Integration is a key to unlocking the door of transformation: A much-used word, but what does integration actually look like? What is it? and of course… WHY integration?
During a person’s healing process there is a significant portal of opportunity that I see overlooked by many. This is the integration work that is needed to unify the new to the now. In an entheogenic process many people put all the emphasis on the medicine they will be sitting with, the “shaman" they will sit with, or the “preparation process” (Particularly the dieta)… But through my experience in guiding people through the ceremonial process, there is a great opportunity for profound life shifting here. It is my profound belief that one of the most important parts of the ceremony that is so commonly overlooked is the process of integration...
Let’s talk about it.
Integration is defined as a transitive verb. 1: to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole: unite. 2a: to incorporate into a larger unit. b: to unite with something else.
PSYCHOLOGY defines integration as:
the coordination of processes in the nervous system, including diverse sensory information and motor impulses. "visuomotor integration"
PSYCHOANALYSIS defines it as:
the process by which a well-balanced psyche becomes whole as the developing ego organizes the id, and the state that results or that treatment seeks to create or restore by countering the fragmenting effect of defense mechanisms.
But what does it really mean?
Through my years of experience, I am so grateful to have personally been taught the power of integration. Spirit shows me that energy shifts can happen almost instantaneously, however, the density of our bodies (this 3d realm that we live in), can sometimes have a delayed catching up, to that energetic shift. To explain it better, it’s like waiting to hear the echo of your voice sounding back at you after shouting in a cave. Our present reality may need time to catch up to that shift. Understanding quantum physicalities, we can comprehend that our current reality is the manifestation of past frequencies or vibratory accord. What we see now is what has been vibrating and thus manifested from past levels of consciousness. This is the frequency that you are emitting from your entire being. Now, remember, if you don’t like your life, notice that you are the one responsible. This is often what the awakening consciousness begins to see. As you begin to shift, there are the conscious and the subconscious. You may want joy, abundance, bliss, freedom, etc., but why isn’t it already happening? That is because although the conscious mind wants it, the subconscious frequency being emitted from your being may still be vibrating lower density frequencies of woundings, shame, guilt, fear, pain, etc.!
If you're still following me, great… If not, just keep reading and trust that this will all make sense to your super-conscious. Here’s an example. Imagine looking through the incredible telescope in space, Just like when we see stars or nebulae and cool stuff in space, we are seeing these things in our current reality, however, they are all the echoes of the imprinted energetic experience that happened millions or even billions of years ago.
Anyways, During the ceremonial process with sacred medicines, I prepare people with dieta, practices, and intention work. I guide them through the ceremony and at every gathering, I always try to make it a point to ensure everyone has an integration form with specific instructions post-ceremony. These instructions are specific to what to expect, do, and practice, to support the process of healing and actualizing the manifestation of your intention that you came to the ceremony with. As I guide people, I also tend to give specific holistic and integrative "homework" to focus on...
Remember the echo here…
The reason is this; After the ceremony is when the integration process begins... Integration is the application of wisdom and experience applied to your life. The application of wisdom through specific action helps to unify what was experienced (healed, shifted, transmitted, seen, and felt), into a current anchored-in vibration, (the vibration being a combination of feeling and knowing) into the present time. The “work” is to keep the experience alive while following supportive steps to foster that newness and energetic shift. The anchoring” in this way allows the time for the physical changes necessary to happen to support the energetic shift, the quantum jump. It is during this time that neuron paths are created. The sheaths on the neurons strengthen, the endocrine system resets, energetic channels realign, and so much more. You are literally experiencing the waking quantum shift, the transurfing gift. The echo of the future is bringing the past into alignment and causing a unification in the present time for you.
Your initial intention is the guiding energy of all of this process. Now, whether the focus is on inner child work, ancestral wounds, old patterns, addictions, sexual experiences, woundings of violence, or more... Many people come to the ceremony to move past, heal and let go of these things to experience a connected, empowered, safe and happy life… The integration work helps with specific actions to maintain the future energetic frequency, while the physical body experiences the spiritual and emotional shift that is happening within you. Now that you are vibrating at a higher frequency, many of the “OLD” stories, addictions, patterns, emotions, etc., will be able to flow and release from the body to allow less density, thus helping the “body” to catch up to the higher frequency.
So what does this mean?
