Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora)
Citation: Astronomy_Domine. "Not Your Grandmother's Heart Medicine: An Experience with Huasca Combo (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora) (exp32163)". Erowid.org. Nov 20, 2004. erowid.org/exp/32163
Mindset & Setting:
This experience came a month or so after a very important Morning Glory experience, where I became a new man, in many regards. At this point, experience with psychedelics was limited to a short mushroom trip where nothing important happened, and two Morning Glory seed trips (thank god for morning glory...although you're better off with LSD if you can get your hands on it...same experience basically, just without the horrible nausea of the morning glory seeds.) I had read several DMT/ayahuasca reports and became very intruiged. Basically, I just wanted to experience more of the unknown, in hopes of some sort of revelation.
The setting was at a friend's house, a small apartment in a not very good neighborhood. In retrospect this wasn't a very good decision, lots of negative vibrations around. I was the only one taking the brew, although another friend was to trip on a Morning Glory seed preparation that night. Additional info: I am not nor was not at the time on any kind of prescription or OTC medicine.
An unknown amount of Syrian Rue seeds were boiled in water with some lemon juice. I didn't know how well the alkaloids would be extracted from un-grinded, un-cut S. Rue seeds, so I kept on adding them until the water turned pretty brown.
I drank as much of this 'tea' as I could bare, which wasn't all that much...about 1/3 of a glass, to the best of my memory. This stuff is absolutely horrible. Words cannot express it. This is a taste that at the time you will swear (and I'm not alone on this) is the most horrible taste in existence. It's like vomit...sour vomit (the lemon juice probably added to the sourness, but I've tasted this stuff without it, its equally horrible). The memory of this taste will stay with you. The scent of many things you wouldn't expect to will remind you of the taste and bring back the ill feeling. I STRONGLY recommend grinding up the seeds and putting the powder in gelcaps. That's the ONLY way I'll do it from now on.
The Mimosa root bark (1/2 oz.) was placed in a bowl of cold water and squeezed to death with pliers. The water turned a dark deep purplish brown color. I let the remainder of the pulverized root bark sit in the water while I was doing the boiling and waiting for the MAOI to be active (30 mins after ingestion).
I slowly drank as much of the brew as possible. This stuff is IMMENSELY bitter. It's like drinking a tree - seriously. While the bitterness is some of the most powerful 'taste' you'll ever wilfully experience in your mouth, somehow it was a good bit less dreadful than the Syrian Rue. I eventually got down a good majority of the tea made from the 1/2 oz.
I figured I had at the very least an hour before anything would really happen, so we smoked some pot and put on some movie my friend had just bought. It was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or something; some pre-impressionist German silent horror film.
I was very wrong about having an hour. Somewhere between 30-45 minutes it started coming on, much more suddenly and intense than any other psychedelic I've experienced.
It started with colors getting brighter, a sense of growing timelessness, and the images on the TV having a strange spacial quality. Soon I had seen (in a way that was sort of like a very vivid projection of imagination placed over my field of vision) what seemed to be something like a woman walking towards me, then before I knew it, she was gone...maybe through me? It was hard to know if that was even just my imagination at that point, but I was later to be left unmistaken.
Suddenly I noticed the music of the film. Because it was growing louder! The music was very dissonant, erratic...horrible horror workings. I couldn't bare it anymore -- it was too loud, and too evil...and I remembered that I was the only one facing this experience, my two friends were in other states. Knowing that my friends would not understand, and probably get annoyed at me, I didn't scream at them to shut it off, but inside I was dying to. Instead, I barely managed to get out the words that I needed the volume down a little bit.
The music was absolute hell. I was seeing inside the mind of the film makers and the music composer, and it was a very morbid, perverted, disturbed place. After that experience I can't really bare to hear to certain music, like erratic, chaotically dark and dissonant music, and to a lesser extent, really terrible stuff like some way-too-cheesy to have the power of god Christian music, and I can't much relate to people who think really dark horror movies are cool (not like the average zombie movie, but really unneccesarily dark and unhealthy imagery). Ever since, it's been sort of a flashback of a bad trip to witness these sorts of things, but the 'bad trip' was definitely for the good. I've just got to stay away from it. The lesson was that it's negative force. It is not what art should be.
Nausea was taking strong hold at this time...but it wasn't JUST nausea, as I later realized, it was definitely part of the trip: a feeling of the body being influenced by some outside force, or a general lack of control over the body. So I made my way to the floor and curled up (I may have covered up with a blanket...I don't remember for sure, but I may have been feeling some chills). I closed my eyes and I noticed that there had been a kaleidoscoping of strange colors and patterns going on, but my attention had been elsewhere, so I decided to just try keeping my eyes shut for a while.
My experience was becoming very strange. The projection-like field of vision was becoming clearer and clearer, although the for the most part I was either in the dark or kept my eyes shut, so I don't know how my external reality would have been affected.
The kaliedoscoping patterns were now much more than that. There were entities constantly appearing, rapidly shapeshifting and like made of colored spiritual sand (essentially, something unimaginable), and disappearing, shifting into new entities appearing. Eyes were everywhere in this 4-d (for lack of a better way of explaining it) space. And most of them seemed to be focused on me. What confused me the most was I kept seeing what looked like screaming mouths, tormented faces. Why was I seeing such morbid things? I didn't really let it bother me.
I was very aware of many different hollywood/abductee-report alien-esque things approaching me, reaching out to me, or at me (this had been going on for quite some time, near the beginning almost). I felt like maybe I had been there always, and they were always reaching at me, examining me, playing with me, and I had just become aware of it. But that was just one of many thoughts that passed -- everything was just too strange to formulate a valid opinion.
