Welcome to theSparc!

Greetings dear friends!  Recently I experienced a profoundly healing and humbling plant medicine journey and upon awakening into our safe home in these sacred Grandmother Blue Ridge mountains, my was moved to a space of tremendous love, care and compassion for all those suffering as victims of senseless violence. And for all those who are lost and suffering enough to choose to harm brothers and sisters of our human family.

We are living at a time of true existential crisis for humanity. Profound civil unrest, dire environmental challenges, and a mental health crisis where fear, isolation and a loss of purpose press heavily against the very core-fabric of civilization itself. Below is a reflection, I composed after my journey on how plant and fungi  medicine can help restore the vital “Who” and “What” we are to reignite our “Why” we need keep striving forward together.  

Read the full article here. 

“For my entire adult life, the plants and fungi have been my way back to the  heart. When I forget why I’m here and whats truly important, they help me find my way home. So often when people think about the psychedelic experience, they envision a novel journey through alternate dimensions expanding into a vast unknowable universe. Although revelation of the extraordinary certainly occurs, what is often far more profound is a feeling of deep and sincere remembrance. Who were we before the outside world informed us of who we “should” be? Before parents, teachers and institutions taught us right & wrong, good and evil? Before society and culture instilled values of what defines success, who to love and hate and how to “act” to be worthy of “acceptance” from peers, family and community?

The Psychedelic experience is about restoration of our core self. It’s about rediscovering our innate nature behind the stories, wounds, traumas and rules that have constricted our capacity to express our radically creative selves within a boundless pallet of life experience. It helps us to clearly see the choices we made along our life journey to cope with challenges to survive or try to fit into a role our soul never truly wanted. It reveals to us why we chose to don these “masks” in the first place; and the power we hold to let go, reconcile and forgive that which no longer genuinely serves. Yet most of all, it helps us to remember the innocence, wonder and beauty of being a child of the world… ” 

Read the full article here. 

I appreciate your continual courage to live your values and uphold a life of virtue and care. This newsletter is filled with valuable insights on how to engage with plant medicine safely and ethically. As well as new powerful research on how different compounds may support different modes of healing and self-actualization. I hope you find it supportive on your journey!  
And as always, Thanks for joining me for the ride! 

A 90 Minute Interview with Professor Chris Bache of LSD and the Mind of the Universe & Dr. Raymond Turpin of The Pearl Psychedelic Institute

On Sunday Oct 1, 2023, I had the sincere honor of hosting a fireside chat with psychedelic luminaries Dr. Raymond Turpin, co-founder and CEO of The Pearl Psychedelic Institute and Dr. Christopher Bache, Author of the seminal book “LSD and the Mind of the Universe” on behalf of the Psychedelic Society of Asheville (PSA).  

Topics covered include: 
  • A candid share of the first paradigm-shifting experiences that inspired their career path with psychedelics.
  • What it was like dedicating their lives to psychedelics during the “Dark Ages” from the early 1970s through 2006 while it was held in such ill regard by the general population and their academic/professional peers.
  • What mentors they had along their personal and professional journey with psychedelics and the lessons learned from their influence. 
  • Where do they believe the psychedelic renaissance is headed? Any words of advice as we continue toward cultural psychedelic normalization?  
I hope you enjoy this powerful conversation with two elder visionaries of the Psychedelic Movement!  
Click HERE to view the High Quality Video. 
(Note: Scroll down midway through the page for youtube embedded video.)

The Psilocybin-Blunting Effects of SSRIs and Antidepressants

So often I am asked if it is safe to use SSRI’s leading up to a psychedelic journey. The answer quite frankly is, its complicated.  However, this is the best article I have discovered that I often refer clients to as they are preparing for a psychedelic immersive experience and questioning whether or not to titrate off of SSRI’s in the process. Or in many cases hope to use this catalytic moment as an opportunity to kick the SSRI’s and transition into a natural regimen through a journey experience followed by an intentional Micro-Dosing regiment afterward. I hope you find this article supportive as you make key considerations regarding your mental health, SSRI use, and obtaining the most value as possible from a psychedelic experience.  

Key Takeaways
  • Tapering off antidepressants prior to a psychedelic experience mitigates the blunting effects, allowing for the psychedelic medicine to work uninhibited.

  • When tapering off of a prescribed medication, doing so 2 weeks in advance and under the care of a facilitator provides a supportive and safe container for this delicate process.

  • Microdosing may be an effective alternative to prescription antidepressants

Psychedelics and the ethics
of suggestibility

Most of us have heard of the notion that “psychedelics increase suggestibility,” that people become “more suggestible” while under the influence of psychedelics. As Taylor emphasizes above, when we become more suggestible, we become more vulnerable. In my research, I’ve found that most of the ethical issues related to psychedelic suggestibility appear to be centered on or connected to this increased vulnerability.

“Vulnerability” is often viewed as the capacity “to be easily hurt, influenced, or attacked”. However, I argue (echoing what Kylea Taylor told us for this article) that becoming vulnerable is also often the key to facilitating intended inner change, such as growth or healing. In order to become open for deep, meaningful, profound transformation, we must turn to the more intimate dimensions of our inner lives, bypass or relax our defenses, and open ourselves up to change within those inner dimensions. Sometimes we may knowingly and consciously choose to open ourselves up like this, and other times our defenses may fall away without us even realizing what happened. It is important for us to be able to anticipate when we might become suggestible, so that we can give our fully informed consent before entering into these vulnerable states, and so that we can be highly intentional about the circumstances within which we suspend our defenses and open ourselves up to change…  

Repeated low doses of psilocybin increase resilience to stress, lower compulsive actions, and strengthen cortical connections...

Psilocybin (a classic serotonergic psychedelic drug) has received appraisal for use in psychedelic-assisted therapy of several psychiatric disorders. A less explored topic concerns the use of repeated low doses of psychedelics, at a dose that is well below the psychedelic dose used in psychedelic-assisted therapy and often referred to as microdosing. Psilocybin microdose users frequently report increases in mental health, yet such reports are often highly biased and vulnerable to placebo effects. Here we establish and validate a psilocybin microdose-like regimen…

New Study Shows Candy-Flipping Can Reduce Bad Trips

A new study published in Nature shows that MDMA can reduce difficult experiences with other psychedelics.

“Co-use of MDMA with psilocybin/LSD may buffer against challenging experiences and enhance positive experiences” was published by researchers from Imperial College London and New York University’s Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine.

The survey followed almost 700 people who’d used LSD or psilocybin, with 27 using MDMA in conjunction with the classic psychedelics. The results suggest that small doses of MDMA can potentially minimize the effects of a bad trip.

If you hear the call to dive deeper into the path of facioitation and support in Psychedelics – Explore this incredible Online learning and teaching directory featuring over 250+ psychedelic courses. Everything you need to learn about psychedelics or become a psychedelic therapist.  

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