I recently had the honor of attending a Quantum Birth retreat to discuss the more unseen, intuitive, spiritual and primal realms of birth. It was here that we gracefully dove into the mysteries of some of the most profound and interesting topics around the mysteries of birth and life itself. It was this weekend where I realized the intricate weavings of altered states of consciousness, Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the pineal gland and the miracle of creating and birthing soulful life, and how all my life experiences have prepared me for fulfilling my passion as a keeper of sacred birth.
When I became a doula, I was nervous that I wouldn’t be effective, or respected because I had never experienced pregnancy or birth myself nor had I ever even attended a birth before. My greatest teacher and inspiration, Midwife Whapio, then told me, "you do not have to be a mother to be a good doula or birth keeper, you simply need to be comfortable navigating altered states of consciousness." And at that thought, I felt highly qualified for this sacred job.
And so it all began to make sense, my earliest obsessions with psychedelic compounds, from personal experimentation to reading book after book by Dr. Rick Strassmen, Ram Dass, Terrance McKenna and other pioneers in the field of psychedelics and entheogenic compounds, to eventually finding myself in a deep relationship with some of the most highly revered plant medicines in the world. These personal and profound journeys were not simply phases, experiments, dependencies or the many other things parents, siblings and friends have referred to them as, but they were/are relationships to facilitate healing, wholeness, and ultimately experiences that will enrich my passions and purpose as a keeper of the sacred transition of pregnancy and birth.
At this point, you may already be a fellow pyscho-naut, aware of the many miracles surrounding DMT, the pineal gland, altered states of consciousness, and things of the sort, or you may be growingly curious about this ideas and how in the world they relate to pregnancy and birth. I am honored to illuminate some of my knowledge and experience and mingle it all in with the unseen, profound and transformative realms of birth.
DMT, or as MD Rick Straussman tagged it, the Spirit Molecule is natures most common and most profound tryptamine. Tryptamines are natural occurring compounds that mimic the structure and action of the neurotransmitter Serotonin. The scientific world is still unable to completely define serotonins role in the body but we are coming to understand that it plays a profound role in mood, well-being, sleep regulation and memory.
Cosmonauts, researchers and medical professionals dabbling in the realm of DMT and other natural tryptamines such as psilocybin, are also finding profound data suggesting the use of these natural occurring tryptamines to treat mood disorders like clinical depression, post traumatic stress disorder and drug addictions. The world of psychedelics is being blown wide open in what I believe is a desperate and last attempt made by the plant intelligences to awaken the sleeping world to not only protect their own survival but also all of their plant and animal counterparts.
I could discuss scientific research and evidence about using DMT and psilocybin as medicine extensively, and as a medical student I do value, to some extent, sound and scientific research. But as a psychedelic dabbler myself, I have come to understand the profound gaps and fundamental disconnects between scientific method and truth of realities science has yet words and concepts to define; which in ways I am grateful for. When we create words and definitions we create divisions and ideologies. Ideas are liberating and exciting, but ideologies are suffocating and controlling. So in my humble opinion, I think science should leave the experiential studying of entheogens in the hands of more qualified individuals like shamans, medicine people, spiritual seekers and most importantly, laboring Women.
DMT, described as an entheogen, or a substance that "generates the divine from within", when taken from exogenous sources, induces a profound and deep state of consciousness that many people describe involves the feeling of oneness, of ultimate unity, great understanding, a dissolution of boundaries to see from all perspectives. It instills a lasting sense of purpose and fulfillment in most who experience it's medicine. This Spirit Molecule allows beings to enter a realm where the confines of our humanness dissolve and enable all of us to witness the profound web of life we all weave together. Some individuals have even reported meeting the creator of all existence face to face in these intimate experiences. Although most of these experiences are achieved through ingesting high levels of exogenous DMT, found in over 60 plant species used by shamans and indigenous cultures around the world, they are also possible to reach through endogenously produced DMT, coming from the sacred third eye space, or the pineal gland, during peak life experiences.
The pineal gland is an endocrine organ that sits in the center of the brain, posterior to the pituitary gland and ultimately behind the third eye space. This tiny, pea size gland, with texture resembling a pine cone, is the producer of the hormone melatonin which regulates sleep cycles. The pineal gland is also thought to be an endogenous producer of the tryptamine entheogen, DMT. It is believed that DMT and Melatonin are the hormones that allow us to enter a dream state. I find it beautifully synchronic that humans are hard wired to need sleep, more so than water, and that it is required to our existence to enter an alternate reality, one triggered by an endogenous hormone, revered to be of divine nature. The source that created us programed us to maintain, and in fact require constant union with itself, and that is all mediated through the Spirt Molecule of DMT. The pineal gland also was just recently discovered to actually contain rods and cones, the structures present in our eyes that allow us to see. This finding is profound validation for the intuitive knowledge of the presence of our third eye, space of true seeing and intuition, known long ago.
