As facilitators for some of the retreats by the Temple of Babylon, Brid ni Fhoighil and Rudi Somerlove know a thing or two about spiritual healing. In their case, through the transformative powers of psychedelics. After multiple life-changing experiences, they committed to guiding others on the same path. Curious to hear about their personal journeys, and their most special breakthrough moments as guides, we had quite a long sit-down with the pair. Here are Brid & Rudi in 5 questions!
How did you get to know the Gardens of Babylon, and what about our organization stands out to you?
Rudi: We attended ‘Wild as the Moon’ in 2017 and my first impression was amazing! The music, the decoration, the people, the spiritual elements, and the meditation to begin. All of these conspired to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
I was blown away and it really helped set the bar for our own events in terms of how we wanted them to feel. It was a huge inspiration and encouragement upon our path. The meditation stood out as something a little out of the ordinary and was a great way to encourage a chilled and international mindset for the entire evening.
Brid: I was also blown away by the atmosphere at the event. It was so familiar just like being with family. The details really impressed me. For example, the group meditation that joins everyone together. The massage areas, the dance areas, the market, and other interesting areas that filled the night.
Tell us about the path that lead you to psychedelics?
Rudi: I started at the tender age of 13. It was 1978 when my interest was piqued by a phenomenon called punk rock. It was taking over the English music scene at the time. Part of being a punk was the concept of ‘anarchy’, not as a violent revolutionary upheaval, but as a way of life devoid of any concept of the recognition of authority.
Upon investigating what ‘anarchy’ meant, I found an underground book called “The Anarchist Cookbook”. Amongst the advice on how to make molotov cocktails, sabotage, surveillance, and booby traps was a first chapter all about drugs.
This chapter had a subsection referring to psilocybin with a hand-drawn picture of ‘psilocybe semilanceata’ or ‘liberty caps’. I immediately recognized them as similar to ones that grew in a local cow’s field. Shortly after, my brother and I went searching for them and found them using the picture as a guide.
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We summoned the courage to eat some and half an hour later we were laughing and giggling and rolling around in cow excrement, completely intoxicated. This started a life-long passion for psychedelics as my preferred intoxicant and later medicine.
Gradually over the years, I came to see the benefits that regular tripping gave me and I came to see that I needed to serve others, to impart my knowledge of this valuable sacrament. In doing so, I discovered a new purpose and meaning and the satisfaction brought about by seeing genuine transformation for the better in the people I served.
Brid: I am very interested in plants of all sorts. I wanted to discover the psychoactive side, so I did in a guided ceremony with Rudi back in 2015. This put me on the path that I am now currently on.
In which way has the use of psychedelics impacted your life?
Rudi: For me, it’s been a never-ending story of positivity and greater universal understanding brought about by psychedelics. I came to realize that my very existence at this time, and on this planet, is to be here to help guide others on this path to greater enlightenment.
The psychedelics showed me that we live in a giant fractal-based ‘self-improving mechanism’. Where self-healing is built into the model. My joy comes from passing on this essential message and being witness to the huge improvements and life-changing transformations –physically, emotionally, and mentally– that psychonauts always seem to enjoy.
Brid: After my husband Viktor passed away in 2014 from stomach cancer, I felt very helpless as there was nothing I could do but watch his deterioration. I did an Ayahuasca Ceremony and later a Psilohuasca Ceremony with Rudi and learned there that this is the way that I can help people. By helping to spread information that’s uncovered in the research that is now carried out.
You have organized many events/retreats involving psychedelics. Can you share your most special breakthrough story with a participant with us?
Rudi: Our events are always very special. We are often accused of ‘bringing heaven to earth for just one night’. People often express having ‘the best night of their life’. Among all of these, there were many outstanding moments.
If I were to express just a few ‘breakthrough’ moments, it would be people who stopped smoking tobacco, changed addictive patterns of behavior particularly surrounding alcohol and other popular drugs, and many other self-realizations and awakenings.
But I think the outstanding breakthrough was a young lady who had suffered extreme sexual abuse as a very young baby. After completing a challenging and difficult experience, there was a moment when I witnessed the bad energy that had plagued her entire life, leave her.
I saw her posture change, her face lit up, her demeanor changed drastically, and her behavior subsequently altered radically. Alcohol and promiscuity were banished from her daily and weekly routines and her mindset improvedconsiderably.
This was special because it was such an incredible contrast from the person who walked in, to the person who walked back out of the door. For her, it was truly a life-changing and transformative experience that continues to serve her very well.
Brid: It’s difficult to pinpoint as there are so many special breakthrough moments. Each person is different, but yes, giving up dependencies on alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs as crutches, is absolutely a major one.
Besides psychedelics, what are some other passions or teachings that have helped you feel more peaceful and centered in life?
Rudi: Meditation, yoga, tai-chi, chi gong. Col-water treatment and breathing exercises every day. Buddhism. Cooking great food. Reishi Mushroom extract and Monatomic gold. Spending time with loved ones and choosing the right friends.
Brid: I have just become a grandmother and I love seeing the smiling faces of both my daughter and her daughter throughout the day. This I find has really recentered my life.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Rudi & Brid in 5 Questions!
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