I wrote this last year but I’m going to post it on GAG for others to see (1). If you’re anti-drug or simply not interested in the experiences of someone who takes psychedelics, then I suggest you stop reading. You’ll have nothing but negative things to say and while I’m open to criticism, I’m posting this for those who are genuinely interested. This document will involve three phases: before, during, and after.
Before the Trip
So today, after many, many years of building up to being in the right frame of mind, I’m going to experience a magic mushroom trip. I’m writing this prior to taking anything so that you can understand my frame of mind and my expectations. To let you know exactly what my plan is: I have liquid psilocybin and I’ll be taking the equivalent of 1 gram of dried magic mushrooms. If I begin to trip and it’s not too intense then I will take another does, with my maximum amount being 2 grams for today. I’d imagine I’ll probably stick to the 1 gram for today: Testing the waters, so to speak.
I’ve never taken any psychedelics before. I’ve experienced minor trips on MDMA after taking slightly too much (one time I thought I was flying a plane and the other I felt like I was in Assassin’s Creed (2)) but this will be my first time properly delving into the full experience. I’ve taken a range of precautions to ensure I have not only a safe trip but an enjoyable one.
For example, I have a reliable person babysitting me (or more accurately, being sober minded and in the same flat just in case I hit a bump in the road). I’ve also written a note to myself explaining that the trip is temporary and that if I start thinking negatively I should carry out one of several steps. I have a ton of chilled and happy music on my phone that I’m going to listen to at least for the start of the trip to keep me in a positive mind-set.
I’m going to have a notepad with me wherever I am just in case I feel like taking notes but since I have no real experience with tripping, I have no idea what I’ll feel like doing or even be capable of doing. I’ve read up on the topic rather extensively so I understand (as best as one can without having experienced it) what I should feel during the trip. What do I hope to accomplish? At this stage, my only real aim is to experience the trip. If all goes well then I’ll up the dose next time in search of a more spiritual experience. I guess I’ll see you on the other side!
During the Trip
So I’ve taken the equivalent of 1 gram of magic mushrooms. I can certainly feel the initial stages. The movement in my stomach was very noticeable at first. Not quite a pain but certainly a discomfort. What is really weird is that I am typing all of this without remotely looking at the keyboard. It’s somewhat strange that my typing ability has improved while on psychedelics. I DEFINITELY felt the waves that everyone has described. I wasn’t sure exactly what that would feel like. “Waves?” I wondered…but I totally get it. ‘Waves’ is just the perfect way to describe it. It’s like ripples of energy roll through and over your body and mind.
I felt like I was getting the first set of visuals but that seems to have passed now. I was staring at the duvet cover hanging on the door which is grey with black swirls. To me, it looked as if the duvet cover was being pulled over the door from the other side. When I went to the bathroom to pee, I stared at my pupils for a little bit in the mirror and they almost seemed like they were pulsating but I don’t actually know if your pupils change at all on shrooms or whether it was just part of the visual effects.
I’ve reached the point that I sort of half expected whereby I’ve felt the waves and had some minor visuals but that’s it and I feel like I’ve already passed the peak. So I’m going to take the other 1g worth. I still feel like there is stuff going on but it does seem very minor and not hugely intense. People described it as feeling high or stoned which is very true but even that seems to have worn off a little bit. Like if I was smoking weed (3) I’d smoke another joint by this level. If I had weed, I’d definitely smoke a joint right about now.
So here we go, I’ve already taken a 2nd dose. My slight concern (which mostly stems from my experience of taking MDMA) is that just as I take the 2nd dose, I’d fully come up on the first dose. Speaking of which, I can feel it starting to take effect already. I’m getting the same stomach pain (although it’s not so much pain as simply my stomach feeling like its doing stomach “stuff”) and I’m getting very, very slight nausea but I’d eaten between doses so that’s to be expected.
After the Trip
So I stopped being able to type after my 2nd dose but I did occasionally make small notes in my notebook which I expanded on towards the end of the trip. Where the first dose had led to very minor visuals, the 2nd dose caused colours to change, the floor to move like a conveyor belt, cupboards to appear to breathe and other such things. I stared out the window of my flat a lot and simply watched the goings on outside. There is a square with a play park in it and I was amazed at these kids using their imagination. One of them was pretending to be injured while the other pretended to cast a spell. I felt like I was watching some intense moment of a film where a wizard and knight are battling one another!
