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Scarlet Heart Living
Erin Rose Ward
September 4, 2022
In this conversation we are joined by Erin Rose Ward, a psychedelic support guide at Nectara and a breathwork, yoga nidra, meditation, and movement practitioner. In this episode we chat with Erin about her scarlet heart philosophy, what being in sacred service means to her, and the psychedelic integration process.
- The beautiful teachers Erin has had the priviledge to learn from and insights she gathered from them.
- Learn about scarlet heart living and placing the heart at the core of you navigate through life.
- What it means to be in sacred service as a psychedelic guide, practicioner, and therapist.
- Psychedelic integration tips and practices.
03:41 Her personal journey with psychedelics
13:19 Teachers along her path
21:24 Breakthrough insights she received
30:49 Scarlet heart living
38:33 Creating a beautiful life through love
47:17 The masculine and feminine energies
55:32 Being in sacred service to others
1:00:56 Scarlet heart living as a facilitator
1:07:49 Her vision of the psychedelic space
1:15:14 Psychedelic integration advice
1:26:06 Quickfire questions
Erin Rose Ward
Embodiment work has been my passion for the last decade. It's an honor to be on the path of the heart with those who feel called.
As a little girl, I use to talk to angels. I would pray to them, as well as the saints in my little book, asking for advice, guidance, and support for the people around me. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was beginning my spiritual journey. I was meditating.
When I got to college, I had by then traded in talking to angels for talking to myself - in a very harsh and unsupportive way. It was during my time at NYU that I went into a spiral. It's hard to pull yourself out of the whirlwind of anxiety, self-loathing, and not enough-ness while obsessed with perfection. While chasing an ideal.
In a little studio in NYC, candle-lit and creaky floors, I found yoga asana. I felt safe in my body for the first time in a long time. I cried. I realized that not all angels are invisible, and I began my journey. Soon after I knew that I wanted to be responsible for creating safe space for people to connect with themselves, feel enough, feel whole and beautiful just as they are.
I teach yoga asana, meditation, breathwork, and The Class by Taryn Toomey. The modalities that we decide to explore together are based on what is going to help you thrive. You don't need to change. But there are practices that might help you feel more vibrant, connected, and alive.
Pascal: Hi, welcome to Nectara's conversations. And today I'm really thrilled and delighted to talk to the lovely Erin Rose Ward. Erin was introduced to me by our friend Devin Walker about six months ago? I think, or I don't even know anymore time has been compressed or expending the last few years, but it's been a little while less than a year.
And I'm delighted to have her on the podcast today because Erin, I call her a wise heart. And she has a way with words and a way to express emotions and insights and wisdom in a way that's pretty rare. And I really connected right away with that piece of her and also her integrity and the way she holds space and the way she conducts herself in the highest of integrity. I'm delighted to have her today and welcome Erin. Welcome to the conversation. I am happy to be here with you,
Erin: so happy to be here. Wow. What a beautiful introduction! Thank you.
Pascal: Thank you. And Erin is, she has many strings on her bow and some of them are yoga teaching meditation movement embodiment, she's a psychilic integration and preparation guide on Nectara. And she's also part of this thing called a class, which I have some curiosity around. But what do you do in the world, Erin, aside from all those wonderful things?
Erin: Yeah, this is one of my favorite questions. Because over the last decade there's been so many iterations of the answer. What I've come to now, the way I describe it is my work is to support beings in coming into the space of the heart through various methods and techniques that tend to center around embodiment.
So I facilitate spaces of movement of meditation, of breath, work of one-on-one space for dialoging and exploring via awareness expanding awareness through conversation, through dietic work. I facilitate circles, women's circles. And so really it's, what I've discovered is that there's so many doors to the same room, and I really enjoy learning about those doors and trying them on and gaining the ones that resonate exploring the ways in which I can bring other beings through those doors. And the room that I feel we are entering is the room of spirit, the room of love, the room of God, the room of consciousness, the room with a thousand names and no names. Yeah, I'm a traveler through doors.
Pascal: You're a door person. That's great. I've never heard it being said that way, but that's, that is beautiful.
All the different modalities out there, all the different techniques and spaces that people are creating, they're all doors to the same kind of room. My friend David was also a Nectara guide. He always tells me that ultimately what everyone wants to do is dissolve back into the ether, dissolved back into God consciousness and it's not always clear for everyone that's like what they're looking for. And there's so much immediacy in like our real life stuff that ultimately that goal can feel very distant or, doesn't quite fit at the present moment, but ultimately there's some truth to that I think. And as a door person, initially, you didn't have any doors so how did you enter like your first door? Like how did you start your journey towards embodiment and joy and love really how did you start your journey?
Erin: Yeah! I really appreciate what you said. Our human stuff kind of gets, it creates the the layering of needing to utilize doors, because if we didn't have the human bit, we would just be floating in the room without walls all the time. So I've also come to this deep appreciation for the teaching that is being a human and my journey really started with that, being a woman being in a female body, being a young woman, going to a big city and having a lot of ideas and self expectations about what I should be and what I should be achieving, what my body should look like, what I should be able to control. And I was in New York city. I was 18 and I felt my being under this immense amount of pressure that had motivated me for most of my life. Like I was able to use it as a way to excel in many areas and be validated in my being through that, through sports and academics and social circles and those ways that I was told you're doing great.
And then I got to New York city and it was like, whoa, that's not here anymore and my understanding of who I am isn't here. So my way of coping was I developed a pretty intense, I asked my body to go through a lot, through an eating disorder. My love of embodiment and movement became a, went from a tool to a weapon and I weaponized it against myself.
So I would spend hours and hours asking my body to be in intense movement, an intense activity as a way to feel like I was in some sort of control. And that the power I was searching for reclaiming was available to me in those moments. And I look back on that time with more and more, more, I learn the more I come into knowing of who I am, the more I'm, have a lot of reverence for that time and also how my body responded. because my body said, okay, you want to do this? I'll do it because I'm here for you. So I was on this path of destruction. I hit it quite well for a couple of years until I didn't, until it was very clear that I was kind of disappearing. I was still achieving, a high achieving with this hidden darkness that was growing and growing and desiring, ultimately I was desiring for someone to say, are you okay? Can I help? I was desiring for an interjection, but I wasn't going to surrender to that until it was right in front of me.
