Astrologer Dr. Michael Lennox on plant medicine: spirituality, shame, and shifting narratives
Navigating the universe (both literally and figuratively) can be exhilarating and challenging at the same time—even more so if you’re one of the rare individuals blessed with the gift of communicating the cosmos’ messages to the masses.
Dr. Michael Lennox is one such seer of truth. As an astrologer, dream interpretation expert, and spiritual adviser, he spends his days channeling energy in a way most people would find more than mind-boggling.
Michael shares what he believes the stars have in store on his wildly popular social media accounts and weekly podcast. He also hosts private consultations and group Dream Circle sessions, shepherding people to dive deeper into their metaphysical psyches.
Like many others, I start my day by checking in with “Red Robe Astrology.” Donning a silky red robe and the perfect bedhead, Michael excitedly shares what’s in store for the day ahead based on the stars.
“Hey, kids!” he typically begins, breaking down the big moments of the day by the hour. The predictions often guide my flow; maybe I’ll wait to send that important email until after 2:42 p.m. when Mercury goes direct.
One would assume the selected title of “ambassador to conscious embodiment” would be incredibly exhausting. After all, how do you shut off the energetic faucet that Michael is seemingly tapped into?
Upon seeing a tiny pot garden pop up on the astrologer’s Instagram story, I thought to myself, “Perhaps the answer is plant medicine.”
Immediately intrigued, I sent a direct message requesting an interview. To my elation, the social media star agreed.
“When I’m on cannabis, I can quiet the sensations of my body all the way down to the needle in the groove,” Michael later told me over Zoom.
Speaking with Michael (he asked that I refer to him by his first name), I soon discovered the beloved author and life coach had a curious connection to cannabis—one with as many twists and turns as the galaxies. This experience was not so dissimilar from many people who have lived through prohibition and experienced many complicated yet compelling feelings concerning the plant.
Spiritual awakenings, sobriety, and shame
Michael is not afraid to admit that, like many, the cannabis plant was at one time associated with negativity. A self-described addict personality, he became sober at the age of 23.
By the time Michael reached his mid-30s, he began to experiment with casual consumption of alcohol and cannabis while working on his doctorate in psychology. The plant served as a coping mechanism for his self-deprecation, which Michael carried with him for years.
“In those days, my relationship specifically to cannabis was connected to the shame I had about not working ‘hard enough’ on my doctoral dissertation and then later on my first book,” Michael lamented. “I would want to have a productive day on the dissertation, bump into my own sort of ADHD distractibility, walk away from the work, and then use weed to numb the shame of not working.”
A few years later, Michael experienced a profound spiritual liberation. He found himself in an 18-month-long emotional “eclipse cycle” that radically altered his perception. The prolonged energetic “high” resulted in a deep depression that shifted his entire existence.
“2006 was the hardest year of my life,” he said, realizing that the bright light he had seen during his 18-month awakening highlighted the darkness of the shadows in his soul that needed cleansing.
“I would not have even known about the shadows had I not had that expansion and contraction,” Michael surmised.
An interesting experiment…
After ten years of introspective work (and abstention from his previous vices), Michael found himself again in a positive space. He wasn’t expecting to be called to cannabis in another transformative manner.
“My choice to come back to cannabis five years ago now was an interesting experiment,” he began, sharing the story of another awakening, inspired by several psychedelic journeys.
In 2016, a friend called and invited Michael to sit in ceremony. He found himself saying yes before knowing what he was getting himself into. Turns out it was a divine intervention from the universe. At that time, Michael believed himself healed—but he soon saw there was more work to do.
“I just felt compelled,” he remembered, landing at a 5-MeO-DMT retreat not long after.
The experience was life-altering, and Michael was soon on a two-year path that included several more retreats and ceremonies. By 2018, an integration period with a body worker removed more hidden pain and made Michael realize that cannabis could be a friend, not a foe.
“After a bunch of plant medicine dives, I cleared out my instruments so profoundly of what I knew to be an ancestral wound that I could remove like a structure, it was like a weight vest that, once I took it off, it was gone,” he explained.
Michael believed he was emotionally equipped to once again invite cannabis into his life despite a reckoning that his shame-based response still existed deep within. Regardless, he discovered that his body could likely benefit from what the plant may offer.
