The Space Between Us
Navigating Therapeutic- Psychedelic Spaces and the Trauma Entities within Them.
“It felt like you slapped me”. These were the words from a client after our therapeutic psilocybin journey. I have worked with her for years, we have a great baseline of trust, good repoire.
I had played some Koshi chimes at the end of our session and rung them together in the room. The simple action of that gesture sparked a memory in her of her mother’s behavior. She reverted back to her childhood and felt the moments of fear and confusion around her mother’s actions like they were happening again.
Fortunately she is able to differentiate between what is true and what is trauma. Trauma is real but it is not true. What is true is that which is incorruptible and untouched regardless of life’s severity and circumstances.
Very few people are able to differentiate enough, in the moment of this archetypal, quantum exchange of energy, to not assume some perception of harm. This is why it is vital to understand what is amplified inside the psychedelic healing space- which is the same for any healing space. But because of the nature and vulnerability of the soul in a psychedelic healing container, it is paramount that a practitioner educates their clients about how the amplification of trauma, wounds, shadows, wisdom, desire etc. is part of the healing space and can be used as material for healing.
(This does NOT give the practitioner permission to bypass a harmful situation as “part of the healing” as is often the case in the horrendous abuse of so many “gurus” in positions of power in spiritual communities. I am not talking about that here although it must be named constantly until it’s eradicated from the collective.)
There is an intricate, specific energetic dance that comes alive in the space between practitioner and client, that when understood, can open up tremendous understanding, better navigation of the space by the client and deep healing. It is a fine line to educate clients how to fully surrender to the process while being a participant in the container. Nothing should be “done to” anyone. It is true that the practitioner, or shaman, holds the majority responsibility as they are transmitting the healing and claiming to have the wisdom the client seeks [to awaken their own]. But the current, and disintegrating, healing model of someone being healed by another is a violation of natural law and therefore can never fully heal anything. The healing space is a place to celebrate reciprocity and the healer that lives within everyone. That requires “work” on behalf of the client to engage in their own inner healer by way of what the practitioner inspires within them.
These spaces are a tantric dance of birthing, of inspiring, a third thing into being that was not present before the client and practitioner entered into relationship. To educate our clients about the nuances of this relationship puts responsibility on both parties to be aware, as much as possible, of what they carry into to the container. Taking responsibility for our own healing is how we heal. When we hand over our path to anyone or anything we give away our power. We become something that can be fed on because we empty a vital inner resource and that empty space can attract prey.
We are always brought together for some exchange of healing and reciprocity, for love, witness, mirroring and evolution. Two things are attracted towards one another for so many reasons, but the rootstock of these reasons is seeking to suckle down from the Universal overstory a love, the love, that the two will create by their engagement in healing. If we aren’t making more love in the world then what are we doing?
To understand the attraction and its motive is a power move and elevates each participant into greater healing. It is always to learn something that can spur change and regeneration. Sometimes the healing and the love that needs to be expressed from the meeting of the two is someone feeling in their deep gut that this is not right for them, so they learn to listen to their own gut instinct and move away from the situation. I have let clients go that were not a fit. I ask them always to take a lot of time to assess if I am. Sometimes we are attracted to something to learn to say NO and listen to ourselves and that enacts the same evolutionary healing and repatterning because it is all about what happens inside of us that heals what is outside of us.
What must be understood is that any practitioner in a position of holding space for such soul rendering work must be in touch with the shadows they carry. They should have a holistic understanding of these archetypal energies and how they play in the field. Is our/their job to watch the space for the amplification of projections from their clients and from themselves. A practitioner who has not integrated their own healing journey will drag subconscious baggage into the healing space and their transmission will be muddied, mistakes will be made more easily as well as the perception of harm.
