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UVP's first mescaline trip
Background: I have eaten a lot of shrooms in the past, and have been a fan of ‘heroic’ doses with total loss of ego and reality, CEVs in the dark with the headphones in etc., but hadn’t tripped in nearly 7 years. I’m is a pretty laid back person, but prone to be a little withdrawn and asocial, and prone to mild fatigue and laziness, that can spiral into a depression. I also, has always been overweight and struggle with self control and emotional eating. These aspects are something that I am hoping cactus can help me work on.
Cactus: I started with 3, 10” long tip cuttings of T. bridgesii. These were prepared, cut up, blended, and boiled in a slow cooker in two separate extraction pulls yielding about 8 L of extraction. This was boiled down to just over 14 oz of cactus tea.
Dose: Just over 4 oz of the resulting cactus tea. (The other 10 oz will be saved for later).
Setting: At home. Early evening. I spent a couple of hours cleaning and preparing the house for this, knowing ahead of time that seeing a pile of junk on the table or on the floor would probably trigger some anxiety over my housekeeping abilities and lifestyle in general. I decided that I’d do this one by all natural light (for the most part) and set up candles all over the house. I placed a large (attempted) abstract painting of my in front of the TV, set up a meditation cushion, and put on some super chill meditation music – lot’s of droning sounds and meditation bells and shit like that. The sun was on its way down as I prepared my dose. I let it sit on the stove to breathe surrounded by three lit candles, one for each of the three Triforces and reflected and wished that their powers support and guide the trip. (I don’t know any cactus shamans, nor any rituals, so I makes up my own from what I know :) )
1) Power: may the cactus be potent
2) Courage: may I have the courage to face whatever challenges lie ahead on the trip.
3) Wisdom: may I learn and retain many lessons during and after this trip.
After that I smudged the whole house with some sage incense to drive away and banish any evil spirits or bad karma or whatever the fuck. Finally, I set up my keyboard and computer so that I could play with my synthesizer and record some music if I had the coordination and inspiration. Finally, I cut three lemon wedges and placed them on a plate with the cactus tea in the mug I always uses for psychadelic teas etc.
Time 0:00 – I took the first mouthful again reflecting on the ‘power’ aspect of the triforce – the power to initiate. It took some nerve as this was my first time experimenting with a cactus and chemical that was unknown to me. The tea was bitter as hell. The flavor and aroma was just like what I smelled cutting and boiling in preparation. After swallowing I chased it with a lemon wedge and that helped clear away the worst of the taste. I sat for a minute or two between each drink to monitor how I was feeling and how the tea was reacting with my rather sensitive stomach. I could already sense the coming of some nausea, probably in anticipation of the side effects, or maybe it was just the bitterness. Overall, getting the tea down wasn’t as bad as I anticipated. I finished the tea in two more pulls: the second for courage, the final for wisdom.
Time 0:06 – I began some light, stretching and qigong exercises, mindfully breathing and moving and imagining the cactus energy moving throughout my body. At around time 0:15 I sat on my meditation cushion and meditated on my breath and the sensations arising in my body.
Time 0:30 – I began feeling the first effects of the come up. Nausea was faintly present, and I started to feel a warm sensation in my upper chest and neck. Then that weird nasal/sinus sensation started coming on, along with the first sensations of euphoria.
Time 0:45 – The first visuals started happening. I purposely locked into a meditative trance-like state. The carpet in front of me was starting to blur and move slightly. The abstract painting in front of the TV was starting to look like it had a warped surface. These effects come in waves of a minute or so before leaving again. My legs were falling asleep so I got up and did some walking meditation. Coordination was almost normal and walking drove out some more of the nausea. After a few minutes I sat back down on the cushion. Nausea was coming and the waves were deepening slightly and the euphoria increasing.
Time 1:00 – Around an hour in, the visuals were becoming more pronounced, and I decided to take this party to the couch. I switched up the music to some chill EDM to liven up the trip with some more rhythm. The painting now had gained a lot of new depth, and I was seeing shapes and forms in it that I’d never noticed before. I saw a skeleton with rabbit ears dancing, a sillouhette of a Buddha, and numerous faces, figures, and eyes and lanscapes. These weren’t vivid, realistic visions, but just new impressions – like when noticing shapes in clouds. After this I got up and did some more exploring around the house, looking at the wall textures, rugs, windows, other paintings etc. to see what could trigger new visuals. There were some mild distortions and added depth to many things but nothing noteworthy yet. CEVs are not yet engaging.
