Altering Consciousness Without Drugs: My Experience With Psychedelic Breathwork

There are many reasons why someone may want to alter their consciousness without drugs: legality, safety, more controllability, and fewer side effects. Humans have also long engaged in non-drug methods for altering consciousness, including meditation, fasting, chanting, drumming, and dancing. The Czech psychiatrist and LSD researcher Stan Grof developed a mind-altering technique called holotropic breathwork…

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Syndeogens: Psychedelics as Connection-Generating Agents

I previously wrote about how we can think of psychedelics as trickster chemicals, based on how their effects often align with the attributes of the trickster archetype. This is not meant to replace other terms for psychedelics, such as entheogen or medicine, but merely supplement them. But there are other unique and common effects that…

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Neoliberalism is Partly to Blame for Competitive Psychedelic Use

Competitiveness amongst psychonauts exists and can take many forms. James Nolan, in a piece for Vice, reported that competitive psychedelic users are chasing the experience of ‘ego death’ – the dissolution of one’s sense of personal identity – because this is seen as the apex of tripping. Indeed, certain hierarchies of tripping may be constructed,…

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Finding a Psychedelic Community

There are many reasons why psychonauts may want to seek out a psychedelic community. Some people may not have friends who are interested in psychedelics, and they would prefer to trip with others, or at least have that as an option (see my post on the upsides and downsides of tripping alone). In addition, some…

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Psychedelics as Trickster Chemicals

There are many ways to define and conceptualise psychedelics. For example, these chemicals may be referred to as plant medicines or entheogens, based on their ability to generate healing or spiritual experiences, respectively. The Aztecs called Psilocybe mexicana (a species of psychedelic mushroom) teonanácatl, which in the Aztec Nahuatl language means ‘divine mushroom’ or ‘flesh…

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