Mushrooms - P. cubensis
Citation: Truth. "A Summer Day in the Woods: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. cubensis (exp72885)". Erowid.org. Oct 23, 2020. erowid.org/exp/72885
After numerous times checking local weather radar websites, we (me and a friend) decided to get two portions of fresh mushrooms (Psilocybe cubensis 'Thai') and spend a day in the woods, away from the city. For a while we had our doubts about actually pursuing with the plan, since the Dutch weather-radar forecast showed some thunderclouds coming our way, and we weren’t really in for a heavy thunderstorm experience in the middle of nowhere. Although, looking back, this also could have been very cool! So we went on our journey (15.30 hrs) with all the picnic essentials: a carpet, lots of water, bread and some cheese and, of course, Psilocybin mushroom infused tea. The moment we stepped on our bikes, we took off our watches, turned off our telephones and went on...
Arriving in the woods we were delighted to see that the weather was getting better and better: sunshine with just a bit of moist in the air. After having traversed a wooden bridge that crossed the large pond, we found a bench to sit down and poured the tea into the two teacups we brought along. The tea tasted very nice because of the herbal tea (organic liquorice tea!) I always use to mix with the Psilocybin water-extract. From that moment on we had already spotted a place next to the pond with an artificial (but beautiful!) island in the middle of it. The island was like a hydro-culture brick with all sorts of plants and large trees growing on it. We walked about for a while trying to get to the place we had spotted from the bridge over the pond and while we walked towards it we encountered some old people who were being rolled around in their wheelchairs. The nice people greeted us friendly and one of the nice old ladies winked at us and smiled. In retrospect it is funny to see how things and events can influence a hallucinogenic experience. I say this because later on, when I was tripping’, I thought a couple of times about that nice lady and it really touched me on a deep level...
After having strolled around over the bike path (yes, we have them in Holland!) towards the spot we had seen, we went downhill towards the edge of the pond. Arriving there we put down all of our stuff and unfolded our carpet. By this time the mushrooms were starting to kick in, but we were still able to do our obligatory things. Having unpacked we sat down and gazed upon the beautiful view we had over the pond, the island in the middle and, at a reasonable distance, the bridge we traversed over before. By this time I started to get a real uneasy feeling in my stomach. This however is pretty normal for me, looking back on all my previous experiences with mushrooms. So, however uneasy, the situation was all but alarming. The feeling can be best expressed as if there was a knot in my stomach. Like I always do I started to close my eyes and focus on my breathing. This can really ease the uneasy/nauseous feeling in one's stomach! The rise of energy level and “chaos” was noticeably getting more intense by the moment.
At this point my friend experienced things like seeing his skin deteriorate and getting older. He saw his hairs growing and shrinking and he could see all his veins running through his body. This phase of the trip was really characterized by the utter intensity and sense of chaos of it. I was really “drunk” from the Psilocybin and by this time it was hard for me to even sit straight and I was wandering in my mind. I was constantly shifting positions to be at ease with the situation, however I want to emphasize that at no point the experience was threatening or scary. My friend (it was only his second time he used mushrooms) had the open-eye approach and it was hard for him to focus with all the information and sensory stimulus. He later told me that the first rush, first 30 minutes estimate, felt as if his brain was on tilt, like a pinball machine. I felt more at ease closing my eyes and before my closed eyes worlds opened up to me which are very hard to describe afterwards. I can still remember how (I think under the influence of the sun shining upon my eyelids) the colour red was very prominent and how a sort of dragon-like creature opened his mouth to me. All this was weird and the effect of the mushrooms was very “unstable” at this moment.
The next thing that really amazed me, something I have never experienced on previous (15 times now) mushroom experiences, was the absolute and very real feeling of numbing of my limbs
something I have never experienced on previous (15 times now) mushroom experiences, was the absolute and very real feeling of numbing of my limbs
, especially my hands and lower arms up to elbows. It was as if somebody that weighs a hundred kilo had been sitting on my lower arms and hands for about half an hour! This sensation intensified by the moment and I was notifying my friend about it, however also assuring him that everything was OK. At this time the trip was at its peak and I felt as if I was melting. All I could do was lie down on the carpet (although I was mostly lying on the forest floor) and undergo this heavy experience. At a certain point I could hear a conversation that two girls had who were playing under the bridge that was about a 100 meters away. It was as if sometimes they were only a few feet away from me (remember I had my eyes closed for the greater part of this phase). The fact that I could hear them so clearly made me feel slightly embarrassed about my behaviour. I was embarrassed by the idea that people could see me in this state and might even think that something was wrong with us. The last thing I wanted was sober people interfering with my experience.
From time to time now all the sensory stimuli were so intense (especially the hot sun shining on us) that I decided to carry myself a few meters uphill from the pond into the shade. I could feel how my blood pressure was low since I really had a lot of difficulty adjusting to a standing position. I looked into the woods and the most intense colour shifting was taking place right in front of my eyes. Green went to yellow and to a silver sort of colour. I - and my friend later acknowledged he also saw this - was experiencing an intense kaleidoscopic/tunnel vision where I could focus on one thing and all the rest around it looked like blurry planes. From time to time I wandered off into the woods to return again to find my friend still sitting by the pond. I lied down in the sun on some forest moss and I stroked my hands through all the moss and little plants under me. I felt like I had actually become a forest animal that was dying and was experiencing “its” last breath moment. This first phase of the experience was characterized by a feeling of death and resurrection.
