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In celebration of 40 orbits around the sun! Options
 
cascadia_voyager
#1 Posted : 7/24/2019 10:22:21 PM

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Posts: 18
Joined: 23-Feb-2019
Last visit: 10-Jan-2023
Location: Right here
PRE-CONDITIONS
(mind)Set: Very good. Happy, excited, and optimistic.
(physical condition) Set: Good. Healthy body, no injuries or illness.
Setting (location): Private vacation home located on the shore of Puget Sound.
Time of day: Started in the evening before dark and continued through the night. Clear and cold night sky with some stars, temperatures down to around 25F (-4C)
Recent drug use: Occasional cannabis in days leading up to the trip. Taking prescription meds for asthma and hypertension.
Last meal: Around 4PM I had a light meal- cheese, crackers, and a protein bar.

PARTICIPANT
Gender: Male
Body weight: 175 lbs (79 kg)
Known sensitivities: None.
History of use: Estimate that I have taken Psilocybin about a dozen times, starting at age 16. Experience with other substances including LSD, MDMA and Salvia.

BIOASSAY

Substance(s): Psilocybe Cubensis Mushrooms, Cannabis, Alprazolam
Dose(s): [3g], [~1g], [1mg]
Method of administration: Mushroom tea, smoked cannabis, ingested tablet.


EFFECTS

Administration time: T=0:00 Smoke cannabis, drink mushroom tea; T+7:00 smoke cannabis; T+9:00 smoke cannabis, take Alprazolam tablet.
Duration: approx. 10 hours
First effects: Feelings of ‘silliness’ and excitement, mixed with a little nervousness / anxiety.
Peak: T=1:30-6:30 (number of hours after drinking the mushroom tea) *Note: This is only an estimate, I did not attempt to keep track of time during the trip. I did not have a watch, and didn't even look at my phone until about T+8:00 when I used it to play some music.
Come down: T=6:30-9:30
Baseline: T+10

(0 = "None"; 1 = "Slight"; 2 = "Moderate"; 3 = "Strong"; 4 = "Extremely intense" )

Intensity (overall): 3
Evaluation / notes: Come-on was very quick, T+:30 starting to feel reality shifting. T+:45 notice increased intensity / sensitivity of audio and visual fields. T+:60 Body feels tense, all casual conversation has stopped, unable to manipulate smartphone or operate stereo equipment.

OPTIONAL
Pleasantness: (3)
Unplesantness: (0.5)
Visual Intensity: (2.5)


AFTER-EFFECTS

Hangover: (1) physically tired, exhausted for 12-16 hours
Afterglow: (3) Generally lasting for a month or more- and some ongoing: Feelings of wonder and astonishment. Intense desire to decode the experience, and discover lessons which might carry over to every-day living. Desire to strengthen existing bonds with close friends. Renewed thirst for knowledge about mystical experience, consciousness, and the natural world. Thoughtfulness about cultivation of love and compassion.


REPORT


A little backstory on this report: to celebrate my 40th birthday, I rented a house on Whidbey Island (Washington state), and invited five of my closest and most trusted friends to join me for a psychedelic journey and celebration. Originally, I was just going to go on a solo camping trip for some serious personal reflection, but due to the snow, freezing temperatures, and fear of being alone in the woods on a high dose of mushrooms, my plan eventually evolved into tripping with trusted companions (I have been tripping for almost 25 years, but never tripped alone).

Weeks of intense planning went into this journey, and I had a very clear intention of what I wanted to happen. It had been about four years since my last mushroom experience, which was shared with many of the same friends. Aside from the practical planning involved, for the first time in my life, I made a serious effort to prepare myself both physically and mentally, for the psychedelic journey. In the week leading up to the trip I spent a significant amount of time “weeding my mind”, contemplating the things that made me fearful, or anxious about growing older, and also thinking about things that fill my heart with joy. I had also done a little reading on the subject of how to prepare physically for a big trip. On the day of the journey I was in good health, well rested and relaxed. I ate breakfast and lunch, but abstained from eating any meat the day of. My last food intake before the trip was a light snack about two hours before taking the mushrooms. I feel that these preparations were well worth the effort, as the experience I enjoyed was one of the best I have ever had.

