How to safely enjoy the benefits of

Psilocybin mushrooms?

Below you find information about the effects, risks, ways to minimize risks and how to have the best possible psychedelic healing experience.

Possible positive and negative effects while traveling:

Positive effects:

  • Enhanced pleasant feelings and sensations
  • You are freed from the usual (unconscious or conscious) blockages, holding you back from living your highest truth
  • You can see yourself and the world in another light, leading to new insights and experiences of intens love
  • Change in sensory perception (hallucinations). Colors, sounds and shapes become more intense and/or sharper, seeing moving patterns, structures or colored images. These images can be seen with eyes closed as well.
  • Laughing (Laugh kick)
  • Music sounds, otherwise, deeper, more immersive
  • Objects etc. deforming, seeing waves
  • Altered perception of time and space
  • Feeling like the world is fake
  • Immerse in Thoughts
  • A relaxed, cheerful, energetic, high feeling
  • Experiencing feelings that you are not normally aware of.

Negative Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Yawning
  • Thirst, dry mouth
  • Warm or cold feeling
  • Hard to concentrate
  • Unusual or strange thoughts
  • Fearful trips, violent, painful feelings, fear that the effects will stay for ever.
  • Distress, a confused feeling
  • Less control over emotions and behaviors
  • Psychotic reaction
  • Sporadically preventing lasting perceptual changes, “persistent and disturbing changes in perception, mainly in the visual system, which persist from weeks to years after use.”
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints
  • Slight increase in heart rate and increase in blood pressure

What is a bad trip?

A bad trip is defined differently among people. Basically there are two types of bad trips.

Undesired feelings, images or emotions

Number one is the bad trip where you get in contact with unpleasant emotions/ feelings and you are not ready to let them be here. They typically concern feelings of fear, sadness, guilt, anger, disgust or shame or images that induce such feelings. This in itself is not a problem and will not necessarily lead to a ‘bad trip’. Within the body-mind system energy is locked up, we normally push such unpleasant feelings away. The magic mushrooms help you to release these pockets of low frequency energy. This is the medical value of psilocybin. If you resist these images and feelings though, they become more intense. So you achieve exactly the opposite of what you wanted. Your fight with that part of yourself that needs loving and accepting attention to be expressed, accepted and released can be very unpleasant and this is called a ‘bad trip’.

Feeling vulnerable and paranoia in an unsafe environment (set & setting)

Number two type of a bad trip has to do with ill preparation, your company, set and setting. To comfortably dive into a journey, you need to choose a space, which is safe for you, where you can lay down and go through all the sensations without being disturbed. Secondly, you should only do it with people you feel safe and comfortable with. Third, a dose which is too high and comes on too strong might overwhelm you and gets you into a place of panic. You need to feel safe enough to let go of control and to take the slide into magic mushroom land… Not applying the above rules can lead to panic and a strong desire to get out. With a lack of proper guidance by an experienced tripsitter you might get lost in the loop of wanting to get out of the trip, then you see you can’t get out, fear increases resulting in an even stronger desire to get out, again realizing you can’t get out, fear increases even further et cetera.

Research

Research on bad trips from the John Hopkins institute shows that for one third of the 1993 participants their bad trip was among the most meaningful experiences of their lives though. It can be difficult, but usually very fruitful as well. Despite difficulties, 84% endorsed benefiting from the experience. It is especially a bad trip if you had expectations of only laughter, fun, love, feelings of inner strength, oneness etc… all the goodies. Journeying is a spiritually and energetically cleansing experience. Therefore the goodies are either at the surface already, or more commonly they are experienced after the layers, which you usually keep away during daily life, are released and lived through.

Possible remedies

What you can do in case of a bad trip is to focus your attention on your body, breath, soothing music or anything stable in the room that gives you support and calms you down, allowing the hurricane of feelings to be what it is, realizing it is just a temporary storm and staying focused on the body. Of course your tripsitter can help you with this, by holding your hand and facilitating the mindfulness exercise. What is also valuable is to witness the thought of ‘How can I get out of this trip?’ and change it to: ‘How can I make this experience as pleasant as possible? What do I need right now?’. Change your focus to things which are stable, to solutions, love and care for yourself and you will come back to a more peaceful place. Again your tripsitter can help you with this.


