This week we’re continuing our in-depth discussion on healing with psilocybin mushrooms in the second article of a two part collaboration series by Jessica Grotfeldt, owner and founder of Luz Eterna Psilocybin Retreats. In Part 2, you’ll get into the “hows” of working with mushrooms, deciding what kind of journey is right for you, what to look for in a guide or retreat, and my favorite piece, integration.
Where the Healing Happens: Set, Setting, and Psilocybin
There is much discussion about the proper set and setting for healing with psilocybin mushrooms. The popularity of psilocybin has led to a boom in organizations and individuals offering medicine journeys and experiences. As we have discussed, because of its wide distribution, mushroom medicine is a global medicine. And while there are many traditions and methods for their implementation, if they are ingested with respect, including proper preparation, intention and integration, there is truly no one “right way.”
Across the board, regardless of dogma or tradition, those who choose to heal with sacred mushrooms report feeling more connected, more grateful, and often interface with an inexplicable mystical wisdom that allows them to go beyond themselves and their past to connect to a purpose greater than themselves.
What Kind of Journey is Right for You?
Therefore, know thyself and choose wisely when deciding how, when, and with whom to heal with psilocybin mushrooms.
Here are some options to consider depending on what you are looking for in a journey with psilocybin mushrooms:
- If you are not looking for a full-blown journey, but are seeking general well-being or an alternative to depression medications, then a micro dosing regimen and coach may be right for you.
- Seeking a journey to reconnect you to your place in nature, or with friends and family? A small dose experience in a secluded natural environment is a good choice.
- If you plan to use psychedelics as part of ongoing therapy for trauma, then working with a psychedelic integration therapist is most appropriate.
- For a deep dive into your true nature and desire to connect on a spiritual path, then a guided shamanic ceremony or retreat is the best fit.
With decriminalization there are opportunities for retreat in Colorado, and psychedelic groups in Oakland, there are shamanic retreats in Mexico, group retreats in Jamaica, and limited spaces available in clinical trials in both the US and in Europe.
Once you have decided which mode of healing you want to explore with psilocybin mushrooms, it’s a good idea to research who your provider will be. Who you sit with is as important as the medicine itself. Take the time to speak to them one on one about their experience and relationship to the medicine. Ask questions about how the journey will be held, and where.
As a leader of psilocybin healing retreats, I invest a lot of time in getting to know my guests to ensure that is a good fit before we decide to work together with the medicine. My approach to retreat is spiritual in nature. We discuss in detail about the traditions, what to expect in ceremony, personality boundaries, and expectations.
It is this level of detail and more that should be provided to you by your guide/s. Your safety and comfort is essential to achieving the healing you seek. A good guide or program should provide you with auxiliary tools to assist you along the healing process. Psilocybin mushrooms will open the door and show you the possibilities, but you must be the architect of the new road ahead.
Many retreats offer integration circles, yoga, meditation, dance, bodywork, experiences in nature, etc. This can be a helpful way to explore different modes of self-care to help you integrate back into your life to continue the healing work once the journey ends.
Preparing to Heal with Psilocybin Mushrooms
It is incredibly important to prepare your mind and body before the journey begins. Although psilocybin mushrooms are a forgiving medicine as far as preparation goes, the cleaner your body and mind before your journey, the more effective it will be. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, sugar, negativity, and sexual activity for at least 3 days before your journey is recommended.
Keep a journal and hone in on your intention, keep track of the emotions that arise as you get closer to your journey. Spend time in nature, incorporate a few minutes per day of mindfulness meditation, and practice deep breathing. One of the most important tools when working with plant medicines is staying with the breath. When we master mindful breathing no matter what comes up in your journey, you can stay present. By preparing your mind and body for the journey, you have the best chance of achieving a deeper healing experience. If you are attending a retreat there should be a pre-screening and pre-retreat preparation support. Don’t be tempted to skip over the preparation phase as laying the foundation for an effective journey lends the greatest rewards.
Integration and Adequate Support
Support, and, connection are the cornerstones of your successful healing journey with psilocybin mushrooms. Things come up when working with plant medicines and the same holds true for sacred mushrooms. Whether you have a fantastic journey and connect with the divine plan of life, or find yourself struggling with deep trauma, you will need a support network to help you during the post journey phase. Remember the necessity of the mycelium network. If you are working with a coach or therapist, then this should be built into their practice. But don’t stop there, add to your community until you have adequate support. Many cities now have either virtual or in-person integration groups which can be an incredible tool as you continue the work of integrating your psilocybin journey and carry your healing forward into your life.
MEDICINE FOR THE PEOPLE: Not only are psilocybin mushrooms safe, sustainable, and versatile, but the unique lessons that they has to impart are coming just in the nick of time. Sacred mushroom medicine has made itself known in all corners of the earth and to those from every walk of life, making it a truly global medicine in a time of truly global concerns. Fresh ideas, new perspectives, transformation of pain and negativity, alleviating personal and systemic toxicity, reconnecting to nature and a greater purpose, understanding the importance of our place in the community…these are the gifts of the wisdom of sacred mushroom medicine.
We have only just begun to understand and to utilize the power of healing with psilocybin mushrooms. I thank you for your willingness to talk the path of healing necessary for the benefit of all beings.
About Jessica Grotfeldt
Founder of Luz Eterna Psilocybin Retreats for women and co-founder of Sol Medicine Retreats (Yucatan, Mexico 2019.) Jessica brings many years of experience and dedication to her work as both a retreat organizer and a sacred plant medicine guide. Her own healing journey with sacred plant medicines and deep love for Mexico inspired her to create specially curated, spirit based medicine retreats for women in the land where the sacramental use of sacred mushrooms has been in continuous use for millenia.
Jessica’s journey with the healing magic of plant medicine began following her father’s diagnosis with cancer. After witnessing the profound effect that traditional medicines such as Mexican curanderismo and acupuncture had in helping him manage the pain and anxiety of end of life care, she obtained a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, her personal experience with entheogens began after a traumatic event ended in her diagnosis with PTSD.
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