This discussion is for informational purposes only and is in no way a substitute for medicaladvice, neither I nor my guests are medical doctors. And you should always consult yourprofessional healthcare provider before beginning any ne...
This discussion is for informational purposes only and is in no way a substitute for medical advice and neither I nor my guests are medical doctors. You should always consult your professional healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment or program.
In this episode, I had the privilege of engaging in an illuminating discussion on Ayahuasca and other plant-based spiritual healing modalities with Michael Thornhill and Jamie Thornhill, co-founders of Casa Galactica, a center for healing and evolution in Peru. Michael is a channel and trauma-informed plant spirit healer, while Jamie is an intuitive medium plant spirit healer and intuitive designer.
● Ayahuasca and psychedelics expedite healing, awakening, and consciousness expansion compared to traditional therapy or meditation - Michael Thornhill
● Plant medicines aid in personal growth and transformation through immersive experiences and awareness- Jamie Thornhill
● The planet is shifting towards direct experience, where plant medicines provide insight and move away from suffering-based paradigms - Jamie Thornhill
● Ayahuasca uncovers and heals repressed trauma and addiction, but it is not a cure- all or quick fix. but rather a tool to aid in the healing process. -Jamie Thornhill
● Trauma-informed guides are necessary for handling common experiences and avoiding re-traumatization - Michael Thornhill
● Plant medicines can dissolve deep levels of trauma, depression, anxiety, and lack of passion, direction, peace, love, or joy - Michael Thornhill
● Check for medication and food interactions before taking ayahuasca to avoid adverse reactions- Michael Thornhill
● It is important to educate yourself and make informed decisions before starting a plant medicine journey- Michael Thornhill
● When considering an Ayahuasca experience, ask about safety, professional ethics, and individual sovereignty - Jamie Thornhill
Plant-based medicine offers a safe and effective alternative to conventional drugs and can be a valuable tool in promoting overall health and wellness. However, it's important to approach these remedies with caution and to seek professional guidance before beginning any new treatment or program. With the right approach, plant-based medicine can be a powerful and effective tool for healing and well-being.
Guest Contact Info:
Jamie & Michael Thornhill, who met while facilitating ayahuasca retreats and studying in the Noya Rao lineage of Shipibo curanderismo, founded Casa Galactica to activate their path in service to all with unconditional love. They offer a mix of philosophies, non-dual teachings, trauma-informed care, and multi-dimensional plant spirit healing to help clients activate intuition, empower healing, and embody truth. Their commitment to high-integrity, safe, and trauma-informed environments for healing and evolution is grounded in personal development and compassionate self-care. Their goal is to help clients heal from trauma, recognize their true nature, release limiting beliefs, and illuminate their path to flourish within this lifetime. Casa Galactica is located in Pisac, in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
Michael Thornhill, the co-founder of Casa Galactica, is a trained curandero in the Noya Rao lineage of curanderismo. He is a professional channel and trauma-informed multi- dimensional healer, fluent in English and Spanish, who helps people heal from trauma, addiction, anxiety, and depression. Using his skills, he channels multi-dimensional beings and plant spirits to catalyze the healing process and empower individuals to heal themselves. Michael holds a bachelor's degree in Medicinal Chemistry and has also studied Reiki, Yoga, and Daoist Arts to continue his education and personal development. Michael is committed to continued education and personal development.
Jamie Thornhill is a co-founder of Casa Galactica and serves as Director of Operations. She has multi-sensory abilities that allow her to see beyond the physical world and into subtle energies. As an intuitive medium and assistant healer, Jamie acts as a clear channel and translator for guidance and healing energies from multidimensional realms, connecting individuals with their highest expression of self and soul purpose. She has a deep connection with plants and has specialized in Noya Rao plant spirit healing.
Intro Music: "Welcome To The Kandid Shop" by Anthony Nelson aka BUSS
Kandidly Kristin: Hey, hey, hey! Podcast family it's your girl Kandidly Kristin and this is The Kandid Shop, your number one destination for kandid conversations. Now I have to preface this episode by saying this discussion is for informational purposes only and is in no way a substitute for medical advice, neither myself nor my guests, nor medical doctors. And you should always consult your professional healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment or program.
Now, with all that stuff out of the way, I am super excited to be finally having a candid chat about Ayahuasca and other plant-based spiritual healing modalities. I'm joined for this discussion, and I hope I say this right.
Channel and trauma-informed plant spirit healer, and co-founder of Casa Galactica, a multi-dimensional center for healing and evolution in the sacred valley of Peru, Michael Thornhill and his wife and partner, intuitive medium plant spirit healer, and intuitive designer, Jamie Thorn Hill. Welcome, welcome, welcome Michael and Jamie to The Kandid Shop.
Jamie Thornhill: Thank you so much, Kristin. We're so happy to be here.
Michael Thornhill: Thank you, Kristin. A pleasure to be here.
Kandidly Kristin: I'm so excited. So listen, ayahuasca, psychedelics in general and plant-based healing have been trending hard lately. I first heard about it, I was listening to Will Smith's audiobook, but it's still kind of fringe and I'm doing an air quote. So I wanted to have this conversation to get some clarity, some insight and answers on this ancient method of healing.
So my first question to you guys is, why do you think Ayahuasca has become so popular lately?
Jamie Thornhill: Yeah, Kristin, great question. And you know I'm sure there are many and multiple reasons for this. One of the first things that come to me when you say that it's been my observation since I first started working with Ayahuasca in 2016. It's been my observation, especially, ayahuasca and I would say the other entheogenic plants probably too, but I can speak directly to Ayahuasca because of my own experience with it.
When a person works with or ingests, ayahuasca for healing or awakening or evolution or consciousness expansion, the plants have consciousness, they have intelligence, and they work. They work pristinely beautifully symbiotically with human spirit consciousness or spiritual consciousness or human consciousness. And plants have this tendency to work at light speed and they do so in a way that's, again, intelligent and loving with our consciousness.
And so they can bring us into direct immersive experiences or awarenesses that may typically take several years of therapy or meditation practice or whatever modality we may be doing, they can kind of ramp up and speed up our experience and transformation and very quick doses of that or within several hours.
And so I, I kind of have this internal observation or this sort of intuitive observation for several years now that our planet also is desiring or going through a change or transformation and the human collective is part of the planet. And so there seems to be a desire by humans too, I wanna say, sort of activate or potentiate or speed up or expedite their growth or awakening or transformation or healing in a way that maybe 10 years ago or 50 years ago just wasn't an impulse. But it seems to be more of an impulse in the human collective. And people I just feel like are, are ready to shift and whatever that means to any individual and the plants or ayahuasca is a catalyst for that.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Thank you for that. And why do you think that there is this human, and I'm not gonna say sudden, cause I don't think it's sudden this human need to expand consciousness to be more connected and more healed on a core level. Why now?
Michael Thornhill: Yeah. So I think just to follow on from what Jamie is saying, we are going through a shift on planet earth, which the level of consciousness within the individual, within the collective there's a great opportunity for that to shift and transition and change from what has been previously more thought based and suffering based paradigms with intermediaries between oneself and God spirit, the universe, the higher self, whatever words you want to use. And now there's a shift and there's a change where direct experience is becoming more and more available. And what Ayahuasca particularly can provide is a direct experience of healing and evolution. A rapid-fire rate that's not available potentially in older paradigms or different therapies or meditation. And these are all valuable tools as part of that process of healing and evolution. But what plant medicines are offering is a catalyst that might change the direction and trajectory of your life experience and reduce the time it takes to learn a lesson by 20 years.
So, I think you come back to why is something speeding up.
