The Plant Medicine + The Muse is an interview series exploring the lives of creative visionaries + the medicine that inspires them, hosted by Emma Elizabeth of Matrix of Amara Healing. In this written interview, Jana explores themes such as sacred plant medicine, alternative perspectives on depression, the pain of losing a twin flame, healing grief through art and the creative process, chronic illness as an underworld initiation, walking the Earth Priestess Path and more!
Emma Elizabeth: What does Medicine mean to you? What does Muse mean to you?
Jana Carrey: △ From my experience these two archetypes of the Muse and the Medicine Woman, go hand in hand. They have certainly woven themselves together throughout my life, making it clear that one does not exist without the other. The Medicine informs the Muse and the Muse informs the Medicine, just like the infiniti loop flight pattern of a hummingbird’s wings, both continuously inform one another through an ongoing conversation.
We are in a time where a lot of people are waking up rapidly and one of the things we are waking up to is that the form of “medicine” that we’ve been sold as part of corporate consumer “waste” culture isn’t really true soul medicine. Classical “western medicine” has its place but where it largely misses the mark is how it denigrates, denies and represses the soul. From my perspective true medicine honors the Muse, the wild creativity of the soul, and so true medicine must also be creative. That is why creating from the heart and soul is so deeply healing.
Let me give a more specific example here using depression, one issue that really gets me fired up is anti-depression medication and how carelessly it is over-prescribed. Taking antidepressants has deeper repercussions than most drug companies and doctors will often allude to (I will spare you the graduate level research), such as coming off of antidepressants can lead to increased rates of suicidality and in some cases it makes a person’s depression worse.
The way I see it is, you can’t put a band-aid on a soul wound. Putting someone on a pill for depression may be a necessary short-term intervention to keep them safe but in the long run it tends to mask or ignore the deeper reason a person may be depressed. Over the years, I have studied and looked at depression from a number of lens and its complicated. There is no “one size fits all approach” to healing depression. Often it’s a wake up call from the soul, which is connected to the soul of the world, which is to say the soul of Gaia and every other living thing that lives on Gaia.
A person who is experiencing depression may also be impacted by a personal history of abuse or have inherited ancestral trauma. Perhaps they are in a period of necessary grieving or have physiological issues that also need tending to that are contributing to depression, such as parasites or a hormonal imbalance. I think going through periods of depression is a natural part of the waking up process - to becoming aware of some of the deeper issues that we are facing in this lifetime that really need tending to and then remembering that we have the power within to tend to them - issues such as systemic racism, rape culture and the sex trade, environmental destruction, as well as learning how to navigate our current technological era with less reactivity, narcissism and bullying and instead with more emotional intelligence, spiritual maturity, compassion, kindness.
I sense that many people are hungry for medicine that honors the true authenticity of the soul which is much deeper, wilder, intelligent and creative than what mass marketing and many forms of the media aim to sell us. This is part of why we are now going through a plant medicine zeitgeist. It’s part of this greater collective waking up process that is happening in waves within humanity. This is where the Muse comes in, the Muse is the soul sister and sacred ally of the Medicine Woman, because she is always coming up with creative “out of the box” divine feminine new paradigm solutions for deeper healing that benefits all beings. But first we need to let the Muse out of the boxes we have been keeping her in, we must be willing to humble ourselves and listen to her calling to us from from the heart-womb and to learn to trust her voice again as we honor her as the wise woman she is.
How has your relationship to both evolved throughout your life? Tell us a bit about your journey.
△ Ever since I was a little girl, I had a natural proclivity to both creativity and healing.
However, my relationship to the Medicine and the Muse really began in earnest for me when I was 19 and my younger brother, Chris, was 16. He was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. My parents tried everything from a western medical perspective to save him, from chemo to radiation to flying him to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas for rare experimental drug trials. A part of me, believed everything would be fine and that he would survive, after all, before he got sick he was a really strong and healthy 16-year-old boy. However, he didn’t make it. His bone cancer metastasized into lung cancer and he died 9-months after he was diagnosed.
The pain of losing him in this incredibly brutal way broke my heart into a million pieces. He was (and is) my starseed twin flame. Let me tell you, losing a twin flame is fiery initiation in it of itself. Chris’ death woke me the fuck up. Through that heartbreak, it allowed space for the sacred starseed rebel and divine feminine revolutionary that I am to re-enter into my conscious awareness. I remember amidst all my grief was some sacred rage. I was really angry for a really long time and it was really justified. At the time I was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, I was receiving this amazing education, but also waking up to all these lies that I got fed as part of social conditioning, waking up to all these shadowy, destructive sides of our current patriarchal paradigm including the darker sides of western medicine, higher education, corporate greed and the wastefulness of consumption culture, 9/11 and George W. going to war unnecessarily with Iraq, and so on and so forth.