“There are times where the way I feel the spirit of energy is so beautiful and blessed but overwhelming—it is not unusual for me to feel motion sick, from like the spin of the planet. That’s how much I feel the sensitivity,” Michael described, realizing that the cannabis plant allowed him to channel this energy, enveloping him in a familiar and peaceful manner.
“In my medicine circles, we call cannabis Mother. And when I take the cannabis, and I go into that experience: it’s like being held by Mother while my body is doing this, and now, it’s just a beautiful spin,” he smiled.
That’s not to say that Michael doesn’t also consume cannabis to escape at the end of a long day; he was adamant that both realities are fact. He had previously felt so despondent about his cannabis consumption; his newfound willingness to be open speaks to his work around his own self-worth, something that likely stemmed from his psychedelic activation.
Michael later shared that his thinking shifted at this point, and it dawned on him just how far he had come. He had lived the same existence for years, and his habits were concrete. Yet, in his return to consumption, he found his past associations around cannabis trying to materialize—but this time, he got the better of it.
“In those first few months of smoking, I would have random negative thoughts like, ‘Oh wow, I’m napping so much more, it must be the weed.’ Or ‘I’m snacking in a different way. It must be the weed.’
“Every time I had any of those thoughts, it would be immediately followed by the realization that none of those things were true. But it was clear to me that there was a voice of shame that was trying to get my attention and encouraging me to feel ashamed of things that were not true or accurate.”
Michael said this was wildly revelatory to him on multiple levels, deeply affecting him personally and professionally. Shame is indeed a powerful thing, and while cannabis triggered Michael’s own feelings of self-reproach, his manifestations helped to propel his understanding of the emotion even more.
“It was the subtle insidiousness of it that got my attention, and what I learned entered and deepened my teaching.”
A new cannabis narrative
And so, the great cannabis experiment continued. Soon enough, Michael’s past narrative around cannabis eroded. He became even more productive, growing his practice exponentially. Michael was ready to teach, and the world was ready to receive his messages.
That’s not to say there haven’t been drawbacks. Regular cannabis consumption has led Michael to “forget” his vivid dreams, a common occurrence for those who imbibe. As someone who spends countless hours honing in on the meaning of these nightly visions, the loss is something he does lament. However, the benefits of the plant seemingly outweigh this somewhat ironic disadvantage.
Fast-forward to today. Michael has amassed tens of thousands of followers and has become a highly sought-after authority on dream interpretation and astrology. He’s had countless media appearances and has become revered worldwide for his enthusiastic and empathetic approach to his areas of expertise.
He also recently began growing his own weed.
“It occurred to me that I would get a lot of pleasure out of the ritual of growing,” Michael said.
After obtaining several seeds from a client, who agreed to barter his cultivation knowledge in exchange for Michael’s consultation, Michael found the journey of tending his garden and visiting his plants every day richly rewarding— something he intends to continue.
“I have had that experience of relating to the plants as I relate to the medicine, as I relate to the sacred relationship with the Great Mother (Gaia) behind it. It’s been that ritually beautiful,” he remarked.
Michael shared that he typically opts to eat cannabis edibles. For him, they offer a gentler entry point into the experience, although he does enjoy smoking to kickstart a ceremony. A fan of sativas, Michael is exploring the idea of aligning his future plantings with astrological events such as new moons.
When asked about the Zodiac leanings of different cannabis varieties, Michael equated sativas to Sagittarius signs, given the “stimulation, ideas, and movement” associated with both. For indica strains, he landed on Taurus for the body-centered sensation of those cultivars.
All cosmic conversations aside, Michael’s roller coaster ride with plant medicine is one that many can likely relate to. After decades of prohibition, it can be difficult for some to feel comfortable being open about their consumption. It can be hard to erase the societal stigma, previous criminal cases, or other negative messaging about the plant from our subconscious.
For Michael, this possibility of transparency, vulnerability, and honesty inspired our conversation.
“What was exciting for me was to be able to say things like, ‘I use (cannabis) ceremonially,’ ‘I quiet the instrument,’ ‘I give so much,’ etc.—and to say, ‘I’m just an addict who wants to escape at the end of a hard day.’ Both are acceptable, but one used to fill me with shame,” he concluded.