Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: Tau Ouranoboros . "To Combine Paths of Magic and Psychedelia: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp112167)". Erowid.org. Sep 23, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112167
Magick & Mushrooms (Psilocybin) Combined
Mindset & Setting:
My buddy and I met a year ago in a mystical fraternity, and decided to combine our different approaches to achieving Insight, Wisdom, and Knowledge -- “Gnosis” for short. Suspecting that each of our paths are meant to illuminate the mysteries of the other, we started a quest to combine them, searching for a Synergy whose Gnosis would reveal more than available to either path alone. Brother ‘Logos’ has followed a medicine path, while I (Brother ‘Ouranoboros’) have explored magical techniques and philosophies of western mystery traditions: We took the first step last Saturday by combining two “Initiations” into a single experience: A consecration and first sacrament of a line of Gnostic Bishops with a sacred psilocybin hike up a Holy Mountain...
Brother Logos and his initiators treasure a nearby state-park granite mountain -- An ancient bubble of Magma that cooled hundreds of millions of years ago into a massive above-ground “loaf” of bare rounded granite, 1000 feet high, and 5 miles in circumference. While the front-side has been carved into a prominent tourist attraction unsuited for psychedelic journeys, there is a hidden route around the back, away from tourists - partially off-limits, and paradoxically preserving some of the best of the park by its undeveloped state and reservation for generators and equipment down at the base. Exposed tilted plains of granite skirt that base in rising slopes, creating a unique micro-ecology of shallow rain-pools of reflected sky, pale green lichens almost painted on the rock surface like living paisley, and clinging Cacti hugging the rock under direct sun. Surprisingly soft sponge-like mosses hold water in the shadows of vertical dormant quarry walls. Dotting the wide expanses, before the rise becomes too vertical, are sparse islands of trees - so plentiful below the mountain -- in shallow pans of root-hoarded dirt. The hidden path winds and climbs past these few features to rise beyond painted off-limits lines, over or under a raised power conduit that feeds the sky-trams on the other side, to a quiet niche on the bald round mound called the “Eagle’s Nest.” This small scoop of rest into the steep granite overlooks a wide quiet view of forested valley and lake, nestled down below.
For such a journey, Logos suggested that a psilocybin mushroom tea, with its relatively fast onset (15 minutes) and short duration (about 4 hours), would be an excellent match: A healthy day hike, to sweat the medicine in the glories of Nature, with no one in “normal life” even needing to know it was anything but exercise. This would be a journey away from other people, with enough ardour in climbing and sweating under the direct summer sun and effects of the mushroom tea itself, to facilitate a mirroring of Inner and Outer trips: A challenging climb up to Eagles Nest beneath the mountaintop, “sweating on” the medicine trip’s peak, then slowly “sweating out” and coming back down in all senses of the word, reintegrating with a baseline reality back down below the painted limit-line to walk away on more familiar terra firma.
In turn, I (Ouranoboros) suggested a way to frame the experience as a Holy Sacrament by consecrating Logos into a line of wandering, “Gnostic” Bishops. The special calling of this tradition is to roam beyond the constraints of visible hierarchy through all apparent differences, transforming the profane into the sacred in the name of Love: As a newly ordained Bishop, Logos would be empowered by the tradition to elevate “ordinary” sustenance into the Divine and Healing Body of God as a ‘Eucharist,’ whose nourishing absorption would become a means of reunion with the loving heart of the Universe itself...This would of course be performed upon the Mushrooms.
We set up an altar, bringing together the elements of the consecration ceremony (holy water, oil, incense) and about 10 dried grams of the sacred mushrooms and allied tea ingredients (fresh lemon, ginger root, mint leaves & green tea). Donning white robes, Ouranoboros performed the traditional ceremony upon Logos, invoking God in all His, and Her, and Its sacred forms and aspects, laying hands on head and anointing power-points (third eye, hands and feet), finally announcing this newest Bishop with a suitable reading from the Gnostic scripture: “The Thunder, Perfect Mind” (rediscovered as part of the Nag Hammadi find of 1947). Blessing the mushrooms as the Living Eucharist, Bishop Logos and I thanked the Holy Host for agreeing to connect with us as Living God and Guiding Spirit, speaking aloud our highest intentions for the trip: Inspiration and Intuition, Adventure and Excitement in a safe and loving way, to descry answers to personal questions in the mirror of Nature, to combine paths of Magic and Psychedelia creatively and positively, and above all, to open us both up to Hidden Powers and Divine Assistance in all manners of need, that might yet be unconscious to ourselves, so that the God of Psilocybin might make us more conscious of, and for, our highest good.
