Our Families, Our Medicines, Our Stories
Hosted by Jonathan, The Psychedelic Parenting Podcast is an ongoing collection of honest, heartfelt stories, in the spirit of NPR’s Story Corps. Our mission is to record the ways that entheogenic experiences influence the ways that we raise our children, think about our world, and motivate our actions. It is our hope that by this effort, we will be able to create examples by which the stigma of these medicines and experiences can be removed from the wider culture, and allow us the space to share them with a wider audience.
On this episode, Jonathan talks with Omar Thomas, founder of 5 in the Dark Life Coaching, retired Army Ranger, and fellow partner, facilitator and Visual Media Director at MycoMeditations, which offers Psilocybin-assisted retreats and therapeutic experiences in beautiful Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Omar is also the founder of CannaMed Consultants, a medical cannabis nutraceutical company. In this conversation, Jonathan and Omar discuss their mutual excitement after their recent experience facilitating together for the first time on Treasure Beach, Omar’s personal struggles with PTSD, and what it means to be a Psychedelic Dad. Omar also chimes in on our eternal question: How old is “old enough?”
Today, Jonathan once again welcomes Psychedelic Parenting’s favorite author, Natalie Grigson. Natalie is the author of the amazing title Just Call Me Is, which we helped to sponsor on Kickstarter. Natalie is now launching another campaign for the sequel, Call Me Perfect , which is currently 1/2 way funded with about 2 weeks to go. Call Me Perfect approaches body image and identity with the same gentle touch that Just Call Me IS brought to mindfulness. Jonathan and Natalie talk about the new book, and how Natalie’s own psychedelic experiences helped her heal from a childhood eating disorder. Jonathan also discusses some of the struggles with identity and body image that led to the recent gap in podcast creation.
After MANY months hiatus, we return with a new episode, featuring our friend, Stephen Gray, Co-founder and MC of the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, and Editor of the new Anthology, Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer’s Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally. Stephen is also the Author of the book Returning to Sacred World: A Spiritual Toolkit for Emerging Reality. In this conversation, Jonathan and Stephen discuss Cannabis and Spirituality in detail, give tips on incorporating Santa Maria into your own spiritual work, and ask the perennial question: “How old is old enough?”
In this episode, Jonathan talks with fellow Michigander, Kilindi Iyi. Born and raised in Detroit, Kilindi is the head instructor and technical adviser of Tamerrian Martial Art Institute. His exploration and research centers on high-dose psilocybin magic mushrooms. Listen as Jonathan and Kilindi talk about the role of mushrooms in the secret history of martial arts, about the lessons Kilindi has learned form his 40+ years of symbiosis with the mushrooms, and the upcoming Detroit Psychedelic Conference, October 28-30 at the historic First Unitarian Church of Detroit on Cass, AND, the new Theme Music debuts on this episode, courtesy of Togal.
In this episode, Jonathan talks with father, facilitator, and mushroom farmer Eric Osborne. With a Master’s Degree in Education Eric Osborne taught middle school language arts for seven years. In 2009, he left education to open a gourmet mushroom farm Magnificent Mushrooms in Indiana and the first State recognized Wild Mushroom Expert in Indiana allowing him to legally sell wild mushrooms. Eric is founder and facilitator at Myco-Meditations, a psilocybin retreat center in Treasure Beach, Jamaica. Listen as Jonathan and Eric discuss his family’s incredibly intimate relationship with fungi, how he turned a legal setback into a healing journey, and how he is changing lives with his Myco-Meditations mushroom retreats in Jamaica.
In this episode, Jonathan talks with Ryan, Lisa, Sean, and Gabrielle LeCompte. Ryan is the founder of Veterans for Entheogenic Therapy (VET), and a graduate student at Naropa University, studying Transpersonal Psychology and recently brought his family along with him as he accompanied a group of veterans to a healing experience with Ayahuasca in Florida. The LeCompte family talks about their collective healing experience, how their Cajun roots created space for forgiveness and reconnection through food, and how Lisa’s gumbo is so good that it even makes vegans give up their vows! Ryan also talks about how childhood trauma makes some vets more susceptible to PTSD, and what’s next for VET.
