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A Beginner's Approach to Psychedelic Mushrooms

One member's effort to share his wisdom with the first time tripper.

An Approach to Mushrooms for Beginners
      Written by lookingfora
      Editor's Notes by geokills

I was looking over the trip logs and surprised by the number of beginners who had level 4 trips early in their mushroom experience and who were freaked out by the experience (bad trips). I honestly think mental harm could come from inappropriate mushroom usage, and too much effect with too little experience is very overwhelming (that’s experience speaking).

So I put together this approach to taking mushrooms.

I don’t have a lot of experience, having only tripped three times. I know what I didn’t do right at first and through my limited experience have had two excellent trips after my first one which was quite a bit too much.

If you’ve only drunk alcohol and smoked marijuana then the mushroom will be the most powerful drug you have taken. By a long shot. A trip is an experience unlike anything you have ever done.

When you are initially learning the experience of mushrooms you won’t be able to do much. I work with computers and can hardly get Winamp working while the mushrooms are in effect. Your motor skills will be greatly impaired. This inability to function will pass after a couple of trips once the general effects are learned (unless the level of the trip is too high).

The effects of mushrooms at level 2 and higher can be very unexpected. On my first trip I went well into level 4 or 5 and found that reliving 15 years of my life in one instant throws me off just a bit. It was quite scary, but an amazing learning experience afterwards. Losing time and self can be quite uncomfortable.*

Now then, the approach.

The key to good first trips is set and setting. Don’t plan on going out while tripping the first time, that would be very stressful. Plan to stay in, rent an IMAX DVD if you get a chance, they are excellent. Plan on listening to music, it’s amazing (Blue Man Group blows my mind). Just enjoy the experience in a very low stress environment. Having a couple of other people tripping with you is cool, but know them well.** Trip during a time period when you would be awake, no need to stress the body out because I don’t consider sleeping an option during a trip (I can feel very tired, but very awake at the same time).

I don’t drink alcohol while tripping (I do otherwise). I do smoke marijuana which does help with nausea.

I would recommend taking 1.5 to 2 grams of dried mushroom the first time (don’t do 35 grams wet like I did, that’s a little too much). By the second or third time you can try 3 grams, but expect much more pronounced effects. Again, keep the set and setting under control until you are used to the effects (you won’t be able to fully control them, but you can have an idea of what to expect).

The effects of the mushroom will kick in between 20 minutes to an hour and after about six hours you should be pretty much normal (possibly a bit confused with some strange memory fragments). Take these timeframes into account, your set and setting should be relaxing or not overwhelming the whole time.***

I had mushrooms with orange juice the first time and it was downright awful. Now I take them in gelatin capsules, haven’t had a problem with nausea and am able to eat regularly during the trip (don’t eat for a couple of hours before tripping, I still had nausea when I started with a full stomach, not pleasant).****

That’s it. I found my third trip to be the best yet (not the most meaningful, my first trip was a self finding experience) in terms of accepting the effects of the trip. I was able to control the tired feeling; I just forced myself to move around and my energy came back.

I take mushrooms for self exploration (which I did at length the first time) and for recreational purposes (it’s fun). I will trip at most every two weeks, I like to let my brain rest. Mushrooms are as “hard” as I will go with drugs.

I’ve also started reading books on psychedelics to get the historical perspective. Mushrooms are powerful and I’m finding the information very entertaining.

I’d also like to thank the Shroomery, it is an indisensible informational community. I haven’t posted much but I have read a ton and it is appreciated.

Editor Notes:

* While the alien nature (with respect to unaltered reality of everyday life) of the psychedelic experience can be daunting, it is important to remember that your body will finish metabolizing the substance you have ingested, and provided you didn't supplement your dose with other strong substances, there has been no evidence of death due to psiloc(yb)in mushroom consumption alone. The point being, if you're wondering when the trip will end, simply take solace in the fact that it will in fact end and things will again be normal. There isn't much use in attempting to talk yourself out of a trip, so for the sake of your well being just go with the flow and experience the magic. Slow and deliberate breathing with calming background music is a great way to relax the tension should you begin to feel uncomfortable in the midst of your trip.

** It is also important to recognize that one can become very vulnerable on a psychedelic voyage. For this reason, it is very important that in choosing trip-partners, you choose very wisely. Ensure this/these person(s) are true friends who understand you and accept you regardless of your behavior.

*** Set & Setting truly are the most important factors in influencing an experience. Take care to find an environment which suits your tastes and makes you feel at ease. You will also want to ensure that you are dosing on a clear mind and not taking these drugs to escape from any problems you might have. Some experienced psychonauts may wish to delve into a trip to confront their issues head on, but for a first timer this is strongly discouraged! Bottom line is that it is important to feel good going into the experience, so prepare yourself mentally and physically by getting some good rest beforehand, perhaps eating a healthy meal the morning of (or 2-3 hours before ingestion), and ensure there are no pressing emotional barriers that might prevent you having a pleasant experience. Happy Tripping! =]

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