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Pathways to Essence is a day long/overnight experience guided by Rev. Sarah Shepley in her studio, Temenos, on Halls Pond Road in South Paris, Me. (Temenos is a Greek word and is a place dedicated as a sanctuary for connecting with that which is sacred).

The journey begins weeks prior with a 90 minute session using both, or either astrological symbolism and/or concepts from *Family Constellation work. The themes that arise from the session are often explored and cleared on a  deeper level with the medicine. 

This session is an important lead up to the day-long journey as it can provide a wide lens of intention and support for the work. (If you are interested in including astrology, please provide date, time, and place of birth).

Individuals are invited to bring their insights to the day of the journey along with an altar item and a clear intention. 

The day of, we meet at 10:00 am to discuss intentions and what to expect. Music is played and an invocation is read while client relaxes and ingests the medicine (currently psilocybin/indica CBD tincture in a tea or synergistic super-food edible). Laying on a mattress with eye covering and music, Sarah holds space for the next few hours while the client and the medicine collaborate together. Support is offered in a “hands off” way – meaning the relationship between client and medicine is primary; The facilitator (Sarah) observes and nurtures with distance so not to interfere with the process,  unless asked or needed. 

After the session, a slow coming back is supported by light snacks, water and connection as well as ritual of remembering. Clients are encouraged to spend a bit of time alone, writing in their journals, drawing or simply being in sacred solitude as their body/mind/spirt slowly come back. A light, nutritious meal is offered in the evening and clients are encouraged to spend the night in the studio apartment. There is also an option to wander the gardens or walk around beautiful Halls Pond.


The following day culminates with an hour-plus integration session, discussing insights and observations and what the medicine revealed. It follows a similar arc of prayer, process and closing. Afterward, clients are free to leave or spend a few more hours integrating. There are many trails around the pond and plenty of calm natural environments and gardens from
which to allow the land to soothe.

The cost for two 1.5 hour pre- and post-integration sessions, including a six hour journey time is $2000.00 due upon booking your experience.


*In 2020 , Sarah completed a 3 year training in leading individuals through a generational “family systems” process whereby clients mine the patterns and relationships in their ancestral field in order to clear entanglements and release what no longer serves.


Pathways to Essence

Overnight including pre & post session


The spirit of the plant puts people in touch with repressed pain and trauma as well as deeper truths and spacious insights. This is both personal, family, intergenerational and collective. These can be experiences we have carried for ancestors over many lifetimes and are stored in our cellular memory and tissues. We can be reminded of our gifts and deeper essence. The medicine gives us the opportunity to not only access these places, but also to reclaim and remember lost and repressed parts of ourselves and our experiences through the physical and psychic release of such memories. Our wholeness depends, in part, on reconnecting to these lost and unconscious memories. The pain/fear/discomfort that may arise is merely showing us what is still in the system wanting integration. Many times, clients simply experience a gentle and benevolent teaching from the medicine, but we never know .


Trauma wires us to escape emotional pain and rely on short-term solutions to alleviate such discomfort. The journey invites us deeper into what we are carrying so we may feel it and, through self-awareness and integration, release it. “Plant medicine can create deep insights and openings to the psyche and may allow people to re-experience inner qualities we have lost connection to , such as wholeness, trust, love and a sense of possibility”.


Having a deep experience of your true self can be tremendously healing , the realizations “shown” in the journey go deeper than the ordinary consciousness permits, thus releasing stored energetic blocks and freeing up the system. “There are no “bad” experiences; there are only experiences whose meaning we have not yet divined and haven’t had the guidance to understand and integrate into our life”.


The medicine journey is a journey that ripens over time and is not to be fully understood with the mind alone. The medicine does not fix our issues, but collaborates with us. The medicine ”shows us” something which invites us to do the work in the human world . Through this collaborative process, the body is being re-wired and energetically cleansed . We shift at a very deep level , so words don’t always carry the wisdom to truly articulate what is happening . The body knows and will respond in time with adequate rest, nutrition, hydration as well as supportive friends and being in healing spaces, nature, etc.


The purpose of listing the items below is so that you may prepare for the ceremonial journey that you are agreeing to embark upon. This journey is sacred and serious in nature, and you’re invited to bring to it the clearest intention possible to receive the most benefit. Each item has its own priority with none better or less than the other. Take each one for what it means to you and follow it according to your inner wisdom.


Absolutely no psychiatric medications, antibiotics or antihistamines are to be taken before or for the duration of the Circle. If you are taking any medication for psychological reasons, please let me know beforehand ( example : most antidepressants interfere with the potency of the medicine, so clients will not receive the same “teaching”). 

Complete any course of antibiotics and antihistamines 3 days prior to the journey. 

Eat nutritiously during the days prior to the experience . During the week prior to the journey , reduce or perhaps omit the 
amount of heavy, spicy, sugary, and fatty foods along with red meat, sugar. 

Take vitamins and supplements before and during the retreat as usual. 

When bathing or showering, prepare yourself by honoring the element of Water and its ability to assist you in letting 
go of former ways of being and making ready for acceptance of the new. The modalities are dehydrating, be sure to 
drink plenty of water.

Consider abstaining from sexual activity with another or yourself for 3 days prior to the journey. 

Continue to allow your intention to emerge about what you wish to learn about yourself or to be shown during the 
journey. The most important preparation is becoming clear about your intentions or questions. Set aside an altar in your home space for intentions and objects that remind you of what it is you are letting go and calling in.

Make sure the days leading up are restful and soothing. Enjoy plenty of rest, moderate exercise, good and nutrition. Avoid too much media /computer usage as it can irritate the nervous system. Allow time to reflect and hold your intention.

Try to set up body work a few days a week after your session, so your body can receive support in integrating the journey. Moderate exercise and definitely time in nature; generally speaking being in nature is the most natural and healing environment there is for integration. 

Receiving emotional support is wonderful AND sharing what happened can be challenging especially to some one who has never been on such a journey. The insights are deep and can’t always be tracked and apprehended by just anyone. Choose your support wisely. 

• The day of: eat a nutritious, lean breakfast (no meat and /or little dairy) making sure you eat no later than 2 hours before the journey begins.


• Comfortable clothes to journey in ( if you have a favorite pillow or blanket, though plenty are provided).
• A small personal object for our ceremonial altar to symbolize your intention for the journey. 
• Water bottle 
• Photos of yourself at different ages, of your family and loved ones to have alongside you. 
• A journal for any processing you may want to do 
• Something to eat for breakfast (there will be coffee & tea available and some fruit) 
• Set and setting are important before, during  and after your ceremony. Be mindful of nurturing yourself in all 3 stages. 



…..and continues to unfold as time moves forward. It can be weeks or months before certain parts of the journey begin to integrate. Set and setting after the journey is very important and involves, bodywork, therapy, rest, hydration, calm and safe environment with supportive loved ones.  


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