By Michelle Janikian
From virtual psychedelic integration circles to conferences, book clubs, and classes, we’ve rounded up the best of online psychedelic community to help you get through the next few months.
We’re almost a year into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and if you’re feeling quarantine-fatigued, believe us, we get it. We are too. However, like we’ve been mentioning in our Solidarity Fridays podcast, that doesn’t give us an excuse to ignore safety precautions and begin meeting in large groups to do medicine or integration work. But the good news is, there are lots of virtual psychedelic community options to get involved in as we ride out the last of Covid. From online integration circles to events, conferences, and Discord and Facebook groups, there are plenty of ways to meet like-minded folk, both in your area and all over the world. So don’t lose hope and join us in an upcoming online community event that speaks to you – there are plenty of options!
Virtual Psychedelic Integration Circles
One of the best ways to meet like-minded folks and to stay grounded while doing personal psychedelic journey work is to join a psychedelic integration circle. Pre-pandemic, these were often groups of 10 to 20 people who would meet up once a month or so to share psychedelic experiences and insights in a safe and accepting space. Luckily, most of the circles that were already established migrated to online platforms and are still going strong today, which also means that folks who live outside of big cities where these were hosted in-person can now join from anywhere in the world. Plus, there are lots of specialty integration circles for particular groups so you can choose the meet-up that makes you feel the most safe and comfortable.
General Integration Circles Open to Anyone
Before we describe all the speciality integration groups, we thought we’d start with some of the general integration circles we know of and trust. First up, our friends at Mt. Tam Integration host an open circle every Wednesday evening on a sliding scale from free to $30, depending on what you can afford.
The Portland Psychedelic Society hosts an open integration circle called “Community Integration Circle” every other Saturday afternoon.
Lastly, the NYC Psychedelic Society has teamed up with the New York-based Psychedelic Sangha to offer a monthly harm-reduction focused integration circle, called “Global Gathering” with a $5 to $10 suggested donation.
San Francisco Psychedelic Society
One of the most active psychedelic societies hosting an array of psychedelic integration circles and other online community opportunities is the San Francisco Psychedelic Society (SFPS). They host a general psychedelic integration circle open to anyone who’s interested on the first Tuesday of every month, but it’s all their specialty offerings that really make them stand out.
They host an integration circle specifically for those with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on the second Monday of every month, a women’s circle called “Sacred Sisters Spaceship” on the third Friday of every month, and a circle for BIPOC folk on the fourth Sunday of every month (each circle has its own link, so visit the main page for more details).
SFPS, along with MycoRising also hosts a group specifically for mushroom people where folks can discuss both mushroom cultivation questions as well as any entheogenic mushroom concepts and experiences on the first Thursday of every month. They also host a group for microdosing support, The Microdosing Movement, on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
For those in addiction recovery, SFPS have an addiction-focused circle for asking questions and sharing experiences, which is more focused on harm-reduction than following the traditional 12-step program. They also offer a dream circle for folks to come discuss and integrate their dream work in a safe and open-minded space.
One of the best things about SFPS is their affordable pricing model. They only ask for a donation of around $10 for groups and will not turn anyone away if they can’t afford even that.
More BIPOC Circles: The Sabina Project & Others
Feeling safe, seen, and heard is so crucial to psychedelic integration work, which is why a lot of psychedelic societies around the country have started their own specifically BIPOC integration circles led by and open to people of color. The Sabina Project, a community that supports “radical self-transformation in the name of collective liberation,” also hosts a BIPOC circle on the first and third Sunday of every month, co-facilitated by their founders, Charlotte and Dre.
Other local groups also host BIPOC circles, like the New York City Psychedelic Society, which hosts a virtual integration circle for people of color once a month. The Portland Psychedelic Society also hosts a monthly BIPOC integration circle.
More Women’s Integration Circles
Another popular choice for people to feel safe and heard in integration spaces are women’s integration circles (which are often also opened up to non-binary people). Mt Tam Integration hosts a virtual women’s circle on the first and third Thursday of every month. The Portland Psychedelic Society also hosts a Womxn’s Support Group every other Wednesday.
Men’s Integration Circle
The Portland Psychedelic Society doesn’t only have a womxn’s support group, but also one for men on Mondays.
Trans and Non-binary Circle
The NYC Psychedelic Society hosts a peer-led circle specifically for trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and gender-questioning folk called “Transdelic” once a month on Tuesdays.
Psychedelic Integration Circle for Parents
There is also a virtual integration group specifically for parents, the Plant Parenthood Integration Circle, facilitated by Rebecca Kronman, LCSW (founder of Plant Parenthood) and Andrew Rose. This group meets virtually once a month to discuss issues such as talking to children about psychedelics, including children in the integration process, understanding intergenerational trauma, coping with stigma and shame in parent communities, and much more.
