Last month we had the joy of attending the largest conference on psychedelics, Psychedelic Science 2023 hosted by our copublishers, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Science (MAPS). As the official bookstore of the event, we’re immensely grateful to everyone who visited our booth, whether to grab a book, nurture connections, or meet incredible authors. It was an absolute delight to not only share our own publications but also showcase books by other remarkable authors in the psychedelic realm. The sense of community we experienced left us profoundly touched. Publishing is a tough industry in today’s day and age, and we extend heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you for supporting our vision and our books.
Below Synergetic Press team members reflect on their experiences at Psychedelic Science 2023:
“Still swimming in the contact high of the bookstore at Psychedelic Science 2023.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by our little shop, arms loaded with books and big grins on your faces at the prospect of a psychedelic bookstore. After being greeted by thousands with curiosity and compassion—as though we weren’t in a conference center with a ceiling miles about our heads, even as delirium was setting in toward the end of the week—I can report that one stereotype about people who love psychedelics is true: they do a lot more eye gazing. My eyes remember all of you!
Shout out to Ayize Jama-Everett and Kufikiri Imara for making a magnificent film, A Table of Our Own, that got a standing ovation. Shout out to Laura Mae Northrup, Monica Cadena, Leticia Brown, and Britta Love for their mind-opening conversation on sex, psychedelics, and carrying consent with us everywhere we go as an alive practice rather than a stagnant permission. Shout out to Jerónimo Mazarrasa of ICEERS for advocating for the wisdom of the lifelong ceremonialists, who simply cannot be replaced, and his reminder that adopting the form of a ritual is not the ritual itself (that copying an aesthetic or manner of being does not mean you have a hold on its depth and power).
Connecting with those who are committed to the origins, stewards, and biocultural contexts of entheogenic plants; those who are more interested in access, cultural competency, and deep relationships than profit or hype; those who move at the speed of trust (thanks for that, Ayize) and greet a slow pace with recognition and necessity; and the keepers of complexity who walk with humor and grace was a balm that awakened belief in new places.
Til the next, and in the words of Donna Haraway, stay with the trouble til then.” —Noelle Armstrong, Managing Editor
“After six years since the last MAPS conference, it was remarkable to see the greater psychedelic community come together in Denver for PS23. Beyond the exponential growth in the number of participants and size of the show itself, the gathering represented the next step in the maturation of the industry with more specialized exhibitors and expansive discussions on multiple tracks. A new survey presented by the UC Center for the Science of Psychedelics highlighted that while the public supports expanded science on psychedelic therapies, there is little support for expanding access and legalization. The study highlights the need for ongoing educational efforts and quality science to create foundational support for these therapies and to establish a broader understanding of the immense possibilities of these substances.” —Doug Reil, Co-publisher & CEO
“The thing I keep coming back to about PS23 was how much it was unlike a typical conference. Not just in terms of the focus on psychedelics, of course, but in terms of how truly community-oriented it felt. No one was jockeying for position or trying to one-up anybody else. No one was just there for the sake of placating a boss or was merely going through the motions with an eye toward a juicy year-end bonus. Everyone there seemed genuinely focused on the love and healing potential inherent to these medicines. There was reverence for the old guard (how miraculous was Stan Grof’s mere presence!) and a radical openness to the way that younger superstars like Dr. Carl Hart are moving the conversation forward. The view from the bookstore was the most joyous (and well dressed!) parade of students, therapists, and seekers, all looking for additional stories and information to keep the momentum going after that incredible week in Denver.” —Allison Felus, Production Editor
“The field has simply exploded with whole new branches of research and inquiry emerging. The tributes to those whose shoulders on which we all stand like Stan and Brigitte Grof, Stanley Krippner, Dennis McKenna, Alex and Alyson Grey, the Indigenous communities from whom this works stems as well as hundreds of others being recognized and thanked for their decades of service to humanity were profoundly moving to witness. And the new thought leaders like Julie Holland, Marcina Hale from Reconsider.org, new writers like Rachel Nuwer, the team at Lucid News, and the Women’s Visionary Congress, all shining lights on the breakthroughs in research and evolving community support and understanding about the flood of these therapies as they become more and more available.
The demand for knowledge about work in this field has never been higher.
Synergetic Press was proud to be at the show representing the work of these pioneers and cutting-edge voices.” —Deborah Parrish Snyder, Publisher