Citation: Naughty Fairies. "Beauty of Form: An Experience with Mushrooms & 2C-E (exp52982)". Erowid.org. Jun 15, 2006. erowid.org/exp/52982
Last night X and I did a massive dose of 2CE. Iíd love to be able to write what that dose was, but the truth is we have no earthly idea. Iíve been wondering since I started tripping what it would feel like to do a deep intense trip, because although what Iíve done so far has been magical I know from other peopleís experience that I was scratching at the surface. While this is absolutely the wrong way to take any substance, the fact is if someone had measured it out properly and said ďyouíre going to take this and then youíre going to feel like thisĒ I doubt I would have had the nerve. But having done it I would not have missed it for the world, even though I never necessarily or intentionally want to go back there.
I will keep this to the basics and try and avoid much of the self-rationalisation and navel-gazing that Iím prone to when writing trip reports. We had done a small Yangoon mushroom dose earlier and had spent a happy evening in a light trippy state in the back garden watching the sunset over the hills, watching the sky change colour, listening to the birds singing and seeing the rooftops and chimneys change shape and take on the appearance of gingerbread houses. It was sweet and beautiful but seemed to ebb fairly quickly. I suggested we take some of the 2CE that X had in the fridge as we had mixed the two before and had a joyous time. We split the remnants of the bottle, we thought (assumed) that we were taking a maximum of 10 mg each.
We went indoors, as it was now dark and getting cold, put the fire on, put some music on and snuggled down to chat, just the way we always like to do when we trip together. After a while X mentioned that she might need some help with this one as she always felt it had a sarcastic edge; a remnant of her past relationship and her general experiences on it. I was blithely telling her that it was actually quite a gentle one, controllable and good for putting you in touch with your self, helpful in connecting body and soul and making everything seem alright. How laughable that I used the word controllable. Stupid girl!
After an hour the visuals started to intensify, stronger than anything Iíd ever experienced before. Stronger than everything sheíd ever experienced before, and sheís done far more than I have. I donít know at what point we realised that the intensity was nothing to do with the 2CE potentiating the mushrooms, or that our naÔve assumption that our happy frame of mind had intensified the experience was wrong. But at some point, maybe an hour in, a massive rush flooded over us and in shock we realised we had foolishly underestimated how much was in the bottle and that we were in the grip of a massive dose of a very powerful psychedelic. Iíve been scouting online today and it is possible we took anything between 18 and 25 mg each. But it could have been more and there is no way of ever finding out.
Once we were fully up, the visuals in the room took off. It started with closed-eye stuff, intense spiralling colours and bright lights, an enormous bright and beautiful landscape taking shape and spreading before my eyes. But after a while there was no need to keep my eyes closed to get this effect as, with eyes open, the same miraculous pictures started to unravel. There were sparkles and beads of light all over the room. Everything shimmered with gold and silver, objects in the room seemed to glitter, multiply and weave themselves into infinity. The bathroom floor became a great network of sparking electrical activity and swirling pattern. I dissolved into it as I sat on it and watched great sword beams of silver fly over my head. My face in the mirror took on several dimensions. My freckles were layered one on top of the other perhaps 20 or 30 times till eventually my skin turned black, and in the middle of it my eyes were great black shining pools. I had never looked so beautiful I thought.
I wonít discuss what was going on with X, although it was pretty similar for her. But even though the universe was dissolving around us we were still able to talk rationally about what was going on. It is the remarkable feature of psychedelics that there is such lucidity in the face of such perceptual change, and we had not just opened the doors of perception. We had literally ripped them off their hinges and chucked them out into the fields. The experience continued to intensify, and by rough estimates on my watch we must have been up on this great plateau of intensity for about 2 hours. It built and built to a crescendo, the visuals intensifying all the time. Not only visuals, but all sensory perception was so heightened that there was an explosion of light, colour, sound and touch.
