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Navigating First vs. Repeat Psychedelic Experiences

Navigating First vs. Repeat Psychedelic Experiences” explores the differences between the first journey with psychedelics and subsequent ceremonies. Our hosts delve into the topic of journeyer orientation and how it evolves as one gains more experience in navigating altered states of consciousness. 

Nicholas and Jimmy emphasize that even if someone has previously explored psychedelics in recreational or younger years, embarking on a ceremonial or intentional journey introduces an entirely new dynamic. Later, they discuss the concept of familiarity, discussing how subsequent journeys differ from the first in terms of expectations and comfort levels. 

Nicholas and Jimmy caution against falling into the trap of comparing journeys by sharing anecdotes of individuals who expected a similar experience to their first journey, but were surprised by entirely different outcomes. 

In closing, Nicholas and Jimmy highlight the resources and frameworks provided by Psychedelic Passage to support clients in navigating these transformative experiences. By developing a solid foundation and a sense of orientation, individuals can approach subsequent ceremonies with more confidence, allowing for deeper exploration, healing, and self-discovery.

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Episode 49 – Navigating First vs. Repeat Psychedelic Experiences”

 

Nick: Welcome to the Psychedelic Passage podcast. My name is Nick. I am here with my cohost, Jimmy Nguyen. And as always, thank you for joining us today. This week we are talking about a topic that’s come up more recently as of late–

 

And I think it’s partly due to the fact that a lot of the clients that we’ve served over the last couple of years have started to come back around for a follow-up ceremony. And it begs the question–

 

What’s the difference between the first journey with something like psilocybin or another plant medicine versus how you show up to a second or a repeat ceremony? And I think there’s some major differences here, especially around journeyer orientation.

 

And that’s really what I wanted to talk about today so that we have an opportunity for folks who are embarking on this work to understand how the work evolves as you become essentially more experienced in traversing altered states of consciousness.

What is Unique About Preparing For Your First Ceremony?

 

[00:00:58] Jimmy: Yeah, I’ll preface a couple of things as well. Thanks for framing that up, Nick. For some folks, they move into psychedelic ceremonies as their one shot. 

 

They’re like, “This is my one ceremony, and I am likely– whatever happens from the ceremony, this is my one ceremony.” I see this with folks, especially in older age. 

 

Also, I think that it’s worth noting that even if you might have explored psychedelics in recreational settings or in your younger years, let’s say–

 

I would still consider you a first-time journeyer if you are in, let’s say, a ceremonial setting or even probably a clinical setting in some aspects or some relation there.

 

And I also think that oftentimes folks don’t get that calling or desire or urge to come back for a second ceremony until they’ve had their first one as well. And so, for some folks, they have their first ceremony and then they maybe take a break for a while, let the integration process happen-

 

Or they will move into microdosing, and depending on the route or the process there, they move into a second ceremony. I find the most common are folks who have their first ceremony, they’re integrating, they’re feeling really in tune with that experience, but then over time, it fades. 

 

Over time they get back into their ruts and their grooves, and then they’re like, “Ah, now I need to come back.” [crosstalk] 

 

Nick: Or it’s just not the level of progress they wanted out of the first one. They’re like, “Cool, I got through a layer or two,” but there’s more. Like you just discovered that there’s more and you’re like, “All right, I got to go back in.”

 

Jimmy: Yeah.

 

Nick: And so, one of the key distinctions I hear you making is that folks who may have journeyed recreationally, but not ceremonially or intentionally

 

When you go to your first ceremony, it may as well be your first-time journeying because the way that I describe it is the drug itself presents entirely differently under that setting, dosage and circumstance.

 

Jimmy: And it’s also probably important to bring up that the medicine is going to present itself differently anyways regardless, like– [crosstalk]

 

Nick: Fact. But I think when you’re in an environment that’s very much rooted in therapeutic outcomes, intentionality, and a limiting of external inputs, you’re just going to experience it in a totally different way. 

