Podcast 271 – “Weaving Modern Ritual from Traditional Roots”


Guest speaker: Kathleen “Kat” Harrison

Big Island, Little Planet

March 17–28, 2012
A Travel Intensive in Polynesia on the Big Island of Hawaii
Ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison and Hawaiian cultural teacher Momi Subiono will lead this travel intensive, open to all who have a desire to immerse themselves in the story of plants, nature, and a deep cultural awareness of place.


[NOTE: All quotations are by Kat Harrison.]
“The role of conscious, intentional behavior that is described by culture or subcultural rules of behavior with reflected meaning is sort of a way of describing ritual generally, and we draw these forms out of a number of traditions.”

“I think when we go into thinking about how to do psychoactive medicines it’s very valuable to look deeply, to look seriously, at the traditions that have attended these medicines through time.”

“Repeated behavior in the same mode over a long time generates a kind of an etheric possibility of it recurring and being potentized by its ongoing, indefinite repetition.”

“I feel that it’s really valuable to look into the ritual history of the place where you live or the place where you’re working.”

“Pay homage to the history of ritual that is coming through the place.”

“Why one [psychedelic medicine] may be your best friend’s ally and not your ally is a mystery. And maybe you can solve that mystery and maybe not. But you should honor the fact that some things work for you and some things are not your medicine, even though everyone around you appears to be having a good time.”

“You don’t lead with your head. You let your heart and your body tell you what to do in these [introspective psychedelic] moments. Then if you think it’s time to get up and bolt out into the street, you let your head come in and tell you, ‘Don’t! Sit down. You’re not going anywhere.’ ”


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Thank you to The Turtles for “Eve of Destruction”

Posted in Culture, Family, Future, Imagination, Kathleen Harrison, Palenque, Psychedelics, Shamanism.


  1. I am so glad to have discovered Kat Harrison through this podcast. This talk is fantastic, as is the other talk she gave, podcast 273 “Indigenous Plant Wisdom.” I found that one through iTunes, but it does not show up when I look under Kat’s “category” on the right side list on this website. Please remedy this omission! It would be great to be able to search the podcasts & program notes without having to use iTunes to do so. Is there a way to search the archives, and I’m just missing it?

    Another suggestion would be to create an “ethnobotany” tag for that category list, or perhaps something that somehow captures those talks that deal specifically with plant wisdom (perhaps that’s too many??).

    Anyway, I’ve been dabbling for a few months on this website & haven’t participated too much yet. It’s really a great resource & I plan on donating soon! I found the podcast through archive.org when I was looking for old Gary Snyder lectures. The one featuring Watts, Snyder, Ginsberg, Kesey all on the houseboat dreaming up utopian futures was the first one I ever listened to. I was hooked. Part of what kept me coming back was your endearing intro & outro, Lorenzo.

    Thanks very much!

  2. Maybe the people that enjoyed this talk by Kat, will also enjoy James Fadiman’s new book “The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide”, with the subtitle “Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys”.
    I haven’t got around to reading this yet, but it looks promising.

  3. This was an amazing talk! I’ve enjoyed it so much.
    It feels so right when I realise that my approach to this miracle is very similar to the approach that the elders have.

    I’d really like to hear more talks like this, and more from Kat. She seems to go straight to the point.

    Sometimes I get to enthusiastic when I realise how Lucky I am to have found psychedelics, or maybe that psychedelics found me.

    I want to send all my good energy to all the explorers out there, and to you Lorenzo for making those wonderful podcasts.

  4. Five stars! Lorenzo, it would be amazing to hear more from this great woman… I can’t find much more audio and believe me I looked after hearing this.

  5. refreshing to hear a wise female perspective in the salon lorenzo! kathleen certainly has a unique eloquence about her. I got a lot out of her perspectives on allies and intent in rituals, these methods of navigating psychedelic spaces are fascinating.

  6. this might be my favorite talk you’ve hosted in many years! and congrats on the recent 6-year milestone of this fabulous podcast – which is really more like a service to humanity than anything… peace to you Lorenzo & Tribe!

  7. Lorenzo, I can’t thank you enough for posting this. And thanks to Kat for her beautiful presentation. It’s just what I needed to hear. =)

  8. dear Kathleen, dear Lorenzo, dear Tribe

    a great bunch of people, animals, books, movies, music, dreams and loads of synchronisms and coincidentia oppositorum are opening up so much creativity, connection and joy for me now every day, and as i listen to Kathleen’s beautiful lecture!

    i don’t know what to do with all this revelation, and with all this love…

    but i don’t worry, i rather trust it will come to me, as has so much else in my life the last five years, which truly makes me feel there is something to all those predictions about our near future, something is going on!!

    and we are readier ever readier

    (i know this comment is sloppy but what the hell, every once in a while…)

  9. Thank you SO much for posting this! Everything Kat said matches up with a lot of stuff I am pondering lately. I like what you said about elders… although I am pretty young (24), so it seems like everyone is my elder 🙂 I really appreciate you talking about your experiences and things you have learned. It gives me hope that my generation wont be complete screw-ups.

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