Origins of the Psychedelic Society of St Louis

By Lew Blink in 2019

This story is not easy to tell, yet for me, it is an important story, and transformational to the very DNA in my being. How to tell it …. has always been the problem and when it comes to this subject, the 2014 version of myself was very very enthusiastic. I had a lot to learn and I even replaced most of my living body cells during that time. It is unusual in nature and thus this story is told by two people. Two versions of ME, a Reflective one and a Social media Animal via the Public Record (time stamped).

A pamphlet I used to hand out.

That day on Cahokia

*On the Spring Equinox of 2014, I stood on top of an ancient Cahokia Indian Mound and did a ritual with some people as interested in Psychedelics and Plant based Shamanism as I. Loving the work of Terence McKenna, the great Bard of Psychedelic culture and his notion of Psychedelic Society, I was inspired by Daniel Jabbour, the founder of the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco to start my own chapter in St Louis just days after that powerful Equinox ritual.

Lew Blink created the group The Psychedelic Society of STL.- Mar 20, 2014 10:06pm

*The night the FaceBook group was formed. The original members were only 7 in number but word spread quickly and we had dozens within weeks, and hundreds within a month. An idea was taking shape as I went to festivals, drum circles, and psychedelic online forums to spread the idea.

Lew Blink posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. Ok you few beautiful people. I have been in contact with the Psychedelic Society of San Fran and not only is it becoming National with a new website .org style, but they want local chapters. I am going to talk to Daniel this weekend and hammer out details. Looks like we might be official within 36 hours of creation. I would like to discuss a meeting time for founding this thing. I like a Wednesday night for now. I will post more details. Then we can spread the word. Mar 22, 2014 1:33pm

*It was a podcast that introduced me to the idea of a Psychedelic Society. The podcast was a live recording of a speech given by Daniel Jabbour at the Palenque Nortre speaker series at Burning Man. Lorenzo from the Psychedelic Salon podcast was broadcasting the scientific and far out speeches made during the famous desert Festival. Terence McKenna was a popular speaker as well as cutting edge scientists and thinkers, now in popular culture, featured stars on the small tent stage. Daniel sat in a chair and calmly spoke with an intense passion about what a Psychedelic Society could be. He created a forum for a psychedelic conversation that would spread from that Podcast into the world and me.

Lew Blink posted in Evolver St Louis.
I am pleased to announce that a local chapter of the Psychedelic Society has been started in St Louis. We are taking our lead and inspiration from the San Francisco branch. We are affiliated with the National group that is fresh and newly formed. Simply put this is an intellectual and discussion based support group that is interested in fostering dialogue and community in the Psychedelic community in St Louis. Please feel free to join and help build an exciting new voice in this city. Mar 23, 2014 11:22am

*Terence McKenna told an audience in 1984 that the idea of a Psychedelic Society came to him when he accidentally used the phrase and he spend a lot of time thinking about it’s meaning. It was connected to his philosophy of an Archaic Revival happening in the world.

Lew Blink posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL.What I think a psychedelic society, what that notion means or implies to me in terms of ideology, is the idea of creating a society which always lives in the light of the mystery of being. In other words, that solutions should be displaced from the central role that they have had in social organization. And mysteries, irreducible mysteries, should be put in their place.Terence McKenna on Psychedelic Society

Early logo design.

Lew Blink posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. hey guys
We are up on Meet-up.com, so join up. I talked to Daniel Jabbour a couple nights ago and I have been added to the national list serve, which means….wait for it….
I have access to the Psychedelic Society’s speakers contact info. If we get our act together and start meetings and growing in size, than I could get Daniel Pinchbeck, David Metcalfe or big big wish…. Graham Hancock to come to St Louis. Yay !! Mar 27, 2014 8:41am

*Daniel Jabbour was fascinating person to get to know. He had come from New York to San Francisco in the tech wave of the early 2010s. Together with his friend Jason, they had the first Psychedelic Society meetings in New York, then Daniel moved to the west coast. San Francisco was a fresh start and he was in a tech rush with networking skills and talent. Danial also had a bigger vision and he shared it with the right people. Burning Man was growing in popularity at the time and with some contacts from MAPS and Rick Doblin, the Psychedelic Society was born with a sponsor. An idea born in New York but tested in a “legal” state that found itself in an ideal juncture of history within the huge scientific/advocacy/psychedelic cultures. The newly formed Meetup was launched with a few successful meetings and network in creation, when Daniel happened upon my email in March of 2014. He called me 2 hours after I sent that email, exclaiming…”I never expected St Louis to be one of the first.”