And it came in the form of a beloved friend in New York, in a New York city, at 11th street and Avenue C apartment, our little two bedroom. We were at NYU and one morning she just was like, look, I need to talk to you. You're becoming a ghost and you're disappearing. And I think you need help. And I love you.
And it was so simple and it was very strong of her and it was my door to therapy and my door to yoga and my door to meditation. And so when I was when I, that it was that, that brought me to the space of one on one therapy, group therapy, I went to my first yoga class.
I cried the whole time because it was the first time I felt safe in my body. And I was able to really utilize those spaces to begin my healing journey. And the more that I experienced the benefit, especially of the yoga space and that as it happens, that led me to meditation, that led me to breathwork, that led me to spiritual text, that led me to teachers. The more I recognize I want to do this in the world. I want to be one who supports the alleviation of suffering or at least makes the symptoms optional. So as soon as I graduated from New York University to the chagrin of my father, who was really excited that I was at the time was like successful.
She's going to get a great job in marketing or, finance or whatever. I was like, great dad, thank you. I'm going to yoga school. And at the time he was like, first you're a vegetarian and now you're going to yoga school and now we're, I can say, now we're in this place where he's come on many of my retreats and we get to talk about the universe and the heart. But yeah, that, was my journey into this world of doors and possibilities and realities that are different from those that we're maybe conditioned to see. And it's, yeah, they've been on the enormous journey ever since and more of a student at this point in my life than ever. So I'm very humbled by this, by all the doors.
Pascal: Yeah. Beautiful. So much blessings to your friend for speaking that truth at a time when you needed it the most, like that's, so we call it a very much impactful action, it's still one degree shift. This someone saying it's a little something and all of a sudden your life has changed from that.
Yeah, welcome all of us to shared was one degree shift with people whenever we can, because it really does change people's world. And sometimes we don't see it, but it's very powerful. Very powerful to share those things with friends that we love. And as someone who turned vegetarian when I was 16, which was 25 years ago, I was also the person in the family was like, what you're vegetarian That was a precursor to like me opening more doors. But yeah, that was an interesting time in my life too, as well. You mentioned your dad and how the relationship got transmuted over time. And I find that so beautiful that you've rekindle that through your opening of doors and how it's probably changed him as well. I find that very beautiful.
Erin: Thank you. Yeah, it's one of the most humbling and something that brings me so much gratitude and joy to experience to look back and see the versions of our relationship and watching it continue to deepen. And we just got back from a trip to Peru together which was his first time to a land with that much potency of its own and exploring indigenous wisdom. So yeah, blessings to the way we teach each other, for sure.
Pascal: Yeah, teachers are an important part of your journey. And I am curious to hear more about along this journey of opening doors and exploring the different ones available to you, like who were some of your teachers and how did they support your path? Like what did you learn from them along the way? What are some key ones that you could share with us?
Erin: Yeah, I feel very blessed that you said I call it a wise heart because that's the title of a book by one of my first teachers that I still study with really from afar. I've been in person maybe twice. And that's a Jack Cornfield who I know as it holds that mantle for many beings him along with Tara Brock, are two beings that I, during that time, that particular time in the cave for me, they were a huge part of coming into my heart and seeing through eyes that were kind and compassionate for myself first and then for the world. They both taught me in their own ways about how meditation is not some big thing that we have to, really train and understand and be really good at.
They taught me about how it's really about presence and widening our capacity to remain and center when there's a lot of reasons to be knocked around. So those are two of my teachers that I would I say I study with from afar and I hope one day I haven't been in Tara's presence, but I know that's coming. So there's the teachers that have been mostly that I've studied with, from afar, whether it's in their writing or their videos, or in that regard. And then I'd say my longest teacher that I've worked with is a man by the name of Kevin Courtney who lives in New York at the moment and our relationship is one of.. He's a teacher, he's a mentor, he's a friend, he's a brother. We can sit and talk about everything. I have both a reverence for him and a deep respect for his humanity. I've seen both his way that he holds space like no one else I've been in the room with, and also the way he's a human and I name this because I've experienced in our relationship. Something that's been profound for me, which is that a true teacher to me is someone who sits in the circle. They're not on a pedestal. They're not saying like I'm up here. Even if they're on a stage so that they can be heard, it's not like I have this information and all of you are here to receive it from me. It's more like we are in this moment together. And there's some things that can be supportive for all of us that I'd like to offer forward and I can do them in a way that I've practiced and in a way that I've studied and in a way that I'm devoted to so that it can be of service to all of us, not just for me being teacher.
And he really lives that. And because he lives that and because I've spent study with him and time with him and that way of facilitation really speaks to me. I've gotten to experience that frame being what I like to bring to a space. So I really honor Kevin about his way. And it's funny, because he would be the first one to be like you bow to me, I bow to you. Like we're all in this together.
I have another teacher, Tracy Stanley that I work with in the yoga nature space. She has a representation of the feminine to me that is both strong and mysterious and soft and kind and compassionate and very direct. So she's someone I study with closely as well and then recently what's emerged for me and I'm sure we'll speak more to this Scarlet heart aspect and my embodiment offering that's starting to come through me. two teachers, Amber Ryan, and Kate Sheila are both based in the US and are created a method called the 360 emergence, which is this way of utilizing dance as a modality to expand our being in every direction.
So it's very inclusive. It's let's go into the light and the young and let's go into fire and let's go into the dark and the shadow and the mystery and the yin and the lunar and the way that dance allows us to do that fluidly rhythmically. So I've been studying with them for the past few years, and I'm in a more intense study with them now.
I'm really excited to see what happens when I continue this, let me put all these different doors together and see how they play and then what the and I just see this ornate, beautiful, scarlet with a scarlet border and light and crystals and sounds coming from it this door that maybe, will be the door that I really focus on offering I think is coming through which is really exciting.
