High Doses, Crystals, and the Dangers of Corporate Takeover with Acacea Lewis

High Doses, Crystals, and the Dangers of Corporate Takeover with Acacea Lewis

In this episode, Dennis Walker talks with Acacea Lewis, where she shares insights accrued from her extensive experience supporting people doing high dose journey work and integration, and shares her thoughts about the emergent ‘psychedelics industry’ as well as the importance of learning how to cultivate presence.

In this episode, Dennis Walker talks with Acacea Lewis, where she shares insights accrued from her extensive experience supporting people doing high dose journey work and integration, and shares her thoughts about the emergent ‘psychedelics industry’ as well as the importance of learning how to cultivate presence.

Episode Summary

Acacea Lewis is an entheogenic researcher and educator based in Oakland, California. She is active in supporting the plant and fungi medicine communities in a variety of capacities in multiple countries. She is the founder of The Divine Master Alchemy school for Entheogenic Cultural Literacy and Ethnobotanical Naturopathy.

Dennis: So, I would just love to hear about your experience. Do you have familiarity with doing high dose work? What is your perspective on this whole fascination with microdosing, but almost total radio silence about the high dose?

Acacea Lewis: Oh, that’s a really great topic. I think that a lot of people, when they think “high dose,” they think “I’m going to go crazy; I’m going to see a dragon opening a fridge. I’m going to think that I’m an alien or something.” And you might actually see a dragon and you might think you’re an alien, but I don’t really think those things are necessarily bad in and of themselves.

It is okay to explore consciousness and beyond. I think it is truly a human experience; you know, mushrooms have been around as a species on this planet for over 200 million years, while we, as a human race, have been present for only about 20 million years, possibly going back millennia but still younger than fungus. So, I really do feel that the high-dose experience matches up to the experiences that many people had organically in the earliest moments of human expression of art and intelligence.

I really think that, if we look at Blombos Cave, which is 100,000 years old, we have entire art sets, different art tools and seashell necklaces, etcetera that were well organized. And we’re thinking: okay, the Ice Age technically ended or started to end 11,700 years ago. So even 100,000 years ago, we were seeing people really getting into art and expression and on the Tessalit plateau, just 10,000 years old, we are seeing mushroom heads. That’s what Kalindi really captured for me—the ancient or, I guess you could say, the indigenous significance of mushroom use paired with human exploration—exploration of the natural world and exploration of the conscious world.

And I think that people are really into microdoses because, you know, it’s being heavily marketed as the way to cure depression and help with anxiety. But I feel like the truth is that you can use a dremel for multiple things. Just because one person uses a dremel to carve a necklace and somebody else uses it to carve a chair, it does not mean that the one carving the chair is doing it wrong and the other doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Just think of it as a tool that can be used in so many different ways and that microdosing is one avenue of it which is more accessible to people who feel uncomfortable going into those darker spaces within.

Using Crystals, Rocks and Minerals as Focal Points

Dennis: So, you just mentioned something about tools that people can use, right? And another area of expertise that you have that I’m personally fascinated with yet don’t know much about are crystals and rocks and minerals. Of course, anybody who knows someone who is a psychonaut or who is into doing ceremonies is involved in medicine work. You probably also know people who have crystal collections and they build altars, putting crystals on them. This idea of crystals as technology is fascinating to me and I would love to dive into it.

How do you use crystals at your practice and ceremony?

Acacea Lewis: Well, you know, I have been collecting stones since I was three or four years old; I could walk by then. My parents were sometimes dismayed to see me with my face to the ground and hands in the dirt, grabbing for minerals and polishing them and dusting them off. When I went to SMU, I studied astrophysics; however, my degree plan was actually geophysics, and I was studying geology.

But, you know, collecting stones has always been a passion of mine; connecting with the minerals. And as I’ve grown, I’ve done research into the constituents of the human body and the human design, I guess.

