Field Tripping

Great Spirit Peyote | Alyson Charles

Episode Summary

Internationally renowned shaman, best-selling author, and host of the Ceremony Circle Podcast, Alyson Charles (aka Rock-Star Shaman), joins Ronan to discuss the powerful awakening and transformation into her current identity, her healing experiences with plant medicine, her unique and powerful relationship to the animal kingdom, and more! She went from being a national champion athlete runner, and radio and daytime television host, to finding her true calling as a shaman. Alyson has devoted her life to preserving ancient wisdom by bringing sacred rituals and shamanic teachings to the mainstream in unique ways. Alyson is an animal medium; her new book, Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul highlights our spiritual interconnectivity to animals and how it’s something we can all tap into.

Episode Notes

Internationally renowned shaman, best-selling author, and host of the Ceremony Circle Podcast, Alyson Charles (aka Rock-Star Shaman), joins Ronan to discuss the powerful awakening and transformation into her current identity, her healing experiences with plant medicine, her unique and powerful relationship to the animal kingdom, and more! She went from being a national champion athlete runner, and radio and daytime television host, to finding her true calling as a shaman. Alyson has devoted her life to preserving ancient wisdom by bringing sacred rituals and shamanic teachings to the mainstream in unique ways. Alyson is an animal medium; her new book, Animal Power: 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul highlights our spiritual interconnectivity to animals and how it’s something we can all tap into.

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Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Alyson: One of, uh, my responsibilities and things that I grew to like to talk about was reminding people that you can awaken your spiritual gifts without the aid of plant medicines, and I didn't know if they would ever call to me. So when they did start to call to me, I actually had to do a little bit of deep work because in that moment of hearing the call, I realized how much I had grown to like and get attached to the identity of being a shaman who had never done plant medicine, you know? Because, you know, there, there is a huge misconception that they always equate and always go together, um, you know, which is, is just not always the case.

[00:00:56] Ronan: Hello everyone, and welcome to Field Tripping. [00:01:00] Remember to please rate, review and follow our podcast. Today, we have a really exciting guest with us: Alyson Charles. I have so much on my mind that I can't wait to speak with her about. But before we get to do that, let's hit up some news to trip over.

Today, we only have one thing that we're talking about, and I have a lot to say, uh, on it from the news trip over perspective, uh, and it goes a little like this: a recent op ed written by Rick Doblin and Jennifer Altman and published in the LA Times asked the question as to whether doctors are prepared for the coming psychedelic wave in medicine. The piece concluded, not surprisingly, they are not. And this is something I generally concur with. We are seeing these days, the rise of more and more doctors writing articles and voicing concerns about psychedelic medicine. In fact, just the other day, a Twitter follower of mine pointed to an article or written on the site, "Mad in [00:02:00] America," which already creates questions in my mind about the legitimacy of their outlet, but no less, written by Joanna Moncrieff, MD, asking, Are psychedelics anything more than a powerful form of snake oil or a recreational experience. Do they have any objective health benefits? Can we be confident they're safe. Then she added that the proposed explanation for the efficacy of psychedelics is quote, confusing and contradictory, noting on the one hand, psychedelics are promoted as assisting the process of psychotherapy through the insights that the trip or drug-induced experience can generate. On the other, they are claimed to represent a targeted medical treatment for various disorders through correcting underlying brain deficiencies. Moncrieff then goes on to conclude, As with so many other medical treatments, they have become popular through the potent mixture of financial interests and desperation. If the occasional benefit of psychedelics is to promote personal development through an unusual [00:03:00] experience, then there are many safer routes to this goal. Personally, I would argue that it seems that Dr Moncrieff's his financial interests and desire to protect her current practice is at the heart of her argument. For example, at least until present, the rise of psychedelics had actually had very little to do with financial interests. I'm sure if you ask Rick Doblin whether he's gotten rich off this work at MAPS, you could ask an answer with a certain "no." In fact, most research and progress to date has been advanced by nonprofit organizations. And I would ask, what is the purpose of psychiatry at its core other than to promote personal development? Really, what is the point of life other than to promote personal development? In any event, we are going to see more of this, and I just ask everyone to remember the words of Albert Einstein: Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices [00:04:00] and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly. That's not to say you should live at the master of your own prejudices, but they, be they be in favor of psychedelics. It's simply to say that people are threatened by what they do not understand and cannot control. So keep that in mind when you encounter opposition. 

And now onto our conversation. I'm here with Alyson Charles. Alyson is an internationally renowned shaman, best-selling author, and host of the Ceremony Circle Podcast. She has devoted her life to preserving ancient wisdom by bringing sacred rituals and shamonic teachings to the mainstream in unique ways. Alyson is an animal medium and her new book, Animal Power, highlights our spiritual interconnectivity to animals, and how to tap into that. Alyson, thank you so much for joining us on Field Tripping today.

[00:04:53] Alyson: Wow. What a medicinal voyage you took me on in that, uh, news bit. That was really [00:05:00] powerful. I was, uh, riding a lot of waves in there. That was, that was really nice. Thanks for having me. 

[00:05:05] Ronan: Thank you for being here. I would love to know your thoughts actually about this. I mean, at the core of it, I think what we're talking about is people being threatened by new systems or things that don't understand. And I am quite certain that most of the modern Western medical system and community is probably threatened, or more accurately probably scoffs, at a lot of the work- and what a lot of the work you do and what you talk about. And I imagine you've probably encountered a lot of feedback like that, so, wondering how it resonated with you.

[00:05:36] Alyson: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's very interesting. That's so- honestly, I feel like this particular river and portal is one of the most nuanced, um, possible on the entire planet, and so there's so many areas that you can enter into when having this precise topic of discussion. [00:06:00] I mean, the thing that comes up the most for me presently is I'm just so deeply connected and interwoven with the sacredness aspect, and so what arises when I hear about, um, various doctors, more trained or studied and Western modality, modalities and traditions, um, perhaps leaning over into, um, the psychedelics space, I just, um, get a bit concerned in terms of the types of training that they will immerse in. And, um, if they are a doctor and there are certainly Western doctors out there who, you know, practice shamanism and understand, um, the life-changing power of soul level work and infinite exploration of who we are and our inner terrains. I'm [00:07:00] not saying that they don't exist, but, um, for the ones who have not entered into that territory and don't have a spiritual practice, um, my concern in their teaching of these most ancient ways is that it may lack a sacred foundation. And that's just always where I get real nervous, because I think that that's just of paramount importance. And I think especially over here, And the US, we have just gotten so far away from learn- learning, and knowing how it is to just simply honor great mother Earth, the planet that we live on, how to honor animals, how to commune and speak to various plants and spirits and flower essences, or whatever it is, just nature in general. Um, if, if that just 101 practice hasn't already been established in terms of learning how to give [00:08:00] offerings or prayers or rituals, um, to give thanks to, to nature and our planet in general, uh, I think that the process needs to start there before leaning into, um, holding space for, and facilitating someone's healing through, um, mushrooms or [unclear], or whatever the case may be. So long story short, sacredness and really honoring where these medicines come from, the historical context and traditions, um, that that's just very important for any doctor wanting to enter into that space. 

