We all know what it’s like to feel alone. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely had a bewildering psychedelic experience, are preparing for one, or are entertaining the idea of having your first experience. Unfortunately, aside from dodgy online forums, you have no one to turn to for support or guidance, who can listen, or who has any understanding of your experience.
Because of the legality of psychedelics, or, should we say, illegality, it’s difficult to discuss psychedelics in the workplace, with your family, or even with your closest friends. Decades of stigma have made it difficult for people to access individuals and communities with whom to connect about psychedelic experiences.
For many people, some of their most profound moments using psychedelics have also become their most well-kept secrets. But all of this is changing.
Psychedelic substances are not only becoming decriminalized in cities across the United States, paving the way for legalization, but the mainstream cultural opinion of them is changing, too. Recently published books like Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind have opened up a world of psychedelics to segments of the population seemingly disinterested in having a full-blown trip. Instead, daily use of small amounts of hallucinogens, aka ‘microdosing’, has proven to have positive effects, particularly highlighted by entrepreneurs in the tech and business world.
The world is becoming increasingly aware of how psychedelics may be one of the best cures we’ve got for some of the most debilitating mental illnesses. There is evidence that psychedelics can lead to life-changing improvement and wellbeing.
From listening to our community we have found that dialogue with a caring support system is a profound part of that change. So, we’d like to present our solution to the question: how to find a psychedelic community group, highlighting several ways this is possible, and drawbacks of some of these options. But first, we’d like to discuss why psychedelic communities are needed and the importance of harm reduction principles.
What is Psychedelic Community and Why is it Important?
Whether you’ve just had your first psychedelic experience or your hundredth, your journey into the expanse that is your psyche undoubtedly left you with uncovered emotions, new insights, or a seemingly endless list of questions including how and when to incorporate some of these new findings.
Regardless of the circumstances and context of your psychedelic experience, many of us are left craving connection and someone with whom we can share our experience. If we’re not ready to share ourselves, perhaps we’re ready to just listen and look for a connection with other people who have experienced states of consciousness similar to our own.
Psychedelics have been shown to cause lasting positive changes in personality traits and shifts in beliefs and attitudes. They can also contribute to an enhanced sense of connectedness. While this is great during the experience and throughout the afterglow that often takes place in the following hours and days, the feelings can be short-lived.
Coincidentally, these novel changes are major contributing factors to the long-lasting benefits accessed during the integration process, which typically happens in the days, months, and years after your hallucinogenic event. By connecting with other people, you increase the likelihood of actuating these ongoing pro-social benefits.
Not only can a psychedelic group provide an outlet where experiences can be shared and members can be supported by other individuals with common values and shared goals, but it is also a safe space for personal growth. Harm reduction moves beyond the traditional paradigm that drugs are inherently bad, and instead works by supporting the individual during or after a “bad trip”.
Harm reduction, in the community group setting, works to answer questions and provide actionable recommendations and education regarding the safe and responsible use of psychedelics. It creates a space by which someone can safely ask questions and work with others to address concerns. It’s a container of compassion and support where you can join others with a goal to make healthy and empowered choices regarding psychedelics.
The transformative experience brought on by psychedelics generally allows for increased social connectedness. However, brought about by geographic limitations, perceived stigma, or fear to open up about the ineffable yet profound experience, many people are forced to return to ‘normal life’ without accessing the peer support that may further enhance these positive social benefits.
Now, thanks to the networking and telecommunication capabilities made possible by the internet, we’re able to circumvent some of these barriers and, through mentorship programs and psychedelic community groups like ours, we’re able to come together with other psychonauts in a safe and supportive setting.
No matter where you are in the world, finding a psychedelic community group may be easier than you think. We offer mentorship programs that include 1-on-1 coaching as well as virtual community groups— allowing you to connect with psychonautic enthusiasts like yourself and really harness all of the long-lasting benefits of psychedelics.
Interested in connecting with like-minded people in a way that doesn’t require you to travel? Schedule a discovery call with one of our facilitators and we’ll help you get started.
Traditional Ways to Find a Psychedelic Community Group: How Some Options Fall Short
Psychedelic community is a broad term that encompasses different types of groups with different types of members in different types of settings. For most psychonauts, these avenues may produce initial connection or some sense of community, but many of these groups suffer from poor design, competing interests, or lack of resources decreasing the likelihood of long term participation and benefits.
Despite these flaws, we are glad that these communities exist. Ironically, these flaws are what inspired us to start our own community group. Here are some traditional methods of finding these groups.
- Look Online.
We live in the age of the internet—and when it comes to finding practically anything, our first step is to turn to our trusty friend, Google. Sure, several online resources exist for finding a psychedelic community group. The forums on Erowid and Reddit can provide a good way for posing questions or asking for advice, and you may be able to discover the opportunity to connect with one or several fellow psychonauts.
Online psychedelic groups also exist. Some use chat-based platforms to connect, while others offer irregular virtual meetings or shared resources. These platforms tend to be rather unorganized and provide little opportunity for deep and regular connection with a small group of like-minded individuals.
