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New Study on Psychedelics & Intimacy Recruiting Couples

New Study on Psychedelics & Intimacy Recruiting Couples

The intersection of psychedelics, sex, intimacy, and pleasure has long been a topic that ignites curiosity among many. Probably as old as humanity itself is our innate proclivity for exploring the unknown, seeking pleasure, and cultivating deep connections with one another. Whether it be through recreational use or sacred ceremonies, psychedelics can heighten our somatic awareness and facilitate profound moments of interconnection with others. 

To learn more about this potent topic, a new study by Imperial College London aims to delve into the intricate dynamics of how these substances influence individuals’ relationships with their partners, encompassing aspects ranging from intimacy and attachment styles to sexual experiences.

The Psychedelic Couples Study 

Are you planning to ingest a psychedelic substance or attend a psychedelic retreat with your romantic partner and want to help with psychedelic research?     

A pioneering research project led by Imperial College London, the Psychedelic Couples Study, invites romantic partners to embark on a journey together, delving into the psychological effects of substances like MDMA, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, LSD, ketamine, and 2C-B. This study aims to uncover the potential impact of these substances on everything from intimacy to attachment styles and sexual satisfaction. 

Couples who choose to participate in this online study are asked to enter the planned date of their psychedelic experience, enabling researchers to track the effects over time. The study design includes questionnaires administered at various intervals: one week before the experience, within hours before, two days after, four weeks after, and three months after. These questionnaires aim to provide insight into how the psychedelic experience influences the dynamics of the relationship.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this study is its intended emphasis on shared experiences. While individuals can complete the study alone, couples participating together offer a unique perspective. One member of the couple must enroll in the study first before receiving a unique link to share the study with their partner. 

Psychedelic experiences have long been associated with profound personal insights and spiritual awakenings. However, their potential to enrich romantic relationships is a relatively unexplored territory. With this study, researchers aim to shed light on how these substances may influence aspects such as trust, vulnerability, and emotional intimacy within romantic partnerships.

Click here to know more and sign up.     

Participate in the study

Artwork: “Ego Death” by Stella Stryzowska

Ceasefire Now! A Statement on Palestine

Ceasefire Now! A Statement on Palestine

We at Synergetic Press, an organization dedicated to uplifting changemaking movements in social justice, consciousness, and ecology, demand an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza in solidarity with Palestinian peoples. We decry the genocidal bombings in Gaza, with tens of thousands of lives taken, many more injured, so many missing, and so many more terrified for their lives. We are mourning the lives brutally taken in Israel on October 7, for the ripples of pain among the survivors, and for the intergenerational trauma this has touched upon for communities worldwide. We call for the release of the Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners who are still separated from their families. 

Advocating for a ceasefire is a return to our basic humanity and an acknowledgment of our interconnectedness—we feel the suffering as it comes to us in real time and our hearts are crying out. 

We call for an end to Israel’s occupation, which has systematized the dispossession of land, defended the expansion of illegal settlements, and repeatedly violated international law in denying basic resources to the people of Gaza, where two-thirds of the population are refugees from other places in Palestine. As of August 2023, the Israeli government had left 63% of Gazans food insecure with 95% of people lacking access to clean water, living within a militarized border under daily threat of violence and unable to move freely.

We recognize that so many are grieving the actions of their own governments acting with such profound disregard for the sanctity of human life. The Hamas attack on October 7 is no excuse for Islamophobia, nor are the Israeli government’s actions an excuse for anti-Semitism. We condemn religious discrimination and firmly stand against hateful speech of any kind.

Even with the understanding that we are not our governments, some of us live in places where we have the freedom to protest, speak out against injustice, and have an impact on the choices our governments make. We can see ourselves as a part of a bigger whole, envisioning ourselves, as adrienne maree brown might—as part of a fractal in which individual actions are mirrored at a larger scale. As they write, “In fractal conception, I am a cell-sized unit of the human organism, and I have to use my life to leverage a shift in the system by how I am, as much as the things I do.” We can “see our own lives and work and relationships as a front line, a first place we can practice justice, liberation, and alignment with each other and the planet.” 