I think it's because it's the level of 'fed-upness' that people have regarding the experience of being a human, especially with the kind of rise of the internet and the information available. people are beginning to question them more and more their paradigm. People are beginning to question the things that have been told as fact, or this is what you should believe, or this is the way the world works, or This is what your life should be or You should be working in this way and you should have this job and then you should find your happiness through this, that, or the other. So what's happening right now is that people are beginning to question them. And what plant medicines can do is they're able to give us direct insight into the truth of who we are. That enables us to find our path, find our way, and begin to disintegrate some of the structures, institutions, and ways of thinking that have been the way of being on the planet for so many years. Those old structures are beginning to crumble, and the day of the guru is also. Behind us. And this passage that we're moving into is where people are discovering their healers, they're discovering their truth or the guru within, and what plant medicines can do.
And especially in the way that we work with people in a trauma-informed environment with many different empowerment teachings to help people to connect to their truth in everyday life. What this process does is expedites the process from what you looking for outside of yourself to finding the answers within. And those are very powerful tools for us to navigate everyday life.
Kandidly Kristin: Absolutely. I love it. Thank you for that answer. So if each of you could just briefly share with me and my listeners your journey to plant-based spiritual healing, ayahuasca, you know, how did you get here?
Jamie Thornhill: Yeah, Kristin, great question thank you. I'll start and just say that I have always been conscious of, and you know, it's in my maternal lineage, my mother and her mother and my great-grandmother. All, all three women in my family have always been very in love with plants, from roses to vegetable gardens, to ornamental plants.
And, that just from a young age, for me, was just sort of ingrained in me. And I get a little emotional when I say that because I just love plants. And I grew up in Oklahoma and I grew up in the prairie with just, you know, like grasses and wildflowers, not a lot of trees, big open skies. And growing up as a kid outside of Oklahoma City in the suburbs, there were a lot of fields left wide open.
Prairie was untouched, and I'd go out and play in them. And, I always, from a young age, knew that the plants were sort of talking to me and that they were my friends and growing up, stepping into my twenties and going to college, got a degree in landscape architecture, worked with plants from a design standpoint and an ecological perspective, recreating ecosystems in people's yards, and doing that for 20 years.
And throughout that experience, I became very highly aware or tuned into the fact that the plants were talking to me that okay, they were showing me when I'd work on a design project, where they wanted to go and, why and how they would benefit the family that I was working for and with, and I just thought this was lovely. And it's something that in that work I started teaching workshops, connecting people with plants directly; plant spirit communication. And so I was very aware of working with Plant-spirit communication, beginning in about 2010, and somewhere in that process I got curious about if other cultures across the planet recognized that plants were intelligent and that they communicated with them.
In my research, I found my way online to the rainforest or the Amazon Rainforest, some of the indigenous tribes in the Amazon rainforest who were working with plant medicine per se. Ayahuasca is one of those plant medicines out of numerous plants that are in the jungle that they consider medicinal, that treat a variety of physical and mental and spiritual conditions. And when I saw that, I thought, well, I was very interested in going and learning with, and training with those indigenous traditions to see how they interact with and connect with plant consciousness and intelligence to provide service to people. And so that's how I found my way to Peru and found my way to basically the Amazon River Basin and working with, and learning from Shipibo people within that area. And Ayahuasca happened to be one of the plants that they work with. And when I started training in that tradition and learning how they connect with plants, I kind of realized, oh my gosh, I've been doing this my whole life. You know, I didn't need to come to the rainforest to figure this out.
But it's nice to have that affirmation that there is a tradition on the planet. And there are numerous, but that's not the only one.
Kandidly Kristin: Alright.
Jamie Thornhill: And the plants are part of a lot of folk traditions and a lot of herbal remedies and, you know, people across the planet know about plants and how beneficial they are for us.
So I just really got a reflection back to myself of something I already knew, but it just strengthened it in me. And that working with Ayahuasca in the ceremony, I started having a lot of experiences and learning a lot of things about myself that I was ready to. That again, you know, you'll hear Michael and I say this often, that expedited my personal growth that took me to kind of quickly clear out the things from my life that were no longer resonate with me and helped me recognize the things that were, and, and just moved me more pristinely on my path. It also happens to be where I met Michael, and I'm so grateful for that.
Kandidly Kristin: Alright.
Jamie Thornhill: The sort of the calling to come here to Peru for that training, the thing that was off my radar, it was also to bring me back to meeting Michael in quite a journey.
That's the short story that I have for you, Kristin.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Well, thank you for that. And Michael?
Michael Thornhill: Yeah! The reason that I found Ayahuasca was that I was heavily addicted to different substances, and different drugs, and then throughout that process of finding Ayahuasca, I was able to heal from these many different addictions. I was then able to find out and uncover the root causes of addiction which begins with the lack of unconditional love or experience of unconditional love in many aspects of life. And then through following and continued to work with ayahuasca, where I first did this in Europe where I was living and working at the time, originally from the UK. I then decided to go travelling and make my way to Peru, to go into the jungle, to learn more about ayahuasca. And it was throughout this process then uncovering different levels of sexual ritual, and violent abuse as a child that was the root cause of the addictions. And then going through these different traumas, healing those, and then healing from trauma at the root cause, healing from addictions at the root cause and then stepping into a path of service to help others do the same. And that's part of why we're so passionate about creating trauma-informed environments because when we work with plant medicines, often different levels of trauma arise and when that arises, we need to make sure that we have a safe space for people to be able to heal and evolve because these plant medicines can take us into, like, in my experience, very deep levels of repressed trauma. Very deep into the unconscious that we're not aware of, and that's also why people come to plant medicines perhaps they've tried different therapies or different techniques, different approaches in the Western world, and still not being able to uncover why they're depressed. I was suicidal, I was depressed, I was anxious. I had PTSD, but I didn't know that it was P T S D. So when we have these different symptoms of trauma or symptoms of separation, often we are not sure why we experience those. And we try to overcome them, just like I do try to overcome addiction many, many times over, but have not been successful.
And what plant medicines and Ayahuasca can do is take us to the root cause of that, help us to heal that, help us to love that, and then transform and find more love, peace, happiness, and joy in life. So to summarize, I came from being suicidal, addicted, depressed, and anxious. And western approaches had not helped me. I was looking for something that was a cure rather than a bandaid over symptoms. And that's why I found it.
Kandidly Kristin: Got it. Got it. So if you two could explain to me and the people that will hear this, my listeners, what Ayahuasca is and more importantly, what it isn't.
Jamie Thornhill: Great question, Kristin. I'll start with what it is.
What I can tell you is it's a brew if we're just gonna get technical about it and specific. Okay. It's a brew and someone might take cinnamon bark and place it in hot water and turn it into tea. It's similar to that. Ayahuasca is a vine that grows in the rainforest, it grows in the jungle. And the bark and the branches were, yeah, the branch of the vine are taken and they're cooked in a big pot of hot water for several days. Like you might a tea. And they're cooked down. And they're cooked down. And they're cooked down. And they're also combined. It's also typically combined in the purest form. It's combined with the leaves of the chacruna plant. And so it's chacruna leaves and ayahuasca vine. And the two plants are cooked together in water over an open fire for several days until they're cooked down to a specific consistency. And then that concoction looks a little bit like a combination of coffee, chocolate milk, and black tea. It's kind of dark and sometimes it can be kind of thin and sometimes it can be kind of thick. And then that ayahuasca is drunk in a ceremonial space. You drink the ayahuasca and the amount that you drink is normally kind of based on, I would say, at least the way we gauge it when we work with people, people who are very intuitive, empathic, sensitive, receptive, they tend to not need very much ayahuasca. They tend to be very receptive to the brew itself. And so it can just be like a sip or one drink, like if you were sipping tea.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: Now, for someone else, they may require a little bit larger dose. If it's someone who's a little blocked or not intuitive or not sensitive, they might do better with a little bit of a bigger dose, but you drink the brew or drink the concoction, whether it's one sip or one big gulp. And then in the ceremony space, it typically takes about 15, 20, sometimes 30 minutes for, what we call the effects of ayahuasca to begin to hit the physical body the emotional body and you begin to feel the altered state of ayahuasca. And so what, what, what we perceive ayahuasca to do is transport you to a dimensional or an experience of beingness that you have a heightened level of receptivity to yourself, and you have a heightened level of receptivity to your emotions, to your thoughts, to the way your physical body feels.
