Ceremonial Magic: The Art of Curating Psychedelic Experiences


Episode 230

Phoenix White

In this episode of The Psychedelic Podcast, host Paul F. Austin sits down with Phoenix White, founder of The Sacred Celestial. Recorded in-person at the 2023 Wonderland Conference in Miami, their conversation explores the art of curating transformational psychedelic ceremonies.

From postpartum mental health to creating safe, transformative, and memorable psychedelic containers, Phoenix delves into her journey, including two brain surgeries and her book, "Redefining Strong."

Join Phoenix as she unravels her own psychedelic insights on love, parenting, community, and self-actualization.

Phoenix White:

Phoenix White is revolutionizing the boundaries of mental health as a pioneering force in the realm of transformative healing, driven by an unapologetic dedication to fostering profound personal growth & self-exploration. She has mastered the art of merging spirituality, science, & radically curating immersive multi-sensory healing experiences. Her ‘Sacred Celestial Ceremony’ was nominated for the Retreat of the Year Award at the 2023 Wonderland Conference.

As a visionary and woman of color, Phoenix has triumphed over immense adversity, surviving two brain surgeries and overcoming the challenges of abuse, trauma and homelessness while raising a child as a single mother. Phoenix embodies the true spirit of what it means to rise from the ashes. Her journey has transformed her into a potent healer and a compelling voice in communities worldwide.

Phoenix is the founder of The Sacred Celestial, which has catapulted her into becoming a global leader in the field of psychedelic-assisted therapy through groundbreaking work in ceremonial psychedelics. She is also the best-selling author of Redefining Strong: A Journey to Finding Yourself, True Healing, and Spiritual Recalibration—a riveting story of self-discovery, sacrifice, and healing.

Podcast Highlights

  • The overlooked importance of postpartum mental health.
  • Psychedelics and breastfeeding.
  • Phoenix’s private and group ceremonies with psilocybin.
  • Curating impactful ceremonial psychedelic experiences.
  • Phoenix’s two brain surgeries and her book, “Redefining Strong.”
  • Psychedelic lessons on self-confidence, love, and parenting.
  • On creating community around psychedelics.
  • How to learn more about Phoenix’s retreats and ceremonies.

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Podcast Transcript

0:00:00.0 Paul F. Austin: Welcome back to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, connecting you to the leaders and pioneers of the psychedelic renaissance. This is your host, Paul F. Austin, and today I am speaking with Phoenix White, best selling author, visionary healer, and founder of The Sacred Celestial.

0:00:16.4 Phoenix White: As a Black woman, we didn't hear good things about psychedelics. It's the party drug. It's the thing that makes people crazy. People need this to do deeper healing like they really, really need it, but they don't have a representative that will introduce this to them. And so I kind of became that person. And in my first ceremony, I saw people healing from all kinds of traumas. I saw that people wanted to be around me because they felt safe, more so than the person that was leading it. And I was like, wow, okay, I get it. This is what I'm supposed to be doing.


0:00:53.4 Paul F. Austin: Welcome to The Psychedelic Podcast by Third Wave, audio mycelium, connecting you to the luminaries and thought leaders of the psychedelic renaissance. We bring you illuminating conversations with scientists, therapists, entrepreneurs, coaches, doctors, and shamanic practitioners, exploring how we can best use psychedelic medicine to accelerate personal healing, peak performance, and collective transformation.


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0:04:20.5 Paul F. Austin: Hey listeners, this is Paul F. Austin, founder and CEO at Third Wave, and today we're diving into the ins and outs of facilitating psychedelic ceremonies, exploring what makes an experience safe, impactful, and ultimately healing. And beyond that, we dive into some rich and personal stories of transformation, resilience, and reclaiming our power, all through the help of psychedelics. My guest today is Phoenix White. Phoenix White is revolutionizing the boundaries of mental health as a pioneering force in transformative healing. Driven by an unapologetic dedication to fostering profound personal growth and self-exploration, she has mastered the art of merging spirituality, science, and immersive, multi sensory healing experiences. As a visionary and woman of color, Phoenix has triumphed over immense adversity, surviving two brain surgeries and overcoming the challenges of abuse, trauma, and homelessness, while raising a child as a single mother. Her journey has transformed her into a potent healer and a compelling voice in communities worldwide. Phoenix is the founder of the Sacred Celestial, which has catapulted her into becoming a global leader in the field of psychedelic assisted therapy through her ceremonial work. She is also the bestselling author of "Redefining Strong" A Journey To Finding Yourself True Healing And Spiritual Recalibration," a riveting story of self discovery, sacrifice, and healing.

0:05:41.8 Paul F. Austin: Now, I caught up with Phoenix at the 2023 Wonderland Conference last November, where she was a panelist, keynote speaker, and a nominee for Retreat of the Year award. And here's a preview of what we dove into together. First of all, we explore the overlooked importance of postpartum mental health and what it can look like to safely integrate psychedelics at that phase. We unpack Phoenix's unique approach to private and group ceremonies with psilocybin and the secrets behind curating memorable and impactful ceremonies. We also touch on her captivating book, "Redefining Strong." And throughout our conversation, Phoenix shares her own lessons from psychedelics and self-confidence, love and parenting, shedding light on the profound impact psychedelics have on personal growth. We also explore her mission to create communities around psychedelics and how she merges ancient wisdom with modern healing. I can't wait to bring you into this conversation with Phoenix. Before we dive in, a quick reminder to follow or subscribe to The Psychedelic Podcast wherever you're tuning in so you don't miss an episode. You can leave us a review while you're at it. It really does help others find the podcast and helps us to attract more amazing guests to interview on the show.

0:06:50.9 Paul F. Austin: If you want to dive deeper into this or any of our 200 plus episodes, check the link in the description for full show notes and transcript. And lastly, if you want to continue the conversation with us about this episode or really about anything related to intentional psychedelic use, join us at Third Wave's community. This is our free community platform where you can engage in meaningful discussion around psychedelics, support, as well as our high quality education, resources and providers. You can create your account for free at community.thethirdwave.co. All right, without further ado, I bring you my conversation with Phoenix White.

0:07:26.8 Paul F. Austin: Phoenix, welcome to the podcast.

0:07:27.5 Phoenix White: Thank you so much.

0:07:30.5 Paul F. Austin: What brought you to this year's conference? What brought you to Wonderland?

0:07:35.3 Phoenix White: Actually, I was one of the speakers. I'm on three panels and I did a keynote yesterday. So yeah, I actually ended up being on this whole thing when I was just looking for different things to involve myself in that had to do with psychedelics and the community around psychedelics and I came across Wonderland. It wasn't even on my radar, but it was the first thing that I saw, and so I applied as a speaker and they called me back. [chuckle]

0:08:00.0 Paul F. Austin: And what did you talk about at the conference?

0:08:03.9 Phoenix White: Yesterday during my keynote, I started talking about postpartum mental health, which was really, really cool, and I was a little dramatic with it. I had my incense burning, had smoke, so I made it more of like a multisensory experience for people because conferences can get a little boring sometimes. So I had music going and just had a really good time, so I loved it.

0:08:25.4 Paul F. Austin: And what specifically about postpartum mental health did you go into?

0:08:29.9 Phoenix White: I wanted to talk mostly about how people need to really do the work on themselves and also how to identify what postpartum looks like, because I think a lot of people don't understand it. They just think that the women are just tripping and kind of going crazy. But one in seven women experience it. And so just giving them some of the signals of what actual postpartum symptoms are because there's three levels to it. So the first one would be postpartum depression, the second one would be postpartum anxiety, and the third would be postpartum psychosis. And so I went into postpartum psychosis with my first son and that had me in a really suicidal state where I ended up writing a suicide note. This is like 18 years ago, writing the suicide note and driving to the top of a mountain in Los Angeles with my foot on the gas and the brake at the same time ready to drive over a 2000-foot-drop cliff. So it's real. It's really, really real. And I think people need to understand and have a little bit more compassion for what the body is going through because they don't understand that there is a severe drop in estrogen and progesterone that happens in women, when the placenta comes out, they think that it just comes out. But no, it's hooked to your body and so it leaves a gaping wound that also has to heal. So you have a hole in your body that's open. It's an open wound. You could smell it.

0:09:50.6 Phoenix White: People don't talk about this stuff. That's also healing. So, yeah, it's low energy, your hormones are plummeting, your hair is falling out. There's all kinds of stuff going on. And so I just wanted to help people to really understand like, hey, maybe you don't know the details here. So I just kind of went over things like that so people get a real sense of it.

0:10:13.1 Paul F. Austin: More compassion and understanding. People need to do that?

0:10:14.7 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:10:15.6 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. We all need to do that.

0:10:16.1 Phoenix White: Yeah. People need to feel seen and felt and heard and not just running to the baby, because everybody wants to get the new addition to the family. But a lot of people aren't caring about the mom. It's just like, back to work. As soon as a baby comes out, they literally go, I would say within three minutes, they are like going straight to breastfeeding. And so that is just like, people don't understand it's really a lot going on with the body. Like, there is no break. Then there's cluster feeding after that. So every two hours, you have to feed the baby.