Psychedelic Integration for Neurodivergent Folk
Folks with neurodivergence or who are on the autism spectrum also have a few of their own spaces to integrate psychedelic experiences. Aaron Orsini, author of Autism on Acid, hosts a group with Justine Lee called The Autistic Psychedelic Community (APC). They meet on Thursdays and Sundays for folks to share experiences, receive support, and ask questions.
The Portland Psychedelic Society also hosts a virtual space for neurodivergent folks (facilitated by Orsini and artist Nathan Cooper) called “Spectrum of Experience.” The next free/donation-based event will be on March 11th.
Psychedelics in Addiction Recovery
In addition to SFPS’s recovery circle, there is also a 12-step based group that hosts multiple meetings a week for those in addiction recovery who are curious about or engaging with psychedelics. Founded by writer and addiction counselor, Kevin Franciotti, Psychedelics in Recovery (PIR) has 15 meetings a week and even host a couple meant to cater to those in European and Australian time zones. You can sign up for their weekly meeting newsletter for days and times, and they also have a private Facebook group for people to continue to form and engage in virtual community in between meetings.
Psychedelic Societies: Beyond Integration Circles
There are loads of psychedelic societies and clubs around the country and globe continuing to form psychedelic community through other online activities, like live talks, events, Facebook and Discord groups, and other saloon-type virtual meetups. Some of our favorites include:
· Minnesota Psychedelic Society
· Cascadia Psychedelic Community
There are many more psychedelic clubs and societies with virtual offerings around the world that you can find on Psychedelicexperience.net and around the US on Psychedeliclub.com.
Online Psychedelic Courses
Another great way to build community and learn some valuable info at the same time is by enrolling in an online course related to psychedelics. There are a lot of different courses out there, with some popular topics including learning how to become a psychedelic therapist, how to grow your own mushrooms, and how to use psychedelics safely.
Of course, if you follow our work, you’ll know we’re very proud of our online course offerings here at Psychedelics Today, which you can browse in our course catalogue here. But one of our biggest contributions to the psychedelic movement is our “Navigating Psychedelics for Clinicians and Therapists” course, which is an 8-week intensive class on everything interested mental health professionals need to know about psychedelic substances. The course is super handy for clinicians and coaches who want to deepen their knowledge of entheogens so that they can help support their patients and clients who might be considering a psychedelic experience or already experimenting (plus we offer CE credits!). The course is also a great way to form community and valuable working relationships with other professionals because it includes weekly live 90-minute group discussions and Q&A sessions to explore the reading and lecture of that week in more depth, as well as a private Slack group for clinicians to continue to network, problem-solve, and educate each other on psychedelic and mental health topics.
Of course, we also have a whole catalogue of other courses, not limited to offerings for doctors and therapists. We have all sorts of offerings for the curious-minded, like our class that explores how to view the psychedelic experience through a Jungian lens, called Imagination as Revelation, and a deep dive into shadow work called Psychedelics and the Shadow. We also have great entry-level classes for those looking to experiment with psychedelics in a safe and responsible way, like our in-depth Navigating Psychedelics: Lessons on Self Care, and our totally free 8 Common Psychedelic Mistakes: Exploring Harm Reduction & Safety. And that’s just a taste – we have other offerings (some that are even free!), and we’re always working on new ideas, like our upcoming free webinar exploring the legal side of psychedelics, Religious Use of Psychedelics in the United States. You can always sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of our offerings!
If you’re interested in learning how to grow or use mushrooms, then we’d recommend checking out the virtual courses our friends down at the Fungi Academy host. Their mushroom cultivation course is the most in-depth online class we’ve seen; a go-at-your-own-pace class, it covers everything beginner and intermediate home-growers need to know, from equipment, inoculation and sterilization, to more advanced techniques like working with liquid cultures and maximizing yields. Plus, students also receive access to their Discord channel to continue to socialize with and learn from other mushroom people from around the globe.
They’re also about to release a class on using psychedelics in a safe way called Psychedelic Journey Work, which I’ve had the privilege to peruse. It’s a super in-depth and unbiased approach to psychedelic use that I found fascinating and helpful, especially for the newly psychedelic-curious person in your life!
Over at DoubleBlind Mag, they’re also dipping their toes in online courses, events, and community. They also teach a 101 mushroom cultivation course that is great for total beginners because it uses one of the easiest and most fail-safe “teks” (mushroom people lingo for techniques) out there. And they’ve recently released a more advanced 102 course co-taught by Dr. K. Mandrake, co-author of the popular books, The Psilocybin Mushroom Bible and The Psilocybin Mushroom Cookbook.
