Once a month, Fern*, 32 and her fiance Connor*, 25, set aside some time to devote to their relationship. They’ll dim the lights of their one bedroom flat, wrap up together in a soft blanket, light some candles, and turn off their phones. But this isn’t prep for an extensive session of Netflix and chill—this is their special routine for a new type of couples therapy: tripping on funghi.
Magic mushrooms have been a part of human culture for thousands of years: Long before Alice fell down the rabbit hole, ancient civilizations from the Egyptians to the Aztecs were having ritualized encounters with the psychedelic growths. Then in the 1950s and early 70s mushrooms were picked up by hippies in search of spiritual expansion.
In more recent years, however, they have been scrutinized more closely for their potential as boosters of our mental health. Not only have mushrooms been found to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety, research also showsthat consuming them can bring on spiritually significant experiences that result in long-term changes to the behaviors and values associated with openness. In other words, people on mushrooms can become more sensitive to feelings, and more accepting of other people’s views.
We’ll have this incredible deep chat that we didn’t even know we wanted to have.
Fern, a naturopath, and Connor, a furniture maker, first used mushrooms together after they had been dating for a year. Fern had become familiar with the world of psychedelic therapy through her work with alternative plant medicines. “I’d met people who use them like you would yoga or meditation—as a regular practice for self care and self exploration,” Fern says. “We didn’t do it for recreation, although it can be fun. We wanted to learn more about each other.”
“[Connor and I] always set an intention, and our intention for the first trip was to ‘trust’ the medicine and what it can show you,” she continues. “At first, I felt these warm flushes all around my body and became hyper-aware of the limbs and the hairs on my body, as well as the textures and ambience around me. This shared energy and connection created a bubble for us to see everything about each other and we just laughed and laughed like children.
“It felt like every sensation was something I was feeling for the first time as we ran our fingers over each other’s bodies.”
Read the full article here: VICE