stories – Psychedelic Frontier make the most of your dose Fri, 11 Jan 2019 12:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48719013 Psychedelics and Witchcraft — The Truth About Hallucinogenic “Hexing Herbs” Sun, 28 Oct 2018 18:16:55 +0000 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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The Loop Trip Tue, 22 May 2018 11:00:58 +0000 The Loop Trip

When I was around twenty years old, I was living in a little apartment on Pearl Street, in Boulder, Colorado, with my good friend Jim. We were both guys who had an affectionate, on-again-off-again relationship with LSD, and during this time we were both on again. We were tripping all the time. Often, we would develop themes, inside references, ongoing philosophical explorations that would carry over from trip to trip. One day, we were sitting around waiting for our doses to kick in and decided to put on the Steely Dan album, Aja. (Steely Dan is hugely underrated as acid music, by the way.) We started feeling the effects right about the time the song “Deacon Blues” came on.

We nodded our heads to the opening bars and both started singing along when the lyrics began. Our eyes widened with mutual recognition that our day’s journey was beginning, and that this particular song was perfectly, almost impossibly, synched with that realization.

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Acid Drops: An Interview with Andy Roberts Tue, 20 Mar 2018 11:02:49 +0000 Acid Drops: An Interview with Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts is an historian of Britains LSD psychedelic culture and author of Acid Drops: Adventures in Psychedelia, as well as Albion Dreaming: A Social History of LSD in Britain. He first fell down the rabbit hole in 1972 and has been exploring the labyrinth of passages ever since. His views on the psychedelic experience are (basically) You take a psychedelic and you get high. What happens after that is largely the result of dosage, set and setting.

Andy, thanks very much for joining me, I’m looking forward to hearing more about your book.

Acid Drops is billed as “a collection of essays, interviews, and fiction”, along with “frank accounts” of your own LSD use.

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Coming Back to Life Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:45:29 +0000 Coming Back to Life

This story by Rachel Kaplan first appeared in the MAPS Winter Bulletin 2017.

As I sit in a field of tall green grasses, feeling the earth beneath me and listening to the songs of meadowlarks, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for not only being alive but for finally wanting to be alive. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for often feeling a sense of peace in my self and feeling connected with myself, with others and the world. These are all new experiences for me that I never believed where possible until now, after being a participant in the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study in Boulder.

This last year, after integrating the healing that happened in my MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, has been a drastic contrast to the rest of my life. For the majority of my life I prayed to die and fought suicidal urges as I struggled with complex PTSD.

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Ayahuasca: A Skeptic’s Notes Wed, 27 Dec 2017 12:04:38 +0000 Ayahuasca: A Skeptic’s Notes


I was drinking coffee in the courtyard of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when I finally mastered the pronunciation of the word “ayahuasca.”

Redmond Blake, who was sitting across from me in dark shades and a baby blue painter’s jacket, was explaining the Medicine to me. A few days earlier, he’d returned from a weekend-long ayahuasca ceremony in Ojai led by disciples of a powerful shaman from Peru. Under the protection of the Mother, he had taken an astonishing journey through a beautiful and frightening spirit land. As I listened to Red’s stories in the cool shadows of LA palm trees, the earthy fragrance of the ancient tar pits bubbling around us, his words sounded as fantastical and strange as a tale from the Arabian Nights.

On his journey, Red met a goddess that took his hand and propelled him into the heavens.

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My Share of Sacramental LSD Tue, 25 Jul 2017 11:00:46 +0000 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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Hand in Hand: How Psychedelic Harm Reduction Is Making a Difference Now Tue, 23 May 2017 11:00:12 +0000 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 of psychedelics is common, especially music and art festivals around the world. MAPS has committed to this mission by establishing the Zendo Project ( MAPS MDMA Therapy Training and Zendo Project Community Engagement Coordinator Shannon Clare Petitt is one of the many people on the front lines of both the clinical and festival environments.

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The Walls Come Tumbling Down Tue, 16 May 2017 11:00:54 +0000 The Walls Come Tumbling Down

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 has to bring you to the site and pick you up. My adult son dropped me off and took a couple of minutes to meet Dr. Phil Wolfson and Julane Andries (the study co-therapists) and see their place. I think he was suitably impressed by the location, and comfortable with the idea of his father tripping in that environment, under the care of those people.

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Psilocybin Healing Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:50:47 +0000 Psilocybin Healing

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 more medications and to the eventual realization that all the doctors were ever going to be able to do for me was prescribe more medications or up the dosages of those I was already on.

In the years that followed the meningitis, information about psilocybin mushrooms kept coming across my radar.

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Underwater Tripping Tue, 07 Oct 2014 12:03:04 +0000 Underwater Tripping

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 diving technology. Submarines, habitats, torpedoes, exoskeletons, you name it. I knew I wanted to try diving but when I read about the regulatory barriers to simply buying gear and diving, I got frustrated and, in keeping with my nature, instead went and built a diving helmet.

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