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Hey, I’m Josh, Lead of Visual Communications at the Psychedelic Society. My role at the Psychedelic Society lies at the intersection of two of my strongest passions; creativity as a vehicle for positive change and the sensible use of psychedelic substances for transformative experiences.
Psychedelics are responsible for the most inspiring, profound and insightful experiences of my life and had a huge impact on the way I perceive the world. My use of these powerful tools have influenced so many positive lifestyle changes that have resulted in me being much happier and healthier but ultimately given me the perspective to be truly grateful for the miraculous gift of life. I’m a highly curious individual and I am fascinated by many topics including metaphysics, sacred geometry and the concept of non-duality.
I balance my time behind the screen by practising hot yoga, hiking or mountain biking. I’m happiest when I’m exploring, when I’m learning new things, when I am helping others and when I am contemplating the nature of the universe.
Claudia Zurawell Elliot
Claudia Zurawell Elliot
I’m Claudia. I lead the Psychedelic Society’s press work; looking at how we can raise awareness of the work we do, and of the value of psychedelics for spiritual development and mental health. I have a BSc in Social Anthropology from LSE, and have spent ten years working in communications for social, environmental, and economic justice.
I believe a just, compassionate and sustainable world cannot be realised without ensuring people’s psychological wellbeing. When I began to understand the relationship between personal and social wellbeing, I trained as a coach, and now coach social change-makers. My interest in psychedelics is also in their potential to improve personal mental health and wellbeing, and the possibilities this could hold for improving the health of communities and societies too.
Outside of work, I like anything active, anything to do with food, dancing, doing crosswords, and laughing. I’m eternally trying to establish a meditation practice.
Hi! I'm Stephen Reid, born and raised in London. I attained an undergraduate degree in Physics at Oxford, and then a Masters in Complexity Sciences at Bristol.
I had funding to continue to PhD but at the last minute I dropped out and went to live in Strasbourg, France. After 4 months I returned to the UK and immersed myself in the world of climate activism with the Camp for Climate Action ('Climate Camp').
In October 2010, with friends from Climate Camp, I set up UK Uncut, an anti-austerity direct action group focusing on the issue of corporate tax dodging.
In 2011, I started working for the New Economics Foundation (NEF), a people-and-planet focused thinktank. There I co-founded the New Economy Organisers Network (NEON), a network bringing together campaigners, academics, activists, trade unionists, politicians and others working to bring about a new economic system.
In the summer of 2011 I had my first major drug experience with MDMA at Glastonbury Festival. A year later, I had my first psychedelic experience with 2C-B at Shambala Festival, which inspired a fascination with psychedelics.
In December 2012, I became the youngest ever board member of Greenpeace UK. In 2013 I left NEF and started working as a freelance digital consultant/developer for organisations including 38 Degrees, the Labour Party, the Green Party, 350.org, the Living Wage Foundation, Positive Money, SumOfUs, 10:10 and Brandalism.
In 2014, having just returned from Nowhere (the largest of the European Burning Man events), I founded the Psychedelic Society, which continues to be my main project.
Since 2017 I have been fascinated with metamodern/Teal thinking. In mid-2018, the Psychedelic Society started making the transition to becoming a Teal organisation.
Hi, I’m Lode, one of the Lead facilitators on the Experience Retreats. I also run Dharma-Delia, a Buddhist meditation class for consciousness explorers at the Psychedelic Society headquarters, and am a trainee transpersonal psychotherapist practicing in London, passionate about the synergy between psychotherapy, and meditative and psychedelic non-ordinary states of consciousness.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been fascinated by the human mind. This deep-seated curiosity led me in my late teens on a wonderful journey to India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand where I discovered Buddhism and attended my first meditation retreats, after years of searching for insights and answers in Western philosophy and various religious and spiritual traditions. Words truly cannot express the way in which Buddhism changed my life, and continues to do so daily. In 2009 at the end of my travels, I finally met my root teacher, a Tibetan Buddhist master in the Vajrayana tradition. Since then, I have been training extensively under his close guidance, and have so far spent just over 600 days in retreat, including some prolonged periods of complete silence and solitude.
It was also up in the Himalayas that I had my very first psychedelic experiences, which also opened up some significant doors into the inner realms of our being — our heart, our aliveness, our connectedness to one another and to the Earth. I am so grateful for these precious opportunities, and feel deeply honoured to now be holding space for people to embark on similarly transformative journeys. I bring to my work a deep appreciation of the potential of the human heart, as well as a genuine longing to live purposefully by helping and benefiting others to the very best of my ability.
