Cacti - T. pachanoi & Salvia divinorum
Citation: myxobacter. "Mescaline Fireworks: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi & Salvia divinorum (exp43595)". Erowid.org. Mar 19, 2006. erowid.org/exp/43595
Six inches of San Pedro cactus was left over from my previous trip almost five months ago. I was planning to take the cactus new years eve when a friend let me know there were more cacti available from our supplier and that I can join them in the city to see the fireworks. That friend (whom shall be called the Ego), originally planned to take some cacti but decided to take an ecstasy pill instead. Another friend (the Drunk) was going to be drinking alcohol that night. I found out later that three others were joining us and that we would be in an office block to see the fireworks. I was apprehensive about taking the cactus in an office block. All my most enjoyable mescaline trips were out doors in nature. Iíve found being indoors to be suffocating and unpleasant, where Iíd yearn to be with a nature that dazzles with beauty. Being indoors most of the night as well as walking through a packed city full of drunks was possibly the worst setting I could have taken this drug. But I had never tripped around sober and drunk people before and so I thought this would be an interesting social experiment.
I purchased another foot long cutting and started cooking it up. Iíve noticed the most potent cacti to be the slimiest and mocusy, with a thick layer of slime forming on the surface of the boiled down broth once the cactus flesh had been removed. Boiling this cactus down, it did not appear to be a potent specimen, and so I decided to add the old six inch cutting. I boiled it down to about a mugs worth of brown slime and took off to see my friends. I sculled the vial broth down in a park near the Egoís house and chased it down with slices of grapefruit. An hour and a half later, with fingers down my throat, I forced myself to vomit in the train station toilet.
The now familiar visuals were starting to take effect on the train trip to the city. Mescaline visuals have a distinct Aztec-like pattern to them. At times it looks like the transparent silhouette of a huge jungle bush bursting with flowers drifting over the surface of the walls, taking on the colours of the objects it covers. On my skin, it often appears like a giant colony of bacteria branching out, or the skeletal structure of transfer RNA molecules, separating the lines and pores of my skin, elevating the hairs as if they were floating above. When the visuals settle into their peak, it is as if someone or something were projecting this organic pattern onto every object I could see, just as shops and nightclubs project their logos onto the city footpaths. The patterns tend to sway, most of the time towards the ground giving the impression of the object melting, but also sway from side to side, returning to centre, resetting themselves with the blink of an eye. On my stronger mescaline trips there are multiple layers of this pattern swaying in different directions. Eventually, my sense of depth disappears as objects separated by colour and distance appear connected in a single plane, their forms sewn together like a patterned quilt warped over my dilated pupils.
By the time we got to the city to watch the 9pm fireworks, the mescaline was really starting to take effect as I was approaching the clear, lucid headspace of a mescaline high, the nausea all but gone. Similar to an MDMA high, though much more grounded, less over the top and out of control. MDMA often feels dirty and artificial regardless of purity of pill. There is also some mild jaw clenching with mescaline, though no where near as intense as I get with MDMA where chewing gum and lollypops are essential to prevent damaging ones teeth.
The city was packed full of drunk and happy people celebrating the end of the year. Finding a place to watch the fireworks was a challenge, as walking through the crowd at times resembled moving through a mosh pit. It had been three hours since I had taken the dose and was definitely tripping by now. People were getting pissed off with all the pushing and shoving in a desperate attempt to get the best view. The Ego was losing his cool, but I found it all really amusing. The hot steamy air oozing through the crowd was only mildly uncomfortable. The only thing I was afraid of was losing touch with my friends and not finding them again, though it would have been interesting to see how I would cope in a city full of people by myself tripping on mescaline. I was right about the potency of the cacti. They were pretty weak, but since I took quite a bit, it was strong enough to get me where I wanted.
I could barely see the fireworks going off but it didnít really matter to me. I was in another world now. The fireworks I was seeing with my eyes closed were better anyway. We made our way to my mateís office after the 9pm fireworks were over. There was another display at midnight, and apparently he had a great view of the fireworks from there and the others were desperate to get out of the crowd.
Walking through the city to the office felt wonderful. For some reason I always know where to step and place my feet, despite barely being able to make out the cracks or inconsistencies in the ground. Itís like Iím being guided and protected by something. I always knew things were going to be ok, despite being in a city full of weird, drunk and potentially dangerous people.
