Burning Man

021: Psychedelic First Aid with Special Guest, Sara Gael of MAPS and the Zendo Project by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is December 14th, 2015, and we are discussing the Zendo Project with special guest, Sara Gael, Harm Reduction Coordinator for MAPS.

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Our guest, Sara Gael, has been involved with the Zendo Project since its inception in 2012. Since then she has helped coordinate harm reduction services at festivals all over the world including Burning Man, Afrika Burn, Envision Festival, and Lightning in a Bottle. She is also an intern investigator in the Boulder, Colorado Phase II Clinical Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of MDMA-assisted Psychotherapy. Sara works as a psychotherapist in private practice and received her Master’s in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at Naropa University.


  • What is the Zendo Project?

  • Zendo is billed as Psychedelic First Aid for Festivals & Events: “The Zendo Project provides a supportive environment and specialized care designed to transform difficult psychedelic experiences into valuable learning opportunities, and even potentially offer healing and growth. In turn, our work reduces the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests.”

  • Safe Space

  • Talk through, not down

  • Sitting, not guiding

  • Difficult is not bad

  • What type of training does the “sitter” or “facilitator” receive?

  • Benefits of human contact, touch

  • How to volunteer with Zendo

    • Volunteers are needed for Burning Man, Afrika Burn, other festivals

  • Sara discusses experience in the field at Burning Man, BOOM, Cannabis Cup, etc.

  • How does Zendo work with medical and other support services

    • KosmiCare at BOOM in Portugal, where drugs are decriminalized, provides a glimpse of a post-prohibition future: their efforts are sponsored by the local government and festival, and they include onsite testing of pills.

    • Erowid Center helps bridge the gap with EcstacyData.org which features pill testing results database, in addition to the psychoactive vaults of Erowid.org.

  • What’s the deal with folk remedies (bananas, oranges?)

  • Nice things that smell good, art supplies, beautiful space, pillows, blankets, tea – your Psychedelic Grandma’s house


020: Interview with Earth and Fire Erowid, second half by Joe

This is Entheogen. Talk about tools for generating the divine within.

Today is December 9, 2015 and we are very excited to feature a special interview. This is the second half.

It is our great pleasure and honor to welcome Earth and Fire Erowid!


  • Kevin and Earth reminisce about Burning Man 2007, the “Eclipse/Man-Burn-Early Year”

  • What was Burning Man like in 1995?

  • Fire tells the story of a Burning Man purist in 1995 who had stopped going since there were people there she didn’t know

  • “radical self-reliance” and community reliance

  • Earth asks Kevin: “did you carry out your own poop?”

  • When they moved to California in 1994, Earth worked remotely for his dad’s tech company; what was working remotely like in 1994?

  • Earth started New College in Sarasota, FL, the same year Rick Doblin graduated; Fire joined the next year. (Rick’s wild time at New College in the ‘80’s described in Acid Test by Tom Shroder)

  • Earth and Fire discuss their friendship with Sasha and Ann Shulgin and the famous Friday night dinners

  • Erowid becoming an educational nonprofit in 2008

  • Erowid’s Library

Support Erowid!

And be sure to catch the first half of the interview.

015: Burning Man by Joe

This is Entheogen. We talk about tools for generating the divine within. It's September 28, 2015. We're talking about Burning Man.

On the first anniversary of Entheogen, to kick off Season 2, we decide to discuss the cultural phenomenon of Burning Man, where the show was conceived.

  • Kevin wonders if setting the stage for a more intentional journey – gathering a group, making a circle, and expressing intentions collectively – empowered him to go further this time
  • Kevin shares the itinerary of his (initially) "hard trip" at Burning Man – well into the spiritual realm, dosage-wise – revisiting and redeeming the journey he discussed in Entheogen 004: Bad Trips, and transcending anxiety and fear to experience bliss
  • The ground as a point of reference: "grounding"
  • Brad and Kevin re-play their Burning Man 2015 experience in the video game tent at Center Camp – the simple controls belying the mind-fuck of "level two" joystick inversion and character mitosis
  • Brad reviews three more excellent talks by Meriana Dinkova at Burning Man 2015
  • Entheogen 006: Interview with Meriana Dinkova Navigating Altered States
  • The feeling/vibe of Burning Man
  • Decommodification
  • The importance of the crazy clothing aspect to Burning Man, a unifying force – "furs" as the eleventh principle
  • The 10 Principles of Burning Man