About the Psychedelic Society

The Psychedelic Society believes that the conscious use of psychedelics can help us create a more compassionate and joyful world through the healing and growth of the individual.

Psychedelics have been used by humans for tens of thousands of years for healing and spiritual development. After decades of misinformation, and outlawing on political as opposed to scientific grounds, the potential of these substances is starting to be recognised again. We exist to reinstate the public understanding of and access to psychedelics in the UK and beyond.

We currently:

We support related practices, including meditation, breathwork, sound healing, dance, yoga, time spent in the wild and nondual contemplation, and offer many of these activities through our events programme.

We have close relationships with other organisations and individuals in the movement, including the psychedelic research teams at Imperial and King’s College London, the Beckley Foundation, DrugScience, Transform and MAPS.

The team

Stephen Reid

Director of Systems

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Hi, I'm Stephen, and I'm the founder and co-director of the Psychedelic Society. My psychedelic experiences have been amongst the most profound of my life, and have helped me to become a happier, kinder and more open-minded person.

Previously, I served on the board of Greenpeace UK and co-founded the New Economics Foundation's New Economy Organisers Network. I have Masters degrees in Physics from the University of Oxford and Complexity Sciences from the University of Bristol.

When I'm not working on the Psychedelic Society, I spend my time meditating, practising yoga, swimming, dancing, learning German, cooking vegetarian food, listening to podcasts, reading, working on Huddl and acting as the press officer for the Breaking Convention Conference on Psychedelic Consciousness.

Stefana Bosse

Director of Experience

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Hi, I’m Stef, Director of Experience at the Psychedelic Society. I have a deep passion for introducing people to psychedelics and for creating an environment that will support mystical experience for those who have only taken them in a recreational context. Psychedelics have granted me some of the most profound experiences of my life, the ripples of which continue to have a positive and deeply meaningful impact on my life. I have experience with a wide variety of psychedelics, but have taken them with great respect and care every time, and believe in the importance of doing so.

I am a certified Forrest Yoga teacher, and have a regular meditation practice, most strongly inspired by Osho and the Diamond Approach. But my prayer is dance. I enjoy all kinds of rhythmic movement expression, but most regularly I dance tango, 5Rhythms and daily morning boogies at my house! I also play the Hang and clarinet, and love all things food and nourishment related.

My calling has always been to help others, initially leading me to obtain a bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and Masters degrees in International Affairs from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York, followed by work in the environmental and human rights sector. However, as my own path has unfolded and spiritual journey deepened, I have become increasingly interested in the inner dimensions of change and healing, and specifically the overlap between psychotherapy and spirituality. After participating in the life-changing Path of Love (POL) process, I completed a training as a Holistic Counsellor, as well as additional modules in relationship counselling with the founders of POL, further refining my skillset to support others on their path towards truth and authenticity.

It is a profound honour to facilitate the Psychedelic Experience weekends and I do so bringing everything I've learned, and most importantly my full presence and love to hold the space and support those undertaking these deep, cosmic journeys.

Gaia Harvey Jackson

Events Coordinator

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Hi, I’m Gaia, I am the London events coordinator for the Psychedelic Society and facilitator of the Psychedelic Women’s Circles. For me psychedelics are a tool to gain deeper insight into our minds and the nature of existence. They remind me of what really matters and bring me home to the truth of who I am. There are many other tools that I have also found incredibly powerful to this end, such as; meditation, yoga, dance, singing, sensuality and music (amongst others) I am passionate about programming many different holistic events because I see them as; a place for our community to come together and connect, alternative opportunities for exploring consciousness, and as tools that will support psychonauts on their psychedelic adventures.

In 2014 I graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a BA in Performance Art: Theatre Practice. I have experience in producing cabaret and festivals, devising and performing in immersive theatre productions, and photography and film making. In 2015 I discovered Buddhism and meditation, and since then have developed a spiritual practice which has infiltrated my creative work.

I now facilitate ceremonies, rituals and workshops which combine elements of pagan ritual, buddhist philosophy, tantric practices, sound healing, and theatre games. I am fascinated with human connection, following the natural cycles of the earth and our bodies and finding ways to create deeper and more authentic intimacy between people. My personal mission is to bring more love, play and joy into the world in creative and imaginative ways.

Josh Millgate

Lead of Visual Communication

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Hey, I’m Josh, Lead of Visual Communications at the Psychedelic Society. My role at the Psychedelic Society lies at the intersection of two of my strongest passions; creativity as a vehicle for positive change and the sensible use of psychedelic substances for transformative experiences.

Psychedelics are responsible for the most inspiring, profound and insightful experiences of my life and had a huge impact on the way I perceive the world. My use of these powerful tools have influenced so many positive lifestyle changes that have resulted in me being much happier and healthier but ultimately given me the perspective to be truly grateful for the miraculous gift of life. I’m a highly curious individual and I am fascinated by many topics including metaphysics, sacred geometry and the concept of non-duality.

