Exploring the Enigmatic “Personalities” of Sacred Ceremonial Plant Medicines

Embarking on a journey with sacred medicines is a profound exploration of the mind, spirit, and consciousness. Throughout the many times I’ve been able to sit with different sacred plants, I’ve had wonderful, deep, challenging, horrible, ecstatic and blissful experiences. One of the best lessons I’ve had the joy of receiving is to listen to the plants and commune with them vs. just thinking that I am “taking them”. This approach has taught me to be with the plant as if they are their own entity. I’ve grown to see each plant as sentient beings with personalities and identities.

By realizing each plant has its own unique personality, we can open our minds to them offering each seekers distinctive experiences and insights. In this article, I will do my best to share what I’ve encountered in my different experiences in regard to the personalities of sacred plants, focusing on Bufo, Mushrooms, San Pedro, Ayahuasca, Kanna, Sassafras, and Cannabis, unveiling the transformative realms they open and the wisdom they share.

Bufo Alvarius (5-MeO-DMT):

Bufo, derived from the secretions of the Sonoran Desert toad, provides an intense and rapid journey to the edges of consciousness. Its personality is often described as cosmic, shattering the boundaries of the ego and dissolving the illusion of separateness. Bufo takes the seeker on a voyage beyond time and space, connecting with the universal source of energy. The experience is often described as merging with the universe and dissolving one’s self, an encounter with the divine, and a profound dissolution of the self. Bufo’s personality is awe-inspiring, leaving participants with a sense of interconnectedness and a recalibration of their perception of reality. Even though Bufo completely separates one from everything that is considered real; having a strong, grounded facilitator that can “reel in” the participant  is key to have a positive integration. 

Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin):

Mushrooms, containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin, have been revered for centuries for their mind-altering properties. The personality of mushrooms is whimsical, taking participants on a journey through the many landscapes of the mind. The incredible thing about mushrooms is that there are many different species and strains of magic mushrooms. This provides a plethora of different experiences and personalities. Some strains show you the door and tell you it is up to you to go in, while other strains hold your hand and walk next to you when going through the door. The overall experience is often characterized by vivid visuals, enhanced creativity, and a heightened sense of introspection. To me, mushroom’s personality is both playful and introspective, guiding me to confront my innermost thoughts and emotions while fostering a deep appreciation for the beauty and interconnectedness of the natural world.

San Pedro – Huachuma (Mescaline):

San Pedro, a cactus native to the Andes, offers a gentle and nurturing personality. The experience is often described as a slow, steady climb into heightened states of awareness, accompanied by a sense of calm and tranquility. San Pedro’s personality is earthy and grounding, fostering a deep connection with nature and a profound appreciation for the present moment. Connection with self, others and nature is common to feel when sitting with San Pedro. This plant can feel very inclusive in that it doesn’t feel like you are being taken for a ride, but that you are walking alongside the cactus. The reason why I feel it is a very inviting and soothing plant, is because it provides the chance to think about one’s life and how to live it in a very compassionate and non-judging way. Participants often report enhanced sensory perception, spiritual insights, and a renewed sense of purpose, making San Pedro a guide for those seeking balance and harmony.


Ayahuasca, a potent brew originating from the Amazon rainforest, carries the personality of a wise and ancient teacher. The phrase “tough love” comes to me when thinking of ayahuasca. During the ceremony itself, it might be hard or challenging to feel that there is a loving aspect to the experience. However, once the ceremony is done and integration begins, there tends to be a big sense of a teaching coming into the participant’s perception. The experience is characterized by intense visions, deep introspection, and a journey into the collective unconscious. Ayahuasca’s personality is stern but nurturing, guiding participants through the shadows of their psyche to confront unresolved issues and traumas. The brew facilitates a profound purging of negative energies and a rebirth of the spirit, offering seekers a transformative and cathartic experience.

Kanna (Sceletium Tortuosum):

Kanna, a succulent plant native to South Africa, possesses a subtle yet uplifting personality. The experience is often described as gentle, promoting relaxation, euphoria, and a heightened sense of well-being. Kanna’s personality is empathetic, guiding individuals to explore their emotions with a sense of ease and openness. Kanna is considered a heart opener, which allows participants to be more open about going into their own traumas and looking at them with self-love and non-judgement. Kanna provides a deep sense of presence and acceptance and is often used as a mood enhancer and stress reliever, offering a calming and centering effect that aligns with its nurturing character.

Sassafras (MDMA):

Sassafras, another heart open usually compared with MDMA, is a synthetic compound with empathogenic and entactogenic effects. The personality of Sassafras is empathetic and heart-opening, fostering a deep sense of emotional connection and compassion. The experience is characterized by enhanced feelings of love, empathy, and acceptance. Sassafras has been used therapeutically to address trauma and enhance interpersonal relationships, making it a powerful ally for those seeking emotional healing and connection.

In the vast tapestry of sacred medicines, each plant possesses a unique personality that guides individuals on profound journeys of self-discovery, healing, and transformation. From the cosmic realms of Bufo to the playful introspection of Mushrooms, the nurturing embrace of San Pedro, the wise teachings of Ayahuasca, the subtle upliftment of Kanna, the empathetic embrace of Sassafras, these sacred medicines serve as allies in the exploration of consciousness.

It is essential to approach these experiences with respect, intention, and a deep understanding of the cultural and historical contexts surrounding each plant. As seekers navigate the diverse personalities of these sacred medicines, they embark on a journey that has the potential to illuminate the depths of the psyche, reconnect with the spirit, and foster a profound sense of unity with the cosmos.

Carlos Rangel

Carlos Rangel is a Sacred Plant Facilitator with years of dedicated experience in holding transformative spaces for individuals seeking profound healing and self-discovery. Passionate about the potential for personal growth and spiritual exploration, Carlos has cultivated a rich tapestry of skills and knowledge to guide others on their sacred plant journeys. Carlos brings a unique blend of expertise to the realm of plant medicine. In addition to his personal experience of sitting with sacred plants in different countries, cultures and facilitators, Carlos has also devoted himself to a life of continued learning and self development. A graduate of the Synthesis Institute's trauma-focused facilitator training, Carlos is well-versed in navigating the delicate terrain of psychological wounds, ensuring a safe and supportive environment for participants. This commitment to safety extends to comprehensive screening processes and thoughtful integration practices, fostering a holistic approach to healing. In addition, Carlos holds an InnerMBA in Mindful Leadership and Management from Sounds True, showcasing a dedication to combining traditional business acumen with mindful and compassionate leadership practices. This dynamic background allows Carlos to bridge the gap between spiritual exploration and practical, grounded approaches to personal and professional development. A firm believer in ongoing learning, Carlos will continue to expand his skill set with additional training in integration, death and dying, liminality, and Integrative Psychotherapy. This commitment to continuous growth reflects Carlos’ belief in the ever-evolving nature of both personal and collective transformation. Central to Carlos’ facilitation approach is the emphasis on attentive listening and compassionate presence. By attuning to the unique needs of each participant, Carlos creates a space where individuals feel seen, heard, and supported throughout their sacred plant ceremonies. The integration of mindfulness and sound healing further enhances the depth of the experiences Carlos facilitates, offering participants a holistic journey towards self-discovery and healing. As Carlos continues to evolve on his own journey, he remains steadfast in his commitment to facilitating spaces that empower others on their path to healing and self-realization. http://collectivetransformations.com/

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