Tag Archive for: psychedelic

Food Suggestions for Before, During, and After Psychedelic Sessions

‘What should I eat before my trip?’

This is a common question I get asked by people planning their psychedelic sessions. In this post I will give my recommendations. As a bonus, I will also include suggestions for during and after the trip.

Pre-psychedelic session meal

I recommend eating a light, healthy breakfast about three hours before the start of a day time session. At least two hours. A green smoothie or a bowl of oats with seeds and fresh fruit are both good options. I think it’s good to be hungry by the time the session starts. That hunger will disappear during the trip for most people, and return later on. 

The aim is to not have any food digesting in your stomach. Firstly, it’s better if your body isn’t expending any energy on the digestive process during the onset. Secondly, the feelings of digestion can be heightened and this can be uncomfortable. It can also contribute to feelings of nausea.

The best pre-session food does vary for different people, but I’ve found the empty-stomach-but-not-starving approach to work well for most people. If doing a session later in the day, I recommend having the same period of two-three hours without food before dosing. 

Session food

For most people, hunger disappears entirely during the session. It may begin to return in the later stages after the peak, so it can be good to have some snacks ready. Hand food like fruit and nuts are good for this purpose. They are easy to handle and eat, ideal for grabbing a bite. I don’t really recommend eating much during an inner journey style session as it brings attention to the outer world. That said, it’s fine on a short break, or if the hunger is becoming distracting and actually a hindrance to the purpose of the session. 

After the session

After a long journey some people do not experience much hunger at all and can barely eat. Others return ravenous, and enjoy eating a substantial meal. Others still, like myself, do not feel hungry or find the thought of food particularly appealing, but as soon as they take a bite, they realise that they are actually really hungry and enjoy eating a good meal. Bear this in mind and if you don’t feel hungry, consider trying a small amount.

I recommend having something healthy, hearty and wholesome ready to eat afterwards. You can prepare something before the session day that can be easily heated up on the stove or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat. This ensures minimum fuss in the kitchen after your session when you might still be feeling some of the after effects. Good options include a vegetable stew or curry because they often taste better after having been left to sit for a day 🙂 Including potatoes or bread can help bring a grounding, comforting element to the meal.

I recommend vegetarian or plant based dishes because if you have any kind of conscience around animal products, this can be magnified under the influence of psychedelics. You might well find that food very unappealing.

Food in the run up to a trip

Leading up to the trip, and at least for the day directly before, I again recommend eating light and healthy. Avoid any particularly greasy or spicy food the day before. You want a settled stomach for the big day. A friend of mine once had a really spicy curry the evening before a session and had a few more ‘spicy’ trips to the bathroom during the day than he would’ve liked. For the same reason, and also to ensure a good night’s rest, I recommend avoiding alcohol the day before, ideally for a week leading up to the session.

Any difference for psilocybin or LSD?

My advice is the same for both LSD and psilocybin because most of the same still applies. Nausea is more commonly experienced on psilocybin so might be of greater importance, but it can also be experienced on LSD (and 2-CB), especially in the early stages of higher dose journeys. Like a flight, there can be turbulence on the way up. The best you can do is try to weather the storm, surrender, and remember that it will pass.


It can be useful to have some raw ginger to chew on. The ginger is anti-nausea, and having something to chew on can also be comforting. If eating mushrooms, this can also help to cover the flavour which in itself makes some people gag. Another option is to drink a nice strong brew of ginger tea before hand so it’s already in your system when you take off. One thing to bear in mind is to not drink too much, as this can lead to multiple trips to the bathroom.

For more tips, read how to avoid nausea when taking psilocybin.

Food in the days and weeks afterwards 

After the journey, listen to your body.

‘Listen to my body? What does that even mean?!’.

I’ve thought the same thing myself before. If it sounds strange, I invite you to just try it. Before deciding on what to eat or buy from the supermarket, take a moment to tune in to how you feel in your body. See if anything comes up. You can even ask: ‘what food would you like to receive?’ or ‘what would you like to be nourished with?’. This tuning in to your body is a good integration practice in general and also useful for embodying emotions and feelings that surface in the days, weeks, and months afterwards. 

