Citation: Kai The Orb Woman. "Alpenglow Asphyxiation: An Experience with DMT & Changa (exp112397)". Erowid.org. Sep 24, 2018. erowid.org/exp/112397
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I should start off by saying that I did not emotionally or mentally prepare for this trip in anyway. This was my first time using DMT and changa and I didnít want to spoil the experience with expectations (or at least thatís what I told myself. More than likely, I was just lazy). I had read a few DMT experience reports in the past, so I broadly knew what was going to happen. But it had been over 6 months since I read any of those reports and the details were hazy at best. After having carried the substances around with me for years, I casually decided now was the perfect time to try them.
While I drastically prefer dissociatives, Iím no stranger to tryptamines or phenethylamines. With these classes of drugs, most of my experience stems from a myriad of research chemicals. I have never done mushrooms and have only tripped on LSD a couple of times. I personally find it very difficult to Ďlet goí while on psychedelics, with the exception of dissociatives (thus my strong affinity towards them). Nevertheless, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I decided DMT was right for me.
My partner, Anatoli Smorin, and I built a ĎThe Machineí to smoke the crystal DMT while the changa was loaded into a simple glass bowl. The changa was sourced from an individual who had recently returned from South America. It was reported to consist of Banisteriopsis caapi and N,N-DMT. I took the vendor for their word and did not have a third party test the substance. The setting for this is a beautiful 20acre property tucked up against my favorite mountain range in a town I call Home. I relaxed against an apple tree in the orchard and began my experience.
I pack 138 mg of changa in the bowl and light it with a normal bic lighter. I take one deep inhale and attempt to hold my breath. As someone who no longer smokes weed, I find the physical act of smoking to be quite painful. My lungs burn and I cough everything out. Anatoli laughs at me and encourages me to take another hit.
I inhale again, this time trying to hold my breath for as long as possible. Smoking is painful and stupid and I donít enjoy any of it. But this time I manage to keep it in for a little bit longer. Instantly, I find my field of vision changing. I see the wind gently tangling with the leaves, leaving pastel trails in its wake. The visuals are soft and gentle. A wind chime sings in the distance. How nice it would be to stay here forever.
I see the wind gently tangling with the leaves, leaving pastel trails in its wake. The visuals are soft and gentle. A wind chime sings in the distance. How nice it would be to stay here forever.
37 mg of DMT has been melted into the ĎThe Machineí. Anatoli holds one end while I grab onto the plastic tubing that we have installed as a mouthpiece to allow Anatoli to vaporize the material while I focus on inhaling. Am I really about to smoke DMT? All of the sudden, I find this to be quite an extreme Sunday activity. Clearly, I am not a church going individual. I inhale and cough. I inhale again, this time with Anatoli gently telling me to keep holding it, keep holding it for one more second.
I inhale again and again. Iím not sure how many hits I take, but I eventually shake my head to signal that Iím done. I briefly smell a burnt smell before everything goes dark.
Instantly my world narrows. Gone are the apple trees and warm summer breeze. Iím not sure I even have a physical body anymore. And yet, I feel as if I canít breathe. Whatever is left of my body isnít functioning. I curl up on myself and have to physically force myself to take in gulps of air. Iím in a void. I see nothing, feel nothing, beyond my lack of breath. I squeeze my eyes shut, or have they been shut the whole time? Iím not sure anymore.
Iím in a void. I see nothing, feel nothing, beyond my lack of breath. I squeeze my eyes shut, or have they been shut the whole time? Iím not sure anymore.
I logically try to tell myself that my body will naturally take over if I can only allow it. Then I can enjoy this experience. But I canít. I canít let go of this simple, lifesaving task. If I do, I know I wonít make it. Iíll suffocate and forever be lost in this void, this vacuum of light and air.
All I see is blackness. Each inhale is remarkably difficult. Itís as if my lungs no longer work on their own. They donít remember how to expand and contract. Iím filled with this primal need for air and yet somehow I canít seem to get enough. Iím drowning, desperately trying to keep my head above some body of water that I canít see or touch. Iím starting to panic. I think Iím hyperventilating.
A thought floats into my consciousness. Is this what itís like to die in space? How have I managed to travel so far from home?