Lew created an event for The Psychedelic Society of STL. Place: 5864 Goener Ave 2nd floor. St Louis. MO 63116. A block behind Lemmons on Gravois, near the Bevo Mill. Apr 22, 2014 7:00pm. Lets explore the term Psychedelic and its various incarnations in history. Discuss the direction the group is interested in going. Group introductions and have some fun as well. Introduction to the Psychedelic. Mar 29, 2014 9:14am

First Meeting

Lew posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. I was shocked to learn this morning that Daniel Jabbour, the founder of The Psychedelic Society of San Francisco passed away on Sunday. He was so young and had a vibrant energy that vibrated my soul to found this group. I will continue the work he started to make sure pychonauts band together and make a safe place for the sacred plants in our society. He will be the first honorary saint for our group. Apr 16, 2014 7:40am

Lew created an event for The Psychedelic Society of STL. Place: Grand Basin Yoga Forest Park . Address: Lagoon Drive, Forest Park, St. Louis 63112. It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Daniel Jabbour, Founder of the Psychedelic Society of San Francisco, passed away in a tragic accident last Sunday. We invite anyone who would like to pay their respects to join us Saturday, April 19. Though moving forward without Daniel will not be easy, we are committed to keeping the Psychedelic Society alive and active. There will be a moment of silence in honor of Daniel before the ride. On April 19, 1943, Albert Hofman in the first LSD experiment, took a dose and went for a bike ride. 71 years after that day. We at the Psychedelic Society of St Louis would like to honor his effort by doing a Bicycle Ride in Forest Park. It is a great opportunity to meet other members and have some fun before our first meeting which will mostly likely be a very talky affair. This Ride is not a recreation of Hofmanns ride, SO PLEASE BE SAFE. We will just do a leisurely ride, weather providing. Cool is OK, Rain is not. April 19th -Bicycle Day (Daniel Jabbour memorial ride)

71 years after Hofmann rode his bike, PSSL was born.

*It is emotional for me to talk about Daniel. I didn’t know him well, but we connected in our short time together and we shared a burning drive to create something unique and we still bore the influence of Terence McKenna’s central core idea. A Psychedelic Society, one phrase that is complex and yet understood by those who have had there lives altered by a psychedelic experience. We lived in Direct Experience and the Mystery of Being, McKenna liked to say. The most magical thing happened, our first meeting was originally a Monday, but with Daniel’s death and that shift to honor him on LSD’s famous Birthday (metaphorically), so thus we were born as a Collective Society, 71 years after Albert Hoffman, the founder of LSD, rode a bike home on Acid.

Lew created an event for PSSL. Place: Lew’s place, 5864 Goener Ave St Louis MO, 63116. May 08, 2014 7:00pm The Mushroom adventure. We will explore the history, the myth, the science and the methods of these “Food of the Gods”, the wonderful Mushroom. What is Psilocybin? What is a velada ceremony? Which ones are toxic, edible, and which ones bring you into the mystical experience. Come learn from a team that knows their shrooms. There will be a group discussion. Psychedelic Society STL presents the Mushroom adventure. Apr 24, 2014 2:03pm

*I started calling events …. Episodes after the Mushroom meeting, and another strange idea was born during that Episode, I realized that WE were the Mushroom. ??? Ok, so a mushroom cap is really just the “fruiting body” of a network underground and the shape is simply a chemical reaction. Nitrogen and decay, with a little heat and moisture stir up a series of bacteria type growths that we call a Mycellium network. There is a real forest in Oregon that contains a single mushroom, miles long. Under our trees, these networks live and it eat and feed the tree system. It is said we couldn’t have forests without the nitrogen based organism that create mushrooms. So an Episode for the PSSL, was just a space for Psychedelic People to come and communicate ideas, make connections, learn and form bonds/community. The Psychedelic Society was a social event based around theme topics that created a “fruiting body” for a finite amount of time and stayed largely underground. We didn’t have a big psychedelic “coming out” party, we just shared = space for around 70 meetings over 3 years.

