Burning Fiercely at the Edge of the Void....
Citation: quantagy. "Burning Fiercely at the Edge of the Void....: An Experience with H.B. Woodrose (exp91901)". Erowid.org. Jul 30, 2019. erowid.org/exp/91901
I recently purchased 10 grams of seeds from a reliable online vendor, and had the opportunity to have my first experience with them this past weekend. My wife and 2 year old daughter left early in the morning for a two day trip to Maine, and I had the house to myself for the first time all year. I spent the early morning cleaning the house and getting my space prepared, as well as packing a travel bag in case I decided to go for a walk, since the sun was shining brightly and appeared to be the start of a beautiful day.
My attitude from the start was one of positivity, curiosity, and slight apprehension. My history with psychedelics is extensive, however I’m never so sure of myself to forego “opening night jitters”, particularly with a brand new substance. After much self-debate around dose and method (was considering going sublingual to avoid nausea), I decided finally to approach the plant seeds head on and hard: I ground up 13 seeds in a coffee grounder (they’d been pre-scraped and untreated), and mixed them in a small glass of Mango-Orange juice. Down the hatch….
10:15: Nothing so far. Aware of my mind “searching” for changes within itself.
10:45: Thoughts seem to be “slippery”, as though my consciousness is a wet plane of glass and its contents sliding around.
Thoughts seem to be “slippery”, as though my consciousness is a wet plane of glass and its contents sliding around.
However, everything else feels normal. Pupils not dilated whatsoever. As I’m waiting I am working on an illustration.
11:15: Finding it difficult to draw. Aware that I am grinding my teeth pretty bad, so I get up to get some gum. The gum is not in the drawer where I thought I left it. So I check the bedroom, where I decide to make the bed. This only gets half done before I’ve started organizing the top of my dresser, and then wondering where the cord to my razor went and then thinking about why not play some music, so head back into the living room only to remember there IS music playing. So I sit down and try to draw again but realize I’m grinding my teeth really bad so maybe I should get some gum. The gum is not in the drawer where I thought….(Okay, so you get the idea at this point where I’m at…)
11:30: Finally just sit and acknowledge that I am COMING UP FAST. Restless energy is bubbling up from my knees, and I decide I need to take a short walk outside to have a cigarette. This idea occurs as I am staring at my half finished drawing, and I wonder if the idea to take a smoke break originated in my head or from the designs on the paper (“Did I begin this drawing two months ago to deliver, via symbols, this message to myself now to go for a walk and have a cigarette right now at this moment?”) I now realize I’m going to trip good and hard, and so grab my smokes and head out the door.
11:35-12:15: Smoking on the corner. Colors of the sky, trees, street, cars, asphalt, grass, you name it, exceedingly vivid and glossed over with a subtle, soft, waving pattern reminiscent of LSD. In fact, I can suddenly access detailed memories from my last acid trips back in college, over 12 years ago. Aware also of my brain attempting feverishly to organize and categorize this experience, and even plan out the rest of my day. Then waves of resignation wash over and I realize I need to just let go and stop trying to manipulate the energies of the “come up” and of the trip itself. Finish a second cigarette and feel extremely lethargic, and a little nauseous. Head back to the house.
12:20-2:00: Zonked on the couch. Difficult to sit up or move for any length of time. OEV are minimal, essentially anything I look at appears to be breathing, and covered in a slippery soft aura of energy. But CEV are prominent and profound! A whole host of iconic imagery (pyramids, arches, spiral seashell structures from beyond and within my consciousness, multi-faceted mirrors like reflecting jewels, catching images of my thoughts and shining them back to me and to each other, only to rotate and shine imagery from beyond and within back to my watching inner eye. Also during this period I begin to experience my ego not as a solid idea, but like one of those cartoon flip books where as you thumb the pages images appear to move. I felt my sense of self as a series of impossibly thin films that simply get run in succession to perpetuate the illusion of “me.” Accompanying this insight is my first real shot of stomach discomfort, and I feel I need to vomit. I pull myself off the couch and into the bathroom.
2:00-2:15ish: I can’t get myself to throw up. I keep telling myself that if I do I’ll feel better, and just to “get the sick out of me”. This last phrase suddenly strikes me as the issue at hand: Ultimately it is not the seeds making me need to vomit, it’s my deeply ingrained belief that there is something “sick and wrong inside of me.” And the only way to get rid of it is to punish myself through the discomfort of vomiting. It’s about feeling dirty and sick and needing to punish myself, and I do it to myself every day in a hundred different ways I’m never fully conscious of. My belief that there is something wrong with me is the only thing that’s wrong with me. This hits me right between the eyes like a fucking hammer and like that *snap* the nausea is gone. I pop up from the porcelain god, feeling like a million dollars. Full of energy, and ready for another walk.
