# 114 Gabriel Castillo: Plant Medicine and Self Realization
Johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus. I’m Johnny Burke and today’s guest is the Reverend Gabriel Castillo. He is a magic mushroom expert. Today, we will be talking about his approach to working with plant medicine and to help initiate a natural process of self-realization. Gabriel, welcome to the program.
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. Thank you for having me, Johnny, appreciate it.
Johnny Burke: I did not realize you were a reverend. How did that come to be?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. So, when I was initiated as a curandero, I decided to build a relationship with the mushroom, because it spoke and that was very much a religious experience, very much here on the ground, but it connected me with this voice that was very similar to um
Johnny Burke: Source?
Gabriel Castillo: Right. Source or speaking to the father, exactly.
Johnny Burke: So what made you gravitate to this path that you’re on now?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. That’s funny. That’s a great question. That has been my journey with I had a passing of a best friend, close friend. We were best friends in high school and we kind of lived our lives, passed in college. He took his life and that got me started on a journey of self-exploration of knowing who I was, of reprogramming my own.
So that got me started on a journey of just really going inwards and the best thing to go inwards with is the psychedelics and the plants. I learned that from an early experience just by healing from my own trauma. Then it turns out that there’s a field and demand and there’s an emerging practice, if you will, that is becoming socially acceptable, which is working with these plant medicines. So it’s just been a beautiful journey so far.
Johnny Burke: So you took an experience which, I think many people would liken into basically a bomb going off, losing your friend in that fashion. It seems to me that you actually transmuted that whole experience and turned it into something positive.
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. I like that word. Very alchemical.
Johnny Burke: Yeah. Transmutation, it’s like turning whatever kind of metal into gold,
Gabriel Castillo: Absolutely
Johnny Burke: So what is finally detached and what were the beginnings of that entity?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. So finally detached, the beginning of that really emerged from my process of reprogramming my own mind of detaching from the dogma of habits, of mental loop patterns, Really learning the skills of self-mastery, and that was a process of detaching from a lot of stuff because my energy was always drawn out. When you start to become aware of manifestation, you start to become aware of energy and where all your energy is being drawn from. Detaching from certain things was very critical to become a more intentional, manifestor, if you will, or creator. That’s how that came to be. And really what helped me step into that mastery was the plant medicines, the mushrooms, specifically.
Johnny Burke: When you mentioned trauma , this was an aha moment for me recently. Someone told me that the more trauma you heal, the more psychic you become. Your thoughts?
Gabriel Castillo: It’s very interesting. Yeah, I do believe that. My experience with the mushroom has been, when I’ve healed, it hasn’t even been a healing process. It’s been more of a transcendence, right? It’s become an acceptance that is who I am and I accept myself fully. And through that acceptance, you forgive and you remember who you are and yeah, I would say that opens up pathways for the medicine to do deeper work, which can then very fine-tune those psychic abilities, for sure. Absolutely.
Johnny Burke: To take that thought just a tiny bit further, that’s the first time I heard that and I thought, okay, that would make sense because it goes back to what you just mentioned, which was remembering. Because once you heal the trauma and you remove the block, you can remember who we really are. Does that make sense?
Gabriel Castillo: Absolutely. Oh yeah, that makes complete sense. Yeah. You have to get out of the way to be able to open up the pathway, and that’s the whole thing that the plant medicines help us to get out of our own way.
Johnny Burke: So psychedelics, I’ve heard this a few times, can actually teach us something about death. I don’t quite know what that means, but tell us a little bit more?
Gabriel Castillo: yeah, absolutely. So when you do psychedelics correctly, I was taught to sit very deeply with the medicine. And when you sit deeply with the medicines, you experience ego death. So everything you think about yourself gets tested, and it gets obliterated. And sometimes you’re just left with nothing but yourself, your true self you just sit with and resonate and feel. And that is you sitting with consciousness. Essentially it teaches you about death because through that process you realize that everything you think about death is an idea. You’re here now and you are consciousness. So it shows you that the ego is very fragile and that death may just be an idea and an illusion because you, you’ve kind of lived through that illusion.