 

To me, the thing about first-time journeyers is, there’s a lot of orientation happening. If it’s your first time journeying ceremonially, you don’t know what to expect, you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into, you don’t know what it’s going to feel like, look like–

 

Even no matter how much your facilitator helps you prepare, you’re still preparing for something you’ve never ever been through. And so, I think there’s just a lot of self-orientation that happens in a first-time journey.

 

Jimmy: Yeah, that orienting and familiarizing is definitely a huge component of it. And I describe it as the first ceremony or the first intentional use of psychedelics. 

 

A lot of it is building enough of what I call structures and frameworks so that you can fall back on them when you’re navigating a psychedelic experience. 

 

Like you’re saying, most folks aren’t used to navigating altered states of consciousness. And so, it’s almost like you’re trying to have every tool in your kit so that for anything that comes up– 

 

Nick: Just in case.

 

Jimmy: Just in case, you can navigate it. And then when you start to engage and commune with the medicine, this is even for folks who microdose leading up to a ceremony. 

 

It’s like, you just start to build a relationship with the medicine to where you can just start to have trends on how you navigate. Like, I know for myself, I can’t sit still when I’m in a psilocybin ceremony. 

 

I’m moving, shaking, convulsing, doing all that stuff. And I’ve just now realized, “Oh, that’s just a part of how I navigate the experience.” But the first time it happened, I was like, “What is this?”

 

Nick: What’s happening? Is this normal?

 

Jimmy: Having a medical issue? Is this normal? Whatnot?

 

Nick: Yeah. That’s the familiarity piece that I think comes with more journeys under your belt. Even just having one under your belt fundamentally changes how you approach the second one. 

 

And I think there’s often a willingness and an ability to go deeper and a level of comfort with what the experience entails. Like what you’re talking about, if you know that convulsing is a possibility and you’ve been through it before and you made it out the other side–

 

When you go back in, you’re like, “Okay, cool, I know this is a possibility and I know I’m going to come out.” So, you can hold it with a bit more grace, a bit more compassion, a bit more understanding, or like that this is all okay.

 

Jimmy: Yeah. And the felt experience, the outcome of it. If I could tell a first-time journeyer theoretically like, “You may be shaking, convulsing for six hours straight, but trust me, that may actually help you feel much more relief afterwards.” 

 

I can say that all day but you have to go through that experience to be like, “I don’t know why, but now I feel more clear, unstuck.” And I also think that this relates to something we talked about before this episode–

 

Which is just having less fear around the repeat journey versus the first one because to your point, there is a lot of unknown, there is a lot of two-degree educated guesswork.

 

I even find this with folks who go through really challenging experiences. I’m reminded of a client who– they went through a rough one, they went through a really, really rough one, and in our integration process afterward they were like, “I’m really surprised but I would do it again.” 

 

[Nick laughs] 

 

And this was a point where they had not really asked like, “What was that for?” They hadn’t really integrated any lessons. It was still this bewildering experience and they sat with themselves– 

 

They’re like, “It’s very strange because I would do it again. I would try it again.” And so even that, I think, speaks to this less fear when it can come out on the– [crosstalk]

 

Nick: For sure. And it doesn’t mean no fear, because there’s always going to be a healthy amount of nerves going into an experience. But it’s the confidence that comes with having traversed the terrain before or having navigated the experience before. 

 

And for the record, this is why we arm all the clients that choose to work with psychedelic passage, with preparation, resources, both written form, audio form, video form. 

 

It is essential that you have these frameworks, these guideposts, these tools in your tool belt that you were talking about to move through an altered state of consciousness if you’ve never done so before.

Managing Expectations for Consequent Ceremonies: Content vs. Set & Setting

 

[00:08:01] Jimmy: Yeah. I find that the other interesting thing that comes up between first and second journeys before we get into what we see as some of the differences and maybe the benefits of moving into a second ceremony–

 

I find that one of the biggest roadblocks is this comparison thing that happens when folks have their first ceremony. It does give you somewhat of a template for what future ceremonies could be like.

 

I have many clients who return back for second ceremony and they’re like, “Well, it was like this in my first one, so should I be expecting that again?”–

 

Or, “There was this element that came up, should I arm and prepare myself for that?” And again, this is the It Depends Psychedelic Passage podcast, where it really does depend, it’s a double-edged sword like it can be really beneficial to have that template. 

