On the Other Side of the Mirror.
I have always believed there is a universal language encoded into our reality.
It shows up in the patterns we see in our life, guiding us toward the next part of the journey. When something calls me, it is undeniable. Many times the callings have been things that I wanted to ignore or avoid. This time the call was to go on the scariest journey known to man: looking at myself in the mirror.
I moved to Los Angeles several years ago from the Pacific Northwest. The toxic overload of pollution and stress of being in a big, expensive city was overwhelming my body. My peaches and cream complexion started breaking out in cystic acne. I suffered from two bouts of adrenal fatigue. I was about 25 lbs overweight.
As someone who radiated love inside and had so much to offer from my heart, I wanted my outside to match that level of juicy vitality. There just wasn’t anything that was legal in the US that I hadn’t tried.
In Los Angeles, I have access to this insider group of underground healers who get ozone injections in the blood, take illegal probiotics that are nicknamed the Limitless Pill because they allow you to access superhuman intelligence, and drive to Tijuana to get stem cell therapy.
Many of us have overcome major health problems like Lyme disease, diabetes, and cancer, or just want to bio-hack our bodies and brains for peak performance.
Several people in my tribe were buzzing about the incredible healing they had experienced through iboga. One person healed his Lyme disease. Then, a friend who suffered from autism shared his story of how he healed the symptoms with several journeys with this sacred root bark.
I was getting a calling, this time, to work with iboga in the shamanic Bwiti tradition. Iboga is very different from the other plant medicines and psychedelics that I had worked with: 5-MEO DMT toad venom, Kambo, Ayahuasca, and San Pedro. These earth medicines were able to heal what modern medicine calls incurable diseases, but they had their limits.
Iboga is the most powerful entheogen on the planet. I had seen first how Ibogaine resolved my 20-year battle with eating disorders, and had witnessed heroin junkies able to completely quit opiates, allowing them to live stable, happy lives. I had a feeling this root had something massive in store for me.
When I got online and started researching, I came across Iboga Wellness Center in Costa Rica. It was the only center that I could find offering the root bark in the Bwiti ceremonial tradition besides flying to Gabon where the Bwiti offer initiations with the medicine.
I booked my flight to Costa Rica. They say the moment you commit to doing something, that is when the medicine starts to work with you. I felt iboga start working through my life, the weeks leading up to the trip.
Enter the Rabbit Hole
The group gathered up and was led down some stairs to a wooded area to sit around the fire. Jeff, a Bwiti initiate, opens up the circle with stories about this mystical root. The Bwiti were some of the oldest lineages on this planet. Jeff passes the storytelling to his father Gary, who learned first of iboga through a talk at a gathering of 13 Grandmothers Council.
He heard Grandmother Bernadette Rebiet, one of the 13 Grandmothers, speak about how she believes that iboga will save this planet. Gary brought Jeff to the plant to cure heroin addiction.
As Gary spoke, Jeff anointed each of us, one by one, with a special torch filled with palm wax and resin from the Andzem that smells like Frankincense. Jeff said a Bwiti prayer as he waved the torch around my body.
The 34-year-old root bark that we partake in has been prayed with and blessed. The Bwiti play music to this plant from the time it sprouts from the ground. I could feel the spirit of the medicine as I was given a heaping spoonful of the bark. The gritty bark made my mouth feel numb and tingly. An hour passed. Jeff asks how everyone is feeling. Each person nods.
I feel a light buzz like I had a couple drinks but very alert and awake.
Iboga is referred to as the grandfather of all plant medicines. Rather than show you visions for you to interpret, it goes indirectly to the source and dissects your mind and its programming.
The strangest thing about the ceremony is how the droning and repetitive Bwiti music works along with the medicine to reprogram the mind. The sounds of the Mougonga, a strange harp-like instrument that’s played along with rattles, whisk brooms, a break board instrument called the Baraka, bells, whistles, as well as animal horns, create a reference point that prevents one from getting lost.
According to Uwe Maas of Süster Strubelt, the polyrhythms in the Bwiti music helps to regulate one’s sense of time and heartbeat, assisting with psychedelic visions.
As the medicine started to take effect, visions started to appear like a 3-D movie. Stephen asks how I am doing. I have trouble talking. I am feeling the effects of the medicine, I stutter.
