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Psychedelics and the Art of Ritual
Eschaton Productions, Chicago, 1995
Author of Futureritual : Magick for the 21st Century
Through the months of January and February, 1994, a survey was conducted among a sampling of America Online members concerning the use of psychedelic drugs and their relevance to ritual practice. This sample was obtained mainly by using keywords "ritual" and "magick" in the AOL Member's Directory to develop a list of names to which the survey was distributed. Copies of the survey were also passed to a few who specifically expressed interest in the project, having seen mention of it in one of the folders in the "New Age/Philosophy" section.

Most of those who received unsolicited copies of the survey did not respond, and this lack of response, one can speculate, was due to fears concerning the illegal status of most psychedelic drugs. Indeed, a few actually responded by saying that they would not complete the survey because of concerns and suspicions about the uses of the survey. While this may have limited the amount of specific information concerning ritual use of psychedelics, it does speak strongly about the perceived place of psychedelics in our culture.

As a result, the sampling of participants was limited to those who either a) felt strongly enough about the issue to make a statement, or b) did not admit to or had not used any psychedelics. The latter category was by far the smaller group. The total number of surveys distributed was about 100. There were 15 useful responses, and several more that could not be used because they were either incomplete or ambiguous. Statistical results are as follows, and specific quotes which participants gave permission to be reproduced are included later in this file.

The text of the survey, and the number of responses to each each answer was as follows:


Results of
Survey: Ritual and Psychedelic Use

This survey is being circulated as part of a research project which will become part of America Online's Metaphysics Library. The completed work will serve as reference material for anyone wishing to delve into this subject. All responses will be treated with whatever level of confidentiality you choose. Essay answers can be as long or as brief as you choose.

Feel free to pass this survey along to anyone you think might be interested. I am looking for responses on all sides of this issue.

Please return completed survey to PStuart@aol.com. Thanks for your participation!

1) Confidentiality

a) use my responses for statistical purposes only - do not include any direct quotes. [Responses: 2]
b) use whatever quotes you wish. [Responses: 13]

2) Name

a) do not use my name or screen name. [Responses: 3]
b) use my screen name only. [Responses: 6]
c) use my name. [Responses: 5]

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

a) No, absolutely not. [Responses: 3]
b) Only for certain people at certain times. [Responses: 12]
c) For most people, most of the time. [Responses: 0]
d) For everyone, all the time. [Responses: 0]

Please explain your point of view:

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

a) no [Responses: 1]
b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing: [Responses: 14]

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

a) no [Responses: 4]
b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them: [Responses: 11]

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

a) no [Responses: 6]
b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful? [Responses: 9; of these 7 said it was useful and 2 didn't know if it was useful or not]

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal?
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?

Please explain your point of view:

[Responses: Yes - 14, No - 0, 1 ambiguous response]

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

Thanks!
-- Primordial Stu (PStuart@aol.com)




It is interesting to note that all three of the Responses answering "No, Absolutely not" to question #3 (Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?) came from among those who had never taken a psychedelic. All of those who claimed to have taken a psychedelic responded to that same question with choice b, "Only for certain people at certain times." Of the 9 respondents who said that they had used psychedelics in a ritual context, none of them said that it was definitely not useful (7 responded definitely in the affirmative), although 2 said that they didn't know. Other data can be correlated from the essay answers to the questions (included later in this document), but this is the most pertinent to the discussion. I'll leave that work to another day (or another researcher!).

While the small size of the sampling and the bias involved in obtaining the sample hamper statistical and scientific accuracy, the responses do, strongly, argue for the case that, for certain people, psychedelics do have a positive and legitimate place in a variety of contemporary ritual practices.

What follows can be considered my own extended response to the survey questions, based on personal speculation, experience and research. While I do not suggest that my circumstances are typical among Americans (or, for that matter, any other group that you can name), I think that some of this material may be suggestive of certain directions in which psychedelics can be applied to ritual practice.

Throughout history, there is ample evidence to suggest that almost every culture has had some form of psychedelic-enhanced ritual practice. To cite only a few: R. Gordon Wasson and Richard Evans Schultes have suggested that the Amanita muscaria mushroom was the legendary "soma" which is described in the "Rig-Veda," an apparently psychedelic substance that was used in a variety of religious ceremonies (Schultes, Richard Evans, Hallucinogenic Plants, Golden Press, New York, 1976, p.26). This same mushroom is also used in a shamanistic setting by the Ostyak, Vogul, Chuckchee, Koryak and Kamchadal tribes of Siberia (ibid, p. 24).

John M. Allegro has argued that the Amanita muscaria mushroom was used in a ritual fashion by early Jewish and Christian sects (Allegro, John M., The Sacred Mushroom & the Cross, Doubleday and Co., New York, 1970). While some of Allegro's research has been called into question, the basic premise that such a substance *could* be used in a ritual setting, or that it could be influential in the development of a religion has not been seriously questioned.

Different mushrooms, containing the indole-based compounds psilocin and psilocybin, were used ritually by the Aztec and Mayan Indians (Schultes, pp. 58-9), and are still used by Mazatec and other tribes in healing and shamanistic rituals. Detailed description of some of these rituals can be found in "Maria Sabina, Her Life and Chants," by Alvaro Estrada (Ross-Erikson, Inc., Santa Barbara, 1981).

Other well-documented ritualistic use includes the use of Ayahuasca or Yaje (Banisteriopsis Caapi) by indigenous peoples of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia (Schultes, R.E., "Botanical Sources of The New World Narcotics," The Psychedelic Reader, ed. by G. Weil, R. Metzner & T. Leary, University Books, 1965, p. 92); the use of peyote (Lophophora Williamsii) among North American and Mexican Indians (ibid, p. 100); and the use of the psychedelic iboga shrub (Tabernanthe iboga B.) by indigenous peoples of Gabon and the Congo (Miller, Richard Alan, "IBOGA; A Potential New Drug for Reprogramming Pathologies," Green Egg Magazine, 1993).

Further such citations are both numerous and worldwide.

