In this week's episode of the podcast I interviewed Marilu Shinn, a medicine woman and shamanic practitioner. We talked about her journey with plant medicine and her connection to her ancestral line. We also talked a lot about the importance of honoring and practicing with plant medicine appropriately and respectfully. I have learned so much from this incredible woman and I am so happy to be able to share her knowledge with all of my readers!
Plant medicine has been the most powerful tool to create my reality and find my center. It has been so powerful and transformational for me. As you may know, I have a Plant Medicine Masterclass where I teach the medicine study I have been experiencing on my healing journey. This includes ayahuasca , hapé, cannabis, mushrooms; but thinking even deeper, I realized the most effective tool I have had in my healing journey is the ceremonial work around plant medicine.
Ceremonial work is creating a sacred container with your relationship to a higher power, to source, to spirit and bringing your inner work to a surrendered place where you are offering it up to spirit. This will look different for everyone and includes but is not limited to praying everyday, using plant medicine, etc.
While it is true that we have the power, tools and resources to do anything we want for ourselves in our life, it is also very true that when we think it is entirely up to us there is a deep element of control and fear that shines through.
We question “Can I really make this happen? Do i actually have the ability?” and this shadow gets very strong because we have not harnessed our full belief in ourselves. Healing and transmuting that energy is a journey of finding your self-love, your divineness from within and of connecting to source and spirit to move that energy for and with you.
This month, Marilu Shinn is leading our master talk/guest facilitator in the Sacred Success Membership. I have followed Marilu for a long time, I took her training on Cultural Appropriations and the Dangers of New Age Shamanism and I encourage you all to dive deeper into her work. After this class, I wanted to experience her medicine. She is incredibly sacred and very deep in her work for the world. I booked a call session with her and had incredible healing, it was very emotional and she holds so much power even over the phone.
Now, into the interview: M (Marilu) L (Lauren)
M: I am a medicine woman, I carry ancestral medicine that comes from my ancestors from Mexico as well as from Peru and South america. It is deeply connected to the cycles and rhythms of the earth and to symbiotic/reciprocal, mindset of harmony/balance and right relationship. In this society we come from a mindset of competition and pushing, we forget that when we are in the right relationship and when we trust the flow/intelligence of life we are provided for to feel balanced and harmonious.
L- Something very true for me in my path- the more I come into a right relationship with myself, the more I feel this calling to support others more deeply, to provide and to share. Many people in study of medicine are very curious about expanding their study and want to talk about what it means to be in integrity with the medicines, how do we honor/respect and find sovereignty in relations with medicine?
M- There needs to be an approach of deep respect and reverence. We all are journeying for healing/mending and when we have access to these medicines, it's great that we want to feel/experience healing from them, but I see a lot that people are taking fast tracks and not taking the time that it takes to embody the medicine and the practices. Also, if you are being called to offer the medicine you have to go through the process of initiating, look at the places you may be projecting. If we just do inner work to be in the right relationship with the plants - meaning we give back to the region of carriers for that medicine. I hear of experiences with ayahuasca in which people experience withdrawal or depressive episodes because the medicine is not being properly honored or respected.
It's not about the access to the medicine but about taking the time to go through proper initiation and give back to the communities of origin and have reciprocal relation with/honor intelligence of these master plants.
L- Our relationship with plant is a sacred prayer. I find sometimes in spiritual communities there is an egoic aspect where people compare themselves to others for how many times they have sat with a master plant and aim to be “more spiritual” than others and that is missing the point.
M- That is the competitive mindset. We have to shift our perception and let go of the idea we are competing with each other (which creates fear) and come from a place of trust and flow and learn to know the spirit that lives in the medicine in ways that feel authentic and like a prayer.
L-For the person out there feeling called to study medicine, what are some things they can look out for, what are some things they can be doing to be in the right relationship?
M- Our communities need medicine people who are harnessing the medicine of the Earth, but a lot, I see the focus more on the monetary/material gain rather than the medicine itself and what it is to walk the path of medicine. Giving back to those in the community who do harness the power of the plant itself is important, but also if you have the opportunity to travel and sit with original carriers of the lineages. It gets diluted as it gets passed down/around so it will be most powerful when we learn from original carriers and reciprocate/give back to them. To become a medicine person is a lifelong journey and a way of life. The more you work on and come into right relationship with yourself, the earth and others the more the medicine grows, it has its own intelligence.
L- The times I've sat with carriers it has been so pure and sacred. I have felt that difference. Can you share about the medicine you carry from both sides of your family?
M- Growing up in Mexico I saw my grandma practicing very shamanistic Earth-based medicine. We never collected money. It was known as ancestral medicine, a way of healing very much embedded in the community and family life. I got derailed, it was not until 2005 that I went to Peru and sat with the original carriers that it awakened in me the memory from my childhood of my mother and grandmother doing this. In my process of learning in Peru, it was a reactivation of something innately in me and I remembered I came here to mend the lineage of medicine women in my family and to make it practical, to make a living off of but also to mend the lineage.
There were a few shamanic/symbolic deaths. Dying to all identities and all ways of being that were very disconnected from root and tradition, through that I was letting go of projections and expectations of others and the more I walked this path, the more it unfolded. Healing and having a clear connection with my ancestors, especially grandmothers. Healing this and reclaiming medicine, I was able to also heal wounds in the ancestral line.
L- So there is power when women can create a purpose in life that allows her to serve others and heal lineage- kind of on topic of feminine embodiment and leadership, what can you comment on that?
M- What I feel is that with new Earth that is being birthed, we are at the end of a very long cycle of patriarchy and now, a lot of women feel called to connect with ancestors and also with their own intuition and being to heal in places that may be not very clear, but to heal energetically. It's a calling of the Earth for women to reclaim their authentic calling and find within and reconnect what innate medicine and gifts we have. Then, we can embody the sacred feminine. Time of reclamation of ancestral wisdom and our own intuition. Time of releasing goal oriented, competitive mindset. We are releasing an old paradigm, there will be a change in the way we communicate with people and do business, we are creating a new blueprint.
L- A lot of old fear can come rattling when women are coming into their power- what advice can you share for them?
M- Releasing the patriarchal and masculine linear way, there is a fear we may not be enough, may be too much, may prevent us from accomplishing our goals. We can both manifest and create offerings without hostile mentality and draining or overwhelming selves and also releasing the old conditioning that we are our titles and achievements. We are a lot more than that and we need to reclaim that. That will bring so much restoration and healing to our communities and our souls. We need to purge the old paradigm to make space for new and different spaces of more trust, fluidity and right relationship.
L- Sometimes spirit leads us to do things that are challenging or create resistance- how can somebody navigate that?
M- The connection we can create with source in our own unique way will give us strength to move forward. Having an everyday practice of meditation or walking in nature and asking for divine guidance from spirit, intention of having this strong connection with the unseen/spirit realms. Practice of prayer, tuning into nature, meditation, things that help us cultivate trust and connection with something beyond ourselves that helps us as we change and shift. Also having sacred boundaries, yes we can give and hold space for others, but also need to be with ourselves and cultivate inner medicine and take time to reflect. Balance between giving and receiving, can't take on more from others than we can process.
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