A deep psychedelic trip can be one of the most daunting and intense experiences you can have. A good trip can leave you feeling elated for days afterwards, and can be one of the most pleasurable and enjoyable experiences you can have. On the other hand, a bad trip can shake you to your core leaving you scared or possibly even depressed.
It’s important to really understand and respect psychedelic substances like LSD, Magic Mushrooms, and DMT before you go out on an intense psychedelic journey. Psychedelics can bring past traumas to the surface, elicit intense emotions and thoughts, and teach you things about yourself you never knew before. Even for an experienced tripper, a trip on a new substance can come as a great surprise.
I’ve compiled a list of the best books on psychedelics to help you prepare for an amazing next psychedelic trip. These 10 books are written by expert scientists, seasoned trippers, and psychonauts alike to educate you on all aspects of psychedelics and guarantee you have a fantastic next trip.
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How To Change Your Mind – Michael Pollen
What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
Michael Pollen, an LSD and Psilocybin researcher, unexpectedly found psychedelic substances to improve the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life. This book takes a deep dive into a singular adventure into various altered states of consciousness, along with a dive deep into both the latest brain science and the thriving underground community of psychedelic therapists.
Pollen’s story is a journey to an exciting and unexpected new frontier in our understanding of the mind, the self, and our place in the world.
“Normal waking consciousness feels perfectly transparent, and yet it is less a window on reality than the product of our imaginations-a kind of controlled hallucination.” – Pollen
The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide – James Fadiman
Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
This is the all you ever need to know guide on how to use psychedelics. James Fadiman has been doing research on psychedelics since the 1960s looking into the healing and self discovery effects that psychedelic compounds offer.
In this expert work, Fadiman outlines best practices for safe, sacred entheogenic voyages learned through his more than 40 years of experience from the benefits of having a sensitive guide during a session (and how to be one) to the importance of the setting and pre-session intention.
“The increased awareness offered by psychedelics comes in different forms. In higher doses taken in safe and sacred settings, they facilitate recognition of one’s intimate relationship with all living things.” – Fadiman
The Psychedelic Experience – Timothy Leary
A Manual Based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead
The Psychedelic Experience is the essential guidebook for experienced and inexperienced trippers alike. This foundational text serves as a model and a guide for all mind-expanding inquiries written by the prophetic shaman-professors Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass).
This guide dives more deeply into the spiritual side of psychedelics and acts as guide for awakening-seekers using substances to attain mystical knowledge and experiences.
“Whether you experience heaven or hell, remember that it is your mind which creates them.” – Leary
A Really Good Day – Ayelet Waldman
How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life
This book is a microdose memoir by Ayelet Waldman who tells the story of how psychedelics saved her from debilitating depression and suicide. The story of Waldman gives inexperienced and hesitant users a glimpse into the healing possibilities of psychedelics.
As Waldman charts her experiences over the course of a month, during which she achieved a newfound feeling of serenity, she also explores the history and mythology of LSD, the cutting-edge research into the drug, and the byzantine policies that control it.
“If, for example, you take the drug in a psychotherapeutic set and setting, you will focus on personal issues and may gain insights relevant to your emotional life. If you take the drug anticipating a spiritual experience and in a spiritually encouraging environment, you may have a transcendent mystical experience” – Waldman
The Wild Kindness – Bett Williams
A Psilocybin Odyssey
The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is an unforgettable memoir of Bett Williams’s relationship with psilocybin mushrooms, otherwise known as magic mushrooms. Bett Williams recounts her healing encounters with psilocybin and how it can help you heal.
Amidst the mainstream flood of New Age practices and products, The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is a dreamlike reminder that psilocybin mushrooms are a medicine of the people, not to be neatly packaged, marketed, or appropriated.
“Our moment is defined by a collective state of consciousness so infused with cognitive dissonance and surreality that it can only be called psychedelic, and not in a good way. Not knowing what the fuck is going on is the shared purgatory we all now live in.” – Williams
Trip – Tao Lin
Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change
Trip takes readers on a trip through psychedelic culture, from D.A.R.E. to Aldous Huxley, from NYU’s Bobst Library to a plant-drawing class in Santa Rosa, California. Tao details the experience of taking psilocybin, DMT, and cannabis studying their chemical composure and legality.
This story dives into deep topics like death, existence, society, and art in the paradigm of psychedelics. This is truly a psychedelic book.
“The reason we feel alienated is because the society is infantile, trivial, and stupid. So the cost of sanity in this society is a certain level of alienation.” – Lin
High Priest – Timothy Leary
High Priest was written by psychedelic mega-figure and psychologist Timothy Leary known as a hero of American consciousness.
This text from the earliest days of psychedelia chronicles the experiences of 16 acid trips taken before LSD was illegal. It tells of the goings-on and freaking out at the Millbrook mansion in New York State that became the Mecca of psychedelia during the 1960s, and of the many luminaries who made their pilgrimage there to trip with Leary.
“It is habit, fear, and laziness that keep people from changing after an LSD experience. It’s so much easier to doubt your divinity, drift back to speaking English, wearing ties, playing the old game.” – Leary
The Doors of Perception – Aldous Huxley
The Doors of Perception is the most profound and influential explorations of mind-expanding psychedelic drugs ever written. It is actually a combined 2-in-1 book where Huxley reveals the mind’s remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness.
Huxley discusses the limits of the human mind and our perceptions and how psychedelics like mescalin can break us through to previously inaccessible senses, sensations, and experiences.
“To be enlightened is to be aware, always, of total reality in its immanent otherness – to be aware of it and yet remain in a condition to survive as an animal. Our goal is to discover that we have always been where we ought to be.” – Huxley
DMT The Spirit Molecule – Rick Strassman
A Doctor’s Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experienes.
This book recounts how a clinical psychiatrist explores the effects of DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known to man. His detailed account of therapeutic DMT sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.
This amazing book documents the individuals who endured the therapy and reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, aliens, angels, and spirits. Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.
“Psychedelics show you what’s in and on your mind, those subconscious thoughts and feelings that are are hidden, covered up, forgotten, out of sight, maybe even completely unexpected, but nevertheless imminently present.” – Strassman
LSD My Problem Child – Albert Hofmann
Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism, and Science
Dr. Albert Hofmann, the inventer and father of LSD, traces the path of the drug from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition.
Dr. Hofmann documents his trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD and shares correspondences with notable figures including Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and Walter Vogt. The underlying current of this book is Dr. Hofmann’s powerful conclusion that mystical experiences may be our planet’s best hope for survival
“LSD trips and the space flights of the astronauts are comparable in many respects. Both enterprises require very careful preparations, as far as measures for safety as well as objectives are concerned, in order to minimize dangers and to derive the most valuable results possible.” – Hofmann
Psychedelic research, prepping, and planning is crucial for having a “good trip”. These psychedelic books should give you all the knowledge you could ever want to know about psychedelic experiences and how to prepare for an amazing trip on LSD, shrooms, or any other psychedelic compound.
These are the best books out there written by psychedelic expert scientists and trippers. Give a few of them a peruse before your next mind-altering adventure for a guaranteed good time.