These historical examples serve to raise the question of whether or not such ritual use has a practical place in the present day. In the early 1960s, while studying the effects of psychedelics, Timothy Leary and colleagues proposed the idea of "set and setting" as crucial factors in the psychedelic experience (Leary, Timothy, Litwin, George H., and Metzner, Ralph. "Reactions to Psilocybin Administered in a Supportive Environment." Journal of Nervous & Mental Diseases. December 1963, vol. 137, no. 6).

"Set refers to that which the subject brings to the situation, his earlier imprinting, his learning, his temperament, his emotional, ethical and rational predilections and, perhaps most important, his immediate expectations about the drug experience.

"Setting refers to the environment, social, physical, emotional, to the milieu of the session. This most important aspect of setting is the behavior, understanding and empathy of the person or persons who first administer the drug and who remain with the taker for the period that the drug is in effect."
(Leary, Timothy, "Introduction," LSD, The Consciousness- Expanding Drug, ed. by David Solomon, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, 1964, p. 13)


One of Leary and company's more interesting studies along these lines (interesting, at least, for the subject at hand) is the "Good Friday" study. The study involved 20 divinity students, half of whom were given 30 mg. of psilocybin, the effects of which were experienced during a devotional service in a private chapel on Good Friday. A placebo was distributed to the remainder of the students, with neither subjects nor experimenters knowing who received which preparation. The majority of those receiving the psychedelic experienced mystical states of high quality, supporting the hypothesis that psychedelics in combination with intentionally prepared set and setting can produce quite specific results. (Leary, Timothy, "The Religious Experience: Its Production and Interpretation," The Psychedelic Reader, p. 193)

For our purposes here, we may define "ritual" as the set of tools used to create a religious, mystical, healing, ecstatic, shamanistic or magickal experience. These tools include the environment of the ritualist, that is, where the ritual takes place and how that place has been manipulated for the purpose of the ritual; the auditory components of the ritual, including words, music and rhythmic components; the olfactory and gustatory components of the ritual, including such things as incense, ceremonial foods and beverages. The tools of ritual also include ideological and doctrinal components, as well as methods to produce altered states, exalt the ritualist, or produce states of ecstasy. Thus, for our purposes, we may define ritual as a very specific method for controlling or contriving set and setting. The purposes of such ritual, in history and in present use, are to create religious or mystical experiences, to eliminate or create conditioned responses, and provide initiatory experiences or rites of passage through various stages of life. This definition is broad, and allows for a wide range of experiences to be included in the term "ritual."

In our time and country, the use of psychedelics in ritual setting has been limited to the Native American Church, which uses the peyote cactus as a sacrament, and to some (but certainly not all) members of the pagan and magickal communities who are willing to experiment with psychedelics in a clandestine fashion. The pagan and magickal practitioners have inherited a formidable set of ritual tools, including such concepts as casting a circle (creating ritual or sacred space), banishing, consecration, invocation and more. There are many adequate books on the subject of ritual, so I will skip over the technicalities of the work. Suffice it to say that, using these tools, set and setting can be controlled in very powerful and dramatic ways.

I approach the creation of ritual from the position of a Thelemic magician, that is, I create ceremonies based on the belief system developed by the occultist Aleister Crowley in the early part of the 20th century (see Crowley, Aleister, Book Four, Samuel Weiser. and Crowley, Aleister, Magick in Theory and Practice, Dover Books). Practitioners of this kind of ritual art may be more prone to use psychedelics in their work, given the injunction that appears in Crowley's "The Book of the Law" to "take wine and strange drugs" (Crowley, Liber AL vel Legis [The Book of the Law], 2:22). Crowley also includes more specific instructions in certain ritual texts, including a suggestion to experiment with inhalations of nitrous oxide (an anesthetic gas possessing psychedelic qualities) in a ritualized form of meditation (Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, Dover Books, New York, 1976. p. 408); the inclusion of the idea to use the "wine and strange drugs" formula in Liber Samekh, the ritual to attain union with the "Holy Guardian Angel" (ibid, p. 274); and at several other places in his voluminous body of work. In my personal practice, I also incorporate elements derived from hypnotherapy, theater arts, yoga and other disciplines.

From my experience with these methods, I suggest that using these ritual techniques in conjunction with certain psychedelics can produce very specific results of a mystical or religious nature. There are certain limits to scientific experimentation along these lines, the least of which is the legal status of many psychedelic drugs, but given the laboratory of my own psyche, I have attempted to adhere to "the method of science, the aim of religion."

Several years ago I had the good fortune to be able to experiment, for a time, with ketamine hydrochloride, an anesthetic with very powerful psychedelic effects. (See John Lilly's The Scientist, for an interesting account of experiments with ketamine. I think that where Lilly went wrong with his experiments was in lack of attention to set and setting. Nevertheless, I am indebted to John Lilly for recording his experiments, and publishing them, in such a thorough manner. I would have had no idea where to begin my own work.) The form in which I obtained this substance was a water-soluble powder that was readily absorbed through the nasal mucus membranes. (I snorted it.) Its action lasted for about an hour. The quality of its effect, I soon learned, was extremely variable, dependent more upon set and setting than anything else I have ever come in contact with. I'll give a couple of examples to illustrate this.

After beginning my experiments with extremely simple ritual settings, and small doses of ketamine, I eventually settled on a form which involved banishing, consecrating and performing a full invocation. (The invocation used in all of these experiments was Crowley's Liber V vel Reguli, from Magick in Theory and Practice, pp. 331-44.) (Unfortunately, my records of this series of experiments, which were fairly extensive, are not available. Toward the end of the experiments, my apartment was broken into and my notebook was stolen (along with a little cash and some electronic equipment), leaving me with only an outline of the experiments and the tape transcripts. I can't even guess what they might have intended with the notebook. Beat me to publication, perhaps? Although most of the stolen stuff was recovered, the notebook never reappeared.) I would then take a moderate to large dose of K (generally in the range of 100-150 mg.), and don a pair of headphones which would play me a pre-recorded hypnotic instruction. My audio hypnosis was the same through all of these experiments, beginning with basic trance induction techniques, then providing suggestions intended to heighten the experience while allowing me to give verbal descriptions of what was happening. I had another tape machine handy, set on record, to capture any words that might come out of my mouth.