I canít describe what I saw or heard. There is no point, because although I remember it in minute detail, there are no words in our vocabulary that will adequately lend themselves to illustrate it. But as I hit the absolute peak there was a moment, of indefinable length, where time was standing still. The air around me took on the form of diamond shapes that breathed in and out of each other. They were solid, liquid and gaseous all at the same time. The only way to describe it is that there was a fourth dimension in time and space and one could literally see it as clearly as one can perceive the other three that we live with on a daily basis. My body became extraordinarily heavy, as though all matter had condensed into a core inside of me. At the same time I was seemingly weightless and I sank back and was falling through space while at the same time flying upwards and outwards. I had no concept of whether I was alive or dead, and the fact was that at the time it did not matter in the slightest whether I was one or the other. I simply was. I wonder now if this is how it might feel when you are dying. I certainly hope so, because it was the most beautiful state of consciousness I have ever experienced.
The come-down took hours, and even 6 or 7 hours after we had taken the dose we were in the grip of a trip stronger than the peak of any that we had ever experienced. We went to bed, thinking that turning the lights and music off would calm the senses. It didnít and the only solution was to ride it out. But in the nature of these things each hour saw a significant deintensification so that by nine hours later things were almost back to normal. Almost! Perhaps nothing will ever be normal again, and in a way I hope not.
I have learned a deep lesson in the last 24 hours. I am humbled and truly grateful for the experience, but Iíve always known these things were not there as a bit of light entertainment. They are to be treated with the upmost respect and I will never again take something without knowing the proper dose. Itís time to go back to basics and use the measuring and titration skills that I learned in chemistry class. Right now, I canít imagine ever doing this again, there is no real need. Iíll stick to mushrooms as they seem to have evolved specifically so that we cannot overdose like that. I would literally have to eat my own body weight in mushrooms to achieve a trip of that intensity. Thereís a lot to be said in favour of nature and against man buggering about in a laboratory to make something that is so easy to get down and so unbelievably complicated and powerful to process. Having said that, there is no way I would have had the heroism to do this intentionally and I would not give up the experience for anything. I am grateful and overjoyed to have had it. I doubt my life will ever be the same again.
So there we are, me with a bodyweight of 112 lbs taking a dose ofÖ what? 40 mg? 50 mg? More? Ė and Y, weighing a bit more, taking a bit more Ė how much more? Thatís how clever we were, or rather I was (she was, after all, quite reasonably trusting me to say what was there; it was after all my bottle, my fridge). How could I have misjudged it so badly? I had a vague recollection that that little drop of liquid in the bottle in the fridge was just under enough for a trip for two people. It seemed reasonable to titrate and neck the lot between us, to potentiate the frustrating halfway-there state the mushrooms had induced. Only the next day did I think about this and realize that THAT bottle got used up a couple of months ago and replaced withÖ another gram, of which Iíve no idea how much had already been used! How could I have forgotten this?
To think that Iíd been saying earlier in the trip how good it felt to be doing all this safely, without having to contend with the recklessness of Z who ordered all these things in the first place. What a lesson in my own recklessness! My own passivity and lack of attention to things that affect me personally. At work, spinning plates frantically, detailed trivia is filed carefully in my brain; by comparison, at home, in managing my own life, important things are literally and metaphorically thrown into the junk room and the door shut until such time as I have the energy to look at it properly and sort it out. So, in the fridge door is a brown bottle that contains just enough for a couple of mild trips. Or so I thought, because I canít be bothered remembering things like that: itís only about my own life.
Just look what you can unlock when you give yourself permission, we say at first, still thinking itís some synergy between the two mild substances. Amazing. Just amazing. Iíve never seen anything like it! We are truly blessed with this oneÖ It intensifies, intensifies, intensifies. And then there comes a point where we meet in the hallway and both say, ďOr there againÖ how much do you think was in that bottle?!Ē Perhaps, as it turned out, enough of a powerful psychedelic to keep an army tripping hard for a month or so. Whoops-a-daisy!
Iím cross with myself for letting my closest friend be affected by such carelessness on my part. Years ago, I once had another friend who I always trusted to make the decisions. She persuaded me to hitch with her in France, and so we found ourselves hurtling along the wrong side of the road in a car with two maniacs who had a gun and laughed about taking us into the forest. I remember seeing the terror on her face and realizing I should really make my own decisions from now on (not that I ever really learned that). I talked us out of that one, but now, here, in this situation that is all my fault, I donít really know what to say or do.
