What better way to explore the psychedelic realms of human experience than the drug-free high-tech assisted state of "lucid dreaming", or dreaming while fully conscious. The Lucidity Institute presents us with the techniques, the background and the expensive REM inducement machines to plunge you straight into your own private theme park. The site itself is rather unimaginative compared to most chemically assisted sites, thus inadvertently presenting it's own argument against the technique, but I'm sure it's worth a good looking into.
Verdict: We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, could be our subconscious brains are trying to tell us something. Wake up, dream on and find out.
Hyperborea - Terence McKenna's Home Page
This man has taken the psychedelic ethos way beyond "tripping" at your local club or getting "off your face". Author, scientist, philosopher and drug fiend McKenna's mind is a Ferrari, and he has travelled the psychedelic super highway with his synapses on full throttle. He has painstakingly formulated his drug-crazed meditations into a total theory of existence and predicted a clash of reality and hyperspatial consciousness in 2012AD. It's all a bit "out there" but after perusing the site, I'm just about ready to sell everything I own, buy 35 gallons of LSD and pour it into the water supply.
Verdict: True psychedelia, from a master. Explore.
Heffter Research Institute
With a mission to save the world through mind expansion and understanding of psychedelic drugs, this highly credible organisation has a list of admirable objectives aimed at exploring the world of psychedelia with a scientific approach and a moral foundation. They are looking into every possible benefit and risk associated with psychedelic drugs, with the intention of advancing the human species in every possible way, peering through the thin veil of conscious reality and finding radical solutions to some of our big problems. Hysterical reactionaries will quickly be calmed by the clinical attitude of this institute which neither condemns nor condones drugs, but sees a huge potential for understanding the human condition through unbiased scientific research.
Verdict: No "trippy" pictures or drug crazed ravings. HRI is here so you might do all that yourself, without being labelled and insane criminal.
The Shamanistic Arts
Part of the family of the UK registered charity, World Peace Builders, a foundation dedicated to alternative consciousness, mind expansion and wild parties at Stonehenge, this section holds some fascinating information. There are quite a few quotes of historical hash smokers from Edgar Allen Poe to Jerry Garcia. This is real stuff, and these people get out there and do it. That might explain the lack of site updates, but no matter, there's enough here to please. Magical Mystery Tours are arranged where you can actually go for a holiday with a group of like minded drug takers and live the dream. Although advocating the use of dangerous chemicals, responsible and safe use is emphasised.
Verdict: Get amongst this beacon for world enlightenment. World Peace is just a few trips away.
Get ready to have your belief systems replaced like a mechanic might replace your spark plugs. MkzdK expound a theory of existence that you can't help but place a little credence in. After thousands of years of philosophical thought, the big leap forward has finally been made. Psychedelia and techno music has pulled together the Tao, the Gaia, the universe, and will send you where no priest has ever been. Science, religion, macro, micro, it's all one big dance party, and we all got past the bouncers when we were conceived. Wild graphics, wild concepts, no wonder this site is winning awards.
Verdict: Pack your skull, you're going on a trip to reality.
Bibliographia Studiorum Psychedelicorum
A hard to read site, with a lot of purple text, but containing vast resources of books about psychedelic drugs, many images of art and LSD blotting paper, and articles about the whole tripping thing. Rather informative, really, and although not many people have been here, I'm sure they all went away just that little bit more enlightened. You will too.
Verdict: Coolium, not badicum, too muchedelic small purplia texticorium.
The Peyote Foundation Home Page
The humble Peyote cactus, giver of visions and magnet for all those interested in altered states, has it's own tribute page and information resource right here. The foundation is dedicated to protecting and planting this highly respected tool for spiritual growth, as well as educating others about the role of peyote in human quests for deeper understanding of the universe and themselves. This is a sacred plant, with deep links to cultural identity.
Verdict: Maybe Jesus should have turned water into cactus, instead of some rotten grape drink. Europeans might well have "partied down" with the Native Americans then, instead of attempting heartless genocide.
LSD - My Problem Child by Albert Hoffman
The Father of LSD, research chemist Hoffman has written a book detailing not only his synthesis of LSD25 and discovery of it's profound effects, but a discourse into his more personal views on the whole psychedelic phenomenon, along with accounts of his own experiences and meetings with Al Huxley and Timmy Leary. This is the entire book in text form (get your trippy pics elsewhere) with a table of contents. Engrossing, informative, another rich jewel sparkling in cyberspace, and available for free.
