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December 21, 2020: The winter equinox; the longest night and shortest day of the year which humans have associated with rebirth of all forms since the beginning of humanity as the days begin getting longer and the seedlings of spring begin their seasonal dance with increasing sunlight. It is a very significant day of the year for many religions around the world. Today is also the great “conjunction” of Jupiter and Saturn whose crossing paths delivered a stunning journey across the sky as they melted into the horizon, chasing the sun. 

Astrologers say that Jupiter is the planet of optimism, expansion, healing, growth, and miracles and Saturn is conversely associated with restriction, responsibility, and long-term lessons. When their energies combine, they say there will be a major ideological shift, an influx of new ideas and new possibilities, influenced by Jupiter, and their manifestation in the physical material world, influenced by Saturn.  

This conjunction is also taking place in Aquarius, the sign of innovation, humanitarianism, and independence, in which the planets have not met since 1405 at the start of the Renaissance. Many people also believe that on this day a portal into a new energetic awareness, known as the 5th dimension, will open up which will bring in higher frequencies and spiritual energy leading to a new spiritual awakening. This will aid us in our energetic evolution as there will be increased spiritual wisdom, growth, and intuitive knowing and a change in awareness of the energetic plane rather than just the physical plane of existence. 

This is also the day, three years ago, that psilocybin mushrooms saved my life from severe clinical depression practically overnight. I consider today my second birthday; my rebirth. Is all of this merely coincidence?

I have never been a believer in anything spiritual or religious or into taro cards or palm readings or astrology. I didn’t even get into yoga or meditation until recently. I am an Aquarius but have never believed that astrology is a real science. Early traumatic church experiences with my parents scared me away from religion and my older siblings who were college students when I was in my youth influenced my belief in science and wariness of anything “woo woo.” I still pledge allegiance to true science and find myself habitually dismissing any spiritual explanation that cannot be observed, quantified, and measured. I still must pass everything through my scientific lens because I believe science is the best tool we have to assess reality and reach a consensus on matters of our physical existence. Science, however, is inherently dismissive of any spiritual realm and has it’s limitations.

As I sat and watched the hypnotizing sunset, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the life I have been given. For the tools, practices, routines, and medicines I have been blessed to adopt. For the absolute bliss and deep peace I feel in my body and mind that seems to be ever growing, ever evolving. Finding a mental rhythm with my breath and knowing this rhythm is all I ever need. It is the most magnificent feeling you can possibly imagine, one I never knew existed until recently. If I could bottle this feeling up, I would give it to everyone I know and everyone on earth. It is a true gift from the universe. But I haven’t always been this way. Three years ago, I was on the brink of suicide. A few major life events plunged me down the dark rabbit hole of depression and I had given up on life. Nothing could relieve my pain. Therapy didn’t work, antidepressants didn’t work, friends and family didn’t know how to help and I didn’t know how to be helped. There was nothing that could lift my spirits. Then, December 22, 2017, I ate a handful of magic mushrooms and took a walk on the beach with my brother. It wasn’t until months later that I reflected back and realized this magical liberation I experienced was on the morning of the winter equinox, the universal day of rebirth. This experience with my brother immediately eradicated my depression and sparked the journey of a lifetime from the Sierra Nevada mountains in northern California to the mountains and beaches of Oaxaca, Mexico where I began filming a documentary about my story and wrote a book about my experience which I have recently published. I wake up every day astonished at the miracle that was manifested by the universe. It is now a ritual of mine to celebrate my rebirth by reconnecting with the plant medicines that saved my life on this very important day.

Today is that day. A spout of water just below the horizon caught my attention. A dark smooth surface appeared out of the water before sliding back under. A minute later it came back up for a breath of air. I watched with intense focus as I joined the whale on it’s journey for a brief moment every time it came up for air. To see dolphins off the coast of southern California is very common but I don’t recall seeing a whale from this particular beach where I grew up. It was a good omen and a beautiful moment. I bid the whale goodbye as it’s spouts became smaller and smaller in the distance on it’s way to Mexico. As I slumped back into my chair, I felt the unconditional love that fills me from head to toe on every journey I take. The perfection of existence on every level. I was almost overwhelmed with the harmony of it all. Just then I looked up to see a shooting star screech across the orange-red sky. A sure sign from the universe that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I closed my eyes to thank the universe for yet another magical day and got lost in my head. The events of the day scrolled through my mind, the flocks of birds dotting the skyline, the playful hummingbirds fluttering about, the release of tension and stress out of my body as it dissipated into the universe. I opened my eyes and saw lights in the sky that looked like a plane but they weren’t moving. UFO? As I focused on the lights, I realized it was the “great conjunction,” which I had forgotten about at that moment. It was a magical sight. I locked my gaze on the stars and felt their energy, their dance. If it is true that a portal of energy opens up on this day, perhaps I was picking up on the new frequencies in the form of waves of euphoria and love and downloads of information pulsing through me in the same way that a radio picks up a signal when fine tuned to the corresponding frequency; my enhanced and opened perceptions perhaps picked up these invisible waves of energy.

