Amanita muscaria (var. formosa)
Citation: Existence. "Infinite Nothingness: An Experience with Amanita muscaria (var. formosa) (ID 66049)". Erowid.org. Nov 1, 2011. erowid.org/exp/66049
Okay. I wanted to really get this trip out there because by far it was the worst experience I have ever had on any kind of drug. I am an experienced experimenter, and have more than dabbled in a fair share of at least the fairly recognized drugs, from datura to DMT.
Now I had read a fair bit about psychedelic Amanitas when I first was introduced to psychedelics, and hoped to one day locate some of this mushroom to try it out. One fall a few years back a friend and I were mushroom picking on a pretty small mountain next to town and found some var. Formosa, took them home, and tried them with no effects. Lost hope, I let go of really intending to try these mushrooms again. Perhaps one day.
And so that day came to pass. The beginning of this month I went camping for a long weekend with two of my best friends. They brought some 40+ beers each, and myself being totally broke managed only to scrape together 7 beers, and 2 smokes. Not even any weed! But I brought my pipe which I had just finished smoking a 1/4 of hash in, so there was plenty of resin.
I drank the beers the first day, finishing them by the time we got the tent up. We were a fair ways out into the woods, at a man-made reservoir, this all taking place in South Central British Columbia(Canada). I took the liberty of accepting my singled-outness on this trip, and figured I'd make it a sacred soul search. I was a bit lost in my spiritual journeys, and was trying to find more meaning in life. I decided to go explore some of these woods by myself, as my two friends had been camping here before and knew the area a bit.
While I was out, within the brush I stumbled upon a tiny clearing made of dried pine needles, and their beneath the trees were some rather ugly looking Amanita's (var. Formosa), a good majority of them had a blue powdery mould growing on them. Though, there was some really nice specimens. I was awestruck really, as these mushrooms were far larger than the ones I found those years before, and in my thoughts, would no doubt be far more potent.
I collected about 5 of the best looking ones, being sure to cut away any little bits of mould (as most of them really had some mold on them), and took them back to camp. I showed my friends, and both of them were a little 'Rolling of the Eyes' on me. M was the guy who found the old amanitas with me, and he didn't really mind, but L was not a fan of drugs, if maybe touching some cubies once a year or so. L jokingly said, if I was going to do those mushrooms, that I better not poison myself, start dieing and ruin the camping trip on them.. Oh how the Gawds were laughing. L would become a prophet that weekend.
So, I figured I would play it safe, and just smoke some skins. I dried the largest mushroom over the fire, and scrapped the skin off, and smoked it in my bole. I smoked long, and hard, and it was nasty. I began to feel the mild effects of the hash resin, but really failed to notice any effects from the mushrooms, besides feeling more drowsy than normal. They both were pretty drunk, so we all decided to head to bed. I dreamt really weird that night, in 2D, like a nes-nintendo game..
The next day was fairly uneventful, we all explored around, and I sort of felt left out, as they were drinking and smoking, so I tried to connect more with nature. It really didn't work, and I honestly got more depressed.
On the third day, our last day there, still one more night to go, I again told them I was going to explore by myself. Both my friends went fishing across the reservoir, and I went back towards where I had found the first mushrooms. I figured I wouldn't bother finishing the other ones I had found, considering the lack of effects on my smoking test run.
Though while I was out, I stumbled upon a larger batch of them. And these where all beautifully fresh. I was awestruck again! The gawds must be insisting I thought, and I quickly gathered up the best looking ones. Some 15 mushrooms I imagine, ranging from still having their veil attached, to fully grown, and wonderfully strong looking. These indeed, where a gift from the gawds. I made my way back to camp, and set my mushrooms aside, building back up the fire. My friends returned to grab more beer, and munchies and headed back out, insisting I go with them. I said I was going to stay and meditate, which I figured wasn’t exactly lying to them, though I never said what I was planning to do..
When they left, I boiled up some water with 8 of the mushrooms, leaving the best looking ones to take home for another day. I let the water steep for some time, finally draining it out through the bandana I had carried them back in. I thought back about the can of beans I had eaten for breakfast, and realized I would no doubt be dealing with plenty of nausea, so I made some tea, and drank lots of water, trying to encourage the food to digest more. After about an hour I finally gulped down half the tea (which was about a mug full) and figured I'd wait to see if this much would kick in.
After about a half an hour I definitely started to feel the nausea, and decided to head for the outhouses. I sat on the toilet for maybe 20 minutes zoning in and out, feeling like I had to shit, and puke, but unable to do either.. I finally got up, realizing that I had probably been in there for a while, and started back for camp. I noticed I was loosing my balance, and stumbled some of the way. Also, when I'd look from one place to another, there would be no frames of vision during the movement in-between locations of sight.. It was just a black blur, and I could really only see what I was statically looking at.. It was sort of interesting, but mostly annoying, as I had to focus much more at seeing exactly what I was seeing.
