Psilocybin mushrooms are amazing in so many ways.
They allow for unparalleled introspection, dissolution of hard-wired boundaries and insights into the ultimate nature of reality.
Be that as it may, the most important aspect of magic ‘shrooms for my own spiritual development has been their incredible propensity for working with trauma.
When I was growing up we moved a lot. We never stayed in one place for more than two years until I was 17, and I never managed to spread my roots so to speak. When you move around like that as a kid you quickly learn that making friends will bring nothing but misery in the end. So you close off.
Then when I was seven years old my father decided to come out of the closet, after being married to my mother for eight years. They promptly filed for divorce.
The effects on her where devastating, and on our family as a whole. My mother met a few new boyfriends after that, one of whom beat her, another was a raging alcoholic and sort of dragged her down into alcoholism with him.
Seeing one’s parents in constant psychological pain is not ideal for a young child, and so I started developing some deep rooted fears and insecurities for myself. These included a chronic lack of self-confidence, painful shyness, problems with commitment and making friends, and overall low self-esteem.
I know loads of people deal with the same issues and that’s why I’m so passionate about spreading the word on the incredible potential of psychedelics for improving psychological health.
A history of ambiguity
In the sixties, psilocybe mushrooms and LSD were used, in a clinical setting, to treat people with PTSD, alcoholism and other addictions, and much more. The results were incredibly promising, but the danger of societal upheaval was what frightened the authorities, and psychedelic substances were outlawed.
In my own adventures with ‘shrooms, I’ve experienced profound healing of all of the psychological problems I listed above, but especially the problem of low self-esteem.
You see, when you discover how integral, how important you are in the grand scheme of the universe, there’s no reason anymore to think lowly of yourself. I’ve seen that from where I’m standing, nothing would exist if it wasn’t for me!
It may sound narcissistic but it’s absolutely true. My direct experience of reality is tightly bound to my existing in the first place. It’s difficult to grasp this idea when it’s new to you, but it’s changed my life in endlessly beneficial ways.
Now to the core of the matter. HOW?
The times when I’ve experienced the most healing trips of my life, have all been well planned out beforehand. I would begin by writing down the actual issues or memories I wanted to work with and ponder them deeply, before actually ingesting anything. Preparation is incredibly important.
Make sure you’re in a safe, quiet and comfortable space. If you want you can play some tranquil music, although I prefer silent darkness.
A spotter, which just means a sober person that you trust, who makes sure you have everything you need and will calm you down in case of anxiety or distress, is nice but in my experience not necessary.
Definitely turn off your phone and make sure that you don’t have anything important you need to do for the next 6-8 hours or so. Setting is key. The way you prepare your environment can make or break your trip.
Now, after deciding what you want to focus on during the trip, prepare your mushrooms. Depending on the type of mushrooms, dosages will vary. I’ve exclusively used liberty caps in high doses, so around 2-3g of dried caps. There are plenty of resources for dosages of different types and more info on preparation, for example here.
I normally make a tea, so I steep them in hot (not boiling) water for 10-15 minutes. I don’t actually eat the mushrooms anymore, as it upsets my stomach. Then after drinking the tea I retreat to my tripping space and sit in quiet contemplation until the effects start to become apparent.
When I start feeling the tingling sense of well-being, I start thinking about the issue or memory I decided on. If it’s a memory, I try my best to actually re-live it in as much detail as possible.
As an example, I focused on the traumatic memory I wrote about in my article on journaling during a recent trip. I sat in darkness and put myself in the shoes of my young self. I tried to keep my attention on the memory until the peak of my trip, and at some point I started crying a lot, repeating again and again “all is forgiven, all is forgiven”.
And that’s what we’re aiming for here, total and utter forgiveness and acceptance. Of yourself, and of those who have wronged you. The relief from releasing a traumatic memory like that is profound.
While I can still consciously remember the event, the feeling of repressed rage and grief is gone. Its hold on me is broken. I am free from its negative influence. I forgave my mom for losing her temper at me, and I forgave my family for not coming to my aid.
But most importantly, I forgave myself for whatever I imagined I had done wrong in that moment. For not being good enough, for not reacting the way I should have.
I am now free to focus on what I choose to focus on. And although I don’t want to start using psychedelics for every single traumatic memory, I think they can be powerful tools to work on our deepest rooted hurts and hang-ups. So happy tripping!
I hope this article helped someone to have a wonderful healing trip and to overcome difficult feelings. If you enjoyed this you may want to check out my article on affirmations, and the right way to use them.