This is where the integration work comes into play. This "homework" I give is usually very specific to YOU, to your journey, and to what will best support you in having a very sweet, soft, surrendered state to allow the flow of the releasing emotions and energies... This personalized homework along with the standard supportive integration suggestions is the space where alchemy is happening… The integration time truly is where the REAL ceremony begins, and you have the keys to the door of your intention right in your hand.
I cannot urge you enough to approach your integration post-ceremony, with the same honor, care, and respect that your preparation for the ceremony was given. Many people fast, cleanse, journal, and write out intentions, for days prior… but then as soon as the ceremony is done… they run right back into the old life they were just trying to break free from. (Then some will even blame the facilitator for not doing a good enough job, or not being powerful enough). Look…. I’m going to keep it real… it doesn’t matter how powerful any medicine person is… Your free will and choice always lead the show. The medicine I share with you is not for you to have an “experience”, or for another notch on the belt of different medicines you’ve tried. I don’t share just medicine, I share ceremony… and a ceremony takes participation and agreement. I share a ceremonial process with sacred medicines that are there to support the very deep work that you are already doing…
Through my journey in this lifetime, I am now able to quantify the process of shifting easily, and it’s always tempting to feel disappointment when someone wants to blame me for their journey not transporting them to the magical land of perfection… Yet, I remain hopeful that as we all grow in consciousness, the seeds of personal empowerment and responsibility will grow. The tenants of the ceremonial path from the indigenous lineage are to walk this path, (all of life), with honor, respect, kindness, humility, compassion, gratitude, and integrity, yes to embody these gifts in relation to all, but mostly to SELF. My elder teaches that you cannot hide anything from the great spirit, because the great spirit is looking at the world through your eyes, the great spirit sees everything. Treat your integration with the respect it deserves, this is also how you honor the ceremony, the medicine spirit, and the work, and prayers of the medicine carriers. If you only knew how much energetic, physical, emotional, and spiritual support was happening behind the scenes to support your journey…
You are a way show-er in this time. The courage and bravery to come to the ceremonial space and walk with a master plant spirit through the portal, allows you to really see within, to shift what has been the story in your life and is echoing onto our planet. The work is deep and profound and I honor you. I am in service to you... You are running a great race… the integration process is that last 30-yard stretch; Keep going, and don’t quit right after the ceremony is done… Remember that is when the ceremony is just beginning.
These medicines are powerful, yes, BUT they are NOT the answer. They are not the fix. They are, however, our partners, our brothers and sisters here to help us through this work. They gift us this experience as a tool, mirror, window, and portal, to assist you to get one step closer to an empowered and blissful embodied life. The life you are asking for. I deeply wish this for everyone. I deeply desire your empowered existence on this planet. To connect, and play, to create a life for yourself that you can celebrate and truly live and honor in this finite gift of life. My greatest joy is to walk this path with someone deeply doing the work, to support them, guide them and get to witness them… The joy that opens my heart is when a person gets to that point where they can say… “Wow, I don’t need the medicine anymore, I have become it”. This is the embodied person, the creator, the conscious being who can anchor the healing energies into this planet. This is the point. Medicines are but one small part of it.
Below are some of the common integration suggestions that I offer on the integration forms in the ceremony. Take a look.
Some KEY integration pointers are these:
First, please do NOT use any other medicines, entheogens, or party-like substances for 7 days prior to and post MINIMUM. I hope you re-read that last sentence… Especially with Bufo, Ayahuasca, Yopo, Huachuma, or the Tepezcohuite (Mayan Ayahuasca)... Any of the master spirits. They are strong, powerful medicines and some are the 5meo entheogenic medicine...***The most powerful entheogen on the planet.
Honor yourself, honor the ceremony, honor the integration process... honor the spirit of the medicine... Why do you feel the need to sit with another medicine anyways? *To me, it’s like sitting with Jesus and asking for healing, and then the next day going to sit with Buddha and asking him, then going to Krishna… just in case the others didn’t get it… Sitting with a lot of medicine doesn’t impress me, it doesn’t make you more spiritual, and it doesn’t call for more respect either… In fact, most medicine carriers, believe that it’s a sign that you aren’t doing the integration work.
Second Keynote; It's s easy to get caught back up in every day of life but I just want to state that there is so much opportunity for profound physical, emotional, energetic, and spiritual life shifts that are waiting for you IN the integration process...