Lew Blink posted in PSSL. Here is an Idea from Simon G Powell. Serotonin developed as a neurotransmitter in this environment. It was based that way because that was what was available in diet. So it works on the brain because that is the way our GAIA or nature works. So serotonin works on our idea of what reality is. Our “Consensus reality is a popular serotonergic hallucination. ” whoa! So to get deeper into tryptamines, we are talking about an alteration of our serotonergic pathways. It alters our reality to a different awareness. In a manner of a way it simply replaces one “normal” hallucination with another. Food for thought. Serotonin food hmmmm. May 01, 2014 6:56am

Lew posted in The PSSL. I also would like to recognize a few new people on here and the work they are doing.
Jason B- who is one the Founders of the Psychedelic Society idea and runs the LA group.
Jason I – is a leader for the New York group.
Manesh- who has a large group at SFU in BC Canada.
Paddy – who is starting a Society in Dublin but plans on including all the Irish psychonauts.
Aidan – who is starting a group in Leeds, England.
I have been in contact with another guy in Silicon Valley who is getting started as well. This idea is getting roots and taking shape and I am proud to say I am a part of it. Welcome all. May 02, 2014 12:47pm

*Social Media was by and large our biggest asset. Thousands of “members” from all over the world and often people who were just getting started with forming their own.. No one really knew what a “Psychedelic Society” looked like, and since we didn’t have an experts in St Louis, we just had conversations and see who knew what. I studied for some Episodes, and let other talk on others. We did have some experts share as time went on, but few had the degrees of our West Coast Scene family. No one was in charge and no one had the same rules. The largest group at the time was Stephen Reid in England. He built a network and went global to a degree that is impressive. Georgia had their own Society for awhile but without those deeply entrenched networks of Psychedelic People showing up into the public forum, these things tend to have a shelf life. Leadership in the modern world is difficult.

first meeting chalk board

Lew Blink posted in PSSL. * attending a NRML Marijuana Legalization rally. I almost didn’t go today to the March to the Arch, but now I see why. They were a hardy, small group but a full compliment of various unique souls. I gathered… that at one time the movement was quite large and judging by the car honks public support is much larger for the legalization of cannabis. Yet the battle is all but won. Weed’s place in society is assured. One of the organizers I talked to knew said the end was soon with groups such as hers. And still it is but one sacred plant accepted into mainstream. The mantle is now bare for us. The protectors and informational mouth pieces of the other sacred plants. Where is our place in the healing and rituals of mankind? Our battle is the next wave to be addressed. We can not stop at marijuana. The mushroom, the vine, the seed and the tree. These are a piece of our evolution. These are the tools of awakening. The torch is being passed and we can learn a lot from their experience. The next grassroots movement is underway, where is our place in the paradigm as a group and as a personal advocate. May 03, 2014 8:17pm

*Towards the 3 year mark, I pushed the group towards more Advocacy. I gathered signatures during the famous Temple series at 2727 Cherokee Street events, and worked directly with local groups. Members of NRMAL, a leader in Marijuana advocacy came to several meetings. Sadly using the group in that direction gathered attention for the cause but alienated many members who live safely in anonymous worlds that Psychedelic Culture has had to live. It was still dangerous to expose yourself with a State still active in the Drug Wars. Perhaps we will one day label it as such. America had World Wars, Civil Wars, Terrorist Wars and Drugs Wars.