Each time I repeated this experiment, I experienced something quite dramatic. There were many similarities and overlap of material resulting from identical experiments. Most notably, these were all quite active and intense experiences, with my body completely immobilized and a rapid and kaleidoscopic flow of experience in all sensory representational systems. Out of body experience was another common result of these rituals. On the occasion described below, before the hypno-tape had even ended, I found myself in a very different place. No longer was I in my upstate New York apartment; I was in Egypt, inside a pyramid. I was lying inside an open sarcophagus. The inside of the chamber was brightly lit, a bluish-white light adhering to everything. And also radiating very strongly from me. I felt that this light, which moved through me, and radiated from me, connected me with everything around me, the walls, floor, bricks of the pyramid, and with everything else through space and time, especially a moment in space-time when a man in upstate New York was lying within a magick circle somewhere in the twentieth century. This is difficult to describe; time ceased being linear and ancient Egypt and many other "times" were all there at the same moment. Elements of these different "times" rose and fell in my consciousness as part of the informational kaleidoscope. I'll quote a little bit from the transcript of the tape which recorded what I was saying at the time:


There is this that is

The speaking one is but a speck

I am the corpse in the pyramid

The falcons roost

There are no corpses but for the observer

The language of the lesser-one is

tossed about like a mote in a river.

Feathering cumulus dark clouds

Thunder and fire...

I am in the center of the pyramid

Given the experience uniting all with all

One with many

Many with all

The choice of consciousness to roam

To rove...

Evolution is infinity...

Egyptian world exists

simultaneously

Light

All

The birds fly

The desert's expanse is all is all is all is all

Horizons of infinity

The pyramid is translucent

All is clear all is energy

The one corpse does not matter

The corpse that flies

Flies

Flies

All returns

There is no matter...


This is probably not the best or most coherent thing I have ever said, but it does give some flavor of the experience. And it does provide some illustration of how my ritual intent affected the experience. My conscious mind was overwhelmed by the experience. I had little knowledge of being Philip H. Farber, I even had almost no conscious memory of having done the ritual. I was this being of radiant energy inside of a pyramid. While my conscious mind was just experiencing, my unconscious was still resonating with the intent of the ritual. The Egyptian quality of it, as well as the references to falcons, infinity, etc., follows quite readily from the nature of the mythology involved in the Liber V ritual. The first few lines of the above text seem like a kind of post-hypnotic echo to the trance induction.

Another example, which involves a similar dose of ketamine, but a very different ritual setting, may provide a contrast. This occurred well over a year later, when an isolated sample of K came my way. The experiment involved two other people and was performed in the main room of an art gallery after closing. I quote this from my magickal record:

"In the gallery we had a display of surreal, archetypal oil paintings by an artist named P-- M--. Our original intention was to take the K in the gallery and see where the paintings took us. That day, however, P-- had a change of plans and had to take the artwork down, so we were left with an empty gallery when it came time to dose.

"We banished the space (using the Star Ruby) and the three of us each snorted about **mg... As it has a habit of doing, the K came up quickly, but it came without the storm of impressions and associations which had marked past experiments. The feeling was one of ultimate clarity and lucidity. In a thoroughly banished space, in an empty art gallery, there was no impetus to go in any direction. At least one of us felt that we weren't getting off too well, so we each snorted a supplemental dose of about **mg. This only served to heighten the experience of stillness and clarity. One of us had a set of tuning forks in the circle, and set about doing sound therapy on another. I was not the one being directly operated on with the tuning forks, but I nevertheless experienced the vibrations in my own body. This served to remind me of the power of willed thought with K (We all later described the experience as one of potential. It seemed as if we could go in any direction at a thought, that as soon as something was willed, it would be done. The intent of the art center was to provide an experience of creative freedom, and the K dose was a good confirmation of success in this intent.), and I began, as a kind of dharana exercise, to imagine vivid artwork on the white walls. This was quite successful, and very beautiful. I managed to cover the walls entirely with a brightly-colored jungle of hallucinatory flowers. As I was doing this, quite suddenly, I felt a surge of energy rising in my spine which I experienced as large white flowers blooming thickly up the middle pillar. I described this to my friends and one later said that my words triggered the experience in hir. After a while (It is very difficult to gauge passage of time with K.), we became aware of very strong currents of energy passing among us. All three of us held hands together and it was as if a) there was a very strong throbbing current passing through them, and b) as if all three hands had melted together into one mass of something not necessarily solid. As if on cue, we simultaneously released hands and repeated the same thing with our hands about six inches apart. The pulsating current was, if anything, even stronger and quite tangible to me in the air between our hands and through my body. It was as if we were creating a very beautiful, but transient, sort of artform out of these subtle currents. Only we could see it (I think), and only now.

All in all, the predominant impressions were of lucidity, peace, beauty and will. Very, very pleasant.

This material is included not to suggest a specific method of practice, but merely to demonstrate the variability of response to a particular psychedelic drug in various ritual contexts. Over a period of time, experiences elicited by similar ritual settings had many commonalities -- those experiences elicited by diverse ritual settings were themselves diverse. This kind of response to set and setting demonstrates, I believe, the viability of some uses of psychedelics in ritual context. On the other hand, the variability of the response according to set and setting also may indicate some of the dangers of psychedelic use; that is, the prospect of unintentional conditioning, or the stimulation of intense experiences resulting from psychedelic use in unplanned or random circumstances. I hypothesize that further experimentation in this direction, using stricter manipulation of experimental variables (ritual techniques or set and setting), more subjects, and experimental controls would yield some fascinating evidence of the potential of psychedelics in ritual settings.

It is my personal opinion that there is a certain spiritual quality that is lacking in many aspects of modern life. There are few parallels in contemporary American culture to the rites of passage and initiations that enable members of tribal communities to adjust and adapt to various aspects of their environment and social structure. There is also little encouragement for most people to explore a variety of aspects of their consciousness, to learn to open themselves to inspiration, or to reprogram the conditioned behavior that results from mostly random circumstances throughout their life. There are many ways for this spiritual reawakening to be accomplished, although our culture encourages few of them. It is my hope that psychedelics can be one option among many, to be used by those who can benefit from them. The more options that there are in this regard, the more people can benefit from, perhaps, a set of ritual techniques tailored to their specific circumstances.