Time 1:30-ish – Open eye visuals get more intense. The texture on the ceiling and walls start morphing to fit in symmetrical lattice-like floral and spider web patterns. These start becoming tinted with rainbow colors, and have a brightness of their own.
Time 2:00-ish – I started getting noticeable tracers in my vision. I laid back on the lazy boy and closed my eyes. The CEVs started as washes of morphing colors: clouds of red morphing to orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. I continues watching the colors change and soon after the lines and eyes pick up. Vibrant lines and color patterns. Shifting lights and shimmering jewel-like dots appear, and move in layers. My thoughts turned to spiritual, social, and philosophical matters, and I imagined dying and just being in this space for eternity. All of these thoughts start to bear down on my perception of my current life and I wondered if I was living a good life, am a good person, and all of that. It seems strange to me that all this is here, this space, this being, so why go back. I wondered about God (or whatever the fuck), not the eternal sky Daddy, but whether or not I need to reconcile my life with some great force in the universe in order to keep this all going. I imagined a stream of horrible ways to live and die, at first becoming fearful of the possibilities, then grateful at what a good and easy life I actually has by comparison. After a bit more of this kind of thinking I finally got up and moved back to the couch. Paying more attention to the music, I heard a good song and the mood shifted back to elation and euphoria. I smiled wide and alternated between watching the CEVs, and then looking at the three tea candles across the room and the base of the painting and the shimmering wisps of the lines and dots forming in the glare around the flames. The trip is peaking, and these activities continue for about 2 hours.
Time 4:00 – I got up to urinate. This is the peak, and it will be downhill from here as the first batch of mescaline leaves my system. The next two hours go on with the same euphoria and relaxation, but my mind is a bit clearer. I realized I was hungry and ate a bowl of rice and tofu… it tasted good and stayed down. At one point I read an article on my phone about a new discovery in the brains of psychopaths… and of course worried if I am one, and processed the evidence against this while reading. I went back to relaxing with the music and watching the light show in front of and behind my eyelids. As the trip is getting clearer, I decided to try to play some music and headed into my office to get on the computer. In the process I sees a story about a man in Spain who spent 60+ years of his life building a Cathedral out of whatever materials he could find. The man was an odd mix of genius and madman… I wondered which end of that spectrum I was on. It was a long read and the text was wavering back and forth, the serifs on the font wagging like the tails of contented and amused cats. Behind the text in the whitespaces were multicolored patterns, much like the windows of the man’s cathedral. What was different on this trip was that I could actually follow through with reading the whole story and think about it clearly… though I didn’t play any music besides noodling around for a minute or two on the keyboard. I headed back to the couch.
Time 6:00 – I returned to the bathroom to urinate. I was still tripping, but it was getting milder. When I returned to the couch I decided to watch a movie. It’s one I’ve seen before, but this time around I noticed more nuances in the actors’ expressions. My emotional perception was keener, and the story seemed richer this time. By the end of the movie two hours later, I was barely tripping anymore.
Time 9:00 – Still in a lingering afterglow, I begans writing this trip report.
Time 10:00 – I went to sleep. It took a while longer than usual to sleep as I went over the trip in my mind.
Summary and conclusion: (In my experience) Compared to shrooms, mescaline (from T. bridgesii, aka. Echinopsis legeniformis) is similar in its visual effects, but more of a mellow euphoria and not so much weird, absurd giddiness. The high is more clearheaded and time easier to keep track of. I felt like I had more control of the experience, though this wasn’t a strong dose as I was testing a new substance and extraction method and wanted to gauge it first. I went into some deep parts and provoked a couple demons, but mostly I did this with intent and a change in music and focus would have put it to rest. Overall this trip was great. I might have enjoyed some more intense visuals but it was a great intro to mescaline and T. bridgesii.