Lew posted in PSSL. The importance of a Psychedelic Society: mini manifesto
During the Clinton years came this idea of safe Sex education. The idea was “the kids are gonna do it anyways” so lets make sure they do it safely. Well with the explosion of Ayahausca and DMT. With designer drugs flooding the underground and people forging and looking for mushrooms, is it not time for us to TALK about these things? To educate and support natural therapies to drug addiction. To give our collective experience as to why Amanitas mushrooms scare us a little bit or Acid experiences need a sober ally in the room. Should we not embrace knowledge and build a better future for the new generation to look upon? My call goes out to you the knowledge people. The Experiencers and Psychonauts of the world. Who do you share your thoughts too? If you live in a decent size city, I imagine, no …..I KNOW there are others just like you. Find them. Band together and form a Society. Talk and support one another. Only through our collective knowledge will we be able to even begin to understand the mystery. It is a giant puzzle and you are a piece. May 03, 2014 7:59am

Lew created an event for PSSL. Lew’s Place 5864 2F Goener Ave, St Louis MO 63116May 26, 2014 7:00pm Lets us as a group explore the mystery behind Ayahuasca or the Vine of the soul. We will watch a short film highlighting the ritual and practices of those who use the sacramental plants. We will learn about those who have fought addiction. Then hear a personal story of one who went to Peru to experience the life altering effects of the ceremony. Come join the study group for this interesting topic.The St Louis Psychedelic Society of St Louis presents Ayahuasca/Vine of the Soul. May 14, 2014 2:01pm

*I have yet to describe an Episode and below is my 2014 version. Ayahuasca was a deeply interesting one. We watched clips from Jeremy Narby, of the Cosmic Serpent fame, and his Documentary film on Ayahuasca. Several people who had traveled to Peru, talked about their experience and then we decided to get fresh air. There was a green space near my house with an Ancient tree, we pulled blankets by the mighty trunk and ended up doing a spontaneous drum circle and some prayed to Mother Aya. A man talked about his use of mushroom for healing and cried because it had been a secret for so long. Never saw him again, and I feel he simply needed to purge the guilt at least one time. I would often say that some Episodes were really for only one person. Every Episode had at least one person forever shaped by an idea, or direct experience. A rare thing in the modern world is sitting under a tree and having everyone actually listen to a person tell a story. The act of listening can be a profound and powerful thing.

Lew posted in PSSL. We had a very awesome intimate meeting last night. For those of you that missed it, I will be posting the film that was shown. However the amazing conversation and special ceremony we had outside by an ancient tree will be a beautiful memory. My morning thoughts are this…. we are learning about ethneogens but most importantly we are sharing experience. This is why each meeting is it’s own unique entity. As a group we are growing in our collective value. There is real power in being able to share your own spiritual awakening and it being understood and added too by other people dealing with the same experience. There is no doubt in my mind now that we are on the cusp of some serious change and as McKenna put it. “Find the Others” well I have found the others so what are we going to do about it?:) May 27, 2014 7:03am

Lew created an event for PSSL. Place: Melt, 2712 Cherokee St St Louis, MO 63118 From Jun 09, 2014 6:00pm to Jun 09, 2014 10:00pm. This will be a general meeting where we will play Catch-up for all those who have not made a meeting or missed one. We will play Quiz show, talk about basics, skim the Mushroom Adventure and have a prayer circle to honor Ayahuasca. This is our first Public event so invite newbies and curious folks. The bar will be open to coffee, tea, beer and such. Kitchen will be closed. So come down to Cherokee Street. Enjoy the location and lets get everyone caught up.Psychedelic Society of St Louis presents Catch-up at Melt. May 28, 2014 2:05pm

Lew created an event for PSSL. Place: 5864 Goener ave 2 F, St Louis, MO 63114 Jun 16, 2014 6:00pm. We are going for it… the next Study Group Episode will be about Shamanism and the use of Sacred Plants in Ritual. Do not be surprised if we do another outside ritual under the ancient tree. What is Shamanism in a traditional sense? What does it mean today? If you are a shaman, please come to this one and share with the group what Shamanism means to you. My house. Psychedelic Society of St Louis presents Entheogens and Shamanism. Jun 10, 2014 7:04pm

