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The Day Satan Stole My Soul
I was up northern Maine in a rural mill town named Dresden at my friend Jake’s farm. It was a small farm with two other people living on it. They grew, and raised, organic green beans, watermelons, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, chickens, and just about every other vegetable. I went up there with the intention of tripping on an 8th of Penis Envy mushrooms. I knew it would be a wild experience, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I figured I would see faces everywhere as I usually did on psilocybin mushrooms, but I knew Penis Envies to be especially dynamic, visually and physically. I went into the experience with a lot of confidence, but perhaps too much, too the extent that I underestimated the envies somehow. Without further ado, though, we begin the beastly tale.
Jake and I ingested the envies at 11 a.m. on a sunny upper 70’s day on the farm. We rolled them in melted dark chocolate and ate them down. I ate an 8th of them and he ate 3gs. It seemed a bit strange that I ate more than him, considering he was older. These envies were incredible size, my 8th being only three full dried mushrooms, with the stalks, fat and long, and the caps, small and perky. We started feeling very light and giddy, pretty anxious I’d say, though not necessarily in a bad way, and we left his little cabin to walk down to the river. I was giggling nervous laughs the whole way, trying to contain the intensity I felt within. There were no obvious visuals other than the trees looking particularly droopy, but we got down to the side of the river and found refuge on this fallen tree/log. The ground was muddy and rocky, so it was difficult to walk, and Jake advised me to not get stuck in the mud. Right as he said that, my Birkenstock got stuck in the mud briefly and I had to pull it out. I now recognize this as the first bad omen I had on the trip, though at the time it was just discomforting.
The sun was belting down on me and there were flies zooming around these muddy rocks near the brown river. My head was feeling very loopy at this point, as if it was approaching a higher frequency. My ears also started to ring a little bit. I was closing my eyes hunching over the tree when Jake said “Steve look at that cloud!” I looked at the cloud and it looked like a huge skiff of cloud heads. The heads were clumped together in a way that made their faces make up the surface of a wheel. This was amazing, but I still felt a bit uneasy, a tad queasy. I looked across the river and saw these black deer-looking shadow animals. They had no detail other than the their sharp outlines with a pitch black filling. I tried to ignore these beings, because they scared me with their visual features. Looking at them made me feel as if dark spirits were approaching. I closed my eyes and saw glowing, energy-filled outlines of a deity of some sort. It looked like a classic skinny Buddhist statue, but instead of sitting cross-legged, it was standing on one foot with the other foot pressing against the side of its knee. It seemed Buddhist but what I can remember of the face wasn’t very peaceful. It looked more South American tribal, as vague as that is. This was just a powerful being coming into contact with me. I then opened my eyes and James pointed out a frog to me. This made me feel a bit better and I said “I’m sure frogs can talk,” with certainty then in a British accent I said “Ello there mister frog! Can’t you speak? Tell us what you’re thinking.” The frog looked at me and I did not feel well again. I felt nauseous and scared. Perhaps my taunting of the frog backfired somehow. I thought I was going to throw up, so I walked over somewhere else and hunched over for a bit closing my eyes. I didn’t throw up, but started looking for my sandals and necklace and had difficulty finding them. I thought it was possible that the mud swallowed them up. I found them, but then suggested to Jake that we go back to his cabin so I could feel more comfortable. I was muddy, hot, and disoriented.
We were walking back to his cabin through this field and I started to worry that people had seen us down by the river and knew what was up. We had smoked a joint at some point by the river, but I couldn’t remember when. I thought people had seen us because cars drove by over a bridge in the distance. I heard helicopters and cars and had this feeling that the police were coming to get us. James was cautious in walking back to his cabin because there were some vegetables being sold not too far away from us and he didn’t want them to think we were up to anything. This also sketched me out, and I heard women laughing and saying “oh my gawd!” in very judgmental and annoying ways. Jake later told me that that never happened and that these laughs came from within me. The grass seemed to be swaying and growing with the wind. There seemed to be quite powerful winds for some reason I didn’t understand.
