Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: scratchedelder. "Self/Collective Love Heroic Dose VDay Trip: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp111644)". Erowid.org. Apr 13, 2018. erowid.org/exp/111644
Short tripping history
This was my first heroic dose experience. I've had LSD and mushrooms 2 or 3 times times each, but usually half a tab or max. 2 gr. Of shrooms. I always enjoyed it: the optimistic and lighthearted mood was very welcomed when I was going to depressive phases, and with friends we would get into quite deep conversations really fast, critically analyzing our past, or I would love to spend time in nature - where I would feel almost overwhelmed by the beauty of every little detail. Never had too intense visuals, just the general trembling and breaking of edges of things, sometimes in rainbow-illuminated fractals.
Other drug usage:
Weed for ~5 yrs, almost daily in the last 3 months. I have ~6 months phases of not smoking at all and alternating with phases of smoking almost daily.
MDMA/ecstasy more heavily since summer 2017, on average a session/month. I feel MD definitely contributed to uplifting my mood in the winter months, even after and in between sessions. Did not experience downcomes almost at all, which I credit to using good quality MD and trying to stick to a regimen of vitamins and rest before and after a sesh.
I had gotten interested in the heroic dose experience as a means to dive deeper into myself. I'm quite an introspective person, and I felt that it could help me make sense of all the things I was going through at this time in life. I thought it might help 'catch' all my scattered thoughts and bring them intro a more coherent conclusion, which I found very difficult to do sober or on other drugs and was making me feel quite stuck. (I know meditation might help here, but alas, I lack discipline. Working on that)
At the same time, I believe in all sacredness of beings, including plants and fungi, so I approached this adventure humbly, with respect and trying to prepare myself for whatever they could reveal to me, as opposed to going in with a self-centered idea of what *I* could get from this.
I wanted to make sure I had minimized all chances of having a bad trip and make the most out of it. I had been thinking about taking this trip for the last 5 months. The opportunity did not come, but in all this time I had already started thinking of my goals and what I would like to clarify for myself, and this process already happened just in the anticipation of the trip.
I had already started thinking of my goals and what I would like to clarify for myself, and this process already happened just in the anticipation of the trip.
Being more mindful in self-care, meditation and having very honest and emotional conversations with my close friends, travelling and getting out of my context for 3 weeks before this for sure also helped this process. I think of this as mental preparation.
For my personal feeling of safety, I chose to have my long-term partner as a sitter. We discussed what my needs might be and what do I want him to do, how much do I want him to interact with me, etc. We agreed I will ask for help if needed, and he would check up on me if I seemed distressed from the outside.
Synchronicity had it that the day both me and my sitter could synchronise before the new moon on Feb 15th, turned out to be the 14th. I find it beautiful and ironic that I ended up taking what I will dub a ''self-love trip' on valentines, while my partner was watching, considering we are going through a process of detaching from each other and unlearning toxic relationship patterns, and we both don't give a shit's ass about Vday anyway.
I cleaned my room and burned some palo santo and we mounted a black blanket on the window - the room was not pitch black, but good enough. I closed my phone. I had not eaten that day, my last meal was a dinner at 8 PM the day before. I prepared myself 4 or 5 short joints, in case I needed to chill down, and Salvia officinalis tea for clarity. I had water on hand in a few corners of the room and I instructed my partner to keep some sweets at hands in case my blood sugar levels would drop (I've fainted before in situations of fasting combined with physical activity and/or smoking). I kept reminding myself to use breathing techniques to let go if anything became too much, and instructed my partner to remind me to try chanting if I would get in a bad place.
I took 6gr of mushrooms at exactly 11 AM. Psilocybe cubensis, 2gr of Amazonica strain, 4gr McKennaii, both homegrown from a trusted source and gently dried. They were stored in the freezer for ~6 months. I proceeded to sit in lotus position comfortably in my bed, closed my eyes and tried to meditate, being very attentive to the sensations in my body.
After just 15 min, I asked my partner how much time had passed because I was already feeling my auditive sensitivity increasing. There was a hum or a buzzing, almost like radio static but it did not feel mechanical, I heard it as being quite organic. I believe this is what others might have called ''the cosmic hum''.
In what felt like quite a little while since that, the audio and visual hallucinations started becoming much more intense, so much that I had to lie down on my back. I was flooded with a feeling of love and well-being. The visuals were something between kaleidoscopic fragmentations of color and shapes, or fractals, all gently moving and swirling and pulsating. I barely felt where the edges of my blanket or my own body ended and where these shaped began, they seemed to flow from one another and I felt wrapped, enveloped in it, and it was a very pleasant feeling.
By this point, the audio part was comprised of the cosmic hum I could barely hear over my main narrator voice, my other voices, other people/entities voices and electronic music I've been listening to in the last weeks booming in the background. The music part triggered movement in my body, as I had just recently gotten into dancing for hours at parties and am enjoying it immensely.