Maybe the nausea was subsiding a bit, or I was getting tired of laying down. I decided to join my friend on the couch. I wanted to smoke some weed to help the nausea, and maybe calm me down or something ( I wasn't uncalm, but I wasn't as relaxed as I would have liked.) I tried, but ended up spilling weed everywhere. My arm was heavy, or it wasn't really part of my consciousness at the time.
At one point I was arguing with my friend who couldn't make sense of what was going on (the apartment renter had left his key in the apartment, and had left, and this guy wanted me to go ride with him somewhere). The first external hallucinations occured. There was a little bit of tracers and frame skipping, and facial distortions. The worst part was his eyes bouncing around left and right in an all-too-insane manner, but it wasn't just the trip, he was acting this way, and the drug was highlighting it very disturbingly. At the time, this was definitely the most intense feeling of fear I had ever experienced, due to the guy's behavior. Some people just aren't right, and this was one of them. Lesson learned: Don't be around anybody who could possibly cause any discomfort in any way while doing this.
Eventually everybody had left the apartment, and I had it all to myself. My first instinct was to turn off all sound, because I was hypersenstive to external sound. I also turned off all the lights in hope I would see the visuals more clearly, and I laid down on my friend's bed. Before I made it to the bed (and probably earlier in the experience actually) I had noticed that everything had a strange futuristic neon quality about it. Very hyper-spacy, UFO alien kinda of color schemes. I found that pretty interesting. How odd that these things look like the common conception of aliens, and the colors and general feel of everything seemed to belong to the same schematic.
As I lay in the bed and the darkness, I kept watching the colors, and entities. At this point there was nothing unpleasant. As if some spirit king or something made of sand, a figure grew out of the colors, and became very tall. It may have tried to communicate something to me, telepathically, but it didn't. It went away too fast. But something about it seemed important. It gave me a feeling that I felt I had always known. For one instant I almost understood what it was, what it had always been, and how it relates to everything on earth, but that escaped me as well.
I was still feeling some bodily discomfort, and was curled up into a ball. I heard a noise, that I thought was my stomach dealing with the liquid bark. I recalled from The Psychedelic Experience the part that says all noises are internal, that they are your cells and systems doing their workings. I thought that's what it was for a moment, but the sounds got stranger and stranger. It seemed as if I was hearing thousands of the entities all at once. There were a few louder, individual voices, and behind that was what seemed to be mass laughter. I figured they were laughing at me, but there was no way to tell what any of it meant, it was all just completely alien, meaning like nothing that can be related to in this world.
One of my friends came back, and put on a movie. I felt like I needed to throw up, so I went in the bathroom. Looking in the mirror wasn't as terrible as I feared it would be. I didn't get any horrible hallucinations of myself appearing as some monster or possessed or anything. I seemed pretty normal, albeit colors were a little brighter. The vomiting never came. I just sat in the bathroom for a while trying to make sense of whatever I could. After a while, my friend was getting pretty uncomfortable with me sitting in the bathroom, even though I told him I was just chilling, waiting to throw up. A little later he asked me to come watch movies with him, and luckily the nausea was beginning to subside, so I agreed.
I believe he was watching Twin Peaks, a David Lynch film. It was just getting to the cool dreamy scene in the bar, with the band playing this long, dreamy rock-ish instrumental. The drug wasn't enhancing the music to the extent that LSD/Morning Glory does, but it was definitely cool to hear. At one point in the evening, the movie got to a scene at a red traffic light, with a lot of screaming and honking involved. It was horrible! I couldn't deal with it, so I went into the other room, or maybe the bathroom. The movie focuses on the main character's step dad, who molests her at night...What a convincing actor...convincing of being an actual monster of a person, maybe it was his face. It was suiting for the role. There was a part where he was thinking about what he does, what kind of person he is, and starts weeping...this really bothered me, in a way I don't fully understand. But considering the content of the movie...the negative forces within it, I was thinking to myself 'What the hell is wrong with this motherfucker, why does he want to watch this right now?'
At another point we put on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The way the colors were swimming around was absolutley awesome. Yet, I learned firsthand why Hunter Thompson gave the story the title 'Fear and Loathing...' Time had absolutely no relation to the normal flow of time. I was in another time. I was in the car with them, in the desert, tripping on ayahuasca, experiencing all the fright I would have experienced had I truly been there in this state. I was still hearing alien sounds, or was it hearing sound in an alien way?...it perfectly matched my sense of fright and horror, and disconnection from the standard flow of time.
As you can see, I don't remember the chronologic order of events. At one point, me and my friend were standing outside, I think he was smoking a cigarette. He said his Morning Glory trip was pretty awesome, and asked me how mine was going. All I could really tell him was 'you don't want to do it, its not pleasant.' and 'There are eyes and screaming faces EVERYWHERE.' I also told him that I think I took too much, but in retrospect, comparing my experience to others, I probably should take more next time.
The whole trip probably lasted somewhere short of 4 hours, but only afterwards can one give it a lasting-time like that. During the experience, you are in a very alien flow of time, and it feels like eternity. I feel I should also mention that the next trip I had (morning glory seeds again) it seemed like some of the entities (alien faces) were popping up in my visual field. I would recommend this experience only to those who are absolutely prepared for what may come. I will no doubt eventually do it again myself, but only when I feel I am truly ready, and it will be either alone, or with a VERY good friend, out in the woods or something. In all seriousness, I feel inclined to say it's probably the wisest idea for most of the curious to fork up the money for an ayahuasca session with a real shaman down in South America. If you're the type to think tripping is all fun and games, this substance will definitely teach you some respect for the unknown, and even if you have the respect, the experience can be quite intense. If you're like me, curiosity will get the best of you and you'll do it either way, just make sure you choose a really appropriate setting, and have an untainted mindset.
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