The Benefits of Preparation: Setting Up A Space For Ritual

USA Today Best Selling Author Kiki Howell shares her experience with at-home psychedelic ketamine-assisted therapy. Stayed tuned for future installments from Kiki, as she takes us through her ketamine therapy experiences. 

A Space For Ritual

In preparation for my at-home ketamine treatment, I found setting up a small sanctuary in my bedroom, well actually on my bed and bedside table, really helped me to relax into the experience. I simply gathered up the things that I love, that support me in the work I am doing, and surrounded myself with them. 

An Altar of Beloved Items

Given I am a yoga teacher and a natural shamanic witch, my go-tos for all of this work are crystals, candles, and herbs, along with beloved items. Think of this process, should you choose to endeavor or deep-dive into it, as creating an altar for yourself, a support group of inanimate objects if you will.

My altar changed a bit each time as my intentions changed. But, let’s look at the possibilities first before I give you a few examples that might pique your interest or what to include in your space.

Crystals, Candles, and Scents

Crystals have correspondences, special meanings or attributes, that they are used for. A simple internet search will help you if you are new to crystals, or there exists a multitude of books on the subject. If you’re looking for calming crystals, a few of my must-haves are labradorite which promotes a sense of peace, or black tourmaline which grounds chaotic energy, or smoky quartz which not only calms the mind but enhances focus as well. At the least, having a smooth, shiny hunk of labradorite with its multitude of colorations from black to gray to a shocking cobalt blue, ignites the senses as the shades shift with each movement of your hand. I mean, it is simply stunning to look at on top of everything else this little worker stone does.

I like to pair the crystals with candles and scents. I call it layering energy. Think of your intention, then think of how many ways you can restate that intention with objects. How many ways can you tell the Universe what you truly desire? Make yourself heard! 

All of the crystals above have the color black in them, so you might want to add a black candle which also banishes negativity. Now, maybe black is too dark for you. Your depression craves brightness. You could pair clear quartz for healing and spiritual growth with a white candle for peace and purity. Or, if you went with the uplifting citrus scents from my earlier post, you could grab a citrine crystal whose sunshine energy brings joy along with a yellow or orange candle for joy or comfort as well.

Just be cautious with the candle. You can set it in a large bowl of sand, or better yet use battery-operated versions. A candle does not have to be lit to set an intention. Simply placing it there beside the crystal layers the energy. Personal preference, I would light mine as I let my ketamine pill dissolve, and take a moment for some candle gazing. Looking just above the flame, watching the colors adjust to the warmth, flicker between the dark wick to the bright flame to the swirling smoke, creates a meditative state alone. I would then extinguish the flame immediately after I spit the ketamine out. 

Other Altar Options

Here are a few more examples of altars that I created for my ketamine therapy at home. When I set my intention to want to care for myself better, especially concerning food (to end stress eating), I created a self-love altar, because I knew I needed to stop stealing from my future self with every toxic item I stuffed in my mouth. My intention to feed my body healthy foods so my future self could be healthy, happy, hopeful, and helpful in this world boiled down to loving myself enough to do the work.

So, first I created a self-love jar. It is just a small glass jar filled with items that carry a correspondence for loving oneself like brown sugar for being sweeter to yourself. I then pushed in a cinnamon stick to not only get rid of negative thoughts but also warm up my personal power. I layered the jar as I went. I bought myself a bouquet of flowers with a few roses so I could add some petals to the jar. Added bonus, the remaining flowers I placed in a vase on my altar. Next, I sprinkled pink Himalayan sea salt over the petals like snow as it helps to purify thoughts about oneself, and bolsters protective feelings. On a dried bay leaf, I wrote a little love note to myself, then tucked it into the jar. There are other things you can add, crystal chips and other herbs for self-love if you wish to look up the correspondences and make your jar bigger. I finally topped it all off with some honey for extra sweetness. Once I put the lid on my jar, I lit a red candle, carefully dripping the melted wax to seal it closed. 

My jar lives within a sea of crystals for self-love which include two rose quartz pillars and a rhodonite chunk for raising self-worth. Again, there are so many options, and so many online crystal stores willing to help you find the one that speaks to you.

A Space For Healing

If you’re not into the whole crystal and candle ritual scene, you could also give a boost to joyful and free energy by creating an altar for your inner child. Include items you loved when young. Can’t remember off the top of your head? Journal about it! Yes, I went there with playful abandon. *giggles* 

Maybe you have the beloved but threadbare blanket that you carried around with you as a toddler. Perhaps you still have that read until you memorized it, seen better days picture book. If not, gift yourself a new copy. Color yourself a picture if that is an activity you loved to do as a child. Research shows it relaxes adults too. Whatever takes you back to childhood. Get that. Buy that. Make that. Sit it by you.

Another option is to simply gather a few of your favorite things that will make you smile or bring you comfort. My dog rested beside me each and every experience. I wore my favorite comfy outfit. I wrapped myself in my favorite blanket. You get the idea. Buy yourself flowers. Make your favorite tea (just don’t drink it until after the experience). Make your space an altar to you and your mental health. In my feng shui training, my teacher said, your home is always talking to you, make sure it has good things to say. Do this with your space for your ketamine experience. Dare I say, you won’t be sorry? Get as comfortable as possible before the ketamine experience whisks you away to an even more peaceful place.

Kirstein Howell is a USA Today Bestselling Author who writes fiction under the pen name of Kiki Howell. A life-long learner, she’s currently a CYT 200 Yoga Teacher with a collection of other certifications that include Reiki, Feng Shui, and Essential Oils. At this moment, she’s studying to be a shaman.

Experiences with ketamine are individual and vary by user.