As quickly as the thought comes, itís gone. Breathe, just keep trying to breathe. It feels as if Iím pushing my chest outwards, from inside my body. I have to physically force it to expand, to allow in air. There is no such thing as time or Earth or anything else except my need to keep breathing. Nothing else exists or has existed or will ever exist again. There is only blackness and asphyxiation.
Beyond my lungs and chest cavity, I have no other awareness of my body. My spine, skull, and nervous system are gone. The only sounds I can hear are my desperate gasps. Iím fighting a battle I know I cannot win. I can only hope that I will be transported somewhere away from here. Somewhere with color. Breathe, breathe, breatheÖ
I open my eyes and itís over. Iím back to my gentle pastel visuals. Some light fractals remain on the grass and trees, but none of the visuals are overt or pressing. I feel as if only seconds have passed. Iím slightly disoriented from the experience. What just happened? I feel calm, yet Iím breathing heavily. Thereís a slight burning in my chest and esophagus from the smoke but no other body load or sensations. I turn to Anatoli and tell him I want to try it again. Soon. Now.
We donít have any more DMT in crystal form, but we have more changa. We make the decision to take a small break and regroup at the front of the property to watch the sunset over the surrounding mountains.
I ruminate on the experience I just had. Even though it happened only moments ago, the memory feels hazy. Like a traumatic event my brain is trying to protect me from. And yet, I have this strange desire to do it again.
Even though it happened only moments ago, the memory feels hazy. Like a traumatic event my brain is trying to protect me from. And yet, I have this strange desire to do it again.
Like Iíve only scratched the surface and if given a second chance, I know I could fly.
Now that Iíve had a moment to take a step back, Iím flabbergasted by the intensity and timeframe of the drugís effects. Going from 0mph to 100mph is not something I was prepared for. Itís like my memory of riding a roller coaster for the first time. I think Iím ready but nothing has prepared me for the first initial drop, where my stomach lurches into my throat and I feel as if Iím free falling. Itís in that moment that Iím forced to surrender to gravity, or DMT, in this instance. So, yes, I had read about the quickness and intensity of DMT, but experiencing it is something else entirely.
Anatoli and I reconvene at the front of the property. Thereís a magnificent sunset happening, with bright, vibrant colors filling the sky, against a backdrop of multiple mountain ranges. Iím filled with a sense of awe at the beauty around me. I can tell the alpenglow will be spectacular tonight. Anatoli packs 151 mg of changa into the bowl. Our conversation is light and easy. We reflect on the different mountain ranges we can see and how lucky we are to live in such an area.
I light the changa and inhale. Iím able to hold the smoke in for roughly 5 seconds before I cough it out. Seems like I still havenít learned how to hold my breath! Anatoli comments that he usually hates the taste of DMT. I donít taste anything, but for the first time I notice how distinct the smell is. Itís pungent and sharp and slightly unpleasant; it smells synthetic, as if we are burning plastic.
Some light visuals start to unfold before me. The mountain ranges seem to hold an indescribable amount of depth to them. They are silent yet ever looming in the distance. They are my witness to this experience and Iím happy to have their presence near me. I look up and notice the single cloud in the sky. Itís filled with layers of color. I feel as if Iím in a Monet painting, my vision taken over with texture and bold brushstrokes. Every color blends into the one next to it, creating movement between everything, despite an actual lack of activity.
I take another inhale of changa. Anatoli verbally counts to 10 to make sure I hold my breath long enough this time. I struggle but succeed. Instantly, my vision shifts. I hear a buzzing, as if a bee where circling around my head. I lose sight of the mountains and the cloud. Fuck Monet, my world has been upgraded to Alex Grey! Red and black fractals explode into my vision. Literally everything I see is replaced by these fractals. And each has a smiling face. While they are bold and present, they are not frightening. Everywhere I look, the smiling fractals stare back at me. Theyíve somehow consumed my eyesight, taking over everything I see. The more I look, the more 3-D they become. My visual world is now deconstructing and rearranging to form a red and black fractal orb around me.
My visual world is now deconstructing and rearranging to form a red and black fractal orb around me.
I realize this is not the first orb I have been in. The first time I experienced orb-ism was on a very high dose of N-Ethylnorketamine. As I sit in the center of this ball, I no longer hear, see, or feel the normal world around me. And yet, the fractals continue to smile at me with their goofy grins. The smiles, while friendly, are almost manic. And thereís so so so many of them.
