In the tiger hut

In the tiger hut

‘It must be something like a sauna,’ I thought—maybe even a bit milder, I imagined beforehand, since I always use the 90-degree sauna, so I’m used to it. Yes, attending a sweat lodge ceremony for the first time. Well, it’s really incomparable. In this small lodge, we were crammed together, and hot stones were carried into the tent. We followed the ceremonial leader, Claudia Mukta Parrini, in complete darkness.

I was amazed at what Inge had managed to create over the past two years with her manifestation power—a whole village of people, a treehouse, a huge tipi, a sweat lodge, and all sorts of people helping to bring this special dream to life.

I had brought my old friend Rob, who I joked in the car could easily wear a ‘sweat lodge leader’ pin; he claimed to have done more than two hundred.

First, we were all supposed to snort ‘liquid tobacco’ for its cleansing effect. Since I quit smoking four years ago, I had some doubts: do I really need to reconnect with that plant? But that was precisely the point: to experience that this is a very different plant from what the malevolent industry later made it into (I speculate in Amanita Muscaria – the Book of the Empress that tobacco was given to colonists as a kind of curse by Mexican brujos, and I’m still not convinced it wasn’t so, but that this is a very different kind of plant was something I was about to experience).

I snorted the puddle of oil placed in my hand. A sharp energy, but less intense than I expected, a clarifying presence, indeed more of a purification. A funny detail is that Veronique had brought exactly this plant to give as a gift to Inge.

Then we all went into the hut. It’s a small hut, and with the twenty-six (estimated) people participating, it was really packed. That worked on the claustrophobic nerves, especially when it became pitch dark and you could hardly breathe from the steam and smoke. After a while, you really start singing because you have to, you have no choice. And singing so intensely with 26 people in a pitch-dark hut is certainly a unique experience. I could feel, for example, how the boy next to me went through various panic phases.

No, this is not comparable to a sauna infusion. This is more like seeking a half near-death experience. I didn’t have trouble with a panicking voice in my head; I believe I’ve lost that over the years. Or maybe I did, when someone on the other side of the tent said after two rounds that she couldn’t take it anymore, I thought it was Veronique. It’s pitch dark, and you see nothing, so I started talking to her, and the ceremony leader had to convince me it was someone else. Then I decided to leave the tent with that woman—I was pretty much at my limit. Veronique and Rob did all four rounds, and after the ceremony, she couldn’t walk for the first half hour, she was so unsteady.

Then we all had a very pleasant light meal in a small open-air kitchen, and when we went home, a kind of Armageddon of rain suddenly poured from the sky, and I thought, jeez, the windshield wipers. Because the windshield wiper motor had already faltered a few times, and sometimes they refused to work.

And indeed, after 20 minutes of driving in the rainy darkness, they suddenly refused to work again, and we had to drive another 45 minutes in the rainy darkness without windshield wipers, a trial that somewhat matched the intensity of the sweat lodge.

But also no panicking voices. At home, I put on my best pajamas—I collect pajamas, perhaps a slightly peculiar hobby. We raise Atlas moths and Moon moths, and I collect pajamas. Those are really the main hobbies now, moths and pajamas. I slept like a baby.

Rob told me that such a ceremony is one of the most effective forms of magic, that you can realize almost anything with it if you want to. I believe that, this combination of pushing boundaries along with concentrated group energy is indeed very powerful.

We are also manifesting these now (moon moths).

In a month, Mavi will come to stay again. At sixteen, she already has considerable artistic ambitions, with two exhibitions in Fethiye and Gocek. Her art is heavily inspired by Manga, and she hopes to go to Japan someday because she feels a strong connection with that country.

When I think about what I manifested at sixteen, Mavi is way ahead of me.

I am working on a somewhat more serious attempt at making a music video with Luma. I’ll keep you posted! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Martijn, 15-06-2024

About the author

Martijn Benders has published twenty-six books, eighteen of which are in Dutch. Critics such as Komrij and Gerbrandy have hailed him as one of the greatest talents of his time. He has also written three philosophical works, one of which is in English and focuses on the Amanita Muscaria, the Fly Agaric. Publishing on the international platform of The Philosophical Salon, he has also gained international recognition as one of the most remarkable thinkers from the Netherlands.


There exists a considerable group of leftist individuals who vigorously opposed the prevailing coronavirus narrative, including some of the world’s leading philosophers, such as Agamben and Kacem. However, this stance was heavily censored and vilified by what is referred to as ‘neocon-left’ or ‘woke-left’, as something associated solely with what they deem ‘far-right’. In my book, I discuss the reasons behind these actions, the underlying motives, and how this is emblematic of a new form of fascism aimed at seizing power permanently.

The middle section of the book is dedicated to poetry. It features a beautiful selection of poems from the Mediterranean region, by poets from Turkey and Greece, who have been imprisoned and tortured by the regime.

The final part of my book is a manifesto against literary nihilism, as manifested in the Literature Fund. It reveals how this fund is dominated by a group of Christians and ‘wokies’, which is undesirable in a free society.

Amanita Muscaria – The Book of the Empress is an exceptional work that sets a new benchmark in the realm of mycophilosophy. While one might be tempted to classify the book within the domain of Art History, such a categorization would fail to capture its true essence. 

Amanita Muscaria – The Book of the Empress – De Kaneelfabriek, 2023

You don’t have time to read this, but that’s because you are no longer human. If anything remained of the original person within you, the old mycelia of childhood, you would learn a great deal from this book. In fact, its magical knowledge might become your most valuable possession. This is a book about human imagination and how it fell into the iron grip of transdimensional cockroaches. Additionally, it offers magical tips to significantly improve your life and time acceleration. M.H.H. Benders also takes a light-hearted yet scathing look at the entirety of Dutch literature. What more could you want?