0:10:50.1 Paul F. Austin: Cluster feeding?

0:10:51.1 Phoenix White: It's cluster feeding. Okay. So every two hours after having a baby, you got to feed them.

0:10:53.6 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:10:54.7 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:10:55.0 Paul F. Austin: For how long?

0:10:56.5 Phoenix White: For at least the first couple of weeks.

0:10:58.8 Paul F. Austin: First couple of weeks? Okay.

0:11:00.8 Phoenix White: Yeah. Like six weeks at least. You're waking up every two hours.

0:11:05.5 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:11:06.8 Phoenix White: Yes. So it's almost like this delirious state that you go into. I was, are we allowed to cuss on here? I was fucked up. [laughter] I was literally sitting on my couch one day. My husband has a picture for my second son. He's now 3. I remember I was sitting on the couch and I was so mad because he had bit me. He didn't even have teeth. So I was like, I was trying to understand how did you slice through me that fast in the first three days? And I was mad, and he was always crying and red and angry. And I was like, why is this newborn so angry? And you couldn't figure out what to do. So I just remember sitting on the couch feeling like I was about to nose dive into this psychosis state, but I came up with this multisensory support plan, mental health support plan. And so I kind of went through my list, and my husband was able to contact my tribe of people that I had as kind of like my life raft to pull me out of it. Like, people that I will listen to that would be able to speak to me in a certain way that would bring me back to life. I had music. I had certain music playlists that lifts my mood.

0:12:14.9 Phoenix White: I had certain smells that change my mood. I had everything to keep me just sound, of like sound mind to regulate my nervous system.

0:12:25.5 Paul F. Austin: And this was 18 years ago?

0:12:27.7 Phoenix White: No, this was recently. So 18 years ago, I didn't have these tools, right? So 18 years ago, I ended up on a cliff. I don't even know how I got home. I just know I ended up at home in my bed, but I don't remember driving down the hill. I don't remember... I have no memory of it.

0:12:43.8 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:12:44.9 Phoenix White: I just remember sitting on the cliff and then I was at home. So just imagine that I must have been driving, literally unconscious. And I think people do all the time like they're on autopilot.

0:12:56.0 Paul F. Austin: Sure.

0:12:56.5 Phoenix White: It's like, I don't remember driving home, but I'm home. That's what happened to me.

0:13:01.2 Paul F. Austin: Do you remember what stopped you in that moment or why you didn't...

0:13:05.3 Phoenix White: I don't.

0:13:05.9 Paul F. Austin: You don't.

0:13:06.8 Phoenix White: I remember crying. I remember sending a message to my boyfriend at the time who we were kind of going through it. Well, we were really going through it. And he said something really mean. He's like, if you're going to do it, just go ahead and do it.

0:13:20.7 Paul F. Austin: Oh, no.

0:13:21.2 Phoenix White: I was just like, okay that wasn't the person to call. And so, it was just, I must have just had a spiritual experience. I must have prayed, something had to interfere on my behalf for me to even still be here. But I don't have...

0:13:36.1 Paul F. Austin: The recollection.

0:13:38.1 Phoenix White: Clear recollection of it.

0:13:39.2 Paul F. Austin: Interesting. So where then do psychedelics fall into this? Because I've heard a lot of stories. I've talked to a lot of people, mothers who are utilizing microdoses of psilocybin in particular to help with postpartum depression. And a very common question with mothers is, can I microdose while I'm pregnant? And typically the perspective is better not to. Can I microdose while I'm breastfeeding? And typically the perspective is, if you're really struggling with postpartum depression, then it's probably going to help both you and the child. Now, I can imagine that high doses of psychedelics would also be quite effective, but it feels like when you're a mother, you're waking up every two hours. You have a lot going on to set aside a weekend for a little prep, a full ceremony, and integration. You might not have that chance in the first, especially three months, if not six months. So what are you seeing or what are you noticing or what did you experience when it comes to how psychedelics might be helpful with this process for mothers?

0:14:48.5 Phoenix White: So two things for me, because I do ceremonial psychedelics, so I do ceremonies. I've done like 300 people worth of ceremonies.

0:14:56.9 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:14:57.9 Phoenix White: Yeah. So we do...

0:15:00.3 Paul F. Austin: With psilocybin specifically?

0:15:02.4 Phoenix White: With psilocybin, specifically.

0:15:02.5 Paul F. Austin: In Mexico.

0:15:02.7 Phoenix White: All over. We actually go all over the world doing ceremonies.

0:15:05.0 Paul F. Austin: Oh, interesting. Okay.

0:15:06.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. So I do more ceremonies outside of Mexico than I do in Mexico. I do more retreats there because it's cheaper, and more accessible to get everything I need. But here's my opinion from what I feel is the best thing to do. I don't think that people should take psychedelics while they're pregnant. The reason why is because especially doing full doses, I do more full doses, not necessarily as much microdosing. Even though I've done microdosing too, I find that the full doses are better for me. I like to just go dive deep into traumas or sometimes it's not trauma, sometimes it's just like, wow, I'm just more grateful, I'm more present, I'm more clear, but I think if you're pregnant, because traumas can come up during that time, I don't think that the medicine itself is dangerous. I think what it can provoke in you is dangerous. And so that can start to have a negative effect on your body, which can then affect your baby. So if you're stressed out and you're crying, like, I've seen people bawling crying in ceremonies and they're crunched over and they're tense and all of their body is constricted, that to me is, that could cause, for people to end up terminating their birth. And so I don't allow people to come to my ceremonies pregnant just because I just don't think it's safe.

0:16:39.8 Paul F. Austin: It's a good rule, I think. A good protocol.

0:16:40.9 Phoenix White: Yeah, it's not safe.

0:16:43.4 Paul F. Austin: Absolutely.

0:16:44.5 Phoenix White: Breastfeeding wise, I think is fine. Because I did my very first ceremony while I was breastfeeding and I remember doing a lot of research because I was very scared of it. And for me, because I'm from a different demographic. So as a Black woman, we didn't hear good things about psychedelics. It's the party drug, it's the thing that makes people crazy. It's not the thing to do. It's not healing, it's bad. And so when I was introduced to it, because I was in Mexico around shamans and a lot of indigenous spiritual leaders, it's like, okay, because I went to a couple of ceremonies, I was going to invest in a healing center out there and I needed to experience it in order for me to tell people about it, because people trust my word, so I can't tell them to do something that I haven't experienced. And so when I did it, I was like, oh, shit, this is a life hack. People need this to do deeper healing. Like they really, really need it, but they don't have a representative to do it where they feel safe enough to go that will introduce this to them. They need someone who can introduce it that they trust. And so I kind of became that person. And in my first ceremony, I saw people healing from all kinds of traumas, but I was just really aware and present, and I saw that people wanted to be around me because they felt safe, more so than the person that was leading it.

0:18:11.6 Phoenix White: And I was like, wow, okay, I get it. This is what I'm supposed to be doing. It showed me more of who I was in that moment from my first ceremony. And I did it while I was breastfeeding, and my baby had no problems whatsoever. And so I think it's perfectly safe to do while you're breastfeeding. I don't think it's safe to do recreationally.

0:18:38.6 Paul F. Austin: Sure.

0:18:39.7 Phoenix White: Because I think too much of anything is not necessarily a good thing to do, but, yeah, I think it's fine in that way.


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0:20:08.3 Paul F. Austin: You've been facilitating ceremonies for three or four years now?

0:20:14.7 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:20:17.0 Paul F. Austin: And you've facilitated for over 300 people, which is...

0:20:18.9 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's a lot. [laughter]

0:20:22.0 Paul F. Austin: It's a lot. Is it usually one-on-one or group work? What's the balance between those?

0:20:27.9 Phoenix White: Both. I do a lot of groups.

0:20:28.0 Paul F. Austin: Okay. What size usually?

0:20:29.4 Phoenix White: I don't go past 30 people at a time.

0:20:30.9 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:20:33.1 Phoenix White: Because, holding space in ceremony, it's a little different than when you go to like a treatment center.

0:20:39.3 Paul F. Austin: Sure.

0:20:40.7 Phoenix White: The ceremony is not like you're sitting on a medical table or with a IV or it's a little different where there's trees and plants, you can walk around. We don't allow people to talk, but when you have this 30...

0:20:54.1 Paul F. Austin: Noble silence?

0:20:54.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's silent. And I have a couple of facilitators that are on my team that are awesome. But the thing about it is like, we have to be present with each person. So energetically, it can become very overwhelming because also we're tapping into our spiritual gifts. And so, I mean, I'm sure you've been on psychedelics, [laughter] so you start to be like, "Oh, I have a different gift. Like, I can really see someone, or I can feel certain things that they're feeling," if you're around other people. And so we tap into our spiritual gifts and if I have to hold space for 30 people, I can't go past that. I've tried and it starts making me feel sick. Yeah. So energetically I start feeling sick, I'll end up throwing up and I'll be like, "Okay, I'm better now and I can go back." But I'm dumping other people stuff.

