My experience with psychedelics doesn’t go back far. Mostly because they just never interested me.
I know, that probably sounds weird coming from me.
But even as a teenager and college student, I had no interest in drugs of any kind. And as throngs of spiritual seekers have flocked to South America in the past decade for ayahuasca ceremonies, I never felt the pull.
So keep in mind as you read this story that my perspective and experience is as a 40-something many years into my spiritual journey and not as a fun experiment at a party with friends in my 20’s.
Your intention before ingesting mind altering substances matters. A lot.
But we’ll get to that in a minute.
First, let's start at the beginning. How did this even happen?!
We’re going to have to blame that on my guides.
I started getting the nudge to explore mushrooms last summer.
And by nudge I mean – the messages were suddenly everywhere in my environment. Other people were telling me about their experiences, TV shows would be suggested to me, it was being mentioned on podcasts….you name it.
But I was like, no.
Not gonna happen.
Not interested. No thank you.
In fact, that’s how I knew at first it was coming from spirit. Because this wasn’t an idea I would come up with on my own.
Honestly I think I was a little nervous about releasing control over my experience and environment. And my mind.
But then the dreams started.
About once a week for a month I would wake up out of a dream that felt like I was tripping. So much so that I wasn’t feeling quite so nervous about the whole thing since it seemed like I’d already experienced it in my dream state.
And while I was allowing my consciousness to come around to the idea, I heard about Michael Pollan’s latest book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.
Known primarily as a science journalist who has famously explored our culture’s connection with food, Michael’s interest in writing this book grew out of the reporting he did for a New Yorker article on psychedelic psychotherapy.
He, like me, had never experimented with psychedelics in his youth and decided to dedicate his brain to science for this project.
AKA: He took a variety of mind altering substances for the first time in his life and shared his experiences in the book.
So while there’s tons of interviews and historical research included, there’s also his personal account as a novice psychonaut in his early 60’s.
Side note: Did you know the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous stopped drinking through a psychedelic psychology program?
That little bit of AA history got swept under the rug when psychedelics were declared illegal. Bill W didn’t get sober simply by believing in a power greater than himself. He likely experienced that higher power while tripping.
And then worked through the issues surrounding his addiction with the help of psychedelic substances and a therapist.
The whole story is in Michael’s book.
Anyhow, I digress.
By the time I finished reading the book late last fall, I had, in fact, changed my mind. I was open to the idea of taking mushrooms.
But still not in a hurry.
My guides however had other ideas. They ramped up their insistence and gave me a deadline.
Except that it was already the end of November and I genuinely had no idea where I was going to get mushrooms.
Because yeah. They’re still not legal in most of the U.S.
I quietly asked around to a few people I thought might know, but struck out.
It didn’t seem like I could get my hands on the goods.
So I told my guides….this isn’t happening.
Unless you tell me exactly how to get them. And they immediately gave me a name. Alrighty then.
I sent that person a message saying….this is going to sound weird, but….
Bingo. That person DID know and before I knew it, I had them in my hands.
Some hilarity did ensue when they asked how much I needed. Umm…I don’t know?! Let me ask my guides…
10, they said.
I really had no idea, so after a little online research I settled on 3 grams.
However, I didn’t quite get them by December 12th so I asked my guides again what to do about it. They said the solstice would be a good day. But I absolutely positively HAD to do it before the end of the year.
Before the start of 2020. Which seems a bit obvious now after living through the “Great Awakening” that is 2020.
My guides had said that I’d reached the limits of my understanding of my spiritual journey with my conscious mind and body and that I needed to be able to see what is beyond in order to hold the light and space and energy needed in the coming year.
Umm, yeah. They weren’t kidding.
Anyhow, when I opened the jar of mushrooms, I realized they’d been ground into a powder and placed into gel capsules. And seeing them like that made me feel like I was about to take A LOT of mushrooms. There were 14 capsules. So I assumed my guides meant…take 10 capsules.
But when I mentioned that to a few of my friends who’d had past experiences with mushrooms, they all responded with a look of panic.
DO NOT take 10 capsules. OMG. That’s so much!