Lew Blink posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. This weekend was at the Roots in Bliss festival, I talked to at least 100 people who loved the idea of the Psychedelic Society and what we are doing. So inspiring. We should have new members from O’Fallon and Bellevue and others from all over the state who want to talk about Psychedelics. I know Kansas City will have a group soon. Good people who want support and knowledge. Jun 23, 2014 10:11am

*Many of the Episodes occurred at Festivals, and I was not at all of them. Many of the core fans of the group found ways to share their Meditations, Drumming, Dream work, Herbalism, and much more, hosting and finding a space to use their voice on peers. We did Harm Reduction several times at Festivals and workshops. I personally did a great one at Shamanic Boom, which was connected to the Native American Church in Ava, Missouri, one of the unique places that tested that Religious freedom out with Mesculine Shamanism. Our biggest meeting featured a minister from the Ayahuasca Church in Brazil. There was a magical world just outside the suburbs, where wild people still live strange and freedom based lives, and we as a Society got to witness or experience it directly.

Lew Blink posted in the PSSL. “Any thing is one of a million paths. Therefore you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel you should not follow it,you must not stay with it. To have such clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then will you know that any path is only a path. Your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same they lead nowhere. One path has heart and one does not. One is a joyful journey and the other will make you curse your life” Carlos Castaneda. Teachings of Don Juan.Jul 07, 2014 12:08pm

Lew posted in the PSSL. Ok Psychonauts, tomorrow night we are back to the intimate home meetings. I live in St John which is right where 70 meets 170. It is real easy to get to my house. St Charles Rock Rd and a few blocks. Tonight we will be focusing on the idea of fasting and Dieta. Sounds boring eh?? Well I can tell you from my research that it is one of the most important issues revolving around Ethneogens. You are what you eat. Wait for it. You really are what you eat. Think about it. Jul 13, 2014 6:50am

Lew Blink created an event for The Psychedelic Society of STL. Place: 8731 Ezra Dr St John, MO 63114 Jul 21, 2014 6:30pm. Ain’t no party like a Kava Party. Next Monday night lets have fun and also learn about the wonder that is Kava Kava. We will try to honor the ancient ceremonies of the tribal people of Polynesia. In the South Seas, Kava is traditionally consumed as a beverage, like tea in the Orient and England and coffee in America. Kava has an acrid taste that is somewhat astringent, biting and numbing, which is not pleasant to most Westerners. So, in the United States and Europe it is typically used in capsules or tincture form, often as a standardized extract. The consumption of Kava does not cause one to be angry, unpleasant, quarrelsome or noisy, common problems associated with drinking alcohol. It does not dull the brain or senses either. The drinker remains master of his consciousness and his reason. The mind is still keenly alert and hearing and sight are sharpened, not dulled. We will have various options. The Psychedelic Society of St Louis presents A Kava Party Jul 15, 2014 12:17pm

Lew created an event for The Psychedelic Society of STL. Place: Stone Spiral Coffee and Curios. Address: 2500 Sutton Blvd, Maplewood, Missouri 63143 Jul 31, 2014 6:30pm. What does Psychedelic mean to you? What is a typical experience? Is it mystical? Chemical? Otherworldly? Do you feel more powerful? Healed and reset? Who are the entities and patterns in the trip? These questions are a part the collective experience. Let’s explore these questions in conversation and sharing at the Stone Spiral on Thursday the 31 st, last day of July. Psychedelic Society of STL – What does Psychedelic mean to you? Jul 25, 2014 8:33am

Lew posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. Excellent meeting last night. 20 or so people and a lot of new faces. Katherine shared her wonderful thoughts on what Psychedelic means to her and I would say everyone agreed with her vision. There was this fantastic sense that for the most part we agreed with each other that there is something profound and astonishing happening every time we allow a plant or “other” into our being. We learned from one another about our personal experience and how it is unique and yet strikingly similar to everyone else. Together the group circled the Stone Spiral and created a sacred space in which we grew closer as strangers and now family. It was vital to learn that our spiritual development if by accident or by purpose was just the same as the unfamiliar face across from us. I for one was pleased by the youthful spirit of last nights episode. It gives me such hope to have so many young people putting themselves out there and receiving the knowledge that us older members have to bestow and yet their input was powerful and in full bloom of being awakened souls who have a long time to make this world grander and more beautiful by the year. When we completed a full circle by joining hands and yelling into the night in unison, it solidified what seems to be a very strong movement of change occurring in our city. I am proud of the courage of our members to be out in support of our freedoms and our collective interest in healing the Earth. You guys and gals are the best and I mean it. Fight on and keep on you Psychedelic Society. Aug 01, 2014 4:15pm