With my mind “set” being very positive, and my physical body also feeling good, I focused on trying to create a “setting” that was equally well suited to our journey. The house we rented was beautiful and comfortable inside, and had breathtaking views looking east to the Skagit River valley and Mt. Baker. The home was right on the water, and aside from a couple neighbors to the south, we had a very private, and safe location to embark on our trip. We started our evening at sunset around the fire pit with a little ceremony led by my friend, the purpose of which was to set the intention for the night and share any thoughts or concerns the group had. After about 30 minutes, we went back into the house to prepare the mushrooms and begin the journey.

With music playing and lots of cannabis being passed around, my friend and I began making one big pot of mushroom tea for everyone to share. Some of the group, myself included, have a difficult time stomaching dried shrooms, which is why we decided on making tea. Also, we figured making tea would create a brew that gave everyone equal amount of caps, stems and duff. For our journey, we were using some home-grown Golden Teachers provided by one of my companions. We did want to make sure that the dose was controlled, so a scale was used to weigh out 3 grams per person for a total of 18 grams. We had six identical coffee mugs, 12 ounces each, and I filled one of them six times, using it to measure just the right amount of water into a large pot on the stove. While the pot was heating, I pulverized the mushrooms in a food processor. The resulting mushroom pieces were no larger than the size of coarse salt crystals, and very uniform. Once the water was boiling, it was removed from the heat and the mushrooms were added and allowed to steep in the pot for at least 15 minutes. After the steeping was done, it was decided that I should scoop the brew into each of the mugs using a large soup ladle, mixing the pot each time to ensure that each mug would contain approximately the same amount of water and shroom pieces. We could have strained out the mushrooms at this point, but in an effort to have the maximum intended effect we left them in. The mugs were lined up on the table, one for each tripper. Some people simply drank the mugs as is, while others like myself, supplemented the brew with a tea bag, a spoonful of honey and the juice from a couple fresh lemon wedges.

No turning back now. I enjoyed the tea, and drank my hot mug in less than 10 minutes. A couple of our group remained inside the house at the table waiting for the “feeling”, while the rest of us went back out to the fire pit and waited there while passing around the chalice. It was less than 30 minutes after I started drinking my mug that the feeling started to come on. At first, a curious little tickle in my neck and head, some tension in my face, and I starting to become a little fidgety. Mischievous, benevolent smiles on the faces of my companions indicated that they too were starting to feel it. By the 45-minute mark it was coming on surprisingly strong. The feeling was not like a tide slowly rising, but more like I had been floating peacefully down a small tributary stream for the past 30 minutes, slowly picking up speed, and then suddenly being flushed out into a powerful river. Oops, I think I dropped my paddle…oh well, nothing to do now but see where this vessel takes me!

I have experienced this situation before. A group of us standing around the fire waiting for the journey to begin, making small-talk and laughing together, and then you notice the conversation tapers off and suddenly no one is talking. At that point, we start looking at each other and asking “are you feeling it?” The answer is obvious. For a moment, feeling a little anxious, a little bit of fear trying to creep in. Those feelings are quickly washed away by waves of euphoria and amazement as the filters of the mind fade away, and the underlying structures of the universe – energy & vibration – begin to come into focus. Or perhaps, there are no filters of the mind, but instead the third eye opens and allows a new stream of perception to flood the mind? Either way, it hits me in the back of the head like a giant marshmallow sledgehammer, causing me to see stars orbiting my cranium like an old cartoon character- except I don’t feel disoriented or confused, but simply awestruck at the world unfolding around me.

Half of our group is inside the house, and the other half is now sitting around the fire. Outside the temperature is near freezing, and I am chilled despite the big fire we have going. I lean in to warm my hands and face, and I am completely mesmerized by the geometric patterns now pulsing on the glowing orange logs while yellow flames dance above the heart of the fire. I have tripped around the campfire many times before, but I don’t remember seeing, or perhaps noticing, visuals like these before. Multi-faceted geometric polygons with rounded corners, pulsing with shades of red, orange and yellow. The faint orange glow coming from deep caverns in the black charred wood. I’m sure it is no surprise to anyone reading this that the fire was absolutely captivating, and held the gaze of everyone sitting around it for what must have been 30-45 minutes, with hardly a word spoken.