-- Philip H. Farber (PStuart@aol.com)


SURVEY RESPONSES:

The following are survey responses, in part or in full, which the participants allowed to be used in the survey:

1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

d) use my name or screen name as you see fit.

CoyoteJack

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Oh no! An essay question! :) Well, I think that if responsibly used, psychedelics can be used to attain states that might be useful to certain seekers. There are some cultures who use them during sacred rites, and that experiencing one of these rites would be a good reason to use the substance. I would like to say that I think that I doubt someone could get the full effect of a peyote ceremony by getting a couple friends together in a living room and doing the rite out of a book. In any case, someone involved should know all about whatever substance is being used, especially regarding toxic effects, and there should be someone present who could provide medical aid if need be. While 99.9% of the time most psychedelics are harmless, any substance that has such a profound effect on the body and mind should be treated as if it were dangerous. There are many people who can use substances in a responsible and safe manner. There are many who only think they can because they have managed to be lucky and have some experiences without harm through sheer good fortune. In any case, I don't think it is something that should be tried lightly or haphazardly. If you have a good reason to use psychedelics, and are sure you know what your reasons are, then take some precautions and have a blast. If you are just thinking it might be "cool", or read about it and it sounded neat, but have no strong feelings, leave it alone. If you really have it in your life path to have an experience with something like this, you probably ought to know it deep inside. There is also the argument that using mind-altering substances is a crutch, and will retard the development of your natural abilities to seek visions or travel astrally. I have a feeling this is true for many people. Anyway, to sum up my rambling: If you feel strongly that you should try this kind of thing then do so (with care). If not, leave it alone. Also make sure you either know what you are doing or are working with someone who does.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I do all kinds of stuff, from so-called high magickal invocations to evocations of spirits to hearth-magick and seasonal pagan celebrations. I have been practicing formally since I was about fourteen, and always did little ritual kinda stuff as a small child without really knowing where I got the ideas from. Anyway, I started with Magus-type ceremonial magick around 1984 and got into Wicca and paganism around 1986.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

a) no Not in this life. :)

I have taken advantage of fevers when I have been ill to get into that funky fever-dream state, but that's about all. I don't like being sick, and don't get sick much, but that's about as close as I've gotten.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

a) no

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal (for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?
Please explain your point of view:


I think that it should be legal within the context of religious services. I see that some cultures, especially certain Native American ones have used these substances in their ceremonies for thousands of years. Not only does this show that it must be important to them, but that the people can be responsible about the use of the substances. I am rather angered by the idea that the invading culture here should have the nerve to say that the beliefs and rites of the native culture are wrong and should be illegal, simply because their own society no longer uses the same things in their rituals.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

I think that people who want to try to have an experience with this stuff should have the right to do so, but should be responsible. If they should happen to have a bad trip, they should be willing to accept the consequences it will have on them and anyone else nearby. I doubt though, that there are really that many people who go nuts on peyote (or even L.S.D.) and eat the neighbors. Quite frankly, I'm with William F. Buckley Jr. on the idea that drugs (at least many of them) should be legalized. I don't use drugs (well, I drink coffee) and most of the people I meet that do use them do so irresponsibly, but I see nothing wrong with _responsible_ use of _anything_. If it is possible to have a profound and spiritual experience using some substance, then they would be the poorer for it if they did not do so out of fear, or due to legal problems. On the other side, I am sure there are many twits out there who will mis-use this kind of thing. These people will probably do so regardless of what anyone else tells them. That does not mean the substance itself is "bad".

Blessed Be!
CoyoteJack, A.K.A. John R. Osborne


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

a) do not use my name or screen name.

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Psychedelics are a quick way to achieve ASCs. They also break up ingrained habits of perception and data organization. They vividly demonstrate that most of what we call reality is subjective. In certain settings, they may facilitate ego loss and help a group to merge consciousness. Mushrooms seem to enhance telepathy. I've been told that large doses of LSD cause death experiences resembling those sought by Tantric practice. Most westerners cannot carry off group ritual sex without alcohol or marijuana as a lubricant. I have had some low and midlevel mystical experiences under the influence of marijuana and LSD. Others have reported contact with nature elementals and other entities under the influence of mescaline and DMT. Set and setting, appropriate dosage, and experienced guides should be a part of ritual use. Have antidotes or a talk-down procedure available in case of adverse reactions. Emotionally unstable people should not take psychedelics. Nor should they be taken if one's material base (health and wealth) are shaky (exception, use of LSD and marijuana to ease terminal illness.)

If a close knit group has been doing the same ritual in the same way for a long time, taking a light dose of marijuana or LSD together and then performing the ritual may lead to new insights.

Psychedelics lead to boundary loss and therefore are detrimental to works of banishing or protection or the exercise of focused will.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)? b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I am not currently using any drug other than incense and small amounts of alcohol and herbal teas for ritual work. I do not like taking drugs alone and the groups I am in do not use them. I have experimented with flying ointment but did not "get off". My primary ritual and magic activities are witchcraft, with occasional Thelemic rituals, mainstream Jewish rituals, and breathwork meditations from a westernized Hindu tradition. I have been a pagan magical practitioner for twenty years.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)? b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

During the late Sixties and early seventies, I smoked marijuana two or three times a week and occasionally smoked hashish. During the seventies and early eighties, I took LSD once or twice a year. I occasionally ingested psilocybin mushrooms when the opportunity arose. My drug use tapered off gradually, owing to the fact that most of my friends don't use them and getting supplies is inconvenient. I also don't like the fact that I experience lingering effects of marijuana for several days after smoking it. I would continue to take LSD once in awhile if I had access to a pure source. Most of my LSD use was ritualistic; the marijuana was mostly recreational.

