Pablo_Amaringo-Beings_of_the_Vegetation copyAs I write this, the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference is barely more than a week away. For anyone seeing this blog post before having read any of the eight previous ones, the conference is bringing together nearly twenty authoritative voices from near and far with the intention of sharing and discussing essential information about the use of and broader context around entheogenic plants and substances.

The sum total of the accumulated wisdom and experience of these presenters is almost beyond measure. In the previous posts we’ve done mini-features on six of them: Dennis McKenna, Evgenia Fotiou, Andrew Feldmár, Joshua Wickerham, Mark Haden, and Paul Kroeger. These posts/features are a quick and easy read and can be viewed on the conference website,, under Blog.

More Presenter “Mini-Features”

In this post I’d like to make mention of several more of the presenters coming to the conference:

Chris Bennett will give a talk titled “The Magic and Ritual Use of Cannabis.” There is hardly anyone on the planet more qualified than Chris to take us through a quick and lively survey of the historical use of the plant in spiritual contexts. Chris has authored and co-authored three highly regarded books on this subject and written dozens of published articles.

Yalila Espinoza divides her time between Oakland Ca. and Vancouver BC. She maintains spiritual health and intimacy coaching practices in both cities. Yalila has a PhD in counseling from the now near-legendary California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She is currently working on a book called “In the Belly of the Serpent: Sensual Wholeness with Plant Consciousness.” Yalila’s presentation at the conference has the intriguing title “The Erotic Intelligence of Sacred Plant Teachers.

Don Blaikie has dedicated most of his adult life to the peyote prayer way of the Native American Church. He was given the transmission to lead ceremonies directly by Native elders in southwest U.S. many years ago and has since run hundreds of these meetings. Don has also been doing wonderful work in Nicaragua in recent years, helping people there reconnect with their traditional ways and sustainable lifestyle practices. Don will sing some peyote prayer songs and speak briefly about his work at the conference.

Oliver Hockenhull is a filmmaker. He completed two versions of his powerful film “Neurons to Nirvana” in 2013. The film consists mainly of short interview segments with many leading figures in the entheogenic medicine field, masterfully woven together into an engaging whole. Neurons to Nirvana will be shown at the conference at 7 pm on Saturday and will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Oliver, with guests Dennis McKenna, Gillian Maxwell, Evgenia Fotiou, and Andrew Feldmár. Dennis, Gillian, and Andrew are also in the film.

Final Pre-Conference Events

Sobey Wing will host a Talking Stick Circle and Skype talk from Peru by Jhaimy Alvarez, Jhaimy-bio2 pic w a highly regarded Huachuma (San Pedro) shaman, at Eternal Abundance (EA) on Wednesday, October 22, 8 to 10 pm PDT. That will be the final pre-conference event before we gather at UBC on Fri. Oct. 24, 7:30 pm start time, for the weekend conference.

Admission is free to this event at EA with a full conference ticket, $11 online or $15 at the door (space permitting). Full Conference ticket holders: Your conference ticket includes Pre-Conference lectures but please reserve your space by RSVP’ing, (if possible) 3 days prior to each lecture to:

Tickets for the conference will also be available for purchase at Sobey’s EA event as well as at the conference website or by phone at 604-435-5555. There may still be some discounts available.

Finally, though it’s not officially one of our pre-conference events, I want to let you know about Dennis McKenna’s free talk and book signing at our legendary Banyen Books and Sound here in Vancouver, this Friday, October 17, 6:30 to 8 pm PDT. Details on the Banyen Books website.

Hoping to see you soon,