Risks

Contra indications

Journeying with mushrooms in combination with certain conditions can entail additional risks. Below is a (non-exhaustive) list of conditions important to keep in mind when considering a journey.

I have (a history of):

  • epilepsy
  • type I or II diabetes
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar
  • psychosis
  • stroke(s)
  • borderline
  • anxiety disorders
  • heart problems
  • depression (mushrooms bring you in contact with your feelings, this is healing, but can also be extra impressive if you are depressed)
  • I take medication / MAO inhibitors (medication can interact with the psilocybin and with it comes extra risks) – further down a more elaborate explanation.
  • I am pregnant

Short term

  • Magic mushrooms are difficult to dose, because the strength differs. So there is a chance that the effects are unpredictable and more violent than expected.
  • Nausea
  • ‘ Stuck ‘ in negative thoughts
  • Suspicion, the feeling that you are being pursued or that they are talking about you.
  • Acute Psychosis: provoking delusion, hallucinations and anxiety. An acute drug psychosis will in most cases disappear if the psilocybin is no longer present in the body.
  • Flashbacks: parts of the journey are experienced again in the period after use.
  • Decreased capacity to judge well, for example in traffic (when the psilocybin is still active in the system)
  • There is a small but present risk that the hours / days after one experiences after-effects, such as mood disorders (such as depression), psychosis / psychotic disorders, anxiety attacks, headache and visual disorders (such as flashbacks)

Long term

  • The likelihood of addiction is very small. Within a few days after the last time of usage the effect is very little. In addition, a trip can be a fierce experience and most use it ones to several times.
  • Psychosis: In people who are susceptible to it because, for example, it runs in the family, magic mushrooms may provoke or worsen psychosis. Someone with a psychosis has hallucinations and delusions and sometimes does not know what is real and what is not. It is therefore not a good idea to take psychedelics if you or one of your family members in the first or second degree has a current or earlier history of psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar I or II disorder
  • Whether use of magic mushrooms can lead to brain damage is not known. Scientific research so far does not in any case indicate this.

Psilocybin Mushrooms and medication

Many psychedelics are metabolized by an enzyme in your liver called CYP2D6, while several antidepressants (fluoxetine, paroxetine, bupropion, duloxetine) are known to inhibit this enzyme.

For your safety I cannot host you if you taken prescribed medication that interferes with the psilocybin in a negative unhealthy way. Among others I cannot guide your ceremony if you have taken or taking the following medications in the last 6 months:

  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Levomilnacipran (Fetzima)
  • Milnacipran (Savella)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq, Khedezla)
  • Dapoxetine (Priligy)
  • Escitalopram (Cipralex, Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
  • Citalopram (Cipramil)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral)
  • Fluvoxamine (Faverin, Luvox)
  • Vortioxetine (Viibryd)
  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Desipramine (Norpramin)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil)
  • Nortriptyline (Pamelor)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Trimipramine (Surmontil)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin / Zyban)
  • Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin)
  • Diphenylprolinol (D2PM)
  • Ethylphenidate (EPH)
  • Pipradrol (Meratran)
  • Vortioxetine (Trintellix)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)
  • Milnacipran (Savella)
  • Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Lithium Carbonate ER
  • Lithobid
  • Eskalith
  • Lithonate

For more information on the interaction between magic mushrooms and medication, please consult your general practitioner, enquire at https://www.drugsinfo.nl/contactinformatie (Dutch) or check other official resources on the Internet.

When taking medication and wanting guidance via Mushroom Awakening, a signed letter or a positive response of your general practitioner via email is required. If your GP cannot give you confirmation, you can ask the experts at Drugsinfo.nl and get confirmation there. You can send them an email (in Dutch or English) to vraagbaak@drugsinfo.nl.


What is required for a safe and pleasant Journey?

You can never eliminate all risks, but through proper preparation and guidance you can drastically reduce the risks and have a wonderful experience.

