Psychedelics in Light of the Yoga Sutras

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“In addition to the LSD there were a number of other pills for this and that–diarrhea, fever, a sleeping pill, and so forth. He asked about each of these. He asked if they gave powers. I didn’t understand at the time and thought that by “powers” perhaps he meant physical strength. I said, “No.” Later, of course, I came to understand that the word he had used, “siddhis,” means psychic powers.”

~ Ram Dass on Neem Karoli Baba, from Be Here Now

“The beatific vision, Sat Chit Ananda, Being-Awareness-Bliss, for the first time I understood, not on the verbal level, not by inchoate hints or at a distance, but precisely and completely what those prodigious syllables referred to …”

~ Aldous Huxley, Doors of Perception

I never heard any of my teachers mention the Yoga Sutras, a collection of aphorisms on Yoga dating anywhere from 200 BCE to 500 CE and attributed to a sage named Patanjali. In the West today, the text has become the primary source on Yoga and is highly quoted and referenced, but it just didn’t seem to be all that important to my Indian gurus. That said, much of what my traditional teachers were imparting to their disciples certainly meshed with what is found in the Sutras.

First and foremost, what is known as Raja Yoga, or Ashtanga Yoga, which is laid out in the Sutras, was assumed by all of my teachers. The Sanskrit word “Ashtanga” translates as “8 limbs,” and these limbs are as follows:

1) Yama refers to the five abstentions.

* Ahimsa: non-violence,

* Satya: truth in word & thought.

* Asteya: Non-stealing

* Brahmacharya: Conservation of Sexual

* Aparigraha: Non-possessiveness

2) Niyama refers to the five observances.

* Shaucha: cleanliness of body & mind.

* Santosha: satisfaction/contentment.

* Tapas: austerity/physical & mental discipline.

* Svadhyaya: Self-study (Introspection), and Study of Sacred Texts.

* Ishvarapranidhana: surrender to (or worship of) God.

3) Asana: Discipline of the body: rules and postures to keep it disease-free and for preserving vital energy. Correct postures are a physical aid to meditation, for they control the limbs and nervous system and prevent them from producing disturbances.

4) Pranayama: control of breath.

5) Pratyahara: withdrawal of senses from their external objects.

The last three levels are called internal aids to Yoga (antaranga sadhana)

6) Dharana: Concentration of Mind.

7) Dhyana: steadfast meditation. Undisturbed flow of thought around the object of meditation (pratyayaikatanata).

8) Samadhi: oneness with the object of meditation.

My teachers all implicitly followed the above “8-fold Path” (Raja/Ashtanga Yoga), because they all assumed the primacy of meditation and Samadhi (meditation resulting in mystical union, or “cosmic consciousness”), seeing the other 6 limbs as a means to arrive at these last two. Meditation, in particular, was stressed repeatedly, especially by my main teacher, Amma, who would often exhort us to “Meditate, meditate, meditate!”; and if she had her way, we would all be meditating all day and night long. Once her Swami told us of how Amma had put him into a state of Samadhi for 24 hours straight, and Amma added: “Children, the day will come when you, too, will be absorbed in meditation for 24 hours in a day.” I’m sure a lot of us were wondering, “Really? Which lifetime?,” but we took the point that meditation is the most important of all practices.

If I am honest, I will tell you that I never had an experience of Samadhi beyond a taste of the lower Samadhis, such as “Bhava Samadhi,” which is a trance state involving feelings of ecstasy and bliss. Most of these experiences came in the first couple years of my exposure to Yoga, and it was largely due to them that I continued on the path. Spiritual experiences that occur early on, I have always heard, are gifts of grace that are signs to the seeker that something is indeed happening, and serve to draw the aspirant more and more inward. Certainly this was the case with me, but over time these experiences became fewer and farther between, so that I was left wondering if perhaps I should try harder, or if they were just a passing stage in the journey.

Besides spiritual experiences, another milestone/by-product of meditation and other spiritual practices is what are known as “siddhis,” often translated as “yogic powers,” and sometimes “psychic powers.” When I originally began the practice of yoga, I was attracted to the idea of gaining such special powers through my training. This was partly because I desired physical proof that my practices were bearing fruit, and I wasn’t just wasting time and struggling in vain. Of course, with my experiences, with all of the little “aha” moments, and with all of the positive changes — indeed, the transformation — that yoga brought to my life, no further proof was needed, really. The only problem was that even though I knew I was a completely different person on the inside, it appeared that it was not always so obvious on the outside. My family, especially, wondered and worried about my somewhat cultish and cloistered behavior, concerned that I was wasting my precious Twenties doing impractical things like meditation that were inconsequential in terms of real world values.

My eldest brother, for example, would sometimes say things to me like, “Instead of meditating so much, I would like to see you really begin to develop a body of work as a singer/songwriter,” to which I would respond, “Well, meditation is about going to the Source of all creativity, so it may seem like a waste of time, but it’s actually a very wise investment of my time.” I was heard, but not really understood or believed. So a part of me felt that once I was able to show my family that this wasn’t all just airy fairy nonsense, then they would think differently about me. Certainly this was not the best reason for practicing (nor was the drive to have spiritual experiences), but I was green and can put it down to spiritual ignorance at that point.

Now the reader may wonder: Did I ever attain any siddhis? I cannot say for certain. I feel that I began to see glimpses of them (such as clairvoyance), and had I continued with my intense sadhana (yogic practice), who knows? At this point, I feel like I’ve lost much of whatever I had, but that’s due to the choice I made to come back down to earth a bit. I did come into the presence of teachers, like Amma, who possessed such siddhis, and would sometimes display their powers, though usually only along the lines of clairvoyance (often referred to as “omniscience”).

Returning now to the Yoga Sutras, there is a relevant sutra regarding the siddhis that begins the 4th and final chapter (pada) of the text, known as “Kaivalya Pada,” or the chapter on liberation. The sutra reads as follows:



Janma = birth; aushadhi = herb, medicinal plant, drug, incense, elixir; mantra = incantation, charm, spell; tapah = heat, burning, shining, an ascetic devotional practice, burning desire to reach perfection, that which burns all impurities; samadhi = profound meditation, total absorption; jah = born; siddhayah = perfections, accomplishments, fulfilments, attainments, psychic powers.

Translation: “Siddhis are born of practices performed in previous births, or by herbs, mantra repetition, asceticism, or by samadhi.” (Sutra 4.1) [i]

Essentially, for our purposes, this sutra says that via “aushadha,” or herbs/drugs/plants, yogic powers can be attained. While this is fascinating information, unfortunately the sutras say nothing more about the subject, leaving us with many possible questions. Questions such as: 1) To what does “aushadhi” refer exactly?; 2) To which yogic powers do these herbs, aushadha , give rise? 3) How, exactly, do aushadha give rise to siddhis? 4) Is this sutra suggesting that it is permissible for a yogic aspirant to make use of aushadha as a means toward attaining success in Yoga? 5) Are all of the methods of attaining siddhis — past lives, herbs, mantra, tapas, and samadhi — of equal value, or are some better than others? 6) Why is the term “aushadhi” suddenly mentioned at the outset of the 4th and final chapter of the Yoga Sutras, and then not referred to again? These are some of the more basic questions that could be asked.

