When planning a psychedelic trip, you may have heard of the importance of creating the right set and setting. But what does that mean exactly? Set and setting refer to your mindset and the situation you are in when you go into your psychedelic experience. In this article, we’ll discuss some best practices to create a nice atmosphere and what you can do to reach the right mindset.
How to create a nice setting
Your immediate environment is your ‘setting’. The setting in which your psychedelic journey takes place is of great influence on your experience. Please keep in mind that your setting also includes other people. It’s important that you pick a place where you feel safe and comfortable and that the people you plan to have your journey with are familiar to you. Ideally, the atmosphere is warm, embracing, and loving, which can be created with heaps of pillows and soft blankets, for example. It’s essential that everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
Lighting has an enormous influence on the atmosphere of the room and your mood. This is why we feel it’s important to invest some time and attention into creating a nicely lit space. We highly recommend to avoid any cold, white or overly bright light. You can create a warmer atmosphere with colours such as yellow or orange. You can also light candles, but please make sure to place candles in safe spots where they won’t create hazardous situations. You can use indirect light sources to create various pools of light across the room.
We always like to give a setting a natural feeling. You can decorate the space with natural ornamentation, such as flowers, plants, and stones. Please remember that objects can be of influence to your setting. If you want to make turning inward easier, we recommend removing any overly distinctive objects from the space, such as colorful paintings or large sculptures. You can create a sacred place by adding personal items that have special value or meaning to you. It’s nice to have some ritualistic items, such as incense and sage, to impart significance to your journey.
Naturally, your safety is your first concern when creating the setting for your trip. The space you are in should have enough soft furnishings to minimize any risk of injury in case you feel off balance. You’ll want to create ample place for relaxation. If you are using candles, please make sure they are lit in stable candle holders and placed in a way that they’re not easily toppled. Keep lit candles away from inflammable material.
Essentials during a psychedelic trip
Things that will certainly come in handy are eye shades, blankets, warm socks, pillows, a notebook for taking notes, and other items that are meaningful to you. It’s important to keep yourself sufficiently hydrated, so make sure to keep a cool bottle of water within arm’s reach.
A healthy mindspace is one without any disturbance. Turn your digital devices on silence or focus-mode, and make sure no notifications, alarms or reminders are active. Check your appointments and obligations to make sure you are not needed anywhere. Inform your family or other people you live with to give you some space and time for yourself.
Creating the right mindset
Your set refers to your mindset. Having a meaningful psychedelic experience depends for a large part on the way you start your journey. You may gain beautiful insights, feel ecstatic and blissful but you may also come face to face with something that you need to address.
Time in nature
This is why you want to feel stable and clear in the mind. It is of utmost importance to create calm and clarity in your life, with enough space and time for yourself. Spending time in nature is a very calming practice, especially when you consciously reach out to nature with all your senses.
Days of rest
Please make sure to take at least one day off work before your psychedelic trip, and allow yourself a day without appointments afterwards. You’ll find that your mind may need some time to process your experience. Plan moments of nothingness.
It’s important to get a few nights of good quality sleep before your psychedelic experience. Maybe you can benefit from sleeping by yourself, without being disturbed or woken up by someone else. Please make sure you are as rested as you can be in the days leading up to your journey.
Be kind to yourself
Another important aspect of preparing the mind is to be kind to yourself. We all have an inner voice. Actively address it to be more kind.
A sense of direction
A mind-revealing substance like psilocybin gives you the opportunity to see parts of yourself that ordinarily may stay out of sight. This can be interesting and insightful, but it can also be challenging at times. This is why we recommend approaching the experience with an open and curious mindset. One that is similar to scientific exploration. Having a sense of direction significantly benefits your journey. For this reason, it’s important to take some time to set your intention.
Setting your intention
Setting an intention for your psychedelic journey contributes to a having a meaningful experience. During a psychedelic journey, you can experience an influx of ideas. An intention can help you stay grounded and helps you to regain focus when things turn a bit blurry or hectic.
Your intention can be a single phrase you can always remember, or even one word. An intention is not a goal with a specific outcome, but rather a broad theme with a spectrum of possible forthcoming insights and scenarios. An intention can also be an aspect of yourself that you would like to learn more about.
A few days before your journey, take ample time to sit down somewhere quiet and ponder on the following questions to clarify your intention:
- What am I thinking about most often at the moment?
- Which parts of myself or my life need more attention?
- Is there any belief, thought pattern or habit holding me back?
- Is there anything I may need to let go of?