Tag Archive for: psychedelic

Strangeitude harry pack art dmt artist hyperspace trippy art
Strangeitude harry pack art dmt artist hyperspace trippy art

Strangeitude by Harry Pack @harrypackart

by Terence McKenna’s Dad

Most people read a travel guide before they go somewhere new.

But what if the place you’re going to features inter-dimensional travel, hyper-intelligent design, and a variety of sentient entities?

Here’s how to prepare for travel to DMT hyperspace:

Create a Comfortable Setting

dmt psychedelic comfortable setting

Make sure you are in a comfortable, private setting.

Bonus points if it is also aesthetically pleasing. You want this space to feel grounded and safe.

If you’re using a room in your house, clean it. Light a candle or incense if you please, do anything that makes the setting feel warm and inviting. The spot you choose should allow you to go from sitting to lying down immediately, make sure you have something soft to lay on and a pillow. Optionally you can use a reclining chair.

Have Someone With You

company dmt guide

This step is optional but recommended: have a trusted friend or loved one with you.

You can journey alone, but having someone by your side can help you stay grounded and reassure you of your safety. If you talk aloud during the experience, your sitter can help you navigate your experience or record what you said to tell you afterward.

Get Comfortable Physically

comfort psychedelic setting dmt

Wear loose-fitting clothes. The last thing you want while traveling through different dimensions is to be bothered by physical distractions.

Another optional, but helpful step is having a blanket over you during the experience. I find it adds comfort and a feeling of safety. A weighted blanket can also be used, the extra pressure puts your nervous system into “rest” mode which may reduce some symptoms of anxiety as you lift off.

Choose a Quality Vaporization Method

The last thing you want while reality is being ripped away from you is to have a coughing fit or to taste burnt DMT in your mouth.

My personal favorite vaporization methods are glass vapes(I use Eclipse) that are water-filtered & homemade vape pens, but everyone has different preferences.

Use whatever method seems best for you, but be aware that the “sub-quality methods” are significantly less efficient and often waste DMT.

Vapor Genie DMT Vaporization Pipe

Vapor Genie – DMT Vaporization Pipe

Top methods:

  • Homemade vape pen or mod (propylene glycol+DMT)
  • E-mesh vapes
  • Dry herb vapes with changa or enhanced herb
  • Glass Vapes (Eclipse, Vapor Genie)
  • Dab Rig with electric nail (controlled heat)

Sub-quality methods:

  • The ‘Machine’ (small glass bottle with hole in bottom & steel wool in the neck)
  • Oil Burner (the thin glass makes DMT easy to burn)
  • Sandwich method (DMT sandwiched between cannabis)
  • Dab Rig with Torch (hard to control heat)
  • Burning enhanced herb in a joint (not as efficient as vaping)

Avoid at all costs:

  • Lightbulb
  • Foil and a plastic bottle

Set a Simple Intention

candle set intention dmt psychedelic session

An intention does not need to be complicated: “I hope I meet an important entity”, or “I want to learn something new”.

You can write down your intention or simply say it aloud. By setting an intention, you are acknowledging your role in the future experience and helping anchor your psyche before hyperspace.

Practice Breathing

breathe dmt breathwork

Practice your breathing.

Counting in your head, breath in for 5 seconds, hold for 10, breath out for 5.

Repeat at least 3x.

Use this time breathing to clear your head & mentally prepare for the journey.

Measure Your Dose

dmt measure dose

The doses and descriptions below are general descriptions.

The doses below are based on a moderate tolerance, pure DMT, and a 100% efficient vaping method. If you’re using a less efficient vaping method, you may need a slightly higher dose for the same effects.

Personal tolerances vary widely, and these doses may be too low for some or too high for others.

~5mg [Threshold]

threshold dmt dose

At this stage your vision is enhanced and your setting feels much more important and aesthetically pleasing. You feel slightly stoned- but with a feeling of great significance.