0:21:37.2 Paul F. Austin: There's a lot more energy to...

0:21:38.8 Phoenix White: To dump.

0:21:39.9 Paul F. Austin: To work with and purge. Yeah. Interesting.

0:21:42.0 Phoenix White: Yeah. And then I do two to three day private retreats with people. Or you can call...

0:21:45.2 Paul F. Austin: One to one or one to two?

0:21:46.0 Phoenix White: One-on-one.

0:21:48.2 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:21:49.0 Phoenix White: I have an assistant of course, because we never leave them alone.

0:21:49.8 Paul F. Austin: Sure.

0:21:50.6 Phoenix White: So it's always at least two people with the one-on-ones. But we do integration. So when people come to my ceremonies, you have to stay the night and do integration the next day. So it's one big ass slumber party.

0:22:02.1 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. Those are the best. Do you have soup after or?

0:22:05.0 Phoenix White: Yeah, we have our soup, our bread...

0:22:07.3 Paul F. Austin: Fresh fruits.

0:22:08.2 Phoenix White: Our fruits.

0:22:09.3 Paul F. Austin: And some watermelon.

0:22:10.3 Phoenix White: We have the whole thing... Watermelon is the best thing after. [laughter]

0:22:10.9 Paul F. Austin: Or Mango. Mango. Good mango, you can also have.

0:22:14.7 Phoenix White: Ooh, I gotta add in mango.

0:22:16.2 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, add them I guess.

0:22:17.9 Phoenix White: I haven't done that yet, but I've had tons of water... All the juicy fruits.

0:22:19.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah.

0:22:19.9 Phoenix White: It's amazing after. So, yeah.

0:22:20.5 Paul F. Austin: They're the best.

0:22:22.4 Phoenix White: That's what we do.

0:22:25.4 Paul F. Austin: So we have a training program for practitioners.

0:22:28.1 Phoenix White: Okay.

0:22:28.9 Paul F. Austin: For coaches. We're in our fifth cohort now. We've trained something like 200 coaches in how to work with psychedelics, less so the therapeutic.

0:22:35.6 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:22:39.2 Paul F. Austin: More so the, let's say we have executive coaches, health and wellness coaches, life and relationship coaches. And as part of that, we do a retreat in Costa Rica, six-day-retreat. And we have, we do a high dose ceremony. So the first cohort was like 22 people. The second cohort was 28, the third cohort got into 33. And then the last cohort was 38. And so I've kind of been pushing that limit a little bit. Because then in ceremony we have, if we have 22 people in ceremony, we have maybe six facilitators.

0:23:12.3 Phoenix White: We're the same.

0:23:14.4 Paul F. Austin: Right. So we have about a ratio of three to one is what I found, works well. But for this next one, we have one coming up in a month, we'll have 52 people in ceremony.

0:23:22.6 Phoenix White: That's a lot of people.

0:23:23.8 Paul F. Austin: 12 facilitators, about 40. And what's interesting though is because it's a practitioner training program, people are often a little, let's say, farther along the path. That's just not their first experience or it's not their first time going inwards. So we really emphasize sovereignty, co-creation. You're just as much facilitating this as we are. 'Cause I really, as part of a training program, you're really helping people to step into their power as a space holder. So, I'm curious for you, what are maybe some of the hard lessons you've learned? Because I've had my fair share, especially when we went from like 30 people to like 35-40. There's additional challenges that have to be navigated. What have you found to be some of, yeah, the difficulties, the challenges, what you've had to work through and navigate in larger group sizes in particular?

0:24:19.6 Phoenix White: So how I've been able to stay in control of the nonsense from happening is...

0:24:28.0 Paul F. Austin: Manage the chaos.

0:24:30.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. So I try to get ahead of it before it even happens. So like, when people actually come to our ceremonies, we spend about a good three to four hours before we even start Rapé. You know? So like, before we even get to that part, we're like spending time with them, filling them out. I come out last because I'm like the last to start to get dressed, but I have my staff sort of letting me know what's going on. And they'll send me little messages. Like, "I think this person might have not been honest on their application."

0:25:00.8 Paul F. Austin: Ah, yeah.

0:25:00.9 Phoenix White: So they're...

0:25:02.2 Paul F. Austin: There's always a couple.

0:25:04.2 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's like, I think they might be a little high on something, because we have specific rules and regulations. So like when you come, we even send out like, "Hey, this is how you need to cleanse based off of what your intake form said."

0:25:17.0 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:25:17.7 Phoenix White: And it's specific for each person. I go through each one. I talk to one of my doctors that I have on my team, and I'm be like, "Hey, does this counteract, does this affect them? Like, is this gonna be hard for them? Do they need to go on a certain type of cleanse?" If we have to do additional research, we'll see like they need to drink more water or they can't drink this, but they can have that. Or if they're taking certain medications, like we're going through each medication one by one by one, you know?

0:25:44.8 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:25:45.4 Phoenix White: And then of course, dealing with whatever issues they have 'cause it seems like 98% of the people all have anxiety. Like everyone checks the anxiety box.

0:25:54.8 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:25:54.9 Phoenix White: And I'm like, I didn't know people had that much anxiety.

0:25:55.8 Paul F. Austin: Like anxiety about doing psychedelics or just general anxiety?

0:25:58.6 Phoenix White: Just anxiety period as just a thing that they deal with.

0:26:01.9 Paul F. Austin: Are you working... Who are you usually working with? What's their sort of avatar?

0:26:06.5 Phoenix White: It is so broad. Like I've had age range, I'll just start with age range and then I'll just tell you like, different types of people. It's been from 17-72.

0:26:19.7 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:26:20.5 Phoenix White: And so it's like, like when people ask me like, "Well, what's the avatar?" There really hasn't been one. It's people who just wanna go deeper. So I've had that. A lot of them have been between 22 and I would say 48 which is still a big [laughter] range, but like the majority I would say is that. But they range, they range different ethnic backgrounds.

0:26:49.0 Paul F. Austin: What are the three most common archetypes, let's say like in terms of, so for example, with a lot of our training programs, I would say one archetype is like the White executive coach who's working with CEOs. Another archetype is the person who had a successful corporate career and they've quit their job. They had a psychedelic experience 'cause it was a lot of meaning. And now they wanna go into helping other folks.

0:27:13.8 Phoenix White: Okay. So one-on-ones, I do a lot of CEOs.

0:27:16.1 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:27:17.8 Phoenix White: They don't come to the group ceremonies. Well, some.

0:27:20.8 Paul F. Austin: Some might.

0:27:21.8 Phoenix White: But they don't wanna be seen in group ceremonies. So they do one-on-one healing work with me. Like I just had a lady who does, she makes, she's a high CEO, but she just did it for like three days.

0:27:33.7 Paul F. Austin: Literally, right?

0:27:34.1 Phoenix White: In Mexico.

0:27:34.5 Paul F. Austin: A high CEO. Yeah.

0:27:36.9 Phoenix White: Yeah. High level CEO. Like, I can't, I was about to say her name and I was like, "No." She's a high level CEO who came all the way to Mexico and spent three days with me just working on how to, she did a psychedelic ceremony, but the majority of it was me helping her sort out her life. Because she felt like she didn't have any boundaries. She didn't have any time for herself. She's always working. She has this high level job, she has all these people that are underneath her. So I help those people one-on-one.

0:28:00.8 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:28:00.9 Phoenix White: And ceremonies, I get a lot of entertainers.

0:28:05.9 Paul F. Austin: Interesting.

0:28:05.9 Phoenix White: Actresses, models.

0:28:09.4 Paul F. Austin: Cool. I gotta come to your ceremony. [laughter]

0:28:11.3 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's interesting. I get a lot of people in entertainment. LA is our biggest market, and they always find it to be so interesting because LA, they've done psychedelics before, but they never did it as a ceremony. So they're always really shocked at how much more you can get out of it. And so, yeah, I have...

0:28:30.3 Paul F. Austin: Do you have a background in entertainment, like...

0:28:32.0 Phoenix White: Yeah. And so does my team. They've all had backgrounds in entertainment too.

0:28:37.5 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:28:38.4 Phoenix White: And so it's providing a space for entertainers who also wanna go deeper in healing work instead of all the fake ass shit that goes on to also be able to find themselves more.

0:28:45.7 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:28:46.1 Phoenix White: So they come, but people come, we tell them, don't wear makeup, don't try to look cute. Wear your hoodie, your jumpsuit, whatever.

0:28:54.1 Paul F. Austin: Just be you, chill, relax.

0:28:55.2 Phoenix White: Exactly.