*My favorite thing was to rant about the amazing people that came to Psychedelic Society. Each one was unique and full of bravery and questions. The Seekers and Dreamers and Me. They have all endeared themselves to me, to this day, when I see a former attendee and we have that glimmer in our eye, knowing we wouldn’t be the same without each other.

Lew Blink created an event for PSSL. Place: Tower Grove Park. Address: 4256 Magnolia Avenue, St. Louis 63110 Aug 13, 2014 6:00pm Mad Acts of Poetry. Psychedelic poetry, performed, written, read, acted, loved and experienced. Tower Grove Park, This will be at a public location, anti-consumer and free form madness. We will be taking over a pavilion.Psychedelic Society of St Louis presents Mad Acts of Poetry. Aug 01, 2014 9:39am

So many amazing Episodes that it would take a whole book to describe them and perhaps me and my 2014 version will return to tell more tales, but this is the Origin Story. That was beginning, but what is a Psychedelic Society really? When you start to see it, in those moments when the passion drives you, when you cry in self realization, when the beauty of Nature shines through and when the Inter-connectivity of Existence is apparent and your place in the Universe is both …really tiny… and as big as Alice when she’s 10 feet tall.

Lew Blink posted in The Psychedelic Society of STL. Why the Psychedelic Society of St Louis matters?
I started the Society after a conversation at a Smudge Ceremony on the spring equinox. I knew at least 3 people would come. I was inspired by Daniel Jabbour and Terence McKenna so I attempted to bring together the local psychedelic community. For me at that point it was the philosophy behind it all. Handcock, Strassman, Pinchbeck, Talat, Narby, and a host of others. I knew there was a truth behind the experience. The first meeting was technical and full of science. I got about 20 people. We grew from there as did my own experiences. Something was happening and I realized that those men I revered were tiny compared to the vast knowledge in nature.The plants themselves were sacred and ritual found its way into my life and the group’s as well. We prayed to Mother Aya in the dark under an Ancient tree. We drank Kava and became friends. We meditated, mused and waxed poetic, going deep into the Psychedelic experience. Each meeting became an Episode into it’s own. Shamanism, Sacred Feminine, Mushrooms, Dieta, Ayahuasca, the topics were vital issues to our spiritual development. Yet we grew as a community and now friendships are solid and reliable. The Society is but a small part of an Awakening happening in our little Midwest City. Yoga, Shamans, Intentional Community, Occupy, Advocacy, NORML, Farms, Pagans, Drum Circles, Gay rights, and other positive energy creating networks are connected to our group and us to theirs. What is happening is not a social meet-up, no this is the dream of Terence McKenna. This is the Archaic Revival. We are creating the community that will make this dream a reality. Yeah I am putting it out there. Psychedelics are about Potentially. I see the future of St Louis and it is strength. It is a respect for Mother Nature. It is a sacred connection to the seasons and the stars. It is simple lives with advanced ideals. Technology with the betterment of mankind and not profit. It is a fantastic new future. The Psychedelic Society of St Louis is but a small part of this movement but we have our part. Change the way people see the plants. To be a bridge for those seeking a better path. To support those who question and need to share. To fight for the legalization of real medicine. To spread knowledge and hope. To have fun and live in the mystery. To find the “Others” and make sure they know they are not alone. We are and have always been a Society. That is why the Psychedelic Society matters. Aug 08, 2014 12:34am

*this has been a true life story of the Origin of the Psychedelic Society of St Louis, as told by myself in 2014. No changes have been made but spelling error to the original posts. Check for yourself, it’s still there on FB. History is often simply a story and if you find the vein of emotional resonance, than the story will shine with it’s personal truths.