5-10mg [The Chrysanthemum]

symbolika dmt art hd

DMT HD by Symbolika @symbolika_art

Mandalic closed-eye visuals, intense colors, complex geometric overlay, visual morphing during open-eyed visuals. A body high that is euphoric but out of body, quickly growing in intensity. An organic humming/buzzing noise.

10-15mg [The Transitition]

Increasingly complex visuals, accelerated out-of-body movement, an intense body high & a feeling of being sucked towards *something*.

As the visuals increase, so does the sound. As the humming reaches a crescendo, there is a sudden switch. The humming stops. A new world is created out of the previous scene flawlessly.

dmt symbolika butterfly morph artistt

Butterfly Morph by Symbolika @symbolika_art

15-20mg [The Waiting Room]

The final space before a full breakthrough, the waiting room feels like a liminal, hyper dimensional version of ‘The Backrooms’.

At this point, if you open your eyes, your scene will not change. You are fully immersed in hyperspace.

Waiting rooms vary in style immensely and entities may be present at this stage.

Cosmic Corridors ayjay dmt art artist

Cosmic Corridors by AyJay @ayjayart

20-25mg [Breakthrough]

Hyperspace feels “more real than real”.

There is a feeling of intense familiarity combined with absolute amazement. The body transforms into intense euphoria. You will be thrust into an otherworldly environment and likely will be approached by entities of some kind.

Guardian 2 dmt hyperspace harry pack art artist psychedelic

Guardian 2 by Harry Pack @harrypackart

+35mg [Approaching OD]

Taking too much DMT typically results in full dissociation and being unable to remember the experience. Overdosing on DMT isn’t dangerous to your physical body and rarely has any lasting effects on the mind.

Begin Smoking

dmt begin smoking psychedelics

No matter your method, be careful not to burn the DMT as you heat it.

Famously, it is supposed to take 3 hits to break through. Ignore this.

Mimic the breathing practice as you take your hits- holding the vapor for 10 seconds or more with each hit. It may take 1 hit, it may take 10. Keep inhaling DMT until no vapor remains or it is no longer possible to smoke.

Don’t Panic

Spirit Molecule dmt art artist ayjay trippy best

Spirit Molecule by AyJay @ayjayart

DMT is intensely disorienting, particularly when you first enter into hyperspace.

“What you resist, persists” – struggling or fighting against the effects won’t bring you back to reality. You signed up for the ride, time to buckle your seatbelt & look out the window.

Remind yourself: no one has ever died from smoking DMT and the experience will be over in about 10 minutes.

dmt stay calm dont panic

Interact With DMT Entities

About 95% of entities are benevolent and often approach you with curiosity, surprise, and love. They often say “welcome back, where have you been?” and can speak telepathically or verbally.

This is your chance to be curious- ask them questions, interact with them, who knows what you’ll find out!

Different Entities

Hieroglyph dmt entity harry pack

Hieroglyph by Harry Pack @harrypackart

There are a huge variety of entities, and essentially no limit to the different forms they take.

There are a few common types like Machine Elves, Fairies, or Jesters. Mythological and archetypal creatures from various cultures are another common type of entity. Entities vary in not only appearance but also motivations and power.

Some have the ability to create objects with their voice while others simply want to help you learn about yourself.

Dark Entities

symbolika aya dark entities dmt art artist

Aya by Symbolika @symbolika_art

While rare, simply thinking about dark entities makes them more likely to appear.

They appear more often when you don’t treat DMT with respect. Seasoned travelers call these uncomfortable experiences (not always related to dark entities) being ‘hyperslapped’. If you do end up running into an entity with dark energy, focus on feelings of hope, love, and light.

Explore & Learn

Celestial Stairway dmt art ayjay artist trippy psychedelic colors

Celestial Stairway by AyJay @ayjayart

Every DMT trip is different, though some people have traveled to the same places and met the same entities.

Approach each trip with curiosity, entities often have something to show or teach you. Sometimes what they show you is so complex that it can’t be explained with conventional language. You can also try to learn things on your own by traveling through different environments and not interacting with the entities.

