Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: The Bird. "Dealing with Mortality/Communing with a Duck: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp113154)". Erowid.org. Jul 18, 2019. erowid.org/exp/113154
I was anticipating this experience for about a month or more, and so did my partner, here referred to as "Q". This being her first time and my second. I cultivated the mushrooms (Golden Teachers) but failed in fruiting a healthy flush as the substrate got contaminated. The shrooms grew small and thin and most were aborts. The total harvest weighed 2.1 grams once dried (probably less since they weren't cracker dry).
A fresh new start, brain reset, overcoming depression (not severe). Most importantly, I had been feeling an odd sensation like a slight pain on my abdomen. Medical exams showed nothing and I wanted to know what was going on.
I crafted two paper bags and put 1 gram of dry shrooms on each. We had fasted to eat them. We brought mixed fruits, water, lemons, a cup and an acoustic nylon-string guitar.
Kind of disappointed with the total mushrooms, I decided that however strong the trip may be I would still have a great time with Q. We were anxious and uncertain but maintained a positive vibe overall.
We went to the botanic garden, a national park about 15 minutes from home. The place was almost empty of people and we were very comfortable and familiar with the environment. Despite being summer the day was cloudy with occasional cold winds.
It was a little past 10 am. We sat inside a small "cabin" next to a tiny river. The place looked very shamanistic. I prepared lemon juice to help eat the mushrooms and maybe intensify their effects. We just chewed on them one by one (they were many tiny shrooms). Then we just sat staring at the trees, waiting.
I felt very anxious while waiting for the effects. After approximately 10 minutes, Q started getting relaxed. She told me she could see slight visuals as she watched a gardener working on some bushes under a tree. The leaves would kind of dance. I shifted between different kinds of discomfort -- Would I even feel anything ? I noticed no effects whatsoever for a good 20 minutes or more. I tried to see what Q was seeing but I was just tricking myself into it.
The first sign of effects was my appetite: Out of anxiety I wanted to eat
The first sign of effects was my appetite: Out of anxiety I wanted to eat
, but after eating merely two grapes I was already completely satisfied. This was remarkable for us, considering it had been many hours since we last ate anything. However, I still felt anxious. I decided I needed to clear my mind and take a walk.
We slowly walked towards the lake, which was about 15 minutes away. Q was very relaxed and observant. I relaxed too and felt the walking was therapeutic. Colors started getting brighter and vivid. Q was getting mild visuals like depth perception changing and colors glowing. I was happy for her. I felt a very slight body high.
We surrounded the lake and eventually we were heading straight into duck territory, a place famous for people trying to feed them and alpha male ducks harassing people and kicking them out. These ducks are pretty big. The path was narrow between the lake and forest.
In a split second, we suddenly stopped. I saw the ground breathe in and out, as an enormous rush of pleasure filled my entire body and just felt pure bliss. My pupils dilated. I smiled. This is what I've been waiting for -- I thought--This is the mushroom feeling I love so much. I instantly knew I was in for a journey.
We stood there, we knew this was our spot. The earth around us welcomed our presence to stay. We sat in a bench facing towards the lake. I felt waves of pleasure, like a constant universal orgasm. Time perception stopped; there was no past, no future... Only this very moment. Only us and this place.
A couple of small birds (Andean sparrows) were searching for food around us. They even got next to our feet. We realized something that was so clear at this moment; they live in another time, another speed relative to us. One of the birds scratched the ground and leaves, flapping its wings, reacting to and analyzing objects incredibly fast. Yet it was so obvious that time for it was normal, they were acting just as fast as we percieve ourselves act. They got together in front of us and and argued, confronted each other, chased each other and sharing food in such a relatable way but in another time relative to us. It was like fast forwarding.
Q laid down on my shoulder. She said my hair looked like strong roots of a tree and also like chocolate and she could taste it by just thinking. Colors were vibrant and intense. I felt euphoric yet very relaxed. Our view was a beautiful frame: Surrounded by trees that provided intimacy, the lake in front of us having a Japanese-style stone bridge that decorated it in such a perfect way. I felt like an oriental monk meditating, communing in peace with nature. Wind blew every once in a while, making the trees flow just like the lake's waves. Q and I were one single being. Then we were one with our environment.
