Mushrooms - P. cubensis (extract)
Citation: GonzoBlackshirt. "Mystery Runes and Medicinal Merriment: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (extract) (exp103502)". Erowid.org. Oct 12, 2020. erowid.org/exp/103502
I'm in the range of 29-32 years old, very physically active, with regular weightlifting. Diet consists of a high protein/high fat consumption (eggs, meat, yogurt, cheese, rarely milk though), vegetables and fruit, and minimal grain/sugar consumption.
Vitamins/Supplements: Men's daily multivitamin, Tribulus Terrestris, D-Aspartic Acid, and 5g of creatine a day.
Emotional Background: I served in the US military and recently recieved an Honorable Discharge after finishing my term of service. During my service I deployed to Afghanistan. Although I had been dealing with on and off depression and rage issues since 2010, upon returning from Afghanistan in 2013 I found that my usual creative outlets for dealing with emotional difficulties no longer worked for me. Previously, I used to spend all my free time on painting or learning the piano, since doing something productive and creative would usually get me through hard times. But after my return home, I felt like I had lost a chunk of my imagination somehow, and nothing I produced interested me. Nothing could match the kind of adrenaline rush and sense of purpose I had over there.
I resorted to heavy drinking during this time. While I managed to avoid anything dangerous with it, I was nonetheless consuming a few drinks on a normal day when/if I could afford it, to where I felt like something was lacking if I didn't take up on that opportunity. In retrospect I do think the alcohol was inhibiting my physical fitness and quality of sleep.
I used to be on ADHD medications as a kid/teenager, and that was a very negative experience for me, so the thought of going to the VA for antidepressants or months of therapy was really unattractive. A couple good friends turned me on to the possibility of entheogens by dispelling a lot of the myths about them and learning me up on how early research into LSD and psilocybin showed potential for treating PTSD and alcoholism, so I decided I'd give it a try with psilocybin first. A friend/supplier provided me some psilocin in pill form which he extracted himself from p. cubensis.
Wednesday is one of my off days where I don't exercise, so I used most of the day to take care of relaxing/low-intensity tasks; a quick walk to the post office, cleaning & vacuuming the apartment to freshen the place up, and assembling a music playlist on my iPod (mostly of trance and ambient/orchestral music). Weather was heavily overcast and cool. I had eaten breakfast, then a late lunch about 4 hours prior to dosage. Both meals were pretty filling, consisting of eggs and meat.
1xPsilocyn in clear capsule pill, taken with water and a small orange juice + cinnamon smoothie.
Sat down at my computer with my sketchbook to draw for a bit while watching a movie (The Secret of NIMH). Since this was my first trip I had my girlfriend present and sober, though she was mostly just chilling at her computer nearby. I'll refer to her as 'J'.
Around this time it started raining outside. Pretty nice touch I thought.
Around maybe 6:50 I started feeling a little 'different'. I should note that when I go for several hours without food, I tend to get a little light-headed, unfocused, and cranky (high metabolism I guess?). This felt at first kind of like the effects of hunger, but I didn't feel moody or unpleasant like I normally would've when skipping meals.
While pausing the movie to chat with J, I stopped mid-sentence and just started laughing. I was trying SO HARD not to laugh, but ended up giggling solidly for a minute or two. It was like I had remembered some childish joke or prank from a long time ago. J found this amusing. I wondered casually if this was 'it' yet, but I tried not to dwell on that since I didn't want to feel like I was waiting for a pot of water to boil.
I was going to resume them movie, but after this little bout of laughs I noticed that the rain outside was calming down to a gentle sprinkle, with the clouds starting to part, just in time for the sun lowering in the horizon. The windows were speckled with water droplets, and the clouds outside were busily rolling apart in the most fascinatingly brilliant colors. I didn't feel like I was seeing anything unusual, but I was arrested by the sight with an intense sense of wonder. I think I forgot about the movie at this point, and leaned over the desk to peer about and watch the city and sky outside. I can only describe it as an animated NC Wyeth painting.
