Flying Solo I was recently given a Cubensis mushroom growing kit by a friend and, over a period of a couple of weeks, the block of mycelium produced two good flushes or crops of fairly large mushrooms. I did my research, of course, checking the appearance of the tall, round-headed, brown capped fungi against pictures and descriptions on the internet at sites such as www.erowid.org
and indeed this site, and also deciding on the right dose for me. I was confident the mushrooms were Cubensis and I air dried them on a high shelf for a few days. Last night the first batch was ready to consume so I took about 2 grams of dried mushrooms and ground them up into a rough powder using my Sweetleaf Herb Grinder. I put them in a cup and added warm water, then drank the tea or soup as quickly as I could, using a spoon to keep mixing the pieces into the liquid. I finished the cup at about 7pm and sat down in front of the TV to watch the beginning of the Athens Olympic Opening Ceremony. By about 7:15pm I was noticing that the room lights seemed to be pulsating slowly, getting brighter and dimmer. I also had the familiar feeling that something big was about to happen, a strong sense of apprehension that anyone who has tripped will know. I knew the trip was beginning. By 7:30pm the walls started shifting and morphing, slightly tinged with a rippling rainbow of neon. I felt quite drunk and when I moved around the room I would stumble or reel a little, banging into the doorframe or the chair. I also felt mildly nauseous from this time onwards. I was sick a very small amount but the nausea never really went away throughout the trip, coming in mild waves every now and again to remind me I had taken something strong. The trip then began to get heavier quite quickly and by 8pm I was experiencing powerful waves of intense visual distortions of colours and patterns and shapes. Every surface I looked at was a rippling sea of vibrating colour and pattern. One white surface looked like a large blotter of moving LSD squares, each square showing the face from Edvard Munch’s The Scream, spread over the 3D surface of a range of hills! Crazy!
The trip was quite intense for the next hour or two, so heavily intense that I wondered if I had taken too large a dose. There were lots of visuals but also powerful emotions, feelings that something major was happening, something very significant. The doors of perception were open for me to look through but they would not be open forever. As well as significant visual hallucinations I felt that my body was under great tension, like many of my muscles were clenched or vibrating. It was difficult to relax and required a force of will, but soon the physical tension would return to join the powerful visual distortions. This tension was a little uncomfortable but mainly served to remind me that this was an out of the ordinary experience. I also felt quite hot so had a fan on in the room, but I was still sweating a little, as if in the throes of a mild fever.
I kept looking back at the TV but the colours of the clothes of the athletes were too dazzling and the movement of that number of people within the stadium was a little odd, like a swirling river of people. I found the concept of so many people gathering together very emotionally moving and I started to feel very happy. Very, very happy. I could not stop smiling and I broke into regular laughter, giggling at the screen when I could bear to look at it.
At about 9:30pm I tried to write about the experience, as it was happening, in my diary file on the computer, but the white page screen was alive with colours and ripples, the pointer was moving very quickly and was followed by a long lasting trace so it was hard to see what I was doing. And it was very difficult to string together a coherent sentence. I made lots of typing errors and began giggling at the concept of computers, and email and the internet, so I had to give up and switch off the machine.
I sat back in my chair and took a few deep breaths, and over the next 30 minutes the visual and physical intensity began to calm down. The rippling colours got slower and paler and my body seemed under less tension, seemed to be vibrating less. I could breathe more calmly and evenly and had more control over the visuals. The nausea returned but was quite mild. I just felt slightly ill, a mild stomach ache, and there was a strange, dry taste in my mouth. The visuals began to pass away and my body came closer to normality but things still felt very weird, like everything in the universe was connected but was also faintly ridiculous.
By 11pm I could say that the trip proper was over and I began to feel the after effects. I felt quite tired, a little sick, very dry and with a bad taste in my mouth. I felt slightly woozy and a bit weak so I decided to go to bed at about 11:45pm. I lay awake, listening to the radio, feeling slightly unwell, just as if I had eaten something bad, for about 45 minutes and then passed into an uninterrupted sleep.
I woke at about 10am the next day and felt great. Really, really good. I felt refreshed, happy, relaxed, even energised, as if I had been purged of all the toxins in my body. The best I have felt in a morning in a very long time!
I will certainly be tripping again. The growing kit has provided me with several good doses of mushrooms for the future, but mushroom trips are a treat to be savoured a few times in a year. Having dried the mushrooms they will last a long time so there is no rush. I will take a slightly smaller dose next time than 2 grams, as the early part of the trip was quite physically intense and demanding, but once I got into it I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It is recommended you should trip with other people, for safety reasons in case of bad reactions. But I am an old hand at tripping, I enjoy my solitude, am something of a hermit, and so wholly enjoyed Flying Solo.
Chance The Gardener.