Psychedelic Culture

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Highlights

Longform

Essays & Interviews

The Intensified Trajectory of Consciousness in Odysseus’ Vision in Hades


A shared animistic perception makes plausible a deep affinity between the worldview of the ancient inhabitants of the Mediterranean, their descendants the Homeric Greeks, and indigenous peoples worldwide.
Robert Tindall

Who’s Tripping Who?


Psychedelic plants, fungi and animals can provide extremely valuable insights relating to life on this planet. Our species would be foolish to disregard these transformative agents that can be of benefit to ourselves, all life, and our long term future on this planet.
Sam Gandy

Stanislav Grof and Richard Tarnas: The Birth of a New Worldview


In the mid-1960s, psychiatrist Stanislav Grof’s research in LSD psychotherapy challenged the orthodox Freudian model of mind. For years, Grof and his colleagues looked unsuccessfully for some kind of diagnostic system to predict the experiences of their clients in deep self-exploration. When Richard Tarnas applied archetypal astrology to this problem, Grof had to ironically concede that the one successful technique was even more controversial than his research in psychedelic therapy.
Renn Butler

Yoga, Ayahuasca & A Course in Miracles: Long Reads & Short Roads Home


Ayahuasca hasn’t made me enlightened, if there truly is such a thing, though it has done the work of a traditional guru and illuminated the darkness within, which has allowed me to be more aware of and correct/prevent self-serving, fear-based thoughts, words and actions.
Allowah

Taboo from the Jungle to the Clinic


Of all the potions boiled up and blended in the cauldron of Amazonian prehistory, the most fascinating to layman and researcher alike is ayahuasca. With a few notable exceptions, academia does not take seriously the folkloric tale that the plants themselves told the shamans how to prepare them, bringing the powers of a particular vine to bear upon a particular leaf, and thereby unleashing its latent visionary potential.
Rev Nemu

You Have a Constitutional Right to Psychedelics


Who has the right to rule on what ideas you may and may not consider? Who has the right to regulate how you chose to use your mind? Not the Congress of the United States, not the Drug Enforcement Administration, not the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Thomas B. Roberts PhD

The Second Psychedelic Revolution, Part Five: A Short Psychedelic History of Humanity


Psychedelic revolutions in various societies —psychedelic "transformations" might be a better term—have been somewhat common throughout mankind’s history, and may prove to have been essential to the development of culture.
James Oroc

Unified Psychedelic Theory: An Interview with Patrick Lundborg R.I.P.


I’m honored to have conducted this interview with Patrick Lundborg, author of the "psychedelic bible" Psychedelia, who recently passed away. He was a brilliant, warm, and humorous soul, with an unprecedented passion for investigating altered states.
Benton Rooks

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.
Benton Rooks

The Second Psychedelic Revolution Part Two: Alexander ‘Sasha’ Shulgin, The Psychedelic Godfather


In a Psychedelic Hall of Fame, the section on chemists would be small; there have only really been two giants in this field — Albert Hoffman, who first synthesized LSD-25 and psilocybin, and Alexander Shulgin, who seems to have invented nearly everything else.
James Oroc

Ayahuasca: An Ethnopharmacologic History


We may try to desacralize the tea and render it down to a matter of chemistry and botany, receptor sites and pharmacology, but none of these things will ever explain the undeniable and profound mystery that is ayahuasca.
Dennis McKenna

Another Perspective on Terence: An Interview with Dennis McKenna


Even though Terence McKenna is notable as the public voice of the DMT experience, he wasn’t alone in the birthing of the psilocybin resurgence. I had a chat with Terence’s brother, Dennis McKenna, to get his perspective on the Terence McKenna phenomenon.
Daniel Moler

Don Peyote: A Hallucinatory Odyssey


Don Peyote, a new film written, acted and directed by Dan Folger, is a hilarious psychedelic comedy about half-mad, half-wise Warren Allman's quest to save the world.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Teaching and Broken Trust


I watched as the papers and prayers burned, surrendering to the fire.  The shaman sat uncomfortably close, but I figured that this was all right, since we’d spent so much time together.  Yet my gut was telling me otherwise.
Aurelia Hunter

Psychedelic, Shamanic, and Magickal Themes in Anime Culture


Ancient mythic themes emerge anew in video game virtuality and anime culture as expressions of the unconscious desire to shamanize, or walk between the material and spiritual planes of existence.
Benton Rooks

The Second Psychedelic Revolution: Part Four. Alex Grey—The Mystic-Artist.


