When the space around you turns into a kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities, where would you like to find yourself immersed in a sanctuary of introspection and discovery?
What better place than the carefully crafted confines of your own home? Within this transformed territory, all boundaries blur, ushering you to embark on an inner journey where the ethereal and the tangible dance harmoniously.
Undoubtedly, “set and setting,” a term popularized by Timothy Leary in the 1960s, encapsulates this key idea that context is supremely important when it comes to determining or predicting the quality of a psychedelic experience.
And when it comes to therapeutic applications of psychedelics for mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, being able to curate the right setting can help invoke a sense of calm, safety, and beauty for a trip.
Because this topic of how to create the ideal setting for a psychedelic journey is so important for therapeutic usage of substances, we created this article to help you prepare your space for a safe and magical journey.
We’ll cover tangible tips for your physical domain and important safety information, and we’d also like to note that guides in our network provide thorough preparation services which adds additional support around creating your ideal space.
Curating Your Physical Psychedelic Setting
Wouldn’t you like to maximize comfort, minimize distractions, and focus entirely on the therapeutic effects during an intentional psychedelic journey?
Your space should essentially limit excessive stimulation and distractions while feeling calm, safe, and conducive to deep inner exploration and emotional catharsis.
In this section, we cover 7 major facets to consider during the curation of your psychedelic “home base,” especially for first-time trippers out there.
Question: What overall feeling would I like the space to invoke?
Firstly, choose a physical space that feels safe, comfortable, and maybe even familiar if that feels best for you. This could be a cozy corner in your living room, a spare bedroom, or a designated meditation space.
If you are in a rental location instead of at home, consider the energy of the room and how it resonates with you. Pick the space that feels the most neutral and appropriate.
If you prefer a space that feels spiritual and ceremonial, consider how you can bring a sacred element into the space; if you prefer a clinical and blank environment, consider how you can create this feeling in the environment.
Through the other points in this section, you will get an idea for how to best hone in on the overall ambient energy of your ideal space.
Question: How can I make the space feel neutral and clean?
Whether you prefer a spiritual or neutral ambiance, making sure the space is clean and tidy further minimizes distractions and risks.
An orderly space can generate a greater sense of relaxation through leaving the mind with a blank canvas and reminding you that there’s nothing that needs to be done outside of surrendering to the psychedelic experience.
Question: What music or sounds best suit the ambience I’m going for?
The choice of music plays a significant role in setting the right ambience for a psychedelic session. Select music that resonates with you on a spiritual or emotional level.
While music isn’t mandatory, having background sound can further minimize audible distractions and provide a beautiful focal point for the mind to get lost in.
Ambient, classical, instrumental, nature sounds, or psychedelic music are generally safe genres, and consider creating a playlist that flows seamlessly and aligns with the different stages of your journey.
In a past article, we provided a brief look at some recommended music for a psychedelic journey which we carefully selected through facilitator recommendations.
Question: How can I bring nature into the space as a present ally?
Even though this step isn’t mandatory, incorporating nature into the space can help you connect in a deeper way with your environment and invoke that oceanic feeling of connectedness.
Nature is just that profound that the presence of a house plant or a beautiful window view of a scenic landscape can powerfully enhance the experience as well as soothe the journeyer.
On some occasions, an assisted walk outside has the power to transform a psychedelic trip in meaningful ways.
5. Helpful Tools & Objects
Question: What special objects would help ground me, add additional self-exploratory insights, or invoke feelings of happiness or reverence?
Supportive objects are extremely important, because they can serve so many functions during a trip. Anchoring you to an intention, grounding you through familiarity, or invoking a specific meaning or feeling.
Common supportive objects are journals, art supplies, sentimental items, spiritual paraphernalia, a photo, a piece of artwork, a candle, incense, or any other object which can serve as a focal point or provide comfort.
In a past article, we talked about the relationship between psychedelics and creativity. So, while most journeys are purely internal, the occasional desire to express creatively can arise, and in those cases, having the right tools can be helpful.