I also felt I wasn't alone. Every now and then I would become aware of my partner's breathing or a sound he made, although he was very quiet, or of other people going about their day in our apartment and in those moment I felt super sober and could register these with clarity. But at the same time, there were moments when I knew I was in my own world right then, right there in my bed, and some sort of entities were there with me. I was thinking about so many things at the same time, and my narrator's voice was very clear in my head, but it wasn't my only voice. If I would think about people in my life, I might see them or remember scenes and analyze them and talk about the situations with these people at the same time, but I felt the presence also of people I've never met, people I admire, etc. Most notably, and I made note to write this down even in my trip, at one point many of the wisdoms I had came to were recited to me in the voice of Erykah Badu. Priceless moment there, really.
But it felt like there were other ''entities'' around me that I didn't know. They did not necessarily all have a form, but I felt their presence. Some might just be the inside of a swirl from a corner of what I was seeing, but they were just as present there as myself. It felt as if I am in some sort of gathering, but all were in good mood, laughing and being very understanding with me and each other. There was only love and understanding really.
A big chunk of this experience I've felt as very sexual. The not feeling alone part also played into this, but I didn't necessarily imagine a sex scene with someone/s, more like I felt caught in what seemed to be a very erotic dance with all these entities, and every now and then we were 'spotted' by outsiders, so we would all giggle and amaze ourselves at how nice and unapologetically beautiful we all are, and then continue. There was a great deal of understanding also in terms of consent and not pressuring any entity into anything, so what was happening felt all the more authentic and I felt all the more grateful and comfortable.
So I was riding in this trip for a while, chasing around my thoughts and just bathing in all the feelings, trying to draw some conclusions out of everything. At some point, I felt decidedly less stimulated and proceeded to come out of my world deliberately and try to sense what was going on in the room. I proceeded to open my eyes slowly, trying to notice if I still had visuals, but in the semi-darkness of the room, it seemed to have calmed down. I saw my partner was almost sleeping on the couch, and I finally opened my eyes for real. It was eerie, I was very conscious of what just happened and everything was fine and normal, but at the same time the feeling of returning to my room after this experience was just... Eerie.
I think it was around 2:30, 3 PM when I stood up to go to the bathroom a second time. There were still the breaking edges if I focused a little but more on one point, but it was much weaker. By this time I concluded the trip was over, even if I had remains of feelings from it.
During all this time I was lying in my bed, clutching my blanket at times and twisting underneath it. I kept my eyes closed for almost all of the trip, except the times I had to get up to go to the bathroom. I went from being ok to being cold, to sweating, to mild cold sweat and then feeling ok again. I was crying for most of it because I couldn't contain the feeling of joy, but also smiling, laughing or softly moaning. My partner thought I had fallen asleep at one point as I was lying almost still and breathing deeply, but there was an incredible amount of things going on in my head actually. And every time things became a bit too much (even if it was all on the positive side), I proceeded to take deep breaths and try to relax with every exhale, which worked beautifully.
At maybe an hour, hour and a half after ingestion, I needed to use the bathroom for the first time. I felt this need for a while before I managed to express it, but not because I couldn't say it. I wanted to go, and I believed I could, but I felt I was near the peak already and very self-conscious about how others might perceive me. This led to delaying the moment I asked my partner to please have a look if the bathroom is free (although I felt my hearing was extremely accurate, I thought I couldn't trust all the sounds I heard because I couldn't pinpoint their spatial origin as good as when sober - a thump in the kitchen, for example, seemed eerily not really coming from there, even if the sound was very familiar). When I finally tried to get up and asked, he promptly told me it's free and there's just one of my flatmates in his room. I came to the edge of the bed, stood up pretty fast, got a bit dizzy when upright but he caught me and I started walking. Here's where synchronicity is as funny as always, because my flatmate came out of his room at exactly the same time as I came out, so I said hi, we hugged (or I kinda fell on his chest) and then I excused myself. I must have seemed just sleepy or that I've been crying.
While I finally relieved myself, I notice just how strong the visuals are when I look on the tile floor and every tiny strand of hair is moving, fluctuating, ondulating and separating into its own edges. Then I notice our black cat was also in the bathroom and I locked her in with me, which is weird because she's very fast to get out and this normally distresses her. She was pretty calm and waited for me to finish and let her out. Lol.
I was still very aware of everything going on in the flat. My mate had people over, they cooked and I could hear their conversations, but I was very decidedly in a different place. Their voice intermingled with everything that was going on into my head and just seemed to complement the ideas I was getting to. But I felt so acutely hypersensitive and self-conscious I was keeping an ''eye'' on that reality also so that when I needed to go to the bathroom again I could do it and try not to bump into anyone.
After going a second time at about 2:30 PM, I smoked a joint and tried to start talking to my partner, but was greatly hit by the poorness of words to describe to him all I've felt, and I think I needed about another hour at least until I really started talking. The fact that this is the cliche associated with the heroic dose experience did not make it easier.
