Amy Hiley

‘The Erogenous Mirror’ study observed that males tend to get more aroused touching and looking at the body of another, while on average females become more aroused having their own body touched and seen (Tsakiris et al, 2018). I think the same goes for the psychedelic experience. Males peak leaving themselves, while females peak coming into themselves. Males come outward, females inward. Let me explain.

The historically male-centric psychedelic interpretation focuses on ego-death as the pinnacle of the psychedelic experience. From Huxley (1963) to Pollan (2018), this is the recurrent highlight in the majority of psychedelic literature. Some men even…

Originally published on Psymposia

Illustration: Amy Hiley

Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, recently called for psychedelic civil disobedience to stimulate collective climate action.

The logic is simple:

  1. The ecological crisis is proven to be urgent.
  2. Widespread changes in the way we behave/consume must be implemented to prevent further environmental and species collapse.
  3. Psychedelics may change people’s minds and induce a sense of connectedness with others and the environment.
  4. People should take psychedelics. Regardless of the law.

Not to rebel against humanity, but to save it.

This call assumes if more people tap into psychedelic states, which tend to entertain certain themes —…

A recent visit to the psychologist highlighted the need for a curriculum update

Illustration: Amy Hiley

Fluorescent lights. Plastic cups with pointed bottoms dangle from the water machine. A Top 40 hit blasts, the kind that could never be background music. It demands your full attention, consumes all senses, and shuffles all thought. There’s a flat-screen TV on the wall, but thankfully it’s off. Magazines stacked between me and other patients. Psychology Today. Frankie. LivingNow. Better Homes and Gardens. Tightly woven grey carpet. Neon flyers that read “On relationships,” “Let’s talk about drinking,” “Anger management,” and “Building emotional resilience.” A hand sanitizer pump next to the scented tissues. The soft sound of fingers on a keyboard…

Years of experimenting with low doses of LSD has me questioning the method’s long-term efficacy


Switching gears along the Yarra River, I pedal faster and faster, heading nowhere in particular. My face just crashed into a party of flies and now I’m swallowing wings. Sinking into my surroundings — the wind, ripples in the water, parrots overhead — with no thoughts of all the elses and elsewheres I could be, I’m tripping.

This microdose feels like a half tab. Which isn’t necessarily bad, except I can’t focus. I can’t sit still. I can’t read the lines of a book without being bombarded by my own. I can’t write. All I can do is keep going…

Moving from psychedelic routine to spot-treatment

Kristina Johnson

Fifteen micrograms of acid, on a sliver of paper, washed down with a glass of water. This is my medicine of choice.

I microdosed 1P-LSD from April to December 2017 following a regimen: one day on, threeish days off. It’s been over a year since I stopped that routine and tapered my dosing to as-needed for mood support.

Eight months is a bit longer than most “microdosing experts” recommend. Online sources typically suggest six weeks or three months, but that’s mostly speculative. Any recommendations for continued psychedelic use (and all psychiatric medicine?) are relatively inexpert given our still premature understanding…

Notes from the Mind Medicine Australia launch

My only photo that night

Psychedelic researchers, advocates, and skeptics alike met on February 13th, 2019 in Melbourne for the Mind Medicine Australia launch. Fresh from San Francisco and eager to meet people in this city also interested in psychedelic medicine, I bought an early-bird ticket.

February 13th, 2019, 5:30 PM. At this point in life getting ready to go out involves more time bopping around with acid under my tongue than looking in the mirror. Microdosing quells my zapping nerves and oftentimes overactive mind, especially before larger gatherings.

So I took a small dose before biking to the University of Melbourne for the Mind…

But it might make you realize it’s time to move on

Photo: yngsa/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The transition from fully committed to quitting was slow to start. My hours of operation started to sync with my circadian rhythm. The 9–5 became 8–3. Mornings were so efficient that by midday, I’d be fried. Done with screens, done with meetings. So I’d leave the office early.

On a microdose of acid, I’d feel completely in tune with my energy capacity, unable to ignore the afternoon dip. There was no more gray area of hanging around the office or poking around on Twitter, letting the time slip as the outside world turned. No more “should I stay or should…

How a trip to space brought me back home to myself

Graphics by Magic Theatre Studio

Just one inhale sent me falling backward into my pillow. A phantom in my mirror sat up from my body, then walked away. My eyelids shut, and I shot into space. Flying through vibrant tunnels of geometric patterns and down paths not unlike Mario Kart 64’s Rainbow Road, I eventually landed on “the other side.” Everything was white and black, simultaneously. I seemed to be standing on firm ground in the clouds, with the agency to navigate. I was in the void. There was no distinction between high and low or here and there. Though I’m not religious, Ganesha —…

How small, ritual doses have drastically improved my life and reshaped my perception

Illustration: Marta Pucci

It’s 7 a.m. on the U-Bahn. Eyes still puffy from the night before. A woman slowly nibbles her morning brötchen while staring into the static on the broken TV above. Everyone is silent. And in this crowd of straight faces, there I am, grinning like an idiot.

Why? I have a little secret. There’s acid under my tongue.

This slightly mischievous feeling is familiar to me. I’ve taken 1P-LSD (a legal LSD analog in Germany) over 50 times in the last six months. …

Marta Pucci

Externally everything seems fine. My appearance manifests itself as a relatively high functioning young adult who lives and works in Berlin.

But I’ve dealt with an unquiet mind all my life, and managing that has proven to be a difficult but beautiful journey. I’ve experienced and still work with anxiety, addiction, mood swings, a strange relationship with food, significant dips in motivation, obsessive tendencies, and self-harm in many intricate fashions. I have trouble admitting this sometimes, but other times, it’s crystal clear.

A few weeks ago I started microdosing an LSD analog, 1P-LSD. It happens to be legal in Germany…

Erica Avey

Writer and editor of SPECTRA Poets. Ex-émigré, based in San Francisco.

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