Dosage, Timing and Physical Preparation
We doffed the ceremonial robes and set to work executing the psilocybin tea “tek.” Putting 1-2 cups each of purified water on a low heat toward a boil, with an eighth each of the fresh lemon, zest, mint leaves and perhaps a centimeter each of crushed ginger root slices. The acid in the lemon we believed would speed up the onset, while the other ingredients were added to mitigate stomach upset, as we did not intend to strain the mushroom, aware that this might invite bodily discomfort as an accepted part of the trip. While the tea basis heated, we each shredded and chopped our pile of mushrooms as finely as possible. I reserved 4.25 grams, while Logos took the remainder, about 5.5 grams. When liquid and shrooms were both ready they were combined at the lowest possible simmer, stirred with the tea-bags for ~20 minutes, then decanted with all materia into two travel water bottles with lids. We then hurried a short drive down the road to the mountain, before the brew might over-cool and lose potency.
We figured onset would take about 15 minutes, and since it was 20 minutes to the park entrance, we quaffed our potions on the road halfway there, 10 minutes into cooling, and 10 minutes from the park entrance. To my own taste, we had concocted a surprisingly interesting, spicy tea, somewhat like a gingery-minty-lemony mushroom broth
we had concocted a surprisingly interesting, spicy tea, somewhat like a gingery-minty-lemony mushroom broth
! Having this surprising omen, I thought to myself this boded well (totally right!) and that there would be no discomfort (totally wrong!). Nature too had granted us excellent weather with a welcome cold-front, driving the temperature down from previous low 100s to low 80’s F. I knew I, for one, would be grateful for whatever reprieve from the direct heat we might receive upon the bare rock. Thinking ahead, we had both brought wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, a lot of bottled water and a large electrolyte rich drink (coconut-water) in case we should purge, and other than water, we had both fasted. We were prepared, if our packs were a bit heavy with it all!
The Journey & The Experience
We felt excited at the park entrance, feeling a rush of blood in the fingertips and lips and traces of visual distortion coming on as threshold indicators that we were soon to be immersed in a powerful encounter with the Sacred. After driving around to park in an out of the way location, we began the hike. I felt a touch ‘drunk’ as we entered a wooded area and crossed over the train tracks that wrap around the base of the mountain, and which provide tourists a wild-west shoot-out show. Within a very brief time we entered the hidden pathway up the back-side to our intended destination.
~~~~~”Welcome Back, Old Friend!”~~~~~~~~~
Perhaps 2 minutes after crossing the tracks, and coming out onto what seemed a vast plain of sloping granite, I realized my body was VERY HEAVY and that I was equally HOT under the direct glare of the Sun, with my heavy pack full of waters, and hat (usually quite light-weight) heating up my flushed head. I had already opened one of my waters and was grateful no one was around, as I could tell I was having trouble moving ahead. I fought a wave of nausea that dragged behind it an engulfing ‘first wave’ of powerful alterations on every level -- Bodily sensations, awareness of surroundings changing, inner thoughts, beliefs & memories all widening scope and re-combining. As for bodily sensation, my stomach felt overflowing with bubbly gas foam, and I could taste too much ginger that I had added to the Tea (ironically, to fight nausea). I was quietly afraid that I might puke right off and collapse in a heat stroke if I didn’t sit down (and there was no place to sit), and that I was dangerously old and out of shape to climb a mountain while trespassing on unauthorized drugs -- WHAT HAD I DONE!?
My talkative friend Logos, weaving a bit on the slope as he struck a line tangential to the mountain ascent, later indicated he was feeling the same nausea and doubts, although he is not yet 30, in good hiking shape and familiar with the medicine. Apropos to both our minds, he declared aloud forcefully as if announcing to the Universe and not just myself, that “Terrence McKenna once said ‘No matter how many times I trip, when I experience that first powerful wave overwhelm me, I always say to myself ‘uh-oh, WHAT HAVE I DONE!?’ and this is when I (speaking, I think now, as Logos) tell myself over and over “Welcome back Old Friend! Welcome Back!”
