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Ah, summer. Where I live that means camping, outdoor music festivals, rafting, and nights spent creekside by a bonfire. 

It also means a spate of clients who come to me with the specific intent to integrate their summer experiences using psychedelic drugs. 

Integration of a mind-opening psychedelic experience typically entails helping the individual to “decode” messages that come through, asking for guidance in the meaning of images or using energy work to remove unwanted negative energy from the aura. Many people who use mushrooms, LSD,  peyote or other psychedelics in an unstructured way often have experiences they “don’t know what to do with.” They’re left feeling disconnected from any revelations or positive results of their experience.

In contrast to these casual, often younger users, many of my midlife “Gen-X” clients choose the summer to create intentional retreats where psychedelics play a part. For these clients, they’re searching for the mystical experiences that substances like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms promise in order to better understand their midlife passage. 

The Psychic Counselor’s Role in Integration

When a client comes to me looking to integrate an experience, the first place I start is the energetic field. Often when the upper chakras are opened in a psychedelic “trip,” other beings or energies will enter the unprotected field of the user. Regardless of whether the client’s experience was positive or negative, they’ll typically have stuff in their field that isn’t theirs. After clearing these visiting energies, we can get into the work of integrating the experience.

The images and ideas that emerge in a trip may be like those we experience in dreams. You may have profound feelings that are seemingly important but often confusing. To help a client reach some clarity, I use hypnotherapy or journeying with the client to understand what the meaning is. Of course, ultimately, this must come from the client; a psychic isn’t there to make up stories about the event. 

Max, a client of mine, was a 50-year-old accountant who was in the midst of an intense time of his life. He had survived a divorce and testicular cancer in his 40s, and now he was trying to understand the purpose of his life. A long-time meditator and spiritual seeker, he wasn’t satisfied with answers he was getting about life direction. He joined a meetup for a group experience with psilocybin mushrooms. 

Max had a generally positive experience that left him feeling more open, optimistic and connected to the world. The group had their experience in a national forest campground, and Max found himself able to talk to the large conifers near his tent. The trees gave him many messages, which he remembered but found undecipherable with his normal waking mind. 

Through our session, we decoded the messages and Max walked away with a greater sense of knowing his next steps. He chose to have two more experience with the mushrooms, and each trip brought him more clarity about what might be next for him in life. He quit his job and joined the Peace Corps for two years, finding a deeper soul’s calling in his service in Guatemala.

Another client of mine, Cindy, was younger, in her mid-twenties. She had a positive peyote experience while on a volunteer trip in Mexico. The experience was set up and supervised by an elder of the tribe, and though somewhat physically uncomfortable, Cindy felt she had come away with many inspirations. She came to me wanting to know if it would be good for her to have more psychedelic experiences. Though ultimately that’s not up to me personally, as her advisor, I did ask for guidance for her. The message I received was that she was still integrating her first experience and that she would be best served to wait until another time. Her guides instructed her to make some type of art around her peyote experience, which she was excited to do.

Peter was a new client when he came to me, and at 65 years old, he had done plenty of drugs in his youth. None of the use was beyond getting high, and he had struggled with various addictions his whole life. Similar to Cindy, he wanted to know if he should use psychedelics — specifically Iboga — to help with his alcohol addiction. Because of his history, I referred him to a counselor with relevant experience with the therapeutic use of psychedelics to treat addiction. He and I worked to clear his field, which was quite sluggish and “gunky” with the energetic residue of substance abuse.

Planning Your Psychedelic Experience

Before choosing to use any mind-altering substance on a whim, it’s important to know the waypoints of your journey. The substance itself, where it comes from, how and with whom you are going to use it, the intention of the use, and the follow-up of the experience are all crucial for to a fulfilling and useful psychedelic journey. 

The choice to use psychedelic drugs is yours. No one — not a psychic, doctor, or therapist — can tell you what’s best for you, though we can help you to make an educated choice. Ultimately, spiritual awakenings and insight are available without the use of any substance, but if you choose to enhance an experience with psychedelics, be informed and be aware, and don’t expect your life to be transformed overnight. Don’t even expect the episode to be positive. Negative experiences are common, and while they often take longer to integrate and recover from, they can just as useful as a positive experience, if not moreso. If you struggle with mental health problems like depression or anxiety, it’s important that you get support from an appropriate medical practitioner.  

If you’ve had an experience you need help understanding, call an advisor who can guide you to answers. Knowing your current astrological transits can also help you integrate an experience to your best advantage.