Johnny Burke: Death is an illusion. This comes up a lot. There is no death. We are deathless, we are eternal beings. Has your experience on this path that you’re on now, has given you insight into that? Where you believe that we are eternal beings?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah, absolutely. That was the beginning step for the mushroom for me when it started to speak, it showed that in the first journey. That’s like the base foundation because for me to be able to listen and walk this path and to not care what people think, I have to know who I am. I have to know my power as a creator. If not, I’m going to let the matrix and whatever people say or whatever the energy affects me. But when you know what you are, you realize you create all, and then you’re here to be a creator. So why regurgitate everyone else’s ideas and everyone else’s path? We are all the same.
Maybe some of us have a message to share and maybe something is speaking through certain individuals, and they have something to share a new way, a completely new way. So that’s what I feel is important about this, people to understand who they are, and once they do, they step into their authenticity and then they can create their legacy, their purpose in this realm.
Johnny Burke: You mentioned something that comes up a lot. We are the same, which is related to oneness, which I know it’s a very hard concept for a lot of us to get our heads around, the way it was explained to me once; when you look at someone else, it’s like a different version of yourself. So you should treat that person as if you were literally, communicating with another version of yourself. True or false?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s all ourselves because we’re all that eternal energy, the energy behind everything, that consciousness, that is what we are. Right? So we feel fragmented. We see ourselves in others, but it’s all us. And really when you wake up to that, it becomes very lonely because you realize there’s no anyone that’s different. It’s all you. So it’s all this experience of yourself experiencing yourself. So then you don’t become afraid of anything because it’s all yourself, so you start to transcend these ideas that may trap some people, and that’s just the kind of the idea of it, if you will.
Johnny Burke: When this type of topic comes up, oneness, often I hear separation is an illusion.” I’ve been told that so many times, but why is that so hard for, non-intuitive people like me- I’m just like an average dude, I don’t have mediumistic abilities or like anything even close to that. Why do you suppose that’s so hard for the rest of us to actually get that concept?
Gabriel Castillo: I think everyone has it inside of them. We are more powerful than we know. I think it’s just a matter of remembering, that concept is very difficult because that’s what this realm is. It’s not wrong when you believe that, because this is a realm of duality. So it is black and white, but you can’t have black without white. We wouldn’t be able to see the stars without the black space. It’s that beautiful give and take. And when you know that you start to transcend the idea of, “oh, there’s a good guy and there’s a bad guy. No, It’s just all the same thing. So then you step out of all of that. That’s the benefit of really knowing that not just thinking about it or theorizing the possibility of it, but just really knowing it. So when we’re speaking about energy and not energy being sucked out so you can manifest with intention, stuff like that is how you harness that superpower and that awareness.
So now you can turn a manifestation that literally takes you a month-long into a week, a few days. It’s funny how it works, but if you can really become aware of your own energy, and aware of your thought patterns and how it’s stuck inside the larger game of what’s happening, you can become very intentional in your creation.
Johnny Burke: So the plant medicine in this case can actually give you clarity?
Gabriel Castillo: Correct.You have to try to imagine. But it’s an experience- let’s just say the mushroom a way to amplify our natural abilities. I firmly believe that in the beginning, it was the monkey and the mushroom. So what we’re looking for as far as a missing link or what grew our brain, it’s been here the whole time and we’re just starting to become aware of it again. and for those that are tuning into it, are gaining these psychic abilities and stuff of this nature, which all of us have. And these plant medicines are for all of us. They grow right there on the earth, right next to your home. But there’s a reason why they’ve been suppressed. That awareness comes as you approach it.
Johnny Burke: Should we talk about the elements of suppression, or might that be a conversation for another day?