Okay, well shit.
Back to my guides…
Take 10 capsules. They said.
Now I was nervous again.
However, the two most important things to know about a psychedelic journey is that set and setting are critical.
Set meaning your mindset.
What are your intentions? What state of mind are you in when you embark on this journey? Ideally, not terrified about what will happen if you take 10 capsules of mushrooms.
And then setting meaning your environment.
Your surroundings play into your experience big time so you want to be somewhere that feels safe and comfortable during your trip.
I already knew I was going to be outside in the Big Yellow Portal for my experience, but what I didn’t want was to be in any way nervous or freaked out about what was going to happen.
So a few days before the solstice I decided that I couldn’t talk to anyone else about my plans. If I was going to do this, I was on my own.
Well, except for my husband who’d agreed to be my sober trip sitter.
And I made him PROMISE that he wouldn’t in any way make fun of me, no matter what happened, so he wouldn’t influence my state of mind either.
I wasn’t really sure how conscious of reality I would be or how much I would be able to control the experience.
So one more time I went back to my guides and asked them how I should arrange the day and they gave me a list of specifics. Start a solstice fire, call in my ancestors as guides, set my intentions and go!
On the day of, I decided that even though they had told me to take 10 capsules, I should still maybe start low and increase the dose only if needed. So as I got myself settled in by the fire on a chilly December morning, I took 7 capsules and then waited.
An hour passed.
Another 30 minutes passed. Still nothing was happening.
I started wondering if I actually see the world as “psychedelic” and didn’t realize that other people don’t.
So I took three more capsules, for a total of 10 as my guides suggested. Another hour passed with no effects.
I tuned back in to my guides who said…you received 14 for a reason. Do you want to get all the way in on this experience or stand on the sidelines?
I was in. I took four more and it didn’t take long for my perception to be altered. Very altered.
Initially it was the trees I noticed. It was like the entire world had turned technicolor and I could see every single needle on every pine tree gently moving, but in a very intentional way. I realized this must be what they’re doing all the time, we just don’t see it!
I got up from my chair and started walking around the woods, wanting to see more.
And that’s when I noticed the Red Portal.
I could so clearly see the sacred geometry of every living thing flowing in perfect harmony.
The small trees were spinning in perfect pirouettes. The moss and soil and snow and plants were all artfully designed. The energy was flowing in a gently pulsing vibration and I experimented with stepping in and out of it. Noticing how I was made up of the same sacred geometry of everything in my environment.
Wherever I went, everything in nature just incorporated me into the surroundings. Like a key fitting into a lock.
I understood how damaging to the geometry it is to dig a hole in the soil. And yet when you do, the energy just shifts and incorporates the hole into the landscape.
It’s all perfect. Always.
And as I was standing there, just on the edge of the Red Portal, in complete awe of the experience, I was suddenly aware of how often I do this in my daily life.
Standing just on the outside of an experience. Not getting all the way in.
Just like I was only going to take 7 capsules.
In an effort to “manage” myself, my emotions, my environment, I’ll often witness an experience from a distance rather than totally immerse myself in it.
And when I do that, I have this kind of “Narrator” in my head who is observing the experience and actually narrating it back to me. Multiple times during the trip I was made aware of this narrator and started getting pretty annoyed with him.
Or rather, me.
I noticed myself doing it again and again.
Dang it narrator!
We’re not going to do that anymore.
We are going to go ALL IN on life from here on out. None of this sidelines bullshit anymore. We are DONE with you.
BTW….why is the narrator masculine and somehow separate from myself? How many other “me”s were inside my head that day? I don’t know. But that’s how it felt during the trip.
Welcome to psychedelics.
Anyhow…I spent as much time as possible outside just taking it all in. I stood with the sun on my face for what felt like hours (it was probably 15 minutes…time is VERY wonky on a trip), wandered around the property talking to trees (I guess that’s normal), and stood in the driveway watching the sun set before I surrendered to the fact that it was time to go inside.
At this point, probably three hours had passed and I could tell the effect was starting to wear off but I was definitely not all the way back.
