Path of Life

Psilocybe Cubensis Trip Report (22/09/2013)

The trip started around 2pm on Sunday afternoon when Tom and I met up with my friend Ross and his friend Matt at my house in Archway, north London. I was feeling a little nervous about doing the shrooms as it had been a while since tripping on Psilocybin although I had consumed small amounts of mushrooms at parties over the last few years and had many experiences with them back when they were legal to buy in the UK. These previous experiences had always tended to be for more of a recreational use and were mostly enjoyable with entertaining visuals and euphoric feelings whilst others had parts that were particularly challenging leading to confrontations with intense fear which seemed to bring about a openess and deep connection with my inner self, so perhaps this was one of the reasons for keen research into the health and spiritual benefits that can be gained by taking these mushrooms and a plan to revisit these experiences with the intention of learning more about them. After a cup of tea and a joint at my house I divided the 10 grams in dried powder form I had purchased into 4 roughly equal piles and we proceeded to mix them into bottles of cranberry juice as recommended by the supplier, he advised that 2.5 – 3 grams would be a mild trip which suited us for this occasion. About 30 mins after we had drunk the mix we all felt that the effects had started to come on as we noticed slight visual distortions and bodily sensations, it felt like a quick come up but this was normal for mushrooms in dried powder form, we decided on heading outside to take a nature walk near my house which lead to Finsbury park then head back up to Hampstead Heath after. Whilst walking the residential streets to get to the nature walk I noticed a distinct feeling of connection to the present moment and space between my thoughts, my visual perspective also changed as the horizon in front of me such as the end of the road ahead appeared stretched out and much further away. We all comment on how we could feel a change in our bodies becoming much more aware of how each part was feeling, Ross expressed how things were starting to feel very intense and slightly uncomfortable, I reassured him with how I interpreted it as a heightened awareness of the moment as we made the transition to altered consciousness and how we are normally so caught up in our thoughts that we don’t notice things around us so intensely or how are bodies are feeling. As we reached the entrance to the walk which was an old railway line which had been reclaimed by nature, I felt a feeling of embarking on a journey that had a purpose and a sense that a earthly intelligence was aware of us. I felt very comfortable sharing this trip with Matt even though I had only met him last night, as he had a easy going and reassuring temperament, Tom was a good friend who I had shared many a alter state with and Ross I hadn’t seen for a while but got on with well and his enthusiasm for doing the shrooms with me and Tom had been a good catalysts for the trip. As we walked down the path the intensity increased and we commented on the heightened vividness of colours, the bright greens of the grass and deep browns of the trees, and the multicoloured almost psychedelic colours of the stones making up the path. As we passed under bridges the echoes of our footsteps reverberating on stone through my mind and seemed to mix with the thoughts of my altered consciousness and form a booming voice of God with a humbling message, passing a place of overgrown foliage triggered a memory of a recent dream, images of nature, gardens and growth seemed to feel very relevant on this path of life. As we progressed further on the walk getting closer to the park things starting getting busier as more joggers, cyclists and families passed us, the intensity was a little overwhelming and Ross who was in front looked back with a confused expression saying ‘did you see that?’ I asked what he had seen and he said ‘a man just walked past with a baby attached to his stomach’, ‘like the creature in Total Recall?’, ‘Yes!! just like that!’ he exclaimed. I think this is when Ross started to feel a bit uneasy, he became very vocal regularly commenting on how weird things were, as we approached the park we came to a narrow bridge over a railway line which lead to the entrance, walking in single file Ross said ‘Can you hear that weird noise? I think its in my head!’, ‘I can hear it too, I think its real’ I said, ‘Excuse me!’ came a voice from behind us. It was a jogger trapped behind us and the noise turned out to be her keys jangling in her pocket as she jogged on the spot, this made us all crack up with laughter as we rode the trippy wave of Psilocybin into the park. Upon entering the park I felt my own uncomfortableness increase as my body felt very heavy and a feeling of nausea came over me, with the distant sound of repetative tribal drumming coming from the horizon we found a place to sit and I felt a strong desire to lay back and close me eyes. With eyes closed I was