Gabriel Castillo: That might be a conversation for another day because that could be a whole nother topic, right?
Johnny Burke: That’s a good one. That reminds me of another guest that talked about how our Shamanic and mystic past was suppressed again and again through the centuries. It’s funny that you mentioned that because it seems like there is a parallel. So, since you mentioned an awareness and plant medicine is becoming more acceptable, does that coincide with what a lot of people are talking about; awakening, waking up, ascension, raising our vibe?
Gabriel Castillo: It’s the last hope. We cannot do it ourselves anymore. If we could have done it, it would’ve worked a long time ago. We need to get out of our own way. We need to trust something else. We need to put our egos in the hands of something else.
Johnny Burke: It’s just a matter of some people having those abilities closer to the surface than others, and one woman even said, it’s not a gift, we all have it. You have to train, you there’s procedures, and there’s plenty of cautionary tales with that as well.
Gabriel Castillo: Right.
Johnny Burke: You mentioned something called a heroic dose; what exactly is that?
Gabriel Castillo: well, the heroic dose is the dose that you would essentially need that is that five-gram threshold or more. That is what gives you your spiritual experience, especially with the mushroom. That’s where you’re going to, experience ego death, you’re going to. what it feels like to experience just consciousness. or maybe if you’re in the right space, you can hear the voice that speaks through and it can answer your questions as you ask it, and it will go as deep as you’re willing to ask. That could be your higher self, whatever you want to call it, but that’s what I help individuals to do, is to develop a relationship with that to help to nurture that wisdom and pull it into their day-to-day, because then they become a knower. There’s no more seeking. There’s no more middleman. They have the answers. They can tune in. They can find out, why am I not healing this way? Well, you got to start eating this, you’re still doing this, you’re doing this, you’re doing this. And if you can listen and meet it again, it takes you further and further and further. And maybe that’s just yourself doing a process of self-mastery on yourself because only you know what’s wrong with you. So this is where it transcends talk therapy. It’s not human. No human can heal you better than you. You know, your deepest and darkest secrets and going into yourself is the only way to transcend it.
Johnny Burke: So the answers are within?
Gabriel Castillo: Absolutely everything.
Johnny Burke: It sounds to me that the psychedelics, the plant medicine can expand consciousness.
Gabriel Castillo: I think expanding consciousness is a gimmick. I think our consciousness just is, and you become aware of it, and once you become aware of it, it just is everything. And then you’re naturally, you can call it expanded consciousness, but all consciousness is everything. That’s why we’re literally decoding it in the mind. The eye is breaking it all down. All of this, because we are that consciousness. It’s just we’re a little fraction of it
Johnny Burke: So in other words, it opens up a proverbial door, number three, where you think, oh, I’ve had this the whole time.
Gabriel Castillo: Right.
Johnny Burke: Okay.
Gabriel Castillo: You become a vehicle to something else to speak through, and then you can literally get your ego out of the way where you become on a mission, life becomes this mission instead of just something you experience. Hmm. So it’s very intentional.
Johnny Burke: Well, a mission seems to imply what we’re here for to begin with. When we start talking about soul contracts and agreements that we made before we even got here, is that something that you have some insight into, or is that neither here nor there.
Gabriel Castillo: I’ve had deep ancestral, journeys, but it’s very here and now. So if there’s anything, that was in a past life, it’s going to reflect itself here, and if I can figure it out here, then it’s going to be fixed in the past life. It’s not like I have to go to the past life to fix it. How difficult is that? You’re going to have to go through a past life, meditation to fix something when you’re here right now, and you can fix it in this space, and it ripples in time in all. It’s not very esoteric. It sounds like. It is. And that’s the beauty of it. It’s so practical, but it connects you. the deepest woo- woo, and you’re able to use it in the here and now. Oh, it’s beautiful.
Johnny Burke: Are there certain experiences that allow you to pierce the veil and actually go into experience another dimension?
Gabriel Castillo: Mm-hmm.