Fortunately, while we don’t have much of a way of finding what the original meaning of sutra 4.1 is, we can at least refer to the considerable body of commentary on the sutras, in addition to contemporary teachers in the yoga tradition. As for the latter, let’s consider first Neem Karoli Baba’s words to Ram Dass, already quoted above.

“In addition to the LSD there were a number of other pills for this and that — diarrhea, fever, a sleeping pill, and so forth. He asked about each of these. He asked if they gave powers. I didn’t understand at the time and thought that by “powers” perhaps he meant physical strength. I said, “No.” Later, of course, I came to understand that the word he had used, “siddhis,” means psychic powers.” [ii]

Neem Karoli Baba, a highly advanced yogi and guru, is asking his disciple, Ram Dass, if his LSD (and other pills) gives the consumer of them siddhis. Now, many of those who followed Neem Karoli Baba or were around him felt/believed/knew that he himself possessed such yogic powers, but as far as anyone knows, they were not derived from any kind of pill or drug, but from his sadhana and tapasya, meaning his yogic practice and discipline. In fact, one of the siddhis he was believed to possess was the ability to know anything that he chose to know at any time (again clairvoyance/omniscience), in which case perhaps he already knew the answer to the question he put to Ram Dass (apparently he was a bit of a trickster).

Whatever may be the case, for our purposes, it is enough to know that Neem Karoli Baba connected Ram Dass’s drugs to siddhis, because that is exactly what Sutra 4.1 appears to do. From this we would not be amiss in thinking that yogis like Neem Karoli Baba are well aware of this passage in the Yoga Sutras; or even if they are not aware of the specific passage, there is no doubt an understanding among yogis that yogic powers can obtained via herbs and/or drugs. It should also be well noted that Neem Karoli Baba ultimately told Ram Dass that “yogi medicine” such as LSD can give one a glimpse of Samadhi, but not the “highest Samadhi,” as he put it.

Turning now to our questions raised regarding Sutra 4.1, what do the traditional commentators on the Yoga Sutras have to say?

First, let us consider the words of Vyasa, a great rishi, or seer-sage who is credited as the author of the “Yoga Bhashya,” which is a highly regarded and referenced commentary on the Yoga Sutras. Though Vyasa’s comments on Sutra 4:1 regarding aushadha are cursory and ambiguous, like the sutra itself, we can still get some sense of his general approach. The text reads as follows:

“By herbs, as for example with chemicals in an Asura’s (demon’s) abode, medicinal powers are acquired.”

Swami Hariharananda Aranya notes the difficulty in Vyasa’s passage:

“The commentator has mentioned about the abode of demons but nobody knows where it is, but it is certain that supernormal powers on a small scale can be acquired by the application of drugs.” [iii]

That said, Swami Hariharananda notes, the “supernormal powers” acquired through drugs “have nothing to do with Yoga,” and are “insignificant.”

“Some in a state of stupor through the application of anaesthetics like chloroform etc. acquire the power of going out of the body. It has also been reported that by the application of hemlock all over the body similar power is acquired. Witches were supposed to practise this method. These powers are “insignificant.” [iv]

Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School differs slightly with Swami Hariharananda Aranya’s view. He holds that the herbs to which “aushadhi” refers do indeed produce powerful siddhis, and such “psychic powers” are true siddhis, not insignificant or inferior. However, these herbs do not include LSD or ganja (marijuana), which have a deleterious effect on the body (and it is this to which Swami H. might have been referring). In his own words:

“Psychic powers can be obtained in five ways … Siddhis can also be had from herbs, but things like LSD and ganja are not to be included here because they cause disease and nervous disorders. These things cause depression of certain nerve centers and give rise to effects like samadhi, but they are not to be included in the herbs causing siddhis because they are of a lower type. Traditionally, aushadhi means the juice of certain herbs, such as anjana, rosayana, etc., but not LSD or ganja. The method of preparation is known to only a few responsible persons. These herbs are available in the Himalayas and nowhere else and bring about supramental states of consciousness.

“The effects of these herbs can be controlled through higher mental phenomena. There are certain preparations of mercury which are of great importance.” [v]

Swami Satchidananda (the so-called “Woodstock Guru,” who was wise to what his hippie yogi devotees were up to) differs from the above view in that he suggests that LSD and marijuana are indeed to be classed among the aushadha, and he agrees with Swami Hariharananda that siddhis obtained via herbs — any herbs — are of inferior value. He says:

“Patanjali…gives us some clues about the people who get some experiences through their LSD and marijuana. The so-called “grass” is an herb, is it not? Mushrooms could be considered herbs also … So, there are various ways of accomplishing the psychic powers. But normally it is recognized that all the others except samadhi are not natural. For example, using herbs means inducing siddhis by the use of certain external stimuli. It’s not an “organic” siddhi. It may come and then fade away. So, siddhis should come in the regular process of Yoga, not through external stimuli.” [vi]

Swami Satchidananda’s point is that the siddhis acquired through unnatural, non-organic means such as herbs is only temporary, and thus should not be taken seriously by the yoga aspirant. This is a point that would be good to be taken to heart by many of those who dabble in psychedelics, for it is clear that for most such persons, both experiences and psychic powers fade once the effects of the drug wear off. On the other hand, let us not discount the report of shamans who are capable of retaining the powers obtained from their plant medicine.

BKS Iyengar echoes Swami Satchidananda’s view somewhat in that he regards those siddhis gained via aushadha as inferior in that they can be lost due to a fall from grace. Writing his commentary on the Yoga Sutras in the mid-Sixties, Iyengar first spells out in greater detail the five ways of becoming an accomplished yogi (siddha):

1. By birth with aspiration to become perfect (janma);

2. By spiritual experience gained through herbs (or as prescribed in the Vedas),

drugs or elixir (aushadha)

3) By incantation of the name of one’s desired deity (mantra);

4) By ascetic devotional practice (tapas);

5) By profound meditation (samadhi)

Iyengar then goes on to note why all five of these classes of siddhas are not equal:

“There is an important distinction between these means of spiritual accomplishment. Followers of the first three may fall from the grace of Yoga through pride or negligence. The others, whose spiritual gains are through tapas and samadhi, do not. They become masters, standing alone as divine, liberated souls, shining examples to mankind…

“Sage Mandavya and King Yayati developed supernatural powers through an elixir of life. Today many drug users employ mescalin, LSD, hashish, heroin, etc. to experience the so-called spiritual visions investigated by Aldous Huxley and others. Artists and poets in the past have also relied on drugs to bring about supernormal states to enhance their art.” [vii]

Iyengar’s mention of Huxley is interesting here, particularly as Huxley referred to the psychedelics as “moksha medicine” [viii], and had he lived to have read Iyengar’s commentary, he no doubt would have been chagrined by Iyengar’s “so-called spiritual visions” put-down. We will be considering Huxley’s life and work shortly, but for now, let Iyengar’s view be noted well, that the truly great yogis do not attain their high status through the medium of aushadha.

