🫠 Psychonaut POV

[5-min read] Q&A with Chor Boogie, Ordained Healer & Artist

Welcome to Tricycle Day. If your ancestors had had the internet, they would’ve read and shared our newsletter every week. So honor your lineage, yeah? 🙏

⌛️ Last call: Growing your own medicine has never been easier, now that Mushroom Magician is here.

For the next 24 hours, you can still take advantage of our launch deal. Sign up today to get instant, lifetime access to the course and your Starter Kit shipped free.

Use code HARVEST for $30 off. 👈 (Coupon expires Monday.)

Chor Boogie made the pilgrimage to Africa after Iboga showed him his bloodline traced back to Gabon. A decade of apprenticeship later, he became one of the first Westerners to be ordained a Nima—the Bwitis' highest level of spiritual healer.

We asked Chor what’s involved in a Bwiti initiation with Iboga, what he’s learned from visionary encounters with his ancestors, and how he’d prevent the looming threat of Iboga extinction.

Discovery Sessions 2024

Trust us. You’ve never been to a conference like this.

Next month, the Bay Area’s most FOMO-inducing underground psychedelics gathering is back for its third year.

Ofc, Discovery Sessions 2024 will bring the heat on the core tracks—science, policy, entrepreneurship, and culture.

But they’ve also got some unforgettable moments planned, like a real-time EEG of the brain on psychedelics, a live podcast with Hamilton Morris, and more surprises.

A limited number of discounted tickets is available just for the Cyclist family. (Then, prices go up on April 1.)

Chor Boogie Psychonaut POV
Tell us about your experience being initiated by the Bwiti. What led to that moment, and what was involved in your ordination?

When I had my first Iboga experience about a decade ago, I sensed my ancestors guiding me back to the medicine and my natural bloodline tradition. The calling was so strong that my partner Elizabeth and I knew we had to travel to Africa for our initiation. The trip wasn’t just for the Bwiti rites of passage, though; we also got married in Gabon. It was our way of fully embracing the tradition into our lives.

The initiation process itself was intense and deeply personal. For me, the masters administered a large dose of Iboga. It wasn't the dry root bark known in the West but a fresh, juicy version, consumed both as chewable bark and a potent tea. The ceremony was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I blasted off into the cosmos and saw the creation of life unfold before me, whether my eyes were open or closed. The dancing, singing, and communal energy all felt like fuel for the incredible voyage.

I originally sought out Iboga to heal my addiction, but the message I got was loud and clear. This sacred medicine was in my bloodline, and it was calling me to reconnect with the Babongo people, the keepers of this ancient wisdom. My initiation into the Bwiti marked the beginning of an ongoing relationship with this rich culture and its teachings.

Besides Iboga, can you share some of the Bwiti spiritual traditions or practices that resonate with you most?

In the Missoko Assenguidia Bwiti tradition, Iboga is important, but it’s just one of many plants that support our spiritual work, healing, and protection. This specific branch of Bwiti recognizes that every plant has its own unique roles and powers. Plants are the original medicines, honed and perfected by nature over eons.

In many ways, our practices revolve around protection. You have to understand that the spirit world, while beautiful, contains both light and darkness. Navigating this realm requires vigilance. Otherwise, negative entities can cross over and affect the individual going through the experience. Our approach ensures no one faces these profound journeys alone. Without our protection rituals, unseen harm can occur when doors to the spirit realm are opened.

Our protective practices include songs, dances, and the use of spiritual tools carried inside a life basket—a physical arsenal of items used to fend off spiritual threats. We also wear ceremonial regalia. It’s not about aesthetics; everything we do is to fortify the individual and the collective against any entities that might wish to cause harm.

We also help guide people to confront and remove dark influences directly. Everyone has to play an active role in their own healing; sometimes that means extracting demons from their psyches. We leverage the mind’s connection to the spirit world through the third eye to facilitate a deep mind-body-soul healing. Iboga is powerful medicine, but it alone can’t create these transformative experiences. It’s the spiritual practices surrounding the plant that purify and protect the people in these sacred spaces.

What have been the most profound insights or transformations you've experienced from working with Iboga?