At the time, I remember seeing a really bad psychologist to deal with my grief. At one point she told me I needed to stop crying so easily, I was a young woman dealing with some intense grief and feeling pretty alone in it and she told me to stop crying so easily? I think I stopped seeing her pretty soon after that or maybe it took a few more ignorant and emotionally unintelligent responses on her part before I was like, “Fuck that Bullshit.” However, I now see what a gift that experience was. For in all of that therapists shortcomings, she was basically handing me my power back on a silver platter. That is when I began to remember that the Muse and the Medicine Woman live within me as me. I began to channel a lot of my grief and rage into art, I learned firsthand that my own creative process can help me transcend anything that life was/is initiating me through. It can keep me sane in an insane world. I started to go through this bigger awakening (that is still continuing to this day) that true medicine is so much bigger and broader than the narrow confines of western medicine that I had been taught as a child. I learned that I can heal myself through my creativity and that embodied lesson has stayed with me for the rest of my life.
Where does the Muse + the Medicine intertwine in your life and in your work?
△ Practically everywhere. The boundary between the two for me has never been clearly defined, they have always been intertwined. I believe true healing is an art, just as art is truly healing. I always knew that part of my deeper soul’s calling was both in being a healer and an artist, as well as a teacher, an advocate and a sacred activist. I am now learning how to move through the world as an oracular and professional channel and its constantly growing me. Lets just say, the Muse and the Medicine has gotten a lot more multidimensional, over the last 6 years, really starting in around 2012, at the time of the Great Galactic Shift.
Ultimately, my life’s experiences are the raw material that I work from. I consider my life to be “the great work of art” and within that are so many smaller works of art that all feed and inform one another. Time and again, I witness how the Muse helps me find creative solutions for the deeper prayers in my heart, for humanity and for the earth in ways that I can never predict before I enter into her alchemical Creatrix cauldron. And in many ways I feel like I am just getting started. Her creations, the creative process itself and the containers she creates for others to embrace their own creative-healing-process is the Medicine.
Now, I have stepped into the role of being the Oracle for the Elven Starseed Council. The Elven Starseed Council (or “the El” as I like to call them) are mentoring me constantly about Elven Starseed Alchemy, which is my uniquely encoded soul’s medicine to offer this world. I am well aware that my own Higher Self is on the council. So not only do I have myself as a muse, I have this pretty badass unconditionally loving team of Ascended Masters, Archangels and Angelic Earth Magick Wisdom Keeper guardians who are all more than happy to serve in the role of my multidimensional mentors and muses, teaching in my real time as I step more deeply into serving as a mentor for others. It’s amazing and “the El” are on fire, which means they are pretty relentless at throwing the spiritual initiations my way - usually in these really intense but backwards and hilarious ways - so there’s no way my ego can intervene or outsmart them. The Muse is always driving me forward, she’s always hungry for more creativity, more healing, more life! Her and I, we have to go into serious negotiation about getting down time these days. But we can’t stop creating for too long, because then she gets depressed, which is just a signal to me that there is so much that we are here to create.
Have you worked with the shadow, uncomfortable, liminal and “unseen” aspects of being a keeper of Medicine? Would you share what you’ve harvested from these experiences?
△ Yes, I think I have already touched on this in a number of my answers. I don’t know if we ever “graduate” out of tending to the shadow. I am always learning from how the Muse meets me in those dark shadowy places. I am sometimes afraid of the dark, but she has never been. She’s like, “GAME ON SISTAR! Let’s go throw a party in the darkness! Boom! Watch me dance in my sassy sparkle pants as I paint with light down here in a way that will put any 90’s Raver to shame!” So basically, when I allow myself to slow down and enter into the wild messiness of the wound, its the place where I learn to source some of my deepest creative inspiration and it's also where I find my soul’s uniquely encoded medicine. I believe this is true for everyone. When we enter the wound we are given the opportunity to remember that we are all alchemists and can turn our raw life materials into creative and spiritual “gold.”
For about eight years, I primarily identified as an artist and a professional photographer. Back in 2012, I made the decision to follow my heart’s calling to step out of “the Spiritual Closet” and to begin my training in earnest as a healer, a teacher, an Earth Priestess, a medicine woman. The Divine Mother was like, “Ok, you wanna walk this path of being a divine feminine revolutionary in a more embodied way? You think you are ready to build this Starseed temple here on Earth? AWOMAN! But first my child, I’ve got news for you, we have WORK to do. You are years away from installing the stained glass windows, because darling you’ve got rats in the basement, so we need to tear the whole house down and then we can begin building from the ground up, one glorious and painstaking brick at a time.”
Enter really dark shadowy period of underworld initiation. To make a long story, a little less long, I broke up with a man who I thought was “the one,” I withdrew from the expressive arts therapy program, I left my community of friends and peers in San Francisco, I moved back in with my parents and I crashed into this weird mysterious autoimmune-chronic fatigue type illness that lasted for years. Kali the Destroyer was going Spiritual Gangbusters style on my life. Ultimately, I had opened Pandora’s Box. I was smacked in the face because part of my inferior ego believed this really low self worth and ungrounded myth that I didn’t have any earthly needs and that I could do this all on my own. TALK about a deeply humbling faith walk that often felt like I was moving through the spiritual fire of transformation, over and over and over again. Getting sick forced me to slow down and learn how to better care for myself and my body. I had to learn how to create self-loving boundaries, how to ask and receive help, how to say No and mean it. Basically, following the voice of my heart had began this deeper initiation of tending to so many soul wounds and finding all these hidden gifts, tucked into the shadowy recesses of my psyche, gifts like being a multidimensional psychic channel who communes with Ascended Masters, Archangels and Starseeded Elven Earth Magick Guardians.
