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Psilocybin Stories

The Psilocybin Experience Factors

2 years after my first psychedelic experience, in 2012, I traveled to Venezuela on a mission trip. Up to that point I had only taken magic mushrooms 3 or 4 times. 

I’ve never craved psychedelics. I’ve always appreciated them with a deep reverence after my first experience.

Anyway, looking through photo memories, I can see my charisma and trusting presence. I wonder if psilocybin makes us more of who we are? But do believe that it can awaken the Soul.

As I’ve gotten older, some of my trusting presence has faded or hidden. I think it’s still within me. Many people have mistaken my carefree presence as naive and weak, but now that it’s not as strong within me, I realize this was a strength.

I didn’t need or use any drugs during this trip. I really was high on life, and have been high on life much of my life. I had little to no anxiety, no worries, just carrying a deep trust I had for life, God, the Universe, which my psychedelic experiences made complete. I understood that everything in life was unfolding perfectly, trusting it without a doubt, which I believe is what allowed me to live so completely in the present moment, overflowing with life.

I was in a state of trust, and would like to practice trusting life again. I think as we age and experience inevitable moments of suffering, we trust less, we’re in our heads more, we miss out on joys otherwise to be had today – holding onto pains of our past or worries of our future. It’s not easy.

My once in a blue moon psychedelic experiences often return me to that state of trusting presence. My hope is that it can do the same for others, and that we can carry some of that trust into our daily lives.

I know several factors impact the experience – that the psychedelic experience is unique to the individual. Maybe the experience brings out more of who we already are, but maybe it can do more than that with the addition of a spiritual practice, or other practices. The presence of genuinely supportive people makes a difference.

I see this in reflection as I’m currently not in the all-around great shape I had been in most of my life, and not just physical shape but mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and financial — I’m still paying student loans but at the time it felt like free money. Haha.

Life is constantly changing. I’m not in the ideal shape I used to be in, but I’m happy with who I am and where I’m currently at. I accept myself, (I try to!), as I simultaneously (try to) take actions toward a more ideal future. Imperfect progress is a way toward progress, and I do imagine a better future, although 2020 hasn’t made it easy.

I hope you and yours are well.

I know that psilocybin alone isn’t the answer, though it is nice hearing about its decriminalizations and medicinal legalizations. I think it will help many people in the long run.

Cheers to your beautiful cosmic self,
Psil Silva

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Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Snakes & Butterflies

When it kicked in it took me to this innocence feeling of childhood. I felt like a kid. I was drawing butterflies in my notebook. What I wrote wasn’t legible but from what I could grasp it said you are beautiful, you are the butterfly and I drew some butterflies next to it.

When I peaked I could close my eyes and see myself ascending through the universe. My soul was flying high through the entire universe. I was just a spirit my physical body didn’t exist.

I felt like I could touch the fabric of the universe and become one with it. I could see the universe and the stars. I cried many tears of joy and pure euphoria.

Then the heavy emotions kicked it. I was coming face to face with my shadow. I felt like I had a fever. I was so cold I was shivering. I became a snake. 

I was a snake all night shedding skin and rising above the many deaths that took place.

I felt like I died multiple times. In the process of dying I saw the hindu goddess kali right in front of me. She is the goddess of death, also associated with feminine power and sexuality. she was there throughout my process of death and rebirth. I felt a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t want to face the trauma that was being shown, but there was no way to avoid it. After I faced it, she left. And that’s when the hindu god Ganesh appeared. He is known as the God of  beginnings and remover of obstacles.

I started slowly coming down and just felt like my chest was going to burst open with all the love and gratitude within my heart and I’m still feeling that way the day after. I’m currently in a world of my own made out of the love and gratitude in my heart. It’s just utter bliss. Cheers to Mother Earth for always providing the resources to help us heal, mind, body and spirit. May We honor her, love her and protect her.
-Lenissa Milagros

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Uncategorized

How to Prepare a Therapeutic Psilocybin Experience — HAVE FUN!

In the end, your psilocybin experience should be a blast of fun.

But there’s so much talk about psychedelics these days it can get confusing.
The constant negative societal news doesn’t help either..

This is where I believe certain practices can help – Spiritual&Religious practices.

-Zen Meditation
-Biblical Affirmations
-and much more

Spiritual practices have helped enhance my trips, and have gotten me through bad trips. They help me let go.


-And by Letting Go I mean having no thoughts.
-Experiencing life in the here and now.
-Listening to life and being a receiver of life’s messages whilst in this state of consciousness.