[00:08:36] Ronan: Uh, I totally hear that. Um, the purpose of this podcast ultimately is to try to find a way to de-stigmatize, demystify, and open people's minds to psychedelics and psychedelic therapies. And that doesn't necessarily mean drugs. I think, you know, in reading up in preparation for, um, this conversation, I think you'd probably share the view that a psychedelic [00:09:00] experience can happen very much without drugs, and it's something we can talk about, uh, I'm sure at length. Uh, but for a lot of people, a lot of people in North America and the west, things like sacredness and mother Earth and prayer and all that kind of stuff is going to immediately turn them off, right? Right or wrong, that's what's going to happen. And, and so the whole purpose of this conversation, and at least for me in the podcast, is to try and find a way to extend an olive branch between the rational modern Western, and the more traditional, and see if there's kind of a common ground that we can find so we can actually have conversations with each other. Otherwise we end up talking and passing, uh, quite a bit, so I have a lot of questions in there. Um, but my first question is what does it mean to be a shaman to you? What exactly is it? It feels like it's a word that gets thrown around left, right, and center, particularly in the conversation of psychedelics. And secondly, you know, um, I think a lot of [00:10:00] people don't start off as shamans. So I think most people evolve into a shamanic practice, um, or a spiritual practice. They don't necessarily start there. Uh, so I'd love to hear your story. How, you know, you went, where you started and how this became your calling and your path.

[00:10:18] Alyson: Oh, boy, you're starting with the two, two of the biggest questions here. 

[00:10:22] Ronan: I don't mess around.

[00:10:23] Alyson: So the way- yeah, no, it's great. I love it. Um, the way I like to begin the conversation around shamanism, and what is a shaman, is just by letting people know that there are no two shamans alike on planet Earth. That every single one of us that incarnates with this soul level calling and earth based mission inside of us, we all have our own unique divine blueprint and, and coding with the specific way in which our individual shamanic medicine is meant to transmit out into the world to hopefully be of great service and to spread higher consciousness energies and unconditional love [00:11:00] energies, and unity energies out into the world. All that being said, you know, if you line up 100 shamans and we're all different, one thing that we do have in common is that we have been blessed, uh, with the spiritual ability to have a foot equal parts and both worlds. Both the seeing, walking, Earth plane, Earth world, and also the unseen realms, the cosmic, um, the cosmic planes. And so in bridging and connecting to those places, uh, equally I fully surrender into and devote to them as well. And so for me, my shamanic medicine and path is a lot about making sure that I'm getting out of my own way, uh, that I'm doing my best to stay as consciously aware and awake as possible, and to be soul and heart centered rather than of [00:12:00] ego or human mind, because I realize at a very ancient deep level, that it's, you know, my greatest honor to have been blessed with the shamanic calling. And so I truly do live by the calls, messages, medicine, guidance, instructions that I'm given from great spirit from great mother Earth and from the ancient wisdom inside of me. And oftentimes, you know, uh, I mean, sometimes my human desires line up with those instructions given by great spirit. And, but oftentimes they don't, but you have to do a lot of work around to get to a place where you're really centered in peace and clarity and embodiment, um, to heed said instructions. And, you know, the medicine name that I was given, um, is, is different than other shamanic friends that I have, like say, Eagle Woman. Um, you know, she is another [00:13:00] female shaman who was instructed to use the title shaman, and her medicine name was given to her, um, differently than mine was, but my name, Rock-Star Shaman came in not too long after my divine intervention and spiritual awakening. And it was a download and instruction that I did not take lightly. And I honestly resisted, because I could feel the gravity and magnitude and boldness of it. And I was also being shown very clearly that my shamanic teachings and presence was to be very public and express itself through mainstream and media. And so with all of that, uh, coming into my field of awareness at once, I went on a lot of shamanic journeys and called forward my main guide this lifetime, who's ascended master Jesus, and really did a lot of integrity checks and communing with other guides asking, you know, Is this title of ego, um, or is this of divinity? And is this my mission? But [00:14:00] I don't call myself a shaman because it's something that I quote unquote, want to do. I do it because it's a clear instruction that will not go away. And trust me, throughout, you know, my over decade of walking the shamanic path at this point, I have checked in regularly, like, Can this go away at this point? Can I just be Alyson or just be author, just be spiritual teacher. And, um, the clear instruction to continue using the name, which I should say, Rock-Star Shaman represents. How my path works, which I explain, connecting into great mother Earth, the rock part, and directly up to source great spirit, the star part. And then the shaman part is, uh, you know, me being in my heart and soul. So that's, uh, the medicinal portion of the name. And I know I didn't get to the story of how I came to this work yet, but I'll pause to see if anything came up for you. 

[00:14:53] Ronan: Uh, yeah, the, the, I think that clearest question that came up for me is, [00:15:00] again it's just trying for me, trying to make sense of a world that's very fluid and undefined coming from a world that's very concrete and, and well-defined um, and, and so I, I, in my journey, I'm always trying to like, make sense of that and reconcile that. So you said, uh, the title, or the calling of shaman, um, is different than spiritual teacher. And can you help me understand the difference? 

[00:15:29] Alyson: Well, I think spiritual teacher can really encompass and hold within it, I, you know, a million different types, you know? Whether you're a reiki healer or a mystic or a sage or a high priestess or a teacher of the tantric arts or a yoga master, uh, I think that, um, any of those plus infinite numbers of others, uh, of, of spiritual modalities who [00:16:00] involve any sort of instruction or guidance or education within their work, all of that falls underneath that spiritual teacher, uh, title. But for me, it was so clear once I had my divine intervention and awakening, uh, the way in which I initially just surrendered into wanting to be shown the way for my own healing. Because when I woke up through a very traumatic moment, I realized I was not at all the person who I thought I was, and I was not the well person that I thought I was my entire life. You know, I'm coming from a background of being the two-time national champion distance runner, a division one college coach, um, hosting a national wellness based daytime television talk show. I mean, writing for various global wellness platforms. This is pre awakening. So I'm thinking that I'm a very connected being. And when that veil lifted the day of my divine [00:17:00] intervention, it was equal parts, anguishing and terrifying and miraculous and enlightening. And so I really just set out on a quest to become well and devote to my own healing. And in that devoted quest of letting source spirit, my guides and the other realms, show me where to go for said healing, it was in that journey and process that the shamanic, specific shamonic calling that was encoded in me always, had finally room, space, um, proper energetic activation, to wake up and begin to communicate to me the truth of who I really am. And it's, it's a little hard to put into words, um, other than to know if you have a shamonic calling, you just know it, it has such a specific texture and taste and feeling an essence. And there's just such- [00:18:00] I mean, some people consider shamanism to be the world's most ancient healing art. I consider it to definitely be one of, and so if you have that calling inside of you, and if you've done this work in other lifetimes, there's just the deepest, most innate knowingness of who you are. I've guided thousands and thousands of people on guided shamanic journeys. Um, I was on the shamanic path for, uh, many, many years before any spirits of any plants, plant medicine, psychedelics, entered into my experience. And so the shamanic way that I know, and the way I opened up and acted- activated my gifts was strictly through my connection to great mother Earth and to the unseen realms, um, you know, my, my guides there and, and great spirit. And so I helped to unlock that same wisdom and those same understandings and people in the same way, just through, through simply using my shamanic drum or my shamonic [00:19:00] rattle and creating a very safe space for them to lay down, begin to connect with their breath and their heart, to start to connect to presence, and let go, and to learn what it feels like to release into that surrendered space, where you're finally letting yourself be held and not like muscling or trying to think your way through everything. And once you're in that more surrendered state, through my drum and rattle, I guide people into these different realms for them to gain clarity for them to have soul retrieval for them to call forward power animals that want to communicate, um, things to them. And once you experience something like that, the medicine of that type of journey is with you forever more. And it will show up in different, um, dosages, it will, um, communicate to you in different ways, depending upon where your soul readiness is at. But if [00:20:00] you're someone- I meet a lot of people who are going for the first time on a shamanic journey, and I'm the first shaman they've ever met, and they will have an experience where an animal will come forward to them and, and they will experience the jungle or the other realm that I've taken them to. Um, but if there's still a little bit of nervousness, or their human mind questioning, did I make all of that up or did I imagine all of that, it may be weeks or months or even years before the next dose of what they received in that shamanic journey actually, um, shows up for them within their soul. It might come in a form of a massive light bulb moment, or life-changing realization, or a sudden attunement to like a knowingness of what their Dharma truly is, and how they've been blocking themselves, and getting in their own way. I mean, it, it can mean a ton of different things, but, um, that's a little bit more about how, um, specifically shamanism, uh, works for me. 