Pascal: Yeah. Beautiful. I find that for myself and for others that I've talked to before, often we go through the doors that were the most supportive for our shadows and supportive of our own history and the things that were holding us back. We found a medicine that we were looking for through the exploration of these things and tend to maybe fall in love with the ones that supported us the most.
And when you talked about Kevin, it's really spoke to me because on my first journey, like the biggest medicine I received, of course it was the experience, but it was really the morning after when I woke up and I looked into someone's eye and I realized just how connected and how much of a shared humanity we all have together and to me that was deeply healing because my thing was just social anxiety, depression, just really being, having a lot of issues of people, basically from childhood trauma. And it was that connection of like, wow, we're so much more similar than I ever thought and we're so connected and what can we do when we work together to create something, then the limits go away and the barriers go down and you can start fully showing up as yourself.
I really resonate with people that hold space like that as well as from a very, you like to say the word human, I really like that from a very human, humble, generous way. Yeah, it's a great teacher to have in your life. Going back to your first foray into the, maybe the plant medicine world, I'd be curious to hear what were your, some of the first early breakthrough insights that you received from your exploration in that world? I'd be curious to hear that.
Erin: For sure. I'd actually like to start with my most recent experience because it feels really pertinent to this conversation, the last time I sat with grandmother was actually a few weeks ago earlier this month and the big message I received over the three journeys was everything you need is in your body and the call was I'm here. I'm an ally. This medicine is strong. This medicine is something that is powerful. And her call was keep going in to continue your journey. It was almost like, I love you. I've got you. I'm in you. you don't need to keep coming back to this door.
Take a pause and now be in the practice of being in your body and harvesting that information, develop a deeper capacity to listen and that was really important for me to hear and really and really hard, it was probably the hardest journey I've had because it was so physical but the lessons were potent and in the way these medicines work, what we get what we need. So being in the body, I feel as a collective we have a choice to escape this really intense reality and go up and out, which is available to us especially through psychedelics and through these plant allies, we can utilize them as a vehicle for escaping.
And I think it's super valuable to escape this reality, to go into other ways of seeing to go into the space. They offer to go into other realms and be there and harvest what we need to see. And then as we've talked about with Nectara, like the work then really becomes integration. So that feels like a piece, a gem that grandmother really showed me that I really want to when my friends talk to me or when my community or my clients talk to me about their plant medicine journeys, it's really important to me that we first be like, yes these medicines are strong and we want to remember that they are precious. They are resources. They are not just for to be utilized as we desire. But also to remember that what we're looking for is right here, that was a big one. That's with me that I'm integrating now. When I first came to grandmother, I [inaudible] the medicine along with psilocybin that I've been working with and santa Maria, which is how I referred to cannabis because it feels a little bit more sacred. When I first sat with grandmother, what I received was an understanding of, I received a reverence for the mind, for the scaffolding of the mind for what it is as a tool, as something our species is so blessed with and what we get to create, what we get to dream through is the thus far has been primarily through our minds and so I saw that and then juxtaposed to that was presented oneness, unity, God consciousness, God time, the interconnectedness, but not even the interconnectedness, what that interconnectedness is behind that and there was this way, very clearly that it was like that thing, which you can't really describe doesn't fit into the thing that is your mind. So this is what faith is. This is what trust is. This is what feeling gets to do is you get to experience this thing, not in totality, because we're not designed to do that, but you do get to experience it in your being and can you allow the mind to bow to what it's not designed to fully comprehend, and instead of trying to confine it with your language and your, this is what it is, and this is the way, and these are the names and this is what I have to call it. Can you honor that you don't know, and that you get to hold out your palms and there was something like this is what grace is. It's that space of, I don't know and thank you and my mind doesn't have to know. So my mind got a little, check through that experience.
Pascal: That's beautiful. I connect so much with the both parts, especially the first one, because and it's present in the space overall. It's just there's a lot of chasing of healing and peak experiences and not a lot of deep deep integration and really picking your spots really and there's so many people in the psychedelic community that tend to go from one ceremony to another. And in one of my Iowaska ceremonies, my intention was pretty lofty.
I was like trying to connect with the celestial and open up the gates to whatever. Yeah. I was like really speaking that in this space and really being like really strong on that and then the fed got passed to the practitioner was a really close friend of ours and she talked about going through the purgatory or, going to like the dark stuff before achieving kind of the access to the celestial worlds and those universes you talked about.
And then she looks straight at me and I was like, oh no, I've been found. because to that point, I had never gone through like the darkest deepest parts of me and so I felt running out of the door I was like, okay, tonight's going to be a very strong, challenging experience which it was.
And long story short, the message was sit down and integrate. It was like, you're going too fast. You've done too many ceremonies. You're not integrated even your first one. And. I basically lost consciousness in the space and I started shouting and howling and flipping around and it was a very somatic release.
I think of just years of holding it in my body, which refers to your second point was like, I was holding all this stuff in my physiology and I had never been able to express it into the world. so I did get a glimpse of the celestial and then I passed out it was the perfect message.
And when people I woke up in the morning yeah so what was that all about? I was like, you know what? I don't know. It was just like, I needed a bit of time to process the message, which was just take your time, take more. So now I just do one or two ceremonies a year at most, and I treat them with like deep reverence because this is my time to check in. It's my time to process what I've been working on. It's my time to maybe learn new things then I can take into the real world and apply it every day. And that's a philosophy that's been deeply nourishing for me. So when you say everything is in your body, bring it back to yourself. It reminds me of a beautiful indigenous elder here in Duncan Grady, he always says it's all within your lodge. Come back in your lodge. And that's been a deep truth for me this year is just like yourself, like walking that path of everything is actually here. Like how do I connect with that resource and really embody those teachings that I've been blessed and privileged to receive through these experiences?
And now it's time to really embody them in my physiology and my actions. So thanks for sharing, that really connected with my own path. So thanks for sharing that. through those experiences and through those insights what has been guiding principles for you along the way, and maybe even what's present for you after this new ceremony that you've had what are guiding principles that guide your life? Is there any philosophies that you come back to all the time to help guide you along the way?