And then naturally, joy follows.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Why do I want to help you?

I want to help you because I’ve had experiences where I’ve sought out help and didn’t get any. I’ve traveled to dark places, by myself, and had to figure it out by myself or I’d die.

I am thankful for these experiences, because they have deepened my compassion&empathy. Receiving no help turned me into a person who wants to help everyone, because I know how it feels to have no one there for you.

But I don’t dwell in the negative. There is fun to be had while creating a better world. I use my experiences to help you make peace with your demons, as I have with mine.

The Universe loves us, but we humans work hard at not feeling loved.
It’s time to embrace the love you deserve, even if you don’t feel worthy.
You are worthy.

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Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Paradox

…So I clearly picked the stick up. Magic. It really did feel surreal. I later showed my friends who, at the time, we were all a little separated, walking around in our own worlds…but the same world.

^Another realization — The truth of Paradox. 

I saw both sides of many coins, and realized that they were all true. Like just above, we’re all in the same world, but also, we all operate individually within ourselves, our brains, mind, or whatever. Heart too.

Another Paradox — That we are all connected and that we’re all separate. Similar to above. We’re all living individual lives, but beyond who we think we are(which might be ego?), is who we actually are — which is one entity. I’ll relate this one to living in the state you had as a child. There was a time in our lives, when we were really young, that we didn’t separate ourselves from anything. It could have been from our lack of knowledge/education….but it could have been that that is who we are in our purest form? We don’t fear anything. We don’t fear death because we don’t think about it. We’re truly living in the moment, thoughtless, and isn’t that what so many people try to do, or have always been trying to do? — reach that state of bliss, of no thoughts. We see people turn to drugs, alcohol, food, anything to try and get away from “ourselves”(who we think we are), and yes, psilocybin is considered a drug, but there are things that are legal, like Cigarettes, that are wayyyy worse for our health(not judging as I dabble sometimes, just comparing). 

There are many reasons Psilocybin is illegal while there are numerous lethal things that are legal. We are on our way though, making progress, more people are opening up to it, and this is actually one of the good trends to follow

This comes from my experience though, so it may not be for everyone, but I believe in psilocybin’s benefits. It’s more than great seeing research and studies being done in this area, and I look forward to all that is to come from it 🙂

This was a short excerpt from My First Real Trip.

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Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Black Hole

Around this time I was thinking — this feels pretty good, maybe this is what shrooms are, and this is pretty cool…

I watched a breeze swoop in, moving the grass with it, in what I thought looked harmonious. I was in awe…but soon I found that this was just the tip of the iceberg — but rather than an iceberg, I’d say a blackhole.

30 minutes later

We walked around the park some more, feeling breezes and watching them orchestrate the grass like it was a band. We were standing on a small grass hill around that time, which was also when I had a peak experience. Answers I had been seeking flooded into me — maybe I was the black hole? Maybe we were all blackholes? 

I wasn’t thinking that^ at the time, but reflecting on it, that’s how it felt for me. Everything made sense in that moment. It was moments of deep, joyful reflections. An internal “Ohhh” about so many things—myself, people, nature, animals, societal norms and structures, time, and even about life itself. 

Pretty much anything I had ever wondered or worried about, was resolved. And at that time the answers were so much more simple than I was making them to be, or worrying about.

I really believe I was experiencing unconditional love, with myself and the Universe. We weren’t separate. There was no “you” and “me,” there wasn’t even an “us,” because it was all so beyond that, beyond any words.  

One of the realizations I had during that moment, was that “time” is not actually how I previously thought it was—measured and all that(seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc). I realized that it was so much more than the measurements we’ve given it as humans. “Time” was a construct. 

One way I’ve described this whole experience to others is that it’s like going back to when you were a child — there’s no labels and words for anything. It just all, is. And it’s all connected. You feel like you’re finally home, on the inside, ya know, because that’s ultimately where we’re all experiencing life from. Both the internal and external fused together.

“Psilocybin Black Hole” is an excerpt from My First Real Trip.
Join in on the 40+ comments on the full post here 😊

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Psilocybin Stories

Psilocybin Insights Into The Indescribable

This post comes from an anonymous sender who had a profound experience with Psilocybin. The first few paragraphs give background on this writer, then you’ll hear about their psilocybin experience, including striking insights similar to things I’ve experienced while tripping. I love relating to all you psychonaut readers&experiencers! Enjoy the following trip 🍄🤪😁😎

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Hello there,

My name is not relevant here but I would like to tell you something. I would like to say straight away that I am trying to describe something indescribable. This is a contradiction in terms, but I am trying.

