Shirly Visits Eleusinia

In this powerful podcast interview, we had the privilege of hearing the inspiring journey of Shirly, a 60-year-old hospice chaplain and hypnotherapist, who embarked on a transformative experience at Eleusinia. Shirly’s desire to explore the healing powers of psilocybin mushrooms led her to the retreat, where she experienced profound spiritual revelations, newfound connections, and relief from chronic back pain. Let’s delve into the highlights of Shirly’s remarkable story of self-discovery and healing.

The Year of Shirly

Shirly began her story by sharing her decision to celebrate her 60th year as the “Year of Shirly.” This personal declaration was the catalyst for her quest to experience the mystical properties of mushrooms, leading her to the Eleusinia retreat. After months of research and interviews with different vendors, Shirly found herself drawn to the Eleusinia website, where she sensed a strong connection. A subsequent interview with Jess solidified her decision to join the retreat. Her decision was motivated not only by a desire to explore the healing potential of mushrooms but also to deepen her spiritual practice and enhance her sense of connection to the world.

Seeking Relief and Spiritual Growth 

Motivated by chronic back pain stemming from a 40-year-old Army injury, Shirly sought potential relief and healing through the mushroom experience. She had tried various treatments, from acupuncture to traditional medicine, without finding a lasting solution. Additionally, as a hospice chaplain with a spiritual practice, she wanted to explore the depths of her spiritual connection further. Serving as a Buddhist hospice chaplain, she had completed a two-year program at the Upaya Zen Center, offering care and support to the dying and their families. The retreat at Eleusinia provided an opportunity to deepen her spiritual awareness and expand her sense of connection to the universe.

Embracing Vulnerability 

Accompanied by her husband, Ben, Shirly embarked on the retreat with an open heart and a willingness to embrace vulnerability. While Ben initially had doubts about attending, he decided to join Shirly in her journey. Despite his reservations and self-proclaimed lack of need for a transformative experience, Ben’s presence proved to be a valuable addition to Shirly’s journey. She consciously chose not to take responsibility for him, granting him the space to navigate the retreat in his way. This mutual understanding allowed both Shirly and Ben to explore their own paths, free from the pressure of external expectations.

A Profound Macro Dose

During the macrodose session, Shirly encountered a kaleidoscopic experience, followed by a profound spiritual journey. The psilocybin-induced effects allowed her to travel through time and space, connecting with various medicine women’s circles worldwide. In these visions, Shirly felt an overwhelming sense of belonging and connection as she was ordained into these sacred circles. The experiences were deeply emotional, allowing her to revisit her own history and find healing in the process.

Embracing the Goddess

 Shirly’s experiences with psilocybin opened her to a new understanding of the divine as a Goddess presence. During the retreat, she experienced a profound connection with Mother, a powerful and nurturing Goddess figure. This newfound connection provided her with an overwhelming feeling of love, care, and protection, transcending the boundaries of traditional religious beliefs. The sense of being enveloped by the Mother’s love allowed Shirly to fully embrace her role as a healer, feeling a deep sense of purpose and belonging within the cosmic web of women healers throughout time.

Letting Go of Self-Limiting Beliefs 

The retreat at Eleusinia provided a safe and supportive space for Shirly to confront and release self-limiting beliefs stemming from childhood trauma. With the guidance and care of the retreat facilitators, Shirly was encouraged to acknowledge and honor her experiences, no matter how insignificant they may have seemed at the time. This process of recognizing and healing past traumas led to a deeper sense of self-compassion and empowerment, allowing her to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose.

An Amplified Sense of Clarity

Following the retreat, Shirly experienced an amplified sense of clarity and vividness in her daily life. The psilocybin journey had rewired her brain in ways that allowed her to perceive the world with heightened awareness and presence. Even in her ordinary surroundings, she found herself deeply connected to the beauty and essence of nature. The trees, flowers, and even her own hands took on a new vibrancy that she had not previously experienced. This heightened clarity and awareness have already begun to positively impact her work as a hospice chaplain and hypnotherapist, allowing her to forge deeper connections with her clients and facilitating more profound healing experiences.

Integration and Future Practice 

Shirly expressed her intention to integrate the transformative experiences from the retreat into her work and personal life. The newfound connections and insights she gained through the journey will likely shape her approach as a healer, deepening her sense of purpose and connection to her clients. By embracing the wisdom and lessons from the retreat, Shirly can continue to nurture her spiritual growth and contribute to the well-being of those she serves.


Shirly’s journey at Eleusinia was nothing short of awe-inspiring. From experiencing the mystical realms of time and space to connecting with a divine Goddess presence, she gained profound insights into her own purpose and the healing power she carries within. Her newfound clarity and amplified awareness have already begun to positively impact her work as a hospice chaplain and hypnotherapist, fostering a deeper connection with her clients and allowing for more profound healing experiences. Shirly’s story serves as a powerful testament to the potentially transformative power of psilocybin and the profound healing it can bring to those who approach it with openness and intention. As she continues to integrate the lessons from the retreat into her life, Shirly is poised to embark on a new chapter of healing, spiritual growth, and self-discovery.

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