Of the 1305 odd Wattle species (also called Acacias), 1000 are native to Australia. The 'Golden Wattle' is the official national botanical emblem, and it's 'Green & Gold' hues are responsible for the – let's say aesthetically challenging – colour combination of the Australian national sporting team outfits.Of course, when the Australian government picked the Golden Wattle (Acacia Pycnantha) back in 1988, they didn't know that all Acacias contain some levels of DMT (Dimethyltryptamine), a powerful hallucinogenic commonly associated with ayahuasca. A totally serious proposal to amend the federal Criminal Code Act in 2011 to make the national floral emblem illegal to grow in Australia was dropped due to “matters of practicality”, since the trees literally grow everywhere. Oh the circus of bureaucracy.
The actual levels of DMT vary from species to species, it can collect in the leaves, the blossoms, bark, or wood. The ash from the Mulga tree (Acacia Aneura) was mixed with native tobacco by Australian indigenous people to make Pituri – a stimulating or calming (depending on composition and usage) chewing wad.
In these ancient tribes, wisdom got passed on in spoken words, stories told in rituals to initiated people only, people deemed worthy. Like in all 'new-world' countries, great damage has been done by ignorant, greedy settlers, and so much intrinsic, spiritually charged knowledge has been lost that I believe can never ever be replaced by scientific research or lab-tested proof.
Christo and I never feel we 'own' our property in Kangaroo Valley, but rather are guardians of this beautiful piece of land that has so much to tell, so much to teach, so much to give. Maybe we're not so different from our ancestors after all, because we too can learn to listen to Nature, and dance with the spirits of the land.