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I will share a bit of my own story, of what it was like doing a high dose psilocybin experience in a homeless shelter for HIV positive males

After becoming privy to the research being done at top universities in regards to healing with plants medicines and other compounds, efforts were taken to share these experiences with communities that needed them most. As a marginalized person working on the ground level, I aim to communicate the absolute urgency of a voiceless community in deep need. People who are unable to afford trips to perfect settings, forced to come to a moment of awakening, with sirens going by in both the literal and metaphorical sense. I will share a bit of my own story, of what it was like doing a high dose psilocybin experience in a homeless shelter for HIV positive males, in a building systematically designed to destroy them, or rather us, in the guise of help.

I serve as a reminder that there is a plane of existence beyond all of our hierarchies of exclusion, a reminder that light can shine any and everywhere, reaching always for the highest good of all. I come, reluctantly, to deliver a message that what we left behind in the 60’s in regards to these visionary experiences, it is time to bring back. To highlight and express the urgency, deeply bring into your awareness that the conversation about these life transforming substances has shifted into a conversation that is for the most part, focused on trauma and the healing of it. None of us are able to undue our experiences of life, there is no cosmetic surgery for the unseen, and so then we are being invited to rise above the story of our collective horrific experiences, and to use psychedelics as a tool to create something new on the visionary plane as well. My point is to communicate that they are more than tools for healing. We must remember that they are tools for shifting reality as we know it, by our exploration of different planes of consciousness and integrating the wisdom gained, here and now in the secret spaces of our actions and the motives behind them. And so once again, we are being invited to threaten the status quo that is destroying our environment, and thus our health and sanity. It is time to shift the conditions that created the traumas in the first place. 

EIC dance integration gathering, House of Duende, Harlem, NYC, 2016. Credit photo: Kevon Simpson

Allow yourself to feel, without looking away, that the very place where these plants, fungi, and chemicals have been created, is threatened by an inability to see beyond our arguments of what has happened to us, and how much money there is to be made. The Earth is sending warnings through vibrations and clear signs that are not being fully registered, because of the matrix mind of the current psychedelic conversation. All that is created was once a thought, and since these substances are known to be mind manifesting tools, help by manifesting in your mind, a new vision that is oneness in action while in that state. For a being in oneness with Earth, and her people who have practiced protecting these medicines for ages, would not perpetuate the societal desparties that create the trauma I have seen and lived in the underground. 

Thus, we are healing, to go back into a world that is still the same, and will continue to do harm unless we change internally, each of us. There is no other way out of the madness we have co-created by collectively refusing to have deep and powerful conversations about race, class, privilege, homophobia and on and on; moving beyond them. Moving beyond them might look like conversations on the nature of birth, death, life purpose, and even ancestral karmic responsibility. We must find a part beyond our collective, and historical wounding, that is ready to create a new world for the 7 generations ahead. If the beat of your heart is connected to the pulse of our Earth Mother, the urgency can be a thing that keeps you up at night. It can be a vibration that is not so much brave, than it is aware of the consequences should we refuse to accept this call to act right now. I have been charged with this fire for many years, and thus my work in the underground began with meditation, mindful listening, reading, walking, and speaking.  

“Together we blossom like flowers.” EIC circle of community hands, NYC, 2016. Credit photo: Kevon Simpson

Long ago did the mushroom teach me that when you enter any space, always does it vibrate with the history of what has happened there before, that cyclically through time, memories linger. It taught me that our contribution to a place is one of frequencies seen and unseen, a kind of felt resonance echoing in cycles. Though the scope of this is beyond what is possible with words to communicate, I will do my best here to help you understand why spirit would have someone with my heart, land in a HIV+ all male homeless shelter in one of the roughest neighborhoods in New York City. 

Though my circumstances were not the best, the strength it took to walk by the homeless shelter built for entire families on the way to my own, was simply unbearable

My room was beautiful, for I made it so. When the inspectors came by to see if I was keeping up to the cleanliness standards, they would apologize, bow and walk out. For even in the shelter my altar was there, and the vibration of spirit that I carry was there, and the absurdity of the entire situation was made apparent when the person opened my door and was met by a man of spirit in a Brownsville, Brooklyn shelter. At times even I was confused, but in my heart I had the messages of what I learned from my plant medicine experiences always alive. Though my circumstances were not the best, the strength it took to walk by the homeless shelter built for entire families on the way to my own, was simply unbearable. I would see their kids playing outside, and my heart would just snap into pieces, like it did the night when I arrived a minute late, and the doors to my shelter were closed. Facing the reality of sleeping on the street, sliced my heart in a way that I am still mending. My roommate who I did a mapacho cleanse on a few days before, just so happened to be around by the grace of a most merciful spirit, because due to his meth addiction his availability was never a guarantee – he snuck me in. We can make friends anywhere you know; when it’s time to survive. 

Kevon’s altar after a cleansing ceremony. 2017. Credit photo: Kevon Simpson

So now, there is some context for my roughly 10g psilocybin solo sit in a shelter.  I had a bit of ayahuasca still left from my time in the jungles of Peru a few months before, I put a spoonful or two into the blender, with the fungi, and a dose of ceremonial grade cacao as an added maoi. Please understand that none of this is crazier than a system actually designed to destroy people like me. Can you feel the effort it takes to wake up from it? I called in the 4 directions, elements and ancestors of the land. I called in my guides of support seen and unseen, drank the full cup down, and waited patiently to leave a memory of unseen vibration that I hope changed something not only there, but in your heart reading these words, for it is the only location that really matters. Shipibo icaros played through a speaker, and my ancestors guided ceremony that night. 

I saw the hate, scorn, silencing, manifested as physical planes shifting in the space, appearing just real enough to touch

In conclusion, what I saw as real as the device you are reading these words from, manifest in the space, was the collective shadow in regards to its attitude towards the global LGBTQI population. Meaning, I saw the hate, scorn, silencing, manifested as physical planes shifting in the space, appearing just real enough to touch. Because it is the mind that is co-creating our collective experience, I saw how each mind contributed to the plane of these shadow thoughts that helped create that experience for me. I saw that despite my best efforts, I still accepted some of that story for my own life. I saw the system of oppression as a plane of visionary reality before manifesting physically, as laws, as harmful actions, as gay jokes, and it was repetitively nauseating for 7 hours of purging. A purging that was making me immune to it, once and for all. 

“Wash it away” Drinking Huachuma (San Pedro) at Machu Picchu, a rainbow warrior selfie in the rain. 2018. Credit photo: Kevon Simpson

What is it that makes me immune? I refuse to buy into those ideas anymore, I refuse to be silenced anymore, and I refuse to be ignored anymore. 

And I did all that to say only this: Earth Needs Our Help! 

The Time Is Now. 


This paper was presented at Cultural and Political Perspectives in Psychedelic Science, a symposium promoted by Chacruna and the East-West Psychology Program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), in San Francisco on August 18 and 19, 2018. 

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 from 12-1:30pm PST REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT HERE There is growing enthusiasm in Jewish communities about possible ancient use and modern applications of plant medicine in Jewish spiritual development.  Psychedelic Judaism introduce new potential modes of  healing...