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This Thing Called Shamanism
Pharmahuasca (Tetrahydroharmine, Harmala Alkaloids & DMT)
Citation:   a. dreamtime. "This Thing Called Shamanism: An Experience with Pharmahuasca (Tetrahydroharmine, Harmala Alkaloids & DMT) (exp116772)". Erowid.org. Nov 12, 2022. erowid.org/exp/116772

 
DOSE:
61 mg oral Tetrahydroharmine
  96 mg oral Harmala Alkaloids
  41 mg oral DMT
BODY WEIGHT: 145 lb
The experience was groundbreaking, really. This was the first psychedelic I’ve done in a while according to the general guidelines for healing – take time off, stop smoking weed, fast/restrict diet, make sacrifices for the experience. I’ve remained weed-free for 24 days (except one weekend experience). I feel really good about that, I think my recent (and first real) therapy sessions leading up to the experience also aided greatly in eliciting healing. Generally, I’ve taken from my therapy sessions one overall lesson – be very kind and loving to yourself, as if you’re a parent providing the necessary care and affection to a child – provide it to yourself. Otherwise the callousness, self judgements and negativity you direct at yourself will slip out and get to others too. And you’ll be happier overall if you’re kind to yourself. Prior to the experience, when I became fairly nervous, I thought to myself “we’re working on self-compassion here, don’t be afraid of your reflection because it will be soft and loving in your own compassion.” And that was really the essence of the experience.

For the first time, I believe since learning about shamanism, I called out to a spirit animal – the bald eagle. Cliché, I know, but they have shown up in my life (often in the flesh, and in dreams) in meaningful and synchronistic ways on a frequent basis in the recent past, especially during periods of cannabis sobriety and the associated positive life changes and healing that ensue (and WILD dreams). After these synchronicities, and probing into the reverence Native Americans have for the healing spirit of the bald eagle, my connection to it has grown immensely, and featured an important role in my experience.

At the beginning I was quite nervous – I think because lately (past 4 years) I’ve experienced a deeper depression than I’ve ever known (I’m 32). And solo journeys have taken me to low places alone, wrought with confrontations of spending too much time in self-isolation and loneliness. When I first felt the effects, it was a feeling of being out of it, both from the drug effect and hunger. I had a restricted diet of fruit- and vegetables-only, for the past 4 days, and fasted this day. I blew cigar smoke on the sacrament – the extracts dissolved in club soda and citric acid (just what I had on hand to get it to dissolve in a shot). Then I smudged my body and went upstairs to my bedroom, feeling slightly nauseous and perturbed, but not in a sick-feeling way. Stopping in the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror and felt the first real psychedelic effects. I felt the gross tobacco-tongue taste in my mouth from the cigar. I brushed my teeth and flossed, and it made me feel better. But still, I wanted to purge a bit, I was feeling negative. So I purged just a little actual saliva/vomit, mostly a couple dramatic gags. It didn’t seem to come from my stomach, though it felt like an effective purge – not intense, similar to the dose. I was satisfied with it and proceeded to lie on my bed, with only a salt lamp on, and a full brim hat covering it, dimming the already low light for a beautiful ambient effect. I had some interesting thoughts, very light visuals, but overall the experience was light, just a “+” really, maybe just barely crossing the “++” threshold (Shulgin scale not shroomery).

Lying on my bed, I closed my eyes and through my mind wandering, I thought “ah, the eagle spirit.” I thought about how I had taken a break from smoking weed again, and how grateful I was/am to myself for doing that, and felt gratitude for the healing and the eagle spirit that seems to present itself when I do that. So I focused more on my connection to the eagle. At this point I was starting to get a bit emotional. A feeling of gratitude began welling up inside me, my breathing became rhythmic and autonomous, and I began to cry a little with my eyes closed.
I was starting to get a bit emotional. A feeling of gratitude began welling up inside me, my breathing became rhythmic and autonomous, and I began to cry a little with my eyes closed.
Then the eagle came.

