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Spiritual Emergence Kit

teafaerie | Musings | Thursday, November 4th, 2010

carpet bag

I had a job as a hotel nanny in Hawaii for a while. It was awesome. I was Maui Poppins. My company worked all of the big resorts. Mostly it was an evening gig, where I had to hang out with tiny strangers in a hotel room for a few hours while mom and dad went to dinner and a show. The problem with hotel rooms is there’s not much to do in there besides bounce on the bed and watch TV. Now I’ve got no objection to gymnastics practice, but I feel like a failure when my charges are compelled to resort to passive entertainment. So after a few weeks of making up games like “let’s put dozens of strips of toilet paper up on the fan and then turn it on and see how many we can catch in the air”, I started bringing a bag of tricks and toys along with me on my visitations. The contents got use-tested and refined over time, and eventually I got it down to a tight collection of classic hits.

Years later, I started serving as ground control so often that I was inspired to use the same magic carpet bag to hold a travel kit for trippers. I like to leave it packed in the closet so I can just grab it when a play date develops at the last minute or I get a late night phone call from an addled friend who wants me to come peel him off of the ceiling. Tastes and styles vary of course, but I figured I’d dump it out on the floor here and show you what I’ve got. Maybe it will inspire you to put together a psychedelic emergence (not to say emergency) kit of your own. In no particular order:

  • A non-drip, non-tip candle.
  • Lighters. (Pack two. Trust me.)
  • A safety mirror. The kind they make for baby cribs is perfect.Yeah, yeah, I know; but sometimes it’s interesting.
  • Art supplies: Pen, paper, crayons, etc. (Nothing too messy.)
  • Silly putty. I like the sparkly kind.
  • Flowtoys ( These are adjustable LED lightsticks that provide soft illumination. I find it fun and calming to spin stuff around. Glowsticks work almost as well, but they always end up in landfills.
  • Sage and Paulo Santo (an aromatic wood). Some people enjoy essential oils, too! I particularly like jasmine.
  • Massage oil. I also have Tiger Balm. Your mileage may vary. Try it on your nipples. Don’t get it in your eyes.
  • Media player full of goodness. Load up your favorite device with music, beloved art, cool screensavers, and pix of loved ones. (Don’t forget to charge it!)
  • Recording devices. While there are risks associated with recording illegal activities, it’s good to have a way to review the session.
  • A shaker egg. Rhythm is powerful. Any simple little musical instrument will do.
  • A prism. Light is beautiful.
  • Laser pointer. Especially if a cat is nearby. Don’t shoot your eye out.
  • Singing bowl. Resonance is magic. My friend Aurora plays the bowl right on people’s chakras. It’s cooler than it sounds, and it sounds pretty damned cool.
  • Playing cards. Fun for ESP experiments and speed-sorting games!
  • I always like to have at least one paper book with which to play the “random page oracle game”. Right now it’s The Gift: Poems by Hafiz the Great Sufi Master.
  • I Ching coins. Or Tarot cards. Or whatever divination aid you’re into, if you’re into things like that.
  • Tissues. Tears may come, you might get caught up short in the woods…
  • Gum/candy/mints. They’re usually too bright-tasting for me, but some people go in for that kind of thing.
  • Fruit and nuts. Don’t leave fresh fruit in the bag in the closet.
  • Magnifying glass. Check out cool stuff that’s small.
  • Spyglass. Check out cool stuff that’s far away.
  • Teddy bear. My teddy bear has psychedelic superpowers. If yours does too, bring it along.
  • Phone with emergency numbers programmed in. This one can go in at the last minute.
  • A bit of money can be handy, especially if you plan to go out and about.
  • Herbal tea. This one is essential. I tend to go for teabags because they’re easy to use and you can make one cup at a time.
  • Hand warmers.  I have an entire mythos that revolves around those little disposable chemical packets being the perfect trip anchors. They also warm your hands.
  • Victory ice cream for when you’re done. This goes in the bag last, and make sure it gets into the freezer when you arrive at the target area.
  • Now that I think about it, the contents of my carpet bag today are not that different from what they were on Maui. Kids and psychedelic explorers have a lot in common. Simple things can amuse both groups for hours, both are brimming with untapped creativity, and neither should be left unsupervised or allowed to get bored enough to watch TV.


  1. Nice list!

    I’d add a bottle of hand sanitizer / waterless handwash, so you can touch and feel stuff during the trip and not get worried about hygiene when you come to eat your fruit & nuts.

    Comment by laos — November 4, 2010 @ 2:12 am

  2. Thank you for you list & entry. I love to read your texts! Best, Nathalie

    Comment by Nathalie — November 4, 2010 @ 3:33 am

  3. Very helpful tips teafaerie, thanks for the guidance!

    Comment by fallout330 — November 4, 2010 @ 8:09 am

  4. As a long time creator of lists for various expeditions, like ‘weekend hotel list’, ‘day at the coast list’, ‘music festival with camping list’ etc., I’m surprised to realize that I haven’t thought to create a ‘spiritual emergency kit list’.