0:28:55.4 Paul F. Austin: So you dont have to put on a face.

0:28:55.5 Phoenix White: And we don't take pictures of anything.

0:28:56.9 Paul F. Austin: Oh, that's great.

0:28:57.3 Phoenix White: Outside of Rapé and integration if they want it. Because people think Rapé looks cool. They like the stuff that we're doing and they're like, "This is different." They love it, us blowing the Rapé into their nose. But outside of that, all the cameras are shut off. We don't even have copies of it. We can't even watch it later.

0:29:16.4 Paul F. Austin: Wow, that's great, that's helpful, yeah it's important.

0:29:21.1 Phoenix White: And so it creates safe space for everybody, so that's they come.

0:29:22.0 Paul F. Austin: Especially for high level folks, privacy is...

0:29:24.3 Phoenix White: It's huge.

0:29:26.3 Paul F. Austin: It's huge. Yeah, it matters a lot.

0:29:28.2 Phoenix White: But it builds a community with the people. So they're all in a WhatsApp group. So they, because no one will understand that journey. But those people really that were there, and I'm sure you guys have that same thing. It's like...

0:29:37.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, we still have our...

0:29:37.9 Phoenix White: The people that you're there...

0:29:38.0 Paul F. Austin: WhatsApp chats that...

0:29:39.9 Phoenix White: Exactly. It's the WhatsApp chats.

0:29:40.1 Paul F. Austin: You know, a year later are still kind of popping after the...

0:29:44.0 Phoenix White: Exactly. Exactly.

0:29:44.6 Paul F. Austin: People love to stay in touch that way. Okay. I have a question for you.

0:29:46.9 Phoenix White: Yes.

0:29:47.6 Paul F. Austin: So shamanism, right? Which is, we could say the role of the psychedelic facilitator is often somewhat shamanistic.

0:29:54.0 Phoenix White: Right.

0:29:55.1 Paul F. Austin: Not that we call ourselves shamans, but there are shamanic elements that sometimes we weave into ceremony. And I've always perceived shamanism as theatrical, and not in a superficial way necessarily, but you're create... You are in some capacities entertaining. You are in some capacities sort of creating a compelling container and story and ritual.

0:30:16.8 Phoenix White: Right. Right.

0:30:18.6 Paul F. Austin: There could be singing, there could be dancing, there could be instruments.

0:30:22.9 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:30:23.4 Paul F. Austin: There could be invocations. And I think some people get triggered when I say that because they see, they... But when I say no...

0:30:31.8 Phoenix White: I know exactly what you mean.

0:30:32.0 Paul F. Austin: Think of it as like how the Greeks thought of theater, not as how we see theater. Theater and drama is one of the greatest ways to create an altered state. So I'm curious, you probably see where this question is going with your background in entertainment and having been sort of like brought up in that way, what has that taught you or helped you to learn that you think is relevant or beneficial for now of the ceremonial work that you're doing in plant medicine?

0:30:57.0 Phoenix White: So I could tell you the parts that I hated.

0:30:58.3 Paul F. Austin: Okay. We'll start there.

0:31:02.8 Phoenix White: When...

0:31:03.6 Paul F. Austin: You can also tell me the parts you loved though.

0:31:03.7 Phoenix White: And the parts that I love...

0:31:03.6 Paul F. Austin: Okay. But, we'll start with...

0:31:03.6 Phoenix White: I will tell you why it started with the things that I really didn't like because it didn't feel genuine when I went to some of my first ones. And how I ended up creating even my own ceremonies to begin with instead of just sending people to that one. So what I didn't like was being on medicine and being forced to attend a show. I wanted to be able to just be in my journey that I paid for in my corner by myself without someone calling my name on a microphone to come and attend sound healing for an hour during my journey. Some people, they love it. And then some people, it's like, I just wanna do my own thing. I wanna be in my own world. I wanna stay where I am. I wanna keep doing the work where I'm at. I don't wanna be pulled out of it to do breath work in the middle of my journey or to do... People need to have a choice on what they choose to do without being like forced to attend...

0:32:05.1 Paul F. Austin: For sure.

0:32:05.9 Phoenix White: Something else. And so, with mines, I love creating experiences. So with my background, you're gonna have a whole ass experience with me. And the experience is not fake though. It is, I may have 400 candles out. So like, yeah, we may start like around 4 or 5 o'clock, but by the time you're on mushrooms and you take off your blindfold and you're able to go walk around, the whole entire place looks like a magical kingdom. So it changes the landscape of the space. We have lights that just kind of come on at night that you don't see during the day when you're just walking around.

0:32:41.6 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:32:43.0 Phoenix White: And so, from my entertainment background, that's where that comes in. I create beautiful experiences that tap into that part of the journey. The music is curated, the smells, the types of incense that we use. It's all beautifully curated. And I think my background in entertainment has a lot to do with that. How we show up, we show up looking like goddesses. But that is our work gear. By the time it's over, we done snatched all that stuff off. But like, when you meet us, we're like, "Hi." But by the time the ceremony is over, we had our hair in a ponytail because we're like in there, we're doing the work, we're barefoot. We don't have on all of that stuff. So it's like, yeah, we may wanna look cute because this is our work clothes.

0:33:25.8 Paul F. Austin: Yeah.

0:33:29.9 Phoenix White: But we're not staying like that because we have to be authentic and true to who we really are and why we're doing what we're doing. You know what I mean? So, yeah.

0:33:37.2 Paul F. Austin: And it's the sort of dressing up for like, I have specific pants that I'll wear that are for ceremony.

0:33:43.0 Phoenix White: Me too.

0:33:44.9 Paul F. Austin: I'll have a jacket that I wear. I'll have certain things that I bring for the altar. A necklace.

0:33:48.1 Phoenix White: Yep.

0:33:49.0 Paul F. Austin: Or like, I think it does help to be intentional about every single, especially as the ceremonialist or the facilitator, the more attuned you are to the details, that's kind of what you're talking about.

0:34:01.0 Phoenix White: Exactly.

0:34:01.4 Paul F. Austin: All these little details.

0:34:01.9 Phoenix White: Exactly.

0:34:03.3 Paul F. Austin: Right? The more attention that you pay to details, the more magic is allowed to come into the space.

0:34:08.9 Phoenix White: Yes.

0:34:09.0 Paul F. Austin: Right?

0:34:09.1 Phoenix White: Yes. And I think that's also why people love it, because, not because just the magic in the space, but because they're so cared for. Like, we're so tuned in and I'm sure you're the same in your ceremonies like, even like when I put on my robe and I put on my certain pants, I have my certain pants too. I don't wear shoes. But when I put on those...

0:34:27.3 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, me neither, no shoes.

0:34:28.0 Phoenix White: Things, it's almost like tapping into my guides and my, the different parts of myself that are like, "All right, it's your turn to come forward. Phoenix is moving back." It's calling you forward. Like, we're getting dressed. This is not just me anymore.

0:34:42.2 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:34:42.8 Phoenix White: I'm here, but this is not me. My shit goes to the back. And that priestess side steps forward.

0:34:48.8 Paul F. Austin: Well, I think that's kind of why I'm like the theatrical side. 'Cause it's right, when we're in theater, we play these parts or we play these...

0:34:55.5 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:34:56.0 Paul F. Austin: And it doesn't mean it's inauthentic.

0:34:57.8 Phoenix White: Right.

0:34:58.5 Paul F. Austin: It means it's a part of you. Right? Like we are...

0:35:00.6 Phoenix White: It's archetype.

0:35:01.8 Paul F. Austin: We have a lot of parts in ourselves and so a part of you comes forward and it can be that way.

0:35:03.6 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:35:04.2 Paul F. Austin: And it can act that way. And it can live that way. But it's a much more temporary or even, you're not in that part nearly as much time as you may be in your other aspects of self. But it's a really beautiful part to step into and play.

0:35:17.1 Phoenix White: I love it. And it's so funny 'cause I can feel the switch. So at the end of ceremony, it's like, it was, I was talking to my coach about this. She's 60, she's one of my favorite people in the world. I was like, "Yo, at the end of the ceremony, once everybody was safe, I just started bawling, crying for no reason. I wasn't sad, I wasn't hurting, I wasn't anything. I was just sitting there," and I'm like, is everybody safe? Is everybody back in? Is that the end? We kind of gather everyone. And then when I sat and I'm like, everyone's safe. And I kind of see it like, if I could explain it, it looks like in my mind's eye like a smoke with tethers to each person. And it, because during the ceremony with the fire, it rises up and then it connects to everyone for me.

0:36:06.3 Phoenix White: And then at the end of the ceremony, it's like, I'll see it lay down on the ground. It's almost like I put down a shield, where I'm connected to everyone 'cause I can hear people. It's all kind of things are going on. But then literally when it hits the ground, my eyes, I literally start pouring tears. And I often have to, it just hits me. I often have to tell people like, nothing's wrong with me, you guys. I'm just purging the debris that's left over from holding space from people. So it's like I don't absorb them, I'm just holding space for them. And so I'm able to release everybody so I don't take them to bed with me. So I'm able to let it go. But I always noticed that shift.