My interests in personal and magical development have other priorities these days, but I have not "renounced" psychedelics. Given a suitable setting and opportunity, I would be willing to use drugs again.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context? b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

Have done solitary LSD trips as a sort of vision quest. Had problems owing to lack of a guide and difficulty of gauging dosage. Mixed results. Have done ritual theater (Crowley's Rites of Eleusis) under the influence of a variety of drugs, some psychedelic. Crowley wrote these plays with the intention that they be participated in under the influence and it definitely enhanced the experience. Have attended some wiccan circles at which some of us were stoned on marijuana; no particular benefit that I can recall.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

? I think all use of drugs by adults should be legal, when they aren't working or operating heavy machinery. It's none of the government's business what we do to our own bodies and minds. People should be held accountable for their behavior, not for what they consume. In general, a religious exemption would lead to all kinds of boundary arguments and be more trouble than it's worth. However, the Native American Church is a special case, given the US government's historical and continuing hostility to and suppression of Indian culture. The Indians are sovereign nations and should not be subject to US control of their practices. As for the rest of us, I don't see why we should have to claim a religious purpose to take drugs, any more than we have to have a religious reason to have sex or dance.


1) Confidentiality

Go ahead, use quotes. :)

2) Name

Stick to this screen name only: Deporodh

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

Please explain your point of view:

Some people have real trouble getting "out" of their everyday mental space, their "mundane" mindset. Often, such folk have great difficulty developing even the most basic techniques of visualization, for example. In these cases, if other techniques fail (dream work, meditation, retreats, guided visualization and meditation, hypnotism), then it's possible they might "break through" and discover (or, more likely, re-discover) their active imagination and powers of visualization.

I don't think psychedelics have ANY place in magical work--the degree of concentration required would be impossible even for the simplest effort.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

Yes, I do both ritual work and occasional magics. I've never used a psychedelic and never will. Never needed the crutch! Magic--of varying sorts (simple visualizations, crystal magic, healings) for 20 years or more. Ritual work--only occasionally over the last 15 years, until becoming a practicing witch a few years ago.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

a) no

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

a) no

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

I don't think it should be illegal. I don't think it should be common, either. And I particularly think that any potential side-effects, not to the user per se but to those he/she deals with during or after the experience, MUST be considered. Does peyote have flashback effects, or cause personality changes (temp or perm), or other effects that might cause/allow the user to harm another? Harm none.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

Legalize druges--human society has been using them throughout its history: alcohol, tobacco, herbs of all sorts. REMOVE THE PROFIT MOTIVE inherent in a black market. Make addictive drugs readily available for medical purposes and to addicts at cost. And provide addicts of the dangerous sorts of drugs (those with violent or other ugly behavioral changes) a restrained place to blow their minds. It would harm fewer people, cut the funds out from under much of organized crime, and be CHEAPER to society and our economy.


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

Answer: Whatever. . .

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Different scenes for different genes. I can't imagine any absolutes, especially when it comes to psychedelics and ritual. . .

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

See No. 8

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

As for types, I think I've about covered most of them, domestic and a few exotics. Current usage depends entirely on availability, set, setting and inclination at the time.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

See No. 8

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

I believe psychedelics should be legal, period.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

I suppose the problem IÕm having with the survey is in the definition of the word ŅRitual.Ó I view the practice of MAGICK as a means of self-knowledge as well as a method of realizing full potential by obliterating habits which are restrictive and limiting. In a broad sense I see life itself as ritual Ń Ņan ongoing process of initiation,Ó to borrow from Crowley. In this sense, for me, psychedelics have been a tremendous benefit, providing unlimited insights into the day to day rituals (habits) by allowing me to stand back and examine them for what they are. From this vantage point I find IÕm more easily able to discard those which limit and place greater emphasis on those which are expansive.

To bring it to the specific type of ritual I believe youÕre referring to: IÕve never fully related to Ritual Magick, per se. I do understand the processes and the benefits; however, like the Catholic Mass Ń also a powerful ritual if done correctly Ń it doesnÕt seem quite attuned to my nervous system. For this reason, though IÕve experimented with a number of rituals in varying states of consciousness, I donÕt feel qualified to comment as to results.

As a musician, however, I realized early on that, if done correctly, every performance is ritual (a redundancy if ever I heard one!). Though perhaps more primitive than the more elaborate systems of Ritual Magick, many of the same techniques apply. Through subsequent study of Ritual Magick IÕve found that the results are absolutely identical; the magickal state, the Destruction of I. The gods are invoked (I prefer the vodoun ŌLoaÕ metaphor) and, if properly carried out, make themselves known. (IÕve also seen enough evidence to convince me that they make themselves known to both audiences and other band members, neither of which are consciously aware of what theyÕre participating in. Nervous systems are changed!)

IÕve experimented with most psychedelics within this context at one time or another and have generally found that, in moderation, they do tend to expedite the process of entering the magickal state and therefor can be helpful. It is important to note that the operation absolutely does not depend on them Ń timing and groove are far more critical for success. Moreover, the use of psychedelics can backfire, creating greater self-awareness, the fastest way I know of to send timing and groove into the bucket. This is not unlike my experience with other forms of ritual.

J.Lee
1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

b) use my screen name only.
Hagbard950

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

I believe that there is no one path for anyone and that psychedelics have been used beneficially by many civilizations. I have had trouble trying to use psychedelics as a tool but that may be a result of my lack of discipline in ritual work.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I'm at the very beginning stages of my ritual work. Mainly following Donald Michael Kraig's lessons in Modern Magick.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

Acid, psilocybe cubensis(?), marijuana. Used mushrooms several times for a period of about 5 years from age 19-24. Strayed away because of lack of control in dosage and difficulty in acquiring them. Used acid since age 19 until new Years Eve '93. Have quit for a period of at least a year. Needed to purge system and become more comfortable with ritual work before trying it again. Marijuana used from age 16 to 26 (new years eve '93) just quit because of overwhelming sense of apathy and lack of incentive. Used too much as an escape. I have nothing against any of these drugs and will probably use them again.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

Used it in my very first LBRP and Qabbalistic Croos ritual. In one way the acid helped me to feel as if I was more receptive for a divine presence, but I believe it did me more harm. Lack of focus and lack of familiarity made me feel very inadequate and not near enough ready.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

I do believe use of all drugs should be illegal because I do not believe in "victimless crimes". I also believe firmly in freedom of choice when another's well being is not directly affected.


