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Enhancing your journey with the power of music

Updated: Mar 20

When considering a psilocybin journey, a profound tool that shapes your journey is the music you select. Research has shown that the right music can support self-exploration, induce a sense of safety and connectedness, and even influences the intensity of your experience.

According to the article by Frontiers, Music programming for psilocybin-assisted therapy: Guided Imagery and Music-informed perspectives, below is my summary of their guidelines and considerations for you to create your own impactful playlist.

Choosing the right music:

  • Intensity will vary based on three phases: ascent, peak, and descent.

  • Choose music from a variety of genres and styles. These may include: classical, hand pan, jazz, electronic, rock, shamanic, nature, solfeggio frequencies, ambient, overtone singing or world music (eg. Native American, African, Latin, Indian, Middle Eastern, Celtic, Reggae, Sufi, Japanese, Australian, Māori, Flamenco, etc.)

  • Avoid music that has language you are familiar with. This will prevent you from getting drawn into the lyrics instead of your journey.

  • Listen critically to the music pieces. What kind of emotion does it evoke?

Creating your own playlist:

  • Explore existing psychedelic playlists created by research institutes, retreat centers, or experienced psychonauts. They often will already contain music with the features above.

  • Arrange the music sequence into waves of emotional and psychological progression. (See table below) Consider your transitions, contrasts and overall flow of the music.

  • If you feel really serious about it, consider using tools like Taxonomy of Therapeutic Music (TTM) to assess the intensity of the music piece to place it in the correct timeframe.

EXAMPLE FOR PLANNING (simplified from Frontier article)

Total time: 5.6 hours (adjust accordingly; 15-24.9mg = 4 hr. minimum, 25-34.9mg = 5 hr. minimum, and 35-50mg = 6 hr. minimum)




Ascent Phase - Opening

Calm, melodic, inviting

23:30 min

Ascent Phase - Onset

Increasingly more rhythmical

17:02 min

Ascent Phase - Build to Peak

Expansive, slow, sacred, solemn

10:30 min

Peak Phase - Going Inside

Dramatic, forceful, dark, pushy, insisting, ambiguous

30:33 min

Peak Phase - Confrontation & Surrender

Expansive, intense, challenging, mystical, sacred, cosmic

30:19 min

Peak Phase - Plateau

Expansive, intense, challenging, mystical, sacred, cosmic

9:29 min

Peak Phase - Transcendence

Sacred, powerful, opening, mystical, spacious

39:31 min

Descent Phase - Emotional Release

Empathic, thoughtful, melancholic, emotional, lofty

43:35 min

Descent Phase - Reflection & Integration

Hesitant, questioning, strange, thoughtful, contrasting

11:27 min

Descent Phase - Acceptance & Relief

Lyrical, affectionate, tender, heartfelt, holding

43:07 min

Descent Phase - Celebration

Celebrative, rhythmical, vocal, repetitious, engaging and joyful,

38:18 min

Descent Phase - Landing and Return

Increasingly more calm, soft, steady and predictable

70:09 min

Music is something that is deeply personal and can be a way to connect with your journey during your preparation phase. It is a powerful ally for you during your journey, so perform this exercise with intention and love, it has the capacity to guide you through a profound inner voyage.

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While indigenous people have been using psychedelic for time immoral, there is a resurgence in it's interest by Western culture and Oregon is the first state in the United States to legalize it.


This blog will be where I offer:

  • What Oregon's model looks like

  • The facilitator's role in psilocybin journeying

  • Risks and benefits of psilocybin journeying

  • Ethical conversations happening in this space

  • Supplying video, articles, and research for consideration

  • And more!

My lens is primarily through the social justice, harm reduction, and trauma informed perspective. I value integrity and transparency. I am in service to those who are marginalized, objectified, and oppressed on a daily basis. 

I do not claim to be an expert in this area. There are people who have been doing this work for a long time and are at the pulse of the movement. Please feel free to offer comments or additional insights in the comments! I just ask that you reflect on your offer of knowledge to see if it perpetuates harm to any culture, community, or individual and if it does that you refrain from sharing or ask for support on how to contribute without causing further harm. 

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