Thanks to Yís good nature, we agree to approach this unexpected adventure in naughty-fairy spirit and make the most of the experience. Itíd be rude not to, we laugh. Itís not as though we have any choice! I wonder out loud whether to ring Z and see if he has any advice. But by now itís past 2am, and what could he possibly say? We just have to sit tight in the rollercoaster and see where it takes us. Itís like Withnail and I, says Y, that bit where he says, ďWeíve gone on holiday by mistake!Ē
We are caught up in swirling iridescence. I have never, ever, seen anything like it in my life. I keep saying this, over and over. There are sparks coming off everything, filigree patterns, flowers, colours, ribbons spiralling downwards, brilliant twisting tendrils, wisps of smoke rising from every surface, neon trails wherever I look. The room is dancing all around us. Dreadzone sounds like nothing on this earth. They are magicians, not musicians. There is no separation between us, the music and what is going on in the room. No distinction to be made at all.
I comment on how calm and lucid we are: there is no emotional or mental confusion, as Iíve heard you get on acid. I canít image what that must be like, with all this sort of thing going on too. It is hard not to describe this as pure insanity, it is so far from the norm; but we canít be mad because we can talk so clearly about what is happening to us, though it is hard to describe. I feel utterly passive Ė the visuals donít seem at all open to suggestion. Itís not as though I could think of something dangerous, for example, and then find myself seeing it: far from it, everything is relentlessly exquisite. It doesnít feel as though itís happening through me; it may not even be for human eyes to see; Iím just there, witnessing it, astonished. There is nothing I can do about the fact that I am being exposed to a crescendo of beauty beyond words.
In the bathroom, I can hardly see what Iím doing for the patterning all over everything. My face in the mirror has about 17 layers to it, all transforming, none of it in synch, all the expressions Iíve ever pulled, without me making a move. There is dancing scribble all over everything. Little seams of light keep ripping open the bathroom mat and unfurling into twinkling nests of pinks, golds and blues, with stylized floral sweetness. Over the white tiles there is the finest ironwork tracery, every surface alive with continuous embellishment. Overwhelmingly pretty. Overwhelmingly. Come to think of it, I just wish I could turn it down a bit.
Itís going to be a long night, we admit to each other. How long does 2CE last? Eight hours? Erm, at what level? Iíve never been at this level on anything. Iím tired and hungry but canít do anything about either. I donít even attempt to roll a fag for some time, and then find it impossible. Itís not just that my hands are shaking: the papers actually vanish in my fingers, become transparent gossamer.
The room continues to implode and explode. The universe is whirling around me and inside me. Everything is simultaneously lit from within and shadowed from without. Our faces twinkle with smiling prettiness and glower with haggish scowls, all at once, in equal layers. The room is yawning twisting sparkling radiating inwards outwards collapsing expanding unfurling in all directions looping deeper. Everything is liquid, solid and gas. None of this is frightening: it just is.
ďJust thinkĒ, I say, ďanyone walking past would think we were two ladies having a quiet night in listening to some music.Ē We laugh: a quiet night in is impossible to imagine. Let there be no mistake, we are dabbling in sorcery.
The cat trips in, her paws barely in contact with the wooden floor. She is a fluffy manifestation of some kind of energy beyond electricity. Sparks are flying from her fur. Her face furls and unfurls into strange expressions that are cat and non-cat. Her movements seem twitchy and jerky, like the skeleton army in that old movie Jason and the Argonauts Ė more so in fact: itís as though her whole body is strobing. She knocks over a glass of water and starts lapping it off the floor. Merging into the sudden pool of water, she is liquid mercury and light; the sound of her drinking is echoing and dripping wetly inside our own heads, her tongue licking our brains; we are in the water with her, the water that is also the floor that is also her electric fur. She has seen us on mushrooms in the past and been intrigued, relaxed; now she is wary, feral, alien.
