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psychedelics 101: the power of plant medicine

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

THE PULSE: All the Feels

It's only mid-August. There is still some summer left! I needed that reminder, you?! Savor these days when and where you can.

How you are feeling today? The past few weeks have been so powerfully energetically, and this week is setting up to deliver some needed inspiration to make a bold move or clarity on where to make necessary changes to move something forward. Do your best to check in with yourself -- and trust your intuition and the energy you're feeling on a daily basis.

And if you've been curious about psychedelics -- this week's podcast is for you. And our downloads had us thinking about the past, present and future. Read on!

In this week’s podcast episode, we’re diving into the world of psychedelics and plant medicine. Think of this as Psychedelics 101. There is so much to learn and explore in this world, and with the wisdom and guidance of Torrie Nelson an integration specialist in the healing and transformation world, we’ll discuss the basics of each of the major psychedelics and plant medicines. What are they? How can they potentially help you? How do they work? What could an intentional journey look like? What does integration mean? How does that work? We’ll be discussing all of it. In addition, Torrie shares her own journey into this world which may serve as an aha! for you. For those of you even a little bit curious about the power of plant medicine this episode is for you. Check out these highlights! R&K: Torrie, we're going to start really basic. What are psychedelics?

Torrie: Psychedelics are powerful psychoactive substances that alter perception and mood and affect numerous cognitive processes. So targeting, identifying, key areas in the brain and putting you in expanded states of consciousness. The word psychedelic is actually derived from Greek origin. So psyche means "soul" or "mind" where Deion or Delos means "to manifest." So the psychedelic word essentially means "mind manifesting" or "soul manifesting." R&K: People have so many perceptions of what they think psychedelics are. Some refer to psychedelics as a “medicine,” some may think of it as a recreational “drug.” Can you help us understand the difference?

Torrie: If you're using it as a recreational substance, and not really putting intention and being mindful of setting or who we're sharing that space with, then it's a very fine line on the threshold of being a drug and being recreational. Why are you using these substances? Is it for escape? Is it because you don't want to acknowledge the things that are happening in your life? Are you using them in conjunction with alcohol or in a party scene? Those also have their experiences that can be beneficial in a sense, but it's also not being used as medicine. In that space, we can trick ourselves into saying, oh yes, this is medicine. Let's be clear about what we are using these compounds for and be very mindful of those terms of what is a drug used for escape, or a medicine, which is used with intention and reverence and honor, in order to get, insight or downloads or information about yourself or about the greater consciousness of the world. R&K And are all psychedelics plant medicine?

Torrie: There's a very large percentage of psychedelics that are plants. Psilocybin, which is magic mushrooms. Mescaline or San Pedro, which is cactus. Ayahuasca is an Amazonian vine. You have 5-MeO-DMT which is derived from the Bufo Alvarius toad of the Sonoran desert. Iboga is an African root and bark of the Iboga tree. MDMA actually originates from sassafras oil, which is extracted from sassafras plant itself. LSD and alkaloid is found in ergot which is a fungus that grows on rye in other grains. The one pure synthetic is ketamine which acts as a psychoactive in small doses. We refer to these all as plant medicine or medicine in general. All different psychedelics have their own molecular structure, giving them their own personality, if you will. The formation of them over the years have changed, shifted a little bit, but the majority of these medicines have derived from plants themselves.

R&K How do they work from a scientific perspective to help you achieve breakthroughs, whether it's physical or emotional?

Torrie: After a single administration of a psychedelic, these medicines are directly stimulating neurogenesis and an increasing genetic sequence of genes occurring in the brain for up to a month after treatment. So this is giving us the ability to change, to learn, to unlearn, to adapt differently, promoting increased brain function, providing healing to the psyche and ultimately changing the currently existing functions of the brain's default mode network. The default mode network is like the traffic cop determining incoming information to the brain based on previous experiences. So previous pre-programming and default behaviors or default thought patterns. So for example, if I got bit by a German shepherd as a child, I may have preconceived fear responses and thought patterns about every German shepherd that I've encountered since that moment. So when a German shepherd approaches me, instinctively, I don't even have to think about it. I instinctively start to have a fear response and quickly decide to walk on the other side of the street. This is what's considered the default behavior or thought pattern that exists within us. And so many plant medicines contain a compound called tryptamine. Tryptamine is actually a compound party found in the human brain. The tryptamine disrupts and diminishes this normal default mode network activity causing a functional reset. Each plant medicine experience is like receiving a computer update. creating new and enhanced features. The computer is the same, but there's some reprogramming that has occurred.

R&K: How else does plant medicine help us recondition our thinking?

Torrie: Robin Carhart-Harris (a psychedelic researcher) proposes a more extended snow metaphor, thinking of the brain as a hill covered in snow with a sled sliding down that hill. As one sled, after another goes down the hill, a small number of main trails will appear in the snow. And every time a new sled goes down, it will be drawn into the preexisting trails. And those main trails represent the most well traveled neural connections in your brain. In time it becomes more and more difficult to glide down that hill on any other path or in a different direction. With psychedelics temporarily the deeply worn trails start to disappear and suddenly the slide can go in other directions, exploring new landscapes and literally creating new pathways. The medicine itself shapes the snow globe and just allows this new, fresh blanket of snow to be laid before you now. You get to determine the new footsteps that are made in that snow. R&K: Can you talk about the role of integration and why it’s important?