I got inside and something still felt wrong. I just didn’t feel safe, I felt like the police were bound to get me. I kept saying that I felt like they knew about me and all of the bad things I’d done. Jake asked me what I meant by “bad things,” and I told him I just meant drug related things that were considered bad. I had this paranoia because of Jake’s sketchiness about other people being around. All I knew was that I wanted to leave and go home. I started telling Jake that I was leaving because I just didn’t feel safe there and wanted to see my mom, but he stopped me and told me I couldn’t do that because I was tripping. He said I hardly knew my way home, which was partly true because I had to follow him some of the way there, and I lived an hour and a half away. He took me keys and my phone and said that technology was what was doing me no good, and that I had to forget about technology. To me, this seemed like Jake was trying to trap me and steal me away from my old life forever. It made no sense because Jake is one of my great friends, but I just didn’t believe it was himself anymore. I thought he had turned into some sort of radical naturist who wouldn’t let me return to society ever again, or my old life for that matter. The more I tried to escape, the less patient he got with me and the more resistant he was. He kept asking me why I came up there if I wanted to leave now. He yelled at me and told me to stop. He kept saying “This just isn’t good Stephen, this just isn’t good. Something really bad is happening right now. This is a bad trip.”He kept pacing around saying he didn’t know what to do with me. He told me I needed to relax so he had me follow him up to his loft and lay down on this bed. I was very timid because I just didn’t trust him still. His persistence with wanting me to lie down made me think he was trying to be gay with me, or something. At this point, I thought his agenda was possibly to keep me there forever so I could become his gay rape slave.
Perhaps that was what he wanted to do with me. To try and steer away from that direction, I asked him if there were any women around here. He was like “Women? Really?” and I got really mad and was like “Yeah, is there something wrong with that?!” and he said “No, no there’s nothing wrong with that. Yeah there might be some around,” to which I replied “Niiice.” Still, Jake kept telling me to lie down, so I eventually said “No man, I’m done with this, I’m going home.” He got very confused and seemed hurt by it, but I told him I just had to go because I didn’t feel good. I needed to see and talk to my mom. He asked me why I had to do that and I replied, “Because she always tells me when everything’s ok.” He rolled his eyes and said “Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, you have so much learn. You just have to let go of all of that. You don’t need anyone.” I thought it made sense, but it still didn’t make me feel better, and it still felt like he was trying to steal me away forever. I started shouting at him to give me my keys back, and he still refused to because I couldn’t drive. I ran inside the house and found my phone, but remembered I didn’t have service so I couldn’t contact anyone. I felt so powerless and scared. I kept telling James that I was scared and I kept asking him if everything was ok. He would say yes, but I never believed him because he kept looking distraught. I would ask him what’s wrong and he’d say that nothing was wrong, yet I still didn’t believe him so I kept asking. Eventually he told me I needed to stop that and shut up, which made me think he was trying to silence my questioning. I told him I was leaving and he told me to try. This is when the true madness began.
Every time I tried to find my phone in my backpack, it wouldn’t be there, so I’d go outside and ask James about it, then go back and try to find it again. I felt like I started getting stuck in loops of asking what was wrong and trying to find my phone. It’s like I couldn’t stop opening the same door to the same problems. I felt at this point that I was stuck in my mind and was no longer alive. I thought I had drowned down at the river or something and just couldn’t remember. Then I thought for sure that Jake was Satan, who had lead my powerful soul here so he could take it straight out of my heart and trap it in his crystals. He had two little bowls of many different stones, so this seemed especially plausible, given his knowledge of them. Because I had eaten too many of the penis envies, I was paying for my greed with the loss of my soul. Because I didn’t appreciate life enough, my greedy ingestion of the phallic mushrooms left me to an eternity of doom in my mind, in this cabin, possibly to be Satan’s sex slave. I had the sensation that I had been swallowed by darkness, and the only way out was to find the right words and feelings. I was quite hopeless though, because Jake told me I just took too much and that this was the end. I still don’t know why he told me it was the end. He later told me that he meant that our world was coming to an end soon, but I thought he meant it was the end of my life. I felt like the 8th of envies was a portal into this Hell, and that I would have to suffer through all of the judgments I ever made. I was so upset that I started to whine and just sigh in agony, so Jim told me to come here and give him a hug. I decided to go with it, but it made me so mad because he took everything away from me and I thought he was tricking me back into being his lover, so I pinched him in the hug and hit him in the face as he pushed me back, to which he threw me down to the couch and yelled “AHHH Steve I can’t BELIEVE YOU! I’m sick of this shit!” I just thought he was frustrated because I wasn’t cooperating with his gay desires. He told me that I was possessed and that a demon needed to be cast out of me. I didn’t really believe it though, because I thought he had stolen my soul right out of my heart, and if I found the right thing to do, he would restore my life back. I thought that if I found the right person in my memory, the memory would bring me back. I told him many times “You took away everything from me. You stole my soul.” Then I started to sing about it in this playful, eerie tone. He got angry when I did this, and I thought it was because I was figuring him out and foiling his scheme.