I walked back towards the pond and sat down on the exposed roots of a beautiful tree that was partly hanging over the edge of the pond. It was there that my trip really “stabilized” and, although I had no sense of time during the entire trip, several times I had the sensation of “eternal moments”. I felt as if by grabbing hold of the tree roots, which were partly growing above ground, the tree helped me to channel my energy flows in a more stable way. Right next to where I was sitting were some geese and ducks and they seemed absolutely fine with me sitting at such a close distance from them. The tree, the beautiful pond, the beautiful swan that all of a sudden swam slowly towards me touched me very deeply. I realized how “deafening” quiet nature could be when I sit still and really “listen” to it. It felt like a dam inside me broke and I could feel all sorts of emotions starting to flow.
I began to think about how I “misbehaved” a few days before while helping my mother with moving, which had been a real stressful situation. I started crying and the whole atmosphere of the experience really shifted towards a serious and profound moment. I realized a thousand and one things at a time, one of them being the intention not to drink heavily ever again. I told this to my friend and we agreed that I of course still could enjoy a good glass of wine or a beer or other drinks, but I decided that the heavy drinking experiences were to be something of the past. I also felt an intense feeling that if I died at that very moment I would have totally accepted it. I thought about how in life one never need to be afraid or scared since the worst thing that can happen is that one dies. I felt no fear of death anymore, a feeling I wanted to try to incorporate in my life from that particular moment on. I kept on narrating to my friend on how death becomes merely a transition when one sees it as an “opportunity” rather than a “problem”. I could also notice that when I sat intensely still and made no noise, just listened to all that was going on around me, I myself kind of faded into the background and became one with everything. I remember thinking: ,,So that’s what they mean by becoming one…”
My friend and I sat there for a while and we enjoyed the beautiful view of the pond and the animals and trees around us. We realized how clear we were all of a sudden and how sharp our senses were. It wasn’t like we were intoxicated at all. Looking at our surroundings it was as if we were looking at HD-TV, but better. Supreme attention focus, as I like to call it, became something very prominent at this stage of the trip. I could look at the swan for an eternity and really see and sense its fine characteristics. It was as if having a sixth sense. By now the mental/emotional phase of the trip was at its peak. My friend mentioned to me that he had a lot of information coming into his head that he thought - on beforehand - he would not be able to understand anyway. I responded to his remark by saying: ,,How can you not understand these things if they are already in your head?”. This of course was followed by a moment of silence and ponders. Later on, triggered by this conversation, my friend mentioned the quote by Arthur O'Shaughnessy (that is also used in ‘We Are The Music Makers” by Aphex Twin): ,,We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams…”
After a while I wandered off into the woods again and I could really feel the sense again of excitement and tension, the way you experience it as a child playing in the woods. I was hiding behind trees so people didn’t see me. I sat down next to a tree and smelled its bark; it smelled exactly like mushrooms, a rotten scent. The place was beautifully obscure and the darkness caused by the tree trunks allowed only a little bit of sunlight to penetrate through the dense forest. I started running through the woods barefooted and it felt so good to be really in the midst of nature again, something I don’t do a lot anymore as a grown up. I was amazed at how I stopped worrying about getting my feet injured. I experienced an intense primal feeling, as if I was a caveman or bushman living in the woods. It all felt really good and rejuvenating. After my primal experience I walked back towards my friend who had been standing by the pond. We had some more conversations; especially about the fact that we had totally lost our sense of time, even though normally we are both quite good at estimating what time it is by looking at the position of the sun. We talked about how now we could really notice what an intense grip things like our perception of time and things like calendars have on our everyday existence. They are indeed a control grid that not many people seem to “notice” (anymore). Especially my friend had – as I called it – a “nose trip”. His sense of smell was so intense and strong that he could smell things from a great distance away, he was very aware of this and he smelled the baked bread that we brought along. He said he could smell everything, from the ingredients to the way it was prepared by the baker.
We watched the sun disappear behind the tree line and we both discussed how in this state we had really felt the shifting of energy through the day, something I pay no attention to most of the time. We had been just really “in the moment” for the past couple of hours. We decided that it was time to leave and to fool around and we grabbed our Frisbee, which we had brought along, and decided to go to a nearby field. There we played one of the most intense games of Frisbee ever, rolling over the grass and running like kids over the field. Dew was already building up on the grass field and it felt like a bath for our feet. I felt good and healthy, sweating the toxins out of my body. By this time the sunlight was fading away and we enjoyed a beautiful pink and later purple sky. Moist was building up in the air and it was clearly responsible for all these beautiful colours.
By now it was getting dark and being in the forest at night was a whole new experience, something the both of us hadn’t done for a long time. We agreed that, when the weather conditions are right, it might be very interesting to do mushrooms in the forest at night. I thought that way I could take away a lot of sensory stimuli and stimulate the so-called “journey inwards” even more.
And then to think we almost didn’t go because of a weather website…
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