Psychedelic Culture

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Essays & Interviews

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.

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

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

Transference of Epiphany: A Talk With Michael Divine

The role of the artist is to find deep personal experiences and ways of relating and share them with others. It's to be the mirror that much of our society – with its constant consumer blitz – is not.
Nese Devenot

Consideration of Ayahuasca for the 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.
Jessica Nielson and Julie Megler


News, Videos, Podcasts & Events

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

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

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

Fire and Earth Erowid: Drug Geeks at Work, the seminal harm reduction site, turns 20 next year. Founders Earth and Fire Erowid talk about their day-to-day, and what the future holds in this interview.
Faye Sakellaridis

Psychedelic Science: Magic Mushrooms

Despite its illegal status, researchers have once again started studying the effects of psilocybin on humans. The results so far have been intriguing. ReasonTV caught up with Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University and Robin Carhart-Harris of Imperial College London at the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland, CA to learn what's happening at the cutting edge of psilocybin research.
Faye Sakellaridis

Legal, Ethical, and Political Dimensions of Ayahuasca Consumption in Brazil

Erowid recently posted an English translation of a 2005 article that addresses the ethical, political, social, ecological, and legal questions that have emerged from ayahuasca’s expansion into non-indigenous usage.
Faye Sakellaridis

Can ayahuasca reveal our Spirit Guides?

Jonathan Talat Phillips, author of The Electric Jesus discusses spirit guides, dark entities and the spiritual path.
Rak Razam

HuffPost Live Video Panel on Ayahuasca

HuffPost live featured a 17 minute video panel on ayahuasca and its therapeutic benefits. Hosted by Josh Zepps, the panel included Amber Lyons, Katie Bain, Matthew Johnson Ph.D, and Sunil Aggarwal. Watch it here.
Faye Sakellaridis

The Ayahuasca Monologues Returns to California

As ayahuasca spreads across the West, for one night in SF and LA, we’ll come together as a culture and community to hear stories of the spirit vine.
Jonathan Talat Phillips

Treating Trauma: Richard Rockefeller and Larry Brilliant at the Commonwealth Club

Could MDMA effectively treat—maybe even cure—post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD)? In this video, the late Dr. Richard Rockefeller and Larry Brilliant discuss the prospect of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
Faye Sakellaridis

Neuroscientist Describes Her DMT Trip

Neuroscientist Dr. Michele Ross is a former drug researcher for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, turned medical marijuana and psychedelics advocate. Dr. Ross says she sought out non-neurotoxic, nonaddictive DMT to help her heal from trauma.
Jeremy D. Johnson

When Will Medicinal ‘Magic Mushrooms’ Be Legalized?

When will psilocybin be recognized as a legitimate medical treatment? Psychedelic researcher and co-founder of The Heffter Research Institute Dr. David E. Nichols explains what it will take in this opinion piece on
Faye Sakellaridis

The NY Times Publishes Well-Informed Article on Ayahuasca's Healing Potential

Last Friday, NY Times readers were given a thoughtful and well-informed article on ayahuasca that focused closely on the plant's incredible healing potential, shining light on both celebrity testimonies and other individuals' glowing experiences.
Faye Sakellaridis

Amber Lyon Trips All Over the World to Discover the Power of Hallucinogens

Breaking the Set’s Abby Martin speaks with former CNN journalist and reporter, Amber Lyon, about how her experiences with psychedelics have helped cure her PTSD, and the dangers of Big Pharma and prescription medications.
Faye Sakellaridis