7 Reasons Why You Need a Psychedelic Integration Journal
By Edan Armas.
The Psychedelic Integration Journal comes at an interesting time.
Five years ago, psychedelics were for adventurous Burners or long-ago hippies. Now, there's a ketamine clinic next to your local gym. Your friend can't stop talking about ayahuasca ceremonies and Aubrey Marcus. And scientists like Roland Griffiths or Robin Carhart-Harris have become almost as famous as Beyonce. What is going on?
We are on the precipice of a massive boom in psychedelic medicine. Clinical studies on MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms are barreling towards legality, companies like Maya Health are creating online platforms to support the future psychedelic therapists, and it feels like everyone is microdosing for increased creativity and well-being.
Your Psychedelic Journey
If you've come to this article, you probably intend to undergo a psychedelic journey in the next six months, or you already have. Either way, you share the same question: What is a psychedelic integration journal, and how can it help me?
Wakeful Travel's Psychedelic Integration Journal was created for seekers of healing to prepare, navigate and integrate their psychedelic experiences. It's a step up—maybe 100 steps up—from a blank notebook.
Why? Trying to process a psychedelic experience in a blank notebook is like splattering paint onto an empty canvas. It might feel really good, but unless you hold a degree in abstract art, it can be very unclear what you're supposed to take away from the final result.
This journal makes it clear. It guides you to what's important in your psychedelic journey, which makes it much more possible for you to integrate or embody your experiences in your everyday life.
In support of your transformation, here are 7 reasons why you need the Psychedelic Integration Journal.
1. It makes both sides of your brain happy.
Whether you identify as right-brained or left-brained, the journal satisfies both sides of the corpus callosum. Several "Draw Your Experience" pages populate the journal, allowing you to express the elements of the psychedelic experience that go beyond language. If your drawing ability is limited to stick figures, no worries. There are intricate, otherworldly colour-me-in pages scattered throughout. Our favourites are the gilded frog, or the mushroom fairy land.
For the detail-oriented, the journal has all your bases covered. There are packing lists, pre-journey to-do lists, and dose tracking lists. There are pages to record your diet before and after a journey and pages to track a contemplative practice, whether that be meditation, yoga, or breathwork. And let's say you meet an amazing friend at a retreat, but don't want to blast everyone with blue light from your phone to take down their contact info. That's right— the journal has whole pages just for these relationships.
2. You want a way to organize the psychedelic experience.
Do you remember the plot diagram from elementary school? Exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. A plot with these five elements is what separates a story from stream of consciousness.
The journal is what organizes your psychedelic experience into a story. By mapping out the journey into the three phases of preparation, ceremony, and integration, the journal shows you where you begin, where you're going, and where you end (although is it ever really ended?)
This structure is invaluable for sense-making. Unlike a blank notebook, the Wakeful Integration Journal can guide you to what's important in a psychedelic journey. At a micro-level, there are questions for each phase of the experience about your intentions, your breakthroughs, and your plans moving forward.
At a macro-level, the structure of the journal makes it easier to see the big picture. In his book, Building A Story Brand, Donald Miller makes the point that story allows the brain to filter out noise and understand some central message. Psychedelic experiences can bring a lot of noise. Beautiful, awe-inspiring noise, but noise nevertheless. How do you know what the big lesson is? The central takeaway? Simple. You read the story the Psychedelic Integration Journal helps you write.
Sometimes, of course, you won't understand that central lesson until later. Full integration can often takes months, if not years. That's ok. The journal's got you covered with pages dedicated to those future epiphanies, too.
3. You don't want to break the bank.
The field of psychedelic integration is expanding rapidly. Resources like the MAPS Integration List, Third Wave Directory, and Mindleap are dedicated to matching people with trusted coaches, therapists, and healers who specialize in maximizing the benefits of psychedelic medicine.
However, it can get expensive. While many offer payment scales, you'll find that most folks charge more than $100 per session.
The journal is no match for a wise, loving human, but it's a good first step. For under $50, it will help you clarify your intentions, guide you to the important lessons, and challenge you to implement those lessons into your life.