When I got to the camp (2-5 minutes walk) I started to feel really sleepy. But not physically.. Just mentally. I was having a hard time thinking, and seeming to get lost in a thought, forgetting what exactly I was just thinking of.. I stoked the fire clumsily, and sat down on one of the fold out chairs. Suddenly I just felt like I had to close my eyes and rest. It was the weirdest feeling. Sleepy, yet not sleepy. I had to close my eyes, and go to sleep instantly, but I wasn't physically fatigued, and my eye lids weren’t droopy.. I just -Had- to close them.. I sort of told myself 'Oh, I'll just rest a bit, wafting for the trip to kick in, and try not to focus on this nausea.' I leaned up sideways in the chair, closed my eyes.. There was a flash/beam of light I remember shooting past my vision from right to left and then I blacked out.. The next 18 hours consist of an Infinite Void of nothingness and everything-Timeless-Eternal. Pure darkness and Light. Just awareness. I knew who I was, but yet had forgotten who I was. I was no where, yet somewhere.. I can't explain it.. Pure awareness. No fear, no pain, no love or bliss.. Just There. All I can relate it to, is what I used to imagine after death would be like when I was an atheist. Just nothing, and everything..
I later found out, that my friends had come back (some 3 hours after about the time I blacked out) and I was unconscious, still sitting in the chair, slumped over, my face on the ground. The cloth arm had ripped, and I was leaning over my right side, puke and blood around my face. My eyes where so far back in my head, that all they could see was white, and I was convulsing, breathing through gurgles, and was cold to the touch.
After those 18 hours I woke up in the hospital(which I didn't realize), ripped from my place of nothingness-sensation flooding back into me slowly, finally into intensity, and then numbness.. (about 2 hours from the camp site) At first I couldn’t see, but my vision returned and I was still hallucination. I found myself in a hospital looking room, but there where tree tops all around me. Outside the door, and through the window as well. Tree tops everywhere! And people, or beings. I couldn't recognize their faces, they were melting and swirling, and twisted, with long tongues and grotesque features. I was unable to speak (later realizing I had a breather down my throat in my lungs) and something was in my penis (catheter) and arm (IV). I was totally confused and scared, and yelled out in anger/fear, ripping the things out from my mouth, penis and arm (didn't feel a thing), and began to struggle. It took 6 people to push me down, and they shackled me in, and yelled and told me to calm down, and I yelled and said to let me go.. I honestly thought I was abducted by aliens, or some evil forest spirits or something.. I seriously was out of my mind. They pulled out a needle, and I yelled at them not to stick me with it, but they managed too, and I went back into unconsciousness..
Later I awoke after 2 hours, and found myself strapped into the bed, wide awake, and no longer confused or hallucinating. I knew where I was, I knew something bad had happened.. but I tell you I did not want to be there.. I managed to get home against doctors orders. I had a bad infection in my right nostril, and whenever I breathed (or air just passed) through my nose it reeked of beans, mushrooms, and puke. It was horrid( I can still smell it sometimes today- Now October). My nose and cheek was swollen, and my face throbbed with the infection. Also, the whole upper part of my left leg was numb, as being slumped over for so long, had cut the blood off, and I got pins and needles all the way to nerve damage. Part of the top of my leg is still numb to this day.
That night I managed to sleep well in my own bed, but my jaw began to lock the next day, and my tongue was trying to swallow itself. I went back to the hospital and they siad it was the side effects of the anti-psychotics (oh wonderful). They gave me some antihistamines, and it subsided, and I found out that I had far too many muscle proteins in my blood. A count of 12000, about 11970pts above the normal ranges(yes, about 30 is the normal count). If I didn't clear it out, it would crystallize in my kidneys and I would have to go on dialysis. Joy. So for 4 days I stayed in the hospital, and recovered.
I have to admit, it was a life changing experience. The doctors said I was a miracle, that I was on the edge of death, and it was by shear strength of youth that I pulled through. I like to think it was everyone’s love.. I wanted a life changing experience, and I got one. I realized how Much my friends and family love me, and how much this life means to me. I will never disrespect my body, or nature again like I did that day. And now I accept the responsibility of the Love in my life. I still can’t tell you where I went, or what that place was, but I was there.. Yet there was no “there”.. hm.
Take warning my friends. Amanita can be a dangerous Spirit.
Seek onward and Safe Tripping.
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.