Bicycle Day

The Most Famous Psychedelic Trips In History

Entheogens can create the most impactful and meaningful mystical journeys. In this article, we rank six of the most famous psychedelic trips ever

It feels like a bad trip to think that we are still living in a time of war on drugs. Luckily, this is changing quickly. Governments and mainstream society have been embracing psychedelic therapy as a safer and more effective alternative to other current methods of dealing with psychological issues like death-related anxiety and severe depression. We can thank the new wave of psychedelic researchers who are using science to illuminate the way to a more well-integrated and refreshed relationship with these medicines of the forest. Another moving force in the psychedelic science movement is the individuals in many sectors of our society who are having sacred experiences and improving themselves. What are some of the most famous psychedelic trips and how did they impact our world?

In this article, we are going to list and comment on a few of the most disruptive psychedelic trips ever. As psychedelic substances become more integrated into the mainstream, we are going to hear more and more about how LSD, or magic mushrooms can positively impact people’s lives. Both in their personal and professional lives. Nevertheless, we can’t forget that the history of psychedelic trips is as rich and varied as human civilization. From ancient rituals to modern therapeutic practices, these journeys have shaped cultures, inspired art, and expanded consciousness in brand ways. Here we will explore some of the most famous psychedelic trips in history and their lasting impact on our world.

Famous Psychedelic Trips That Changed The World

Albert Hofmann’s Bicycle Day

picture of Albert Hofmann bicycle day
Albert Hofmann – Picture: Wikimedia Commons

LSD-25 was the 25th element extracted from the Ergot fungus in 1938. It wasn’t until five years later that Hofmann accidentally discovered the mind-bending effects of LSD and organized the first planned LSD trip in history on the 19th day of April 1943, Dr. Hofmann ingested a small (or so he thought) amount of LSD-25. When the trip started he was in his lab in Switzerland with his assistant Susie and what followed was an intense altered state of consciousness, with vivid hallucinations and powerful effects on the mind. 

Afraid of having poisoned himself, he asked his assistant to accompany him home with the bicycle. When he got home the effects approached the peak and he was freaking out because he thought that he intoxicated himself. Susie called a doctor who arrived just after the peak of the experience. The doctor assured him that aside from the abnormally dilated pupils, there was nothing to be alarmed of, physically. After Hofmann understood that there was no reason to be alarmed, he let the experience run its course. After, he started to appreciate the insights and the beautiful dance of lights and shapes in front of his eyes.

As the creator of LSD, Albert Hofmann changed the landscape of psychedelic research by producing a powerful and abundant compound that can give valuable insight into the mind of the user. Not long after the famous psychedelic trip of the bicycle day, Hofmann’s lab developed an LSD-based product and made it available for research and health professionals.

Maria Sabina Magic Mushroom Trip With Wasson

picture of maria sabina psychedelic integration

This was THE trip that changed how we see psychedelics and it effectively revealed magic mushrooms to the public eye. In this public arena (maybe too public) we see a traditional shaman, a Mazatec curandera from Mexico playing a pivotal role in introducing Westerners to the sacred tradition of the Velada ceremonies. The Velada are healing ceremonies that involve the ritualistic use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms (known as holy children). Since the sacred Veladas became famous, everyone wanted to see for themselves. The movement attracted people from all over the world including figures like the Beatles John Lennon and Dr. Albert Hofmann, the creator of LSD himself.

The first one to start this movement was a banker called Gordon Wasson who was fascinated by mushrooms in 1955, he and his wife Valentina Oavlovna Wasson embarked on a journey to Mexico in search of the indigenous ritual use of mushrooms. Their research led them to encounter Maria Sabina, a healer renowned for her knowledge of sacred mushrooms and healing ceremonies.

With this, Wasson and his wife became the first Westerners to participate in and document the ritualist use of psilocybin mushrooms. He published a famous psychedelic trip report in the groundbreaking article titled “Seeking the Magic Mushroom” in Life magazine in 1957. Wasson research and advocacy played a crucial role in catalyzing the psychedelic movement. His work inspired subsequent generations of researchers, writers, and spiritual seekers to explore the transformative properties of psychedelic substances and their cultural significance.

Excerpt from a documentary that speaks about Wasson’s search for the magic mushroom – (Available on YouTube)

Mestre Irineu’s Ayahuasca Trip

Santo Daime is a centenary organization that conducts religious ceremonies in centres all over the world assisted by the entheogenic Ayahuasca brew, a psychedelic drink that has a long history of indigenous use in the tribes of the Amazon rain forest. The Santo Daime was created in the 19th century with the mission of spreading the ritualistic use of the Ayahuasca plant to all peoples. Nowadays, the Santo Daime is present in most of the most popular countries in the world.