The only ones I ever see struggle are those who either are not forthcoming on their screening with medications, diagnosis, or personal struggles and those who do not honor the preparation or integration process. Look, I don't say this to shame or guilt anyone at all… This is here so that you can deepen your connection to this part of your journey. We are all in this together, learning... and my hope is that what I’m sharing inspires you to action and accountability!
And that as you grow, and continue your journey in the path of medicine, there is more consciousness for your process. For ANY ceremony you come to, and anyone you sit with, remember YOU have all the keys within. Do the work, trust the process, honor the guidance, and honor the integration. You are the medicine that you are actually looking for.
*If I offer integration homework, I personally ask you to please follow it. What I share with regards to integration homework, well, it comes through based on a few things: First and foremost… It’s often what spirit is moving through me to share with you, plus nearly 20 years of indigenous ceremonial teachings, years of education in Psychiatric Nursing, Human Services, and the several fields of Holistic Therapies that I am licensed, accredited, certified, and clinically experience in. It is also coming from my own personal life experience of self-recovery from traumatic life experiences, ceremonial experiences, vast teachings, initiations, entheogenic experiences, and integration phases, plus the innate spiritual gifts that enable me to just "know, feel and see" things.
I never asked for this path, I was made for it. And I was made to be in service in this way. Am I going to have all the answers? No, But I will be able to guide the process so that YOU can come to the place where you know that YOU are the answer.
I deeply want each and every one of you to remember who you actually are, remember your worth, embody your potential and come to the pace where you never feel disempowered again. It’s time to create a new life, new earth, a new story… Integrating is the disciplined action to anchor your life experience, into the truth that you are NOT broken… You did not come to this planet with the stories and emotions you carry, so integrate to extract that wisdom, to apply it, to embody it so that you can catch up to the future you desire… healthy, happy, and Holy! This is the becoming, the remembrance of who you be and the medicine you are to this world…
Integration information post ceremonial work.
Integration after the ceremony is IMPORTANT and still a part of this ceremony. Integration refers to the process of uniting the mind, body, experience, and spirit after an entheogenic experience for the purpose of well-being and growth. This process involves extracting meaning from your experience and applying any downloads or insights you receive into your life.
Integration starts right away after your experience. For most people, you will be fine to drive and resume daily activities within 1-2 hours after your ceremony. Immediately post your personal journey you are invited to eat nourishing food and drink water or tea to rehydrate. High-frequency foods such as fresh-cut fruit, fresh green salads, or nourishing organic soup are recommended. Journal your experience to remember and allow the medicine to continue to work.
Post-ceremony is where the real work begins. This is a rebirth and you are open and fresh as many things in your energetic body, spiritual body, and psyche have been washed, cleaned, and made anew. Trust that this experience is not limited to the small amount of time in which you are under the influence of the medicine; this is a process that naturally unfolds over the subsequent days and weeks after the ceremony. You are recommended to give yourself at least 3 days post-ceremony for the ceremony integration: to rest, nourish, journal, reflect, extract wisdom, and allow for the medicine to continue to do its work. Please note that integration can last up to 3 months to a lifetime. The process of integration is where you begin to apply, through actions in your life, the wisdom and messages received from the medicine.
Oftentimes there can be dreams, reactivations, and powerful shifts in your life. Be open, be ready to surrender to the flow of the medicine supporting your intention. Let emotions flow, don’t attach to any thoughts or stories, just let them gently pass through.
Talk about your experience with trusted friends, your tribe or community in the path, or even to integration counselors or therapists. Talking about your experience helps to integrate it and can often help you recall parts you can’t remember.
After the ceremony with me, you will be guided to an integration group where you are encouraged to share in the group and hear from others who have been to a ceremony. It is in this group you can ask questions, and share activations, dreams, synchronicities, and more. In this group is an entire community who have sat with medicine. You are strongly encouraged to share your experience there. This helps your integration and helps others in their integration. It also helps us to see and know when we should reach out to offer you additional support. You only have to receive, ask and trust that you have a community here to honor you if you choose to accept it. Here, you will also receive future invites to other ceremonies, workshops, and personal offerings from Medicine People.
