Embarking on a psychedelic medicine journey is a profound commitment, one that can offer deep insights into the intricate tapestry of the mind, heart and nature of reality. Preparing adequately for this voyage is necessary, especially when considering potential implications for mental and spiritual health. Just as one would for a significant trip or event, it’s essential to take steps ensuring the mind and body are receptive, centered, and equipped to navigate the depths of the psyche that medicines can reveal.
Plant, fungi, and psychedelic medicines have long been respected by indigenous cultures and modern researchers alike for their insight and transformative powers. To make the most of these experiences, one can approach them with intention, openness, and a genuine desire for self-discovery. This can involve creating a safe and supportive environment and engaging a guide, elder, or therapist familiar with the nuances of journeying. Consulting professionals, healers, and guides can offer personalized attunement for orienting the journey with one’s personal and therapeutic goals.
My Preparation Process
Part of preparation before medicine journeying is getting to know yourself more intimately in sober spaces as well. Knowing a little of your own inner terrain on a conscious level is valuable for beginning to understand the subconscious and collective material that may surface from your psyche and body during a medicine journey.
For this reason, you’ll be more supported in medicine journeywork when you have already been engaging a therapist or spiritual coach and practices involving somatic and emotional awareness such as mindfulness, breathwork, massage, art, attentive nature walks, ecstatic dance and/or yoga.
I am happy to engage you in multiple preparation sessions to support navigating your intentions and internal world prior to your medicine journey. Additionally, here are some resources for you consult while you’re planning.
Feel free to set up an altar in your sacred indoor or outdoor space. I also already have a psychedelic medicine journey space for your ease and have considered what I have written here as I created it. If you choose a space in your home, as you prepare and clean up, ask, “What am I cultivating more or releasing and letting go of?” This may help you create intentions for your journey. Let’s make sure your space is quiet, safe, clean and private. Below is a list of what you may need. We will discuss what I will provide and what you can provide.. If we are working together virtually then please plan to collect most of these supports on your own.
Material and Energetic Supports
- Pillow and blanket.
- Eye Covering–darkness allows for visuals and internal attention.
- Padding, camp or yoga mat for lying on.
- Comfortable layers of clothing.
- Small trash can with a liner or bowl in case you need to vomit.
- Small first aid kit, Epi pen and inhaler if needed and if available.
- Ceremonial or support items you are connected to; candle, instrument, a stone, jewelry, sweet grass, etc.
- Essential oils if wanted for breathing and calming.
- Smoking pipe, vape, or pre-rolled joint, lighter, and ash holder.
- Psilocybin (whole or capsules) or Cannabis flower (edibles can be ok too).
- Pure CBD flower or nano-encapsulated CBD spray for calming if needed.
- Journal for reflecting and writing if wanted at the end.
- Water for throughout the session.
- Snacks you like for after the session–maybe chocolate, trail mix, fruit, or jerky.
Specific to journeywork while backpacking or outdoors:
- Water filter
- Water bottle
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- On the go snack or foods such as protein bars, dried mango, granola, and Indian meal packets.
- First Aid kit with Epi pen, allergy meds, pain meds, and inhaler as applicable.
- Compact coat
- Thermal layers
- Rain jacket
- Beanie and Sun hat
- Two shirts
- Extra pair of dry socks
- Pants and shorts
Blue Meanie, Penis Envy, and Jedi Mind Fuck are examples of really potent strains. A 2.5 gram dose can take you pretty deep.
B+ and Golden Teacher are examples of gentler ones. 3.5 g is a great average dose with them.
Sensitivities to potency are good to be aware of around dosing.
Cannabis and Blends
(Info. Extracted from Psychedelic Cannabis: Breaking the Gate by Daniel McQueen)
If you want, you can make a cannabis blend infusing inclinations as you go along. You may also simply use a single strain of your choosing. I also have blends and suggestions.
Blends can enhance your experience and psychedelic potential. Sometimes they have a balancing effect as well—stativa’s anxiety provoking nature may be tamed by indica’s body awareness.
Use between 3 and 12 organic strains for blends with equal parts indica, hybrid, and sativa. For more in depth exploration you could also look into terpenes and see which ones you want to invite and mix.
Blend equal parts of the strains in mortar and pestle or grinder and bowl. Feel free to add a bit of cbn and/or cbd flower if you would like.
Begin to tune in intuitively and bodily to how much cannabis you may want to partake for your session.
Synesthesia is a big part of my experiences with cannabis, especially when music is present! With either medicine, expect to ride the hard stuff and the euphoric and notice how that polarity seamlessly plays together. Releasing stored tension, pain, trauma and emotion can feel soooo good. One must engage the challenges and difficult experiences and energies so as to move into new ways of relating, being, perceiving and feeling. Below are some things that can surface.
- Thoughts: new or old ideas, patterns, memories, projections, introjections, and judgments of self or others…
- Visions: symbols, images, fractals, terrains, architecture, colors, vibrancy, and guides…
- Feelings: comfortable and uncomfortable; bliss, fear, anger, joy, pain, grief, acceptance, love, peace…
- Physiology/Body: pain, tension, contractions, shaking, trembling, discharges, ease, euphoria, release, relaxation, and clarity of body/mind/spirit
- Energetic: temperature fluctuations, electrical pulses or intensity, vibrational sensations, grounding, feeling energy of rocks or plants, and movement through your body…
- Transpersonal: entities, archetypes such as trickster or witch, spirits, ancestors, generational patterns or trauma, nature’s voices, connection to Higher Power/Universe/God(dess), feeling or seeing presences.
Creating Intentions for Your Psychedelic Medicine Journey
Many of these questions are from LPC Alison McQueen-MDMA trials and Medicinal Mindfulness.
Tune into and answer the questions or prompts that call at you as you begin preparing for your journeywork session. You are welcome to share thoughts, feelings and answers in our preparation session together and/or email me your responses.
- What do you hope to receive from this experience?
- How do the seasons or your view of them inform your intentions (perhaps… autumn
- transformation, winter stillness or depth, spring growth and opening, or vibrant summer ecstasy)?
- What fears or concerns do you have?
- What are you willing to check at the door before we dive in?
- Is there part of you open to this being easy?
- What critical or difficult voices might show up for you and how do you imagine relating to them?
- What are your resources, who can you speak to about your experience?
- Are their meaningful objects you’d like to add to the alter and guides you’d like to invite into ceremony?
- What parts of self do you imagine working with or allowing to unfold?
- How can skills such as meditation and breathing assist for the variety of sensations, emotions, visuals, or memories that may arise?
- Is there specific support you’d like to request from me? (Words and affirmations of safety or support as an example)
- Something that is very present for me right now is…
- Something I’m avoiding is…
- I have concerns about…
- I’m curious about…
- I am inspired to explore…
- I am ready to let go of…
- In this moment I deeply desire…
- Intention Statement(s)—
- Thank you for giving me this opportunity to…
- I am choosing to…