Midnight Water: A Psychedelic Memoir by Katherine MacLean, Ph.D. is a story of grief and redemption by a groundbreaking scientist who led the way in psychedelic research. In Dr. MacLean’s first year on the faculty at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, her path takes an unexpected detour following the death of her younger sister from cancer. After leaving her faculty job, MacLean travels the world —bringing medical and humanitarian aid to remote Himalayan villages and creating sanctuary spaces for psychedelic support — until she settles on an organic farm. While birthing and raising her two children, leading workshops, psychedelic retreats, and training to become an MDMA therapist, MacLean’s traumatic past and the loss of her sister continue to haunt her. When her father is dying, MacLean realizes that she must dive straight into the heart of her own labyrinth in order to forgive him. Midnight Water is not only a personal story of psychedelic healing but an inspired vision for a psychedelic future that positions women and family caregivers at the center of home-based healing, from birth through death.
Author’s website: www.katherinemaclean.org
Psychedelics have officially re-entered mainstream consciousness, through clinical research trials at major universities, corporate-sponsored pharmaceutical drug development, and decriminalization efforts in major American cities. Everyone from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Michael Pollan now has a story to tell about how mushrooms can save humanity. But let’s not forget the original love stories that the mushrooms have been quietly sharing with humans for millennia.
Watch the author’s TEDx Talk: https://youtu.be/ZljALxpt3iU
SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST (SXSW)—March 10–19
Women in Psychedelics Talk Psychedelics for Women
Women are more likely to have PTSD than men, and women also experience depression more often, with one in seven women suffering from postpartum depression alone. Studies suggesting good results from just a few doses of MDMA or psilocybin combined with therapy have led the FDA to designate those drugs as breakthrough therapies for PTSD and treatment-resistant depression, respectively. Is this the beginning of a brighter future for women’s health, one where common mental disorders, symptoms of chronic pain, and intense mood swings are managed with mind-altering trips? Hear from four psychedelic researchers leading the charge on research and advocacy with unique insights into the opportunity and challenges ahead related to psychedelics for women’s health.
Articles/interviews About the Author
Trust, Let Go, Be Open: Psychedelic Harm Reduction in the Desert & Beyond
Women Lead the Field in Psychedelic Psychotherapy
The Trip Treatment, by Michael Pollan
How to Return to Normal Life After a Crazy Trip
How Meditation Works
Professional Articles by the Author
- Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogenic psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness
- Factor analysis of the Mystical Experience – Questionnaire: a study of experiences occasioned by the hallucinogenic psilocybin
- Intensive meditation training improves perceptual discrimination and sustained attention
- Enhanced response inhibition during intensive meditation training predicts improvements in self-reported adaptive socio-emotional functioning
- Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviours
- Cognitive aging and long-term maintenance of attentional improvements following meditation training
- Katherine MacLean CV
Advance Praise for Midnight Water
“Katherine MacLean gives us a wild ride through a life devoted to discovering what truly matters. She describes her scientific work at Johns Hopkins elucidating the importance of psychedelic mystical experience in healing, while also revealing the fear, trembling, and joy of her own underground psychedelic explorations. She brings us into the birth experience, with all its pain and joy, as well as into the world of the dying, where she holds space for presence and compassion during her sister’s and father’s passings—fiercely protecting them both from the routine medicalization of death in hospitals. In this very personal and sweeping revelation of life, we meet a Mother Bear who is stubbornly devoted to her parents, children, husband, and friends—and to searching for the magic that makes our time on this planet truly meaningful.”
—Erik F. Storlie, Ph.D., author Nothing on My Mind: Berkeley, LSD, Two Zen Masters
About the Author
Katherine MacLean, Ph.D. is a research scientist with expertise in studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics on cognitive performance, emotional well-being, spirituality, and brain function. As a postdoctoral research fellow and faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, she conducted clinical trials of psilocybin, the primary chemical found in “magic mushrooms,” and other psychedelic compounds. Her groundbreaking research on psilocybin and personality change suggests that psychedelic medicines can enhance openness to new experiences and promote mental health and emotional well-being throughout the lifespan. Dr. MacLean co-founded and directed the first center for psychedelic education and training in New York, was featured in the New Yorker article entitled “The Trip Treatment” by Michael Pollan, and her TED Talk has been viewed nearly fifty thousand times.
Author photo by Amanda Temple
About the Cover Artist
Eileen Hall Is an Ecuadorean/Scottish creative director, artist & explorer based in London. She is the Founder of Tayos, an organization supporting the protection of endangered habitats in Ecuador as well as exploring our relationship to nature and its role in our well-being through art, music & science. Tayos was inspired and ignited by the work of her late father Stan Hall who sought to uncover the lost history of the Americas and the Tayos treasure legend. In her paintings, she enjoys exploring the numinous, luminous, liminal, and elemental qualities of consciousness & our inner landscapes. Inspired by the wild landscapes of her home country of Ecuador, alongside her love of music and psychedelics, she creates dreamscapes and dreamseeds that combine these threads of her imagination. Learn more about Eileen and her work at www.eileen-hall.com.
330 pages; 6 x 9 / Trade Paperback
$19.95 print / $9.99 e-book
Publication Date: JUNE 2023
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights contact: Dede Cummings
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