So I laid down on the couch with some headphones on and closed my eyes to listen to the Johns Hopkins University Psilocybin Playlist on Spotify. Yeah, that exists. Which also tells you how “mainstream” psychedelics are becoming again.
Listening to music was like a whole other level.
I instantly understood how unnecessary my body was for my consciousness to exist. Each song took me on a journey somewhere in space and time.
During one song I became the composer writing the music.
In another I found myself walking the streets of Paris in the 1940’s.
I finally asked in my head….
Are these my past lives?!
The answer came right back…
Do you want them to be?
And I giggled.
It was the perfect reminder that we’re all part of source consciousness experiencing itself. I can be whoever and whenever I want to be. It’s exactly what we experience in shamanic journey states – shifting our consciousness into another reality.
As I slowly came back to this reality, I began to integrate the experience I’d had.
My initial reaction was DANG! THAT WAS FUN!!
Like literally the most fun I’ve had in years. And I was determined that I was going to have more fun (even without mushrooms) in my daily life going forward.
And definitely practice getting all the way in to experiences in my life. I realized that we spend way too much energy worrying about things that really don’t matter all that much.
Wringing our hands over spending money on something that we really want and that frankly, we have the money for, but just agonize over spending it.
What a stupid waste of my time and energy.
And I especially realized that I can’t crowdsource my experiences. All that I accomplished by asking other people about their mushroom experiences was to take on their fears for me. None of which actually happened.
If I’d held back because of the suggestions of others, I wouldn’t have had the same experience. I know me. I’m the only one who really knows what’s right for me.
Can you have a bad trip? Absolutely.
But is there a lot you can do to prepare for the experience and make it as positive and productive as possible? Yes.
Also, I realized that a lot of people I spoke with who experimented with psychedelics when they were younger either had “meh” experiences (usually by taking a small amount at a party) or had a bad trip that scared them off doing it again (not respecting the plant or the medicine, not properly preparing or not understanding that the mushrooms will bring up situations you need to deal with).
A few days after my trip, the next phase of integration began. On the day after Christmas, the day of the solar eclipse, I realized I wasn’t feeling so hot. For the next five weeks I experienced the worst respiratory illness I’d had in years, complete with a fever and endless fatigue.
So many lightworkers were sick during this period of time. It turned out to be a massive DNA upgrade to prepare us for what was to come in the collective over the next few months. And it’s why I had to experience the mushrooms when I did.
Just as COVID was hitting the U.S. in full force, I was back on my feet with a completely different perspective.
I had the energy to hold space. The perspective to see the virus as simply a frequency that we could choose to interact with, or not.
And I wasn’t holding onto the fear of death.
As the months ticked by in 2020, I knew I wanted to experience another mushroom trip. But this time my husband wanted to do it with me.
Initially we’d planned it for the summer solstice, but as the days grew closer, my guides felt like the middle of eclipse season wasn’t the best time. Too many other energies going on to add that experience to it.
Wait for your birthday, they suggested.
And so we did. Although there were already guests booked in our Airbnb over my birthday so I looked for the next open date and told my husband to block out his calendar.
As the date grew closer, I wasn’t getting much info from my guides about how to plan. The last time they had given me such specific instructions, I wasn’t sure why they weren’t doing the same this time.
Two days before, I sat down to channel and specifically ask why there were no details like the last time.
Oh, they said.
That was just to make you feel better.
You were nervous, so we gave you some suggestions to make you feel more comfortable. There’s nothing you need to know…just go for it!
I wasn’t totally sure what to expect but decided to set my intention to connect with Bigfoot on this trip. I wanted to “see” them and understand more about our work together.
My husband decided that his intention was to “see all the layers”. He wanted a behind the scenes tour of the universe.
So off we went back to the Yellow Portal and this time things got interesting after about an hour. Right away, Dennis was seeing what I’d been seeing on my last trip – the sacred geometry, the trees interacting – but I wasn’t seeing any of it.
And then I realized that my intention last time was to see the portals. And his intention was also to see. So we did.
THIS is how powerful our intention is.
