Magic Mushroom Ceremony Integration Protocols
Decomposing the shadow unlocks nutrients for your psychospiritual growth.
Psilocybin mushrooms enable insights into previously unknown levels of your emotional and spiritual self. As the brain’s default mode network disassembles, your entire brain becomes temporarily rewired into new and novel networks. This opens up elements of your psyche that have been buried in the unconscious, and these elements begin to communicate with your conscious mind.
The mushrooms work by decomposing the shadow (your darker emotions) within your unconscious mind while at the same time offering you a deeper level of awareness both emotionally and spiritually. These become lessons that are personalized to your life. They are not usually communicated in the familiar forms of words and sentences – instead they’re conveyed through creative ideas and metaphors based on personal symbolism.
Your task will be to find language for these experiences. It will take time to assemble the words that express the true meaning for you. Parts of your experience may remain ineffable and impossible to describe in words. That’s okay – just do your best. It’s helpful to process your experience in the right hemisphere first, giving the left hemisphere time to interpret and translate it into words that have the most significance. Delving into the personal meaning of your experience is the key to integration, which will deepen over time. We all take lessons from these journeys. There is a lot to learn, and there are many layers.
The day after your ceremony take it easy and rest as much as possible. It’s not a good idea to go to work or have a busy day. Relax, take good care of yourself and be present to your experience. There is no rush. Trust your intuition and do what feels right. I recommend that you continue to write about everything you remember from this day. Usually people think they will be able to recall the fine points and are surprised and dismayed at how quickly they forget much of what happened. Capturing the details helps you to reap the benefits of your experience as your life unfolds.
Listed below are recommendations that can advance your integration. Don’t feel you need to do all of these; use your intuition to guide you as to what feels right. If you’re not sure, experiment and see what happens. Allow yourself to be open to trying something new. Mostly, have fun with these.
Processing in the Right Hemisphere
Art, Poetry, Music:
- As you recall the trip, draw any images, scenes or symbols that express the feelings or sensations you experienced. Use any medium you’re comfortable with (crayons, colored pencils, paint, etc.). Create as many pictures as you like without thinking, just using unfiltered impulse and intuition. Don’t judge your work; nobody else has to see it.
- Use a drawing compass to compose sacred geometry shapes that remind you of your experience. There are many videos on YouTube showing examples of this. Sacred geometry is the underlying design of the universe and all life forms.
- Color in The Buddhist Mandala Pocket Coloring Book by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma.
- Using a calligraphy pen, draw one or more of the angelic symbols that resonate with your journey from the book, Zibu: The Power of Angelic Symbology, by Debbie Zylstra Almstedt.
- Write a poem that expresses what you experienced. This can be completely unstructured, without rhyme or pattern. It may help to imagine receiving this poem as a spontaneous download, either all at once or in bits and pieces.
- Use your poem as lyrics to a song. Complete the song by adding a melody and try singing it.
- Vocalize, hum or chant a tune that resonates with the feeling you got from this experience.
Movement & Embodiment:
- In the privacy of your home allow yourself to dance in free form to express your journey in movement. Feel it in your body. Don’t be afraid to let go and flow without self-consciousness or control. If you find it helpful, create a music playlist to facilitate this expression.
- Lie down and allow the full weight of your body to sink into the bed, floor or ground. Surrender completely to the pull of gravity, relaxing every muscle. Pay attention to your natural breathing, feel your heart beating, your jaw going slack, your eyes sinking into your head, and your entire body getting heavier. Feel all the sensations of the body as your focus shifts from thoughts to awareness of full physical embodiment.
- Find a mandala that touches your soul and gaze at it for several minutes. Although you may only choose to do this once, some find that gazing at it on a regular basis expands their inner knowing. Meditating with Mandalas by David Fontana is a useful resource.
- Spend time alone in nature doing nothing but sitting still. This is not a meditation; release yourself from any intention, purpose or agenda. By placing your bare feet on the ground, you’ll absorb earth’s healing energy. Quiet your mind and be present to the sensory richness that surrounds you, appreciating the intelligence and the mystery of life. You are part of nature.
- Meditate often. If you’re not experienced, start with 5 minutes and work you way up to 20 minutes. I suggest Herbert Benson’s Relaxation Response, which works well for the Western mind. Your mantra should reflect a short phrase that represents lessons from your journey.
