Mushrooms (P. semilanceata)
Citation: Hiab-x. "Psychohedron: An Experience with Mushrooms (P. semilanceata) (exp15902)". Erowid.org. Aug 21, 2002. erowid.org/exp/15902
If the 'Umpsquamadic Peel' trip
was the definative 'Bad Trip', then 'Psychohedron' was the definative best trip I've ever experienced. It happened in September 1993 when a small party of friends and I decided to go mushroom picking at Cheddar gorge in Somerset UK.
We'd arrived at the gorge in the early afternoon in the peak of mushroom season and driven along the winding ravine road until we reached a secure 'non public' area away from the tourist attractions in the town of Cheddar some two or three miles away. We found an ideal spot for picking mushrooms, set aside from the main road and shielded by a thick hedgerow which concealed our illegal activities of gathering the mushrooms.
We spent the best part of the whole afternoon finding groups of Liberty caps dotted in clusters on the hill. By the time the dusk had begun to set in we had somewhere in the region of 900 mushrooms stock piled so we set up camp and pitched our tents in readiness for the evenings psychedelic voyaging.
We each had 100 mushrooms brewed into a rather unpleasant flavoured tea which kind of reminded me of the taste of long life processed cream mixed with a dollop of mushroom ketchup. But, it was customary to forgive the taste in acceptance of the visions that would come as a result of drinking the brew. In good spirits we waited around 45 minutes before the shrooms kicked in .
By the time it was completely dark, the only light in this countryside setting was that of our modest campfire and a slightly blueish tinge to the cloudy night sky. It mattered little, the group and I began to trip . At first the initial 'coming up' phase of the drug induction was the closest any of us got to indulging in hedonism, laughing and galloping around over the hill, feeling the mushroom inebreation taking hold and distorting physical sensations.
I had begun to notice that the sky had developed a complex geometric pattern which span in kaleidoscopic formations, to me it looked like thousands of cat faces twirling around in the air. (I've submitted an image to the visionary arts vault
called 'Kittydelic' which is a pretty accurate translation of the initial hallucination). Some immeasurable time later my visions became so potent that I was forced to go back to the tents and sit down as it mattered little if my eyes were open or closed the pictures were the same intensity regardless. From this point onwards I couldn't say how long I was gone for or how long the entire trip lasted, time was obsolete.
I became a disembodied observer of a psychedelic visual storm, the only emotions I now recall were those of wonder and amazement. Before me was a crystaline structure, perfectly symmetrical, like an icosahedron made of precious stone spinning at a dizzying rate on more than one axis . As this gleaming jewel spun itself, its structure would morph into more complex shapes, its entire colour would change through rich myriads of spectrum colours.
Added to the complexity of this object was the breathtaking way it would emit annimated rays of what appeared to be some form of language. I've tried to illustrate this with little success, the language pouring off the crystal shape looked like a mixture of organic circuitry combined with Egyptian heiroglyphics. While this visual spectacle progressed, I was aware of an audio tone which seemed to ascend from being a static 'Hiss' to a high pitched 'Whine' similar to that which is heard when one has come home from a rock concert with temporarily impaired hearing. At the peak of the higher pitch the spinning jewel exploded and left in its wake an even more potent vision.
I was now staring into an infinite structure, a matrix of interlocking bars made of a glassy substance, the structure was completely built up of elfin like faces with rainbow coloured gasses swirling around within them. The structure had a fluidity to it, there was nothing static about its appearence other than the constant barred form of the matrix itself. Each happy face would warp and morph into another, each transient mouth would open and chatter a visual language which rather resembled micro fireworks exploding a short distance from the faces which produced them.
In my own awareness of self, I was only aware that my perception had become part of the very same structure I was observing, I remained in silent awe and tried to make some form of sense of the chirping electronic sounding bleeps coming from each face. I think I was aware at my surprise of how electronic the noises were at first, then I became intensley aware that my perception of the noises was beginning to shift, it started to sound a lot like human voices as if I were listening to a crowd of people all chatting at once.
Then the noises began to unify into one resounding voice, I could now hear a chorus of words. This is a close approximation of what I could hear 'I am the psychohedron - I am every thing that ever was , is and shall be . Everyone and everything are all part of me ...' It made sense, in that innate way sense does when having a psychedelic revalation, I did not, could not question what I saw and heard. I felt in that timeless moment nothing but absolute truth. It was deep-seated knowledge, it had bypassed any ego formed sense of doubt or suspicion.
