While working with a long-standing client, one whose path has brought her to a passion for vinification, studying all aspects of grape growing and wine making, she asked to explore the Spirit of Wine, hoping to find relevant information for her advancing career. After some discussion, we set our intentions to journey and to receive whatever information would be helpful for her at this time. We decided we would meet our spirit teachers in the realms of the Lower World and ask them to take us to meet the Spirit of Wine.

I went to an area of my Lower World Sacred Garden, an inviting jungle setting deep in the Amazon. I met my main plant spirit guide, one to whom I am closely tied, and she spoke to me about the Spirit of Wine.

She showed me an abundance of glowing red grapes and the vines to which they hung. I saw its roots connecting to the earth and waters. My plant spirit indicated that the grape vine is less powerful than she herself, also a vine, and considered by the Shipibo shamans (great healers of the Amazon) to be a Master Plant, holding profound medicinal qualities and great wisdom.*

This Master Plant explained that all plants are here to work with us in some way, either physically, emotionally or spiritually and those that have the affect of strongly altering our consciousness through our ingestion of them, are compelling teachers, with the grape vine being no exception.

The Wine Spirit is an ancient being who has been brought into ceremony and shared her knowledge and healing with people since pre-historic times. (My sudden reflections on the significance of wine in the Christian sacraments began to take on a whole new meaning.) My plant spirit guide, continued to explain that the mind altering medicinal plants might be seen on a hierarchical ladder… with herself near the top of course! She explained that all vine teachers are very powerful and are able to teach and heal in high-level ways. Those plants used for consciousness altering purposes, but more strongly connected to the earth are of a lower vibrational nature, and thus less powerful. These would include such things as brews created with a tuber, like vodka, or grains, like beer, whiskey, etc., while those created with fruit and berries from special trees, like gin, ciders, and other such spirits, are more middle ground teachers. She also indicated that the less “tampered” with, the more beneficial a plant teacher’s wisdom would be. In other words, the more additives are present, the more murky would be the teachings and because of this, it might be more difficult for humans to gain wisdom or healing from such creations. This is of course a strong plug for the consumption of the more organic and natural wines, which have for some time been gaining in popularity!

My guide went on to explain that our society has lost touch with the powers of healing and the wisdom of the teachings that can be gained from the Wine Spirits. She said that many of us in today’s society take them for granted and do not sufficiently offer our gratitude or set our intentions when working with these powerful beings. She said, it is important to strongly set our intentions whenever drinking wine or other spirits. This can simply be done by placing one’s hand on the bottle prior to pouring and asking that the wine serve for the best and highest good of all who will be drinking it. Or, after the glasses are poured, each person can set their own personal intentions by speaking to the wine or even singing to the wine, much in the way the Shipibo shamans do when working with their medicines.

Perhaps if we cast our eyes back in history, we might find that this is the original meaning of our tradition to clink our glasses or create a toast. Historically, the Greeks revered wine as a god, and it is said that many tribes would bang their cups on a table before drinking in order to knock out the ghosts, while the Congolese natives would ring bells before emptying their cups for the same reason. Many Nomadic people decorated their cups and wine sacs with bells and other clinking material for the purpose of keeping out the evil spirits. The list of such traditions is quite long and globally pervasive. Even if we were to think of it in the simplest terms, embracing the words “to your health” or “cheers” we would find that both act to set an intention. In a way, we can see that this does provide the objective of good energies being placed into our consumption of wine, but perhaps as my guide said, it would be wise to hold more consciousness to this act of anticipated outcome.

Further, my plant spirit went on to tell me that our society has high levels of alcoholism, because when people drink large amounts without setting proper intentions, they open themselves to the spirit world without protection and are therefore vulnerable to picking up energetic intrusions in minor or even major forms. She said that we become vulnerable, especially if one engages in any kind of drinking where there might be even a minor loss of consciousness. Additionally, alcohol that comes from a plant seen to be lower on the vibrational hierarchy (as previously mentioned) tends to invite in more problematic intrusions and entities. Without conscious intention setting and a sacred honoring of the plant, we leave ourselves open to the many energetic intrusions that might well have been connected to alcoholism in another lifetime. One wonders if perhaps this might not explain certain aspects of ancestral alcoholic lineage.

The plant spirit advised that in such instances, where intrusive energies seem to have become attached, it would be important to have spirit clearing and soul retrieval work carried out in connection to the alcoholic issues. It might also be necessary to have more than one clearing, as there can be quite an extensive build up of these energies. Also, as is known by healers who work with such issues, the clients might well be vulnerable to calling back such energies if the healing is not reinforced by other supporting work. My guide explained that hand in hand with this, there must also be work carried out to break the habitual programming connected with alcoholic issues. In other words, it is a two-fold healing process of spirit clearing and habit re-programming, one that might also be helped by the shamanic dis-memberment and re-memberment processes.

The outcome of the journey work on this subject has been transformative and enlightening in a way that was not expected. I am grateful to the plant spirits for their insights, and I have begun to work with other clients using this understanding in my counseling and healing practice. I will continue with this research in all aspects of ordinary and non-ordinary reality with the hope of helping those who have fallen into the hands of difficult spirits in both liquid and energetic forms.

“The Master Plant” Amazonian people have always been living among the plants. For them the plants and trees are living entities and the forest is the habitat not only of animals and birds but also spirits of all kinds. There are spirits of the waters, of the earth, the sky… and the plants. This conception of the world comes from a direct experience of the existence of such spiritual life all around them. It is with these spirits that Amazonian shamans have been working and still work today. The Master Plants are plants whose spirits can transmit their knowledge to human beings. They are available to help humans in their evolution and healing process. By establishing a connection with the plants through the discipline of the diet it is possible to receive healing and knowledge. The mastery of this discipline requires years of training and practice.”