I took strength in this, and knew Logos was Quite Right -- I knew as well, that the tissue of “normal life” had ripped away: We now walked a landscape of Sacred & Eternal Time “Trip Time,” the strange true“home” which had patiently awaited our re-arrival. It and We were well-known to each other, never been truly separated -- the illusion of “normal life” and its succession of seemingly disconnected moments. All Trips, All Magicks came from and returned to this One Moment under the surface where every terrifying and supremely defining thing had ever really happened . I knew I needed to not give in to sickness in this moment, by immediately accepting this “Moment” to not be sick. Contained also in that phrase “Welcome Back Old Friend!” was the fact that I had always known Logos as my brother for far longer than “normal life” would indicate, that he was as much the Old Friend that I intuitively recognized as Magick and ‘Trip Time’ and the experience itself; He and I and we even represented in that Moment many absent others who had all been, and forever would and will be, in this same connected-forgotten reality beneath the tissue of “normal life.” And that this Moment of Reality had now suddenly risen up to say hello as a bit of nausea-stomach-foam, yet wise to the fact that this was just the leading edge of a much deeper wave that had already swept us away. It was time to let go, and ride that wave.
We teetered along the tilted plain on an oblique path to the upward slope, traveling a few hundred meters, when I suddenly remembered to put on my sunscreen for protection. I asked Logos if he could extract it from my backpack, but he could not figure out which of the many pockets it was tucked into. I took off the pack, felt so instantly RELIEVED of its water weight for a moment, took off my hat and fanned myself, felt stronger, fished out the SPF-50 lotion and -- Wait, how had it already spilled on the ground, had I opened it already!? Never mind -- somehow that focused me to practicalities, and I slathered my arms, face, neck, stowed the sunblock, and put my pack and hat back on, feeling stronger for being practical and prepared. Logos pointed out an Oasis of shade just ahead, which we would reach by continuing to skirt the mountain for a while, and I was glad to discover the oasis was a part of the planned path forward to the Top.
~~~~~~~~”Here is Where I Hear the Echoes of a Future Silence”~~~~~~~~~~
The oasis was quite pleasant, and in due time absorbed the initial load of fear with its hidden offerings of beauty! Surrounded by a half dozen small trees and a 6 foot vertical wall where a quarry cut out blocks of granite a century ago, it was flat, and now sheltered a shallow reflecting pool of water, edged by a 4 inch thick spongy carpet of cool moss which oozed water at the touch. Delightful! It felt like I was ticking the whole mountain. I let Logos talk as I slowly mastered my sense of Nausea, drank water and peed: I knew I would not puke. “Last time we were here, we rolled upon these grasses!” said Logos, remembering past trips here with his psychedelic family. Seeing the mosses absorb and release their water, I felt I had kicked-started a successful sweat cycle and would not overheat. While I still felt some manageable discomfort in my body, I felt this as the Spirit of the Mushrooms at work strengthening my body to become much healthier in the long run. As we gathered our strength for the present climb, I declared aloud “Here is Where I Hear the Echoes of a Future Silence.” I did not know exactly what I meant, or if indeed I meant it or if the Mushroom had spoken it, but just that I must say it, and was certain it would become revealed to me at a later time. “I thank the Spirit of the Mushrooms for making me Stronger!” I declared as I put on my pack, and it was so. I was excited again. Logos spoke “We can climb whenever you are ready.” I saw the imposing rise of 1000 feet rising up like a wall in the background, and replied, “The Spirit of the Mushrooms is moving through us up the Mountain! I think it will draw us upward. Where is the Eagles Nest?” Logos pointed a little over half-way up, “It is there above that island of trees.” “Oh, that is not so far!” I replied, and we set out again under the direct sun, stepping now directly upward against the slope.
I heard thunderous slow cracking noises as shards were kicked or set free. There were many such shards, and it occured to me they were all in motion down the mountain, just too slowly to see outside of mountain time. In many places the ramping slope had been broken by erosion and by cleavage into occasional steps to hop and climb, and I could see exactly how the mountain was melting in its own time frame, and the rivers of its downward flow were as easy to see, as the breathing iridescent island of trees above. We walked upward against that same flowing river of gravity.
~~~~~"We’ve been in Mexico for some time now." Finding the seat of Power. ~~~~~~~~~~
I felt no compunction to try and push myself up the mountain as I might do in a normal hike for exercise, but took whatever size steps and side-movements seemed right at that exact moment. Nausea no longer threatened to overwhelm, but still acted as a natural governor on any attempts to over-exert -- This was to be a trip of attention, the sweating and effort was to be a side-effect more than a feature. Because of the Medicine and the Sun, sweat poured out of my body nevertheless, and gathered on the tips of my upright arm hairs -- A cool breeze rewarded our approach and we reveled in it.