 

But then if you go into comparison mode or your mind gets really sneaky and starts to implement a whole bunch of expectations that you’re not aware are expectations, those can also be some pitfalls and some traps as well.

 

Nick: Totally. It’s funny because I’ve seen this where a first-time journeyer has a gentle, beautiful journey and then they come back for a second one and they just get whacked, just absolutely whacked. 

 

And they’re like, “Well, that was not the beautiful, lovey-dovey, first journey that I have, and I’ve seen it the reverse, where the first journey, they just get smacked around, the soul level car wash, they’re just tumbling out there.

 

Jimmy: Yeah.

 

Nick: And then the second–

 

Jimmy: [laughs] Soul level car wash, that’s great.

 

Nick: And then the second journey, they come back and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t have to do that. I just got to be caressed and held.” And so, you do never know what you’re going to get. 

 

And I think that that’s where that little comparison point can get a little sticky. But you still have an understanding of mentally, emotionally, and physically what’s going to happen when you take psilocybin, for instance.

 

Jimmy: Sure. No matter what, you have an iteration of what the possibilities could be. I’ll also add, just as a blanket statement, that all of these experiences are nonlinear, meaning that it might take you a couple of ceremonies dealing with resistance or fear or anxiety–

 

Whatever those big roadblocks are for you in your life, it may take you a lot of ceremonies for you to move through those. Or, like to your point, the medicine might want to show you that–

 

“Hey, there is this gentle side. There is this possibility of this bliss and this holding and discomfort.” Now that your mind has that knowledge that that’s possible, let’s then smack you up a little with a couple of sessions. 

 

Like to put it into perspective for folks, I probably had 150-plus psychedelic experiences myself. Two weeks ago, I had my most challenging and most difficult psychedelic experience ever, ever, ever. [chuckles] And this is on the backdrop of all the things that I know, all of my own navigational tools-  

 

Nick: Being a facilitator yourself.

 

Jimmy: -all of that stuff, holding space for other folks, and I got work in the most beautiful way possible. But I just want to frame to folks that this isn’t like a thing where you get your Boy Scout badge and then you’re good, you got that, now you can move on. 

 

It’s the way that these medicines work. They are called non-specific amplifiers, which means that things will rise to the surface once you peel back a couple of layers. And this is why I always encourage people to get in the practice of peeling back layers, even in your sober life.

 

But that’s also why it’s nonlinear, why the process can focus on these specific areas of content here or can feel a certain way here versus other ways. Now I will say there are probably a signature for each different type of psychedelic medicine. 

 

Like I know very distinctly when I’m in a psilocybin space versus, let’s say, an LSD space or an ayahuasca space. So, there are some of those felt experiences that you can roadmap–

 

But as far as the content, the things that come up, that’s between you and the medicine, nobody’s going to dictate that. [laughs] 

 

Nick: And that’s the point that I wanted to highlight, is, like, you may have totally different content in your two psilocybin journeys, first versus second. But there’s still going to be a part of you that’s like–

 

“Oh, I’m on psilocybin. I know what that feels like because I’ve been here before.” And so that felt a sense of what it’s like to be under the influence of one of these plant medicines. There’s a familiarity there.

 

And I think that in and of itself can be very confidence inspiring, for lack of a better term, where you’re like, “Okay, cool.” Because when you go into a first-time journey, you don’t even know what the medicine feels like.

 

You ever have a client sitting there under the mask, they’ve never taken psilocybin before, and they’re like, “I’m not sure if I’m feeling it. Am I feeling it? How will I know if I’m feeling it?”

 

Jimmy: [laughs] They’re trying to think their way, analyze their way into it.

 

Nick: which is totally valid. When you think about what the human body and mind does, it’s like, “Okay, well, I just took this substance. How long has it been? Is it working?” 

 

And you just don’t know, you’ve never been through it before, and eventually, everyone finds out. When it hits, it hits.

 

Jimmy: [laughs] Sure.

