Cacti - T. pachanoi
Citation: Smidge. "Left This World: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi (exp43874)". Erowid.org. May 2, 2006. erowid.org/exp/43874
My first experience with a psychedelic was impromptu (although after many months reading and thinking about it). My watcher had actually prepared some cactus for himself to use, and at the last moment decided that I could try it instead. So I hadnít done much in the way of preparation for the occasion. I had eaten. I hadnít refreshed my memory of the expected path of a cactus experience. I was nervous but excited.
I used just over a foot of T. pachanoi. My watcher had sliced it lengthways, discarded the light green core and then scraped the dark green flesh away from the skin with the back of a knife. He put this slimey runny stuff onto a fruit-leather tray in a fruit dehydrator and left it for the better part of a day, until it was crispy dry and could be crushed to dust. I took a teaspoon of this and swallowed it with some water just to taste it. It was fine to get down, reminded me of bitter seaweed. Twenty minutes later I decided, in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound, and put most of the rest into some yoghurt and ate it that way. The bitterness leached out of the cactus into the yoghurt pretty quickly, but it was still easy to eat. I had about 80-90% of the powder in five minutes, at 10.30 am.
Thirty minutes in I could feel a strong tingle on my tongue. After fifty minutes, I felt drunk in the body but not in the mind. I know that I wouldnít want to drive, but I canít quite pinpoint why yet. My vision has become crystal clear, and Iím really enjoying looking at textural contrasts. Everything seems a bit farther away than I know it is.
After an hour and a quarter, I donít really feel like it has progressed much and it is annoying me a bit. My watcher says I need to smoke a cone to bring on the trip, I believe heís probably right, but I donít want to do that just yet. I do have a strong sense of what I want to do (unlike ecstasy or speed, where I can get a bit restless and unsure what I want). I need to lie down and listen to trance music on headphones. I need my watcher to help set me up, Iím too listless and uncoordinated to do it for myself. We couldnít find the right headphones, so set up the surround sound speakers around my head. This is perfect. I can just faintly see fractal triangular patterns coruscating through my closed eyes, in black, white, olive, tan, earthy colours.
I notice that my tactile senses have become exquisitely sensitive. I can feel the detailed fingerprint pattern between my fingers, and I can feel the silkiness of my lips with my tongue. It is fascinating.
Now Iím ready for a cone. I donít smoke pot at all, ever, I hate it, but right now I know that itís what I need. NOW. My notes end here, as follows: ďPotentiated it! Definitely altered layered integrated/disintegrated conscience, constant push-pulling of depth perception and hearing and focus. Metallic taste on tongue. I could maybe MAYBE focus and be responsible IF I had to. Hang on, yep, I can just do it if I had toÖWriting is become more intermittent as I experience that my arm is separate from meÖĒ
Iím sitting at the table with my watcher, and Iím trying to explain to him that my centre of consciousness has shifted backwards and to the right. I am no longer seated directly between my eyes. I am thinking with amazing clarity, but Iím not thinking in words, and I canít activate my mouth. My detached self notices that Iím gawping.
I still want food, and Iím enjoying the flavours very much. In fact I pretty much continually want to pick at food throughout the afternoon. But Iím suddenly enchanted by the fact that as I reach for some food from the table, I can feel the distance of that reaching in the roof of my mouth. I fool around a little finding different places that my sense are crossed, aware that I must look silly darting my hands here and there, touching things, wriggling in my chair, but enjoying it immensely.
For the next 2 hours, the sequence of time is very muddled, except for three big excursions to somewhere else.
I want another cone, again I feel like I can hold my breath forever and I have to say, Okay, stop showing off and let it go. I cough and get a tickle at the back of my throat. The tickle fades away, but then comes back and gets stronger, then it fragments into a fractal array of mini-awarenesses, holographic mini-tickles in a multitude of my mini-throats which all add up to one big sore throat. I know itís just a shattered multi-tickle, but sheesh it hurts. My watcher gives me a thickshake to suck, and it soothes the tickle, makes it go away, lets me enjoy myself again.
I lie down and immediately start to get restless legs. My watcher starts massaging my legs for me. He is trying to tickle me, but I canít feel the tickle, instead it sends me flying backwards into the darkness, where there is a wild spinning ocean of electricity crackling around me in glowing white-blue waves. I am suspended in the darkness, watching the electricity wash up from below me and pass up through me. As it hits my feet they begin to twitch and spasm, until my legs are convulsing. The electric-fire passes through my body and up out my arms, pulling them up into the air with it as it passes through. There is a deafening roaring sound. Iím peripherally aware that in the real world my body is convulsing. Every time the wave approaches, it pulls my feet in and Iím getting neural fire which sends my limbs flying in the direction of the wave. Iím trying to explain what Iím experiencing, and Iím trying to control the flailing in my limbs, but it keeps escaping my control and making me laugh hysterically. It is a joyful experience, and Iím not disturbed by the twitching or shakes or tics in my body. After a while the spinning waves recede and I reenter reality.