Erin: Yeah. Yeah. There has been something that's become a bit clearer and perhaps I can share, I'll share a little bit about what this Scarlet heart has been, because that has become a... The Scarlet heart was first introduced to me in a meditation where I just felt this thing that had a red pulse, red Scarlet experience in my chest.
And I was like, oh heart. Great. And then I went through different, a few ceremonies. My first journey that I saw in my mind, I also saw this red Scarlet heart capacity in other beings in my waking state. Then I did a longer Pranayama retreat with Kevin and it came through very strongly, actually in an animated form, which had never happened to me outside of psychedelic space.
And also in, in direct messaging of this is what this is and then through multiple dreams, other ceremonies, other kind of symbolic moments of seeing like a Scarlet heart imagery that I'd seen in a dream, like in the sand or on a tree or so there's been this kind of like communication. That's like, okay, hello, here I am. And what it feels like to me is a devotional bowing to the way of the heart, the path of heart, the capacity of the hearts knowing to be what guides choice and what guides perspective and when mind or when nervous system has a response to a moment that there's a way of, okay, I see this, what if I place it into resonance or into the space of the Scarlet heart? What happens? And for me, what happens, why it's become like a north star for me, or a compass point is because I can feel the relaxation and the ease in my being that comes from a place of let me hold this up with love and see what happens. Let me bring this to the cave of the heart or the open field of wildflowers of the heart and see what happens.
So that question, whether I'm making a choice or whether there's something I have to figure out or determine, I check in, is this the path of the heart? What would the Scarlet heart have me do right now? How would the Scarlet heart speak to this being? Am I in resonance with the Scarlet heart?
And it's a feeling I have. It's like yes, or it's like no, and so there's this immediacy to the answer and if there's not, then I know that I can't quite hear there's something that's louder for me than the Scarlet heart. So that's where it's okay, I really need to go into practice. I need to move my energy. I need to dance, or I need to lay down or I need to go take a walk in the woods because I can't fully hear my heart, because my mind is so loud and that's been a really beautiful in the last year, I'd say coming into more trust of the heart and also the seeing of when I'm in a space that is asking me to tend to it before I can commune fully with the heart. So is this, the path of love, I'd say, has been my guiding principle and we spoke about teachers earlier and there's also these figures, these archetypes, these historical figures, these beings that represent things possibilities in our collective, in our humanity I was raised Catholic. So Jesus was in my life a lot. And there's this way that I've come to understand his experience and his humanity and his devotion to the path of love. That really resonates with me and has a lot to do with feels very true for this Scarlet heart.
Like his, that sacred heart that has become an emblem of him and the Scarlet heart, there's something that they carry that I'm still learning about and in conversation with and also Quan Yin, who is such an open arm radical compassion that also rides a dragon and has this fierce like integrity to it too.
It's like, I'm holding love in a really good way and I'm holding it for myself and I'm holding it for all of us and that might mean I have to show up in ways that are uncomfortable sometimes because love isn't always sweet and easeful. Sometimes it's hard truth so that I don't know if I answered your question, but that feels like my guiding light.
Pascal: That's a pretty good one. Thanks for sharing it. It is a powerful one and we live in the bit of a paradoxical world where information age is accelerating and there's much more stuff that we can be paying attention to and the world seems to be asking us to keep paying attention to all these different things like 20 things at the same time during the whole day like pinging us or like notifications, it's accelerating at the same time.
Like what it's actually asking us to do, what the world is like needing right now is actually slowness. It's a tuning to the sensations that are not present in our mind, which are present our gut in our heart, this really three brains that we have. And I think this return to love and Susie Roe has a beautiful song called return to love that you might enjoy.
It speaks about returning back to love. That return to love could be one of the main guiding principles the world needs to heed more and more is just going back to the heart. What are examples? And I'm in the same process too, of going down from the mind more into the body and more into the heart.
And I'm curious what are examples of ways that your actions have changed after you tuned into the heart? Was there something you were doing that was not an alignment? How did you work through that when you came back from the ceremony?
Erin: Yes, it's a great question. I think one of the big things you said was like slowing down and working with the part of me that starts to feel like what do I need to be doing right now? I've seen this kind of funny way and I'm like, oh, that's really sweet.
There's this interesting, that pressure piece I've talked about. And I have a lot of fire in my system, but it's okay, how do I be the most love in the world now? Like how do I make it happen? How do I like, what am I creating? What am I doing? Let me go, let me do it. I want to do it. I'm ready, kind of thing. But it creates a lot of tension when it's not time to do and when it's not clear and so there's this way that the path of love says, hey, maybe there's nothing to do right now and can you trust that? You'll know right action, when right action is needed.
And it might look a little bit different than you're used to. It might not be the productivity that you're used to or that you're you hold yourself to. And I think that's something interesting that is up in the collective, It's like do we want to do this the way we've been doing it? Do we want to approach work and our relationship with, especially in the US and it's might be a true for our Western mentality of what are we devoting to? Do we want to keep doing it this way? And the story, I'm in the story I'm telling myself, that's also something I've been checking in with the heart, like what is this story? Do I want to keep being writing this one or is there a new story that wants to be written? When I go into teach or hold a space, I prepare and I prepare what I tune into what I'm feeling and I prepare and I get my everything I need in order. And there's been this additional, like I release to love, like if my intention is to show up as the highest form of love to this moment that I can, then the grip I have on how it needs to go or what it should be like that has softened because it's like it's not about me.