Once in the office, I went to the toilet knowing there would be a mirror I can amuse myself with. I couldnít find all the light switches so the toilet was only half-lit. I proceeded to stare at myself in the mirror. On previous mescaline trips, staring into a mirror was always an interesting experience. Most of the time it was frightening watching my own face shift and melt in front of me, all the scars and blemishes of my skin staring back at you in gruesome detail. At times it was like staring into my own desires and fears in an attempt to find out just what those fears were and how to overcome them. This time, it wasnít my face this time that totally freaked me out. With the dim light, the patterns shifting around my reflection, and some loud moaning noise which could have been the elevator or the plumbing, was simply too much, and had me running out in fear.
I got back to the office with a smile on my face, amused by my cowardly actions. I sat around the Drunk and the Ego. The Ego had now taken his ecstasy pill and was already shaking his legs uncontrollably. The Drunk was taking her alcohol slowly. For some reason I decided to go back into the toilet and face my fears. Iíd read that whenever you see something you fear while tripping, you should never run away from it. I had read that I should have to dig right to the centre of it, face it and find out why I'm afraid. When I got back to the toilet I was disappointed to see all the lights were turned on. Oh well, I thought, and proceeded to stare at myself again. For some reason, there was no fear at all. On previous trips Iíd end up turning away in fear or disgust, but this was different. There was no fear, anxiety or sadness. If anything, there was only curiosity and amusement. I saw patterns gliding over my face, dragging bits and pieces of it along only to suddenly reconnect themselves with a blink of my eyes. Everything just seemed right. The Ego on ecstasy had now dropped in to see what I was doing. He was really starting to come up on his pill and was jumping around a bit. We left the toilet only to return later when he was really starting to peak. For some reason, he was the only person Iíd ever known to get terribly depressed during an ecstasy high, especially considering he hadnít done it very often. He got extremely emotional forcing me into a philosophical discussion. He expressed his inability to let go of things, how he could not understand how one would want to let go of ones desires and attachments. I tried to explain what it meant, but being articulate on a mescaline high was extremely difficult.
The Drunk and one of my straight acquaintances barged in on us ending the discussion. Apparently they were listening in on us and found it very amusing. The Ego was left unsatisfied as we returned to the office rooms. The others were getting ready for the midnight fireworks, laying out all the party chips and snacks. By this time, the state of mind I was in wouldnít allow me to care about the fireworks, about new years, about anything really. I kind of realized this was not the best drug to take on New Years Eve if I wanted to share my feelings with others. At a time when everyone is reflecting back on their year and looking forward to the year ahead of them, all I could think about was what was happening now. And now was absolutely beautiful.
I remembered a line from the movie Fight Club, 'The things you own end up owning you'. I realized this didnít just mean our material possessions. It also meant our memories, the people we love, the beliefs and concepts we hold onto to give us a sense of security. We attach ourselves to these things, and they end up defining who we are. When we let go of these attachments, when we let go of the things that define ourselves, we discover there isnít a self to be defined.
Looking back on it now, this mescaline trip was always going to be something special. In a terrible setting, I was there. I donít think it would have mattered where I took it or who I took it with. Surprisingly, I didnít need to be with nature as I thought I would to have a good experience, though it would certainly have helped. I let go of everything I knew (as much as I could anyway), everything I wanted, and let what ever came to me come.
The midnight fireworks came and went. It really didnít matter to me, just pretty lights flashing. When they were over, I found the lights of the city far more interesting then the fireworks. I found the Ego and the Drunkís desire to take pictures absurd. For me, taking pictures was like trying to hold onto life, and I was in a state of mind where holding on was near impossible. There was no one there to be doing the holding. I had been virtually silent most of the trip, for talking would take me away from the moment and required effort. It wasnít until a few hours later when we got out of the office that I finally managed to say happy New Year to the Ego and the Drunk. I knew the New Year was important especially for the Drunk, but it took a lot of effort just to say it. There were many times I felt like I should say something and contribute to a conversation but I declined. I was reluctant to say just how good a trip I was having for I knew Iíd have to explain myself and that would take me away from the moment. The moment is all I had, and all Iíll ever have. It wasnít ecstatic, or euphoric, nor was it painful or terrifying. It just was. The moment when all analysis and comparison goes out the window, that moment when one stops worrying about how good a trip they are having, whether they had taken enough or if they are going to discover god or not. The pretty visuals become irrelevant, nothing matters. It was only when Iíd be momentarily forced back to the linguistic world by a friend that Iíd think about just what was going on and realize what a wonderful trip I was having.
We caught the train back to the Egoís house. He had come down from the ecstasy and was driving us home. It probably wasnít the best idea to get into a car with someone who had taken a pill, but it didnít really matter to me at the time. I was talking a little more which meant I was starting to come down.