[00:20:59] Ronan: Cool. [00:21:00] Um, who was Alyson Charles before this great awakening and, um, can you take us through the, the awakening? You know, what, what triggered it? How did you become aware of it? Uh, you know, were, were you open to the spiritual side of things beforehand? Or was it kind of like a light bulb going off in a, in a pretty hard switch that happened? 

[00:21:22] Alyson: It was a little bit of both. So the Alyson pre-awakening, um, uh, even as I just tuned into little Alyson, I just got a pretty big wave blast of an emotion, you know, uh, I still feel it actually. Oh goodness. Yeah. You know, she- little shaman Alyson was, is just such a pure hearted kind, effervescent, enthusiastic for another go at Earth life, little girl. Um, and [00:22:00] you know, what started to happen at a very young age was my- and I will say before I go into this story that I love my dad, I wouldn't change anything about my journey and my story. Um, we have a great relationship. All is, well, um, all that being said, you know, when I was a little girl, my dad, um, got on a quest to be my distance running coach. And so before the age of three, um, I was in my first running road race. And so that kind of, um, competitive energy, and learning at a very, very early age that my worth was, um, you know, dependent upon how I competed, or if I was a winner or not, that started to create a lot of big constructs and how I could relate to myself and life and my gifts and my [00:23:00] dad. So in a nutshell, I learned very young that I wouldn't be able to simultaneously keep my shamanic truths, spiritual awarenesses, because one of my strongest gifts is my seership. I have an incredibly strong, which at times creates some challenges, an incredibly strong ability to see people's blind spots, shadows, limiting beliefs, um, things about themselves that they, uh, are too frightened to look at. I see it all. And so I couldn't keep the seer gifts and the shamanic truths alive while also maintaining a relationship with my dad who was also my coach. It would have- those two systems would have collided and one needed to go. So I decided at a young age to suppress my spiritual truths, but in hindsight, what I can tell that I did do to preserve even just the smallest sliver of [00:24:00] my soul's, um, uh, greatest passions in the world of metaphysics and mysticism and shamanism, was that I just would always gravitate to those subject matters. So again, even as a young girl, I was never one that read comic books or romance novels, or, uh, you know, um, fiction. It was always in the categories of self-help and the healing power of colors and how to read poems and how to learn, uh, numerology. So it was just like my soul trying its hardest to keep something of that activated in me while, uh, you know, all those other systems that were being built in me were absolutely taking over and compounding. So I will fast forward to saying that, um, you know, that athletic upbringing was incredibly intense. It was so pressure-filled. Um, you know, I did become, you know, the best in the country on more than one occasion. Uh, but my [00:25:00] body started to break down after being a college athlete at the university of Alabama. And that's where I started to have a very mild awakening, was when my body started to crumble, and this only previous identity that I had had is this runner, this great runner girl was starting to crumble with it. And I thought, oh my God, like if my body can't run anymore and I'm not this runner chick anymore than who am I? And so I started to allow myself to get pulled into these other areas in life that felt more aligned and it was media. Uh, universe put me into connection. Um, I was the head personal trainer at a gym after college, and one of my clients walked in one day and said, you should be my radio show co-host. And that felt like truth to me that that resonated. And when I sat in the radio studio, it felt like home. And I had sensed from the time I was a little girl that I would be involved in media. I just [00:26:00] assumed I would be a sports broadcaster, but, um, I did AM talk for a number of years, and I was actually a hip hop, um, radio morning show host when my mid twenties. But the next phase in this journey of arriving back home to who I truly am entered in when I wanted to leave radio, switched to television. And at this point I got back into touch with a previous boyfriend who I had met in college and he and I went on over 16 year karmic journey, um, of, of being in relationship with one another. And that ended up being, uh, what led to my awakening because that relationship was filled with a lot of dysfunction, at times, varying degrees of abuse and, um, a lot of toxicity and a lot of suffering. And why that happened was [00:27:00] because you had two people living in denial, uh, two people not facing their wounds, their traumas, their shadows, their blind spots. Uh, I was in codependency. He was struggling with a lot of different addictions. And so I think you get the picture that those two systems and those two types of dynamics in one relationship creates ultimately a cycle of insanity. And so for me, I did not enter lightly into the spiritual path, the hero's journey at all. And, uh, it required one day, um, and there is a story with it. If- I'm, I'm happy to share if you want me to, but, um, okay. So, so my ex and I were on round number, who knows, ten at this point of trying to make things work. The engagement had been called off. I had moved to Brooklyn on my [00:28:00] own, and, um, and that was devastating. Making that move and calling off the engagement. It was, it was not a pretty time. It was very dark, um, very suffrage filled. And, uh, but yet I tried my best to move forward and to create a new life. And a number of months later, he came back around, and it sounded and felt like he was having some real come to Jesus moments because things he was saying to me at that point were so far unlike anything I'd ever heard him say in the previous, you know, 16 years. So I didn't jump back into things, um, but I thought, wow, could we finally be getting on track after nearly two decades? So this particular day, he was at my place in Brooklyn and we were going to venture out publicly as a couple yet again for the first time, this round. And I went out to tell him just a couple more moments and I would be ready and he was asleep on the couch. So I didn't want to wake him up and as I walked [00:29:00] back through my kitchen and through my bedroom, my clairaudient gift got turned on, my ability to hear spirit, or to hear guides and the unseen realms communicate with me. And a voice clear as day in my right ear, told me to stop and turn around. And I did stop. And I did turn around and my eyes directly landed on his cell phone, which was on my bookcase in my bedroom. And I do recall, you know, especially in hindsight, when I track back to that moment in that day, I do recall the energy very much shifting in the room and, um, I know it now to have been, you know, archangels and different guides coming in to hold that space for me, for what was about to happen. And as I walked over to the phone, that same voice told me to brace myself because what I was about to see was going to rock my world. And so, um, I did not know the code to his [00:30:00] phone, um, I was living in a lot of unconscious fear of what was really going on for the duration of the relationship, so I was definitely not a snooper. Because if I was, I was going to see some very scary truths, and like automatic spirit writing, um, my finger popped in four numbers to his phone and his phone opened. I don't, to this day, remember what those numbers were. And this was the moment. Um, I liken it to my first shamanic cave initiatory moment, and that phone really represented that cave. And I love to use that Joseph Campbell quote, The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. And it was simultaneously both of those things for me because when that phone opened, where I was guided to, and what I started to see, um, was me facing my biggest fears. And for me, this lifetime betrayal, um, and you know, being cheated on in, in very [00:31:00] horrific ways was my biggest fear. And I was just being confronted with the most horrendous graphic proof of all of that happening in tons of different ways. And while I stayed silent, the energy was powerful enough that it woke him up and it was at that point that he came into the room and I was able to stay calm somehow through that spiritual support, um, you know, but I was devastated and of course, wanting to know why and how, and, you know, I really did believe we had been best friends for almost two decades so my brain just couldn't wrap itself around how it was possible that another person could treat someone in this way that they had known for so long. And, um, I asked him to leave and I, and I told him to never contact me again. And he could not give me an answer and, and looking back it's because, you know, he was in a lot of, um, pain around addictions, which obviously creates a lot of fog and confusion. Um, and he was in [00:32:00] denial about all of that, the sex addiction piece being, um, the big one. And so what happened next, um, I mean, there were some more detailed steps next and, uh, one going to a doctor to get myself checked because I was terrified, um, that my health was at risk and thankfully, um, I somehow remained well and healthy and the next step was getting a ticket to go back to Indiana, I'm in a small town to where I'm from, to stay at my grandma's house and to just start to, um, understand what was going on. And it was during that time that additional spiritual gifts of mine got turned on, and great spirit over the next week, like a movie, replayed my entire life up until that day. Well, not my entire life, but took me back to a lot of different memories that I didn't even recall having, and was showing me those experiences, not from the veil of illusion and denial [00:33:00] that I had experienced them in at that time, but showing me them in light and in truth. And so imagine, you know, you're seeing yourself, um, in all the ways that, uh, you dishonored yourself. That was a big one for me, uh, was realizing that I allowed my physical body and my being to be dishonored. Um, you know, pretty much every time we were intimate for almost 20 years and the question of, how did you get there and how is that possible and why? Um, was just one of the many personal, um, uh, awakenings and pieces of responsibility that I needed to start taking. And from seeing various truths like that, that's when I decided to my life was finally, finally deciding that I was done suffering and that I was willing and ready to accept the help and empowerment from the unseen realms. And that's the [00:34:00] place that I've lived from ever since that day. 

