Exploring the Jewish psychedelic underground, Madison Margolin joins Raghu to talk about Ram Dass, psychedelics and her new book, Exile and Ecstasy.
Get your copy of Exile and Ecstasy HERE
“Having done psychedelics myself on Shabbat and other Jewish holidays, you realize that Judaism really does offer a container and different rituals, ways of experiencing time, and time out of time, and sort of these psychedelic notions through Kabbalah and different practices. That there is an avenue for altered experience and expanded consciousness and presence of mind and heart and soul, without psychedelics. But, combining psychedelics with Jewish practice can at least wake you up to that so you can then do it on your own, potentially without needing medicine.” – Madison Margolin
In this episode, Raghu and Madison have an expansive discussion about:
- Madison’s upbringing in the Ram Dass community
- Influences of psychedelic culture and eastern mysticism
- Madison’s intrinsic connection to her Jewish roots
- ‘Hinjewism’ and honoring multiple traditions at once
- The ways that Madison struggled with the overuse of ‘be here now’
- Ram Dass’ Jewish legacy
- How journalism school enabled Madison to connect orthodox Judaism and psychedelics
- Judaism as a container for psychedelic experiences
- Discovering altered states without psychedelics
- The history of the Baal Shem Tov
- Treatment of women in Judaism and the divine feminine
- How Rainbow Gathering changed Madison’s life
- Anchoring ourselves through practice
“There is some lovely stuff in referencing the breath, which is the most powerful way for us to get back to that place that I just described. That’s that ineffability that we experience with psychedelics that creates a memory. That can easily be recalled up in just normal circumstances.” – Raghu Markus
About Madison Margolin:
“I’m a journalist straddling California, New York, and Israel-Palestine, focused on psychedelics, cannabis, and Judaism (in jest, I’ll say “Jews & Drugs”). I also cover culture, policy, and science. I’m passionate and curious about how people can transcend their minds to access something greater than themselves — be it through getting high off acid or God, meditating, creating art, or something somatic, I’ve set out to explore the various ways people nourish their souls. This is what drives me, and most of my writing, in some way or another, connects back to this theme.
These days, I work as an editor at DoubleBlind, the print and digital magazine I co-founded, covering psychedelics and where they intersect with mental health, spirituality, environmental justice, and social equity. I also co-founded the Jewish Psychedelic Summit and host a podcast called Set & Setting on the Be Here Now Network. I’ve been practicing journalism since 2014 and have been published in outlets like Rolling Stone, Vice, Playboy, High Times, Tablet, and Nylon, among others.
I got my start with a column on cannabis at the Village Voice, just after graduating from Columbia Journalism School. Prior to that, I lived in Tel Aviv, working with Israel’s African refugee community. In a past life, I also lived at a crazy co-op called Cloyne, while studying rhetoric and linguistics at UC Berkeley.
I’m a nerd about language and speak or dabble in French, Russian, Yiddish, and Hebrew. When not working, writing, or reporting, I’m usually dancing, spinning my hula hoop, or practicing yoga.”