I migrated from the studio room to the bedroom where there were two windows for me to choose from to keep watching everything outside. Everything was so very, very fine. For example, truly admiring the pinkish-orange sunlight cast upon the rain-glazed buildings and cars below contrasting with the cool, relaxing violet shadows. I laughed some more, thinking how foolishit was for me to have been ignoring all this amazing lighting, shadows, and color in my everyday life. Even looking at the 5-story parking structure (which I normally thought of as an ugly piece of modern concrete) was great, noticing the security guard's truck patroling around with its flashing orange light among the parking decks, giggling when the truck went over a speed bump. Oh, and the rain drops still on the window were very nice. The way they captured the fading sunlight made them sparkle like tiny stars, I thought.
The sky, though, was what I spent the most time on as the evening came in. Yet I wouldn't say it was getting 'darker', more like the less-illuminated spaces of the horizon (and city below) were simply deciding to shift into calm tints of violet-blue and ocean green, while the higher-altitude clouds still boasted their slowly-tumbling mass in the brilliant glow of remaining sunlight. I can't emphasize how overwhelmingly 'right' it all seemed, and how pleasant it was for me to be in on this secret. Colors everywhere were more vibrant, contrasts were sharper, and everything was so lovingly textured and good. Mild laughter and bouts of extreme ease continued periodically during this time.
At one point I noticed interesting squared right-angled shapes slowly crossing the sky. Upon staring longer, I realized it looked like a Mesoamerican codex illustration, a humanoid figure with intricate feather-adorned garments. I felt incredibly mischevous noticing this, as if I wasn't supposed to have witnessed this, and had spied an Aztec, Mayan or Olmec deity on his way to visit somebody else's trip, and was saying to me 'Hey don't mind me, gringo, just passin through.'
Audio at this point became a little sharper. Distant sounds that I normally would've ignored where much more interesting and seemed to echo. The music coming from the other room had an interesting 'wideness' to it.
After enjoying the window for a good while I went into the living room to sit on the couch and watch some incense burn while listening to some ambient music. I thought smoke might be interesting in my current state, but I instead found myself focusing on the incense stick itself. My vision did something that I can only describe as 3D bevelling; sort of like if you were to look at a 3D movie without the glasses on, yet without the eyestrain that would normally entail. It quickly passed. When I looked over at the wall (which is painted black) I noticed intricate (3D-bevelled) shapes fading into vision, shifting, rotating, fading away, and alternating with other shapes. I pulled up a stool to sit closer for a better view.
Foggy runes, pictograms, and intricate knotwork were playing out in the wall before me. An intense warmth and positivity came upon me as I observed them. Histories depicting sunwheels, mountains, fantastic creatures, massive trees and cave-painted ancient heroes animated in front of me. Although I could not understand or translate it, I very specifically knew I was witnessing various myths and events from olden times, and had a specific sense of connection to the icons representing certain people in these stories. I was still laughing periodically, not because anything was particularly comical (it was all extremely profound), but because I was amazing that it was 'coming back' to me. I say 'coming back', because everything here felt like something I had known long ago, yet had lost sight of or become jaded to.
After maybe 20 minutes of this I wanted to know more. J gave me some chalk, which I used to start drawing with on the wall. I first started with an orange circle, which I stared at for a good while. Where the wall's slightly bumpy texture met the orange chalk, I could spy even more intricate pictograms and living knotwork animated within it. I drew some more, each time with very deliberate strokes of the chalk, until I eventually had a primitive chalk mural of a sonnenrad radiating over rolling hills, its rays reaching out in sharp Sig runes. I sat in front of this for at least a good hour and a half or so, watching this thing animating in front of me. The orange color of the chalk glowed warmly, the black paint of the wall gleamed oily smears of dark green, violet and blue. In each little detail of the chalk drawing, more mysteries of bygone ages played out, far too many for me to possibly keep track of, but I was perfectly happy to be in their presence.
I should also mention that during this time, if I focused on an object (mainly the wall with its chalk mural) and took in a slow, deep breath, the object would bubble outwards towards me, then gently curve inwards when I exhaled. I found this to be extremely fun. It didn't work every single time, but enough for me to play around with it.
I took a break from the chalk mural to open Sigfried, a graphic novel I had set on the coffee table. It's a comic book with extraordinary artwork. Although the book itself wasn't any different visually than when I read it before, emotionally I found myself utterly sucked in. Each panel and line of dialog between the various characters, the Norns, Sigfriend, Odin, and Mime the Nibelung, were so overflowing with immeasurable drama and tension for me, sweeping me up in excitement for what would happen on the next page.
