In 3 months time I will be staying in an exceptionally isolated rural village in the Gabonese jungles. Right in the heartland of West-Central Africa. I’ll be learning more about one of favourite plant medicine allies; Tabernanthe iboga, and to do this I will be going through an initiation process held by the mothers of the Mabanji tribe that I’m staying with, so I will become an apprentice of the Women’s sect of Bwiti-Boumba Mabanji (the women’s way). Bwiti is open to all people, and Iboga is a sacrament of transition into this world view, used as a natural medicine and agent of insight.
Initiation involves a week of song, dance, celebration, and ceremony. There will particular herbal medicines and foods that I must eat, and practices of cleansing that I will undergo to enhance the communication with the plant spirit. The Mabanji are of mostly Pygmaea ancestry, and since Iboga use has been learned through the Pygmaea use, this particular tribe is practising a very ancient lineage of ceremony and plant medicine use.
I can barely contain the levels of nervous excitement I feel, readying myself for the unknown potentials about to unfold around me and become me. I am ready, I am open. More to come! As I will be filming aspects of the adventure to compile a mini-documentary of the realness and rawness of this whole crazy endeavour. Vlogging and blogging this amazing opportunity. Stay tuned!