The highest form of spiritual ritual an individual may engage with in their journey toward individual actualization is the high-dose psilocybin experience. Whereas small rituals serve as spiritual habits we develop to further our alignment with the single truth, high ritual is an occasional engagement meant to directly connect us with universal intelligence. High ritual is an act of purpose, sacred to the practice of modern shamanism. Here we explore methods of preparing for and participating in high ritual safely and effectively. When performed correctly, high ritual is an experience that will overtake the individual without concern for personal intent. However, I know from experience that proper preparation can lead to significantly more profound takeaways and a more enjoyable experience overall.
An important note before exploring the details of high ritual within our practice of modern shamanism is that the experiences outlined herein are unique to the author. While many have experimented with psychedelics, there is a distinct difference between using them for ritual spiritual practice and casually imbibing for party and pleasure. What I offer is a single path that, if followed, is likely to lead to a profound understanding of self. With that said, imbibing psychedelics in ritualistic practice is not without risks. The term “bad trip” doesn’t do justice to the fear, anxiety, and angst these experiences can evoke under the wrong circumstances. This is especially true for those who enter the journey under false pretenses. At high doses, the mushroom takes you where you need to go, which may not align with personal expectations. It rips you from the reality you know, placing you in a realm of wholeness previously unimaginable. The mushroom answers questions we didn’t know we had, vastly broadening perspective in ways that a lifetime of study would fail to accomplish. In combination with meditative practice, the psychedelic experience has been demonstrated to infuse the individual with lasting positive change in attitude, behavior, and psychological functioning.43
There is a growing trend of micro-dosing hallucinogens to spur creativity during productive work. I am unfamiliar with this habit and have no insight into its usefulness. My experiences lead me to believe that psilocybin should be consumed in high-dose ritual practice or not at all. We should also note that while several types of psychedelics exist that can draw forth transcendent experience, our focus is primarily on magic mushrooms. This is because of their unaltered natural origin and long history in human spiritual ceremony as well as their ease of cultivation and increasing legal adoption.
That we choose to embrace a high ritual whose single component stems from nature is relevant in our alignment with the single truth and relational universe. We draw from human time experiences long past recorded history to establish the direct universal connection we have since lost. I strongly recommend the high-dose psychedelic experience at least once for those with the curiosity and awareness necessary to undergo the journey. With that said, the path described herein of my journey and learnings through modern shamanism is not for everyone.
We can choose our alignment with the single truth and the relational universe without the experience of high ritual. There is no shame in those uninterested, unable, or unwilling to explore expansive universal intelligence. With that said, our understanding of the single truth and the relational universe is strengthened through the practice of high ritual. If you suffer from a diagnosed mental illness, it is strongly recommended that you avoid high-dose psychedelic experiences without professional medical supervision and therapy. Nothing contained herein should be construed as medical advice of any kind.
Human consciousness has been under the influence of psychoactive plants for most, if not all, of our existence. The earliest documented evidence of psychoactive plant use in spiritual ritual dates back somewhere between 6,000 and 9,000 BCE44 Several works of cave art found in Africa’s Sahara desert depict the harvest of mushrooms, adoration and offerings, and large masked “gods” covered with mushrooms. Before desertification, the Sahara used to be a lush, moist climate—ideal for mushroom growth. Our ancestors and many present indigenous cultures believed the high-intensity hallucination to be a commune with gods, ancestors, and beings of another realm.
When we speak of modern shamanism, we do so through the inherent limitations of individual perspective. Our spiritual journeys share many similarities, but each is also unique. The same may be said of the high-dose hallucinogenic experience. I can share that my psychedelic experiences reinforce some of these descriptions but prefer alternatives for others, given my present frameworks of understanding. There is unmistakable communication with what is instantly known as a being delivered within words and symbols both familiar and unknown to the individual. It can sometimes be highly personal, forcing a confrontation of our divinity and ego. It is unlike anything the individual previously understood. It is certainly more than we are. It is all-expansive, inhabiting the totality of the moment while transcending the boundaries of linear time experience. Individual communication occurs both with it and within it.
But is it accurate to label the other as a God? Human application of the label has always been inadequate, and therefore I am personally hesitant to make such a claim. At the same time, it inhabits a state of unification that is terrifying in the amount of love and awe it inspires. If we imagine a scenario where we have no alternative but to label a specific concept “God,” then the psychedelic intelligence found in the high-dose hallucination would be my choice for the most appropriate application of the term. However, the intelligence being godlike in its form isn’t necessarily a reason to assume that it is not of this realm. It seems more likely that it is the totality of intelligence. If the grand unified field is of the universe, then it may possess a consciousness that cannot be conceived by the fractional observer yet reveals itself willingly.
The encounter dissolves the individual’s sense of self and frames experience within entirely new frameworks of perception—seeing, hearing, feeling, and being what has never before been. If ancestors were the primary sources of wisdom and virtue within cultures originating mythos, then it is natural that communication would occur through these manifestations. The experience is ever-changing, but it is unclear whether this is because the human experience is tethered to the single truth or if the being itself is. It may be possible that this intelligence exists beyond change. Our ancestors were accurate about the depth of sacredness bound to the journey, one that has shaped the human time experience throughout history and still has a role to play in our present journey toward transcendence.
