Citation: Kayesem. "Mug Water Reporter (Something In The Way): An Experience with Mugwort (exp114620)". Erowid.org. Aug 4, 2020. erowid.org/exp/114620
A little background:
I have a long held interest in lucid dreams and out of body experiences. They have remained very elusive for me, up until I started on a carnivore diet 18 months ago. Since then, I have had at least one lucid dream each month, without using any extra effort or techniques. This was not the reason I started the diet. It was a completely unexpected effect. I make calendar and journal notes to keep track of changes and events in my physical and dream life, and that's how I was able to identify the cause. The dreams are a welcome bonus among the more prominent benefits to adherence. I appreciate the regular opportunities to practice and learn my dreaming abilities. I also spoke to a friend recently who had noticed the same effect of the diet on her own dream life.
Prior to this, I had purchased various unregulated herbs which sounded interesting to me. I stashed them away with the intention to try them out some time. I also discovered Ginkgo Biloba tablets in my local supermarket. Out of convenience, I experimented with taking a few of those each evening for about a month. The effect was very mild and my conclusion was that life becomes more dream-like, and dreams become more life-like. There was a slight increase in dream vividness and memory, but only very slight, and only after regular use over weeks. I appreciated how mild Ginkgo was compared to melatonin, and set it aside to try again at some point in the future.
Melatonin I had tried many years earlier. I had it specially made at a compounding pharmacy. For some reason it was difficult to acquire and not simply available off the shelf at that time. It was mildly effective at promoting sleep, and rather strongly effective at inducing intensely vivid and strange dreams. I kept notes and quickly grew to dislike Melatonin, due to experiencing vivid nightmares. Nightmares are extremely rare for me these days, but back then they were somewhat regular. I certainly did not want to amplify them in any way.
Fast forward to recent times. I was digging around through my stash of herbs and plants. Mugwort caught my eye and so I took it out of storage and into the kitchen. It said 'dream herb' on the pack (thanks for the news flash) and that it could be made into a tea or smoked. I had a quick check online and was not impressed with the quality of information available, but decided to give it a whirl anyway.
I steeped around 2.5 grams of loose plant material in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes and drank it; 30 minutes before bed each night. I repeated this for 7 nights in a row.
The first night, I mixed it with a mint blend and a little honey. It all tasted a bit complex and weird, and I did not notice much effect upon drinking it. My regular dream recall had been next to nothing for a couple of weeks, but the next morning I had a couple of regular dreams come back to me easily. They seemed oddly normal, if that makes sense.
The next night I tried it straight (without any other tea or sweetener) and found it to be pleasantly sweet enough. It really has a good flavour just as it is. The taste is very similar to Lemongrass, with a slight spice to it, though a bit more rounded and less distinct. That cup was quite enjoyable and within 10 minutes I noticed a pleasant, mild relaxation effect from the tea. It was less blunt than Chamomile and a little more conducive to meditation, rather than sleep. I felt slightly giggly and cheerful.
It was less blunt than Chamomile and a little more conducive to meditation, rather than sleep. I felt slightly giggly and cheerful.
It was a welcome effect and a nice little chemical unwinding, without messing with my head or coordination or anything.
Within 20 minutes this effect had rapidly subsided to more of a chilled out state, with a slight restlessness and an urge to take another dose. I did not want to consume any more liquids so close to bed time, plus I resent any substance that exhibits such blatantly addicting traits. I soon retired to meditate and then fall asleep. Meditation was nice. It took a little longer to drop off to sleep though. I slept well and did not have to get up to use the bathroom during the night, unlike the previous night.
In the morning I woke up and had a great amount of dream content to recall. Maybe 10 or 11 different dreams all came back to me quite easily and I was pleased with this, but there was an underlying weirdness to the quality of it all.
Firstly, my sleep had felt blank and empty as it passed by. Even after the dream recall, it still felt the same. It was like the dreams were all movies that were being shown to me, rather than experiences that I had participated in and then forgotten about. I seemed to have very little presence in them and hardly any awareness at all. I could remember what had happened, but I could not remember really being there at the time. This dull, slightly drunk / stoned kind of feeling was continuous and it seemed like I was very mildly under the influence of a weak sedative.
