In his essay “The Mushrooms of Language,” Henry Munn writes, “The phenomenon most distinctive of the mushrooms’ effect is the inspired capacity to speak. Those who eat them are men of language, illuminated with the spirit, who call themselves the ones who speak, those who say.” Terence McKenna called psilocybin mushrooms “an extremely potent catalyst for communication” and famously theorized their role in the evolutionary development of human language itself. But does the mushroom really speak? And if so, can that communication be channeled into human writing? What does it mean to write psychedelically? In her memoir, The Wild Kindness; A Psilocybin Odyssey, Bett Williams writes about the time when she grew mushrooms in New Mexico, charting the ecstasies and dangers of living a psychedelic life. The book is part of a long tradition of literary works that move alongside the psychedelic renaissance, attempting to capture the psychedelic experience through creative prose. During this event, Bett will share a reading from her book, and then have a conversation with psychedelic therapist and podcast host Lauren Taus. She will speak about how she approaches writing about the psychedelic experience, which writers inspire her, and what to avoid when attempting to make a trip come off the page.

Bett Williams is the author of Girl Walking Backwards(St.Martins Press) and The Wrestling Party(Alyson Press.)  She was a featured speaker at the Women and Entheogens Conference in Cleveland OH in 2015 and Horizons Perspectives on Psychedelics Conference in 2018.   Regarding The Wild Kindness; A Psilocybin Odyssey, Michelle Tea writes,  “The personal, the political, the spiritual and the unknown come together into a mesmerizing read that is full-on literary fireworks.” She and her partner, Beth Hill, host the podcast, No Cures, Only Alchemy, about the intersection between psychedelics and culture. She lives in New Mexico.

Lauren Taus is a psychotherapist with over ten years of experience in the field. Lauren works actively with ketamine assisted psychotherapy in her Venice Beach based, private practice where her father is her primary prescribing MD. Lauren is also trained by MAPS in their MDMA assisted therapy protocol, and she eagerly looks forward to integrating this tool in her work.

Lauren’s approach is relational, body based and integrative. She draws primarily from Gestalt, IFS and somatic experience. Lauren champions the belief that all progress is return, and she works within a strengths based, empowerment model with all of her clients. In addition to direct service, Lauren is committed to education, decriminalization and transformative justice. You can learn more through her website and her podcast, Inbodied Life.

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