I did come close to darkness though. During the trip I couldn’t work out what a bad trip would feel like. It was almost like the very notion was beyond my imagination. However, one of the times I was looking out of the window, I felt it. Luckily I managed to avoid the bad trip itself but here is how I described it in my notepad:
“I felt like a bad trip just narrowly avoided me like an asteroid whizzing past the Earth. It was like the shadow was over me. It made me think of Venom in Spider-Man.”
I remember the bad trip almost felt like a life or a presence. If I follow on with the asteroid example, it was like the asteroid was alive and trying to hit Earth. Almost like a Galactus figure (Marvel reference) or something. It was like I could sense impending doom. Sort of like the bad trip eclipsed the sun but that this eclipse was a malevolent force, something dark that wanted to be in a position of power. Luckily, as I mentioned, the feeling passed by and I was able to continue with my trip.
Back to the Fun Visuals
I saw some pretty crazy visuals after the 2nd dose. The ones I made note of in particular were as follows:
1. I looked outside at a line of trees visible from the window of my flat. At this time of year they are incredibly green on a normal day but on shrooms this was even more the case. One tree in particular looked insane! It was almost like it was on fire but without burning (Moses eat your heart out). The flames weren’t red or orange but rather they were gold or silver. They reminded me of one thing in particular. If you’ve ever driven on a hot, dry day you occasionally see puddles that aren’t there. It was like the tree was glowing and burning but with these puddles rather than fire.
2. There is a clock on the wall in the living room which I found myself staring at for what felt like a long time (it probably wasn’t). The clock was like a planet being bombarded with colourful dust which made me think of like solar radiation. Everything other than the clock was almost blurred by this dust/radiation but the clock itself was crystal clear.
3. I had lined up some photos from the Hubble Telescope to view during my trip. I enjoy looking at these photos sober-minded but I figured staring into the universe might be quite fun under the influence of psilocybin. It was certainly an experience. I found that the pictures not only changed colour but also appeared to move. At times it felt like I was watching a live stream of some distance galaxy. The fun thing was that new aspects of the images would appear such as stars I hadn’t noticed before. It became a little too intense so after 5 or so photos I decided to move on.
Embracing the Darkness
I found myself (after the peak of the 2nd dose) going to bed. Not to sleep but rather to meditate (4). My eyes were super sensitive to light and even with an eye mask on and my eyes closed, my brain was still detecting too much light. I closed the blinds and all the doors, put the eye mask on, closed my eyes and found myself still not in complete darkness. I could feel myself being drawn towards the geometric swirl that to me resembled a black hole. As I drifted towards and into it, a calming, quiet darkness enveloped me and I felt at ease. I was listening to a Sam Harris meditation from YouTube which I turned off about 5 minutes in because it was actually more distracting than silence.
Unfortunately, silence opened me up to hearing neighbours arguing or at least talking very loudly. Music and voices were too much for my brain so I decided to put some white noise on. The static was actually very relaxing and the strange thing was that it started to sound like a waterfall.
Eventually, when the shrooms were really beginning to wear off, I decided to just look through photos and videos on my phone while curled up in bed. Hunger soon overwhelmed me and getting out of bed marked the end of my trip. I still felt the presence of the drug in my brain but there were no physicals effects or visuals.
Reflecting on the Experience
As I mentioned at the start, the purpose of this trip wasn’t to blow my brain or search for a spiritual experience. It was simply a test run to allow myself to adjust to the effects of the drug. Now that I know the stages and have an idea of the feelings, what works for me and what doesn’t, I can increase the dose during my next trip to 2.5/3 grams worth of psilocybin.
I would love to try it out in nature. Perhaps not in Spain because I think the feeling of being in “unknown” territory would play on my mind a little but in Scotland I can think of several locations that would be isolated enough to comfortably take shrooms out in nature. I think that I’ll also be sure to have weed (in the form of pre-rolled joints) during my next trip. The comedown wasn’t horrible at all but I think it would have been drastically improved be a little smokey smoke!
You’re perhaps wondering why I bothered taking a drug? For those of you who are anti-drug, you should know that there is a lot of research, both in Europe and North America, currently being carried out into the relief from depression and anxiety that a psilocybin trip can have. If you’re anti-drug, you probably don’t mind people taking pharmaceuticals for such issues but because the drug is deemed illegal in most places and has a bad reputation, you instantly view it negatively.
Ancient people used to use such naturally occurring substances to contact Gods. There is a lot of research to support the idea that Christianity actually has its roots in a magic mushroom cult, a cult which was forced to hide its activities from the invading Romans. It was my desire to experience a new form of consciousness and while that might not appeal to you, I don’t really care. I’m not trying to bring you to the pro-drug side and I’m not trying to convince you to try drugs. I’m simply sharing my experience for those who have an interest in such things.