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Meet the Teafærie!

teafaerie | Musings | Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

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.


  1. Welcome, Teafaerie!

    We met the Teafaerie when she read a long, moving poem at our “Speaker’s Corner” during Burningman 2006 at the Erowid dome. I was really impressed with her reading and with her as a person. Although it has been a long time in the works, we are super excited about having her share some of her insights about psychoactives and their use, her good cheer, hard-won knowledge, and stories.


    Comment by earth — July 10, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  2. Welcome indeed, Teafaerie!

    I feel this is the start of a very interesting adventure, and I am looking forward to the next post, and the next, and the next, and hopefully some fellow travellers will join in the dance…

    Best of luck, form one faerie to another…

    With love,


    Comment by Dragonseed — July 15, 2008 @ 3:52 am

  3. I look forward to reading more from you! Welcome!

    Comment by Nick Flyer — July 15, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  4. Muhuhuuahahaha!!!!!

    It’s about time ;^)…

    No really… T(sub)0 and all that rot…


    Comment by — July 16, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  5. That was really beautiful, teafaerie – especially the toast at the end, which literally got me all misty-eyed here. Thanks! Looking forward to the next installment… :)

    Take care,

    Comment by Donut — July 16, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  6. thanks for writing! already bookmarked, and ready for more

    Comment by alex zifko — July 19, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  7. Hey, nice start to a column. Is there a way to get alerts to new articles sent to my email?


    Right now there’s no way to get alerts in email that we know of; there is the RSS feed – Editors

    Comment by The Nictator — July 20, 2008 @ 12:25 am

  8. Beautiful, looking forward to your insights and adventures!

    Comment by slav — July 20, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

  9. Thank God for that! The silence following Dr Thompson taking his leave has passed from respectful to deafening. We ARE a community, don’t for get it. Welcome.

    Comment by Callender — July 24, 2008 @ 9:17 am

  10. this is amazing special, brought tears to my eyes nothing but love!!!1

    Comment by prezent perception — July 24, 2008 @ 4:35 pm

  11. Take as many drugs as you can at all times until your psyche explodes…

    Comment by Danny Boy — July 25, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

  12. What a grand toast, Teafaerie! Beautiful words.

    Welcome! I am glad to have discovered your column as it begins, and look forward to future musings, ponderings, explorations… and/or whatever else you have to share!

    – Willow

    …love the concept of ‘traveling pirate teahouse’

    Comment by WildWillow — July 29, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  13. you have quite the ego to think that you are at the center, you who says they are so versed in the universe should know that in a place with out bounds or limits there is no center! every point is connected to every other point, there is no edge, no finite limit, no center. it is the ego that is holding you back, so long as you hold on, you can never really see, never really know, never really let go!

    Comment by Yomi — July 31, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

  14. “Beyond merely pointing out the present stagnation in the human condition, the responsibility of the artist of renewed awareness is personally to bring about a new harmony beginning with his own organism. In other words, the internal technologist has the potential of becoming a center by coordinating his own organism’s physical, emotional, and mental functions. Since the human species itself is potentially a network of centers, and hence an organism whose rhythmic and harmonious order depends on the rhythm and harmony of its individual centers, the artist as internal technologist has a definite role to play in human survival.”
    (from Jose Argüelles 1975’s book The Transformative Vision: Reflections on the Nature and History of Human Expression)

    Teafaerie, here’s a toast to your center of the universe, and the billions of other centers of the universe, internal technologists one and all.

    Comment by alienpuppet — July 31, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

  15. So is this column going to be posted on a regular basis or am i going to just have to check back, i mean it would be nice if it were something i count on reading once a week, month, or whatever. How often are you going to post Teafaerie i really look forward to reading what you have to say.

    El Capitan

    That’s a great question. For now we’re slated to publish Teaf ærie’s writing around every six weeks. If you want to get notified, we’ll be mentioning it in the monthly Erowid announcement, see to sign up. -Ed.

    Comment by el capitan — August 1, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  16. Hello teafaerie! I first saw you in the “show your poi” video and your youtube videos continue to inspire me! I look forward to your upcoming column and maybe meeting you at Burning Man 09 [which I am trying desperately to attend!] Cheers!

    Comment by Rana — August 2, 2008 @ 6:44 pm

  17. Greetings!

    Many thanks for your support of Life of the mind. This world is in great need of it.

    Much peace,

    The Division of the Humanities
    The University of Chicago
    1115 East 58th Street, Chicago IL 60637

    Comment by ˈalˠ̪əpə — August 5, 2008 @ 8:39 am

  18. inspiring…
    jus a newby 2 the universe, treading lighty. thanx 4 making me feel welcome, and im eagerly awaiting 2 hear the next column.
    here, here to willow
    yomi – thoughtful comment, alien puppet – excellent argument, luv that quote
    and im interested 2 read rana’s comment, ill be searchin utube shortly…

    Comment by phatjamaicanhippy — August 6, 2008 @ 1:43 am

  19. blessings to you lovely teafaerie!
    great that you should’ve given the function a name.
    thanks also for your wonderfully inspired toast.
    have bookmarked your page and will return will news of my own psychedelic endeavors (a booklet called “suze in the sky with diamonds” – about the first woman to have taken lsd (in 1942, only weeks after her – and our – teacher and elder, our beloved late yet never ever late albert hofmann…
    keep it up!

    Comment by susanne seiler — August 7, 2008 @ 12:04 am

  20. haha someone has quite the ego to say your not from the center of the universe
    it is good reading from you
    i look forward to see more

    Comment by Nick Burke — August 21, 2008 @ 11:34 am

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