Video: Stephane Levesque
Music: The Darkside by The Liminanas
I AM A BEING OF CHOICE.
I CAN NEVER KNOW WHO I AM IF I AM DEFINED BY OTHER PEOPLE'S PERCEPTIONS.
I CAN ONLY TRULY KNOW WHO I AM IF I ONLY I CHOOSE WHO I AM.
"Many people can interpret a painting or a poem, but only the painter or poet themselves know what they were intending to transmit, what it makes them feel. Sometimes we are told that we are lazy, immoral, useless, unreliable and good for nothing or whatever, and we are hurt, because regardless of being indignant, deep down we feel that our accusers are right. But if we firmly believe that anything we are and anything that happens to us is our choice, the simple question is: Why am I choosing to be lazy, unreliable etc.?" - Mikis Hasson
I know who I am because I CHOOSE who I am
I CHOOSE to be strong.
I CHOOSE to be confident.
I CHOOSE to be creative.
I CHOOSE to be the huntress of my personal fears.
I CHOOSE to trust.
I CHOOSE to love.
I CHOOSE to be real.
I CHOOSE to be Phoebe.
What do YOU choose?
Photos by: Stephane Levesque
It’s evident I’ve returned to Earth
Pass on through
Now is time to honour you
Trust your instincts
Say a prayer
Mapacho smoke blown through the air
Come with me
I’ll wash you clean
Show me where you’ve been
Take it slow ...
All four feet connected
On the path we go.
I signed myself up to perform a poem I wrote, at Valentino Cabaret, the local Valentine's Day fundraiser / talent show.
I am terrified.
I know I'm here to use my voice.
I am stronger than my fear.
I arrive at the venue, my mom saved me and Verne a seat.
I slump in my chair.
It is so bright.
I can't see.
I can't hear.
How am I going to get up on stage?
"You are on 3rd."
I go to the bathroom.
Everything is spinning.
My friend Raven Anne grabs me, "Are you okay? Are you on something?"
How am I going to get up on stage?
A friend and I spotted this giant Reishi on a walk through the rainforest here on Haida Gwaii.
I knew what mushroom it was immediately.
It’s always tempting to take home special finds you come across on the beach or in the forest.
I always tell myself I will learn about them and use them accordingly!
They end up sitting on a shelf.
This time was different.
“Mr. Hemlock tree, can I take this mushroom if I PROMISE to do something special with it?”
I decided that if the mushroom easily was separated from the tree, that it was okay for me to take.
I remembered what my Haida friend, Verne taught me.
I pulled some tobacco from my pocket and sprinkled it on the tree, as an offering.
I put my hands on either side of the huge mushroom, said “thank you” and gave a small tug.
The mushroom was now in my arms.
I hugged it against my chest.
A feeling of “oh no, what if I don’t do something with the mushroom, I just made a promise” creeped into my mind.
I have been applying myself and now know the feeling of pride that comes with accomplishing something you set out to.
I WILL do something special to honour this Reishi.
I got it home and started to research the mushroom.
Turns out Red Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) or Ling Zhi in Chinese, which translates to “spiritual potency mushroom” is known as the mushroom of immortality! Immortal in the way that, we leave our legacy behind, as Reishi mushroom is said to help you fufill your destiny. The mushroom promotes longevity by strengthening the immune system and preventing many diseases.
I’ve have had Reishi tea and felt this would be easy enough for a mushroom beginner to learn how to make.
I messaged Verne, who has lived on Haida Gwaii for most of his life, to confirm this was in fact Reishi.
He guided me through the process of slicing and drying.
Slicing the mushroom was very tough.
I sent him photos of the process.
“You need to slice them thinner.”
“You can do it.”
I sliced them thin and lay them to dry.
Most of the pieces went moldy, due to being waterlogged.
The smaller pieces dried perfectly!
I put some chunks in boiling water.
I knew this medicine was VERY strong.
My lips and throat felt tingly.
Verne messaged me, “Everything is stronger on Haida Gwaii!”
RI put a few chunks in the coffee grinder to see what would happen.
The reishi got all fluffy!
Perfect to pinch into my coffee or tea.
I posted the mushroom on Instagram as a “guess what this is!”
I got a response from a girl in Arizona who knew all about reishi and would love to get her hands on some Reishi that I had found wild, on Haida Gwaii.
I purchased some bags and will be sending it off in the mail, tomorrow.
Feeling like a medicine woman and having fun!
PS – I have since, gone out looking for more Reishi. It is late in the season, I did not find any. I did though find Red Belted Polypore, which is also medicinal! Have sliced them up (just as tough to cut this mushroom!) and am waiting for them to dry!
I see your filled with fear.
You just want to be loved.
You’ve made me strong.
I thank you for that.
Buzzing in your masculine.
Your feminine, screaming to be held.
Your demons surround you.
They are thick, black, smoke.
Your wounds fill with poison.
Heart closing in.
Moments of seeing the little girl trapped inside.
Come out to play!
Where was your family?
Trapped in their fear.
Your beasts try to get me.
In the past they would.
I am wiser now.
I’ll be your friend.
Beyond your demons.
I’ll hold your hand.
I see you, crystal clear.
Call on me.
We’ll get through this together.
Shoot the poison up and out.
No longer welcome here.
Replace the space with love.
Take a deep breathe.
You are free.
(I am learning more about spoken word. Will be soon with more experience and some minor word changes.)
My friend and Vedic Astrologer, Sharu, taught me this mantra.
It's been popping into my mind the last couple days.
It's said that the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra wards off evils, removes disease, brings health and energy as well as assists in bringing you what you desire.
Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pusti vardhanam
Urvarukamiva bandhanan mrtyor mukshiya mamritat
I’ve been inspired on this Super Blue Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse (seriously!) to make up bundles of Palo Santo and Mapacho that I got in Peru on my last trip to the jungle.
I’m so excited with how they turned out!
They actually look like little shamanic Valentine's gifts!
Your bundle will include:
2 large chunks of Palo Santo (Peru)
1 tube of ceremonial jungle tobacco, Mapacho (Peru)
*I’ve got Palo Santo by my bed, on my desk, in my jacket pocket, my purse, in my car, in the living room, bathroom and by the fireplace.
*A stick of Palo Santo wood is lit on fire, blown or allowed to burn out, the burning ember will release the sacred smoke that is used to clear energies and keep you in all around good spirits.
*Palo Santo is often used in Ayahuasca ceremonies.
*The wood can be compared to Sage or Cedar with relation to Frankincense, Copal and Myrrh.
*Mapacho is ceremonial jungle tobacco.
*Mapacho is used with the utmost respect, to clear energies and set intention.
*Nicotiana Rustica or Mapacho as it’s known in the northern Amazon is the main ingredient of the tobacco snuff Rapé (pronounced “ha-peh”) found in the southern Amazon.
*I use Mapaho to smudge myself off, set intention / prayer, bring me back to my self work, ground and for protection. Having the extremely powerful jungle energy around helps me to stay focused, inspired and connected. I use it on my altar and take a pinch to offer gratitude when in nature.•
*Here’s a great article on the ceremonial and medicinal benefits of sacred tobacco: https://psychedelictimes.com/sacred-tobacco/from-rape-to-mapacho-uncovering-ceremonial-medicinal-benefits-sacred-tobacco/