When I got home around 3:30am, I decided to smoke some salvia 5x extract. I was still seeing patterns with open eyes, and bright vivid images with my eyes closed, but I was down from the headspace I was in earlier. Iíve never mixed the two before, and so I was curious to see the effect of launching into salvia hyperspace from another level of consciousness. I prepared two cones and loaded one into my water bong, leaving the extra on the side. It normally takes me two cones of 5x extract to get into the salvia head space, but this time I only needing one. Salvia has this very distinctive taste to it. Almost plasticy, and with the taste comes the feelings of pressure over your body, like I was being pulled in certain directions. There also appears to be some sort of entity I hear from time to time. Normally when it talks or sings, itís in chorus with lots of other voices. This time the voices appeared to be saying Ďall aboardí Ďall aboard, yep heís aboardí.
For me, the salvia visuals always have that zipper aspect about them. Itís like reality is unzipping in front of my eyes, except the reality looks cartoonish with big bright vibrant colours. Itís like thick fibre optic cables with the lights shining at the ends twisting and rolling away, my reality being the colored tips of these cables leading to somewhere I cannot see.
This was by far the most intense salvia experience Iíd ever had. So intense, Iíd completely forgotten I had smoked the drug. I can barely remember the images I saw at the peak of the drugs powers. Uncontrolled, spasticated laughter normally accompanies the salvia experience, but this time however, there was none. Not even a smile or a giggle from a boy whom has a habit of laughing at anything and everything. I was too far immersed in the experience, too involved with the reality unzipping in front of my eyes to realize the absurdity of the situation, which would otherwise have brought about the laughter. After a while (how long I have no idea), I realized my eyes were open and my ceiling was unzipping, the air-conditioning duct being the only link back to normal reality. In my past experiences Iíd always close my eyes to get the best visuals, and here I was with my eyes open experiencing the most vivid, colorful images Iíd ever seen. I decided to close my eyes and the visuals took on a slightly different tone, like I had put on a pair of sunglasses and saw the world in a different shade. And for the first time that evening, I saw truly frightening images. I saw caricatures of The Ego and the Drunk in a flaming car, violently driving away into oblivion. I didnít try and stop it. I wanted to see where it would lead me to, why it was happening, and to see how much fear I could take. And with that, all the most negative, frightening images came flooding into my mind. Like the fireworks I saw earlier, monsters, ghosts, death and destruction exploded out of the darkness as I suddenly found myself in what resembled slaughter house. It almost felt as if they were physically choking me, flaying away, causing tingling sensations in my neck, the pain like one had been tickled excessively. Once again, I let them come. I did not resist them.
Eventually the images subsided and I was back to the kaleidoscope patterns of mescaline. One thing I have noticed on every psychedelic Iíve taken, normally towards the end of the experience, on mescaline, LSA seeds, salvia, and even after intense exercise, a common visual. A swirling circle or vortex. Like the rainbow static one sees on a detuned television, spinning, flowing in the centre of my field of vision like an energy dancing right before my eyes, flirting with me, like it was giving me a glimpse of the secrets of the universe.
It was the best salvia experience Iíd ever had. Unfortunately, one of the problems Iíve had with salvia is integrating the experience with my existing schemes of knowledge. I still donít understand the significance of the salvia experience, and how it relates back with the ordinary world. Hopefully I will eventually, after all, it took a while to start to understand mescaline. Once I had come off the salvia, I got up and went to see if the Drunk and Ego were ok. I didnít really think the image I saw of them dying was real but I was concerned nevertheless. I found I got a message on my phone from the Drunk an hour after they dropped me off so I knew they had made it home safely.
I lay in bed for the next few hours just thinking about things. My mind was on the mescaline comedown now, and Iíve found that during the come down is where you can really start analyzing the experience. I realized it wasnít a good idea to take the mescaline with the Ego and the Drunk as I was never really there the whole night. I couldnít really share the New Yearís reflection with them. I didnít care much for the other three. I started thinking for the first time about my own year and the year I have to look forward to and got depressed. I knew I shouldnít have and quickly let those thoughts go. Focusing on the past and the future can be a recipe for depression, especially when you have a hectic year ahead of you.
I was originally against writing this report. I didnít want to make a permanent record of it just so I could remind myself later on, just like I was against taking pictures of the fireworks display. I didnít want to immortalize anything. Speaking to the Drunk about taking photos a few days later gave me a new perspective on capturing moments like these. Photos arenít just to remind yourself of something you did, of holding onto something like a piece of treasure, but also to show others what you have done and experienced. How silly of me to think in such selfish terms. And so I write this, not to immortalize the experience, but to let others know of this most glorious psychedelic experience.
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