Dennis suddenly felt like he needed to build a campfire for his journey and also started having a lot of congestion in his head that hadn’t been there before. He felt like it was something that he was clearing or releasing.
The smoke was bothering me so I went into the trailer to lay down and close my eyes.
I started seeing all kinds of colorful kaleidoscope images moving and spinning in my mind’s eye. And then a vision came into view.
It was a rectangular box constructed of colorful strings on all sides, top and bottom.
I stepped into the box, reached my hand out, touched one of the strings, and it responded – sending a vibration out in waves.
What was that? I asked.
Potential. I heard.
I could create anything I wanted inside this box. It was full of potential and I was the one who was in charge of deciding what to make.
I touched a few more strings, trying to get the feel for how it all worked and each time I would hear….POTENTIAL!
After a few minutes, everything changed. I was suddenly in Vietnam. Except I wasn’t all the way present in the experience. I was kind of watching from the outside. And the more I tried to get a clear view, the less I could see.
But I understood that Dennis and I were there together.
At some other time. And whatever experience we had together was traumatic in some way.
I had a bit of an argument with myself over telling him this information. I understood that I could just lay there and have the experience by myself but it was important somehow that I tell him.
About that time, he wandered over to the trailer and I tried to explain that we had a life together in Vietnam that we needed to resolve. I could feel the pain from that lifetime and said out loud to him: I’m done with that life. I don’t want this energy anymore. It’s time for it to go.
But he was in his own world and just wandered back to his fire.
I suddenly realized that this lifetime was attached to my left ankle. I could see the woman from that life holding onto my ankle and I kept trying to shake her off but she was holding on too tightly.
So I shifted to my energy clearing techniques. One after the other I tried to clear her and make her go away, but nothing would work.
So I paused.
What was I missing? Why couldn’t I “clear” this energy?!
And then I received the answer.
She was another piece of me. I couldn’t just clear her and send her away. I had to love her and bring her back. Integrate her and make us whole.
I didn’t need a clearing, I needed a soul retrieval.
So that’s what we did. And then that experience was complete and we moved onto the next.
Two or three more past lives where my husband and I had been together came up to be loved on and reintegrated. I was totally getting the hang of this now.
And then suddenly, he was back.
Where did he come from?! Didn’t we deal with you the last time??
I was suddenly very annoyed and whipped around in my vision to see this little dark cloud cowering next to a riverbank. I had my hands on my hips, towering over him and scolding him for coming back.
And then suddenly there was a giant dark shadow over my shoulder encouraging me to continue this assault on the Narrator.
You’re not allowed here anymore! I told him.
We’re done! Don’t you remember?!
Whoa, wait a minute….
Who the heck are you?!
I spun around again to see who exactly it was that wanted me to be so mad at this frightened little cloud.
I couldn’t make out the specifics, but I understood it to be a part of me too.
The Bully. The Enforcer.
And I suddenly knew these were all pieces of me that needed to be loved too. So I reached my hands out to the Bully and the Narrator and hugged them both and told them I loved them and didn’t want them to go.
As soon as I did that, the Narrator transformed.
It was a little like a reversed Tarot card flipping over to reveal the opposite meaning. The Narrator was the shadow side of the Storyteller within me.
I can’t experience the Storyteller without embracing the Narrator. They’re two sides of the same coin. If I send the Narrator packing, the Storyteller goes with him.
How did I not see that before?! It was all so clear now!
I was so excited at this revelation that I hopped up out of the bed to go check on my husband. But a few steps outside and I could see from a distance that he was deep into his journey. He wasn’t wearing a shirt or shoes and was involved in some kind of ritual with the fire.
I was intrigued, but didn’t want to disturb him.
So I left him alone and went back to the trailer.
As I laid back down and continued on my journey, I started wondering when Bigfoot was going to show up. I definitely hadn’t seen him although I did feel his energy. Like he was hanging around just a bit out of reach.
But then I was pulled deeper into the experience again.
Except this time, I was much more conscious of what Dennis was doing – even though I couldn’t see him. I was suddenly aware of the fact that he is just another piece of me, experiencing other things in this lifetime that I choose not to.
I realized that we had co-created this container together.