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

b) use my screen name only.
MAB666

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Just as ritual work and magick would seem to be a proper evolutionary context for certain people at certain times so I feel the same to be true for psychedelic agents. As had been showed by the works done by Dr. Leary et al. in the sixties with LSD, so long as the subject does not harbor serious psychological problems and the dosage and setting are controlled, the liklihood of disastrous experiences is substatially diminished. In fact the phenomenon of "Bad Trips" was not really a factor until the drug became illegal,information concerning it's proper usage suppressed and all research legally prohibited.

The use of psychedelics as portrayed in the Castanada books is of value since it suggests that such drugs are of considerable value. But pendant to this was admonishinments that they should be treated with respect and as the sorcerer's power increases possibly dispensed with almost entirely.

It seems to me that one of the eventual goals of hermeticism is to seal off the alchemist from external influences to become a self-sustaining psychic entity, non dependent on 3 dimensional coordinate points for existence.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

Currently the ritual work engaged in is somewhat primitive, guaged to creating the requisite associational contexts for advanced work (LBRP, Middle Pillar). As far as use of pharmacological agents is concerned I would defer comment on this since the majority of useful psychedilics is prohibited by the fascist power structure currently in place.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

a) no
b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

=No comment, but "if I had was and were to" take psychedlic agents, they would probably be as follows:

LSD, Mescaline (or so called), Marijuana (all day and all night perhaps for many years).; Prozac, prednisone (definte psychoactive effects);Cocaine (perhaps of use in combatting the burnt out experience of excessive cannabis use)....Psylocibin mushrooms (if I were to admit to ingesting these I would say they would probably be the drug of choice second to cannabis)

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

a) no

Comment: at least not with the intention of heightening the rituals efficacy. If I had used psychedelic agents, I would say that their use would have been incidental rather than premeditated.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

I believe, absolutely, that no psychedelic agent should be illegal. I believe the risks are negligible in comparison to the benefits such use may confer. Whether or not the user chooses to use them strictly in a ritual context or for recreational purposes should be of no concern to the knee-jerk shits who currently follow their master's voice in condemming the use of such drugs for any purpose claiming that they are immoral (as if they are the summation of "moral" qualities) or lastly to "protect the children" (or rather to ensure the best mind control context to instill the cybernetic formulas necessary to keep people existing in a chronically reactive and animalistic behaviour pattern).

But of course, those interested in maintaining social controls (perhaps a valid point if one concedes that the human race in its current state is worth preserving) certain procedures might be implemented to help control the use of drugs but seeing how the predjudice against drug use is pervasive among the intellectually handicapped majority, information on qualified users could be used against them in future purges. In fact if I were in power and were anxious to keep it I would allow the legalization of drugs so long as the users somehow register in order to obtain. And then create a crisis to be blamed on the legalization of drugs, declare martial law and summarliy round up all known drug users as be a potential danger to our society.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

I am for any device which may aid the aspirant to evolve out of this concentration planet. Drugs, sex, technological devices....in such a time as this with the Kali Yuga closing in (perhaps within 20 years) all bets are off. I sense time running out...nuclear soul killing mushroom cloud blasting children into shadows, criminal psychic entities feeding off expended energy of violent deaths...the gods have returned and are they hungry...Alchemy...chemical mutative devices...guided cyber trips unleashing subjectivity into a cyberspace experience....need one say more?


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

b) use my screen name only.
Thelemite

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

I personally don`t I find my brain waves to much in the higher beta using pot, even using the Dream Wave II sound&light brain machine being high I find unpleasant.But I guess some people can handle it there is alot written about it and I just am not one.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I have been doing ritual work for about 10 years.I started out with the Golden Dawn methods and found they didn`t balance me out.I then started going widdershins and using the adverse pentagram of the Star Ruby and life started getting better! I started studying A.Crowley and accepted the Law of Thelema.I try to do the Star Ruby every day and the Liber V vel Reguli once a week.I also have a room set up with a Temple for my work.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

Pot,acid,mushrooms,and angel dust.I just smoke about once week or less now,I like it with sex.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

a) no

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

Yes I do psychedelics are a way for some people and if it the means for them to reach a spiritual plane that they are working for they should have the freedom to do so.Liber OZ!


But, here's my thoughts now: Outside stimulation is defeative......you see what the drug makes you see.....If you are fluent in the art then it should be no problem for you to obtain an altered state of mind mentally..... in this state you WILL be able to see everything.....

1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

c) use my name.
Mandlebrot

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view: People who are willing to go to the depths of their psychie, soul, suconscious and/or unconscious mind will certainly benefit from psychedelics. Alone, the drugs will do no good at all, and if people are forced or fear the process they can do harm by increasing the fear. Those using the substances, must approach the event with excitement and a sense of adventure and discovery.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I have been meditating for nearly 20years and discovered the use of substances about five years ago when I was deeply hurt in a divorce.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

As stated above, I discovered the benefit of psychedelics when healing my pain. I was able to go to the depth with my higher self, guides and find the lesson, learn it, forgive and let go. This was within a few months in lieu of years of traditional therapy.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

Yes if you mean ritual context as therapy. I use substances to connect with my subconscious, unconscious, higher self and guides. There have been journeys that have been less than productive, and others that have been profound! I believe that when we are able to let go of the scripts, contracts, negative shields that were built during adolescent and childhood as a mechanism of survival, we can change and grow as the adult.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?

Please explain your point of view:

Very definitely, they should be legal for spiritual and theraputic use. For instance, Ebogain has been used successfully in Holland in the treatment of Heroin addiction. This information should be made available to the public so that people that sincerely desire to end addictions can benefit.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

I know of so many people who have cured addictions, cured harmful behaviors, traumas, crises, pains and even illnesses by using various psychodelics, it is truly criminal to remove this very useful tool from psycologists and psychrists. At least we should have information available about treatment centers in Holland and Switzerland. I have heard that the Govt is allowing limited experimentation with LSD by a clinic in the East. I work with a psychologist who has experienced Journey work and she strongly recommends it to certain clients. There are many miracles available with the use of MDMA, LSD and Ebogain. From time to time I have used a natural substance known as GBH (would like more info on this if you have it) and have been able to work with patient's Higher Self and/or guides to learn how best to suggest treatment. According to John Bradshaw and others, Shame can lie at the core. I believe that psychodelics can give some people the opportunity of discovering the waves of shame and letting them go so that they do not have to pass it on to peers, offspring, and family members. (For more information on this, please Email me.)


