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A little reflection on illicit plants and their coevolution with humanity

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A little reflection on illicit plants and their coevolution with humanity

Maybe one year ago I decided to start a nursery for plants of ethnobotanical interest in the mountains of the Massif centrale in France- primarily plants used in shamanism and witchcraft.

It is about fifteen years that I had been interested in growing plants of this particular interest, and what is since then the most interesting part in the process of seeking for rare and forbidden plants, is the high quality and connection of passionate enthusiasts around the globe, bringing these rare botanical specimens to every greater levels of complexity.

For instance, when William Burroughs seeked out to find the mythical caapi-plant in the 60’s (see his correspondence with Allen Ginsberg “The Yage Letters”), he was on a pioneer path into realms of sorcery and magic unknown to the western mind until then: or at least forgotten.

Even in the nineties, plants like Baanisteriopsis caapi were hardly available for those searching for rare and exclusive plants of the poison path.

Today all this has changed. Internet and international traveling may play their role in this new development, but the spirit of research has always been there. Everytime you bring up people with passion in ethnobotanical ṕlants, one moment or another, they will exchange addresses to share plants and seeds.

And there we are today - an unbelievable amount of plants, mushrooms and other “stuff” is available for those, looking to find them rather for collection purposes or… for consumption.

The progress in this Craft never stopped and today, we are on a level where the average psychonaut knows

-how to extract DMT from several sources like Mimosa hostillis, Acacia confusa and Phalaris species

-upgrade the Mescaline-content of several species of cacti from the Trichocereus-complex

-how to cultivate psilocybine mushrooms indoors and outdoors with more or less sophisticated techniques

-how to prepare a batch of ayahuasca with plant material bought on the internet

-how to germinate complicated plants like Mandragora, Banisteriopsis and others in perfect conditions
and so forth and so on

For me, the point is, that we are in a time, where underground psychedelic research, independent from state or university programs, got into something quite serious about the use of plants of shamanism and witchcraft. I mean we are living in an incredible time with no need for nostalgia about the good old days.

Today the question is only how to take a real relationship with those plants while on the other side microdosing became legion in the offices of silicon valley, multinational pharmaceutical businesses took over the production of cannabis and something similar to the renaissance of the 16th and 17th century is happening now in the “psychedelic” renaissance, where the white male doctors from the universities take over popular knowledge about plants and synthetic compounds, anceraged in a vivid culture of wisdom and seeking for truth for decennies, to put them outside their original context and use them for profit, higher efficiency and less health problems that came directly from the living in a capitalist society.

For me, the answer to all of this can only come directly from the plants. It is not of so much importance which plant you will use, as long as it fits you and your availability in terms of culture, climate and understanding.

If you get interesting lessons from smoking Salvia divinonrum let's say, go for it!

The path of plants is always open for a ride, there was never a sign “private property” on it, you only have to walk on it and move around if you feel like to.

They have always been there and humanity was always looking around to find some botanical alchemists to turn his dreams into gold.

So, what are the good plants to use and what are the bad ones?

There were a lot of polemics about ayahuasca tourism, toad smoking and things like that, and in the nineties our grail was to find the perfect analog of ayahuasca from plants growing easily in the northern hemisphere.

But since then, we learned that even a tropical shrub like Psychotria viridis can be held in the average apartment with little care to collect more than you will need for your proper ayahuasca sessions of a whole year.

That you can collect wild mushrooms like Amanita muscaria or Psilocybe semilanceata in a wide range of places. You can grow even Iboga or Coca in your home, even if this demands some kind of advanced horticultural technique

- the point is that these doors have been opened and they will never close themselves after. You can forbid a plant or a molecule and say that it is an illicit drug now, but you cannot forbid the sharing of seeds and spores and knowledge and as long as there are people out there with some interest in these plants, they cannot become part of the control of the state.

It is technically impossible. It is a surrealistic dimension to forbid a plant. You can forbid its traffic, some forms of transformation and so on, but you cannot forbid the plant in itself. It will always survive in solicited gardens and the memories of the elders.

So, today, in this climate a little bizarre of pharmaceutical research and the second advent of psychedelics, I can only insist you to go the plant path. Figure out for yourself and don’t trust the lobbies!
I'm with you Donfoolio! Plants and fungi are the best way forward for those who want to explore consciousness and do it on their own terms. Look at cannabis. The dried flowers shouldn't cost anymore than dried hops or dried chamomile. But government suppression and crony capitalism have led to it costing $100 an ounce and more. That is the "freedom" we are offered. Growing your own will always be better. Having possession of your own plants will always be the best way.

You're right! We are living in incredible times! So much information and seeds / spores / cuttings / seedlings / rooted plants are available now! Past generations never had this much opportunity to grow so many different psychoactive plants and fungi. Its all just an internet search away from finding. And the same with information on how to successfully grow them!

Growing your own plants is the only way to know what you are actually consuming with 100% confidence. Only the grower knows the source, the growing conditions, the chemicals that were or weren't applied, etc. And homegrown plants can be given more care and attention than commercially grown. Homegrown is the highest quality when done properly.

The power is in growing your own plants. That is the highest value and quality. It also makes for a better experience when consuming. It makes it more meaningful to have that personal connection. You raised it. You cared for it. You harvested it and prepared it. This is the best way.

We are led to believe that we cannot do it. That we must be mediated to by an authority figure: the shaman, the guide, the doctor, the therapist, the priest. But man and psychedelic have existed together cooperatively for much longer than any of those job titles have existed. You don't need any of them. Each person can find their own way. And having your own plants is the best way because it puts you in control of (and accountable for) your own development. We are just like those seedlings. No one will care over that process as much as you can.

During the Reformation the revolutionary idea took hold that direct access to the Bible could free people and bring positive change to Christianity. Today it is direct access to the plants that can free people and bring about positive change. And the plants are more powerful than the Bible!

Trichocereus cacti are so ideally suited to this new path forward that is opening up. The cacti and seeds have spread all over the world. They are so easy to grow. They live longer than humans do. They can be grown in pots in an apartment. They can grow into huge stands in the ground. Anyone can do it.
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