0:36:49.9 Phoenix White: And she had to bring it to my awareness. I was like, what is happening? And she was like, "Oh, it's just your little, it's like a little genie going back in the bottle." Now you're back to yourself. Like, you're able to really feel everything. Because during ceremonies, I'm sure, like I can't, my emotions don't waver.

0:37:05.0 Paul F. Austin: Right.

0:37:06.2 Phoenix White: I don't start crying and stuff with people. It's like, I'm very connected. I could feel you, but I'm not crying. I'm not overly caught in any emotion. I'm very like...

0:37:19.6 Paul F. Austin: Well, you're circulating energy, right? And learning how to circulate.

0:37:23.4 Phoenix White: Yeah, and just kind of on a way.

0:37:24.0 Paul F. Austin: Stay in equanimity 'cause the more in equanimity and centeredness you can be, and you're holding that space, you're like the anchor for the entire room.

0:37:34.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. I can't let my emotions fluctuate.

0:37:34.6 Paul F. Austin: No, there's no room for that.

0:37:36.2 Phoenix White: 'Cause I could get trapped there, and you just never know what's going to happen. So I stay here and then at the end I'm like, "Geez."

0:37:43.8 Paul F. Austin: That's kind of my approach, too. Often just I'll sit at the front and I won't move the entire ceremony, and I have my team and we talk, but I really try to act as an anchor and a rock because when people are going through all the ups and downs, it helps them to often feel like... And there's still people to help with bringing you to the bathroom or do whatever. But I find the more steady and sort of calm I can be, then the easier it is to just...

0:38:15.0 Phoenix White: We always have someone in the space.

0:38:15.4 Paul F. Austin: Exactly.

0:38:16.9 Phoenix White: So it's like if I need to leave my post because I hear someone outside... Well, in my mind, it's not like they're screaming, but I'll be like I need to find such and such. And I'll ask one of my team members, where's this person? And they'll be like, oh, they're outside. They always know where everyone is and they're walking around with a Copal and checking on people, and then they will switch places with me and I will go. So there's always a pillar, and we have some great people. That's what makes it so dope though.

0:38:44.8 Paul F. Austin: Do you work with medicine yourself in ceremony?

0:38:45.3 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:38:46.3 Paul F. Austin: And typically, how do you gauge that? Are you doing the same amount? Are you doing half? Are you doing a microdose? How do you kind of...

0:38:55.3 Phoenix White: Well, we have different tiers of people. So we have two people who are on absolutely nothing. We have two people who are on 0.5, and then you have the two main facilitators with me and my partner. I'm the main one. I may be on 2.5.

0:39:13.5 Paul F. Austin: Oh, so you're going in a little bit. You're not... Yeah.

0:39:16.9 Phoenix White: Yeah. But when I'm moving around, you would have no idea.

0:39:20.6 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, 'cause experienced.

0:39:20.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. But the thing for me is I need to be able to know when it starts. I need to know the waves that we're going through. I need to know if it's working or not. Of course we tested before, the day before, but I know when I need to open up a window and say, hey, I'm opening up this window. Similar to ayahuasca where you can get more, like a bump up, maybe 0.5. So we have extras already measured out in 0.5s, and then I will decide if you need to wait a little longer or if you need some more, just depending on what my spirit is telling me at the time. But we just have different tiers because everybody can't handle being on medicine at the ceremony. [laughter] Some people just go to sleep. I've had team members do that, so it's like never again. So it's like I'll test, but we always have at least two people who are absolutely on nothing.

0:40:09.0 Paul F. Austin: So I'm going to go... We've been on this path. We're going to shift a little bit...

0:40:12.1 Phoenix White: Okay. Yeah, it's okay.

0:40:15.9 Paul F. Austin: And we'll bring it full circle, but you've written a book, written and published a book.

0:40:16.0 Phoenix White: Yeah, I do.

0:40:16.2 Paul F. Austin: Tell us a little bit about how that book came about and let's say the thesis of it or the sort of main focus of it.

0:40:28.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. My book is called "Redefining Strong." I wrote it right after I had brain surgery.

0:40:38.2 Paul F. Austin: You had brain surgery?

0:40:38.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. I've had brain surgery twice.

0:40:39.2 Paul F. Austin: What?

0:40:39.3 Phoenix White: Yeah. My path has been crazy. I literally have had brain surgery two times. Yeah.

0:40:44.3 Paul F. Austin: For what reason?

0:40:48.5 Phoenix White: So there's a thing in my brain that was called an AVM. So it's when your veins and arteries do kind of like a... Form cluster to where your blood can't get through. So it looks like a freeway pile up. Your blood is just running into this thing.

0:41:06.0 Paul F. Austin: I got that.

0:41:06.7 Phoenix White: Thanks. Your blood is just running into this cluster in your brain. Thank you. It can cause you to have a seizure. It can cause you to have a heart attack because the blood can get through.

0:41:16.8 Paul F. Austin: It's like an aneurysm basically, right? In a way.

0:41:16.9 Phoenix White: It can turn into an aneurysm and burst because it's just constantly swelling because it's, it can't...

0:41:23.3 Paul F. Austin: Is that genetic or is that... How do...

0:41:27.3 Phoenix White: I think so. I think it's genetic but being in high stressful situations can make it swell.

0:41:34.0 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:41:35.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. So yeah, I had two brain surgeries. I've just been through a lot of different things. That was one of the most life-changing though. I've been in car accidents where I flipped upside down and ended up on the side of a cliff and I had to crawl out the side of the cliff. I've pictures 'cause it sounds surreal but it's like people wouldn't believe this if there was not a photo.

0:42:02.2 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:42:03.1 Phoenix White: And I'm still here. But my book is called "Redefining Strong: A Journey to Finding Yourself, True Healing and Spiritual Recalibration." I actually wrote it some years ago.

0:42:14.2 Paul F. Austin: Before psychedelics, before working with psychedelics? Okay.

0:42:14.4 Phoenix White: Before psychedelics. So I've always been in healing work. Psychedelics was just another added part of it. I don't feel like everyone needs psychedelics, but I do feel like it is a great way to start to heal. But yeah, so I did my book. It has a lot of my life lessons and things that I went through and how I actually healed from some of the stuff that I had went through with depression and with suicidal stuff, the postpartum stuff being in bad relationships, worthiness issues, all kinds of things it goes into, but it has worksheets also in there for people to be able to do the work on themselves. And this is all before I knew about psychedelics, so it was me still trying to do that same thing and teach people how to do that. And that's all in my book.

0:43:08.8 Paul F. Austin: So what would you say is the core nugget in "Redefining Strong"? How do you redefine strong? What is strong?

0:43:15.6 Phoenix White: Oh, man. It just depends on the person. It encompasses so many different things because strong is not just like, oh, I can just take so much.

0:43:22.0 Paul F. Austin: Physical strength necessarily.

0:43:22.2 Phoenix White: Yeah. I think strength for me was being able to fully break open and not feel ashamed and not feel guilty or I wasn't worthy of being able to be in certain spaces or do certain things just because of my past or what I had been through or the mistakes that I had made. And so that was some of the most important things for me in the book.

0:43:48.7 Paul F. Austin: You published this in 2017?

0:43:50.4 Phoenix White: 2015 or...

0:43:53.0 Paul F. Austin: 2015. Oh, so this is...

0:43:54.6 Phoenix White: 2015.

0:43:54.7 Paul F. Austin: Eight years ago. Since publishing that book, how have you grown and developed as a human? And looking back now eight years later, what would be another book that you would write? How do you think your own sort of process has evolved? And if you're to write a book in the future, what might that be about?

0:44:20.2 Phoenix White: Maybe it would be called "The Shift."

0:44:24.1 Paul F. Austin: "The Shift"?

0:44:24.8 Phoenix White: Yeah.

0:44:25.1 Paul F. Austin: Tell us about "The Shift."

0:44:27.9 Phoenix White: I would want to write a book called "The Shift." It's just like it's moving into that next level. 'Cause everybody's working on themselves and doing things but it's like what's that next big thing? That next big shift in your life? And I think psychedelics was my next big shift because I would've never in my life thought about psychedelics, but it's not just about psychedelics, it's about that next level of healing, that next level of being able to connect with people, to connect with yourself. We could do all the ceremonial stuff all day but it's like, when do people really get to get back to themselves, and the saying come home to themselves? People say that a lot but it's like, how can you really really come home to yourself? What does that mean? Some people have never been home before. They don't even know what coming home to themselves would even feel like. So that's also a scary thought. It's rediscovering, who are you? Because who I was last year even as a healer, I'm not that same person this year. I'm constantly evolving and rediscovering who I am, who I want to be next, and being open to the next possibility of who the next Phoenix version is going to be, continuing to evolve. And I think that's the thing for me now versus then.