Record Your Experience

dmt record your experience psychedelic

Just like a dream, a DMT trip begins to be forgotten the moment you wake up.

Use a journal, voice recorder, digital method, or create art to begin recounting your experience. This can be valuable information for personal development or for other travelers.

Share Your Experiences

share experience dmt guide

If someone had the key to alien communication, wouldn’t you want to know about it?

Share your journeys on online forums (Erowid/Reddit/DMT Nexus) and with people that you trust. The entities try so hard to communicate and have important things to share, the least you can do is to help them out a little!

My sources were personal experience and “Hyperspace Lexicon” on DMT Nexus.

Best wishes

Thanks for reading. I hope this guide helps you explore hyperspace in a safe, fun, and efficient way. DMT is a challenging yet incredibly rewarding entheogen. If you enjoyed this article, please follow me on Twitter @FatherMcKennaa

I discuss drugs, psychedelic culture, and will hopefully have another article out soon.

Also a huge thanks to the artists Harry Pack, Ayjay, & Symbolika who graciously allowed us to use their art and do a great service through their visionary artworks. Finally, thanks to John Robertson who inspired and assisted me on this article!

 



Credits

Terence Mckenna’s Dad

I write about the history, culture, and use of psychedelics and other drugs. My goal is to educate others, promote safe entheogenic use & advocate for drug decriminalization and related policies.

Twitter @FatherMcKennaa


Harry Pack

My work encourages the viewer to turn their mind from the fragility of the material world and towards a contemplation of something more stable and infinite. The kaleidoscopic paintings depict a visual realm at once fantastical, foreign and strangely familiar. Three-dimensional, dream-like landscapes composed of fractal shapes and ordered geometric patterns are populated by extra-terrestrial forms: strange humanoids, anthropomorphic machines, animals and plant-life moving purposefully throughout spaces that operate as portals into the personal and psychological.


Symbolika

Fabian, the creator of Symbolika, is a graphic designer who has turned his passion for psychedelics into a unique clothing brand. As a “psychonaut”, he has explored the depths of the mind through the use of psychedelics and has drawn inspiration from his experiences to create bold and vibrant designs. He has combined his skills as a graphic designer with his love for psychedelics to create a brand that is both visually striking and spiritually meaningful. Symbolika’s clothing is a reflection of Fabian‘s personal journey and his desire to share the transformative power of psychedelics with others through his designs.



Ayjay

Ayjay is an Australian digital artist known for incorporating his psychedelic experiences into his art. His work stands out for its vivid and precise representation of the DMT experience. His art showcases the bright colors, strange entities, alien machines, and patterned surfaces characteristic of the DMT world.

Online Store: https://ayjayart.shop/
the conscious psychedelic explorer online course details learner interview

As I gear up to open the doors to the next cohort of The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer program tomorrow, I wanted to share another conversation with one of the members from the last cohort about their experience. 

If you’re interested in joining the program, I hope this will give you an idea of what you can expect from the experience. More information can be found at the bottom of this post.

Enjoy!

John:

Where were you before the course versus where you are now?

David:
Before the course, I had three sessions of MDMA for the treatment of PTSD. I think maybe one or two low doses of psilocybin, and really only having one point of contact with this whole psychedelic space other than just my self-inquiry of googling and that type of stuff. But I had a really strong desire to be part of a growing community where I can learn and share. Being part of a tribe or a community, you know, being part of a group with a shared interest. I could sense the benefit that would have.

So as I was searching, that’s how I stumbled across that podcast [Mind Meld], John, where I saw you being interviewed and talking about this upcoming course. I don’t know if it was serendipity or what, but I just happened to find this when I was looking for it. 

I now feel like I have a strong community of friends. Ryan [another member] and I were talking about that. I’ve never even met the people in our group in person, but I feel like I have a stronger friendship with most of the folks that are on the call than some of the people who live close enough that I can get in my car and drive to them, but with them I don’t have that sense of shared interest or connectivity.

