How do hormonal fluctuations—whether in circadian or menstrual cycles—impact psychedelic interaction and interpretation?
Psychedelic researchers, advocates, and skeptics alike met on February 13th, 2019 in Melbourne for the Mind Medicine Australia launch. Fresh from San Francisco and eager to meet people in this city also interested in psychedelic medicine, I bought an early-bird ticket.
February 13th, 2019, 5:30 PM. At this point in life getting ready to go out involves more time bopping around with acid under my tongue than looking in the mirror. Microdosing quells my zapping nerves and oftentimes overactive mind, especially before larger gatherings.
So I took a small dose before biking to the University of Melbourne for the Mind Medicine launch. The bats weren’t out yet, but they would be soon, and the air was a perfect 23°C. I locked my bike, tried to tame my helmet hair, and entered the Sidney Myer Asia Centre. Immediately greeted, thick lashes ushered me to the left. More smiling eyes appeared around the corner, showing the way upstairs. I entered the full, bustling theater.
There were only a few seats left. Everyone was finding their space, finding their friends. I sat down in the back and observed the crowd. No matter if it’s in Melbourne, London, Berlin, or San Francisco, the general attitude and sense of psychedelic conferences remains the same: compassionate, curious, positive, and present. There’s this shared understanding, communicated with kind and sometimes cheeky glances that say: “We’ve seen a glimpse of the possible. That’s why we’re all here.” It’s usually a clash of characters, buttoned-up scientists, artists. The kind of people you might bond with at a music festival and never see again are there, anticipating a lineup of lectures.
Sound cultish? It really shouldn’t. People from all edges of the earth have been interested in psychedelic medicine and its potential for millennia. Many aboriginal people wonder what took us so long to make the connection. This goes beyond a Reddit thread.
“Hi neighbor,” the man next to me introduced himself. He was wearing a sheen suit and said he wanted a job.
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- Dreams of a Spirit-Seer by Immanuel Kant
- Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
- Ongoingness: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso
- Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit
- Anecdotal Theory by Jane Gallop
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
- Island by Aldous Huxley
- The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future by Cynthia Eller
- Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
- The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda
- The Woman Destroyed by Simone de Beauvoir
- The White Album by Joan Didion
- The Emperor Wears No Clothes by Jack Herer
- Anthropocene Feminism edited by Richard Grusin
- Our Right To Drugs by Thomas Szasz
- Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
- A Wave in the Mind by Ursula K. Le Guin
- And the Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman
- A Musical Hell by Alejandra Pizarnik