Johnny Burke: So it sounds a little bit like shamanism.
Gabriel Castillo: You’re, correct. It is Shamanism. It’s directly Shamanism. Oh yeah.
Johnny Burke: So in, other words, psychedelics are not just similar to shamanism, it is shamanism?
Gabriel Castillo: Correct. The proper way to approach psychedelics. Yeah. Cuz then you approach it with intention, and you leave yourself open to not decipher the messages yourself. You just get the messages and just listen to what they are instead of oh, this is what the message was and now let me try to figure out what that means for me. Now you’re making it messy again. You’re in the way again. And that’s just going to keep the same cycle turning and turning and turning. Just get out of the way. There might be higher powers at work here.
Johnny Burke: And since we’re on that subject, higher powers, this comes up in mediumship, smokes crying tea leaves, tarot. When you say messages, is that coming from spirit guides or are they not easily identified where the messages come from?
Gabriel Castillo: Okay, now we’re going into deep, complex stuff, the mushroom is what it connected me with. It’s very out of this world. It was very extraterrestrial, interdimensional maybe. it taught me that to connect out there, it’s the same as going deep in here. So if you want to connect, you have to go deep within as above, so below. It’s, it’s so basic. So all of this that I’m speaking, all these messages that I’m sharing, it’s not coming from me. It’s coming from whatever I am allowed to co-create with, and I nurture that relationship and it’s been dropped into my day-to-day. So now as we speak, I’m speaking from that consciousness. It’s not Gabriel. Gabriel has nothing to do with this. He wasn’t clever enough and, and, and aware enough to even be here.
Johnny Burke: That’s debatable, but yeah, I get what you’re saying. That’s very cool. so it sounds like you are a receiver and transmitter at the same time
Gabriel Castillo: Mm. Mm-hmm.
Johnny Burke: Now we’re getting somewhere. I like that. And when I say that, I mean all of us – all of us I think are trying to tune in and try to figure out what is it, what’s the answer? What are these people talking about? Are they just trying to sell a product or make money or are they talking about a real experience? Whenever I hear the word “messages”, I’m told that, shamans, a lot of these people will get the messages from spirit guides, and or certain ancestors that come through. what I think is a little confusing for some of us is, how is that different from a mediumship reading? Do you have any experience with that?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah. Working with the mushroom it taught shamanism, but in its basic form, it really taught me how to release all dogma, all my ideas of spirit, all my ideas of connection, of ancestors, of everything. It wanted me to approach it like a blank slate, and then it showed me the truth because I was blank. It showed me what it had to show me. And from there a deeper shamanism came through where there’s no medium barrier. There’s no visuals of spirit guides or anything of that nature. It is just a direct drop in the mind. It’s very telepathic. Your intuition knows when it’s coming from that, and then you just follow and when you follow, it just is. So then that’s why I speak in that way of having nothing to do with it. All I’m doing is meeting it halfway. All I’m doing is listening and it just unfolds and it’s showing itself.
Johnny Burke: Let’s talk about some of the myths, misconceptions, and maybe even dangers. I’m sure there’s some things we have to be wary of. Let’s start with the myths first. What are, what are some of the common myths about, mushrooms? I hear people talking about magic mushrooms. Do these people just want to get high or are they, seekers? Are they looking for something? Transcendence, some type of experience?
Gabriel Castillo: now individuals are right when they approach it with intention, but a lot of recreational now, they’re still just experiencing what it is. I think that there’s still a place for that because the mushroom is going to do its work. It works from the inside out and seeds are planted whether we know it or not. But I do believe that, yeah, you have to be careful. First of all, mushrooms aren’t going to make you go crazy, they’re not going to keep you in the same state of mind as you were when you were experiencing your trip. Some people get into their journey, and they feel like, man, am I going to be like this forever? No, it naturally fades off. But before you approach something heavily, you should do it right and you should do it right the first time.
