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In South Africa, the underground psilocybin community is relatively new, and from the outside might look more like a religious group than a collective of therapists. These journey guides work by a set of principles for how to facilitate journeys, which, for the most part, try to manage the risks that come with deep-dose sessions. They draw on tried-and-tested shamanic traditions and some good old-fashioned common sense. But a whole lot of New Age gimmickry has crept in, too, which is a bit off-putting for those wanting a more secular or medical approach. If we want to mainstream psilocybin-assisted therapy into day-to-day medical practice in traumatised, post-apartheid South Africa, the medical sector will need to draw on the accumulated knowledge of the underground community which is still unregulated, self-taught, and largely answerable only to itself.


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