Dr. Ben Sessa is a consultant in adult addictions and is senior research fellow at Bristol, Cardiff and Imperial College London Universities, where he is currently taking time off from clinical medical practice to study towards a PhD in MDMA Psychotherapy, and has specialist training as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Dr Sessa’s joint interests in psychotherapy, pharmacology and trauma have lead him towards researching the subject of drug-assisted psychotherapy using psychedelic adjuncts. In this conversation, Jonathan and Ben discuss “How old is old enough,” the illogic of the new UK Psychoactive Substances Law, and how to take your kids to festivals safely. Ben also explains his belief in why the medical model of psychedelics has the best chance of changing the hearts and minds of mainstream culture and making them more widely available to all. As a pediatric psychiatrist, a father of 2, and an expert in the clinical application of psychedelic medicines, Dr. Sessa is uniquely qualified to provide insight into many of the questions we often ask here at Psychedelic Parenting, and we are excited to have him on the show.
Terra is a writer, traveler, artist, mother of 2, and organizer with a background in non-profit, community based finance, book-keeping and small event fundraising. In this conversation, Jonathan and Terra talk about her role as a Burning Man volunteer, the current state of cannabis prohibition around the USA, “cannabis vs marijuana,” and how the pro-legalization world can stop preaching to the crowd and begin to more radically change hearts and minds through comprehensive education, directed not just at kids, but at adults who need help understanding how we have gone from our “reefer madness” and “gateway drug” approaches to legal recreational experiences in Oregon and Colorado in such a short period of time.
Mindy is a Soul Coach and Life Purpose Guide. She started her journey to find and live her higher purpose at the beginning of 2014. While going through a painful divorce and a career crisis, she was introduced to Life Purpose Coaching. In this conversation, Jonathan and Mindy talk about her road to recovery, the role of Ayahuasca in her life, and her desire to open a retreat center in Mexico that will be kid- and family-friendly. We look forward to hearing more from Mindy in the coming months and years.
This episode’s guest asked to go by the pseudonym “Antler” to protect his family and career, and we are happy to share his story. “Antler” is an aspiring herbalist and proud parent of two young children. He and his partner recently welcomed their son into the world with a challenging premature birth after the mother’s water broke at 32 weeks. In this episode, Jonathan and “Antler” discuss the ReWilding movement, the Pro-Child approach to parenting, and how psilocybin should be seen as a component of “complete nutrition” and how mushroom tea helped “Antler” and his partner conceive, hold a connective space while his premature son was staying in the NICU, and come to terms with the difference between their plans for a natural home birth, and the reality of their circumstances.
#21) FATHER, BROTHER, STUDENT, FRIEND: FINDING OUR PLACE IN THE PSYCHEDELIC COMMUNITY, WITH DANNY LITIN
Danny is a father to a magical 3-year-old son, is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota, the Executive Administrative Assistant to Dennis McKenna at Symbio Life Sciences, a music enthusiast and producer, artist, psychonaut, and explorer. In this episode, Jonathan and Danny discuss music, their mutual love of the Promega Bioethics Forum, teaching gratitude to their children, and how they have both been influenced by their relationships with Dennis McKenna and other giants of psychedelic studies. They also discuss Danny’s work with Symbio Life Sciences, the incubator company that Dennis is currently starting. We hope you will enjoy this conversation with one of the shining young faces in psychedelic studies today.
Zach is the host of the “It’s All Happening” podcast, an infrequent blogger/writer, a seasoned digital marketer and brand strategist, and the son of psychedelic pioneer, Dr. Timothy Leary . Zach is also a practitioner of bhakti yoga. Through the practice of bhakti yoga he has found keys that unlock doorways that allow the soul to experience it’s true nature of being eternal, full of knowledge and full of bliss. In this conversation, Jonathan and Zach talk about what it was like being raised by one of the pioneers of the psychedelic movement, about how this effected Zach’s early encounters with LSD, and his relationship with substances generally. They also talk about Zach’s long relationship to his spiritual teacher and lifelong family friend, Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), and Zach’s feelings on the 12 steps, and it’s relationship to the psychedelic experience.
Zoe is the founder of Cosmic Sister, which is dedicated to recognizing and elevating feminist voices in the growing Psychedelic Renaissance, and to supporting visionary women in the exploding world of Cannabis business and studies. Zoe is also the wife and partner of ethnobotanist and writer Chris Kilham, and is the manager of the web presence for his site The Medicine Hunter, and has accompanied Chris on many trips to the Amazon and elsewhere, looking for healing plants and soul-transforming experiences. IN PART 1, Jonathan and Zoe discuss the art of “Psychedelic Mentoring” as an important part of the emerging plant medicine culture in this country, and how even those without their own kids have an important job to do in raising the future members of the Psychedelic Society. Zoe also discusses Earth day and how her ayahuasca experiences in the Amazon have galvanized her as an environmentalist and animal-rights activist. IN PART 2, they discuss the power of psychedelics to break through cultural programming, and Zoe talks about how young people can stay safe when travelling in the Amazon, and ways to navigate the dangers of sexual violence in ceremonial spaces.