At the very least, the journal will help you create a foundation for understanding your psychedelic experience. That way, if you do seek out more guidance, you have a solid framework to guide the conversation.
4. You are your own master, healer, and guru.
In your larger journey of self-discovery and healing, if you ever meet someone who claims to know you better than yourself, they're probably not with it.
In other words: You have everything you need within you. Psychedelics don't give you answers—they guide you to where the answers exist within you. The same goes for heart-centered healers and psychedelic practitioners. They are empty vessels that use psychedelics to guide you to yourself.
The Psychedelic Integration Journal is no different. What separates it from a healer, however, is that it doesn't have to do years and years of inner work to be an empty vessel. It's a bunch of paper in between two pieces of cardboard. It has no ego, no agenda, no past traumas that influence its energy.
In this way, the journal is self-empowering. It is a tool whose sole purpose is to guide you to your own brilliance. It has nothing to gain other than filling its pages with the magic of you.
5. You like the idea of an entire bookshelf dedicated to journeying.
Imagine. You get back to your apartment after a stressful day at work, make a pot of tea, and settle into your comfiest chair. Across from you, the sunlight warms your bookshelf. In between plants and pictures of your family, there it is: A row of Wakeful Integration Journals (and maybe a few Mindful Travel Journals and microdosing journals in there, too), their spines inscribed with silver Sharpie. As you sip your tea, you reflect on all of the work you’ve done. On how brave you are. And maybe? Maybe, the stress even falls away in the energy of these journals, these pages and pages of transformation, healing, and inner strength.
Unlike a visit to another country, there are no souvenir shops for psychedelic experiences. These medicines can show you higher realms, the innermost turnings of our heart, or expand our consciousness to magical, unexplainable states. But what you take back from these places remains internal, and our internal realm can often become chaotic. This clouds our memories of our transformative journeys.
That is, of course, unless you have a Psychedelic Integration Journal. Imagine the pride and strength from seeing the physical manifestation of all your inner travels before you. That one psilocybin retreat in the Netherlands that taught you self-love, that earth-shattering synthetic 5-MeO-DMT experience in California that helped you forgive the violence of the world.
Bring something solid home with you. You'll never forget your journeys again.
6. It's a journal that gives back.
MAPS, which stands for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, is one of the leading voices in the psychedelic medicine movement. They have blazed the path for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, soon to be legalized, and they are pioneering the education and certification needed for the upcoming wave of psychedelic guides.
The Amazon Conservation Fund describes themselves as working “Hand-in-hand with indigenous and other local people, we apply the power of innovation and time-tested traditional practices to protect the forests and watersheds of tropical America.”
The Chacruna Institute "provides public education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines and promotes a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science." In other words, they serve to create one of the most important collaborations in the field: The union of the rationalist, medical model with the shamanic, indigenous model of psychedelics.
All of these institutions are heart-centered organizations that are going to play pivotal roles in the next ten years. Wakeful Travel is incredibly proud to support them, and we hope you are, too.
7. It guides you to You.
Consider every great discovery: The surface of the moon, the gene, the Komodo dragon. In every case, what people "discovered" was already there. So it might be more accurate to say that they were "revealed"—that explorers are actually revealers.
Consider you: A flawed human on the journey of wholeness through psychedelic medicines. Your vessel is the medicine, and your traumas and conditioning are the vacuum of space, the infinitesimal size of matter, the colorful islands of Indonesia. They are what you move through to reveal what was always there in the first place. The glorious, beautiful You.
The Psychedelic Integration Journal is your compass. It doesn't matter if it's psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, MDMA, LSD, iboga, or DMT, the journal will help you integrate your journey and point you a little closer to Home.
You are the next great Revealer. How deep will you go?
**If you are a retreat organizer, clinic, therapist, coach, conference, research center, or mindful/psychedelic brand and would like to work with Wakeful Journals, a sub-brand of Wakeful Travel that designs, manufacturers, and project manages the whole process of a custom journal design. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Psychedelic artwork: Shea Jozana: @gaiafightsback
Feature photo: Ian Lamoureuxx
Other photos: Amanda Mary Creative