This is Psychedelico.

I made up this word “psychedelico” a couple of years ago (or thought I did, anyway) to mean a person who uses psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin or LSD, regularly or semi-regularly to explore so-called altered states of consciousness without, necessarily, any deeper cultural connotation outside a purely Western intellectual context. That is to say: someone seeking to understand the psychedelic experience from the standpoint of a contemporary Western person living in the contemporary Western world—though occasionally, perhaps, drawing on Eastern modalities when there are no clear Western frameworks to navigate these experiences.

In other words, I wanted a way to describe myself and how I used and thought about psychedelics, the psychedelic experience, and the implications of psychedelic consciousness—and “psychonaut” never really resonated with me.

Psychedelico, capitalized and italicized, is an extension of this idea. It is one man’s self-conscious exploration of his own encounters with psychedelics, primarily psilocybin, and attempts to situate those encounters in terms of modernity, philosophy, art, science, and, especially, self-identity. Grappling with the questions and implications of the psychedelic experience have, for me, become insistent, demanding, urgent: a personal imperative I cannot easily allow to languish on my intellectual back burner any longer.

This Web site will be my primary vehicle to think and talk openly and authentically about my experiences with psychedelic consciousness in the (sometimes flawed) spirit of Aldous Huxley, Humphrey Osmond, Henri Michaux, Alan Watt, Terrence McKenna, Tim Ferriss, and Hamilton Morris to name a few; an open notebook in the form of long- and medium-form writing, with occasional briefer musings, paired with thoughts, ideas, and other tidbits and memoranda shared on social media.

I do wish to be clear that I do not condone the gatekeeping of psychedelics by any group of people, regardless of any long-standing historical association with them. There seems to be a misguided belief that

I’ve thought about this project for years; now it’s the final weeks of 2023 as I finally write this introduction. I don’t know what Psychedelico will look like in a month or year or decade down the line, and that’s fine. My goal for today is simply to get the momentum going, then build on it little by little. For now, welcome. This is Psychedelico.

Image: Miró 19 (2024) // Credit: Midjourney and the author // Prompt: “psychedelic visions in the style of Joan Miró –ar 16:9”