0:00:00.4 April Pride: This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
0:00:06.9 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: I would say, I could tell you stories about all of my mushroom trips. So the first time I did mushrooms was in college with my best friend. And then, the second time was also with that same best friend. And that was a magical journey through like a park in Amsterdam. My last full macrodose mushroom trip, towards the end of the day, I got a really bad migraine. The experience was beautiful, but the hangover was horrible. And unfortunately, I had that same experience this time, which is a bummer.
0:00:47.0 April Pride, host: Bummer, indeed. What to do when a psychedelic experience takes you down a road you most definitely do not wanna explore especially while under the influence of potent plants. Much like IRL, you choose. Either it consumes the joy that’s possible, or you navigate it as best as possible and hope for a better outcome next time. Or at least, to be better prepared next time. Psychedelic therapy is both a safe way to get high and a direct way to address the not-so high times in our lives. In a world of smiling happy people on screens, we can forget that it’s okay to not be okay. C’est la vie, right? So how do we use what comes up in a journey, including the physical discomfort caused by the plant medicine itself, to prepare us for life’s eventual comedown? Our Sister Trip around this week’s episode is Alexa Jesse, who, for those listeners following The High Guide on Instagram, may recognize from the very clever cannabis product review reels she creates for our feet. If You’ve yet to follow us on IG, please check out how funny we can be @thehigh.guide. We asked Alexa to shift her thoughtful awareness away from cannabis and spend her New Year’s Eve under the influence a plant medicine, in an effort, dear listeners, to help us all learn a little about making the most of the comedown.
0:02:16.5 April Pride, host: You know? That time in your trip when the tricks your mind plays on your eyes and ears become further and further apart. When the air around you becomes more still and less… Well, less of everything. How do you spend that time? Do you reach for weed to keep the magic alive a bit longer? Do you fire up a cigarette just for old times’ sake? Do you start warming up soup to fill your belly before drifting off to sleep? Or do you simply snuggle until the sometimes melancholy thoughts that creep back in fade into dreams. Last week’s episode featured music created specifically for this twilight period in a psychedelic journey. This audio was composed by Tim Held, electronic music maker and podcast host of Podular Modcast.
0:03:02.7 April Pride, host: Before we hear more from Alexa about her New Year’s Eve comedown, let’s meet our high guide in today’s episode. Ariel Ojeda has over two decades of personal exploration with entheogens, starting with her first acid trip at 13 years old. When her mom passed away at age 14, Ariel was diagnosed with clinical depression. And she found that when used with intention and surrender, cannabis and entheogens, specifically psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, MDMA, DMT and ketamine supported her healing journey. Today, Ariel is showing up in support of Alexa, whose comedown started in 2020.
0:03:43.1 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: Our wedding was postponed from 2020, so that was really, really hard. ‘Cause pretty much the whole plan got cancelled. And so that was a lot of pressure on me as well to re-plan. It was really hard. I don’t think a lot of people understand what that is like, like all the 2020 weddings. It was just really stressful. But I’m so happy to be married, and in a lot of ways, just for the wedding to be over. And it was just so sad, but it’s true. It was such this big build, and I’m just so happy to married.
0:04:18.9 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: I know you guys had to completely re-organize and re-schedule everything for your wedding, and you went to all of those things together. So did you learn anything through all of those hardships and how to care for each other a little bit better?
0:04:42.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: Yeah, the biggest thing is our communication, I’m just so impressed by it. We’ve come such a long way in the past six years, and we just have more open lines of communication. We haven’t had a big blowout fight in a really long time, and it’s because we’ve just gotten better at bringing things up when it happens.
0:05:11.1 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: It is really difficult to speak up in certain moments, so I think it also is fear-based too. It comes from a fear of upsetting the other person or the conversation going in a negative direction. So I think a lot of us are afraid to speak up in the moment.
0:05:29.5 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: Honestly, some of our deepest, most honest conversations have been on either mushrooms, LSD or MDMA, and that is real. Conversations we just would have never had, places we typically are too scared to go, it’s really amazing what these plant medicines, they can shift in our minds. You can just hear something from someone. So just without being defensive, without layers of judgment, it’s just like hearing this person asking something and then answering and yeah.
0:06:10.7 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: The conversations that you can have when you can set aside your ego, and all the filters that we hear and see the world through, and just have a genuine authentic conversation and really hear each other and be present with each other. It just kind of shifts your perspective a little bit, and it helps you, in those moments, show up for yourself again, just speaking up in the moment is a little bit easier when you’re able to do these things and be just raw and real with each other. Did you and your husband have an intention for this session? Did you go into it with an intention?