presented with a visual of bright almost white background with wavy multicolored patterns moving across it, I had this great feeling of surrender and as I recited mantras in my mind I let my awareness sink deep into the psychedelic display. After a while I sat back up, the nausea had past and I had a more relaxed feeling in my body. As we chatted I noticed distortions in everyone’s faces, Tom especially seemed to have patches of scales over his skin, a gnome like man with a long beard walked past us his big Bull Terrier dog running around with a squeaky ball lodged in its mouth. I was fascinated by this dog, the angular shape of its head had wavy visual distortions around the edges adding to its bizzareness, I saw so much cute doggy-ness about him and joy in its face as it jumped around with so much energy on the grass next to us. This was reflected in the owners face as with a huge smile he called out ‘don’t worry hes friendly!’ the dog bounded off its ball squeaking away in his mouth and I was struck with how amazing this animal was. Ross and Matt went off to use the toilet at the nearby cafe whilst me and Tom soaked up the sounds of the park, once Matt returned we got chatting about orthodox Jews as this was an area where a lot of them lived and I enjoyed hearing his historical knowledge of their culture and lifestyle. After a while when Ross still hadn’t returned from the toilet we thought we should check to see where he was so I gave him a call, he answered saying he was feeling sick and was on his way home which was just around the corner from the park as he thought he should be by himself to ride it out. After trying to get him to come back thinking it would be better for him to be with us, I had a realization that the same compulsion that I had to lie back and surrender my self to the trip could be drawing him to a quiet place where he could do the same, perhaps this is what he needed to do and it was best to leave him to it. After telling the others we decided to go and get a tea from the nearby cafe, whilst approaching the cafe and the bustle of people outside I felt a wave of intensity come over me and a sudden feeling of unease at being near these people. Inside and ordering the teas the uneasyness increased and I examined it with a detached awareness wondering where this fear came from, perhaps it was caused by the change in surroundings and a heightened intensity of the new decisions involved with this environment. With tray in hand we carried the teas over to a empty sofa area at the back and when Tom sat down I noticed how different he looked, he seemed to have taken on the facial features of my friend Neill and his body melted into the sofa, we laughed as I remarked about his trippy appearance. As we drunk our teas and Matt continued to entertain us with his knowledgeable chat, my visuals intensified as I noticed how green my green tea was and how wavy the edges of my tea bag looked, this was duplicated on the edges of the table and furniture, I looked around the room seeing the same wavy distortions reflected on the faces of the people around us. The sights and sounds became overwhelming and I again felt the desire to close my eyes like I had done before, as I dived into my consciousness the sounds of the cafe became very distant, again a feeling of surrender took hold of me and I knew this was what the Psilocybin wanted me to do. I felt myself dissolve into my body and experience deep relaxation like I was letting go of my judging analytical thoughts, soon I was plunging deep into a bright white light on the horizon until Toms distant voice brought me back with the words ‘Charlie’s going deep!’ I opened my eyes to find the visuals and any uneasiness I had felt earlier had subsided, we thought it would be a good idea to check up on Ross so after a quick phone call with words of assurance and asking him if he wanted us to go round to his house which he preferred us not too, we decided to head back up the path to my house and recover Matts phone which he had left there charging. On our return journey we came across a family of orthodox Jews dressed in their old style clothing who looked stunned standing in the middle of the path, their innocent faces seemed to stare at us knowingly as if they had picked up on our altered states, this sparked off a discussion about religion looking at how each one could be connected in some way going back into the ancient past. As we walked I felt as though the intensity of the peak had passed and was replaced with a sense of wonder at the people and environment around me, seeing a mother with her child waving back at us in the middle of a abandoned rail station platform surrounded by trees and overgrown with green foliage had me captured at the surrealness of the image. Once we had reached the end of the path and were back on the streets I felt a great feeling of accomplishment and Toms suggestion of buying some beers sounded like the perfect celebration, in the shop buying the beers and on the walk to my house spirits were high, I felt a bliss and contentment that seemed to