 

Nick: Yeah.

The Dynamic Relationship Between You & The Medicine

 

[00:13:35] Jimmy: Yeah, the other thing that I’ll share is that when you’re talking about, okay, there’s this familiarity, I also find that some of the benefits or the pros of that is that it does create this pathway or this opportunity to maybe dive deeper into your experience or to trust the medicine a little bit more. 

 

Or my favorite part is to interact with the medicine a little bit more. I have this funny hunch that how, like, they say the body keeps the score. I’m now saying the medicine keeps the score. 

 

Medicine knows if you’ve been in the space before, what you’ve done in that space before. And it’s like, “Okay, here. There’s this, there’s this.” Look, I’m not advocating for people to just go and have 150 psychedelic experiences. 

 

There’s people who can have one, and have a really remarkable, life-changing process. But I will share that there is something I think about what I’m encircling here, or I think the meta part of our episode is that you’re building a relationship with the medicine. 

 

That’s really what’s happening here. And that happens in ceremony space and out of ceremony space. I’ve also found people have a really profound first experience, they’re like, “I’m good. I don’t need to do nothing now.” 

 

I go back, they ride that afterglow wave, they ride it, ride it, ride it. And then they’re like, “I’m f*cking stuck, and I’m lost again, and my life is in shambles. Let me go back to the medicine.”

 

Well, guess what? The medicine is keeping the score. And then medicine knows that and your experience will likely be influenced by that dynamic.

 

Nick: And this is plant intelligence. We teach this in our preparation materials. It sounds so cheesy. And for those who haven’t journeyed before, it probably will feel, I don’t know, woo-woo, or whatever–

 

But the medicine scans your body, and anyone that’s journeyed before knows for certain. They’re like, there’s no possible way it could have known this about me without some form of intelligence or connectivity or really just a connection to something bigger.

 

And you can call the unified field or God or universe or whatever, but the mushroom knows stuff and it knows you and it knows exactly which buttons to push and exactly what to serve you. That is not a coincidence.

 

Jimmy: And you could probably say that’s the case for most of what folk’s regard as like the teacher psychedelics, like the teacher medicines, which can be both human derived. LSD is a great example. It’s derived from a fungus, an ergot fungus. 

 

But the LSD that most people see is synthesized based on the work of Albert Hofmann back in the 60s. But even then, my best takes on this is that there is this inherent intelligence like you’re saying across these substances. 

 

And then you consume them, and there’s this combination between that intelligence and your intelligence which creates this shared consciousness in which that’s where the medicine work happens.

 

Nick: Yep.

 

Jimmy: And I even say that with ketamine, even though ketamine is somewhat of an outlier–[crosstalk], it’s a dissociative psychedelic, it’s not necessarily serotonergic, but then affects serotonin. 

 

Even then, I’ve had some very psychedelic experiences with ketamine where I’m like, “Oh, there’s like a joint union type thing happening here.”

 

Nick: Yeah. And so, the idea, the whole reason we got on this tangent is like you are establishing a relationship with the medicine, every time. 

 

And even when you’re not actively using it, even when you’re just in the integration period, you are continuing to nurture the relationship with that medicine. 

 

And I’m sure you’ve seen this too, where the folks who abuse medicine or don’t take it seriously or don’t have reverence for it, there’s consequences for that. And the folks who do honor the sacredness of the work and the medicine, it shows when they interact with it.

 

Jimmy: I’ve seen very anecdotally, very anecdotally. It’d be awesome to get some science behind this. I’ve heard people who go through psychedelic experiences and the specific substance has closed the door on them for future experiences. 

 

Especially with ayahuasca, and especially with psilocybin. And I would say LSD is included here as well. And I’m just not as experienced with mescaline and some of the other entactogens. 

 

But I would share that for many folks, they’re like, you’ve been in this space, you’ve entered this space, here’s how you’re using it. You’re not really going to have ayahuasca experiences like this moving forward. And it does show to be true. 

 

I’ve also seen and heard people who move through a period of years of navigating that before they can come back into integrity with themselves and the medicine. 

