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Listen to that beautiful laughter... oh wait, no, that's terrifying.

We all trip together (and some of us lose our minds)

Setting: A Sunny, cloudless day in a lovely forest and a fantastic botanical garden

Dosage: 1g ground-up cubes (MS Trankei), taken with mango and orange juice

Company: 2 trip virgins, S and J (who are a couple), and my tripping brother, B. All best mates.


We started the day in good spirits, threw on a nice, chill mix of ‘Sublime’ and ‘This Will Destroy You’ and got on the road to the great forest. On the way, I started our pre-trip ritual, by asking the Mushroom Gods for wisdom and the ability to appreciate what we have. B Asked for an expansion on previous lessons regarding changing perspectives, S asked that she didn’t cause any of her friends a bad trip, and for a good first experience, and J, asked for cups, which B had forgotten to bring (for our orange juice).

We got to the parking lot in good time and began our trek into the heart of the forest, a giant tree draping vines all over the place that S and I had found on a previous hike. Upon arriving at the clearing, we dealt with the lack of cups by simply pouring our OJ into each of our ziplock bankies and chugging it back (I always pre-divide and label our doses so that nobody gets any nasty surprises). B and I were each doing 1g each, S was trying 0,5g, and J, who wanted to experience something that would change the way he thinks, tried 1,5g’s. The doses may seem small, but trust me when I say that this batch has been no joke, tested by many experienced trippers who have consistently gotten their asses handed to them. The average trip is 2 and a half to 3 hours long with maybe a couple of tremors after, and the come-up is anything but gentle.

It starts:

We found a spot that had some Sun, and a fallen tree, just a little bit away from our heart of the forest, and decided to chill there until we began to feel it. I took out my sock poi and started swinging them around to pass the time, and we all just joked around while we waited. J hung onto a rather skinny branch for the next 20-30min and I noticed him looking more and more apprehensive, just before I felt the first wave hit me.

I glanced at B and saw that we were synced, both of us grinned, knowing that the adventure had begun. S still had about 10min to go before she’d feel anything. As I twirled the poi, I started to feel like they were long stretchy extensions of my arms, rather than simple socks and tennis balls. I wasn’t very good with them - it was a bit like a newborn animal trying to figure out its legs. Putting the poi down as the body waves started rippling through me harder, I noticed J was now covering his eyes, still clinging to the branch, when he mentioned that he could see through his eyelids and arms. I was a bit surprised that 1,5g’s had had such a quick onset for him, though not too surprised – my first foray with these cubes had been 2,5g’s cranberry tek’d with a joint of some Durban Poison, and shit went down that time.

As the physical sensations got stronger and the dissociative effects started to become more prominent, we suddenly all started feeling claustrophobic, surrounded by all of these giant trees and being rather far from any open, sunny clearings. We reached a consensus that we needed to get out of the forest, and into the gardens, and fast.

We knew that we didn’t have far to go, but when you’re desperately seeking an open space, a couple of kilometers of forest becomes quite stifling, especially when your friend J starts saying weird shit. He was hearing thunder and saying some disconcerting things, that led me to believe he was tripping significantly harder than us. It started to freak us out a bit, because he kept saying trippy shit and became quite obnoxious, like poking you in the face level of obnoxious, and his observations had us all looking around, expecting to hear or see the same things that he was seeing.

As we neared the bottom of the final stretch of hill between us and being in the gardens, the waves started pummeling us relentlessly. My brother B and I had a bit of a hilarious-slash-terrifying moment as I saw him trying to outrun the waves at one point, which left me chuckling as I observed, ‘I don’t think we’re going to get out of this like that, bro’. We were struggling up that hill as our breathing got harder and I remember my tongue feeling huge and dry, making it difficult to swallow. B and I were ahead of S and J by quite a bit, when we finally reached a big, nice and wide, open path and we knew that we had finally made it to the promised land, the botanical gardens.

The wind on top of the hill was strong and rather unpleasant if you were standing - I ended up sitting in the dirt and declaring that I was perfectly fine just staying here until it was over. B seemed to like that idea, too, walking in any direction just felt like trying to escape something that was inescapable, and at this point, I just wanted to lay down and not resist the experience.

