stories
My Share of Sacramental LSD: Wiccans Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse

My Share of Sacramental LSD: Wiccans Celebrate a Lunar Eclipse

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...
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...
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...
Underwater Tripping: 5 Hours at the Bottom of a Minnesotan Lake

Underwater Tripping: 5 Hours at the Bottom of a Minnesotan Lake

Today’s guest post is by Alex Beyman,  an author, diving enthusiast, and psychonaut. His story of tripping at the bottom of a Minnesota Lake was originally posted to Reddit’s /r/drugs forum. Note: This is not a how-to guide. I do not condone irresponsible diving. I urge readers not to try diving without scuba certification and an understanding of the risks diving entails, especially where DIY gear is concerned. If you’re not careful it’s easy to kill yourself, so don’t try anything similar until you’re certified to dive conventionally. A few years ago I developed an obsessive interest in...
A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine

A 1914 Trip Report of Psilocybin Mushrooms from Science Magazine

In the treasure troves of Erowid I found a very old experience report for psilocybin mushrooms — a ‘trip report’ from long before that term was coined. It predates mycologist R. Gordon Wasson’s groundbreaking article, Seeking the Magic Mushroom — which exposed psilocybin mushrooms to a much wider audience in 1957 — by over forty years. It is as funny as it is historically interesting, so I am taking the liberty of re-posting it. Erowid Note: The following report is from the September 18, 1914 issue of Science magazine, generously contributed to Erowid by archivist Michael Horowitz, as a silvered, heavily-aged copy...
'All the Butterflies': A Monumental Shrooms Trip from 'Thank Earth You'

‘All the Butterflies’: A Monumental Shrooms Trip from ‘Thank Earth You’

Thank Earth You is a memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. In last week’s chapter, he embarked on a camping trip with three good friends — his wolf pack — and downed a heady brew of psilocybin mushrooms. This week we share the next chapter, All the Butterflies, in which the mushrooms take effect! Armand calls it “the most important campfire in my twenty-eight years of existence.” If you like what you read, you can buy Thank Earth You here. On our late afternoon descent, a phalanx of purples, dreams, triangles, oranges, and jellyfish races above...
'Power-up Pelt': A Story of Campfire Tripping from 'Thank Earth You'

‘Power-up Pelt’: A Story of Campfire Tripping from ‘Thank Earth You’

Thank Earth You is a terrific memoir by Armand Daigle about his transformation from cubicle slave to a free-spirited creative force. Central to the story are two profound psychedelic experiences, one with mushrooms on a camping trip, and the other a traditional ayahuasca ceremony. I interviewed Armand last week, and today we’re sharing a chapter of his memoir for free. In this chapter, Power-up Pelt, you get to know Armand’s wolf pack while witnessing the early stages of the mushroom trip that stretched his consciousness and changed his life. You can buy Thank Earth You here.   The four of us are holding hands in a circle—one hand...
Interview: Armand Daigle, Author of Psychedelic Memoir 'Thank Earth You'

Interview: Armand Daigle, Author of Psychedelic Memoir ‘Thank Earth You’

Fed up with his 9-to-5 engineering job, Armand Daigle quit, joined a fledgling media production company, and wrote a memoir called Thank Earth You about his personal transformation. His story contains two incredible psychedelic experiences, one with mushrooms and one with ayahuasca, which propelled him to continue in his new direction. Armand has a way of revealing both the deeply personal and deeply psychedelic in a compelling, readable, and very funny way. Anyone who has questioned the rat race and the trappings of modern culture will relate. I’ll be publishing two full chapters from Thank Earth You in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here’s...
How a Banker Introduced 'Magic Mushrooms' to the West

How a Banker Introduced ‘Magic Mushrooms’ to the West

In 1955, banker and amateur mycologist R. Gordon Wasson traveled to Mexico with a friend, where they became “the first white men in recorded history to eat the divine mushrooms.” Seeking the Magic Mushroom, published two years later in Life magazine, introduced psilocybin mushrooms to the West. Wasson wrote about his personal experience eating the mushrooms, and their ceremonial use by the Mazatec people as a healing agent. The essay came at a perfect time, exposing a whole generation of young people to a natural, non-toxic, and easily grown psychedelic agent that had long been overlooked in the West. Wasson’s...
Just a Wee Bit More About DMT, by Nick Sand

Just a Wee Bit More About DMT, by Nick Sand

Nick Sand is one of the most prolific and well-known underground chemists in history. Along with Tim Scully, Nick Sand was responsible for producing over 3 million hits of Orange Sunshine, a brand of LSD that was renowned for its purity in the Sixties. Sand has a particular fondness for DMT. In fact, it was a DMT vision quest in the 60s that convinced Sand to dedicate his life to producing and distributing entheogens. He was the first underground chemist to synthesize DMT rather than extracting it from natural sources, and the first person to discover that the DMT...
My Interview with Rick Doblin, Psychedelic Pioneer & Founder of MAPS

My Interview with Rick Doblin, Psychedelic Pioneer & Founder of MAPS

I recently had the good fortune of meeting my psychedelic hero, Rick Doblin, the founder and president of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. What’s more, he graciously agreed to an on-camera interview! I asked him about the origins of MAPS, the Russian ban of methadone in Crimean addiction clinics, New Zealand’s new regulatory framework for legal highs, MAPS’ recent partnership with the military to research MDMA as a treatment for PTSD, and much more. My favorite part is when Rick tells the story of taking LSD on his twenty-first birthday. He heard a siren and became convinced that the Russians were...