0:06:58.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: We’ve been together six years this month, so we actually went on the New Year’s journey together. We are really passionate about plant medicine and learning about its history, and trying to honor it the best that we know how and to keep learning. But we always have little ceremonies whenever we’re at festivals or partaking in substances to make them mean something, to give them intention. And it’s a really beautiful practice that we’ve had. So we were both feeling like it was time for us. ‘Cause we love festivals, we love traveling to festivals. And a lot of it is because of those experiences. And with the pandemic, that just hasn’t been happening.
0:07:48.1 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: Leading up to New Year’s, we had a couple of different talks, just talking about what we were needing or wanting or searching for. And it’s funny, because I feel like we were just listing off all of the things we wanted guidance on, and it’s like, “Damn, we’re asking a lot.” But in a lot of ways, I think I was needing a lot. We’ve really been open to different opportunities that might be pulling us to travel on to different places. And so I think still wanting further guidance on that, and also just letting go of this time. We’re not really sure where we’ll be in a month or three months or six months, and we’re really trying to release and surrender to that unknown, ’cause it’s just really hard. So that was a big part of it.
0:08:39.2 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: I think that’s beautiful that you were so specific in your ask and your intention. And usually, even if you don’t get all the answers right away, you’ve already put that out into the universe, so you will get the answers that you need shortly after even if it’s not right away.
0:09:03.9 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: This work is literally the process of digging it up. “Oh, this is just the beginning of the work,” and now it’s like to continue it, ’cause it did stir up a lot. But a lot of really good stuff too. I felt immense gratitude all night for just our cute little apartment and my plants and just this phase in our life. For everything, really. Just all the experiences that got me here. And that, I still feel that. That overwhelming love and gratitude is definitely something I wanna feel. I don’t wanna never not feel. I think the best part for me about this trip was, just reminding me that I don’t need to necessarily consume mushrooms to access this place, but I want to use them as a tool to see what I am capable of, what my mind is capable of.
0:10:08.3 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: These sessions can stir up a lot of things, but that doesn’t… Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of those things are gonna be processed in that moment, or even in the near future. It sometimes takes many sessions and many different experiences for you to, like you said, “Dig those things up and really sort through them and process each one.”
0:10:37.1 April Pride, host: As Ariel asserts, not everything that comes up in a trip is processed in real time. That’s why the integration segment of your psychedelic experience is critical. While this session here, between our high guide and sister tipper did take place within 48 hours of Alexa completing her journey, integration is ongoing for days, weeks, and up to a year, sometimes beyond. So how do you keep the spirit of your vision quest alive when so much time is past, yet you wanna relive the journey to sift through your thoughts just in case there’s a nugget capable of making more sense of things for you?
0:11:15.9 April Pride, host: And that brings us to our word of the week, which we profile in The High Guides weekly email newsletter. And you can find in greater detail on The High Guides glossary of psychedelic terms available on our website, which is where you can also sign up for our weekly newsletter. Our website’s at thehigh.guide. In this episode, let’s review the word “Embodiment,” which is, revisiting your trip by listening to the music you listen to while having a psychedelic experience within the days and weeks following. This is most successful when you, as closely as possible, emulate your time under the influence. Duplicate your setting. How are your senses stimulated, the smells, the surface beneath you? And with eyes closed, direct your focus to the sensations including hallucinations present at the time of your trip.
0:12:09.1 April Pride, host: The music we share on this podcast is available for you to reconnect with how you were feeling in a very specific moment to recollect your thoughts and insights. As an example, if Alexa is not feeling flush with love and gratitude, she can simply call up episode 44 of this podcast and listen to music to come down to. And be reminded that everything remains as it did in that moment. We sometimes just need a little help tapping back into it, and recognizing that the choice is ours to reclaim our happy place as Alexa reflects from a moment in her trip.
0:12:47.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: I was just so lost in my thoughts. It’s this perspective shift of this awareness of “Oh, I’m not present right now, I’m in my head.” And then the shift back to being present. And it was just a really beautiful experience, ’cause I was able to see these places as in my head and out of my head so clearly. And whereas normally, we get lost in thought and we don’t really even notice that it’s happened, and it happens when we look at our phones. We just get lost in the scroll. And it was just a really beautiful moment, because it stuck with me. I had done a meditation earlier in the week that was focusing on creating more space and time, not filling your schedule, and just being bored. Sitting around being like, “What should I do now?” So it was really, in that moment, just realizing like, “Oh, I can choose to be present at any time. That is my choice, I get to choose. And I can also choose one to worry about work and when to worry about dinner.” And it all ties into boundaries also, ’cause it’s even like my own boundaries within myself, like, “No, Alexa. You do not need to be talking about work at 8 o’clock when you’re hanging out with your husband. This is your time.”