And so there's a heightened sort of level of intelligence that happens to be going on during that altered experience. So ayahuasca has the potential to take you into a state of being where you can directly experience very immersively, sometimes cellularly, what it means. How your thoughts make you feel.
You know, it can be like, I may be sitting there thinking, oh man, I don't know if this project is gonna work. I don't know if this project is gonna work. And there I am. And after drinking ayahuasca and I can feel how that thought affects my body and makes me feel bad.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay,
Jamie Thornhill: So there's this great tendency to recognize what our thoughts do, how our feelings affect our body, where emotions may be stuck in the body. So this heightened sensitivity gives us a very clear look into ourselves and has the potential to show us ourselves at a level or a depth or intensity that we're not normally aware of.
Now here's what I can also say about it. For some of us, that's great. Some people are, are ready for that, some people are seeking that, you know, we, sometimes Michael and I say that you know, for us, we love working with dedicated inner truth seekers because it tends to be people who are open, ready, willing and committed or dedicated to their personal growth and seeing themselves more clearly. And so this is a great plant or medicine for doing that. Now, I'll just kind of say this one thing and then I'm gonna pass it to Michael cuz I feel like he may have some things to share about this too.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: But what I can say, sort of leaning towards the what it's not
Kandidly Kristin: Okay. ,
Jamie Thornhill: it's not a cure-all. You don't go sit in a ceremony and have an experience and you're done. The same with any modality that anybody works with, again, meditation, yoga therapy, introspection, group work, ayahuasca ceremony, you're gonna have some great realizations, experiences and insights, and more than likely, it will invite you afterwards to begin actively implementing them or integrating them into your life which is where we find, that's where some people, you know, it's like, oh man, I thought I was just gonna, the light was gonna get switched and it was gonna be done. It's like the flip does get switched and there you are with the bright awareness of light on top of everything, but you still have the conscious choice to be able to go back to your regular life or to begin to recognize how you actually wanna shift that.
So I would just say, The plant ayahuasca, it's available to everyone, but it may not be for everyone. Or not everyone may be ready for it. I'm gonna pass it over here to Michael. I think he might have something to say.
Kandidly Kristin: I like that. Thank you, Jamie.
Jamie Thornhill: You're welcome.
Michael Thornhill: So I work a lot with people for trauma healing work. I do this in my online sessions. And a big part of that work that I do with people is helping people somatically heal or to go into the body to feel released somatically from the trauma from the body. So as we experience traumatic experiences in our lifetime, these energies, get stored in the body. And the body's like a black box recorder from a flight that records all the information, even if our conscious memory doesn't pick up on these things. So, Simultaneously, my understanding is that the body is also a karmic imprint of what we've come into this lifetime to experience, to release and to heal.
So in addition to what Jamie already so eloquently said about ayahuasca, it is an expert at somatically going into the body and releasing and helping us to somatically experience and release that trauma. So we can feel our bodies shaking. We can feel our body releasing, we can purge, we can vomit, we can release things from the body, and what that does is that it creates space for our authentic, true self to experience life and reality without the blocks of these traumas preventing us from living to our full potential.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: So sometimes that can be quite difficult. We can have different past life experiences. We can have multi-lifetime experiences that we become aware of. We can gain a great understanding of the nature of consciousness, the non-dual reality, or the oneness of all things connecting with source, God or your higher self or angels or spirit. There's a whole spectrum of things that can be experienced, which we would describe as going from healing to evolution. And across that spectrum, plant medicine will meet you where you are to help you see yourself more clearly, to heal the blocks, to love, which are present within your life, and then to create space for you to authentically express in everyday reality. So sometimes these experiences can be difficult; sometimes these experiences can be blissful. More often than not, it's both simultaneously intertwined planning in and out of each other. But what these experiences provide is they provide an opportunity for us to live more authentically. They provide an opportunity for us to see more clearly ourselves, the world around us, the nature of consciousness, what we like, and what we don't like. It enables us to go back to experiences from our childhood that might be conscious or unconscious and be able to heal them. And it enables us to take a sole level of self-accountability for how we show up in the world, enabling us to heal from the pain of the past, that we might have also caused outwards to other people unknowingly. And also to be able to forgive those who have potentially harmed us throughout that process. And again, these are just different experiences and plant medicine works uniquely and is tailor-made to everyone's soul blueprint. So one person who goes and drinks ayahuasca will have a completely different experience than the next person.
And it's like ayahuasca holds the perfect key to all the locks within your being and has every key readily lined up to unlock those parts of you. Unlock those aspects of your consciousness so that you can capitalize on your healing and evolution and move forth in whatever it is that you are here to share with this world.
Kandidly Kristin: Oh, that's so awesome. . Wow. Trauma-informed is something that is not only in your title, but it's something that I've heard you say a couple of times. So talk to me about how important having a trauma-informed guide or whatever the term is... when you're in an ayahuasca ceremony or having the experience, how important is it?
Jamie Thornhill: Wow, Kristin, in our own direct experience as even participants in ceremonies that we've set in, you know, even early on, before we started leading our ceremonies and facilitating our retreats. It's imperative actually. If you sit in a ceremony where people are not trauma-informed and whether it's trauma-informed awareness or trauma-informed trained, just some sort of basic sensitivity to trauma it can be re-traumatizing. And the reason is that with the trauma-informed care training, we come from a place and anyone who is trained in trauma-informed care, we come from a place of just recognizing that having trauma as a human on planet earth is quite normal
Kandidly Kristin: okay.
Jamie Thornhill: It's not that we're happy about it, it's not that we're excited about it, it's just that it's a common experience to experience trauma as a human on planet earth at this time. And there are so many different ways that we can experience trauma. So, the first thing that we know, or the place that we're coming from when we're working with people in our sessions and our Ayahuasca retreats is simply that there's a high possibility that people have trauma and we also from the start, inform people that in the ayahuasca ceremony experience, if you have experienced trauma at any level, that it may come up for you in the ceremony because it wants to be healed because it wants to be felt seen, loved, brought back into wholeness, that it wants to be known by you, that it wants to come out of the dark or it wants to come outta the shadows and come back into your awareness to be reintegrated with love.
And so, you know, we let people know ahead of time that it is an experience that possibly could happen. And when, and if it does, you know, Michael and I, from our own experience, have had ceremonies where trauma experiences from our childhood or early adulthood have surfaced, and there are different ways that it comes up and invites you to work with it during ceremony again, to bring healing to it.
We have navigated these things in our processes, and we're very adept at assisting people through those processes during the ceremony. So what that means is someone, if you're sitting with a facilitator or an ayahuasca ceremony leader who is trained in trauma-informed care; Well then they're more than likely speaking to you about that in a pre-ceremony orientation talk about what to expect and how this can arise. They're more than likely during the ceremony as we are ready to be of service and assistance and help. If someone does have a tough experience during the ceremony that they're not sure how to navigate or they feel like they need some help with, we know how to do that and work with people during the ceremony. After the ceremony, we also stick around for quite a bit of time and help people that are needing to process something that they experienced.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay...
Jamie Thornhill: And then on our retreat, just being available 24/7 for any of those processes that may arise, that have recently or newly come into the awareness that someone may not be sure of, or this may be the first time that they're navigating, how do I work with this now that I have a clearer awareness of this? And so that's part of it. Just providing that care, safety and container. To be of service to the highest health, wellness, and well-being of each participant before, during, and after the ceremony, that's for us imperative. The other thing of that too is there are some tenants of trauma-informed care that just kind of find their way into all the work we do. One of those is what I'll call choice or empowerment. You know, basically everything, everything that we do on a retreat or even during a ceremony is voluntary.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: Everybody has the absolute freedom and sovereignty to choose how they'll do that. So for instance, when we're pouring ayahuasca for people to drink, we encourage and guide people into knowing their dose. So we would never pour a full cup of ayahuasca and say, here, you have to drink all this.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: It would be specific to you and it feels like Kristin might drink this much. And then as we hand the ayahuasca to you also encourage you to drink what feels appropriate for you, you know?