We firmly denounce the actions of colonialist and suppressive entities that prioritize self-interest over the well-being of the people. We believe in amplifying the voices of people worldwide who advocate for a more compassionate and interconnected existence and decry the censorship of those who stand in solidarity with Palestine, who are being shadowbanned online and silenced at their workplaces. As a press that uplifts decolonial perspectives and social justice movements, we see the struggles throughout the world against the supremacy and power of colonizing forces as interrelated. We recognize that war is an intersectional issue: a racial justice issue, a reproductive rights issue, and a climate justice issue. The power of international solidarity in justice movements is the power of peoples seeing themselves in one another. Paying attention to what is happening in Gaza is an invitation to pay attention to multiple other wars and crises around the planet—from Ukraine to Congo to Sudan. It is an invitation to stay with the trouble, to listen with love, and to hold those around you in their complexity as we do this work together. We seek a just solution not only for this conflict, but everywhere where the misuse of power creates trauma and perpetuates cycles of violence. 

We move as a collective with love as our motive, animated by compassion and shared humanity, recognizing that our individual liberation is inextricably woven with the world—that we are not free until all of us are free.

For those who want to reach out and help, there are tangible actions you can take:

Resources:

Unveiling the Enigmatic Link Between Christmas and Mushrooms

Unveiling the Enigmatic Link Between Christmas and Mushrooms

As we deck the halls and trim the tree for the festive season, it’s fascinating to explore the unexpected ties between Christmas and an unlikely character – the fly agaric mushroom. The legend of Santa Claus, a figure deeply embedded in Western holiday traditions, may have roots that reach into the mysterious world of fungi.

The Fly Agaric Mushroom

The fly agaric mushroom, scientifically known as Amanita muscaria, with its distinctive red cap adorned with white spots, has long captured the human imagination. Native to temperate and boreal regions of the Northern Hemisphere, this fungus is known for its psychoactive properties. While it can be toxic if consumed raw, certain Indigenous cultures have employed it for ceremonial and shamanic purposes.

To understand the connection between Christmas and the fly agaric mushroom, we must delve into ancient traditions. Some theories suggest that the origins of the association can be traced back to Siberian shamans who utilized the mushroom in winter solstice rituals. These rituals later coincided with the Christian celebration of Christmas.

The Mushroom and Santa Claus

Delving into the intriguing Christmas-fungus connection, we encounter a captivating parallel between the fly agaric mushroom and the iconic image of Santa Claus. The vibrant red cap and white spots of the mushroom remarkably mirror Santa’s red and white attire. Some theorists even propose that Santa’s image may have been shaped by shamanic traditions, specifically those involving the consumption of the fly agaric mushroom.

The origins of Santa Claus take us back to the Nordic countries, where Arctic shamans played pivotal roles in winter solstice celebrations. In a mesmerizing narrative twist, these ancient mystics distributed psychedelic mushrooms that bore a striking resemblance to the Amanita mushrooms, characterized by their red caps and white spots. Cloaked in red garments reminiscent of the iconic fungi, the shamans orchestrated a magical experience, enabling people to commune with nature during the solstice.

Reindeer and Mushrooms

Moreover, reindeer actively consume the fly agaric mushroom, contributing another layer to the Christmas narrative. In Siberian shaman practices, these reindeer played a crucial role in diminishing the toxicity of the mushroom, as they can ingest Amanita muscaria without succumbing to its toxic effects. 

Notably, Siberian shamans had a unique method of experiencing the visionary effects of the fly agaric mushroom—they would drink the urine of the reindeer that had consumed the mushrooms. This practice allowed the shamans to enter a visionary trance, a state akin to “flying” to other worlds, circumventing the toxic effects associated with ingesting the mushrooms directly whilst retaining the psychoactive effects.