And I think some of that like let me do this really well is the part that wants Erin to succeed, so just noticing that aspect has been really helpful. It's given me a lot more freedom and space around like rest, it's time to rest. I love being in my body. I love moving. I love dancing. I love climbing things. I'm very much in areas through and through. So I very much love, let's be in our bodies all the time. And the maturation of that is yes, be in your body all the time and it's not always fiery. Sometimes there's long periods of time when you need to be soft and interestingly enough as a woman since I've brought that in, since I've really made rest a ritual, my cycle, my moon cycle is much smoother. It's on a regular dependable, I'm in rhythm, I'm in a rhythmic cycle with nature. My sleep has improved. My. relationship with food has been a journey I'd say and that's also such a beautiful thing. I'm also starting to see the way I can be even softer around I know how to take care of myself. So there's no need to get upset or anxious or put any restrictions on what I'm eating or drinking or ran, it's like if I listen and I ask how can I nourish? How can I be in love with my body and with the lands that I'm receiving this nourishment from, then I'm good. So there's a way that love has given a lot of this path of the heart, it gives a lot of freedom and a lot of spaciousness. And I'm one part of the Scarlet heart that now I'm in kind of inquiry of like I've seen the way that in conversations even in moments of really intense emotional experience, interpersonal conversations or moments that there can be a pause and let me check in and the delivery of information comes from a different place with a different vocal tone.
And I found it to be a bridge rather than a punch or sword, or like the confrontational aspect, the confrontation might not be softened, but the delivery is in a way that allows another person to meet because they're meeting in a space of love. It's like the thing that says, I love you and I'm hurt. I love you and this is what's alive for me. So it's also helped with communication and that's very interesting to me and I want to --there's a way that I really, I desire to bring that into a form that can then be received by beings and utilized as a tool. So that's what the Scarlet heart is in this (inaudible) of now how do I share this in a way that can be another door? Yeah.
Pascal: Beautiful. I was at a breathwork training a few weeks ago and this wonderful man called Rudy said that, honored a spirit of the words before speaking them. And I so connected with that for myself and the way he was communicating was like deep space of presence and reflection and groundedness. And for me, the way I was communicating for most of my life was very much in the masculine world of my dad was in the army military a very kind of Yang energy, very kind of old school, patriarchal energy of rushing or pressing through or pushing through and as you were talking, I was really curious to hear how your path with the Scarlet heart has changed or expanded your own balance or your own exploration of the divine masculine and divine feminine, not only within yourself but also your relationships and especially with your mom and your dad, like how has the Scarlet heart kind of maybe illuminated some spaces that were left unheard or unseen in the right light or ways that you were interfacing with yourself and the world, especially your body and your actions that were maybe skewed towards more of the traditional masculine way that you've now shifted to the feminine way, you mentioned more nourishment, more self care. What else has changed in the kind of larger picture around Erin, your relationships? And on top of that I'd be curious to hear as well, like the societal balance between the feminine and masculine. I've heard a lot in circles recently around the rise of the divine feminine and how that is a change that is not only wanting to happen, but that is that we really need to support because obviously the world has gotten into this very kind of patriarchal aggressive extractive kind of way and there's definitely a need for bringing in that love and bring in that more feminine touch to politics and healthcare and like basically almost everything has skewed too much into the divine, not of the divine masculine, but more of the toxic masculine archetypal energy. So I'd be curious, it's a large question with many points, but I'd be curious, like on a larger level, what has the Scarlet heart has changed for you in those areas?
Erin: It's such a potent, big, big space that yeah, I think on Nectara, Devin, he mentioned that earlier Devin Walker, dear brother and I, we'll be exploring this topic for weeks and weeks in an offering we're co-creating so I'm, it's with me as I go into that preparation personally, the way that this has come through is recognizing this love of the masculine in myself, this love of when I need to I can show up, I can get things done. I can go from a to b, I can use willpower, I have strong will, I can, my. beautiful beloved says it calls forth the sword of truth which is a masculine quality of like I will say what needs to be said. I will do what needs to be done. And I will hold space, like this idea of if we look at the yoga tradition, the masculine being the thing that holds the space and the feminine being the thing that creates inside of the space, like it's the movement and the masculine is the thing that holds it all.
And these energies are so dynamic and so complex and I don't pretend to be an expert on them, but how I've experienced it in myself is honoring that piece and also honoring where it's overpowered and where it's dominated the other aspect, the other side of it which is I don't need to know, I can take my time. There's so many ways to get to b from a to b and it might be going all the way around drawing mandalas in every direction and then actually not even coming to b, but coming over to M or some other place that I didn't know I would be. So there's this dance with the mystery that I find is is just so nice to bring in conversation with the part of us that can get things done and do and plan.
And that aspect like what is my relationship to the mystery, to the unknown, to the.. I don't know, let me go into rest as a way of creating, rather than let me go into doing as a way of creating. That's been a really important space in my own being to recognize that it wants to come through and also honor the discomfort of that for many of us because that's not what many systems we're in or places we're in a reward. There's not really a lot of space for the, I don't know and I'm just going to rest in and when I know, then it'll be time to act, that's kind of doesn't work well with while your deadlines on next Tuesday so you better know by then and I would say it comes through me.
I work a lot with imagery and things tend to make sense through images for me. And I see the power of the sword, of the straight line or the arrow that I identify with this young masculine. And I think we're developing new language as a collective, because we really do want to take out the gendered piece of it, but for now the language we have the masculine that're kind of directness and for me, what's been so powerful with the Scarlet heart is seeing myself as a sphere, seeing myself as yes, I have that. I have an access, I have a route of integrity that is necessary, I have this thing that can hold center and around that, I have every direction of the wheel, I have dark. I have shadow. I have the, oh no, what's in that corner. I have the ephemeral, I have the wings and I have the scales and I have of all of it. And when I can be in that place of acceptance of sphericality of nothing gets rejected. which is, to me, one of the most beautiful aspects of feminine, then more of myself is included, then it's like more of myself shows up to life and life shows up more fully.
It's like I get to experience more life by being a sphere rather than only being an arrow and therein to me, lies the courage it takes to dance with the feminine, which is like yeah! We're going to open the closet and we're going to see the shadow that's in there, that the monster that we don't really wanna look at, we're gonna welcome because if we do that, we're going to find out so much, there's so much, to learn from that and then because of that, there's so much more life we get to experience and we actually get to get closer to truth by being spheres, because there's nothing that gets vanished. So that's what's currently alive with me about
Pascal: That's beautiful, loving the darkness because the darkness holds the light. That's a big piece of my journey as well was just accepting the darkness and loving it really and that expands it to all your relationships and all your stories and people you meet and understanding that the darkness is really the light is a huge and embracing it turning towards everything rather than trying to escape from it or trying to not look at it is a powerful way of interfacing with all the things of life.