Try to follow a healthy diet but not to the point where it becomes stressful to maintain. It’s important to remember that happiness is important to health too, so treat yourself to nicer, and sometimes more celebratory meals too. Practicing mindful eating, to savour each mouthful, can make these types of indulgences more enjoyable, and the need for them less frequent too. Also, sometimes a heavier, more substantial meal might be helpful if you are feeling a bit ungrounded.

Improving your diet can be seen as a long game in the part of improving physical health, so take care and be mindful if making big changes that might shock your system or be hard to maintain.

Final Thoughts

Of course, as with anything, the best diet before, during and after your trip will depend on the person. If you haven’t yet found a personalised approach that works for you, I recommend starting a drug journal and collecting your own data. You can make a few simple notes after each session so you have them in one place for future reference. Until then, I believe this advice will serve you well as a solid starting point.

Thank you and safe journeys!

santo daime ceremony ayahuasca

Day 7, PSYJuly!

Today I am sharing a post from my good friend and fellow explorer Robert Funke.

Myself and Rob go a few years back and have now collaborated on multiple psychedelic projects. Rob has previously guest posted on Maps of the Mind, and pre corona, he also came to work on the New Moon Psychedelic Retreat team. We were flatmates when corona hit a big pause button on that project, and during lockdown we both developed our practices, which included sitting for each other and journeying together.

During that time we also had formal meetings to discuss ritual and how it can be used for psychedelic journeys, developing our own understanding of the subject and practicing ideas. In that time Rob created a document which we worked on together, and the post today is a part of that work, with some practical examples that Rob has recently added to illustrate the ideas and concepts.

Rob is one of the single individuals through which my personal practice with psychedelics has evolved the most and I am delighted to share this work today.

My hope is that this post will spark ideas for you to create your own meaningful rituals to enhance your psychedelic experiences.


                                             A framework for psychedelic journeys.

The ritual creates community and connects the individual with the whole. It communicates values and complex concepts. The ritual emphasises that something is unique and extraordinary, that it is happening at a special time on a special place for a special reason, and the effects of it concern everyone participating.

The order and the sequence of rituals are very important. The structure is often foreseeable and the order is a reference to its social contexts. Movement is essential and highlights the transition caused by the ritual itself. Items become symbolic through a mysterious metamorphosis.

Who is active and who is passive within the ritual? And why? What does it tell about the religious, cultural or social context of the ritual?

    • ceremonious purpose realised in a very conscious way
    • use of symbols (items, scents, music, gestures – everything can be symbolically charged)
    • emotional involvement
    • personal meaning (no meaningless compulsive act)
    • more important than “what” is “how”
    • an inner structure
    • good rituals have space for everyone’s own expressions
    • sequence and symbols have to be well elaborated/considered


    • Spiritual: Who am I? Why do I live? Where do I want to go? To convey trust in a higher order
    • Psychological: Rituals open a room for thoughts and feelings, and structure them
    • Social: They connect, bring together, assign roles
    • Time-Wise: They organize time, set a beginning and an end of an event


    • The interactive dimension emphasizes social interaction between individuals and groups
    • The innovative dimension creates something new without discarding the old/established
    • The symbolic dimension connects key symbols of a religious or cultural system with the ritual
    • The aesthetic dimension involves visual elements to create the ritual
    • The strategic dimension considers power structures
    • The integrative dimension tries to establish community and new social relations


    • Entry (preparation, opening ceremony, becoming present at the place and time)
    • Transition or threshold (the psychedelic experience itself)
    • Reconnection (closing ceremony, leaving no traces, back to life/everyday world)


    • Initiation
    • Rite of passage
    • Healing
    • Celebration
    • Transformation/Transition
    • Cleaning
    • Mourning

Structure is dependent on

    • Intention/Type of ritual
    • Substance/Dose
    • Setting (alone/group, introspective/explorative)
    • Choice of the place and structure of the place (with base or center, circular, spatially open/closed, indoors/outdoors)


    • Altar (including items of everyone participating)
    • Power items for personal use
    • Burning incense
    • Fire place
    • Candles
    • Music/Silence
    • Singing/Voice/Speech/Chanting
    • Intuitive instruments for personal use (rattle, flute, drum)
    • Clothing, Jewellery
    • Decoration
    • Shaman/Guide/Sitter/Facilitator/Space holder
    • A place which is connected with the ritual and revisited every time only for this ritual


Rituals should be more about the structure or framework rather than a detailed sequence of the ritualistic act.

