S3E28: Do Entheogens Have Something to Offer Therapeutically?

Learn about hallucinogenic drugs, spirituality, and serious illness

In this episode we talk about the use of entheogens – sacred hallucinogenic substances – to address the spiritual needs of people with terminal illnesses.  

psilocybin mushrooms, one of the many entheogens traditionally used
Psilocybin mushrooms, one of the many entheogens traditionally used (also featured in S1E51)

Finding meaning and purpose in our lives can be challenging at times, but may be even harder in the face of advanced serious illness.   This week we talk about the use of entheogens – medicines that create an experience of the sacred – into the spiritual and holistic care of people diagnosed with advanced serious illnesses.

Entheogens are chemical substances, typically of plant origin, that is swallowed to produce a nonordinary state of consciousness for religious or spiritual purposes.

Entheogens include sacred medicines used for millennia by indigenous people for healing and spiritual growth, such as psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, peyote, iboga, and Salvia divinorum. 

Charlie also shares with us some very interesting facts about psychedelics and entheogens.

Related Podcasts for this Episode:

Reference List:

  • Belser, A. B., Agin-Liebes, G., Swift, T. C., Terrana, S., Devenot, N., Friedman, H. L., . . . Ross, S. (2017). Patient experiences of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy: An interpretive phenomenological analysis. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 57, 354-388.
  • Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W., Carducci, M. A., Umbricht, A., Richards, W. A., Richards, B. D., . . . Klinedinst, M. A. (2016). Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30, 1181-1197.
  • Griffiths, R. R., Richards, W., McCann, A., & Jesse, U. (2006). Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance. Psychopharmacology, 187, 268-283.
  • Rosa, W., & Estes, T. (2016). What end-of-life care needs now: An emerging praxis of the sacred and subtle. Advances in Nursing Science, 39, 333-345.
  • Rosa WE, Hope S, Matzo M. Palliative Nursing and Sacred Medicine: A Holistic Stance on Entheogens, Healing, and Spiritual Care. Journal of Holistic Nursing. 2019;37(1):100-106. doi:10.1177/0898010118770302.
  • Rosa, W., & Hope, S. (2017). Pain and suffering at end of life: Birthing the sacred passage. Beginnings, 37(4), 10-13.
  • Ross, S., Bossis, A., Guss, J., Agin-Liebes, G., Malone, T., Cohen, B., . . . Schmidt, B. (2016). Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30, 1165-1180.
  • Swift, T. C., Belser, A. B., Agin-Liebes, G., Devenot, N., Terrana, S., Friedman, H. L., . . . Ross, S. (2017). Cancer at the dinner table: Experiences of psilocybin assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of cancer related distress. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 57, 488-519.


Dusty Bottles

Once again, Everyone Dies Wakes the Dead with the poetry from Willie Nelson’s latest album “A Beautiful Time” which is his 72ND solo studio album. This song is called “Dusty Bottles”

Dusty Bottles - Willie Nelson, from A Beautiful Time

There's something to be said for gettin' older
Dusty bottles pour a finer glass of wine
An old beat-up guitar just sounds better
And wisdom only comes with time
I can spot mistakes before they happen
Separate the BS from the truth
I'm learnin' when I need to keep my mouth shut
Like I couldn't in my wild and wasted youth

Don't get me wrong
It's good bein' young
But there's somethin' to be said for getting wrinkles
Every song worth singin's got those lines
And there's nothin' you can do, it's gonna happen
Sit down and drink a beer with fathеr time

Don't get me wrong
I miss bеin' young
But there's somethin' to be said for getting older
And agin' seems to mellow out the mind
Memories are made to sip and savour
And dusty bottles pour a finer glass of wine.

A Beautiful Time by Willie Nelson: You can purchase here: https://amzn.to/3xDPc1n   #affiliate

Recipe of the Week

This week we bring you stuffed mushroom casserole from Food Network. It’s up to you what kind of mushroom you put in there!

Stuffed Mushroom Casserole from Food Network

We are also selected as one of the Top 50 Grief Blogs on the Web!
Cowboy playing his guitar by a coffin, and a dog howling. Coffin is vibrating... Learn about songs to wake the dead. Learn about funeral music at Every1dies.org

As a songwriter, ‘Everyone Dies’ is inviting you to showcase your original work on an upcoming podcast.

There are many wonderful songs that could be played at a funeral. We also know there are songs that could be played, but are cringeworthy (e.g. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead; Another One Bites the Dust; Ring of Fire, etc.).

We are inviting you to send us a recording of two of your original songs (i.e. that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not) to be included in the third half of the ‘Everyone Dies’ podcast. We will include as many artists over the next year (maybe longer if we are enjoying the segment) as possible.

What we need:
Go to this link, fill out the form and submit it along with your two original songs in .wav or .mp3 format (i.e. two original songs that could be played at a funeral, one that is appropriate, one that is likely not). We will screen them and let you know what week your work will be included. We will include all your information in our show notes so people can purchase your recordings.

From Everyone Dies:

Everyone Dies: and yes, it is normal!

Everyone Dies (and yes, it is normal) is a story about a young boy named Jax who finds something special on the beach where he and his grandpa Pops are enjoying a wonderful day. Pops helps Jax understand that death is a normal part of life. This book provides an age appropriate, non-scary, comfortable way to introduce the important topic of mortality to a preschool child. Its simple explanation will last a lifetime. Autographed copies for sale at: www.everyonediesthebook.com. Also available at Amazon

Mourning Jewelry
mourning jewelry earings

We offer a way to memorialize your loved one or treasured pet with a piece of handmade jewelry.  When people comment on it and the wearer can say for example “I received this when my mother died” which opens the conversation about this loss. All our jewelry is made with semi-precious stones and beads, vintage beads, and pearls. You can choose between earrings or bracelets and the color family. Learn More

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