And I love the idea of a sphere. Like I, was feeling compelled to draw it and visualize it. And there's so much depth into what that sphere can be and I love the idea of the middle part, like being so strong, it's a beautiful way of approaching your journey.
We've talked a little bit earlier around being a facilitator and I'm curious about your journey around, walking your own journey and also holding space for people and being a facilitator of spaces and being in that how Kevin has been for you, like a human sitting down for other humans, like walk, dancing the journey together and exploring these things together. What does it mean for you to be in sacred service, to that space that you're holding? What does it mean for you to walk that path with others and also holding space for them? I have a lot of curiosity around that.
Erin: Yeah. it's probably the most important thing to me these spaces of communing with the sacred, with spirit of supporting beings in, in meeting themselves, meeting what they contain us, meeting us like the me becoming a we and like the image I get is us like holding hands and stepping into the water and being like, all right, it's going to get deep, we ready and be like, oh, I don't know. Yeah we can do this. you've got hands, you've got people with you. So I hold these spaces very near and dear and that reverence and respect has, I think, really served in allowing me to come into those spaces with a prayer, may I be of highest good here, may whatever needs to come through me like make me a vessel.
And There's this song I remember from church that I love at St. Francis make me a channel of your peace. Like I'm here and I'm willing and I bow to what I don't know and I also honor the study and preparation that has, that allows me to be in this moment. So I really, I do see those spaces as love in action, love in service. Whatever love will have me do is, where we go is really important to me that there are spaces for all of us where we can bring our humanity, we can bring what feels ugly, we can feel what feels gross, we can bring what feels shameful, especially shameful, guilt, our anger that along with all the things that we like to bring in our creativity, our joy our vision, our dreams that all of it, that there's, that all of it is welcome. And that there's a safety, and there's a trust that, that we create together where it's like okay, I get to be here and I get to receive the grace of the effort of being here and going on this journey, whether the technique is meditation or it's breathwork, or it's yogaasana, or it's dance, or it's psychedelics, or it's a combination whatever the door we're going through and all the doors we're going to go through that there be first and foremost there's safety. There's a knowing that we're all that you're taken care of. Like I've got you, we've got you that the space is held and protected by love and that's where all the decisions will be made from and I've gotten a lot clearer over, over the years of when I'm choosing to say or do something from a place that might be a little bit more ego or something sounds good, something I think I need to do things, something I think I need to wear to the space, rather than this is authentic, this is my version of authentic love, and this is how it's coming through. So yeah, these spaces it's going to be more and more important.
I just feel, I feel this so deeply., It's going to be more and more important as the world keeps changing that we gather together and we circle, that we have counsellor like our indigenous teachers, communities and cultures show us the power of we're all in circle together. Now, where do we want to go?
And so I feel really blessed and privileged and delighted that it's very clear. This is what I get to spend my life doing and that's probably the thing I know for sure is that I get to do this as long as I'm in a body as Erin. So that's exciting.
Pascal: That is exciting. What you mean we never finished there. Are you saying, are you spoiling the whole thing? Like we never finished whatever it's everything for. It's like you come for the medicine, you stay for the community because that's also my favorite part of ceremony, it's just like being in that circle and I'm curious as a facilitator and having had this new experience with the Scarlet heart, like what is one way you can, you'll bring that Scarlet heart into your next ceremony space?
Erin: Yeah. Something really practical I've realized that making sound together, humming specifically for a period of time. I love oming and I love chanting. There's this way of experience and something I've been playing around with, of making a sound, focusing on the heart and making sound is this beautiful way of coming into coherence with other beings?
So that's a very practical way. I also like naming that the space of the heart that I'm speaking to the Scarlet heart, which is, I believe true, like alive and available in every being, it's a way of turning our radio knobs to its station so we can receive it, so we can hear it. Like it's there, it's running in the background, 97.5 . But we've got to turn towards it and that remembrance communicating that remembrance and bringing us into that remembrance feels really important to me and that through naming it also through practice of bringing awareness to the heart, gratitude is another way of doing it, meta practice, visual of bringing us into the residence of love for that we have for other beings for life for the lands. Tonglen, another Buddhist practice that is really supportive in tuning our knobs towards the station. So emphasizing the practices that bring us into that is the top of my priorities.
Pascal: Beautiful. One of the most powerful practices I have developed for myself or been inspired by artists to do is just waking up in the morning with a gratitude prayer and connecting with my heart before I go out into the world, like that's such a powerful and simple practice that has really transformed my life because before I interface off the world, I share my gratitude to my friends, my family, my community, my guides, my teachers, Pachamama, really thanking the planet is such a very deep, powerful practice of just saying, thank you for life, thank you for existence and thanking my higher self as well for being here and having walked the journey, and then when I'm sure I've connected with that gratitude and heart, then I can go out in the world and really show up for myself and for others. And I love that.
In ceremony space, I found that the safety and the trust of the container brings down the barriers for everyone and then we can just be ourselves and it's funny because I've taken pictures with groups before, like the first day we arrive, it's like like tight and like a little bit, like not sure and then two days later it's we all like hugging and it's like this whole space is completely changed. It feels like a childhood memory of like how we used to be. It's like a piece of about remembrance, it's like such a key piece of our journeys. It's just remembering who we truly are. It truly are love beings. We truly are love beings and once we feel that in this space even just once, you can't go back, it's you felt that and I feel like that might be part of the chasing of the healing, it's like we keep wanting to go back to those spaces and as I've walked my journey more and more as this idea of being a portable ceremony, you can walk yourself anywhere with that. Like Duncan was saying the lodge is with you all the time. So I've been working on having that ceremony space within myself all the time as much as I can. Coming back to that and more I do that the less, I'd love ceremony, but I also feel like every day's a ceremony. And that really changed my life to be able to connect with that and to do that, I really had to excavate a lot of the resistance and just a more and in terms of making space for that love to be fully present. So yeah, that's a bit about my journey with accepting love and having a ceremony as part of my everyday life. I'd like to talk a bit more about the psychedelic space in general as you were talking about being a facilitator and holding space with people what's your personal vision for the psychedelic space and it's one of many doors and oftentimes that door opens up hundreds of other doors that it's kind of a gateway, an activator, an inspiration piece that can lead people into many many different roads, but what's your vision for that space in general, there is a lot going on right now in this space, in terms of policies, in terms of corporate kind of actions like different organizations being built, different people having voices in the space that are emerging the space is growing the social resistance to the medicine is also changing.