Below you can find a list of things to think about:

  • Make sure someone is there or is nearby, who stays sober and is preferably trained to help you in case you get into a bad trip or panic.
  • Take your time and ensure a safe and quiet/familiar environment for a pleasant and safe trip. This is definitely necessary at a higher dose.
  • Choose to make the journey yourself at all times. Don’t get persuaded by others, while you don’t really want to do it.
  • Consider/discuss in advance how to cope with potentially emerging fears
  • If you get anxious, stay calm: The nasty feeling is always temporary.
  • Take mushrooms only if you feel good. For safety purposes, this is important. For the therapeutic effect, it doesn’t matter.
  • Do not resist what comes to mind. Relax with what is. It usually helps to focus your attention on the body, the touch and the music. Eating or drinking something can help you feel better. Most important is not to flee, but to stay open to whatever comes… you are not in danger, it’s just a thought.
  • Buy your magic mushrooms from a reliable source.
  • Do not combine mushrooms with alcohol or any other mind altering drug. That increases the chance of a bad trip. When combining with alcohol you feel the narcotic effect of alcohol less. There is a chance that you will take more alcohol than you did without mushrooms.
  • Do not partake in traffic if you are under influence. After use, you still have a few hours of lethargy and lack of concentration.
  • Make sure you don’t have to do anything important the next day. You can be tired after a trip.

The Three Phases of the Healing Journey Explained

Below, you find information about the various stages of the process, each playing a crucial role.

Phase 1 Preparation

General information

  1. Education and informed consent: During this phase we’ll discuss the effects of psilocybin, the potential risks and benefits, and the journey experience itself. We’ll check for contra-indications and we’ll evaluate whether a Psilocybin journey is safe at this moment and is suitable for reaching your goals.
  2. Psychological preparation: Furthermore, the preparation phase involves a meeting and activities aimed at setting intentions, exploring expectations, and addressing any concerns or fears. This process helps establish a safe and supportive environment for the journey.
  3. Emotional readiness: The preparation phase also allows you to develop emotional resilience and coping strategies to navigate challenging experiences that may arise during the journey. It may involve exploring past traumas, unresolved emotions, or other psychological aspects to ensure a better understanding of oneself.
  4. Refrain from inhibiting substances: For a deep and profound journey, your system needs to be as clean as possible. In preparation, the week before the journey, you stop consuming alcohol, cannabis and other mind altering drugs. Furthermore you reduce the use of caffeine and sugar. Three days before the journey you also stop with caffeine and sugar.

Phase 2 The Psilocybin Mushroom journey

During the Ps. mushroom journey you are going deeply into yourself. Energy will start to flow and your body will unwind.

Images, emotions, feelings and insights will come up, new ways of perception will appear and realignment on different levels will take place.

Phase 3 Integration

General Information

The days after the journey can be intense. They are especially important for making the changes necessary to support the realization of your goals. During this phase the rubber truly hits the road. In accordance with your insights, you will make the changes necessary for your transformation to manifest in everyday life.

  1. Meaning-making and integration of insights: The integration phase involves reflecting on the journey experiences and integrating the insights gained into daily life. With therapeutic support, you can explore the meaning and implications of the journey, making necessary adjustments and implementing positive changes.
  2. Psychological growth and well-being: Psilocybin journeys, when integrated effectively, can contribute to increased psychological well-being, resilience, and personal growth. You may experience improved self-awareness, enhanced interpersonal relationships, and a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment in life.
  3. Addressing unresolved issues: The integration phase provides an opportunity to address any unresolved issues or challenges that may have surfaced during the journey. Therapeutic support assists you in processing and resolving these issues, further promoting healing and growth.

Myths

  • “Magic mushrooms are drugs and therefore very dangerous. ”Mentally there are some risks as discussed above. Especially for people who have previously experienced psychosis or other ‘ mental illnesses ‘. Physically, the mushrooms are completely harmless. Below you see the results of a comparative study:
Relative side effects of LSD and Shrooms
  • “An overdose of psylocibin can be fatal.” As far as the information reaches, it is known that this is not possible. There are no known cases that someone has died by too much psylocibin in their body
  • “You can become addicted to magic mushrooms.” Research into human usage patterns and studies in non-human primates suggest that psilocybin possesses little or no abuse liability.

More questions? Please contact me via the contact form