Processing Emotions During a Ceremony With Psilocybin Mushrooms

Nadia Hrynkiw
6 min readMay 3, 2024

When it comes to working with mushrooms in the Shamanic setting, there are many ways that emotions can present themselves for processing. When I say Shamanic setting, I mean in the context of a ritualized Ceremony where we approach the mushrooms as teachers and spiritual allies in healing.

Emotions are a really interesting phenomenon that I don’t think we understand fully. I have found that, in Ceremony and outside of it, there is rarely logic or predictability with how an emotion will be processed or what it will take to process it through completely. I have this sense that emotions are clumps of energy that are produced by our thoughts. And in a moment when we have emotions come up that we are not equipped to feel, either due to capacity or ability, those clouds are stored for later.

Where those clouds of energy go is a whole separate topic.

In this blog, I will address several types of emotional processing I see in Ceremony with Psilocybin Mushrooms. However, for reference, I actually see all of these in many areas of my Shamanic work, not just when we are working with our mushroom friends.

Stored Emotions Versus Channeled Emotions

First, I have an interesting thing to discuss. People can pull emotions from a place of storage, or they can open up a portal and pour emotion from somewhere else entirely. The first is productively processing emotions that need to be processed, and the latter is relatively unproductive.

When we are processing stored emotions, they can be pulled from storage space in our body, energy field, pocket dimension, the “past”, the “future”, or from someone else in our family that we have agreed to process on behalf of. You will know that you are processing stored emotions because it will feel good when you are done and productive in the moment. Things will feel lighter, like something has shifted inside you, even if you don’t know what it is. Only about 50% of the time will you be aware of exactly where those emotions came from (aka the moment in time when they were stored).

Sometimes we don’t need to know that information and sometimes it drops in at a later time as a vision or “knowing” with no emotion attached. This is often how repressed memories return in my work — only making themselves seen after the emotion around them has been processed.

I think this is one of the more considerate things that happens with our human experience. We don’t need memories and hard emotions to return all at once (98% of the time). The emotions can be processed separately from the memories so the whole traumatic event is easier for us to integrate and digest.

As far as channeled emotions, there are a couple of reasons why this happens. Sometimes we have things like black holes where we could actually cry forever because it’s an endless pit of sadness that isn’t “real”. This is usually because we have created something like a black hole within ourselves and it is literally bottomless. If this happens, we have to determine why we have created this black hole and close it before we can productively process stored emotions. This is something I actually deal with a lot in my 1:1 in in-person sessions. This black hole always serves us in some way, but we pay a price for carrying it.

This can also happen when we tap into a collective emotion. We can channel directly from the collective emotion pool, but we won’t get very far on our own and it can often “pull us under”. This is common with someone who is a space holder or healer in this lifetime but hasn’t yet honed their skills.

Finally, we can channel emotions from a “past” or “future” version of ourselves from a specific point in time. This one can either be bottomless or productive, depending on what was happening for us in that time.

Shared Emotions

Another phenomenon that I see, especially in the group setting of Shamanic Ceremony, occurs when one person processes an emotion they have an easy time accessing. For example, let’s say joy. This one person opens up joy in themselves and fully immerses in it. If three other people in the group have a hard time accessing joy, this one person will access it on their behalf. More often than not, once that one person opens that door and begins to process joy for themselves AND those three people who cannot, those three people now have access because they have been shown how to have access. This goes with all emotions. This is why I love group work! It is also one of the many reasons why you should always work with Facilitators who do their own personal work. They can help you open doors that you cannot open on your own — getting much more out of your experience.

If you are sitting in a safe and well-orchestrated container, there is no risk of “taking on” other people’s stuff. If you are not in a safe container, you are at risk of bringing home things that aren’t yours or taking a beating on behalf of someone else.

After we have emotional experiences like this, the collective of the group feels relief because all those unprocessed, unfelt, or unacknowledged emotions have been moved. It feels like releasing a giant heavy shadow we all carried together.

It’s very cool.

Processing Emotions as a Shaman

I can only speak for myself on this aspect of emotional processing, as I am unsure of how common it is for other facilitators/healers.

Processing emotions is a huge part of my job and I am 100% built for it. There is no residue or damage that occurs when I do this for someone. In fact, it feels fantastic and provides me with an opportunity to deepen my own emotional intelligence. Here are a few examples of how/what I process during my sessions:

  • When a person was unconscious during a traumatic event that occurred in their life, they had a lot of emotions they didn’t have access to but needed to be processed in order for a soul retrieval to happen. It was horror and grief. I started spontaneously having visions of my own version of this event to bring up those emotions this person was not able to experience for themselves. Once I opened the zip cord, they were able to tap in and take them on to process themselves.
  • When I work with people who were severely abused by their parents, I cry on behalf of the collective mother. This opens up an emotion for the person that is linked to feeling loved and wanted by someone who severely abused them, allowing them to move through the healing process more quickly.
  • When shadow/dark/dense/demonic energy needs to move, I will process the emotions that led to the creation of this energy. This isn’t ordinary shadow work, it’s when we have shadow stuff that is so big and powerful, it has it’s own awareness and control (sentience). It needs to be understood, loved, and witnessed in order to be fully released. This is one particular type of exorcism.
  • I will process grief (or some heavier emotion) for someone who has that emotion so big that it just weighs them down. By taking some of it off their shoulders, they are able to process the rest.

You get the idea!

As you may be able to gather based on this blog, emotions are pretty interesting and complicated. I believe the more we understand what they are, and how to work with them, the easier time we can have moving through them in life. Thanks for reading ❤



Nadia Hrynkiw

Medicine Woman specializing in Shamanic Healing & Ceremony, Teaching, Community Building, and Founder of