A year ago, I listened to journalist Glynis Horning talk on the radio so tenderly and bravely about her book Waterboy: Making Sense of My Son’s Suicide. At the time, I was investigating the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin (the psychoactive ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) in a personal capacity. I wondered tentatively whether perhaps it might have had a positive impact on this young man’s depression and possibly saved his life. Given that studies at Johns Hopkins University into psilocybin suggest that accompanied by supportive psychotherapy and “under controlled conditions [psilocybin], can lead to significant and durable improvements in depression”.

In my subsequent readings and conversations with those for whom no amount of “chimney sweeping” (talk therapy) or big pharma conjurings could shift, it was experiences with ketamine, psilocybin and MDMA which seemed to be able to reach those dark corners and bring about healing — possibly because so much trauma happens preverbally.

Interest in and usage of psilocybin is spreading like the threads of underground mycelium. This has been aided and abetted by books and movies of the author and self-described “reluctant psychonaut” Michael Pollan and his personal journey with psychedelics, and the mushroom-hatted mycologist advocate of medicinal fungi and mycoremediation Paul Stamets.  A new vocabulary has mushroomed, and individuals are earnestly sharing written accounts of their life-changing journeys using entheogens (psychoactive substances used in ritual). ….more