Psychedelic Culture

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Highlights

Longform

Essays & Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Curandero Initiation


After I had studied with Don Juan for a year and a half, he decided it was time to present me with my initiation as a curandero. At the time I really didn’t understand the significance of this.
Alan Shoemaker

The Second Psychedelic Revolution Part One: The End of Acid


The psychedelic movement is now entering a renaissance. How did this psychedelic revolution come about? What are its goals and its ideals? Are they different from the first psychedelic revolution of the 1960’s, or is this just fashion reinventing itself?
James Oroc

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News, Videos, Podcasts & Events

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

[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, Hillary S. Webb, and Margaret de Wys for "What Makes a Shaman Authentic?" It all starts on October 20.
Visionary Dialogs

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

[Visionary Dialog] • Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?


Has ayahuasca arrived on Earth with a mission to save the planet? Join Chris Kilham, Dani Katz, Diana Slattery, and Jonathan Talat Phillips for, “Is Ayahuasca an Alien Intelligence?” It starts on September 15.
Visionary Dialogs

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

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

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

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

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

[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

RESET ME with Rak Razam and Amber Lyon


Ex-CNN journalist Amber Lyon's journey from Middle America to Innerspace as a "psychedelic whistleblower", by Rak Razam.
Rak Razam

The Poetry of Mycology: Paul Stamets in Conversation with Fungal Artist Phil Ross


Paul Stamets is a visionary scientist, who-in his advocacy of medicinal mushrooms, fungai bioremediation, and biodiversity-is the world's foremost ally of the humble mushroom. Stamets talks with with Phil Ross, an artist who creates fungal sculptures.
Jeremy D. Johnson

VICE Discovers Terence McKenna!


Tao Lin shares 30 of his favorite McKenna memes for you as part of his "Beyond Existentialism" series on VICE.
Jeremy D. Johnson

Erik Davis on Shamanism 2.0, Hypermedia, and the Creative Imagination


"I'm interested in the creativity that is in perception, experience," Erik Davis says in this fascinating riff on technology, psychedelics and inculcating the creative imagination in the digital age. "You're setting up the possibility of encounters in the world."
Jeremy D. Johnson

Real-Life Futurama Is Gorgeous


Artist Alexey Zakharov has created a stunning 3D-animated "test shot" of the vibrantly complicated 31st century world of Futurama. We can only hope that the future will be so kaleidoscopic!
Jeremy D. Johnson

"Now I know why fairy tales are full of jewels." Anais Nin's 1955 LSD Trip Report


Many know Anais Nin for her breathtaking poetic-erotic novels and who Maria Popova described as "modern history's most dedicated diarist." Few know that in 1955, she took LSD and wrote a beautiful and detailed diary entry about it.
Jeremy D. Johnson

What Oliver Sacks Learned from Hallucinogens


Dr. Oliver Sacks talks about how hallucinogenic drugs helped him empathize with his patients, and how amphetamines provided direct insight into what physiologists call the "rewards system" of the brain.
Faye Sakellaridis

Hallucinogen Honey Hunters - Hunting Mad Honey - Documentary


A tribe of Nepal hunt a wild honey with natural psychoactive properties ("mad honey"). They use it as a medicine and a soft drug. Dipak, the translator of this movie, is overdosing and fall unconcious.
Faye Sakellaridis