It was as if I went flying with the eagle spirit, above my house, then above my local valley, which cradles a significant river spanning several states, where a special kind of high quality tobacco is farmed. It was hard to tell if I was the eagle, or on it, or with it - similar to dreaming, when one person sort of merges into a different person. It told me I am precisely where I’m meant to be. I started this path - my career and relocation - highly influenced by my studies in shamanism, and it reminded me I’m still on this path. It told me to settle here, there’s no coincidence you are here doing what you do (environmental restoration). You are fulfilling your higher purpose. You will prosper here. And it thanked me for cleaning up the land. As it delivered this message, the emotional intensity grew, and at the height, I was sobbing in gratitude and humility, just letting so much negativity go and feeling waves of self-acceptance and self-compassion wash over me. It was a unique cry, one I don’t think I’ve experienced before, like the way one might cry when accepting the Nobel Prize. I felt massive relief, I felt held and loved by a greater power. Not the ultimate creator, per se, but by this helping eagle spirit.

I recently purchased this house, my first house, and it told me I was granted the house for my good karma, bought with my wages earned restoring the land. It was no coincidence that my offer was selected of the 13 offers on the house (historic housing market squeeze in July 2021), not because my offer was highest, but because of a letter I wrote to the seller, written from the heart, describing how much the house and land resonated with me. I could tell she was starting a permaculture garden, and told her I planned to carry that on. And when we were looking at the house, my dad, who was with me, said “wow this is a Vinny T. house” (my great grandfather). Just another revelation about feeling right where the universe wants me to be.

I can’t stress enough how much “set and setting” and more importantly, commitment through ritual and sacrifice (give up what you love most, fast, connect to a plant/animal/piece of land) affects the overall outcome of one's psychedelic experience. I have only recently in the past few years experienced legitimate depression – a circuit in my mind that’s always in the background, on repeat, waiting to sneak up on me when I'm alone, waiting to pull me down, erase my happiness and make me have to continually convince myself life is worth putting up with.

As a result of this experience, I felt so relieved of my depression, I forgot what it feels like to not be depressed – something I hadn’t felt since I was very young. It was amazing to witness how subtly depressed I had been for so long, unable to really put a finger on it. Eventually it spiraled into something that struck terror in my soul, the thought of feeling this way for the rest of my days. I’ve done a lot of mindfulness work which has helped immensely, and my symptoms have been greatly reduced, but there has been a residual ache in my mind. That ache is now completely gone. It’s been six months since I wrote this journal entry, and just now I am typing it up to submit this. My depressive symptoms have come back this evening (mild), which prompted me to write. I got 6 months of sweet relief (and my symptoms were fleeting this time).

This experience also helped me greatly with work, at a time when I was teetering on trying to find a new career, explore a new purpose. It was almost surprising to get this message of “you’re still on the right path, keep going.” It’s helped my relationship with my supervisor too, helped me see him as a human, not just my boss. Mostly the message was to have compassion.

A note about this drug combination: this is an ayahuasca analogue in its truest sense. The dosage of THH, harmine/harmaline (to the extent possible) and DMT were modeled based on scientific analyses of ayahuasca brews across several scientific papers. THH is a mild serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are prescribed for depression. SSRIs are a somewhat new type of antidepressant, which replaced, among others, a former class of antidepressant - monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). So there’s a strong scientific basis for the marked antidepressant effects. I believe, based on this experience and understanding, that ayahuasca can be a very powerful antidepressant, particularly with a focus on lower dosage, and higher set/setting commitment.

When I came upon this material for the first time, I prayed over it with my flute, playing from the heart and speaking into the notes prayers for healing. I did the same before I consumed it. This whole process has been distinctly shamanic. I think I’m finally getting it, this thing called shamanism.

[Reported Dose: "THH - 61 mg, Harmalas - 96 mg (P. harmala Manske extraction), DMT - 41 mg"]

Exp Year: 2022ExpID: 116772
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: 32
Published: Nov 12, 2022Views: 755
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Pharmahuasca (822), Tetrahydroharmine (473), Harmala Alkaloids (76), DMT (18) : Depression (15), Personal Preparation (45), Therapeutic Intent or Outcome (49), Combinations (3), Alone (16)

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