Psychedelic Press UK Journal 2015 Volume 1 is Out Now
Solve et coagula – to come apart and then reform – is a long-standing alchemical motto, a chemistry of mind and material, and arguably the most apparent philosophy in the practice and study of psychedelic efficacy. It is also an important theme that runs through our newly published Psychedelic Press UK journal: 2015 Volume 1, which is available from our new publisher website here.
Chaos magician Dave Lee’s article, which bears the motto as its title, describes the potential collapse in one’s everyday identity through the use of psychoactive substances, and the ability to, not only heal, but provide ritualised extraordinary states of experience for workings.
The profound importance of a framework for undergoing such trips, in Dave’s case the Chaos Magick model, implies the vital role that carefully mediated intentions provide when embarking on such an adventure. In From Addiction to Recovery using Altered States of Consciousness, Drs. Ben Sessa and Matthew Johnson recount the research by which medical science employs a similar philosophy in order to combat substance addiction; thereby taking the intention, in this case healing, and understanding it through a Medical model.
While the language differs in the models, the mechanism of solve et coagula remains vital in the overcoming of the identity of addiction, as it does for magickal workings. Moreover, the element of transformation that is present in psychedelic experiences, can also be seen at work in Near-Death Experiences and Out of Body Experiences: Sam Gandy examines the transformative similarities in his exploration of research Dying to Live.
Of course, in understanding the experience of psychedelic efficacy, it is important to be able to come to terms with the apparent warping of one’s place in space-time. Serena Roney-Dougal’s article Altered States of Time: The Faery Reality explores the folktales of people who have visited, and partied, with the fey, only to return to their own time and find that all has aged disproportionally from themselves. Living a different reality, whether that be by a little faery-cake or an invite from a friendly elf, has an effect on one’s perception—an element intrinsically tied to identity.
Yet, having entered into these magickal working spaces, it is the reformation of identity and intention afterwards, as one returns to breathing the air of the everyday, where the act of healing takes shape. In Magick and Psychedelics: It’s the Drugs Talking, Julian Vayne and Nikki Wyrd discuss the importance of returning, along with the models with which we, as a culture, use to come to terms with the nature of new psychoactive substances: MDMA’s emergence in the 1980s being a case in point. And at the root of self-transformation, therefore, lies the possibility of social and cultural transformation through the manner in which understandings and uses are formed.
The cultural (re)integration and management of psychoactive plants and their cultures has been at the centre of an on-going debate between the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) and a group of leading academics and ayahuasca researchers: seemingly a battle between a Western, corporatised, non-profit organisation and the hallowed, white towers of academia. Centred on whether or not the ESC is going about its business in a constructive and viable manner, Devin Van Dyck’s Reflections on ESC & the Psychedelic Renaissance provides a detailed, thorough, and oftentimes humourous, analysis of the situation.
By the time institutions and organizations begin their battles, we have perhaps already gone too far away from the realms of, in this case, ayahuasca, for us to understand just what and whose identity is being played with: the culture game, as Timothy Leary might have said. Scott Halperin’s article, Arne Naess and the Archaic Revival: Sacred Plants and Environmental Consciousness, seeks to explore the manner through which the psychedelic experience itself can provide an identity for society at large—a reawakening of the awareness of ourselves as beings intrinsically linked with our surroundings.
In 2015, I hope that the psychedelic process of solve et coagula can further cement magickal reawakening throughout all the ritual spaces – the spheres, the laboratories, the fields – and out into society-at-large. Pick up your copy here: http://psychedelicpress.co.uk/collections/books/products/psychedelic-press-uk-journal-2015-volume-1