An Integration of Post Ceremony Stress Syndrome following a Psychoid Experience with Santo Daime


Navigating the ineffable realms through plant medicine offers what many would call a mystical experience, an experience transcending rational thought. For some, integrating these mystical experiences into ego consciousness goes smoothly, it is what depth psychologists would call ego syntonic. For others, processing, integrating, and filtering the experience can be deeply confronting, vulnerable, and challenging. Egoic consciousness recedes during ceremony so that the plant medicines can interact with and heal the psyche and soul. Through this process some individuals can be led into perceivable near-death experiences. Without proper integration of these profound psychosomatic experiences, the ego can be left feeling weak, fragile, and dystonic to the individual’s evolving personality structure.

Depth psychologists hold the assumption that psyche contains all of the conscious and unconscious contents that allow us and/or block us from accessing our self, others, and all that which transcends psyche (Ulanov, 2017, p. 8). Ulanov describes the psychoid realm as where psyche and matter become one, one is no longer separate from the other. The soul acts as a two-way mirror. Reflecting upwards, the soul bridges unconscious contents to consciousness, and the reverse, it also bridges contents of consciousness back down into the unconscious. In our everyday experience, the psychoid realm is most notable in moments of synchronicity, the meaningful coincidences that collide within a time-space continuum. In psychoid moments psyche and matter collide so that we are left feeling the most human and inhuman simultaneously. It is the work of many depth psychologists and Jungian analysts to provide individuals with an experiential framework for these deeply meaningful experiences.

Psychedelics can offer an immediate gateway into these psychoid realms. They can open individuals to realms of the psyche that on one end, are blissful encounters with archetypal experiences of love and light, and on the other, experiences of holy terror and dread. It is my intention in this paper to explore the latter, as these perceivably traumatic encounters with archet