Hello young Padawan, before I start I need to lecture you about the set and the setting. First
of all I need to say something about what is not an appropriate setting for any sacred
medicine that I will be talking about on this page. Speaking from my own experience it is not
advisable to consume any psychedelic substance in the company of strangers. When you are
experienced yourself, go ahead. Otherwise refrain from doing so. First it is important to
build a relationship with whatever you plan to explore. The way I did this is alone. I like
to do things on my own and I do not necessarily need company, although it can be nice. I
learned a great deal by gathering experience by myself, because I learned to depend only on
myself and not on others. We tend to look at the Shaman and stare at him in wonder.
How do you become a Shaman? You gather experience. You go into the forest on your own
and gather experience. Unless you feel very comfortable and have already gathered a lot of
experience, I do not advise the forest in the beginning. It can be nice, but it can also be
intimidating and very scary. After I felt rather comfortable I started to do mushroom
ceremonies alone, in the forest, at night and without a tent. In the end we are all subject
to our own decisions and any experience is something we can learn from. My experience told me
that I am not like other people. I deal fairly well with anything you give me. Where other
people crawl on the ground in agony, I stand up and take a second dose. I am quite resilient
and this is why I understood that not everybody likes it the hard way. So based on my own
experience and my observations I would like to speak about the set and setting for any
experience with substances.
The most important thing about the setting is privacy. Rapé is something which can deliver
quite an intense experience and therefore you do not wish to be disturbed. Right now I am
living with my parents, so there is the chance that someone just walks into my room or knocks
on the door. Even just a knock or a question can be quite disturbing, especially when you are in the
middle of a session. Therefore I advise you to lock your door - when you do not live alone -
or talk to people about it. I have established some boundaries to make sure that people at
least knock before they come into my room, which wasn't always the case. Be open and
remember that this is your private space and you can establish rules for your space. This
will lift a lot of the possible anxiety you might be feeling, before doing any kind of
ceremonial work. Another possibility is postponing such activities until everyone is
sleeping and the house is nice and quiet. I prefer to do it this way, but that also means
that most of the time I do Rapé after midnight. This has the benefit that I can focus
completely on myself. In addition, the energies are very different in a dark room as compared to
the same room during daylight hours.
Now imagine a nice and clean room. That is what you want. Take a look around your room and be
honest to yourself. Is it tidy? Is it clean? When there is dust on your ground, or the last
time you swept the floor or washed your bedsheets is more than 4 weeks ago, I suggest you
get to work. It is very important to keep your room clean and tidy. Remove old cobwebs.
Bedding should be changed every week or maximum every two weeks. I suggest every week. During
our sleep we release a lot of pent up energies, which then will be caught in our bedding.
Keeping them clean and washed will give you a better sleep on the long run. In addition you
can use the time to sort out some of your belongings. Do you still have old stuff from your
Ex? Get rid of it. Clothes you haven't worn for at least a year? Get rid of them. Broken
things you couldn't throw out? Get rid of them. Furniture that stands in the way? Get rid of
it. Now this might sound crazy, but from my experience it was the most relieving thing to
take 6 to 7 plastic bags and fill them with unnecessary things. You do not have to be so
dramatic of course. Start small and work your way up. Getting rid of things can be scary, but
it is so freeing for the soul. As we clean our room we start to realise how much stuff we
had. How cluttered everything was and how little space we had to breathe. Almost everything
I own fits in one room. Amazing. I love it. I got rid of all the DVDs I had, because they are
obsolete. Online streaming saves a lot of space. Who needs CDs? You get the point. Once more,
why am I saying this? I am telling you this, because I went through this. It took me ages to
figure out why I felt so claustrophobic in my room. It took me months of spiritual work to
realise that my furniture was way too much and I needed to get organised. As I cleaned up on
the inside, I started to clean up on the outside. The order is not important, but I now
believe that first cleaning up on the outside, will make it easier to clean on the inside,
simply because bot are reflections of each other. Plus, the outside you can see, while you
will have to work hard to get to what's messy on the inside.
Now that I have lectured you enough on the topic of cleaning your outer mess, what makes it
easier to come to the inner parts? I believe an altar is a nice tool to focus on. I doesn't
have to be something fancy or expensive. I just used what was available and build something I
really like. Whenever I say a prayer or do a ceremony, I sit in front of my altar, light a
candle and light some incense or some resin (I will do another entry on smoking later on).
What to put on your altar? I put on things I like. Crystals are great, natural things and
maybe things which have an emotional value to you. Something positive that reminds you of a
loved one maybe? I also like feathers which I find outside. A stone you like? Also statues of
gods or Buddha can be used. Basically anything you wish to assist you in your prayers. A
ceremony is a prayer, in my opinion.
I decided to share an image of my altar with you. I love it. On the left you see an amethyst
and below some copal (resin). The middle is formed by a piece of wood, which I gathered from
a tree outside. On top I keep my coal bowl to burn the different kinds of resins. Then a
candle and two feathers. The right side starts with my Rapé collection, my Kuripe, a nut from
the Lala-Palm tree from South Africa, a metal ring with a rune and some turquoise. Also a
lighter that reminds me of someone special.
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Now, to give you an idea of the setting, this is how my altar looks like. Very simple. Easy
to move in case of guests and nothing fancy. I really like it. The bowl is for spitting and
in case I need to vomit (behold). The pillows just make it easier to sit straight. The
tissues are for a running nose and whatever else might occur. Tears, spit or snodder - pick
one. I like to be prepared. The bottle of fresh water is not on the picture, but I always
make sure to have some available.