Timothy Leary, also known as the “Godfather of LSD,” passed away in 1996. The advocate of psychedelic drugs was cremated and his ashes were distributed among close friends. Seven grams of his ashes were sent to space in 1997, where they remained for six years before the rocket containing them (Pegasus) burned up.

Now, another part of him is in the Black Rock Desert, surrounded by people honoring the late psychologist at the Burning Man Festival.

Leary’s close friend, 67-year-old actress Susan Sarandon, laid her portion of his ashes at the “radical” festival nineteen years after his death. Dressed in a short bridal gown, she led an overdue funeral procession for him on September 5 to a makeshift church, reported USA Today.


Sarandon said she wanted to lay him to rest where he would be enveloped by revelers on LSD. “I think he’d be so happy. I think he would have loved the chaos,” she said. Along with the torching of the Burning Man statue the day before, the church was also set ablaze on Saturday.

Sarandon revealed that she had this planned since last year when she visited the festival. She found the place perfect and returned with her friend’s ashes this year. She camped with various artists to help build a Totem of Confessions with Californian photographer Michael Garlington.

This tribute came soon after the multiple award-winning actress spoke about Leary to the Daily Beast. She opened up on her fondness for magic mushrooms, marijuana, and several other psychedelic drugs. “I’m not new to the idea of mushrooms. I don’t really like chemical things, really,” she said.

Adding on Leary, she said he was a friend of hers, so the acid she did with him was nice and pure, but she didn’t like chemicals for their “speediness.”

The farewell she had for her late comrade had an audience of about 70,000 burners (nickname for the festival-goers). Dressed in intricate attires and celebrating with event performers, everyone embraced the festival’s fiery finale.


McLaughlin, K., et al., “A psychedelic send-off for ‘the godfather of LSD’: Susan Sarandon lays Timothy Leary’s ashes to rest in a ‘church’ at Burning Man,Daily Mail web site, September 7, 2015.

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