Around this time I put the book down to use the restroom, since I finally realized the pressure in my groin was me needing to take a leak. I was a bit surprised by how much urine there was, since it didn't feel like I needed to go THAT bad. While washing my hands I looked in the mirror. I didn't see anything bad, but had a vague sense of dislike towards the idea of looking in the mirror, so I quickly avoided it.
After leaving the bathroom and surveying my surroundings some more, I could tell the trip was fading somewhat. Visuals were less intense, and the foolish euphoria decreased, though I was still feeling EXTREMELY good. I was a bit surprised to feel things fading already, but I wasn't sure if it was ending for good, or if this was just a temporary lull.
I decided to take a 2nd dose, downing it with a little bit of water and some grapes.
This being my first time, I wasn't quite sure when the optimal time was to redose, I just knew I didn't want the trip to end just yet. Sat down in the computer/studio room with J again, then played on my MIDI keyboard while I waited to see what would come next.
The music I made at that time wasn't anything worth listening to, but I did find my keyboard to be a pretty fascinating contraption. Gosh, those volume sliders with their little glowing blue diodes were really something to behold.
I noticed J's plants around this time, and started laughing hysterically at them. When she gave me an amused look and asked what's up, I just said 'The plants! I 'get it' now.'
A minute after this, the second wave hit me. Right while listening to the song 'Atlantean Sword' from Conan The Barbarian, my computer monitor started to go waxy, drooping at the edges, my iTunes screen illuminated with a most dazzling glow. The coffee cups full of pens and the houseplants were so utterly delightful all of a sudden. Everything in the studio room was simply stupendous!
[Sidenote: I was later on informed by my supplier that in his experience it's a waste to take a 2nd dose any later than an hour or so after the 1st one, since immunity builds up after that. So I have no idea if this was the 2nd dose kicking in regardless, OR if it was primarily the 1st dose, and that I had been in a temporary lull up until this time. Either way I was having a great time.]
Sometime at this point I ventured back out into the living room. I spent another half hour or so at the chalk mural, since the ancient wonders had resumed there and I was delighted to be a part of it again. I added further chalk strokes to the mural, a formation of Sig runes that morphed into bayoneted rifles, with the overall result resembling Italian Futurist painting style from the 1920s. Despite the militaristic icons, I had no feelings of conflict, threat or any kind of negativity from it all, simply a sense that this was What Is. Periodically I would pause to stare at one of the runes or rifles to watch more moving pictograms, some of which developed into far more detailed fractals if I focused deeply enough on them. I sensed that these fractals went on forever, yet at the time I did not focus on them long or deeply enough to experience that portal and its secrets. They didn't scare me, but I was aware that this wasn't the 'correct time' to try that. I knew that it would've been like skipping ahead in a book by a few chapters without properly learning everything in between.
During this hour or so the trip was at its most intense. Paintings on the wall were moving, breathing, watching. My vision took on a wide-angle lensed perspective, my sense of depth was utterly razor sharp, and my eyes were able to focus on microscopic details if I simply willed my attention upon a specific point.
Audio was very intense as well. Music became longer somehow, occasionally dipping out of hearing range, then fading back in. Things whispered faintly. I sensed that I was being watched by innocent things beyond my ability to see directly. At one point while staring at the rug (which had become a beautiful garden of thoughtfully swaying, snaking plants that I was dipping my feet into), I heard birds singing in the music. I looked up towards the kitchen, where I could see apples, bananas, avocados, and J's potted plants sitting on the counter. The bird singing echoed prettily in my ears along with the music we had playing, and while admiring the green glow around coming from the area, I sensed that the kitchen was in fact a complex portal to a lush rainforest full of delicious fruit, exquisite squawking parrots, and hooting creatures. However I knew that the Mayans there would not appreciate me visiting; we wouldn't understand each other and it'd be awkward, so I kept a respectful distance from the kitchen. I did not want to inconvenience any Mesoamerican deities.
