After a long time I finally spent a weekend with magic mushrooms at the Nature Temple in Teuge, Holland. The overall experience was beyond my best expectations! How fortunate that such a special place exists, blessed are those who indulge in a dip into the sacred dimension from which we all come, in Teuge there is a gateway to reconnection that everyone needs today more than ever.
Everything went very well, without damage or incident, the great central fire blessed the experience with its wonderful presence and was the protector and catalyst of the participants’ inner processes. All travellers were transported safely from the beginning to the end of the ceremonies, at the end the greatest emotion was so much gratitude, for the place, for those who led and for the unparalleled mastery of the mushrooms.
A spaceship or a mycelium fruit?
Nature Temple is an intergalactic spaceship powered by the magic of the psilocybe mushroom ceremonies, the pilots are Mark and Maya, the male and female poles together, the passengers are assisted by a staff ready for anything, any destination is possible with this incredible starship. If you know how to read positions, materials, symbols, alignments, numbers and proportions, then you can understand why I thought of a starship, this construction is a special instrument, built to direct very powerful energies, it takes mastery and experience to do it safely and these qualities are in all the crew.
I returned a few days ago and have fresh memories of the days and ceremonies at the Earth Awareness centre, where the Nature Temple is located inside a small forest, nestled within a circle of large trees. A wide gate marks the entrance to this ‘off-grid’ community that lives independent of the modern world, autonomous in terms of electricity, water and gas; any possible energy shortage will never affect this small community so connected to Nature and all the Elements.
I don’t remember how I discovered them, one day while I was in front of the computer I remember seeing the pictures of the Temple and I was amazed. Who had designed and built that place? It didn’t even look as if it had been built by human hands but had grown directly from the ground, no doubt the result of a fungal blueprint!
But the Temple had not grown up spontaneously in the middle of that forest, it was the work of a friend who had to be known and met as soon as possible. I wrote an email to introduce myself, what a thrill to find someone so connected to nature and magic mushrooms, the Nature Temple attracted me as I recognised it, it could only be as they had built it!
Mark and Maya got back to me straight away, I sent them a copy of my book on magic mushrooms, and that’s how a mutual love was born between people who know and respect the powers of these creatures. We met online and finally knew each other and recognised each other.
The expedition to Holland
It took a year and a half before we met in person, but I did it together with 24 other Italians who had responded to my call. Late Friday afternoon we all arrived at the rendezvous that had been organised for months, ready to start that evening with the first of the weekend’s two ceremonies. I was the only one who knew all the participants, and apart from a few friends and couples who had come together, they were all strangers to each other. It only took a few hours for that connection to form that happens when you recognise that others are like you, that they are there for the same reasons as you, that they are all wonderful and courageous just like you. In these special contexts great friendships are born, all my best friends I have met this way, they are like reunited brothers and sisters.
This first weekend of ceremonies I organised was perfect, how could it have been otherwise? No one had any contraindications, the set & setting was ideal, the ceremony conducted with love, generosity and craftsmanship, we travelled safely in the powerful flow that emerges when mushroom magic begins its effect.
No one was ever afraid, everyone felt safe at all times, which is not a given when it comes to taking on a psychedelic together with many other strangers. The absence of fear was the big surprise of this weekend, this extraordinary result is obviously the result of two necessary factors, namely preparation and set & setting.
You are afraid of the unknown, you fear what you don’t know, you can say it in many ways but the concept is simple, ignorance is the cause of so many problems, the Buddha states that ignorance is the ultimate cause of all human suffering. If you want to travel within yourself with the help of mushrooms you have to know the contraindications, know how you are and consciously choose where and with whom you will travel. For a beginner this is not easy, without information and experience he has no idea what to do or not to do, besides all this is forbidden by law, psilocybin is in Table 1 with really dangerous drugs, such as heroin, even though it has nothing in common with this wretched substance.
Participating in ceremonies organised in countries where mushrooms are not criminalised resolves all doubts and helps you to prepare yourself in the best possible way, in an ideal and legal context, as it should also be here in Italy, the most beautiful country in the world! And instead they are banned, we have the most wonderful nature and one of its most precious fruits is banned. How many natural temples we would have in Italy if the law did not prohibit psilocybe mushrooms, the beauty of our land is also enhanced by a favourable climate for most of the year.
