New to the public psychedelic space, Taylor Valera has been a long-time advocate of the safe utilization of sacred medicines for mental, spiritual, and emotional healing. Connected to both eastern and Indigenous practices of alternative healing, she has worked as an herbalist and sound bath facilitator.
After the birth of her two children during the 2020 pandemic, she had begun to create a platform speaking about her use of cannabis and how it assisted her in caring for her own physical well-being. During the pregnancy of her second child, she answered the call from the Sacred Mushroom to work together in finding her new voice for BIPOC mothers everywhere.
She founded The Tailored Healing Collective Podcast to create new spaces for the BIPOC community that are not currently being reflected within the psychedelic space. It is her life’s mission to spread awareness and create safe spaces to bring healing and transformation on a global level. Let’s learn more about Taylor in this interview for Amplify.
This interview was conducted by Jessika Lagarde and edited by her and Melissa Vrouvides.
WOOP: Tell us a bit about your background and the start of your psychedelic path.
Taylor: I don’t think there’s a simple way to sum up my background, but I’ll do my best. I’m a creator, an artist, a mother, and above all, a human flesh holding a thriving spiritual being who craves transformation. My psychedelic path started at a pretty rough time in my life. I was about 19 years old, living with my parents after being kicked out multiple times by my emotionally abusive stepfather. I was trying to navigate the world the best I could but was still very lost. One day during the summertime, a friend of mine invited me to partake in an LSD trip. It was there the world first really opened up to me. I saw everything I already felt about myself, and the world held true in every aspect.
WOOP: What are the barriers you have experienced so far for being a BIPOC woman in this space?
Taylor: I don’t know if I would say barriers. Being a mother of two young children, who utilized this medicine during pregnancy could be considered a barrier. I would also definitely say visibility could be a major challenge in this space If I were a white woman, I would most likely be more accepted for the story I’m telling, but I try not to focus on barriers, I like bridges.
WOOP: Psychedelics and Motherhood: what are your thoughts on this?
Taylor: They can help instill great change in those who are mothers but may have repressed emotions from childhood that keep them in a constant state of stress. And also allow them to further connect with their children.
Mothers are looked at as these soldiers without consideration that we might just need a hug or a good cry. We need to be able to release and tap in. Psychedelics have been a big help for me in this area. I believe it can serve as an entryway door into the never-ending path of healing.
WOOP: Tell us a bit more about your podcast & mission.
Taylor: Tailored Healing Collective has been an idea since about 2016 at the start of my spiritual awakening. The name THC was a silly play on words for my favorite healing tool at the time, THC. When I truly tapped into how cannabis helped me regulate my emotions, I wanted to explore deeper by showing people that self-healing was an option for them.
Healing has always been the motive. When I realized that there were not a lot of BIPOC faces in this particular realm, I did what I always do. I created a solution rather than focusing on the problem. So I make it a priority to highlight BIPOC voices speaking on their experiences and transformation through these journeys.
In the history of the war on drugs in the United States, when you hear about psychedelics, it is praised through white hippie culture and infiltrated with violence and demonic possession in BIPOC communities. Getting others to share their stories shows the humanity that is constantly stripped away from us. It connects us to the bigger picture I can’t wait to see what this grows into. My overall goal is to educate the mind to liberate the soul.
WOOP: What have you learned so far from the women you interviewed?
Taylor: I’ve learned collectively we are all on the same path. Using our intuitive gifts to ground ourselves in the transformation happening around the world. I know I say transformation a lot, but women go through some of the most painful and ugliest things to create something beautiful, and if that doesn’t describe each guest I’ve interviewed, I don’t know what does. Each one has been able to create something beautiful as a gift to the world to help heal it in some way. It lets me know my efforts are never in vain.
WOOP: Where do you see the psychedelic space going within the next years when it comes to BIPOC women's inclusion?
Taylor: If I had to be honest, I think inclusion will still be a rough battle. The world isn’t even ready for a woman as a president, I think it’ll be some time before BIPOC women are heavily recognized in the psychedelic space. It’s going to require some deep reflection from anyone involved to see that the psychedelic space is very masculine dominant, and find effective ways to change them to create more balance. BIPOC women are often dismissed as being too sensitive, able to tolerate large amounts of pain, and looked at as threatening or aggressive. But it only takes one voice, and from there, it will multiply.
WOOP: How do you believe we can all better highlight the work of women in this space?
Taylor: I think because of the normalcy of patriarchy, everyone is used to needing tons of scientific evidence and experts to tell us what the body knows. Trusting women will be the first step to any real change.
WOOP: How do you believe women can use psychedelics for healing, self-liberation, and empowerment?
Taylor: I believe when women begin to trust themselves again, they will realize how truly connected we are. When people consume psychedelics, they are trying to find their way back to Spirit. Women already have that gift with or without the use of plants so imagine if you pair the two together how powerful they could be. Liberating women through psychedelics also means liberating the world.
Tailored Healing Collective Podcast is a space catered to inspiring others through stories of sacred plant medicine, spirituality, and self-improvement. There is such a stigma on who can open the floor for a conversation on these topics that are viewed as taboo or reserved solely for the elite. This fact alone has made so many become fearful of the very thing that could help us rebuild families, shape our own lives, and, most importantly, trust our role in the world as future ancestors. So wherever you are, take a cleansing breath and do your best to listen with an open mind, heart, and spirit, and let love lead the way. You can listen to this podcast on Apple, Spotify, Iheart, Amazon Music.
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