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Forest Trip
Syrian Rue, Mushrooms - P. cubensis (sclerotia) & Cannabis
Citation:   Sz. M.. "Forest Trip: An Experience with Syrian Rue, Mushrooms - P. cubensis (sclerotia) & Cannabis (exp115101)". Nov 10, 2022.

2.5 g   Syrian Rue (seeds)
  5 g   Mushrooms - P. cubensis (sclerotia)
      Ginger (tea)
    smoked Cannabis  
    smoked Tobacco - Cigarettes  
On April 6th, the hottest Sunday of the year so far in Maastricht, around 12:00, I started to pedal my bicycle in the direction of the nearby woods with my girlfriend, A. Soon we encountered L, my friend and fellow student from the university, and continued our way as three. L and I were planning to drink the suspicious-looking, brownish colored psychedelic beverage I had made the day before.

The brew was made from the seeds of Peganum harmala, a plant containing the MAO Inhibiting alkaloids harmala and harmaline, and the psilocybin-rich truffles of Psilocybe cubensis. First, 5 grams whole Peganum harmala seeds were boiled for a few minutes in our electric kettle and were left to cool for about 10 minutes. The water had been slightly acidified with lemon juice. This process was repeated for a total of 6 boils, the water level was adjusted to about 600 mL after each boil. Afterward 10 grams of truffles were cut into even smaller pieces and were packed together with ginger cubes, in order to reduce the nauseating effects of both the psilocybin and the alkaloids in the seeds. The remaining juice from the lemon was added and this package was boiled 3 times. The brew acquired a foul, bitter taste, therefore it was decided to add two filters of mango-flavored tea and a huge load of honey to the last boil. The mixture was stored in the fridge until the next morning.

Upon reaching the border of the forest, we left our bikes near a small, probably uninhabited dwelling, and continued our way on foot. As we descended into a valley, we reached a part of the woods, where many of the trees had fallen prey to the forceful Dutch winds. On the bark of fallen trunks and still standing, but dead trees, we noticed round, brown fungi growing with a striking resemblance to feces. They appeared to be slimy, but none of us wished to test this hypothesis by touching it. A stopped with anxious hesitation before each of these trees but eventually continued her way bravely. After a few minutes, we spotted a small clearing comfortably far from the path and decided to approach it. Some of the trees nearby had been marked with orange paint, and a ladder with a chair on its top was fixed to one of them. This comedic looking lurking-place oversaw a few meters deep groove, splitting the clearance in half.

We situated ourselves on some fallen trees covered with soft, comfortable moss. L and I drank the cold mushroom tea. I tried to take gulps as large as I could, although the taste was surprisingly nice, compared to what I expected after trying out a few spoonfuls the previous day. A couldn’t stop herself from having a few sips from both of our teas, and neither could we. After finishing our portions, I started to roll a joint from L’s fine, pungent weed. A decided to explore the region from the elevated viewpoint of the ladder-chair structure. During the construction of the joint, I noticed the same poop-like mushrooms growing on the trunk in front of me, reminding me of rot and decay. I kept this observation to myself.

A few minutes after the joint was ready, I started to feel the effects of psilocybin. In A's words, my "face felt like a lemon being squeezed in order to remove its water content". L confirmed that the same thing was happening to him. We waited until lift-off was just around the corner, then we started to smoke the joint. We discussed the possible reasons for the orange markings and the ladder-chair. I did not notice the high from the joint, which probably means that the effects of the mushroom must have overpowered it by then. We talked about random subjects as we drifted further and further into the psilocybin realm.

L pointed out that everything seemed extraordinarily green. Although this is not surprising in a forest, I too acknowledged that green colors struck my eyes with exceptional intensity. Most astonishing was the contrast between the deep brown trunks and the lush moss covering them. The light of the sun covered the dense forest floor with tiny, sparkling emeralds. Now my companions noticed the trunk-consuming brown fungus blobs as well. I was surprised to feel a warm understanding and connection to these disgusting symbols of death and decay. I even started to associate my blissfulness with their presence. I suddenly evoked a memory of the words on the packet of Peganum harmala seeds, reading “For occasional spiritual or recreational use only”. My most recent experimentations with psilocybin involved taking an excessive amount, aiming to explore the profound spiritual depths of the experience. This time, I was delighted to appreciate the recreational side of psychedelics, as I was looking forward to a low-dose, ‘casual’ trip.

When we were not carried away by observing the beauties of the forest vegetation, we spent our time chatting with each other. The topics did not matter, but the direct experience of conversation, making noises with our mouths back and forth, was incredibly satisfying in itself. I recognized in myself the rare and personally heavily sought-after state of fluid speech. I generated every word without ever thinking what to say next, as language poured out of me pleasantly.
I recognized in myself the rare and personally heavily sought-after state of fluid speech. I generated every word without ever thinking what to say next, as language poured out of me pleasantly.