Suddenly, another member of our group appears, having just come from inside the house, and reports with a wry smile that the two of our companions were having very intense experiences back inside. One brave psychonaut was nearly overwhelmed by his cup of tea and was said to be on his hands and knees closely examining the intricate details in the wood floors, temporarily unable to form coherent sentences, but not showing any obvious signs of distress. The other tripper also appeared to be floored by his mug of tea, and had retreated to a dark room to sit quietly and observe the universe. To be honest, this news was a little unsettling to me, and for a moment fear tried to creep in a little. I had imagined the whole group around the fire together sharing the trip, and the fact that our group had splintered left me a little anxious at first. I needed to know that everyone was doing ok, but I was afraid to go in the house for fear that the ‘vibe’ in there would upset my own headspace. My friend reassured me that everyone was fine, and we agreed that as long as no one was in distress, it was best to just let everyone walk their own path. He went back inside and my anxiety quickly subsided knowing that the group was looking out for one another.

My attention retuned to the dancing flames atop glowing logs. Just beyond the fire pit was a gravel beach and the flat-calm waters of the Puget Sound flowing between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island. The night was cold and clear, with no moon nor clouds in the sky. Looking out to the east I could see lights from the houses on the other side of Skagit Bay. The water was inky dark, and appeared to bleed into the night sky. I observed what appeared to be faint, vibrating lines of ‘energy’, similar to the lines on a topographical map, gently pulsing on the surface of the water. The same parallel lines could be seen just over the top of the hills and mountains out beyond Skagit Bay. The lines were closer together just above the mountains, and gradually increased in distance from one another as they went up towards the heavens. This was indeed an amazing place to take our psychedelic journey. Some stars were visible, but the sky was also faintly colored by the light pollution from near by towns and industry.

Very close to our location was the naval air station, where navy jets and planes operated day and night. At different times over the course of the night we witnessed the most strange sights and sounds coming from the direction of the air station. I’m sure what we saw was just normal operations, but to a group of trippers it seemed like some real area-51 kind of stuff. Glowing lights moving in ways that seemed to defy physics, and sounds moving around and over us that we could not identify. A sober observer would have laughed had they seen us looking up at the sky trying to figure out what we were seeing. At one point we joked that they had some sort of psychedelic detectors at the military base, and after detecting trippers in a nearby sector they had deployed drones to come and spy on us. Whatever it was in the skies above us, it was fascinating, if not just a little scary.

At some point I found myself all alone out by the fire. I had lost all track of time, but it must have been about four hours since we drank the tea. I was thoroughly lost in the world around me, the water, mountains, and flames of the fire. It was starting to get very cold, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but my body was physically tense. My front was relatively warm from the fire, but the rest of me was freezing, and I was shivering. I needed a big, heavy blanket if I was going to stay outside comfortably, but I was glued to my seat at the fire still afraid to shift gears and see what the vibe was back in the house. It was at this moment that I had one of the most memorable experiences of the whole night. I heard the door to the house open, and looked over to see one of my companions come outside and start to walking down towards the fire. As he approached, I could begin to hear the faint sound of music…the Grateful Dead. My friend walked up to the fire, and stood next to me. He appeared to have a glowing aura around him, as he danced and sang along with the music softly playing from a small speaker in his pocket. He greeted me with warm laughter and song, and I felt a wave of warmth wash over me, releasing the tension that I didn’t realize that I was holding on to. He was a bubbling, happy tripper, having come from the house to join me around the fire. Sometimes it is the little moments that can make the whole night.

Not long after my singing companion showed up the other members of our tribe started to trickle back outside. When the group had all reassembled around the fire, the chalice was packed and passed around. I don’t know what time it was, but I’m going to guess it must have been about six hours since I drank the tea. The ‘peak’ feeling had started to subside, but I was still very much tripping on the after-peak plateau. I’ve always enjoyed cannabis when tripping with psilocybin, but these days I don’t smoke very often, and my tolerance is much lower compared to my heavy-hitting college days. The pipe was passed to me, and I took a much larger toke than I meant to, causing me to cough so deep and hard I felt like my eyes might pop out of my head. Once the coughing had subsided I stood up with the feeling like someone had just stomped on my psychedelic gas pedal. That one big hit had catapulted me back up the mountain from my peaceful plateau, and the intensity of my sensory inputs were increased significantly. Having always used cannabis when tripping, and expecting it to have a mellowing effect, I was surprised how I felt after taking that hit. Perhaps my reaction was a mixture of the physiological effect of the deep coughing, combined with the psychological effect of the very potent herb. The feeling wasn’t bad, but just not what I was expecting.

