Madison Margolin is a journalist covering psychedelics and spirituality. She is the author of the upcoming book Exile & Ecstasy: Growing Up with Ram Dass & Coming of Age in the Jewish Psychedelic Underground, which will be released on November 7th.
Who Is Author And Cannabis Journalist Madison Margolin?
Also the host of the Be Here Now Network's Set & Setting Podcast, as well as the co-founder of both DoubleBlind Magazine and the Jewish Psychedelic Summit, she has written for publications like Rolling Stone, Playboy, VICE, High Times, Lucid News, and Jewish publishing house and production studio Ayin Press, where she works as an editor curating psychedelic stories and interviews.
With a Master's degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism and a Bachelor's in rhetoric and linguistics from the University of California Berkeley, Madison has traveled everywhere from pot farms in the Emerald Triangle to the shores of the Ganges River and all over Israel|Palestine exploring the role of entheogens in religion, health, and conflict resolution. With a decade's worth of experience covering psychedelics, cannabis, and religion/spirituality, Madison's work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, KCRW, and other outlets. She offers classes, workshops, and consulting on the topics of Judaism and psychedelics, and has presented at conferences like SXSW, Horizons: Perspectives in Psychedelics, the Association of Alternative News Media, and more.
Madison Margolin's Exile & Ecstasy: A Book Inside Ram Dass, Hasidism, And The Jewish Psychedelic Experience
There may be no better time like the present for a book such as Madison's Exile & Ecstasy. Through the perspective of having grown up among "HinJews" in the community surrounding Ram Dass, author of Be Here Now, and in the cannabis legalization movement, Madison takes the reader on a journey inside New York's Jewish counterculture and the Hasidic underground, reconciling her roots, tackling ancestral Jewish trauma, and finding intersectionality between the Jewish and psychedelic experience.
Exile & Ecstasy sets out to explore the psychedelic path that occupies the crossroads between the Ram Dass movement and Hasidism. It's a path of seeking and escape, rebellion and return, medicine and magic.
Bridging the polar ends of the Jewish and psychedelic worlds, while buttressing the experience with expert reportage, Madison prods at Be Here Now to find its relevance and utility in a new generation. In doing so, she looks at solutions to our lack of presence and offers ways to integrate our psychedelic experiences in mundane life, as well as in the context of our roots and religious identities.
This book is for anyone looking to feel spiritually kindled, to make peace with where they come from, and to reconcile seemingly disparate experiences of spirituality and psychedelics, with traditional religion.
Madison Margolin's "Higher Love" Weedsday Playlist
For her Weedsday Playlist, Madison selected tracks that connect her to a higher power: “Each of the songs on this playlist were handpicked based on my own personal experiences with them, and their specific meaning to me—in both spiritual, psychedelic, and overlapping contexts. Each reminds me of a certain time of my life, connection to loved ones, and relationship to Creator. I believe that each of these songs functions as a prayer and inspires a dance, that itself can be a communication with Gd [sic].”
Simon And Garfunkel - "Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall"
Something about the lyrics of this song feels so psychedelic to me. The song discusses illusions, life and death, spirituality, right and wrong, and where life is going. The tune is whimsical and emotionally moving to me, while reminding me of certain moments of life living in Tzfat where the themes of the song feel hyper relevant.
Roy Shinar - "HaLev Niftach"
This is just such soul kindling medicine music to me. The meaning of the song is literally "the heart opens," and that's exactly what this song does.
Krishna Das - "Bernie's Chalisa"
My favorite song by Krishna Das is a rendition of the Hanuman Chalisa, an ode to the deity Hanuman, who is considered in Hindu theology to be the breath of Ram. To me, this song is like a lullaby because I grew up listening to KD's music and it reminds me of the comforts of being a child.
Shimon Lev Tahor - "Angel Heart"
This is a classic song to both the Rainbow Family (the community of the Rainbow Gatherings) and the community I have done ayahuasca with. This song reminds me of people I love — it is so poignant and heart-kindling.
Nava Tehila - "Hallelujah"
A song of praise and connection to Gd [sic], this is the best song to dance to, sing to, pray to. Also, it’s a classic in medicine and Rainbow circles.
What are your favorite Weedsday tracks? Tell us about them - reach out at @honeysucklemagazine on Instagram and @HoneysuckleMag on Twitter!
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Featured image: Madison Margolin (C) Nechama Jacobson @nechjayphoto