreat centre and add some of the following to the bottles:
Essential oils, Agua Florida, rose water, tobacco, other plant medicines, white sage, aromatic resin like pine or frankincense. Then we top up with spring water.
Charging your pusanga is done outside. We hold the bottles up to the light, thanking the plants and asking for their help in invoking your intentions. Your intent (as physics now confirms) is key in charging it, so you can say, for example: "This pusanga is for creating and maintaining a healthy relationship with the spirit of money! I charge it with my intent. Indeed it is so."
To use your pusanga, either pour a few drops into your bath or smear them onto your temples. You are now connected with the spirits of the plants and with your declared intention. Pusanga works in a similar way to the law of attraction - you apply it then forget all about it. With the rational mind otherwise engaged, the plant magic does its work.
Rapé is a sacred shamanic snuff pronounced ‘ha-pay’. It consists of many Amazonian medicinal plants, leaves, flowers and seeds, all ground up into a fine powder.
It is usually mixed with a mapacho tobacco base. Mapacho is another master plant teacher that we use at our retreats to clear away negative energies.
Depending on the tribe that is making this sacred snuff, the plants used in the rapé will differ. You can rest assured that all of the plants used are powerful allies and teachers and have been carefully selected. This means that each unique type of rapé medicine holds a different vibrational quality and will have different effects on your energy field.
The rapé medicine that we work with is made by the indigenous people of the Yawanawa tribe, located between Bolivia and Peru.
The Yawanawa tribe believe that sacred rapé arose in order to allow people to travel without their physical bodies, to connect with their spirit, to open up the peripheral vision and to clear the physical body of any trapped energies.
The rapé that they blend is made using mapacho tobacco, ashes of the sacred Tsunu tree and a mix of other medicinal plants. The Tsunu tree is used by shamans to facilitate spiritual healing and is said to be the 'tree of dreams'.
Making the rapé is an extremely long and labour intensive process. Shamans spend hours praying, singing, rattling and setting intentions into the rapé as it is being prepared. For this reason we treat it as an extremely sacred medicine. Indians see taking rapé as a form of prayer to mother nature. As with other sacred plant medicines it is good to set an intention before working with rapé. Just as the Indians pray, you can connect with the spirit of the plants and ask them questions.
The rapé is blown up both nostrils using something called a ‘Tepi’ which is a bamboo or bone pipe. It is blown up both nostrils in order to create a balance in the body. The effects of the medicine are incredible. It helps with the following:
- Chakra opening and balancing
- Opening up the third eye
- Connecting you back to source and to spirit
- Assisting a deep meditative state
- Releasing trapped trauma from the body
- Releasing trapped emotions that are stored on a physical, spiritual and emotional level
- Decalcifying the Pineal gland
- Releasing negative emotions
- Removing negative entities
It can also have mild stimulating or psychoactive effects.
Rapé is excellent at removing trapped energies and traumas in the body so it is very normal to purge when working with the medicine. The purge can happen in many ways but mainly it will come by vomiting, excessive saliva, running nose or a need to go to the toilet. We encourage people to completely let go with these medicines and purge any way they feel fit. Suppressing a purge only serves to suppress the traumas that you are storing in your body.
As with Sananga (another medicine that we use on our retreats) Rapé can be used during other powerful medicine ceremonies to assist in moving and releasing trapped energies from the body, to assists someone in a purge if they are struggling and to open up third eye visions.