    Thanks for the tip. Very valuable info!

    Comment by kernel — November 4, 2010 @ 8:56 am

  5. This is awesome; and I kind of think back to years ago and sort of wonder why we (my group of friends and I) didn’t use a kit like this.
    I love how practical and thought provoking some of these objects can be, all the while returning oneself to a simplistic nature as we once were as kids; or just to help the time pass in a quiet room.

    Comment by Stellar James — November 4, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  6. Thank you!

    Comment by Sam — November 4, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

  7. I’d add to that remarkable list a native style wood love flute. Anyone can play it and after a few minutes make some pretty beautiful sounds. And music is always magic.

    Comment by Richard — November 9, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

  8. You’re ace!

    Comment by Cchilla — November 11, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

  9. Wonderful list. :) I usually create similar lists of my own before venturing on a psychedelic journey. You’ve given me some great ideas, thanks Tea! Here’s some things I would add from my own list: visionary art books/posters (Alex Grey, Robert Venosa, Android Jones, etc) and books that contain lots of beautiful symbols and geometric imagery (check out; 3D/holographic/rainbow glasses; sour gummy worms (I’m not usually a fan of sweets, but I swear these are magical to eat in an altered state!); weird squishy dollar-store toys; small hand drums; earplugs and an eye mask in case you want to try some sensory deprivation.

    Comment by Cosmiktwin — November 27, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  10. Great post–look forward to more submissions from you! :-)

    Comment by Ryan — November 29, 2010 @ 9:18 am

  11. WOW this is great i love it! I trip alot and with friends in large groups I have made a bag for emergances but its just things to help thows who have a hard trip and cant cope things to sober u up and keep u in good health plus medical suplys but Now im going to Make me one like yours to take to be nice to have something fun to pass the time Bored = Bad and this will help us not be bored so THANKS

    Comment by Rick P — November 30, 2010 @ 11:10 am

  12. Hey farie.. My comment is not properly on the topic of this post, but anyways…
    I´ve just discovered your column like a week ago, and I´ve been reading all posts insanely. I really like them, I must say. Brings about lots of things I myself have been wondering lately, and didn´t have much people to talk about, People are mostly intolerant, and the guys who take drugs with me are mostly the kind of let´s just shut up and get high you know…The one who cared most about thinking these kinds of things believed too much in what he saw or discovered, and is kinda having a litlle psychological problems because of it…
    The thing I want to say, anyways, is that I read your post on talking to people about it, and I ended telling everything to my mom! I mean, it was not only because of that. She knows I smoke pot since I was 13 (I´m 20 now), and I´ve been trying to open things with her eversince, but with a lot of resistance…Well, today I opened it, told about bad and good experiences, about what I think of it, how my friends behave in relation to it, and everything, and I recommended her erowid, so she can do some research and find out for herself what is and what is not, about psychedelics! I must admit I´m a litlle worried she´s gonna freak out about it, but I feel good I did it, it was the only thing missing so I could have a completely open relationship with her, and she kind of received it well. Hope when she gets scaried she turns on the pc and read about it, instead of just freaking out alone and based on the biased info the media has always hammered on her mind.
    Well, that´s it,
    Thanks, and keep on with the great job you´re doing!

    Comment by brim — December 14, 2010 @ 5:30 pm

  13. Hi, I really enjoyed this article! All good suggestions! Over the weekend I took your advice and left the T.V. off and listened to records and did a small painting instead. It was good! I also just picked up some tiger balm, something I’d forgotten about. It could be on the list already, but a water bottle is a must tag along trip accessory! I’m definitely going to check out that poetry book. Thanks for the recommendation! Here’s a link to my most recent art project -> It would mean a lot to me if you checked it out! Thanks for sharing your ideas and knowledge. :)

    Comment by Chris — January 31, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

  14. What a wonderful list full of great ideas. I can’t wait to make my own kit.

    Comment by Rick — February 8, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

  15. What a wonderful bag full of fun!

    Comment by Niarlathotep — March 20, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

  16. Very nice. I especially like the last line re: TV.

    Comment by Scott — June 4, 2011 @ 8:48 am

  17. This kit is very interesting… personally I would add gum for chattering or grinding teeth and an extra water bottle for dehydration in a place that may not have a water source.

    Comment by lol respectively — August 8, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

  18. OMG, can you come over and play with my kids (and me!?!) please? Wish you were our babysitter.

    Comment by alexis — October 23, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

  19. I always keep a similar bag with me when I’m tripping, though my bag tends to go a bit more intellectual than yours, I always include:
    -Timothy Leary’s “The Psychedelic Experience” and “Psychedelic Prayers”
    -Ram Dass’ “Be Here Now”
    -tranquilizers (Valium, Xanax, etc)
    -Spirit Hood (my trip anchor)

    Comment by Andrew — March 20, 2012 @ 10:50 am

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