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Sacred Plant Medicine: My 11 Day Peruvian Amazon Intensive

ascendHaving just returned from working with sacred plant medicine, I feel guided to share with you as best as I can how my experience unfolded.  I will be integrating for some time but want to reach out while it’s still fresh in my heart and body…

Gifted medicine man Herbert Quinteros is a beautiful soul who works with his entire family to build community among fellow musical healers and curenderos or “shaman” throughout the world, particularly near his Katari Center outside of Tarapoto, Peru.  At every ceremony he facilitated for us, he invited other healers and artists to participate, all in alignment with his vision to build a center educating and sharing indigenous customs, traditions, and healing.  The experience of everyone involved is raised exponentially by the participation of every other in his expanded dream!  We met shaman, painters, musicians, and beautiful souls from all over the world during our visit, and I will be creating a Peruvian Healing Interview series this June on Exploring Possibilities to share these amazing souls with you.

bobinsana-calliandra-angustifolia-I participated in an an 11 day La Dieta in which Herbert chooses a “master plant” based on each individual’s specific vibrations and intentions for healing or expansion.  My experiences and intention involved sexuality and elevating more of my Divine feminine energies, so the master plant he chose for me to work with was Bobinzana (left) (Calliandra Angustifolia) which brings the waters and feminine energy, among other things.  I drank this plant three times daily.  Herbert explained the master plants create the tree or foundation upon which other sacred plant medicine can “climb”.  That is exactly what I experienced during my four sittings with “her” (the “Mother Plant”).

In my first evening sitting with her, she taught me how processed sugar (my original addiction) carries within it an energy of “not enoughness”.  Every bite craves the next, and the energy it brings into our body is one of never having enough, never being enough, cravings, and wanting more…of everything!  She allowed me to see and feel how that affects my body and how it is destroying our vibration as a society, particularly in the United States.   In ceremony, it is not simply that a teaching comes through for the mind, but more that our whole body experiences and FEELS it.  This is not educational learning, but experiential learning, and this knowing is quite powerful!

My second ceremony was a sexual opening and healing throughout my entire body.  The healing I felt was on a cellular level as she vibrated my body for hours and flooded me with beautiful vividly colored images as I would surrender more of myself to her power and healing.  I will blog soon about what came through for me in a religious context as I surrendered myself to the serpent, something I was taught to be the ultimate satanic evil but now understand as something very different.  (Boy have we screwed up symbolism in the name of power and control over the years!)  As my body healed, so did a lot of religious childhood brainwashing, bringing me into a cleaner spirituality as I soaked up the healing music of all the performers who were present as well as the many wee-hour jungle noises.  This was a magical experience of profound, thorough sexual healing and spiritual awakening.

The evening of our third ceremony, we first participated in a 1-1/2 hour sweat lodge led by a Lakota-trained facilitator.  What a cleansing experience to huddle down on the muddy floor beside the Amazon river in the hot steam of that ceremony and feel our Earth Mother soothe us with her cool damp soil as we sweated out toxins and all that no longer served us!  It was wonderful preparation for body and mind before our plant ceremony.

My third ceremony was about being in darkness.  No matter how much I begged, I got more darkness.  I only received one message, also dark.  “There is sexual deviance in your ancestry.”  I had no idea what to do with that either.  It took me the next two days to recognize that it is only fear of darkness and resistance to it that causes suffering, and darkness is no “worse” than the light.  How ironic we aren’t taught to be at peace with darkness and simply accept it, yet there can be no light without it.  I did make my peace there, though I can’t say I ever got so far as actually liking it or anything!

The days between my third and fourth ceremony were very difficult.  The Bobinzana continued bringing the energies of the waters and more and more arose for me to see.  The darker memories of my past and how I had mistreated and been mistreated in relationship after relationship flooded my memories.  I could not write them all down fast enough and they went back and back and back.  I saw all that I had experienced and knew deeply that it was triggered from past lifetimes.  The sexual deviance lineage she referred to was my own through lifetimes and I have been healing a great deal of karma in this one.  By the end of two days reliving all these memories, I felt like complete crap!  I have hurt so many people and been so hurt by so many others until I couldn’t tell where it began or ended.  Swimming in guilt and shame, I recognized I have been unconsciously carrying this around for years!  Would that fourth ceremony ever get here to release it?

ChakapaFull moon marked our fourth and final ceremony.  All I wanted was to surrender all this crap I felt to Mother Moon, the “Mother plant” and Mother Earth.  Feeling all that love and support, I also called to the spirits of my ancestors and parents to be with me in ceremony as well as a couple of men I know I hurt who are no longer incarnated.  I surrendered a lifetime of guilt and shame only to have her show me I had done nothing wrong…again, not a telling, but a showing, a knowing, a feeling of it deep in the core of my soul.  She showed me my beauty, the colors and vibrations that connect every one of us to every other, and she flooded me with healing imagery, color and sound.  At one point, Herbert called me to the front and told me it needed to come out.  He shook his chapaka (right), chanted some ikaros, and I immediately felt an invisible hand reach down into the depths of my body and pull forth every shred of that darkness I’d been feeling.  I purged immediately three times and then there was nothing.  It was gone!  I felt like a skilled surgeon had gone in and removed an emotional tumor without ever touching me!  I enjoyed the rest of the ceremony and a lovely image of the Amazonian pink dolphins in crystal blue river waters.   I completed my Dieta feeling whole and at peace in a way I have never felt before.

BridgeIndigenous medicine is “cinche, cinche medicina” or strong medicine!  A lifetime of therapy could not have given me the depth and breadth of healing I have received in three years on this path, feeling  the love and beauty of who I am throughout even the darkest moments as healing also brings understanding of the complex, multifaceted beauty of every experience.  How much is achieved is directly proportional to how ready I am in any moment to surrender and allow Divine healing grace.  The plants, music, and crystals work at a vibration level to heal body, mind, spirit, and emotions through Divine spiritual guidance facilitated by gifted loving medicine men and women.   I am so eternally grateful for this path and honored to talk with you or anyone who wants to live a more full, whole life.  You, like I, deserve nothing less!  Much love to you on your journey.


Sheryl Sitts, Founder ~ Journey of Possibilities

Sheryl’s Blog


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