Bast serves as a writer, yoga teacher, performance artist, ceremonial facilitator, speaker/educator, & holistic coach specializing in sacred plant medicine support, spirit-led addiction recovery, & visionary life design. Bast is the author of HEART MEDICINE: A True Love Story, an intimate memoir about a healing experience with the African sacred medicine, iboga.
To start off this interview we'd like to share some sentiments from our artist, Ainhara, for you.
Ainhara, when creating your Permaculture Pinup showcase art piece said she saw you as as a symbol of Transformation. She went on to say she felt you were of a butterfly lineage and that you are rooted to the stars. So, she sought to make the link between blue crystalline human and the flesh carbon based one to express this evolution. She says your womb blooms with fire and your soul is dancing wildly inside of you.
You have recently moved to Costa Rica. Can you tell us more about the project you wish to create here?
E.Bast: Yes! We are currently staying in Costa Rica, and came from the San Francisco Bay Area. We are exploring the possibility of staying as we explore different areas of the country. My husband, artist Chor Boogie, and I envision a sacred medicine retreat center, non-profit organization for medicine retreat scholarships, art & writing retreats, permaculture projects, and an eco-village community to share with awesome people! We'd love to invite many local and complimentary healing plants to live around us. The primary sacred medicine that we work with is iboga, from Africa. We have both experienced immersive traditional provider training. We also want to share our space with other kinds of medicine providers.
Do you feel there is a connection between sacred plant medicine and permaculture? I am interested to know if you think there is a connection between personal healing and planetary healing.
E.Bast: Absolutely! One of the greatest lessons that is commonly given from the great earth medicines is the intimate realization of interconnectedness—IF we hold the intentions to truly learn, that is. We are not separate from the ecosystem. If the earth suffers, we suffer. If the earth thrives, we thrive.
When did you first realize you cared about the planet?
E.Bast: After their healing experience with iboga, Bast and Chor Boogie were inspired to serve others with the medicine. In December 2014, the couple traveled to Gabon, Africa, where they began their iboga provider training and experienced a traditional Bwiti initiation, Rite of Passage, and wedding. They are educators and advocates for iboga, sacred medicine ways, the Bwiti tradition, indigenous peoples rights, drug policy reform, and holistic addiction treatment.
Some of my earliest memories include my mother showing me different wild medicinal herbs, and then her teaching me how to "ask permission" from the plant before taking from, and never taking too much from any one plant. Ever since I was a small girl, I had fantasies about running away to live in nature, wild and free. I felt most "at home" when in nature. I have always talked to plants and animals like humans. As a young woman, my primary prayer and directive in life was to help create harmony & even synergy between human culture & nature.
What are you most passionate about within the permaculture movement?
E.Bast: Reciprocity with nature! We must find ways to not only harmonize with nature, but to synergize. There is a great beauty to the intimate relationships humans can have with plants, animals, and land.
How do you feel about The Shift?
E.Bast: I am excited and fascinated by the shift away from destructive, extractive patriarchal values. Beyond the old motivations of greed and dominance is another way... It is the great romance with all of life, where all life forms & relationships are honored. This heart beat of this great romance is fueled by curiosity, gifting, transparency, and respect for nature. Nature is inherently the sexiest goddess of all. Just crack open any papaya or gaze at any orchid. She is luscious, shameless, perfectly intelligent, boundlessly creative, and supremely generous. The closer we are to nature, the sexier the future will be in my eyes.
You and your husband, Chor Boogie, are so creative. Can you explain how you see creativity assisting us with the planetary paradigm shift?
E.Bast: Yes! With regards to creativity, it all starts with the intention, just like sacred medicine. My prayer is that my creativity is a vessel for beauty, healing, inspiration, and divine energies. True creativity must flow in order to welcome the visionary possibilities we need to survive—and walk the Beauty Way at the same time.
Who has inspired you on your path?
E.Bast: Annie Sprinkle was a very early inspiration as a sex positive activist, eduator, radical performance artist, and pioneer of all things eco-sexual. I am grateful for all my guides in ceremony, medicine, yoga, and tantra. There are many amazing beings that have inspired me... too many to name! I'm so blessed to have crossed paths with tham.
Do you have any final messages you wish to share?
There is medicine to be found within every trauma, when we are ready to look. - E.Bast
Trauma can be transformation. That is a beautiful.
It reminds me of Ainhara's words I read to you at the beginning of the interview.
Thank you for being our Mz. January 2021, Elizabeth. May you usher in
a beautiful year of transformation for us all.
This interview has been brought to you by Permaculture Pinup, a project of Green Wave (501(c)(3) nonprofit). If you liked this interview, love what we are doing, and would like to see us continue please consider supporting the Green Wave sponsored project, Pinuya Nursery. Over the ages, womyn have been likened to trees. The Pinuya Nursery is nursery to foster trees that will go to creating a food forest that will provide food for an entire village and reforest the land.
Thank you for helping us heal the Earth!