I wrote this text original a few days after the experienced trip.

To introduce myself briefly, I take a look at something. I have many siblings. I grew up on a mountain farm. Overall, I had a nice childhood, I would describe myself as nature-loving and curious. My worst experience was probably the unnecessarily cruel divorce of my parents and the experiences from that time. I like to go to the mountains and work with wood. The search for the meaning of life kept busy me, but only in moderation and sometimes in passing. I am married and have healthy and sometimes good children. I can count over thirty years in my life.

I like to travel and one of my most extensive trips until a day in Winter 2019 was, for example, a bicycle trip with my friend from home to the Caucasus. There we climbed the Mount Elbrus.

I consider the student days with my friends and the experience from them to be very important for me. I also made up for the agricultural skilled worker. I work as an engineer in the automotive business.

I have very good friends who I can and want to count among the most important companions on my way.

This very short and extremely incomplete outline should reflect me a little.

And even if I could, for example, fill a beautiful book with the mentioned trip to the Caucasus and its experiences, I would like to tell you about another, much more worthwhile trip.

Or maybe it’s only interesting for me, of course you have to make this judgment yourself.

This part of my trip started on a Winter day in 2019 in an ordinary living room with my friend and led me to the innermost timeless and spaceless.

First of all, so that you only think I’m as crazy as I really am or would be, I would like to note that I have witnessed some formative events such as near-death events and births of my children. In relation to the following experience, these seem to me like little crack on a bowl, which then broke open completely.

I and my friend, the travel companion, have been working intensively on mind-expanding mushrooms for a long time.

He much more than me, he developed the knowledge about it and let me participate. I think Paul Stamets was the trigger, who, like me, is now convinced that these mushrooms are not party drugs, but correctly used as a kind of aid. Here’s something to taste – (Joe Rogan&Paul Stamets video)

We both have moderate experience with hemp and, especially during our study time, a lot of experience with alcohol, but with drugs, I would like to say that we have nothing to do with it.

After studying books and reports from so-called psychonauts, this is a term that is typically used in specialist circles, and considering the risks, I decided to eat five grams of Psilocybe cubensis Golden Teacher with a little honey together with my friend.

Although we had read a number of testimonials and were roughly aware of how the psilocybin contained works, that it does not make you addictive, but tends to promote reflection and empathy, we would not have expected the following, with any fibre of our being.

And the name of the mushrooms, although it seems to describe the easy handling of the growth, says it all.

So of course, we went on a trip with our women after clarification. After ingesting the mushrooms, we went into a cosy room with some classical music and agreed that someone should check on us every half hour. Which then happened through my friend’s wife and an old friend.

Through our research, we knew that the trip would be over after 6 hours at the latest and that there would be no dependencies or physical damage afterwards. The worst to expect was a horror trip, which according to experience reports also harbours positive insights.

And now begins the part that is very difficult for me to put into words.

On the one hand, this is because words, by definition, can only be completely inadequate for something indescribable.

Secondly, my inability. I try anyway, just please be aware that this can in no way be modelled on words, words are something that we humans invented, so they are probably as imperfect, imperfect as everything we humans are and do.

So, we lay on the couch and listened to some nice classical music from an internet radio for the first hour. The psilocybin contained in the mushrooms and digested by the stomach docked in the corresponding places in my brain.

My body and mind, prepared by moderate fasting, catapulted me into different perceptual worlds.

At the beginning we were amused, but then my senses interweaved and the most incomparable trip of my life started.

I started to see very nice, cloud-shaped pictures on the white ceiling. These then gradually began to move to the music. We had more or less expected this because new paths were formed in the brain and it was already described that music can be seen, for example.

This was very nice and I started to reflect and relive the wonderful experiences of my life.

Time and space were about the same as before, but I got a lot of nice insights. My “seeing” was also not as visual as usual, but much more intense.

In the next stage, maybe a quarter of an hour later, my senses have almost completely dissolved and interwoven. And even though I was always approachable, I felt a little crazy about my original point of view.

I wasn’t exactly where I was before and I wasn’t exactly who I was either. I also wondered at this stage how do I know that I am, I am.

I also realized that my five senses so far only gave me a glimpse of life and the truth.

A friend came into our room and checked on us.