Verdict: After you read this, you wonder what kind of sick and twisted minds are out there. Not Albert, but those 60's freaks who took LSD and used it for military experiments, all the while persecuting the hippies for using the stuff in peace.
Here we have a whole site dedicated to manifesting the community vision of Aldous Huxley's last book "Island" of 1962. I can't say I've read the book, but there is enough info here to get me grooving along with the vibe, man. The 60's had begun, and the world was waiting for the revolution. It was a painful but inspirational time, yet it is only now, with the birth of the net, that his utopian island can bear fruit. Chat, forums, global village consciousness and peaceful human interaction with a dash of 90's marketing allow the evolution of the revolution to gain the momentum it needs to save us all. The time's they still are a-changin'
Verdict: Dive right on in, the water is fine.
MagicURL Mystery Trip
What a great idea. Just like a good psychedelic trip, thoughts can get very erratic and end up anywhere. The Mystery Trip does the same thing in cyberspace. Click on "Drop Out" and you will be sent to a randomly selected, but quality assured link. Check it out, click the back button, and drop out again. Couldn't be much easier, and the side effects are very minimal. Unfortunately, I don't think it's been updated in about thirty years . It's a case of nice idea, shame about the crappy old links, but keep trying, especially if you have nothing better to do with your imagination. Maybe you could copy the idea and make your own mystery trip.
Verdict: Like a bad trip, hours of hellish nothingness in the hope of a glimpse of heaven, and you could end up hURLing before it wears off. Email the dude with some better links, please! I think maybe the site is too old and the effects are a little diminished.
Timothy Leary's Site (QT)
The 60's psychedelic guru may have left his corporeal form, but he is well and truly alive on the web. From the "other side" he is continuing to direct his creative team and marketing dept. to bring you a colourful and intriguing foray into his home and mind. By addressing using the 1st person, after a while you will forget the dude passed on, and his immortality will have been achieved. His bedroom is still alive with colour!
Verdict: The vision continues, the dropping out process may take centuries, and Leary deary will be there all the way
The Psychedelic Library
DRCNET, a political organisation formed to help bring an end to the tragic war on drugs, presents us here with a wellspring of psychedelic papers dealing with a wide variety of matters drug. Social implications, personal growth and drugs, political change, religious and philosophical aspects, this library is required book-marking for anyone who either needs this info for personal enlightenment, or needs to use factual and anecdotal material to support the next protest letter you will send to your local or federal politician.
Verdict: Use this stuff to save yourself the embarrassment of asking the local librarian about such a controversial subject matter.
The Lindesmith Centre
It's clinical and political, but if you are going to get involved in stuff that the general population still sees as illegal, threatening to society's moral fabric, and even downright evil, then you should be prepared to face the real world's stance in an informed light. It's OK to go tripping around the universe and back, but you may wake up to a knock on the door from the fed's, the local church minister, or your tee-totalling mother. Be prepared, and see what you can do to help the situation by maybe attending a seminar and telling everyone how freaky life is when you're whacked, and that society should tolerate other human beings and aliens, especially the ones that are talking to you now.
Verdict: Pretty straight stuff , dealing with the facts. It's worth getting involved somehow.
BLTC - Better Living Through Chemistry
One theme that seems constant through all psychedelic sites, is that as soon as you begin using mind-altering chemicals, you start questioning the very notions of existence and the very nature of the cosmos. So it is no surprise that when chemists sit down to brain cocktails, they formulate a new plan for the world. Here we have a site dedicated to furthering research into "paradise-engineering", where we use our knowledge of chemistry and genetics to create our own biological world to alleviate all suffering. Sounds good. Could be a big ask, though. I mean, how do you engineer someone not to hit themselves on the thumb with a hammer? The arguments here are very strong, though.
Verdict: Worth perusing, challenging your notions of right and wrong. This could well be what the bible predicts, joy to the world!! Pass me that test tube!
Lysergic Labs - A Mind Bending Site
WOW, these dudes are into this stuff big time. In an almighty celebration of the exploding brain, Lysergic combine intense kaleidoscopic graphics, pumping trance music, & software to deliver brain candy in a powerful web symphony of creativity. There is a lot of work here, which makes you think that maybe the preconception of all drug takers being unproductive dolts is rather archaic. Maybe it's just that the drugs have improved over the years. The music of the 60's was decidedly less up-beat than this, even though the colours are the same. It's refreshing also to get the lighter side of psychedelia, without the heavy existential stuff.
