While exploring the world of psychedelics, you may come across the term ‘psychonaut’. It’s a common term that some will use to refer to themselves.
For example, Michael Pollan said “I was a very reluctant psychonaut” when describing his trepidation about trying psychedelics for the purposes of writing his book, How to Change Your Mind.
What Does The Term ‘Psychonaut’ Mean?
The word is made up of ‘psycho’ which comes from the Greek “psykho”. It means ‘mind’ or ‘mental’. The other half, ‘naut’, originates from the Greek ‘nautikos’, meaning ‘sailor’.
Translated literally, psychonaut means ‘mind sailor’. It is someone who sails the mind, like a sailor who traverses the seas or an astronaut who goes into space.
A psychonaut, in contrast to sailors and astronauts, explores his or her inner world, rather than the outer world.
Psychonauts vs. Other Psychedelic Users
There is not always a clear distinction between a psychonaut and other users of psychedelics.
For example, are microdosers also psychonauts if they take psychedelics for the purposes of exploring their mind?
The Different Types Of Psychonaut
Psychonauts may be united by the common theme of mind exploration, they can differ in what they want their exploration to look like.
The Spiritual Type
This is a type of psychonaut who is more interested in altering their consciousness for spiritual reasons.