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Moonflower Sun Tea
by The Black Rider
Citation:   The Black Rider. "Moonflower Sun Tea: An Experience with Datura (exp71409)". Dec 11, 2010.

  oral Datura (tea)


So... I decided to take Datura orally for the first time at Burning Man in 2006. A couple months earlier I had smoked the flowers for the first time with my mother, and she had sent me off to the desert with a Ziploc full of dried leaves and flowers. Smoking the flowers, as others have reported is a slightly less relaxing buzz than that of marijuana (though surprisingly similar). Given the choice, I think I'd always pick marijuana, because it tastes better and it's less edgy.

Anyhow, fast forward to Black Rock City, a few days into the burn. I'm there with my sister, 3 year old nephew and girlfriend of many years. We decide that I'll be the first to do this, and perhaps that they will try some the next night, depending on how it goes for me. I make sun tea out of the flowers, stems and leaves by stuffing a bunch of them into a waterbottle, and sitting it on top of the van until the sun goes down. I mix some up with a chai tea, and do my best to get it down. A pretty foul brew, and of course I make that choice I always recognize as foolish later - after my initial dose, and waiting for a short while, I feel nothing and decide to pour myself another dose. Almost immediately, the first dose kicks in. Considering the anti-emetic effects, I am lucky to vomit almost right away before it becomes impossible, kicking out some of that second dose before it piles on top of the first one.

There's a process of being taken to the porta-potties and back to camp by my g/f. At this point, I'm having difficulty tracking the proper direction to and from these destinations, and an intense, horrid thirst. Absolutely the most parched I've ever felt in my life, and I don't have my water bottle with me during the trek. It's not pleasant in the least, and I'm squeezing my g/fs hand very hard, being mean and cranky and difficult to sit for, constantly pulling her off course and complaining loudly about how frustratingly thirsty I am as we make this little journey. Fortunately, this was probably the worst part of the whole experience, and things began to get better as soon as I managed to get back to camp and ingest some fluids.

Nonetheless, things are coming on strong, with a lot of body buzz. After a small bit of exploring in camp, including apparently unsuccessful attempts to touch the pink flamingo attached to the van antenna, I decide that before I'm ready to deal with the world in this new state, I'm going to need to lie down in the van on the mattress and relax under the covers, and get used to my body. As I say to my companions, 'I feel like my feet are made out of something other than feet'. I spend some time in the dark, expecting the kalidescope fractals of other hallucinogens, but there's actually very little of this.

I spend a bit of time reading (I think it was Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but it may have been Inifinite Jest - I really can't remember at this point, except that it was one of my two large blue books, so it had to be one of them) and discover the visual distortion that will follow me through the evening. To wit, everything appears to be about six inches closer to me than it actually is (explaining my failure to make contact with the flamingo earlier that so amused my companions). I discover this because I'm unable to read my book with my glasses on, but if I take them off and hold the book at a normal distance, I'm able to read the book just as I would if I were holding it too close to my face with them off.

Now, after a bit of accustoming myself to my new world, I get up out of bed and decide that it's time to play. My sister and g/f are not in camp when I climb out of the van and, reflecting on how unpleasant the trip to the bathroom with the g/f had been, decided to throw caution to the wind and left camp without a babysitter. When I eventually returned, I discovered that this had, of course, totally throw them for a loop, and that my g/f had a pretty good panic and went hunting for me, unsuccessfully.

Once I set out on foot, I found that, while still present, the sensation of increased gravity began to lift away and my spirits rose. Other than the issue of depth perception, which made it seem to the people around me that I was trying to pet the things I was really trying to reach for, I didn't have the noticeable fluid visual hallucinations associate with many other hallucinogens. But, with the fact that I was at Burning Man of all places, and my lack of a babysitter to corroborate my story with, I frankly have no idea what I saw and heard that was real and what was purely a construct of my mind, making it hard to piece together a narrative of my experiences.

I definitely experienced some disorientation, occasionally wandering into other peoples camps inappropriately. I was also subject to the phantom cigarettes and other items that so many other users report. In my case, I also had a phantom water bottle. I suspect that this phenomenon, while most commonly reported with the cigarettes, is actually something that is a user subjective occurence based on whatever repetetive actions they commonly perform. This would explain the water bottle for me (as keeping hydrated is the most common repetetive action I have going on out there on the Playa), and what I've heard for other people, like gamers who will fall into playing a game with a phantom controller.

I had an extensive conversation with one fellow sitting under the scavenger hunt board, who I assumed was real, and a few other people encounters, but I do not recall imagining meetings with people I know, which seems to be something most people do run into. Instead, the most unusual effect is that I had what I can only call hallucinatory memories. I would find myself acting on a memory of something said or done, only to realize that not only had I not actually had the conversation or taken the action that triggered what I was doing, but that I hadn't even hallucinated the conversation or action, but that I was remembering something I had not experienced at all. Disconcerting, to say the least!

One such scenario happened as I was trying to find my way back to our camp, and realized that I was bearing in the wrong direction, because I remembered distinctly having a discussion with someone about how a whole row of sites had been moved one row further out. Suddenly I realized that there was no way that would have happened, and that the conversation hadn't actually happened, nor had I even experienced a hallucinatory conversation, and that I was remembering something completely false.

I also spent quite some time searching for my bicycle, which I had distinct memories of leaving... somewhere. In a very dreamlike state, I would wander looking for it, lose track of my self, start doing something else and then remember that I needed to find my bike. Eventually I gave it up for lost, and I did make it back to camp and reassured everyone that I was still alive and OK. I had never had my bike with me, it was in camp the whole time.

After a bit, I decided that I had had probably about enough of Datura world, so I took 25mg of Trazodone which put me to sleep and allowed me to sleep well into the heat of the next day. Normally, I hate using Trazodone as a sleep aid, as it tends to require a very long window in which to rest (12-16 hours), or I'm unable to function the next day, but in this case, that was just what I needed.

The next day I was still mildly disassociated, but I didn't have the multiday ongoing trip that many users report. Again, I think I was probably pretty fortunate to vomit early on, or I expect I would have had an even longer stranger trip. I haven't taken an oral dosage of it since, but I found my experience to be pretty positive overall, and have definitely considered doing it again. The environment I was in was, I think, a big part of why it was so positive - I can see why taking this drug around a lot of straight folks in a real city, instead of the sea of freaks in a temporary city, might be overwhelming and much more difficult to maintain. Running off without my sitter was unwise, and a bit rude of me, but I don't think I would have enjoyed that particular individual sitting me for the trip, so it turned out to be a good thing. If I do it again, I think I'd really like to have a partner in the experience to compare with, as well as a sober sitter to keep an eye on us. Both my girlfriend and sister chose not to imbibe, but I believe I was able to pass some on to another burner, though I don't recall ever getting any feedback from him on how it went.

Exp Year: 2006ExpID: 71409
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given 
Published: Dec 11, 2010Views: 48,925
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Datura (15) : General (1), Festival / Lg. Crowd (24)

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