While everyone was still standing around the fire, one member of our group appeared holding a glass beer bottle which he was struggling to open. Of course, under normal circumstances opening a beer bottle would be a simple task for any of our group, but in his state of mind he was having a little difficulty. I personally don’t enjoy mixing alcohol and psychedelics very much, but like I said before, everyone was walking their own paths on this journey. At one point the brave psychonaut removed his belt in an ill-fated attempt to open the bottle with his belt buckle. The bottle slipped from his hands and landed in the fire pit. We all looked at each other like a bunch of deer-in-headlights not knowing how to respond to this situation. I leaned over to observe the bottle as it rested next to a red-hot glowing log, and noticed some steam and fizz escaping from the still-affixed bottle cap. Thinking that the pressure was being safely relieved, and hopeful that nothing would happen, I stood up straight as my companions took a step back from the fire. At that moment the bottle exploded violently in the fire pit with a loud BOOM, sending a shower of glass shrapnel and ashes into the air. We were all in shock, and my heart sank as I feared that someone had been injured and we would need to sober up and administer first-aid, or worse, call the paramedics. Luckily, no one was hurt by the incident, not even a scratch, but it could have been ugly if my face had been over the bottle when it exploded. It was at this point that we collectively decided it was time to extinguish the fire and retreat to the relative safety of the warm house.

Back inside, I found the house to be warm and inviting. With only a few smaller lights on, the mood was relaxed and mellow. Someone was playing music from their phone, or maybe it was a small Bluetooth speaker. I hadn’t realized until that moment just how tense my body had become as the temperature dropped well below freezing outside and I struggled to stay warm around the fire. It felt good to remove my layers of coats and sweatshirts and let go of some of the tension that I had been holding onto.

Expecting that we might want to enjoy some good music at some point during our trip, I brought along a small PA amplifier and speaker, which sounded really good and had impressive volume. I had attempted to set up the sound system after drinking my mug of tea, but before I could get the wires sorted out and hooked up, the shrooms kicked in rendering me unable to complete that otherwise simple task. Now, on the other side of my peak, I was able to pull my shit together and hook everything up. No one seemed too particular about what music was played, so I proposed, and all agreed, that we enjoy some Dub Side of the Moon (Easy Star All-stars). Go ahead and roll your eyes if you must, but at that particular moment of my trip it was exactly what I wanted to hear, and it was fucking awesome.

Once the music had been sorted out, and everyone had found a spot to relax, one of our companions apparently decided it was his sacred mission to make the house as dark as possible. Silently, like a mushroom ninja, he went around the house turning off the few remaining lights that were still on, and then continued to locate and extinguish all other sources of light including the smallest little LEDs on electronics or anything else plugged in. The house was now totally dark, and when my eyes had adjusted I gazed out the large windows at the silhouette of the snow covered mountains on the other side of the bay. The water, the mountains, the stars in the night sky, I could see they were all alive and buzzing with energy. The room I was sitting in was also filled with energy. I felt waves of euphoria wash over my physical body as the music lifted my soul and took me on a sonic journey. For me, this was one of the most powerful moments of the trip. Even as I type these words, I have a smile on my face that I can’t contain. And, I know I wasn’t the only one feeling it, because as the music played in the darkness I could hear from various points around the room the “oooh’s”, “ahhh’s” and the occasional “wow!” from my fellow trippers. In fact, one member of our group, who had been struggling all night with a very intense and at times unpleasant trip, emerged from the bedroom where he had retreated to re-join us in the dark living room and bathe in the sonic energy.

After hearing most of Dub Side of the Moon I checked-in with the group to see if anyone wanted to hear anything else, and it was suggested that we play the original Dark side of the Moon, you know, to see how it compared to the dub version. So we did, and it was also amazing, as countless trippers before us have discovered. During this music session did we discover profound insights into the nature of the universe? Perhaps not, but it all felt really good to me, lifting my spirit up and letting me soar before gently setting me down at the end of my trip.

