Experiences of a Shameeah Ceremony
The Syrian Rue has a very interesting history. For thousands of years it has been in continuous ritual and medicinal use and this in different cultures and in different religions. Even today it is still included in spiritual practices by Muslim, Jews and Christians. For example, in Turkey it is used to protect from the evil eye, in Morocco it protects from the Djinn. In Iran the seeds are heated up in a pan and when they are smoldering, the smudge is wafted around in the house to keep bad spirits away.
The Syrian Rue has been used to treat skin cancer, to cause abortion, to kill lice, to expel worms. It was used as an antidepressant and analgesic.Newer research showed some interesting qualities. Because of its antibacterial and antiprotozoal effects it has been successfully used to treat drug resistant bacteria, Leishmaniasis and tick-borne parasites in sheep and cattle. Antimutagenic and antioxidant effects have been found and it proved to be cytotoxic in certain leukemia cells. A marked fungicidal effect has also been shown. Toxic effects are well known, however they usually last only a few hours. Such effects include nausea, vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, tremors, locomotor ataxia, respiratory depression and gastric ulcers.
Because of the slightly hallucinogenic effects, recently it has found its way into the streets where it is mixed with other substances as an analog for the more difficult to obtain Ayahuasca. The main ingredients are b-carboline alkaloids called harmine and harmaline which cause MAO inhibition. MAO-inhibitors are used in Western medicine as antidepressants.
The seeds have been the origin of a red dye and the leaves were used to bleach wheat in order to gain a pure white flour.
Peganum harmala is a bushy, about 60 cm high plant of dry areas growing naturally in North Africa and the Middle East eastward to India and Pakistan. It has been introduced and is now an invasive plant in the US from Texas to California and north to Montana in desert areas. It belongs to the botanical order of the Sapindales and more specifically into the family of Nitrariaceae. Some well-known representatives of the Sapindales are maple trees, frankincense and myrrh, mango and cashew. The pretty white flowers are about 3 cm wide and they have five petals. The orange-brownish fruit capsules are divided into three partitions. They crack open along three lines when the seeds ripen.
All these highly interesting facts were not known to all but two of the participants of the Shameeah ceremony which I will be talking about. What is a Shameeah?
You easily can skip this paragraph and continue reading further below if you are familiar with the energetics and the meaning of the C-levels in a Shameeah ceremony. The basic structure of a Shameeah Ceremony follows the protocol of a C4-trituration: In four C-levels, each level consists of six rounds of ten minutes of grinding the substance with a mortar and pestle, while writing down thoughts and sensations as they arise. We go through the different energetic levels of a substance. C1 deals mainly with the physical level and with the individual, C2 focuses on the emotional aspects and relationship and C3 refers to the mental level. While C1 and C2 usually feel more or less uncomfortable, it is in C3 that we get a better understanding of the problem. In C4 we touch the sacred core inherent in every natural substance. A transformation occurs where a solution reveals itself to us for the problem that was expressed on the lower levels, so the meaning of the problem opens up. Higher C-levels exist, however since they do not play a role for our understanding of Peganum, I will not go into them here.
Direct quotations of expressions of the participants are given in quotation marks.
C1 was rich with physical sensations. Pains were felt as sharp, cutting, piercing, penetrating or burning.
“Animal sinews are holding someone. Resistance cuts into the flesh. You cannot use your muscles, it would cut you to shreds.”
“Pain penetrates behind my right eye into my pituitary”. – “Something sharp intrudes into me almost violently.” – “I am afraid that thoughts and energies of a powerful yet dangerous person could come into my life.”
“I am coughing up a foreign object. It feels like an implant. What is that doing in me?”
“This is about victims and trauma, about wounds that do not heal. Deep emotional scarring that penetrates the soul and creates puncture wounds.”
There was a “fullness of the brain, it feels puffy and it seemed to expand into a bulbous forehead.” – “I am thinking of brain inflammation. Why?” (This is interesting as we know from the homeopathic Materia Medica that Peganum had been used to treat encephalitis)
A feeling of disconnection and separation was quite remarkable and was noticed by many participants. “I am cut off from others and from source.” – “I feel isolated. I am not connected to the other people in the room.” – “I have a sense of solitude.” – “My head and body are not connected but they are not communicating right now.” – “I am disconnected from my body and from my emotions.” – “There is my body and there is my head: The two feel like there is a degree of separation.” – “I think of a client who has sequestered herself in a silent retreat for two months.”
The separation reaches the degree of imprisonment. “I had the vision of a dark portal opening up to a honeycomb like chamber. Each chamber is a prison, the walls are made of very thin material, like paper or onion skin.” – “I really feel closed in, something is pushing my head down.”
“Souls are stuck in between. They are locked nowhere, repeating their last moments over and over. Something black is feeding on them and keeps them there.”
For one participant images of lilies came up and actually, the flowers of the Syrian Rue look similar to lily flowers.
Memories of childhood came up for two participants. Someone else was making children’s rhymes: “Caraway, caraway. Carry me away.”
In C2 we become aware that our images are silent, no sound can be heard in the inner world in which Peganum is leading us here. “In this space there is complete silence. It is as if there is no substance, not even air that could carry the sound.”
There is an inability to connect and a desire to be alone. “I feel alone, surrounded by miscommunication, by deflected, distorted and fragmented signals. My inner perception is incomplete; like a mosaic, each stone carrying its own picture and together they are not composing a whole. The world is fragmented.” – “My mind is distorted. All the pieces are here but they do not fit like a puzzle that has been put together incorrectly.”
The lack of emotions creates a disconnection and this leads to confusion. We reached a very uncomfortable place in the Shameeah:
“I am cut off from my emotions. Connection and intimacy is not possible anymore. It is confusing. I just want to be alone. People are bothersome anyway.” – “I want to sit quietly and be left alone. I do not want to go home to my family nor do I want to see my sister. But I do not really feel connected to myself. I have an image of being kissed but I do not want to be kissed. I feel imposed upon. Where am I? There is an orange line between sky and land on the horizon. I am in an in-between-space, a place where life is held or darkness lurks. I am caught in a slice of time, not alive nor dead. It is a holding pattern. How long have I been here? It is not a friendly place and not unfriendly, just nothing.” The above image of being kissed might mean that in this energy even love does not reach us.
Without any emotional involvement we were fascinated by the pure structure of things. “I see the elaborate design of a frosted fern or snowflake. It leads me to the crystalline programming of water molecules. I have obsessive thoughts about the patterns of snowflakes and the energy of water. I am obsessed with finding solutions, answers, knowledge. I am confused. I am staring off into space, no feeling, trapped in many moments without feelings. I am not feeling my body, I am not feeling anything else, not Source, not Creator. I am in between worlds, in between dimensions, time, space and realities.” – “I see the Get-out-of-Jail-card of monopoly.”
We see here the pure mental thinking, not grounded in the physical and not held by emotions. In that way the facts are crystal clear but they fall apart, because there is nothing that would give them coherence.
“I see a man but not in his full human form. I only see him in grey and blue colors. That is not all of him.”