At this point I was like “I just have to do whatever Jake says now, because I have no other choice,” so I decided to go along with it. He lied me down and started rubbing my chest, saying that he was trying to cast the demon out of me. To me it felt like he was turning my body into a liquid portal and was reaching into me. I felt like what had happened was comparable to a snake eating itself. So I figured that the only way back now was to swallow myself, or just kill myself really. I just thought that it would hurt so much that I just couldn’t do it. I would clench my jaw down really hard and bite my bottom lip hard as an attempt to break the frequency I was in, but it wouldn’t budge, only immense pain would take over. Jake told me I had to just breathe, to go “ooooh ahhhh,” in an inhalation exhalation way. When I did this though, I heard an accompany breathing sound in my head that sounded more high definition, like someone else breathing in my ear. He then told me to drink water, which made sounds in me that made me feel like I became water, and I had a flash of a memory drowning, as if I had drowned earlier in the river. I asked Jake if I had drowned. And he wouldn’t say if I had or not, he just said “This isn’t good Steve.” So I thought that I had drowned and that the Devil was unhappy with me being unaware of the fact I had died. Water became one of the loops, like I would be looking for the right key and when water would come up again, I would remember how it didn’t work. From this point on, it got very fuzzy and all over the place, so it’s hard for me to remember the exact order of what exactly happened, but it all seemed to be a blending of senses, such as synthesia. It was as if everyone one of these things I said or thought of had feelings attached to it as well as personalities.
One of the vivid sensations was of seeing this square appear in the corner of my left vision when I closed my eyes, that would make it seem like I made an error in thinking and thus fell further down the black hole I had fallen into. I would start to make progress in what I was saying, I thought, but then I would have a recurring thought that brought me back to the square visual, which gave me the sensation of falling down back to square one. My body went through a variety of, more or less, involuntary movements, such as jerking my arms in the air, rolling my eyes to the back of my head, sticking my tongue out as far as possible, crossing my eyes, and even grabbing my crotch or hitting it. I was trying to find the way out of this hole. Back came James’ suggestion of water, something that didn’t work before, with it’s wishy washy sound. Jake actually poured water on my face, which seemed to simulate when I had drowned. The river spirit took me, that beautiful goddess with her blue eyes. She wanted me to live with her in the river forever. But then again came the ooooh ahhhh, and winds howled in my head as I acknowledged the wind spirit. Soon after came the bug noises, and I thought perhaps I would be reincarnated into the bug essence after lying here dying. I felt so juicy and gross to imagine what it’d be like to be a bug, such as a grasshopper or a cicada. These ensembles of sound and feeling seemed to simulate the collective experience of many parts of my life. I sat up and watched Jake picking up his crystals I had accidentally bumped over, and I laughed this real “hehehe” laugh that made me hear monkeys laughing. I was realizing that I was shifting into all of the senses of whatever I emulated. These seemed to be archetypes of my existence. For some reason, I thought that a certain person or archetype from my lifetime would help me come back from the hole. At the same time as all of this, every direction I looked seemed to invoke a specifically strong set of feelings. To my right I could see marijuana plants out the door and start to think about the color green and how it is like gold. Maybe green was the way back to myself. Every time I seemed to focus on a green object or word, Jake would get made at me and tell me to shut the fuck up. Satan wanted to keep me away from his gold. If I focused on blue though, I would get emotional and feel the water and wind sensations again . I actually felt as if a cold breeze passed over me. Blue was a part of me, yes, but it wasn’t letting me out of the hole.
Red made me think of the heart and of Knuckles the Echidna from Sonic the Hedgehog. I saw redness within Jake, and thought maybe his redness on his face was from the soul he stole from me, that fucking Satan. He looked a lot like Satan. Long, pitch black hair with a mustache goatee. The look in his eyes, the blackness of his pupils, made me feel like my soul had been absorbed through them, as if he knew everything about me so he knew how to bombard me with tortuous thoughts. Torturous, treachery, terrorism, all t-words with pain. S-words such as my name made me think of the feminine for some reason, but it was also a little fishy. Serpent like almost. So I realized that each letter of the alphabet has a certain selection of feelings, thus words make certain feelings together. I even sang the alphabet song. I went up to the A’s and B’s, alpha, beta, apples, bees, but these were still no keys to get back to me. I even pissed myself three times just sitting on a couch because I thought it would help me back to who I was. I actually started having fun with this though, even though I thought the devil had stolen everything from me and that I was going to never see anyone again. I realized that I would at least use this time to remember them. I named dropped many of my friends and felt each of their essences, the thoughts of them leaving me deeply saddening. I would try to talk like them, or like their descendents’ accents. I talked in many different tongues. I talked like Stewie from Family Guy, I talked like Russel Brand, Graham Hancock, surfer guys, rappers, myself, my brother. I thought that James had a Jim Morrison reincarnation. I could be anyone. In fact, between Satan and I, we had the personalities of everyone within us. This whole time, I had been confronting the dark parts of myself, trying to find the balance again. Somehow every way that Jake acted reinforced my theory of him playing this exact role. He seemed to be all that was red and black. He was wearing a black shirt with a pacman wearing a crown on it, but to me it just looked satanic. His shorts were corduroy shorts that looked identical to ones I had at home, so I decided this was the badass reflection of myself, the satanic Steve who forced me to go through this. I was out of wack on the shrooms, but evil Steve was indirectly trying to get us back together. I said “I just can’t wait to find the peace again,” and Jake replied, “ahhh I know.”
