Huasca Brew (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora)
Citation: Johnny Al-Khumm. "Both Therapeutic and Disastrous: An Experience with Huasca Brew (Syrian Rue & M. tenuiflora) (exp109534)". Erowid.org. Dec 1, 2016. erowid.org/exp/109534
A little background info; as I'm writing this it's november, and it's the day after this last experience. I have been working with self-administered ayahuasca analogue since february this year, making a brew from Peganum Harmala seeds + Mimosa Hostilis powder, which isn't technically ayahuasca as it's based on plants other than Banisteriopsis Caapi, but the effect is the same. This means small doses taken in my home, on my own.
I know that's often recommended against (and now I can see why), but I've had tremendously beautiful, ecstatic and beneficial experiences. This concoction, as psychedelics in general seem to jive very well with me. Although before this year, when I turned 37, I've been rather unexperienced. 7 years ago I had an important and beneficial LSD experience, and I've taken MDMA maybe 3 times. I'm not really interested in taking MDMA ever again, because the ayahuasca ecstasy is just so much better.
During this year I've had successful ayahuasca trips approximately at 2 month intervals
During this year I've had successful ayahuasca trips approximately at 2 month intervals
, experimenting with different methods of cooking. Lately I had become frustrated with trips being almost duds, so I fine-tuned my method (adding the third wash in my 6 litre pot, keeping the cooking temperature just right, discarding the sediments by decanting rather than fine-filtering) AND made the mistake of upping the dose. So apparently the latest method was efficient, or otherwise I wouldn't be writing this.
Another meaningful background info is my difficult relationship to my father. When I was in my childhood and pre-teens, he dealt with his negative emotions, such as stress and most likely the feelings of inadequacy, by simply denying them and bottling them tight. Needless to say, this old-school rugged tough man approach is very wrong. Sweeping negative shit under the rug does not make them go away, but instead makes them fester and grow, and eventually blowing up in your face and everyone around you when you add — you guessed it... alcohol — to this pressure kettle. This story is tragically common in my country. Add to this the fact that he almost never went to a bar or to friends to drink (he didn't even seem to have any real friends), but instead he always drank at home in front of his family. Which sometimes resulted in fits of downright demonic rage, which he mostly directed towards my mother and my elder sister. Many times I fled into nearby woods, only coming back at 4 am when I knew dad would be safely passed out. These traumatic moments left deep scars and base feeling of resentment towards my dad in me. Earlier this year, ayahuasca had already helped me love myself more unconditionally and accept my sorrows. But my anger issues stemming from deep childhood were still unresolved. This latest session was intended to be confronting and analyzing those.
Finally, onto my trip. I did my usual preparations – avoiding tyramine-heavy foods during the week, fasting the whole day of the trip, vacuum cleaning the apartment, taking a shower, setting some candles here and there but not too many, thoughtfully compiling a playlist of music to be played during the session. Into the playlist among the usual psychedelic, positive and beautiful albums I added one purposefully challenging short album containing heavy dark and aggressive music, with the intention that I would process my anger during it. The drink itself (taken sometime after 6 pm) went down surprisingly easy, so there was no way to anticipate how strong the trip would be. As usual, I went to relax and listen to music lying down using extra pillows to elevate my upper body to 45 degree angle (to avoid premature nausea), and waited patiently (trips always come to me with long delay).
On early stage, when my imagination started to come more alive, for some reason I asked for ”wolves” to come to me. And they came, being very friendly. Also an alfawolf appeared, more stern than the others, and he donated me some of his strength. Mind you, this was still more vivid imagination than bona fide visuals.
Then the emotional/bodily breaking of the ice came on strong, with the pressure in my throat breaking away like a dam, resulting me simultaneously laughing and crying hysterically. This has happened before, so I knew the trip was going to be good and strong. I purposefully thought of my father, suddenly feeling his pain, making me wonder out aloud ”Why didn't you tell anyone? Why didn't you tell about your pain?” But adding forcefully: ”Still... what you did to your family was WRONG!” I wondered if this pain was just a chain of trauma originated in the war (WW2) where my grandfather had fought in, and of which HE never talked about? I remembered a motivational videoclip about the subject of how to cope when bad things happen to good people. This got me charged full of strength and courage, and I decided that the chain of war trauma would end in me. I was to be like a lightning rod, conducting the evil through me safely into the ground, instead of holding onto it. This is why I was meant to drink ayahuasca. I am much more sensitive than my incredibly resilient elder sister and that's why I need more exotic measures such as this to release my pain.
Next, the challenging album came on in the playlist, and I was fully committed to not fear anything this trip would bring. I was to wage war against war. I was ready to sacrifice myself if necessary: ”Bring it on! Bring your worst! I drop my armour. I can take it!” I went to bathroom, purged from backside, and noticed the psychedelia going strong with open-eye geometric patterns (in these trips common geometric themes I seem to have are hexagons, snowflake crystals, and pentagrams). I also noticed that the album which I had anticipated to be oppressive actually had a victorious element to it. Being in ever wilder and wilder state, I war-danced my way back to the living room and commanded myself to vomit in the bucket I had for this purpose, grinning and laughing in between the spews. I was finally committing the spiritual patricide I had been desperately yearned for decades. I achieved this by rising not against my father but rather above him, since unlike him I was unafraid to face my darkside. I raised my two middle fingers in the air and shouted: ”FUCK YOU! YOU RAGING ALCOHOLIC... I'M NO LONGER AFRAID OF YOU! Look at your son now! Look at him rebelling you! FFFUCK YOU!” The atmosphere was victorious. The atmosphere was downright punk rock. The power roared through the living room and through me like a firestorm. I happily held and squeezed my beautiful anger in my hands like molding clay, without allowing it to enter my head or my heart.