0:45:43.7 Paul F. Austin: Eight years ago. Why do you think psychedelics help to bring us home?

0:45:47.9 Phoenix White: I think psychedelics have opened up my consciousness to let me know that I was not crazy when I felt certain things, when I would see certain things. It showed me what I was seeing is really there. What I was feeling is really real. The gifts that you have are really... It helped me to see more of who I was. It helped me to have more confidence in who I was because I was able to see more of myself, even if it was just for a split moment. If I never did psychedelics again, that's enough for me to take it and be like, you need to own that. Own who you really, really are and whatever the fuck you want to do with that. Go do that and go be that to the fullest. And I think for me, that's what I'm open to. That's why I'm at Wonderland. I know no one here, I knew no one at this conference.

0:46:40.5 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:46:41.0 Phoenix White: I never heard of Wonderland...

0:46:41.5 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:46:42.6 Phoenix White: Before. I didn't know not one person, just me and my husband.

0:46:46.7 Paul F. Austin: And going around, have you met anyone where you like, I didn't know...

0:46:48.9 Phoenix White: I've literally met...

0:46:49.0 Paul F. Austin: You were going to be here, but...

0:46:49.3 Phoenix White: No.

0:46:50.6 Paul F. Austin: No one?

0:46:52.0 Phoenix White: No one.

0:46:54.3 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:46:55.8 Phoenix White: This is literally an entirely new space that I ended up in and I'm on all these panels. So I had to go through this transformative process where I would even feel like I was worthy enough to be in this space doing what I'm doing to have the confidence to talk about psychedelics openly and not feel like, oh, I'm going to get a lot of backlash for talking about psychedelics. Now I don't fucking care. You know what I'm saying? I've gotten to a point where it's like there's a confidence and there's a worthiness to feeling like, hey, I'm in this space and I can just be me. I don't need to act like anyone else at Wonderland, and I can just come here and just fully be myself and that be enough. And I think psychedelics helped me get to that space. And it's not that I was overly lacking in confidence but there was still some lack of worthiness. I can be confident. I could put makeup on and get dressed and be cute and be confident, I could pump myself up.

0:47:50.0 Paul F. Austin: You've got great earrings. Those earrings are a killer.

0:47:50.9 Phoenix White: Thank you. But I could pump myself up. But I wanted to embody that. So when I go, I'm like, wow, I feel really good about myself. This was beautiful. I wanted to feel connected to being me. I wanted to do my keynote and just really be myself, like, no people aren't going to have music on stage, but I'm going to have music while I'm speaking because that's me. And even though it's different or not traditional ways of doing things, I'm just going to come there and be myself. And I've had the most magical time and I felt like since being here, I can have conversations with people and they really care about what I'm saying. They're really seeing me without me having to prove anything. I'm just literally being myself floating around, like, hey, having a good time.

0:48:35.0 Paul F. Austin: And that's like this whole coming home thing right? It's like...

0:48:37.9 Phoenix White: Yes, wonderful.

0:48:38.9 Paul F. Austin: Just all the layers and all the armor you can just release and let go.

0:48:43.4 Phoenix White: Absolutely. And so that has been I think a part of that was from psychedelics, just doing that work with psychedelics.

0:48:52.6 Paul F. Austin: So what have psychedelics taught you about love?

0:48:58.2 Phoenix White: So I also have two kids. So psychedelics... You go into ayahuasca versus psilocybin it's a little bit different, but it's taught me to love my kids and my partner in such a way, especially the ceremonies teach me more about how to treat my partner. But when I'm just with the medicine by myself, it shows me like, wow, look at your kids. Look who they are. And just seeing more of them because I also had, my son he comes to my ceremonies and facilitates, too.

0:49:27.0 Paul F. Austin: Really?

0:49:27.1 Phoenix White: He was 17 when he... 16 when he started.

0:49:29.1 Paul F. Austin: Oh, that's great.

0:49:30.5 Phoenix White: He wasn't on it but I didn't let him do it till he was 17, but...

0:49:33.3 Paul F. Austin: Fantastic.

0:49:33.8 Phoenix White: He learned how to have a reverence for the medicine and being able... He will sit like a pillar in the room...

0:49:38.8 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

0:49:39.4 Phoenix White: Because I know he has my back. He will sit there and literally he gets so many reviews and he doesn't talk the whole time. He's not doing anything to people but if they need something, he'll give it to them. Or he'll come get me and be like, "Somebody is having an emergency, Mom. I think you need to come." And so I'll be able to go and assist people. But he's my watcher. He's the guardian in that space and he's just like a pillar just sitting with his robe on and he'd just be sitting there in meditation pretty much the whole time.

0:50:10.0 Paul F. Austin: That's epic. That's beautiful.

0:50:11.9 Phoenix White: It's crazy. And so I got to spend more time with my son without the baby and without my partner. I got to see him in a difference in a different way. I got to hear him. We spent all this time together. So it allowed for me to really, really tap in with who he was versus who I wanted him to be. And that's how we started making all kinds of changes because I would just see more of who he was, like this doesn't work for him. This is abusing his confidence when you do this, when you put this pressure on him. So it made me pull back on some of the pressure that I had put on him. With my little one, he just runs everybody.

0:50:52.1 Paul F. Austin: How old is he now?

0:50:52.2 Phoenix White: He's 3.

0:50:53.2 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

0:50:54.5 Phoenix White: He's everybody's boss. But it also...

0:51:00.1 Paul F. Austin: I mean, he's 3.

0:51:02.1 Phoenix White: Yeah, he's 3. But it made me see him also as like, because he's very stern. He's very like, no, I want this or no I'm not coming. I'll come in five minutes. My 3-year-old will say, "Five minutes, not right now." [laughter] That's how he'll talk to us. They'll be like, "Who is this person?" He's you and he's him. You are like that too. And it made me have to honor his own boundaries even at 3.

0:51:27.0 Paul F. Austin: Right. Which is great...

0:51:27.8 Phoenix White: Crazy.

0:51:28.0 Paul F. Austin: For both you and for him.

0:51:30.4 Phoenix White: It's beautiful. And so it's like who thinks about a kid having boundaries at 3? And so psychedelics has helped me to say no, he has boundaries, that baby honors himself. If he doesn't want to hug somebody, he's not going to, don't force him. If he doesn't want to say hi, don't. You get into that fake stuff and saying hi to people you don't want to say hi to. But he is not interested. He's just being 100% genuinely himself and I had to start to really honor them the way that they were. Now with my partner, so I'd be in these ceremonies and we hold people, we wipe their tears, we wipe their snot. We're doing all kinds of stuff in ceremonies and so we're very... That's why I call it multisensory, we're very hands-on. And so when I'm holding these grown men and I'm rocking them because they turn into babies, I become the mama in the ceremony. My gift is people see me as a mom, so that's the presence that comes forward. I'm rocking people. I'm brushing their hair. Some of them have never even been held before. Some of them have mother wounds. Some of them are going through trauma and issues. And every time I'm like, I got to go home and I got to make sure I do this for my partner.

0:52:37.4 Phoenix White: He needs the same level of love and comfort and being seen and being held as the people do in my work. And so it's brought us a lot closer. And also he's here now. I was the speaker here and then he was like, "This is interesting." He was like, "Let me see this." And then he was like, "I think I could speak on sports and stuff." And I was like, "Try." We both got accepted for it so that's been really, really cool.

0:53:02.6 Paul F. Austin: And what you're speaking to, it's like intimacy. I have a good friend who I've had on the podcast before, Anthony Adams, and he talks about how love is the greatest psychedelic, that when we're in these intimate relationships, like you were talking to a lot of ourselves show up in other people. And so there's part of a sense of we then pay attention to our triggers, we pay attention to what is creating reactivity inside of us because there may be something within us that wants to be healed from that. Because when we start to look at... As everything as connected, we don't see our partner or our kids or our parents as separate from us or outside of us. We learn they could be some of our greatest teachers...

0:53:46.7 Phoenix White: Absolutely.

0:53:47.4 Paul F. Austin: In many ways. And I think it really teaches a lot about how we love these parts of ourselves that we're still ashamed of or that may feel unworthy or... I mean, you've talked a lot about the therapeutic and mental health elements, but we've also... You work with leaders and CEOs. So I'm just curious... You've also gone into this process of becoming, that psychedelics have really taught you what it means to be this, people call it the highest self, and step into that. And so you're dynamic, you're talented, you're beautiful. And so I feel like coming into this space, there's a lot of power that you can hold and facilitate. And so I'm just curious, how do you see yourself continuing to grow and evolve as it comes to this space? What do you have as some of your let's say ambitions or goals or dreams of what you want to create with retreats and psychedelics and healing and all that maybe in the next five or 10 years or even looking forward, what's your vision for creation?

