Your environment affects your journey
“Setting” is the physical and social environment in which you experience a psilocybin journey. You want to be where you feel safe, open, free, comfortable, clean, protected, and empowered.
First, you must decide whether you want to be inside or outside. A familiar indoor space (e.g., your bedroom or living room) often allows for a more meditative state of mind while providing a greater sense of safety and insulation from unpredictable elements (e.g., people, machinery, weather, sounds, etc.).
A safe outdoor environment can help you connect with the vastness and beauty of nature. Being with the trees, mountains, rivers, oceans, animals, birds, insects, clouds, and wind and watching these beings “breathe” can inspire a new relationship with nature.
An ideal option is a setting that provides the benefits of both indoor and outdoor spaces. For example, journeying in a quiet, secluded cabin in the middle of a forest with a patio and large windows lets you move between different environments quickly and safely.
If you are not in a warm indoor space, have plenty of warm clothes and blankets available to stay comfortable and feel relaxed getting naked if called. Also, avoid strangers and don’t get lost.
In any case, have a safe, comfortable, and quiet place to lie down and relax and easy access to a toilet or a natural area to relieve yourself.
Organize and clean your environment. Remove clutter and objects you might trip over or give you unhappy feelings (e.g., a pile of dirty laundry). Be mindful of sharp or breakable objects, and remove them if you feel more relaxed without them around. The cleaner your space, the better; it is impossible to predict what you want to do and where your body will be in the room or environment. For example, you may lie on the floor or roll around the room. Having soft pillows and blankets can comfort you.
A stressful, fearful, noisy, or dirty environment may result in an unpleasant experience. Conversely, a warm, cozy, and safe place is more conducive to a relaxing and joyful experience. Thus, to maximize the chances of having a pleasant, healing, and mind-expanding journey, take seriously the preparation of your physical space.
You may prepare a playlist of healing music of at least six hours. Many curated playlists are available online (search “psilocybin playlist” on Google).
You are also free to create your own playlists. It’s best to select music you find comforting, calming, and awe-inspiring. You may want to consider including:
It’s best to avoid angry rap music or pieces with too many lyrics. However, everyone has different tastes: The authors have heard a story about someone who has had transformative experiences listening to death metal.
One of the authors has personally tripsat for someone who only wanted to listen to loud, raucous classical music that others would find far too aggressive and jarring. She had life-changing experiences.
Towards the end of the journey, we may listen to whatever we wish on the come-down, including songs with lyrics.
You will also want to prepare headphones or speakers with your musical selection. Speakers may be the preferred option for higher doses because keeping headphones over your ears may sometimes prove challenging.
Sometimes, silence is precisely what you need, especially if things feel like they may be overwhelming. A change in music or a shift to silence can change the tone of your experience. If in nature, you may not want music at all - nature sounds carry their own vibrational frequency, which can be very healing. A birdsong or an insect’s buzz can interrupt patterns of rigid thinking and be a reminder of how simple life can be.
Psilocybin tends to unlock creative energies, so you may want to have art supplies and writing material ready if you feel inspired to express yourself.
Prepare a favorite picture, flower, plant, painting, or image to have around you. Photos of your parents, siblings, ancestors, and children can be powerful, especially if these beings are related to your intentions. These artifacts can bring up and help you feel and process complex emotions. You may wish to create an altar of sacred and meaningful objects.