Re: [Entheogenic Shamanism] Calamus taste, let these not be leaves of sorrow...
In answer to the several questions & thoughts in this thread:
For raw calamus, I have had the very best quality from Naturespirit
Herbs, as mentioned in my previous post. So that is who I most
recommend, short of growing or finding it yourself. As for shipping
anything to Australia, we gave that up long ago, when our St John's
Wort Spagyric extract was confiscated because it is a noxious &
invasive weed. You don't have to be a botanist to realize that
extracts are no longer capable of growing.... Seriously, though, the
government in Australia is just too restrictive and fond of search &
seizure, and we have never had a shipment arrive there intact. Even
Russia and China are easier to ship to. Sorry.
As for oil, I would ask you to forget that idea. It is a great EO for
use diluted in massage oil, as I mentioned, and I use it in sacred
perfumes, but do we always have to look for the most drug-like way to
administer everything we come across? A vaporizer seems like overkill
I like to chew calamus, it is a perfectly wonderful way to experience
it (more on that later in this post) and I'd encourage you to start
there. I have heard of adding powdered calamus to cannabis as a smoke,
to help with the side effects of the cannabis or to help quit the
cannabis, and that seems to be useful, but why irritate your lungs if
you don't need to?
As for extracts, actually, we do make an extract of Calamus. It is a
Spagyric extract, and for those of you not familiar with that process,
here's the basic principles.
Spagyrics was created by Paracelsus, in the late 1500's. He had
studied alchemy, and as a physician, decided to put what had been
arcane esoteric knowledge into more healing use. So he created
Spagyrics, a process using the principles and approach of alchemy to
work with medicinal plants.
In Spagyric work, every natural thing is considered to have a physical
body, an animating spirit, and an eternal soul. Different aspects of
these levels of being combine differently in each individual plant,
mineral, or animal, creating each being's unique self. Although it is
at the physical level that most of the plant chemicals that we think
about reside, it is actually from their more subtle levels that their
healing and spiritual properties are born. That is, the plant
chemicals and properties are an expression through the plant of the
life force and intelligence of Nature; it is this intelligence that is
the true source of healing and/or enlightenment.
Through lab work with the different physical aspects of the plant, the
plant's body is purified and elevated, so that its subtle levels of
pure life and energy can express in an elevated way, beyond the
capability of a raw plant in Nature. Not that a raw plant is imperfect
or lowly, but the Spagyric process is considered a type of
reincarnation, where the plant is taken apart, purified, and
recombined at a higher level of refinement and subtlety than it was
before. Spagyric actually comes from two root words meaning "separate
So, generally I do not like extracts of plants except maybe as a way
to preserve your stock for a while. The Spagyrics, however, are
different, and in our 16 years of creating them, we have over 150
plants we work with now, I have seen the process and end results to be
expressive of amazing subtleties of being in the plant's life force.
The Spagyric process does not change the nature of the plant, it opens
it and makes it more accessible to all three levels which exist in us,
Specific to the Shamanic plants, the Spagyrics create a very refined
and subtle experience, free from many of the physical issues that
these journeys can create, but with the intelligence of the plant able
to speak in a clear voice to any who will listen. It is this voice we
are listening to when, as I mentioned before, we eat a plant raw for 2
weeks before we start processing.
We are looking for the beginnings of its communication to us, and then
tracking those qualities through the processing in the lab and after
in the final Spagyric. How is the plant's voice the same at each step,
and how is it different? What qualities step forward and which step
back? What is the thread that connects my experience of the raw plant
through the lab work to the final result? What does this plant say,
and how to make sure that word gets out in my Spagyric? So, in a way,
the raw plant and the Spagyric are the two most alike ways to
experience a plant, because both are whole versions of everything that
plant created as it grew, nothing thrown out as with conventional
extracts. But the Spagyric gives the plant a clearer voice, tunes it
in more, amplifies it to be better heard and understood in the hearts
of those who receive it.
I could say lots more on this, but this is an essay already, so I hope
it gives you an idea of where we are coming from. I should also say
that we do not speak for most of the companies and people making
Spagyrics, and that our approach is quite different, philosophically
and in practice. Enough that we are black sheep a bit. But that is not
new here, eh?
Strength & Wisdom,
- Jonathan Ott's Pharmacotheon is listed here on ebay:
It's a used copy, in very good condition, and much more affordable
than the auctions ~starting~ at $75.