Citation: Hey Joe. "Tryptamine Crowd Chant: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp112991)". Erowid.org. Jul 19, 2019. erowid.org/exp/112991
It was a drizzly autumn day in West Wales when B and I had decided to harvest some of the plentiful psilocybin mushrooms that were freely available in the fields surrounding our village. The vague intention was to collect enough mushrooms that we could perhaps sell them in school, we were around 16/17 [23 to 24 years ago] at the time and this seemed like a reasonable scheme, having experienced the "magic" at fun doses on a handful of previous occasions. We wanted others in on the fun. One of the facts about these fungi that we celebrated amongst our small group of village friends was the fact we could feel so good; have such insight and camaraderie with something that grows in abundance and costs nothing. We were fans.
So we took our harvest to an older friend (P) who was something of a guru figure to us, guiding us on our pyschonautical adventures and suggesting music or art to study whilst doing so. He was happy for B and I to boil a saucepan of water on his AGA, in which we dropped a few breakfast tea bags and, what would later prove to be a questionable move- our entire harvest of earthy, moist field mushrooms. So much for making a few quid to spend in the school tuck shop.
The yield was not measured or weighed in any way. I recall looking at the harvest laid out on some newspaper before brewing and I would gauge it at about 6 heaping handfuls. Apologies for not being more specific.
So after 20 mins or so of brewing the magies with the tea, I was handed an earthenware mug filled with the dark liquid in which were floating mushrooms at different depths
I was handed an earthenware mug filled with the dark liquid in which were floating mushrooms at different depths
. I thought, "My God, it looks just like a magic potion". I was soon to realize how accurate that assessment was.
So a few friends had now gathered at P's table in his rustic cottage next to a picturesque estuary, and night crept in as we imbibed. I would feel a warm, delicious high slowly rising, a merry feeling, bringing with it an appreciation for the setting, how ideal it seemed, the perfect time and place, and how lucky I was to know these men. Only B and I had imbibed, the other two men present would smoke roll ups, perhaps a joint and sip a beer or two.
The first thing I noticed that might become a problem was the music. We were listening to 'After Midnight' the Eric Clapton cover. I quickly realized that not only was my appreciation of music enhanced: I was hearing it too "well". I was experiencing it so intently it was almost as if I knew what the musicians were thinking that day; their mood, their most profound intention. I mused that I could tell what they'd had for lunch. The level of insight was so far beyond being enjoyable enhancement; it was so intimate that it I was overwhelmed. I was then struck by the realization that I was suddenly not only high but higher than I could handle, so I decided to excuse myself and step into the night for some air.
The toilet on this property was across the garden in another out-building so my unannounced disappearance from the kitchen table would not be remarked upon for some time.
I stepped out into the blustery night. The clouds of the day were being hustled away by a brisk wind revealing clear stars. I somewhat comically flopped face-down onto the lawn and communed with the cool, soothing wet grass. It felt wonderful to be connected so closely to the earth, to smell the soil. It was then that I noticed the wind; I was having aural hallucinations; the wind (specifically it moving through the birch trees) was making a rushing, graduated ‘shwwwshwwshwwshww’ that would ebb and rise in intensity. It wasn’t the smooth way one would hear wind, it was staggered. I have once heard someone emulate this sound with alarming accuracy, it was on a UK-made Documentary about the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and there was a moment in the doc where the chaps are making swishing noises electronically, no doubt at the direction of Jimi, trying to manifest the sounds he experienced on his trips. I of course realized how abnormal hearing sound this way was, and I began to foster the idea that I had gone insane.
I decide the next course of action was to make it to the remote-seeming toilet block and throw up the mushrooms. As I tip-toed my way through the tracer firework display of the grass and flowers (my night vision was on point to say the least) I became aware of an insistent background chatter, a somewhat repetitive chant on the edge of my awareness.
I became aware of an insistent background chatter, a somewhat repetitive chant on the edge of my awareness.
I knew this distant crowd sound was entirely internal, but it didn’t seem familiar to me as an individual. It was like hiding under the covers late at night and finding some bizarre broadcast on some long-forgotten frequency on an old radio. The chattering voices themselves sounded cartoonish, high-pitched...not like children but rather the three imps from the Snap Crackle and Pop RiceCrispie cereal commercial. And they were not forming words in English; they were taking turns in making whoop, bringgg, zippp! noises. It sounded playful and mischievous. At this point I had the impression that if I was to interact with another human they would be convinced of my irreparable lunacy and would take me away in a van.
I made my way into the toilet and hugged the bowl and dry heaved, unproductively. There was no way I was going to escape the ordeal by that route. I felt like I’d gone wrong; that I was naughty and out of control societally. My mind flashed on Keith Richards, “Elegantly Wasted” as I slumped around some outhouse toilet, tripping hard. I determined that this was not very glamorous (though perhaps a little rock'n'roll) and made my way over to an unused Caravan in another corner of the grassy yard. There I would sit in a corner in the dark and sing aloud the song Hey Joe over and over, and each verse covered would centre me and keep me calm.
After a while of this 'B' burst into the caravan; understandably he had come to look for me. It was impossible to tell how long I’d be absent from the group but obviously long enough for him to mount a search. He insisted that I come back into the house; I was surprised both by how sober his words sounded and by how eloquent my response was. I told him I was going to stay in the unlit caravan for a while longer. He was very insistent I join him. We had something of a standoff for a moment; he then accepted my choice to rock back and forth in a dark corner and went back into the warmth and camaraderie of the cottage.
Moments later I stepped outside for a pee and as I did so I sobered about dramatically. I marvelled at the notion that if all it took to come down from the dizzying heights was take a piss I would have drunk a carton of orange juice 30 minutes ago.
I re-joined the gang and we revelled into the night, united and finally back on a manageable, welcome buzz.
Much later in life, having read some Terence McKenna and his description of encounters with “elves” during DMT experiences, I realized with some relief that I had encountered these Elves but I only heard them; evidently my dose wasn’t high enough to “break-through” and “see” or interact with them. Apparently these beings are typical for drugs in the tryptamine family. The fact that they can be encountered consistently by anyone suggests of course that in a way that’s difficult to categorize, they exist. And they are goofy.
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