Preparing for a Psychedelic Experience
The word Psychedelic was coined in 1957 by Canadian born British psychiatrist Dr. Humphry Osmond. He combined the Greek words “psyche” meaning "mind or spirit" and “delos” meaning "manifesting." The dictionary definition of the verb manifest is "to become clear or apparent" which is congruent with many reports of deep personal insight and creative epiphany gained through the use of psychedelic substances like psilocybin. Psychedelics are typically used in one of two contexts, recreational use, or therapeutic use. The altered state of consciousness induced by psychedelics is an experience that anyone can benefit from, if proper care and attention is paid to preparation.
Psychedelic experiences are often referred to as 'journeys' or 'trips', because they transport the user into a vividly immersive alternate realm of consciousness that is associated with intense emotion, increased perception and self-awareness, and allows the mind to freely and deeply explore your own psyche. It is a powerful, profound experience, and it should be treated with healthy caution. The risk does exist of having a challenging or negative experience. The most effective ways to mitigate the risk of having a "bad trip" are to increase your knowledge and awareness regarding;
The effects and time-frame of a psilocybin experience
The proper dosage level (based on body composition and level of experience with psilocybin)
The important role that "set and setting" play in a psilocybin experience.
Psilocybins psychological and physical effects
Aside from the physical effects listed above, psilocybin's psychological effects can include intense euphoria, a sense of wonder and delight, openness to thoughts and feelings that you usually avoid, a sense of peace, a sense of connection to the world, clarity about relationships and people in your life, , strong emotions, spiritual or mystical feelings of unity and connectedness, out of body experience, intense emotion, and even contact/communication with either what the subject perceives as otherworldly entities, or are otherworldly entities. These effects peak between 1 and 2 hours after ingestion, and gently decline for the remainder of the 4-6 hour experience. It is commonly reported that smoking cannabis during this "comedown" period can re-intensify the effects of psilocybin.
Typically, people feel very free and open in the days following a mushroom experience. You should try to get a good night’s sleep afterwards, and you may feel a little tired the next day. Most people find that they have an afterglow from their mushroom experience that can last days or weeks, improving their mood and outlook and keeping them very open to others. Ideas and issues that you explored during the experience will have a new clarity to them. Emotionally difficult topics, memories, and experiences are likely to feel much safer and will bring up less fear when you remember them. You are likely to feel better able to tackle challenging emotional experiences in your life.
The positive effects of mushrooms can last for years, even from just a single experience. In a recent study at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, an incredible 94% of participants who had a single dose of mushrooms said it was “one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives.” Another study found long lasting changes in openness more than a year after a single mushroom dose.