Citation: Phineas C. "Homecoming Raised to the DMT Power: An Experience with DMT & Cannabis (exp83719)". Erowid.org. Sep 7, 2010. erowid.org/exp/83719
||(powder / crystals)
I consider myself an intrepid but cautious and scientific psychonaut, taking low doses at first and gently exploring my way into higher doses of LSD, psilocybin, salvia, 2-C-B, and “Ecstasy”, whatever MD* compound and/or misc. uppers those pills might have been. If I had to estimate, I would say I have taken psychedelics on between 20-40 occasions in the past 10 years and never had a 'bad trip.' Having recently helped my friend Freddie extract and purify DMT from a botanical source I found myself in a position to experiment after 5+ years of reading and preparing my psyche to do DMT. I took multiple threshold doses to familiarize my body with the physiological effects of this chemical. I also took 2 larger doses: one with a sitter which was satisfactory but alien, and one alone which caused a bit of panic.
I decided I would smoke DMT alone this night, again, even though the last time I used it alone was a mildly frightening but completely satisfying experience. This is only the 3rd time I have taken DMT above a threshold dose. I prepared my “launch pad...”
It is dark outside, so there will be no natural light on this trip. Primary lighting is from my 55gal Turtle tank, with a 48” black-light providing supplemental lighting in a corner of the room. I also allowed full incandescent light in the hallway leading to the bathroom and my bedroom which bled out considerably to my “launch pad.”
I've placed my beanbag full of memory foam in front of the turtle tank, knowing that my eyes, if I open them, will be drawn to the primary light source anyway. I also spent a good 5 minutes imprinting a comfortable butt-print into the bag to eliminate the need to re-situate myself while riding the chemical rocketship that I will soon prepare. In the relaxed “ride it out” position my eyes are level with the bottom of the tank and the water's surface is roughly 20 inches above them.
Having had a frightening but wonderfully comforting DMT experience involving a very familiar movie, I elected to forgo any recognizable outside audio. The only thing to be heard was the sound of the turtle tank's gentle waterfall and the occasional car outside.
I wound a thin strip of day-glo orange duct tape around the stem of my favorite cheap bubbler, to remind me that I would now contain DMT residue forevermore. Into the bowl I placed a wire screen and added an amount of cannabis I could easily smoke (and would probably be dissatisfied with) in 1 hit. From my supply of DMT, which is so close to white you hardly notice it isn't, I raked out a loose pile about the size of a dime. That is to say, all the DMT I put in the pipe this night would have fit INSIDE an American dime. I then added about the same amount of ganja as went on the screen and compressed the mixture lightly. One more pinch of cannabis and more light pressure completed the preparation of my chemical rocketship. By eyeball, I could easily smoke this amount of just cannabis in 3 hits or less. Regretfully, I do not have a 0.001g scale, so I can only estimate the empirical weight of this dose by comparing it visually to a weigh-able supply. I estimate (Very Approximately!) that I used at most ~25mg
Only my Red-Eared Slider turtle will remain in “normal space” to watch my physical body, which I will soon be unconcerned with. His name is Hiram, and I have known him for 3 years. I found him in a pet store when he was an inch too small to be legally sold in America and all the other turtles picked on him. I felt sorry for him, but they wouldn't sell him to me, so I bribed an employee to list him on the “dead animals write-off sheet” and give him to me. I know he's only a reptile, but he does recognize me (as opposed to someone who doesn't regularly give him food) and sometimes I swear he knows and is thankful that I saved him from all those big mean guys at the pet store. I take care of him, and he takes care of me.
Mental State (Prior to dose):
I am apprehensive. This is to be my first solitary dose since what I call my “Frantic Gathering & Retreat!” trip. 2 things calm my mind: Hiram will be watching me this time, and I am taking an equivalent volume [not weight, probably] of a much purer product. I recline comfortably on my bag, holding my bubbler and clearing my mind. Breathing deeply, I recall the pure child-like joy I felt last time I did this when I realized I had survived. I am excited to catch another glimpse of the “entities” that looked directly at me 2 days ago and decided I wasn't ready to be spoken to. I am fearful of underestimating my dose, whether by purity, weight, or residue left in the bubbler from earlier DMT uses. Breathing all these fears and expectations out as a putrid chartreuse vapor with a final deep breath, I strike my lighter and begin to inhale.