General Structure

    • Intention or purpose
    • The frame/rules/guidelines
    • The place
    • Companions, participators, facilitators, guides, sitters, etc.
    • Preparation (of the self/mind/body and the place)
    • The event/ceremony/ritual divided into opening, conduction or implementation and closing

Single Session – Introspective

    • I tidy and carefully decorate my space, using an altar, items and scents
    • I wear clothes that are special or meaningful to me
    • I prepare everything I need to have in reach, like drinks, snacks, blankets, tissues
    • I prepare a playlist or am in silence
    • I am opening my session with a meditation and by saying out loud my intention and what I’m looking forward to, I wish myself a good and safe journey
    • I close my session with gratitude towards the sacred space I’ve created
    • I return the space to it’s previous form/function

Group Session – Retreat

    • held in a place that is the same/neutral for everyone and not personal to someone
    • it can be prepared only by the conductors of the ritual but it can also involve everyone participating in it
    • in a circle, it can be clarified or manifested whats the rituals but also the individual purpose
    • rules are defined and accepted by everyone
    • individual preparation before the ceremony starts
    • opening, ceremony, closing
    • aftercare and integration (optional, not necessarily essential or part of the ritual itself)


psychedelic psychotherapy book tripsitting guidelines

Good day, welcome to 4th PSYJuly! Today we have a post coming from my good friend Ekaterine Kobaladze. Me and Kat first met at a meditation circle a few years now and I’m pleased to share her piece on a topic which a couple of readers have recently told me that they’d like to learn more about: tripsitting. Here’s Kat…

Chapter Summary from Psychedelic Psychotherapy by R. Coleman

As a psychology student and an aspiring sitter, I found the book Psychedelic Psychotherapy by R. Coleman to be extremely informative and helpful. The book is packed with lots of practical advice for those who would like to offer tripsitting or have a psychedelic experience of their own.

In this post, I will be focusing on the specific chapter which offers important guidelines for prospective sitters. Below are the notes I have collected and organised from Chapter 6. 

Chapter 6: Guidelines for The Sitter

psychedelic psychotherapy book tripsitting guidelines

Keeping it safe

Your most important role as a sitter is to make sure the journeyer doesn’t hurt himself or damage anything within the setting. Be prepared to encounter possible anger release, for which you might need to provide props such as pillows or even a punching bag. In some cases, you may notice suicidal or injury-producing behavior such as hitting oneself or pulling one’s hair. You can prevent further self-harm by compassionately commenting something like, “you’ve been hurt already. Please don’t hurt yourself.” Reminding them to breathe deeply is always a good idea. 

Sexual boundaries


It could be that the journeyer starts to act out their past sexual trauma. They might try to seduce you into participating in their sexual healing, however, make sure you don’t engage and gently remind them about the rule against any sexual interaction. You can point out their best qualities such as intelligence and courage in order to assure them that they are valued beyond their sexuality. You may say, “I admire these traits in you and hope you will come to see how valuable you are because of them.” 

On the other hand, appropriate and non-sexual touch such as holding a hand or hugging can be really beneficial to the journeyer. Make sure to always ask their permission before proceeding with any physical contact. In addition, beware that the initiated physical touch does not stem from your own needs. You must agree in advance that if the touch no longer feels comfortable to the journeyer you will stop it or modify it.  