As part of your integration, aim to develop and maintain a daily self-care practice, if you don’t have one already. A self-care practice provides a strong foundation for your integration work. The practices outlined below can be helpful in reconnecting with the essence of the medicine experience. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, so follow your heart and choose a practice that suits you. Allow your intuition to guide you and always reach out if you need additional support post-ceremony.
Integration practices and daily self-care post-ceremony:
- Please give yourself 3 days post-ceremony of "integration" time (This means to make sure you have some time off work or are able to work minimally).
- Refrain from business and allow yourself to slow down and rest. Many times, during rest, we receive much more insight into the experience. Things become clearer, and emotions can finally flow freely and clearly from the body.
- Take as much personal time to reflect and journal all your experiences and all that the medicine has shown you. Journal dreams, desires, and journal about your future.
- voice record your experience and revisit the recordings every so often. Notice any shifts and changes taking place in the emotional and mental thinking process. Celebrate these shifts and changes.
- Eat nourishing food that is considered live food or high frequency. continuing the dieta will support anchoring in the new frequencies.
- Rest as much as possible… Give the body time to catch up to the energetic shifts.
- Hydrate as much as possible… water supports the release of past toxins, emotions, carcinogens, medicines, and all the stuff…
- Meditate, contemplate or allow space for the mind to wander in stillness. often times this is the space where old thinking patterns become clear and witnessed to be changed.
- Thank the medicine for the healing being done. A gratitude prayer, practice, or gratitude journal is a great practice to stay in high frequency.
- Dedicate time to do any personal integration homework suggestions assigned. Stay committed to this, knowing that if it was shared, it is for a reason.
- IMPORTANT - Avoid any other entheogenic ceremonies for 6 weeks to 3 months. Minimum 7 days post. It’s important to honor your process.
- Resume any medications you had postponed prior to the ceremony, or the morning after the ceremony unless you have been guided by a medical doctor otherwise.
- Take a magnesium supplement of 320 mg daily for 10 days to 2 weeks.
- *I personally recommend no alcohol or drugs for at least a couple of weeks (best if you quit completely). However, for this medicine please AVOID any alcohol, drugs, or party-like substances for a minimum of 3-7 days post-ceremony. Reflect on why there are any urges to drink or do other substances in the first place as this may be the medicine speaking to you.
- Self-care: Get a massage, or a Reiki session, go to a float tank, juice, go to the hot springs, go in nature for a walk, or hike.
- You will be invited into a group for follow-up support post-ceremony to share your experience. Sharing your experience will help with your integration.
- Expressing yourself nonverbally can be a great way to process the experience without overly relying on your rational, thinking self. Engaging in art therapy, dance, painting, writing, dance and other creative practices that speak to you can be helpful in this regard
- Other practices to enjoy are; movement practices, dancing, walking, shamanic drumming, sweat lodge, Breathwork (pranayama), Yoga, and Qi-Gong.
****Sometimes ceremonies can bring up things from our past such as memories, or traumas that are asked to be witnessed, processed, and healed. It is helpful to have someone in your life with whom you can openly share what you experienced, and what you’re currently going through. We are social beings, and having the space to let ourselves be seen and heard is very therapeutic. Consider asking a close friend, the medicine people in the integration group, or other members to listen to you deeply, and with compassion.
Simply being able to express yourself openly and authentically can help with emotional processing
If you do not have such a person in your life, consider working with a coach or therapist with psychedelic integration experience. If you are interested in therapeutic support or in need of any additional support I will recommend a great therapist who is familiar with post-entheogenic ceremony integration and has offered her services in helping you with your integration post-ceremony. Therapy is offered with a sliding fee scale and payment plans. And, the medicine woman and assistants are all available on the signal integration support group to help you as well.
For your continued support:
I personally offer personal, in-depth private therapeutic sessions that are a compilation of my skills along with facilitated shamanic work, medicine journeys, and integration support. If you need a follow-up private session for support after the ceremony, please feel free to reach out.
As I let all who join in the ceremony with me know, it is my greatest honor to do this work and I have dedicated my life to the path of medicine. Thank you for letting me hold space and witness your journey.
Please DO NOT HESITATE to reach out post-ceremony, for any questions, concerns, thoughts, needed support, and more.
As a special offering, I have made a post-ceremonial integration video series for you. You can use this for any integration supportive process. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGBK1qqQiElgl7cfDdzse-n_xqVanvraa
With wild Love,
A Medicine Woman