Hi! I’m the Teafærie. Greetings from the Center of the Universe!
Teafærie is a title, not a name. It’s like Doctor or Professor. It denotes the office of the girl who serves tea at Teatime, in a traveling pirate teahouse of no minor psychedelic repute that is widely referred to as the Center of the Universe by patrons and crew alike. Named for the famous perpetual tea party in Alice in Wonderland, the Teahouse is always open and noisy even when everything else at any given festival is closed down. Naturally, it ends up being the place where trippers congregate in the wee hours, swapping stories, making music, and babbling about the beautiful absurdity of it all. I started serving tea there when I was really just a kid – rather like some people serve God or serve their country. (It all boils down to tea.) It was at Teatime that I discovered and developed my talent as a tripsitter, a vocation that I have been actively practicing in an astonishing array of contexts for almost fifteen years.
In the course of my work I’ve given a great deal of thought to what sort of ceremony, if any, is appropriate to incorporate with the use of psychoactive substances in our modern context. Many of us fancy ourselves, however naively, more savvy and sophisticated than our indigenous cousins, and in general the community that I work and play with tends to eschew theatrical rituals. In truth, I suspect that the so-called primitive practitioners who employ those types of technologies are no less pragmatic than we, making a big show and laying it on with a trowel when necessary to catalyze group consciousness, but generally setting aside the costume jewelry amongst themselves in favor of simple solidarity in the face of the mysterious unknown. Through my own experimentation, I’ve found that nothing can really prepare me much better than feeling at home and maintaining a slightly ironic sense of humor.
On the other hand, there’s something that feels just a bit cocky—if not perilously blasé—about going at it willy-nilly, sans even an acknowledgment of the depth and intensity of the undertaking.
So to kick off my new column on Erowid I’ll share a little something that I sometimes like to say before things get rolling. Borrow, add, adjust, enjoy!
A toast (throws toast) originally composed in March of Aught Seven, for my frequent co-pilot, second, and most excellent good friend Seuss Dean upon the occasion of a 5-MeO-DMT experience on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand:
To those who have gone before!
To the explorers of the last Great Sea; true heroes all, sink or swim.
To the self-elect: shamans, adventurers, visionaries, and madmen alike.
To the courageous and to the curious.
To the persecuted and to the lost.
To all of the exiles who have dared to climb the garden wall.
To the holy fools, the seekers, the ambassadors, and the pioneers.
To those who have had the temerity to storm Heaven and Hell,
and who have returned with the Secret Fire to light our way.
To those who can never remember, and to those who can never forget.
To all of the intrepid and extraordinary spirits who have played at the edge,
We, who prepare to confront the Mystery, salute you.