Here is the thing. Science can’t prove any of this astrological stuff but it can prove the mechanisms underlying the psychedelic experience. It can prove the results that are coming in from clinical trials that are showing psychedelics’ immense power of changing the landscape of an individual’s thoughts, of circumventing the self reinforcing patterns of thought that are the product of neurological activity. It can prove that conditions such as depression, ptsd, stress, anxiety, even eating disorders and mental disorders of all kinds, can be cured, in effect destroying a mental construct that is in trouble and creating a rebirth in the mind of the patient. Science can prove that perception is malleable. And if perception creates reality, then maybe it’s not so crazy that this event in which these two huge planets cross paths and kiss in the sky will create some sort of energetic shift. They are massive planets which do scientifically, physically have an effect on every other planet in our solar system and beyond. What Jupiter does affects us just as what the sun does affects us. Here is what I know. On this day, throughout history, there have been way too many coincidences to shrug off and claim it’s all hocus pocus. On this day, along with the cycles of the universe, I was reborn. And what I’ve come to realize on my journey is that it doesn’t matter as much that we prove our truth to ourselves. What matters is that our truth is useful, pure, and just. Humans have been arguing about what reality is and seeking the ultimate truth throughout history and we will never stop. I believe it is impossible for us to know absolute truth until perhaps the day we die, because our minds are not designed to understand every aspect of the universe in the same way that a fish is not concerned with what is outside of the bowl. If we restrict ourselves to only believing what we can subjectively prove, then we will never believe in anything. Believe in what is useful and if it enriches your life, then that is your truth. I realized today after my experience, watching the celestial dance of nature, that I don’t have to have concrete evidence of a portal opening up in the heavens pouring in new, higher, better, more beautiful frequencies. I can see clearly that I am fully capable of believing in this higher frequency and making the decision to raise my vibration, improving the quality of my thoughts which emit a vibration, to match this higher frequency. In this regard, it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, the result is my actions, which will then prove the hypothesis. Watching the beautiful day come to a close and the stars and the moon illuminate the night sky and all the creatures coexisting in perfect harmony is proof enough for me that there are powerful forces at play on this day. It is my truth.

If we could see vibrations, energy, dark matter, and everything that the universe consisted of, our reality would be much different. The fact is the opposite. As Richard Buckminster Fuller, American philosopher, systems theorist, architect, and inventor said, “Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality.” Just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Just as when we watch a wave, what we are actually watching is a wave of energy moving water molecules and travelling thousands of miles across the Earth. We are watching the consequence of atmospheric activity moving energy around. The ocean in fact is a giant pool of constantly swirling energy manifesting in the physical world in the form of swells and waves. Reality is an optical illusion in this way. As Alan Watts, British philosopher and author, says, “Life is pattern. It is a dance of energy.” Therefore we must understand and trust that there is much more to reality than we can see. A reality that depends on a more primitive functioning of our senses, feeling rather than seeing, by tapping into our deep physiology and intuition, our cosmic intelligence that is far beyond language and analytical thought.

Over the last two decades there has been extensive research conducted on the potential efficacy of psychedelics to treat mental illness with astonishing results. The societal views towards psychedelics are beginning to soften and the laws are beginning to change. The wave is growing and there is no stopping it. Psychedelics are the future of mental health care. It looks indeed like this is yet another coincidence. Perhaps the psychedelic renaissance taking place is precisely the necessary ideological shift that will bring about the “new energetic awareness, higher frequencies, and spiritual energy leading to a new spiritual awakening” that Jupiter and Saturn promised. Perhaps this wave of psychedelic research and enthusiasm will enable humanity to begin to see more than one millionth of reality.

As I laid down to sleep, relaxed, and in complete peace, I thanked the universe for the show, for the opportunity to witness such beauty, for the opportunity to exist on this planet at this time, for the second chance I was given three years ago, for the plant medicines that keep me thriving, and for the opportunity to tell my story in an effort to help others raise their vibration, help others improve their mental landscape, and help relieve the suffering of millions.

Here’s to rebirth, new beginnings, and another magical, challenging, enlightening, educational, and eventful lap around the sun!

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