0:14:18.8 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: Personal boundaries are also really important, not just the boundaries we set with other people, but these personal boundaries that we should be keeping with ourselves so that we trust ourselves a little bit more every day. That’s super important.
0:14:34.3 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: This year, I did a lot of work around boundaries.
0:14:38.6 April Pride, host: Before we get into Alexa’s insights around her continued work with boundaries and what came up during her trip related to this, she’s gonna set the scene for us.
0:14:50.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: I’ll just tell you a little bit about the night. I booked us for the bathhouse in the morning, so we went to this really amazing bathhouse, and steamed and saunaed. It was just so relaxing, and it was a gorgeous day out. Then we came home and made a yummy meal, a healthy meal, and cleaned the house ’cause we were just gonna be at home. That was really important to me. And this kind of goes in setting of creating the space that I was very comfortable in ’cause I know me and I didn’t wanna get high and start cleaning. Which I do sometimes. And so, we just really cleaned, and Sean brought in all these different really cool lights that he has. And we just set up candles and just kind of got everything ready, and then we ended up going on a walk. And the visuals were not crazy… It wasn’t like an acid trip, I wouldn’t say it was full hallucinations. But everything was glowing and vibrating, so almost anything I would look at kind of had five layers of a border around it. That’s kind of the best way I can describe it. But everything was very pleasant, so the eye visuals were… Everything was just very appealing to look at. I’m learning about the different types of mushrooms strains. Just like cannabis, there’s tons of strains of mushrooms. And the chocolate bars we had were Golden Teacher, which, upon doing some research, is one of the most popular strains. And it is known to be a mild strain, good for beginners.
0:16:37.5 April Pride, host: Indeed, the potency of Golden Teacher is mild with expected effects such as visual distortions, enhanced colors, lightness or giddiness, euphoria, and finding yourself spiritually in tune. The High Guides I respect and trust, for sure recommend starting with Golden Teacher.
0:16:54.5 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: So we have these chocolate bars. I found that for microdosing, I love tea. On a hike with some friends, we’ll just sip on it. It’s just not as hard physically, I find. And so I was really looking forward to having a tea this trip, and last minute ended up with these chocolates. And my critique about them is that, they were just huge. So a full eighth was like the size of a Hershey bar.
0:17:17.3 April Pride, host: To reviewers we have in prior episodes, an eighth is 3.5 grams by weight. And when consuming this quantity, you can expect to walk the line between a moderate and high dose. The high end of a moderate and lowest end of a high dose range. A moderate dose is 2 to 3.5 grams, and what most consider a classic psychedelic trip.
0:17:41.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: And we split one bar thinking that we’d split the other bar when we got to the park, we’re gonna go on a walk. And it was really hard for me to get the chocolate down. It tasted delicious, but my body knew there were mushrooms in there and it was really not wanting to eat them. And so, that to me is not the way I would wanna go into that sort of experience. I think my body was kind of on edge. And that’s what I would say about the whole trip in terms of my body being a little just really not quite comfortable, a little bit sick. But my mind was loving it and I really wanted more. But I just… My body was like… I was like “Not eating more of that chocolate.” Whoa, we’re starting to feel this already, and it had only been 10 minutes. And it definitely started to feel that… Just that weakness that can sometimes happen when your body starts digesting the mushrooms and… I was okay, though. I was just sitting and kind of breathing through it. I definitely had a release, which I think is so important. I cried, I let out emotion. How often are we actually feeling it, versus just talking about it. And I think that’s a huge point that we kind of realize is like… And I was in the space we created, it’s really giving yourself space to feel these things not just to talk about them, ’cause there’s a difference.
0:19:05.7 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: We made our way home and walked into our house that we had set up, and it had all these lights. And we lit all the candles, and Sean had made like a floor fort for us with just sleeping bag and pillows and blankets. And we just talked for hours. And we had a dance party at one point. And it was just really fun, it was just this really playful space. It was just this own… We called it like a little micro-festival in our house. I have experience with psychedelics, but very special experiences. I would say I could tell you stories about all of my mushroom trips, and they’re all really special to me. And so the first time I did mushrooms was in college with my best friend, and I remember feeling nauseous. But otherwise, it was a very positive experience. And then the second time was also with that same best friend in Amsterdam. And that was a magical journey through a park in Amsterdam, and it was so incredible. My last full macrodose mushroom trip, towards the end of the day, I got a really bad migraine, which hung over into the next day, and it was really bad. The experience was beautiful, but the hangover was horrible. And unfortunately, I had that same experience this time. And it’s a tough experience. And I would just want people to know going into that, there are things you could do to make it easier on yourself.