I balance my time behind the screen by practising hot yoga, hiking or mountain biking. I’m happiest when I’m exploring, when I’m learning new things, when I am helping others and when I am contemplating the nature of the universe.

Jen Lhamo

Experience Coordinator

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Hi, I’m Jen, one of the facilitators on the Experience Weekends and the co-founder of Psychedelic Meditation. For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the human mind, which I have come to see as one and the same with what we would call our heart: the seat of our spirit - wherein lies the potential for mystical insights and wisdom, awaiting to be tapped into - as well as that of our soul - the unique expression of our personal story and rich emotional life, instinctively moving towards healing and wholeness.

My encounter with psychedelics has opened up some significant doors into these realms (nowadays rarely explored in our materialistic, and principally outward-gazing society). I am so grateful for these precious opportunities, and feel deeply honoured to now be holding space for people to embark on similarly transformative journeys.

For more than a decade, I have been following a rigorous Tibetan Buddhist training under the close guidance of a recognised master. This has led me to spend over 500 days in retreat, including some prolonged periods of total silence and solitude to dive deep into the practice. I am now training as a transpersonal psychotherapist, and passionate about the synergy between psychotherapy, and meditative and psychedelic non-ordinary states of consciousness.

I also bring to my work a deep love of nature and a passion for (re)connecting to it in playful, creative, or ceremonial ways, as well as a genuine longing to live purposefully by helping and benefiting others to the very best of my ability.

Claudia Zurawell Elliot

Press Lead

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I’m Claudia. I lead the Psychedelic Society’s press work; looking at how we can raise awareness of the work we do, and of the value of psychedelics for spiritual development and mental health. I have a BSc in Social Anthropology from LSE, and have spent ten years working in communications for social, environmental, and economic justice campaigns.

I believe a just, compassionate and sustainable world cannot be realised without ensuring people’s psychological wellbeing. When I began to understand the relationship between personal and social wellbeing, I trained as a coach, and now coach social change-makers. My interest in psychedelics is also in their potential to improve personal mental health and wellbeing, and the possibilities this could hold for improving the health of communities and societies too.

Outside of work, I like anything active, anything to do with food (cooking, eating, discovering, fantasising about), and laughing. I’m eternally trying to establish a robust meditation practice.

Ivan March

Campaigns Coordinator

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Hi, I’m Ivan and I’m the campaigns coordinator of the Psychedelic Society. Psilocybin and friends have been the most powerful and transformative guides in my life thus far. I believe that the freedom to explore our consciousness is a fundamental right and the criminalization of psychedelics is an expression of systemic oppression. My mission is to let a new generation of users come out of the ‘psychedelic closet’, support scientific research in psychedelics and pave the way for beautiful, open-minded, liberal societies.

I used to work on anti-extractive industry projects in West Africa & Latin America and community organising in India, Indonesia and South Eastern Europe. I’ve worked in campaigns & events management teams for Oxfam, Greenpeace, People and Planet & Impact Hub, as researcher for the University of Cambridge & University of Göttingen, and as evaluator for Ashoka, Bosch, EPIM & NEF.

Currently, the Guerrilla Foundation is my primary occupation, supporting European activists & grassroots movements and I’m a European Steering Group member of the EDGE Funders Alliance. I also have official papers with fancy stamps from really old higher education institutions that say I’m an employable person of value to society.

I’m a location independent, twenty-first century hobo, though can often be spotted dancing like no-one is watching in Berlin, London, Athens or somewhere in Spain.


Anya Oleksiuk

Video Lead

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Hi, I’m Anya, Video Lead in the Psychedelic Society. Through psychedelics I have experienced a profound transformation, and real healing. I was filled with gratitude, and made it my life’s mission to change the general public’s perception of psychedelics. By lifting the stigma through wider education, we will influence civil society and reform outdated drug laws, allowing for psychedelic usage in therapy. I strongly believe that psychedelics are powerful tools capable of healing and improving the wellbeing of many individuals, which in turn has true potential to heal society by and large.

A passion for documentary films and music videos led me towards an MA in Filmmaking, specializing in documentary and experimental forms. Soon after, I joined the charity Marie Curie, as their Head of Video. In 2016 I decided to strike out on my own, founding Spelt Productions. My current clients include THTC Clothing, the UK’s leading ethical streetwear label, for whom I have produced a number of lifestyle and music videos, as well as creating activist content supporting the deregulation of hemp and medical cannabis in the UK. Despite a full work calendar on any given week, my focus remains with supporting the psychedelic movement and creating compelling video content to that end.

When away from my computer and camera, I practice yoga, meditation and embrace psychedelia - necessary tools for expanding my consciousness and centering myself. I also love spending my time dancing at psy trance festivals, contemplating nature and the universe, as well as traveling and meeting fellow psychonauts around the world.



