Citation: Entheogen23. "Symbol of My Love: An Experience with H.B. Woodrose (exp57788)". Erowid.org. Jun 20, 2009. erowid.org/exp/57788
Hawaiian Baby Woodrose trip report: My first real psychedelic experience
Friday May 18th, 1990
At 5:15pm I ingested eleven (11) agyreia nervosa (Hawaiian baby woodrose) seeds (ground to powder in a coffee grinder and stuffed into gelcaps) and sat down to continue reading Huxley’s “The Doors of Perception”. Being on an empty stomach, I began to feel the effects within 20 minutes: slight weakness, increased awareness of shades of colors, and a fuller understanding of Huxley’s writing. After another 15-20 minutes, I had finished the book, and felt some nausea come on stronger. I knew that if I felt that I had to vomit, that I should as it would “cleanse my system” allowing the “good” effects to come on. I felt hungry, and thinking the nausea would not get much worse, I decided to eat some rice-a-roni leftovers. I realized after eating it that it would make me much more likely to vomit, so I went into the bedroom to lay down to rest. After this, there is some question to exactly what happened and in what order, but as I write this (the following day) I will try and relay it the best I can.
Our kitten came in and hopped up to play with me, which filled me with great happiness. She tried in vain to suck on a “nipple” on my neck (a pimple), which she often did to moles and other skin bumps. This time I allowed her to do so, because I know she was happy. After a while, I began to see shapes in the wrinkled blanket, and fancied the smooth, soft curves of the cloth. After laying and musing on the intricate folds of the blanket, a feared event happened, the phone rang. I don’t know why I was afraid it would ring, perhaps I feared one of my parents or my boss would realize I was high. I picked up the phone, and it was my friend M. She asked what was up, and I told her P (my girlfriend) and I were going to a movie later. I told her about the Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, and she was excited that I was finally trying a psychedelic.
I got off the phone and lay in bed, staring at the shadows on the ceiling, and was enjoying this very much. I no longer felt nauseous, and the drug was allowing me to re-experience subtle feelings from previously in my life, perhaps childhood: love, joy, wonder, and amazement. After enjoying this little trip, I got up and went back into the other room and opened the door. The sunlight beaming in overwhelmed me with its brightness and glowing essence. I felt light and airy as I walked around the apartment, enjoying the moment.
I sat down on the futon to listen to some music. The first thing I listened to the Beatles “Yellow Submarine”. The lyrics and music to take on new meanings, and I began to see mosaic-like lines and patterns in the clouds in the sky. By the time “It’s all too much” came on, I was engulfed by the experience around me. I had also began to worry the phone would ring again, as M said she was going to call back to check on me. However, I was too involved in the classical portion of “Yellow Submarine”, and so I was not too concerned. The music took me on a psychedelic journey into the notes of the music itself. When I closed my eyes I would see twisting, multi-colored patterns that moved to the music. When I opened my eyes I would see amazing patterns in the sky and clouds out my window, and could see birds flying gracefully in the wind.
I wished to become a seagull, but when I found myself in the bird’s body I got queasy from the motions of flight. I could stare at the ceiling and see hundreds of little dots, red with yellow or blue outlines. It seemed like I was sitting for at least 3-4 hours, or more like 3-4 days, or weeks, or months!! I couldn’t tell, but when I looked at the clock, it had been under 2 hours that I had taken the seeds. Amazing! I was interrupted in my state of bliss by the phone. I got up to answer it, it was M again. She asked how I was feeling. I told her I felt “eternity in one hour”. She was impressed the effects were so pronounced for something legal, and told me to listen to some music. I told her I had been listening to The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. She said to listen to “The White Album” or Jane’s Addiction. I told her how Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun” and how it had Jimi’s voice slowed waaay down, but now I could understand what he was saying!
I began to feel sick again, from standing up I guess, so I asked her what to do. She said it was the “body high” brought on by the “strychnine in the seeds”. I told her I felt like throwing up, so she let me go. I think at that point I sat back down to listen to listen to Hendrix more, but the end of “Third Stone from the Sun” took me on a freaky, oozing ride that made me feel worse. I then got up and went to the kitchen sink and threw up all of the rice I had eaten, and threw up 3-4 times, which seemed in slow motion. I felt a bit better so I drank some water and sat down to listen to more music. This time I put on “Abbey Road”, because I thought the sentimentality of listening to it. It was the album P and I were listening to a lot when we fell in love. I don’t recall listening to the music that much, just sort of a haze with blips of the Beatles music thrown in.
Some time into the album, the phone rang. It was my friend S. He wanted to know if I wanted to go to a party. I told him about the HBWR seeds, and he said “Wow, far out” or something to that effect. I laid down on the floor, as I felt the nausea coming on again. I got off the phone, only to have the phone ring and this time it was L, S’s roommate, and she asked me where to get some of the “stuff I was taking”. I told her I ate them all, and that I had to go lie down. I listened to “Abbey Road” until it got to “I want you (she’s so heavy)” after which I became wracked with fear and pain. I had slowly sunk from “heaven” to “hell” and had finally realized it. I longed to hear “Golden Slumbers” so I could have something to remember P with. I felt the fridges of a hell-like experience creeping up on me, and by the time “Here Comes the Sun” came on, it was too late, I was in too deep.