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: So people having a choice, everything being voluntary, I've consciously chosen, I wanna participate in this, I've consciously chosen that I wanna drink this, I've consciously chosen that I wanna be here at this retreat. And so just constantly continuing to encourage and assist and nurture people on our retreats and ceremony to be checking in with themselves about what they need, what they feel is right for them at this moment. Do you need rest or do you wanna be more social? Do you wanna participate in this workshop? These types of things. Another thing that's big tenet of trauma-informed care is mutual self-help or mutual support. So there's a recognition that we're all learning and teaching with each other, so even when Michael and I hold retreats, we very easily recognize that we are also students of the retreat. And students of the participants because we learn so much from the people that come and join us in our programs. And so there's this lovely space that gets created where we recognize also that the participants have a great propensity to be able to help each other through processes that everyone has insight, experience, wisdom to share, and that we're all here together, that more than likely we're all here together to be mutually self-supportive of whatever process has come up for any of us during this ceremony or this retreat. And so empowering everybody to also reach out and ask for help, and also to be willing to bear witness and listen or help somebody else who asks for help.
So these are just a few of the ways that come up for me when you ask that question.
Kandidly Kristin: Nice. I like it. So Jamie and Michael, tell me please, what kinds of things can ayahuasca and or other plant-based healing be good for? What kinds of conditions? Maladies. And let me just say that we are not medical doctors, so this is not to be construed as medical advice, but in your opinion, what kinds of things can ayahuasca and plant-based healing be good for?
Michael Thornhill: Yeah, Kristin, that's, a great question and an important point to discuss why we would go on an adventure with plant medicines, because it's not always easy, as I think we've already mentioned, it's not always the easiest way to heal things, right. It's one of the most effective ways to heal from PTSD, depression, anxiety, stress, and the reason why this medicine ayahuasca we're talking about, particularly in the ayahuasca ceremonies, just a few of the things that can help with, and we've talked about how it somatically goes into the body and we're able to release these things.
Jamie Thornhill: But the essence of what plant medicines do is that they heal these traumas or heal us from the effects of traumas at the root cause. So think about if you're gardening and you're out in the garden, just think about if you just kind of cut the weeds away, it's not long before those weeds pop up again and then you have to be back in the garden cleaning up the garden again. So what ayahuasca does and these trauma-informed, multi-dimensional ceremonies that we hold is the plant spirit, the medicine goes right into the root cause of that trauma and heals it, removes it, and transforms it at the root cause.
So just like if you were in the garden and you had a weed that was growing up over and over, if you pulled that out of the root, you would find that it doesn't grow back.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Michael Thornhill: So we can describe a lot of different approaches perhaps that only look at the symptoms or like a band-aid to a problem, or kind of like just covering up the weeds so that you can't see them.
Jamie Thornhill: Right.
Michael Thornhill: And sometimes that can be what the case is with antidepressants. So not that antidepressants are bad. And antidepressants can be very useful for people for some time through a process. But what we are discussing here is that through the antidepressant prescription, usually, and again, I say usually what is happening here is that, the root cause is not being addressed.
Now, the root cause can be addressed if those antidepressants are given in combination with therapy or other processes which are tackling the root cause.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Michael Thornhill: But unless that root cause is tackled, or is investigated, or is healed, then we find ourselves with what I describe as the symptoms of separation, which can be depression, anxiety, worry, fear, inability to feel love, all these different types of things. So to summarize, ayahuasca can go and can heal decades of PTSD in a single ceremony.
Kandidly Kristin: Wow.
Michael Thornhill: And, I've experienced this directly myself, and I've watched others and held space for others to do this. So this is not just me saying, oh, this is what I've read about. This is what I have direct experience with.
Kandidly Kristin: Got it.
Michael Thornhill: So it's again, take what resonates for you from this podcast? Everyone out there, no one's trying to change your beliefs. I'm just sharing my own direct experience that in my own life, after years of therapy, in a single ayahuasca ceremony, I was able to heal from many of the root-level causes of addiction that were only surface scratched before.
So when we're looking at these things, when we're looking at plant medicine, cuz someone else might be out there and say, well, there's plenty of things that heal us from PTSD, anxiety, depression.
Kandidly Kristin: Right?
Michael Thornhill: What we're talking about here is the comprehensiveness of the healing that occurs. The rapid rate, that can occur can enable us to get to the root cause in a matter of minutes rather than months or years or decades, or even never. Right. So what we're doing here with plant medicines is we're accelerating and expediting the process of healing and our evolution in a condensed period, which enables you to live more of your life in the vibration of peace, love, and joy.
So we're talking about the healing of these different afflictions, these different traumas. On the other side of that, what we find is that when we heal from PTSD, we find that we are already naturally, unconditionally loving. We find that we're already naturally peaceful. We find that we're already naturally open. We find that we're already naturally joyful. So whatever it might be, plant medicines can go very much into the root cause of the blocks to love, which we experience in our human experience and dissolve them, so more of a true vibration of who we are can be present and express itself through this human incarnation.
So to kind of summarize, deep levels of trauma, depression, anxiety, suicide, ideation, despair, no hope, lack of passion, lack of love, lack of joy, lack of direction, inability to feel peace and inability to feel love or joy. These can be dissolved. So a true vibration which is naturally loving, peaceful and joyful, happy and open, and ready to explore and enjoy life can be present.
Kandidly Kristin: Nice.
Michael Thornhill: It can sometimes be quite difficult to go through that process. It's not a magic bullet. It doesn't mean that you are gonna be a bystander in that process. We very much believe in being proactive in that process of healing and evolution. But when you combine the powers of plant medicine in a trauma-informed environment that embraces non-duality and empowers you as your healer, this can shave decades off your healing process. And it can transform your very experience of living life on earth.
Kandidly Kristin: And geez, who doesn't want that? Like, seriously, seriously. Jamie, did you have anything to add?
Jamie Thornhill: Very quickly, KristIn, something that's coming up for me with that question is that you know, for me as an observer, as a human on this planet right now and, and what seems to be going on across the planet in different countries and different cultures, different communities, my sort of inner observation is that our thoughts as humans because of our experience here as what I would say or call individuated human lives or human experiences, there's a tendency to look around and observe difference or contrast. And then our thoughts, what I would say are ego thoughts of separation. And that's kinda an umbrella term for any time I take any characteristic of mine or another person's and I start creating a better than or less than the situation.
Kandidly Kristin: Yeah.
Jamie Thornhill: Whether it's my gender, my biology, my color, my ethnicity, my cultural background, my religious background, or my ability. So what happens with ayahuasca? There's this wonderful thing that can happen in an infinite number of ways where we have the opportunity to directly experience our absolute interconnectedness. It just honestly, inherently always exists and is innate within us. It cannot be diminished. It cannot be lessened no matter how crazy or chaotic, we all look on the outside across the planet. It's just something that when you work with a plant like Ayahuasca, you have an opportunity to directly experience your interconnectedness, with your consciousness, with your soul, with your spirit. You recognize and sense and feel your interconnectedness with other humans. You can feel better or experience that with, my word for it would be God, but it doesn't have to have a word. It's source creator, higher power, intelligence, whatever.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: You know, just basically that loving intelligence and the fabric of beingness. And we get an opportunity to see ourselves and experience ourselves as inherently loved, inherently connected. And when that direct experience at the cellular level happens, it changes us. We can't go back to thinking, oh, I'm superior and inferior as easily as we did before. Right. And for me, in my observation again on the planet right now, that's, probably one of the largest conditions we have is our thoughts about separation.
The plant ayahuasca is a wonderful opportunity to experience your innate interconnectedness with all beings.