Hi, I'm Biz. My soul mission is to amplify joy in the world. I am a freelance facilitator who has heard the call to hold space for women and is responding by collaborating with others from around the world exploring what it is to be a woman at this time. I experience a sense of clarity, purpose and meaning when amongst a circle of women. This focus has been a recurrent thread running through my work, ranging from the mundane to the adventurous (from boardrooms to boats - sailing across the Atlantic aboard an engine-less tallship being the highlight) exploring themes of sustainability, community-building and education.
Combining my thirst for adventure with a desire to make ideas happen, I have been supporting teams of young adults to set up social enterprises and community projects at Edventure:Frome, where I am now a trustee. I feel at home in psychedelic spaces that unleash my creativity, a deep reverence for life and connection to the natural world. Having been thrown in the deep end of a tumultuous year and journeyed through life's cocktail of dark and light, joy and pain, I value more than ever the power of working with groups in this way, humbled by holding space for others' healing and allowing the great mystery of these medicines to unfold. Mindful eating and soulful dancing are top on my list of life's pleasures along with running, cycling and wild swimming. I am currently based in Brighton where you'll find me running along the seafront training for a marathon and Iron (wo)man triathlon, unleashing my inner Artemis.
Gaia Harvey Jackson
Gaia Harvey Jackson
Hi, I’m Gaia, I am the London events coordinator for the Psychedelic Society and facilitator of the Psychedelic Women’s Circles. For me psychedelics are a tool to gain deeper insight into our minds and the nature of existence. They remind me of what really matters and bring me home to the truth of who I am. There are many other tools that I have also found incredibly powerful to this end, such as; meditation, yoga, dance, singing, sensuality and music (amongst others) I am passionate about programming many different holistic events because I see them as; a place for our community to come together and connect, alternative opportunities for exploring consciousness, and as tools that will support psychonauts on their psychedelic adventures.
In 2014 I graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama with a BA in Performance Art: Theatre Practice. I have experience in producing cabaret and festivals, devising and performing in immersive theatre productions, and photography and film making. In 2015 I discovered Buddhism and meditation, and since then have developed a spiritual practice which has infiltrated my creative work.
I now facilitate ceremonies, rituals and workshops which combine elements of pagan ritual, buddhist philosophy, tantric practices, sound healing, and theatre games. I am fascinated with human connection, following the natural cycles of the earth and our bodies and finding ways to create deeper and more authentic intimacy between people. My personal mission is to bring more love, play and joy into the world in creative and imaginative ways.
I'm Rhodri, Bristol Co-ordinator of The Psychedelic Society. My very first psychedelic experience opened the door to a path of increasing self-awareness, personal development and finding meaning in myself and in the world. I'm a student of the power of presence, play, imagination, systems, sensation, ecology, spirituality, group work and the possibilities of organising spontaneously, going beyond oppression and hierarchy.
Sometimes I describe myself as an undisciplined multi-disciplinary artist-activist. I work to undermine consensus reality with sensuality, self-defeating behaviour and shamanic practice. My work covers the domains of sound, film, organising, performance, software and agriculture. As an organiser and facilitator, this means holding space for ecstasy and transformation, for coming into contact with the full vibrancy and joy and terror of the human (and non-human) experience, for making friends and dancing with what we find in our inner ecology.
Day to day, I'm training as a counsellor and work in substance misuse and harm reduction. I hold a BA in Computer Science from Cambridge University, and worked as a software engineer for almost a decade before acting on the realisation that technology doesn't create or solve problems – people do. My interests lie in connecting the psychedelic experience to other ecstatic, occult and spiritual traditions as well as western philosophy, science, ecology and psychology. I see them all as technologies of liberation and empowerment, and the body as the most effective starting point for any journey of transformation. In my therapeutic work I make use of altered states, the wisdom of the body, working with wildness and the land, music and performance and conventional talking therapies.
Hi, I’m Anya, Video Lead in the Psychedelic Society. Through psychedelics I have experienced a profound transformation, and real healing. I was filled with gratitude, and made it my life’s mission to change the general public’s perception of psychedelics. By lifting the stigma through wider education, we will influence civil society and reform outdated drug laws, allowing for psychedelic usage in therapy. I strongly believe that psychedelics are powerful tools capable of healing and improving the wellbeing of many individuals, which in turn has true potential to heal society by and large.
A passion for documentary films and music videos led me towards an MA in Filmmaking, specializing in documentary and experimental forms. Soon after, I joined the charity Marie Curie, as their Head of Video. In 2016 I decided to strike out on my own, founding Spelt Productions. My current clients include THTC Clothing, the UK’s leading ethical streetwear label, for whom I have produced a number of lifestyle and music videos, as well as creating activist content supporting the deregulation of hemp and medical cannabis in the UK. Despite a full work calendar on any given week, my focus remains with supporting the psychedelic movement and creating compelling video content to that end.
