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Tripping in the woods.

1/8th of an ounce or 3.5 grams

I live in the woods in Colorado on about 4 or 5 acres at close to 9000 feet so I figured this would be the perfect spot to go on a psychedelic adventure with 3 other friends. After obtaining the mushrooms we came home and I started a bonfire outside- as it was later (9pm) and it was almost dark and we thought having a fire outside would add to the experience. We each took roughly an eighth of mushrooms and downed it with juice and crackers to take away a bit of that gross mushroom taste. I'd have to say we started feeling the initial effects (colors getting brighter, vision becoming sharper, slight nausea, etc...) within 30 minutes or so of taking them due to the fact that we all had pretty empty stomachs (I highly recommend taking mushrooms on an empty stomach for a better experience and less of a chance of nausea or possibly regurgitating the mushrooms).

By the 40 minute mark after having taken the mushrooms we were all sitting outside under the clear starry night sky by a raging bonfire. We all were starting to notice subtle changes in our environment and were starting to have very light hallucinations. Trees were standing out more, the colors of others were starting to become more vivid although it was dark and shrubbery was starting to morph into weird shapes and animals- like bears or giant mushrooms.

At around the hour mark we could all feel the mushrooms' effects more strongly- people's faces were morphing and an intense laughing episode that probably lasted 5 hours began around this time. My coordination was off and it became more and more difficult to walk, talk or even form complete sentences or thoughts. I sat on the dirt next to some bushes and I could feel myself getting sucked into the dirt as if my energy was being pulled into the ground... underground. I was starting to feel that extreme connection with everything around me, with people, my pets, the stars, the trees.... just everything.

It was now around the 2 hour mark and my trip was becoming very intense. I was losing my sense of time rapidly and everything seemed to be going very very slowly-almost as if time had stopped completely. Emotions were rising and although I was hallucinating pretty intensely with my eyes open- If I closed my eyes I would trip even harder. When I closed my eyes I could still see the environment around me just as if I had my eyes open, but I'd be greeted by an intense light show (sort of like the light shows they have at clubs or raves for people rolling on ecstasy). I had never seen anything so intense in my life- it was like my iTunes visualizer on steroids- no joke!

During my trip I went through a ton of emotions- some which I didn't even want to think about. Let me tell you, if you decide to take mushrooms get prepared to confront issues you don't want to face. It's really difficult to push them aside and my best advice is just to face them and try to work through them (mushrooms are there to help- not to torture you). For instance, I live far away from my family (2000+ miles) because I moved away due to issues I was having with personal space and religion(especially with my mother). During my trip all I could think about was my mother and how she must feel with me living so far away (especially since we were so close). I could feel the sadness she feels and how lonely she must be and it made me realize that pushing my mom away all these years was not the most mature and spiritually enlightened thing to do. It made me realize that most of the people who hurt us do it out of ignorance and love and that as the better person we should take time to help them understand our viewpoint and keep on giving them chances. It's stupid to cut ties with people without giving them a chance- even though it might take them longer to realize what they are doing to you.

Another interesting part of my trip were certain realizations I had about human behavior. It seemed that I analyzed everything I did during the week and boiled it down to selfish motivations that we all have. For example, there was one thought I had about a friend that I speak to every so often when I need something- whether it be some sort of substance or some kind of information. It seemed to selfish and unkind of me to only contact her when I needed something, rather than contacting her to find out how things were going in her life or if they needed any help. I realized how pushy I can be if I want something and what a selfish person I truly can be. In fact, during my trip all I could think about for half my trip were all the areas that I've failed in and how guilty I felt for a lot of the "ass holish" things I've done to people. Mushrooms tend to do that and like I said before if you're not ready to possibly confront some demons, don't take mushrooms. They truly make you empathize with anyone around you or people you think about. If you miss your girlfriend or husband who lives in another state while you're on mushrooms- it's going to feel unbearable. Mushrooms intensify the feeling of sadness, longing, joy, happiness, and so on.

About midway through my trip I started to freak out just a little bit. I own 3 cats and 2 dogs and live in the woods with cougars, bears and other predators and for some reason I thought some of my animals had gotten out in my mushroom stupor and I started freaking out and needed the reassurance of my friends that everyone was fine and inside the house. I'd go to count the animals one by one to make sure they were all accounted for, but after counting 2 of them I'd forget who I counted and I was practically doing this for an hour until I snapped myself out of it and told myself to stop freaking out about nothing- then I went back to laughing and enjoying the trip.

