Rachael Petersen

Rachael is a writer and environmental consultant who advises nonprofits and foundations on climate change. With an expertise in tropical forests, Rachael has conducted fieldwork in the Brazilian and Ecuadorian Amazon, Borneo, Uganda and elsewhere. After almost a decade in climate policy, Rachael has turned her attention to the spiritual implications of our current ecological crises. Rachael stumbled into psychedelics as a participant in a psilocybin clinical trial for major depression. Her writing excavates the potential risks, rewards, and societal implications of medicalizing and commercializing mysticism. Her work interrogates the intersection of the mystical and the moral, and envisions the role of non-ordinary states of consciousness in current and future forms of religion. Rachael explores these themes as a Junior Fellow at Harvard University's Center for the Study of World Religions.

Magical (Psychedelic) Thinking in the Era of Climate Change and COVID-19

Two of our biggest crises—COVID-19 and climate change—lay bare the magical thinking that pervades psychedelic discourse: that individual experiences of oneness will necessarily transform our society for the better.