When away from my computer and camera, I practice yoga, meditation and embrace psychedelia - necessary tools for expanding my consciousness and centering myself. I also love spending my time dancing at psy trance festivals, contemplating nature and the universe, as well as traveling and meeting fellow psychonauts around the world.
Hello, I’m Alana. I’m one of the events co-ordinators for Bristol and I also facilitate the Psychedelic Movement Journeys. My experiences with psychedelics have been some of the most creative, heart expanding and insightful moments of my life. They have allowed me greater understanding about our world and the interconnectedness of everything within it. I’m passionate about working for the Psychedelic Society because I believe in the transformative possibilities of the creative experience that can be gained through psychedelics and artistic practices.
I’m an artist working in the realms of movement, theatre, circus, creative expression and music, weaving into these practices holistic, spiritual and mystical influences. For the past four years I have been facilitating, holding space and creating environments that give permission for radical creative expression, whilst also developing my research and performance practices that centre around movement and mythology. I use movement meditation and physical embodiment to encourage presence, providing us with a greater awareness and understanding of self. Using the body and the mind in this way can induce altered states of consciousness without substances, as well as supporting the psychedelic experience during, or after a trip. I have a BA (Hons) in Physical Theatre & Apprenticeship of Circus.
Outside of work I attempt use my body as much as possible. I practice yoga, train in aerial circus, dance contact improvisation and many other different dance practices including 5Rhythms. I’m passionate about nature, working with land, cycles, seasons, human connection and environmentalism.
Hi, I’m Stef, Director of Experience at the Psychedelic Society. I have a deep passion for introducing people to psychedelics and for creating an environment that will support mystical experience for those who have only taken them in a recreational context. Psychedelics have granted me some of the most profound experiences of my life, the ripples of which continue to have a positive and deeply meaningful impact on my life. I have experience with a wide variety of psychedelics, but have taken them with great respect and care every time, and believe in the importance of doing so.
I am a certified Forrest Yoga teacher, and have a regular meditation practice, most strongly inspired by Osho and the Diamond Approach. But my prayer is dance. I enjoy all kinds of rhythmic movement expression, but most regularly I dance tango, 5Rhythms and daily morning boogies at my house! I also play the Hang and clarinet, and love all things food and nourishment related.
My calling has always been to help others, initially leading me to obtain a bachelor in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford, and Masters degrees in International Affairs from Sciences Po in Paris and Columbia University in New York, followed by work in the environmental and human rights sector. However, as my own path has unfolded and spiritual journey deepened, I have become increasingly interested in the inner dimensions of change and healing, and specifically the overlap between psychotherapy and spirituality. After participating in the life-changing Path of Love (POL) process, I completed a training as a Holistic Counsellor, as well as additional modules in relationship counselling with the founders of POL, further refining my skillset to support others on their path towards truth and authenticity.
It is a profound honour to facilitate the Psychedelic Experience weekends and I do so bringing everything I've learned, and most importantly my full presence and love to hold the space and support those undertaking these deep, cosmic journeys.
Hello, I’m Ciara. I am passionately working as Experience Coordinator for The Psychedelic Society, facilitating the Experience Retreats in The Netherlands. Over the course of my adult life psychedelics have acted as beneficial tools for my personal development, creativity and healing. By getting to know myself through the use of psychedelics and other spiritual practices, I have discovered that my purpose is to guide people along the path of going deeper into themselves and assisting with personal inquiry and transformation. I live this purpose by working on a project that expands awareness of society, bringing people together over vulnerability, wonder and love.
I have a background in festival harm reduction, working with people who are having overwhelming substance related experiences in difficult environments, aiming to transform challenging experiences into ones of growth. I have undertaken drug welfare training, volunteered at festivals such as Boom, and completed training on Integrating Psychedelic Experience with MAPS. I have great interest in Celtic Shamanic practices and have taken part in a Transpersonal Shamanic Psychotherapy course with which I gained a lot of skills and appreciation for such work. I am also a BioDynamic Rebalancing bodywork therapist, practicing massage therapy with the intention of releasing both physical and emotional trauma from the psyche.
My grounded nature and compassionate heart is utilized best when facilitating psychedelic experiences for people. I feel deeply honored to get to do the work I do with such an inspiring team. When I'm not working, I feel most alive when I am creating art, immersed in nature, travelling and dancing.