Despite the strict sexual boundaries between you, the journeyer should feel safe exploring their own sexuality in a non-shaming and confidential setting. It should be welcomed to openly talk about sex and express one’s fantasies, even if they’re shameful. Getting naked, feeling one’s own genitals, and even masturbation should be accepted, as long as the latter falls within mutually agreed-upon boundaries. If you prefer, you may offer them a blanket to cover themselves, leave the room, or simply turn your back. It is also important for you to distinguish when the journeyer is masturbating in order to heal and not trying to avoid difficult feelings. In addition, refrain from expressing your own sexual beliefs or judgments. 


You will need to give your undivided attention and emotional support to the journeyer whose feelings and thoughts were neglected in childhood. You also need to be authentic and genuine, as the journeyer can notice false comments and dishonest behavior right away. Honor the times when the journeyer asks for privacy and space until they need you back. 

Focusing Coach

As a sitter, you need to be on the lookout to direct the journeyer away from intellectualizing, spacing out, or avoiding uncomfortable feelings. Beginner journeyers might need to be frequently reminded to let go of their intellectual need to know. They need to keep in mind that analyzing can be done after the journey has ended. Remind them that feeling, not thinking is the true guide on the journey. 

If the journeyer has a hard time surrendering to the experience and becomes fearful, you may offer them reassuring words such as “It’s okay, you’re safe. I’m here holding your hand.” Difficult parts of the journey will require you to remind the journeyer to breathe fully either by verbal reminders or by breathing out loud yourself. If you notice that the journeyer is spacing out, you can try to ground them by a form of physical contact such as a massage or bodywork. If the journeyer isn’t ready for physical touch, you can coach them to stretch, rub their hands and feet, or make any other movement that encourages the feeling of being in their body. If the journeyer starts to shake, thrash about, or spasm during a difficult part, you might want to reassure them that they are releasing negative stuff from their bodies. When guiding the journeyer, make sure you communicate with reminders and suggestions rather than commands.


The journeyers who were emotionally or physically neglected in childhood by their parents may spontaneously age-regress. Your embrace such as gentle back/belly rubs, hugs, and a foot massage can be very healing. However, remember to always ask the journeyer permission before initiating any of these forms of contact. In addition, having props such as a teddy bear, baby bottle, or a pacifier on hand might also be helpful in soothing such states. Offering reassuring comments such as “That must’ve really hurt.” “I’m so sad that happened to you. You didn’t deserve that” can also be very helpful.

Witness/Record Keeper

A sitter should try to record anything important that takes place. These include substances, dosages, and times when they are taken. Try to document your observations of significant activities, body movements, words, and anything else that may seem important. This information can help the journeyer make sense of their experience after the journey and draw meaningful insights from it. 


Music has the power to encourage relaxation and induce emotions. It is recommended that the music playlist consists of mostly instrumental, ambient, and non-intrusive pieces. It can also include soft chanting, Kirtan, and trance-inducing drumming. It is good to discuss musical options beforehand as it could be that the journeyer prefers silence. 

Outside Contact

It is never a good idea to allow the journeyer to make a call, text, or go see someone in the middle of their journey. Try to talk them out of such behavior until they have reached the end of the experience. However, if there is a private backyard, natural settings, or isolated nature available, they can definitely benefit from exploring them. 

Primitive Behavior

Be prepared for some primitive behavior to come up such as screaming, thrashing, throwing up, unleashing rage, animalistic behavior, etc. The journeyers can easily detect if you’re freaked out and will perceive their behavior as something wrong. Show acceptance if something like that happens. 

Magnified Transference

Journeyer’s repressed memories can sometimes show up as transference hallucinations and be projected onto the sitter. They might believe that the sitter is judgmental, is angry with them, or doesn’t care about them. As a sitter, you should encourage sharing of these feelings and respond kindly. If the transference hallucinations take place, make sure you NEVER play the role of a perpetrator.  


Being a sitter is fascinating work but it can also be draining or boring. You will have to be present and attentive to the journeyer for 6-8 hours. You will need to listen, be attentive, and responsive. You might have to witness the journeyer’s emotional release, repetitive phrases, or silence. Be sure to remain compassionate and not interfere prematurely to try to induce something in the journeyer’s experience. 

