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Spiritual Preparation for Psychedelic Experiences

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Table of Contents
FOUNDATIONAL THINKING
INTENTIONAL INTENTIONS
MEDITATIVE PRACTICE
PROTECT YOUR ENERGY
LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE

“ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” – Apostle Paul [1]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Chemical Collective or any associated parties.

I, like many others, exclusively use psychedelic substances as tools for self-healing, growth, and exploration. 

If this is how you approach your relationship with these molecules, you probably know what I’m about to get into here. This experience can literally feel like a battle. A deep conflict between who we are, who we want to be, and various spiritual powers or entities that would seek to influence us one way or another. 

When we go into a trip asking ourselves what needs to change about who we are, it can be challenging, confusing, and downright terrifying. We must maintain our grounding, our inner peace, and our true strength, while simultaneously opening ourselves up to ego-defying levels of change. 

Not easy to do. 

My perspective on these experiences is also extremely unconventional- even by the relatively open-minded standards of the Psychedelic Community. I’m a Christian Worship Pastor who works for a church, and God-Fearing Follower of Yeshua, Christ Jesus. Not your standard psychonaut, by any means. 

I’m a firm believer that bad trips don’t exist. Only difficult ones. I’ve re-lived traumatic episodes from my childhood while watching the fabric of the universe melt in front of me. I’ve eaten four Grams of Cubensis Mushrooms and then cried for infinite hours, stricken with a deep awareness of my own brokenness.

That awareness brought to light a need for healing I would have never known otherwise. I was able to confront my trauma, learn from it, and begin the healing journey for myself. No bad trips.  

I’ve projected my consciousness through the forest on LSD and engaged in Soul-to-Soul Combat with dark entities; fought against spirits that sought to dismantle the fabric of my very consciousness. It was real, it was terrifying- and yet, I learned I could find victory against my own (quite literal) demons. 

No bad trips. 

But not everyone wants to fight for their soul every time they enter the psychedelic realm. Psyches don’t need to shred your spirit into pieces every time you trip- and, in fact, it’s very possible to learn life-changing information and grow in deep and vulnerable areas, while still having a really great time. 

Set and Setting is an essential part of creating a structured and responsible environment for psychedelic experiences.

It all boils down to Spiritual Preparation. Beyond the tried and true “Set and Setting” advice. Beyond “Test your drugs” or “Don’t trip with people you don’t trust.” All good thoughts, all solid pieces of advice- but we’re interested in being able to go deep into the spirit world without losing our grip on why we came there in the first place. 

 

FOUNDATIONAL THINKING

My very first trip was incredibly tame compared to some of the later experiences I had down the rabbit hole. I ate 1.05 Grams of Pan Cyans and proceeded to cry and talk to God for about four hours. It was euphoric, but not particularly intense. 

I should clarify here- Talking to God is something I do while I’m sitting at the dinner table, while I’m playing sports, while I’m playing guitar. 

I’m doing it right now; asking Him what to write. Anytime, all the time, I’m talking to God. 

But God speaks deeply, powerfully, and loudly to me while I’m tripping. More so than normal. He is my guide, my friend, my comfort, and the source of the wisdom I’m seeking within the mystical experience. 

During that very first, baby-sized trip, there was one primary piece of wisdom that God brought back to me over, and over again. 

Absolute Truth is real, and it is Beautiful.

The beauty of absolute truth. 

This seems like a contradictory claim to popular psychedelic teachings of open-mindedness, acceptance, and humility before what seems like an ever-changing landscape of tangential thinking. 

But it isn’t, and in fact, it’s more important that you seek Truth above all else while on your journey- because that Truth is what will guide you to the Love, Acceptance, and Open-Mindedness you’re looking for. This is the foundational thinking we need to seek when using psychedelic substances for self-healing and growth. What is true? What is real, at the core of reality? And how do I access it? 

This gives us a framework for entering into the experience without fear of what we will find- for what could be more beautiful than uncorrupted, unadulterated, absolute reality? 

Nothing. Because the Truth- is Love. 

 

INTENTIONAL INTENTIONS

It is important to set clear intention – to know what you want to achieve on your journey. Let truth be your guide and follow it wherever it leads.

“No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.” -Ram Daas [2]

“My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness. All the words of my mouth are just; none of them is crooked or perverse. To the discerning all of them are right; they are upright to those who have found knowledge. Choose my instruction instead of silver,  knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” – Proverbs of King Solomon 8:7-12 [3]

There are about a million reasons why failing to properly plan a psychedelic experience is a terrible idea. Dropping acid on the bus while heading to work is obviously not the move. We know how overwhelming things can become, and how easily our sense of security can be destabilized. The wrong look from the wrong person, an unexpected inconvenience, or even simply witnessing something negative can send you into a truly unpleasant thought loop. 

This is why Set and Setting are obviously a huge deal. 

However, many people will not deliberately choose an intention before setting out on their journey, preferring simply to see what comes up and deal with it when it does. 

This is an excellent way to completely lose the spiritual and emotional wellness benefits of psyches. It’s also a great way to be unwittingly bamboozled by entities, or be deceived by your own ego. If you’re on this ride with the intention of going somewhere, it’s generally a wise idea to think about where you’d like to go. Not complicated stuff. 

If you’re going to war with a past version of yourself, you need to have a higher truth to teach you how to fight. The most powerful forces on this planet are Love and Truth. 

To correctly prepare for an impactful spiritual journey, intentions should be centered around finding Love and/or Truth. They should be specific and tailored to your individual needs, or whatever you’re seeking wisdom about. Your deepest need is love, and the basis of wisdom is truth. Make these ideals the Guidestones for your experience- and you will find them.  