Iím breathing heavily again. A thought from before caresses my mind. If I donít force myself to breath, Iíll stop breathing altogether. However, unlike before, Iím able to let go of this notion and simply enjoy the experience for what it is. After a few deep breathes and a second of acclimation, I realize Iím fine.
This realization rewards me unparalleled visuals. The fractals break apart to reveal the mountains, which have grown in size, depth, and color. Each peak dances and shifts with the peaks next to it. Thereís two layers, no three layers, no four layers of mountains in front of me. How have I never noticed this before! My love for these giant rocks in the sky grows with each passing second. Iím no longer miles away from them, but right at their base. As the sun continues to set, their colors shift from grey to blue to purple, all the while dancing and moving. Each peak seamlessly shimmies and shakes with the peak next to it, to some hidden beat I cannot hear. I can tell from their movements that itís upbeat and I catch myself bobbing my head along. I get the feeling that itís some kind of funk song, with a killer saxophone solo. I laugh and think that Iíll never be able to look at these mountains in the same way.
I somehow convince myself to look upwards and see the stars above me. Even though the sun is still up, and I canít see the actual stars, I can see thousands of rotating octagons formed of a shimmering golden color. Their rotations are slow and lackadaisical. They have no hurry and no other purpose than to simply exist as they are. Their edges connect to one another, creating a web of shifting light in the baby blue sky.
The more intense visuals fade and Iím slowly brought back to my world of Monet. The sun is fully behind the mountains and the sky erupts with hues of pink, blue, orange, and purple. I take a deep breath, to reground myself in this moment in time. Iím so incredibly thankful to be here. To witness this sunset. To be given such a gift from the universe. I canít remember the last time I have felt so peaceful.
I canít remember the last time I have felt so peaceful.
The alpenglow has begun. The valley Iím in becomes silent, as if every being is acknowledging the slow shift from daytime to nighttime. The temperature drops in response.
I notice for the first time two horses grazing in their pastures. Iíve met these horses before and their owner is my dear friend. While usually very standoffish, these horses instantly greet me as I walk to the fence separating us. They donít let me pet them but they look at me as I softly speak to them. I wish them a good evening and hope theyíre enjoying their open pasture. We both know in a couple of weeks the grass will be covered in frost. Summers are fleeting here and winters come in swiftly. But for now, we all enjoy this easy weather. I murmur a final goodbye and with that, both horses turn away and start grazing again.
My visuals are back to baseline now. Iím left with a sense of calm. Life seems unusually easy. Iím aware that this will shift by tomorrow, but for now I appreciate the feeling and welcome it with open arms.
The rest of the evening is spent with grilling, eating, and laughing with Anatoli. I donít feel any adverse effects from the changa and DMT. My mood is light and easy going for the rest of the night. I have a normal appetite and have no issues falling asleep. I wake up feeling rested and ready for the day.
While the whole experience took less than an hour, there seemed to be two juxtaposing sides Ė one filled with blackness and a lack of air and the other consumed by color and an awe of nature. Yet, somehow, it felt comfortable to bounce from one to another. Even with my breathing issues, I immediately wanted to go further and deeper. Even in the world of darkness, I never once classified my trip as bad or unpleasant. For the first time, a tryptamine had knocked me on my ass Ėphysically, emotionally, and visually. And I enjoyed it.
Even in the world of darkness, I never once classified my trip as bad or unpleasant. For the first time, a tryptamine had knocked me on my ass Ėphysically, emotionally, and visually. And I enjoyed it.
An aspect I particularly enjoyed was the very little body load I experienced. Outside of dissociatives, this was the first chemical that allowed me to push my limits without being hindered by my dislike of a body high. Any type of body high sends me directly into a ball on the couch. Finally, I was able to let go.
I found DMT to be very unique in intensity and quickness of onset. The visuals were very tryptamine in nature but I have yet to find a dosage in other substances of this class that provided comparable intensity. This includes exploration with 4-AcO-DMT in the 50+mg range in combination with agents of propulsion, such as nitrous oxide and cannabis. While obviously intense in their own manner, the visual intensity of these experiences did not hold a flame to the earth shattering adventure I had today.
I feel as if I barely scratched the surface of possibilities with these substances. I have many more miles to go and I canít wait to see where the journey takes me.
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