[00:34:04] Ronan: Thank you for sharing that story. Uh, it's quite powerful. Uh, certainly quite traumatic. Um, but also very enlightening. Um, certainly for you when you ask the questions, How and why did you put up with that for so long? What were the answers? Cause I feel like there's a lot of people in similar situations that maybe don't have such a profound kind of obvious 'aha' moment of like, Oh my God, this has to end and this has to end now. Um, but are trapped in dynamics of toxicity and, and codependency, but aren't necessarily willing or able, um, to see the patterns at play. So curious to know what the, how and why answers were for you, and why you put up with it for so long. 

[00:34:54] Alyson: Yeah, it's a really, um, rich and beautiful question. Oh, the first [00:35:00] layer that entered in when you were asking that was, yeah, I mean, really being able to track back to that childhood story that I just touched on of me being this elite athlete as a child and, and my dad being my coach. So the dynamic that got created there was, um, I didn't really have a say and my physical body and my physical vessel and what it wanted to do. And I was allowing someone other than me to command and dictate and to tell my body what to do for their own personal gain. And again, I love my dad. He is a really good human and he has an incredibly beautiful heart. He's just someone, like many many billions, millions or billions of people walking this planet who don't do much inner work and don't tend to their own inner healing and don't face their own [00:36:00] shadows. And when you operate from that place, it creates a lot of unintended distortion and dysfunction and pain and wounding, and that's how these cycles get passed on and passed on. And so, you know, I think that due to his own inner pains and insecurities, he was looking to what I, and my physical body could do to fuel and make him feel good and feel better inside. And so what happened was that that pattern got established from two and a half years old through the time that I became a college athlete and trust me, he had tried to get a college coaching job at my, at my college too, um, it worked from, you know, elementary to middle school, to high school. And he tried to get on staff at college. It just didn't quite, um, work out. But, um, so that pattern was very much established. And so it was a bit of, um, uh, the- kind of the best way I can describe it as [00:37:00] almost like an addiction transfer. That cellular system and knowingness that I had in my body to, um, you know, to dishonor my own self and to let somebody else tell me what to do with my body for their own gain, transferred over to my ex fiance and his woundings, and his pain, that he was not willing to face, um, with this, you know, specifically with the sex addiction piece. And so, you know, that was one of the biggest puzzle pieces, um, that came into play that allowed me to go back to that origin point to get to the root of the root of the root of where that pattern began. And it's when you do that work, obviously that, you know, because with that, with that clarity provides peace. And with that clarity provides liberation. 

[00:37:51] Ronan: Well, thank you for sharing my story. It's a really powerful story. And I think it's one that needs to be told and what comes up for me, [00:38:00] um, is that we started this conversation about shamanism and the sacred and the unseen and concepts that a lot of people are probably still uncomfortable with. Um, but the analysis- and not trying to make it too rational- but like the, having to reflect on the dynamic between you and your father and seeing that and how that's been carried through, whether it happened at a cellular cellular level or just on a conscious level, you know? And I think it's a really important thing that people need to hear that it's like, Yeah, we, we all do things we don't necessarily, you know, don't- that don't honor, um, who we are necessarily. Uh, and there's always power in reflection, whether you accepted as, as a sacred gift or it's just, you know, purely psychotherapy mumbo-jumbo, doesn't really matter. It's, it's a super powerful thing. And I have a feeling that, um, there are [00:39:00] probably a lot of women in particular, but not limited to, um, who will listen to this podcast and then beyond, who probably can find similar thematics in, in their own lives. And so thank you for sharing that, cause I'm sure it will help open the eyes of, of some people, um, to what drives them.

[00:39:19] Alyson: Yeah. And the only little thread that all toss in there with a couple of things that pinged in, was, uh, one, know that in my healing of, um, you know, learning what it meant to honor myself, mind, body, spirit, soul, but especially the body, uh, took shape and form and a lot of different ways, a lot of wound clearing and healing going to tons of different healers. Um, but I did really get guided into having a very long-term period of celibacy. I was celibate for nearly five years straight, which, um, you know, if someone had told me that when I was younger, that at some point, you know, in your adulthood, you're going to go five [00:40:00] years of total celibacy. I was just, I would be a little surprised or, uh, you know, have maybe have a hard time believing that. But, um, because I had really devoted to learning that honoring piece, it really got to a point within my own being and body that when I would meet someone, um, that I thought could perhaps be a partner or go on a date with, or perhaps become physically intimate with, unless I could tell that they had the ability to fully, truly see me as a soul, as a goddess, as a woman, um, you know, to truly see me beyond the physical vessel, it became impossible for me to allow my body to engage physically with them. And, um, so that went on year after year after year after a year. And, uh, I'm, I'm finally aligned in a [00:41:00] really healthy, powerful, um, sacred relationship now. But that was one thing I wanted to toss in was just, um, a little, some of the passageways that I went on to arrive to a place of self-respect and honor and love. And then the other piece was just around that idea of like really finally letting ourselves look into some of our patterns and behaviors that maybe previously, we've been too scared to out of, um, you know, shame or embarrassment. Because shadow work and blind spot work, it's, it's definitely not easy, and it's not for the faint of heart because you're finally examining, um, some ways that you have of functioning in the world that are not operating in the highest, and that are not operating from a place of true consciousness or, or love. And, um, it can be very threatening to our ego. Uh, [00:42:00] you know, I think we're conditioned a lot over here that, you know, those aspects make us bad people or whatever, but every single human being walking, this planet has shadow and light. And I think now more than ever, we have this massive responsibility, um, we are all being called to really, really take time to clean up our side of the street, and to really devote to doing blind spot work and shadow work. Um, and I, I guess I'll leave it at that, but that has been an instruction coming in so loud and clear from source to me the last couple of months, is for me to just explain that message is as far and wide as I can is, Please, tend to your side of the street. If you want to be of greatest service for the world and all living beings at this time, you know, face yourself and do some shadow work.

