Author Archive
Why Dr. Bronner's Soaps Is Donating $5 Million to MAPS

Why Dr. Bronner’s Soaps Is Donating $5 Million to MAPS

This essay by David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s and Board Member of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, was first published in the MAPS Bulletin and on drbronner.com. Our family company, Dr. Bronner’s, donates a lot of resources to social justice NGOs and campaigns, including over $1 million to various state-level cannabis legalization campaigns in 2016. Collectively, well north of $40 million was raised in the 2016 election cycle alone to end prohibition and stop the enormous waste of taxpayer and law enforcement resources from ruining the lives of upstanding citizens and their families. Even with the Trump...
"Getting Higher": A Conversation with Author and Occultist Julian Vayne

“Getting Higher”: A Conversation with Author and Occultist Julian Vayne

Julian Vayne is the author of Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony — a guide for exploring the use of psychedelic substances in the contexts of spirituality, self-transformation and magic. It’s out now, via the incredible independent publisher, Psychedelic Press UK. I caught up with Julian about why, exactly, psychedelic explorers would want to get even higher, and what it means to be a warlock in the information age.   Hi Julian, thanks very much for joining me. I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I have to say Getting Higher looks fascinating....
Hand in Hand: How Psychedelic Harm Reduction Is Making a Difference Now

Hand in Hand: How Psychedelic Harm Reduction Is Making a Difference Now

This essay by Shannon Clare Petitt was originally published in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition. If you believe in MAPS’ mission of furthering psychedelic medicine while promoting harm reduction, please donate to their cause. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) continues to make huge strides towards the goal of establishing psychedelics as legal medicines. In advancing the cause of psychedelic therapy, the organization has also become a repository for experience and techniques essential for assisting people journeying through difficult psychedelic experiences. Psychedelic harm reduction is the practice of creating safe spaces in environments where the use...
The Walls Come Tumbling Down: My First MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Session

The Walls Come Tumbling Down: My First MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Session

This story by Andy Gold first appeared in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition. I went for my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session on November 30, 2015, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Was it really a coincidence that the colonoscopy which found a malignant tumor in my colon some years earlier had also taken place on the Monday after Thanksgiving? I think not. Full circle, indeed. I arrived at the site in Marin County, Calif., where the session was to take place, at 9:30 in the morning. One of the study requirements is that you do the sessions while fasting. Someone also...
Deleted "Avatar" Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest

Deleted “Avatar” Scene Shows Hallucinogenic Vision Quest

Did you know the script of James Cameron’s Avatar, the 3D blockbuster from 2009, originally called for a full-on psychedelic vision quest? The scene must have gotten cut fairly late in production, because it was filmed with live actors and animation had already begun. The CGI renders were left in a blocky, unfinished state, but it’s easy to tell what’s going on. Titled “The Dream Hunt,” the scene is a fascinating glimpse into the spirituality of Pandora’s native Na’vi culture. The main character, Jake Sulley, agrees to take part in the initiation ceremony, in which he must take potent psychedelics in...
Mesmerizing Gifs by Hexeosis Are a Trip All By Themselves

Mesmerizing Gifs by Hexeosis Are a Trip All By Themselves

Gifs may be best known as a format for eminently shareable memes, drawn from films, TV shows, and YouTube videos and shared around the Web as bite-size reactions to every possible situation. But in the past few years, a few creators have raised them to the level of art form. And some of those artists appear to have gone deep down the psychedelic rabbit hole, because their colorful, ever-looping creations speak the visual language known by every tripper. One such gif artist is Hexeosis, who has been producing animations at the intersection of mathematics and psychedelia since 2013....
New Study: Psychedelics Really Do Produce a Higher State of Consciousness

New Study: Psychedelics Really Do Produce a Higher State of Consciousness

Trippers, researchers, and abstainers alike have casually referred to the psychedelic experience as an “expanded” state of mind for many years. Even the terminology of being “high” implies a somehow raised form of consciousness. Now, for the first time ever, researchers have found neurological evidence to support that view. In a study conducted at the University of Sussex and Imperial College, London, scientists discovered that psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, and even the dissociative ketamine all produce a “higher” state of consciousness. But what does that mean? Previous research has shown that measures of “neural signal diversity” in the brain change...
Dream Worlds: The Visionary Art of Adam Scott Miller

Dream Worlds: The Visionary Art of Adam Scott Miller

 As an artist, I’ve had this sense of being an explorer- sailing into unknown territory to bring back maps to share of lands we are not yet in, or aware of. Adam Scott Miller, an American-born artist who lives and works in Queensland, Australia, has always been something of a visionary. According to an interview he gave to solpurpose.com, two childhood events profoundly shaped his perception of the world — and, in turn, his art. Around age ten, for a year or so, I regularly experienced night terrors where I would wake up in the middle of a...
Psilocybin Healing: How Mushrooms Cured an Artist's Depression and Anxiety

Psilocybin Healing: How Mushrooms Cured an Artist’s Depression and Anxiety

While traveling in Italy and Greece in 2006 I developed a sinus infection that got so bad that once back in the US it ruptured the lining of my sinuses and allowed a strep infection to travel unchecked into my brain and spinal column. Bacterial meningitis ravaged my brain as a 107° fever raged out of control. I spent a week in the hospital unconscious and on life support before my folks whisked me off to their farm for lots of rest and lots of organic food from their gardens. Years of challenging recovery led to more and...
Psychedelics in American Religious Experience

Psychedelics in American Religious Experience

How important are psychedelics in the religious experience of the United States? We know drugs like LSD and psilocybin can occasion powerful, life-changing experiences of awe and renewal. We also know psychedelics have been used by millions of people since the 1960s. But no one has ever tried to count the number of people who’ve had psychedelic-related mystical experiences. I ran a survey of over 6,000 people to get an answer. Background: Walter ‘Wally’ Pahnke and psychedelic mysticism Fifty-one years ago, a massive 9.2 Richter scale earthquake shook Alaska. At the same time, Wally Pahnke was experiencing another...
Fantastic New Trip-Sitting Guide: The Manual of Psychedelic Support

Fantastic New Trip-Sitting Guide: The Manual of Psychedelic Support

Even the hardiest, most vocal psychedelic enthusiasts recognize that trip experiences can be intense and sometimes difficult. Especially when taken in unfamiliar surroundings — such as crowded music festivals or in the desert heat of Black Rock City — psychedelics can cause untimely emotional meltdowns. Now there’s an excellent guide for handling psychedelic crises, produced by some of foremost experts on harm reduction techniques. It’s called “The Manual of Psychedelic Support,” and its laundry list of contributors includes the Erowids, Rick Doblin, Jon Hanna (the founder of Mind States), Linnae Ponté (who runs MAPS’ excellent Zendo harm reduction tent), five members of Kosmicare UK, Dave...
Scientists are crowd-funding the first ever LSD brain imaging study

Scientists are crowd-funding the first ever LSD brain imaging study

Dr. David Nutt and Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, the researchers who blew your mind with a landmark psilocybin study in 2013, are at it again. This time they’re examining the effects of LSD on the brain, and they want your help. The active research phase has already been conducted — 20 volunteers were dosed and scanned, producing the world’s first images of brains on LSD. Now the researchers must analyze the raw data before they can publish the results. To fund this final phase of the study, the scientists have launched a crowd-funding campaign on Walacea.com in partnership with the Beckley Foundation. Within the first 24 hours,...