Alex Grey is the first major psychedelic voice since Aldous Huxley and Alan Watts to return the conversation about psychedelics back onto traditional mystical grounds.
James Oroc

Appeal for Amazonian Shamanic Assistance


Richard Sauder is an American living in Ecuador who has experienced the dark side of shamanism. He is currently in a legal battle to expose the shaman, and is asking for support from the shamanic community.
Richard Sauder

The Search for a Truth Serum


On April 20, 1950, the CIA under Allen Dulles gave the green light for the intelligence service to evaluate the use of LSD in the secret operation Bluebird.
Dieter Hagenbach

Psychedelic, Shamanic, and Magickal Themes in Video Game Culture


A cursory view of video game history demonstrates the pervasive historical and real world applications of shamanism and sorcery that lie latent in many popular titles masquerading as mere fiction.
Benton Rooks

The Blunt Edge of Ockham’s Razor


Our scientific beliefs are a laundry bag of second-hand rags cut to resemble lab coats, dyed in the distillate of our prejudices. They are given to us, not chosen by us; but they define our world and set the limits of acceptable belief and behaviour.
The Reverend Nemu

The Second Psychedelic Revolution Part Three: Terence McKenna, The Rise of the Plant Shaman


In the decade following his death, the focal points of Terence McKenna’s life’s work have become, for better and for worse, something of a blueprint for the rise of a global neo-tribal, techno-shamanic culture.
James Oroc

Jungle. Star. Medicine: Astrology at the Edge of Consciousness


My interest in astrology grew quickly as I began having profound astrological insights and visions during my ayahuasca ceremonies, as though the landscape of the medicine had become almost entirely astrological in nature.
Adam Elenbaas

Psychedelic Plato: A Review of Patrick Lundborg's vibed out book Psychedelia


Psychedelia is one of the most essential books in the argument for psychedelic shamanism and self-initiation into metaphysical mysteries—at this critical juncture of the post-internet age.
Benton Rooks

The Birth of a Psychedelic Culture


There was madness in any direction, at any hour. …You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that was the handle -that sense of inevitable victory over Old and Evil
John Perry Barlow

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News, Videos, Podcasts & Events

[Visionary Dialog] • What Makes a Shaman Authentic?


To be a shaman worthy of the title, what — if any — threshold needs to be reached? Join Rak Razam, Itzhak Beery, Elizabeth B. Jenkins, and Robert Tindall for "What Makes a Shaman Authentic?" It all starts tonight!
Visionary Dialogs

Ayahuasca Awakenings: Retreats - James Jesso


Author of "Decomposing the Shadow: Lessons from the Psilocybin Mushroom," James W. Jesso was one of the participants in our September retreat.
Rak Razam

Healing trip: how psychedelic drugs could help treat depression


UK patients with clinical depression that failed to respond to conventional treatment will have the chance to partake in a clinical trial using psilocybin next year.
Faye Sakellaridis

Expanding and Reenchanting the Psyche: The Pioneering Thought of Stanislav Grof


On October 24-25, the California Institute of Integral Studies and the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program is hosting a unique conference honoring the lifetime achievements of Stanislav Grof in San Francisco, CA.
Faye Sakellaridis

Hamilton Morris on Alexander Shulgin


Hamilton Morris recalls time spent with the late Alexander Shulgin, who imparted a pithy piece of gendered wisdom on inscrutable chemicals, and the great psychedelic libraries of Shulgin, McKenna, and other luminaries in this short piece for The Fabulist.
Faye Sakellaridis

[Visionary Dialog] • Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?


