I took Magic Mushrooms for the first time in the Autumn of 1997. These were the little (and very potent) Scottish 'Liberty Caps' (Psilocybe semilanceata), found on fields with plenty of horse and sheep poo.
I had been taken mushroom picking twice by some friends who knew what to look out for. This was my initiation and by the end of it I had my goggles on and was seeing magic mushrooms everywhere. We collected loads and I ended up with a tub of dried psilocybin fun-guys which I later consumed as tea over a period of a few weeks. I had no idea of dosage and I rode the trips as they came, in my room and by myself. I spaced; I traveled; I entered the land of dreams and dread; I got lost for hours looking at the cracks on the toilet wall when I went for a piss; I was taken out of my mind. Although I have little recollection of the content of those trips, there is one artifact of psychedelic output from that period which is still in my possession.
📷 ↘ ...on the very field where I recently found over 1000 shrooms
But back to that first time I took shrooms in 1997, which was right after we returned from the second mushroom gathering expedition. I downed a mug of mushroom tea in the town of St. Andrews (where I was studying at the time) and went down to the beach with a friend. It was there, on East Sands - in the spot indicated by the arrow in the image below, that I experienced the Magic for the first time. I was utterly blown away! The light, the sea, the stars, the sky.......everything was new and fascinating. I had never seen anything like it even though I had been seeing these same things all my life! I remarked over and over again how much more Real everything felt than anything I had ever experienced before and I wondered how I would ever again be able to adjust to mundane, banal reality.
📷 ↘ St. Andrews, 1997
I didn't come upon mushrooms again until the day I munched some on a boat in Amsterdam around 2001/2. It was an impulsive and foolhardy choice! I ended up having a pretty horrific trip, trying not to show that I was paranoid and eventually blacking out for a few seconds after a visit to the toilet down and up some very steep stairs, collapsing to the floor when I hit level ground again. This was shortly before we left for the airport and I proceeded to board the aircraft with dried blood on my face and eyes glazed over to high hell.
📷 ↘ mid-late 20s barge in an Amsterdam coffeeshop
I didn't touch psychedelics again for over a dozen years after that. I got married and was living the same mundane, banal reality that I had glimpsed from the outside that first time on shrooms. I may have 'adjusted' to it but I was not happy. I continued to smoke weed, but I was not in a receptive state for the magic of mushrooms and although I did go looking for them a few times, I never found any. In retrospect it feels as if I was a Zombie in the lower dimensions of consciousness, aware of the existence of Magic, yet unable to reach for it.
The marriage ended in 2012 and what followed were the two most intense romantic relationships of my life - back to back - incredible! The turn of 2014 into 2015 was another significant and intense period of my life, everything was turning upside-down and inside-out. The old was collapsing, nothing was what it seemed or what I had thought it to be. I felt alone and utterly fragmented, pieces scattered everywhere.
This was when I started taking mushrooms again! This time however - unlike any other previous trip I had had - I experienced riding the wave without falling off. I rode many other waves besides, I weathered many storms. I picked the scattered fragments of self up and found a unity I had never known. My mind was blow once again - wondrously wide open!
📷 ↘ my Big Bang Blown mind
In 2016, once the dust had settled somewhat and life had less outward drama, I managed to find over a thousand Liberty Caps from a field not to far from where I live. This amounted to one year's worth of monthly trips. In 2017 and 2018 I went looking but didn't find any. It has now been 18 months since my last trip (which incidentally brought me to the blockchain :).
📷 ↘ drying out after the pick
📷 ↘ taken in 2016
The colourful and psychedelic word-artist Terence McKenna (in one of the videos linked below) comes out with the fantastic notion that when you take Shrooms, you have access to all the distilled Experience - the 'Learning' - of all human consciousness that has interacted with the consciousness of Shroom, ever, in ALL of human history! What a fantastic notion, I love it; I can see it; I can feel it. And this is but a small measure of the the vast and limitless potential for healing and guidance that humanity has access to, brought and facilitated by the amazing Being that is the Psilocybin Magic Mushroom.
In Part-II I would like to share my experiences as they pertain to this healing and guidance aspect of Magic Mushrooms. I kept brief 'morning after' notes of a number of my trips over the past 5 years and I will find a way of presenting them.
In the meantime, I leave you in the fascinating company of TM if you are up for it.
Until the next one, thanks for reading 🙏