Citation: Amino. "Slightly To The Left of Yesterday: An Experience with Mushrooms (exp90701)". Erowid.org. Nov 19, 2019. erowid.org/exp/90701
I never usually talk about my experiences with psychedelic substances, but this entry is an exception to that rule.
I’ve been experimenting with various chemical delights for about 20 years, but in the last few years I’ve restricted my activities to shrooming once a year
in the last few years I’ve restricted my activities to shrooming once a year
. This has been a rewarding move for me because it has placed the whole experience into a “special occurrence category”, rather than just another trip. To me it also means that this seasonal bounty of mycological delights can be enjoyed at a time that nature intended.
When the mushroom season arrives I head straight down to the family farm. The farm is located in an area of south east Australia known as Gippsland. We have a patch of private forest on the property where I have been happily harvesting mushrooms for my annual “adventure beyond the ultraworld”. I always make sure that I only take what is necessary and I always tap the caps to release the spores. I’m not sure if this actually has any effect on the population but I consider it as a way of giving thanks for what I’ve groomed from the environment.
After heading back home, my mind is always swimming with the glorious images of the day. The sunlight streaming through the stands of giant eucalypts and the vibrant forest aromas remain foremost in my head. There really is nothing like it to clear the mind and prepare the soul.
I’ve always preferred to make tea from the mushrooms as it’s a much easier way of ingesting them. I also find that fasting for the day enables my stomach to absorb the tea quicker. I don’t mind the taste so I usually only add a couple of green tea bags for flavour. Even though I have plenty of experience with identifying the correct Psilocybe species, I always inspect each mushroom carefully to double check that I have the right ones before I start preparing them (I feel there’s always time to make absolutely sure). At about 6pm I begin my preparation.
The first thing I do is clean off as much of the soil and particulates as I can, then I weigh them. I use simple kitchen scales that have half-gram increments. Weight is an important part of my preparation as I use it to gauge how much water to add in order to make a strong mixture. Realistically, the varying sizes of the mushrooms and their individual chemical consistency mean that the percentage of psilocybin in the entire brew cannot be accurately determined. I’ve experimented with differing ‘weight to liquid’ ratios over the years, so I had decided that the 135 grams I had harvested should be prepared in 1.25 litres of water. I bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat until the water is just simmering. Some people cut the mushrooms into little pieces, but I prefer to leave them whole. I add them to the water and watch as the brew gets darker. A good sign of a strong brew is when I can’t see the bottom of the pot and a small amount of lilac-tinged froth sits on the surface. Using a potato masher, I gently press the mushrooms against the bottom of the pot at regular intervals. I do this over a 20 minute period and then I turn off the heat and let the tea cool down. I strain the tea to remove the mushrooms and place it into another pot that has a pouring lip so it can be filtered into a glass easily. I bury the used mushrooms in a garden bed and say a quick “thank you”.
Before drinking my first glass I do what is necessary to prepare my environment for the upcoming journey. My pre-flight check involves getting into comfortable clothing, making sure that I have pre-rolled joints and cigarettes and making all of my music selections. My thought processes and motor skills obviously become impaired, so any difficult tasks are best taken care of before I begin. I also feel the cold a lot more than usual when I’m shrooming so I make sure that the heater is on.
I own a glass that holds 350ml of liquid, so I proceed to drink 3 of those glasses. As I said earlier, I can’t be accurate as to the actual quantity of psilocybin contained in each glass but I know that it is a very high dosage. At 37 years of age, I know my tolerances well, so I’m not at all concerned by the dosage. I’m a big guy at 198cms, 120kgs, so I’ve always needed a heavier dose to get things to a level I’m happy with.
While I’m waiting for lift-off I have a smoke and head into my recording studio to relax. Even with all of my experience I still feel a slight trepidation before any trip, so I find that working on my music is a great way for me to calm down and prepare my mind for the journey ahead. Making electronic music has been an enormous part of my life for the last 22 years. However, when I find that my mind is taxed with the simplest tasks I know that my journey is beginning and it’s time to retire to the couch. It’s been 10 minutes since the last glass of tea.
