How to Get the Most Out of Your Psychedelic Journey
How to Get the Most Out of Your Psychedelic Journey
So, you’re in Oregon with a handful of “shrooms” and you’re ready for a weekend with your friends. What’s not to be excited about? After all, the psychedelic journey over the past five decades has become almost a rite of passage for many young adults. But more recently, the psychedelic movement has taken some twists and turns, from becoming useful as a psychotropic medicine, to being utilized in ceremonial shamanic practice, making the field of psychedelic experiences even more varied and trippy than ever! Regardless of your reason for embarking on a psychedelic journey, or the method you have chosen to partake in the experience, there are some tried and true ways to get the most out of your journey.
Psychedelic substances have been around for many thousands of years and the people who have used them have learned some very interesting and amazing things from the experiences they’ve had. One of the most powerful things we have learned from these substances is that they are not simply chemicals that make our brains do funny things, but they are literal portals to other areas of consciousness that many in the modern world are only just discovering. This truth about psychedelics is why there are such amazing and incredible stories that come from psychedelic journeys, but it isn’t always easy to make such a journey a reality.
If you’ve ever ingested psychedelic substances before and have not experienced much more than sparkly lights, unintelligible visions or marked behavior changes, you may wonder exactly what I’m talking about. The truth is that many people who experience these substances recreationally will not be in a vibrational space to reach far enough into the doorway being offered to have a truly deep and life-altering experience, but those who know how to make the approach, can venture into some of the most far-reaching spaces the human mind is capable of traveling. If you’d like to make your psychedelic journey one where you can activate self-healing, inspire self-love, or learn more about this life and the universe, follow these seven suggestions and be sure to get started several days before your experience to get the most out of your journey.
Plan Ahead – There may not seem to be much to plan for, after all, you’re just taking some psychedelics with friends, right? Well, there are some things you want to think about before making that commitment. All the energies that are present in a space when taking psychedelics will significantly affect the journey whether they are people, things, vibrations, music, etc., so if you know ahead of time that someone will be there who may not be friendly toward you or might bring negative energy to the group experience, or you know the place or area where you will be may not be friendly or positive, consider planning a separate event in a different space or without certain individuals. If that is not possible plan to create space between you and any unwanted energies during your experience if needed. Some good ways to do this are:
- Know where the event is taking place, show up early to make sure you can choose the ideal location and create a secure space for yourself.
- If you are taking psychedelics with friends, bring headphones so you can tune out if you don’t like the music.
- Before the experience, talk to the group leader about any concerns. or become the group leader armed with this knowledge to better assist with creating a positive experience for everyone.
- If you are feeling called, you may be able to find groups in your area that facilitate the types of experiences you are really seeking in a prepared and sacred space with a facilitator who is adept at guiding vision questers in a positive and meaningful way.
Know your Substance – Not all psychedelic substances are alike. Most have specific qualities and lead the mind into different vistas of consciousness, so it is important to research the
Entertaining fears during a psychedelic journey can be one sure way to enter what people refer to as a “bad trip”, but it is possible to take control and get yourself back to a good space if you are correctly prepared.
effects and know the dosage that creates those affects you desire to achieve from the experience so that you can select the right substance for you. Some additional considerations:
- If you are considering powerful psychedelic substances such as Ayahuasca, it is highly recommended to go to a trained and trusted facilitator to be prescribed the appropriate dose and to get the most out of your experience without any ill effects.
- Another important factor to knowing your substance is to be able to anticipate the type of journey at least somewhat that you may have so you are mentally prepared in case you have any type of adverse reaction. In the absence of a facilitator, self-coaching is vitally important to having a deep and meaningful journey.
- It is also very important to know the laws and rules about the substance you are considering in your area. There are many places available now to safely and legally ingest psychedelic substances so take the time to become educated so that you can ensure a safe and legal journey.
Ensure your Safety – Now that you have ensured the legal safety and safe quality of your substance, the actual feeling of safety is also an important one to consider. Though psychedelic journeys can sometimes feel unsafe, the truth is that for the most part, psychedelic experiences are safe and can be healthy for the mind. This can be an important thing to know and remind
Fast completely from all food and drinks except water at least 2-3 hours before ingesting psychedelic substances to reduce or eliminate nausea and vomiting.
yourself of if you need to at any time during a journey. To optimize your experience, it is also important to know there are several pitfalls that can cause a potentially good journey to be ruined and affect the safety of both your mental and physical health. To avoid these pitfalls, be sure to:
- Procure psychedelics from a reputable source.
- Take psychedelics as prescribed by their typical usage.
- Hire the services of a trained facilitator if needed.
- Know what to do if you have an adverse reaction.
- Ensure you are not vulnerable and have a means of creating a safe space for yourself regardless of where you are and who is present.
Remember that entertaining fears during a psychedelic journey can be one sure way to enter what people refer to as a “bad trip”, but it is possible to take control and get yourself back to a good space if you are correctly prepared.
Prepare your Body – The body is an important aspect of a psychedelic journey because its condition has a great deal to do with how pleasant or unpleasant one’s travels might be. For most substances, even a few days of healthy preparations can greatly improve the quality and depth of a psychedelic experience. To have the most optimal experience, anywhere from two weeks to 24 hours prior to embarking on your journey:
- Take the initiative to eat light, cut out heavily salted, fried, or oily foods and limit or eliminate sugar and dairy.