Of all my profound experiences working with Iboga, the guidance I’ve received from my ancestors stands out the most. A particularly memorable encounter was with an ancestor called Great Grandmaster Dumba. He came through in what I call the “cosmic brain vomit,” where you get this plethora of nonsense coursing through your mind, but something becomes clear in the noise. He appeared and presented me with a black gemstone, which I placed in my body. I saw it as a spiritual transmission. He was entrusting me to carry forward the tradition.

I’ve had a few of these encounters, and they’ve each been milestones along my path in the Bwiti tradition. From receiving a golden heart from one ancestor to being bestowed a Punu mask by a Bwiti Nganga woman, each gift signified my ascension within the ranks, culminating in my ordination as a Nima—a high-level healer. It took me around ten years to get to that point. They needed a Nima from the West to guide other westerners to the tradition.

Should we be concerned about sustainability? What are the biggest challenges around Iboga conservation today, and how are they being addressed?

Of course, we should conserve the most important resources in life that can bring profound healing to humanity. Within Bwiti communities, however, the concern isn't necessarily about running out of Iboga. They’ve safeguarded their resources and knowledge of the plant for generations. The real threat is from external pressures, like poaching and illegal harvesting from the outside world. It’s probably true that there won't be enough Iboga to meet global demand if these activities continue and Iboga becomes as sought-after as Ayahuasca.

To address these challenges, we need to cultivate a deeper respect for the traditions that have maintained this sacred plant. Preservation needs to be based on reciprocity. Especially in the West, where the medical model is the dominant system, people need to respect that these plants and their wisdom keepers are the first doctors, the first scientists. You have to give back to the foundation.

My goal, and what we’re working on with SoulCentro, is to build bridges from here to Gabon. I want to turn Gabon into a vast Iboga plantation, so that we can make a greater impact on the world. That’s how strong this medicine is. It’s not about exploitation or extraction but creating a sustainable, respectful way to increase the plant's availability worldwide. Gabon would become a global epicenter for mental, physical, and spiritual healing.

The elders within the Bwiti tradition are open to sharing Iboga's healing powers more broadly. The problem is that global powers don’t want to see Africa assume such an influential role. It’s a shame. Elevating African wisdom would lead to positive, transformative changes not just for Africa but for the entire world. Changes are going to come. We’re headed in the right direction.

In your view, who are the best candidates for Iboga? What should they consider before working with the medicine?

The best candidates are the ones who feel a calling to Iboga. They need to be ready to engage deeply with the healing process, and they need to practice discernment when selecting a healer. They have to ask: What is your spiritual lineage? What is your Bwiti name? What are your traditional roots to this medicine? Do you carry protections? Asking these questions is ultimately the best approach to finding the right container to sit in. Many places will promise you the world and tell you what you want to hear, but Iboga isn't about believing. It’s about knowing.

Anyone can potentially benefit from this medicine, but this medicine is not for everyone. Those who feel drawn to Iboga often feel a deep calling. Traditionally, they’re considered the chosen ones. That pull might mean there’s a connection or predisposition in their lineage that’s guiding them to a place of healing. However, readiness also requires a willingness to trust in the process and the medicine. It doesn’t make sense to come here and contest the medicine. Resistance only hinders the journey.

Want more from Chor?

Learn more about SoulCentro’s Bwiti-inspired retreats in Costa Rica, and join their mailing list to be invited to the scholarship application portal opening April 1.


That’s all for today, Cyclists! Whenever you’re ready, here’s how we can help you.

  • 📣 Put your brand in front of 45k psychedelic enthusiasts by sponsoring Tricycle Day. Book an ad.

  • 📈 Grow your psychedelic business with the help of our marketing agency. Apply to work with us.

  • 🧑‍🎓 Learn skills and get more from your trips with our online courses. Enroll today.

  • 😎 Style yourself out in our iconic merch. Collect a shirt.

  • ✍️ Need something else? Reply to this email. (We read every response.)

Feeling euphoric

So, how was your tricycle ride?

Let us know what you thought of this week’s newsletter.

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Forwarded this email? Subscribe here.

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. The use, possession, and distribution of psychedelic drugs are illegal in most countries and may result in criminal prosecution.

Join the conversation

or to participate.