Dr Albert Hofmann’s first bioassay with d-lysergic acid amide took place on April 19th, 1943, seventy years ago this year. Aldolus Huxley’s The Doors of Perception recounts the author’s first mescaline trip, which occurred on May 3, 1953, sixty years ago this very month. Timothy Leary began his explorations of the inner world with his trip to Cuernavaca and his introduction to psylocibin mushrooms in 1960. 11 years later, the brothers McKenna took their fateful trip to La Chorerra, Columbia, recounted in Terence’s book True Hallucinations. By my reckoning, we are four generations deep into the psychedelic era. And the question arises: How has the culture grown? How has it been passed on to subsequent generations? Many of those involved in these substances consider themselves spiritual or psychological “children” of these luminaries, but what about the actual children of these people? Do they consider themselves a part of the “psychedelic culture,” and how might their experiences and stories be useful for those members of the community currently raising children? What about less-famous members of the psychedelic underground? How do they pass on their philosophies and practices to their children, if at all? As I pondered these questions, I realized that many of these children would now be adults, and could look back on their upbringing with an insightful perspective. My undergraduate training as an anthropologist surged to the forefront, and it occurred to me that many people would be interested in how this subculture has grown and perpetuated itself.
Today, we are in a period of unprecedented growth and expansion in psychedelic studies. No longer sequestered in the ghettos of basements, raves, and illicit drug deals, psychedelics are in a period of renaissance. In the past couple of years, we have seen the Psychedemia conference at U Penn, the growing attendance and influence of conferences like MAPS’ Psychedelic Science, the Horizons conference in New York City, and the Breaking Convention in London, UK. Johns Hopkins University is currently studying psilocybin on a number of fronts, including its ability to ease the psychological suffering of those with terminal cancer, and also its use in conjunction with a regular meditation practice. A growing underground of psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists are utilizing LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin in their practices to facilitate mental and emotional healing. Now, it seems, is the perfect time to turn this scientific approach to the study of psychedelics inward, and study the subculture itself with the tools of cultural anthropology.
This research will take a number of forms. First and foremost, this website will be a repository of personal stories, memories, and reflections. It will feature the recorded interviews of adult children, psychedelic luminaries, and everyday psychedelic users on the topics of child rearing, family life, and the integration of the psychedelic subculture into everyday society. It will also feature a BBS discussion forum where users can ask questions, start debates, and tell stories about their own experiences of parenting, childhood, and intentional living. It is my hope that this work will eventually find its way into print or presentation form, and become a part of the larger discussion about these substances, originally known as hallucinogens, later as psychedelics (Greek for “mind-manifesting”), and most recently as entheogens (Greek for “manifesting the divine within”). Welcome to psychedelicparenting.org .
We wait with eager anticipation for your enthusiastic participation!