He does a blessing and applies this special concoction to my forehead, in between my brow. This helps open your third eye, which helps with the visions, he says.
He waves his finger over my closed eyes and asks if I can see it. I can see his finger right through my eyelids.
He takes me through a guided journey where I meet my soul. He reads off a longer list of questions that I had prepared. Every answer was simple and felt like truth. I had a good sense of where I was headed after this trip and how to get there. My anxious heart slowed and I relaxed.
As I reflected on the answers to the questions and was able to get out of my fear, I could see how intricate the dealings with the soul are. The language that I used and how I spoke to my soul made an impact in how it responded to me or even if it responded at all.
Just like we have etiquette in our dealings with others, I saw that my soul also required the same level of finessing. If I did something that upset her, I had to apologize. When she didn’t respond, I asked what was wrong. I experienced my soul as an intelligent and independent entity that was here to help me but also wasn’t going to take any abuse.
There were times where I was in the deepest darkest depths of my fears and shadows. During these intense times, my mind started to become chaotic; the voice in my head was criticizing me. I became overwhelmed. Normally, I would push thoughts away or demand my mind to stop. I was guided to be gentle and loving. The words that I use were key. Be still, I thought.
For a second, time slowed, the screen cleared. That was the answer.
The intensity of iboga comes in waves, and each one brought me to a new chapter in my journey. This time I was taken on a tour of my body. I was shown the blocks in my body; I could feel the medicine chiseling them away. I was giving my power away by seeking solutions outside of myself, not fully trusting myself.
I shrank like that movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and started scrubbing away all the lies I’d told myself. As I mopped up the carnage that it created in my life, I started to make the connections around what created this pattern.
The medicine showed me that I was still giving my power away. I was trusting others, instead of trusting my inner truth. I was listening to guides outside of me, instead of listening to my heart. There were parts of me that I was subconsciously avoiding. I rushed to get answers, rather than tuning into my higher self.
The medicine showed me to take all the power back and bring it into myself. You are the authority of your life, it said. I was done with the spiritual seeking. My ego has done a good job of tricking me into thinking that I was achieving something on a spiritual level by flooding my mind with content and doing certain spiritual practices. Much of it was just magic, which I loved.
The power felt like something was happening.
I concluded that if it was working then I must feel good as a result. The truth is that much of magic really is just playing with power. All power has that flashy and sexy allure. The real stuff is in the stillness. As I claimed myself as the source of my answers, I felt the shift of direction of my prayers into my own heart instead of outside of myself. There is no substitute for real power experienced from self-love.
As I went deeper, the medicine showed me the ecosystem of my body and how important each part was in the whole system. I was shown how, for years, I had forced myself to do things and the impact this had on my body. As I talk about in my first story, I am a recovering anorexic and bulimic since middle school, I purged things out of my body with laxatives, caffeine and tobacco.
I have to confess that I have some digestive system problems from abusing my body for so many years. The medicine made me dehydrated, which exacerbated this. My heart raced at the terrified thought that I may have to get surgery. My mind was creating a story. I had to decide if I would let my mind run the show.
That’s when a calm voice of reason came in: Be gentle with your body, talk to it, listen to it and it will start to heal. It all sounded very simple and much better than the thought of surgery. So I started talking to it. I massaged my abdomen and asked it what it needed. I recognized it and encouraged it when it responded. I calmed down.
That’s when I realized how many times I caused my poor heart to race for no reason than some projection. It was time to connect into the pain, and sit with it to let it tell me what it needed.
Accessing the Superconscious Mind
After several recovery days, I was brought back to the fire and we started the second iboga journey. My psychedelic journey brought me to the beginning of time, the first creation. It started with minerals, microorganisms, plants, sea life, animals, then humans. It showed me the intelligence and evolution of each one, from an insect evolving all the way to an insectoid alien species.
I watch my personal movie of creation unfold, each piece played an important role in the ecosystem, all things, including myself. It gave me a vision of time as a fractal, each dimension was created outside of time and all existed simultaneously. Each piece was so important and reliant on the other.
In the story of the beginning of time, the first humans on the planet were the Bwiti. The root of iboga is the tree of life, it has been evolving since the beginnng of time. I felt this understanding in my heart that this root was the balancer of all of the humanities, disease and possibly even saving the planet. Getting back to your roots, I laughed and thought to myself.