As we were sitting and preparing ourselves for some serious mindfucking, S and J arrived. J was being extremely annoying, his ego was resisting really hard at this point and he became even more obnoxious as he struggled to come to terms with what was going on in his head. Luckily, S, who was on a nice gentle dose of 0,5g (level 1), recognized that he was being an ass and tripping us out when we were already tripping hard enough, so she convinced him to walk up the path with her and gave us some much needed respite.

We, B and I, breathed a sigh of relief as the negativity that was J walked away, and discussed being “In that place again”, where your final breath draws nearer. Lying down and closing my eyes, shit got real. The CEV’s were beyond explanation, fractals, mandalas, faces, colors and things that I can’t explain became my entire field of vision, and then I’d see the blue sky above us through my closed eyelids with  lines of energy forming a dome above us that was there, eyes open or closed. B saw it, too, and we both discussed our brotherhood and the nature of death and living, how much there was that we didn’t know, how we’d all developed coping mechanisms and silly ego-based shit to deal with modern living and the fact that we’re all simply clueless, from pun jokes to sarcasm to masking our emotions on a daily basis just because having feelings is starting to become a taboo in this world, we’re all pretending we’re so fucking desensitized, and all that shit. At one point B was craughing, somewhere between crying and laughing, I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew that the entire trip was going to be one powerful experience for all of us.

We have pretty good poker faces, B and I, so whenever the odd stranger would pass us by, we’d quickly chuck on our sunglasses and pretend everything was normal, although at this point, every time I was forced to open my eyes, it was like being vacuumed between different dimensions and the body waves would slam me again. I definitely found that if I lay on my back with my eyes closed and focussed on the visions, then the bodyload didn’t distract me as much. These giant godlike faces and bodies, all alien and moving through time and space, were observing me as much as I was observing them, although none of them communicated verbally to me.

I felt tiny in the grand sea of thoughts, and while I felt no pain, I did feel that familiar feeling that I was busy dying and my last breath would be coming soon, as all of these strange (or am I the one who looks strange?) faces watched me. My first ego-death was something that I was not prepared for, and I had had no one to talk me through it that had experienced it themselves, but this time, I was prepared for it and I accepted it and I could talk myself through it and embrace it better.

Baking on our backs under the Sun, I remember searching for my lip balm, struggling to find it and exasperated, I muttered a little, “I’d like a little comfort before I die, for fuck’s sake,” before finding it. We both chuckled and B and I said the obligatory ‘no homo’ and held hands as we went silent and let our visions teach and punish us. At this point, we just needed a small anchor in reality to let us know that we weren’t going through all of this alone, and we’d both left our safety blankets at home :-P.

It was amazing, after lying there and getting tossed back and forth by the sheer immensity of what I was experiencing, on an intellectual, spiritual, physical, and emotional level, I felt so close to achieving a divine sense of being, like I was a floating vision of energies assuming meditative poses and I was constantly swimming out of cold terror and into warm bliss, though the longer we journeyed, the more Terror was losing the battle. I recall us both agreeing that we were definitely getting better at tripping/ traveling/ whatever you’d call it, and the rough trips were becoming more pleasant and easier to appreciate the more we experienced them.

We’d agreed not to look at the time on our phones, because that always trips me out and puts me into a cyclical thinking pattern when I realize it’s only been 10 seconds lol, but decided we needed to check our phones to see if S or J had contacted us, and to find out if they were alright. This took some coordination, and at some point S must have called me and I must have answered, because I heard her laughing on the other end. Apparently, between us and J, she was hearing some funny things, though she couldn’t remember what we’d been talking about that had made her laugh. Quite frankly, we said a lot of shit that could definitely be interpreted as funny. :-P

Anyways, we ascertained that she and J were a couple hundred meters up the path from where we were, and that J had lost his mind, and we’d apparently been lying there for 2 hours straight, so we decided it was time to join up with them again and help her with J. Standing up, I remember looking at a plant with my tunnel-vision. I could zoom in on it from far away and it stood dead still when I focused on it, while everything around it swayed a bit and looked like cut-out cardboard posters. Shaking my head, I ground myself and looked ahead. B and I approached that hill like a mountain. It was steep as fuck and I remember feeling like I was physically drunk as I tried to climb this fortress of red dirt that stood between us and hopefully where our friends were.

