Published: January 12th, 2017
Categories: Other subjects
Experiences with psychedelic substances can be physically and spiritually intense. Sometimes they can even become difficult challenges with your own mind and body. Whether you are going to host a psychedelic party or just taking a trip with a couple of friends, you should get prepared to face an eventual unpleasant surprise. Knowledge is power, and a trip sitter is a great help against the problems a bad trip can cause to psychonauts.
In a psychedelic exploration, a trip sitter is something a bit different from a guide. A psychedelic guide takes an active role in leading the tripper into the experience, while a trip sitter just stands by with (just) the role of materially supporting the psychonauts.
This not only means handling bad trips and emergencies, but also being a reassuring presence that can positively impact a trip – especially for first-time trippers. A tripsitter allows all those tripping to know they are in safe hands, and can thus put their energy into delving into their experience.
A trip sitter must remain sober when other persons are taking the psychedelic substances (well, maybe a couple of joints can help with the job). When using a drug with a short effect such as DMT or Salvia divinorum, two trippers can take turns, one being the sitter while the other enjoys the trip.
The ideal trip sitter should feel like giving the people a gift rather than doing a job. He or she should be a person who has experience with different kinds of substances and situations, and who knows what kind of drugs people are going to take. Trip sitters are often chosen by friends. That is both an honour and a responsibility.
The sitter shouldn’t appear bored, or otherwise talkative. A trip sitter usually gets a bit bored as he or she acts only when others ask to, or if any agreements are broken. It is wise to have something to read or do while other people are enjoying their experience.
At the same time, the sitter must be prepared for emergencies. It is important to define the limits beforehand, and make very clear how much duties and responsibility a trip sitter is going to take.
A trip sitter should be aware of the kind of people he or she is going to assist. It is probably easier to support a psychedelic session of happy people with regular life and relationships instead of badasses searching for troubles, or people with previous psychiatric problems.
Simply said, a trip sitter should be aware of how much risk this task is going to carry, and have enough life experience, intuition and ability to understand human beings at a glance.
From a legal standpoint, a trip sitter should be safe as these are just favours offered as a friend, without material reward and without supplying or encouraging the use of any illicit substance.
A visiting sitter has to make sure in advance where everything is, so as to avoid asking during the trip. Heating and cooling systems, duvets, food and drinks, cloths and blankets, the status of all communication devices. Check what may disturb the neighbours and what can you do now not to be disturbed later.
If participants are novice to psychedelic experiences, the sitter should make people feel at ease, checking that the environment is safe and comfortable, adjusting lighting, temperature, and eventually music to suit the mood of the trip.
The sitter should also calmly explain in advance how to face a bad trip instead of fighting it. During the trip, the sitter must make sure all the participants drink enough water, and have food if they wish.
Before participants start their trip, the group should agree on any potential rules for the experience. Keeping the confidentiality of the group and not doing anything that might cause damage might be one rule; another may be to not upset other participants, or to physically keep to themselves (you should not touch someone who is tripping without their permission). The sitter should not leave the session until it is ended, which is not too easy to tell.
A sitter should help people turn bad experiences into good ones rather than give them other substances to eventually calm them down. However, in the rare worst case scenario, intervention may be necessary. This could involve days rather than hours, or having to seek out medical assistance.
If a person starts reacting too anxiously, being paranoid, hysterical or violent, it is best that only the trip sitter becomes involved – other participants should be left alone. Even so, anyone conscious enough should try to never lose this person out of sight.
The person that shows bad trip symptoms should never be or feel left alone. This bad mood will last as long as a regular trip. Here the trip sitter has to provide comfort convincing the bad trip’s victim it will be over soon. Sweet things to drink and eat will also help to decrease the length of the trip.
The most important quality for a trip sitter is being a friend and a person who the voyagers actually trust. The experience of being present during a friends’ powerful psychedelic experience can be intense, rewarding and possibly scaring.
Being a sitter is not a job for everyone. The most important qualities may be the willingness to help, while staying relaxed and sober enough.
Even if the trip sitter has experience with the substances and their effects, it's worthwhile to keep on reading about it. A sitter who is willing to research the substance will have a better understanding of its effects, and know better how to deal with those using.
While a guide can actively adjust the environment, and apply particular forms of meditation or visualization, the sole presence of a sitter is often enough to keep most users comfortable, and even to enable in them a deeper and more relaxed psychedelic journey.
HAVE A GREAT JOURNEY!