What is the antidote to the mainstreaming of psychedelic experience? How can we celebrate the essential wildness and wackiness of psychedelics while corporations are spending millions of dollars to convince everyone that these drugs are actually tame and predictable? How can we honor our personal religions while also making room for folks who wanna get high and have fun? I'm excited to explore creative ways for individuals and communities to peacefully but firmly demonstrate the importance of personal autonomy when it comes to ancient, sacred, and weird practices.
This year, the anniversary of both the Good Friday experiment (when theology students ingested psilocybin in church for the sake of science) and Bicycle Day (when chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann became the first human to intentionally ingest LSD) fell on the same day, April 19th. That day also took on deep personal significance for me this year, as I was lucky enough to be in Bermuda with my extended family celebrating the Good Friday Kite Festival.
February is the month of romantic love, but I've been reflecting on a different kind of love. A love that has been trying to teach me how to bear unbearable pain. An unrelenting love that demanded I hold my seat as my dying sister screamed for pain relief; that tethered my soul to Earth as I tried to escape the pain of my son's birth; that squeezed my body through the gauntlet of postpartum pain and depression; that braces me as I sit upright all night holding sick, sleepless children. This is the territory every mom and caregiver knows well.
One year ago on the winter solstice, I led my final integration group as director of the Psychedelic Education and Continuing Care Program in New York. While I typically guide participants through a reflective journey into their past experiences, on this night I invited them to envision the reality they wished to inhabit six months into the future, on the summer solstice. I was pleasantly surprised to see a vision of myself giving birth to my son, a ray of light reaching through the darkness to greet me.