Let us also take note that Iyengar’s point has been made and echoed by numerous other commentators. I.K. Taimni, whose commentary on the Yoga Sutras entitled “The Science of Yoga” has become one of the most well-regarded in the english language, translates “aushadhi” as “drugs,” and similarly notes that

“Of the five methods given only the last based upon Samadhi is used by advanced Yogis in their work because it is based upon direct knowledge of the higher laws of Nature and is, therefore, under complete control of the will.” [ix]

Taimni’s point is that the Yoga Sutras, after all, are all about attaining Samadhi through yogic discipline, not via aushadha (this is not the “Aushadha Sutras,” after all); indeed, he notes that all of the siddhis mentioned in the third chapter of the Sutras are obtained via what is known as “Samyama,” which is the combination of concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and absorption (samadhi). Like Iyengar, Taimni privileges the siddhis attained via Samyama above those obtained otherwise:

“The Siddhis which are developed as a result of the practice of Samyama belong to a different category and are far superior to those developed in other ways. They are the product of the natural unfoldment of consciousness in its evolution towards perfection and thus become permanent possessions of the soul, although a little effort may be needed in each new incarnation to revive them in the early stages of Yogic training. Being based upon knowledge of the higher laws of Nature operating in her subtler realms they can be exercised with complete confidence and effectiveness, much in the same way as a trained scientist can bring about extraordinary results in the field of physical Science.” [xii]

As with Swami Hariharananda, Taimni concurs that such yogic powers in any case are of not much importance, even when they are “remarkable”:

“Psychic powers of a low grade can often be developed by the use of certain drugs. Many fakirs in India use certain herbs like Ganja for developing clairvoyance of a low order. Others can bring about very remarkable chemical changes by the use of certain drugs or herbs, but those who know these secrets do not generally impart them to others. Needless to say that the powers obtained in this manner are not of much consequence and should be classed with the innumerable powers which modern Science has placed at our disposal.” [xiii]

This reminds me of the story of the guru who chides his student for showing off how he can walk on water. “Why would you bother yourself with that,” the guru laughs, “when the ferry works just as well, and might even be quicker?!!” Needless to say, perhaps, displaying one’s powers was/is generally not considered a wise course of action.

Two slightly more contemporary commentators have something quite similar to say regarding sutra 4:1. Krishnamacharya’s son, TVK Desikachar, in his relatively more recent book, The Heart of Yoga, remarks:

“The Vedas describe various rituals whereby the taking of herbal preparations in a prescribed way can change one’s personality … Only the practices described in earlier chapters [of the Yoga Sutras] to reduce and render the five obstacles [to yoga] ineffective can guarantee the end of these tendencies. Genetic inheritance, the use of herbs, and other means cannot be as effective.” [xiv]

The well-known scholar of Yoga, Georg Feuerstein, likewise mentions the ancient Vedic rituals, implicitly accepting their validity, though downplaying their ultimate value:

“The use of herbal concoctions may seem surprising. Yet this tradition goes right back to vedic times and ritual quaffing of the soma (fly-agaric?). At any rate, nowhere in the Yoga-Sutra or any other Yogic scripture do we find the claim that drugs can replace the years of self-discipline and commitment demanded of the yogin.” [xv]

One other traditional teacher who added to this overall consensus on the superiority of Samadhi was Swami Prabhavananda, who commented on Sutra 4:1 as follows:

“Certain drugs may produce visions but these are invariably psychic — not spiritual, as is commonly believed. Furthermore, they may cause prolonged spiritual dryness and disbelief and may even do permanent damage to the brain…Concentration [samadhi] is the surest of all the means of obtaining the psychic powers.” [xvi]

Swami Prabhavananda makes an interesting point, and one well worth considering. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of “chemical burnout,” which generally comes from years of taking psychedelics (and perhaps other drugs), usually in a less than disciplined way. So while the long-term effects of psychedelics are still not fully known, it is clear that for some they do seem to have a deleterious effect. Even for myself, who have almost exclusively ingested or smoked plant medicines (Ayahuasca, San Pedro, Marijuana) and done so but a handful of times, I wonder whether the expansive, ecstatic experiences are a corrective to my own spiritual dryness and jadedness, or are in fact adding to them. Were the experiences even real (if anything is)? Where was God? Won’t I be spoiled now for all of the beautiful little gifts of grace the universe throws my way every moment of every day? Etc., ad nauseum.

What is needed, it seems to me, is a constant connection with Source, one that is not dependent on any outside factor, such as a drug or herb or elixir or other concoction. On this, I am in agreement with the traditional commentators above. True, the path of aushadha might just be a viable one for some already advanced souls, but they also could be a trap or distraction for others, including myself.

That said, the fact that herbs that give rise to siddhis are mentioned at all in the Yoga Sutras is significant, and should give us pause. One wonders what the traditions around the use of aushadha are, and if it in reality is a real, viable yogic path, on equal par with the practice of “Samyama” that the Yoga Sutras privileges? What about the preparations of the juice of the herbs “anjana” and “rosayana” which Swami Satyananda Saraswati mentioned? To answer these and other questions I turned to the work of some of the more recent commentators on these subjects, including my Yoga and Ayurveda teacher, Dr. David Frawley, as well as Dr. Robert Svoboda and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait (current head of the Himalayan Institute).

In his book, Inner Quest: Yoga’s Answers to Life’s Questions, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait discusses at some length the use of herbs in connection with spiritual practice. Among other things, he notes the connection of herbs not so much with the path of Raja/Ashtanga Yoga, but of Tantra and Kundalini:

“According to Ayurveda, especially the tantric version, herbs are the embodiment of the living goddess. If applied properly they release divine energies — to heal not only the physical aspect of our being, but the mental and spiritual aspects as well…[Using herbs as part of one’s spiritual practice] is briefly introduced in the first sutra of chapter four of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It is greatly elaborated in the tantric scriptures, as herbs play a significant role in the advanced practices of Tantra and kundalini yoga.” [xv]

Admittedly, I know very little of Tantra, much less the tantric scriptures. Again, this is as a result of who my gurus were, which was decidedly not tantric gurus. Amma would on occasion strongly caution us against reading any tantric books, and my other teachers also never had anything to say about Tantra, and if they had, it probably wouldn’t have been anything good. Like many others, I had only heard of “tantric sex,” and hints of other forbidden things, and somehow it seemed to me to be a path for the wild, impure ones. And at that point, at least, I was not too tempted to take a walk on the wild side.

Interestingly enough, though, on my first trip to India to see Amma, my Australian friend Billy advised me to purchase a copy of Dr. Robert Svoboda’s Aghora: At the Left Hand of God, which is all about the tantric path, and it served as my first real introduction to the subject.