Kandidly Kristin: And that's what we need more of. I just recorded an episode recently and we were talking about this guilt-shame cycle that we as humans seem to love to embrace, like, you know, culture, parents, religion, kind of, we think that it's normal and it's not. This separation, we think it's normal and it's not.
Jamie Thornhill: Absolutely.
Kandidly Kristin: I like that. I like that a lot. So now I've, I've heard it's said that ayahuasca is the, and I'm doing air quotes, the mother plant, the mother plant. I've heard people call mother a lot in my research. So, do you call it that number one? And if you do, can you explain what people mean when they say it's the mother plant or the mother?
Jamie Thornhill: That's a great question, Kristin. In our work, we've got our own direct experience of what this plant appears to us as, or what its consciousness seems to kind of feel like, and then we also hear all of our participants have their own direct experience of what this plant is, and we hear a lot of people call ayahuasca the mother or the grandmother. And in my own experience, and this is also bringing in my work as an intuitive medium outside of the ayahuasca ceremony; plants have a beautiful way of connecting with each of us very distinctly and uniquely and kind of brilliantly. And so where one person may feel ayahuasca as a mother: we had a participant recently that that said she, she's always felt like Ayahuasca was like her big sister, like someone who was like there to support her and give her the great guidance. Personally. . I always feel like Ayahuasca feels a little gender-neutral. For me, ayahuasca feels like more, and some people may think I'm disrespecting ayahuasca, but for me, it's the very sincere, loving, authentic relationship I have with the plant. But for me, ayahuasca sometimes feels like a bus driver that's pulling up and being like, all right, I'm gonna transport you to this other experience and I'm gonna hold this space for you to dive into the deeper depths of your consciousness, but I'm gonna stay on the outside and I'm just gonna take you there. And then it's kind of like, I'll trust you and I say, you mean me and my higher self and the higher consciousness to know what's wanting to be done or needing to be experienced at the time. So for me, my relationship energetically or spiritually with the plant as I perceive it in ceremony it's more like a guide or a driver of a bus.
Michael, how is it for you?
Kandidly Kristin: I was about to say the same thing.
Michael Thornhill: I think that for me, I experienced the plant as a gateway to non-duality and it's very much a releasing of the veil of illusion. So for me and my personal experience with ayahuasca, I'm opening the doorway in the gateway to multi-dimensionality is blasted open. And so from that space, it's not just ayahuasca that's present. There are many different energies, and spirits beings, and my higher self is the energies that we work with as part of our work as a center, a multi-dimensional center for healing and evolution. So it's not one particular flavour, it's a whole mishmash of different energies that are there in the highest alignment, love, light, truth and service to all.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: With regards to the ayahuasca itself, I do feel that a lot of people do like the experience of having that plant as a mother. And I think that's part of the healing of the trauma of that mother wound.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: And that's the experience I think also of people feeling very much looked after by an intelligent, feminine, divine, loving energy, or what I should probably say is more of the projection of that onto ayahuasca so that people get to have that experience through ayahuasca.
So, as Jamie just saying, in our experience, it's quite neutral. But ayahuasca will allow you and gives you everything that you need. So if you need ayahuasca on a soul level to be mothering energy for you, that's what you'll receive.
Kandidly Kristin: Got it.
Michael Thornhill: If you need ayahuasca to be more of a no-nonsense kind of drill sergeant type energy telling you how to change and shift your life, that's maybe what you'll experience.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: And you might have something completely different. So I think that for anyone who's going out to drink ayahuasca, I think one of the best things that you could do for yourself is let go of everyone else's projections onto it and experience it directly yourself.
Kandidly Kristin: Yeah. Yeah, I agree with that a hundred per cent. Cuz there's so much out there. And if you're looking, you can find just about any opinion in favour of or not for Ayahuasca, but it sounds like it's very much an individual journey.
Jamie Thornhill: Yes.
Michael Thornhill: Indeed.
Kandidly Kristin: Cool, cool! So I've heard through my research that there is a special diet called the Dieta that precedes most ayahuasca ceremonies. Talk to me about the importance of this dieta, cuz it restricts you from a bunch of stuff for some time.
Michael Thornhill: Yeah. Great question. So depending on where you go, and what you do, there will be different variations of what is traditionally known as a Dieta
Kandidly Kristin: Dieta. Thank you.
Michael Thornhill: Yes. However, the words that we use for our work are a nourishment plan. And the reason that we use the word nourishment plan is that we think it's important to recognize that the foods that you eat are very nourishing. And the very idea of a diet has this tendency to feel like a restriction which often we also work with people who've had eating disorders, who have difficult relationships with food based upon trauma and other conditions. So we also want to let everyone know who comes to our retreats, and this is why we talk about this way that the nourishment plan that we offer is something that provides you with the optimum environment for healing and evolution.
And simply put, we are reducing a lot of the toxins from the diet. We're reducing stimulants, drugs, alcohol, and other things like this. And we're creating a base level of an optimum environment, which you might just say is a healthy, clean diet. That's another way that you might describe that. So there are a few different aspects to it to discuss and I'll talk about it in terms of the most important.
So the most important thing when it comes to an ayahuasca retreat is that you might be taking some level of pharmaceutical medication that could cause a negative interaction with ayahuasca that can be very, very serious. So those are the most important things. And then you'd also have recreational drugs and other things like this that could simultaneously cause very serious adverse reactions.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: So those are the most important things that are a complete 'no', that there's like a no negotiation on some types of pharmaceuticals. And then we kind of get into an area where there might be some different vitamins or pharmaceuticals that might not be too contraindicated, that there's some kind of room for negotiation or talk around. We take everyone's situation on a completely personalized basis. Because sometimes it might not be negotiable for someone to come off medication.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: So we'll always look for if there's a safe way for that to be able to be taken. But for the most part, it's clear that pharmaceuticals are not recommended and can cause severe adverse reactions when combined with ayahuasca. So, that's the most important thing.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: And then we start getting into the level of different foods. So some different foods have different nutrients within them that when eaten excessively can cause milder adverse reactions like headache or unnecessary nausea when taken with ayahuasca.
So to kinda summarize that process, there are heavily contraindicated substances, which can include pharmaceuticals and recreational drugs. There are complete no-nos. And then there's a refinement of the eating process, which can then create the optimum environment for healing and evolution.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: So we have full details of this on our website via our medical guidelines via our preparation and document for preparation for the retreat. And then we also, everyone who comes on our retreats, We do a full health and wellness screening questionnaire so that we get a full inventory of everything that's being taken and that we can say what the minimum times are our recommended minimum times that you must be a bare minimum stop taking these type of pharmaceuticals with the supervision of your medical professional because we're not your doctors. We're here simply to tell you what you can and cannot take with ayahuasca to take it safely.
Now, we don't know what your situation might be if you might start taking a certain pharmaceutical that might have a serious adverse health reaction for yourself, so we provide the information and then we recommend that you speak with your doctor about what's a safe way for you to be able to abstain from these pharmaceuticals for the period, for the retreat and then shortly afterwards you can resume if it's necessary. We do sometimes find though, that people who take antidepressants and other medications and things like that find that they need a lesser dose when they go back or sometimes not even necessary depending on the level of the person. And what we can also find through these situations as well, is that it's very interesting sometimes we have people come to our retreats and they might list 20, 25 pharmaceuticals that they're taking altogether. And just the very process of coming off those pharmaceuticals, that's a very big detox for the body. So even if it's just temporarily, it allows the body to have a full detox and reset, which can be very, very beneficial health-wise.
Kandidly Kristin: Got it. Now let me ask you this, Michael and Jamie, are there the 'hard nos' in terms of medical or mental health conditions? Are there like a few that you just absolutely can't do Ayahuasca if you either suffer from this medical or mental health condition or are on pharmaceuticals for these?
Jamie Thornhill: Great question, Kristin. There are a few things that are definite for us when we see a completed health and wellness questionnaire, we're specifically looking for these things because most of the time they're a hard no. But even as I say that it depends on the person, their health, their intention and how comfortable they feel working with their doctor with some of these things and where they are in their process.