I light 1/3 of the bowl's surface quickly and pull gently to allow the heat in the bowl to vaporize the DMT, as opposed to the heat from the lighter. By the time my lungs were full the first time, the cherry had traveled across the bowl in an odd way. I attribute this to the fact that the bowl was actually a parfait of different substances, with different combustion temperatures. I hold this first hit for a long time. It has the classic “Tryptamine Taste” which is like nothing else. To me, it tastes and smells like fresh aquarium tubing, but that is just the reference point for my brainwaves.
By the time I exhaled I was beginning to feel a.....buzzing?......around the bridge of my nose and my sinuses. Knowing I was coming up already I strove to smoke as much as I could. I was considerably more aggressive with the lighter on the second hit, and probably more aggressive with my inhalation. Fear took over again at this point as I thought, “What have I done to myself?” and I exhaled much sooner than I could have. Looking at the bowl I realized that it looked only about half smoked. I may or may not have hit it a 3rd time in a halfhearted way. I remember leaning forward to set the bubbler in a safe place, and as I leaned back to settle into my beanbag the “universe dissolved into everythingness” [phrase taken directly from my notes, and this is still the best way I can describe it]
Coming up on DMT is powerful and terrifying for me. My first cue that something is different is a.....buzzing?...... that I feel in the middle of my face and a taste of DMT that is not quite taste; I'm pretty sure I would taste it even if it was injected. Then the mucous membranes in my mouth and throat make themselves known to me. The best way I can describe it is that I can feel diamond-shaped crystals ~1cm across forming and dissolving all over anything in my head that touches saliva. This is intensely pleasurable in an odd, alien sort of way. Again I think, “What have I done to myself?” and breathe deeply once or twice. The feeling of air filling my lungs (They really are just 2 spongy balloons!!! I marvel to myself) is spectacular, and reminds me that I am still alive. I imagine that what I am experiencing now is the psychic equivalent of what Astronauts experience during lift-off. The sounds that break my concentration on my body are distorted, as though the soundwaves were electronically stretched into infinity. I am mildly aware of my surroundings as I set my bubbler down; the turtle tank and stand is in front of me, black-light to my left, and hallway to my right, and suddenly all of that disappears. Perhaps I closed my eyes, but I do not remember doing so.
I find myself looking down from great height on a house at night. I hear music; it sounds [and feels and smells and tastes] like Howard Shore's “Shire Theme” from Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, but infinitely more complex. I have come to realize that “hear” is not the proper verb here... Perhaps “experience” is better, as I was aware that my physical “ears” had nothing to do with this music. As soon as I become aware of this music (and even while I am still making the LOTR and non-heard connections) my perspective begins to change as though I were falling, though I feel no sensation of free-fall.
Soon I find myself looking at the house I grew up in, from a vantage point of 10 feet from the property line and 15 feet up. The music swells to a dynamic peak and I think, “I'M HOME!” I feel a sense of homecoming like nothing I've ever felt before, like when you return to a beloved child-hood haunt years after your last visit, but magnified 10 times. Even though it is night in this vision, the entire landscape is colored in reds, greens, and golds; the same colors that I see when I close my eyes and press on them.
I become aware of the turtle tank in front of me, and watch Hiram dive from the surface 30 degrees to my right, all the way to eye level directly in front of me. I am comforted by the fact that Hiram is looking right at me, though I can't decide if his tank looks like it is made of fractals or is an impressionistic painting. Whether Fractals or Monet, I decide it is among the top 5 most beautiful sights I have ever seen. NOTHING else in my relatively well lit surroundings enters my awareness.
Suddenly I am viewing the same scene of my child-hood home again. It looks like a photograph except for the red, green, and gold color palette. I begin to realize that *something* is off about this image... Nothing specific, just a sense that I am seeing an imperfect image. I came to realize days later that it was as though every angle was perfect in the 3 dimensions that we normally see, but 90 degrees “off” in a dimension we don't. [Carl H. Claudy's “The Land of No Shadow” from 1933 and A. Square's “Flatland” from 1884 really shaped this viewpoint; read them if you really want to understand what I mean.]
Again I become aware of the turtle tank, and again view the exact same image of Hiram diving from the surface 30 degrees right to eye level directly in front of me. I feel a powerful Deja Vu, and then the realization that this must be a shadow of the “cycles” that my brother Franklin experiences while on DMT. I know that my eyes are open, because I am seeing Hiram, but investigation reveals that sober eyes can see much more of my apartment under identical lighting conditions. I can only conclude that the DMT caused a tunnel-vision effect, lending support to the hypothesis that endogenous [produced in the body] DMT plays a role in Near Death Experiences.