6. Objects of Comfort
Question: What objects do I need to support my general comfort throughout the experience?
Similarly, comfortable and supportive items like cushions, pillows, and blankets are absolutely necessary to help regulate your body temperature and enhance comfortability.
Since most of these points talk about mitigating distractions, objects of comfort also help keep journeyers pain free and focused on the inner content and experience.
An eye mask can also be useful, because inner journeys often involve extended amounts of time just lying down with eyes closed, helping to block out external stimuli.
7. Snacks & Drinks
Question: How can I prepare some healthy and mild snacks and drinks to minimize the amount of time needed to spend preparing food while tripping?
Last but not least, access to plenty of fluids and food (preferably pre-prepared and administered by a facilitator) is important given the physical exertion involved in tripping.
Psychedelics often trigger a diuretic effect in the body, so be sure to replenish with water and fluids throughout the journey.
When it comes to psilocybin mushrooms specifically, you will likely only feel hungry toward the end of the journey, so it can be helpful to prepare some light foods before your journey begins. This can include fruits, salads, and other natural foods.
Reducing Risk: How To Create a Safe Space For a Profound Trip
Creating a safe environment is crucial when embarking on an at-home psychedelic trip. By taking certain precautions and considerations, you can minimize potential risks and ensure a secure and supportive space for your journey.
- Remove hazardable objects like knives and breakable items
- Clear pathways
- Secure loose objects, and eliminate any sharp or breakable items from the vicinity
- Prepare food in advance or have a facilitator prepare it for you to avoid the use of sharp objects or dexterous activities while tripping
- Ensure a well-lit and easy path to the restroom
- Keep pets in a separate room or location, especially if that animal is highly sensitive (check out our article on if pets should attend a psychedelic session)
Frequently Asked Questions About Creating The Right Setting
Q: How can I ensure privacy during an at-home psychedelic session?
The best ways to ensure absolute privacy are, firstly, to choose a secluded area in your home or location where you can have uninterrupted solitude.
Be sure to communicate with other household members that an area is dedicated to you for the day and will need to remain secluded from daily household activities and stimulus.
Another commonly adopted option is to rent a separate abode where the entire space is purely dedicated to the journey, and this is especially helpful if you live in a home with multiple family members and have far less accessibility to privacy.
If the journey takes place in your home, communicating with family members that certain household chores will need to be taken care of, and that noise will need to be kept to a minimum is also important to mitigate interruptions.
Q: What safety measures should I consider when creating a safe environment for a psychedelic trip at home?
Prioritize physical safety by removing any potential hazards from the space. Keep the space generally tidy, clear pathways, hide dangerous objects, and eliminate breakable items in the general vicinity.
Additionally, the presence of a trip sitter or professional guide can greatly mitigate safety risks, and can also limit the amount of time you are up performing tasks during which you could get hurt (because the guide can do those things for you).
Q: How can I optimize my physical space for a visually immersive at-home psychedelic session?
If you are choosing to engage with your external environment and stimuli rather than keeping your eyes closed for the majority of the trip, having a visually appealing space can be important.
A room with minimal visual distractions and clutter, soft or natural lighting, and intentional, visually stimulating elements or focal points for mediation—such as tapestries, artwork, or sentimental objects—can add a mystical element.
However, the best visually immersive thing you could do is connect to nature in some way, whether that be via a houseplant, through a window, or via a guided walk in nature.
Speak With a Psychedelic Professional
For more support during the preparation stage, book a consultation with our concierges today. Psychedelic Passage connects clients with a network of pre-vetted psychedelic guides.
During an intentional psychedelic experience, the role of a guide is to hold space for the plant medicine to do its work in the safest and most neutral environment possible, offering a helping hand as needed.
We also have a resources page full of articles and resources on psychedelia, from disease-specific research to helpful tips and tricks. We hope this article was helpful and that you can now move forward with excitement for the process.