Santa’s reindeer, including the famous Rudolph, may be an echo of these ancient tales. Some theorists, including professor and author Carl Ruck, propose that the flying reindeer are symbolic of the altered states induced by the consumption of the psychoactive mushroom.

In an interview with NBC News, he shared, “At first glance, one thinks it’s ridiculous, but it’s not. Whoever heard of reindeer flying? I think it’s becoming general knowledge that Santa is taking a ‘trip’ with his reindeer.”

“Amongst the Siberian shamans, you have an animal spirit you can journey with in your vision quest. And reindeer are common and familiar to people in eastern Siberia. They also have a tradition of dressing up like the (mushroom)…they dress up in red suits with white spots.”

Gift-Giving and Mushrooms

Another layer to the Christmas-mushroom connection is found in the tradition of gift-giving. As we adorn our homes with evergreen trees during the holidays, it’s interesting to note that mushrooms often grow at the base of trees, thriving on decaying organic matter. The symbolism becomes apparent as we place red and white presents beneath our Christmas trees, inadvertently echoing the natural habitat of these fascinating fungi.

While the connection between Christmas and the fly agaric mushroom remains speculative, the parallels between ancient shamanic practices, the iconic image of Santa Claus, and the symbolic nature of the fungus provide a captivating lens through which to view this festive season. Moreover, the scholarly insights of ethnomycologist Robert Gordon Wasson and anthropologist John A. Rush, emphasizing the Amanita muscaria mushroom’s ties to the Christmas imaginary, contribute an additional layer of understanding to this intriguing narrative.

Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

Nature-Inspired Giving: The Earth-Lovers Gift Guide

Nature-Inspired Giving: The Earth-Lovers Gift Guide

Explore our Earth-Lovers Gift Guide, unveiling 10 purposeful products for those who cherish the interconnectedness of all living beings. From permaculture books and sage bundles to Indigenous perspectives on land reclamation, each item inspires regenerative practices and positive impact on the planet. Discover the power of conscious gifting and contribute to the flourishing of independent creators, small businesses, and the vibrant Earth-loving community. Gift consciously and let each item be a reminder of our profound connection with the Earth and its diverse inhabitants.

1. The Regenerative Landscaper: Design Landscapes that Repair the Environment by Erik Ohlsen, $32.95

An awe-inspiring guide that weaves together permaculture design, food resiliency, climate adaptation, community organizing, and Indigenous wisdom that you can implement in your own backyard. This book has been crafted for beginner gardeners and large-scale permaculturists alike. It is a step-by-step manual starting from your landscaping ideas and ending with seeds and trees confidently planted. More than a mere landscaping guide, it serves as a motivational read addressing climate change, species extinction, and ecological collapse. Ideal for nature enthusiasts, eco-conscious individuals, and anyone passionate about sustainable living, this book makes a thoughtful gift that empowers readers to make a positive impact on the earth.

2. Social Forestry: Tending the Land as People of Place by Tomi Hazel Vaarde, $29.95

Social Forestry is an essential guide for individuals seeking a reciprocal relationship with their communities, themselves, and the breathtaking landscapes that surround them. While many Indigenous peoples have honed regenerative management through generations of living in harmony with their environments, modern society lacks widespread examples of holistic planning and participation. In an era marked by climate challenges, human survival imperatives, and the urgent need to preserve biodiversity, this book advocates for a radical return to roots. For anyone seeking to transform their connection to the environment and learn the art of tending to ecosystems, Social Forestry is an indispensable manual offering wisdom and actionable insights.

3. The Mind of Plants: Narratives of Vegetal Intelligence edited by Monica Gagliano, John Charles Ryan, and Patricia Vieira, $24.95

Dive into the intriguing world of plant consciousness and human connections with nature in The Mind of Plants. From apples to ayahuasca, this collection of essays, narratives, and poetry explores the conscious essence of plants and their intricate interactions with humanity and the world. With contributions from notable authors like Robin Wall Kimmerer and Jeremy Narby, the book delves into the wisdom gleaned from scientific research, spiritual teachings, and personal reflections. Ideal for animists, earth lovers, and anyone who engages in conversations with the more-than-human world, this captivating anthology is a perfect gift.

