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First Real Trip

I live in Seattle, and it's Psilocybe cyanescens season.

I live in Seattle, and it's Psilocybe cyanescens season. I have a friend who does it regularly, though just a little at a time, for a slight buzz. He and I went out collecting a couple weeks ago and found a small patch. I decided, for a "test run," to try just one. What I noticed was just heightened intensity of colors. Later I did a couple small ones and we went out. It was a good expereience; I found my thoughts quite clear.

We were at a bar, and watching people look and size up each other, I found the bullshit really humorous and lost all sense of intimidation. It hasn't come back. So, this last weekend, I decided to go on a little bigger trip to see what I'd learn from it. Well -- the *first* thing I learned is, if you are considering doing any kind of major trip for the first time, do it with a friend who's been there before! I did not do this. My friend and I, the day before, had found a really beautiful patch of Psilocybe cyanescens, not at all dried out. We picked probably 50 each. (Eat yer heart out.) :) So with them about half dry, an afternoon to myself, I decided to go for it. It had been a beautiful day and I felt right about it. I ate three largish ones.

Just as it was starting to kick in, I got a phone call from a woman wanting me to play a gig (I'm a musician). It was not easy trying to sound straight, and her grating voice didn't help much! When I hung up, I knew I was on my way; the room started pulsating like a gentle strobe, my face felt tight, and when I looked up at the ceiling, purplish "spirograph" patterns were radiating out in all directions. When I closed my eyes, brilliant red and blue flashes were beginning. Suddenly I started thinking, "shit, what have I gotten myself into?" I was not feeling comfortable; the effects were getting quite strong and I didn't know where I was going. I found walking difficult, and my hands were leaving tracers. Images were starting to come into my mind and the line between "reality" and "there" was getting thinner.

The images were beautiful, reminding me of Tibetan paintings, not scary; actually majestic. I just wasn't sure I wanted to go there. At times however I felt an intense calm, and it started feeling as if it was *that* that I was battling, just being afraid to let go and experience it. I decided to call a friend, told her "hey...I'm not feeling comfortable with this, could you come over?" She was over in about 10 minutes (which seemed like 25 minutes at this point). When my friend showed up, I felt much better about it. She assured me that I hadn't done anything really dangerous, that I wasn't going to go anywhere or be lost, and we started talking a little about some humorous trips of hers.

I felt really good about it then, and decided it was safe to close my eyes again. Hell, the room was overlaid by the patterns anyway by this point. :) When I did close my eyes -- WOW! I just took off, it was like I was floating in a three-dimensional world of intense beauty. I was trying to remember what it reminded me of - Hmong embroidery? Molas? Yes, no. It was as if it was all made of intricate beadwork, lots of triangle patterns and rainbow sequences of color. As it progressed, it got more contrast, brilliant rich colors against black. Suddenly it hit me - the patterns were very close to those I've seen on Huichol masks and figures. (Do a web search on Huichol Art and you'll see what I'm talking about, if you can imagine caves and corri! dors made of this stuff flowing and ebbing.) Eventually I really had to pee, so I got myself to the bathroom...I felt like I was trying to pee into a mandala, or through one anyway. It was as if the beadwork world existed as a lens through which I could view the room. Well, this went on for about 2 more hours (the colors, not the peeing). I told my friend she could leave if she wanted to; I was feeling fine with it.

The patterns become more two-dimensional, like watching a kaleidoscope instead of being in it, and then finally faded out. I should have prepared better I think; but in retrospect I'm glad it happened this way; it showed me that I am the one that determines the experience. I had a good insight about the issue of control; the more I tried to hang onto control of my rapidly changing environment, the more frustrated and frightened I became in realizing it was not possible. The answer was to let go and be inside it and look for the good. It seems no surprise that in everyday life, people who are very controlling tend to be frustrated and unhappy people. Controllers don't want to look at themselves and make those changes so they try to control everything around them in vain. Mushrooms don't let you off so easy; your own mental reality will come up and make itself obvious, and you then see your choice. I'm glad I did this; it was the right thing at the time. I don't know when it will be the right thing to do again; I'm in no great hurry to go to mosaic land again. :) But it sure was a nice place to visit.

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