- Some substances such as Ayahuasca have severe dietary restrictions that should be followed before ingesting, so ensure you have the most current information about your substance and any dietary contraindications before taking it.
- Try meditating for 5-60 minutes daily to prepare your body for releasing your consciousness to lighter realms for travel.
- Listen to music that points your consciousness and energies to realms outside the physical to attune your body to more transitory frequencies.
- Release social media and intense communication about politics or current events for at least a few days before your journey to ensure your mind can focus outside of the current landscape during the experience.
- Fast completely from all food and drinks except water at least 2-3 hours before ingesting psychedelic substances as this can reduce or completely prevent nausea and vomiting.
Prepare your Space – the space can have an extremely intense effect on the experience during a psychedelic journey. While many people choose to take substances like mushrooms in a bar or nightlife setting with alcohol, the experience will most likely be limited and could potentially
Remember body temperature may change drastically throughout the course of your experience, so be prepared to add or remove clothing to suite your comfort.
become very intense in this type of setting depending on the dosage. If this is your preferred space, then a light dose of substance may be your best bet although combining psychedelics and alcohol is not recommended. To deepen your experience:
- Find a space that won’t be influenced by energies outside the control of the group or yourself if solo for the duration of the experience.
- If you must experience psychedelics in and amongst others who are not experiencing them, make sure you take the time to prepare your body and mind for the experience so you can navigate it with greater ease and awareness.
- If you can, ensure that sounds/music will be available to be on or off for the duration of the experience.
- If you have someone who is skilled in using vibrational tools, smudging, inviting protective energies, etc. you may consider asking them to prepare the immediate area where the experience will be occurring to ensure a maximum positive vibe throughout.
- Make sure you have comfortable surroundings such as cushions to sit or lay on, pillows, blankets, layers like a tank top, jacket, wrap or hat, etc. to match the needs of your space and your own personal comforts.
- Remember body temperature may change drastically throughout the course of your experience so be prepared to add or remove clothing to suit your comfort.
Prepare your Music – As mentioned in other areas of this article, music is an important aspect of both preparing for the journey and the experience itself. This is because in a psychedelic experience, we become far more physically aware and sensitive to all the vibratory energies around us. Music affects those energies in the same way that tapping on the glass of an aquarium can be felt and heard by all the fish inside, so the sounds around you during an experience are vitally important to how and where your journey will go. Here are some things to consider about the music you surround yourself with during a psychedelic experience:
- Music that deals with material concerns such as love, loss, sex, relationships, anger, pain, violence, abuse, politics, or any other similar types of concerns will focus your energies to these areas of life and potentially prevent you from reaching into other realms. This can be a helpful tool if you have set your intention to explore these types of situations but its best to do it with focus.
- If you are looking for music that will help facilitate travel to realms outside of our normal material definition, choose music that has non-descript or no language,
It might seem a bit fantastical until you try it but focusing your intention can really help you get the absolute most out of an experience with any psychedelic substance.
vibrational patterns, drumbeats, orchestral sounds, planetary sounds, or anything that truly defies definition in material ways.
- Ensure that you have at least 4-6 hours of music available that fits the needs of your journey, consider that toward the close of your experience, you may want to bring the music back to the spiritual or lightly to the material realm to ease the transition back to daily life.
Set an Intention – This may seem like a strange thing to focus on prior to experiencing psychedelics but imagine going on a journey without having any idea where you want to end up! Setting an intention is like engaging a GPS system to help you get to a particular destination. It might seem a bit fantastical until you try it but focusing your intention can really help you get the absolute most out of an experience with any psychedelic substance. Here are some easy but effective ways to ensure your intentions are tuned in to the experience you most want to have:
- Think deeply about why you want to experience psychedelics and remember, there are no wrong answers, but if you find your reason doesn’t sit well with your core values, maybe it’s time to create a new one!
- If you don’t really have an answer to why you want to experience psychedelics or just want to move forward a step, simply create an intention for your experience. Some popular intentions include meeting ancestors, healing traumas, learning more about one’s purpose, meeting other beings, traveling to new worlds, learning more about aspects of our own reality here, getting through grief, and the list goes on!
- Once you have decided what you want to focus on, spend time visualizing. For example, if you want to meet your ancestors, imagine yourself seeing them in the distance, approaching, embracing, and discoursing with them. Imagine the environment and the feelings and sensations.
- Though you have visualized what you want, let go of any need for your experience to be exactly as you visualized. Trust that the medicine will give you an experience that satisfies what you are looking for. For some this may be an experience that is deeply felt, for others one that is deeply visualized. Each person has a different experience, look for familiarities in the experience you are having, and you will surely find a way to have the best journey possible!
Vyolet Wylde, M.Msc is a parapsychologist and cultural anthropologist who has studied plant medicine with the Shipibo in the Amazon rainforest and facilitated hundreds of plant medicine journeys since 2016. Vyolet is a licensed integration coach and facilitator at Prism Journey. You can reach through her online site prismjourney.com or email directly to email@example.com.