At this point, the image of Hiram was overlaid with my childhood home. As the internal music swelled to another dynamic peak, I could see both places at the same time, but only for a split second. In that moment, I felt as though I was looking in all directions at once. In front of me was the turtle tank/home image. All other directions (left, right, behind, up, down, forward in time, backward in time, and a host of others I understood then but not anymore) appear to be dark and sinister but not frightening tunnels crafted of incomprehensible red and gold calculus equations stretching into infinity.
My vision shifted briefly to a view of myself and the turtle tank from the same perspective I had seen my child-hood home, behind and above my body. I “felt/saw/heard/tasted” myself and everything else in my apartment as it fell from the sky and into it's proper place. Specifically I remember watching my refrigerator and dishwasher fall from a great height, gradually changing from spinning calculus equations to mundane appliances.
The walls behind the turtle tank and to the left [which a sober eye can see in perfect detail] become apparent to me for the first time since I dosed as greenish [again the same green my inner eye sees when I push on my closed eyes] suggestions of walls. I am beginning to realize that I am right where I left myself, but am not really aware of my body, except that breathing still feels GREAT! I watch Hiram make a 3rd identical dive to check on me and thank him for watching my body.
Turning my head for the first time since I dosed, I catch a glimpse of the certificate I have mounted on my wall. My rational mind knows that it is just a piece of paper which gives me the legal right to perform weddings and such, but my chemically altered mind sees a presence within it. I experienced a moment of greeting and farewell, “Hello! I'm/We're so glad you're here and you found me/us and aren't scared this time! We/I were right here the whole time, right where I/we have always been! Please come back and see us/me again some time!” The emotion [and I use the word “emotion” VERY loosely] I feel from this “entity” at that moment is similar to the thrill and joy I felt as a child when I was found while playing hide-and-seek.
Returning to Baseline:
Filling my lungs continues to be a wonderful sensation. It reminds me that I survived and that feels GREAT! I am close enough to reality now that I can see my apartment again. The colors are nearly normal, except for the suggestions of red, green, and gold calculus equations swimming on all the surfaces. I can concentrate on one object and view it as “normal” but everything else swims with calculus. This is rather enjoyable, and I groove for a while on the mild visuals that are somehow more real than LSD or mushroom visuals before I realize something.
I was back home! But hadn't I just been HOME? How could I be home from HOME?!?! This was mildly confusing until my brain put it together this way the next day: “I was back home from HOME, and yet I had never physically left my home.”
I wandered around my apartment for a few minutes, looking at things, touching things, experiencing the real world again. Everything seemed amazing and new, though it was the same old mess I left less than half an hour ago. Eventually I was seized by a desire to write and grabbed my notebook to record the outline that would eventually become this experience report. In retrospect I probably “wasted” a good portion of my after-effects by attempting to document too soon, but this is ok because I felt my memory of the early experience slipping away.
I have tried to put this experience into some sort of chronological order to make it easy to read. In reality this is a distortion of the experience, as I had no sense of “time” as it was going on. In fact, everything from the end of the “Coming Up” section to the end of the “Coming Down” section should be considered to have happened all at the same time. It is only through several weeks of thinking and analysis of the “cycles” I seemed to experience that I was able to approximate a timeline for this. Truthfully, the experience was not nearly so linear as this report makes it out to be.
Even though I survived this experience without lasting damage, I do not recommend smoking DMT alone. My brother Franklin has this to say about the solo DMT experience: “I worry about my physical body too much to do DMT without somebody watching it. It feels as though my body pulls my awareness back from hyperspace to check on it if I know it is alone.” I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment. An aquatic reptile is not a responsible substitute for a human guide.
I relived this experience often in the weeks that followed. Looking at microorganisms in fresh pond water under a microscope nearly caused an embarrassing flashback, and I know I heard the music many times. In the end, it took me nearly a week to shake off the schizophrenic feeling of existing in 2 worlds at the same time.
For me, DMT is incredibly rough coming up but ridiculously gentle coming down. Imagine what an ant might feel if taken by a scientist and launched into the sky in a model rocket, to be returned safely on a parachute to the exact point where she left her ant-hill. Her world and all her reference points are momentarily destroyed, only to find herself in the same place half an hour later. Translate this into psychedelic terms and you will begin to understand the DMT experience as I experience it.
I shift between past and present tense often. I feel like it shows how much of this experience is direct memory (present tense) vs. memories that I seemed to recall(past tense) while documenting after the experience. I find it an interesting literary device, but it's against “the rules” of coherent writing.
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