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Plant Medicine Spirituality

An interview with Javier Regueiro

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Subscribe to Wild Playground Podcast on iTunes
Subscribe to Wild Playground Podcast on iTunes

Javier’s Books

San Pedro Huachuma: Opening the Pathways of the Heart
Ayahuasca: Soul Medicine of the Amazon Jungle book cover

Plant Medicine Spirituality

Over thousands of years, humans have engaged with their environments in myriad ways. From gathering bark and boughs for shelter, to collecting berries and nuts, we’ve evolved in an interwoven relation with Nature.

We’ve also sought from Nature tools and resources for cleansing our bodies of toxins, to repair injuries and to make us feel whole again. In this evolving relationship, we also discovered (some say taught or communicated to) that certain plants made us feel and perceive realities unique and separate from our daily experiences.

Today, we share with you two of those plants: ayahuasca and huachuma.

With documented uses extending over 8,000 years, these two plants hail from South America and in particular, the modern country of Perú. Ayahuasca, a tree-climbing vine, grows and is native to the Amazonian rainforest. Huachuma, or San Pedro as it’s also known, is a columnar cactus that grows in the Andes mountains at high elevations. Both plants are still used for their physical and soul cleansing properties to this day.

But, unlike our Western culture and approach towards medicine where we simply pop a pill or receive an injection of some laboratory prepared chemical creation, these plants have a deep integration of spirituality and ceremony. They are not just popped or taken and then you call the Doctor in the morning, but they are embraced with reverence, surrender and humility for the potent and wise energy they contain. They are also prepared and held sacred by those who have worked with them and help administer them to people seeking clarity and healing in ceremony.

One of those sacred plant medicine keepers is Javier Regueiro. Originally from Europe, Javier’s exploration of healing traditions around the world landed him in the Peruvian Amazon where he met and sat with Abuela, one of ayahuasca’s many loving names.

Javier felt a deep calling and connection to plant medicine through these initial experiences with ayahuasca. His appreciation for them was also deepened through his own healing and breakthroughs from working with the medicine. From there, he also encountered huachuma, and has worked extensively with both plants ever since.

We are grateful for Javier’s time and willingness to share his own perspective and opinions on plant medicine spirituality. Javier’s deep work, for himself and others, has given him immense insight and experience in the realm of shamanism and traditional Peruvian plant medicines. May his words and wisdom resonate with you as you continue, or discover, your own healing path.

The room will never do the meditating for us. – Javier Regueiro

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • 1:11 – Is plant medicine work just a shortcut?
  • 5:22 – The power of San Pedro and Ayahuasca
  • 5:39 – Breaking Control Mechanisms: Avoidance of Physical, Emotional or Mental Pain
  • 6:00 – Confronting or Desire to Escape or Having a Good Time
  • 6:55 – Plant Medicine is to Address our Needs, nor our Desires
  • 9:00 – Entitlement Trap: Bringing Western Attitudes to the Healing Process
  • 10:38 – Healing Industry: Stroking the Ego?
  • 11:05 – What the Plants Reflect Back to Us
  • 11:50 – Surrendering to the Medicine
  • 12:55 – Ceremonies: Do Less, Go Deeper
  • 13:44 – Bodily Connection and Experience with Plant Medicine
  • 16:05 – #1 Worry: Am I Going to Shit Myself?
  • 17:22 – Vulnerability: Dropping Vigilance in a Plant Medicine Circle
  • 19:29 – The Pre-Purge: The Process Begins the Moment We Sign Up
  • 20:25 – Javier’s Path to Working with Plant Medicine
  • 22:55 – Ceremony: Embracing the Amazonian Plant Medicine Process
  • 24:55 – Reflecting on Our Own Inner Landscapes
  • 27:25 – Lola’s Active Mind in Ceremony
  • 28:39 – Honoring Your So-Called Perceived Limitations
  • 32:35 – Breaking the Poisonous Attitude of Quantity over Quality
  • 34:45 – Your Offerings to the Plant Medicine
  • 36:11 – Continuing Your Relationship with the Plants Outside of Ceremony
  • 37:45 – How Medicine Supports Our Meaningful Investigations of Life
  • 41:18 – Maturity: Taking Responsibility for the Consequences of our Actions
  • 42:27 – Soul Journeys, Incarnation and Addressing Soul Wounds
  • 44:10 – Dissolving Victimism
  • 47:35 – Embracing Grief and Impermanence ★
  • 51:25 – Facing Our Deepest Fears
  • 53:05 – Andean Spirituality
  • 54:50 – The Gifts of San Pedro
  • 56:50 – What Truly Living from the Heart Means
  • 1:02:13 – Javier’s Last Word

Highlights: Plant Medicine Spirituality


“For every finger we point outside, there are three pointing back at us.”

Any spiritual path can become an escape from ourselves.

Plant medicine is a tool. All tools are equally valid and depends on the person and their attitude when using it.”

Illusion: If we look long enough, hard enough, we’ll find our magic pill to solve all of our problems instantly and magically.”

“Any spiritual path can be used for avoidance of the painful parts we don’t want to look at.”

“San Pedro and Ayahuasca can bring to our conscious awareness those aspects of ourselves that we have so skillfully avoided up until now.”

Focus on what we need, not what we want.”

“If we have the humility to see the lessons have been transmitted, then we have the ability to receive those lessons.”

Any real teacher will make us cry, or drive us insane, at some point. Otherwise, they are not a good teacher.”

Surrender is dropping all the tricks we’ve built and created to not feel this way or that way.”

“We all know the sanctified ways of avoiding our own pain.”

Come to the plants as naked and as vulnerable as possible.

Reconnection with our bodies is a very important part of our healing process as Westerners.”

“In plant medicine there is no pause button, and therein lies its power.”

It’s not always necessary for us to stay in control.

The process isn’t about rationalizing our fears, but putting us face-to-face with them to embrace them.”

“I’m not interested in sitting a ceremony with more than 10 people. There is no formula about the perfect ceremony setting to elicit the perfect experience.

The room will never do the meditating for us.”

“There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ plant medicine person. They are there to reflect back to us our own inner landscape, whether we like it or not.”

“Plant medicine isn’t about magically lifting up our own consciousness. It’s about us having the courage and humility to look at our own mirror and understand how it impacts our emotional states.”

“We can only discover the layout of the land by walking it.”

“Every single plant medicine experience needs to be seen and approached as if it is the first time.”

“As Westerners, we bring the attitude and poison of ‘quantity over quality’ to plant medicine.”

If we don’t integrate and honor the teachings into our daily lives, then this plant medicine process is useless.

“Plant medicine provides an invitation for me to drop my bullshit and leave my tricks aside so that I may be in and walk my truth.”

“Whatever we invite into our lives, we signed up for it.”

The Victim Game is the most popular sport on the planet right now.

“If a person is seeking true growth, their victimism needs to be explored.”

“There is no shortcutting the grieving process.”

Grieving is coming to terms with the reality that what was no longer is.

“Nothing lasts forever, not even diamonds.”

“To be in the heart does not mean living happily, joyful and in love all the time. It simply means to welcome and embrace with enthusiasm all experiences: the good, the bad, the ugly.”

There is nothing better than losing one’s own shit, even physical shit, under the effects of ayahuasca. Liberating beyond belief.”


“The medicine is designed to speak in ways that you can understand.”

We can only discover the layout of the land by walking it. – Javier Regueiro


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