And then underneath that is the cultural, philosophical perspectives that we all hold relative to psychedelics that are coming up to the surface and really illuminating certain parts of like our collective psyche around psychedelics. And that's going to be a big part of like how things are going to evolve is that underbelly of like how we really believe and see psychedelics as a society and how we're going to interface with that is really much how we interface with ourselves in the world.
And I'm curious to hear your vision for that space. Like how do you imagine it emerging into the world and what would you like to see?
Erin: Yeah, it's such an important. I love how you phrased the question. what's your vision? What's your dream? Because more and more I'm realizing that this is the way we dream the next reality is we speak it and we hold it as possibility and I'm excited to, to do that in community and as a friend calls it like dream in unison, like what do we want this really important space to be and for me, I really want to see a reality where psychedelics are revered as the medicine that they are approached with the reverence and the humility and the temperance, the prudence the listening that really serves both the plants and the beings interacting with them. It's also really important that as we talk about psychedelics, we're also able to talk about where they come from, who (inaudible) the lands they come from, what are their practices and how are we serving those that really paved the way for these to be made accessible at a time when many of us are really benefiting from them.
So there's a reciprocity and a respect that I really feel committed to being a part of and I would love to see these plant allies also being a way in which we bring cultures that have been pushed aside and conquered and that haven't been brought into the circle in the same way that we now are like, okay, it's time that we learn from you, a crazy horse had that had the prophecy of there will be a time when the white skins come to the red skins, asking for our ways and at that time it'll be important that the red skins make it available for all brothers and sisters, for the planet that we are together in this. And so there's a way that I feel the plants are like reminding us of [inaudible] network of our humanity, that we're all connected and if we can come together and I can sit in ceremony next to a brother that I thought was my enemy and by the end we're like, oh my gosh! I don't need to know anything about you to know I love you. That's also, that's a power of these plants, so it's not only, yes I pray for the time when it's decriminalized and there's social structures set into place where they can be accessed in a good way and a way that's not debilitating lands and cultures, but that is giving back and creating restoration and reciprocal processes.
And I also pray that these medicines are utilized in a good way to connect all of us and to have us be a space that we dream in unison, that we come together not only for our personal healing, but for okay, now that we're in this space what do we want to dream, and can we all hold it and can we all decide how we show up for this?
So may these plants and our way of interacting with them and communing with them, may it also create a space for us to dream in unison. to create together. That's my vision, my prayer, and I think what needs to happen for that, there's this way that the thing becomes popular and we all want it because there's wait. we know there's a lot of healing, so that dance of let's make this accessible, but let's also take ownership over. Am I going back to dip my cup in the pot when I'm already have so much in my belly to digest and integrate, like maybe this isn't my time to drink this. Maybe let other beings have access to it and all support in another way. So I think there's a collective Western maturing around our use of these medicines. As I know, Nectara is really passionate about as well, where we don't end up in the situation of we've overused and abused and taxed these allies in a way that makes them unavailable and makes causes more harm to the lands and the cultures they come from than any of us, intention...
Pascal: Yes, intention is everything in the way we connect with the plants and connect with the medicines and connect with the communities from which they come from and I always feel like such a deep sense of privilege to be able to experience these medicines especially when it comes to [inaudible], for example, where the people, thousands of years ago, are prosecuted for their use and how they protected the lineage and the culture and the teachings. And then whenever I drink that's the first thing I connect with is just, thank you, thank you so much. There's so much history and so much reverence that comes into the space that it's a huge huge privilege and the way we interface with them is a really key piece of what you're talking about in terms of growing the space in a good way, is just really starting with like deep intentionality and connection with the values that, of love really and respect and sacredness.
And you touched a little bit on the topic of integration. It's often something that in many spaces, it's kind of like secondary. A lot of people are after the peak experience. I'm curious what your relationship has been around integration over the years when you entered the spaces in the beginning, was that part of the language being used and what has changed since then as you're integrating your latest ceremony I'd love to learn more about your own personal integration process, and also what are things that people often forget with their integration?
And it's always different for everyone, but in general, what are maybe pointers you can share with people around integration? I'd love to hear that.
Erin: Yeah. One thing that I agree with you that there's not a lot of conversation about it for a couple reasons that I think for a lot of places that are holding these spaces, that is the primary piece. And that takes a lot of energy and resources and time. So I'm really grateful for the existence of Nectara and places and spaces that are like great, come with us to support this really imperative, probably the most important part of what you're doing is to create the bridge into your reality, your lived reality, that was never really, was not emphasized.
One of my teachers before, may I name Dennis who connected me to the [inaudible] in Brazil, they have a saying, close your lips and open your heart. And I think when it comes to integration, this is beautiful because there can be a desire to, okay I've had this experience now, how do I form it into ideas, words? How do I give it to the world? How do I share it with loved ones? How do I talk about it? And there's something that I feel is really important part of working with these medicines, which is reminding ourselves that they're plants and the way that plants work is on their own time. You can't rush a plant to grow. And when we take in these medicines where we're basically saying okay, now you're a part of me. When I dieted with [inaudible] that the image was, there's a seed in your heart and she's going to grow and she's going to continue to grow, water her well with kind words and kind thoughts and right action, being in integrity with ourselves is a great way to integrate asking ourselves questions. Okay. Checking in. What am I listening to right now, is the choice I'm making is that an alignment with what has come through? You might have been the, you might have said this to me, Pascal, when we first talked about how integration is a moment by moment, day by day thing, how we are, we will, integrate. there's nothing we have to do in order to like, okay, now I'm integrating, we do the important piece is to allow the space for it to happen so to not give away the experience by speaking about it to everyone, by, okay, now I'm going to change my life in this way, now I'm going to make these drastic life decisions because of what I saw I think there's a wisdom that's being asked of okay, let this information trust that it's permeating your cells, trust that it's moving through you, trust that it's going to inform that you're going to have, if you're listening, you're going to have different cues from your body or different feel. Oh, actually, that doesn't feel I'm going to listen. That doesn't feel right. I'm going to listen to that. So this heightened way of listening feels really important.