Silence is Golden

As a sitter, you should avoid excessive talking. Your comments should be short and expressed in simple language. Refrain from, analyzing/interpreting or preaching. When in doubt, don’t say anything. 

The Sitter’s Pre-journey Briefing

To avoid unnecessary complications, it’s a good idea for the sitter to discuss rules and guidelines before the experience with the new journeyer. The following is the summary of the author’s sample directive:

  1. Every journey is different and there is no right way to do it. 
  2. Most profound healing happens beyond thoughts and words.
  3. Everyone has a unique healing path and I can not offer the universal treatment plan to you.
  4. It’s important you share it with me when I’m being too talkative, directive, or silent. 
  5. Unaddressed tension between us can really get in the way of a successful journey and it’s crucial you let me know if something I do or say annoys you or makes you feel uncomfortable.
  6. You do not need to report everything to me as talking might remove you from the experience. We can talk about important points after the session.
  7. Breathing plays a big role in the healing process so I will be persistent with returning your attention back to your breath.
  8. I will take care of your comfort needs as long as you let me know if you’re thirsty, too cold, too hot, etc.
  9. If the chosen music isn’t working for you let me know so I can change it or turn it off. 
  10. Boundaries on appropriate behavior:

Touch – I will never initiate a touch without asking first. Feel free to ask if you need to hold my hand. If you feel discomfort with my touch at any moment, let me know.

Sex – dealing with sexual feelings and matter is honorable but nothing sexual will ever be allowed between us. 

Anger – my boundaries include that you are not allowed to harm me or my stuff. Nevertheless, this is a safe space to release anger by screaming, punching a pillow, etc.

11. Sitter’s needs: I will need to eat, use the bathroom, or stretch at some point. I will be with you the entire time unless you need some time alone.

12.Whatever happens and is being said will be confidential.

13. On a high dose of psilocybin, you could sometimes feel like you’re going crazy or dying. Rest assured that this is a safe, transformational, and temporary process.


Holding space as a sitter can be very exciting but also nerve-racking when you’re just starting out. You might feel worried that you’re too incompetent or fear that you can’t manage to keep things under control. These concerns are completely valid and it is natural to feel anxious before offering your very first sitting. However, I believe that studying great books such as Psychedelic Psychotherapy can equip you with necessary practical knowledge for successfully navigating your first experience. Although the notes above can be very helpful, I highly recommend reading the chapter itself (and the entire book, if possible). It can be particularly useful for the sitters who want to learn more about dealing with the journeyers who have a history of trauma and abuse. 

mountain nature

Hello and welcome back for day two of PSYJuly! So, we are well and truly in the midst of a psychedelic renaissance, boom, even. How do we each go about navigating this chapter in human history? Today we have Leia Friedman with a step by step guide…

How to Survive the Psychedelic Renaissance

What will they say about this moment in time 25 years down the road? 100 years? 1,000 years? Will humanity survive for that long?

Clinical trials of psychedelic therapies show promising results. Public approval of and interest in psychedelics increases by the day. More and more jurisdictions have decriminalized psychedelics, some even all drugs. Venture capital pours into the psychedelic field. 

Meanwhile, indigenous peoples face violence and a legacy of threat to their way of life from globalization, colonialism, extractive industries, climate change and more. The American public remains divided on issues of identity, equity, access and oppression. The number of suicides may match the rates we saw at the height of the Great Depression. The pandemic made it abundantly more clear that distribution of power in our human race is grossly disproportionate. Climate change charges forward, yet there is little sense of urgency to address it. 

How can we embody the psychedelic values of oneness, exploration, connection and interdependence as this psychedelic renaissance unfolds? 

From a political, social, ecological and psychological (OK, psychedological) lens, I offer some tips and prompts to help psychedelic activists, therapists, enthusiasts, researchers, and beyond as we traverse this uncharted territory. 