One of the first and most important things I learned from Svoboda’s book is that just as there is white and black magic, similarly, Tantra is divided into “righthanded” Tantra (Dakshinachara), and “lefthanded” Tantra (Vamachara). It is really only the latter which involves the “5 m’s,” namely: 1) Madya (wine); 2) Mansa (meat); 3) Matsya (fish); 4) Mudra (gesture); and 5) Maithuna (sexual intercourse). Still, both right and left-handed Tantra are legitimate paths, though both Drs. Frawley and Svoboda suggest that the Vamachara path is but a means to the Dakshinachara path, and not an end in itself.

Dr. Frawley has put it this way:

“Tantra is divided into the right handed and left handed Tantras. The right handed or Dakshinachara adheres to the Yamas and Niyamas of the Yoga system, including following a vegetarian diet. The left handed or Vamachara system includes the use of intoxicants, including alcohol and psychedelic or mind-altering drugs, and the eating of meat, but sanctified in a ritualistic context to make them spiritually beneficial. The Vamachara system uses the more overt sexual Yogas, though the Dakshinachara tradition is not opposed to sex in a sanctified relationship.

“Generally speaking, the right-handed Tantra is more for those in whom Sattva guna predominates. The left-handed Tantra is for those in whom Rajas and Tamas predominate.

“There are some Tantric teachers today who do claim that a meat diet and other Vamachara practices are a better and quicker way to reach Self-realization. They may claim that the Dakshinachara or sattvic approaches are not possible for people to really do today and only result in repression. This tradition does exist for those who want to follow it. Yet while the Vamachara done sincerely can be a valid path, particularly in the modern cultural context, it is a stepping stone to Dakshinachara, not a substitute for it.” [xvi]

Dr. Svoboda’s teacher, Swami Vimalananda, likewise suggests that the goal of Vamachara Tantra is Sattva. In a section on the subject of intoxicants and the “Left Hand Path,” Swami Vimalanda says:

“This is the true test of an Aghori: From full-blown Tamas he must graduate to pure Sattva, love for all.” [xvii]

In the end, Swami Vimalananda says he gave up intoxicants when he

“realized that the greatest intoxicant there is exists within me at all times. It is free, easy to use, harmless, and never gives me a hangover. It is the name of God. It gives the best concentration of mind. The effects of alcohol or marijuana or whatever will wear off by the next day, but the intoxication caused by God’s name just goes on increasing; there is no end to it. I use it all the time, and it always works for me. No matter what has been my problem, the holy name of God has always been my solution. This is true Aghora. Forget all the externals; only when your heart melts and is consumed in the flames of your desire for your Beloved will you ever come close to qualifying to learn the true Aghora.” [xviii]

In other words, in our context, this means that psychedelics are not the end-all and be-all of yoga, but a stepping stone to arrive at a clearer, purer realm of being and experiencing. This would involve ultimately graduating from psychedelics to a more Sattvic path involving vegetarianism, sexual moderation, austerity, meditation, and other “chemical-free” practices. [xxi]

Some are under the misconception that the yoga path absolutely forbids intoxicants, and perhaps especially mind-altering drugs, but here we see that this is not the case; rather, it is more a matter of more ideal vs. less ideal, where the path of chemically-enhancing one’s practice is not considered the most ideal. This misconception is fairly widespread, such that even I was a bit surprised when Dr. Frawley wrote to me the following:

“Intoxicants may be helpful on an outer level for some yoga practitioners, particularly to open them up to higher possibilities. Many ancient and tribal cultures have their sacred plants that can be used for such purposes. However, there is a tendency to abuse such plants or use them in a non-sacred way, so one should be very cautious in their application.”

I really thought that Dr. Frawley would give me more of a hard-line, like, “Psychelics and Yoga do not mix — period!” But clearly, thankfully, it’s all in one’s intent, and if one’s intent is to use the given plant or chemical in a sacramental way, then that is permissible. But again, the user must remember that once one is “opened up to higher possibilities,” as Dr. Frawley put it, then it is advisable to move on to a slower, but steadier and more reliable practice, such as “the name of God,” as Swami Vimalananda suggested (and “mantra,” we will recall from Yoga Sutra 4:1, is also a legitimate path to perfection/siddhi).

Now it might be asked: Although this all makes perfect sense on paper, how does it actually all play out in real, postmodern, hurtling-toward-2012 life? Because if I look at my own experience, according to this model, I actually started out on a fairly Sattvic path, and maintained it for years, but more recently I have taken a decided turn towards left-handed Tantra, including the use of psychedelics. Did I fall from the path? Or did I just become a bit impatient to have certain experiences of other realities that I was losing faith that I ever would? Put another way: Have I digressed and devolved, or is this somehow all a necessary step in my own “soulular” evolution?

And what about someone like Terrence McKenna, who went as far as to say that practices like chanting and meditation don’t even make much sense except in the context of the shamanic journey? [See previous footnote] Would McKenna have found his way to in any way accept that to further his evolution he might have to forgo his psychedelic sessions in favor of, say, vipassana meditation? For now, let it be remembered that the Yoga Sutras do say that aushadha is one path to the attainment of “siddha-hood”; or, we might say, psychedelics are their own path, their own discipline, and Terrence was faithfully following it.

Now what about these “siddhis,” or yogic powers? I had often heard and read that such powers are “milestones” along the path to enlightenment or Self/God-realization — they are not to be sought or abused, but rather to be seen as mere by-products along the journey of awakening. Yogananda, for example, discusses this point in Autobiography of a Yogi, noting that some yogis abuse such powers, demonstrating them for the sake of fame or fortune (as does Paul Brunton in a contemporary work to Yogananda’s, A Search in Secret India). More recently, however, in his book on the Yoga Sutras entitled Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman, Alberto Villodo, Ph.D. maintains that according to Patanjali,

“the siddhis are essential to achieving samadhi, which is the true power … to deny them [the siddhis] is to deny your ultimate freedom. You can only step beyond these powers once you’ve acquired them. Renouncing them beforehand, as many practitioners of yoga do, mimics yet forestalls the true liberation… In addition, renouncing the siddhis, as some yoga teachers today advocate, keeps you powerless, and perpetuates your suffering as a victim.” [xxii]

This is a point well-taken, considering that the Yoga Sutras do describe a number of these siddhis, ranging from clairvoyance, knowledge of past and future events (including one’s past lives), the power to make oneself minute or even invisibile, superhuman strength, conquest of hunger and thirst, among others. Again, these all result from the practice of “Samyama.” But what of siddhis that arise through other means, such as use of aushadha — are they comparable?

As we have seen, Iyengar and others note that while such siddhis might indeed be equivalent to those gained via Samyama, they are generally not permanent acquisitions of the aspirant, but are rather subject to loss due to a “fall from grace,” or by some other means. This is an interesting point, and to really check its validity would perhaps require a very careful study of shamanism. For the time being, perhaps, we can at least consider anecdotal evidence.

