Magic mushrooms, or Psilocybe Cubensis, are mushrooms we know and love for their psychoactive components psilocybin and psilocin. These psychedelic mushrooms have been used for their magical healing powers since the beginning of humankind—we can even find them displayed throughout art dating all the way back to 5,000 B.C. That is pretty groovy. Today, psilocybin mushrooms are finally finding their way back into scientific research as a proven ally for people living with depression, anxiety, terminal illnesses and more. Aiding individuals in healing, coping, and returning back home to a life filled with gratitude, joy, meaning, and connectedness. Mushrooms open the neural pathways to creative and new ways of thinking. Awakening us to the universal puzzle of beauty that is the natural world, and the place we have as a piece in that puzzle.
By preparing to use mushrooms as a ritual tool, with foresight, intention, and some planning, you are harnessing a tool for life changing spiritual and literal breakthroughs. You don’t need to be a “spiritual” person, to profoundly benefit from the experience of psilocybin. Like all psychedelics, intense and sometimes frightening experiences can be part of the journey, but these can be minimized by proper setting and care, and often serve as a necessary part of the transformative experience. Shadow work should be revered, not feared. The following are some ways you can craft your own psychedelic ceremony: a container to house your psilocybin mushroom experience, and guide your trip with intention and safety for optimal results, and ultimately to better your life.
You don’t need to chow down a slice of shroom-topped pizza or chug that shroom smoothie and throw whatever experience follows to the wind. Being an informed mushroom user can help ground your trip through knowledge and empowered choices, and prepare you for what’s to come. If you’ve never experimented with mushrooms before, do some Google searching. While every trip can be different, acquaint yourself with what to expect, proper dosing, and proper sourcing before your experience. I wouldn’t recommend diving head first into a black hole of bad trip stories—in other words, don’t let your research scare you. Mushrooms are a powerful healing tool for all kinds of people; you don’t need to be a walking manifestation of sunshine to have a positive experience using mushrooms, and the research proves that. Talking to friends who have had psychedelic experiences, or even attending a local psychedelic meetup group if you have any in your area can also be helpful.
Setting intentions for your mushroom trip can be very powerful. Mushrooms have a way of guiding us to them at times when we need them most. What do you hope to achieve from your trip? Maybe you want to reconnect with joy and playfulness, maybe you want to let go of trauma or stagnancy that’s been putting your life on hold. Maybe you go into a trip with the intention to dance, reconnect with your body, and commune with nature. All wonderful intentions. I view setting intentions as a way to lay out a welcome mat for whatever your mushroom trip may bring you.
Prioritize Your Surroundings
I don’t recommend doing psilocybin mushrooms for the first time at a crowded party surrounded by strangers. This can be a recipe for a bad trip, especially if you’re new to psychedelics. I do recommend doing shrooms in nature, or even in your home if you feel that would make you more comfortable. The most important thing is that you feel safe and supported by your environment and the people in your environment. Avoid any situation with the possibility of you feeling judged or trapped. You may do mushrooms with a group of friends, with one friend you trust to be a trip-sitter, or alone. With the proper surroundings, all of these can be great containers for your experience. Whether its at the beach in my hometown, or walking a few blocks to the park by my apartment in NYC, I always prioritize being in nature for at least some of my trip and personally find that experience to be unsurpassable. If you don’t want to stay in one place for your whole trip, always make sure you plan any transportation ahead of time for safety.
If you feel led to journal during your trip, I 10/10 recommend. The nuggets of wisdom and consciousness we tap into during a psychedelic experience can be exponentially useful long after the trip has ended. I recommend stream of consciousness writing, and documenting whatever comes to mind on paper to reflect on after your trip. You can also pre-write some prompts for future, tripping-you. Perhaps: “What makes life beautiful?” “What do I feel thankful for?” “What can I do to make life more fun?” “What makes me special?” “What’s holding me back?” “How to get free?” “Where do I want to go from here?”
Magic Meets Magick
If you’re a witch or have a cultivated spiritual practice of any sort, integrating your magickal practice within a psychedelic experience can be incredibly profound. Psychedelics can create a great space to connect on a deeper level with nature, spirit guides, angels, or any deities you resonate with, and your own personal power. If you feel led to light a candle, do a spontaneous from-the-soul spell, or tune in to your guides and masters through meditation and invocation, go for it. Use the state of mind you experience during a trip to reconnect you with your personal practice, and what makes it so beautiful and effective in your life.
Some could say one of the most important aspects of a psychedelic experience is what you do with it after the fact. Yes, the neurochemical euphoria may fade, but the wisdom and sovereignty of insight you gained about yourself and the world doesn’t need to. Journal during and after your trip. Document the reasons you have to appreciate this sacred life you’re living. Move head-on into the changes you want to make to align with the highest manifestation of your life and abilities. If you had a particularly challenging trip, seeking and working with an integration therapist can be an incredibly helpful and healing tool to help you make meaning of what you experienced. No man is an island.
A favorite book that focuses on Psilocybin is Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion by Michelle Janikian. Highlights include; A thorough step-by-step guide on safe and effective trips, An introductory look at guide training and joined psychedelic journeys with helpful advice, Exploration of micro-dosing and the benefits on creativity, mood, stamina cognitive function, and much more.
Pair that with Michal Pollan’s How to Change your Mind, and you’re set to journey.
Wishing you the best of love and luck on all your future mushroom experiences.
The Alchemist’s Kitchen believes that these drugs can be hugely beneficial to many people, and we support the efforts of organizations such as MAPS, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Marijuana Policy Project in seeking to change the laws that restrict their use today. Until these laws change, however, please be aware that possessing, using, manufacturing, or distributing psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, or marijuana, may be illegal, and in many states carries harsh penalties.