Citation: Yex. "White Way Calling to the Spirits: An Experience with Silene capensis (exp102696)". Erowid.org. Feb 26, 2016. erowid.org/exp/102696
Silene Capensis, known in the west as 'African dream root', is a Xhosa oneirogen/entheogen said to allow communication with the ancestors. It is called undlela zimhlophe, or 'white way'. It is said the best way to consume it is to either chew a piece of the root or mix the crushed root into water until a foam appears, and consume that, and it works best when consumed repeatedly over a number of days, once before bed, once upon waking up. I generally consumed two teaspoons or so of the shredded root, mixed with water, and also chewed a small piece of it.
I dreamt that I was at a superbowl party dressed as a baked potato with butter. People were asking me, 'did you dress this way in honor of the potato skins'? I said no. 'DId you dress this way because you thought the Seattle mascot was a potato'? 'No. I dressed this way because...' I can't remember what the real reason was.
Fragmented dreams. I was with P. trying to get into America from the Mexican border, but they wouldn't let us in. Somehow we ended up in a grocery store run by a rat. The rat was arrested by the food inspector for running a disgusting store. The citizens of the grocery store were the ones putting him on trial, and they were merciful, letting him off easy since he had a small child, which was why he wasn't good at running a grocery store. I knew better though. He cared nothing for the child and was just a disgusting rat. Cut to the Confederate States of America in the 1960s. If the rat had been on trial here, he'd be in a prison camp by now. The CSA had just signed a peace treaty with the USA. I'm talking to a confederate general who has a deep hatred for northern culture. He says all they do is listen to that British hippie music like the Beatles.
I suffered from a bout of insomnia this night, and didn't get much sleep, resulting in poor dream recall. I did have a vague dream about sailing a ship off the edge of the map/world. However, as I was up for a long time after taking the root, I will describe some of its waking effects.
Silene Capensis is significantly different from Calea zacatechichi (the Mazatec dream herb that was taken traditionally by drinking a tea of the herb and smoking a joint of it, both before bed). Aside from the taste (Calea z. literally means 'bitter herb', and it is really disgusting; smoking it isn't as bad as drinking it, though), the nature of the head space is notable dissimilar. With Calea I feel kind of stoned. With Silene capensis, the first two nights, soon after consuming it, I got a mild feeling of sedation, but it was accompanied by a very clearheaded feeling, along with some mind-expanding effects.
I got a mild feeling of sedation, but it was accompanied by a very clearheaded feeling, along with some mind-expanding effects.
The third night, the effect became much, much more apparent. I felt really, really mellow, but also very much sober, alert, though very much calm to the point of moderate sedation.
Hypnogogic imagery is different on Calea z. as well. With Calea there tends to be very active, busy, psychedelic images behind closed eyes. With the dream root I just see white light. The second night, as I was drifting off, I woke up a few times to turn off the lamp, only to realize that it was off, and the light I was seeing was from of a different kind. The dream root feels a little cleaner than calea, to me. Calea is a little bit like smoking a bowl of mixed cannabis and mugwort, and [Silene capensis] is like drinking ayahuasca without actually feeling intoxicated at all or having any visuals. (If that makes any sense at all).
The effects before falling asleep, by this point, were becoming more sedating. I dreamt that my brother and I were living in a video game based loosely on a scenario in which Imperial Japan rules the world. There are different races, all based on colors. The red-tinted people are the ruling caste. I work for the government, but I'm slowly finding out that I don't like what they're up to and am planning to rebel. The princess is some sort of whimsical mad scientist up to no good. Every time something makes me angry, I acquire this mana-like energy that I can store up and then use to do things like gain advantages in battles, calm myself, and uncover secret passageways and cheat codes. Somewhere along the line, I discover a painting of a person that is aging before my eyes. I had more dreams earlier in the night, but I made the rookie mistake of waking up from them and then choosing not to write them down, so they're lost.
I dreamt that I was playing with Ginger, my girlfriend's golden retriever. She has these joint supplements that kind of smell like chocolate, and I had two in my hand and was considering eating them, but I remembered that the last time I did that, I vowed never to do it again. I was also playing with her and she was running about like she hadn't in years (even before I knew her) and seemed young again. I woke up from my dream and it turned out the dog had died overnight.
This was my final night with the dream root. I didn't remember any of my dreams, although I was told that I was laughing hysterically in my sleep.
I had vivid dreams most nights. Prior to ingestion each night I set a very clear intention to communicate with my ancestors, even performing small rituals by burning white sage in front of an old photograph of my great-grandfather (a man who died long before I was born). I did not remember any dreams pertaining to my ancestors. However, on night 5, I had the glimpse of psychic ability where I dreamt of my girlfriend's dog being young and spry, which I must have dreamt somewhere around the time that the dog died. The conclusion I draw from this is that the root opened my dream state up to the spiritual planes, but my attempt to communicate with my ancestors was diverted by the soul of the dog leaving her body and getting briefly stuck in my dream state.
COPYRIGHTS: All reports are copyright Erowid and you agree not to download or analyze the report data without contacting Erowid Center and receiving permission first.
Experience Reports are the writings and opinions of the individual authors who submit them.
Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.