I felt like I needed a “savior”, something to help me out of this bad trip. I realized it was a little after 9:00pm, so little more than 4 hours into the trip, but damn it seemed like eternity!!! I then put on some calming new-age music, Ray Lynch’s “Deep Breakfast”. Maybe Ray could be my savior, until my true love P arrived home. I desperately tried to hold onto the music, to let it carry me to safety, but as the Beatles sang “It’s all too much, for me to take”. I lay huddled in the fetal position, clutching the warm blanket for safety, but I realized I needed to find something, anything, that symbolized P’s and my love. I looked at the floor, and the walls and all of the things that reminded me of P, but they all glared back at me in a cold, barren stare. Yikes! All of these things were just physical things, objects of no real meaning. I longed to see P’s face and feel her warm skin. I then realized how someone could attach and feel so much love and strength in a mere object, they had to have some trust and courage, which everyone has to some extent, and that such things as a crucifix or other religious or spiritual symbols can serve as an effective archetype for someone to hold onto in times of fear or doubt. I then realized that there was no symbol, or object that effectively represented P and the love I felt for her.
The kitten had now awoken from her catnap in the bedroom and come to see why I was moaning on the futon. She wanted to play! The love that P had given this little kitten gave me a tiny shred of hope of making it out of this experience. I tried to let the music soothe me again, but it didn’t help. I looked at the face of J.R. “Bob” Dobbs on the wall, and it melted and twisted with a frightening grimace. Even “Bob” can’t save me now, AHAHAHA!!. After what seemed like hours, or days, the phone rang. I feared it was my mom, but it was P! Hearing her voice caught me off guard but also gave me hope I’d make it. I told her of my “hell” I was experiencing and I how I needed her. She said it “served me right” (for being so foolish, doing it alone, etc) and she was a bit angry we weren’t going to make the movie. I was scared that if she got angry, that I would either die or go insane! I told her I loved her, and she said she loved me too. This gave me more hope.
She said she would be home in 20 minutes, but I knew this might seem like hours to me, so after I got off the phone I went and filled the bathtub with warm water, and laid in the water, letting it’s warmth chase away the bad thoughts and feelings. There I lay, naked (physically and mentally), shivering from some mind-manifested chill, the music of Ray Lynch music blasting in the air. I had died. I had died and been reborn, at least in some way. I had seen the edges of nirvana, and the depths of samsara or hell. After the seeming eternity of 20 minutes or so, I heard the door unlock. It was P! My love, my sweet love! She was here with me now, so it was all OK. She was still angry about the movie and she was tired, but I told her that I needed all her caring and understanding, and that I would never do something like this again. She was a bit hesitant and resistant, but I could feel she cared for me, and that is all it took.
Approx. 10:00pm: I lay in bed, still feeling queasy and tripping slightly. P called me in to drink some eat and drink some juice, so I got up and upon eating I felt better. We sat at the table and talked (that is I talked my head off!) and I told her about the experience. Her glowing essence and warm smile filled me reassurance and joy. She took a shower, and then I told her more about how I journeyed into my ego, and saw some of the problems and fears I had. I felt like I had overcome some of my fears, and even thought that I may have overcome my allergies to the cat (which I hadn’t). After that, I tried to read some, first Alan Watts, then Tom Robbins “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”, but I was too dizzy to read very well, so I fell asleep to psychedelic, op-art, fractal-like cartoons in my head.
AFTERWORD (the next day):
The next day I felt tired, yet very relaxed and introspective. I realized that part of the reason the trip may had gone “bad”, aside from the large dose and nausea, was the fact that the sun had gone down and the darkness of night outside might have had a negative effect, based on my fear of the dark as a young child. I knew I never wanted to repeat the experience again, at least such a high dose.
AFTERWORD, PART DEUX (16 years later):
In retrospect, that powerful and traumatic trip so long ago seems so foolish and typical of someone my age at the time (early 20’s). I can laugh at it now. I took too large a dose, by myself, with no prior experiences at all. At the time, I actually had read a bit about Hawaiian baby woodrose, and knew a dose of fresh seeds could be fully psychedelic with as few as 4-8 seeds (and these were very fresh seeds, grown in Hawaii), yet I took 11 of them. I guess I figured, hell, these are legal, how powerful could they be! Also, the book I read about them in (“Legal Highs” by Adam Gottlieb) mentioned the “LSD experience with extreme lassitude”. I didn’t really heed the “extreme lassitude” part! The bad parts of this trip came back to me on nearly all of the other psychedelic trips I took for years later (LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, even high doses of marijuana). I even swore off psychedelics for about 10 years, and only recently in the past 2-3 years have begun my explorations with them (DMT and ayahuasca mostly), in a much more cautious and respectful way. In some ways I am thankful to have such a learning experience, but wish I had an experienced trip sitter with me that day, as things would likely have not gone downhill so badly. Live and learn!
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