My experience below was not my first experience with Liberty Caps, but it was the most jaw dropping. It was our first time for the season, and so had no tolerance at all built up. There were three of us, myself, and two friends, who I shall call A and B. A and myself had picked about 300 mushrooms each and put them all in a jar of honey. It was a Saturday morning a few days after and we decided to have just over half of them. We estimated that A and myself had about 180 each, and B had much less and ate his raw (Can’t quite remember how many now, he had picked his own at some point separate from A and me). Anyway, it was absolutely disgusting having these slimy sickly sweet mushrooms sliding down your throat (not recommended!). We finished the amount we were having (and managed to not be sick!) and left the house. I don’t know what effect the honey had, but the psilocybin entered our bloodstream quickly, as it takes about 5 minutes to walk up to a park near my house, and by this time, myself and A could already feel something happening. We could see the bark on the playground starting to shimmer and our legs started to shake. We knew we were on the verge of a good time.
We walked up from the park to a nature reserve called Stoney Clouds. By this time, things had started to get a little more trippy. We were prone to uncontrollable bouts of laughter, so much so that I remember falling on to the floor after one such incident, as it was so overwhelming (I think it involved trying to eat a sweet, but couldn’t so I had to spit it out!). At this moment I touched my face and it felt incredibly strange, in that I could feel it with more detail than I ever had done before. I could feel every contour that ran on it and every hair. It was a fleeting moment, but one that I look back on and find very interesting, that my senses had been amplified to such a degree. The actual duration of moving from the park to the nature reserve is even now, impossible for me to gauge. It all seemed to come on so quickly, and we were really lost in the moment. I think that time was very much beginning to start playing tricks on us. But I can estimate that maybe 20-25 minutes may have passed.
It was now that we started getting hallucinations. I think it was from laying on the ground after my laughing fit that everyone else lay on the grass too, and we all began to look in the sky. You’ll have to bear with me with my description of when events happen as it is really hard for me to piece it back together in the exact order it happened, and I’m pretty sure that there are some bits I’ve completely forgotten after the experience and so could not possibly try to recall.
Anyway, back to the beginning of the visuals (I generally think we all saw similar things at this point, I can’t remember discussing them, but I think we all ‘knew’ what was going on with each other). As I looked in the sky, I could see the clouds, except they had taken on an endless pattern of a dove, that was multi-layered, with each layer moving in a slightly different direction. As different sections met at certain points the shade of the cloud would change accordingly. I remember being absolutely gobsmacked at the clarity and the apparent cleverness of my mind to create such a thing in my vision (At this point I was still aware that we were under the influence of something!). We must have got up and started messing around again, and I remember going in to the bushes to go to the loo, which was a very strange experience. I remember thinking that I had pee’d down my leg, but then quickly forgot about it. At this point I remember things getting a bit hectic, and I was being hassled by flies, but the flies were hallucinations. They weren’t actually objects in the air, but distortions of the air made to look like flies (That’s the best way I can describe it). Thinking back, this was another powerful hallucination, yet at the time I didn’t realise it was an hallucination at all.
From here things get a bit more sketchy. We were all messing about and leaping around like children, and I remember looking at A and seeing geometric patterns all over his face, but this was to me, completely normal by now!.
I think we must have had some more fits of laughter, and sat down again. We started picking some more mushrooms that were next to us (This is the same area we had previously picked them from). I remember us eating a couple and then I had an over whelming compulsion to squash one in my hand, and when I did it left the most amazing pattern across my palm. It was like Henna Tattoo art (again, the best way I can describe it). Now this next bit is a bit strange, and I think it happened at this point, but cannot be 100% sure, but I remember looking down on myself. I mean, really looking down on my self, as I played with the mushroom, but I wasn’t scared at all, it felt great. The strange thing I notice from looking back at it, is that it was a younger version of me (I could tell this by my hair style!). I wonder if this in some strange way was because I was acting more like an excitable child than a teenager.
After this I think we got up and walked round the nature reserve a bit more, amazed at everything. At one point we turned into a meadow (It’s not really a meadow, but a large expanse of grass behind a hedgerow that leads to a hill where you can see the neighbouring towns). What we saw at that point was amazing, nothing was really different, but at the same time everything was emphasised and beautiful. We could see everything in it’s raw beauty, the way it really is. Everything suddenly looked perfect and shone with incredible brightness, and we were filled with the most tremendous elation and euphoria. We really felt like we were in heaven. We wandered around amazed and started getting the severe time distortion and the weird disjointed conversations, (i.e. one person asks you something, but it seems to take you an eternity to realise someone just said something to you, and you respond with an ‘eh?’). Around this time we stopped at a gate and looked at each other confused asking each other ‘What’s happening? We’ve just been here’ (This was to happen a number of times during this trip, how many is anyone’s guess). At this point everything was still exhilarating and awe-inspiring, and we felt that nothing could go wrong. We decided to go back to my house, as my parents weren’t there, and we wanted a change of scenery. By now an hour must have passed, although it is hard to tell. We wandered back to my house, and past a garden with a big hedge that you could just see people through. On reflection they must have had a radio on, as I looked over and saw what I thought were people standing behind the hedge bleeting to us in an unknown language through the hedge, all of them just standing there still, as if we’d interrupted them doing something and they were warning us away. This sounds like it would send me off on a bad one, but it didn’t bother me, it was such a fleeting moment, that I’d forgotten it as soon as it happened. We carried on to my house and the streets seemed paved with gold and everything shone with an intensity I had never seen before. We saw someone we knew and tried to have a conversation but that was never going to work, we made it known what we had taken and excused ourselves. I trod in dog muck at this stage and cursed myself in a joking way. As we turned onto my road, it seemed like entering the scene from a Cornflake packet, with everything overemphasised and the sun shining in streaks out over the horizon and above the rooftops, everything looked perfect. I also had some music accompanying this scene, but can’t remember what.