[00:42:54] Ronan: Totally. And thank you for sharing that comment about celibacy. Um, again, [00:43:00] not specific to women, but probably disproportionately a female experience is like those weird dynamics around sex, and like the consequences of all of these relationships and, and the effects of thousands of years of chauvinism and turning men into performance object and women as sex objects. It's, it's inevitable that these consequences are gonna come up and for someone to be- own it and be like, yep, you know, I went through this shit and the consequence of this was actually like pursuing- I don't know if pursuing is the right word- but celibacy for five years to give me the freedom to reorient around all of these paradigms that we live in. It's like, that's pretty awesome. That's a really powerful message that I think a lot of people need to hear and be like, eh, and that's okay. It's like, if you have, I'll say dysfunction, cause that's the word that's coming to mind, even though it's not really what it mean, uh, around sex, that's okay. It's like, there's, there's lots of reasons for that. And then start to be okay with that. And then you can start to unpack, maybe, some of the underlying [00:44:00] causes, which usually, I mean, there's an aspect of the physical, but usually it's, it's an emotional, spiritual kind of issue. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Um, this is a conversation- uh, this is a podcast about psychedelics, so I'd be remissed if we didn't touch on psychedelics, but there's a lot of other things I want to talk about, but I want to make sure we cross this bridge as well, um, which is, a lot of your journey happened without plant-based medicine, even though shamanism and plant-based medicine tend to go fairly hand in hand. Um, Wondering what your experience- well, I guess first question is, um, when did, when did plant-based medicine, when did psychedelics sort of enter into your path? Uh, and what, what has it enabled? What has it opened, uh, that may be wasn't previous open- previously open before plant-based medicine? 

[00:44:54] Alyson: Yes. Okay. I'm just closing my eyes to go back into [00:45:00] those, um, into those first moments. Yeah. This piece for me on my shamanic path has been a very intriguing one, because to be completely honest, uh, having been out with the work and out publicly as a shaman for a long time, and also being clear that one of, uh, my responsibilities and things that I grew to like to talk about was reminding people that you can awaken your spiritual gifts without the aid of plant medicines. And I didn't know if they would ever call to me. So when they did start to call to me, I actually had to do a little bit of deep work because in that moment of hearing the call, I realized how much I had, um, grown to like, and get attached to the identity of being a shaman who had never done plant medicine, you know? Because you know, there, there is a [00:46:00] huge misconception that they always equate and always go together. Um, you know, which is, is just not always the case. And so I really had to, um, sit with the facilitator. Uh, you know, um, grandmother medicine ayahuasca was the first plant spirit to make a loud and clear call to me. And, um, so yeah, I did sit with the facilitator and explained exactly what I just shared with all of you and, um, after chatting with her and then just sitting with myself and really communing with my own heart and soul to determine what felt, um, like the, the best thing to do, to say yes or no to sitting in the ceremony, I decided to lean in. Um, I could, I could very much tell that that was what I was to do. And, you know, so that was that. So let me, you know, go forward to another one before I start to share [00:47:00] about some of the benefits. And so I really initially started, uh, just working with, uh, rapé and, and I only sat with grandmother medicine ayahuasca, um, that one time initially, and then there was a very long break. Um, and I'm, I'm just a huge advocate of what I feel to be proper integration and just really allowing, um- because like I shared, just even with a guided drumming shamonic journey. That kind of activation and transmissions, um, and medicine just from a drumming journey are with you forever more. And if you continue to talk to what came in during that journey, it will continue to inform you and activate new new aspects of you. So I really sat with that first experience for a very long time. And then the next, um, plant spirit that came in even louder and clearer, and, um, I hate to label like, oh, this plant medicine is my [00:48:00] favorite or whatever, cause that just sounds so not sacred and weird, but the plant medicine that thus far, um, seems to resonate with me on the most ancient deepest level is peyote. And that was the spirit that came in next. And I worked with that particular spirit for, um, over the course of a few years, a number of times and in different locations and settings. And I really know that it was through working with that medicine that allowed my heart to get to those last layers of healing and opening that it needed to in order for me to be in my, um, most embodied sovereign state, which in my opinion, was the exact ingredient needed for [00:49:00] me to get into an alignment with my now partner Luke Storey. And there's a whole wild, uh, story about- it's hard to not tell, but it is a little bit, excuse me, lengthy but the medicine ultimately, um, cause he and I were friends for a long time and um, what we lived- I lived in New York city. He lived in LA. Fast forward, many years down the road of he and I being friends. um, he had finally communicated to me, uh, one of my trips to LA, that, um, he had always been interested in me and that the next time I came to LA, he would like to take me on a proper date. And, um, you know, this was a big moment because I really did not see that coming, and I did not have that awareness that he had always had that interest. And we ran in similar friend groups and circles and had been friends for so long, so I was a little, uh, out of sorts and caught off guard, but there was something deep, um, telling me to lean in, even though I was a [00:50:00] bit scared to. So then, um, fast forward to our first date, which was on New Year's Eve and my birthday is New Year's Day. So again, big decision, you know, when I got invited by him to, of course we went to like a Kundalini gathering, um, par for the course, but, uh, when I got that invitation, I thought, oh my gosh, you know, it's technically my birthday and it's New Year's Eve, it's a big decision, but I felt the deep call to say yes. And while we were at that Kundalini gathering that evening, Bringing in the new year and my birthday, while we sat together in conversation, he said, Hey, you know what, I'm going to start to work with your medicine soon. And he only referenced it as my medicine because he knew that it was a very- peyote he was a very reverent one for me. And my first question was, well, who are you sitting with? Because you know, that is very, very important as who is the facilitator and who is going to be guiding and holding space for a ceremony of that magnitude. And it revealed [00:51:00] clearly that he was sitting with the same teachers and facilitators that I had sat with for many years, and he had no idea. And so you can start to see the divine orchestration here of peyote, of great spirit, um, and of it becoming time for our sacred union to click into place. And fast forwarding again, that ceremony was coming up quickly. After our date, I flew back to New York City. I asked him, When is that ceremony? Just so I could hold energetic space for him. And he said, why do you want to come? And I thought, oh my God, I kind of- maybe I do. Do I feel the call? So I sat with that, felt the call, bought another ticket, flew back across the country just days later. And there we were on our second or third date going out into the desert to sit in a sacred tipi ceremony with peyote, and it was in that weekend that, um, not only did we become a couple, but we unexpectedly [00:52:00] became spiritually married, and, um, I dunno, one of my favorite parts about the story is that like, we definitely had not slept together, you know, not even close to that. And we hadn't even like, uh, you know, really decided to be a, a couple before, you know, the next thing, you know, we're, we're in the sacred medicine ceremony and a flower blessing, um, being spiritually married by the facilitators. So, um, the last little thread that I'll weave in is Kayumari is the sacred blue deer, which is the totem for peyote, and power animal deer is one of the main guides who came in right after my divine intervention all those years ago. And the deer the medicine of the heart and the path of the heart. So deer has worked with me for over a decade in trying to heal my heart and keep it open so that I could align in a healthy union at some point. So the fact that, you know, large and part, it was [00:53:00] up to this beautiful sacred blue deer, um, to bring Luke and I together, um, and this kind of like really profound way, it's, it's a pretty, pretty fun story to be able to tell. 

