First of all, the question: is the trip report a literary genre? I actually think so. Many a trip report on Erowid has given me more literary pleasure than concoctions written out of some sort of cramped writers-habit. My SHHHHHHROOM will therefore have a hefty chapter with the best trip reports that can be found on the waertstool.
I was the guest of Inge Geurts in Houthalen, Belgium. Inge is an Amanita Sage who also enjoys fame as a model and dream weaver. The ceremony will start at 19.00 and the hostess is moodily dressed in a beautiful Amanita outfit. The ritual is based on the elements, we are with a small group of 6 participants, we start with the element fire and the uttering of the personal intention by means of a stone egg that changes hands.
I am slightly out of place because I personally do not ‘believe’ in setting intentions or rather, I believe that my presence itself is already the intention. That is connected to my little philosophies about how the universe works, I am there so that is my intention, and I have few demands, expectations or projections to add to that fact. But I think I put it in a nice way, so everyone understands my lack of intentions. By the way, I like the word ‘oogmerk (‘eyemark’)’ much better. There is something strange about the word ‘intention’ to my mind, if only because it is very much based on a decimal system.
We each get our first cup of the medicine. Locally picked Amanita Muscaria has been treated properly so that there is hardly any ibotenic acid left in it. Very smooth – I have drunk Inge’s tea before, and so smooth is her Amanita, so her brewing technique is impeccable. We had brought a friend who was suffering from depression and adversity, and she had never used any entheogen before, so I decided to take it easy with her and take half of the first portion of 4 grams*, to start with her very gradually.
The first drink was very tasty. Music and chanting started. There was a renowned didgeridoo player present called Nektar, an accomplished master on this instrument. When he started playing his selfmade didgeridoos, I was totally drawn into the sound and overwhelmed by amazement: how on earth is it possible that all this sound is coming from a hollow stump? My partner Veronique also known as Amanita Chanter put in her voice and in the second round, air, after consuming the second cup of medicine, she started to drum fanatically.
I am now in the Amanita glow that is so familiar to me. How can you describe it – it’s like drinking a bottle of gluh-wine that makes you very clear, without the constriction that you usually feel on alcohol. It’s that glowing, protective feeling coupled with the clarity that makes this a very pleasant drug. Read my forthcoming book SHHHHHHROOM to understand why this wonderful mushroom was demonised in favour of nihilistic alcohol. Anyway, bathed in the glow, the ceremony slowly becomes more and more surreal, as if it is all happening in a dream. This is also a very typical feature of this mushroom – she turns this reality into what it essentially is: a dream.
In the earth round, some participants have some strong emotions. That is allowed and even intended in a cleansing. I give some energetic help to the person next to me, who says she doesn’t notice anything yet, but after a while the penny drops and she also starts to notice the clarity. My beloved is completely absorbed in the music and singing; her fanatical drumming fits wonderfully with the beautiful tones of Nektar.
More and more beautiful
The ceremony is getting more and more beautiful, and I must mention in particular the scents that the Sage knows how to spread with each element, which are among the finest scents my nose has ever known.
Arriving at the fourth element, ‘water’, I am already completely in a kind of dream world. The sage takes a kind of huge drum that makes water sounds and makes dreamlike movements with it above our heads. I now see everything covered in a DMT dream layer, full of colours and patterns, and the ceremony is one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen, with a serene Inge making magical sounds and movements with her dream drum.
Intermezzo: I realise that what makes most trip reports fun to read are the visionary perceptions. I myself have long since ceased to call them ‘hallucinations’ because to me the DMT dream layer simply belongs to the brain, and in this case I saw a kind of mandala of white snakes crossing the room in a geometrical pattern in which the snakes kept shooting up into the sky. It was a snake year for me, after several encounters with the aspisadder in the wild, and a recent dream in which I dreamt that my Kundalini was a white anaconda. There was a flood of images, most of which my psyborg does not remember – but there was a beautiful image of Inge as a kind of ancient priestess, who knows how to bring the dream reality to life with her serene movements.
By now I have managed to consume the most Amanita of all the participants; I am approaching 11 grams, which is moving in the direction of a somewhat heavier Amanita trip. Reality is a dream, I start to perceive distortions in space-time and in the shapes of things. The ceremony is over, walking has become quite an adventure. We go to sleep in the ceremony room, and all night I zone between this world and the dream world, and it seems to me that they are the same world.
The next day, we have an after-action discussion with the group. Everyone turns out to have had a wonderful experience, all for different reasons. For me, it is the most beautiful ceremony I have ever been able to attend, and I am grateful for the beautiful images. Rarely has the morning sun given me a brighter view of the world. It dawns on me that this kind of celebration was once the norm, adventurers coming together to celebrate travel. And I now realise that Amanita Muscaria is just the thing, because it doesn’t have the super alienating effect of some other substances and therefore lends itself better to a social setting. As a South American shaman told me: ‘Amanita offers protection, I don’t want to do any trip without its presence’. – Of which, although San Pedro, my other Ally, is also protective in my opinion.
The beautiful flames of the Magnolia summed up this special weekend for me:
Footnote: Inge uses fresh Amanita to make her drink, the grams are in the ratio of about 1:10 – 100 grams of fresh mushroom is about 10 grams of dried. So I drank 110 grams of fresh mushroom or 11 grams of dried.