0:54:57.8 Phoenix White: I have a lot of visions, but I would love to partner with other companies and be able to do cross retreats. I would love to create my own retreat center and I would love to create something where people who have spiritual gifts can come and develop them as well. I feel like there's all these different...

0:55:17.8 Paul F. Austin: Like an academy, like a spiritual academy or something.

0:55:22.3 Phoenix White: Yeah, I want to create the Sacred Celestial Academy. So we already have the institute part of it where it's teaching courses about different things.

0:55:27.9 Paul F. Austin: Well, fantastic.

0:55:28.4 Phoenix White: But I want one where you can... Another part of it, I want a portal where people can actually develop their spiritual gifts because what I'm finding in these ceremonies is people's gifts start coming, out their spiritual gifts start coming out, and they want a cool place to go study where it's not like in a classroom or it's so tight, where it's loosely, you're around a lot of different people who are also the same. It's kind of like the X-Men but just more cool and more modern. And I want those people to be able to be around each other because that's what I wanted when I was younger and I was having visions and doing different things. It's like, who do I know that won't think I'm crazy? I want to have...

0:56:09.5 Paul F. Austin: A community or...

0:56:10.4 Phoenix White: A place where the weird people can go. I like being a part of the weird crowd. That's what I create in my ceremonies. It's like a garden of superheroes. They all just kind of come out and it's so cool to watch. My other thing that I would like to do is definitely creating more courses, certification courses because I want people to have a little bit more harm reduction when it comes to doing psychedelics and just everybody wants to do it after they come to a ceremony, for the most part. A large majority of people want to do it or either they'll join our team and I'll let them kind of shadow. But having certain systems in place to make sure that it stays safe because I think psychedelics is really cool and it's upcoming and I know they're making it... They're going to legalize it for medical institutions but none of the people I know are going there. That eliminates a whole slew of folks.

0:57:04.0 Phoenix White: So I think I want to wanna have a place that is allowed to be able to perform these things in the way that we do it and also safely. And teach other people how to safely do it if they're going to gonna do it. I just don't want people to get hurt in the process, just randomly doing stuff.

0:57:24.7 Paul F. Austin: I almost look at it like, psychedelics are a skill. Almost like a martial art. Right? But like a spiritual martial art. And all martial arts are spiritual, but it's the difference between Jujitsu and Aikido or Aikido versus Qigong, there's a movement element. But with psychedelics it's like, we need that sense of a sangha, a community, a dojo, people that we're with. And I resonate with what you talk about when it comes to having an academy and a center. I feel like so many of us these days as we're getting into psychedelics, it almost could be a meme by now. Like, you take mushrooms and you want to wanna start a...

0:58:02.4 Phoenix White: A group.

0:58:04.6 Paul F. Austin: Like intentional community in Mexico or Costa Rica. Why do you think that is? Why do you think so many people are wanting that and seeking that and... What is it about... What's so appealing about that for folks?

0:58:19.8 Phoenix White: So there's two things that I've noticed. One is good and one is not. One, I think that some people are doing it who are like me, who are like, "I know that my community of people, and it's a part of my purpose, that people need this. I'm doing it for this purpose. To help people to heal."

0:58:36.2 Paul F. Austin: To be like in service and...

0:58:38.3 Phoenix White: Yeah. And then there's another side of it, especially like being in Mexico, you see so many different things where it is a power grab. And so the leaders of these things are almost creating themselves to be celebrities in a sense.

0:58:56.9 Paul F. Austin: Gurus. Yeah.

0:58:57.8 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's like, I'm not looking to be a guru. I'm looking to be effective. You know what I'm saying? If I become popular for it and I'm popular for it, cool. But I want... But what's more important to me is, when you leave here, was I effective? Did you feel safe? 'Cause I've... I hear about a lot of stories in Mexico 'cause it's a bunch of people doing it where they're fractured when they leave.

0:59:23.2 Paul F. Austin: Especially where you are in Playa del Carmen in Tulum.

0:59:25.3 Phoenix White: In Tulum. Yeah. It's like, people leave fractured. And I'm like, well, I don't know. My ceremonies aren't this way. I can't speak on other people's ceremonies or what their practices are. It's like, do your research and find out what works best for you. I don't have an opinion on this person or that person or that person. It's, this is how mines works. This is the protocol that I have in place and these are the things that we take seriously. We don't allow certain things. You have to sign an agreement. You are responsible for your...

0:59:58.1 Paul F. Austin: What don't you allow? What would be examples of that?

0:59:58.8 Phoenix White: We don't allow... Even if you're a couple, you can't kiss, you can't hold each other. You can't even sit next to each other in the ceremony whatsoever. There's no sexual...

1:00:07.9 Paul F. Austin: Physical intimacy and sexual... Yeah.

1:00:12.4 Phoenix White: Sexual conduct. Anything like... There's no disrespecting anyone, yelling, screaming, cussing. We don't allow any of it. There is literally a contract that you have to sign that say like, "This is a part of... "

1:00:23.8 Paul F. Austin: These are the agreements of coming to...

1:00:25.9 Phoenix White: These are the agreements. And we make those same agreements with you.

1:00:29.6 Paul F. Austin: For sure.

1:00:30.3 Phoenix White: And so we don't allow people to go upstairs. So if we're in a big house that we've rented, an estate, wherever the rooms are, you are not allowed to go into any room whatsoever. Everybody has to stay in the space where you can be seen and you can't leave. [chuckle] You can't leave. Once it starts, you can't leave. So you have to power through it. We'll try to figure out whatever you need.

1:00:55.3 Paul F. Austin: Sometimes you gotta bring someone into a private room or work with them...

1:00:57.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. We'll have to figure it out. And we've all... We haven't had... We've had like one person out of the 300 that I've felt like, she has to go, like just can't stay. Somebody has to pick her up. She has to go or she's going to gonna ruin it for everyone. And this was probably 10 minutes into the ceremony. It was...

1:01:14.6 Paul F. Austin: Oh, my gosh.

1:01:15.7 Phoenix White: I was like, "We got a ways to go." I was like, "You're not going to gonna ruin it for everyone else." And so she had to leave. But other than that, people have really upheld the sacredness of it and respected it. What are some other rules we have? There's no drinking, smoking. You can't bring your own psilocybin or medicine. People always try to, "What if I don't have enough?" It's...

1:01:37.7 Paul F. Austin: We got enough.

1:01:37.8 Phoenix White: We know. 'Cause it's different. It's not the same medicine that you're taking. Everything's different. We like to make sure we educate people on specifically what kind, how much. It's very specific. So, yeah, that is...

1:01:52.1 Paul F. Austin: Agreements are good. Protocols are good. It helps to create a safe container. And I think when it comes to the sort of community element, a lot of this talk like, are you in service to your ego? Are you in service to... What's... I always view myself as sort of a, let's say, a mouthpiece or a channel for the intelligence, the very sophisticated intelligence of plant medicine. And as we were talking about earlier, it's a part that comes forward. It's a part that I play, but it's not who I am all the time, necessarily. So I think that's also helpful 'cause sometimes we take ourselves too serious.

1:02:24.2 Phoenix White: Yes. I take breaks.

1:02:24.9 Paul F. Austin: When it comes to this sort of thing. And it's good to take it serious. And it's also good that we enjoy it and it's playful.

1:02:32.2 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's like sometimes you have to tell people... In ceremonies, I remember there was this guy, I love him. He was amazing. He was trying so hard. And I don't know if it's a certain energy that I give off sometimes when you first meet me. So, I'm very silly and I'm like, "Let's laugh. Let's play, let's go do a cartwheel. Let's... " I'm very much so that person if I feel like fun is your medicine, right? And so sometimes people will come... It was a ceremony I did. And they sat by me and I was like, "Hey, come sit down." Because he was just being weird. He was kind of really getting aggressive. "I need to take a shower. I need to do this, I need to do that," during the ceremony. And I was like, "Come sit down." Because I'm the only... I already knew that was going to gonna be my key person.

1:03:12.5 Phoenix White: I was like, I know that I'm the only person that can control that energy without force. Just, "Hey, come sit down." So he sat down and he'd literally gotten like this yogi pose and he was just like... And I was like, "What are you doing?" [chuckle] I was just sitting like this and I was like, "What are you doing?" He was like, "Oh." I was like, "Dude, just go be free. Go be yourself. Go play. Go run." He ran off on all fours.

1:03:41.3 Paul F. Austin: Okay.

1:03:42.1 Phoenix White: He couldn't wait to be given permission to just be free to go experience himself or whatever was coming through for him. It was like a man beast sort of vibe. It was like, "Rrah!" And I was like, "Go do you. Don't sit here like a yogi with me. That's so fake."

1:03:58.6 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. Be you. Yeah.

1:04:00.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. I want people to be more of themselves around me. And that's important.

1:04:06.0 Paul F. Austin: When you represent that and when we show up in the space, it's like the more we can embody what we teach and what we communicate, then it all flows. It all flows from there. Well, Phoenix, I wanna... I hadn't heard of your work before the conference. So, I'm really glad that you applied and that you made it.

