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What Is A Psychonaut?

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

magic mushrooms

Seeking Altered States to Explore the Human Mind

A question many newcomers to the psychedelic community ask is, “What is a psychonaut?” We’ll try to address that question in this article.

In this article, we look at the emerging subculture of psychedelics and why are they becoming increasingly popular again.

We’ll go over the definition of the term “psychonaut” and how it’s changed in recent years, as well as different sorts of psychonauts and some steps for achieving a positive trip.

Psychonaut – Definition

The word “psychonaut” is made up of two parts, both of which are derived from ancient Greek. The word psyche refers to the soul, mind, or spirit, and the suffix naut indicates seafaring. As a result, the most widely accepted definition of a psychonaut is “soul sailor” or “sailor of the soul”.

how to define psychonaut

Psychonauts rely on intentionally induced altered states of consciousness in order to investigate the human psyche. Although the term often refers to persons who utilize psychoactive drugs or substances, psychonauts may engage in various forms of exploration. For example, many might possibly address spiritual questions while others hope to discover useful knowledge in the name of science or even to further mental health treatment possibilities.

Although the word “psychonaut” usually describes people who use a psychedelic drug or a psychedelic substance (organic compounds), psychonauts may use other exploration methods to achieve altered states that can include the following:

Other Methods of Obtaining Altered States of Consciousness

  • Hypnosis

  • Dreams

  • Sensory Deprivation techniques

  • Meditation

  • Prayer

The term psychonautics derives from Greek as we’ve learned, the first modern usage of the term psychonaut was introduced by a German writer, Ernst Jünger in 1970.

Jünger was referring to a pharmacologist named Arthur Heffter. Heffter had discovered a way to isolate and extract mescaline in a cactus known as the peyote cactus. Heffter performed a series of tests on himself and then documented the findings.

Heffter, on the other hand, was not the only one interested in psychedelics. Many other prominent psychonauts, including Albert Hoffman, the scientist who experimented with LSD’s hallucinogenic qualities, have repeated this approach. Psychonauts have now gotten used to documenting their findings, either to share their information or as a technique of self-reflection.

Online forums are frequently used by modern-day psychonauts to share their experiences and studies. Surprisingly, the Psychonaut Web Mapping Project analyzed these posts to determine patterns in both known and novel psychoactive substances (NPS).

Why Do Psychonauts Use Hallucinogens and Other Psychoactive Substances?

Hallucination is regarded as one of the most efficient techniques for the seasoned psychonaut to probe the mind’s innermost depths. Psychedelics are one of the most powerful methods to cause hallucinations.

Among the most prevalent hallucinogenic drugs, often known as entheogens, are:

  • Psilocybin which is found in magic mushrooms

  • LSD – Lysergic acid diethylamide

  • Mescaline is a psychoactive substance extracted from the peyote cactus

  • DMT – N, N-dimethyltryptamine

However, there is a vast range of substances with mind-altering characteristics, both synthetic and organic, and psychonauts may choose to take any number of them to obtain altered states. The primary distinction between psychonauts and informal, recreational users is that psychonauts have a definite aim to understand something from their trip.

Are there Different Types of Psychonauts?

Psychonauts have existed throughout human history since the first individual was able to obtain an altered mental state through the use of psychoactive compounds found organically in nature or sensory deprivation techniques.

Despite the fact that Psychonauts have common themes, each individual’s mental excursion might be unique. However, there are different components of the mind that may be investigated.

We’ve provided a couple of examples below.

The Philosophical Psychonaut

Psychonauts may take a mind-altering journey with the intention to focus purely on philosophical subjects or interpret some aspects of their experiences from a philosophical viewpoint. This may involve studying subjects like human consciousness and self.

The Spiritual or Religious Psychonaut

These types of psychonauts are more interested in spiritual experiences than in practical purposes such as self-growth. An individual could take psychedelic drugs to investigate spiritual topics or as part of their religious beliefs and ceremonies. Many historical cultures worldwide have indulged in psychoactive compounds for spiritual or religious reasons.

Six Steps to Ensure a Positive Psychedelic Trip

personal growth

Experienced psychonauts know that appropriate preparation is essential for a pleasant psychedelic experience often referred to as a trip. Individuals may take a set of actions or “steps” to ensure that they get the most from their trip. The Six Ss is a common nickname for these actions or steps.

