Veena Lila

Veena Lila

Featured in the Rahu chapter in Agents of Evolution

The Evolutionary Path of Rahu + Plant Medicine

Veena Leela has spent the better part of the last four years in the Amazonian rainforest, studying with an indigenous family of shamans there. Her tutelage regularly consists of spending months at a time in the forest alone, learning from a particular plant, taking in its medicine, then being guided by it. This kind of training has the energetic signature of Rahu.

Veena’s early experiences with Ayahuasca in Peru helped to open her capacity to communicate with the unseen world. For years before traveling to Peru, when Veena visited her parents in Pennsylvania, the forest near her par- ents’ home was a place she would visit to make offerings to the tribes who once lived on that land. She was moved to create ceremony for them, offering tobacco and smoke for their healing and liberation. On one particular medicine journey in Peru, she was in Peru physically, “though, in my experience with the medicine, I was back in the forest in Pennsylvania,” she remembers. “Then, in my experience in those woods again through the portal of Ayahuasca, there was a native chief from those lands, standing in front of me in the woods, and he was blessing me with tobacco smoke, reciprocating my ceremony for him and his people or the lineages that were there.”

This “thinning of the veil” is an evolutionary function of Rahu. To become aware of what exists just beyond the veil (just as real and relevant as this waking life) requires a certain kind of Rahu orientation. In Veena’s particular experience, it was facilitated through a plant medicine journey, though throughout the history of humans the adepts of different cultures found ways to travel there—through breathwork, through vision questing, through fasting, through austerities, through chanting, through dance.

Beyond the fascination of piercing through into alternative realities, these forms of travel have waking world benefits in terms of psychological wellness. Well-guided and well-supported plant medicine journeying can open up dimensions of experience that enhance or augment our capacity for deep emotional healing in our waking lives.

Tending the Past, through the Present

While Time heals much of the emotional wounding that occurs to us, sometimes we find residues of past wounds in our present-day emotional bodies. Plant medicine can help us close the loop on the past and the present. Veena describes what this process looks like as her present-day self “tending to a previous version of myself at a time where I was struggling or disconnected or just really on a subconscious level seeking deep healing.”

Here is an example of this process, in Veena’s words: “When I was really deep in the New York City nightlife scene and drugs, sometime in my teens/early twenties, I was in just a great deal of danger on all levels,” she remembers. Then during an Ayahuasca ceremony she found herself back there in NYC, “carrying a quantum of medicine with me that I have been cultivating through different traditional healing work and also with the plant medicines, deliberately in the jungle. So, I’ll use my breath as the vehicle of sending this healing, sending the medicine to my previous self and feeling how that ripple is empowering my present self.” The breath links those two states, those two times.

Veena’s training in the jungle has helped her navigate these states of awareness with more facility, being able to use her familiarity with these plants in assisting others in their own healing journeys. Traveling between states of awareness, or traveling between timelines, requires Rahu’s evolutionary blessing and a whole lot of spiritual maturity.