Top Five moments in psychedelic history: Part 2, Psychiatry

I got inspired by this series idea, so I’ll definitely be bringing a few more. This week I want to focus on psychiatric history of psychedelic experimentation. Not only because it’s very interesting as general reading, but also because it showcases some of the amazing potential of consciousness altering drugs. Ancient Shamanism Since ancient times, man has used psychedelics as a means to enter the spirit world. The primary task for such states was to diagnose and heal illnesses – typically taken to mean by modern folk as colds and the like – but anything manifesting as ‘mental illness’ would have been brought to the medicine man, or shaman. In some culture’s naturally occurring altered states like this were taken as the birth of a new shaman. In one African village, such people were taken into the mountains to find a totem. A pretty vast contrast to our pills and mental wards. But we can see the link actually when we see that not only do many ancient herbal medicines actually work scientifically, but the use of psychedelics has since …