  • Practice nonviolent communication

Nonviolent communication (NVC) is a technique that can help us embody self-connection, honest expression, empathic presence, self-empathy, and awareness of/right use of power. Learn more about the theory here, and a foundation of the practice here

  • Do your own healing work

“We have to be called into our own healing sometimes. We have to be called out into the desert, to the wilderness, to do the work on behalf of others.”

In a podcast conversation on Finding Our Way, Lama Rod Owens, Buddhist teacher, author and activist, shares his concerns about healers not doing their own work. He quotes Whitney Houston: “show me the receipts.”

Lama Rod continues: “There are a lot of us who don’t have receipts. Who are trying to put our hands on people and heal them when in fact we’re the ones who need to be healed. It’s nothing more than a perpetuation of violence and trauma on the bodies around us.” 

Indeed, we can do more harm if we try to heal others when we ourselves have not done our own work. It can be an ongoing process, an upward spiral; invest in your own healing, especially if your intention is to help others on their healing journey.

  • Learn about and engage in accountability

Accountability is the responsibility that we each have over our own behavior, especially behavior that impacts others around us and in our community. 

Although psychedelics are regarded as having tremendous healing potential, psychedelic communities are not immune to consent violations, interpersonal and systemic harm and abuse. 

A transformative justice facilitator once told me, “we don’t hold people accountable. People get to be accountable.” It is a privilege to have the opportunity to look at our harmful behaviors and get the support needed to change, even to repair harms what we have participated in in the past. 

Before we can actually hold people accountable (or give them the chance to be accountable) in our communities and on a wider level, we need plenty of practice with accountability in our own social circles and with our trusted loved ones. 

  • Connect with nature

Have you ever taken a trip and felt the planet supporting you? Or looked at a tree and watched the leaves shimmer, felt the trunk breathing, heard the gentle hum of water moving up the roots and spreading through the branches? Nature is all around us, giving life to us, sustaining us, teaching us about ourselves. Studies (like this one and this one) have shown that psychedelics can increase our nature relatedness. This is so incredibly important, especially now as the consequences of human activity run the risk of destroying the delicate ecosystem on our spaceship, mother earth.

Side note: a carpenter ant crawled up my arm just as I finished writing this paragraph. 🙂

  • Connect with yourself

Modern society seems determined to disconnect us from ourselves. Taking time and space to connect with yourself and nurturing the connection between your body, mind and spirit is a revolutionary act. 

A guideline that I try to live by is that I am responsible for my own emotions, needs, boundaries and desires. (Side note.. It is challenging AF to actually do this). In order to uphold this commitment, I need to prioritize connecting with myself enough that I can be aware of those things and advocate for them appropriately.  

  • Know where you come from

If you have little or no connection or awareness of your ancestors, know that we all have roots that were once deeply intertwined with land and tradition. 

Through the colonization of ancient Europe over the last 2,000 years, my ancestors were separated from their traditional ways of being. Millions of “witches” were burned for working with the healing power of plants. I believe that some of my relations (and their knowledge of plant healing ways) perished in those fires. 

Rather than communing with nature, the cosmos, and the spirit and tradition of my people, I prayed to the gods of media, capitalism and superficial beauty standards for the first 24 years of my life, until I began working with psychedelics.

Studying permaculture, engaging in my own anti-racism and anti-oppression work, and sitting in tender presence with the fragility that still arises in me sometimes has been part of my process of finding belonging. Psychedelics and psychedelic community has taught me that it is never too late to come back to who I am and where I come from. It is a painful and intimidating process, but worthwhile. 

If you, too, are disconnected from your lineage, I invite you to embark on the psychedelic journey of looking back to find your roots. You may also want to explore the idea of tending to your relationship with your ancestors. 

  • Listen to, support and co-conspire with indigenous people

Many psychedelic plant medicines have been stewarded by indigenous cultures for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. I offer thanks to the wisdom keepers, the water protectors and the healers. 

Have these peoples consented to the widespread use and commodification of their sacred traditions? Will the money being generated by this psychedelic gold rush actually end up back in the hands of those who we have to thank for these medicines? Can the psychedelic renaissance stop the spread of colonization and the devastation of people, land, wisdom and culture that comes with it?