4. Landback Publication Bundle by NDN Collective, $22

The LANDBACK Publication Bundle, featuring Issue 2 of the LANDBACK Magazine and Let’s Get The Land Back: A Toolkit to Restore Our Relations, offers a comprehensive exploration of Indigenous perspectives and actions related to land reclamation. With over 140 pages of compelling content in Issue 2, readers will delve into topics ranging from the quest for an Independent Hawaiʻi in the aftermath of the Lahaina Fire to the challenges and triumphs of Indigenous filmmaking and the transformative power of motherhood and ceremony in overcoming disconnection. Additionally, the toolkit serves as a practical roadmap, inspiration source, and resource guide for those committed to restoring land to tribes. A perfect gift for earth lovers, this publication bundle not only educates but also inspires meaningful engagement with the vital issue of land restoration and Indigenous sovereignty.

5. Dancin’ Frogs Packable Chair by Parks Project, $85

Crafted for those who cherish the great outdoors, this camp chair from Parks Project is not just about comfort; it’s a statement of commitment to leaving our outdoor spaces better than we found them. Parks Project is on a mission to protect and preserve parklands for future generations through education, advocacy, volunteering, and activating park supporters like you. The organization has already made a significant impact, channeling over $2,500,000 toward crucial projects in parks across the United States.

6. Pink Oyster Mushroom Mini-Farm Grow Kit by Far West Fungi, $25

For those eager to deepen their connection with the natural world and foster a more intentional relationship with their food, the Mushroom Mini-Farm Grow Kit is the perfect gift. This extraordinary kit features Pleurotus ostreatus, a tropical strain of oyster mushrooms that resembles succulent clusters of shellfish, reaching up to 18 inches in diameter. With vibrant pink fruiting bodies reminiscent of coral or rose petals, these mushrooms boast a meaty taste, making them an excellent substitute for vegetarians. The high iron content contributes to their vivid color and rich flavor. This grow kit, a unique and captivating present, requires only light misting to yield three to four crops over a two-month period, producing one to two pounds of these delectable mushrooms with proper care. It’s a thoughtful gift for anyone seeking a delightful and immersive experience in cultivating their own food from the fascinating world of mushrooms.

7. Sage Bundle with Lavender & Crystal by Pura Luna Apothecary, $34

Indulge in the harmonious embrace of nature with Pura Luna Apothecary’s mountain sage, lavender, floral Accent & citrine crystal Sage Bundle. Crafted for nature lovers, this bundle is a sensory journey designed to instill calm, cleanse, and create tranquility in both your space and aura. Combining dried sage and lavender incense brings a dual essence of spiritual clearing and relaxation. Supporting small businesses and ventures owned by women and minorities, Pura Luna Apothecary has a thoughtfully crafted selection, including everything from herbal blends and tinctures to candles to oracle decks. 

8. Vegetable Garden Seed Collection by Hudson Valley Seed Co, $22.95

Gift the Hudson Valley Seed Co’s Vegetable Garden mix to someone special, and sow the seeds of a deeper connection with the food they eat. Perfect for individuals living both in and out of urban environments, this boxed set of organic seeds is an invitation to cultivate a more direct relationship with plants and the source of our sustenance. Each seed variety in this collection, including Brilliant Beet Blend, Danvers Carrot, Radiant Radish, Tri-Color Bean, and Ultimate Salad Bowl, represents a flavorful journey into the world of homegrown vegetables. These organic seeds, ready to be planted directly into the ground, offer not just the promise of a bountiful harvest but an opportunity to get creative with your gardening endeavors.

