Previously we mentioned that good integration starts with making sure you are as prepared as possible for the experience. It is our responsibility to do our homework before we decide to take any Psychedelic.
In terms of taking a substance for the first time I'd always advise people to ask themselves: “have I ever done anything like this before and what level is best for me to start at?” Checking out informational resources like Erowid.org can be of assistance with this.
When preparing for a Psychedelic experience the dosage and type of drug is very important and to know that more body weight doesn't always mean you need more. When we go to the gym, we don't start by going straight for the biggest and heaviest weights first. So ditch the bravado and ego, feel into your dose which might be less than others.
In my view the ceremony starts from the minute we begin to formulate the plan, so it’s no good talking about self-care and getting healing if we don’t bring a healing/caring attitude to choosing our medicine. If you feel you must work with certain a psychedelic and you have no prior experience, then I would encourage you to partake in non-drug induced shamanic or consciousness altering work first.
The likes of Shamanic Drumming, Breathwork, Chanting, Deep Meditation, Trance Dancing and Cacao work can give someone a flavour for how they might feel or react in a psychedelic session. Furthermore, before you go for that heroic dose or for the ayahuasca session, maybe consider doing smaller intro journeys first to get a feel for the territory.
Check how much is recommended for the affects you seek. Many Psychedelics are incredibly potent and an extra gram or in some cases a microgram can be huge. If you are working with a facilitator then they can handle dosage for you (we’ll talk about setting later), but again as I always say, particularly if taking these substances alone or unguided then: start small, you can take more, not less.