The Muse calls to everyone in a unique way- How do you court the Muse? What are some practices that you have used to develop this relationship?
△ I actually think the Muse - I like to call her my inner Creatrix - is constantly courting me and the process for me has meant not repressing her, locking her away, hiding her in the closet for fear of my creative-sexual-electro-ecstatic-primal life force energy being too loud, too big, too weird, too wild. Truly so much of the Muse lies in the Mystery. She’s Multidimensional. She’s Pure Magick. She opens doors inside of me that I never knew were there. She’s not really knowable fully in any one moment. And of course she’s terrifying to the control freak, perfectionist, Type-A parts of myself. I am always learning how to better love her (I mean I have always been madly in love her, why not fight it, right?) but this is such an ongoing process. I am still not “there” yet, wherever there is. I still fight her as she loves me and then I give in and we go make things and everybody’s happy. Then the next day, we get to do it all over again.
One book that changed my life in terms of tending to the muse was when I discovered The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It’s a book that centers on creative recovery, basically it’s like a version of “the bible” or a 12-step program for creatives. I had this huge A-HA when I discovered that book and I as I walked myself through the process, as I remembered that my spirituality is my creativity and my creativity is my spirituality and that the two are not meant to be separate. I even walked students and clients through The Artist’s Way process for a few years. I still use some of the tools I discovered in that book to this day, ultimately they are really important self care tools for ensuring your creativity keeps flowing.
The Muse works hard, she needs nourishment! She needs to be fed constantly. Joy and pleasure and play and fun are the primary foods of the creatrix. You can’t have a life of sustainable creativity if you starve her. An anorexic muse is a dying muse. And ultimately that serves no one. For me the Muse requires me to get in my body and out of my head. That is where some of my best ideas come from, when I let go and let myself play. Embodiment is key to creativity. We don’t just create with the minds but with all of our bodies and all of our senses. She loves when my prayer is my play and my play is my prayer. She re-sources herself in so many right-brain ways from spending time in nature, in dancing, in staring at the clouds, soaking in water, being a goofball with friends, on road trips and by adventuring to new places - just to name a few.
What are your thoughts on the symbiosis between being of service to the Medicine/the Muse and being of service to the greater healing of Gaia?
△ Recently I have begun to remember, that in addition to being an oracle for the Elven Starseed Council, that ultimately I am a channel for the Divine Mother and within that a channel for Mother Earth (Gaia). Mama Gaia’s healing and ascension is bound up in ours and visa-versa, just like infinity loop symbol I talked about before. Our bodies are microcosms of her body. As we heal her, we heal ourselves. As we detoxify and bless our bodies, we detoxify and bless her body. As we heal ourselves, we heal her.
I think and pray a lot about environmental destruction and what to do about it individually and as a collective. Every time I go out into nature for a hike or to make a wildflower essence and I see trash laying on the ground or when I watch Blue Planet and learn more about the plastic island that is growing in the ocean or last year where everywhere I was living or traveling to in California was hit by wildfires due to climate change. It feels like it’s always in my face. I know there is more I can do to continue to lead my life in a more sustainable fashion too. I keep praying for how I can do better and to lead by example and do it in a way that also is playful and joyous.
Lastly, the Elven Starseed Council have so much they want to teach me about Earth Magick, so much they tell me that I’ve already learned in other lifetimes when I walked the Earth as an Elven Lemurian Priestess or lifetimes I’ve spent mastering energy healing technologies on other star systems and it is up to me to remember how multidimensional I truly am. I’ve begun the process of having the courage to surrender to what they are telling me and to take what they are teaching me and then weaving it into the structure of all my trainings to create coherent and relevant offerings to serve others during this time of greater awakening. I just pray that we all wake up in time to our responsibility as stewards (not consumers) of the Earth, before we destroy Gaia, the home and mother that we all share.
Are you working on any current projects or offerings that excite you fully? This can be personal or professional, tell us what has your inspiration flowing!
△ The new Jana Carrey Healing website is launching on Monday June 4th. I have spent time over the past year creating, refining and redefining my sacred services - which has been an ongoing iterative process through working with many clients. I am really excited to birth this website into the world!
△ I am also in the process of creating a new Divine Feminine Alchemy mentorship as well as an online class on channeling and being an intuitive guide in a grounded, practical and coherent way, both will be coming soon, hopefully later this summer.
△ I am continue to develop the Elven Starseed Apothecary line of flower, plant and crystal gem essences, that have multidimensional healing capacities. Everyday I am mentoring with the Elven Starseed Council about what Elven Starseed Alchemy truly is and how to bring it through into the world in a way that is relevant and useful to those I serve.