I closed my eyes. Out of the darkness I distinguished green and red cells. They multiplicated and formed fractal geometrical patterns. I asked the mushrooms to show me what was going on inside of me. The shapes morphed into shrooms with closed caps, they twisted and turned into vortices of infinite depth multiplicating. Everything was made of mushrooms. The tunnel lead me to a black hole, located on the lower left of my abdomen. Cells multiplicated trying to cover the black hole, while constantly getting sucked in. I could feel how my body twisted as the muscles around the hole tightened, making a continuous effort not to collapse. The mushrooms told me this was my fate. Eventually this black hole could not be contained anymore and it would consume me. I felt despair. The mushrooms made it clear: There's nothing I can do. Just live the present. Never worry, for it'll make it worse. This black hole will be my end... And then I snapped out of the trance. Is this cancer... ? I just have to accept this...
I looked at Q, laying on me peacefully with her eyes closed. I looked at the beautiful frame, the sanctuary. A cold breeze shook everything, foreboding. It felt like a harsh lesson; It felt real. Balance. Life with a void at its end. I had to accept fate, and the forest helped me understand. It felt my grief. So I accepted; I won't fear death.
I accepted; I won't fear death.
With a huge weight on my back, I appreciated the present. Even knowing the end, this moment was eternal.
Q woke up. I picked my guitar and unfolded it. As I tuned it, an alpha male duck came towards us. At first menacing, he came to check us out. We made eye contact. He was human, or felt rather felt human. He was just like a person. We understood him and he understood us, we peered into each other's consciousness. He knew how we felt. He was so wise; the guardian of this lake. He sat right beside us, facing the lake. We were on the same level, the three of us watching over sanctuary.
I played a series of arpeggiated chords on E that sounded like oriental chimes. The duck reacted. Waves that rippled through my body and everything around us made me play, like I was just flowing and my fingers were moving on their own. I played a chord. It felt grounded. When the time came, I played the same chord with a raised subdominant note. The moment that note rang, the duck trembled, groaning. The tension it created was incredible yet pleasant. I repeated the pattern: grounded chord, then tense chord. Winds blew right on time and the duck groaned and shivered. I played the pattern again but replaced the last chord to a more harmonious tone. The duck grunted-- He demanded the sharp, tense note. I played it next round and he shook his body again. Then I played all the E octaves I could and it resonated strongly, it felt like everything was vibrating on that frequency. The duck spread his wings and sang a loud low-pitch guttural E while shaking his body as we felt the oscillation of the note. It was baffling! He burst so much energy it felt invigorating.
Needles to say, we were amazed; We were communicating with a duck. After a while, this event slowly stopped. The duck gave us an acknowledging look as he walked back to the other ducks and their nest. Everything settled down. I could feel the passage of time again, though in a much slower and unworrying way. We knew we had to leave, but no rush. I looked at the scenery and the ground slowly stopped breathing.
At around 5 pm we left the spot and slowly walked out of the park. Effects only faded from now on. We were talking and reflecting on the experience. I felt at peace and happy, but also worried about my vision. We took one last look at the park before leaving; rays of sunlight escaped the clouds and bathed a tree covered in red flowers. It was intense, colors were so highly defined and my sense of vision improved. The day ended with us feeling a nice afterglow of tranquility and serenity.
I'm still assimilating this experience. I've mostly learned to live in the present as much as possible but this isn't always easy. Q described this as the most impactful experience of her life. Immediately after the experience, even the same day, our standard behaivours changed.
Immediately after the experience, even the same day, our standard behaivours changed.
We stopped nervous tics like nail biting and overthinking. Lost fear response to insects and aggressive animals.
We realized people eat out of anxiety most of the time and this is part of why the average person is overweight in our country. (Also sugar). Psilocybin helped us regulate appetite and have a healthier diet. Senses were slightly heightened overall. We stopped depression (though it came back for Q after a few months but much weaker). This trip gave me tons of inspiration for music, and I see this experience as my most influential one yet even though I've had trippier, larger doses.
Trivia / Fun facts
It was my 21st birthday. We ate sushi for dinner and it was delicious. On our way to the lake we noticed a cosplayer posing for a photo session. We were amused by the absurdity of the situation and contrast with the forest (very artificial dress). We saw a huge tarantula crawling for shelter. Before this we were arachnophobes, however we thought she was cute and felt sad for her because the cold wind made it difficult for her to move.
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