[00:53:10] Ronan: That's awesome. Luke was actually scheduled to be the first ever participant on this podcast. Um, and then I totally chickened out because I had no idea how to start a podcast or what the F to talk about. And so I canceled it last minute. Um, but I think we're at a point where I'm going to invite him back, cause I'd love to actually have that conversation and, and use it as an extension from this conversation. Um, Two things. One is you touched on, um, you know, blue deer, uh, which leads into a conversations about animal power, uh, and, and spirit animals, uh, which I'd like to talk about because your forthcoming book is all about that. And I'd love to dive into that, but before we get there, you touched on the importance of having the right facilitator for a plant [00:54:00] medicine journey. What advice would you give to someone about how to assess whether someone's the right person or not? 

[00:54:09] Alyson: God. Yeah, that is honestly the trillion dollar question. And I really do think it's the most important one. I mean, okay. I'm going to tune in to see what information wants to come in for me. I've said this word a number of times already in our conversation, and I'll say it again now. I think what is most important with any shamanic practitioner, shaman, is embodiment. And, you know, being a shaman certainly does not mean that we are perfect beings. I value and honor and love my humanness and my human side just as much as I value and honor my shaman side, and the shaman within me. But what a shaman is supposed to be completely committed and devoted to is really [00:55:00] facing all, every single thread and aspect of ourselves, so that we can be in hold divine, uh, union and integration with ourselves, because it's only from that place that we can hold a proper, healthy, sacred container for others to face themselves and to grow, and that's the only way we can, um, truly help amplify unconditional love and compassion and unity for the world. So it's not about being a unflawed being or being a perfect being, but the distortion and dysfunction that I see a lot that is very alarming and that one should always do their best to investigate with any facilitator is do they really walk the talk and, and are they a person who- because there are a lot of shamans and spiritually gifted people out there who have a very genuine clear line [00:56:00] to a being that they communicate with or a clear, clear line into source. And they may be truly the most gifted numerologists that you've ever met because they have a genuine clear line up that way, but the more important question is, have they tended to the earthly tasks and earthly responsibilities within themselves? And it goes back again to the other thing I was kind of preaching about the shadow work and the blind spot work, um, because you, you definitely don't want to work with someone- and the term being bypassed or spiritually bypassed is one that I really don't even want to say because it's just like overused and it's just, I think there's, I don't know. I it's like, I hate to even use it but it is kind of, of that concept where, um, again, it's like a, a disconnect. They have that upper line of connection, but that whole bottom part of themselves, their [00:57:00] lower chakras are doing, um, you know, that underworld work, that shadow work is completely bypassed, not tended to, not faced. And trust me, the most dangerous setting that you can be in is sitting in a most potent, powerful, medicinal ceremonial experience where gateways to other beings and realms are fully opened, and the person is to be holding the proper space hasn't even faced their own demons and gremlins themselves. And so I think, um, really getting to know a facilitator, a shaman, the best that you can- and if you are someone who's been on the spiritual path for a very long time and you know that you trust yourself, you know, that you have a very highly attuned discernment system within you, you can tell, you can feel, you can know. But the other thing is just because a friend has sat in a ceremony with the [00:58:00] facilitator does not equate or mean that that facilitator is for you or that medicine is for you or that location is for you. It's just so important to take your time with these decisions and to really, um, do your best to determine if that practitioner, um, is healed and, um, has devoted to their own healing and holing and is truly embodied and walks the talk. And I know that that's just one sliver to a million answers that you can give, um, but I, I hope it's a good start for people to be able to enter into a, a more reverent awareness of, Am I really being called? Is this the right person for me? And, um, just, even if you feel like you've always wanted to experience a certain spirit, a plant spirit, and it's coming into town, like just never rush, never jump into it without really feeling in talking to your lower [00:59:00] belly, talking to your own heart and soul, and really tuning in, go to that, if that practitioner has a website or a social media feed. Of course not all do, but if they do, you know, feel in, feel into the vibration, feel into the energetics and, and just take your time. Because I do know of people who have sat in ceremony with people who were not holding and creating a safe, sacred space, and it created a lot of additional wounding and damage, um, which is the last thing that you're entering into ceremony for.

[00:59:36] Ronan: I was fortunate enough to be provided with, I guess, an advanced copy of your new book, Animal Power. Um, my first question is what called you to write that book? Uh, and then my second question, and I'm going to give you the opportunity to say no to this before I pose it later on is, I went through the exercise of, sort of, like, trying to engage with what animals were coming [01:00:00] up for me. Uh, and I was wondering if we could have a conversation about what came up for me. Um, and if you could offer any feedback, if you're open to it. 

[01:00:07] Alyson: Yeah. I'm definitely open to it. I am just curious, did you do the video guided shamanic journey that I facilitate, or how did they come to you? 

[01:00:14] Ronan: I just started reading the book. Um, and then, um, I was, uh, aware, uh, as I walked my dog, uh, other night and I had a unique experience. 

[01:00:27] Alyson: Got it.

[01:00:28] Ronan: Um, and then last night, uh, while doing some meditation, um, uh, I can, I can tell you about what came up, uh, if you want, but before we get into that, uh, let's talk about, um, the writing and what inspired you to.

[01:00:42] Alyson: Beautiful. I'm more intrigued than ever to hear which creature presented. Um, uh, yes. Okay. And I was asking because for people that, um, I could have sent you my free video guided shamanic journey for people that pre-order, they get that, and I could have sent that to you. So if you still want it, um, after our interview, I can. [01:01:00] So, uh, how I, you know, began this journey of co-creating, I really do feel that animal power book was a co-creation between myself and the power animal world. Um, it really is a beautiful and brief story. So as I briefly touched on, when I had my awakening and intervention moment, um, I surrendered. Got into total devotion of the instructions and guidance of my guides, and the first healers and places I was shown to go for my own healing journey just happened to be other shamans. And, um, one of those shamans happened to be my aunt who's based in Santa Fe, and while she was doing some shamanic work with, um, some soul retrieval and, and you know, things of that nature, some of my power animal guides revealed. My core power animal, the animal that's with me at all times, since the time I incarnated, is the black Panther or black Jaguar, and then three [01:02:00] other facilitator animals, power animals, came in: the deer, the bear and the frog. And so each power animal hold within it, different wisdoms, medicinal attributes, teachings, ways of empowering and healing us and helping to support our journey. And they really truly are our allies. So the frog helped me to learn how to take a new, huge, massive leap of faith forward, because frogs only leap forward. They do not move back. So it was like, Honey, we are definitely not going back into that previous 20 years cycle of insanity. We are taking a new leap of faith forward, and also healing. Getting into those healing, emotional waters. The deer, as I said, helped me to heal my heart. The bear held a very stabilizing, strong grounding support medicine that I needed in learning how to truly surrender and let go. It will come to me in meditations and ask for me to sit against its chest and to let go, let go, let go. And then, um, the black Panther. It [01:03:00] was all about reclamation of my spiritual truth, power, and gifts, and doing the shadow work. And so those guides came in, and then my relationship with the entire power animal realm just continued to grow every single day. And it was just, it's been such an astounding, beautiful journey because my trust in them grew fully, and their trust in me grew fully, to the point where I would be in front of audiences of thousands of people, um, doing live power animal readings for those who wanted to lean in and do that and to come up on stage, and I trusted that in front of all these people. The animal who wanted to present, to relay a message, would show up, not leave me hanging, you know, and, and come through and talk to me and, um, hopefully be of service to the person up on stage. And they learn to trust me to be a very true integrity, filled voice for them. So, you know, I think you get [01:04:00] the understanding of what was really being built over the past decade. And fast forward to me knowing I was going to be an author since the time I was a little girl, um, taking meetings with publishers, agents, couldn't get clear on what the book was supposed to be. Finally got the right agents about three years into this examination journey, conversing with them about what the book is. I'm like, Oh, we finally figured it out. It's a book on surrender. And I had a working title called Soul Surrender. The whole jam. Had the proposal going. Flew to Bali to write Soul Surrender. And my first morning in Bali, I was sitting in a morning meditation, and when I closed my eyes, thousands and thousands and thousands, as far as I could see, all of these power animals were coming in saying, That is not the book. Nice try. Good idea. Not it. And they instructed me and called for me to co-create, co-write, a modern day power animal's guide book with them. And so I emailed my agents and I said, You guys know, I live wholeheartedly by the calls. I've been [01:05:00] called to completely change the book over. I pray you're on board because this is what it needs to be. And obviously they were. Um, and I worked on the book for about four years. I mean, it's many lifetimes in the making to be honest, but about four years, um, communing with them regularly and, uh, here Animal Power book, 100 Animals to Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul is finally birthed and, uh, has popped out into the world and it's just been a huge blessing to be able to hold it and to feel it. I work with it every day at my altar. I've cried on more than one occasion. It's powerful. And, uh, so yeah, that's how, that's how it came into form. 