The foundation of the Santo Daime religion started with a series of psychedelic trips with the sacred Ayahuasca drink. Mestre Irineu was a descendant of African slaves brought to Brazil during the 18th and 19th centuries. His life took a drastic turn when he came in contact with the Ayahuasca brew. During one of his first experiences, he had a vision of a beautiful god-like lady who told him to consume the brew every day for one month eating nothing except cassava roots and water.

Since he followed the tripping routine by the end, he had developed a close relationship with the Ayahuasca brew and the entity he communicated with. During this famous psychedelic trip, the goddess told him that she would grant him one wish with the condition that he dedicated his life to spreading the word of Ayahuasca throughout the world. He asked her to put in the drink anything that the user wishes for, and this is why the name of the religion is Santo Daime (Dai-me means give-me in Portuguese).

An example of a modern-day Ayahuasca ceremony in the Santo Daime tradition – (Available on YouTube)

Kary Mullis’ Nobel Prize Winner LSD Trip

Kary Mullis, an American biochemist and Nobel Prize laureate, famously credited LSD with inspiring his groundbreaking discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. In his memoir, Mullis recounts a transformative and famous psychedelic trip with LSD that he experienced while driving through northern California, during which he envisioned a novel approach to DNA amplification. This visionary insight ultimately revolutionized the field of molecular biology. He enabled scientists to replicate and study DNA sequences with unprecedented precision. Mullis’ testimony underscores the profound influence of psychedelics on scientific innovation and creative problem-solving. Furthermore, Kary Mullis challenged conventional notions of consciousness and inspiration in pursuing knowledge.

When asked if he would have gotten his Eureka moment without having experimented with LSD he responded:

“Probably not.”

Santana’s Famous Psychedelic Trip at Woodstock (LSD)

Woodstock 1969, Carlos Santana had 12 hours to kill before his performance in front of more than 400,000 people. His friend Jerry Garcia offers him some LSD. Not long after Carlos Santana starts to feel like he is floating around floating like a bird. Everything changed quickly when plans changed and Santana had to perform earlier than expected. This happened in the middle of the peak of the effects. Nevertheless, he had to perform during the LSD trip and the effects were super strong.

What followed was an epic concert that effectively launched Santana’s career to stardom. This event allowed him to become the successful musician he ended up being. He played Soul Sacrifice completely high. Nowadays, he says that he felt like the neck of his guitar was like snakes and all he could do was trust that his fingers would somehow remember where to go. The result is a soul-inflaming performance, one of Woodstock’s most memorable shows, and one of the most famous psychedelic trips.

Recording of the infamous Woodstock performance in 1969 – Carlos Santana performs the song Soul Sacrifice – (Available on YouTube)

Aldous Huxley’s Door Opening Experience

Aldous Huxley is the visionary author of “Brave New World” and “The Doors of Perception,”. He embarked on a lifelong exploration of consciousness facilitated by psychedelics such as mescaline and LSD. Huxley’s eloquent descriptions of his psychedelic experiences, documented in “The Doors of Perception,” continue to inspire seekers and thinkers alike. He challenged societal taboos surrounding the use of psychedelics. And, he advocated for their potential as tools for personal and spiritual transformation.

His trip report is one of the most beautiful descriptions of something that just can’t be described. Having a literary genius like Aldous Huxley illuminate the psychedelic landscape is a blessing we should be grateful for. In 1954 he released The Doors of Perception. This book invites the reader to delve deep into profound insights and opens our eyes to the transformative potential of altered states of consciousness by taking us on his famous psychedelic trip.

Aldous Huxley speaks on Psychedelics – (Available on YouTube)

Famous Psychedelic Trips and the Future

Each of these figures exemplifies the diverse and profound ways in which psychedelic experiences have shaped human history and consciousness. From ancient rituals to modern scientific breakthroughs, psychedelics continue to challenge and expand our understanding of reality. As we navigate the evolving landscape of psychedelic research and cultural discourse, we honour the wisdom of those who have journeyed before us. Like this, we pave the way for a more compassionate, interconnected, and enlightened world.

Integration is the key to transforming these transformative experiences into tangible positive changes in the lives of everyone around us. Having an integration coach accompany you in your explorations and psychedelic integration, can make a drastic positive impact on your experience. Browse our specialized coaches and boost your psychedelic integration journey.

Thanks for reading and have a great trip!

sources for the article – famous psychedelic trips

Griffiths RR, Johnson MW, Carducci MA, Umbricht A, Richards WA, Richards BD, Cosimano MP, Klinedinst MA. Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. J Psychopharmacol. 2016 Dec;30(12):1181-1197. doi: 10.1177/0269881116675513. PMID: 27909165; PMCID: PMC5367557.

article: Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depression Effective for Up to a Year for Most Patients, Study Shows –

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