I slowly came out of the name-dropping paired with feelings, and as I did, Jake would say “are you coming back? It’s about time, thought we lost you there Steve.” It seemed as though I was coming out of his geometric jewel hex. I had noticed feelings of being trapped in a triangle and a circle earlier in the trip. I said some strange gay things to Jake when we were tripping, because I also thought that giving in to his supposed gayness would help me get out of the hole. I would say “oh yeah? Cause you like it in the butt?” and when I looked at his crotch I would start talking about serpents sliding into holes. Very strange entities of gayness came out of me, though I promise I am not gay. Perhaps I thought these were exaggerated details of slight homosexual tendencies that most people have. Jake was terribly disgusted by it all, but since I thought he was Satan, I thought he had been pulling me leg cause he actually wanted to fuck me earlier. This wasn’t true, but it seemed like his trick. I also addressed feelings about fat people. For some reason I thought I felt the sadness of a fat person, but then realized that judging fat people as sad all the time made no sense.
As I came down and realized I was still alive, and I lost fear of Satan’s (Jake’s) games. I understood that I had survived that whole rush of ego death and journeying into the black hole, and now that I was back in my body, I had an edge over him. Still though, I thought that I was in the garden of eden. I thought that I had beaten the punishment by living my whole life over and was in the land of the gods, where the original masters birthed me. I thought James and I had made it there because he was Satan and I had proven myself to him. We had the opportunity to make a new creation, or simply have my soul be rebirthed again. What I thought would happen though, was that Satan was going to try and kill me in my sleep so that my soul would reincarnate. Surely I could not enjoy the land of the gods forever, the garden of eden. I also thought that I might be expected to kill him, and that by doing so he would be resurrected and I’d become Satan. I thought that since we understood each other’s power, we would try to kill each other to win the land of the gods. I thought that I was nicer than that though, so maybe if I could escape him and not fall asleep, then I could go home and live in the god world with my family.
When I talked about leaving again though, Jake still didn’t want me to, and saw that as a regression, so I decided I could just chill with Satan for now. He pulled out this bowl I hadn’t seen that looked reptilian or something, and I thought “Cool, in heaven you just smoke as much weed as you want. I don’t have to go to school anymore. I can stay in this garden forever.” Eventually though, as we walked around his garden and talked, I realized that I was just still alive and done tripping, and that Jake was pretty much normal again. I had to ask him what he knew though, to see if he was really Satan on Earth orchestrating this to teach me something, or if he had also just tripped and had a different experience. He denied it though and thought it was ridiculous, saying he’s just glad I’m back to normal and not talking about penises and buttholes anymore. I found this humorous and slightly embarrassing, but I truly felt as though I had just spiraled through my whole life in a sensory experience that lasted 6 hours. I had the sensation of dying and living my whole life over, which was actually very profound. Jake was convinced I had been possessed by a demon though, one who tricked me into thinking he was against me, but I’m still not positive about what happened. I very well could’ve just tripped hard. But I do know I had ego death. I thought I was being sacrificed to the seasons. This was especially strong of a feeling because I had been listening to Yes a lot lately and one of their lyrics from Survival is “All that dies, dies for reason. To put its strength into the seasons.” That seemed extremely evident with the bug noises and the monkey noises. In the end, it was a very enlightening and powerfully religious experience. It took a week or so to stop being captivated by it day to day, naturally because I’ve wanted to share the experience with people, but I look back on it now as a landmark of understanding. Living such a comfortable life my whole existence, I find it invigorating to put myself through fear, just so I know I’m still alive.