No wonder, you have developed an association with Shiva if you have adopted the world of psychedelia. The Hindu deity has a strong fandom not only in the Indian psy world but internationally also. It has always been one of the most frequently asked questions, “Why is Shiva associated with psychedelia?”. The association goes back to millions of years through Indian folktales and mythology.
Shiva is called vairagi for his non-materialistic nature. Away from worldly pleasures and greed, Shiva has no place to live, he resides in the Himalayas and burial grounds and attains bliss through meditation. He practised vairag that Psy souls relate to easily.
The legends go back to the time of Samudramanthan when gods, including Shiva and demons, participated in the churning of the great ocean in order to discover Amrit, the elixir of eternal life. In the process, various elements and minerals were extracted and cannabis was one of them. It is very commonly consumed by the locals of India and Nepal as it grows naturally in hilly regions where the spills of elixir dripped in the process of churning. Not just this, Shiva himself is a fan of Bhang and Dhatoora and worshippers devote it to the deity.
So, the association is derived from the mythological episodes too and Shiva was a commonality in all the episodes. The association so deeply rooted in the subculture that the psy music, art and belief has the traces of Indian spirituality and yogic philosophy. It made its way into psy pop culture in the sixties when the global hippie movement was at its peak.
The tribesmen are art lovers, they appreciate music and all forms of art. Due to this natural inclination towards art, tribesmen tend to relate to Shiva’s Natraj Avatar. According to the mythology, Shiva performs tandav when he’s either very happy or very upset. Shiva practices meditation to keep himself calm and detached from the worldly attachments. He’s a peaceful soul otherwise but when his third eye opens he’s a different person altogether.
The reference of the third eye is very rife in the sub-culture. It’s associated with different vision other than what your eyes can see. When psychedelics are working in your head, what all that you see or feel happens through the third eye. It helps you explore different levels of creativity to reflect it in your work of art. And it is said that the best of anybody’s creativity appears only when their third eye opens.
Many people say that the association of the subculture with Lord Shiva is nothing but the moral justification of the psychedelic activities. However, the above mentioned relevance can’t be denied. Anyway, it's about the belief and faith that psychedelic souls have in Shiva.