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name:

c) use my name.
Thomas Lyttle/Psychedelic Monographs and Essays:

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Magic and the body/mind work according to timetables and rythms. The way your body processes information is also rythm oriented. The way psychedelics get distributed and metabolized is also rythm and timetable oriented. Several academic papers exist describing the differences that light and darkness make on drug metabolism. Ketamine is especially sensitive to light/darkness metabolism, for example. I have an article coming out in the German "Integration: A Journal For Mind-moving Plants and Culture" (Editor Jonathan Ott) which delves into this The title is "Psychedelica Mysticae: White Light Drugs and the Search For the Pineal". It goes into legendary "nectars, ambrosia's, Soma's, dews, etc." and modern neuroscience re: pineal gland secretions. Woman also act/react differently than men re: drug metabolism. Famous LSD researcher Dr. O. Janiger did a several year study on menstruation and drug metabolism. And so on. The very cornerstone of Alchemy is timetables and "seasons". All this relates DIRECTLY to "magic" and ritual and how the body/mind/spirit matrix works. Think on these things.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I practise the same sort of "ritual magic" as Peter Sellers in the movie and novel "Being There". It all "happens" innocently and by accident, but always in the right direction for success. I do whatver the Angel tells me (or reveals to me) to do. All I have to do is increase or decrease attention. I use psychedelics regularly, and have done so for 24 years.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

I have taken LSD at least 2000 times. I have tried at least l00 different plant and "designer drug" analogues. As I said in a recent interview: "I used to be the East Coast acid-taster for the OTO...", and "...LSD was regularly used in the rituals and initiations".

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

It was useful because it allowed me to visit, communicate and make friends with my unconscious. It turned me on to my body and showed me control mechanisms../gates, locks, etc. It gave me extreme fun on a regular basis. It forced me shit or get off the pot re: my own (r)evolution.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

I don't think there should be categories like this ('legal/illegal"). To me this prevents ALL THINGS from becoming sacramental. Language was one thing that took us out of the Garden of Eden. My friend Peter Gorman visits the head-hunting Matses tribe in the Amazon. The last time I stayed with him in NYC he said "they have no religion, ritual or ideas of "legal/illegal" re drugs". They just do it. It is normal - not special - and integrated like taking a shit or eating an apple. It is nothing special to them, it is so normal.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

A ritual is like learning how to swim. Try to remember all those rules. When you get thrown in in the deep end for the first time they may or may not help you. You may be able to "train your body" but it is the 'click", the auto-jump where you "suddenly learn" or 'shift gestalts" that makes you "swim". The ritual is the map - not the territory - remember that!


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

a) do not use my name or screen name.

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times

Please explain your point of view: P's are extremely potent and powerfull agents that have the potential of doing great good or great harm. Much of what results depends on the perspective in which they are used. The cross cultural study of ethnobotanicals (which basically is the study of shamanism) makes it quite clear that psychedelics have been (and continue to be) used in the context of ritual for many thousands of years by native peoples on every continent. It appears clear that this use was almost always for the betterment of the individual, but more importantly for the betterment of others and communities. There can be no doubt about this. It is only in the context of 'modern civilized' cultures that dangers in the use of these agents has become more evident and this danger has been with the agent removed from its ritual context. Also the discovery of potent chemical hallucinogens (e.g.LSD) and the extraction of active agents from their botanical sources has altered the context and availability of these agents. The concept of the use of these agents by the masses with no forethought or proper context heightens the potential for danger. AND THE POTENTIAL FOR DANGER IS GREAT AND THESE AGENTS SHOULD BE APPROACHED WITH EXTREME CAUTION AND NOT BE TAKEN LIGHTLY!!!!!!! (of course the potential for divine ecstasy is great also......leading to the point that psychedelics are still part of the duality of this physical plane...ie.good/bad, heaven/hell, legal/illegal.....true personal mystical experience should rise above that duality and manifest itself as love!) Psychedelics are a tool not a goal. Medicaments are not good or bad, it is they way they are used which brings potential benefit or detriment. A knife from my drawer can be used to cook dinner for may family, carve a beautiful sculpture, surgically excise a tumor or slit a throat. Not good or bad just a tool.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

Over the years I have practiced various aspects of spiritual work including fasting, chanting, use of mantras and mandalas, pranayama, hatha yoga, etc. Basically I am an mystical empiricist. I was initiated into the practice of meditation 22 years ago and over that time that has been my basic practice on a daily basis. Meditation on Light, Music, Nectar and Primordial Vibration. When I was taught these meditation techniques (the techniques are not the goal only a method) it was obvious that this was an experience always happening, nothing new to me and a unifying exp- erience (unifying me with myself, all life on earth and this creation). It provided me with a very practical way to have a personal experience while sitting in meditative practice. The more I practiced the more the experience manifested in my life and the more aware I became of the experience with every breath. The practical result of that experience was manifested as love, clarity, lucidity, compassion, empathy and the thirst for more of the same. I also realized (to get to the point of the questionaire) that at times psychedelics had brought me to the very same experience, but in quite a different way. My meditation was like being in a mothers arms; very natural, easy, gentle, forgiving. Psychedelics were more like a titan missle whose gyro- scopes I often had very little control over. But initially that is what I needed to shake me out of my rigid mindset, cultural/societal/religious/ethnic preconditioning, and maya (illusion). They were what opened my mind up to allow me the possibility to accept later more subtle and practical routes to the sublime divine.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