- Attend a Conference.
For those of us who are blown away by psychedelic’s re-entry into the public sphere and are curious about the scientific and research advances that have recently been made, attending a conference may be a good opportunity to learn more. (Please note that this article was written prior to Covid-19 and the availability of in-person conferences may be limited.)
However, if regular connection is something you value and are seeking for your psychedelic integration journey, you most likely won’t find it at a conference. A psychedelic conference could provide some insight for those new to psychedelics or curious about their therapeutic benefits, but the conference setting generally doesn’t provide the space for facilitating long-term relationships.
Not only that, but psychedelic conferences aren’t held in all areas of the world and aren’t easy to access unless you’ve got a few thousand dollars for the ticket price (even online conferences can end up costing attendees up to $2,000).
- Find a Local Group.
Websites like Meetup.com provide a great way to connect with like-minded people with a seemingly endless range of interests. Most psychedelics are included in this range of interests, and the website can even cater to interest around specific substances themselves as well as offering groups focused on topics such as consciousness and culture.
Like those found on Meetup, many groups, clubs, and societies exist in some cities around the world (including several in the US). However, they have irregular schedules and are many times difficult to initially connect. If you’re looking for a space to truly share and connect, you might find it difficult to do so in a group of 50, 100, or even several hundred people. Additionally, without regularly scheduled events, you might find it difficult to be held accountable and continue growing on your integration journey.
- Start Your Own.
We get it—none of the other options sound like they’d work for you. So, you make the seemingly obvious decision to try to start your own. Great. Now you just have to find members, plan communications, advertise meetings, coordinate a meeting space, decide how the meetings operate, ensure that everyone’s receiving proper and responsible support, mitigate any disgruntled members or difficult topics, and be able to benefit from the group yourself.
Sounds pretty tough, right? While it is certainly possible and has definitely been done before, there are countless hurdles that one needs to leap through before forming a successful psychedelic community group. And if you’re looking to be able to use the support, guidance, and love from the group in your own journey with psychedelics, do you really have the capacity for ensuring the same for everyone else?
These options can work, but it’s not a guarantee. In our experience, conferences are informal and not set up to foster community—they certainly don’t facilitate women’s groups, for instance. Local Meetup groups are sporadic and require you to be in physical proximity, which can create logistical challenges. Starting your own is feasible, but only if you have the appropriate experience, training, time, and resources.
If you’ve all but run out of options and need a leg up when it comes to finding a psychedelic community, we’re here to get you connected with the right people in the right way. Our psychedelic guides and trip sitters also facilitate integration circles and community groups. Simply book a call with one of our guides to get started.
The Best Way to Find a Psychedelic Community Group is with Psychedelic Passage
If you’re interested (and if you’re reading this, you probably are), now is the best time to find a psychedelic community. We’ve thought long and hard about what we want in terms of community and support and how’d we’d like to connect with other people in a supportive way that holds us accountable and helps us find acceptance—and we’re excited to share that with you.
We’ve explored the many ways to connect with people over psychedelics. We’ve joined Meetups, connected with fellow music festival-goers, and signed up for gimmicky memberships that include a Facebook group of several hundred people. While there have been short-lived connections formed or thought-provoking insights shared, we’ve mostly ended up in the same position: not feeling any more connected or supported on our psychedelic journey.
That’s why we’ve designed the program we’ve been dreaming about for years: a mentorship program that includes a structured and dependable community that emphasizes small groups of active, dedicated, and like-minded individuals. Using a thorough application and interview process, we’ve formed very selective groups of 10-12 people who meet remotely at standardized times each month.
No longer will we have to deal with the competing interests of large online groups of several hundred people. No longer will we have to filter through annoying self-promotion that has become a feature of similar groups. No longer will we feel lost and alone as we navigate psychedelics and the integration process.
We wanted a closed circle of peers, a safe container of support, and a space to share ideas, concerns, and experiences. We wanted a group to hold us accountable as we integrate the nuggets of profound insight discovered during psychedelic experiences. And we wanted to make this offering available to you. All you have to do is book a discovery call with one of our psychedelic facilitators to get started.
Find the Others
Even if you’ve spent the past several years in the “psychedelic closet,” take comfort in the fact that there are many other people out there with similar experiences, values, and goals. Know that connecting with a community, whether in a group, a one-on-one session, or a women’s or men’s group, can provide the key to your long-term growth and your beneficial and blossoming relationship with psychedelics.
Like with most things in life, we may get to where we want to go on our own, but it’s so much better when doing so with other people. As the infamous Timothy Leary once proclaimed, “Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…”
With Psychedelic Passage, you can choose from trip sitting, one-on-one coaching, integration services, a men’s group, a women’s group, or a community group. We’re intentionally forming these virtual communities under the impression that those who are seeking help—those who want to fully harness all of the life-changing benefits offered by psychedelics—will do so with the support and acceptance of other individuals with the same goals. These groups are professionally facilitated and designed so that you’ll be paired with the right people to achieve your desired outcome. Click here to join one of our community groups today.