From my vantage point It could be no other way, I felt its truth because I was in that space part of it all... I find it very difficult to find the words that could even convey that feeling of 'Truth'.
I simply understood.
Almost as quickly as I had entered that moment within the vision, the structure began to alter, as if to demonstrate exactly what It had meant. The elfin bars and intersections warped, curved, folded into new shapes which then began to have a very distinct familiarity, I soon recognised that one of the diagonals that had formed was the edge of one of the tents. One of the smiling elfin faces became familiar, it was my friend sitting opposite me, another part of the structure suddenly looked like my arms and legs before me. I couldn't bring the vision back or resist the transition, within a very brief time I knew I was back at the camp, sitting in the entrance of my tent surrounded by other friends who were also coming back from their trips.
It had always been an established fact amongst my tripping companions that I seemed to be the person who usually experienced the most potent and powerful visuals. I tended to find that surprising, I had always assumed that hallucinogens would affect others to the same degree. As the mushrooms wore off and I lay in my sleeping bag awaiting sleep, I was fully in awe and aware of a final residue form the mushroom intoxication.
In my mind I could hear a symphony that was more tremendous and complex than any piece of music I have heard in my life. It would be futile again to find the words but I could prompt you to imagine hearing an envigorating classical symphony which is played by the finest orchestra in the world . These musicians are then accompanied by an underscore performed by the finest musicians of every culture on the planet, the result of this is not a meaningless cacophanny but a beautifully paced rhythm that conjures a profound sense of magic, that conjures an inner sense of complete harmony. This harmony extends beyond the self, it embraces everone on the planet and fills the entire universe with joy, the joy of existence and being.
Within this masterpiece I recognise, or at least sense, that music from every era in our history has somehow been infused in with the rhythm . Well, thats as good as I can get to describing what I heard after the psychohedron had dispersed itself and I began to fall asleep.
The following day, after arriving home, the name I had been given was something I could immediately work with, I checked in the dictionary for the word 'Psychohedron' to no avail, however 'psycho-' as a combining form deriving from 'Spirit , the mind. And 'hedron' deriving from 'geometric solid or shape' also as a combining form pretty much meant that making the new word 'psychohedron' denoted mind or spirit shape.
Adding that into the context of what had been witnessed the night before I felt that the message I had heard was absolutely self explanatory. A few years later after a number of tried and rejected rough sketches, I managed to put 37 hours into a pen drawing which I have also uploaded to this site. The image is called 'Psychohedron '
and gives a very accurate rendition of what I saw, minus the glassy substance and rainbow gasses . I'm quite pleased with the illustration none the less.
Do I believe that what was revealed to me in vision that night as true? I'm inclined to say yes, yet at the same time I'm equally open to the notion that the great spirit allowed me to visualise something of a translation of an overwhelming truth, that the structure was a divine way of helping my monkey mind see something that ordinarilly exists beyond my human comprehension. In other words, the visual aspect of the Psychohedron was not literal, it could have been metaphorical. I don't expect to really know until the day I die.
It's also worth noting that a few months after that fateful night another vision came to me whilst I lay on the threshold between awake and sleep. I became intensely aware of a noise I can only describe as akin to hearing an aeroplane coming in to land above ones head. As this noise happened internally, although I could say it was loud , It would be absurd to say deafening .
As the noise reached its climax, from the darkness of my closed eyelids I saw a shape appear from the blackness. It was the glyph-emmiting crystal . It seemed to be a few feet away in front of me, slowly rotating on its 'Y' axis. I noted that the surface had a pattern very similar to ripples you see on the surface of water, but in the case of the crystal, the patterns were in a vibrant myriad of spectrum colours. No sooner had I begun to comprehend what floated before me, the shape rapidly vanished backwards into the darkness of my closed eyes and was gone. At which point, fully awake, I sat up and was left to comprehend what had just happened .
I haven't taken any hallucinogens now for nearly a decade, I feel that to take LSD or Psilocybin mushrooms again would be comparable to trying to upgrade the RAM in a computer that has already had its RAM upgraded. I'd still be very open to trying Peyote or DMT, but sadly as I have no sources for either substance and live in the UK, it presently feels unlikely that the opportunity will arise unless fate decrees other wise.
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