I don’t know about you, but I went through 13 years of public education, 4 years of undergraduate education at a state school and 2 years of grad school and I never once learned about the genocide of indigenous people on this continent. Colonization wasn’t a word in my vocabulary until I deliberately sought to learn about it. 

Psychedelic communities must talk about colonization. Equally as important, recognize that decolonization can only be done in collaboration and alliance with indigenous peoples. Our groups, conferences, and organizations should become accurately informed about the true history of the plant medicines and the people that they come from, and committed to justice and equity as we move forward. 

If you don’t already know, learn about the land you are on because sure enough, it once was stewarded by peoples who may still be struggling for their autonomy and continued existence amidst increasing deforestation, development and destruction of the land and their ways of life. It will probably be painful to recognize the reality if you don’t see it already, so be sure to tend to your own body and nervous system as you learn how to be a better ally and co-conspirator. 

And please, listen to indigenous people. 

  • Recognize that all of these issues, including our personal traumas, can be traced back to capitalism

I believe it to be true, and I don’t have the capacity to unpack it all here. But I will say this..

If you are free, if you have access to resources, if you were born into a body that this society confers certain privileges to, let’s use that to help usher in a new era of collective liberation and healing. 

Kai Cheng Thom writes,

“I think the major difference between a social justice and a white/colonial lens on trauma is the assumption that trauma recovery is the reclamation of safety—that safety is a resource that is simply ‘out there’ for the taking and all we need to do is work hard enough at therapy. 

“I was once at a training seminar in Toronto led by a famous & beloved somatic psychologist. She spoke brilliantly. I asked her how healing from trauma was possible for people for whom violence & danger are part of everyday life. She said it was not.

“Colonial psychology & psychiatry reveal their allegiance to the status quo in their approach to trauma: that resourcing must come from within oneself rather than from the collective. That trauma recovery is feeling safe in society, when in fact society is the source of trauma.”

How much longer can we operate under this lie that if we just work hard enough, we’ll be safe, healed, and whole? In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “no one is free until we are all free.” Let’s embody this truth in our healing work, our organizing, and our actions.

I am a queer, white, jew-ish, middle class, college-educated cis-woman with US citizenship. I can use the privileges that I have to protect others and fight to change the conditions under which such gross inequity currently exists in our society. I can put my body on the line and use my voice to advocate for access to psychedelic therapies for people belonging to historically marginalized identities. 

Reciprocity in the Quechua language is Ayni, meaning “today for you, tomorrow for me.” In the spirit of ayni, perhaps you can support the roots of the psychedelic movement. You may be in a position to offer financial support, especially to BIPOC-led projects and organizations, and those that have meaningful relationships with indigenous and traditional plant medicine communities. Let’s stand in solidarity through activism and advocacy, not charity or pity. Check out this list of foundations and initiatives that are engaging in sacred reciprocity.


This blog post isn’t about how you can survive the psychedelic renaissance. It’s about how we, as one human family, can survive and thrive, together in balance with the rest of the planet. 

The more that I do this work, the more I feel my ancestors encouraging me and guiding me in the directions of my own continued healing, and toward that fulfilling the dream of a collective liberation and belonging for all beings. 

May we thank the plants, animals, and fungi, and give back their right to take up space and thrive. 

May we all put our efforts toward achieving balance again. 

May we look within ourselves and find belonging. 

May we look at each other and see common humanity in the shared struggles, hope and dreams reflected back to us. 

May we contribute to a culture of freedom, agency and reciprocity, where all people can access nourishing food, clean water, good medicine, and room to grow, play and explore. 

May we all vision and manifest the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. 

May all the beings in all the world be happy, peaceful and free. 

