spirituality – Psychedelic Frontier http://psychedelicfrontier.com make the most of your dose Fri, 11 Jan 2019 12:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 48719013 Psychedelics and Witchcraft — The Truth About Hallucinogenic “Hexing Herbs” http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelics-witchcraft-hexing-nightshades/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelics-witchcraft-hexing-nightshades/#respond Sun, 28 Oct 2018 18:16:55 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=5042 Psychedelics and Witchcraft — The Truth About Hallucinogenic “Hexing Herbs”

Were “hexing herbs” really used by witches in medieval times? Are they for healing, cursing, or consorting with the Devil? Learn all about the sordid history of Deadly Nightshade, Mandrake, and Henbane in today’s post.

This text appeared in the original manuscript of Magic Medicine, my new book about the most fascinating psychedelics on the planet, but was cut for length. So this a sneak peek into the finished book, which covers 23 different plants, fungi, fish, and synthetic substances, from ayahuasca and 2C-B to “mad honey” and hallucinogenic sea sponges.

Origins and Background

Throughout human history, few plants have commanded as much respect – and fear – as the nightshades. Of the Solanaceae, a family of more than 2,700 distinct species including potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, and tobacco, a few particular plants stand out in botanical lore for their disturbing and powerful effects.

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‘Magic Medicine’ Author Featured on Psychedelic Milk http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelic-milk-podcast/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelic-milk-podcast/#respond Thu, 30 Aug 2018 11:00:53 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=5011 ‘Magic Medicine’ Author Featured on Psychedelic Milk

Have you heard of Psychedelic Milk? You should definitely check it out. Psychedelic Milk is a podcast hosted by Ed Liu, all about alternative medicine for scientific healing purposes and spiritual growth. As you might have guessed, he often discusses psychedelics, but dives into all kinds of tangents from Taoist spirituality to flow states. Ed’s always searching for something fresh, and he’s produced over a hundred episodes of high-quality conversations with a range of sparkling personalities.

Ed invited me on his show, and I’m happy to announce that I’m featured on Episode 109:  Magic Medicine with Cody Johnson | 23 Psychedelics Around the World. The number 23 refers to the number of chapters in my new book, Magic Medicine, each one covering a fascinating psychedelic plant or molecule. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a look — if you like my blog you’ll love the book.

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Michael Pollan Opens Up About His Powerful Psilocybin Trip on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show http://psychedelicfrontier.com/michael-pollan-stephen-colbert/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/michael-pollan-stephen-colbert/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 11:00:06 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4968 Michael Pollan Opens Up About His Powerful Psilocybin Trip on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show

It sure seems like psychedelics are finally going mainstream. Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, turns his attention to psychedelic science and medicine in his latest book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.

Pollan went on The Late Show to talk about tripping and the ego with Stephen Colbert. As an “immersion journalist,” Pollan decided to try LSD, psilocybin, and 5-MeO-DMT — a compound from the venom of the Sonoran desert toad — as research for his book. About his psilocybin trip, Pollan says:

I had this experience of ego dissolution. My sense of self fell apart. It was like a bunch of post-its being blown in the wind. And then I saw myself out on the landscape like paint.

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First Peek at My New Book ‘Magic Medicine’ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-book-magic-medicine/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-book-magic-medicine/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:00:35 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4854 First Peek at My New Book ‘Magic Medicine’

It’s finally here! Two years ago I started researching and writing Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants & Substances. After much tweaking and editing, the first printed copy is here! (The public release date is June 5th.)

From the very beginning, I wanted the book to more than just fascinating in its subject matter — I wanted it to be a beautiful object, something you would be proud to have on your nightstand or bookshelf. I wanted a book that would demand your attention and spark conversations, a book you could not help but pick up and thumb through, one that would make the perfect gift for that consciousness-curious person in your life.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I could not be happier with how the printed book came out! 

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Zig Zag Zen: An Interview with Author Allan Badiner http://psychedelicfrontier.com/zig-zag-zen-allan-badiner/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/zig-zag-zen-allan-badiner/#respond Wed, 07 Mar 2018 15:16:34 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4825 Zig Zag Zen: An Interview with Author Allan Badiner

This article by Jennifer Bleyer first appeared in the MAPS Winter Bulletin 2017.

Buddhism and psychedelic use have been linked since at least the 1950s, when influential thinkers and writers such as Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and Alan Watts experimented with both as avenues toward understanding the mind. The tacitly acknowledged connection took a leap forward in 2002 with the publication of Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics, a collection of essays, interviews, articles edited by Allan Badiner, which examines the two realms and their similarities and differences. A new edition of Zig Zag Zen was published in 2015. Badiner, a contributing editor of Tricycle, is a longtime supporter of MAPS.—Jennifer Bleyer

How did you become involved in Buddhism?