Over the years I have had hundreds of psychedelic experiences. Being raised in white bread, polyester, saturday morning cartoon suburbia it is no wonder that my original plant teacher was a chemical in a test tube discovered by a german speaking swiss chemist during world war II! Between the ages of 15 to 19 probably tripped 200-250 times on various agents, mostly LSD. Most of this was 'drug use' and not sacramental use. But toward the end of that time it was sacramental use though I was not fully aware of it at that time. Got into "The Psychedelic Experience" (based on the tibetan book of the dead) by leary, metzger and alpert. This lead to the experimenting with other aspects of spiritual practice which eventually lead to my meditation initiation. Once initiated I gave up all drug use for a number of years and concen- trated on that practice. Then over the next 13-14 years my life was filled with accomplishing my service in this world and having a family. The strongest psychedelic during those years was hemp (which I feel is properly classified as a psychedelic). In the last several years I have again used agents as a sacrament to my practice. My sacramental use involves spiritual, physical and circumstantial (ie. re: the circumstances of my life) preparation of 3 to 12 months (in the early years my preparation for psychedelic use would have been 3-12 minutes) and have been wonderfully positive and holy experiences.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

(see above) The usefullness is providing the intensity of experience....it seems I have tamed the titan's gyros. I like that intensity though it's not what I would want every day. Also my choice of agents has changed as I find the naturalness of the fungal world much more applicable to my lifes circumstances. I can't afford to be wired for days (and don't care to be).

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?


Please explain your point of view:

ABSOLUTELY!!!! especially if anyone takes the time to learn about this organization which is totally positive and promotes community good work and family. The illegality of psychedelics really has nothing to do with an objective medical view of these agents. It has to do with the insane political and social context in which this culture became acquainted with them. The sacramental use of psychedelics has a history going back thousands of years on every continent.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

Good luck on this good work. I'll be looking forward to seeing the results. Please feel free to contact me if I can provide you assistance or support. Be aware that confidentiality of this type project is essential. My life could be seriously upset if my answers were to be viewed by those of limited understanding. Feel free to use my screen name on any quote that does not state or imply personal use of psychedelics.


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

c) use my name.
removed

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times.

Please explain your point of view:

Psychedelics have been used since the beginning of civilization. It has a powerful consciousness raising effect on the individual. Though I believe it attacks one's need or willingness to conform, it has an incredible freeing effect on the individual psyche and his power to think creatively. Ritualizing the use of Psychedelics is not only useful but desirable. Upon seeing the debilitizing effect of constant Ganja smoking on Jamaican Rastas, their non-conforming ideology and their acceptance of the slave liberation myth of the Jews have given them a mythic context for their own lives, but their free wheeling use of marijuana limits their functionality. I often thought they could use a regimentational use of the "herb" in their meditation.

My extensive personal experience of the ritual use of psychedelics was extremely beneficial and probably saved my life. I was a member of the League for Spiritual Discovery at the Millbrook community in New York back in the late '60's. Random "experiences" were discouraged and Tribal ritual "sessions took place once every full moon as modeled after the Native American Church.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

a) no
b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s) and how long you have been practicing:

I stopped psychedelic use in 1969 when I became a disciple of an Indian Spiritual master. Through him I learned the performance of yoga and ritual during the Brahma Mahurta hours of the morning (4:00Am). While no longer a monk I have carried these techniques to my present life and profession. Incidentally Alan Watts long agon pointed out the similarity of experiences between the Hindu Vision and Psychedelic use. I found these to be phenominally true.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

a) no
b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them:

In the sixties between 1964 and 1969 . I took large quantities of psychedelics, sometimes as much as twenty to thirty thousand micrograms per session. When the League closed down in Millbrook we merged with a group call the Brotherhod of Eternal Love in California. There individual session and group sessions were practiced, sometime with incredibly mystical experiences.

I would be happy to confer with you at length about further adventures both with Leary in Millbrook and with BEL

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?

Please explain your point of view:

I strongly object to the recent criminalizing of peyote use against the Native American Church. I believe there is not only therapeutical benefits to the use of Psychedelics but medical, spiritual and mental health advantages as well. I also know they can be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. I have personally witnessed the devastating effect on crowds when powerful psychedelics were introduced without prior knowledge. This documented, but little known event made Dante's Inferno look like a picnic, I would hate to see this repeated.


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

b) use my screen name only.
ZipTrip

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times. Please explain your point of view:

All tools are useless or dangerous in the hands of someone who has not been properly trained and appprenticed.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

a) no

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them :

LSD, mescaline, psylocybin. Now about twice a year.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

Many Grateful Dead concerts. Definitely useful. Pointless to try and explain how it was useful.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?

Please explain your point of view:

Absolutely legal. What I do with my mind/spirit is my business as long as I don't do it in someone's else's face.

8) Additional thoughts or comments:

Serious surveys such as this are vital. McKenna isn't.


1) Confidentiality

b) use whatever quotes you wish.

2) Name

b) use my screen name only.
MarkusM

3) Do you believe that psychedelics can have a useful place in ritual work or magick?

b) Only for certain people at certain times. Please explain your point of view:

Depends on individual's intent, it could possibly be useful all the time for some people.

4) Do you practice some form of ritual work or magick (with or without psychedelics)?

b) yes

Rituals based on tree of life as interpreted by Golden Dawn & Crowley. Magick (not necessarily ritual) influenced by Castaneda, Robert Anton Wilson, Gurdjieff, zen.

5) Have you ever taken psychedelics (with or without ritual)?

b) yes - if yes, please explain what kind(s), frequency of use, whether or not you might still use them :

LSD, mushrooms, peyote, mescaline Have never tripped more than twice in one week or more than 4 times a year, there have been periods of abstinence ranging from 2-4 years & occuring 2-3 times.

6) Have you used psychedelics in a ritual context?

b) yes - if yes, please explain the context(s) and whether or not you believe this work was useful to you. In what way was it useful or not useful?

Gnostic Mass, psychedelic was used as the sacrament. Among the most pleasant trips of my life; blissful, ecstatic. But was it otherwise "helpful," I don't really know.

7) Do you think that ritual use of psychedelics should be legal or illegal
(for instance, the Native American Church's use of peyote)?

Please explain your point of view:

yes, I hope that more often than not the use of psychedelics in ritual work is to enhance one's evolution and that, after all, is about the most important thing to me.