Magic mushrooms have been used by human cultures for thousands of years. But how can we, as Westerners, respectfully and reciprocally share indigenous wisdom? Mushroom facilitator Françoise Bourzat shares her perspective.
Françoise Bourzat has worked in collaboration with healers in Huautla de Jiménez, Mexico, where she has practiced and guided ceremonies with sacred mushrooms for the last 30 years. Aside from her healing work, she teaches at the California Institute for Integral Studies, runs online courses and lectures in various institutions and internationally, and is a counselor and a trainer of psychedelic guides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In this interview, available in full below, Françoise shares her expertise with magic mushrooms and contemporary Western psychedelic culture.
Françoise began her journey in magic mushroom facilitation when she visited Mexico, and found herself participating in magic mushroom ceremonies. After being ‘adopted’ by a local shaman, Françoise was taught the Mazatec traditions.
The sacred Mazatec practices are founded on a relationship to the spirit of the land. These animistic beliefs still underpin the Christian religion that was forced upon the region by Spanish invaders. During ceremonies, the spirits of the land are honored, and offerings are often made at an altar. Magic mushroom work is always done at night, and typical hallmarks of shamanism such as cleansings, diets, and prayers are common.
For all the indigenous wisdom that Françoise has shared with Westerners, we must consider what kind of reciprocity is fair. Françoise suggests that it is valid and important to create a Mazatec-led organisation to collect funding that would preserve teaching the language, improve education and health, and support the Mazatec way of life. Françoise also tells us that the Mazatec have expressed the desire for mushroom healing to reach people who would otherwise not be able to access it. They wish the mushrooms to reach marginalised communities – so we must make it a core aim of the psychedelic renaissance to ensure free and fair access for those who are most vulnerable and oppressed in society.
- As we move into medicalization and commercialization of psilocybin, how we can approach acknowledging and honoring indigenous wisdom keepers who have held the traditions of sacred mushroom use for thousands of years
- The most current status of psychedelic research, therapy, and regulation, and what is most needed to develop this booming field in the right direction
- What the Oregon Psilocybin Mushroom Services Initiative means in practice, both for those interested in becoming facilitators and for those wishing to experiences psilocybin under this Program.
About Françoise Bourzat
After traveling the world as a young woman, Françoise found her way to San Francisco in the early 1980s. It was there she met her first teacher, a pioneer exploring the intersection of indigenous healing and psychotherapy. She earned her master’s degree in Somatic Psychology from New College of California, and is Hakomi trained. In the 1990s, Françoise later met an indigenous Mazatec woman leading healing ceremonies with sacred mushrooms in the high mountains of Southern Mexico, with whom she apprenticed closely for many years. Drawing from this experience, as well as training in other indigenous traditions, Françoise has developed a comprehensive approach that bridges Western and indigenous modalities for healing and growth.
Françoise now serves as a consciousness guide and counselor in the Bay Area. She is the Founder of the Center for Consciousness Medicine, where she trains psychedelic therapists and facilitators, while also teaching at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), and lecturing internationally. She is also currently one of the lead investigators in an FDA approved research study on psilocybin-assisted therapy for COVID-related grief, and the author of Consciousness Medicine.
Where to Find Françoise
Join the Consciousness Medicine Level 1 course with a 20% discount, by clicking here and using code “ENTHEONATION21” on checkout!
More about the Consciousness Medicine Level 1 course:
Level 1 of Consciousness Medicine is a 7 module course of self-paced online learning. During each of the practices, you will be introduced to working with Françoise Bourzat’s method of developing personal awareness. You will explore in clarity and gentleness the various areas of your life and build a solid foundation on which, during the next Levels of the course, you will explore deeper states of Consciousness.
Based on her book Consciousness Medicine, the course will invite you to become familiar with your own observing self and explore your potential for creating new patterns that are self-supportive and sustain a more balanced and healthy life. This course benefits therapists, health professionals, coaches, and everyone interested in exploring and refining a sense of personal balance. Through this course, you will get more deeply connected to your inner world and emotions. You will have new tools and techniques to explore your own consciousness on an ongoing basis. You will have a greater awareness of your true holistic nature. You will feel more in charge of your ongoing sense of personal balance and ease.