1:04:21.0 Phoenix White: Thank you.

1:04:22.5 Paul F. Austin: I'm really glad we got to sit down because I don't think we've gone into this level of detail about specific facilitation work, kind of these ins and outs, all these little details that a lot of people don't consider or think about. So I appreciate you going with it. And I just want to wanna give you an opportunity. Any sort of final message to share with the audience and where can they find out more information about you. But I'm curious if you have any final words or a message that you just want to wanna share about your work and what you believe.

1:04:54.6 Phoenix White: I believe that I really want to wanna see the world heal in the way where people can become, like I said before, more of themselves. Where we don't have to hold ourselves... Don't worry.

1:05:06.2 Paul F. Austin: I got you.

1:05:06.9 Phoenix White: Where we don't have to hold ourselves back from being exactly who we are. Fear of judgment. But because I feel like there's so much magic when people are really just being them instead of trying to be competitive. I also would love to see more of the healing world connect together instead of compete with each other. 'Cause I just don't believe in competition when it comes to these types of things. But I feel like joining networks could be so powerful. Another thing that I wanted to leave with people is that I am doing retreats. You can go to The Sacred Celestial, thesacredcelestial.com. We will be posting our new schedule of retreats coming up. And we do private ones also. So could easily message me.

1:05:48.2 Paul F. Austin: And those retreats are in Mexico or all over?

1:05:50.6 Phoenix White: All over. So like, say if you wanted to do a private ceremony with 10 or 20 people, we would bring the whole ceremony to you.

1:05:57.8 Paul F. Austin: Oh, wow. That's awesome.

1:05:58.7 Phoenix White: Yeah. So we bring the whole thing. And I just fly all of my team members out from wherever they are and we'll go to that place. And then I have two retreats coming up. I have Emergence and Nocturnal. Nocturnal is not a psychedelic retreat. It's more where you sit in the dark, retreat. So it's a darkness retreat. So it taps into that same part of your brain that psychedelics taps into.

1:06:24.9 Paul F. Austin: I think it does something with the pineal gland, right? It activates DMT production and...

1:06:28.7 Phoenix White: Yep. So just being in the dark consistently. So, we're doing that for the people who don't want to wanna do psychedelics. And then we have a psychedelic retreat called Emergence, which is really wild and crazy. So my retreats are wild. We're not like sit and just meditate type sound healing. I'm like smashing shit, setting stuff on fire. I'm pulling shit out of people. We are... It's different, my retreats. I'm not very...

1:06:55.1 Paul F. Austin: You gotta check this out.

1:06:56.2 Phoenix White: Yeah. It is not the calm version. It's like, come if you dare. If you want to wanna go to the next level, then you come if you dare. 'Cause we're going to gonna pull the shit up and then we're going to gonna refill you.

1:07:07.7 Paul F. Austin: Like a fire. Like a fire and a few elements.

1:07:10.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's very fiery. Yeah. It's very fiery.

1:07:12.3 Paul F. Austin: What's your sign?

1:07:12.4 Phoenix White: I'm a Gemini. I'm an air sign, but I'm all about the fire. I dance with fire. And I like... 'Cause you have to always be so controlled and so calm and very gracious. But when I get into my healing stuff, I'd like to feel it. I need to feel it. I need to do more hands-on types of experiences. And so my retreats, even my integrations, we're very hands-on. We do the conversations and stuff, but we also do physical work so that you can remember it. When you tap into certain things, you remember it. Like you're... That cellular memory is insane.

1:07:48.6 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. It's one thing to change it at the mind. I think it's another thing to change it in the body.

1:07:50.8 Phoenix White: Yeah, the body.

1:07:51.7 Paul F. Austin: Right. The physiology of it helps it to be sustainable.

1:07:54.1 Phoenix White: I want people to feel it everywhere. So it is a joint retreat. So it's men and women could come.

1:08:00.9 Paul F. Austin: Oh, great. How many... And what are the dates for this?

1:08:02.7 Phoenix White: Let me...

1:08:04.8 Paul F. Austin: Do you know?

1:08:04.9 Phoenix White: I don't know. My phone... Oh. I'll send you the dates.

1:08:05.6 Paul F. Austin: Send us the dates. We'll post in the show notes.

1:08:06.0 Phoenix White: Okay. I'll send you the dates.

1:08:08.6 Paul F. Austin: So folks have that.

1:08:09.8 Phoenix White: But it's in September, I believe. I believe it's in September.

1:08:14.2 Paul F. Austin: Of next year.

1:08:16.2 Phoenix White: Of next year. Yeah.

1:08:17.5 Paul F. Austin: Fantastic. Okay. Emergence.

1:08:18.1 Phoenix White: It'll be in September. I think that one's in September. One is in September. One is in May. So I'll send the specific one 'cause I don't want to wanna say the wrong day and then I'd be completely wrong. [chuckle] But I have it in there. And then I have... I'm in this contest called FabOver40. I don't know how I ended up signing up for it. But basically you win $40,000. And so what I would love to do is, because a lot of people can't afford these retreats in these experiences that we provide and these one-on-one therapy and integration and coaching and all these things, so what I want to wanna do is take the money from that and to create 85 sponsorships.

1:08:55.9 Paul F. Austin: Wow.

1:08:56.5 Phoenix White: And so I just need people to vote for me. So if I... However many, I need to get people to just consistently vote. And I want to wanna use that money to create sponsorships for people to be able to attend without having to pay.

1:09:08.2 Paul F. Austin: That's... How do people find that? Would that be faboverforty.com?

1:09:11.4 Phoenix White: Yeah. It's /phoenixwhite. So it'll be...

1:09:12.8 Paul F. Austin: /phoenixwhite.

1:09:13.6 Phoenix White: Yeah. So if you put Fab over 40, Phoenix White, it'll pop up. But I'll also send you the exact link. I think I already sent it to you, but I'll send you the exact link.

1:09:20.8 Paul F. Austin: We'll put in the show notes.

1:09:22.3 Phoenix White: And it's also connected to my Instagram, which is @phoenixwhite. You'll be able to find it there. Phoenixwhite.net is being rebuilt, but it'll have all the information about me too probably by the time the... I don't know when the show comes out.

1:09:34.4 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. Probably in a few weeks.

1:09:35.9 Phoenix White: Oh. It'll be out by then. Yeah. So all of it'll be up then.

1:09:38.0 Paul F. Austin: Well, thank you Phoenix. Thanks for...

1:09:41.5 Phoenix White: You're welcome.

1:09:42.5 Paul F. Austin: Sharing what you shared on postpartum depression yesterday and your story as well.

1:09:46.8 Phoenix White: Yes. Thank you.

1:09:49.5 Paul F. Austin: Brain surgeries and psychosis, postpartum psychosis, and now the plant medicine work, entertainment. You've lived in a lot of ways, in a lot of aspects of life. So I just appreciate your presence and you joining us for the podcast. This is a great episode.

1:10:04.3 Phoenix White: Thank you. Thank you. I'm really happy to meet you. I didn't know even some of the things you were telling me about you, so I'm like, "That's dope. We're similar."

1:10:11.1 Paul F. Austin: Yeah. Yeah.

1:10:12.2 Phoenix White: I like that.

1:10:12.3 Paul F. Austin: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I do all the...

1:10:12.3 Phoenix White: Thank you.

1:10:14.3 Paul F. Austin: I have the education and media side, but I've been doing... I've been... I started a retreat called Synthesis in the Netherlands, which was legal psilocybin.

1:10:23.1 Phoenix White: Okay. I've seen this. I love what you do with Synthesis. I looked it up and I was like, "That's really dope." I didn't know it was yours, but I love it.

1:10:30.1 Paul F. Austin: I was a co-founder. And like... And then we've started to do these trainings. So I'm a CEO, but I care a lot more about the plant medicine and facilitation work 'cause I think it's really... It's good to have that integrity not only to be on the business side, but also in the medicine working with people, helping them move through. I think, it... Yeah. Just, it's good for the...

1:10:53.1 Phoenix White: No. I love that. 'Cause I feel the same. It's like, yeah, I do all this business stuff, but this stuff is the deeper work. Like the CEOs of these other companies, they're even needing this, you know? So I just... Keep up the great work.

1:11:08.6 Paul F. Austin: Thank you. You, too.

1:11:09.4 Phoenix White: You're amazing.

1:11:09.8 Paul F. Austin: This is fun. Oh. You are too. This is fun.


1:11:16.9 Paul F. Austin: Hey, listeners, Paul here. I hope you enjoyed our episode today with Phoenix. Remember to follow the link in the description to go deeper into this episode, and you can let us know what you thought of this conversation in Third Wave's community. Sign in and find The Psychedelic Podcast in the menu and leave us a comment there. And while you're at it, check out the rest of the platform. Sign up for free at community.thethirdwave.co. Until next time.


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