And I’ve been inspired by the piezoelectric nature of quartz crystals, especially, and the slightly piezoelectric human bones. I started making connections between the six-sided geometry crystals and their connection to the crystalline structure of our bones, skin, and teeth.

And there’s a resonance. I think everyone can agree that when you look at water and there’s a vibration of a certain frequency, you’ve probably seen those patterns that show up on the surface, right? Like you’ve probably seen the shapes kind of show up when someone’s holding a speaker in front of some water or if you sing or, or, or if you’re rubbing like a singing bowl and there’s water inside the singing bowl and it’s vibrating at a certain frequency.

I’ve seen people in yoga studios, for example, looking at the crystal energy, you know? And I’ve always kind of thought that was a bit cheesy. It wasn’t really my thing; I come from a science background, so pretty much anything metaphysical was something I had been skeptical about for a very long time. Even so, I still understand the concept of chakras and everything. But for quite some time, I was very resistant to hearing about it.

Years later, my skepticism has evolved into more of an inquisitive exploration. Now, I feel myself being drawn to using stones as focal points.

Focal points are really interesting on the mushroom, as the visual acuity causes you to be able to control how light enters your iris when you’re under the influence of the mushroom, like a camera.

When you’re at a high dose of mushrooms, like 15 g, and you’re capturing a long exposure, the vibrations of your physical body – such as your thoughts and sounds that your body is making in conjunction with stones – you can really observe some really beautiful feedback from the experience of how your body interacts with crystals.

High Dose Work and Integrating Your Macrodose Experience

Dennis: Let’s also dive into a little bit more about high dose work because I really truly feel like it’s something that needs to be discussed more and there’s really only a few people who we probably both know that are out there publicly regularly speaking about macrodose experiences. One of the things I’d love to hear about from your perspective is how to integrate a macrodose experience.

It’s something that I still struggle with.

It’s like you have a really profound experience all of a sudden, and you suddenly understand the universe and everything, seeing everything clearly. Then, 12 hours later (or whatever), you wake up and are fumbling for words, thinking, ‘Oh man, I’m back to the grind now, right?’

My boss doesn’t care that I just had a macrodose or, you know, not mine. I don’t have a boss at the moment, but you get what I’m saying; it’s really tough sometimes to integrate it into a society that doesn’t really value these miraculous high-dose experiences.

So how do you integrate a macrodose experience?

Acacea: It is a process, and it involves a lot of deep meditation, mindfulness, and presence. I feel that my spiritual practices help to ground me within the psychedelic space. I am an initiate of the Karma Kagyu tradition of Buddhism, and so have certain practices that I use; however, anyone can use visualization, reflection, mindfulness, and journaling.

But the most profound aspects are before when you’re coming down from a macro experience, and you’ve gone to all these different places, is to remember your frame of reference.

And sometimes that frame of reference changes; maybe you went in as Acacea, and maybe you came out as the universe. You know? And because you’ve zoomed out so much, it can be difficult to fit back into this role that you’re playing in your life–going to a regular job, dealing with regular people, and seeing everyone who’s not ordinary anymore–but instead a reflection or part of you. And trying to mask this excitement.

It’s really important not to lose your grasp on this reality, not all the realities that you see outside of yourself or inside of yourself, but to really heavily ground back into your physical form.

And before you try to shapeshift into an alien or do all the things you have learned how to do, remember to be yourself and take time to nurture yourself. What I have found is that the earliest realizations are truly profound, and a lot of times we keep looking for the next thing to teach us something; however, the biggest lesson of all is trusting within yourself.

So, if you go into these experiences with an open heart and see something that hurt you and need to let it go, rather than being heavy-handed in your approach, give yourself space to look for wisdom rather than reinforce it, and spend as much time as possible on the initial goal. Follow up with yourself and be accountable for what you say you’ll do.

You can stay in touch with Acacea on Instagram at @acacea_lewis.

Listen to the full podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or Stitcher.

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