Nick Sandberg, 2001

Holistic science has been around for a long time and is rooted in Buddhist and Hindu scientific beliefs in the East, and Judaeo-Christian esotericism in the West. And whilst many of its principles are not currently taken very seriously by scientists, it still has plenty of proponents within the mainstream. Furthermore, its ideas may be useful at a symbolic level, better helping one comprehend routes to healing.

A core principle of holistic science is the idea that our physical body is merely one of a series of bodies which exist, laid one on top of the other, as a series of ‘frequency envelopes’. An easy to visualise model being – four similar bodies aligned above one another and named, lower to upper, physical, emotional (or astral), mental and spiritual. The seat of our conscious awareness typically resides in the physical and the level to which we can access the spiritual aspects of our being is principally regulated by the emotional body. Energy passes from one body to those around it via the ‘chakras’, vortices which act like transformers and thus facilitate this movement of energy throughout the overall system. In the physical body, the seven principal chakras are believed to correspond roughly to the seven components of the endocrine system.

The emotional body can be modelled in the mind as a cellular membrane in a relative state of cleanliness or uncleanliness. What generally causes the emotional body to become unclean is the influence of conditioning or trauma, usually from the first years of our lives and including womb and birth trauma. The presence of any degree of conditioning or trauma therefore can be seen as acting as a block to us developing the more spiritual aspects of our nature.

Ibogaine users familiar with holistic science have frequently mentioned that it appears to operate directly on the emotional body, temporarily clearing it of all the accumulated traumatic pollutants, and leaving one feeling spiritually recharged.
It is for this reason that ibogaine, or its natural source, iboga rootbark, is frequently sought out for self-development purposes by those interested in enhancing their intrinsic spirituality.

Aside from working on the emotional body, ibogaine can also considerably stimulate the pineal, or ‘third eye’ chakra. This is particularly likely with repeat usage. If this centre is not ‘grounded’ post ibogaine it may lead to the individual developing, amongst other traits, delusional thinking and extreme stubbornness. This is a likely reason why many members of the Bwiti religion are notoriously tetchy and utterly dogmatic in their beliefs. Some form of grounding practice, such as reiki or breathwork, may be worth considering for frequent ibogaine users.

In addition, the taking of ibogaine can also activate the ‘awakening of kundalini’ in persons whom this function is being repressed. The awakening of kundalini is a Hindu concept traditionally represented as the ‘serpent power’ rising from its resting place in the base chakra and travelling up the subtle energy channel in the spine until it reaches the seventh and highest chakra at the top of the head. Kundalini is believed by Eastern scholars to be the ‘evolutionary energy in Man’ and its awakening is treated with respect for it is a powerful force that has been known to kill a person not physically and mentally prepared for the experience. Persons interested in this area are recommended to the books of Stanislav Grof and Gopi Krishna.

And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire; and he had in his hand a little book open; and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth; and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write; and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, ‘Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.’ And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, ‘Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.’ And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, ‘Give me the little book.’ And he said unto me, ‘Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.’ And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
And he said unto me, ‘Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.’
 – Revelations 10, 1-11

The angel referred to in both the passage of text and the Tarot card is the archangel, Michael. Michael is a central figure in the Bwiti religion. He is regarded as the ‘brother of Christ’. According to Bwiti folklore, prior to incarnating on Earth, Jesus and Michael were required by God to select one of two tasks to be undertaken whilst they were in the earthly domain. Jesus chose to take the Bible to the white man. Michael elected to take the iboga root to the black man.

In the card, Michael is seen pouring water on a fire symbol, Leo, and fire on a water symbol, Scorpio. This act of temperance, the uniting of opposites, can refer symbolically to the making conscious of what is subconscious. And may thus be considered as symbolic of the action of iboga.

By Dev