I’d never had any interest or belief in any religion, but when I was in my early 30s, I spent a year traveling in India, and right before returning home I took some advice to enroll in a Buddhist meditation retreat in Sri Lanka.

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The Sun is Always Shining http://psychedelicfrontier.com/sun-always-shining/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/sun-always-shining/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 15:30:09 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4799 The Sun is Always Shining

In this incredible, low-key little video (just shy of 3 minutes), Dr Dan Brown, discusses the nature of awareness and self. Dr. Brown is a Harvard clinical psychologist and Tibetan Buddhist scholar, and the video is made complete with ink and pencil animations by Claudia Biçen and music by Marcus Ostermiller. Fans of Alan Watts will definitely appreciate it.

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A Reverend’s Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion http://psychedelicfrontier.com/change-your-mind-sermon/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/change-your-mind-sermon/#comments Tue, 05 Sep 2017 11:00:36 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4106 A Reverend’s Moving Sermon About Psychedelics and Religion

“If I Could Change Your Mind,” preached by Reverend Mike Young at The First Unitarian Church of Honolulu on 5 November 1995.

If, on some Sunday morning, I would step up here into the pulpit and announce to you that I had an experience available to you, that you could come to the church on a given Saturday afternoon and spend with me between six and eight hours and I guarantee — virtually guaranteed at least almost guarantee; well, pretty certainly guarantee; oh, a good chance — that you would experience a total transformation of your own mind, the way you saw yourself, the way you experience the world out there and your relationship to it. How many would be interested? [About a dozen hands went up!]

There are a few adventurers left.

On Good Friday 1962, I was a subject in one of the last legal experiments that were done in this country with psychedelic drugs.

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My Share of Sacramental LSD http://psychedelicfrontier.com/lsd-wiccans-lunar-eclipse/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/lsd-wiccans-lunar-eclipse/#comments Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:00:46 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4085 My Share of Sacramental LSD

My first experience with taking LSD in a ritual context took place in 1980 in a Wiccan community in Northern California. But the event, an observance of the eclipse of the full moon, was by no means my first experience with psychedelics.

For the previous 14 years, I had used such psychedelics as LSD and psilocybin as part of a spiritual practice, often during the four years when it seemed to elevate my marriage into a cosmic union; and less often after my 1970 divorce, when I attempted — with very limited success — to reach acid light through meditation and psychic studies. Would Wicca bring me closer to the goal?

Wiccans seemed to share my worldview, one partly shaped by psychedelic experiences: the sacredness of the natural world, the unity of all being, the reality of divine presence within and surrounding us — not as a concept but as an experiential truth.

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Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science http://psychedelicfrontier.com/religious-leaders-tripping-mushrooms/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/religious-leaders-tripping-mushrooms/#respond Tue, 11 Jul 2017 11:00:55 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4065 Religious Leaders Tripping on Magic Mushrooms for Science

Among traditional cultures, psychedelic plants and fungi have long been viewed as spiritual medicines. Indeed, why partake of sacraments such as mushrooms, ayahuasca, or peyote cacti if not for their spiritual power? Yet in the West, where “spirituality” has long been conflated with religion — and where few sacraments aside from communion wafers and a bit of wine are acknowledged — these visionary plants have been viewed with suspicion.

That’s all changing. Among progressive scientists, psychedelics are now all the rage. Psilocybin, the active component of “magic” mushrooms, has shown promise in pilot studies for a wide range of applications, including quitting smoking and relieving anxiety among terminal cancer patients.

So in the midst of a “Psychedelic Renaissance,” it’s only fitting that researchers would turn their attention to the spiritual dimension of psychedelics. At Johns Hopkins University, 24 spiritual leaders — including Catholic priests, Protestant pastors, rabbis, and even a Zen Buddhist — are being dosed with psilocybin.

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“Getting Higher”: A Conversation with Author and Occultist Julian Vayne http://psychedelicfrontier.com/getting-higher-conversation-occultist-julian-vayne/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/getting-higher-conversation-occultist-julian-vayne/#comments Tue, 30 May 2017 11:00:21 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4007 “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.

You’re a self-described “occultist.” What exactly does that mean? How do you practice magic in the modern era?

An occultist is someone that is interested in the Mystery, the limits of human experience, extra-ordinary experiences and states of awareness.

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