To summarize this series of articles (The Second Psychedelic Revolution) so far, I have attempted to provide both a rough outline and quick examination of contemporary (21st century) psychedelic culture by proposing that a ‘Second Psychedelic Revolution’ has arisen phoenix-like out of the ashes of the original 1960’s acid-and-rock n’ roll revolution following the deaths of its two most famous voices, Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey at the end of the Twentieth Century. (Part One).
While undeniably influenced by the First Psychedelic Revolution, the current interest in readily available ‘research chemicals’, organic tryptamines, neo-tribal ‘techno-shamanism’, and Visionary Art—the defining parameters of this ‘Second Psychedelic Revolution’—have come not from the influence of Sixties psychedelic culture, but have evolved largely out of the publication in the early 1990’s of the collective works of the three seminal architects of this new psychedelic era—the chemist Alexander Shulgin (PIHKAL and TIHKAL)(Part Two), the author and mycologist Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival and Food of the Gods)(Part Three)and the ‘Visionary’ artist Alex Grey (Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey).
The influence of these 3 authors, along with the unprecedented world-wide rise in popularity of electronic music since the birth and exportation of Goa-Trance during the same early 90’s era, has resulted in an entirely new psychedelic culture best represented today by the blossoming Transformational Festival movement inspired by gatherings such as Burning Man (which moved to Black Rock Desert, NV, in 1992) and the BOOM! Festival in Portugal (first held 1996). Ironically, this latest psychedelic revolution was initially much hastened by the now infamous Kansas Missile Silo bust of 2000 that saw a (luckily temporary) halt to the world’s LSD production; proving once again that Prohibition only leads to diversification.
“My art has always been in response to visions. Rather than confine myself to representations of the outer worlds, I include portrayals of multi-dimensional imaginal realms that pull us towards consciousness evolution.” --Alex Grey.