About Leia

Leia Friedman loves to connect the dots as a teacher, writer, and permaculturist. Born and raised in Lowell, MA, Leia obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Rivier University and worked as an in home therapist before psychedelics turned her world inside out. She is now a psychedelic integration facilitator, a student in psychedelic somatic interactional psychotherapy (PSIP), a trainee in restorative and transformative approaches to conflict, a budding herbalist, and the host of a podcast called The Psychedologist: consciousness positive radio. Leia holds her permaculture design certificate from Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training, a program that emphasizes social permaculture and spirituality in regenerative land care. Leia has written for Wiley Encyclopedia, Psymposia, Lucid News, Psychable and DoubleBlind on topics relating to consciousness through the lens of social and environmental justice. You can find her teetering on a slack line in Costa Rica, up to her elbows in dirt from working in the garden, or nose in her laptop, grading papers for her psychology students.
psychedelics carnival festival online blog

psyjuly welcome

Welcome to PSYJuly 2021!

Over the next 31 days we are going to be featuring 31 articles on psychedelics, one for each and every day of July.

This is the second edition of PSYJuly here at Maps of the Mind, with the inaugural edition last year, and becoming a blogging carnival and more collaborative and community minded project this time around.

Welcome, and I hope you enjoy!

Connecting the background

In the process of organising and setting this up it has been really nice to reach out and refresh communications with acquaintances and friends in the community but it has also been great to make introductions and new connections. It’s exciting in that you never know where these small sparks may lead. Sure, some may go nowhere, but also, and more importantly, some may go somewhere. I’ve had many meaningful, supportive and collaborative relationships arise from these kind of initial encounters and they continue to bear fruit in both my personal and professional life.

My sincere hope is that this will bring about more of those connections for both emerging and more established figures within the psychedelic space. I’ve benefited so much from being involved and included in various projects when I was looking to become more engaged and I am truly grateful that I was given those opportunities, be they volunteering at conferences and retreats, writing guest posts, and even just exchanging messages and emails. I hope that in someway I am able to give back through PSYJuly.

Who are the posts going to be by?

Due to my scattergun approach of contacting people and putting word out through various forms such as email, twitter, facebook, and telegram, and being flexible with deadlines to allow certain friends and acquaintances to contribute I cannot at this moment really give a finalised full lineup. 

At present I would estimate that around half of the posts will be guest posts and half will be written by yours truly. The guest posts are coming from various people: authors, activists, movers and shakers in the psychedelic space, as well as some up-and-comers.

What topics are going to be covered?

Oh baby we’ve got a whole host of goodies. Occultist psychonaut Julian Vayne will be kicking us off tomorrow and then we’re gonna be traversing our way through a host of topics, with Psychedologist Leia Friedman walking us through how to navigate the psychedelic renaissance, and then Akash Kulgod telling us why it should be actually called the psychedelic revival.

We have a special audio post from the (Ir)Reverend rabble-rouser Danny Nemu and we’re going to share lessons from ayahuasca from Mr. Steve Pavlina. My comrade and Magic Medicine author Cody is going to share his excellent post on Tripping for Self-Realization, brother outlaw KR is going to give us the lowdown on how to be a connoisseur with nitrous oxide, the girls from A Whole New High on how to surrender to a psychedelic experience, my buddy Dave from the MIND foundation on integration and, well actually I don’t want to give it all away. Let’s keep a few little secrets back. There’s more beauties to come.

And then, of course we have your resident host yours truly. I’ve got a few articles that I’m pretty excited to share, some that have been formulating in the background for a few months and have built into a nice little list of articles to write. I’ve already started working on a number, and I am really glad to have the impetus to sit down and write them and the opportunity to finally share them.

Getting Set…

Each post will be shared here and published by midday European time each day. If you’re stateside then they’ll be up by the time you’re awake so you can enjoy with your morning cuppa or breakie. You can bookmark the PSYJuly 2021 homepage for easy access to the latest posts over the month. And finally, I invite you to join us in celebrating psychedelics during this time.

Last year I started day one answering the question: Why Psychedelics?

This year, I’m delighted to announce we have author Julian Vayne with a special adapted section from his modern classic Getting Higher, on a fittingly following theme:
Why take psychedelic drugs?

See you tomorrow!