I guess I can say that all of this started when I moved to New Orleans in November 2004. I was wanting to get away from my hometown and do something different. I had lived in Portland, OR and Huntington Beach, CA and while those places helped me grow and discover more of who I am, I had an intense calling to return home to the South. New Orleans seemed like a perfect fit. 

It was only after 10 years of misery [after the storm] and my spiritual awakening [thanks psychedelics!] that I realize I was supposed to go to New Orleans and experience Hurricane Katrina. It was all part of the process. I didn’t know that at the time and I fucking hated it. I hated having to let go everything I had built in the year I lived in New Orleans. But like a true Scorpio Moon/Ascendent, I must self destruct in a spectacular manner before I can rise from the ashes of my own destruction. 

I say destruction referring to the self made destruction that took place after the storm. I had enough sense growing up in Florida and the year before had gone through Hurricane Ivan, to get the fuck out of dodge. I almost didn’t though. I was hungover from celebrating my 23rd birthday for the previous 3 days and had woken up to my cellphone placed neatly inside my cup of rum & coke from the night before. Suffice it to say that I was nowhere near prepared to pack for an evacuation if I didn’t have to. 

I got up and managed to phone my mom by driving to my newly ex-boyfriends place of employment to call my mom from there. Of course, she was freaking out and demanded that I return home. I refused and it wasn’t until I was sitting outside of a Major Video waiting on Pop-A-Lock to unlock my keys from my car that I was sat next to an old woman. I started asking her questions about what I would need to prepare myself for a hurricane in Louisiana. It was when she said to me “Child, you got ta fill ya bathtub up wit warter, and git cho self a hatchet.” 

A hatchet? Whyyyyyy? “Well child, if dat warter come up ova dat levee you gone get in ya attic and have ta hack ya way out.” 

And that’s when I noped the fuck back home.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realized I had lost everything. Maybe not much material things as I was living on “The Sliver by the River”, a slice of land that was mostly uneffected by floodwaters. We had 5 feet of water on our street so the only things that got ruined were things I had in the storage shed outside. Granted, there were some valuable things of a personal nature but it certainly wasn’t my life and I am very thankful for that.

But what I mean by lost everything is everything I had worked so hard to achieve. I had only a couple of more weeks and I would have gotten my Massage Therapy certificate allowing me to practice within the city limits [except the french quarter because then its called prostitution-antiquated laws]. 

I had been a fairly “mystical” child growing up. I meditated, collected rocks and crystals since I was about 8 and was really into the whole “Earth Child” thing. But it was New Orleans that blew open my third eye and taught me how to really meditate. I was introduced to Reiki, smudging to clear clients energy, singing bowls, and many other things. I was literally in heaven. 

I also attribute my mini awakening to the ley lines that run through New Orleans. There is no denying the powerful energy that city holds. She demands certain things from you and if you cannot deliver, you will take your licks. But when respected she holds the glory of mystery in her purple, gold, and green veins. Your willingness to abide by her rules is the syringe that extracts her essence. 

Call it what you will but what happened after the storm became the beginning of the end of the old me. I had wanted to be reshaped into a mystically fit massage therapist and when I began asking the Universe for change… it fucking listened. 

I evacuated back home to Florida where I spiraled down into drugs, addiction, alcohol, madness, anger, fear, depression… okay, you get the idea.  

And that’s when it all started… my “Dark Night of the Soul” I’ve been up, down, institutionalized, rehabbed, in jail, and in the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. I’ve done it all.

And you know what worked for me? Taking my problems into my own hands with some serious introspection and one good psychedelic mushroom trip later and BAM… spiritual fucking awakening. 

If you are wary of the idea of taking psychedelics to work through some deep seated problems try reading this…

1. Amber Lyon is a journalist [CNN] and was introduced to the plant medicine, Ayahuasca, by Joe Rogan and it inspired her to change her direction in life, start a badass website, and spread the word AND the love. Read about her story and her VERY informative website here…

[ http://reset.me/story/howpsychedelicssavedmylife/ ]

2. MAPS [multidisciplinary association for psychedelic studies] Read about the AMAZING things they’re doing over there. 

[ http://www.maps.org ]