The dream content and images were vaguely psychedelic, visually made up of varying shades of greens and reds. There was a pervasive same-ness quality to all of them. They were all apparently cut from the same cloth. Another distinct feature was just how regular and plain they were. It is in this sense that Mugwort reminded me of the effects of Ginkgo Biloba, except this was actually more pronounced.
Life had become more dream-like, and my dreams had become more life-like.
There was hardly anything strange, unusual, random or trippy about the events in my Mugwort dreams. They all seemed mundane and ordinary. I had no increase in presence or awareness, and no hint of actually being in any of the dreams at the time. If anything, I was less 'there' than usual. This quality seeped over into my waking life. Not a lot, but I think I was slightly more vague than usual, which is definitely a step in the wrong direction for me. It's already hard enough to focus and be attentive to details on the best of days.
That second night was the most pronounced effect that I felt. During subsequent evenings, I experienced no burst of calming relaxation upon sipping the tea, more of just a prolonging of this dull, chilled out effect that had never really stopped. I had trouble noticing when, if at any time, the tea wore off and I went back to normal. My guess is that it stays in the system for quite some time and probably puts a load on the body to clear out.
I carried on with the experiment anyway, focusing less on dreams and more on simply having a nice tasting brew in the evening for a change. After the first night, I was able to get through the remaining time without needing to get up to use the bathroom at midnight, so it was tolerable in that sense.
The effect on my dreams remained consistent for the remaining nights, though I would tend to recall just 2 or 3 dreams in the mornings. I got through my days at work OK and was fine to drive and everything. I felt like I was not running at 100%, but when am I ever doing that anyway? I was close enough to what's normal for me during the daytime.
I then went on to experience the greatest effect, simply by ending the experiment.
At the time of writing, I had a fairly intense (DMT) day yesterday, capping it off with a late night visiting family, where I had just one cup of Chamomile tea. No more Mugwort. When I woke up this morning I hit 10-minute snooze a few times as usual, but something was different. I was pleased and rather surprised to find myself, when drifting back off to sleep, comfortably residing within a completely blank, vast empty darkness. It was cool, calm and serene. Like a pure, effortless, deep meditation. Like the mind of an unborn child. Free from mess and concerns, thoughts and events. Sublime, restful and simply nice.
As my awareness brightened up for the day, waking into a peaceful mood, I was just like; Ahhhhhhhhhh, smiling, breathing a deep sigh of welcome relaxation. Another alarm went off and I snoozed it. I drifted back and briefly entered a light dream. It was strange and unusual, and therefore much more like a regular dream. I was not lucid, but I felt like my presence was more fully there. It was far more obvious that there was a dream taking place:
I was at high school in a courtyard and there was a young boy arriving late on his pushbike. He was riding around me, up on a concrete walkway and I zoomed in on his face, which seemed anguished. I sensed that he had experienced a hard life and felt for him. I began to sing out loud as I was walking along. I heard my voice echo and reverberate within my concrete surroundings. As I sang, I noticed other boys with strange faces, emerging from here and there...
I was singing the chorus to Cemetery by Silverchair.
"I live in a cemetery. I need a change, not to imitate, but to irritate."
As the dream faded and I began properly waking and sitting up in bed, I got that music crossed over with the verse from Something In The Way, by Nirvana. I found myself propped up, awake and with the idea in my head to combine them both into one song. I went to YouTube on my phone, playing, pausing and switching between the songs to achieve the effect. The verses from Nirvana leading into the main chorus from Silverchair, and actually as it turns out; they blend remarkably well. They both have a similar mood and tone. Also, they both happen to feature strings, which was quite unusual and experimental for both bands.
This is not the first time that musical ideas have been gifted to me; just prior to and during waking up in the morning. Still, it always feel special, like a real blessing from beyond. In a recent KoRn documentary, I was pleased to hear Jonathan Davis report the same phenomenon was involved in writing one of the songs on their new album; The Nothing. He woke up grasping it, quickly finding a way to record the main harmonic components. The real trick, as always, is to be open enough to allow that creation to come through and find expression.
To get out of our own way.
For me, it seems that there was something in the way, and that something was Mugwort.
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