For my part, I recently met a woman who had a quite harrowing LSD trip in the early Seventies and was never the same afterwards, not only because of the trauma, but because the LSD seems to have given her the ability to perceive unseen levels of reality. Today in her work she offers the shamanic healing technique of “soul retrieval,” as well as working in other therapeutic modalities that require access to these hidden dimensions. For her, at least, the effects of her psychedelic experience have lasted for more than 3 decades. Dr. Rick Strassman told me via email that he knows of a similar case, but here the woman’s psychic powers went away once she became a Christian. Dr. Strassman wrote,

I recently got an e-mail from a Christian woman, who when younger, was slipped some PCP, which “opened the portals” for her to have all kinds of paranormal, psychic, experiences. She’s a reasonable sounding woman, so I don’t think she was psychotic. She and her husband became serious Christians and the portals seem to have closed. How exactly do you mean “clairvoyant”? This woman wasn’t seeing things from a distance, for example.

It might be helpful to look into other “accidental” ways of acquiring such powers, such as through Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s). It seems a significant portion of those claiming to have had such experiences also maintain the experience left them with such powers (the movie “Resurrection” deals with this). Astral projection, or out-of-body experiences, are also another avenue for exploring this issue. In general, however, we can say that such claims remain difficult to prove or disprove; and in most cases of psychedelic use, the experience, and whatever psi powers attend it during the “trip,” generally disappear once the experience fades, or if not all at once, then eventually.

Such has been my experience thus far: As real and as powerful and transformational as my psychedelic experiences have been, it is amazing that so little of it actually has stayed with me. Perhaps if I did them more often, and in an even more disciplined way, the case would be different, but for right now, I am left with the sense that these things are so transitory to the point of being almost unhelpful as far as gaining siddhis, or attaining to Samadhi. This is not to diminish the value of having a glimpse, however paltry it might be, of Samadhi, as well as all of the other lessons that went along with that, don’t get me wrong; it is just to suggest that unless approached in a disciplined way as a discipline, the deeper lessons of these plant teachers might be missed.

Postscript: Since writing this essay, I read Padmani’s interesting piece, “Insects, Yoga, and Ayahuasca,” published by Reality Sandwich. One thing which is certainly applicable here is Padmani’s mentioning that “practices such as pranayama (breath control) and asana (physical exercise) — the two most important components of modern yoga practice in the West — are considered chemical means [“aushadhi“], according to Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, because they work by causing biochemical changes in the body and mind.” While I have not yet located the primary source for this (maybe Padmani could help?), I feel this to be a very important point — that we are indeed inducing changes in brain chemistry via the practice of Hatha Yoga, which is one reason why more and more people are becoming “addicted” — for better and/or for worse. I should also note that I thought to send this piece to RS because of Padmani’s piece, hoping that this might clarify some points she made, as well as move the discussion a bit further along.


[i] This is largely based on BKS Iyengar’s translation of the Yoga Sutras in “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” (“Patanjala Yoga Pradipika), Thorsons, Hammersmith, 1966/1996, p. 230.

[ii] A paraprhrase of the story told by Ram Dass in “Be Here Now,” Lama Foundation, New Mexico, 1971 (no page number listed).

[iii] As quoted in Swami Hariharananda Aranya, “Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali,” SUNY Press, 1983, p. 346.

[iv] Ibid, pp. 346-347.

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Ibid, p. 346.

[vii] Swami Satyananda Saraswati, “Four Chapters on Freedom: Commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,” Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India, 1976, 2000, pp. 307-308.

[viii] Swami Satchidananda, “The Yoga Sutras of Patanajali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras,” Integral Yoga Publications, 1990, p. 207.

[ix] Unfortunately, most of this evidence is anecdotal. For more on this, see Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D., “The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition,” Llewellyn Publications, 2007, pp. 223-234.

[x] BKS Iyengar, op. cit., pp. 230-231.

[xi] In his last book, the utopian novel, “Island,” which we will be discussing at greater length in a later chapter.

[xii] I.K. Taimni, “The Science of Yoga.” The Theosophical Publishing House, Wheaton, Illinois 1961/1999, p. 378.

[xiii]Ibid, pp. 382-383.

[xiv] T.K.V. Desikachar, “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice,” Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1995, pp. 203, 206.

[xv] . Georg Feuerstein, “Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali: A New Translation and Commentary.” Inner Traditions International, 1979, 1989, p. 126.

[xvi] Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, “How to Know God: The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali,” p. 203.

[xvii] Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D. “Inner Quest: Yoga’s Answers to Life’s Questions.” Himalayan Institute Press, Honesdale, Pa, 1995/2002, pp. 112-117.

[xviii] Dr. David Frawley, “Advanced Yoga and Ayurveda Course,” pp. 116-117.

[xix] Dr. Robert Svoboda, “Aghora: At the Left Hand of God,” p. 184.

[xx] Ibid, pp. 185-186.

[xxi] Krystle Cole, who started the popular “Neurosoup,” says as much in her YouTube videos, though she and most will admit that practices such as meditation, chanting, breathing, etc., are not as powerful as a relatively high dose of a psychedelic. Terrence McKenna suggested that “mantra, yantra, tantra” in addition to psychedelics could be very effective, and not nearly so much on their own.

[xxii] Alberto Villodo, Ph.D., “Yoga, Power, and Spirit: Patanjali the Shaman,” xxv.

Image by autan, courtesy of Creative Commons license.

Psychedelic Resources

Psychedelic Mushroom Guides

A Foraging Trip: Where Do Magic Mushrooms Grow?
Eager to learn more about the origin of psilocybin species? Read this article to find out where magic mushrooms grow and more!

How to Make Shroom Tea: Best Recipe and Dosage
A step by step guide on how to brew shroom tea, and why entheogenic psilocybin tea is a preferred method for psychedelic connoisseurs.

R. Gordon Wasson: Author and Mushroom Expert
Learn about R. Gordon Wasson, the “legendary mushroom expert” and popular figure within the psychonaut community.

Shrooms vs Acid: Differences and Similarities Explained
Ever wondered what the differences are between shrooms vs acid, or if you can take both together? This guide explains what you need to know.

Quantum Mechanics, Reality, and Magic Mushrooms
Scientist and author Dr. Chris Becker takes an in-depth approach in understanding how we perceive reality through magic mushrooms and quantum mechanics.

Psilocybin Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to Psilocybin has everything you want to know about this psychedelic fungi from its uses to its legal status.

The Psilocybin Experience: What’s the Deal With Magic Mushrooms?
From microdoses to macrodoses, the psilocybin experience has been sought after both medicinally and recreationally for millennia.

Psilocybin and Magic Mushroom Resources
Curious to learn more about psilocybin? This guide is a comprehensive psilocybin resource containing books, therapeutic studies, and more.

Paul Stamets Profile: Mushroom Guru, Filmmaker, Nutritionist, Scientist
Learn about Paul Stamets, read his thoughts on psilocybin mircodosing, the future of psilocybin, and his recent film “Fantastic Fungi”.

Microdosing Psilocybin & Common Dosage Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivably, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing psilocybin.