One of those is somebody who has a heart condition where, maybe like a pacemaker or very high blood pressure or circulatory system issues or problems, ayahuasca is such that it tends to speed up the heart rate the pace at which the blood is pumped through the body. And so certain heart conditions are contraindicated with ayahuasca that if someone drank ayahuasca could cause them severe physical problems, even death.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: And another one is there are some severe mental illnesses that we would not recommend if someone has or has been diagnosed with that they drink ayahuasca, bipolar disorder is an example. It's not that these mental conditions can't be alleviated or worked with or healed. It just depends again, on where the person is in the process of working with their mental illness. And if someone's taking antibiotics, antibiotics are contraindicated with ayahuasca.
Kandidly Kristin: Really?
Jamie Thornhill: Yeah, it can also cause physical problems for people.
Michael, anything else you would add to that?
Michael Thornhill: No, I think it sounds like for anyone listening out there, that might be a lot to take in. And that might be the question of, okay, is this for me? Is this not for me? Is it possible? That's why we offer everyone a free 30-minute consultation, cause everyone has a unique set of circumstances. So if you are unsure or you're wanting more information first, I'll recommend checking out our website https://www.casagalactica.com/ to check out the medical guidelines. Have a look into there, we have a very detailed list of contraindicated medications and conditions. And then you can also book a free consultation with us, and then we can talk through your unique set of circumstances. And then we can give you an idea of if we think that would be appropriate for you or safe for you to do an ayahuasca retreat. So absolutely, the first thing out of the whole process of everything that we do is the first do not harm.
Kandidly Kristin: Yes.
Michael Thornhill: And health, safety and wellness are the absolute priority. And we don't take risks in those departments. And it's not necessary. As much as we've also just talked here, about how beneficial plant medicines are and how great they are, they're not the only path. Right. So if you are in one of those categories it's just like, well, you can't participate in that. Then there are plenty of other avenues and different help out there. So don't be discouraged in that sense. We also work with people online. So we work with people online, not only for people who are contraindicated of ayahuasca, but also for people who are just like, I don't wanna do that, so I'm just gonna do that... cause you might just think, oh, this is just not for me.
Kandidly Kristin: Right?
Michael Thornhill: So this is why we have our online Healing Evolution sessions, trauma Healing sessions, intuitive readings, all the work that we do, our online workshops, personalized programs, courses, all these different types of things. So we meet you where you are at.
Kandidly Kristin: right?
Michael Thornhill: But the most important thing in this situation is if you're finding yourself in a place where someone's just trying to get you on board and not worried about the precautions or the contraindications. I'm just telling you, don't worry. Remember, you are the only person who can look after yourself in that sense.
Kandidly Kristin: Yeah.
Michael Thornhill: You're the only one who can make an informed decision for yourself. So educate yourself. Make your own decision. Anytime that you participate in any psychedelic or plant medicine or anything that you are gonna do, either by yourself or with others, recognize that you are in control of your destiny in terms of what you choose to do and don't.
Kandidly Kristin: Absolutely.
Michael Thornhill: So be sure to be informed about those processes before you embark on these journeys because they can bring you into a very deep awakening of trauma. They can bring you into some scarier experiences, which is why, especially if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, that can be contraindicated because you might find yourself in an experience where there's a sustained period of elevated heart rate, which is not a problem for anyone who doesn't have a heart condition.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Michael Thornhill: But just like if you had a heart condition, you wouldn't necessarily go and jump out of a plane. You would find a difference in what perhaps you will do. So it's just being aware of where you are at and then finding the appropriate treatment for your healing and evolution, wherever that may be.
Kandidly Kristin: Indeed. And that's a great segue into, okay, so I've looked at Ayahuasca. It's either contraindicated for me because of a medical or mental health issue, or it's not for me. What other plant-based healing modalities are there that someone who doesn't wanna jump into the ayahuasca pool can look to that you guys practice?
Jamie Thornhill: I'm gonna defer to Michael because he's the plant specialist.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay. First, let me ask you, what is a curandero?
Michael Thornhill: It's the Spanish word for healer and it's traditionally used in the context of someone who holds ayahuasca ceremonies for the most part.
So plants, where to begin? There are a lot of plants.
Kandidly Kristin: Yes, indeed.
Jamie Thornhill: Can I insert something real quick? Kristin, you have to know that Michael is from Wales and they drink a lot of tea there. So not only is he very familiar with a lot of plant medicines, but a lot of speciality teas that can also assist.
Kandidly Kristin: I love teas. That's awesome. Okay, Michael, let's go.
Michael Thornhill: Yeah. I have a cupboard under the stairs with lots of dried plants in it.
Kandidly Kristin: I think that's amazing. But anyway, other plant-based healing besides ayahuasca.
Michael Thornhill: Well, plants are all around us and depending on what part of the world you're in, firstly there's gonna be a lot of local plants where you are that are just out in your garden. That is gonna be beneficial for you. So you might find yourself just connecting with someone locally who has some knowledge of the plants that are around you that can help you to also connect with nature, the land around you, and the medicine of the land around you, which can be nice.
Simultaneously, we also have access in this day and age to plants from all around the world, which is fantastic. So for people who listen to this podcast, I'm just gonna talk about a few different plants that are specific for the nervous system. Because when we can treat the nervous system, when we're able to support the nervous system, we're able to also help that repair, and heal from the effects of trauma. Because the nervous system is one of the parts of the body which stores trauma, which is most affected by the effects of trauma.
So you don't have to travel to Peru all the way to get healer plants. Although, There's a very different aspect to the work that we do in an ayahuasca ceremony than what these gentle plants that I'm gonna talk to you about are.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: We also work with a lot of other plants in our retreat that support the nervous system that is local from here, from the Amazon rainforests, from the Andean mountains, and we have a plethora of different plants that we're able to provide to people, and then also when people come on retreat for people who want to continue with those practices and those treatments at home. We're also able to provide an opportunity for people to purchase additional plants, so they continue with these at home.
So, Plants for the nervous system. You can start to look at the Ayurvedic tradition, which originated in India. I'm just gonna list a few different plants that you can start to work with: Ashwagandha is a great plant adaptogenic, which means that it adapts to your body's needs. It adapts to what your nervous system is needing. That can be great with the cautionary tale that in excessive amounts this can cause anxiety. So in lower amounts, it can be very, very useful.
I find that Ashwagandha is quite a strong one, so for me, that's something that I would use three or four times, three or four days in a row when I have a lot of breaks for a week or so. Cause it's quite strong. You don't need so much of it. This is great. It's also really, really great as well for increasing energy levels and concentration.
Lemon Balm is one of my favorite plant that you can find. If you can't find these, you can go to, like, I don't work for this company, but Mountain Rose Herb is a great place that I found to buy some great plants or some great ways. Lemon balms are a great plant for the nervous system.
You can also look into Tulsi or Holy Basil. So anyone's listening out there, you can check out Ashwagandha, Lemon Balm and Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi.
So you can read up online on those, and you can just make yourself a nice little tea so you can just steep them in water for three to five minutes, sieve them out. And these are quite relaxing tea. So you can have them before bedtime, which is quite nice. You also find that these plants will start working within the dream times. You begin to release stress from your nervous system. So these are just three plants. But you can also find and look online for organic herbs or herbs for the nervous system. And then you can begin to work with these and incorporate them into your daily routine. Incorporate that with a meditation practice or yoga practice or things like this. And then they can be very potentiated to release the stress from the toxins, from the nervous system and bring you more into harmonious balance. And when the nervous system comes back into balance, we're able to deal with the triggers, we're able to deal with the stresses of life more easily.
So yes! Enjoy. Everyone beat yourself a cup of tea.
Kandidly Kristin: Yes! I am resisting the urge to pick up my phone and Google it right now to find where I can get some.