So where I was, was seeing the promise, searching for how I can learn more, to where I’m at today.

Today I’m feeling like I’ve come quite a ways. I’ve developed a group of friends who I can continue to learn with in parallel and share ideas and continue to grow. A lot has changed in the course of just really a very short period of time for me. 

J:

Maybe some overlap here, but what has been your biggest win or result from taking the course? 

D:

Well, there are a number of qualifiers…

You know, when I was struggling with anxiety and PTSD, and depression, I felt so isolated. So isolated, so alone, so closed off. The biggest win for me is I feel so much more open. Naturally open. Not like I’m trying to force this opening. The biggest win has been this sense of connectivity.

And a general interest in learning and sharing. And with the community, there’s not that sense of “Oh shit, I shouldn’t say that, or I’m going to be judged for this, or what are they going to think if I ask that?”. That’s not there. There’s such a sense of symbiotic learning. 

J:

I love that, and totally have the same sense. What has been your favorite part of the course? 

D:

I can’t just say “this is my favorite part” because my favorite part truly was the course and everything that it is comprised of, all the components of the course. Your deep knowledge and willingness to share, your thoughtful weekly presentations with an honest desire to help, and to follow through. Bringing in a group of such diversity together with that singular interest, which is really, self-exploration using these various tools. 

And even though the course is over, to me it doesn’t feel like the other courses that I’ve taken over my life where, you know, I’ve got my report card, I’ve got my grade, boom, now I’m moving on to the next thing. To me, it seems almost like a chapter has closed and it’s just going to be naturally a continuation with the group. It is a group of explorers that have assembled here. 

J:

I feel the same way about it the continuation and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. What would you say to someone who is on the fence about purchasing the course? 

D:

Get off the fence. Take the course. I would be so direct. I’d maybe choose words differently. But this is coming from a professional procrastinator. This course is the one thing that I just didn’t procrastinate on. I said, you know, I’m just going to do it.

If anyone is on the fence. I would say, the fact that you’re thinking about it. Trust that intuitive thought and for whatever reason you’re on the fence, put that on the back burner, take the course, and then judge for yourself whether it was the right thing to do.

Take the course, then judge based on experience versus projecting whatever hesitation you might be putting on to it based on past experience. Just experience it. I can’t imagine anybody coming through this course who isn’t willing to put in the work to learn and participate. 

Friends aren’t given to you. Knowledge isn’t given to you. Community isn’t given to you. It’s what you invest. And to me, as I look back on 2022, this is probably going to be one of the things that I’ll remember most, because, again, I think it’s just the initial chapter of what I hope to be volumes of in the years to come. 

The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer opens for another 12 places tomorrow, January 10th, 2023.

The course begins on the 19th January.

If you have any questions about the program, go ahead and email me at john@mapsofthemind.com

Key Program Details

The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer is a 6 week step-by-step program that teaches you how to prepare for, set up, and integrate meaningful psychedelic experiences to help you harness personal insights, access healing states, and accelerate your personal growth.

Core Program

  • 25+ Pre-recorded video lessons
  • 6 Weekly live community calls
  • Weekly meditation, journaling and practical planning exercises
  • Weekly emails to stay on track
  • Access to a private CPE Signal group
  • Workbook, templates, and extra resources

Dates for Live Calls

All calls are at 7pm UK time / 2pm EST / 8pm CET on:

  • Thursday 19th January
  • Thursday 26th January
  • Thursday 2nd February
  • Thursday 9th February
  • Thursday 16th February
  • Thursday 23rd February

Outside the 6 week period, community calls for all CPE alumni continue on a monthly basis throughout the year.  Typically the first Wednesday of each month.