Psilocybin Nasal Spray: Relief for Anxiety, PTSD, and Depression
Microdosing nasal spray with psilocybin, is that possible?! Oregan a start-up Silo Wellness believes so and has created this new option for PTSD treatment.

Mazatec Mushroom Usage: Notes on Approach, Setting and Species for Curious Psilonauts
A look at traditional Mazatec psilocybin mushroom usage, and a comparison to the cliniical therapeutic approach, with an examination of the Mazatec setting and species used in veladas.

María Sabina: The Mazatec Magic Mushroom Woman
Magic mushrooms are incredibly popular today. How they became introduced to into American culture isn’t usually a topic discussed while tripping on psilocybin fungi. We all may have María Sabina to thank for exposing the Western world to the healing properties of the psilocybin mushroom.

Guide to Magic Mushroom Strains
Are there different types of psilocybin? Read our guide to learn about the different magic mushroom strains and their individual effects.

Kilindi Iyi: Mycologist, Traveler, Teacher
Learn about traveler and mycologist Kilindi Iyi known in the psychedelic community for his research and exploration of psilocybin.

How to Store Shrooms: Best Practices
How do you store shrooms for optimal shelf life? Learn how and why the proper storage method is so important.

Shroom Chocolate Recipes: How to Make Magic Mushroom Chocolates
This recipe provides step by step directions on how you can make mushroom chocolates with the necessary ingredients. Read to learn more!

Why Do People Use Psilocybin? New Johns Hopkins Study
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicines has just published a new study on psychoactive effects of psilocybin. Read here to learn more.

How-To Lemon Tek: Ultimate Guide and Recipe
This master guide will teach you how to lemon tek, preventing the onset of negative effects after consuming psilocybin. Read to learn more!

How to Intensify a Mushroom Trip
Learn about techniques like Lemon tekking, or discover the right time to consume cannabis if you are looking to intensify a mushroom trip.

How to Grow Magic Mushrooms: Step-by-Step
This step-by-step guide will show you how to grow magic mushrooms at home. Read this guide before trying it on your own.

How to Dry Magic Mushrooms: Best Practices
Read to learn more about specifics for the best practices on how to dry magic mushrooms after harvesting season.

How to Buy Psilocybin Spores
Interested in psilocybin mushrooms? We’ll walk you through all you need to know to obtain mushroom spores. Nosh on this delish How To guide.

Hippie Flipping: When Shrooms and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Explore the mechanics of hippie flipping and how to safely experiment.

Having Sex on Shrooms: Good or Bad Idea?
Is having sex on shrooms a good idea or an accident waiting to happen? Find out in our guide to sex on magic mushrooms.

Gold Cap Shrooms Guide: Spores, Effects, Identification
Read this guide to learn more about the different characteristics of gold cap mushrooms, and how they differ from other psilocybin species.

Guide to Cooking with Magic Mushrooms
From cookies to smoothies and sandwiches, we cover various methods of cooking with magic mushrooms for the ultimate snack.

2020 Election: The Decriminalize Psilocybin Movement
Are you curious if mushrooms will follow in marijuana’s footsteps? Read to learn about how the U.S. is moving to decriminalize psilocybin.

Oregon’s Initiative to Legalize Mushrooms | Initiative Petition 34
Oregon continues to push ahead with their initiative to legalize Psilocybin in 2020. The measure received its official title and now needs signatures.

Canada Approves Psilocybin Treatment for Terminally-Ill Cancer Patients
Canada’s Minister of Health, Patty Hajdu approved the use of psilocybin to help ease anxiety and depression of four terminal cancer patients.

DMT (N,N-Dimethyltryptamine)

Mapping the DMT Experience
With only firsthand experiences to share, how can we fully map the DMT experience? Let’s explore what we know about this powerful psychedelic.

Guide to Machine Elves and Other DMT Entities
This guide discusses machine elves, clockwork elves, and other common DMT entities that people experience during a DMT trip.

Is the DMT Experience a Hallucination? 
What if the DMT realm was the real world, and our everyday lives were merely a game we had chosen to play?

How to Store DMT
Not sure how to store DMT? Read this piece to learn the best practices and elements of advice to keep your stuff fresh.

What Does 5-MeO-DMT Show Us About Consciousness?
How does our brain differentiate between what’s real and what’s not? Read to learn what can 5-MeO-DMT show us about consciousness.

How to Smoke DMT: Processes Explained
There are many ways to smoke DMT and we’ve outlined some of the best processes to consider before embarking on your journey.

How to Ground After DMT
Knowing what to expect from a DMT comedown can help you integrate the experience to gain as much value as possible from your journey.

How To Get DMT
What kind of plants contain DMT? Are there other ways to access this psychedelic? Read on to learn more about how to get DMT.

How DMT is Made: Everything You Need to Know
Ever wonder how to make DMT? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how DMT is made.

Having Sex on DMT: What You Need to Know
Have you ever wondered about sex on DMT? Learn how the God Molecule can influence your intimate experiences.

Does the Human Brain Make DMT? 
With scientific evidence showing us DMT in the brain, what can we conclude it is there for? Read on to learn more.

How to Use DMT Vape Pens
Read to learn all about DMT vape pens including: what to know when vaping, what to expect when purchasing a DMT cartridge, and vaping safely.

DMT Resources
This article is a comprehensive DMT resource providing extensive information from studies, books, documentaries, and more. Check it out!

Differentiating DMT and Near-Death Experiences
Some say there are similarities between a DMT trip and death. Read our guide on differentiating DMT and near-death experiences to find out.

DMT Research from 1956 to the Edge of Time
From a representative sample of a suitably psychedelic crowd, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who couldn’t tell you all about Albert Hofmann’s enchanted bicycle ride after swallowing what turned out to be a massive dose of LSD. Far fewer, however, could tell you much about the world’s first DMT trip.

The Ultimate Guide to DMT Pricing
Check out our ultimate guide on DMT pricing to learn what to expect when purchasing DMT for your first time.

DMT Milking | Reality Sandwich
Indigenous cultures have used 5-MeO-DMT for centuries. With the surge in demand for psychedelic toad milk, is DMT Milking harming the frogs?

Why Does DMT Pervade Nature?
With the presence of DMT in nature everywhere – including human brains – why does it continue to baffle science?

DMT Substance Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to DMT has everything you want to know about this powerful psychedelic referred to as “the spirit molecule”.

DMT for Depression: Paving the Way for New Medicine
We’ve been waiting for an effective depression treatment. Studies show DMT for depression works even for treatment resistant patients.

Beating Addiction with DMT
Psychedelics have been studied for their help overcoming addiction. Read how DMT is helping addicts beat their substance abuse issues.

DMT Extraction: Behind the Scientific Process
Take a look at DMT extraction and the scientific process involved. Learn all you need to know including procedures and safety.

Microdosing DMT & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing DMT.

DMT Art: A Look Behind Visionary Creations
An entire genre of artwork is inspired by psychedelic trips with DMT. Read to learn about the entities and visions behind DMT art.

