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A Review of Magic Medicine

My name is: Cody Johnson.

My book is called: Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants and Substances.

The publication date was: June 2018.

I was inspired to write it when: I realized the transformative power of psychedelics in people's lives, when used properly. Psychedelics like LSD, mescaline and “magic” mushrooms have gotten a bad reputation and been classified as Schedule I drugs—a category reserved for the most dangerous substances. But, as it turns out according to the latest scientific studies, they can be very powerful medicines with healing powers that may exceed anything available in psychiatry today. They are tools and, like any tools, they can be used properly or dangerously. For many people, “tripping” also offers powerful spiritual effects, including an ineffable connection to the self and cosmos, and a serene acceptance of all things—even pain, fear and trauma.

It’s about: The fascinating history of psychedelics, from centuries-old indigenous traditions to the most cutting-edge medical and neurological research. Magic Medicine is an armchair adventurer’s guide to 23 unique psychedelics, covering their properties, use, lore and current applications as medicine. I’m especially interested in the human stories—the shamans, mystics, chemists, "psychonauts" and others who have discovered and used these tools—and in their spiritual applications. You’ll recognize the topics of some the chapters: LSD, peyote, maybe even ayahuasca and DMT. Others are more obscure and should surprise even veteran trippers: Himalayan “mad” honey, hallucinogenic fish and sea sponges and even an auditory psychedelic call DiPT, which changes the pitches of all sounds for several hours.

My hope is that readers will: discover a new world of “altered consciousness” and learn about the many different ways these substances are used, from healing post-traumatic stress disorder to astral travel. I don’t imagine anyone will read the book and decide to embark on a psychedelic trip. Actually, my focus was quite the opposite: I wanted to provide a glimpse into the psychedelic state of mind for curious readers who would never try the substances themselves. My main hope is to spread awareness of the positive effects psychedelics can have, such as treating cluster headaches, addiction, depression, anxiety and PTSD. They can even help people kick a habit, whether it’s heroin or cigarettes.

My next book might be: a psychedelic graphic novel. I would love to create a graphic work that explores psychedelic consciousness, with all its fractals and dreamlike geometry. 

The title of my autobiography would be: Through Another Lens: Cody Johnson and the Art of Perception.

If I was a character from fiction, Id be: Atticus Finch. Or, at least, that's someone I aspire to be—intelligent, articulate, compassionate and courageous. He keeps his moral compass straight, even though he’s surrounded by critics and naysayers, and he remains optimistic in a world that’s chaotic and often barbaric.