Has ayahuasca arrived on Earth with a mission to save the planet? Join Chris Kilham, David Jay Brown, Dani Katz, Diana Slattery, and Jonathan Talat Phillips for, “Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?” The discussion is the forum – now through October 15.
Visionary Dialogs

Scientific American Supports Psychedelic Psychotherapy


Scientific American supports research into mind-altering drugs as therapeutic tools, and provided a great infographic showing the unique remedial effects of particular substances, including LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine.
Faye Sakellaridis

David Jay Brown Joins Line-Up for Monday's Visionary Dialog


Psychedelic and consciousness author David Jay Brown has joined the line-up for the Visionary Dialog, "Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?" It starts this Monday. Watch David talk about navigating altered states here.
Faye Sakellaridis

Jonathan Talat Phillips on Ayahuasca


Talat speaks about his book "The Electric Jesus" and ayahuasca ceremonies that involved spirit guides resulting in Divine healing in this interview. Join Talat for Monday's live, interactive Visionary Dialog, "Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?"
Faye Sakellaridis

Ayahuasca, the Unrivaled Healer


Decades of therapy condensed into a single night's journey -- such is the thorough and "unrivaled" power of the sacred vine. Medicine hunter Chris Kilham shares his story of deep healing and forgiveness at the 2012 Ayahuasca Monologues. Watch it here.
Faye Sakellaridis

This Week In Psychedelic Culture


This week in psychedelic culture: psychedelic scenes in video games, a Mushroom Oracle, Ayahuasca and alien intelligence, legalizing psychedelic therapy, and McKenna's cannabis lifestyle.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Terence McKenna's Central Practice of Life was Cannabis


Cannabis was an integral part of Terence McKenna's lifestyle, a central practice that could "completely invert the structures" of his personality. Vice covers the various ways in which McKenna viewed cannabis to have an enriching effect on his life.
Faye Sakellaridis

Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy


Government-approved research is showing that psychedelic therapy can help people suffering from serious mental health conditions. MAPS has already raised over $1.3 million - your help is needed to complete this study and legalize psychedelic therapy.
Faye Sakellaridis

Is Ayahuasca Grooming a New Generation of Healers?


Rak Razam asks, after years of mainstream media reporting, is the ayahuasca community still underground? What type of people are drawn to ayahuasca? What percentage of first time ayahuasca drinkers stay on the medicine party?
Jeremy D. Johnson

This Week in Psychedelic Culture


This week in psychedelic culture: MDMA can treat autism, the stages of Ayahuasca experience, getting off prescription drugs for mental health, a Sasha Shulgin Memorial and entheodelic myth making with Benton Rooks & Rak Razam.
Jeremy D. Johnson

MDMA and Autism


According to a new study at County Harbor UCLA, MDMA could help adults on the autism spectrum.
Jeremy D. Johnson

What Is the Ayahuasca Experience?


Utne magazine runs a fairly comprehensive introduction to the Ayahuasca experience, featuring different stages of experience, descriptions of altered states, and a firsthand account from Allen Ginsberg.
Jeremy D. Johnson

This Week in Psychedelic Culture


Here are some top highlights from the past week's Psychedelic Culture section: the War on Consciousness, Mushroom dunes, Aya Awakens in San Francisco and another case of coming out of the psychedelic closet.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Issue Two of The Nexian is Out


The Nexian has just published its second e-zine edition, dedicated to the late Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin and featuring contributions from Rick Strassman.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Susan Sarandon Comes Out of the Closet About Her Psychedelic Use


Susan Sarandon recently sat down for an interview with The Daily Beast to promote her new film, The Last of Robin Hood. The conversation ran the gamut from her love affair with David Bowie, to marijuana and her use of psychedelics.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Aya: Awakenings San Francisco Full Panel Feb 18, 2014


A dynamic discussion on the evolution of the Western ayahuasca tradition, the DMT visions and the role of entities, guides and spirits, madre ayahuasca as an avatar of the planetary intelligence and how to become shamanauts of the invisible landscape...
Rak Razam

The War on Drugs = The War on Consciousness


Author and historian Graham Hancock explains how the "War on Drugs" is actually a "War on Consciousness." Listen and pass along to a friend.
Jeremy D. Johnson

[Visionary Dialog] • “Do Psychedelics Prove God Exists?”


For this inaugural Visionary Dialog, five of Reality Sandwich’s most provocative psychedelic metaphysicians will discuss the question, “Do Psychedelics Prove God Exists?”
Visionary Dialogs

Magic Mushrooms Inspired Frank Herbert's "Dune"


Anyone who is familiar with Frank Herbert's science fiction classic "Dune" knows the importance of the spice, which only comes from the desert planet Arrakis. As it turns out, Herbert developed the idea for spice from magic mushrooms.
Jeremy D. Johnson