Cacti - T. pachanoi, Nitrous Oxide & Cannabis
Citation: Mess. "I Died: An Experience with Cacti - T. pachanoi, Nitrous Oxide & Cannabis (exp53411)". Erowid.org. Nov 6, 2007. erowid.org/exp/53411
Last year I really wanted to try cactus. I had heard it could be a spiritual experience and this was exactly what I needed, so I thought. I had done LSD, MDMA, 2CI and mushrooms before (all at different times), so mescaline felt like the next step. I will tell you now, that I have had late night panic attacks about death since I was a little girl. Death has always scared me immensely.
A friend of ours had promised to provide us with cactus, and we all met up at a birthday/dance party. I was in a rotten mood and considering not taking mine, even though it had been correctly boiled up and was all ready, as tripping when you are in a bad mood is seldom a good idea. I talked myself into believing it would be all good and that I needed this.
My partner and I drank it down straight, it tasted sweet in a really sharp tangy way at first, and then it gave way to bitterness and became harder and harder to drink. I got it all down me and went and sat down next to some girlfriends and had a chat with them- neither of them knowing what I was on. As I talked to them I vaguely noticed that I was a little bit different and found it difficult to communicate with them properly so I informed them. They shot me with a barrage of questions that I couldn't really answer. I went to find my partner. He said I needed to have a smoke (cannabis), so we both did. This set on a mild drunk feeling, I was less grumpy though! Then after a while of just milling around I found another one of my friends who happened to be on LSD and she offered me a hit of nitrous oxide.
I couldn't say no. The stuff is mediochre when I'm straight but oh my God when I'm tripping it can take me to another world, I become something else somewhere else entirely for 30 seconds, which is LONG enough! So we sat on a step outside and had some. I became a pixel. I went where I had almost been before and narrowly missed, I lost my ego, I became smaller then anything, I had died. I instantly got up, sensing that my friend had disappeared and I was in the same place but at another time, in the future, stuck there, a ghost. Then her voice brought me back a little, just enough to know she could still see me. I took off and yelled back at her 'I just need to go for a walk'. She said OK and I went off on my walk.
I had decided I was dead and I should walk around the shoreline and figure out what I should do. I kept walking and I came to a shed. The shed had a sense of dread about it, like if I went past it I couldn't ever come back. I should note that this entire time I couldn't feel my body at all. I was either pure spirit or energy or light or thought or all of the above. I decided I needed to go back. I turned around and powered back to the party, I found the friend who had administered the nitrous and asked her if I was alive. She said I was but I didn't believe her. I then asked the guy who provided the cactus if I was here, if this was real. he said yes and looked at me like he was annoyed. I didn't believe either of them. I didn't want to be dead. I was conscious, but how long for? Maybe this was the waiting room to death? Maybe I was really still sitting on that step comatose and the paramedics were on their way. To me anything was now possible.
Eventually after surveying everyone and making sure they all thought I was alive, I calmed down a little bit and began to accept my fate. People's faces had taken on a mutated quality. Eyes and noses sat in skewed positions, especially that of the cactus provider, he looked like a lop-sided freak, which is funny because he is a good-looking guy. So my fate, well that was that we were all dead, out in this isolated hall trapped there for all eternity, just hanging out, laughing, talking, being one with the universe. I decided I could handle that.
Eventually I got tired and my partner and I retired to his van, which opened up a whole new universe. All I could see was eyes. Everything around me had eyes, they were all staring at me, surveying the newcomer to the underworld. I felt scrutinised but not entirely scared. I was just concerned that they would never go away, I wouldn't have liked that. I eventually had to leave the van. On my way back to the hall I was part of the ground. It was multi-layered and moving and deep and jagged, it undulated like the sea, it had a fractal quality, it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen and I now regret not spending my trip just looking at things.
I retired finally to the fire, my partner soon fell asleep. After talking to people I felt a sense of euphoria. I sat there smiling warmly at everyone for hours! I was disappointed when some of them couldn't smile back, I suspect from weariness. Yet I kept smiling, feeling that now, everything was ok. All was right with the universe. All was right with me. It didn't matter that I had died. It just let me know that when it did happen for real and not just symbolically, it would be beautiful.
I then spent the next few weeks being a positive, refreshed new person. The week after the experience my partner and I got engaged. We packed out our flat with the engagement party, we had wall-to-wall support and love. It has been almost a year and I will tell you something: I haven't had a panic attack about death since.
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