Bonuses

There are a whole bunch of bonuses, including:

  • 4 Quarterly workshops in 2023 to learn and connect in community
  • Guest masterclasses and experiences on topics like neuroscience, research, setting, and music.
    • Including a Deep Listening Session w/ Mendel Kaelen and Wavepaths in February
  • Living database of music playlists for psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and ketamine (Periodically updated)
  • + more

Price

$497

Course Page

conscious psychedelic explorer program course testimonial review

What can you expect to learn inside The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer course?

the conscious psychedelic explorer online course

A member from the last cohort recently reached out to me to report back after embarking upon their first session since completing the program. Their email message displays a shining example of some of the lessons from the course being put into practice, and so with their permission, I share their write-up here.

To me this just shows exemplifies a careful and respectful approach to a psychedelic session duly rewarded. I hope it can inspire you in your preparation too.

Here’s the report:

I wanted to reach out directly. My experience yesterday was the culmination of over 3 years of therapy and 2 years of working with psychedelics. It was by far the deepest and I know holds the most potential for change of anything I have ever experienced.

I used a lot of what I learned in your course to plan and carry out this experience, with that you absolutely had a role in its success. For that, I say thank you! I appreciate that you took the time to put it together and your passion in presenting. 

I wrote the below “trip report” in the day leading up to and yesterday. I did want you to see it though so you could see some of your work in application. 

Spoiler alert, I personally don’t think it is productive to read “Trip reports” of other people’s experiences. I have done this in the past and it has only led to me second-guessing or trying to drive my experiences because of what I thought they should look like.

I am thoroughly convinced each experience is an individual gift and no two will be the same. Past that, every time I have tried to describe what took place in one of my experiences I sounded like this crazy old man, well more than normal anyway, so I quit trying.

This report is an outline or “report” if you will of what I did leading up to what I consider a very successful, productive experience. Not that following my path will make your experience successful but perhaps you can see some actions that may make it better for you as I did in John’s course.

Intention.

I got my intention about 3 months ago. That is typically how I work; it will just come to me at some point, and I will know it’s time to start prepping for the next experience. My intention for this experience was to “Work with and address my inner trauma”. Sounds like a party, right? Well to be honest this was obviously going to be shadow work, I had a distinct inner comfort in the prospect of healing in this way.

It took me over 3 months to schedule the event due in part to my internal preparation. I have found that if I spend some time trying to refine and get my head around what I think the details of the intention are I will be better prepared on the day of the healing. I also had some scheduling challenges to get through.

Medicine.

I only have experience with Psilocybin and MDMA, I have heard Psilocybin described as “Spiritual” and MDMA described as “Psychological”, that description settled in well with me. In this case, I saw the healing as more of a dialog and integration of my trauma so in my head MDMA seemed to be the perfect fit. I reflect as much I can on the chosen medicine and its mechanisms as I work on my intention.  

For this event, after I had decided it needed to be scheduled I revisited our course material. Trying to incorporate as much as I could as I re-listened to the content.

Schedule the day.

I did choose, for this event to schedule a day. I discussed it with my wife, we agreed on a day, I cleared my calendar and we both worked to protect that day from being rescheduled.

Agreements.

I made the agreement to accept the music for what it is and enjoy what it brings. Most of you have heard me talk about music, it has been a bit of a challenge for me. For this experience I made the agreement that I would accept what was in the chosen playlist unless it was completely taking me sideways.

Next, I agreed to go to the bathroom when I first noticed the need. This was brought up in the course and hit home with me.

Clearing.

As inspired by folks in this group my first clearing exercise was the decision to be open with my kids about my activities. This cleared a lot of emotional baggage as well as the day. My scheduled day was a Saturday. I have always scheduled during the week and typically in the evening or nighttime to avoid interaction with my kids.

I also worked to clear my work calendar so the Friday prior to my event was an easy day. The most prominent thing here was to reschedule a touchpoint meeting with my boss. We don’t always see things the same and I didn’t want to risk the drama just before to my event, so I rescheduled. The upshot to that was I had the call earlier in the week and it was a positive interaction.

Self Care.

Starting the Sunday before I chose to abstain from alcohol, I typically do this for 24 hours prior to my events but started early this time to evaluate my relationship with alcohol.

