Damiana reconnects us to the honest and simple intelligence of our bodies. It renews our trust in the sacred language of sensation and helps us to feel safe in the world once more. In a culture that asks us to operate almost entirely from our heads, it can feel unfamiliar and even a bit scary to bring our awareness downward into the deeper centers of knowing which exist within the body. But Damiana shows us that there is wisdom, pleasure, and many vital aspects of reality that cannot be accessed through thinking, but only through feeling.
I first fell in love with Damiana back in 2012. I was living alone in a tiny apartment in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Freshly out of herb school, I was concocting new potions daily and using myself to test their efficacy. In my experience, the best things in life are those which we do not expect, but which seem to find their way into our world unwittingly.
One night, I was sipping a Damiana Elixir I had made while laundering my clothes down the echoing hallway of my building, and reading by the window as I waited for them to dry. The Elixir I'd poured myself in a thimble-sized glass was nearly gone. I looked out at the cityscape beyond my window, listened to the cars rushing by below. As I did, I began, mindlessly, gently, stroking the side of my face. Shaken by the sudden rush of pleasure that moved through me, I found myself jolted out of daydreams and arrived firmly back in my body and in the moment. Had it always felt so good to caress myself? Every bit of me was paying attention now as I lightly dragged the tips of my fingers and back of my hand over my forearm and the nape of my neck. I luxuriated in the sense of wonder filling me at having discovered this newfound source of sensual pleasure. My perception felt powerfully altered as I explored with bemusement the sensations arising at my own touch. It was then that I remembered, looking down at my glass, about the magic and medicine of Damiana.