Processing in the Left Hemisphere
- Transcribe the audio recorded during your journey, and then edit it to make it into a story. Include details about what prompted you to consider taking the mushrooms, your concerns and fears, your hopes and struggles, what the journey was like for you (with specifics), how you felt the following day, and especially, what it meant to you.
- Begin to journal every day about what you are experiencing emotionally. It’s not only important to document your progress, but just the act of writing will help your brain process what happened then and what is happening now.
- Keep track of your dreams. Record them by writing or speaking into a recording device. Often dreams symbolize our unconscious conflicts, concerns, inspirations or new directions. These vignettes and puzzle pieces can be helpful guides for you as time goes on.
Microdosing Magic Mushrooms
If possible and feasible, you might consider microdosing magic mushrooms. This is taking a very low dose, sub psychedelic, every other day. It typically ranges from 50 mg to 250 mg. There are many resources on the Internet and it’s relatively easy to discover just the right amount so you’re not high but are receiving the positive effect of the plant medicine. Many people report it’s easier to maintain their spiritual connectedness. They often feel calmer, happier, more empathic, and motivated to take care of themselves.
Changes in Your Lifestyle
Stop watching television. Television programming is just that, it’s programming your mind to be fearful, angry, confused, and obedient. TV has powerful influence on your perception of reality and intentionally pulls you away from listening to your inner truth and wisdom. You want to live your life with breath and depth that supports your humanity. Find more meaningful ways to use your time.
Consciously reduce your time and reliance on computers and cell phones. Our culture embraces an ever-increasing usage of technology. This is the wrong direction for you to take and will lead to the erosion of your sovereignty. While we all gravitate toward ease and comfort, we pay a price as it makes us more dependent and less resilient. The more we use technology the more we lose autonomy and our connection with nature.
For those of you who are readers, here are some books that have been very useful to me. It’s been my lifetime quest to understand the nature consciousness and the nature of reality. The value of having a psychedelic experience is that it shows you there is a deeper truth for you to find.
Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, by David R. Hawkins, MD, PhD. This teaches one of the core strategies embedded in the 12 step program. The road to good mental health is learning how to be in the present moment. Holding onto the past or worrying about the future is the hallmark of distress. To have real joy in life is to learn to be in the now, ready for the unfolding of whatever happens next.
The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson, MD. Even though this book was written decades ago, it offers timeless instructions on meditation that the Western mind can easily understand. A great deal of research since then has validated this method works.
Anxiety Free: Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind – Featuring the Buteyko Breathing Method and Mindfulness, by Patrick McKeown. This is an easy to read book that explains how improper breathing drives anxiety. Learning to regulate your breathing will put you back into control of this common distressing emotion.
The Breathing Cure: Develop New Habits for a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life, by Patrick McKeown. This is a more technical version that covers the physiology behind proper breathing and how it applies to a variety of conditions including insomnia, asthma, and blood pressure. You don’t really need to read this book unless you have a deeper interest in the science.
Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near Death Experience, by Pim van Lommel, MD. Death anxiety is the core of our withdrawal from life. It dampens our soul. When we lose our fear of death is when we start living. My belief is we should live fully, expressing ourselves in an honest and open way. We should not hesitate to speak up with our most authentic self and learn to love others and ourselves.
Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Meaning, by Anita Moorjani. This is one of those inspirational books about a near death experience which I highly recommend you read. She recounts her dying of cancer, entering the afterlife, and her return to become cancer free. She offers many interesting perspectives and a positive way to live life.
The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World, by Iain McGilchrist. This perhaps is one of the top five most important books I have read in my lifetime. It’s hard to summarize this 450 page book, but the core theme is that we have become too left hemisphere dominant. As a result we have moved further away from our humanity. It’s important to understand the distinction between the hemispheres and how to increase connections between them. Its the basis of my Being Right Minded program.
My Big Toe Trilogy: Awakening, Discovery, and Inner Workings, by Thomas Campbell. These three books combined is over 800 pages, and some parts are difficult to understand so take it slow. This trilogy unifies philosophy, physics, and metaphysics. It’s written by a nuclear physicist who is able to use contemporary Western culture language. The entirety of human experience (mind, body, and spirit), including both objective and subjective worlds, is brought together under one seamless scientific understanding. This book will challenge your assumptions about reality and offer you a new way to see yourself and the world.