Tried to eat cleaner for the week leading up to the event. To say I ate clean would be stretching the truth, ok, it would be a lie, but I did do much better.

Gave my room a thorough cleaning the Friday before, including clean sheets on the bed and a clean towel for my ritual shower prior to taking the medicine.

Abstained from sex beginning Thursday night. MDMA elicits a serotonin dump but so does sex. To ensure I have serotonin to dump I try to keep the storehouse full prior to taking the medicine.  

Made it a point to get to bed early so I would be well-rested for my event. No real reason to be up late after that last step anyway, right?

Starting Friday morning, no news, no talk radio, no social media, and no TV.

I typically get up early, meditate and read for an hour. I refrained from reading the day of the event. I want to focus on my intention, and I get easily sidetracked so no reason to possibly introduce some new concept that may take me off my path.

Ritual.

  • Wake up at about 7 to meditate. I will have coffee and maybe a few almonds very early but stop liquid intake at least an hour before I take the medicine, back to that not wanting to get up to go to the bathroom thing.
  • I will get a “purge vessel” cool name for a Home Depot 5-gallon bucket. I place this right next to the bed. I have, thankfully, never had to use it but I like that it’s there.
  • Make the bed up with my pillows and an extra blanket.
  • Lay out the headphones.
  • Download my playlist, I use Spotify. In the Spotify settings on your device, you can set the download quality to high. I have mine set to high, not sure if there is a difference or not?
  • Download a backup playlist. I know, I am not forgetting my “agreement” but you can’t be too careful
  • Download another backup playlist, going to be REALLY careful.
  • Take the device I am playing music on off the network
  • Sit down and journal my intention, trying to allow it to flow and allow any details or the story to unfold as a write. I do this just until the natural flow has stopped.
  • Take a shower.
  • Measure out my medicine and the booster into two shot glasses.
  • Give my wife my phone.
  • Take initial dose, followed by the booster in 2 hours.

Integration.

Integration begins the night of the event. I journal for integration and will continue doing that in the days/weeks that follow an event.

I can say with calm certainty that this was the deepest event I have ever had, with what I consider the most potential for change. The work to integrate it will determine how much of it I get to keep.

the conscious psychedelic explorer online course details

The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer reopens for another cohort of 10 on the 10th of January 2023.

You can join the waitlist to get first access to places here.

Live Calls are at 7pm UK time / 2pm EST on:

  • Thursday 19th January
  • Thursday 26th January
  • Thursday 2nd February
  • Thursday 9th February
  • Thursday 16th February
  • Thursday 23rd February

More information can be found on the course page.

If you have any further questions or would like to talk, feel free to send me a message directly or book a call.

how to handle anxiety psychedelic trip

How to handle anxiety during a psychedelic experience?

AKA how do I stop a bad trip?

This question comes up again and again, so I thought I’d pool together some techniques for you curious seekers.

It can vary for different people, but here are a few methods, many of which can be combined:

You’re Human

I think the first thing to say before getting into specific techniques is that the feeling of anxiety can happen to any of us.

If you feel anxiety during your trip, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you or your experience. It’s actually pretty common.

It’s not every day that your whole world is dissolving around you and you feel like you’re dying. A bit of anxiety can be expected. It doesn’t mean you will remain anxious or fearful, or that the experience won’t morph into something else. Psychedelic experiences can be very dynamic and your experience can entirely change in a matter of seconds.

Remember, like all feelings, anxiety can and will pass...

Remember It Will End

Both the feeling of anxiety and the trip itself are temporary.

Just remembering that can be very reassuring and help take the heat out of the most acute anxiety.

Say ‘Bring It On!’

Anxiety is a high-arousal state. Before trying to calm yourself down to a low arousal state, it can be easier to initially shift sideways to another high arousal state: excitement. Rather than nervously thinking ‘oh shit, what’s going to happen?’, try instead to come at it with a sense of wonder and excitement, and think ‘oh baby, what’s going to happen? Bring it on!’.

