Monkshood, Belladonna, Cannabis, Poppies - Opium, Mandrake & Datura ('Flying Ointment')
Citation: daisy. "Interesting with Drawbacks: An Experience with Monkshood, Belladonna, Cannabis, Poppies - Opium, Mandrake & Datura ('Flying Ointment') (exp45074)". Erowid.org. Apr 11, 2006. erowid.org/exp/45074
[Erowid Note: The author listed Belladonna berries as an ingredient then did not mention them in the actual report.]
I had long since had a fascination for the stories of flying ointment as described in European histories of witchcraft. It had struck me that there is little written about the use of psychedelics in our traditions unlike other parts of the world where it appears frequently. Even the liberty cap widespread and easily found has little written about it in a shamanic or witchcraft aspect. Only flying ointment, a hard to pin down concoction of Solanaceas and other similar plants, occurs consistently throughout Europe. In my country (Slovenia) there are stories identical to those of Spain, Italy, Germany, France and Britain. So after years of study and research I decided to try the actual thing itself. I was 33 and going through a rough time in my life. The idea of doing something so different and unexpectedly new appealed to me and I hoped to gain some new insight into myself and reality as such.
I prepared the ointment in several stages. Harvesting some young fresh monkshood roots and drying them. Preparing a datura tincture with 50 seeds, leaf and blossom, drying a mandrake root from my garden and extracting poppy by scoring it and boiling them down to a brownish oily substance.
After several weeks I made the ointment with the prepared ingredients. A very small amount of powdered monkshood root, powdered mandrake, datura tincture, poppy and cannabis heated with beeswax and jasmine oil and left to infuse for several days, keeping it warm so the wax won't harden, setting the ointment. After several days the colour turns from a deep green to almost black and it is left to set. I now have flying ointment.
On the day it was to happen I had borrowed a friends house. Set alone up in the Scottish mountains with no neighbours likely to get annoyed and a beautiful stove that would keep me company during my journey. Upon entering I spent the first hour cleaning the room I was to trip in, setting a fire, bringing in enough fuel to sit out a small ice age, lighting candles, building a big crashpad of mattresses, cushions and blankets in front of the fire. There were spliffs being pre-rolled (as I suffer from oh my god look at my hands. . . . How long have I been building this spliff. . . . . Syndrome when tripping) . Once external preparations had been completed I decided to have a very hot bath on account of cleansing mind and body before a trip and opening the pores of the skin for the ointment. After the bath, wrapped only in a large soft fleecy blanket, I settled in fron of the fire with my jar of ointment. By now I had serious butterflies in my stomach for I had come across a couple of reports of people dying, doing just this. Still I had come this far and I had resolved to be very careful. (note: I should have had a tripsitter!!!)
Slowly I began to apply the dark waxy substance to my armpits, my pulse points, the soles of my feet and my vagina. I put on some rainforest music and waited, occasionally taking sips of water. After about an hour nothing much had happened apart from a slight feeling of cold, dry mouth and slight visual distortion. . . . . . . Maybe a tightness in the chest but I put that down to nerves. Slightly dissapointed wondering if this was going to work at all or if I was maybe to cautious I decided to top up. . . . . . . Recklessly. A feeling of it needs to be done fully to honour the journey, to not show fear to trust in what is to come. . . . . . . . Hang on it has started. I could feel a softness, a fluidity in my body that had not been there before. I began to rub the flying ointment over every inch of my body. Every touch felt sensual and soft with a sleepy dreamyness as if on the verge of sleep. Eventually I ran out and proceeded to cuddle up in my nest watching the fire.
I am feeling very very cold. The soft sensuality from earlier has dissipated and my chest feels very tight. I feel a small seed of panic rising in my guts. The fire tells me it cannot keep me warm any longer. I feel hurt, puzzled, but we are friends. I offer it more wood to feast on but I remain cold. There is a slight busy electric feeling to my fingertips and toes. My mouth feels like it is full of sand. I drink some water but it feels like ice in my stomach, sharp and hard. Time for a joint. I light up and almost immediately everything softens and yet tightens up a note. I feel colder colder then ever before but soft and languid. I lie down after finishing my smoke. Wrapping myself in several blankets watching the roaring stove, I feel floaty, I try to see but realise the room is no longer there. I am on a grassy desolate plane. A dark sky above and a cold wind. It is hard to draw breath here, the wind snatches it away before the lungs can take it. But that seems ok. I see something in the distance no it is right before me a presence deep and green tasting. Cool softness, it seems inquisitive. I feel curiosity. I wish to understand something. The colors talk but I do not hear them correctly. The taste seems wrong I feel frustrated. . . . .
Then some kind of agreement seems to have been reached. There is calm. I find myself inside the presence. It is like falling but there are others, I brush past something, enquiring, being inquired about. A child. Careful it is a child. There are myriads of presences (I do not know what else to call them as nothing will fit) some seem old so very very old and huge. Like massive beings slowly wandering an ocean. There are smaller ones, quick and sleek, buzzing. . . . . . . Families. I understand they are somehow related the same but not. Too fast it is going to fast I feel sick, my breathing is difficult. I try remember why that is, then notice I feel cold. Tired. The green presence is back before me, it vomits me out I feel myself flop out liquid cold green stream. I die. I am cold in the earth for a long long time. I am a seed. I grow. I draw water. I feel the warmth of a sun. Millennia pass. It has always been so. Green presence is in the distance.
A friend had arrived at some time during the evening finding me wrapped in my blankets basically catatonic with very shallow breathing and very cold. He struggled to find a pulse at one point. Being a seasoned tripper and knowing me very well he didn't panic. Made sure I was warm, monitored me and lit a joint.
In the hours he sat with me I appeared at times to be almost dead and at other times having a hard, painful trip. I remember nothing of most of that period, only what is recounted above which I think occurred during the first few hours. At around 3am I started to come round. My body felt incredibly weak, struggling to even lift my head to start with. All senses seemed supersharp and focused and yet dreamy. My friend helped me in an upright position and I lit a joint. For the next few hours we watched some x-files, listened to music and eventually went to sleep. I continued to have effects for another ten hours, drifting in and out of strange trip-like thoughtstreams but could never remember them. The tiredness took another week to wear of and it was nearly a month till I felt baseline.
In summary, I felt it was an interesting experience and worthwhile. But the substances used are very dangerous and I would not advocate for anyone to follow my actions. There are safer and better psychedelics available. Flying ointment has a big drawback in not only being dangerous but also that it causes an innability to recall much of the experience. A lot of it felt like lucid dreaming more then tripping but with a feel of complete and utter authenticity.
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