I told him that I couldn’t even describe in a whole life what I’m experiencing and seeing in a moment.

And by seeing I didn’t mean anything visual that is perceptible to the eyes. It was a different way of seeing, for which I already lack the right words. I reflected a lot back and forth and realized what was beautiful and enjoyed it. Although time and space were no longer the same as before, they were still there. I was born with every breath and lived through many lives. I could feel real empathy. It was very moving.

The next level was the most indescribable and so intense and real experience of my life. Time and space dissolved completely, I “was” a kind of perfect bliss and love in which souls touch.

And here I find it hardest to get any idea of it. Words, pictures, everything that is available to me as a person to describe it is completely insufficient to describe it. It’s also not true that I was there. There would be a place there, and it’s not a place. I wasn’t there either. To was there would mean a period of time, and it was not a period of time.

I don’t want to give it a name either, for me it cannot be associated with anything known, so I simply call it It, then you at least know that it is unimaginable.

I have learned that everything is related to everything. Everything is It and I am It too.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

I also found out that I am nothing special as a person, or in other words just as special as anything else.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

My faith, my knowledge, my ego, I as a human being, everything in me, was dissolved and I experienced this completely indescribable perfect bliss and love.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

Unfortunately, I can’t find any more suitable words to even begin to describe It.

I don’t want to describe the experience with I “was there”, but rather with I am It.

And that’s not a belief in it, but in my little transport container called the brain, certainty.

The further course of the trip was that I climbed one step down again. Time and space had not yet been opened up to me again in their current form. I then started to reflect on everything bad. My bad sides and mistakes, and the bad sides of the world that we have shaped as humans. That was not nice. I felt sick.

I wanted to know what I can or should do in my life. What’s the point?

I could not answer a single question about what I should or can do with completely right or completely wrong, I recognized my limited sphere of influence and my imperfection.

And although I felt through many lives there was no way to perfection. I asked myself the question of the meaning, I wanted to know what I should do with my new knowledge and experience or how I should continue to act as a person.

Everything was and is so imperfect compared to the experienced.

In addition, everything is connected, and I will soon travel through my life again with its limited sphere of influence. And I asked myself questions after questions, I probably had answers as well, but none of these answers led to the previously felt perfection.

I also knew that I would live my life more or less long. This has a sphere of influence that itself can be influenced, but is nevertheless always limited.

I also learned that we humans are only lives in the midst of life that wants to live. So just as special as everything else, to put it mildly.

For example, when asked if I should slaughter and eat animals, there was no clear or complete answer. I already know that billions of lives are killed in our bodies every second and a similar number are born again. This life, every single cell wants to live just as much as a cow, right? Should a killed life serve my food? So, should as many or as large a life as possible be protected?

Life always means death, but where does life begin?

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None of my countless questions had a clear and perfect answer.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

The great realization from this was that there is no perfect right or completely wrong answer to these questions.

But there are better and worse answers, with no definitive borders in between.

In this phase of the trip I learned what I should do for my life, what the meaning of my life is, which was previously beautiful but also imperfect.

The experienced “It” is everything and therefore also what is bad at the moment.

What is so logical, simple but also difficult at the same time and anyway the only thing I can do is over me. In two words: make an effort!

I should try, I will not make perfect decisions, but I can choose between better and worse. And for me, the better is preferable to the worse. And for the current part of my trip, I’ll try to do that.

Now I am here in front of my computer and feel sorry about my imperfection in translating and writing these lines with imperfect meaning. Lines which try to describe something indescribable.

But I try anyway because I think it makes sense. That the whole cosmos, every cell, life also make an effort.

I have the time as an aid.

I have no faith after this trip, instead I have certainty. I am It too and I try.

With love for my wife, my children, family, friends and everything else,

Me.

⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯

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Psilocybin Stories

Samantha’s Psilocybin Surrender

Thank you for joining. 

This Psilocybin Story comes to you from Samantha Scrivens.

And if you have a Psilocybin Story the world needs to hear, email psilocybinstories@gmail.com with why you’d like to share your experience, even if you aren’t a writer!

The world needs more of these right now and forever. 

Thank you so much Samantha for sharing yours!

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Here is “Psilocybin Surrender”

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Can you sequence a dream?  

Pinpoint when it started?  

Likely the setting is a murky, submerged Monet. Conversations of grave importance are whittled to a phrase or single word, if you can recall any at all. Often it’s the sheer fear of being chased, the horror of teeth cracking from oozing gums, the uncontainable joy of flying, that sticks with us in the waking state.