I was feeling a lot of tensions in my muscles, especially neck, shoulders between shoulder blades and had to eat a piece of bread after 2 puffs of the joint because I instantly felt my blood sugar drop. Over the next hours, we ate a real meal, drank more tea and smoked all the joints, trying to talk as best as I could in the meantime. I felt writing might be a better option.
The incredibly uplifting feeling has stayed with me, I was feeling quite optimistic, much more light-hearted, I would giggle and laugh with my partner at things that maybe before would have annoyed me, and the general feeling of openness in myself was quite intense still. I didn't feel it was the ''mushroom'' giggles I would normally get even if I was probably still high in the afternoon, but that it was something that came from a deeper place in myself.
Later, shortly after my partner left I felt the need to open my phone to see the time and have some sort of grounding with the real world. It was 6 PM and exactly 8h ago he was messaging me that he is on his way. I proceeded to smoke for the rest of the evening and try to process and take notes. I smoked much more than I usually would in an evening, but I felt the calming and numbing effects of weed pleasant
I smoked much more than I usually would in an evening, but I felt the calming and numbing effects of weed pleasant
, as everything was still too clear, too crisp and I felt my senses were much too acute for reality if I wasn't smoking. I couldn't take very bright lights or listen to music yet, but by 9 PM I was able to pay some bills online and other things that required concentration which I normally couldn't if I'd been smoking that much.
I fell asleep at about midnight from the weed high and awoke not very rested because of this. Reality seems more crisp and eerie the following day, and I feel spaced-out.
Lessons learned may come in plant metaphors...
T. McKenna's point that psychedelics 'only work on intelligent people' because they have to work with whatever you are feeding your mind resonated with me a lot of the experience. I was feeling like the trip just reinforced some truths I already had in myself, but couldn't articulate as clearly or manage to live by them on a day-to-day basis, when questioned by people who felt differently than myself.
I feel this is where there might be the critical point, as raised by my partner, that perhaps such an experience is just ''trapping'' you in your own bubble of beliefs if the feeling is of reinforcement, much like facebook algorithms trap you in a bubble of information that you already agree to. But what makes me have conflicting feelings about this is that so many persons report strikingly similar ''revelations'' after such an experience. I've read reports of people coming to terms with the idea of death and thus feeling overwhelmed by the miracle that is life, that we are all alive, or of realizing this ''we'' includes so much more than our mind can comprehend. There comes with this an understanding of change as inevitable, and in many cases than a feeling of detachment from problems that might have seemed insurmountable until then. Others report a dissolving of the ego. Of course, just the fact that I have read about these experiences could have predisposed me to have the same kind of conclusions.
During the trip, at some point, I realized: 'but of course, I'm thinking about everything I've read and realized in the last period because this drug acts like a mirror'. So, of course, there is your self-reflected, but since the visuals are fragmented, I started seeing it more as a double mirror, where an endless reflection and folding upon itself is formed. So it is not as if I am trapped in my bubble of thoughts and ideas, but it allows me to see myself from behind also, and in infinitely more faded cliches at that. I still see myself from my own perspective, but it is a richer one nonetheless, as somehow all the corners of the broken image reveal me corners of my mind I couldn't see clearly before.
Another realization was that the cliche, the reflexion, the less-than-the-real-thing is so tricky and pervasive, that we've grown accustomed to prefer the cliches instead of the real thing in our day to day reality. I think this might be the reason I feel trapped in a very grey and faded reality in my life in the days following this experience. But the general feeling I'm left with is of understanding, compassion, and love. A greater understanding of the people around me, and especially in their weaker moments, but also of myself. It seems self-evident to a new level that when we are not able to take care of ourselves and thus, of each other, we become weaker versions of ourselves, prone to make even more unhealthier choices. And so a greater compassion for beings everywhere, who are all just struggling to be. Plant metaphors associated were the growing of a weed in a parking lot compared to one in a lush environment, the individual manifestations of deprivement on plants - the drying of leaves, the burning from too much heat, the way a tree will enclose the wound of a cut branch, and many more. It seemed to me plants have this insatiable desire to keep being, to grow, that I found truly inspirational.
Another poignant feeling during the trip was being incredibly overwhelmed at the miracle of life, and how even in the most adverse conditions most of us continue to go about in our lives. Wishing I could show these images of growth and wonder to all the people around me who are dealing with fear and anxiety and seem stuck in their lives, not daring to move almost. I felt that I too had such a stuck moment, but I want to drag others with me in overcoming this. There was an intense desire in me to nourish those around me, to make sure they get what they need to reach full bloom.
I'm also left with a renewed trust that people can overcome their heteronormative socialization and experience closeness and affection in a variety of ways and from a variety of sources without falling prey to the usual feelings of abandonment, frustration or possessivity. It's also been my experience just recently by practicing relationship anarchy, but I seemed to notice instances of this more after re-analyzing some past situations.
Eventually, the final and beautiful image I was left with was that we are all connected, every being with every little imperfection in its mightiness, and the connection I visualized was a growing mycelium in disturbed earth, branching out and connecting and sustaining even more beings at once.
Talk about cliches.
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