Citation: Julian. "Magick with a K: experience with Ketamine, 2C-I, MDMA & Cannabis (ID 40098)". Erowid.org. Mar 25, 2005. erowid.org/exp/40098
We are inside a tepee, Soror M* and I. We’ve just returned from a conference afterparty. Already present in our bodies is around 100mg of MDMA each, plus half a 2-CI pill (a new one on both of us) and a little THC. The effects are still present (of the 2-CI & MDMA) though our drop time was some hours ago. Now we’re here, snug inside this elegant conical space.
“So what do you want to do?”
“Well…we could do some K.”
A tiny, beautifully made image of Ganesh sits atop the micro stereo. The music is cued and ready to go. The floor of the tepee is covered in colourful rugs, sheepskins and blankets; a temporal autonomous comfort zone. A few nightlights stand on the floor (not necessarily the wisest form of illumination given the nature of our proposed experiment). From one pole of the tepee a lantern casts a lattice of shadow and shapes of pinkish light around the facets of canvas. Soror M* prepares the sacrament; white crystals glinting on a mirror, a rolled banknote.
It is time to pray. First a Sanskrit prayer to Ganesha, then in English:
Great Fat God of beginnings, fill us with your happiness.
Open the way for us,
Protect our ceremony
Break down all obstacles in our path!
“We take this ketamine”, says Soror M*, “with the intention of understanding more fully the K experience. You first.”
I take the mirror and snort the white powder. Without the anesthetising effect of cocaine I can feel a huge wad of material jam up my left nostril.
My partner takes her line.
Now there is no safe word – what will be will be. The music begins, sound just audible. Outside dawn is breaking, we move onto the bed, fully clothed.
“How do you want to sit?”
We get comfortable and embrace. I feel the human, solid form of my Sister, my hands noticing ribs, expanses of muscles, the texture of cotton. Our faces come together and we begin to exchange breath – in and out, merging our energies, creating a cycle of prana between our bodies. Our hands move over each other and there is comfort in that embrace. Yet I begin to sense a hesitation, a sense of awkwardness. I feel less confident, less relaxed but I know that this is a sign, deep in my body systems are beginning to register a change. This provokes a sting of adrenaline, and its characteristic tightening up, before the full force of the K overpowers it. Something is changing, something is on the move, my neurochemistry gears itself up for yet another intervention – it begins.
We are moving. Sliding our hands and bodies around, then we begin to sway gently. All hesitation, all unease has evaporated, we are anemones swaying in the current of a warm ocean. Our bodies echo the neurological undoing that is taking place. The ketamine relaxes us, eyes close. As my shoulder presses against that of Soror M* my mind is intensely drawn into that sensation – pressure, warmth, texture. I am falling into a black hole, pulled toward the singularity of that sensation, that atom to atom contact between my body and that of my companion. I am acutely conscious of the location of this feeling, this isn’t an all-in-the-brain ‘neural representation’, instead the feeling is profoundly embodied and embedded in my body. Yet my body is simultaneously disappearing, or rather it is becoming harder to define the limits of it. All is one, one is all in a literal, corporeal sense. Surfaces of touch give way – our bodies are blended and the physical sensations are both seen and sensed clearly in visual terms.
First black and white designs, then blue enters the imagery, then light of many different colours. Multihued surfaces that bend and buckle as they move, cells burst and flood into one another, membranes rupture, tectonic plates are subducted and plunge downwards towards more of the same. Turtle shells composed of morphing, conical Platonic solids – all the way down… Soror M* lies backwards and I bend forward. My mind briefly attempts to establish my ‘true’ position – am I squashing her? Is there sufficient blood flow to my legs? With eyes open I can see the room, but unlike the same experience on, say, LSD, the apparent world isn’t pregnant with meaning or rendered radically alien. I can see the pillows, our bags, yet they are seen as though through a haze. This haze isn’t literal (there is no visual confusion of overlaid grids as might be seen on mushrooms) but figurative. Objects have no interest for me, they evoke no response, they are only things.