The intent of undergoing the high ritual of the psychedelic journey is to immerse oneself in this commune with universal intelligence. While each high ritual is a unique happening, the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings that individuals experience during the process is well documented and commonplace among practitioners. My experiences have led me to believe that the form of this communication exists in relation to the individual's journey. Information is communicated through a variety of mediums drawing from our existing spheres of knowledge and experience. It is expressed through language, sound, emotion, and awareness that overwhelms the senses yet still makes sense. It is as if the beings become their language, able to create material realities by simply directing focus in a specific direction. In this, it is similar to the human individual. Where it differs from us is through the absence of limits. The psychedelic intelligence seems to exist as an alignment of information and material reality inaccessible to humanity in the immediate present. High ritual is a spiritual right in alignment with our present understanding of the universe. It is a sacred process of linking our being as individuals with the collective totality of the moment, a rare glimpse of the gods that humanity has so long attempted to emulate.
The benefits of the high-dose psychedelic experience are becoming increasingly well-established within our scientific communities. Organizations are presently working on psilocybin therapy products to help treat disorders ranging from depression to post-traumatic stress disorders. Shamans of time experiences long past understood the tremendous healing powers contained within these fungi. Today, we’re rediscovering this knowledge. Alan Davis, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained his small trial successes as follows: “The magnitude of the effect we saw [from psilocybin] was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market.”40 Psilocybin has been demonstrated to reshape neurons in the human brain.41 The experience quite literally connects aspects of our mind previously unconnected.
All of us have come of age within systems reinforcing profiteering from harmful man-made poisons that declare plants and fungi ingested directly as criminal offenses. There is no evidence to support these distinctions. Psychedelics are among the safest drugs available.42 Yet the penalties of obtaining and possessing the plants and fungi associated with sacred knowledge, once commonly shared among humanity, are severe. We could explore why that is, but the answer is evident. The prohibition acts as a form of spiritual warfare, intending to deter many from glimpsing the greater whole. Communing with the intelligence that presents itself during high-dose psychedelic experiments brings new frameworks of understanding, an intimacy with nature and the universe that conflicts with many of our present arrangements, and visions that are not quickly forgotten and often mature over time. Our embrace of modern shamanism creates an inherent conflict between the individual and the present organization of state. Our hierarchical structures diminish our divinity, forcing the majority to maintain the shapes demanded by the few. High ritual is sacred because it connects our fractional individuality within the collective totality. It alters our fundamental understandings of space, place, and the other. The severe penalties imposed for possessing sacred plants are harsh, making sourcing and practice unavailable to most.
High ritual is a sacred practice and should be approached as such. All spiritual technologies infuse various degrees of meaning into the habits and rituals they perform. For the individual actualizer, there is no more direct connection to transcendent being than the high-dose psilocybin experience. High ritual is the rarest of practices in our journey toward individual actualization, one we undertake with intention and purpose. When, how, and the frequency we seek the experience varies between individuals. My experience tells me that ingesting high doses of psilocybin is not a recreational activity but rather a practice reserved for moments of intent. What form that intent takes may vary. It can be as simple as a great curiosity, or a more complex web of circumstances where the individual finds themselves struggling with their alignment alongside the single truth. Our intentions with the journey focus primarily on preparation, environment, and practice. Each plays a significant role in allowing the individual to fully immerse themselves in the experience. When we speak of intent, it is not in the context of the character of the psychedelic journey.
Those seeking high ritual do so knowing that the knowledge contained within the experience is not something we pick and choose. High ritual is a place of root truth, inwards and unyielding. It takes courage to undergo high ritual because it changes you. There are many lessons to be learned, but few occur directly within the experience. More often than not, the individual must dedicate focus and energy toward exploring their journey after the fact. High ritual is a commitment to better understand ourselves, to better know our internal infinity so that we might leverage our divinity to direct the flow of our time experience within the external.
Awe is a core aspect of the transcendent spiritual ritual. We draw awe from many things in our daily lives. Nature, spiritual ritual, art, and music are all familiar sources. We know awe to be a positive experience for the individual. Awe changes individual behavior by increasing generosity and prosocial values while decreasing feelings of entitlement.43 Individual actualization values awe because it inspires possibility within us. Alternative understandings of what we thought we knew come to light. There is a distinct difference between the awe we experience through our connections to the universe as fractional observers and those available to us during high ritual. The psychedelic journey is an ego-reducing experience of amazement that interconnects the individual with the collective totality. It is a harmony like no other that slips through our grasp as quickly as it enters. There is a unique grandness to the psilocybin experience that cannot be replicated through small rituals, further supporting our claim of the mushroom as a spiritual right.
That any individual can grow and cultivate the psilocybin mushroom is a testament to how rooted in nature high ritual is. Our claiming of the high-dose psychedelic experience as a spiritual right lays the foundation for religious legal protections regarding the cultivation and distribution of these sacred fungi. As more and more individuals embrace the journey of self-actualization in the age of crisis, our ability to scale access and frameworks for practice will expand, creating a compounding awareness that will profoundly change humanity. Like all things momentary, change is incremental. Until we arrive at the moment where individual and systemic actualization practitioners gather to form communities accessible to all, individuals seeking high ritual will need to explore the journey independently. Now we explore best practices learned throughout my personal experience and the experiences of others.