The Teafaerie doesn’t usually go in for too much formal ritual, but I like to do a little bit.
I usually build an altar, for instance, but it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Sometimes if I’m at a festival or something I just clear a small space where I can lay stuff out in my tent or in the back of my car. I’ve got a bunch of special items that I carry around with me, but their power is entirely symbolic. Which isn’t to say that they’re not really magic. However, their magic lies in the fact that each one of these objects represents a complex gestalt. Whenever I look at them (or imagine that I do) I am brought back to a number of important lessons that I’ve learned, techniques that often work for me, aspects of myself that I like being reminded of, people who I love and draw strength from, projects that I’m committed to, future realities that I hope to manifest, and any unique intentions that I might have set for a particular experience.
Likewise, I clean up the space a bit in advance of the action. Sometimes I’ll make a toast before things get rolling. At the end of a trip, I like to wrap up on a note of gratitude. If I’m with a group, I try to bring everybody back together to close the circle. I think that it’s good to make sure each person has a chance to download their experiences with all of the others who have shared in the voyage. I usually make tea at some point, too.
Most importantly I like to do a little consecration ceremony before I take my medicine. It’s sort of like saying Grace before diving into a delicious meal. One reason that I think this is important for me, personally, is because there is still a lot of druggy stigma and other cultural baggage surrounding psychedelics, and it helps me to take a moment to consciously clear those associations.
Again, it’s obvious to me that any magic that happens when I do this is all in my head. But “in my head” is precisely where the trip takes place, so that’s actually rather convenient. I’m not under the illusion that any sort of ritual purification is going to absolve me if I’ve unwittingly participated in unethical activity. And of course I know that if I’ve gotten my hands on some dangerous or badly made drugs no amount of psychic cleansing is going to make them suddenly become good for me. Attitude is well known to be a very strong factor in determining outcomes, though, and taking the time to deliberately establish a drug as a sacrament naturally improves one’s odds of having an experience that is commensurate with that perception. Never underestimate the power of placebo. (Now available in liquid, capsule, and “just plain magic” formula!)
So here’s a little something that I like to say in the presence of whatever it is I plan on taking. Feel free to adopt or adapt it as you see fit.
I hereby consecrate this substance as a sacramental medicine.
I hold that it is wholly good and I trust that it will do me no harm.
May it open my heart, expand my mind, and exalt my spirit.
May it teach, heal, liberate, integrate, activate, and inspire me.
May it be a catalyst for positive change in my life,
And may it lead me to a deeper and more compassionate understanding of myself,
A more loving relationship to my community,
And a more profoundly satisfying appreciation of the Mystery at large.
So I intend it and so shall it be. I’m in!