Do psychedelics have the power to heal us? – DJ Mag

Flax attended bi-annual ayahuasca ceremonies until early 2016. “After ceremonies, you have to change your life,” Flax says seriously, “and it would take the better part of a year to get those changes in motion.” When she decided to transition from the ceremonies to meditation, the process led to a series of revelations. Around this time, she also stopped drinking alcohol. “It took the major step of taking psychedelics for me to understand that anxiety is what happens when you’re not grounded in your body,” she says. “After a month, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck — I was 38 years old and had been drinking, every week, since I was 12 years old.” 

By the fourth month, she began to “navigate the earth differently. I needed to learn what I love and what I don’t love, and all of the things I wanted to understand but couldn’t [while drinking alcohol]. After meditating every day for a few months, I was like, ‘This is weird — was I always supposed to feel this way?’ I couldn’t believe it. Psychedelics told me to meditate, and meditation made me feel grounded and able to stop drinking. I had been living outside of my body for my entire life, feeling anxious every day until I was 36 or 37 years old. Now, I have no more random panic attacks — at all.”


Now that she doesn’t drink alcohol, her relationship to raving has changed. “In rave culture, alcohol and drugs  are used to connect more easily to others, but alcohol, for me, was about being able to feel comfortable in my own skin,” she says. “There are things in me that were too insecure, and alcohol made me feel stable. I’m appreciative of alcohol for that, because I got to have a lot of fun, but it really did come to a head where I had to be that strong person without it. When I go raving now, I’m on nothing.”

What’s her rave ritual nowadays, since she’s alcohol-free and only occasionally takes psychedelics? “If I’m going somewhere that’s intense, I meditate before I go out.” Then, she roars with laughter. “If I’m at Berghain for a long time, I might slip away and meditate. Near the coat check, there’s this leather swing, but a lot of people don’t know about it. If no one’s around, I’ll meditate there!”

Flax’s work as a producer and DJ has changed, too. She’s keen to release new music, in collaboration with a friend who works as a healer. It’s still techno, made on drum machines and synthesisers, but her approach is more spiritual than before. “My idea of what a healer does has grown exponentially,” she says. “It’s made me delve deeper into the frequencies in music, and the frequencies of healing — that chakras can have a key. Just like when a shaman hits his drum, I’m creating a type of heartbeat with my drum machine and meditating to that. It’s just what feels good.”

Despite her spiritual experiences, Flax is still grounded in reality: a warm Midwesterner with an in-your-face sense of humour. “I want my music to be accessible to people that just love dancing hard to house and techno in the club, and don’t usually get down with all this hippy-dippy bullshit,” she says bluntly. “I don’t ever teach anybody what worked for me, because it might not work for you, but because of my journey, I might have something to offer you — something to listen to, that might bring you some comfort.”