In this episode, Joe and Kyle decided to celebrate 9/20 by sitting down with friend, writer, Editor in Chief of the blog, and past Solidarity Friday member, Michelle Janikian.
Before Michelle was part of the PT team, she was one of our more popular podcast guests (in a very mushroom-heavy episode), and the writer of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion, a safety-focused and informative guidebook highlighting the many ways mushrooms can be used. So it made perfect sense to spend the mushroom holiday episode checking in with her and talking some psilocybin. She talks about what inspired her to write the book, the importance of learning how to trip and fostering a relationship with mushrooms, how using mushrooms solely for personal healing feels self-centered and a bit boring, the common opinion of many psychonauts that you need to do a large dose for your first time, the concept of mushrooms as tricksters who may be trying to hurt you, the joy of foraging, how much we all tend to romanticize Indigenous culture and perceived wisdom, and the value of being honest with yourself about what you want out of a psychedelic experience and developing your own rituals.
And she talks about what’s been biggest in her life recently: the time she spent living in the house she was raised in as her parents prepared it to be sold, and how doing mushrooms there after all these years not only made her feel reconnected to the house and its surrounding woods in a special way, but also gave her a ton of new gratitude for what her parents did to provide that for her. She feels much closer to her parents now and wants to have a mushroom or MDMA session with them- something many of us could benefit greatly from.
If you want to win a free signed copy of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion and a whole host of other great mushroom and psychedelic-themed stuff, make sure to enter our huge 920 giveaway before it ends tonight at midnight! Happy Holidays!
“I feel like when folks only make their psychedelic work about healing, it seems a bit self-centered. It does feel a bit like if you make it all about yourself and healing your problems, …to the plant and the rest of the universe, [that] kind of seems a bit petty, perhaps. Not to be rude- we all deserve to heal ourselves, but I think that when we go in with just an intention to do that, we’re putting blinders on, …and we are not going to be able to see the rest of what’s going on here. It’s bigger than you.”
“Mushrooms are tricksters. We have to be a bit careful as a culture, welcoming mushrooms in. I mean, sure, let’s do it, they’re fun- they’re the life of the party. They should absolutely be part of our culture. But giving them so much responsibility, like healing mental illness of the world, for me, I don’t know if that’s actually the best idea, as someone who communicates and listens to them quite often.”
“People who use mushrooms are quite smart, and I think a lot of them are being ignored or not part of this new conversation, and that’s a shame. It shouldn’t be like that. I think a lot of them want nothing to do with this new clinical world either. They’re like, ‘Ehh, you can have that. I have my ritual, and it works for me.’ And I just want people to develop their own rituals and find out what works for them. That’s why I collected so many in one place, so you can kind of pick and choose what’s right to you. Everyone’s different. And in the true ‘think for yourself and question authority’ manner, Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion: It’ll help you figure it out. I don’t know if you really need everyone else telling you what to do. I think you know what you want to do, you’ve just got to listen.”
About Michelle Janikian
Michelle Janikian is a journalist and the author of Your Psilocybin Mushroom Companion (Ulysses Press, 2019), the down-to-earth guide that details everything you need to know about taking magic mushrooms safely and mindfully. Michelle actively covers psychedelic and cannabis education, harm reduction, and research in her work, which has been featured in Playboy, Rolling Stone, High Times, DoubleBlind Mag and others. Currently, she’s the editor-in-chief of Psychedelics Today and an occasional co-host of their podcast. She’s passionate about the healing potential of psychedelic plants and substances, and the legalization and de-stigmatization of all drugs. Find out more about her work on her website michellejanikian.com or follow her on Instagram (@michelle.janikian), Twitter (@m00shian) and Facebook (@Michelle.Janikian).
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