A Beginner's Guide To Safe Tripping
Psychedelic trips have often been been described as profound, life changing and transformative experiences. Indeed, many ancient traditions regarded the use of psychedelics as a rite of passage and as a tool to connect with the spirit world. In shamanic traditions, knowledge about power plants was handed down for generations, safeguarding occult rituals. Nowadays, we are re-exploring sacred plants outside of cultural and traditional boundaries, as no direct linage of knowledge has been passed down to us.
Besides delivering some of the most mind-bending visions, sacred plants provide us with a tool for personal and spiritual growth. They allow us to pierce through the conditioned reality and open the connection to the psychedelic space and higher realms, where we can experience an expanding sense of profound interconnectedness with the self. But to get the most out of the potential psychedelic plants hold, a couple of simple precautions should be followed.
Set and Setting
The guidelines of Set and Setting emerged during the wild 1960‘s, when LSD pierced into mainstream culture and a new ritual forms were explored.
Essentially, set is your state of mind - what you carry within you, like thoughts, mood, and expectations. And setting is the environment - that which is outside of you, like the room you are in, and the temperature.
These two factors largely influence what you will experience during a trip. If you feel angry or stressed out, or take magic mushrooms in a difficult environment, chances are you will go through a difficult experience. Likewise, if you feel happy, are in a warm and loving environment, chances are you will have a pleasant experience. Psychedelics tend to intensify life, so whatever you are feeling or thinking will be amplified. Hence, you should not take psychedelics when you are feeling down, unhappy or depressed.
Obviously, you can and should influence both set and setting to a large degree. Through good diet and exercise you can get into good physical shape. And through practices like yoga and meditation you can learn to greatly enhance your mood.
When it comes to setting, the most beneficial place is pristine nature - again and again we hear the best experiences take place in nature. Wether on a beach or a hike in the mountains, nature provides stunning beauty. If you stay indoors, make sure you‘re in a safe space where you won‘t be disturbed. In general, it is best to consume magic mushrooms and truffles in a safe and quiet environment. You don‘t want to be disturbed or be put on spot.
As far as food goes, magic mushrooms and most other psychedelics are best taken on empty stomach. A light meal some 4-5 hours before ingesting the mushrooms is a good rule of thumb and will provide enough energy without causing stomach discomfort. Recipes like Mushroom chocolate work well as long as you just eat a small amount. And preparing some snacks for later in the trip will pay off (nuts and raisins are fantastic!).
Anderson Debernardi - Warmi Bobinzana
When you are new to Magic Mushrooms or psychedelics general, having a trip sitter is a good idea. A sitter is a sober, trusted friend with whom no funky „games“ are going on - psychedelics are very efficient in exposing underlying tensions or conflicts. The idea of the sitter is to help you on your experience, be that in the form of a hug or simply being there. The sitter shouldn‘t take anything, or if so, just a micro dose to help tune into your experience.
Dealing with bad trips
It‘s absolutely normal during a trip to go through some difficult moments. As the trip intensifies it can bring up things that are roaming around in your mind - worries or doubts can come to the surface. Most of the time, thoughts pass by and are gone the next moment. However, bad trips happen when you come into a loop of negative thoughts - reasonable or not. Read our article How to deal with bad trips to learn more, but the most important idea is to go with the flow and sing! Singing is tremendously empowering because it puts you in charge of the experience.
Ancient ritual use & Music
While set and setting provide important guidelines, they are a relatively recent western concept. In many ancient traditions, psychedelics have been used for millennia - like the Ayahuasca traditions from the Amazon or or the Peyote cacti ceremonies of North America.
In these cultures, sacred plants are taken in ceremonial settings. In essence, the ceremonial circle evolved to provide a safe and uplifting environment for journeying. What all ceremonies share, is the concentration on music, and most often that‘s just singing. As Terrance McKenna once noted, singing is the single most effective and important aspect of controlling the experience. It provides oxygen to the brain and produces a sense of empowerment. In essence, singing is one of the most amazing things you can do on a trip.