Relish the adventure you’re on. Don’t resist it, embrace it.

open bring it on adventure psychedelic journeys

You can practice this outside of your journeys. Every time you feel some nervousness about leaning into an edge, train yourself to smile and say ‘bring it on!’. This cultivates the bold explorer’s mindset. It’s also pretty fun.

Once you’ve remembered you’re on an adventure, that you signed up for a non-ordinary experience and now you’re having it and going to embrace it, it might actually serve you to center and calm down a little.

Breathe

Take long, slow, deep breaths. 

This has a physiological response that calms the nervous system down.

Breathe in deep, down into your belly. Use diaphragmatic breathing, filling your belly before your chest. If you’re lying down, your stomach should rise.

As you breathe, you can rest your attention on your breath. Aware when you breath in, aware when you breathe out.

Breathwork

Some people like specific types of breathwork. This can mean breathing in a specific rhythm.

For example:

  • 4-4-6-2
    Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale 6, hold for 2.
  • 5-2-7
    Breathing in 5, hold 2, breathe out 7.

Breathwork is a whole other beast and can also be used to intensify experiences, but I’ll leave that for another day. Basically, try and find something which works for you.

Try a simple 30-second one from Calm here.

One thing to bear in mind when doing controlled breathing is that you want to avoid building any tension that may come about from controlling with your breath. This will be counterproductive. If it is difficult to do your chosen pattern of breath, I’d recommend just trying to slow your breath down generally, rather than strictly following any type of pattern.

Relax Your Body

It can also help to systematically relax all the muscles in your body. Relax the muscles in your face, then your neck, then your shoulders, and so on. I find it helpful to relax one body part per cycle of in-and-out breath. 

  • Breathing in – relaxing the muscles in the face
  • Breathing out – relaxing the muscles in my face
  • Breathing in – relaxing my shoulders, allowing them to sink down
  • Breathing out – relaxing my shoulders

and so on.

Change Your Posture

Some people find specific postures to be helpful. These can help connect to a place of safety, strength or power.

For example:

  • A ‘bring it on’ open posture, such as lying down, legs open, and hands behind the head
  • One hand over the heart (can be combined with mentally connecting to one’s heart centre)
  • Prayer hands infront of the chest, or forehead

Pray

You also actually pray, or just ask for help from whatever you pray to.

pray handle anxiety psilocybin

“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.”
– Soren Kierkegaard

Hum, Make Sound, Sing, Use Your Voice

This is one that was brought up by one of the members on the last round of The Conscious Psychedelic Explorer course. Whilst experiencing some uncomfortable feelings on retreat on an experience with psilocybin mushrooms, they were taken to a private space (where they felt less inhibited to make noise) and tried humming. “The difference was night and day”.

sing hum voice vagus nerve psychedelics anxiety nervous

This creates vibrations that stimulate the vagus nerve and signifies safety to the nervous system. This triggers a state of well-being and relaxation.

This can also be combined with long breaths. One I’ve used to soothe myself during the jitters of an MDMA come up is to take a nice deep breath in through the nose, and then a long slow mouth-closed exhale combined with a low hum. I can feel the vibration inside, which is somehow comforting and warming. I’ve found this to work very quickly.

Take a few seconds and try it for yourself now and see what you experience. You might just equip yourself with a new tool to take on your next journey.

Recite a Mantra

Some people also find it helpful to recite a mantra.

For example:

  • “I am loved, I am safe”
  • “I am not my fears, I am not my thoughts”

Choose one that feels right to you.

Here is a related post you might find useful.

Final Thoughts

Anxiety is typically at the core of a ‘bad trip’. It can be tied in with our resistance, the big no-no of navigation.

Besides the oft-quoted but very true and pith instruction of ‘surrender’, these are some practical techniques you can use. You can combine them, and try them for different types of sensations (i.e. come-up anxiety, trip peak anxiety, dreaded realization anxiety AKA uncomfortable truth, and yes day to day anxiety).