remind me of a connection to my inner child. Matt commented on how the intensity of the change in perception of reality we experience was likened to a ‘sense of immediacy’ which I felt described it very well, I added how its like the filter was turned down in our minds so that everything was experience with much more detail and presence, perhaps this is where the uneasiness comes in as one of the times we are used to this sense of immediacy and heightened detail is when we feel like were are in danger. When we got home we put some music on and I made some toasted sandwiches, I felt in a very comfortable state of flow by this point, some slight visuals but mostly a feeling of ease and appreciation of everyone and my environment. Talking to my housemate in the kitchen I felt a sort of bypassing of language, as she spoke I seemed to be more in tune with the meaning and emotions behind her words rather than the words themselves. After chilling for a while listening to psybient music whilst Matt told us about his times living in eastern Europe we decided to head out to have walk round Hampstead Heath and try and reconnect with Ross who after a phone call we discovered was feeling better, Matt suggested meeting him in their local bar near Green Lanes where him and Ross live, a new place run by Spanish people that was playing live music that night. When we reached the heath dusk was starting to approach and Tom realised he had to get a train back to Hastings soon so we decided to hop on a overland train to meet Ross. The streets where bustling near the station, this area has a big Turkish community so stopping and grabbing a snack at a Turkish takeaway suggested by Matt seemed like a great idea, I felt a real appreciation at the diversity of cultures in London and how walking through the streets in this area had such a interesting global feel, I enjoyed soaking up the buzz of activity with the last traces of my heightened connection with the moment. Meeting Ross at the bar with a few of his housemates he told me about the loss of identity, detachment from time and confrontation with fear he experience at his house, I could relate to his experience as my first few trips back in Amsterdam many years ago were very much like this. I certainly had elements of this during this trip but this time I was able to experience it with more curiosity and openness as I surrendered myself to the changes which I feel allowed the effects to become more insightful, whereas my first few trips in Amsterdam I tended to fight against it which made the experience more confusing and alarming. Although Ross had experience with psychedelics in the form of LSD and 2cb this was only his 2nd shroom trip, there seem to be a lot of similarities between them but perhaps Psilocybin has a more ego dissolving effect, of course dose, set and setting and mindset all come in to play as well. Even though it had been a overwhelming trip for Ross he said he felt enlightened from it so it ended well for him, I have a feeling that this earthly intelligence of the shroom that I described earlier is very much a part of the trip and will manifest an experience that is needed for that person and his intention at that time, often there are challenges presented to that person but for a purpose of healing and insight, as many well know psychedelic explores would say there is no such thing as bad trip, only ones that teach us something. After beers at the bar we headed to Ross’s place for a smoke, It had been great to get to know Matt during the day as he entertained us with his stories and knowledge, I feel the shrooms allowed us to get to know him quickly as we all connected and bonded in a open-hearted way on the trip.

The following video by Terrance Mckenna seemed appropriate for this report –

2 responses to “Path of Life

  1. Excellent description Charlie – you did well to remember with that much detail as well, then translate it to the page, really good! I think it’s a very different trip to ones back in the day which were a lot more up and down in terms of massive highs and also some horrific lows (for me at least!) – sounds like you’re able to much better go with the flow and appreciate things / contemplate and enjoy which is a real sign of having a much deeper understanding of yourself, which is absolutely great ☺

    • Thanks for the comment mate :) know what you mean about the early ones especially that first time in Dam! I definitely felt like I had more insight during this one, I think having trust in oneself and being able to let go of analytical or judgemental thoughts are a big part of it, once there is less resistance and your able to surrender too and appreciate the moment any negative emotions seem to fall away and allow the positive ones to flow. Concepts that can be applied to normal reality but are enhanced by the Psilocybin, like a testing ground for immediate direct experience. More planned if your interesting in joining in, picking season at the moment and apparently they grow on Hampstead Heath!

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