In addition to deep sleep and dream states, there are other points in our lives when we release DMT in high enough concentrations to out run our bodies natural defense against it, called Monoamine oxidase, another hormone of the body that rapidly degrades DMT and helps us maintain a functional state of mind rather than constantly be navigating through altered states of consciousness and non ordinary realities. These times include birth, labor and death as well as other peak experiences that may be obtained through deep meditation, cosmic sex and near death experiences.
As I am sure many Women have experienced first hand (I look forward to my turn!) Pregnancy and birth is a transformational time where altered states of consciousness are not particularly difficult to tap into. People can refer to it as pregnant brain, or new mommy brain, and this is the simple fact that pregnant women are easily drawn into, slower and deeper brain wave patterns than the average human. Delta and Theta are the deepest, slowest brain wave patterns we can enter and there is plenty of data showing that laboring women easily slip into these altered states of consciousness. Delta brainwaves are seen in enlightened Tibetan monks deep in mediation when they have profound actualizations, and theta is even deeper. So it is no wonder why labor and birth is so potently transformational for Women.
These altered states of consciousness in laboring women occur partly because of extremely elevated levels of oxytocin, but are also mediated by dramatic increases in the levels of free flowingDMT produced by the pineal gland. Shamans and ayahuascaros exhibit the same brain wave patterns on deep medicine journeys as Women who are in labor. Laboring women, doulas and midwives who have experience on plant medicine such as ayahausca or yage, report the birth scene as havingthe same energetic feeling and spiritual depth to that of a plant medicine ceremony.
At the pinnacle of creation, the peak of cosmic forces, the spirit molecule emerges once again to mediate this worlds greatest miracle. These surges of DMT during labor trigger the stimulation of the pineal gland in the baby, preparing it to see the first light of day by producing large amounts of DMT. A mother gives birth but she herself is also reborn and a baby is welcomed into this world by their transformed mother and the Divine Mother molecule of DMT.
The pineal gland and DMT production is also significant in fetal development and the babies experience of birth. During embryological development, around week 7, or 42 days, the pineal gland is the first organ to "go online" and to complete its development and begin to produce its products. I find it, again profoundly synchronic, that many Buddhist and Hindi traditions believe it takes 42 days for a soul to reincarnate and at day 42 of gestation is when the soul enters the fetus. Soulful life, created synchronously with the pineal gland, producer of DMT, widest natural occurring entheogen, revered as the divine itself. Just saying….
Not only is the pineal gland the first gland to complete formation, it is the first gland to see the light of the world as the baby crowns through the mothers vaginal canal. Just beneath the anterior fontanel(and some cortex brain tissue) is where the pineal gland sits. This anterior fontanel is the same thing that energetically aligns with the pubogenital triangle of the Female pelvis as the babies final decent and crowning takes place. This baby is guided by the power of this triangle, by its intuitive instinct on how to be birthed, with the pineal gland paving the way. Meanwhile its pineal gland is surging large amounts of DMT, triggered by the Laboring Mothers release of DMT and extremely high levels of the euphoric hormone oxytocin. If this isn't a recipe for sensual divinity, I don’t know what is.
The transformative power of birth is not, in my humble opinion, coincidentally paralleled to the transformative nature of an entheogenic experience of DMT. It is an example of substance and depth proving DMT's role in the many transitions of life. Not only is DMT present for the birth into the this world, but it is found in traceable quantities shortly after death as it assists in our birth to the next world. As we transition from one plane to the next, we are reborn again, ushered by this sacred molecule, found in all beings, mediating the truest sense of oneness.
This is all to advocate for the return of deep reverence for the process of creation, birth and all significant transitions in life as well as for the plants on this planet that give themselves to us so we may find meaning, fulfillment and dissolution of the boundaries that confine us. As a doula, and future physician and midwife, I feel so much gratitude for building a relationship with these plants and with these entheogenic molecules so that I may be better able to serve and understand my clients and patients who are navigating other states of consciousness and so that rather than coaching women to stay on this plane during labor, I am comfortable going to the depths of their experiences with them- navigating ego death and soul rebirth, over and over again.
Thanks for sticking with me this whole post! Feel free to email me if you have more questions about these amazing topics.
Sending divine love to all.