 

I’ve seen folks who have had adverse reactions because they took 200 hits of LSD and followed around Phish and the Grateful Dead and they just like hit a barrier.

 

And so, this is obviously a little bit off-topic from our episode, but it does go to show that your relationship with these psychedelics and these medicines are dynamic, very dynamic. 

 

And that’s where I speak back to the intuition on when you should be going back for more medicine work. It’s very different for each person but–[crosstalk]

 

Nick: Which is why we’re not going to give a timeline. The way that it’s going to work is you’re going to integrate to the best of your ability the first experience. And that might be a month, it might be a year, it might be a lifetime-

 

But at some point, you may feel, “Oh, there’s more here. I need to go back in, I need to see what’s there. I’m ready, willing, and able to do so.” And that’s when you start to move towards a second, third, fourth, whatever repeat number you’re on there.

 

Jimmy: I think everybody moves through psychedelic experiences, when you’re doing intentional work with psychedelic experiences, this notion of–

 

“Ah, there’s more work to be done.” Now you have a decision on when you bring that work back to medicine, which is what I hear you saying. There’s a distinction there.

 

Nick: Yeah. I have a teacher that says, “Just when you think you’ve dug out all the self-hate, you just find a little nugget.” I’m like, “Ain’t that the truth?” [Jimmy laughs] 

How Things Change In Consequent Ceremonies: From Framework to Freestyle

 

[00:20:17] Nick: There’s always something we can be working on and it doesn’t require that you have to go back to the medicine for it, but it’s a tool. And once you understand how that tool works after your first journey, you have a bit more confidence, a bit more trust, a bit more skill on how to work with it.

 

And I think that’s the essence of what we’re getting at with this episode is the more reps you have, the better you understand how to work with it. And I want to touch on one other thing, which is the journeyer and facilitator relationship changes when you go from the first, second-

 

Jimmy: Oh, yeah.

 

Nick: -or third journey. And so, I love working with repeat journeyers because we can make so much more progress. When I’m supporting a repeat journeyer, who I’ve worked with in the past–

 

I’m like, “Cool. We have a baseline understanding of how we like to work, what you like, what you don’t like, what your intentions are, what happened last time.” There’s a whole foundation upon which we can now build.

 

Jimmy: Yeah, you’ve laid groundwork. That’s exactly what I was getting at, where you’ve laid the groundwork of not only the– I would call it the more studious aspects of psychedelic preparation–

 

But then you’ve also built trust together if that facilitator has held that sacred space for you, which then does allow you to open up more and be more interactive and really dive deeper, as you were saying previously. 

 

I look at this inverted triangle in the philosophy of my work, which is it’s primarily between you and the plant medicine and the facilitators there to hold that container space. I think the medicine has the wisdom around that too. 

 

Like, “Oh, you’re back in the space and you’re being aided and supported by the same person? All right, let’s, really, really dive in.” 

 

I’ve been very fortunate to have some clients where I’ve been working with them for two or three years, we have four or five, six ceremonies together, and I will tell you, I am constantly surprised by the power and the care of the medicine to a degree.

 

Nick: What do you notice when you get beyond ceremony two? Like, you’re talking about three, four, five with the same person. We’ve been focused on one versus two. But what happens when you go beyond that in your experience?

 

Jimmy: Right off the bat, my intuition wants me to say that it then becomes much less about frameworks and much more about navigating the psychedelic experience in real-time. 

 

I find with folks who move into that third, fourth, or fifth ceremony, a lot of it is about being immersed in the experience as opposed to, “Okay, how do I make meaning of this? Or what is this related to? Or how do I bring this into my integration work?” 

 

Because likely by that time, journeyers are already very familiar with prep and integration. That’s the other thing where the prep really changes because prep then moves more towards content than it is about again, tools and frameworks.

 

Nick: What to expect. 

 

Jimmy: Right. Now in the expiration of that content, it’s then my role as a facilitator to potentially bring forward new frameworks or have other lenses or aspects or to be the historian here to say–

 

“Hey, it’s really interesting that this is coming up. This reminds me of something that came up in the first ceremony, or it seems related here. Is there a relation here?”