At one point, as I was observing the circular shapes of the rot-mushrooms, I exclaimed vehemently that we had brought no papers and pencils to draw. A shared my disappointment, and this eventually led the discussion to L's art project in his last year of high school. He explained that he made photographs and that they were allegedly very bad. I didn't believe him at the time, but he showed some convincing evidence later. During this discourse, we agreed to leave the small clearing to explore the woods further. I spotted my lighter in the leaf litter and realized that we have no idea where the leftover from our spliff was. We searched the tiny piece of ground where I found my lighter, and could not believe how could have we lost the damn joint in such a small area. I continued to pick up small white branches until I finally lifted the remaining cannabis roll. We smoked with haste, then we departed.

At first, I enjoyed moving and exploring through the bushes, up to the other side of the valley, although, I felt a little drunk, probably the effect of the seeds. We wanted to continue forward, but eventually reached a man-made roadblock, so we turned back, and choose another path. I did not mind meeting other people on the way while tripping, contrary to my expectations. I gave everybody a warm smile and my greetings. We didn't talk much while walking. I continued to feel the drunken confusion more and more heavily. My eyelids started shutting themselves and I felt as I could faint or fall asleep at any moment. The heaviness also began to infect my thoughts. I became anxious about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the necessity to keep the prescribed 1.5 meters distance between each other. When my eyes were open, I was contemplating the symbolic meaning of the path and journeying. When my eyes closed against my will, I saw the uncontrollable cascade of my thoughts and memories. At this point my hopes about a casual psychedelic experience have completely disappeared.

Finally, we arrived at a large meadow. We heated up from walking on the sun, therefore we collapsed in the shades. L sat down 1.5 meters away from us, as a good citizen. I desperately needed the warmth and smell of my girlfriend, so I laid down next to her. Every time I closed my eyes, the whole world started spinning with nauseating urgency, but my eyes just didn't want to stay open. I felt as if I was drawn to a different mind state that only manifests with my eyes closed, however, the spinning made this state intolerable. I forced my eyes open and sat up every now and then because I started to feel sick. Fearful thoughts of poisoning kept creeping up inside me, as I have never tried this mixture before, and the seeds are said to be toxic in larger doses (above 50 grams or so, definitely not in the range of 2.5 grams that we took).

We started to feel cold, so we moved to the sun. This transition was definitely beneficial to my state of mind. I could relax my body and my eyes more easily; the sick feeling became less intense. Behind my closed eyes, I realized that I was drawn to that state by a presence. I had absolutely no way to describe this presence to myself, so I just assumed that it was, in fact, the bright, shining spot in my visual field, produced by the rays of sunlight penetrating my eyelids. I also realized that “it” wanted to show me something. I still have no idea what was so important to show. Maybe it was the avalanche of flashes about my life so far, most often about my older brother, or maybe it was the torrent of swirling, morphing, worm-like creatures, that I interpreted as my own thoughts. These were not the usual visual representations, as if you imagine pictures, but the thoughts that are forming linguistically in everyone’s mind all the time, manifested as visible objects. The reason I assumed these were my thoughts is that I recognized within them the same emotional characteristics that my ongoing linguistic thoughts produced. When I felt anxious because of my ideas about poisoning, I realized that the sight of one of the worm-like creatures produced the exact same feeling of anxiety.

When I completely woke up from this dream state, I agreed to move on after 10 minutes of rest. L and I smoked his last two cigarettes. The feeling of the smoke gently moving into my lungs, and the familiar effects of nicotine further helped me to connect back to reality. We munched on some raw carrots, which felt amazing, but carrot, as it turned out feels a bit weird to taste, when one is smoking a cigarette at the same time. A found a bug with the fattest abdomen I have ever seen in my life. We had some good laughs about its clumsy movement across A’s hand.

When we finally moved on, we started to talk about our experiences. As it turned out, A enjoyed the trip as much as we did, and was maybe tripping herself a tiny bit. Luke and I could not say much about it yet, in fact, speaking, in general, proved to be very difficult. We tried to have some conversations about more normal things, to more or less success, until we reached the place where we parked our bikes, and started to cycle home.

Exp Year: 2020ExpID: 115101
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 21
Published: Nov 10, 2022Views: 748
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Mushrooms - P. cubensis (66), Syrian Rue (45), Cannabis (1) : Glowing Experiences (4), Entities / Beings (37), Combinations (3), Public Space (Museum, Park, etc) (53)

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