My assumption for this post is that you are a first time adventurer into the psychedelic waters. I’m going to err on the side of caution so the more experienced or arrogant may find these guidelines a little laborious. Due to my country’s laws, I do not advocate the use of illegal substances. I share this information to help minimize risk in those who choose to exercise their sovereign right to alter their own consciousness.
Test your ish
You’re introducing foreign, psychoactive substances into your bloodstream. Test your stuff. You have no excuse not to. Depending on what kind of substance you plan to dance with, there are testing kits you can find on amazon. Invest in this step.
“If in doubt, natural wins out.” If you are unsure as to the quality of the substance, I favor the plant based psychedelics; mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca, etc, because if you are holding the identified plant in your hand, chances are high that it is what it appears to be.
Now it’s worth noting the linguistic fallacy to categorize between “natural” and “chemical” because all drugs are matrices of chemicals and all chemicals are derivatives of nature, but I use these categories because most people know exactly what I mean by them
Ideally, you’ll want someone to babysit you while you embark on your psychic journey. Best case scenario is you’ll have a sitter who has already deep-sea dived in the psychedelic waters. They’ll understand what the potentials are and they can provide an anchoring in reality. Next best case is you have someone who may not have any experience with psychedelics but your connection to them is loving and supportive.
Be very careful who you have around when you journey. Do not allow any passive-aggressive, prankstering, or judgmental friends into your setting. The gravity of their toxic energy may tilt your entire orbit off its axis and you’ll be in for a very tough experience. (It’s my belief that the only bad trips are trips where integration doesn’t take place. You may learn valuable and deep lessons from a hard trip due to the presence of a toxic friend, but if integrated, this may be the catalyst you need to move away from that poisonous connection for the rest of your life.)
Create Space and Set Intention
“We choose reality when we choose another person” -Piaget
Language is magic. We’re participating in telepathy right now. Symbols concretize meaning. Spelling is literal spell creation. Like a magician creates a sacred space where within he is protected while he practices his magic, you can create a space around you that will protect you while you journey. You create reality between the people who speak with you. We magic at each other everyday.
Before ingesting the substance, everyone who is a part of the setting can speak some kind of rule into the space. “All is allowed that is directed towards love and healing.” “I accept and love everything about everyone here.” “I love you.” “Here is to greater understanding and loving compassion.”
This is also the time to declare your intention. Speak into existence whatever it is you’d like to experience or explore during your swim. I like to ask for greater understanding towards a particular issue or idea. Sometimes all I ask for is love. Have the courage to ask for what you want.
At some point in your adventure, music can become your entire reality. Your consciousness and the music can meld into a single vibrating entity. So, the Gurus, doctors, and experienced psychonauts agree, choose your playlist carefully, and avoid music with lyrics. I prefer movie scores, Explosions in the Sky, Helios, Tycho, Carbon Based Lifeforms, etc. Here is a good discussion on psychedelic playlists;
Get into Nature
I’ve danced with psychedelics close to 50 times and there is something I’ve come to notice. There is a rhythm to life, and there seems to be two songs playing. One is the song of the technological. The speed of computers, television, and the internet is a kind of quick tempo’d electronic music. The other song is organic nature. The pace clouds drift, planets rotate, plants grow or how water sways. This song is much slower, melodic, almost cradling.
I notice that when I’m deep in the psychedelic space, my body craves to get away from the electronic and to be held by the organic. I notice that if any of my friends are having weird or disorienting experiences, if I can get them outside to a tree or a body of water, their consciousness almost instantly starts to self-tune. It’s not a panacea but I think it’s an insight worth sharing.
“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” -Lao-Tzu
I think this is the grand lesson of the psychedelic; acceptance of the moment, the present; of what is to be what it is. We humans are strange creatures. It is exactly our inherent unsatisfactoriness that has propelled us across the ocean, over mountains, and into space. We are not content. We are addicted to not allowing the present to be the present. Psychedelics will teach you. And the harder you resist, the stronger she’ll grip.
The essence of almost all “bad” trips is a psychological resistance to letting go, to not allowing what is to be. Interestingly, in our culture, it is the masculine energy that has the hardest time with this. If you are a first time explorer and you are a strongly charged masculine energy, you may want to practice with meditation before going into an experience. You’ll likely need a higher does to achieve the states you read about.
Leary gave some of the best advice on this;
“Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream.”
This is hands down the most important part of the psychedelic experience. Our perception creates our reality and if you have just come back from a psychedelic experience, you will know exactly what I mean. When you are back to baseline, it is time to integrate. Talk about what you experienced with those around you. Write down your trip (I do this.) Look for the lessons or themes or ideas that you discovered. Brainstorm how you can take these discoveries and convert them into actions you can implement into your life.
Maybe you had an insight into why people are rude or greedy. You can use this discovery to have more compassion in moments where you interact with these twisted souls. You may have realized the sacredness of your body. You can commit to a more wholesome and nurturing diet. Maybe you had a tough trip where you realized a deep flaw in your personality. You can start letting others have the last word, or tell your loved one you’re sorry about A or B.
Integration is synthesizing the psychedelic gems into daily actions you can implement into your life.
I hope this was helpful. I think a thoughtful and integrated psychedelic experience can improve and heal to a degree not many other technologies we have access to can. But like any tool it can be wielded with expertise or stupidity. Be careful. Be courageous. Love. Namaste.