LSD Journals
Of An Artist's Trip

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The artist Harriette Frances documented an LSD experience during a psychedelic program at Menlo Park, California. Much of it had typical perinatal features and she has expressed many of the symbolic sequences of the death-rebirth process.

After the initial vision of geometric ornaments...

...the process gradually deepens...



...and the artist faces an engulfing whirlpool drawing her into the world of death.

In the underworld she is subjected to piercing pains...

...and crushing pressures...



...experiences a strange combination of birth and death...

...meditates on mysterious symbols on a cruciform altar...

...and is offered assistance.

In a sequence strongly resembling shamanic initiation she faces reduction to a skeleton and annihilation...

...followed by renewal, ascent and return to life.

After what appears to be symbolic crucifixion...

...and reminiscence of some surgical intervention...

...she experiences rebirth, which is associated with the vision of a peacock.

The next drawing, of the oceanic womb, suggests that the experience of birth opened the way to the unitive state of prenatal consciousness.

She returns from her journey with a sense of rejuvenation and revitalization.

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