The Sabina Project also hosts monthly masterclasses with a social justice slant. In March, they’re offering “Microdosing to Dismantle Your Oppression,” which will not only teach the basics of microdosing, but moves away from the “productivity” benefits of microdosing and instead, focuses on creating a healing practice that “honors your spiritual, mental and physical wellness” to “help dismantle White Supremacy.” The 90-minute master class is open to anyone, only costs $22, and is a live group gathering.
There are many more online courses related to psychedelics out there, especially for those looking to learn about becoming a psychedelic therapist or facilitator. You can find a bunch on this website Aaron Orsini created, Psychedelic.Courses, and through our post: How to Become a Psychedelic Therapist.
Virtual Psychedelic Conferences
In pre-pandemic times, one of my favorite ways to forge new psychedelic community was by attending conferences. These kinds of large events will probably be one of the last types of gatherings to start up again in person, but that doesn’t mean they’re going extinct! In fact, with so many conferences going online, it’s actually opened up a new opportunity for folks in small towns and big cities alike to attend conferences they never would have been able to in person. While the bulk of conference season is usually in the fall, there are a few fun ones coming up around Bicycle Day (April 19th) that we’re already getting excited about.
First up, our friend Daniel Shankin from Mt. Tam Integration and who organizes the fun and pleasantly weird Psilocybin Summit in September, will be hosting the first-ever conference focused entirely on psychedelic integration (and everything in between), called the Mt. Tam Psychedelic Integration Family All Star Jamboree. It’ll be a totally virtual 3-day event from April 16-18th, packed with fascinating talks, panels, experts, and music! Our team here at Psychedelics Today is already plotting our involvement and we’re so excited to share more info with you all soon!
Earlier that week on April 14-16th, the Philosophy of Psychedelics conference will also be 100% online and feature talks from some of the greatest thinkers in psychedelics (including our very own Joe Moore and Kyle Buller, who will be moderating some fascinating discussions). Plus, the conference plans to facilitate many virtual group discussions open to the public that will be a great way to forge community and learn from other psychedelically-inclined new friends. More info will be released shortly and you can stay up to date by visiting their website.
The next week, our friends over at Chacruna.net will also be hosting their own online conference, Sacred Plants in the Americas II from April 23-25th. This multidisciplinary event will focus on psychoactive plants of North and South America and will spotlight the Indigenous communities who have kept their healing wisdom alive for generations.
Lastly, our friends at Psychedelic Seminars are also hosting a three-part series of online talks called CryptoPsychedelic Flashback. These three online events are a look back at the first CryptoPsychedelic Summit, which took place in February of 2018. Now, those involved are reconvening to discuss cryptocurrencies through a psychedelic lens, and how blockchain technology has grown in the three years since the original summit. Tickets are on a sliding scale and unsurprisingly, they accept cryptocurrencies!
Psychedelic Facebook Groups, Discord Channels, and Clubhouse Rooms
Another way to build some form of community in these weird times is by joining psychedelic message boards, Facebook groups, Discord channels, and most recently, Clubhouse rooms. We moderate a very active Facebook Group called Psychedelics Today Group where our listeners share psychedelic current events, ask questions, share experiences, and engage in healthy discourse.
There are tons of other groups out there on Facebook and sites like Erowid, Shroomery, Reddit, and others. Mt. Tam integration also has a Discord group, and I saw recently they’re on Clubhouse as well. Speaking of Clubhouse, there’s a bunch of psychedelic clubs already on there, and it seems to be really easy to start your own. We’re looking into joining soon, so stand by for more info!
Other Fun and Weird Psychedelic Online Events
For the book nerds out there, my friend Bett Williams, author of The Wild Kindness, has started a psychedelic book club that meets monthly. Every month, they read a different psychedelic classic, curated and hosted by Williams herself *squeals in fan girl*. Next up on March 11th, they’ll be discussing one of my favorite sci-fi, gender-fuck classics, Dawn, by Octavia Butler.
There are seemingly endless ways to get involved with virtual psychedelic community, and here at Psychedelics Today, we’re always trying to find new ways to grow our community and keep our listeners and readers involved. We recently hosted a “happy hour” panel discussion for the new psychedelic film, Light Years, with director Colin Thompson and co-host Joe Moore, where we invited all of you to come hang out and discuss whatever you want.
We plan to keep providing these kinds of online community events because we know how important “finding the others” is and how much more sense the world of psychedelics makes when you can share it with fellow travelers. So continue to seek out and attend virtual community events, and by the time we can all meet-up again, it’ll be an epic party.
About the Author
Michelle Janikian is a journalist focused on drug policy, trends, and education, and the editor of the Psychedelics Today blog. She’s also the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion and her work has been featured in Playboy, DoubleBlind Mag, High Times, Rolling Stone, and Teen Vogue, among others. One of her core beliefs is that ending the prohibition of drugs can greatly benefit society, as long as we have harm-reduction education to accompany it. Find out more on her website: michellejanikian.com or on Instagram @michelle.janikian.