Despite not venturing to the rainforest, I was extremely happy where I was, picking anything in sight to fixate on and come to an understanding with. Reclining on the couch revealed to me how PERFECTLY horizontal everything was! Likewise, standing upright demonstrated how beautifully tall and straight things could be. Placing my face close to the edge of the coffee table gave me a stupendous view of the table's edge stretching into the distant horizon, and the Christmas lights strung up on the wall slowly slithered like a boredly curious snake that wanted attention and petting. For a moment, liquid diodes of light snuck about on the bookshelves like little glowing mice, which I found fairly amusing.
Throughout the entire trip, and especially during this peak period, there was the overwhelming sense that none of this was new, but that I was in fact rediscovering it all. Some of it felt like relearning how to see and feel things the way I did when I was much younger, when the world seemed so much more vast and mysterious. I was surrounded by feelings of deep affirmation and understanding, as if in the presence of a wise old teacher who's benevolent form was still beyond my vision.
There were only two small negative events, though very brief and avoidable enough that they had no damaging effect on the trip overall:
At one point I wandered into the bedroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. At first I thought it might be interesting to see what it's like, but a very brief sense of dread licked at me, and I quickly looked away and left the room to rejoin the merriment outside. I have no idea why mirrors were so unpleasant, since I couldn't see anything visually dreadful, but it FELT bad somehow.
The second one was when J and I were kissing a bit, and when I focused on her for a moment there was a bad strangeness to her face, a sort of uncomfortable strangeness. I managed to look away and hug her from the side, which quickly put me back in a happy place with her and my surroundings. I'm not sure what it was, but I guess it's something to be mindful of in the future if tripping with others present.
At this point I could feel the trip coming down. As my bodily coordination started to come back to normal, I decided to pull out a pen and paper to try some sketching. While the results were messy and naive, there was a certain sort of rawness and purity to it that I was very pleased with. I also decided to play around on my keyboard a bit, and was amazed to notice I was remembering how to play a couple melodies from 2 years ago. My hands felt like they had picked up where I left off with music practice before I left for Afghanistan, and I was able to play some genuinely pleasing tunes, if a little bit clumsily.
Mental clarity during this time definitely went through the roof. While the visuals were fading, I felt like I could place any thought in my head and analyze it from all perspectives, inside and out, before and after. Basic music theory coming back to me just like that felt like only the tip of the iceberg. Truly, the mushroom expands consciousness!
However, I was realizing I was incredibly hungry. I had a specific craving for apples and cheese which I proceeded to eat for a while as I played around with my keyboard and contemplated every little sound.
At this point I'd say I was definitely at my sober baseline again, and realizing I was fairly tired. J had gone to sleep already, so I went to bed as well. But even as tired as I was, my mind was frolicking all over the place, picking utterly random memories, questions, words, noises and nonsense and playing with them like a kid who'd just been given a bucket of Legos and a shot of espresso. I was a little bothered that I was so tired at the same time, since this seemed like a state of truly enhanced thought where I could probably come up with some great ideas. Eventually I DID manage to fall asleep
Although I felt a little tired from going to sleep so late, I felt wonderful. An warm sense of newness to everything around me, and a general eagerness to experiment and create.
3 Months Later:
I have noticed INCREDIBLE changes in my life, which I have listed here:
- My creative drive returned as soon as the very next day after the trip, and has stayed high since. I am producing art and music much faster than I have before despite being out of practice for many years.
- I almost never drink alcohol anymore. Immediately after this trip, alcohol felt so trivial and boring. I still love the taste of high-quality booze, but have no desire to frequently consume them. I've had maybe 5-6 small drinks in the last 3 months since this trip.
- My mood baseline is generally much better than it was before, and I overall feel a sense of possibility with things, rather than letting myself get cornered with disappointment and frustration when I encounter setbacks.
Some unresolved issues that I will probably need to seek mainstream professional help with:
- I still notice that certain things can trigger me to emotionally shut down or go into a hypervigilant state, but these occur maybe a couple times a month, if that.
- My sex drive is still much lower than it was prior to Afghanistan. While I can still perform and enjoy it, the frequency is much lower than used to be.
This has been an incredibly positive force in my life, truly a powerful medicine to be respected, as well as a damn fun way to spend an evening wandering sacred realms of mysteries and wonder.
Since this first psychedelic experience I've decided to continue exploring entheogens (2 other psilocin trips and 1 LSD trip as of this writing). I think this is the start of a very fascinating journey.
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