In Search of New Terrain: Similarities Between Travel and the Psychedelic Experience

A psychedelic experience is commonly referred to as a ‘trip’ or a ‘journey’, and the analogy with travel is a helpful one; psychedelics take you to new internal territory, whereas travelling takes you to new external territory. But I believe there are several ways in which we can compare tripping to travelling, and these similarities…

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Psychedelic Materialism: When the Ego Latches Onto Altered States

I have previously explored the phenomenon of the psychedelic ego: a self-image that is inflated through the use of psychedelics; the irony being, of course, that experiences that can deflate – or disintegrate – the ego can end up having the opposite effect when the experience is over.  I looked at the different thought and…

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The Psychedelic Afterglow: What It Feels Like and Its Therapeutic Potential

Unlike many other substances, psychedelics can create a lingering feeling of well-being, long after the altered state of consciousness has subsided. This is known as an ‘afterglow’.  Drugs like cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and (for many) MDMA are associated with ‘comedowns’. When the high fades after the use of these drugs, you may be left with…

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The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on a Psychedelic Experience

‘Set’ – what you as an individual bring to a psychedelic experience – plays a significant role in how a specific trip will turn out. This one half of ‘set and setting’ (the latter encompassing environmental factors) is often framed as your mood and emotional state going into an experience. Do you feel positive and…

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The Gestures of DMT Jesters

In my essay on DMT jesters and tricksters, I described how the entities of the DMT experience often take on the appearance and behaviour of court jesters and trickster beings found in mythology, offering an ultimately Jungian explanation, but stressing still how mysterious and idiosyncratic this psychedelic effect is. I also examined the psychological and…

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