We went into my house and straight upstairs to my bedroom, I don’t remember much about visuals here, and I had completely forgotten that I had trod in dog muck. B (who hadn’t had as much as A and myself) was standing and A was lying on my bed. He was saying that the bed was shrinking and it felt incredibly small. I suddenly, to my horror, remembered that I had trodden in dog muck and raced downstairs to take my shoe off so that I wouldn’t get it all over the carpet (Luckily I hadn’t already, I have no idea how though!). This is where the trip took a bad direction. I sat at the bottom of the stairs trying to take my shoe off, when I suddenly had a realisation. I don’t think it was one I could put into words, as I have never been able to remember what the sudden revelation was. What I remember very strongly was that straight after this revelation I thought ‘This is why people do this’. I suddenly understood why people sought the psychedelic state, to understand this. Which suddenly seemed absurd, because I was only doing it for a good time, wasn’t I? I then began to question this I. What was I? Was there an I? What I had been told (probably a hundredth of a second before this questioning process) contradicted something. I then wildly began questioning my questions. This was on reflection, the death of my ego and not being able to let go, but at the time I had no knowledge of these things, I was simply a teenager trying to have a laugh, boy did I get a kick up the arse!.
The questioning was accompanied by a vision, like peacock feathers, with what looked like an eye in the middle, and sounds like frantic babbling. The visions and sounds were getting infinitely more infinite (If that makes sense. A lot of the thoughts were far beyond words, so anything brought back into English is a mere snippet of what was going on). It seemed like a spiral, in that almost as it ended, it began again from the end point and so on, infinitely. I was not really aware of a me at this stage, but I did some how manage to get back upstairs and order my two friends to ‘Get the @!~# out of my house’. A was apparently having as rough a time as me at this stage, while B was just smiling and laughing, unaware of our turmoil. B did make a comment later that I looked possessed when I ran back into my bedroom ordering them out of the house, especially as I had gone from being all happy and amazed to straight faced and psychotic within the space of what was probably half a minute, I would indeed have looked like a different person.
Anyway we left the house and started our way back to Stoney Clouds. I can’t remember locking the door, so that preyed on my mind when I started to return later. For now though, my mind (and A’s for that matter) was elsewhere, no sense of myself, no sense of time. I don’t remember much of any of this period, except that it lasted forever, an eternity. Amazingly, although not knowing who we were or what the hell was going on, we somehow managed to stick to pavements and get to Stoney Clouds unharmed. The weather seemed to follow the change we had had, no more sun and clarity, it was getting darker and the clouds were thicker and the wind was getting more violent.
We once again had moments of ‘What is going on? We’ve just been here haven’t we?’, except now it was more sinister, as questions led to more questions, questioning the question. I had the same visions and sounds of eternity, and had other fleeting visions. I felt as though I was falling through time, and I was everyone who had ever been in this state, in fact I was everyone. It wasn’t comforting at the time, as I was in complete inner turmoil, the whole basis of what I had been taught by society to be religious truths were nothing more than an institutional sham, this was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I think at this time, parts of my ego were re-establishing themselves, but this just made the situation harder, as I was in a strange place I didn’t want to be in.
In fact, one of my next thoughts was that I had died. I was dead. I had come to terms with the situation and realised that I was dead, I would be here forever, after all, I already had been here forever hadn’t I?
A was having the same things happen to him, we were unable to communicate with each other properly, it was all too much. B was still having a good time, unaware of our apparent death, and he was making the situation more unbearable, by just being the way he was. At one stage B went to look at something in the next field, so A and myself made a decision to run away and leave him there on his own, as we couldn’t handle him. Whether this helped or not I don’t know, as we were never really going to recover from this quickly.
I don’t remember hallucinations at this point, except the same cloud ‘Doves’ as before. There must have been some, but my mind wasn’t registering them, as it was too busy trying to come to terms with everything it was being shown. Later on I started getting a tune in my head from a record I had bought earlier in the year, it was just the opening 30 seconds on a perpetual loop, and is eerie on it’s own, never mind in this state (It took me about two years until I could listen to this again, as every time before that, that I tried, it scared the hell out of me!)
How many hours this went on for I don’t know, but we gradually came back to ourselves, still struggling to cope with what went on.
One of the last memories I had was me and A standing at the gate to Stoney Clouds as two people approached with a dog. As they passed us, I said something to them, and there heads spun round and they looked at me. After they had gone, I asked A ‘What did I just say?’, and the funny thing is neither of us have any idea what I just muttered to the poor unfortunate couple!.
After we came down, we found B, who said he’d had a fantastic trip, the lucky so and so.
All in all, I got much more than I bargained for, I was looking for a laugh, and got a deep spiritual insight. It took me a good 8 years to fully understand what happened to me and A during that Saturday afternoon, after I started reading more about such experiences.
If only I could remember more, but maybe it is beyond the comprehension of human’s normally narrow filtered mind to be able to understand. This was the most powerful moment of my life, and I don’t regret it at all, it changed me. Such an experience may not be for everyone, and I don’t know whether I would like to do it again, but then next time who knows?, I may be able to let go, and not fear.