Updated: Jul 28
Psychedelics and Plant medicine have taken the world by storm, and while this has been beautiful and auspicious for all of humanity, it has also come with many downsides.
From unqualified facilitators, lack of preparation and integration, and even organized crime becoming involved with these medicines, there is certainly a polarity to ethical and responsible facilitation of plant medicine/psychedelics.
This article is not designed to influence you to do psychedelics or plant medicine by any means. Rather, it is designed to guide you in the right direction if you are called to participate in a plant medicine or psychedelic ceremony with a qualified facilitator, in a safe space.
This is why at Connect and Evolve, we believe the best way to go about this is via a multi-day spiritual retreat. Within the container of a spiritual retreat, the participant has time, space, guidance, and tribe there for them to better aid in their process of self-discovery, healing, and expansion.
This is why we have created our top 7 reasons why you should consider doing plant medicine or psychedelic ceremony at a spiritual retreat if you are feeling called to this type of spiritual work.
Our top 7 reasons for doing plant medicine and psychedelic ceremonies at a spiritual retreat are:
1 - Safety
2 - Qualified Facilitators
3 - Preparation and Integration
4 - Community
5 - Time
6 - Ongoing Support
7 - The Container
Let’s dive into each reason in more detail.
The safety of the participant is by far the most important thing to consider when partaking in psychedelics or plant medicine.
With unqualified facilitators and organized crime being involved in the psychedelic industry, a safe and reliable source is becoming harder and harder to find.
That is why it is our #1 reason to do psychedelics at a spiritual retreat.
While not every retreat is created equally, it is more reliable and overall much safer to partake in a psychedelic experience in a retreat setting.
Most facilitators are going to be trained to deal with any issues that may arise, as well as any contraindications that may be present.
Another good point is for you (The participant) to do your due diligence when researching a retreat or retreat center to make sure they have safety protocols in place.
#2 Qualified Facilitators
This ties back into safety. It is essential to know that your facilitator is vetted and qualified for the job. Websites like Ayaadvisor and Entheoconnect are a good start when looking for qualified facilitators and retreats.
A qualified facilitator should have years of experience and a light demeanor. It's good to see that a facilitator is grounded, yet playful, and has a clear understanding of the medicine they are working with as well as a solid understanding of any contraindications that may be present with the medicine.
It's best to quiz your facilitator a bit to get a good feeling of where their heart is, how much they know, and why they are serving medicine in the first place.
#3 Preparation and Integration
Preparation and integration are instrumental when it comes to psychedelics and plant medicine. Most retreats and facilitators overlook these essential steps in the process, but they should be very present for participants seeking to work with psychedelics.
At Connect and Evolve retreats, we begin preparing our guests one month in advance. After the retreat, we supply everyone with integration materials and are always available for consultation at no cost. We believe this should be provided at every retreat and by every facilitator, but unfortunately, it can be hard to find.
One feature we hold very dearly at Connect and Evolve is our focus on creating community.
After each retreat, our participants are connected via group chat and oftentimes become close friends!
We keep the retreats small and intimate for this reason so that everyone can get to know one another and connect deeply before heading home.
This is a key feature that we believe should be offered at every spiritual retreat, especially ones that facilitate plant medicine.
This aspect allows participants to stick together during integration, and it is always a blessing to have someone there who understands what you are going through when processing such profound experiences.
Taking time to process a psychedelic or plant medicine experience is absolutely crucial, and being at a multi-day retreat allows a participant that time.
With no expectations to be at work, pick up the kids, or make it to a meeting on time, you have time to sit, be still, and process your experience fully.
That is why we host 5+ day retreats. This gives each participant plenty of time to come fully back into their body and process their experience as well as prepare for returning home before they step foot off of the retreat center.
#6 Ongoing Support
No spiritual retreat is complete without community.
At Connect and Evolve, we personally believe it is important to keep retreats under 12 participants in order to curate deep connection.
This ultimately reflects in the ongoing support our participants share with one another. If someone is having a rough day, they have an entire tribe there to support and nurture them.
Participants also have the support of the retreat team whenever it is needed. Whether a healing process is needed, or simply someone to talk to.
We believe that every spiritual retreat facilitating plant medicine should offer this, no questions asked.
#7 The Container
And finally, the container.
The container is the overall energetic vibration of the retreat and its participants. The container is like an energetic bubble around the retreat. It provides each participant with the knowledge that they are in a safe space to express, feel, and surrender.
The container also is a place of love, support, understanding, patience, kindness, and connection. The container IS the retreat itself, and when curated by qualified, caring facilitators, the container is a warm and welcoming home.
So, there you have it!
Our top 7 reasons why we believe that you should attend a spiritual retreat if you are called to work with psychedelics and plant medicine.
For more information on upcoming retreats with myself and the Connect and Evolve team, feel free to check us out here.
Here are some other retreats we recommend. (Not all facilitate Psychedelics)