When I began my postgraduate research on the literature of psychedelics, with the University of Exeter, in 2008, my mind was blown. According to the received wisdom of mainstream medicine and law, psychedelic substances have absolutely no value whatsoever, and for all intents and purposes, are simply poisons. What I was faced with however, and what became increasingly stark, was that a whole range of medical, social, and spiritual uses had been explored and partially determined - all of which flew in the face of anti-psychedelic propaganda.
Why the sudden reversal of fortunes for these substances occurred is a complex question, but what I began to realise over the course of my research was that medicine, culture, and society, was now missing some extremely powerful tools. And, in this information age, where mental health has become such an acute issue, I realised the best way to bring these remarkable substances back to the forefront of research and application was through the dissemination of high quality media. People need to be informed in an articulate and accurate manner about them - hearts and minds transformed.
The Psychedelic Press is about believing it's time for society to fully embrace the potential of psychedelics, and this crowdfunder is about helping to enable us to bring accurate knowledge of these sacred medicines back into the light of Western culture, through a host of mind-expanding and taboo-breaking publications. We've a range of gifts for your kind donations, from personal cards, journal subscriptions and all our year's publications (details below), to some of the original artwork we've featured on our covers. Thank you for whatever you are able to give!
- Robert Dickins (editor & founder)
The Psychedelic Press aims at two things: 1) To be a public forum for psychedelic and curious culture, and 2) to raise awareness about the therapeutic, medical, and cultural significance of psychoactive plants and chemicals, through the publication of a range of media. With your kind support, the following book projects and equipment are what your money will go towards acquiring and producing:
Equipment & Website:
The Psychedelic Press UK website will be fully redesigned and expanded, and will begin publishing on a far more regular basis, paying special attention to current events and news. Curious Culture is the name of the game, and PsypressUK.com will be a gateway into it with well researched and engagingly written articles. It’s hard to believe in many respects, but the whole Psychedelic Press project has been run from a seriously aging, little netbook for the last few years. In order to make sure our publications, on all formats, are of top notch quality, and to give us the power to use a wider range of technical programs, we are hoping, with your help, to spend £1000 on new computer equipment and an updated eZine.
6 Editions of the PsypressUK journal:
With your help, the PsypressUK journal will be published on a bi-monthly basis starting from October. As well featuring articles and essays on psychedelic history and culture, the journal will include a wider range of altered experiences in its content, while also keeping abreast of the latest news developments around Britain and the world with extensive features and interviews. Advert-free, and always punctuated by great artwork, we hope that PsypressUK can become an increasingly important territory for radical discussion and information.
To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic by Ben Sessa:
To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic is a classic work of psychedelic literature written by author and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa. Rooted in the great tradition of psychedelic therapy, it tells the story of Dr. Robert Austell, a straight-up but disillusioned psychiatrist, who is distraught at the lack of help he can give his patients: too many pharmaceuticals that just don’t work. At a conference in San Francisco, he meets the enigmatic Joseph Langley, a long time psychedelic researcher who is trying to bring the therapy back into mainstream medicine. Together they set up a research programme on a farm in Somerset, and while charting the uses of various magical substances, the story unfolds to reveal the extraordinary potential of psychedelics, and culminates in an experiment that will revolutionize the way we understand death and the nature of consciousness itself.
Neuro-Apocalypse: Book 2 of the Nemu’s End series by Reverend Nemu:
After a phenomenal opening Science Revealed, part 2 of Reverend Nemu’s Nemu’s End series, Neuro-Apocalypse, promises to raise the analytical bar even higher – all with the same trickster humour and eloquent style that helped define Science Revealed. Part 2 continues his discussion of apocalypses, focusing on the role and meaning of language in different cultures, psychedelics, and the brain.
A Vision Less Travelled:
Over the course of our first 8 publications, we have been lucky enough to feature some of the finest artistic talent in the UK, with such names as Lucy Brown, Edmond Griffith-Jones, Reuben Quartermass and many, many more. While not typically psychedelic, each artist has brought their own inimitable style to bear on the psychedelic experience, and produce an interesting strain of what has become known as visionary art. A Vision Less Travelled will be large, glossy, photo and art book, which will include in-depth interviews and a critical essay exploring the dynamics of trip-art today.
Soundscapes & Psychedelics: Exploring Electronic Mind Expansion (UK edition) by James W. Jesso:
James’s ground-breaking book Soundscapes & Psychedelics is a wonderful discourse on two, so very often, intimately related experiences: the psychedelic and musical. In his introduction to the book, author Martin W. Ball writes: “James Jesso asks his readers to consider whether there might be some false divides taking place in the presumed difference between traditional and modern/technological contexts. To achieve this, he examines questions of the natural/synthetic distinction, methods of meaning making, and the preparation for and later integration of entheogenic experiences.” The current North American edition has been well received, and it’s our pleasure to be able to publish a special, limited edition UK edition. Due to be published in time for Christmas this year.
WHAT IS THE PSYCHEDELIC PRESS?
In 2008 psypressuk.com (Psychedelic Press UK) was launched as a book review website that dealt exclusively with the topic of psychedelic substances and entheogens. The intention was to create an extensive literature review as a resource for readers and researchers - with over 200 book reviews now on the site, this is a continuing project. Since then, however, the website has grown into a magazine format, including articles and news from psychedelic culture, history and science, and the PsypressUK print journal was also launched in 2012.
The journal features high quality essays and articles from authors, researchers and scientists, from across a wide-range of disciplines and fields, on the diverse topic of psychoactive plants and chemicals. Since the first issue of the journal in 2012, we've successfully published a total of 6 to date, with another planned for this October. And, incredibly, this has all been achieved through a combination of a little netbook, local library printers, and the wonderful generosity, curiosity, and insights of both readers and contributors alike.
As research proliferates in the academy, and in the clinics, and as the increasingly diverse culture of Psychedelia continues to blossom artistically, intellectually, and socially, we feel the time is ripe for a more comprehensive and regular publication detailing the great psychedelic movement in human society. And, moreover, we’ve been blessed with the chance to publish some incredibly thought-provoking and psychedelic works over the course of the next year, and it is this mission that we’d like to ask your help with - not only to preach to the converted, but to reach new audiences.
Thank you for your support – however big or small – without you, these projects would be unthinkable, and we are eternally grateful. Onwards to better medicines!