Jon is a 34 year old father of two. from Canada. The two met through a Facebook Group, thanks to Jon’s willingness to share his inspiring story of hope and healing. Jonathan felt called to respond almost immediately after the posting appeared on his feed, and the two connected to share Jon’s story. Jon’s experience of the failure of standard psychiatric pharmaceutical drugs and his journey back to health with the help of psilocybin mushrooms gave him a clear understanding that the conditions that ailed him for years did not have to be permanent, or simply “managed” with ill-understood collections of molecules.
Matt is the Co-Founder of the Exploring Psychedelics Conference, and works at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. In addition to coordinating wellness-based educational programs on a variety of topics, he is also an instructor in the Department of Psychology. In this conversation, Jonathan and Matt discuss the upcoming 3rd annual Exploring Psychedelics Conference, and his passion for talking about harm reduction and sensible drug education on campus. They also go deep into how to talk to kids about the potential interpersonal and psychological effects of pornography without resorting to moralistic or shame-based arguments.
Neşe is an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Puget Sound, where she teach classes on psychedelics and literature. She is also working on a book, Chemical Poetics: The Literary History of Psychedelic Science. Neşe was also a 2015-16 Research Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Timothy Leary Papers and a Research Fellow with the New York University Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study. In this conversation, Jonathan and Neşe discuss her radical healing from social anxiety through the intervention of LSD, her struggle with postpartum depression, and her advocacy for breast milk sharing. They also talk about the founding of Psychedemia, and their shared conviction in the urgent need for more women and voices of color in the psychedelic conversation.
Maggie is a writer and cannabis activist with dual degrees in English and Spanish. She has worked in traditional publishing, journalism, as a blogger, and in the medical field as a translator, and is the author of a series of cannabis kid’s books called Stinky Steve Explains Medical Marijuana. In this conversation, Jonathan and Maggie talk about the current situation regarding parental rights when dealing with cannabis issues and Child Protective Services. They also talk about Maggie’s work on Ladybud Magazine, her year as a cannabis dispensary owner, and the many injustices faced by families across the country as they fight for the right to heal their bodies and minds with the cannabis flower.
Dr. Mangini is a member of the board of directors of the Women’s Visionary Congress, and has been a family nurse midwife for twenty five years. She has written extensively on the impact of psychedelic experiences in shaping the lives of her contemporaries, and has worked closely with many of the most distinguished investigators in this field. In this talk, Jonathan and Dr. Mangini discuss the role of psychedelics in the history of the baby boomer generation, the growth of interest and understanding of death in American culture as the boomers “run out of runway,” and Dr. Mangini’s role in the resurgence of Psychedelic Studies though her efforts, with George Greer and Charles Grob on the 1998 Monograph Edition of The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Duli is a visual artist, certified Massage Therapist, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher and Intuitive Healer from Boston Ma. He grew up in inner city Roxbury, MA, and was influenced by his father and mother from a very young age to value the study of metaphysics, mysticism, occult information and spirituality. Jonathan and Duli’s conversation topics include the recent passing of Kai Wingo, their mutual love and respect for Baba Kilindi Iyi, the role of plant teachers in healing the trauma that can come from life in the inner city, and how mushrooms can reconnect us with our children, our partners, and our ancestors. They also talk about the dynamic of race in the psychedelic community, and the actions that white members of the community can take to create a more welcoming environment.
#11) THAT’S HOW WE ALL BECAME THE BRAINY BUNCH: SHARING THE LESSONS OF PSYCHEDELICS IN A BLENDED FAMILY, W/ BRETT GREENE
Brett is a co-founder of Psymposia, an organization dedicated to building community and honest dialogue around drugs and society through live events. They are the creators of the Psymposia Conference, now in it’s third year, and of the “Psychedelic Storytelling” events, which could be described as “The Moth Radio Hour… On Acid.” In this Brett talks about the work of founding and maintaining a psychedelic non-profit, about how psychedelics helped him heal his mental illness, and how he is sharing his knowledge and excitement about these substances with his family. Later, we are joined by Brett’s stepson, and we discuss peer pressure, what he sees as the ideal form of drug education, and why he is choosing to NOT do drugs.
Emanuel is the founder of DanceSafe and director of the upcoming documentary MDMA: The Movie. He founded DanceSafe in 1998 with a goal of providing fact-based drug education and harm reduction at raves and parties. After a number of years working as an environmental activist, he has returned to the world of drug policy reform and education with this documentary project. In this conversation, Jonathan and Emanuel discuss drug policy, drug education reform, how to talk to your teens, and why testing is so critical in today’s drug climate. Emanuel also spends a great deal of time discussing the many popular substances out there right now, how they may differ from the party climate we grew up in, and how to help our kids make the informed choices about their use or non-use of plants and chemicals.
