The relationship between humans and nature is intricate — given the multifaceted ways we navigate our lives in the present moment. In reality, nature is not a separate entity from our own beings. We are embedded in the ecosystem we live in. But how much do we actually understand about nature? How much do we care? How much have we forgotten that we are part of it?
In order to transform our existing ideology, we should engage in the process of unlearning what we have been taught: our prioritizations, beliefs, and consumerist mindset. And we should subsequently re-educate ourselves.
Our conversation with the Earth involves appreciating and connecting with nature. A profound sense of respect emerges when we deeply consider all the living beings we co-exist with in this physical space. Instead of seeing nature as a place to visit and take a break from our chaotic lives, we should see it as an internal space within each of us. Instead of destroying, celebrating as it is.
How does our conversation with Earth appear in our daily lives? Can psychedelics transform our relationship with nature to another level? Can they be a way to spark our environmental awareness and replenish our sense of “ecological self”?
Connecting to Nature, Connecting to “self”
We are biological beings, all interdependent and embedded inside the ecosystem. Being part of nature means not dominating but living in harmony within the order. During a psychedelic experience, one can achieve a transpersonal relationship with nature — which is also a form of self-expression.
The concept of "self" refers to our personal identity, consciousness, and awareness of existence as distinct beings; it includes our thoughts, emotions, subjective experiences, beliefs, and values which all form our relations and interactions.
Self has a reciprocal relationship with the natural world. In this sense, connecting to Earth means connecting to ourselves. Our relationship with the Earth is also erotic, sensual, and poetic. It extends the limits of a utilitarian interaction and expands into seeing the beauty, feeling a sense of wonder, passion, inspiration, and belonging to space. Realizing these sensuous aspects of nature and connecting with all living beings is a magical celebration for all.
The biologist, philosopher, and nature writer Andreas Weber says: “Rather than having control over nature, we can exist in mutual transformation”. He argues that self is self through the other. In his theory named “Enlivement”, he suggests that organisms are not isolated entities but engage in constant exchanges and interactions with their environment, shaping and being shaped by their surroundings.
Therefore, connecting to nature is a way of connecting to ourselves.
Women’s Cyclical Rhythms and Relationship with Nature
Throughout history, women have long held a profound connection with nature, honoring its rhythms, cycles, and innate wisdom. The lunar cycle has been closely associated with women's fertility and natural rhythms.
In ancient times women performed rituals that aligned with the moon's phases. They would gather during the new or full moon to honor the feminine energy and the cycles of birth, growth, and transformation. Menstruation during the full moon was thought to amplify the potency of rituals and magical practices. Women who menstruated during this time were believed to have heightened divination, healing, and spellcasting abilities.
Rituals allowed women to celebrate, express their existence, and reclaim their power. These practices can be considered political acts that challenge societal expectations. The rituals often focused on honoring women's bodies, and celebrating the transitional stages of their lives, their relationships with others, including nature. The periods included childbirth, puberty, menopause, miscarriage, and marriage. As well as celebration of the earth's fertility, the interconnectedness of all life, and abundance.
Ecofeminist Approach to Psychedelics
Psychedelics and ecofeminism share some common notions. As an ideology, ecofeminism sees parallels between the oppression of women and the degradation of the environment. It argues that both women and nature have historically been marginalized, objectified, and exploited by patriarchal systems. Thus the emphasis is on the need to challenge and transform these systems to create a more sustainable world both in spiritual and cultural dimensions. Not just for women but for all life forms.
Ecofeminism values interconnectedness and understanding our relation to others. Psychedelics as well encourage this connection and harmony and even help individuals to experience and appreciate the natural world on deeper levels. One can cultivate an ecological consciousness and a deeper commitment to environmental sustainability by working with plant medicine. We need to transform oppressive structures and find alternative ways to relate to each other and our environment. Ecofeminism, in a theoretical way, and psychedelics in an experiential way can both foster our social transformation.
Final Thoughts: Psychedelics and Intimate Contact with the Earth
The holistic thinking psychedelics bring into our lives is also supported by eco-friendly philosophies, such as deep ecology or ecofeminism. Psychedelics might be helpful in developing a transpersonal ecological perspective for individuals. Nature is interdisciplinary — requiring us to expand our cognitive frameworks to address social, political, and ecological problems in order to contribute to more sustainable ways of living.
Eco-psychedelic transformation might look like the potential for psychedelic experiences to change our formulated perception and help us to initiate bodily engagement with nature. Using psychedelics may empower us to be more environmentally conscious, where we stand against oppression and abuse of all living beings, animals, and nature.
To care about the earth and to love what we are connected to is a deeper movement than we think. Along with many other things, psychedelics could change our anthropocentric ideology, thus changing the structures of how we identify and interact with society and nature as a whole.
The ability of psychedelic plants to reshape our constructed beliefs enlarges our capacity to love and act with love towards all.
About the Author: Aysu Naz Atalay is a curious person who loves research and writing. She is interested in exploring psychedelics and their connection with self-awareness. Naz supports destigmatization around psychedelics to find a deeper relationship with our surroundings and an individual sense of well-being. She believes in the transformative potential of psychedelic plants for humanity and hopes to contribute to the educational space while striving for a more connected future.
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