Entheogenesis - Planting seeds for earth, body, and mind

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Entheogenesis Australis (EGA)  - Our Values

Entheogenesis Australis is a charitable, educational organisation established in 2004; we provide opportunities for critical thinking and knowledge sharing on ethnobotanical plants, fungi, nature and sustainability.



Through our conferences and workshops, we aim to celebrate the culture, art, politics and community around medicine plants in the hope to better wellbeing for humankind and the planet.



Entheogenesis Australis would like to celebrate and support diversity within our community. We hope to offer a welcoming and accessible space across our events and conferences, and the community more broadly.

Entheogenesis Australis exists to enhance the Australian natural environment by:


E – Encouraging the propagation, cultivation, conservation, preservation and sharing of plants and fungi of ethnobotanical significance whilst nurturing botanical environments.


G – Growing community and developing connections through conversation, events, media and the creative arts, acting as a multidisciplinary nexus for knowledge sharing within the field of ethnobotany.


A – Advancing botanical discussion through research, critical thinking, education, creativity, innovation, and awareness about plants, fungi and related compounds with potential beneficial applications for humankind and the natural environment.

Entheogenesis Australis Statement on Black Lives Matter, Racism, and Respecting Traditional Knowledge

Entheogenesis Australis (EGA) stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and all who wish to address the harm of racially motivated discrimination, violence and injustice.


We condemn the persecution, inequality and systemic abuse of human rights that Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) continue to endure in Australia and around the world. These issues are complex, sensitive, long-standing, and deeply entrenched in society.


Our community benefits greatly from sacred and medicinal plants and from Indigenous knowledge on their use and cultural significance. EGA strongly believes that how we receive and share information is a powerful act and requires the utmost care and consideration.


EGA respects the rights of Traditional Owners to choose when and where to share knowledge - botanical or otherwise - outside of their communities. There is a long history of exploitation, misappropriation, and destruction of Indigenous knowledge and culture by colonial powers, from government policies through to corporate and commercial interests. Healing racism in our community includes understanding and adhering to correct cultural protocols, respecting intellectual property, and proper consultation. This is a learning process, and we are striving to improve in these areas.


The prohibition and criminalisation of certain native plants and their traditional use, as well as other psychoactive substances, disproportionately impacts BIPOC communities across the planet.  The failed war on drugs is founded on and inextricably tied to systemic racism, with police forces acting as a tool of dispossession, domination and control through aggressive tactics and racial bias. In Australia, the shameful fact is that First Nations people are incarcerated at a higher rate than any other people in the world, in 2020 making up around 28% of the prison population but only 3.3% of the country’s population. Our drug laws serve to continue cycles of disadvantage and trauma within these communities.


In seeking to create a better and fairer world with the help of plants, we must not ignore the very real and important issues of equal access, intersectionality, privilege, complicity, and intergenerational trauma. We acknowledge that action is far more meaningful than words.


EGA is committed to amplifying BIPOC voices through our programming and media content, and to making our community, our events, and our online presence safe, equitable and inclusive spaces for all. We endeavour to listen, support, learn, evolve, and proactively engage in the ongoing conversation to combat racism at all levels of society.


Please click here to download the Black Lives Matter statement


Respectfully
Entheogenesis Australis
www.entheogenesis.org

Entheogenesis Value Statement

We believe access to plants is a fundamental human right for all people; relationships between humans and plants are symbiotic and of the utmost importance to each of us, to humankind, and to life on earth.



We believe all people should have access to plants for ornamental, food production, medicinal or spiritual reasons. Any regulation of plants should provide pathways that allow individual or community access, not just industry.



We do not believe in the criminalisation of any people for individual plant use, and we support decriminalisation for the benefit of all people.

Cultivating Ethnobotanicals: The law, human rights and research



‘Eighty percent of the world's population relies upon natural medicinal products. Of the top 150 prescription drugs used in the U.S., 118 originate from natural sources: 74 percent from plants, 18 percent from fungi, 5 percent from bacteria, and 3 percent from one vertebrate (snake species). Nine of the top 10 drugs originate from natural plant products.’  

Ecology Society of America, 1997 

 

'Indigenous peoples have the right to their traditional medicines and to maintain their health practices, including the conservation of their vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals. Indigenous individuals also have the right to access, without any discrimination, to all social and health services.’  

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2008, Article 24, Section 1 

 

There are many thousands of botanical species that are fun to grow and have long and rich histories of human engagement. The United Nations recognises the traditional knowledge of First Nations peoples and religious groups with a heritage of ethnobotanical use, respecting their human rights and religious freedoms when it comes to ritual and traditional applications. Many ethnobotanicals offer medicinal and therapeutic value and are worthy of discussion and preservation.  

The majority of ethnobotanicals are not illegal to grow or share in Australia. In fact, many ethnobotanical plants are common herbs, ornamentals or bush foods that grow in gardens across the nation. However, there are some plants and related compounds that are controlled for personal cultivation and require appropriate licensing before they can be grown or supplied. Examples of these controlled plants include tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), opium poppies (Papaver somniferum), cannabis (Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica) and coca plants (Erythroxylum coca). Further to this there are compounds that can be extracted from plants and fungi that require a license or permit to use or administer as medication (e.g. cannabis treatment of epilepsy, or opium for pain relief) or for research purposes (e.g. psilocybin treatment for anxiety). There are provisions within the law in Australia where all of the above examples could be cultivated and consumed legally for the benefit of society. 

It is very important to note, that while many ethnobotanicals have medicinal applications, there are also ethnobotanicals that contain both therapeutic and harmful compounds (e.g. plants from the Brugmansia genus). There is a toxicological threshold where too much of a particular compound can turn from therapeutic to potentially harmful. It is important that all plants can be researched and are handled with care and respect, so that they may be utilised appropriately in the garden or in a medical context. 

EGA does not condone, encourage or engage in illegal activity. EGA takes a critical and educational approach when it comes to topics related to the use and misuse of pharmacologically active compounds. EGA supports the harm reduction model and seeks to provide information to improve safety. Laws and policy will vary between jurisdictions and we encourage the public to research the laws relating to ethnobotanical plants that are relevant to them.  

Please enjoy safe, informed and happy gardening. 

Acknowledgment of Country

We acknowledge that in Australia, we live and work in a stolen country that was never ceded. This dispossession, from which many in our community continue to benefit materially, causes ongoing trauma to Indigenous people and communities.


We recognise that we benefit from the knowledge and insights of First Nations people, including long relationships with the plants we revere, from around the world. We acknowledge that knowledge of First Nations people has often been obtained disrespectfully.


We encourage all in our community to learn to do our work the "right way", to understand and recognise different cultural protocols, and to show respect.


EGA enthusiastically supports the Uluru Statement, which calls for First Nations' voices in Australian parliament, for treaty, and for truth. We encourage each and all our community to take up the invitation in the Uluru Statement to work through Australia's unfinished business.


https://www.1voiceuluru.org/the-statement/