The practitioner, if they have integrated their shadows and walk a holistic path aligned with the medicine and healing they serve up and hold space for, becomes an embodied transmission of what is possible for the soul, of healing itself, of the birthright of belonging, of love, of wisdom etc. Not much needs to be said or done. The transmission will be felt and will spiral into the field like lightning helping alchemize and highlight big energies and big shadows that will inevitably arise from the client. And the practitioner, who is human, will still have their own unknown projections that can burden the space between if they are not courting self awareness and humility to understand that they are also stepping into a hall of mirrors.
Shit gets real in the psychedelic space as the thresholds of life- death- life are met. If the practitioner has not navigated and crossed these thresholds inside of themself, then the full expanse of potential healing in the space between may not be met. It really matters who is guiding these journeys.
There are powerful archetypal shadow aspects that live in the healing space. These energetic powers are so magnetized in our subconscious psyches that they take a life form of their own that can interfere with the centeredness of the space. Some call them ghosts, some think they are things outside of us, sometimes they are as we live in a Universal family with much mystery. But the amplification of our shadow can fill a room with what feels like a haunting. (I have seen this in the case of repressed memory.) Everything lives inside of us and NOTHING is an accident in these potentized containers. And because everything lives inside of us- the wounding of things in our heart does not live without the medicine for the wound.
The most common projections inside the psychedelic healing space are of mother and father onto the practitioner because almost all trauma stems from the mother wound (lack of inner resource, and nourishment) and the father wound (corrupted authority and oppressed expression). The mother wound is a projection I have to navigate often with my clients. It comes up at the end of sessions when I am separating myself away from the space so that my client can continue their own healing and integration. The sense my departure and the abandonment wound erupts into the field. It is in this moment that I can guide my clients to engage with this projection, feel it, understand it and begin to apply everything that they inherited within the session- aka the beginning of integration.
Both mother and father wounds are a wound of separation and confusion around what truly supports our lives. Psychedelic spaces, specifically with entheogens as they are a direct link to true Source, help heal this separation wound and reorient the soul back to true belonging and true family of origin. But first the wound must be felt to reveal the medicine underneath.
“No mud, no lotus” ~Thich Nhat Hahn.
Perception of how healing and trauma works, is vital to steward others towards the Universal understanding “that there are no accidents”, not the life path one chose, the family the time and place of birth etc.
These energies are seeking to stay alive or be redeemed and healed if the consciousness of all involved can do the deep work of self reflection, personal responsibility and hold the loving lens of curiosity on how and why trauma works through us the way it does.
“You are the medicine for that circumstance, NOT its victim.” If we can begin to live this in every moment we become a wider human, a wider vessel for love and Universal support that wants to move through us. We begin to touch the truth of our lives and that we are the healer, the medicine called forth at this most potent time.
Trauma in the imminent is seeking to recreate itself by attracting similar scenarios of the primal wound frozen inside of us, so that our genius can wake up and shake it off, melt it away. Trauma in the Quantum timeline is always and only seeking love because evolution is what all of life seeks- no matter what. Evolution requires that the frozen and stagnant mantle around our wound be broken open so the medicine inside can pour out and heal that situation, once frozen in time. This is how we begin to create potential for new patterns. New patterns are the only way to heal deeply held trauma. We can rewire the broken code. This healing spirals through the epigenetic lifeline of our family and soul. We must understand how powerful these energies are to engage with them and let them ally our healing. We must feel it to heal it.
The practitioner will almost always attract clients who reflect their own journey- whether integrated or not. And this can sometimes bring about big shadows that can create great disruption.
I have seen this amplification in Ayahuasca ceremonies where there is a higher than healthy expectation of the shaman(a) or medicine carrier to heal all things. Unlike societies that lived indigenous lifestyles, the modern/western human carries an overwhelm of trauma that is generations deep- Serious addiction, sexual abuse, abandonment, neglect- heart wrenching painful experiences walk into medicine journeys. How things were done or taught in shamanic/animist cultures must be integrated with high level awareness of how the nervous system, when psychedelically expanded, will release these painful entities into the room and create a complex that can be radically beyond the practitioner’s ability to contain if they do not have a centered understanding of their own projections. This I believe is why the male bodied shamans in the Amazonian Ayahuasca cultures are all of a sudden corrupted and influenced by the female energies seeking a father figure to come and heal their sexual abuse wounds. It is NOT right that the shamans, or gurus react in such egregious and damaging ways. But, it is also not right to keep someone at the helm of a room of trauma without understanding the intersections of the spectrum of trauma with psychedelics or vulnerable healing containers.