I can no more eloquently detail my solo psychedelic expedition.  

But as you might describe your nightly and matutinal routines: brushing, flossing, drifting off to monotonous tones of a murder mystery podcast, so can I share my trip prep and epilogue: SET, SETTING, SUBSTANCE, SITTER, SESSION, SUPPORT, & SURRENDER.

(mind)SET

I asked myself “Why?”  Why take psilocybin mushrooms under a blindfold and headphones for four hours? My journaled response: 

  • to look the dragon of fear in the mouth
  • to gain experience and knowledge to offer others. 

There’s always a certain fear surrounding psychedelics. What if I have a bad trip? What if I’m that one person that keeps tripping forever? What if I need the paramedics? What if…whatif…whatif…Every time, without fail, this preparatory cry plagues me like a colicky infant to an exhausted mother.  I console my small self with wisdom from Michael Pollan, who experienced a similar protest before each of his psychedelic experiences in How to Change Your Mind

“That voice, I came to realize, was my ego trying (selfishly) to prevent me from a having an experience that, among other things, would undermine that ego.”

Even as I sat with the chocolate truffle in my perspiring palm, invoking divine Reiki energy and protection, my heart slammed like a relentless wave. I took a deep breath, then another, until my pulse subsided.

Fear would undoubtedly rear its ugly head again, snarling and snapping jaws at my bliss, and so I designated my breath as my anchor. After years of practicing yoga and advising students to “return to the breath”, I figured this would be second nature, a well-honed tool to mitigate anxiety during the trip.

As beginner in the burgeoning field of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, I needed to wade through my own internal terrain before I could hope to hold space for others. Hence I write right now, attempting to distill the ineffable experience into words.  

Next I SET intentions: 

  • to dissolve mental barriers
  • to make peace with the past and calm qualms for the future
  • to immerse myself in love and gratitude

At least, that’s what they would have been. There is no guaranteeing what will emerge in the psychedelics state. Whatever needs to surface from mental rabbit holes around which I typically veer, will surface. So I chose, with full faith in my spiritual guides, higher Self, and divine energy, to SURRENDER to the process, leaving my open journal alongside my bed as a remindful totem.  

SETTING

Although I find that submerging in nature is the most idyllic setting for psychedelics, this adventure was meant to explore the inner landscape. Snuggled in bed behind a locked door with sunlight splashing upon my thawing body on a cold winter afternoon created physical and mental comfort from which I could embark on my journey. With a fully charged battery and downloaded playlist compiled by John’s Hopkins University’s psilocybin researchers, I cut cyber connection to the outside world.  

I knew that the music would evoke an array of emotion, that some songs I simply wouldn’t like: the deep Gregorian chant reminiscent of a Catholic Mass; the tinny pitch of a single flute; another crescendo of screaming violins. I promised myself that I wouldn’t skip a song in attempt to skirt something I’d rather not face. “Music becomes a mirror of transcendental forms of consciousness,” the playlist developer, psychologist Bill Richards, Ph.D., explained in an interview with Inverse. My only option would be to surrender to the piercing choir and sharp cello notes evoking tension in my hands, as well as the Hindi chanting and drumming spreading smiles across my face. Along with the music, I steeped a fresh thermos of chamomile tea alongside lavender essential oil and tissues, and cleared the air with sage plumes, additional esoteric comforts to augment calm throughout the experiment.  

SUBSTANCE

Just like a beginning backpacker might start with a one-night trip before venturing out into the wild for a weeklong excursion, I wanted to dabble with a light dosage for my first solo expedition sans sitter. After an hour, I considered nibbling an additional sliver, but I decided to give the mushrooms time to work their magic. I’m grateful for that patience, as I soon felt akin to the protagonist in Gulliver’s Travels, subject to minuscule pixies swarming my skin suit. Of course due to the lesser dosage, I was very much still grounded in the realization that I was, in fact, settled in my own bed and not strapped down on the tiny island of Lilliput.  

Physically, psilocybin connects parts of the brain that aren’t usually linked, temporarily dissolving the default mode network that is responsible for the ego. My ego, however, was still very much present, albeit in the passenger’s seat rather than behind the wheel. I would’ve (and still would) liked to more deeply explore the universe from within through a stronger dose, but not without a sitter to hold space.