For that Ashwagandha. I've heard about it. My daughter takes Ashwagandha. I don't know how often, but she swears by it. So here's a question that I have. So, Going back to Ayahuasca, I've come to the retreat. I've had this amazing experience there. Now I'm headed home. How important are a well-thought-out and trauma-informed reintegration plan to having the ayahuasca experience, actually to bring it back home with you and start to move in this new, more informed or awakened space, for lack of better terms?
Jamie Thornhill: Yeah Kristin, integration is really important. For us, we recognize in the work that we do in the retreats, one of the ways that we start doing integration from the very start before, the second that someone's filling out that comprehensive health and wellness form; it's the form is such that the questions it asks require the person that's registering to be very introspective with themselves. And to begin to be, part of the trauma. One of the tenets of trauma-informed care is transparency. So it begins to invite the person who's registering the participant to start being honest with themselves, start being able to write clearly about different things that a person's experienced or medications, or trauma that they've had.
Another tenet of trauma-informed care goes with basically normalizing that there's a high possibility that each one of us has experienced trauma in our lifetimes.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: And so from the beginning, we start creating an environment or setting the stage or holding a space for people to begin to look more inwardly, be more introspective, communicate more honestly with themselves, communicate more honestly with others. To feel safe in the environment to do that, to be able to trust themselves, to have their answers, to be able to navigate their processes, to be able to look inwardly for that guidance to be able to be in an environment where there's mutual support for that. And so from the very start, from that health and wellness questionnaire to the next step, we offer a pre-retreat orientation call that's private for the person who's registered for the retreat.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: So even on that call, we begin to ask more questions. We allow the participant to share any of their hesitancy, share their intentions, share their excitement, and their purpose for joining the retreat. So from the get-go, we start conveying direct and indirect tools for what we perceive to be very important for integration. And it's interesting cuz oftentimes, I think, at least in my direct experience, it's often referred to as, oh, integration for plant medicine. But for me, it feels like it's an actual tool for living your life in a way that has more self-care in it and more self-love in it. So some of those integration tools, that we teach and demonstrate from before the retreat even begins to the end of the retreat and even afterwards we offer a post-retreat group sharing integration call. We also offer a private integration session online. And then we have Casa Galactica. We have our monthly online free sharing and integration circles so that people can continue to be in a supportive environment to be able to speak about and learn from people's consciousness, and awakening experiences.
And so some of these tools that we teach from start to infinity are self-introspection, being able to, or beginning to develop a practice for going inward to be able to seek your inner guidance. And so that comes with, for instance, as you said in the scenario you've had these experiences, ayahuasca ceremony, and now you're heading home. We constantly demonstrate and guide and empower people to work with the experiences they've had, to discern more about what they've learned from it, how they've changed, how they've grown. And then one of the things that we like to share with people as they leave and go back to their lives. And an important thing is to take the time to honour how you've changed.
Oftentimes we change and, and we kind of immediately start thinking to the future, okay, now I've gotta go back to life and I've gotta go back to my job and I've got my family and then I've got my routine and it's taking a pause to be like, okay. Honoring how you've changed, honoring those things that feel like they've come into your awareness at such a place or in such an intensity that you're like, I can't deny this anymore. If I continue to deny this, then I'm gonna make myself sick, or I'm gonna be depressed, or I'm gonna carry on the same way, which I've already been having a difficult time with.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: And so it's also kind of helping people create sort of you might call it an action plan, but I would say just actionable steps that you can start taking to support and affirm the changes that you've experienced. That you want to be able to continue to affirm yourself through your commitment or dedication or devotion to yourself. So often, there is some kind of trends; everyone has specific things that come up for them. But often trends are people wanna be more clear with their relationships; that they have certain people they wanna show up better for in their lives; that they recognize, ah, I haven't been, playing my part or taking my responsibility.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: Or they find there are people in their lives that maybe haven't been as supportive or beneficial to them as they originally thought. And so relationships are a big deal. People go back into their lives and make adjustments and create boundaries to either show up better in relationships or maybe step away from relationships that aren't serving their highest good.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Jamie Thornhill: That's a big deal. Another thing that tends to come up, another trend is people's work situations. Oftentimes after a retreat, they find holy smokes! I'm doing the right thing. I didn't fully recognize it, and now I've gained some insights into how I can show up more strongly and be an active player in this work in ways that bring my passion and purpose through. Or someone finds that, huh, okay, this work I'm doing, it's what I thought, it's time to move on. I wanna start making plans for that business that I wanted to start myself, or I wanna start looking for another job that's more supportive of my schedule or that's more aligned with my values. So, these tend to be trends and experiences people have.
Health issues are another one where people recognize and have awarenesses about how they can improve their health and take care of their physical body. And so a really big deal to do for integration is to again, take the time and pause to honor the changes that you've experienced and then I would say making a list of actionable steps that you can take at your own pace, that feel resonant with you just to start moving towards that even more so, or ingraining it in even deeper or just affirming it for yourself and strengthening you.
Kandidly Kristin: I got it. I love it. The two things that you brought up as trending things were career and relationships, and I thought career would've been first and relationship second, but I get that.
So listen, I would like both of you, just to briefly give my listeners your last thoughts. If they are looking to have an ayahuasca experience, what they should know going in and what they should be looking for in a practitioner.
Michael Thornhill: Okay... firstly is just to connect to your heart and just to breathe and just tune into your heart and to find out if this is the right thing for you to do. And then you can also apply that when you find a place or practitioner potentially to do that. You can tune in, you can ask your heart if this is the right place. Now you can also do your research and you can also find out if this place offers trauma-informed care. You can check out, and see if they have any recommendations on their website from people who've been there before. Firsthand stories.
Kandidly Kristin: Right.
Michael Thornhill: And you can also recognize that going into the experience, you know relatively nothing about what will arise. Yeah. So the invitation is to align with the truth of who you are in terms of your intention of why you're going there, and do your due diligence into the place that you feel not only supports you physically but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Practices embody trauma-informed care through all the work that they do. Now this component, what I'm gonna talk to you about is the ethos, the modality, the way that they work, is the way that the ayahuasca medicine is used to facilitate a process of healing and evolution, is that in alignment with what you prefer?
Let's just use this as an example: perhaps you tend to connect more to religion. Now there would be many different churches or even religions or things that you could explore. So it'd be up for you to find out, to check in to investigate if the belief systems of that organization, I e church or whatever it might be fit in alignment with your soul blueprint, with what you are looking to do because different places have different traditions. There are different limitations, there are different ideologies, and there are different things that are all imprinted onto what is pure medicine.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: Now we do our best to remove ourselves from the process as much as possible so that you have a direct experience with that plant medicine connecting to the truth of who you are. But if you are not aware that many ancient traditions, and many different places of practice, just like places of worship, we can see that in some places of worship, there are the ideas of humanity or human ideas projected onto the idea of what religion must be. And in some places that gets very diluted so that it's not a direct experience with God or oneness. It's an experience with the paradigm of that church.
Kandidly Kristin: Yes.
Michael Thornhill: So be aware that traditions also are paradigms. Traditions also have beliefs and again, many of these traditions that you might go and participate in, they're not enlightenment traditions. They don't have necessarily liberation at the forefront of their intention, and in many ways shaped and formed because those traditional beliefs are still based on separation and limitation.
You might perceive the illusion of liberation and find yourself entangled within more perspectives and beliefs that you later than need to untangle yourself from.
Kandidly Kristin: Got it.
Michael Thornhill: So the invitation is to recognize, whilst that plant medicine is a very, very powerful tool, there are human traumas, beliefs, and perspectives projected onto plants. And if you are not aware of that, you may find and confuse your experience of feeling liberation with the ideology of a tradition or a belief system that's not actually in alignment with yourself. Therefore giving your power away to something that you don't want to when there's a more direct path to the freedom which already exists for you.
So anything that finds yourself within limitation; question it.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Michael Thornhill: Everything that leads to expansion in my experience, follow it with your discernment.
