The ideal preparation for high ritual is guided by fellow practitioners of self-actualization in the age of crisis. We can imagine community centers for education and practice that provide safe, comfortable spaces for individuals ready to undergo their journey alongside medical professionals. “High dose” refers to ingesting at least five grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms. Under our present circumstances, the greatest challenge to any individual seeking high ritual is procuring the fungi from a safe and reliable source. Psilocybin mushrooms grow in specific conditions within nature and may be cultivated individually by those willing to dedicate the focus and learn how. Under no circumstances should you ingest psychedelics from a source you do not trust or know well. Although the psilocybin mushroom is safe to consume, there are plenty of other toxic mushrooms that may cause extreme discomfort, illness, and death.
When you have procured reliable mushrooms, you can start planning for your journey. You’ll want to begin by visualizing your circumstances. Ideally, you will be in a place of comfort and security, a personal dwelling or that of a close friend or loved one. While you will inevitably move around during your journey, you will want to experience the peak moments in a state of deep relaxation, ideally on a bed or comfortable couch with a blindfold on, with relaxing music and headphones. High ritual is an inward journey. There are great visuals associated with observing the world when imbibing psychedelic mushrooms, and many enjoy the experience in nature. This method is enjoyable but lacks the intensity of the ritual practices we’re focusing on. Earlier we explored daily small rituals as a form of soulcraft, such as meditation and my personal practice of intermittent fasting. If meditation is not already a personal practice, I strongly recommend taking up the habit for at least two weeks before your journey—ideally four. I have found intermittent fasting prior to consumption to intensify the experience. As you draw closer to the date of high ritual, try to keep your diet as raw as possible: fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Avoid highly processed foods. If you are unable or unwilling to commit to intermittent fasting and a lean diet, at least fast to some degree the evening before and morning of the journey.
The ideal experience would be to ingest the mushrooms on an empty stomach to promote faster absorption. They taste terrible, so if you can’t stomach chewing them, you may mix them with a trail mix of dried fruits and nuts. There is also a popular consensus around “Lemon Tekking,” the practice of using lemon juice to concentrate the psychoactive chemicals to make it easier for your body to digest. I am unfamiliar with the practice, but the claimed benefits seem to be a quicker onset of the psychoactive effects while minimizing the body high and weariness post journey. Within thirty minutes of ingesting, settle into your space, put your blindfold on, and begin meditating in silence. The onset will vary depending on the dose and individual, so it’s best to focus on your breath and clear your thoughts. Eventually, you will realize that the intensity of the experience is increasing. At this time, I will typically lie back and allow the experience to overtake me. Be aware and active, and do not fear—it is temporary. Embrace it for what it is, a sacred ritual predating all human systems. Commune with the intelligence that spurned mythos for millennia.
The entire experience may last up to eight hours, but the highest intensity experiences happen within the first few hours of the journey. We can illustrate the flow of experience as a steady but rapid progress from start to peak experience. Afterward, we experience a gradual but long-lasting decline, internal and thoughtful but more grounded in reality than peak experience. Remove your blindfold whenever you feel it is appropriate, and feel free to explore your space. As the journey lessens in intensity, you may find yourself in deep introspection. I have often heard from others that while they desire to revisit the transcendent aspects of the experience, they fear the conversations they will have with themselves. For many, this is an inevitable part of the ritual, one we should embrace. High ritual is not a practice rooted in fear or shame; it is an act of expansive courage. There is no healing from trauma without confronting it. Preparing for the journey beyond physical comforts is difficult because it is unknown. That is why the best possible preparation is relinquishing expectations.