The first time I organized and led a group Ceremony, the Medicine said to me, "bring Medicine work out of the dark and into the light". Initially, that had two meanings for me.
First, I had witnessed a level of black magic in Ceremony previously that scared the shit out of me. I saw the keeper of a space bringing in dark beings that did not belong there and indigenous shamans forcing people to go to places that they were not ready to go. The Medicine told me to "get out, get out!" every time a specific one entered the room and the very last time I was in that space in the capacity of a Facilitator (not even taking the Medicine), I saw countless entities feeding on the people in Ceremony. To me, that was keeping Medicine "in the dark".
Second, I noticed a much different experience for people when they working with the Medicine during the day rather than at night. Working on your shadows in the presence of the sun tended to be much easier and more gentle. Naturally I thought, yes, let's do it in the light!
As I go deeper into this work, I see now that the answer to this direction given to me by the Medicine is actually much more. Bringing Medicine work out of the dark and into the light has blossomed into a few different facets beyond what I had originally thought. And I want to share them because they're important in a life-lesson sort of way.
A recurring lesson in my own life and in this work has been about overcoming fear. Fear is, after all, frequently about being in the dark. It's about our shadows and all the things that lurk in those shadows. It's the space within ourselves that is most needing of love. For me, it's been about finding my own strength and truth in being afraid and then moving forward despite the fear. This whole process of becoming a legitimate church that works with a schedule one substance has been a prime example of that lesson. And I believe that this is why so many churches remain underground. When you are underground, you’re undercover, you are working in the dark because you are not willing to take the risk of being in the light (aka being seen). Being seen means a chance to be picked apart, it means the chance to be questioned, criticized, and “caught". In my specific case, it also can mean being arrested, deemed "crazy" and cast out by society/family/friends. Allowing myself to step in to the light meant being subjected to all of those things. It meant running the risk of having my life shattered at any moment but knowing that my path is greater than my fear of such things. Stepping into the light has been the hardest thing for me to do in both life and with this work. It is what has pushed me to collaborate with the DEA, to have a page on Google that allows people to leave honest reviews and to have a very transparent website that says "I'm throwing up the spotlight, we are here!". Shining light on yourself and what you offer to the world is hard, but I'll be honest, it's more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. Shining this light is one of the deeper aspects of bringing Medicine work out of the dark.
The other aspect of stepping into the light is about surrendering control of the Medicine. Control is one of those shadow qualities that many people are allowing to rule their life - a characteristic that is born out of fear and a lack of surrendering to the flow.
Before I began to practice Medicine work on my own, I experienced Ceremony space of many different Facilitators and Shamans. Many of whom were very talented in their own right, so make no mistake, that is not what I am saying here. Despite their talents and abilities, there was always the same undercurrent of control present, with the exception of only one Shaman I worked with. The Facilitator(s) were always the ones that chose how much Medicine is poured/served and how the Ceremony space is controlled. They decided what each participant needed based on either administering a set dose across the board or by making an assumption based on the person's trauma. Each person was not treated like an individual. The playlist remained the same and the experience was often intentionally guided in such a way to create the outcome the Facilitator(s) thought were necessary. Expectations and judgments were created before a person even came to sit in their Ceremony! Looking back I realized that no one was allowing the Medicine to be in control. No one was asking the Medicine how people should prepare for Ceremony, the dosage each person should get, or listening for music/vibration that wanted or needed to come into the space. Instead, they were acting as if they knew better by making those decisions. (So much ego flying around in some of these spaces) Through this control, the Medicine was not allowed or able to be all that it could be. And here's the kicker: In that magic of surrendering control to the plants, the true teachers and healers of this world, they present us with an experience of healing that is unlike anything you could imagine. It is unlike anything we have been told is possible.
Let that sink in for a moment. It's important.
The coolest part about what I am sharing here is that I know I will continue to dive deeper into what it means to bring Medicine Work out of the dark and uncover new layers of understanding. That is the most magical part about doing this work. Just when you think you grasp something, the universe says "wait, there's more". Haha.
So all of these things considered, what brought you to read this article and what does bringing Medicine work into the light mean for you? What do you think bringing any healing modality into the light means?