Kandidly Kristin: Thank you so much. And Jamie, anything to add? Jamie, let me ask you if I'm listening and I say okay, I think I don't have any contraindicated medical or mental health conditions, do not take any pharmaceuticals, and don't do a lot of recreational drugs. I think I want to try this Ayahuasca, what three questions should somebody ask of the practitioner, the retreat, the place in the person that they're looking into, going to have this experience with; the top three?
Jamie Thornhill: Kristin, I love that. It's interesting. I've been sitting here these three words have been coming to my mind the whole time. I think they answer your question. For me, it's how safe is this place. Do you follow a code of professional ethics? And do I have a choice in sovereignty? And I'll just speak kandidly since we're on The Kandid Shop Podcast.
Kandidly Kristin: Thank you.
Jamie Thornhill: You know, as a biological woman in these environments and our collective culture, oftentimes I have found throughout my life different teachings or traditions that I've found myself in learning from that there happen to be, guess what? Restrictions for women. And that never made sense to me. And I feel an experience that all people, no matter biology are like Michael said, limitless are liberated already. And so for me, any tradition that is trying to provide a set of various rules or restrictions or guidelines that are different and often different means less than what biological men are being afforded, I'm suspicious of that. And I'll say that in my experience in this work learning and training and practising, that I have come across this quite often where there are different rules and guidelines given to women than are given to men.
And so I would say, and not all places, not all retreat centers, not all traditions, not all facilitators and ceremony leaders do this. There are plenty of people who are doing great work that is setting a space where everyone is equal. So I would say be cautious of anything that has different guidelines and protocols for women versus men.
I would say in terms of asking if this place is safe. I mean in physical safety, are you looking after my best physical, health? Are you screening me properly? Are you making sure that my health and conditions and medications are not contraindicated ayahuasca? Do you have my spiritual and mental health in mind? Are you considering that? Is it safe for me to ask for help during the ceremony or am I left to my left on my own to go through whatever I'm going through?
Kandidly Kristin: Okay.
Jamie Thornhill: You know, and then the professional ethics are basically, like do you have a non-discrimination policy? Do you have an anti-harassment policy? How do I go about finding out, in the ceremony, for instance, if the ceremony is being led by one person, two people, or three people do I get to speak directly to the ceremony leaders and understand what they saw or if they have any information for me that they saw in the ceremony? So what are the guidelines? How do I get an opportunity to learn more about that in the ceremony? Or am I left off to my own, to figure things out all for myself?
So I would say asking questions about safety, asking questions about professional ethics and asking questions about choice and sovereignty.
Kandidly Kristin: Okay. Those are great. And they will all be in the show notes as well as all of your amazing comments. So my last question before I ask you to tell my listeners again how to connect with you is why Casa Galacisca is a name for the retreat. Why did you choose that name?
Jamie Thornhill: Kristin? The short story, I think we could talk about it in-depth, but truly we feel like we are at the soul level galactic citizens, just meaning that even though we're living on planet Earth and we're here as humans in our hearts, I get emotional about this, Michael, and I feel like the galaxy, the cosmos, the universe is our home and that we're interconnected with all of it. And we feel that so strongly and we also recognize that in all of us just how beautifully divinely interconnected we are with all beingness and all consciousness. And so the name Casa Galactica captures that it's your galactic home or your home is discovered within, or your home's discovered through your interconnection with all beingness.
Michael, would you add anything to that?
Michael Thornhill: I think you've covered it.
Kandidly Kristin: That's pretty good. I've been dying to ask that since we started, so once again, if you guys could give my listeners how they can connect with you and Casa Galactica.
Michael Thornhill: Yeah. Great. Well, Kristin, thanks for having us. Thanks to our listeners here. Please just go to our website https://www.casagalactica.com/ and yeah, enjoy checking out all the information that we have for you. Book a free 30-minute consultation. If you wanna talk more about any of our ayahuasca retreats, our online healing and evolution sessions, our trauma healing or intuitive readings, a whole bunch of intuitive business design and branding, whatever it is that we've got on our website. Wherever you're at, please feel free to book a 30-minute free consultation and then we'd invite you as well also to subscribe to our newsletter and you'll get a whole bunch of gifts into your inbox immediately, like begin as a guidebook to strengthening your Intuition, fundamentals, a trauma healing workshop. Plus, you'll also get 20% off your first session with us, and you will then invite magic into your inbox every month from our monthly newsletter.
Jamie Thornhill: That's true.
Michael Thornhill: Yes! So yeah, thanks for having us and it's been an absolute pleasure to be here we look forward to connecting with more of you on a one-on-one basis. And yeah, feel free to sign up for our free sharing and integration circles as well, and, and join the online community.
Kandidly Kristin: Nice. Listen, guys, I am so, so grateful to you, Michael, and you Jamie, for joining me for this conversation. Again, this is a personal journey for me toward Ayahuasca and so I'm just super, super happy to be putting actual information out there to hopefully dispel some of the misinformation and just so it's there so that people are aware and informed and can make better choices for themselves and their spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health. So thank you so much for joining me.
Jamie Thornhill: Thank you, Kristin. We're happy to be of assistance.
Michael Thornhill: Yeah, thanks so much and thank you for all the work you're doing holding these conversations with people from around the world. So thank you very much.
Kandidly Kristin: Thank you. I can't wait to come down there and see you guys in person.
So listen guys, all of Michael, Jamie, and Casa Galactica's info will be in the show notes as well as some key takeaways and important information.
Jamie Thornhill: I'm not gonna put everything in there cuz you need to listen to the entire episode to get the meat of it, but their contact info will be in the show notes. And don't forget to visit little old me at www.thekandidshop.com to check out some episodes including this one, subscribe, share the show, and make sure you're following me on Facebook, TikTok and IG @thekandidshoppodcast
Until next time, I want all of you to keep it safe, keep it healthy. And keep it kandid.
Cofounder of Casa Galactica, plant spirit healer, non dual teacher
Michael Thornhill, is co-founder of Casa Galactica in Peru. Michael is a trauma-informed plant spirit healer, professional channel and non-dual teacher. Recovering from addiction, trauma and abuse have been a big part of Michael's own healing journey. He now dedicates his life to helping others heal themselves.
Casa Galactica offer Ayahuasca Healing and Evolution Retreats, online private sessions and group programs for dedicated inner-truth seekers and multidimensional healers.
Intuitive Medium | Plant Spirit Healer | Intuitive Designer
As an Intuitive Medium with over 10 years of professional experience, I access and utilize my multi-sensory abilities (the ways of communicating and receiving communication beyond the 5 physical senses) to connect with and receive lovingly intelligent messages, wisdom, transmissions, guidance, and insights from the unseen subtle energies of the spiritual realm. And I do so with the utmost consideration, love, integrity, and respect. I provide this work online through my private Intuitive Readings and Intuitive Mentorship 101 Course.
As a lifelong Plant Spirit Healer, I connect with, communicate with, and channel the multidimensional spirits and songs of plants to bring through healing for the mind, body, and spirit. I provide this work online and in-person through my private Intuitive Readings, Garden Design projects, Plant Spirit Communication workshops, Ayahuasca Ceremonies, and Ayahuasca Retreats.
As an Intuitive Designer with almost 30 years of professional experience, I actively access my intuition to guide people towards their soul´s purpose, create native plant gardens, design business graphics and logos, and develop business branding narratives. I provide this work online through my Discover Your Calling Course, Cultivate Your Calling Course, and Business Design & Branding.
Through all of my work, I am in service to personal healing, awakening to one´s truth, and embodying one´s authenticity. I specifically delight in working with dedicated inner-truth seekers, purpose-driven healers, and soul-inspired entrepreneurs who desire to know, embrace, and live their highest calling within this very human experience on planet Earth. And I do so with fierce love, humility, and light-hearted humor.
With an emphasis on self-responsibility, trauma-informed care, and professional ethics, I serve my clients and students in ways that demonstrate, encourage, and strengthen personal boundaries and spiritual sovereignty.
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