This holiday season, cozy up with Conscious Step’s Socks That Plant Trees. Crafted from GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, these socks offer not only warmth but also a commitment to sustainability. Featuring Fairtrade Certified production, vegan-friendly materials, and a dedication to environmental causes through 1% for the Planet, these socks make every step a statement of ethical living. Give the gift of coziness and consciousness, reminding your loved ones that our choices can bring warmth and positive change even in the winter chill.

10. Mushrooms Bandana by Hemlock, $17

Step into the enchanting world of Hemlock Goods with the bestseller, Mushrooms! The slightly funky, slightly mystical design features creamy, dreamy fungi and earth-toned moths on an olive green background, creating a natural and whimsical charm that’s sure to earn you gushy compliments. Their bandanas are versatile and resilient, ready to hold your hair back, complement your outfit, clean up spills, or safeguard your favorite snacks and treasures. Founded on the ethos of saving people from undesirable jobs, Hemlock Goods collaborates with a production partner in India, ensuring each bandana is screen-printed by hand with 100% cotton.

Psychedelic Stocking Fillers: A Gift Guide for Your Psychonaut Friend

Psychedelic Stocking Fillers: A Gift Guide for Your Psychonaut Friend

Embrace the art of conscious gifting as we delve into a curated selection designed for the discerning psychedelic explorer. This gift guide unveils 10 thoughtfully chosen products that spark conversations and foster intentionality within the realm of psychedelic healing and exploration. From profound literature on psychedelic integration and visionary ceramics to ceremonial cacao and herbal elixirs, each gift is a portal to a realm where exploration and self-discovery intertwine. By supporting indie books and small businesses, you not only gift unique and meaningful experiences but also contribute to the flourishing of independent creators and the vibrant tapestry of the psychedelic community.

1. Psychedelic Integration: Psychotherapy for Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness by Marc B. Aixalà, $26.95

Accessible to psychedelic-assisted therapists and practitioners, as well as those simply seeking to learn more about psychedelic integration to process their own journeys, “Psychedelic Integration” is one of the most comprehensive books on the subject to date. Written by psychotherapist and long-time breathwork practitioner, Marc B. Aixalà, this book traces the history and evolution of psychedelic-assisted therapy and integration research from the 1960s to the present moment, detailing therapeutic techniques and real-world observations on the deep work of healing. Ideal for giving to a friend who is beginning their healing journey, this insightful guide offers a compassionate and informed exploration of the profound impact psychedelic experiences can have on personal growth and well-being.

2. Journal of the Psychonaut by MAPS, $12.95

This journal is an invitation to explore your inner universe. Psychedelic experiences have the potential to dramatically change us for the better, but only if we truly integrate what we’ve learned from them into our everyday lives. This journal serves as your sacred space to prepare for and then integrate these lessons from your explorations of non-ordinary states of consciousness. Perfect for those looking to unpack and process their inner contents, it is an invaluable tool for integrating experiences. We encourage you to color outside the lines, break the rules, and, above all else, work with this journal in the way that fits you best. Use the blank pages to Set the Setting and prepare for Before, During, and After your experience.

3. Ergot Alkaloids: History, Chemistry, and Therapeutic Uses by Albert Hofmann, $35

A true collectors item, any psychonaut would want this beautiful gold-embossed, hardcover classic on their shelves. This book is a detailed account of chemical compounds and pharmacological investigation into the potential of visionary plants. Starting with the botany and cultivation of the ergot mushroom, Hofmann takes us through the historical elaboration of the fungus including the poisoning epidemic of ergot and its early medical uses to the use of psilocybin as a “magical drug”. ⁠ With a detailed timeline, we explore the growth of the pharmaceutical-chemical investigation from 1816 to 1961 with a total synthesis of ergotamine including tables of chemical structures and the role of lysergic acid, d-lysergic acid and lysergic acid diethylamide in experimental psychiatry gaining increasing importance in psychotherapy as a medical aid.⁠

4. A Subscription to DoubleBlind Magazine, $12.99

DoubleBlind is a biannual print magazine and media company covering timely, untold stories about the expansion of psychedelics around the globe. Subscribing to DoubleBlind includes a copy of their latest issue, renewing again before their next issue as well as a free 1-month DoubleBlind membership trial which includes monthly virtual consciousness-shifting journeys such as cannabis ceremonies, breathwork, and integration circles, access to all past and future DoubleBlind workshops/webinars, discounts on courses, and access to their private online community forum.

