Mushrooms - P. semilanceata, Amanita muscaria, Belladonna & Brugmansia
Citation: The Craic. "Sensory Illusion Destroyed: An Experience with Mushrooms - P. semilanceata, Amanita muscaria, Belladonna & Brugmansia (exp48411)". Erowid.org. Jan 1, 2006. erowid.org/exp/48411
On October 31st 2005 I had a witches brew of 33 liberty cap mushrooms (locally picked) and 3 Belladonna cherries from a companion who I will call Isa for the sake of his paranoia.
On the 1st of December 2005, with the new moon black in the sky (an especially good time for Earth magic and divination) and thick dense cloud hovering overhead I undertook a journey into the recesses of the mind and tasted my own insanity.
Near Castle Combe (about five miles from where I live) there is an ancient burial chamber called Lanhill Long Barrow. It was partially destroyed by grave diggers in 1906 and two of the three doorways were collapsed. The only remaining door has been shored up with horrible iron bars and badly placed bricks. The space available is about ten foot by five foot and four feet depth. It is infested with spiders, absolutely massive ones and there are signs of rats burrowing from in the barrow and using the small cave as an escape route. Isa and I decided we would use the small chamber as an isolation tank, a sensory prison cell if you will. In the same way long barrows and tombs have been used for millennia to contact the fathers and ancestors. So, I read up a bit on Mayan/Aztec/Celtic/American Indian/Pictish rituals regarding the dead and speaking with them and decided on a brew to help me there. I took three belladonna cherries from Isa's back garden, he then gave me three fly agaric caps from his collection. I selected three plump looking liberty caps to put in and the three brugmansia flowers I had dried some time ago. This was purely numerology more than anything. 3 flowers, 3 cherries, 3 caps, 3 shrooms = 12 elements all together which again adds up to 3. The number 3 has been sacred to native cultures since they learnt to count. I discovered that during initiation rituals among the Peruvian shamans they add cemetery dust or earth from a grave, so we went to the barrow during the week and collected some brown dirt from the back of the chamber. I put the mushrooms in a pan of boiling water and let them ooze out and turn into ugly little slugs. Then I took it off the heat and as it cooled added the brugmansia and belladonna. The mud came last and added a distinct blackness to the whole thing. I let this steam itself and stew away in a corner whilst I busied myself with preparations. I then seived and poured the brews into two half pint bottles, it looked like a dull coloured urine.
I went to Isa's house and he was preparing his brew of 55 grams of dried powdered Peruvian Torch san pedro cactus. It was thick like a vile mucous and the lemon slightly curdled so he was drinking a bitter, acrid jelly that he had to spoon drink rather than gulp.
As we made the five mile trek in the pissing down rain I started to drink the first bottle of my brew. It tasted somewhere between glorious and disgusting. The flowers and cherries gave it a warm nectar kind of fruitiness and the mushrooms and earth made it taste like old jock straps. I managed to sip it down as the Peruvian shamans say, 'poco el poco' (i think?) or 'little by little'. Once we were within a mile of the barrow I started to feel VERY weak. My arms were like dead weights, my legs were dragging on the floor, I could hardly even climb a three foot high fence without fear of falling flat on my face. All around me everything was changing, it was as if I could see the spirits of grass, mud, trees, clouds, all making horrendous faces, but in that state of mind I just chuckled. When we finally reached the barrow I was already in a complete state. Isa was fine, just waiting for the mescaline to kick in whilst I was semi-hunched, soaking wet, freezing cold in the doorway. This was supposed to be a journey for me to face my fears but at this point all I could think of was being warm and dry. I unpacked my bag and we lit some candles and lay a few trinkets around (some old flint of mine, a statue of an owl, a piece of rock I had painted in honour of the Mother). Isa had a look in his eye that said 'what the fuck?' and I couldn't place what he was confused about. Then I realised it was me, with eyes as wide as they could possibly open and gawking around the room in a semi state of insanity. I dragged myself into the back corner and slumped among the rocks. Isa sat at the entrance and meditated. That's when everything started to go a bit weird.