[01:05:40] Ronan: Thank you. Uh, it is a beautifully designed book. I can't say I've read the whole thing cause I only got it a couple of days ago, um, but I did read what I could and, you know, it is incredibly fascinating. So, so thank you for writing it. 

[01:05:55] Alyson: Yeah. So now I'm excited. Tell me what happened. 

[01:05:58] Ronan: All right. So there were two events, [01:06:00] um, that happened recently. Uh, the first one was when I, I guess it was two or three nights ago when I got a copy of it, uh, in anticipation of this conversation, and I started reading the introduction and, you know, there was a generally, uh, a guidance of pay attention to the animals that are making an appearance in your life. And lo and behold, I was walking my dog that night and about three doors down, there was a skunk, just milling about doing its thing, um, totally content. Totally oblivious. But two or three feet away from me and just doing his thing and my dog, you know, uh, God blessed Roscoe, but he has no natural dog instincts, and totally, he didn't even pay attention to the fact that there was a skunk within a couple of feet of him. Uh, so that was the first, uh, animal experience in the last couple of days. Um, and then the other one, which I think has more emotional resonance for me was, yesterday, I just, um, before bed decided to meditate and, uh, it, it was interesting. So, [01:07:00] uh, I'll give you a brief description of one of the things that happened during the meditation, um, which was I, I saw or experienced- you know Play-Doh and like the kind of compression things that kids get with Play-Doh's and shapes- 

[01:07:13] Alyson: I was just using it the other, yes.

[01:07:15] Ronan: So I, I got, I saw one of those and I saw it sat close, and opened up, and there was a word inside it that said "colorless", uh, which was interesting. And then like the next second I imagined, again, it was kind of like a kid's coloring book and I saw an elephant, you know, very cartoony, you know, not, not, not playful, but like, imagine what you'd expect in a coloring book, kind of elephant, uh, that, that was there. And I couldn't explain the, the emotional response I had just that, like, it was much more visceral than me staring at that skunk, looking at it while it's did, that thing, did its thing a couple of feet away from me. So those are the two kind of major experiences. [01:08:00] Otherwise I can mention all the squirrels I've seen, but I live in Toronto in the fall. So the fact that I'm experiencing a lot of squirrels is probably an experience shared by the other 4 million people in this city, so probably not, as, as relevant to this conversation. 

[01:08:14] Alyson: Ah, so it's interesting. So I have my book here, so I'm going to do a couple of things. I'm going to tune into the wisdom that is written in the book, but then I'm also just going to tune into those animals and see what they have to say. The intriguing thing, and just like flipping back and forth. So when I hear of someone having a skunk encounter, and I love skunk medicine so much, it's- they're for one of my favorite animals, so I was excited to hear that it came in. The first thing that always comes to mind when skunk presents is a teaching around, um, having healthier or stronger bounds. Um, so that's kind of one that, that comes in pretty loud and, and also the element of, um, doing some work around, uh, getting in greater embodiment of self [01:09:00] love, self honor. And oftentimes that can equate to learning how to have healthier boundaries. Um, with elephant though, I think that that one's really intriguing, cause you said you had just like an innate emotional response, um, for some reason. But when I flipped to elephant, what kind of jumped out was both the skunk and element, or elephant, have these elements of, um, sexual healing and, uh, sexual energy and sexual power. They both have those medicinal representations. So, um, you know, I'm not necessarily asking you in this moment, like, does that resonate and why, but I found that to be very intriguing, um, because that is pretty rare that two animals that are so different have that kind of similar thread around, um, yeah, sexual healing, sexual energy. But let me tune in, actually right now, I'm going to put the book down, [01:10:00] and if it's okay with you, I'm just going to tune in to elephant and see if it will come forward and reveal something more specific. Okay. All right. I'm just going to rattle and just for a second here. So I feel like it's going to have a couple of messages, but the first thing that it took me to, um, I, I love first of all, the energy, the personality, the essence and texture of this elephant it's, um, it's powerful, but it does feel playful. And when it started to present, it presented on this like dusty dirt trail and it took me down to its feet and as it was walking on the trail, it was very clearly showing me like it kicking up the dirt, and its message was something around, like, the concept of don't be afraid of getting [01:11:00] your, your feet even dirtier, even messier you're right now in this, um, current process of, um, you learning how to gain even greater strength and embodiment of the truth of who you are, of your spiritual gifts of your path of your offerings. It's like this elephant and a loving, playful, generous way is sending this message of like it's time to get even dirtier, and, in the process. Like go a bit deeper, have that conversation that is probably wildly uncomfortable that you don't want to have, that you've been avoiding. Like it's a time to walk through the dust and to walk through the, the, what feels like dirtier or messier components right now. You're guided, but it's urging you to walk through it and let me see what else it has. One second. [01:12:00] Um, uh, and it took me right to one of the attributes that elephant is most known for. And it's a remover of obstacles and it's like, those two things are going together. It's saying you doing that work and getting a little bit messier right now is going to remove obstacles that have been standing in your way, and that have been holding you back for a long time. And it's going to open you up into a whole new way of experiencing yourself, a whole greater level of peace and liberation for you personally, professionally, brand-wise, the whole thing. I feel like there's one other sliver. Just one second, please. Yeah, it's this, the through-line theme for you as that, I even feel it as I'm about to say it. It's very strong. You have, um, a power, a divine power in you that is not fully actualized and realized yet. You have scratched the [01:13:00] surface. You have done some work. I'm not saying you haven't, I'm not discrediting the work that you've put in, but you have a massive, um, divine power inside of you. And there's so much more to get to know and so much more that is wanting to open up inside of you. So that's, what's coming through. I don't know if any of that resonates, but I'd love to hear either way. 