There was just so much information coming at me during my trip- it felt like I was being bombarded with it. I'd have 30 thoughts at one time, but they all made sense. Aside from thinking about the people I've missed and where I have failed as a person, I thought a lot about human behavior and saw the parallels between modern day humans and cave people. I saw how body language  and actions have evolved over thousands of years, but still saw how we're "primitive" people underneath our 21st century clothes and science. I analyzed everything we do in modern day society and how it can be tied to old archaic human behaviors. For example, the question of "why we dance?" came up. Really people, why do we dance? What purpose does dancing serve? We have been doing it for thousands of years and still do it today. Some people look at some indigenous groups as primitive when they see them dancing around fires in the jungle, but how are people dancing in club to strobe lights any different? IT'S ALL THE SAME! We dance because it feels good, it connects us with those around us, we get lost in the ecstasy of our movements- it's intoxicating and primal-it's sexual (animals do it to attract mates and as a prelude to sex). That's just one example of probably hundreds of human behavior that I analyzed while tripping. I also thought of skills we've greatly lost as a human species because of modern day ideas, principles and convenience. Hunting for instance I thought of as a deadly, yet beautiful and fair game that we used to play. It involved using all our senses including our intuition to track, find and quickly kill our prey. We would have to wait patiently perhaps for hours like lions hunting gazelle in the savannas of Africa in order to make our kill, but the fair part is that our prey had a chance to escape. Nowadays many people who do hunt use high powered sniper rifles, traps, airplanes and other "unfair" methods of hunting. Those who don't hunt (which is a majority of us) go to the supermarket and get packaged meat from a factory where animals didn't have a chance to escape- they were just born to die. Don't you see a problem with that? Shouldn't we connect with our innate hunting skills that we possess as humans? The same skills that lions, bears, wolves and pumas use on a daily basis- we all used to have and still have lying dormant within us. I'd like to reconnect with that aspect of my humanity. I don't view it as animal cruelty anymore- I view it as being fair in an unfair world were most of our meat is harvested rather than hunted fairly.

Another interesting thought I had concerned our pets and how in this American society we're told "spay and neuter your animals". Everyone has heard that right? It's force fed into our brains every day as we watch the news, commercials or even the latest "Price is Right", but is it right? I feel that this is truly an issue of practicality versus ethics. The truth of the matter is that it's more practical to castrate your dog for example to make him behave in the way you want, to prevent more animal births in a country overpopulated by strays and according to some vets to "prevent" testicular cancer. I think if we were more dedicated pet owners we wouldn't have to castrate our dogs, but the fact of the matter is that most of us aren't. We're lazy and it's more convenient to have a neutered dog that doesn't spray around the house- but it doesn't mean our choice is right. Also, how many of us are willing to neuter our children to prevent testicular cancer? I don't think anyone in their right mind would do that to their children- then why do it to our pets? This made me regret my decision to neuter one of my dogs- it was just wrong of me to have my best friend undergo unnecessary surgery for my benefit. It was another instance of selfishness and ignorance on my behalf. I should have known better than to trust the media and veterenarians as they benefit from spreading this information- it's just more business for them. It's in their best interest to have people pay for all these surgeries and medicine as it means more money in their pocket.

Those were my main realizations during my trip and frankly I think they were very life changing as it changed my perception of the world around me even more and made me truly understand what motivates people. I could talk about the minor details of my trip, but I think they would detract from my main message. Mushrooms are a lot of fun, but they are mostly in my opinion a tool for self reflection and offer much guidance. I think this is one of the reasons they are kept illegal and away from most of the population. Society as we know it today would crumble and be transformed into a better more safe and happy place to live in. But what government would want that? They want to keep us under their control- they want our money and they love feeding us lies and keeping us scared. Think of how many people would break free from the horrors of religion. Wow- think of how the great religions of the world- Christianity and Islam and how they would crumble. No more money being funneled to the Vatican- no more business. They want to keep people ignorant and under control. My dream would be that everyone in the world would trip just once- and I know that they'd finally start opening their eyes and asking the questions that all these authority figures and religious heads fear.

In closing, I had a great time. To some, facing their demons would equal a bad trip, but for me it led to spiritual and personal growth. I'm a mature person so I can handle and understand that, but perhaps less mature people would be a little freaked out and turn what in my opinion was a good trip into a bad one. Just embrace everything good and bad and learn from it- the mushies aren't there to hurt you- they're there to be your cosmic teachers. Why else would they be growing on just about every continent for us to find and eat for the past thousands of years? :0)

Total trip time- 7-8 hours

Peak tripping time- 5 hours

Time since previous mushroom trip- Approximately 3 months

Number of people (including me)- 4 (all had tripped at least once before)

Physiological effects/changes in body or abilties- light nausea, increased sensitivity to sound (music also takes on ethereal qualities),  sharper vision, heightened intuition, greater sense of empathy, increased sexuality, loss of fear (not afraid to be in the dark, not afraid of inviting spirits for conversation, not afraid of death, not afraid to wander in the forest in the night)

Substances- 3.5 grams of mushrooms, 4 hits of concentrated Salvia Divinorum, 2 bowls of Marijuana

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