5. Waverly Long Studios Ceramics Mushroom Mug, $120

Based in North Carolina, Waverly Long Studios creates beautiful nature-inspired ceramics, including everything from mugs to planters to earrings. Their products are small-batch and quick-selling, so don’t hesitate to snag yourself a piece! Their mugs, in particular, stand out as unique and visually stunning creations, making them the perfect gift for fungi lovers who appreciate the intricate beauty of nature captured in each exquisite piece.

6. Ruk’u’x’Ulew Cacao, $40-50

Ruk’u’x Ulew [Roo-Koosh-Ouh-Leh-Ou] is a 100% Mayan-owned, all-Indigenous women’s collective that produces artisanal Guatemalan growth ceremonial cacao. Ruk’u’x Ulew translates as ‘Heart of The Earth’ which honors founder, Cecilia Mendoza Chiyal’s, Mayan culture and ancestry but also relays her belief that cacao is a divine representation of the ‘Heart of The Earth.’ This healing and heart-opening ceremonial cacao, crafted with intention, is meant to be savored alone or shared, creating moments of connection and profound introspection.

7. Mindfold Eye Mask, $19.95

The Mindfold mask was created in 1978 by artist and visionary, Alex Grey, to help you with your inner meditation journey by blocking out all light with your eyes open.  Over the years the myriad of uses has gone far beyond meditation, sleep, relaxation, and travel. Ideal for your psychonaut friend, this mask is a versatile tool that can enhance their explorations into consciousness, providing a unique and immersive experience during their inner journeys.

8. Psychedelic Journey Intention Cards by Gwella, $12.99

Intention setting is an ancient practice that opens us up to new interpretations of our circumstances and our agency within them. Setting intentions helps us clarify what’s most important, and allows us to focus on who we want to be. This pack of 24 cards consists of prompts and reflections designed to guide conscious self-discovery and self-awareness. They can be used in individual or group settings, and are great for perhaps gifting to the psychedelic explorer in your life.

9. Pejuta Akišni Healing Medicine Tea by Lakota Made, $30

Pejuta Akišni (pay-jhoo-tah ah-kee-shnee) means Healing Medicine in the Lakota Language, and the tea includes nettle, goldenrod, elderberry, raspberry leaf, flat cedar, chaga mushroom. Uses: Steep 2-3 tablespoons for 5-7 minutes in your preferred method of brewing tea, enjoy hot or cold, add some local honey and game on. Lakota Made LLC, owned and founded by Megan L. Schnitker, from Milks Camp, South Dakota, is a company that specializes in small batch Indigenous First medicines and eco-friendly personal care products that use locally sourced and sustainably harvested ingredients.In the winter months, a healing medicine tea like Pejuta Akišni becomes a comforting and soul-nourishing companion, offering warmth and holistic wellness to navigate the colder seasons with intention and self-care.

10. Adaptogenic Medicinal Mushroom Chai Elixir by Xálish Medicines, $34.50 CAD

The Fountain of Youth Adaptogenic Mushroom Chai stands as a potent elixir crafted from a harmonious blend of roots, spices, and medicinal mushrooms. Beyond its exquisite taste, this chai serves as a nourishing and energizing elixir with properties that support both physical and mental well-being. Ideal for individuals grappling with the strains of modern life, it provides a holistic approach to combating stressors that may affect the body, mind, and spirit. Xálish Medicines intricately weaves the spirit of plant medicine and ancestral reverence into each offering, aiming to reestablish a harmonious connection with our plant kin, ourselves, our environment, and the entirety of creation. It can serve as an excellent companion after challenging experiences, fostering shared moments of connection and boosting both mood and spirit.

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