Y and I agree that it might help to go to bed, to lie down and get comfortable. Iím grateful when she asks to share my bed because she canít manage the ladder up to the spare bunk. I could do with the company Ė itís not as though either of us will be sleeping. A solitary tea-light is more than enough. After a while I turn off the music in the front room Ė that too is too much stimulation, even in the background. The peak is undeniably over: we can now see our way to find the door of the room, etc. But I just canít imagine ever coming in to land. Eight hours on, my eyes are still like saucers and everything is still doing whatever it feels like doing, oblivious to my logic. I fret out loud about being straight enough to proof some layouts later that day, a vital piece of freelance work with a deadline that I canít afford to miss. How ironic it is that this work requires a keen eye for fine detail and here we are, seeing twenty of everything twirling around us in the most outrageously merry dance! When will it end?
We talk it through and I clutch at the rational straws that Y offers me: the science bit, about half-lives and how the body processes drugs, how all chemicals really must do what they say on the pack, there can be no mystery about it. She says it must get processed within a certain time, even if it needs all hands on deck to manage it. Iím reassured, yet find it hard to believe that this extraordinary experience will obey any as-yet known laws of physics. I feel about as much use to her as a sack of potatoes. The skin on her back has exquisite patterns that are embossed/inlaid, soft velvet/liquid metal, constantly changing colour like the aurora borealis. She sits up in bed to draw an imaginary chart on the bedroom wallpaper, a hill with a peak, asking me where I feel I am now on the downward slope. I point somewhereÖ not sure where, as the wallpaper is flashing sparks at me and rippling in waves. I ask her which point she thinks she has reached and she pushes her finger at the wall, but I canít remember where the hill was drawn. ďOh, I donít knowĒ, we both sigh. Weíre as helpless as babes in the wood.
It helps when daylight starts to filter through the rippling curtains. Something about it seems to start neutralising the trip. Birds are singing. We still havenít a hope of sleeping, though I wouldnít be able to say that I am actually awake. I fetch cereal to give energy to the ďhands on deckĒ.
Itís very humbling. I remember Z saying ďAre you sure you feel qualified to start sharing something like RCs with Y?Ē And of course Iím not, but maybe nobody ever is prepared for this kind of thing and sometimes you just have to jump in and do it. We agree we would never have chosen to do this in a million years, and would certainly not choose to do it again, but what an experience, and weíre glad weíve made it through together. We wouldnít have missed it for the world. We both feel we will stick with mushrooms from now on, since they are so self-limiting in dose etc; but hey-ho, what a way to use up the 2CE. A heroic psychedelic trip is not something I have ever contemplated and I feel proud of Y for being so brave about finding we have dived off the top board backwards. Ashamed of myself for subjecting us to it. Will she ever trust me again? She tells me not to be so hard on myself. It could happen to anyone and we are not going to make this mistake again. And it has been, well, indescribable.
We have been shown something incomparable and we are at a loss to know what to make of it. Patting ourselves on the back for not actually panicking is only part of the story. For all that Z said not to over-analyse, I feel that being shown something so inexplicable, so indescribable, is a serious business. We have been in the presence of something so powerful and fundamental that it makes a joke of my twittering little vanity of trying to understand what Iím doing. We held on to our ďsanityĒ for what itís worth, as measured by talking normally etc, yet saw things that make sanity seem utterly irrelevant, since the whole construct of reality as we know it has been fractured into smithereens while simultaneously compressing itself into a fraction of mitochondria within myself. How do we honour an experience like this? I feel unworthy, but donít think I would ever have been better prepared.
Amazingly, we drift off into a semi-dozing state. After a while she decides to go home. We smoke a cigarette in the front room and itís all gradually coming back to normal. When she leaves to endure a taxi with a chatty driver, I find that Iím not even tired. I wash up, tidy, cut the grass, clean the kitchen, clean the bathroom, change the sheets, do the washing, etc. The garden is vibrantly alive and I had forgotten how beautiful dandelion clocks are. Truly miraculous. I gaze at them in the garden, speechless. Later, I proof 64 detailed pages with total focus, not missing a trick, and not even drawing spirals in the margin. Magic indeed.
As far as we are concerned, tripping is a preparation for dying. And this certainly prepared us for that! In the most unexpected way. :0(
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