Verdict: I was late finishing these reviews because I ended up staring at all the pictures here for hours!
Psyberia Digital Garden
A great little site here by a Swedish dude who loves computer art, music and psychedelic visions. It is compact and easy to get around, with some rather moving images. A cool feature is a little disco console applet where he has combined three different mixes of the same loop and hooked them up to three images that represent the sound.
Verdict: There is colour and movement and a couple of cute girlies, and that's about all I need.
We all know this is where it all began, well at least when it all began to take off, anyway. For some who are just that little bit too young to have been there, or who were there but can't remember a thing because they were "really there", try this list of 60's bookmarks. Many musical, lifestyle and political reminiscings of the decade that changed history forever. A few dead links here, but plenty of live ones to trigger your flashbacks, or fill the void of experience which pieces together our cultural evolution and puts the reason behind the revolution we are feeling today.
Verdict: It's not a great site in itself, but it'll take you back there.
PA claims to be the largest database of online abstracts in the world when it comes to entheogenic substances. That is easy to believe when you start having a snoop around the site. There is information here on every conceivable hallucinogenic and mind altering plant known to us. Who uses it, what it is, where it grows, what it does, and a whole swathe of lists of reference reading material and web links. Not a colourful site at all once you leave the front page, but you really are here for the hard facts. There are many ways to search the site, as well as full internet scouring and external site searches for what you need. Personally, I'm not that into this stuff to really benefit from it all, but you may find the mere size of the site fascinating enough to keep browsing away here. I doubt if you'll get your hands on much of the substances represented here, though, so dream on.
Verdict: Huge! But I'd rather look at brain candy any day.
Essentially a large database of every kind of plant known to effect the brain. It's in simple and concise point form, detailing each plants characteristics and effects/side effects. If you are ever in the Amazon jungle and you want to get high, at least you'll know how to prepare and ingest a good dose of local flora, and you'll know the good and bad of what to expect, just in case you get all paranoid about losing your window seat on the flight home, you'll know it's only the drug...
Verdict: Straightforward info on the plants that God gave us. Follow the link to the illuminati guild, and voice your support for all this open discussion.
With a clever pun like that, Dave must have been pretty off his face. He must be colour blind, too, because this is the first non-kaleidoscopic users site I've seen. Cool stuff here, though. An image map of a brain gets you around the place, and there are excerpts of Alice in Wonderland, articles on drug policy, how to roll a joint, as well as tips on safe and responsible drug taking. Parents may get worried about such graphic advice on taking drugs, but I guess they ought to think twice before showing their kids how to use a cork screw. This site is frank and open, but always stresses legal, political and personal implications of getting involved in psychoactive substances. Read his theory on the World Mind Web... it could work.
Verdict: It's fun and informative. It's very well made also, just like Bill Clinton's joint.
One thing people love to do once they get into the world of psychedelia is join the crackpot brigade of theorists predicting global consciousness shifts, alien visits and crop circles. This site is high on the list of whacky notion promoters. Egypt is the main focus here. It's a bit like watching "The Extraordinary" web-style. Hidden secrets in the pyramids destined to solve all our problems, powers beyond comprehension just waiting to be unleashed. It's almost as bad as the Christians awaiting the second coming, but it's intriguing all the same. I guess no one knows what form any major change will take. Maybe everyone is right. At Armagiland, they'll keep on theorising until something happens. They have to. They are after your subscription money!
Verdict: An eclectic but overall pleasing site in the race to accurate Armageddon prediction.
Woah! Psychedelia in it's truest form. This artist gets into hallucinogenic states of mind and uses his incredible skills to create provocative, colourful and disturbing images. I just want to know how these artists can be so stoned and still do the technical process necessary to make these works. Maybe the idea is scribbled on paper with a texta, and when the drug wears off, he goes about finishing the piece using artistic skill and the power of the "flashback". However it's achieved, it's a success.
Verdict: Get ready to freak out, this is good stuff.
Levity is an entire server dedicated to anyone and anything to do with the psychedelic experience, philosophies and art. It's a little hard to review this site, since it is really just a page full of links, but what links, huh? There are a couple of them reviewed elsewhere in this section, but I'll leave it to you to explore the rest. After all, hallucinations are such personal experiences, you'd better relax, surf on in, and share them with yourself right here.
Verdict: This is no time for levity, get serious and start clicking!