2:20-4:00: I grab my bag and head out the door. On one hand I feel renewed, stemming from my toilet bowl revelation, but on the other hand I’m now tripping harder than I have in some time, and feel as though I’m only barely holding onto to myself, especially as I walk into the town square. My plan is to stop by the local grocer to get some fruit (parched, need vitamins) and then head into the arboretum. I get to the store, grab a pear and a nectarine, and head to the cashier. Suddenly, from the customer service counter I hear: “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TRYING TO GET AWAY WITH?!?”
Though I can’t be sure, I think I may have jumped 13 feet in the air. I look over to see this African American woman suddenly pitching the mother of all fits to the customer service girl.
I stood there, fruit in hand, and literally felt assaulted by the swamp-like morass of negative, harmful aggressive energy that was pouring from his woman out into the checkout area (this is a small grocer store, FYI, not a large supermarket). Equally tangible was the frozen, electrically charged anxiety pulsing out from the other cashiers. The angry woman raged on, meanwhile the young girl ringing me out couldn’t seem to remember the price of the fruit or how to use the register. Finally she figured it all out. I said “thank you” and quickly got my ass out what felt like some pit of utter consumer despair.
Twenty minutes later I was in the arboretum. Though the day was gorgeous, and the folks walking around nothing but pleasant, I felt I was still “wearing” the negative energy from the grocery store. I couldn’t even eat the fruit I’d brought. I tried sketching, but each line I drew would begin to twist and breath and speak to me some insight about my own psyche. I sat back against the tree, and suddenly felt beyond exhaustion. I couldn’t even lift my hand to grab a cigarette or my water bottle. Sweat began pouring down my face and the back of my neck, and the leg cramping common with woodrose seeds was now prominent. A host of negative thoughts took hold: those seeds were poison, you’re gonna die out here, you need to vomit up the sick in you again, etc.
I found, however, I was able to access the rational thinking part of my brain. I told myself to remember to breath, and once I was breathing the path towards feeling better became clear. I reminded myself I took a heavy dose of a drug, that there was much tripping still to come, and it would be best if I were at home and comfortable. Get up. Drink the rest of your water. Put on your headphones and listen to upbeat music and get the fuck home.
All this was done successfully. I chose to listen to Phish from Hartford of last summer, Tweezer, remembering at the show my best friend bouncing around the crowd on mushrooms. Suddenly I was bouncing my way back home, wearing a grin so strong that I couldn’t have wiped it off my face if there was a gun to my head.
Upon reaching home, I was struck with my own externalization of the archetype of pilgrimage. The going out in order to access a place of spiritual well being within. I stripped off my clothes and drew a warm soapy bath, and threw on some Jerry Garcia Band and soaked for about an hour.
4:00-5:30 : Out of the tub and back on the couch. OEV are now even more prominent, every surface of my house is shimmering, moving, and conforming to what I believe are “ancient, syntactical patterns that organize the illusion of matter.” I suddenly feel overwhelmed, and that I need to mellow out. I smoke a bowl of cannabis and put on a baseball game. This combination does the much needed trick of giving my brain a little dose of normalcy. It’s a welcomed reprieve.
5:30 -6:00 THE PEAK: I turn off the TV and pick up Robert Anton Wilson’s The Illuminatus Trilogy, which I’m about halfway through. I cannot accurately describe what happens to me while reading this book. The text which up to that point has been frustrating me for about a month, suddenly reveals its topological manifold and I able to “see” the message, rather than read it, not unlike one of those “magic eye” posters that were popular in the mid-90s. That’s all I’m going to say about that book. It induced within me a genuine psychotic episode (complete with audio hallucinations) that lasted about 20 minutes and left me paralyzed (physically and cognitively) on my couch. I closed my eyes and felt my existence burning fiercely and eternally on the edge of the void. I felt that I could choose death at the moment, and that the trick of it would be to trust in LOVE and simply let go. I suddenly understood how someone could make a dreadful mistake under this kind of influence.
I suddenly understood how someone could make a dreadful mistake under this kind of influence.
I called up images of my family, and of my beautiful daughter, and this opened up within my center a wellspring of aching beauty and naked joy for my own existence.
6-9:30: Coming down now, though there is no “return” to my “normal brain”. I feel rejuvenated and neurologically and spiritually reprogrammed. I spend the rest of the night pleasantly stoned in bed drinking ice water and listening to the Psychedelic Salon Podcast.
Following Morning: A blissful afterglow that doesn’t quit. As I write this it’s two days later and I’m still floating, loving myself for the first time in far too long.
-Being in a quiet and flexible environment. My needs on this plant changed rapidly and dramatically.
-Despite the intensity of the trip I was never at a loss to access rational cause and effect common sense thinking. And when I did it gelled well with the experience and helped to move things along. Immerse yourself in the mystery, but keep Reason close at your side.
Peace, Cheers, and Good Good Good Vibrations…..
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Some of the activities described are dangerous and/or illegal and none are recommended by Erowid Center.