We missioned, and I swear my nose was touching the ground and that I was edging up that hill on my tippy toes it was that steep. Ahead of us was a slight curve in the path and as we came around it, we were greeted by the sight of S smiling with tears running down her cheeks, declaring that she didn’t know why she was crying and laughing so much. We were also greeted by the terrible sight and sound of J, lying on his back with a towel over his face, laughing manically. It was even more troubling, when S confirmed that he’d been cackling like that for the last 2 hours straight and had been very rude to her, calling her a bitch and telling her to fuck off in his state of lunacy. Apparently, he wouldn’t shut up the whole time either, and had kept interrupting her tranquil moments.Note to future self: Don't trip with J, rather trip sit for him.

B and I looked at each other like, ‘WTF’. We’d tripped plenty of times, and pretty hard at that, but J, one of the most rational people I’ve ever met, had transformed into a total lunatic and wasn’t handling his trip very well... if there really is such a thing as handling a trip well lol. His laughter began to freak us the fuck out, he was like a broken record on repeat and he was oblivious to the random strangers that walked past, not even trying to keep up a slight facade of sanity, so we decided to go for a quick stroll down this path that we know pretty well, that takes you to a lovely little stream, to refill our bottles and decide what to do next from there. We initially tried to take them with us, but J refused, so we agreed to go quickly, because S didn’t want to be stuck with his crazy ass anymore. :-P

This is where some irony came into play. Earlier, when we’d first part ways with S and J, I’d warned them very seriously, “Don’t go into the forest.” Well, after following the simple path to the water, and having had our fill and quite possibly my tenth piss, we turned back to go rejoin our friends, following the EXACT SAME PATH. Now, I have gone back and tried to get lost multiple times since then, and I’ve tried to find some of the places that we ended up at, but fuck me, I don’t know what happened, because we spent over an hour trying to get back to S and J, and we never figured that puzzle out.

It felt like Groundhog day in that little stretch of forest, knowing that we were a 2min walk at max from our friends, but not being able to get to them, and of course, horror movie cliché of note, we can’t get reception, every time one of us calls the other, we get static and stuttering and then cut-off. This was the worst part of that hour, because we just wanted S and J to walk to us so that we could start heading back (it was getting late and we were further from our car than we’d planned to be at this hour, and walking towards them was walking in the wrong direction).

Luckily, after texting and calling forever, we managed to communicate with them to meet us at the stream. After an eternity, we saw S leading J to us through the forest and we got to sigh another breath of relief. J was looking very scared and his laughter had been replaced by the word, “Fuck.” He kept repeating it every few seconds. I was worried that he might be getting dehydrated, and it took me a while, but eventually I managed to convince him to drink some water, and follow us through the forest, homeward bound, as it was getting late now.

S, B and I were all in high spirits and had mostly come down at this point. The afterglow was amazing, I felt like during this trip, I’d just missed experiencing my “last breath” (which I’ve experienced multiple times), and it felt kind of symbolic of transcending my hang ups with death a bit, so I was full of energy and I was sprinting ahead and then sprinting back up the hills, doing some pathfinding for us.

We threw on ‘This Will Destroy You’ (Young Mountain album), and took some pics of the gifts that Mother Nature had left us everywhere, and we just had a stack of fun discussing our adventures. J was still tripping hard though, and he had his towel wrapped around his head as a safety blanket.

As we got closer to the cars, a Summer shower came down on us - out of nowhere some clouds had come over the mountain, giving it a very ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ look. It was beautiful and the rain was very refreshing, with a definite soul-cleansing aspect to it. It was the perfect end to our day and, for most of us, our trip.

Poor J was still tripping on the drive home, repeating, “F-uhhhh-k” over and over and telling us about the “Blue Jellyfish” that he’d seen. I don’t think J finished his trip completely, so we are planning another mission for him, where we’ll sit for him sober and let him finish what he started in the forest, but in a less public setting.

All-in-all, it was a wonderful day that changed each of us in our own special ways, and reinforced all of our friendships by the end. The only prayer that the Mushroom Gods didn’t answer, was the prayer for cups, although, I think bankies count.

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