Note: After this point it is difficult to gauge passing time. Even though I understand that a time line is important when recounting an experience such as the following, I am unfortunately unable to provide one given that I was on my own and was in no presence of mind to keep an accurate log. I remember certain key times at the beginning and end of the trip, but nothing in the middle. At the time, my experience was never intended to be documented. Apologies.
I have this one CD that I only ever listen to while I’m shrooming. It always begins my adventures and for whatever reason is closely tied in with my experience. Because I don’t listen to it at other times it haunts my mind like the memory of a dream. The only intentions I usually have for a trip are that I will listen to this CD and then we’ll see where it goes from there. Having already placed this CD in the player, I press play and sit back to enjoy the ride. Those haunting sounds are now filling my ears. I take a big breath of air and say to myself “here we go”. From this point the effects of the tea were coming on quickly and in no time I was well and truly consumed by the experience. I was a little taken aback by the speed at which the tea hit me and particularly at how strong it was. I focused on the music and let myself flow with it. Soon I could feel the pins and needles in my legs slowly coursing up through my body and giving me an overwhelming feeling of pure pleasure. As the tracks slip by, my sense of time completely dissipates along with any semblance of my everyday self. Colours are now taking on that familiar saturated hue and the shadows are dancing their way across the walls. Familiar objects are transforming into amorphous life-forms that seem to beckon me deeper into this waking dream. Minutes become hours and seconds become irrelevant.
By now the earlier feelings of trepidation had completely dissolved. I found myself falling into a state of excitable servitude to the music that guides me along an ever evolving path. Whilst sitting on the couch, encapsulated within the stereo field of my speakers, I closed my eyes to absorb the music and rediscovered the intricate world of CEV’s. I see the most incredible kaleidoscope of drifting colours, routing themselves into patterns of organic complexity. Each new phrase in the music sparks a vivid fractal of unending movement. Every detail of the sound becomes more and more entwined with the visuals in my mind. All the aspects of what I can see are created by the multitude of layers that the music provides. The bass line is defining a background of indescribable motifs in which I could see all the other musical elements such as strobing hi-hats and liquid lead synths.
At some point I lie down on the couch and cover myself with a blanket. There I lie, travelling further into the depths of myself. My body becomes lighter and lighter until I begin to lose the sensation that I have a body at all. My consciousness transcends to another plane and soon I’m just swimming I sea of pulsating colour. The feeling I have is as if I was pure energy wrapped in the spirit of ecstasy. This was definitely a new level for me. It was at this point that I realised that my hearing seemed to be more acute than I had ever experienced before.
I realised that my hearing seemed to be more acute than I had ever experienced before.
Suddenly the visuals changed and became more like sound waves floating in mid air. I managed to lock onto a single sound within the music and found that I could easily single it out of the spectrum. That lone sound was now visually displayed in front of me and by thinking about it I could slice smaller pieces of the frequency to make new ones. The effortless nature of this achievement encouraged me to experiment more. While I was engaged in this I found that all of the other sounds had disappeared. It was only when I thought about acquiring a new sound, did the rest of the music return as before. I repeated the spicing many times before the call of my body prompted me back to a point where I could open my eyes.
I sat up and I immediately felt as if I had been a long way away. I shook my head as if to say “did that really happen?” It reminded me of waking up from a particularly real dream. As I looked around the room, it seemed to sparkle with little white lights that evaporated as soon as tried to get a good look at them. Despite being distracted by the lights, my body was telling me that it was time to let some of the tea out of my system, so I struggled to get into a standing position to go and take a piss. Upon getting to the toilet, I was completely overcome by the temperature change and I felt a rush sweep over my whole body. This feeling almost made me collapse and it prompted me to start laughing hysterically. This made it difficult to take care of business but somehow I managed. I was in a totally different frame of mind now so I decided to venture outside to smoke a joint. The cold, biting air struck me as I opened the door and I giggled as I stumbled onto my back porch. As I smoked, I absorbed the atmosphere of the night, relishing the subtle sounds of insects and the far away cars driving on lonely streets. The trees and bushes writhed as if I could see them using time-lapse photography. It relaxed me back into a deep harmony with my journey. It was time to go back inside.