Harmony is the mother of two adult children, and is a former public school teacher, with a Master’s Degree in Education. She has over 20 years of experience as an educator, mentor, and facilitator for young people, and has been deeply engaged with the entheogenic plant medicine traditions of Columbia for over a decade. She is also a musician, with a published CD of ceremonial music to her credit, called Opening to Ceremony, and is the author of the upcoming book Medicine Children.
On this program, Jonathan talks with David Gaian, live from the NICU at Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR, where his son, Bodhi, was born just over a month ago, 2 months premature. After decades of diverse international corporate and non-profit sector business consulting, David and Dasha’s career has returned, quite literally, to its roots; their passion for plant medicine as well as personal and collective evolution. David talks with Jonathan about his early introduction to entheogens after discovering the Mckenna brothers’ book Psilocybin: the Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide in a local comic shop when he was in middle school. This encounter resulted in a pen pal relationship with Terence McKenna that later flourished into a real-life connection as David grew into adulthood.
Katherine is formerly of the Johns Hopkins University’s Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit (BPRU), the home of the well-known Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Studies, where she held space for healthy individuals while under the influence of synthetic psilocybin. During our conversation, Katherine discusses her path to motherhood, though her medicine work, Buddhist meditation, and the loss of her sister from cancer. She discusses her position on whether we should let our infants “learn to self-soothe,” and how motherhood is a contract to being open to sacrifice and suffering. Jonathan and Katherine also re-imagine a new form of work that gives birth to future labs, offices, and kitchens where career and home life can be balanced.
Stephen is an author, speaker, and “emerging elder” of the psychedelic community. He is also the organizer and MC of the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference held each year in Vancouver, BC at the end of October. Stephen is the Author of the book Returning to Sacred World: A Spiritual Toolkit for Emerging Reality. He also has many years of experience with plant medicine ceremonies in both the Native American Church tradition, as well as the Santo Daime religion. In this conversation, Stephen and Jonathan discuss the possibility of an emerging distinct medicine tradition for white North Americans, about the role of the sacred feminine in family and religious life, and of taking on the mantle of “elder” as one enters the latter part of life.
Neal is a clinical psychologist and the author of Psychedelic Healing: The Power of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development. He is also the father of a 16 year-old-son and the Speaker Curator and MC for the Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference, held annually in New York City in early October. During this conversation, Neal discusses his own history with Psychedelics, how an experience with LSD in middle age awakened his own understanding of how we are shaped by childhood interactions and how they can be a powerful tool for uncovering the true self. He also discusses his own experiences as a dad, and how he “came out” to his son as a cannabis user.
This anonymous guest asked to go by the name of “Connor.” “Connor” is a friend of Psychedelic Parenting who recently shared ceremony space with his Silent Generation Father. “Connor” discusses strategies for bridging the gap and asking parents to join you in your medicine work, as well as the struggles of growing up in a household with mental illness and how the lessons of his work as a community organizer in a post-industrial urban center can translate into the building of a real, lasting psychedelic community.
In this episode Jonathan talks with Psychedelic Iconoclast and genuine nice guy, Martin Ball. Martin is an author, musician, and visual artist. He is also the host of the Entheogenic Evolution Podcast, and the Co-Founder of the Exploring Psychedelics Conference. Exploring Psychedelics is held every year in April at Southern Oregon University in Ashland Oregon. Conversations discussed include Martin’s encounter with Radical Honesty on the Playa of Black Rock City in 2007 and the aftershocks in his life and his relationship with his daughter. Jonathan talks about his own healing though Ayahuasca, and how profound it is to be in a workplace where you can be yourself.
In this episode, Jonathan talks with Veterans For Enthegenic Therapy (VET) Founder and President Ryan LeCompte about healing psychological wounds, being a dad, and helping to change the world! Jonathan and Ryan met at Psymposia 2015 where they were both speakers. When Jonathan found out that Ryan was a dad, he couldn’t wait to include Ryan in the conversation. In this talk, Jonathan and Ryan also share their collective debt to Rick Doblin, founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and how much both consider him an example and personal inspiration
In our debut episode, Jonathan talks with his good friend “Mark” about his volunteer experiences, about his recent trip to Peru, and the lessons learned there. We dive deep into the Psychedelic Family Value of Radical Honesty, and “Mark” discusses how this value has given him, his children, and their mother the space to redefine the meaning of family in the wake of divorce.