All Those Felonies Saved My Life

Ever since Nixon was in office, the hippies were hugging, and various black-ops projects on psy research were chugging along full-steam, perspective enhancing substances (whether or not they themselves are alive and have agency) have been on the shelf labeled “DO NOT TOUCH” and “POISON.” Two audacious proclamations; The first, a command that seems antithetical in a world full of plants presumed by most lawmakers to have been created by an omnipotent deity. The second, a lie. 

Propaganda, to be more precise. But we now know, as almost common household knowledge, that hallucinogens (a problematic term) can be, essentially, miracle drugs in some cases. 

Appropriate set-and-setting in harmony with appropriate dosage of entheogens (a far better term, thanks Wasson/Hoffman/Ruck et al.) is proving clinically and empirically to treat depression, PTSD, and addiction.

This is where I come in. Two years ago from this very point in time I was regularly using heroin and crack; an almost entirely unrecognizable human creature from the one writing this today. And most of the perspective needed to undertake the unimaginable amounts of healing and growth I had to face when choosing a better reality was made possible because of mushrooms.

Obviously, they don’t get all the credit. I mean, I did have to lose everything in the wake of the walking disaster that was myself in order to prompt the realization that my reality could, in fact, change. But when your brain is literally damaged and you don’t remember what it’s like to feel much of anything outside of a small spectrum, that initial epiphany is not enough to maintain a path toward health. And 12-step meetings, for me, were always torture. Hearing stories from dudes still kicking in the meeting was always just a window into a world where the high still existed, and could thus be acquired. I mean, hell, that guy had some yesterday. Cognitively re-living the same horror did not lead me to freedom, so I didn’t go back this time.

I have since found that I don’t need them to maintain my perspective anymore, but for the crucial stages of recovery, mushrooms it was. I would mostly microdose to get a sense of being “beside myself” in order to gleam a glance at patterns that needed changing. I could work on them if I could see them. And every once in a while it seemed necessary to undergo a more intense communion with the fungus. 

After we had made a significant amount of progress together they quite literally arranged a meeting, to my utter surprise, between myself and Kali Ma. The deconstruction and reconstruction process since has been far smoother, if not just as difficult, but I feel safe, loved, and cared for by a being that has proven her existence beyond time. That’s something!

I find it endlessly fascinating that the fungi introduced me to exactly who I needed to meet. Saturn, Venus, Mercury, and Pluto are in Scorpio on my birth chart (and my natal Sun is only a day from the cusp,) I steam from the ears when women are disrespected (even in that innocent-negligence way, bruh,) and I do not learn quickly or easily; I have to touch the iron myself. The powerful and fearsome body-parts-as-clothing four-armed demon-slaying goddess of Shakti was the teacher I needed and the mushrooms presented me to her without my prompting them for anything other than whatever they thought was best at the time.

I also find it endlessly fascinating that all of this, the healing of my family relationships, starting college for the first time, getting back into my spiritual practice, writing this blog, owning up to my “life-contracts” (as in the ones we make before we come here,) this metamorphosis was all made possible by a thousand little felonies.

I was a criminal when I was useless, and I had to remain one to get better. 

And nobody can change the irrefutable fact that all those felonies saved my life.

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