The Launch of a Movement
I am very excited to announce the launch of the new name and website for the Entheo Society of Washington, proudly in collaboration with the Decriminalize Nature movement. The mission of this grassroots organization is to expand public understanding and appreciation of natural plant and fungi medicines (entheogens). We support the therapeutic, spiritual, and medical right to heal ourselves with entheogens and join together to decriminalize, de-stigmatize, and honor their use.
Our team, made up of diverse members from all walks of life, has been working diligently for months on the launch of this website, and with it a more formalized movement for the city of Seattle and the state of Washington – a movement rooted in the mindful intention to be true to and honor the consciousness and healing power of these plant and fungi medicines. This is a movement that has been moving forward in the nation in the cities of Denver, Oakland and Santa Cruz and now 100+ additional cities are taking up the torch to continue this forward momentum towards decriminalizing entheogens. Here in Seattle, where this important movement has been percolating for many months, under the surface of an unsuspecting city, this underground movement is about to break open.
All of this hard work has been done with the backdrop of a global pandemic. During these challenging months, our members have been faced with the myriad of real-life challenges that we have seen around the nation: members’ businesses have crashed, causing them to step away and attend to the real-life challenges; we have all had to learn to patch together work-from-home scenarios, fumble through Zoom calls, rearrange duties; we’ve had to reverse directions, circle back and forge new connections—all while having to navigate the shut-down of our local economy, home isolation and limited in-person contact. These months have not been easy.
What has it meant to lead and grow this movement from the corners of our living rooms, stuck to our computers and waving at bobbing heads? It took immense amounts of energy, commitment and passion to recruit people, to encourage them to step into roles of responsibility for, duty to, and stewardship of plant medicine. But throughout it all, we have been guided by our mission that people should have the right to access and use natural plant and fungi medicine without incrimination. We have remembered the importance of giving back for what we have been given by these entheogens. To muster all of this energy and focus during a global pandemic with dystopian overtones, was an immense undertaking. Reaching into the collective muck of the now, we asked people to give, to be present, to stand up for this – yes, even in the chaos– and they came, every day, more and more came, like they were waking up to the plant spirits channeling through them to wake humanity.
This time has had its challenges. We are a community that is very dedicated to interpersonal growth, connection, bearing witness, and building trust – yet we have been removed from seeing one another as humans, face-to-face, eye-to-eye. We have been unable to touch one another, hug out disagreements, or celebrate our wins. Despite these obstacles, and the real-world logistical goals (a website, logo designs, and press releases), we have arrived. We are ready to roll. This is where the party begins. This is when we stand up and say what we gotta’ say.
– Leo Russell, Executive Director
Leonora Russell works for the Public Defense. Her views reflect her personal opinions and are not reflective of the views of the Public Defense.