Well, almost gently. You see, at some point during our sonic explorations, one brave psychonaut decided it was time to quietly go outside and soak in the hot tub, which was located on the deck just outside a huge window at the end of the living room where we were all relaxing. He quietly went into the other room, stripped down to his birthday suit, wrapped himself in a towel and then ventured back out into the freezing night. Still completely dark both inside the house and out, I barely noticed him just outside the window as he was removing the cover from the hot tub. Then, just as he was climbing into the hot tub he inadvertently triggered a motion-sensor flood light, blinding everyone inside the house with a sudden and unexpected view of his pale, hairy ass. A brief moment of shock quickly changed to laughter as our brave companion, realizing the folly of the situation, did a quick little dad-twerk for us before slipping into the hot tub. My friend who had previously been turning off all the lights sprang to action, running outside with a jacket in hand, which he threw over the offending light returning our scene to its previous state of tranquil darkness.

I had been quietly contemplating getting into the hot tub myself for some time, but wasn’t sure if I was ready yet to take the plunge as I had never been in a hot tub while on psychedelics before. However, at this point it was around 3:30 in the morning, and feeling my trip had wound down sufficiently, I decided to join my friend in the hot tub for a little psychedelic de-briefing. Soaking in the hot tub was very relaxing and helped to calm my busy mind. Three of us ended up in the hot tub passing around a night-cap joint, waxing poetic about the beauty of life and wonders of our vast universe, and about the experiences we had on our trip that night. For me, it was a great way to end the night.

After my soak, we gathered in the kitchen for a quick snack before I retired to try and get some sleep. It was just after 4AM when I laid down, about ten hours after drinking my mug of tea. Overall, it was a wonderful night- a very positive experience for me, and I am eternally grateful for the companions that shared the experience with me. I managed to sleep for about six hours, waking up around 10 in the morning. I’m sure I could have slept longer, but the room I was in did not have dark shades for the windows and the next day was sunny and bright. Despite six hours of good sleep, I was physically exhausted and felt very lethargic. I originally had big plans for the day, including hiking and mountain biking, but we ended up spending most of the day relaxing around the house. Mentally I felt peaceful, happy and relaxed, and it was good to spend the day after catching up with my old friends.

More than I have ever done in the past, I took conscious steps to prepare myself both mentally and physically for this journey. Writing this trip report was also my first formal attempt at integrating the psychedelic experience. The process of writing this report, along with mindfulness practice and continued dialog with my fellow psychonauts about our shared experience, have been very positive for me. In the near future I will have opportunities to try new, and different types of psychedelic journeys, and I plan on using these same tools to help integrate those experiences, and learn as much as I can about my self, and the world(s) around me.


"How long will this last, this delicious feeling of being alive, of having penetrated the veil which hides beauty and the wonders of celestial vistas? It doesn't matter, as there is nothing but gratitude for even a glimpse of what exists for those who can become open to it." -Sasha Shulgin

"My god...it's full of stars!"
 

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Sunnyside
#2 Posted : 7/25/2019 9:23:48 PM

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Posts: 380
Joined: 28-Jun-2015
Last visit: 29-May-2023
cascadia_voyager wrote:




... Sometimes it is the little moments that can make the whole night...





Happy birthday to you, and thanks for the delightful read.

You wrote way too much good stuff for me to quote, so I just grabbed an easy one.

Thanks again.
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cascadia_voyager
#3 Posted : 8/8/2019 3:59:06 PM

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Joined: 23-Feb-2019
Last visit: 10-Jan-2023
Location: Right here
Thanks Sunnyside, glad you enjoyed it! Like I said, this was my first attempt at a detailed trip report and I really enjoyed writing it. I plan on writing (perhaps shorter) reports for future trips.
"How long will this last, this delicious feeling of being alive, of having penetrated the veil which hides beauty and the wonders of celestial vistas? It doesn't matter, as there is nothing but gratitude for even a glimpse of what exists for those who can become open to it." -Sasha Shulgin

"My god...it's full of stars!"
 
 
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