I was aware that although I don’t have any concern or worry about my “security” in my life, he does things like put security cameras on the house and take classes on gun safety. He’s the piece of me that DOES think about it. And I’m the piece of him that doesn’t.
And then I thought it was funny that the example I was being shown was this idea of “security” because Bigfoot is the one who handles the energetic security on our property.
Again, so I don’t have to.
But I’ve created this situation where I have Dennis taking care of physical security and Bigfoot taking care of energetic security and I was like DAMN. I guess security is more important to me than I thought.
I’ve surrounded myself with protective beings so I can live my life not thinking about it.
Suddenly, I had a huge wave of gratitude wash over me for the roles we’re all playing in each other’s lives.
And while I laid there sending gratitude out to my husband and thinking about the parallels between him and Bigfoot, I suddenly heard him calling for me.
So I got up and walked outside but couldn’t see where he was. I could hear that he was by the fire but I couldn’t see him so I started walking closer.
I kept squinting thinking that my vision was wonky.
It looked like he was IN what was left of the fire.
Where ARE you?! I asked him.
He was crouched down, just behind the fire pit and began to stand up very slowly.
What the heck was I looking at?!
I kept walking closer to get a better look.
Why couldn’t I see him clearly??
Suddenly he came into view.
He was standing kind of hunched over, head low, arms hanging down straight by his side.
He’d apparently rubbed the charcoal remnants from the fire over every inch of his body. His entire face, chest, stomach, both arms and legs were completely black from the fire.
And as soon as it became clear I burst into laughter.
He looked like he had completely merged with the forest and actually become some kind of creature.
He was Bigfoot.
Literal tears streaming down my face. I couldn’t even speak or attempt to explain what was happening.
There he was. Bigfoot. Standing right in front of me.
Dennis IS Bigfoot. Just like I am Bigfoot too.
And here we were together in the woods. Remembering.
Also, can I just say….touche Bigfoot.
I imagined them also howling hysterically and rolling around on the ground laughing at how this all played out.
She wants to see Bigfoot?! Watch this.
That moment was probably peak mushroom for the day.
After I was able to compose myself, I asked Dennis what exactly he’d been up to and it included repairing underground energetic water lines that the spirits showed him he’d disturbed on a building project and traveling in the Yellow Portal.
He’d also met up with a mischievous other version of himself who he’d had a bit of a battle with before coming to terms with him.
The charcoal incident happened when he realized that he could match energy with the fire.
So yeah, I’d say he definitely became one with the forest.
Over the next few hours as the fungi slowly wore off, he kept commenting that I wasn’t grounded and would grab my feet to ground me.
Initially I was like….OF COURSE I’m grounded. I’m really good at keeping myself grounded.
But then I realized he was right.
I had definitely blasted off to another realm this time and wasn’t really in a hurry to come back to Earth. As I did, the colors looked more dull and everything looked more dry than I remembered.
It felt like I’d gotten off the ride in the wrong timeline at first.
This wasn’t the Earth that I remembered.
But then I heard the word that had been repeated 100 times in my head that day.
What did I want to make of this experience?
What do I want to make of my life here on Earth?
I’m living a life of my own creation and I have the greatest gift of all. The potential to make whatever I want of it.
The box I was shown at the beginning of this journey responds to me and my actions. And now instead of an empty box, I could see it again, full of all of the things I interact with and see in my environment every day.
Were those the things I wanted to surround myself with?
Because I can remove anything I don’t like and add anything that I want.
The box is just potential.
I’m the one that creates reality.
So, it’s going to take some time for this experience to truly unfold and integrate into my daily life.
That’s the magic of mushrooms (or any psychedelic). Some pieces change you in an instant, but most of it needs to unfold over time.
There’s no escaping being changed by the experience.
It’s too soon to say if or when I will trip again. Just like after my first experience, I feel like I need the space to process and that doesn’t happen on a schedule.
But I am eternally grateful to this plant medicine for showing me what I most needed to see at this moment in time and thankful for the courage each and every one of us had to say yes to being incarnated here on Earth at this moment in time.
It really is nothing short of magic.