Aldous Huxley described experience – any experience – as “not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you”. The Covid-19 pandemic from its onset has felt like a strong, collective, psychedelic trip, and we’re still tripping.
Non-trippers are getting a crash course in the importance of set and setting, many of us are experiencing the bewilderment and confusion of a strange high, talk of death has pervaded both global news and our collective consciousness, tensions with authority figures & regulations is becoming universally familiar, revealing that shamans and politicians have more in common than we thought, paranoia and her Big Brothers – conspiracies – abound, while time dissolves and we’re left wondering: is it Monday or June?
Do we scramble to get back to normal or do we sit with the discomfort and acknowledge that our definitions of normal were wildly misguided? What can we take from this planetary peak experience to evolve and metamorphose? How do we become better trip sitters for one another during this massive group tripathon?
Laura Huxley spoke of her first psychedelic experience, that it guided her life till its very end, so will we integrate the psycovid experience into our futures? She also said, “we can passively take our place in the negative chain, accepting the harm to ourselves and passing it on to others. Or we can break the chain and turn the energy of a destructive emotion into a constructive action.”
With psychotherapist and psychedelic integrationist Maria Papaspyrou and psychonautic anthropologist and harm reductionist Gabriel Amezcua we dive into what we can learn from this weird, extended metaphor of the Altered States of Corona.
Maria grew up in Athens, Greece and in 1995 moved to the UK to train as a psychotherapist. At the time all she knew was Freud’s name but that was no deterrent to radically changing her life. Twenty six years later, she now lives in Brighton in the UK where she shares her time between seeing clients and co-directing with Tim Read the Institute of Psychedelic Therapy, a professional, educational and community building initiative.
She has co-edited Psychedelic Mysteries of the Feminine alongside our Chiara Baldini and David Luke and the upcoming book Psychedelics & Psychotherapy: The Healing Potential of Expanded States alongside Tim Read (publication date September 2021).
Gabriel is a Mexican anthropologist specialised in medical anthropology and sociology of mental health, with a master’s degree in interculturality and conflict resolution. He has worked as an activist in harm reduction and psychedelic care for almost ten years, among his projects are the harm reduction program Espolea in Mexico, the infographic el Universo de las Drogas, and activist for the decriminalisation of psychedelic medicine and its best practices through different organisations.
He currently lives in Berlin, where he co-founded the Psychedelic Society Berlin and where he collaborates with the harm reduction organization Eclipse. Gabriel is also a consultant on psychedelic medicine and community building for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
Driven by the intention to stay in touch with the Boom Community and encourage critical thinking, we launched a series of cultural initiatives during the pandemic.
With the Boom Toolkit for Covid-19 and the Liminal PodQuests we’re bringing you interactive, collective, reflective, psychoactive perspectives to help us all to become friends with uncertainty in the Anthropocene.