Charlotte James: Psychedelic Explorer
Charlotte James has been a harm reductionist and psychedelic explorer for over 10 years, though her path through this work has certainly not been linear. After leaving harm reduction years ago because of rapid burn out, she is returning to this work with a new energy - thanks to the power of healing with sacred Earth medicines. Most recently, Charlotte co-created The Sabina Project, a Black-led psychedelic education, training and harm-reduction organization that is returning reverence to Sacred Earth Medicine and Ancestral Traditions. Charlotte is fascinated by communication, has a love of language, and is captivated by the power of human connection.
PP: How did you first discover plant-based medicine?
CJ: My dad is from Jamaica where they use a lot of plant-based medicine, both out of necessity, and tradition. My mom is a horticulturist so I think she was more open than most Americans to using natural remedies on me as a kid. So, it started early and at home.
PP: What is one of your key plant-based medicine rituals?
CJ: I try to do a rapé meditation at least twice a week. Rapé is sacred tobacco snuff from the Amazon region that I like to call the blank-slate-medicine. It is an incredibly powerful ally for meditation - it is super grounding, and can help calm even the busiest mind. It is also completely legal, which makes it a great sacred plant medicine to start working with, if you feel called.
PP: Do you have a cultural or ancestral connection to any plants?
CJ: Both of my parents have a strong connection to plants and my paternal grandmother was known for her green-thumb. I’m still discovering how deep that connection runs, which has been empowering. I think we all have an innate connection to the Earth somewhere in our collective lineage, the key is renewing that reverence and coming back into a symbiotic relationship with the land.
PP: What is the one plant/herb you can’t live without and why?
CJ: Cannabis. I’ve been using cannabis to navigate life since I was very young. I think I’m just now able to recognize all the benefits it has gifted me over the years, and how much my use of cannabis helped me shape the person I am today.
PP: Can you share your favorite self-care practice?
CJ: Dancing around my house, or flowing with my silk fans. I find movement to be super liberating. It helps me break my “need” for perfection, and feels like a direct connection to my ancestors.
PP: What is one organization you think people should know about and support?
CJ: The NYCPOC Healing Circle has organized a Mutual Aid Fund for Black Healers that you can donate to here.