Citation: Winchester Colt. "Life Grows In the City: An Experience with Datura (exp40961)". Erowid.org. Jun 22, 2006. erowid.org/exp/40961
I have been curious about Datura since I was about 13, when I came across a copy of Castaneda's The Teachings of Don Juan. As a teenager I finally positively identified a group of Datura plants growing on a dirt pile near my cousin's house. Once I figured out what it was and went back to my cousin's house to harvest it, I was disappointed to find that the dirt pile and it's crop had been bulldozed away. It's probably a very good thing that I didn't get a hold of it at that time- it could have made for a horrific experience as I was exceedingly naive about drugs at the time.
About 2 years ago, while living in the city I began to research Datura again. Once I began to pay attention I began to notice it seemed to grow everywhere. It was somewhat uncanny how I seemed to be developing an acute awareness of where every Datura plant in my area was. I knew every yard that had a plant and found it growing out of cracks in the sidewalk and even found some growing in front of the local police station. At that point I began harvesting a few leaves and seeds wherever I happened to see them.
I had experimented with eating the seeds in small increments, eventually working up to 50 seeds, which left me feeling feverish and slightly dizzy. I decided to make an alcoholic extract of the rest of my seeds by soaking them (about 300 seeds) in 3 shots of vodka for a few weeks. One day I spontaneously decided to down the extract. It was extremely bitter. I got the idea of also smoking some leaves about 15 minutes afterward. I quickly began to feel the dizzy pull of gravity, which I attributed to the alcohol. I also found that light was starting to bother me. I stumbled into my bedroom and closed the door.
In the darkness I began to notice flashes of white light in front of my eyes. The flashes seemed to strobe in time with my heartbeat. Once I was in bed I realized I was extremely thirsty, and decided to get up and get a drink of water. I couldn't find the light switch and started feeling around in the dark. I found the door but it wouldn't open. I kept trying it. About 5 minutes later I realized there was no door, and I was on the other side of the room trying to push through the wall. Eventually I got out of my room and brought the entire pitcher and a glass, and put them on the shelf of my bookcase. The thirst was extreme. I would often reach for the glass of water and it would disappear. Sometimes I actually did get the glass. The light was bothering my eyes again, so I shut off the light, but left the door open a crack so I could find my way out.
Since I had no closet, I had all of my clothing on a makeshift hanging rack. When I looked at it, I though it was really weird that I never bothered to take any of the price tags off of my clothing. I went over to the clothes rack and started pulling all the price tags off. I was doing this for about 15 minutes before I realized that the price tags were melting in my hands. At this point I really had to urinate, so I gave up on the non-existent price tags and made for the bathroom.
I was rational enough at this point to realize I was hallucinating, but still had some difficulty recognizing myself in the mirror. I could sort of tell a hallucination from reality because hallucinations tended to look like computer-animated special effects. Almost real, but somehow too clean or too sharp. In the bathroom I noticed a large, transparent tarantula crawling on a framed picture hanging over the toilet. I spent some time looking closely at the tarantula, and if I looked hard enough it would turn into a feather. I think the feather was the reality, and my mind was able to turn the shape into a tarantula.
The thirst was overwhelming, but no matter how much I drank or how full my bladder was, I couldn't urinate. This was the most uncomfortable part of the experience. When I got back to bed a cat flew out of nowhere and jumped on me. Then I thought I was on the subway going back and forth.
At that point my roommate came home. I stumbled out of my room and told him I was on Datura. He started asking me about the effects, and I found myself completely tongue-tied. He seemed convinced that I was not freaking out so I went back to my room and he went about his business. My roommate had multiplied into about 3 or 4 people, so I had two hallucinatory roommates talking to me while one identical roommate was cooking dinner and another of the same roommate was checking his email. The two hallucinatory roommates in my room were mumbling to me at the same time, and I kept asking them to speak up. I could never quite get what they were saying.
Somehow I eventually fell asleep, but I felt out of it for about 4 days. The next day I felt so exhausted and fucked up that I took my Datura stash and threw it in the garbage. My roommate fished the baggie out of the garbage and put it on the kitchen table, possibly to remind me of my experience. Eventually I ended up taking my Datura back.
Since then I have experimented with taking miniscule doses of datura for medicinal purposes. Since scopalamine, atropine and hyoscamine had legitimate medical uses, I began using datura for motion sickness, nausea and for colds. I found that the datura worked no better or worse than regular OTC medications. The only risk was if the batch was too strong I could slip into Datura-world. Once I had a cold and had made some herb tea with a little Datura in it. I was watching a documentary on Anton LaVey and after the video was over I realized I had taken too much. Knowing what could happen I quickly crawled into bed where I couldn't get into too much trouble. The only hallucination I saw that time was a headless and tailless mouse, just a breathing, moving egg-shaped ball of grey fur. I watched it for quite a while.
Since those experience I feel a very strong connection with Datura. I usually am a big skeptical of people who talk of a 'plant spirit' but was surprised to find myself taking the idea seriously. To this day I am very sensitive to the location of Datura plants wherever I go. I am thinking about trying to grow some if I ever get some space to garden in.
In a small way, Datura completely changed my outlook on life. All my life I have been interested in the paranormal and the occult, but never pursued it because I felt I had no particular visionary abilities. I had tried meditation and a variety of drugs to try to experience some sort of vision, but never saw anything particularly otherworldly. After Datura I felt that I had for once accessed the experience of this otherworldly vision. When I see mentally ill people talking to themselves on the street, I feel a bit of empathy for them. I also think I understand a bit of what happens to people when they have completely inexplicable experiences, like UFO abductions or demonic possession. When I read supernatural fantasy or horror stories they somehow seem more plausible to me. I think if the user is very careful, one or two Datura experiences could be very insightful.
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