I was shown how far humanity had strayed from their divine selves and this symbiotic ecosystem. I was overwhelmed with despair by the numbers of people that are sick as a result of being fed pharmaceuticals and toxins in their food. These things were blocking them from accessing their divine self and their hearts. The problem is so big.
I was shown particularly how my archetype played a huge role in the healing of the disease on the planet, and how important my personal healing was for others. The deep wounds that I carried, my unusual journey of healing them, and making myself whole. This gave me a deeper sense of purpose knowing how much of a service I could be by restoring the balance in my own life.
This attitude of the interconnectedness of things was the most vital theme, knowing that I had a role in aligning with the laws of nature. I am sure you have heard the saying The way a person does one thing is the way they do everything.
I admit I have been sloppy with things like making my bed, folding my clothes, managing my finances. These were all places in my life where I was blocking my divine inheritance. I was settling for mediocrity. I felt a renewed sense inspiration to bring this intention to show up fully in all areas of my life, from cleaning to my health, and awareness of my impact on global climate change.
I must have graduated from some spiritual lesson, as shortly afterwards I was brought into ashrams or schools in the higher dimensions. I recognized many of the people in these schools. They were all life-hackers, people who had mastered the material dimension and were activating their genius in these super intelligent realms.
I saw future technologies where you could download certain skills much like you download an app on your phone. I was being shown the unlimited potential of consciousness.
Weeks after the ceremonies, I was still feeling the impact of this medicine in my life. Everything seems to synchronously line up to facilitate deeper healing and habits for more integrated living. I completely gave up all stimulants, including spices.
Being tired and drained is not our innate nature. It typically means there are some toxins — emotional, spiritual, or physical — that need to be detoxed. When we cheat through using stimulants, we’re not actually clearing that space, and therefore not solving the problem but making it worse. My spirit was calling me into integrity, letting me know that it was not honest to use energy that I didn’t have.
Rather when I feel that need to push myself through something, I meet myself there instead. I sit with myself and play detective with my energy field. Iboga was able to eradicate my candida. Most of us have candida especially if you eat sugar. Without the candida creating a hunger for sugar, it has been quite easy to stay away from these things.
I rarely drank, but now I have chosen to completely eliminate alcohol. The medicine continues to work with you for up to six months. The shaman warned me that plant medicines and alcohol do not mix. Once you start drinking, the spirit of iboga will hit the road. Alcohol has a low vibration, and once you find your bliss inside, there just is no desire for it.
God is psychedelic
When one does the inner journey, it seems they have some similar common experiences. These experiences point to the nature of life and creation existing as an interconnected, multidimensional reality rather than linear timeline. The Bwiti speak of their experiences in taking iboga and meeting ancestors, ascended masters and angels.
The Bwiti is a monotheistic religion that is ever evolving and is rooted in practices very similar to Christianity. The primary difference is that Bwiti religious leaders are not teaching dogma, they encourage initiates to find their own truths within themselves through ceremonies partaking in iboga. As one Bwitist stated, “In church, they speak of God. With iboga, you live God.”
Iboga is the most intense mirror that there is because it forces you to look inside yourself. There is no escape. When you go in and look at the deepest, darkest fears you have spent your whole life running from, you see right past the shadow to a place something more profound is at work. As Daniel Pinchback put it, “The Bwiti believe that iboga is a superconscious spiritual entity that guides mankind.”
I believe that this divine intelligence lives inside all of us, and iboga shows us how to access it.
We have so many programs in the way that interfere with full, uninterrupted connection to our spirit. The disconnection leaves us feeling confused, lost, and disempowered. Iboga cleaned out my programs, parasites, hormonal imbalances, toxic heavy metals, emotional debris, and even eliminated candida, leaving only my true essence. I was finally able to see myself.
Tricia Eastman is a pioneer in the psychedelic movement, with a mission to inspire others to become their own inner alchemists. Eastman’s holistic approach bridges Eastern philosophy, tantra, bio-hacking, soul retrieval, herbal medicine, mind-body integration, archetypal mapping, meditation, somatic therapy, shamanism and theosophy. Eastman incorporates alternative healing modalities along with medicinal foods into her programs and coaching. To learn more about her work, please visit her website.