 

The other really cool thing is you get a lot of data points, you get a lot of touch points of just knowing who the journeyer is as a human. And so, it helps with these little nuances where the clients that I’m working with in the fourth, fifth–

 

I think we’re on our sixth ceremony now, where we have a much better understanding of our consent and our power dynamics, where for me, the first four or five ceremonies, I’m like, “Hey, I’m back here. I’m this neutral zone.” 

 

And then it took a while for that client to be like, “Actually, I need your help a little bit more. I need your presence a little bit more. I need your involvement a little bit more.”

 

And then that’s where we can explore and be like, “Okay, how does this look while still maintaining the sanctity of your communion with the medicine, while not allowing me to override or add my agenda to this.” 

 

It becomes more, I would say artful, I think the first few iterations there’s this scientific structural component to it. And then once you get into those later stages, you’re somewhat freestyling in the medicine space. I don’t know how to describe it otherwise.

 

Nick: Well, I think part of what you’re touching on, there’s two things that come up for me. One is that you as a facilitator also have a series of tools–

 

Not all clients are receptive or open to you using those tools until you maybe have a bit more of an established relationship and there’s rapport and trust. And the flip side to that is that our beliefs and values as journeyers change over time. 

 

A client who’s totally closed off to everything, emotions, spirituality, whatever it may be, has a white-knuckle death grip on control and life, as they start to crack open, break open, and open up this capacity to feel, experience, to change their worldview and beliefs–

 

They’re now more receptive and open to other things that weren’t available to them in the first journey or two. And so, there’s this multi-sided evolution that’s happening on both the facilitator and the journeyer.

 

Jimmy: Yeah, very much so. I totally agree. When I’m thinking about this one particular client, the one really remarkable thing is that they’re f*cking doing the work. Like they are really working hard in their own life.

 

Whereas when we had our first experience, I’m like, “What’s your support system?” They’re like, “I got a best friend, I got a so and so. I got it now.” And then now they’re like–

 

“I got a specific therapist for this, I got a specific therapist for that, I got a bodyworker for this. I’m exploring this and that.” They have this whole support team around them.

 

Now, I don’t want to shame other folks as well because for some folks it is about just going about your life. There’s a lot of medicine and ceremony there too. 

 

And then just returning back to the medicine for some folks on a yearly basis or twice a year or like every couple of years. And so, I’m not saying that you have to be extremely studious and really make integration your number one priority. 

 

What I’m saying is that your foray– let me say this, the whole thing is a damn ceremony. So really, it’s not like first, second, third, whatever. You get to a point in psychedelic work where it all becomes ceremony. You wake up in the day and it’s a ceremony. 

 

And so, how do we have these peak experiences within this larger ceremony of life that all weave together? And all these ceremonies stack on top of each other. They’re all related, they’re all connected. 

 

Regardless of who you were at the time, regardless of how much prep and integration you did, regardless of medicine, regardless of set and setting, all that. They are all related because the central focus point, it’s you. You are the thread that’s common through all of it. 

 

I really want to highlight that for folks that there’s this balance, there is this edge of getting too much into comparison mode. There is this limit on trying to predict too much of future experiences and things like that, but then also knowing–

 

“Oh, they are all interconnected and related. All of these peak experiences that I’ve had, all of these life experiences that I’ve had, it’s all together and available in the medicine space.”

 

Nick: For sure. As we approach the tail end of our episode, I’m curious if there’s anything else that you feel called to highlight around this dynamic of first-time journeyer versus repeat, specifically in a ceremonial or intentional setting.

Nick & Jimmy’s Final Thoughts 

 

[00:29:07] Jimmy: Yeah, I feel I’ve actually ranted quite a bit in this episode, surprise, surprise. I do want to give one tangible piece of advice for folks exploring their second experience, is to be more open-minded and more, I would say, fluid with your structure and your intentions. 

 

I find that there’s a lot of folks who go into their second experience, and they’re thinking, “Well, my intentions aren’t as concrete and direct as my first experience.” Or they may actually have intentions that they need to dive into more. So, it might be the exact same intentions.