 

MEDITATIVE PRACTICE

Ram Das – Spiritual teacher and proponent of meditation practices and LSD.

Setting yourself up for a powerful, life-changing, intentional, and pleasant trip ought to look something like this. The journey doesn’t have to feel like a fight, but if it does, you want to be ready. 

Pick a date and a time to consume your psychedelic substance of choice. I prefer mushrooms, but everyone is different. Set your intention about a week in advance and be deliberate about regularly thinking about it leading up to the main event. This will burn it into your brain and ensure that it shows up after you’ve begun your trip. That intention should be deeply personal and related to something you wish to learn or heal within your spirit.

An intention I would set might go something like this:

“Show me how to find true peace in my circumstances” 

I would personally format this as a prayer, but that isn’t necessary. True peace is seeking wisdom we need in our life. What is True Peace? Wisdom shows the way. 

Peace goes hand in hand with feeling loved. This helps you guide yourself (or, for me, be guided by God) towards a warm, safe, inviting feeling. You (hopefully) won’t realize a painful truth about yourself and find your soul being flayed and tormented by entities who definitely don’t want you to feel peace. After all – you’re seeking Love, and that isn’t love.

Maybe you need that kind of kick in the pants to get your life together, though, so I can’t rule it out – after all, we’re asking for the truth here. Sometimes it’s intense. Guarantees go out the window the moment those chemicals hit your tongue. If you listen to what the trip is teaching you and humble yourself to learn, scary moments will pass. 

On the day of the trip, clean your space. Make sure you’re properly supplied with blankets, water, and comfortable seating. Maybe an animal companion to keep you company. Setting is still hugely important. Make finding that which you seek as distraction-free as possible. Get your chores done. Turn your phone off, and before you begin, meditate on your intention again for at least a half-hour. 

There’s one more, hugely important thing to do before you finally ingest your psychedelic of choice and blast off. 

 

PROTECT YOUR ENERGY

Be sober-minded, be watchful- your adversary, Satan, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” – The Disciple Peter 5:8 [4]

I recall my second LSD trip with little fondness. I didn’t prepare for it well, I took it on an impulse (essentially doing none of what I just finished telling you to do) and, while I was at home and safe, it still went poorly. My brother-in-law (who was trip-sitting me) decided to go to bed right as I was peaking and I found myself alone in a dark room while absolutely melting. Not a great vibe.

I distinctly recall an absolutely vivid closed-eye visual of a dragon attempting to disassemble my brain and get inside. I had to fight him to retain my sanity and not break down into a massive puddle of fear, anxiety, and terror. 

My faith obviously influences how I perceive entities- how could it not? So don’t take my analysis of this situation to be an exacting definition of what your experience should be. That being said, I firmly believe the dragon entity (who I perceived to be a demon) wanted to hurt or possess me so that I would be unable to learn what the trip was trying to teach me, and in order to maintain my own spirit and keep harm at bay, I had to fight him. 

Now I simply bring spiritual protection over myself before I trip, that way I’m not trying to use a metaphysical sword to hack at a cosmic dragon all night, as was the case on that particular journey. Yeesh. 

The smartest warriors find victory without battle. 

Here’s how to do this. 

If you pray, pray that Satan, the Devil, whatever oppositional or evil spirit you believe exists be cast far from you. Surround yourself in physical beauty, like nature, or a well decorated and inviting space within your home. Evil hates beauty. Put on spiritual music you find emotional comfort in. I use worship music and hymns. 

If you don’t pray, calm your mind as much as you can and fill it with nothing but positivity and light. You will need that supply of energy if you have to confront something difficult.

If something truly evil enters into your perceptual field during the trip, pray the same prayer, and stand against it. I’ve called on the name of Jesus Christ many times during a trip, and it’s only ever been deeply helpful to me in that time. 

When you do this, your risk of being influenced by harmful or deceitful spirits is vastly lowered. You will have a much easier time discerning the truth and accepting it in love. Your intention will become manifest, and the trip will be insightful, growthful, and satisfying. 

Practice this immediately before consuming the substance you’re planning on taking so that you aren’t distracted and pulled out of your intentionality or protective focus.

 

LONG TERM PERSPECTIVE

The types of experiences you have, if you put these rituals into practice, will be vastly impactful on who you are as a person. The trip experience will be vibrant and powerful in unfathomable ways. You will find the growth, healing, truth, and love you are looking for – but that may also come at a price. 

Parts of yourself may have to die. This can be painful. You may feel called into something greater than your current paradigm. You may be called to abandon an addiction, or a social group, or a relationship. You may be challenged to become your true self. Not a simple task. 

Negative spiritual influences may test you to see if you really mean it when you say you want to grow and improve your life. Expect opposition- lower vibrational beings, entities, demons, whatever you call them; they don’t take kindly to people trying to leave their direct influence and will often retaliate. Expect things to be difficult for a time. Do not fear it. There is no fear in love- and you are loved. 

As someone who has walked this road and only seen tremendous positive benefits to my family and overall life, I urge you to stay the course. Be safe, be wise, and seek, above all, the truth, which is wisdom. 

Everything else you are seeking will be added to you. 

James Faraday | Community Blogger at Chemical Collective

James is one of our community bloggers here at Chemical Collective. If you’re interested in joining our blogging team and getting paid to write about subjects you’re passionate about, please reach out to Matt via email at matt@chemical-collective.com

1 Comment

  1. Thank you James . I thought I was alone as a Christian that gets closer to God while tripping. Great tips I will employ in the future.

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