0:20:53.3 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: It’s very similar to cannabis, there’s different modes of ingestion too. So sometimes people have better experiences who have sensitive stomachs to psilocybin concentrate and chocolate bars, and things made with psilocybin concentrate instead of the dried mushrooms. ‘Cause I think, a lot of people just have a really hard time digesting the dry mushroom material. I love the chocolate bars, those are one of my favorite ways to consume. Because most of the time when I use the chocolate bar, I don’t have that kind of nausea that comes in the beginning of it when you’re getting into the trip. I experience a lot of nausea with the dry mushrooms.
0:21:43.4 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: Now, for me to really want to explore different strains and know “Do they all make me sick?” Maybe not. Maybe that’s a strain that just, for whatever reason, is harder on me. Because like I said, I’ve done mushrooms before and they were easier on me. And basically what happened was, I started getting a headache probably around 11 o’clock. And it just got worse throughout the night. We Facetimed with a friend who ended up with COVID and got stuck home on New Year’s Eve. And he recommended we listen to this album by this artist, Nym, N-Y-M. And so we put on… And it was so incredible. And then when the album ended, we got into bed and put on the music to comedown to. And I think what was cool is, I wasn’t feeling well at the time and it was really grounding when trying to go to sleep, ’cause I had a headache. I was really able to focus on the music, and it changed a lot. And it was giving me visuals or it was prompting visuals in my mind. And it was really cool to see how some of the more synthy sounds were kind of like harder sounds were appearing in my head as more like square.
0:23:08.5 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: I remember at one point, it was like Tetris was falling, like there were these square kind of parts that were moving. And then there were other parts of the song that maybe we’re a bit slower and I just felt very peaceful kind of washing over me. And yeah, just kind of I was seeing more colors and less erratic movement. And as the track progressed, it was kind of started out more. Not aggressive, but just a little bit faster, faster paced. And then really softened, and it was a really cool way to end the night and fall asleep just ’cause I feel like I would have had trouble falling asleep otherwise. And it actually was just this really nice dream-like state that got me into sleep. So it was really cool.
0:24:14.0 Ariel Ojeda, High Guide: That’s incredible. Isn’t it amazing what music can do? Just music alone can completely change everything. It’s incredible.
0:24:25.4 April Pride, host: Speaking of music, this psychedelic experience for Alexa revealed a possible connection between a persistent bout with TMJ and, as a musician, neglecting to fiercely protect the boundary around her time in the studio singing.
0:24:40.0 Alexa Jesse, Sister Tripper: I’ve also been struggling with TMJ and clenching my jaw for years. And it’s just… It’s something that I’m really trying to finally fix, figure out “What is causing this, why am I grinding my teeth when I sleep?” It literally just so tense. And I know that it’s energetic and emotional, because I just know that. I’m starting to really believe that my jaw pain is coinciding with the fact that I’m not singing. And I’m a musician, but I have not been playing music for a while now. I have been focusing on work, and I have all my excuses. So I just recorded my first song since before the pandemic a couple of weeks ago. So I’m getting back into it. I need to be patient with myself.
0:25:28.9 April Pride, host: Which areas in your life feel like a comedown at the moment? Where are the pains in your body? Whether it’s under the influence or simply taking time to listen to the audio provided here on The High Guide, take the time to connect with what needs release. It’s a new year bound to be filled with highs and lows. Get comfortable with all of it. And remember, sometimes the only way to do that is to go through it no matter how uncomfortable. You can’t go around it or over it or under it, but you gotta meet it straight on. And maybe, with a little help for Mother Nature.
0:26:09.9 April Pride, host: Thanks for listening to this episode of The High Guide. A big thanks to our Sister Tripper in today’s episode, Alexa Jesse, and today’s high guide, Ariel Ojeda. Also, a huge thanks to Patchworks, The High Guide’s partner in presenting this audio series, Psyched Audio, to you. Patchworks is where electronic music makers of all levels of experience go shopping. Patchworks has a simple mission, “To connect people with joy through electronic music.” If you’re a new listener or have been loyal each week, please follow, subscribe and review The High Guide wherever you listen to podcasts. It really helps more people find a show. And I’d like to emphasize, “Please review The High Guide.” It really does help more people find the show. And tune in next Friday for our final episode for this season. But don’t worry, we’ll continue to pop up in your feed with short, sweet episodes every Friday leading up to the launch of Season 3 in March of this year. While our third season is taking shape, we’d love to hear from you, so please drop us a line. DM us on IG @thehigh.guide, or send us an email at [email protected]. I’m your host, April Pride. Looking forward to bringing you next week’s episode of The High Guide.