Again, these containers need to move towards unity consciousness and holistic frameworks that include personal engagement/responsibility in healing. What if, before every ceremony there were mandatory discussions about the nervous system, personal and collective, and how trauma works? And again, there are no accidents in what emerges in the space between us. What arises in the field is not just about the ones seeking healing-ever.
(Side note: I feel strongly that male bodied peeps should NOT be holding space for female bodied peeps seeking healing for sexual abuse. The projections are way too powerful and the potential for harm too great. It takes a very specific man to hold this kind of space, and they are rare. It takes a very specific person in general and they should be vetted.)
I have been mirrored in every part of my path by my clients. It used to tug on me, because I would be helping them with things I knew in my gut I had not integrated myself, so in the field was jealousy, shame and doubt wafting from my deep subconscious. This is incongruent, and when there is this kind of incongruence there cannot be healing. Even though my clients “back in the day”, for the majority, would walk away from my altar with something deeply beautiful alive in them, I was left fallow. And, the healing model is broken if there is depletion in any part of it. When one is down, we are all down.
I stopped practicing for some time so I could really understand that my healing mattered first, that the initiations are vital for my participation in stewarding other souls through the dark psychic tunnels of trauma in the subconscious. I learned how my empathy is a superpower when the wound is integrated and I have truly stepped across the threshold. In true integration it is all about embodying the love and the gift of blessed human journey and being a beacon of that for others. It is about self love and faith in the cliche that “healer heal thyself” is what makes a healer who discovers truly that we are all healers and can energetically steward that to life in others.
This does not mean that practitioners are supposed to be perfect, but they do need to be walking “the path” they claim they are taking their clients down. They must stay vulnerable and human and aware of themselves and their responses to the ever shifting landscape of the psychedelic healing space, or any healing space. Although all parties are involved they still need to be the more aware ones as they are holding the torch.
In the native Earth traditions that carry “the medicine way” on their altars, the practitioner, or shaman, would undergo initiations of embodiment before they could ever serve and steward such sacred spaces. Just sayin.
Now, with so many mental health and healing arts practitioners leveling up their credentials to include psychedelic therapy and stay with the trend (regardless of their motive for it) we are being asked to bend the original rules of the sacred initiations. So how do we vet who is “worthy” of really taking someone down this path? Because I will tell you from years of witnessing disastrous harm from licensed medical professionals in my clients, I do not think an academic accolade means much when it comes to what is needed for deep and thorough healing. This is not me being cynical or resistant- it is what I have witnessed in hundreds of personal clients personally, and thousands second hand- so it is my truth. Why do you think someone finally knocks on the door of “the woman in the woods”? It’s typically because everything they were told was supposed to support them has failed and derailed their soul. So how can we bridge these two paradigms of healing and create something more beautiful and relevant to the emergent and imminent wounding and trends of this time? That’s the soul path.
The soul knows the wisdom of the ways when we can expand the limited aperture of the healing model to include the genius of trauma that lives in the space between us, alchemizing attraction for powerful reflection. That there are archetypal and Universal allies shepherding us towards a larger truth of the why and how and who of our life. The healer lives in everyone when perception shifts towards seeing the wound as a gift, and that everything we are drawn towards or turned away from, is seeking only to awaken the initiate, the healer and the love within us that guides our lives in perfection- never an accident. Because, the little caveat to everything I said, is that the medicine still does know best and runs a powerful quantum interface, a projector screen of all that needs to be seen, for our greatest healing.
Deep bow to you if you have been touched at all by this journey. Reach out if there has been harm and you need council and understanding. Reach out- let’s dance the shadow dance- which always brings with it- the light.