Welcome back to The Trip Report Podcast, a production of Beckley Waves, a Psychedelic Venture Studio.
Today, we’re speaking with John MacLean, AKA The Juan MacLean, an electronic music artist, DJ, and co-founder and co-owner of Cardea—a psychedelic medicine space that facilitates experiences in New York City and Jamaica.
I wanted to speak with John because he has a unique lens into the emerging psychedelic world given his role as a DJ and psychedelic facilitator in a wide variety of settings. He has also had one of the most fascinating careers of anyone I have ever met.
What started as a fascination with music and psychedelic states as a teenager has led to a career combining the two for more than three decades.
As a Brooklyn-based DJ and producer, John has been a mainstay in the NYC music scene for decades while also touring at legendary international venues across Europe, Asia, and North America. Since the release of his first records on his DFA record label in 2002, he has built a reputation for eclectic, genre-bending sets that have earned him residencies at iconic clubs around the world.
He has been a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga and Zen and trained as an Ayahuasquero in the Shipibo tradition. He credits the 12-step program with saving his life and ayahuasca with renewing it.
In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss:
How the changing cultural landscape allows John to feel comfortable talking publicly about the psychedelic side of his work;
A period of his life in which he experienced intense depression and occasionally contemplated suicide;
His hope that his first ayahuasca experience would relieve his symptoms, only to be hurled onto a spiritual path, having had his worldview and belief structure completely recast;
His training in the Shipibo tradition;
The authenticity, legitimacy, and originality of traditional lineage-based knowledge in a rapidly changing world;
And much, much more.
And now I bring you my conversation with John Maclean.