Long term I always come back to recommending developing some type of meditation and mindfulness practice. It will help you to notice anxiety,  and employ these techniques more quickly and effectively.

If you enjoyed this here’s a post you might enjoy:

punk ethos psychedelics diy

Not a lot of people that know me through my psychedelic work know about one of my biggest loves:

Punk.

Punk music?

Absolutely.

But more relevant to my psychedelic work; punk ethos.

Punk and its associated ideas have played a huge part in my growing up, my identity, and the person I’ve become. A lot of the values I hold are also shared by punk as a movement.

If you think punk is all about people getting angry and shouting “fuck the system”, I’d like to show you that there is much more.

Here are some crossovers between punk and psychedelics.

Non-conformity

Punk challenges conformity. It challenges the norms of society. In a world where we’re burning our own house down, where corruption and inequality are rife, I think it’s a good time for us to challenge a few social and cultural norms.

If I conformed to the rules of the world, and the laws set in place by governments, I never would’ve started on my psychedelic journey. I never would’ve been able to receive these beautiful, wonderful, and healing experiences.

I never would’ve become able to help others on their psychedelic journeys either.

“One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”
– Dr Martin Luther King

Anti-Authoritarianism

Punk as a movement is anti-authority. It allows people to form their own beliefs rather than being handed them by people who are in positions, or supposed positions, of authority. Punk encourages you to question authority.

Do you believe what you believe because this belief has been passed on to you? Or have you come to this conclusion yourself through your own reasoning, agency, and experience? Punk encourages us to become our own authority and to discover truth for ourselves. 

Psychedelics encourage us to find our own truths too. They help us to face truths, sometimes they will reveal them even if they’re f-ing uncomfortable.

Emotional Expression

As a genre of music, punk is pretty expressive.

Punk doesn’t repress. Punk lets it out and lets it rip.

And psychedelics encourage this in us too. Psychedelics do not reward suppression or repression of our deeply held emotions or beliefs. In fact, they punish them. They will often squeeze them out of us. Even those which may seem to be pretty full-on.

Some say punk is all about needless anger, for me it’s about standing up for what you believe in and being honest with yourself about things that you’re not cool with. It’s about not having your boundaries crossed.

As Pema Chödrön says, there is compassion, and then there is idiot compassion:

“For example, trying to smooth everything out to avoid confrontation, not to rock the boat, is not what’s meant by compassion or patience. It’s what is meant by control. Then you are not trying to step into unknown territory, to find yourself more naked with less protection and therefore more in contact with reality. Instead, you use the idiot forms of compassion and so forth just to get ground.”

Psychedelics encourage acceptance, but likewise, there is acceptance and then there is idiot acceptance. Idiot acceptance is pretending we’re OK with things and that it’s all love and roses when it’s not, it’s being soft when we actually need to draw a line.

DIY

Finally, something that comes from the punk movement but for me is very relevant to my psychedelic practice is the DIY ethic. With various organizations looking to establish themselves as gatekeepers in the psychedelic space I think this is becoming more and more important.

DIY as a subculture was brought forward by the punk movement of the 1970s.

Punks would release their own music on self-funded record labels, create and publish their own books and zines, put on their own shows, and book their own tours – without relying on an external source of authority or permission. Artists like Black Flag were trailblazers in the movement of underground do-it-yourself record labels within the subculture, exemplary in their tireless promotion of an autonomous DIY punk ethic and aesthetic.

Before the technological advances of the last few decades, this was a huge deal.  

This ethic is something that informs my own psychedelic practice. I learned to DIY with psychedelics. I learned to journey solo and self-organize sessions with friends. Without therapists or guides. 

And man I’m so glad I did. I love helping others to learn to DIY and self-organize, and I want to help you learn to DIY and self-organize. Because like punk I believe in the decentralization of power. I believe in the dissolution of the old systems that have led to this breaking point we stand as a species, as a global society. 

I also love jumping around to some fast pumping riffs and jumping off the stage for a cheeky little crowd surf from time to time. Try it out, it’s hella fun.