Entheogens and psychedelics

Entheogens is the term given to consciousness altering plants like psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, ayahuasca etc. and psychedelics is a term often used for both plants also synthesised drugs and substances like MDMA and LSD etc. Entheogens have been used for millenia across cultures to alter consciousness in order to access transcendent states, information, guidance, for healing and to feel deeper connection to life. In the global North there is a resurgence of exploration into entheogens and psychedelics for all of these reasons. Most entheogens and psychedelics are illegal or restricted access. There is a growing community of knowledge building, some DIY, some through more formal research programmes, to understand the benefits of their use, be that through informal, ceremonial, ritual or clinical contexts, including observing the importance of avoiding cultural appropriation. The knowledge building includes the practice of microdosing which involves therapeutic and spiritual benefits of taking very small, what can get called ‘sub-perceptual’ amounts of entheogens or psychedelics. Below are links to some of that information and exploration.

Inside Eyes: Podcast episodes of people speaking about healing sexual trauma with psychedelics and entheogens, in conversation with a (Oakland) US based psychotherapist.

Fruiting Bodies Collective: Women of colour led project/collective looking at where psychedelics and healing justice intersect. Information, blog, great podcast and educational resources. “…a mission-based resource hub and online platform serving the growing psychedelic healing community. We exist to bridge the gap between psychedelic industry insiders and the eager-to-learn general public, with a focus on uplifting marginalized communities toward liberation for all”.

Article in Psychedelics Today: 9 Women of Color Creating A More Inclusive Psychedelic Movement.

Camille Barton ” interdisciplinary artist, educator and embodiment researcher, who uses afrofuturism to imagine creative interventions towards systems change”. This is one of their articles: The Elephant in the Room: The Need to Address Race in Psychedelic Research and an article: Here’s why Black people in the UK are turning to psychedelics

The Ancestor Project; BIPOC psychedelic collective “Education, ceremony and support for modern journeyers rooted in reverence and respect for ancestral wisdom”. Website holds some free resources.

The People of Color Psychedelic Collective (POCPC), “a body of members dedicated to psychedelic healing and education based in the United States. We nurture leaders to work in our communities to undo the harms caused by the war on drugs and oppressive systems of injustice”. Website holds some free resources.

Article by Robin Divine: Why Don’t More Black People Use Psychedelics?

Autism on Acid. Website of Aaron Paul Orsini, about psychedelics and neurodivergence. Orsini is author of Autism on Acid: How LSD Helped Me Understand, Navigate, Alter & Appreciate My Autistic Perceptions. Website holds videos and talks. Also information about the Autistic Psychedelic Community, and a new book Autistic Psychedelic – an anthology of essays about neurodivergence and experience with psychedelics.

Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research: Lots of interesting research into psychedelics and psycho-emotional health, substance use etc.

MAPS: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. Website houses research and resources.

The Psychedelic Society: Website for events, talks, courses, networks, etc. about psychedelic consciousness and healing.

Breaking Convention: A biennial academic conference bringing together multiple disciplines (including medicine, psychology, anthropology, sociology, law, politics and the arts) associated with the research of psychedelic substances.

Entheogen Nation: Lots of resources, podcast episodes, books and events around psychedelics and microdosing.

Chacruna: Research, education, events around plant medicine and psychedelics. Envisioning a world where plant medicines and other psychedelics are preserved, protected, and valued as part of cultural identity and integrated into social, legal and health care systems. Website houses a page of resources and videos about Queering Psychedelics.

Psychedelic Psychotherapy Forum 2020. Conference facilitating dialogue and shared learnings about psychedelic-assisted therapies and research, including the ethical, cultural, indigenous and spiritual use of plant medicines and psychedelic substances for personal and collective healing and transformation. Links to a tonne of pay-on-demand talks and presentations!!

Darren Le Baron: Entheogens and mushroom cultivation and workshops/ education.

James Fadiman – The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide. Often referenced work about psychedelics and in particular information about microdosing.

The benefits of microdosing | Microdosing education, community & research (microdosinginstitute.com) The Microdosing Institute (Netherlands)

Information about placebo-controlled trials on microdosing in the Netherlands

Information about UK psilocybin trials

List of research and academic papers on entheogens and psychedelics, collated (and in part authored) by Robin Carhart-Harris, head of the centre for psychedelic research at Imperial College London.

Dr. Carl Hart, Chair of the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry. Hart has done research into the politics and experience of drug use and drug policy, drug use narratives and racism, into addiction, neuropsychopharmacology and entheogens.

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan is a book that looks at opium, caffeine, and mescaline, to explore psychoactive plants, and our attraction to them through time. It “holds up a mirror to our fundamental human needs and aspirations, the operations of our minds, and our entanglement with the natural world”.

Article about research, trials and potential biomedical use of entheogens and psychedelics for ‘mental health’ in the US. Looks at what may lie ahead in terms of legality and state regulation of access, also points to what may be problematic in terms of individuating distress and the ‘treatment’ of distress. Psilocybin Treatment for Mental Health Gets Legal Framework