Changa vs. DMT: What You Need to Know
While similar (changa contains DMT), each drug has its own unique effect and feeling. Let’s compare and contrast changa vs DMT.

5-MeO-DMT Guide: Effects, Benefits, Safety, and Legality
5-Meo-DMT comes from the Sonora Desert toad. Here is everything you want to know about 5-Meo-DMT and how it compares to 4-AcO-DMT.

4-AcO-DMT Guide: Benefits, Effects, Safety, and Legality
This guide tells you everything about 4 AcO DMT & 5 MeO DMT, that belong to the tryptamine class, and are similar but slightly different to DMT.

LSD Guides (lysergic acid diethylamide)

How Much Does LSD Cost? When shopping around for that magical psychedelic substance, there can be many uncertainties when new to buying LSD. You may be wondering how much does LSD cost? In this article, we will discuss what to expect when purchasing LSD on the black market, what forms LSD is sold in, and the standard breakdown of buying LSD in quantity.   Navy Use of LSD on the Dark Web The dark web is increasingly popular for purchasing illegal substances. The US Navy has now noticed this trend with their staff. Read to learn more.   Having Sex on LSD: What You Need to Know Can you have sex on LSD? Read our guide to learn everything about sex on acid, from lowered inhibitions to LSD users quotes on sex while tripping.   A Drug That Switches off an LSD Trip A pharmaceutical company is developing an “off-switch” drug for an LSD trip, in the case that a bad trip can happen. Some would say there is no such thing.   Queen of Hearts: An Interview with Liz Elliot on Tim Leary and LSD The history of psychedelia, particularly the British experience, has been almost totally written by men. Of the women involved, especially those who were in the thick of it, little has been written either by or about them. A notable exception is Liz Elliot.   LSD Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety LSD, Lysergic acid diethylamide, or just acid is one of the most important psychedelics ever discovered. What did history teach us?   Microdosing LSD & Common Dosage Explained Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing LSD.   LSD Resources Curious to learn more about LSD? This guide includes comprehensive LSD resources containing books, studies and more.   LSD as a Spiritual Aid There is common consent that the evolution of mankind is paralleled by the increase and expansion of consciousness. From the described process of how consciousness originates and develops, it becomes evident that its growth depends on its faculty of perception. Therefore every means of improving this faculty should be used.   Legendary LSD Blotter Art: A Hidden Craftsmanship Have you ever heard of LSD blotter art? Explore the trippy world of LSD art and some of the top artists of LSD blotter art.   LSD and Exercise: Does it Work? LSD and exercise? Learn why high-performing athletes are taking hits of LSD to improve their overall potential.   Jan Bastiaans Treated Holocaust Survivors with LSD Dutch psychiatrist, Jan Bastiaans administered LSD-assisted therapy to survivors of the Holocaust. A true war hero and pioneer of psychedelic-therapy.   LSD and Spiritual Awakening I give thanks for LSD, which provided the opening that led me to India in 1971 and brought me to Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharajji. Maharajji is described by the Indians as a “knower of hearts.”   How LSD is Made: Everything You Need to Know Ever wonder how to make LSD? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how LSD is made.   How to Store LSD: Best Practices Learn the best way to store LSD, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long LSD lasts when stored.   Bicycle Day: The Discovery of LSD Every year on April 19th, psychonauts join forces to celebrate Bicycle Day. Learn about the famous day when Albert Hoffman first discovered the effects of LSD.   Cary Grant: A Hollywood Legend On LSD Cary Grant was a famous actor during the 1930’s-60’s But did you know Grant experimented with LSD? Read our guide to learn more.   Albert Hofmann: LSD — My Problem Child Learn about Albert Hofmann and his discovery of LSD, along with the story of Bicycle Day and why it marks a historic milestone.   Babies are High: What Does LSD Do To Your Brain What do LSD and babies have in common? Researchers at the Imperial College in London discover that an adult’s brain on LSD looks like a baby’s brain.   1P LSD: Effects, Benefits, Safety Explained 1P LSD is an analogue of LSD and homologue of ALD-25. Here is everything you want to know about 1P LSD and how it compares to LSD.   Francis Crick, DNA & LSD Type ‘Francis Crick LSD’ into Google, and the result will be 30,000 links. Many sites claim that Crick (one of the two men responsible for discovering the structure of DNA), was either under the influence of LSD at the time of his revelation or used the drug to help with his thought processes during his research. Is this true?   What Happens If You Overdose on LSD? A recent article presented three individuals who overdosed on LSD. Though the experience was unpleasant, the outcomes were remarkably positive.

Ayahuasca Guides

The Ayahuasca Experience
Ayahuasca is both a medicine and a visionary aid. You can employ ayahuasca for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual repair, and you can engage with the power of ayahuasca for deeper insight and realization. If you consider attainment of knowledge in the broadest perspective, you can say that at all times, ayahuasca heals.


Trippy Talk: Meet Ayahuasca with Sitaramaya Sita and PlantTeachers
Sitaramaya Sita is a spiritual herbalist, pusangera, and plant wisdom practitioner formally trained in the Shipibo ayahuasca tradition.


The Therapeutic Value of Ayahuasca
My best description of the impact of ayahuasca is that it’s a rocket boost to psychospiritual growth and unfolding, my professional specialty during my thirty-five years of private practice.


Microdosing Ayahuasca: Common Dosage Explained
What is ayahuasca made of and what is considered a microdose? Explore insights with an experienced Peruvian brewmaster and learn more about this practice.


Ayahuasca Makes Neuron Babies in Your Brain
Researchers from Beckley/Sant Pau Research Program have shared the latest findings in their study on the effects of ayahuasca on neurogenesis.


The Fatimiya Sufi Order and Ayahuasca
In this interview, the founder of the Fatimiya Sufi Order,  N. Wahid Azal, discusses the history and uses of plant medicines in Islamic and pre-Islamic mystery schools.


Consideration Ayahuasca for Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Research indicates that ayahuasca mimics mechanisms of currently accepted treatments for PTSD. In order to understand the implications of ayahuasca treatment, we need to understand how PTSD develops.


Brainwaves on Ayahuasca: A Waking Dream State
In a study researchers shared discoveries showing ingredients found in Ayahuasca impact the brainwaves causing a “waking dream” state.


Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a pro cannabis Peruvian Shaman.


Ayahuasca Retreat 101: Everything You Need to Know to Brave the Brew
Ayahuasca has been known to be a powerful medicinal substance for millennia. However, until recently, it was only found in the jungle. Word of its deeply healing and cleansing properties has begun to spread across the world as many modern, Western individuals are seeking spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being. More ayahuasca retreat centers are emerging in the Amazon and worldwide to meet the demand.


Ayahuasca Helps with Grief
A new study published in psychopharmacology found that ayahuasca helped those suffering from the loss of a loved one up to a year after treatment.


Ayahuasca Benefits: Clinical Improvements for Six Months
Ayahuasca benefits can last six months according to studies. Read here to learn about the clinical improvements from drinking the brew.