Dr. James Fadiman, a psychologist and psychedelics expert, developed the Six Ss in his book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide. Other psychonauts, though, appear to have modified them through time.

Following the instructions for each step is one of the most effective strategies to prepare for a trip and reduce the likelihood of negative consequences, we highly recommend it. The Six Ss are:

1. Set – Which is Short for Mindset

A person’s present mental attitude or mindset is referred to as their “set.” It’s one of the most significant factors to consider when determining whether or not a trip will be beneficial and informative. The right mood and obtaining suitable focus prior to a trip are important.

Because psychedelics tend to boost one’s mood, it’s important to take them while you’re in a good mood. As a result, most psychonauts advocate cultivating a calm and confident mentality the day before taking a psychedelic.

Many would also suggest setting a purpose for wanting to induce an altered state. What is the purpose of this experience, and what do you hope to achieve?

Psychedelic users might ask themselves questions such as what they wish to learn about themselves or how they can gain deeper insights about the world around them. Alternatively, they might concentrate on a certain aspect of personal development, such as improving focus, creativity, or mental health.

Let’s not forget throughout human history many have used these substances to seek ot spiritual questions as well. Humans have not just engaged in physical exploration but also self exploration and to study consciousness itself.

2. Setting – Your Environment

The environment in which the journey takes place is referred to as the setting. It should feel secure, comfortable, and familiar.

Many individuals love the psychedelic drug-induced augmentation of music and visual distortion. Some psychonauts, on the other hand, choose to limit sensory input when using psychedelic drugs in order to travel deeper, at least for a portion of the experience.

3. Substance – The Types of Psychedelic Compounds

Before using any psychoactive drug or substance for the first time, it is necessary to become familiarized with it.

What to expect, how to prepare, and what dosage to take are all crucial.

A good place to start your research is online psychonaut forums. Forums allow individuals to read about first-hand experiences of psychedelic use as well as different psychoactive drugs.
This helps to ensure that novice psychonauts are more likely to have a positive experience rather than an unpleasant trip.

how to have a good psychedelic trip substance

4. Sitter – a Trip Sitter, Guide, or Facilitator

A sitter, trip sitter, guide, or facilitator is someone who can help support and guide the person who is taking hallucinogenic substances during a trip. It’s always a good idea to have someone experienced around to help others while experiencing altered states of consciousness, especially if you are a novice.

The best option is to pick a trained facilitator that is able to handle most situations that can arise from an individual experiencing an altered state. Many sitters are psychedelic users themselves with their own extensive drug experiences.

It can also be helpful to have a friend with you, someone you are comfortable with and that you trust. Ideally, the guide should psychedelic experience themselves and they should not also engage in the trip itself.

5. Session – The Length and Intensity of the Trip

The duration of the experience itself and the stages it goes through from start to finish are referred to as the session. Other factors should include the intensity of the trip and what type of mind-altering substances will be used.

Each session is one-of-a-kind and will differ from person to person. Psychonaut forums and instructional sites like 1Up Maps, on the other hand, can give broad advice on what to expect from specific drugs. However, we always recommend consulting medical experts first or experts that have engaged in such exploration themselves.

6. Situation – Take Time to Integrate Discoveries

It may take many weeks to incorporate the findings of a psychedelic trip into your everyday life. Allow yourself time to analyze the event and carefully consider any life-altering decisions before implementing any new measures. When individuals explore consciousness it can take some time to truly assess the experience itself.

Conclusion – What Is a Psychonaut?

Although the phrase “psychonaut” is relatively new, the practice of inducing altered states using psychedelic drugs is far from new. For thousands of years, individuals and historical cultures worldwide have employed psychedelics for recreational, medical, and even spiritual purposes.

psychedelic pioneers

Even now, scientists only have a rudimentary knowledge of the human mind as well as human consciousness, and its capacities. As a result, it appears that the search for answers to these questions will go on for many years to come.

We hope you found this post interesting and instructive. We’d also want to caution any would-be Psychonauts that psychedelic substances are banned in most regions. It is the obligation of the readers to learn about the specific rules and regulations in their area.

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