Make sure you have your practices set like, breath work, meditation, stuff like that, that’s going to help you be more prepared for whatever you run into during your journey because psychedelics like to test your mind. There’s been some crazy stories of people doing some crazy stuff on psychedelics. It’s because they were in no place to be doing this medicine. Right. Their mindset was not in the right place. They had a very fragile, probably psyche. It can go south very quickly. So you must know who you are. If you know you have a powerful mind, then you know what you can approach. If there’s an inner calling that’s drawing you to it and you’re interested, then there’s a reason why. Just trust your intuition.
As far as contraindications with the mushroom, I find the deepest experiences and for people to hear the voice and to get this download and to nurture the relationship like I’m speaking of, being off of antidepressants and these chemical pharmaceuticals, that would really benefit. If not, your journey’s going to be about telling you what you need to hear. and you experience what you need to experience so you can heal those traumas that led to the fact that you need to take that antidepressant pill in the first place, or you need to take that Adderall. It kind of helps you detach from the need to keep taking those medicines and then that starts your journey to nurture that relationship and to go deeper and deeper into it until it just breaks open.
That’s the point. I don’t want people to keep coming back to me for another journey and another journey. I’m here to help you learn how to do this Because once you experience it, there is such thing as micro-dosing, and that’s a big fad now. But the proper way to do it is to use it with intention and to build this relationship. Then you start to learn the power, the magic of intention, and you start to see how your intentions are answered after your journeys. So then you start to see, wow, okay, I need to grow my own medicine because how do I trust this individual who I’m getting it from? Their intention may just be to make money instead of to grow something beautiful for a ceremony and to awaken with it, So intention matters where you get the medicine from, it matters. And this is stuff that goes over the head, but it’s very important.
Johnny Burke: I’ve been warned that there’s certain facilitators, maybe these people don’t really qualify for that description, but anyway, certain places, camps or whatever that they can go where it might not be in their best interest. So what would you tell.
Gabriel Castillo: . So I would tell them to follow their intuition, do their research If they had any questions, they could reach out to our website if they wanted to. And I could always answer questions for them and lead them to a path that might be more suitable for them. First, they need to figure out if they are interested in plant medicine, and which direction do they want to go? Do they want to go ayahuasca or are they really meant to work with the mushroom? I know everyone is, but like we’re here to find the ones that the mushroom speaks to so they can nurture that and so they can become creators like I am because we’re here to awaken the few that are going to awaken the masses. So that’s what the medicine shared with me.
Johnny Burke: So besides ayahuasca are there any other forms of plant medicine that we should be aware of?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah, you have Iboga, which is a plant medicine from Africa. You have Kratom, which is a legal plant medicine that’s already over the counters that people don’t really know about, but it’s a beautiful plant medicine when used with contention. Cannabis obviously is a classic psychedelic. So if one wants to approach psychedelics, but they’re scared that they don’t know what to expect, then that’s why we do cannabis journeys. We do psychedelic cannabis journeys where we can mix cannabis in a certain way, where it creates a very psilocybin-like effect. But the only difference is once you imbibe and partake, you’re not stuck in it. You can come out of it and be here again instead of being stuck in a journey. And there’s a bunch of animal medicines, so now you have Bufo, which is 5-MeO-DMT. You have Kambo, right? Cambo the frogs. Yeah. So there’s a bunch.
Johnny Burke: Yeah. Quite a few, lots of research to do. So anything else that our listeners should know?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah, I think the listeners just to know that they’re very powerful and that they can create whatever they want to create and there’s something deeper here at work. And if they’re in tune and if something calls them, listen to that and walk that path.
Johnny Burke: great stuff, man. really appreciate it. So Gabriel, thanks for coming on to the show. How can our listeners learn more about you online?
Gabriel Castillo: Yeah, absolutely. They can find me@ www.finallydetached.com. On Facebook at finally detached, or on YouTube at finally detached.