 

They may come into the second ceremony with the exact same intentions. But the way that that’s approached, the way that it’s handled or navigated or even felt in the medicine space can really vary. 

 

And so I offer for clients when we move to the second ceremony and beyond is yes, intentions are important, but I zoom out to actually ask about what’s the why? 

 

Like, what’s the motivating reason? Why are you here coming back into your second ceremony? And then that can help to derive a number of intentions there.

 

Nick: Yeah, what I hear you saying is a lot of clients at their first time setting intentions are like, “Am I doing this right? Is this a valid intention? Is this okay? Is this allowed?” And a lot of this is based on this judgment of right and wrong. 

 

Like, “If I don’t set my intention perfectly, is it even going to work?” And I think when you start to get into the second or the third, fourth, whatever journey, you’re like–

 

“Oh, this is all–?” It’s going to happen. Yes, I have to have intentionality, but if my intention is just to see what’s there, that’ll work too. And that understanding isn’t always present, I think, with first-time journeyers.

 

Jimmy: Well, what happens is you have to rely on your relationship with the medicine and it gets stronger over time so you can lean on it more in future experiences. 

 

I think the other thing that I would say for repeat journeyers or continued journeyers is just getting more uncomfortable with that unknown and that mystery. 

 

There’s this balancing act where if you have too much structure, then it’s too rigid, and if you have no structure and plan, that’s obviously not okay either. 

 

And so, it’s finding the sweet spot of creating some spontaneity, giving some room for creation in the moment, giving some space where not all of it is defined because oftentimes, I see that it’s in that undefined space–

 

It’s in that mystery space, it’s in that unknown space, but there’s little nuggets and things will start to pop up, that could be the difference between a meaningful psychedelic experience and not.

 

Nick: For sure. I think I’ll answer the question that I posed to you myself, which is this difference between first and second. And I think one of the things that I see often is this dynamic of feeling very skeptical, fearful, unsure of what’s going to come up in the first one–

 

And then leaving the first journey and going, “Okay, now that I know how this works, I actually want to go back in there and get it this thing.”

 

Jimmy: Yeah.

 

Nick: And it’s almost like pulling strings. And I think anytime we have the potential to be exposed to what’s under the hood, there’s some inherent fear, some inherent trepidation, a sense of uncertainty. 

 

But, man, after they make it out the other side of that first journey, it’s like, “Oh, okay, I see how this works now. I actually want to go back in and address this hairy thing that I was actually scared to confront at first.”

 

Jimmy: It’s really classic. I find many folks who when they’re exploring another experience, they’re like these one or two intentions actually don’t even matter anymore. 

 

There’s actually- what there is there’s this other thing that was showing up as a pain point in my life, and now, that was what I was gearing my intention around. 

 

Especially with folks who deal with work, they want to come in with some work thing and they’re like, “I want to find a job where I’m fulfilled,” or, “I’m like slaving away at so and so.” And then they’re like, “Oh, this is a self-worth issue [chuckles] that I actually need to address.”

 

Nick: Totally. Yeah, you start to see how the mushrooms work and we talk about this all the time but they are always going to go to the root of the issue, not the symptom you’re experiencing. 

 

I think that’s another really good call out as far as this dynamic is, we as journeyers start to get better at identifying the symptom, like– 

 

“Oh, this is actually unrelated to work, it has nothing to do with work. This has to do with the fact that I don’t love myself and don’t think I’m worthy of a job that I actually enjoy.” So, maybe we start there. 

 

Well, that was a good one. I’m glad. I feel like that was, hopefully, it was helpful to any of you who are listening, especially if you’re on either side of this, whether you’re progressing towards your first or moving towards a repeat. 

 

That brings us to the end of our episode for today, you can download episodes of the Psychedelic Passage podcast on all major streaming platforms, Apple Podcast, Amazon, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or wherever else you choose to listen. 

 

If you like the show, we would really appreciate a rating and a review. It helps others find us. And if you have any questions or topics that you’d like to know about, feel free to reach out and we look forward to seeing you all next week.

 

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