Citation: sakithin. "Too Much But OK Anyway: An Experience with 4-AcO-DMT (exp90415)". Erowid.org. Jul 25, 2011. erowid.org/exp/90415
In 2010, I attended Burning Man with my wife and (then) 4-year-old daughter. We shared a ride with a friend of ours from the default world, but he camped with some other friends (several of them mutual). He had brought several sandwich cookies, with assorted research chemicals mixed into the cream (these were carefully measured, thoroughly mixed, and well-labelled).
On Wednesday, we were finally getting our shit together, and went to visit our ridesharing friend (and our mutual friends) at their camp just after dinner. I'd expressed an interest in one of the cookies spiked with 4-AcO-DMT, owing to the following factors:
- I expected its action to be short enough that I could start tripping after my daughter had passed out for the night, and still be down enough to get to sleep in time for family morning-ness
- I understood it to be an analogue of magic mushrooms, and had previously found myself reasonably capable of interacting almost normally with others while on rather large doses of mushrooms
- I did not expect the substance to pose a significant dehydration risk
- I expected the artwork on the playa to agree with the trip
- I had seen my friend inebriated by a dose from the same batch roughly half a year earlier, and his behaviour and experience description led me to trust that the batch was correctly labelled, uncut, and unadulterated.
Once at our friends' camp, my daughter was engaged by one of their campmates in a small crafts project. It was around 7pm, and we had heard that Dr. Megavolt was supposed to demonstrate his large Tesla coil at around 8:30. This seemed like something that would look absolutely amazing on mushrooms, and therefore I expected it to really be enhanced by the 4-AcO. While my daughter was crafting, I stepped aside with my friend and had one of the 4-AcO cookies.
As she continued to craft, I could begin to feel some slight changes in perception, a very slight body load, and a little anxiety about my ability to maintain an air of normalcy around my daughter. This continued to build until another friend came over to chat with me, and the conversation allowed me to assure myself that I was still capable of relatively normal conversation (and it would appear that the body load was an artifact of the anxiety).
About an hour in, our friends indicated that they were planning on attending a Rite of Hermes that was being organized elsewhere on the playa, and we mentioned that it was about time for use to head off and see Dr. Megavolt, so we parted company and began riding towards the open playa. Because it took a while to get my daughter to de-moop her craft space and get into the bike cart, I felt it necessary to hurry to the open playa so we wouldn't miss much of the demonstration.
As we were riding, I could tell that the trip was just about peaking, and when we reached the open playa, I was filled with a sense of awe and wonder (by this point, my daughter had already fallen asleep in the trailer). I've found it a regular experience while on mushrooms, for luminous and glowing objects to appear particularly interesting and beautiful. This experience was also very present with the 4-AcO, and I was completely surrounded by giant lit-up art cars, fire art, brightly lit camps along the esplanade, and all manner of glowing outfits, bike lights, etc. on the people just walking and biking around. I felt that I'd definitely chosen the right drug to take, and that everything already-amazing was just even more so.
We continued to rocket across the playa in the general direction of where we expected the Tesla coil to be, but saw nothing. We had heard rumors earlier in the day that there were some technical problems with the coil, so by the time the demo was about 20 minutes late (and still no sign of the truck with the coil), we decided to look at some of the nearby art. One piece that stands out in particular was a cylinder lined with LEDs that gets spun around while someone wears special glasses and stands inside it. Apparently the combination of the light, motion, and glasses, enables people to put their hands up in front of their face, and see them disappear due to some trick with perception. This did not work for me, and I strongly suspect that the 4-AcO was responsible.
Later in the evening, we were visiting another camp on the Esplanade, and while looking in to the open playa, I found myself feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amazingness of what I was seeing. I found myself unable to deal with taking it all in, so I leaned back to look up at the sky and give myself a break. Unfortunately, I saw the desert night sky, which was awesome in its own way, and continued to feel quite overwhelmed by the sense that the world was just too wonderful for me to handle. In another attempt to manage this feeling, I closed my eyes. This produced closed-eye visuals that looked like the gills under a mushroom cap had taken roughly the shape of the line drawing of The Man, and were glowing a brownish orange, to an orange as if they were made of flame. The curvature in these gills also formed the outline of another mushroom (and its gills formed more mushrooms and so on), and all these mushrooms spun around and slid across my vision, preserving their entangledness through an incredibly intricate flow and pulse. Needless to say, this also failed to contain my feeling of being overwhelmed by beauty, and I decided that my only choice was to surrender to it, and let it take me where it would.
Upon making this decision and letting go, I went into an utterly transcendent experience of bliss, which I can only describe as ++++ (Shulgin scale). It passed through me, and then I needed to pee. On the way back from the port-a-potties, I stopped for about five minutes in a dome that had intrigued me with its giant fluorescent tree-like centrepiece, and willow like 'leaves' of yarn, all glowing in the black light it was lit with, while forest-sounding ambient music played on its speakers. I laid back on some pillows and took it in, continuing to revel in a state of (near-)ecstasy, and every minute or two, someone would walk in and say 'well you certainly look to be having a good time' to me, and I just grinned and nodded in response. I then returned to my family at the camp on the Esplanade, and continued with my night, having little else that was worthy of noting here.
My daughter woke back up at around 1am, at which point I was pretty much back at baseline again. I experienced no dehydration, no disruption to my sleeping patterns, and no hangover as a result of this trip. I did find the transcendent experience, and about 10 minutes on either side of it to be sufficiently intense as to compromise my ability to appear to function normally in conversation, but apart from that felt capable of passing as sober if necessary.
Although I enjoyed and deeply value the transcendent experience I had on this trip, I found the sense of being overwhelmed like that to be somewhat uncomfortable, and have since felt strongly disinclined to use psychoactive substances at Burning Man (having found the event itself to be quite psychedelic enough on its own).
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