Back in reality it feels hard and difficult. I canít say why, itís just a wearisome load. Iím trying to tell my watcher about this, but Iím not sure how much Iím getting across. I start to get the smell of cactus at the back of my throat, and then a strong metallic taste.
The second wave started when my watcher gave me a head massage to sooth the discomfort. A kaleidoscopic rush of fractal triangular wave patterns rushing and crashing past me from the same direction as before, but increasing in frenzy. This is much more powerful than before, more blurry and whizzing by. As long as I can hang onto my watcher, I feel secure and it is the most exhilarating rush, but I canít communicate to him that I need that contact to ground myself. He tries to move away and it becomes overwhelming and frightening.
As I return to the real world, Iím aware of how hard this is and I wonder how long it will be before itís over, and if there is anything that I can do to make it end quicker. I ask my watcher this, and he tells me weíve had this discussion word-for-word before the last rush. Heís trying to lecture me on how Iíll make it unfun if I focus on it. I canít seem to make him understand how uncomfortable this is, how hard and heavy. I will never do this again, it is interesting and exciting, but it wasnít what I expected. I note that it is the time Ďin this worldí that is hard, not the time in the other place.
The other place is great, but I donít know how to control getting there (or if it is controllable). I become determined to do ďgrounding activitiesĒ, and I make myself a cup of coffee, with the internal dialogue ďIím doing this because itís a ritual that I have repeated thousands of times over the years and it is an activity I can perform without thought that grounds me in my realityĒ. Doing these sorts of things seem to take the discomfort away and I feel better about it all, and somewhat sad to think that the trippiness might end. I made the coffee, but I didnít drink it. All this was up to about 2 pm (t + 3.5 hours).
It fascinates me that when I look around at the world, it is like looking through a thick lense, what I see is being refracted, but it is still filled with extraordinary clarity. I decide to lie down again. The music influenced amazing asymmetrical triangular patterns when I closed my eyes, continually flowing in black, white, grey, brown, olive and earth tones. My watcher changed the cd, and the new music introduced jades and turquoises.
I know Iím lying on the couch under the doona talking to my watcher, but Iím aware that Iím also suspended weightless above the circling undulating energy waves which are crackling with electricity in the blackness. The electricity keeps on sweeping near by in waves, and my muscles twitch and convulse as the static reaches my limbs. I think it would be scary for someone to see me right now if they didnít know what was going on, because I couldnít control the spasms and convulsions until after 3 pm. They were not at all distressing to me, but I could only control them for a few seconds at a time before they took over again. The twitching eased off as the electricity receded from me.
Before the end of the twitching, though, I got a completely unexpected sexual arousal. A direct awareness of blood rushing to my groin and the clear thought that sex would be good now. The sexuality synchronized into the continually flowing fractal patterns and it felt quite animal and fabulous. I changed my mind about not ever doing this again and thought ďIíd do this whole thing again, just for thisĒ. It was good.
I think that was the turning point though, and that it was a slow reversal to normal after that. At 3 pm I realize my consciousness has reconverged with my body, and I thought about looking up trip reports on the internet. But I couldnít get it together, so I stayed on the couch. By 4.30 pm I could focus on reading. I wanted to go to sleep, but had to deal with some responsibilities. I felt tired and drained, but it was nothing I wouldnít have felt just from pot. If I did this again, Iíd start later in the day so that I could sleep this part off if I wanted to. I did fall asleep easily after 9 pm, after reading a book and talking with my watcher. I woke up naturally in the morning, with no sense of hangover, but a little tired. I thought I was back to normal, until late in the morning I realized that some plants demanded my attention, and I found them entirely fascinating and beautiful to watch. I was with a group in a public place and had to maintain a sense of decorum Ė ie no nosing up to trees to stare at their bark! Other than that I felt emotionally refreshed.
Looking back over it, I think that San Pedro sneaks up on me. It felt like it was going nowhere for a while, then suddenly I was sucked into another place that was awesome and lovely. Also, I was unprepared for the nature of the trip. This was my first psychedelic experience of any kind, and most of my info was related to LSD-type experiences. There was very little distortion of this world, no morphing of things before my eyes. I wouldnít call it a party drug at all, mostly I wanted to lie down and experience things, also the body tremours, twitching and convulsing would be unnerving for others. Everything happened either when my eyes were closed, or when I left this reality. It felt like I was pulled backwards and sideways into another place made of energy. As the trip got stronger, the further into the other place I went, and as it wore off, I came back.
My attitude to it changed during the course of the trip too. At itís peak, I felt weary and unsure, and I longed to either lose myself in the otherworld experience or come back to normality. But as it eased off and I understood what was going on better, I definitely appreciated the whole experience. I would love to do this again.
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