Things like personal practices, writing is super powerful. Giving yourself another way to process. That's just for you, communication with you. I also find it really helpful to dance. That's my personal practice of like, if I can pull forth this what I received in ceremony, the bits that are with me, and then I can move my body from there.
I can have a rhythmic dialogue with what I saw, with what came through and it doesn't have to lead to anything. It's just another way of making space for it to land and inform who I'm becoming, what's emerging, how life wants to move through embodied practice. Something super practical that I finally learned is like, when you are in ceremony space going directly into, okay, I was on ceremony that ended Sunday and I have a 9:00 AM meeting, not the thing to do, like really give ourselves some time of non-doing after the ceremony, because also psychedelics part of their thing is , they're a lot on the body. They're a lot on the body. They're a lot on, we have to, we take them into our blood. We take them, they process through our liver, through our kidneys, with grandmother and with other plants you're up, most of the night tends to be when we work with them. And so there's this taxing on our systems, that is also important to allow a lot of soft space on the other side of, to come into balance and to come into.
Huh? Okay. I'm offering fortification to my being after that experience, working with dreams is also really helpful because the dream space is illuminal space. And so setting the intention, may I be available to receive the wisdom from my dreams? May I remember my dreams? So that when I wake in the morning, writing down as much as you remember right away, over time I found that after even days of doing that, you can recall more and then writing them down and the way I work with them, there are people who study archetype and who study images and who study symbols. I really identify with Carl Young's perspective, which is what you see in your dream is going to be completely unique to you and your psyche. So the way you work with it is to be in relationship with the dream, be in dialogue with it. What do you have to show me? What could this be? How does this dream feel? Is there any message that I received from this? And maybe, I don't know and I just recognize the dream and it might show again in some capacity. So working with dreams can be a really nice way of continuing that kind of communication with what the plants offered us and the illuminal space, spaciousness time, trusting that things reveal at the time that they need to reveal. I'm still processing. Things are still popping up for me. Awareness are popping up for me from ceremonies I've done years ago. I did a DETA a year ago. It was when I sat with the master plant Bowman sauna, along with, grandmother, Iwaska. I'm pretty sure I'll be integrating that experience for years to come because of the potency and the way that these plants don't work with linear time, they work with big time.
So also taking the pressure, the last last piece of integration I want to name is I felt and people have come to me with people I've worked in these spaces, there's just a little bit of a giggle we have, because I'm like I'm so happy that I get to support you in integrating and I also want to take all the pressure off of an expectation off of you integrating in a bit well that you do the right things in order to achieve the integration that is the best, so there's some of that that I think we have to call out like, okay there's a little bit of trust here, spaciousness and trust and ease and we'll see,
Pascal: Yeah, it's a very hard way of describing integration. I love it. It's more slow over fast, like nourishing over like this [inaudible] taking time rather than jumping in like micro integration, like microdosing integration rather than oh, I, have this big piece coming up. I need to have it solved by the end of next week because psychedelics disintegrate in a way, and then you need to reintegrate after, another piece I'd like to add to the beautiful tips is the idea of Instead of I got this it's we got this. So calling in support before and after the ceremony who's available to support me.
It could be an integration guide. It could be a body worker. It could be a sound journey person. It could be your best friend. It could be even your dog, like being sacred time around before and after to connect with those resources and not having to walk the path alone, it's a big thing of around what we're doing in a car is that connecting people together because it's so much more deeper and more resourcing to have people walking the journey with you.
Thank you for sharing those beautiful advice. And now I have a couple of rapid fire type questions. Things that I'm curious about, maybe people will be curious around as well. Are you ready? Ready, Teddy. So what's one thing you'd like to tell your 20 year old self. And you could just be like the first thing that comes to mind. Just be intuitive about it.
Eric: Don't try so hard. you don't have to try so hard.
Pascal: This is great. Now what's your favorite book? And who's the author again?
Erin: Wise heart.
Pascal: Jack Kornfield. Great. I'll look that up. What's your favorite musical artist? I know it's hard. it's unfair to ask that. Ooh, maybe one of the many that you love the most
Erin: Goodness. Right now. Okay, there's this artist that I found recently, Caterina Barbieri, that I've been listening to quite a bit. She does like really beautiful, ambient type music.
Pascal: Beautiful. What's really exciting for you. In next three years?
Erin: The way is this Scarlet heart is going to make its way into the world and the spaces it's going to open for...
Pascal: What's one person in ,the psychedelic space that you'd love to meet?
Erin: My first thought was Ramdas, but maybe in a journey. I'd love to meet Stan Groh, who has also created holotropic breath work [inaudible] psychedelics became outlaw back in the '60s. So he's a pioneer for sure. I am in love with that.
Pascal: And finally is there one message you'd like to share to the person listening or watching this right. now?
Erin: Being a human is a complex, beautiful, challenging experience. And it's a gift to be in a body, a human body, and your body contains everything you need and more.
Pascal: Perfect. Thank you.
Erin: I think that's it.
Pascal: Thank you for your time and your energy and your beautiful Scarlet heart. Thank you.
Erin: Thank you Pascal. I love talking to you. Thank you for creating, cocreating Nectara, such an important space for all of us.
Pascal: We're all cocreating it together. Thanks for being a part of it.
Thank you everyone. Thank you for tuning in. We'll be back for more episodes in the near future. So stay tuned and thank you for walking the journey with us. Thank you so much. Take care.