It did not take long to reach the Island of trees about half-way up the Mountain. We rested while standing, drinking water, peeing again. Off to the left of the trees was the power conduit, running up to the top to to supply the sky-tram for the tourists going up and down the other side. It was sheathed in a metal pipe, raised above the surface on 4 foot A-frames that were bolted to the granite slope. I expected the metal to be burning hot, but in the tree shaded area where we would cross, it was comfortable to the touch. While it was obviously not intended to be crawled over or under, it was possible to do so: Following Logos’ lead, I climbed over, taking care to distinguish the stable from the unstable parts of the assemblage.
Suddenly we could hear faint echoes of a loud P.A. system, wafting up the mountain from below. It was dialogue, layered above that iconic Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western ‘gunslinger’ sound-track theme, which plays whenever Clint Eastwood shoots somebody in “A Fistful of Dollars.” I knew full well in my mind that this was coming from the staged train robbery for the tourists below, but echoing faintly across the distance, it sounded to me as if all the words were in Spanish! Logos agreed, and I replied “Oh yes, we’ve been in Mexico for some time now.” Logos burst out laughing, and I spotted the perfect rock, level and well sized, for sitting on. I needed to sit down, and so I did. I suddenly saw well across the valley below with perfect clarity two tiny deer coming out from the forest and looking up at us, responding to my mental commands to come out and show themselves. I explained to Logos “Look! We are Naguals!” Logos did not know what I meant, having no familiarity with Carlos Castaneda and his encounters with the Yaqui sorcerer Don Juan Matus (which surprised me). I explained a little bit about Don Juan and his Apprentice -- and my feeling that in this eternal “Moment,” where all paths and times and experiences converge, that part of us which were Gnostic Bishops were also elsewhere as Sorcerers in Mexico, a kind of magical linkage that defied traditional categorizations of “separateness.” We decided we would explore leveraging that connection to see what power or wisdom it might reveal.
I suddenly realized that I had found the true Sitio of this place for me, the “Seat of Power,” like Don Juan’s first strange lesson to Castaneda, the importance to the Sorcerer of finding that Sitio and not confusing it for some other. I knew then (but kept it to myself) that the Seat of Power in this place would not be for me the Eagle’s Nest. I explained that here in this situation, seated in this overlook, the last of the Nausea was being transformed from sickness to Power inside my “belly.”
We decided to push on to the Eagles’ Nest to finish the ascent, the goal very close by, just about 100 meters more up a final steep slope, one that required walking slowly at angles not to slip, leaning in to the slope, and gripping down through the soles of the feet like mountain goats. There was a great deal of long-faded graffiti from visitors past on the final approach, but the one that stood out was an old faded Cross and Christian fish, with an unreadable scripture reference, reminding us of the Gnostic Eucharist at work to embrace a Truth beyond the limits of all seemingly separate traditions or creeds -- and which to me had just revealed a kind of Univeralism in the form of parallel magical lives across time and space. Praise Jesus in the Mushroom for the Sorceries of Mexico upon our hidden mountain!
At last we reached the Eagles Nest, a gentle divet of erosion scooped like a 10 foot niche from the rounded mountain side, with a flat base, easy to stand upon and room for two or more to rest, relax, and take in the view. Logos invited me to sit, but I did not feel as if I should, feeling it would be difficult for me to get back up again from the bare rock floor (I am too heavy). I enjoyed the last vestiges of trails in my vision, but more interestingly, the fact that I could see better without glasses than with them. At this point the stopped train somewhere below sounded its horn very loudly as it began to move, to a great cheering of the tourists, and Logos discoursed on the pomp of Man and his need to announce his presence to the Universe. I felt comfortable with them below, and understood their need for an existential shout or two as part of the pattern that rules below -- We however, we’re not there and were safely higher. I did not wish or feel that it was time for the trip to end, but felt that we would do better to return to the Sitio. When Logos agreed, we returned.
There at the Sitio -- and again thereafter as we slowly, slowly descended and lingered on the way down, enjoying the easy come-down, making tupas of standing stones in breezes and welcome showers of rain, we spoke of many, many things too numerous and personal to share, all leading back to our present identities and reality. We spoke of the different lives we had lead even within this one and how they brought us to this Moment, of present challenges and personal predicaments, and we did not forget to perform the divination (by clouds, which responded rather robustly) that we had asked for at the outset.
So much more could be (and was) said, but in the end, those things shall be recalled from secrecy to mind by us, when we read this testament, and we end this record here with the thankful affirmation to the Universe that it was a successful Synergy of Magical and Medicine paths for us, the first rather than the last. We re-integrated with “normal life” below the painted off-limits lines a little wiser, a little more focused on next steps and refreshed, and leave this testimony here for future discovery and reflection.
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