The playlist proceeded back to nicer calmer music, and I decided to calm down and relax. Lying down, with an eye mask on, I watched abstract closed-eye visuals which looked like some hyper-intelligent alien's idea of chess boards and other board games. I took off the mask and bathed in the primal love of ayahuasca, and babbled glossolalia in almost feline tone as I always do during the height of a loving trip.
Then the trip took a dark turn. No wonder, after all I had just dared ayahuasca to ”show me the worst”. Ayahuasca started showing me what it would feel like to die. I knew my actual body wasn't dying, but it was still terrifying and ugly. No visions other than dark grey wall — it was more of a feeling of death and anti-climactic emptiness. Realising I had bitten more than I can chew, I asked myself not to resist, not to be afraid, that death awaits us all, and now it's a good opportunity to practice for it.
Next I blacked out. I don't know why. I don't know what had happened but I woke up to a loud thud finding myself lying down staring at not the living room ceiling anymore, but at my kitchen ceiling. At first I didn't realise this. At first I didn't know where I was or who I was. A bit like in the movie Robocop, when the main character Murphy starts waking up as the Robocop after having died. It felt like a nightmare. The mirror on the wall was swaying, as if I had bumped it. My head was spinning like crazy. I soon realised where I was and that I had to purge from backside really urgently. I tried my best to stumble onto my feet to make it to the bathroom, but I was as dizzy as only a black-out drunken person can be.
Then I fucking blacked out again.
When I came to (awakened by a loud sound of something crashing), I was sitting on the toilet, with my pants around my knees, diarrhea falling out of my ass. My head was still spinning so badly I feared I was going to fall off the toiled. It still felt like a bad dream. Even the nicer prettier music now playing in the background didn't help. The air was full of evil. I noticed that the toilet seat under me was completely covered in diarrhea. There was shit all over the floor and most likely in my pants. I listened to watery pouring sound of stuff running out of me into the bowl. But eventually I realised the sound of running water also came from the floor, just next to the toilet bowl. And sure enough, something was leaking badly and flooding the bathroom floor mixing together with the shit. I went into panic mode and the adrenalin shocked me more awake, although still tripping hard. I got up to see the horror of the backrest part of the toilet (holding the water tank and mechanics) had been completely busted, and water was spewing out from the intake pipes. Apparently while blacked out I had made my way to the bathroom, thrown myself onto the toilet seat falling backwards crashing against the water tank with such force that I smashed it. But the diarrhea started to rain out of my ass again, so by getting up I only soiled myself worse. I had to sit back down to empty my bowels before I could address the emergency. I desperately wanted all this to be nothing but a bad dream from which I would wake up. But no matter how I closed my eyes and reopened them, this was still awful harsh reality. Don't forget that I absolutely hate feces, almost to a point of phobia. But when a tight situation calls, a real man answers.
I remembered that the intake pipe has a small valve on it which can be turned shut with a flat-headed screwdriver. So after I was confident enough that no more gravy was seeping out of my rectum, I stumbled back to the adjacent kitchen on my shit-stained feet, found my trusty screwdriver kit from the tool drawer, just happened to choose the right screwdriver head by a chance, and managed to close the valve ending the leak.
Now a glimmer of hope appeared into this world of bleakness. Maybe I can overcome this situation after all. And if I can somehow overcome this, I can overcome anything! So the next stop would be to take off my shitty clothes and shower myself up a bit, before tackling the horrific mess of bathroom itself. My thighs and legs were so covered in filth that GG Allin would be proud.
My thighs and legs were so covered in filth that GG Allin would be proud.
Yet being disgusted simply wasn't a luxury I could afford right now. I had to take action NOW, and keep on working one step at a time, until things would at least improve.
And so began the long arduous shameful mission. I kept complaining to myself how the worst that could have happened, happened. Although in hindsight that not exactly true. I could have accidentally broken the wall mirror and rolled around in glass shards. From the bathroom mirror I saw that my pupils were still very much dilated, but I was so desperately focused on the clean-up job that I had pushed all psychedelia aside. No time or chance for enjoyment. I also had to do mental work to push aside any paranoid thoughts of a possibility of getting evicted. Also pounding in my head was the question: Why did I black out? Why in the fuck I had to black out? But slowly bit by bit, the mess started to improve, as my ayahyasca-addled brain came up with a tiny solution after a tiny solution as to what to do next. The contents of the vomit bucket were added by shit nuggets I scooped off the floor with toilet paper, and thrown away outdoors to a spot where HOPEFULLY no one stumbles upon it anytime soon (being wintertime should help hide it), the bathroom floor was absorbed dry with newspapers and cleaned up with strong cleaning gel, the soiled clothes were pre-washed in a bucket so that washing machine would have better chance doing thorough job the next day, and the toilet, albeit not flushing, can still be used if a bucketful of water is poured into it after using it.
After all this time- and effort-consuming clean-up was done, I was exhausted. The trip was long gone, but to great relief so seemed to be the stench in my apartment. Only at that point (10:30 pm) was I finally able to eat anything (a mango and a couple spoonfuls of cottage cheese, so it's no wonder I was feeling weak.) Even though it's nothing a call to landlord and money can't fix, me accidentally breaking the toilet makes me now hugely disappointed and embarrassed. I feel like a combat sport athlete who has just taken a beating and lost his latest match, still knowing that this is an important learning opportunity. I did significant psychological work on my dad-related issues, and proved that I can get out of a tight spot independently. Another disappointment is knowing that I cannot go any deeper than or even as deep as this on my own ever again, and I'm left not desiring to do another session in a long while. But hey, life can't be all ayahuasca all the time – you have to integrate too!
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