Ciara Sherlock

Experience Coordinator

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Hello, I’m Ciara. I am passionately working as Experience Coordinator for The Psychedelic Society, facilitating the Experience Retreats in The Netherlands. Over the course of my adult life psychedelics have acted as beneficial tools for my personal development, creativity and healing. By getting to know myself through the use of psychedelics and other spiritual practices, I have discovered that my purpose is to guide people along the path of going deeper into themselves and assisting with personal inquiry and transformation. I live this purpose by working on a project that expands awareness of society, bringing people together over vulnerability, wonder and love.

I have a background in festival harm reduction, working with people who are having overwhelming substance related experiences in difficult environments, aiming to transform challenging experiences into ones of growth. I have undertaken drug welfare training, volunteered at festivals such as Boom, and completed training on Integrating Psychedelic Experience with MAPS. I have great interest in Celtic Shamanic practices and have taken part in a Transpersonal Shamanic Psychotherapy course with which I gained a lot of skills and appreciation for such work. I am also a BioDynamic Rebalancing bodywork therapist, practicing massage therapy with the intention of releasing both physical and emotional trauma from the psyche.

My grounded nature and compassionate heart is utilized best when facilitating psychedelic experiences for people. I feel deeply honored to get to do the work I do with such an inspiring team. When I'm not working, I feel most alive when I am creating art, immersed in nature, travelling and dancing.


Rhodri Karim

Events Coordinator, Bristol

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I'm Rhodri, one of the Bristol co-ordinators of The Psychedelic Society. My very first psychedelic experience opened the door to a path of increasing self-awareness, personal development and finding meaning in myself and in the world. I believe the wilder aspects of ourselves and the wilder parts of our land go hand in hand. Establishing a connection with these neglected parts can lead us back towards a deep reverence for that which sustains us, as ecological beings in community. I'm a student of the power of presence, play, imagination, systems, sensation, group work and the possibilities of organising spontaneously, going beyond oppression and hierarchy.

Sometimes I describe myself as an undisciplined multi-disciplinary artist-activist. I work to undermine consensus reality with sensuality, self-defeating behaviour and shamanic practice. My work covers the domains of sound, film, organising, performance, software and agriculture. As a practising animist I use technology less as a tool, choosing to engage instead in a conversation with technological collaborators. As a composer and sound designer, this means working in a trance state to facilitate improvisational dialogue with instruments, recordings and their spectral inhabitants. As an organiser and facilitator, this means holding space for ecstasy and transformation, for coming into contact with the full vibrancy and joy and terror of the human (and non-human) experience, for making friends and dancing with what we find in our inner ecology.

Day to day, I'm training as a counsellor and work in substance misuse and harm reduction. I hold a BA in Computer Science from Cambridge University, and worked as a software engineer for almost a decade before acting on the realisation that technology doesn't create or solve problems – people do. My interests lie in connecting the psychedelic experience to other ecstatic, occult and spiritual traditions as well as western philosophy, science, ecology and psychology. I see them all as technologies of liberation and empowerment, and the body as the most effective starting point for any journey of transformation. In my therapeutic work I make use of altered states, the wisdom of the body, working with wildness and the land, music and performance and conventional talking therapies.

Alana Bloom

Events Coordinator, Bristol

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Hello, I’m Alana. I’m one of the events co-ordinators for Bristol and I also facilitate the Psychedelic Movement Journeys. My experiences with psychedelics have been some of the most creative, heart expanding and insightful moments of my life. They have allowed me greater understanding about our world and the interconnectedness of everything within it. I’m passionate about working for the Psychedelic Society because I believe in the transformative possibilities of the creative experience that can be gained through psychedelics and artistic practices.

I’m an artist working in the realms of movement, theatre, circus, creative expression and music, weaving into these practices holistic, spiritual and mystical influences. For the past four years I have been facilitating, holding space and creating environments that give permission for radical creative expression, whilst also developing my research and performance practices that centre around movement and mythology. I use movement meditation and physical embodiment to encourage presence, providing us with a greater awareness and understanding of self. Using the body and the mind in this way can induce altered states of consciousness without substances, as well as supporting the psychedelic experience during, or after a trip. I have a BA (Hons) in Physical Theatre & Apprenticeship of Circus.

Outside of work I attempt use my body as much as possible. I practice yoga, train in aerial circus, dance contact improvisation and many other different dance practices including 5Rhythms. I’m passionate about nature, working with land, cycles, seasons, human connection and environmentalism.


Activities

All-Night Psychedelic Gong Bath

Jamie Richards and Kat Bumbul

Psychedelic Breathwork

Anthony Abbagnano and Richard Peters

Psychedelic Cinema

Psychedelic Experience Retreats

Stefana Bosse

Psychedelic Gong Baths

Kat Bumbul

Psychedelic Meditation

Jen Lhamo and Michael Matania

Psychedelic Women's Circle

Gaia Harvey Jackson

Psychedelic Yoga & Psychedelic Sound Journeys

Jamie Richards and Phil Richards

Shroomshops

Darren Springer

The Psychedelic Society is a non-profit company limited by guarantee, registered at Companies House.