Torrie: We have to be able to take that information, to incorporate it into our day to day lives and really start to make those patterns of changes within our own psyche and within our own behaviors.. So it becomes a little easier to choose a new thought or to make a new choice. And this ultimately leads to a great unlearning or a deconditioning and deprogramming of the mind, of the body, of everything that we have not thought to be known as real or true to our life's experience up until this point. To think that 40 years of life can be rewired and changed within five hours is to be blind to the work that is required outside of this. And these plant medicines are really only one element to assist us with that work. It does not do the work for us and it's ultimately up to you to acknowledge the experience, the information you received, and to try to understand how you integrate that information throughout your day to day, to create new thought patterns and new behavioral patterns. Our plant teachers can really illuminate the path before our feet, but they can't make you walk. R&K: What do you love most about this work?

Torrie: It's being able to watch somebody and witness their experience unfold and be able to have these beautiful aha moments when they understand an aspect of themselves or, they find themselves for the first time. And so it's this really beautiful, powerful, mystical, and angelic space in which I just get to witness all these amazing, incredible transformations. Visit to connect with Torrie and for more information about the safe and secure community being created to share, connect and participate. Listen to the full episode now

THE DOWNLOAD: Mother Earth Has Your Back

Turning to Mother Earth in times of uncertainty was a theme that came through to us in this week’s downloads. Have you been feeling the pulse and energy of the planet in your world? Clearly the planets have amped up their vibes, and we are feeling it!

Sometimes the intensity is so overwhelming we can feel like there is no foundation under us. However Momma Gaia has always been the constant beneath our feet and it is her message to you that can have you back on solid ground.


Let’s walk through time. Let’s look at the rise and fall of different civilizations. It’s no coincidence you were talking to that person today about Machu Picchu and the Inca trail. In history and in the history of Earth there have been many civilizations that have come and gone. And many that evolve from one thing to another. There is change happening everyday. There are ups and downs, and civilization as you know, is continuing to change.

The Earth will be here far longer than the current civilizations.

It is the current civilizations that must figure out how to survive and thrive and evolve. You are all at a place where you must dig deep to think about what is best so that you can continue to evolve, and thrive within and on this Earth. One day, far from now, people will be visiting your civilization and will wonder how you lived on a day to day basis. They will study your culture. It’s strange to think about, but if you put yourself in that far out future, what can you learn? Perhaps you can gain insight that would help you now. How can you help bring people together to work together to keep civilization going in the positive direction rather than destruction and yet another fall of a civilization anytime soon.

These are heavy topics as you’d say, but they are worth spending time on this week. You must ready yourself for things to come and help set up future generations to evolve and grow, rather than live in fear and barely survive. We want you all to thrive and see that you are more alike than you are different. You all have dreams, goals, families, friends. You have hearts and hands and feet and blood coursing through your veins. You breathe the same air and have lungs. It’s important to see these similarities and really see one another.

Look someone in the eye. Connect. Have compassion. It will make you better equipped to bring people together, and that will be needed.

Study history. How can you learn from it so that you don’t repeat major mistakes? The answers are all around you — and within.

Look at the past to learn for the future.

Know we will continue to support and put the right information in plain sight for you.

With all of the love.


I ask: "Sometimes uncertainty can feel overwhelming. How can I release its power over me?"

They answer: "We understand. Unknowingness is not a comfort zone."

And yet

It is what life is all about.

We want to control.

We want facts.

We want evidence.

We want proof.

We want the crystal ball.

For that is our taught safety.

Knowing things.

Having tangible, touchable, predictable things in which to build upon.

But they are not real.

I ask: "So how do we know what is real?

How do we know what we can count on?

How do we find comfort in BEING when there is so much that we can’t control?"

They answer: "Know you are always right where you need to be.

That no matter what the circumstances,

How perilous, or cruel the journey seems

You are being guided.

And you are never alone.

And remember there is no such thing as certainty.

The diagnosis is not the prognosis. Ever.

Energy can change the outcome of anything in an instant.

And know that always “we got you.”

The unseen team is always there to carry you though.

When you are uncertain about where you are and what to do, dig deep.

Anchor yourself to mother earth.

She is alive in realness and richness

She is where you come from.

She is your essence and your core.

She is your connection to everything living.

And she is you.

And you are certainty.

Just breathe.

Just absorb.

Just be."''


AUGUST 16: Psychedelics 101: The Power of Plant MedicineWE WANT TO BE FRIENDSWe want to hear from you.

Are you at a crossroads in your life? Are you seeking guidance? What do you want to hear about? What practices have you tried? Do you have a healer or practitioner or spiritual modality that we need to know about?

And follow us on instagram at @seekingcenterofficial.

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