Ayahuasca Culture: Indigenous, Western, And The Future
Ayahuasca has been use for generations in the Amazon. With the rise of retreats and the brew leaving the rainforest how is ayahuasca culture changing?


Ayahuasca Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
The Amazonian brew, Ayahuasca has a long history and wide use. Read our guide to learn all about the tea from its beginnings up to modern-day interest.


Ayahuasca and the Godhead: An Interview with Wahid Azal of the Fatimiya Sufi Order
Wahid Azal, a Sufi mystic of The Fatimiya Sufi Order and an Islamic scholar, talks about entheogens, Sufism, mythology, and metaphysics.


Ayahuasca and the Feminine: Women’s Roles, Healing, Retreats, and More
Ayahuasca is lovingly called “grandmother” or “mother” by many. Just how feminine is the brew? Read to learn all about women and ayahuasca.

Ketamine Guides

What Is the Standard of Care for Ketamine Treatments?
Ketamine therapy is on the rise in light of its powerful results for treatment-resistant depression. But, what is the current standard of care for ketamine? Read to find out.

What Is Dissociation and How Does Ketamine Create It?
Dissociation can take on multiple forms. So, what is dissociation like and how does ketamine create it? Read to find out.

Having Sex on Ketamine: Getting Physical on a Dissociative
Curious about what it could feel like to have sex on a dissociate? Find out all the answers in our guide to sex on ketamine.

Special K: The Party Drug
Special K refers to Ketamine when used recreationally. Learn the trends as well as safety information around this substance.

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

Ketamine vs. Esketamine: 3 Important Differences Explained
Ketamine and esketamine are used to treat depression. But what’s the difference between them? Read to learn which one is right for you: ketamine vs. esketamine.

Guide to Ketamine Treatments: Understanding the New Approach
Ketamine is becoming more popular as more people are seeing its benefits. Is ketamine a fit? Read our guide for all you need to know about ketamine treatments.

Ketamine Treatment for Eating Disorders
Ketamine is becoming a promising treatment for various mental health conditions. Read to learn how individuals can use ketamine treatment for eating disorders.

Ketamine Resources, Studies, and Trusted Information
Curious to learn more about ketamine? This guide includes comprehensive ketamine resources containing books, studies and more.

Ketamine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to ketamine has everything you need to know about this “dissociative anesthetic” and how it is being studied for depression treatment.

Ketamine for Depression: A Mental Health Breakthrough
While antidepressants work for some, many others find no relief. Read to learn about the therapeutic uses of ketamine for depression.

Ketamine for Addiction: Treatments Offering Hope
New treatments are offering hope to individuals suffering from addiction diseases. Read to learn how ketamine for addiction is providing breakthrough results.

Microdosing Ketamine & Common Dosages Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing ketamine.

How to Ease a Ketamine Comedown
Knowing what to expect when you come down from ketamine can help integrate the experience to gain as much value as possible.

How to Store Ketamine: Best Practices
Learn the best ways how to store ketamine, including the proper temperature and conditions to maximize how long ketamine lasts when stored.

How To Buy Ketamine: Is There Legal Ketamine Online?
Learn exactly where it’s legal to buy ketamine, and if it’s possible to purchase legal ketamine on the internet.

How Long Does Ketamine Stay in Your System?
How long does ketamine stay in your system? Are there lasting effects on your body? Read to discover the answers!

How Ketamine is Made: Everything You Need to Know
Ever wonder how to make Ketamine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how Ketamine is made.

Colorado on Ketamine: First Responders Waiver Programs
Fallout continues after Elijah McClain. Despite opposing recommendations from some city council, Colorado State Health panel recommends the continued use of ketamine by medics for those demonstrating “excited delirium” or “extreme agitation”.

Types of Ketamine: Learn the Differences & Uses for Each
Learn about the different types of ketamine and what they are used for—and what type might be right for you. Read now to find out!

MDMA / Ecstasy Guides

Kitty Flipping: When Ketamine and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Read to explore the mechanics of kitty flipping.

MDMA & Ecstasy Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to MDMA has everything you want to know about Ecstasy from how it was developed in 1912 to why it’s being studied today.

How To Get the Most out of Taking MDMA as a Couple
Taking MDMA as a couple can lead to exciting experiences. Read here to learn how to get the most of of this love drug in your relationship.

Common MDMA Dosage & Microdosing Explained
Microdosing, though imperceivable, is showing to have many health benefits–here is everything you want to know about microdosing MDMA.

Having Sex on MDMA: What You Need to Know
MDMA is known as the love drug… Read our guide to learn all about sex on MDMA and why it is beginning to makes its way into couple’s therapy.

How MDMA is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make MDMA? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how MDMA is made.

Hippie Flipping: When Shrooms and Molly Meet
What is it, what does it feel like, and how long does it last? Explore the mechanics of hippie flipping and how to safely experiment.

Cocaine Guides

How Cocaine is Made: Common Procedures Explained
Ever wonder how to make cocaine? Read our guide to learn everything you need to know about the procedures of how cocaine is made.

A Christmas Sweater with Santa and Cocaine
This week, Walmart came under fire for a “Let it Snow” Christmas sweater depicting Santa with lines of cocaine. Columbia is not merry about it.

Ultimate Cocaine Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
This guide covers what you need to know about Cocaine, including common effects and uses, legality, safety precautions and top trends today.

NEWS: An FDA-Approved Cocaine Nasal Spray
The FDA approved a cocaine nasal spray called Numbrino, which has raised suspicions that the pharmaceutical company, Lannett Company Inc., paid off the FDA..

Cannabis Guides

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis Bioavailability
What is bioavailability and how can it affect the overall efficacy of a psychedelic substance? Read to learn more.

Cannabis Research Explains Sociability Behaviors
New research by Dr. Giovanni Marsicano shows social behavioral changes occur as a result of less energy available to the neurons. Read here to learn more.

The Cannabis Shaman
If recreational and medical use of marijuana is becoming accepted, can the spiritual use as well? Experiential journalist Rak Razam interviews Hamilton Souther, founder of the 420 Cannabis Shamanism movement…

Cannabis Guide: Effects, Common Uses, Safety
Our ultimate guide to Cannabis has everything you want to know about this popular substances that has psychedelic properties.

Cannabis and Ayahuasca: Mixing Entheogenic Plants
Cannabis and Ayahuasca: most people believe they shouldn’t be mixed. Read this personal experience peppered with thoughts from a procannabis Peruvian Shaman.

CBD-Rich Cannabis Versus Single-Molecule CBD
A ground-breaking study has documented the superior therapeutic properties of whole plant Cannabis extract as compared to synthetic cannabidiol (CBD), challenging the medical-industrial complex’s notion that “crude” botanical preparations are less effective than single-molecule compounds.

Cannabis Has Always Been a Medicine
Modern science has already confirmed the efficacy of cannabis for most uses described in the ancient medical texts, but prohibitionists still claim that medical cannabis is “just a ruse.”

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