I close my eyes and am pulled down the K-hole, brightly coloured surfaces of meaning roll down like industrial conveyor belts. Down at the bottom of one layer I am I within the deep places of the earth. Rich visions in LED glowing green, shapes like markings on circuit boards, ghostly glowing like the controls of a strange, organic machine.
There are presences here too. Consciousness, the background hum of persons unseen, like me - disembodied. Is this the realm of the ancestors, these billion calm ghost voices? For a moment I am interrupted, here are fuzzy, angular, splintering, crunching shapes. These are forms of residual fear. I pass through them and there is a sense of the divine (much like that I have experienced with Santo Daime). I am aware that my head is resting on Soror M*’s chest, and in my vision my head is bowed in prayer. I am adoring a blue black goddess, her body is composed of infinite space and the infinite stars. My own body is now completely and easily jettisoned. Time is ever coming, infinite, and palpably present; all being is eternal doing.
And it is ok to die.
Now the first stage of the return.
We become lucid for a moment and re-arrange our bodies, lying together under the blankets. I am now aware of the earthly nature of this spirit, of verdant fractating ferns. Outside and across the music (of which I am hardly aware) birds sing in real-time.
As the feeling begins to fade I become aware of how much the tepee poles perfectly capture the relationship of surfaces in many parts of the vision. One structure, divided in many faces, each intersecting, interacting and stretched towards one infinite point (the increasingly blue sky above us). In K there are lines rather than the mandala circles that dominate the imagery of drugs such as LSD. K is so abstract, so refined that it presents the equivalent of ‘clean lines, modern living’ to the house party hippy style of acid. K is also (in this voyage at least) little inclined to produce anything as direct and intelligible as a realistic vision. The figures and events, the dream-like content that other psychoactives can produce is absent from ketamine. No resplendent psychedelic temples, no erotic writhing forms (that mushrooms are apt to create), no multi-roomed castles in the air (as with ayahuasca). But here there is a sense of purpose in the experience itself, though this sense is not alluded to by archetypal imagery. This is a manifestation of familiar power, regal and strong.
Ketamine means something. She doesn’t indulge in the fizzy pop of memory, grabbing old content and re-arranging it to make her point. Nor does she demonstrate the astonishing breadth and depth of human creativity as ayahuasca is able to do. K explains herself through images but these images are the visual analogue of kinaesthetic feeling. She gets to you directly through the body. The armour of habitual posture (both literal and metaphorical) is breached. Knots of tension slide away, and beneath these ticks and habits, in each joint, in the junction between each cell – there is the pure process of movement. Some claim that fundamentally our consciousness is predicated on or ability to move, to be active agents in the world, movement determines awareness. As we move our bodies the fact of our locomotion is translated instantly through all cells in the body (if nothing else by changes in gravitational pull, velocity and so forth). So our sense of movement is a global sense, a full body knowledge that K can get into and release, open and re-configure.
K is gentle but distant. She doesn’t come rushing up like the mushroom spirit. Her aloof attitude reminds me somewhat of LSD (though acid is far less a clear personality for me) or perhaps the ‘Green Goddess’ of Salvia divinorum (another drug noted for its curious effect on body awareness). Though distant there is still a sense of caring in ketamine, a reserved but definite love. She isn’t Venus, but more like Binah, that great Mother of Time, Nuit the cosmic or stellar divinity.
My eyes open I watch the day creep brighter into the sky, a few droplets of rain are falling through the central hole of the tepee. Like a good friend leaving – she is going, the ketamine experience retreats; so sad to see her go. Aware of the vast volume of snot from my nose I begin to sense my body but there isn’t any rush. I have a sense that I have returned to my body in perfect health, my physical form relaxed and vibrant with life.
The birds are singing loudly now. Soror M* and I talk ourselves into earthly awareness.
“I cry tears of joy.”
Our words, descriptions, weaving together a memory of this time, bringing back these insights and attempting to fix some tiny proportion of them into memory. Wisdom is here but the first thing I manage to say aloud is simply, “wow – fuck, shit!”
I am weeping. My nose is streaming. I have been reborn.
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