How to participate
Participation in mushroom ceremonies begins with registration, which gets you into the preparation process that starts with filling out a questionnaire; the questions are only meant to let you know whether you have contraindications to participation or not. You should answer truthfully, the mushroom route is not for everyone, realising that you have psychophysical problems after taking the dose is dangerous. After the questionnaire there is the interview and finally, if everything is OK, the confirmation for participation arrives. Via email you then receive instructions for the experience – which I remind you consists of 3 distinct parts: preparation, experience and integration. By preparing you will arrive at the time of sitting around the campfire with the confidence that you are OK and safe.
The process that starts with registration helps you prepare and check how you are, makes you look inside yourself, which is where your experience will take place. Participating in an organised ceremony helps you to complete the preparation and the first part of the set & setting – that is how you are of the set, in fact the questionnaire and the interview make you aware that you are ready and that you are in the right psychophysical condition to have the experience. The setting, on the other hand, is the place and the people who are with you, and at Teuge everything is ideal to support the experience, the place was born for this reason almost 20 years ago. If you have no experience with mushrooms and sacred plants, Nature Temple is a good port from which to set sail on a psychedelic journey.
Psychedelic or entheogenic?
Psychedelic relates to the mind, for the heart there is the term ‘entheogenic’, less well known but more apt to describe the experience of Spirit and the Divine that mushrooms often help you access. Entheogenic means “generating the experience of the Divine”, which you can recognise inside and outside of yourself, an experience that goes far beyond simple intellectual understanding; whether psychedelic or entheogenic, these are states of consciousness that are inexplicable to those who have never experienced them in person, and which are capable of changing lives, as sometimes happens to those who have taken them.
The journey within the journey
Going to Holland – or abroad – to do a ceremony? The journey, the foreign language, for many are obstacles but in reality they are part of the preparation, the journey creates a clean break from everyday life, it makes you enter a new dimension that is also part of the experience you are going to live. That’s how it was for the whole group, they seemed like obstacles and instead were a help to go deeper. I too have often travelled by plane to participate in shamanic ceremonies, I have always enjoyed transporting myself even physically to a distant land to discover this wonderful dimension that is the ceremony with the Master Plants.
I have been using mushrooms and writing about them for many years, I read a lot and follow the evolution of ongoing research, as well as the steps towards decriminalising nature. In many states the laws are changing, the stigma towards these substances is diminishing thanks to the increased information available, television series, newspaper articles and many books are rapidly changing the situation for psychedelics in general. In this panorama, centres dedicated to the use of these substances are springing up, in some states the law allows them or does not ban them, in others it tolerates them and so they often live in a grey area in which they are not permitted but neither are they banned.
The choice of the retreat
I know that it is not easy to choose who to trust, psychedelics open the doors of our soul and in those moments we are very vulnerable and suggestible, we have to be careful. Meet the organiser online, ask him questions, ask for information and stay connected to what you feel, only then can you understand if you can trust him or not, you will easily see if he is talking to you as a person or as a client. Assessing people is a difficult task, I repeat that only by listening to yourself can you grasp whether the place and the people are right for you or not. If you have doubts and do not feel comfortable evaluate another place and do not go back on your decision, it is not important if the organiser is good or not, it only matters if you feel you can trust him.
Places like Nature Temple should be heritage of mankind, I predict that in the future there will be more and more places like this, we need to get busy and create temples and safe spaces where ceremonies, rites of passage, encounters with self and other can be celebrated, above all cure the fundamental ignorance that causes all suffering.
The Sacred Mushrooms are our allies in this journey of reconnection, but the place is nothing without the people who lead and assist the participants. Those who organise these events must be at the service of Spirit and the Divine, who alone can use them as tools for the healing and evolution of humanity. What does it mean to be at the service of the Divine? This I learnt during a memorable ceremony: do your best in everything you do, and do it with love. If you work on yourself and prepare yourself then you will become an instrument of the Divine as an intact and well-tuned guitar is an instrument for the musician.
This is the future, places like this will be everywhere because they are needed, times are tough and challenging months and years lie ahead, we have to prepare ourselves individually and collectively, stay centred and network. We have to stay connected underground exactly as the Mycelium does.
I want to develop this topic, come back to see what’s new, it’s time to act and find each other, I will organise more legal meetings soon!
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