SITTER

“Would you mind staying with me for upwards of 5 hours while I lie in bed and listen to classical music?” is a huge favor to ask; and in fact probably categorizes better as a job. As I didn’t have access to such, I shrugged and said, “I’ll be my own sitter, let my breath be my guide.” Although that resolute determination seems sensible in sobriety, it quickly dissolves under a mind altering substance.

I used the bathroom mid-trip, dazzled by the ethereal, vibrant world glowing outside myself. As I nestled into bed again and saw the eye pillow’s slow descent, the Fear Dragon’s scorching breath ignited my worry. I don’t want to go back under.  Oh God. I actually just want this to be over. Maybe I should stop the music, toss the eyemask, and explore myself through yoga. No…that won’t solve this anxiety either. Fuck, I’m thirsty. Gulp. Should I call a friend?And tell them, what, that I took mushrooms and am having a difficult time? That would only make me (not to mention them) more uncomfortable. Oh God, this is why having a sitter is recommended. 

“A SITTER” was the first bullet point I scratched in my journal towards the tail end of the trip. Have a sober someone to hold safe space; a thread of continuity weaving a safety net to assure that you’re doing great, that everything is ok, is paramount. That presence provides a foundation from which the ego can relax so that the rest of consciousness can continue traversing the unknown.

SESSION

At first it felt like I was lying in bed for an afternoon nap. Sunlight danced between branches seemingly in time to Vivaldi’s mandolin measures. But I can no more sequence thoughts or detail images after the first hour than describe how I fell asleep last night. I can, however, identify warm fuzzy feelings of contented bliss amongst harmonious strings and hauntingly enchanted voices. Until I had to tinkle during the trip’s peak.  

It was as I returned to bed that I struck myself with a sudden desire for it all to be over. It dawned on me that I was in the middle of the ocean in a rowboat. Briefly I deliberated biting into an emergency Xanax, but realized that I would be robbing myself of a rich opportunity for growth.

“Surrender” the word jumped from my journal as I sipped tea with shaky hands. I knew that, even if I had a sitter, shaman, entire paramedic team, I would be the only person able to help myself. The psychonaut mantra echoed, “The only way out is through.” And the music will carry me through, I told myself. Although there wasn’t another physical person present, I knew that I wasn’t alone. Calling upon divine feminine energy, The Great Earth Mother for protection, I saw my small self cocooned into her cosmic cuddle.

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.  

A moment later Mozart’s heavy Vesperae Solennes de Confessore gave way to Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, releasing rushing relief throughout my entire being. Through jubilant strings I saw a landmass, a continent upon the horizon, and knew that I was going to make it. 

Night darkened. I’d been lying in bed for nearly 5 hours. I really wanted to make it to the end of the playlist, featuring Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and Louie Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, but needed a break from music and my room. As I ventured outside to gaze upon the moon and stars, tears welled, not from relief or astonishment at life’s intrinsic beauty and interconnectedness, but from an overwhelming sensation of isolation. Mopping exhausted eyes, I returned inside, grounded myself with (non-psychoactive) dark chocolate, transcribed what I could, and slept.  

SUPPORT

I’d always experienced psychedelics with another soul, holding hands to skirt dark shadows. Afterward, the space that was usually full of reminiscent giggling was rife with lonely contemplation. I’d noticed the gaping disconnect between the altruistic, wholesome life I desired and my current, unfulfilled existence. As after every psychedelic trip, I felt as if I’d come back with a handful of seeds, but lacked the tools with which to cultivate them. Wreaked with worry, I reached out to an old friend.

Over chips, salsa, and frosted mug of Pacifico, Smeagol held space for me to vent smoke clouding my mind. “We can really only do the best we can with what we have,” she mused in response to my whines of wasting potential and squandering opportunities. With a wry smile she added, “Besides, it’s not like we’re really free,” nodding to our many past dialogues on of the farce of free will. It was a relief, but still I realized why these experiences are often communal, as in ayahuasca ceremonies, and involve a shaman for integrating a transcendental overload.  

SURRENDER

In the days following, I wrote and wrestled, attempting to solve a mental Rubik’s cube, spinning worries round and round, until I noticed that the puzzle was color changing. Maybe there is no solution. It’s ok to not be ok, to walk away from this battle with anxiety. 

Surrendering, I realized, was an avenue to peace.  

As for the seeds, I’m planting them one at a time. Literally in gardens, and figuratively, through this piece here, hoping to grow a community in which we can facilitate safe, supported consciousness exploration, thus expanding awareness of interconnectedness.

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