I closed my eyes and just appeared at home, I was in my flat walking around and then I saw my girlfriend (I think, bad memory) and said 'I love you' to her. Then I awoke and Isa was laughing 'I love you too man, are you alright?' I just stared and smiled and then nervously lay down again. It's hard to explain but the walls became Isa and Isa became a rock, and vice versa for the next half an hour. I would go to say something and realise it was a stone, not his face and then hear giggling behind me and see him sat there with a look of shock on his face. Everything was what it is not and could possibly be... I grabbed Isa's foot at one point, totally convinced that it was something of mine that I needed to hold onto. Every time we tried to talk or I tried to say something the words came out all jumbled and slowed down. I could hear the words in my head but couldn't speak properly. All I could managed every now and then was the odd 'huhhhnn not far now, where?hnnnnnn'
All this from one bottle, I hadn't even opened the other one yet!I was attempting to speak to Isa but all I could ever muster was the beginning of a sentence and not the end. Isa is a master shaman in the making so seeing me (somewhat, his apprentice) in a state of no control was quite strange. I would think I was talking to him and then look up for an answer and he would just look at me. Then I would slowly realise I hadn't spoken outloud. As these bizarre symptoms continued to increase I began flitting between the dream world and the real world. Most of the inner visions were quite strange but slightly tame, I was in an etheric version of an ITV game show, then I was in town, then at home, then on a mountain. I think with these plants you can literally appear and reappear wherever and whenever tou want. When I closed my eyes I could see the cave and other people, then when I opened them little fragments of the dream image would stay imprinted on the reality. For the next hour or two I found I could see substances, items, bottles and all sorts of strange things but when I went to touch them my hand went straight through. Because I had no way of telling what was real or not I became convinced that if I mastered Brugmansia I could walk through walls and make objects appear before my eyes. All the time trying to explain this to Isa and him just staring in disbelief. I went for a piss several times (probably six or seven) and each time got distracted by the outside world. When I turned round to re-enter the barrow it was gone, and I searched around in dismay. Then Isa would shout from inside the barrow and it would suddenly appear behind me!
Just as we were about to leave because it was so cold and wet I started actually breaking through the barriers I wanted to remove. All over the barrow, paintings started to appear, the most beautiful and archaic cave paintings in a neanderthal style. They were crude but somehow in their childishness made all the more special. I tried to motion to Isa that the room was covered in detailed ultra-psychedelic imagery. All over the walls and dark shadows there were intricate layered patterns of what I can only describe as insect wings. The pictures moved and swayed with some ancient energy and my inner mind became acutely aware that I was not merely 'hallucinating' I was SEEING the cave paintings before the barrow was destroyed. They depicted the most wonderful romantic scenes of the hunt, a shaman, witches, wizards, communities, villages, barrows, aliens and spirits. Everything I ever sought from Brugmansia was shown to me in an instant. On that note Isa collected all our things together and we started the journey home. I didn't know at the time but Isa was getting quite worried about me. To me I felt perfectly fine, if a little disorientated and confused but well aware of what was going on. Turns out, I wasn't. Isa told me that I was stumbling behind him muttering and being distracted by all sorts. One minute I would be behind him then he'd turn around and I was off in some ditch claiming I could see something. Then when we got into civilisation I totally lost it.
To be honest I have absolutely no memory of how I got home or what happened. I have disjointed flashbacks of me finding an imaginary pen and demanding that Isa wait for me whilst I try to pick it up. Obviously it was an illusion and my hand just kept going through it. There are not words to express how frustrating it is to try and touch something that all your senses confirm is there but when you reach out your flesh just slides through. When we got back to Isa's I was in a worse state than ever, I thought I was fine but I was swaying, I couldn't stand, sit, kneel or move without seeing something or getting confused. At one point before we left for my flat I demanded to know where Isa had put my clean socks and trousers. Him and his girlfriend Bee just stared in shock. I started rummaging through Isa's clothes and started getting angry that either they were hiding my dry clothes or I was so messed up that I was wrong. Another memory blank and I was home, with my house full of drunk friends of my fiances. She was worried sick and came to see if I was OK, I managed to grip enough of my sanity to fake being fine and kept my mouth shut, knowing I would make an ass of myself if I were able to have everyones attention. One of Vixen's friends asked me if my 'trip' was good, and did I see anything. I just nodded and said 'very good, yes'.
It turns out Isa fully thought I had lost the plot and I believe if I were able to listen to a recording of the evening on tape it would blow my mind.
So a final note, as a warning to the drug culture wannabes of the world, DO NOT FUCK WITH THESE PLANTS. Mushrooms have a built in defence system that if you aren't ready you just get your pretty colours and your giggles. Brugmansia and Belladonna do NOT play games. These plants will make you temporarily insane, as the Peruvian shamans say, the Brugmansia is the key to the underworld, you become one with the spirits but join with their complete lack of ego control, with Brugmansia there is no control, and I honestly belive if Isa hadn't been there I would have ended up in a ditch chasing some random illusionary object. But for those of you who want a profound shamanic experience then maybe the solonaceous plants are for you.
Mother Darkness is my ally now and I have dedicated myself to her, the journey I undertook in that soaking wet freezing cold hole has changed me forever. I no longer want to have fun on a journey, I don't want pretty colours and intricate but boring hallucinations, Brugmansia single handedly rips the door off its hinges and demands respect. I have the second brew still to drink...and maybe on a somewhat warmer evening I will go back to the barrow and see what else she has to offer.
But please, please, please, if you cannot handle substances that remove your self control DO NOT mess with these plants. Even the Ayauscha shamans in central America warn people against the Datura shaman and his total insanity. So be careful and demand that a companion comes with you.
Sidenote: oh and by the way, I still have blurry vision and slurred speech for the next 24 hours after the end of the visions.
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