When I entered the house I quickly re-engaged with my previous surroundings. Sweet music and the warmth of the gas heater drew me back to my couch, where I promptly initiated ‘comfort-mode’. I had strange commentary running through my head so I decided to write it down before I got distracted with other things. Some of the comments I wrote were, “on the edge of realising what you need to be” and “the other me is the one with the expectations, so I have to try to live up to that.” The comment that made the most sense to me was “slightly to the left of yesterday”. This unwieldy combination of words seemed to behold the very essence of my mushroom experience.
After a period of time I found myself back outside enjoying another joint. I was ruminating on the nature of thought when the night air was pierced by a large explosion. I wasn’t entirely sure if I had imagined the whole thing, but that was soon dismissed as another explosion rang out across my neighbourhood. As if speaking to somebody else, I said “what is this…world war 2?” This made me laugh until I realised that the explosions were increasing in intensity and I needed to figure out what was happening. I came to realise that the activity was occurring on the other side of the house, so I went back inside to look out of my dining room window. Much to my amazement it was a fireworks show in a nearby park. I couldn’t believe it. Of all the times for someone to hold a fireworks show, it happened to coincide with my trip. There are quite a few parks near my house so firework shows have happened before, but usually around New Years Eve. This time it was completely unexpected and to this day, I don’t know what the show was a part of. It just seemed totally random. I imagined that somehow the universe was responsible for organising this little event for my benefit. I’d never watched fireworks on psychedelics prior to this, so it’s needless to say that I enjoyed it thoroughly.
After the fireworks ended I had the unsettled feeling that I was slowly creeping back to some form of normality. In a brief moment of clarity I found that I was able to read a clock and determine that 5 hours had passed since I had drunk the tea. It seemed as though it had been an eternity and I wondered which of the few things I could remember of that evening had taken up all that time. Soon enough I slipped back into another phase of the trip. This is the period I like to call ‘The Slips’. During these slips I’ll find myself moving in between episodes of clarity and mind-wandering.
During these slips I’ll find myself moving in between episodes of clarity and mind-wandering.
Just as I feel the trip is over I’ll slip back into it and continue the ride.
Gradually over the next 3 hours, the slips give way to normality and the thought of food and sleep starts coming to the fore. After a couple more joints I noticed it had been a full 8 hours since I began my adventure and my exhausted mind was showing the trade-marks of a good work out. The come-down was very soft and I have to admit it surprised me considering how heavy the trip was. I was a little saddened that it was all over for another year, but after a small meal and a bit of TV I was drifting off to sleep with no regrets.
This trip had proven to be the most intense I have had to date. The depth of the experience when I was listening to the music is something I’ll never forget. Even though I always listen to music on my trips, there was another level to the way I heard it on that occasion. I’m finding that even a year later, I’m still amazed at the incredible precision of my hearing during that trip. I truly believe it has helped me to focus more clearly when mixing in the studio. It’s as if my mind taught itself how to listen to sound in a completely different way. My music seems to have evolved into a much clearer form of my ideals and even after 22 years of making music, my productions are much better than they were. I definitely found this to be a profound learning experience. I’m looking forward to taking my next trip in 2011, but this time I’ll listen to my own music to see what I have learnt or where I might improve my skills.
I think it’s safe to say that this trip changed the way in which I think about my journeys. Before this, I was just happy to go with the flow and have no expectations, but now I’m looking at it as a way of gaining new insights into to the music I know so well.
I will always remember this trip as the time I was ‘slightly to the left of yesterday’.
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