[01:13:24] Ronan: I, it does resonate and I'm going to, just so you understand how this podcast and that [it's] getting produced tomorrow, I will record some reflections on this conversation, and so what I'm going to do is let it sit, uh, and then I'm going to put that into the reflections we record tomorrow. And certainly I'm happy to share that. But suffice to say it, it definitely strikes a chord. Uh, I'll leave it at that. It's some of the things I've been grappling with recently. So, um, thank you. Thank you. Uh, really like that's a very genuine and sincere, uh, gratitude for doing that for me, it was really cool. And, um, [01:14:00] interestingly- not interestingly- it doesn't surprise me all that much, but when you started doing the rattle, cause like, there's definitely that part of like my rational mind that's like, rattles and drumming and yeah, sure, right? But as soon as you started doing the rattle that actually gave me goosebumps, and like gave me like the shivers down my spine, uh, just listening to the rattle. So that was a very cool experience for me thank you. 

[01:14:24] Alyson: You're so welcome. Thank you for being open to receive and, and yeah, your willingness for me to, to tune in for you. I, I find it to be honestly be the biggest honor for someone to give me permission to access into what their soul is wanting to hear and to what guides are wanting to say. It's, it's, it's a big deal. So thank you for letting me do it. 

[01:14:46] Ronan: My pleasure. Well Alyson, I think that's a really amazing note to end on, and almost perfectly on time, so please accept my sincere gratitude for joining us. Uh, please accept my genuine, genuine, thanks for sharing [01:15:00] everything that you did because a lot of that was very intimate and, um, you know, being open about that, I think can be super powerful for a lot of people to hear. So thank you. Uh, thank you very much for being here. 

[01:15:11] Alyson: Yeah, thanks for having me. It was beautiful voyage that we took and thanks for holding the space that you do and providing the platform to have these, um, enriching conversations. And if anyone else is feeling that spark or that shiver, that tingle, or resonance, to enter into the power animal world, um, my book is available anywhere books are sold, and they can get it from my website, alysoncharles.com/animalpower, and that's where you can get that free guided shamanic journey, um, if you want to meet the animal who wants to present to empower your life at this time. So I welcome anyone who wants to come into animal realm with me.

[01:15:48] Ronan: I invite everybody who's listening to, to check it out. It is definitely worthwhile.

I'm not going to lie. I'm a [01:16:00] pretty open-minded guy when it comes to spiritual conversations and the woo-woo side of life. But as open-minded as I can be, even I found my bullshit detectors going off a bit, at first, as I spoke to Alyson and she talked about great mother Earth, and source, and great mother ayahuasca, and blessings, and divine power, like she had a personal relationship with them. But every time that negative voice in my head came up, there was a really loud voice telling me that everything we were talking about are just concepts that most people accept and understand, and just express through a different lexicon. While you or I may call bullshit on there being a quote, great awakening in our lives, I'm sure all of us have hit rock bottom at some point, or had a quote, profound realization. Whereas Alyson speaks of being a shaman as her calling, we all have professional passions and ambitions. Alyson calls soul and body [01:17:00] helpers. You and I may call it intuition or gut instinct. She talks about journeying. We talk about flow states. She talks about her gift. We talk about competencies. The point being is that underlying it all, we are all talking about the same things, just using different words. Whatever your belief systems, we are all here on the planet experiencing life, trying to make the best of it, learning as we go, and trying to put, to use our abilities as best we can. So is Alyson. So anytime our negative egos come up and think she's just talking spiritual, mumbo-jumbo, it is worth stopping for a moment and keeping that all in mind. And here's the other thing: when Alyson did my reading, she was pretty much spot on in terms of understanding where I am in life. I'm going through a period of deep introspection, asking questions about some key things, and I'm feeling kind of trapped on some levels. Stuck. I have, as Alyson rightfully [01:18:00] channelled, a blockage that I need to work through. Maybe she's using the same tricks that charlatan psychics used, picking up topics that almost anyone will relate to in some vague way, or maybe not. But who cares? The fact is she helped me find the impetus to get dirty and go further into asking questions that I really do need to be asking myself, and really isn't that all that matters?

[01:18:22] Caller: Hi Ronan, my name's Diana and I had a question. I wanted to know if you were watching the show Nine Perfect Strangers. Um, and if so, what you thought about them micro dosing in a group setting to kind of overcome roadblocks in their lives? Thanks. 

[01:18:46] Ronan: Thank you for that question. I am indeed watching Nine Perfect Strangers. Admittedly, I'm only three episodes in. Uh, and my take on it is as follows. One is, uh, and this may change later in the [01:19:00] episodes, I don't know, but, uh, the thing I don't like about it is the idea that people are participating in something that they don't understand. Uh, I think that offside. And if people are being medicated unconsciously, that is entirely not cool. And I think defeats a lot of the underlying intent of what psychedelic medicine is about. That being said, uh, I think sharing experiences in a group setting can be a very powerful tool in one's journey. Um, you know, I think for a lot of people, it's the aspect of being seen a hundred percent vulnerable, uh, true to who you are, no secrets, um, no holds barred is one of the powerful aspects of healing. And that's true about psychedelics, and this true about, other forms of, uh, psychotherapy or healing or anything along those lines. Uh, and so I think the shared experience in that environment and how people start to become very open with sharing, uh, is awesome, and can be perfectly consistent with psychedelic medicine, whether with [01:20:00] large doses or, or micro doses. Um, but for other people, myself included, I tend to be a little bit shy. I still prefer to go inward and be alone and not be subject to people scrutinizing me or feeling judged. And that's just where I am in my journey. So both are perfectly okay. Uh, it depends where you are and what you need, um, but, uh, I think Nine Perfect Strangers is a great way to start the conversation, and it is being done in a retreat setting. And we see retreat settings popping up all over the place, particularly environments where psychedelics are legal or at least gray market, like Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru. Um, certainly some are even opening in Canada, uh, using some medicines that are legal. And every retreat setting can be a very powerful experience. It's very different, um, than going to a clinical setting like we have with Field Trip right now, because one of the things that it enables, is the opportunity to stay [01:21:00] in that space for a longer time, whereas with Field Trip, when you come in, you know, you can have an amazing, profound, transformative experience with the support of our excellent team of psychotherapists and, and staff. Um, It's a lot faster returning to normal life. It fits into normal life a lot easier, cause you don't have to take a week away and go far away. Uh, but it also means that the reentry into normal life happens sooner. Uh, and so depending on where you are and what you need, a retreat setting, uh, and doing micro dosing or macro dosing in a group or individual setting can be an extremely powerful thing. And, and it's certainly great for a lot of people. And if it doesn't fit your lifestyle right now or where you are, then something more like what we're offering at Field Trip, with our ketamine assisted therapy or psilocybin assisted therapy in the Netherlands, can be the right answer for you. But, uh, I think it's, uh, a really great conversation about psychedelics, uh, and their utility, whether at a retreat or otherwise.

As a quick reminder, you can record a question for us and we'll answer it on the show. [01:22:00] Go to speakpipe.com/fieldtripping, or you can send us your questions, comments, or any episode ideas via email to fieldtripping@kastmedia.com. That's Kast with a K. Also, please rate, review, and subscribe to our podcast and sign up for our newsletter at fieldtripping.fm or wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for listening to Field Tripping, a podcast that's dedicated to exploring psychedelic experiences and their ability to affect our lives. I'm your host Ronan Levy. Until next time, stay curious, breathe properly, and remember, every day is a field trip if you let it be one. Field Tripping is created by Ronan Levy. Our producers are Conrad Page and Harley Roman and associate producers are Sharon Bhella, Alec Sherman, Macy Baker, and Tyler Newbold.

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