Psilocybin (also known as magic mushrooms) is a natural psychedelic substance that can be used for spiritual and therapeutic purposes. Psilocybin mushrooms have a long history of therapeutic use and have been used by indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Magic mushrooms are gaining popularity in the Western world, with many people seeking out how to take psilocybin in order to experience its hallucinogenic effects and to benefit their mental health.
Psilocybin mushrooms are currently listed as a Schedule 1 drug and are illegal in the United States and most other countries, but continued research on its health effects may eventually change that status.
Organizations like Psychable and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) are not only focused on spreading awareness and advocating for the decriminalization of psychedelic substances like magic mushrooms but also aim to share information that focuses on harm reduction strategies. One important harm reduction strategy is to ensure that you are adequately prepared for a psychedelic experience. It will help ensure that you are safe and will reduce the likelihood of experiencing a bad trip. We’ve compiled some practical advice from Psychable about how best to prepare for your own personal journey with psychedelics.
Find a Safe Place For Your Magic Mushroom Trip
The first and most important thing you need to do to prepare for your experience with magic mushrooms is to find a safe place where you feel comfortable.
Many people choose an outdoor setting for their magic mushroom experience. Getting outside and connecting with nature is a strong reminder that we are a part of something larger than ourselves. An outdoor setting is often the most popular choice for taking magic mushrooms because it can lead to powerful spiritual experiences.
If you choose an outdoor setting to experience magic mushrooms, consider choosing a place that is far enough away that you won’t encounter distractions. You may want to find somewhere where you can go on a hike or sit quietly and enjoy the views of nature. Having a sober sitter or guide accompany you on your trip is important so that you don’t put yourself in danger around water or roads. You should also make sure that someone knows where you are and how to find you in case of an emergency.
If you choose an indoor setting, a good place would be your own home. Home is typically a comfortable and familiar place where one feels in control. To a certain extent, you can control the environment by altering things like indoor temperature or lighting. You can also control the environment by doing things like diffusing a comforting scent, like lavender, which could help reduce any pre-journey jitters or anxiety.
Your Safe Place Includes People, Too
Finding a safe place also includes making sure you are comfortable with the people you are surrounded with. Especially if this is your first time trying magic mushrooms, it might be helpful for you to have a guide or sober sitter who has experience with taking shrooms. This should be a person you trust and who is committed to staying sober throughout your experience.
Decide if a Psilocybin Retreat is Right For You
Because psilocybin is still illegal in the United States, many people opt to attend magic mushroom retreats, which are often held in South America or other countries. Retreats are held in countries where psilocybin is legal, which makes some people feel more comfortable since they aren’t breaking any laws by partaking.
Magic mushroom retreats are often held in beautiful, tropical settings where the surrounding beaches and lush greenery bring to mind a sense of calm, peace, and closeness with nature. Packages may include lodging, healthy meals, individual check-ins with facilitators or sitters, and guided preparation activities. While this option may not be feasible for all people, for those looking for a holistic wellness experience and who want to focus on their overall mental health, it may be a great choice. You can search for magic mushroom retreats here.
Prepare your Mind and Body
Once you are sure you have a safe and comfortable setting, you should prepare your mind and body. This means doing things like getting enough to eat and enough sleep the night before to help with any fatigue or tiredness that comes from traveling if you are going to a retreat somewhere away from home. You also want to make sure to have a good, healthy meal and drink plenty of water. These are all good habits to incorporate into your life anyway!
You’ll want to make sure you have supplies handy that you may need throughout the experience. Here is a list of some things to consider having on hand:
- Plenty of water or electrolyte heavy beverages (like coconut water) to keep you hydrated, as you may experience fluctuations in body temperature.
- A notebook or journal and pen so you can record your thoughts and experiences. You may want to come back to these at a later date to fully process your magic mushroom experience.
- A playlist of calming music. You should choose music that is personal to you and aligns with your taste. If you are using your phone to play music, consider turning it on airplane mode to reduce distractions.
Consider What You Want to Get Out of Your Experience With Magic Mushrooms
It’s important to know what you want to gain from the experience, but also to have realistic expectations. Are you going on a journey for healing? Exploration? What do you hope will be different in your life after your experience with the drug?
If your goal is simply relaxation and introspection, just knowing that should help prepare your body and mind more effectively. But remember that it’s okay if nothing happens- different psychedelic drugs work differently on certain people. Rather than going into the experience with a certain set of expectations, try to approach the experience with curiosity and accept whatever the experience has in store for you.
If you’re going on a journey for healing, then it’s important to be mindful of that intention. If there are unresolved emotions or trauma that need processing, know that your brain may be about to relive some unprocessed emotions, which can be both an intense and positive experience at the same time. Many people find it worthwhile to have a trained therapist help them process and integrate the experience following the journey.
##Understand the Risks of Taking Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms are not addictive but they do carry some mild risk of adverse reactions.
It’s rare for someone to have adverse reactions after taking mushrooms; however, it can happen. The most common adverse reactions are nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. You can reduce your chances of experiencing these adverse reactions by starting with a small dose. How much you take can make a difference in what the effects will feel like.
Take special care to not consume other hallucinogens or drugs while on shrooms, as this can put you at a higher risk of having an adverse reaction and may change the effects.
For more information on how to take psilocybin mushrooms, check out this article.