It has been a while since my last trip report, but this experience certainly is worth the effort of commemoration.
A while back I was pretty involved in growing my own mushrooms. I was a fan of the B+ and Golden Teacher races and would save particularly potent batches in long-term storage. Some time passed, landlords changed and I couldn't continue to grow. A healthy degree of caution prompted me to grind my remaining supply and put them into capsules. This worked flawlessly, and resulted in a combination of the two varieties I had grown. The obvious advantages of easy concealment meant that it became a lot easier to move these potent capsules across borders. So coming home from where I study to my family home meant I was able to bring 6g back with me no problem.
My younger brother and I have tripped together before, which was incidentally his first mushroom experience. I'd brought 6g back home with me before. It was fun, we took 3g each, yet I was too preoccupied with ensuring the trip was a good experience for him to really be able to focus on the messages and experience myself. That was very frustrating for me and I was left with a strong feeling of unfinished business; that there was more for me to learn. This new trip was to be the clarification and resolution of that feeling.
Based on the previous trip with him, I no longer felt I had to take care of him as we both knew he could now handle himself. Having tried the full spectrum of doses between 1&5g, I've learnt that 2/3g is my favourite dose level. The experience is profound and visual, yet not overwhelming and one can still appear normal to onlookers. Most people who've seen me in this state believe I'm sober and are surprised when they learn the opposite. As we were going to be tripping in a local park, and intensity of trips seems to amplify for me in public, I opted to err on the side of caution and 'only' take 2g, rather than the previously planned 3g. My brother was more than happy to take advantage of my responsibility though and wanted to do 3g again. Good for him!
We'd carefully selected a day with good weather and cultivated detailed trip playlists. The morning of the trip came; we packed our bags with water and dried mango strips and we made our way to the park (which, by the way is massive). On our way out my mum asked me to buy her some bread from a bakery we'd be passing, so we made a quick detour there before swallowing our capsules. The weather was perfect. Mid-spring is my favourite time of year, when the leaves are coming back and the blossoms are in full bloom. It's just majestic! After buying the bread, we still had a little bit of a walk to the park ahead of us. It was enough time for us to start to feel the effects of the mushrooms. A familiar, light body load began to make us feel a little drunk and uninhibited. The excitement began to crescendo as we entered the gates.
It was early enough in the morning for there not to be so many people running around. People were generally supposed to be indoors anyway, due to the quarantine. Fortunately we are all allowed to leave the house for some daily exercise. With the bread in my backpack, we considered ourselves to have a reasonable excuse for being out of the house should we be approached by the constabulary. The effects were becoming increasingly prominent. We both knew we'd need to find a place to sit down soon. We found a yew tree with the perfect amount of cover and shade for our backs and a pleasant view of rolling hills and Victorian architecture. We were feeling quite secure there. We each got our headphones out of our bags and tuned in to the new frequencies coursing through our neurons.
Having had my fair share of challenging experiences in the past, there's always a certain degree of apprehension and nervousness going through my mind at the start of a trip. As I started my trip playlist I felt that same feeling building again, a feeling of fear that I know would lead down a bad road if I engaged with it. Yet, in the nick of time, Ice Cream Sundae by Inhaler swept any negative energy within me away. I remembered to welcome the mushroom experience, rather than resist it. This was something I wanted. As soon as the orchestral music pieces I had compiled began, I learnt a vital lesson in letting go of my inhibitions. One of my primary motives for even taking these medicines at all is the pursuit of happiness. I am a generally reserved, stoic person. While I can suppress emotional and physical pain well, that attitude also holds back my ability to enjoy things to their fullest. I was feeling quite constrained by my own attitude and that was one of the things I was hoping to address. Yet in this moment, with the sun shining through the leaves of the trees, and the grass dancing in the wind before me, I was overcome with euphoria. I finally understood the appeal of conducting music as I let it flow through me. In a trance like state I swayed with the music and the grass, the ground before me turning into a golden, green and brown kaleidoscope. I was convinced the grass and the music was moving with my arms. It was a truly blissful and freeing feeling. If you want to enjoy things in life, let go of your inhibitions. I will try to turn that into a skill and better control when I can be free in my daily life, rather than hiding my passions from myself.
While swaying around, I'd occasionally look over to see my brother lying on the ground with his eyes closed and his headphones on, looking quite calm. He'd sometimes look over too, and we'd use each other as anchors in this experience. Usually I prefer to trip alone, but with him his presence was unobtrusive and it was reassuring to not be alone in going through such a perplexing range of emotions in very rapid succession.
My analytical mind was very intrigued by this new euphoria, which took me out of the moment when it tried to understand it. I found this frustrating, and soon the threat of the negative thought loop reared its head again. I resisted it and learnt the second important lesson from this trip: life is easier and smoother when you focus on others rather than yourself. I obviously mean that in understanding them compassionately, as children, rather than obsessing about their thoughts and actions in a jealous or resentful way. I became fascinated by the people walking their dogs on the paths in front of me. Everything was dynamic and picturesque. By considering myself as part of a whole rather than more important than others, I relaxed and got out of my own head. I could enjoy the experience once more. Vanity, self-obsession and ego are thoroughly useless distractions from living a happy life.
Soon the visual hallucinations and calm euphoria encouraged me to take a break and close my eyes. Although it wasn't a break, it was the mushrooms beckoning me to come an meet their god. I felt I wasn't quite ready to do that and went through a few cycles of being engrossed by my environment, then closing my eyes and seeing the elaborate, golden, six-limbed deity dancing behind my eyelids. Eventually I realised I was at the peak of the experience and that it was time for me to meet the god. This deity began to morph. Its limbs became serpentine. I assume everyone knows what the Xenomorph from Alien looks like? Well that is the closest image that resembles the kind of alien this deity turned into. It was creepy, and I was a little scared, but I tried not to think too much of it as it slithered around the deepest crevices of my mind. I began to feel like I was being possessed by an alien force, but I knew that following this thought too much would lead to a negative experience. One of the best things about the 2g/3g range of experiences is that usually the ego isn't so far obliterated that you can't control the direction of the experience anymore. I was still 'there' enough to be able to tell myself to relax and invite this being in, rather than fight the experience. I invited the alien in and let it makes its home inside me. In return it cleared out the cobwebs of bullshit that had accumulated in my mind. It nestled away in my mind and became very calm. I like to think that it's still there, as a sort of guard against falling back into my old thought habits. My creepy little alien friend.
It was around this time that my brother came to me, and I suggested that we go for a little walk. The wind had picked up a little bit, so I put my cardigan on over my yellow t-shirt, as I was getting a little cold. The peak had passed for the both of us, but the visuals were still present and intense. It was such a cool feeling to walk, intoxicated by the mushrooms, in the van Gogh like world around us. We walked around the hills and talked about how lucky we were to be alive, how grateful we were to our parents and how beautiful nature is. We ate our mango strips and drank water, bonding over our experience. It turns out he had been on a very similar journey to me. We talked about how people will resort to almost anything to distract themselves from the beauty of nature and their place within it, and how vigilant one must be post-trip not to let oneself fall back into old habits of thinking and behaviour.
In the 20-or-so psychedelic experiences I have had, on my journey of self-love and happiness, this has been one of the most beautiful and enlightening and I am so, so happy to be who I am. I still have a gram left over in case I feel the need to visit this plain again. However, I am feeling very grounded and content, so I think my current desire to trip is more nostalgia for the blissful experience I had. I will resist the urge until I have a valid reason to do so again. Thanks for reading and I hope you all stay safe and well.