My Psilocybin Journey

Before the journey began, there was a screening process, medical information collected, intentions set and a meeting of all the peoples involved. That was good. It began the foundations for a safe container.

We met on a zoom call. We got to know each other a little bit and ask our important questions. We shared or fears, desires and hoped for outcomes. We were all there for similar and yet vastly different reasons. There would be four participants, all women in their late forties to early fifties. All had experienced some sort of early childhood sexual trauma. All had some stories to tell and some trauma to shed.

There would be two facilitators, one female and one male. The male would use his masculine energy to ground us in strength, to bare witness and to keep us safe. The female was there to guide us, to be our teacher and to open us to the flowing knowingness that is our feminine nature.

We met at noon and we nervously checked in with each other and settled in. We did a lot of container building, which meant more talking, a little meditation and just settling into each other’s vibes.

I was handed a beautiful wooden box full of the dried mushrooms. I was amazed at their sheer beauty and the intricacy of each little guy. We were told to pick one from which we would break off a tiny peice as our initiation dose. I picked one that was shaped like a ring and tried it on my hand. It was too small so I had to wear it on my pinky. I really fell in love with that little guy as I carried it around for the next few hours.

We took a little nip and went outside for a ceremony of sorts. My little taste took effect right away and I found myself not present for the ensuing ceremony and so I did not participate in the way it was designed. What I do remember is that at the end, our male facilitator apologized on behalf of men for all the wrongs perpetrated against me. This was very similar to what I had experienced at my GERI ceremony, but with my little taste of the mushroom, I was not feeling it. I said “Wow, that’s a lot.” to which he replied, “I am sorry it has been so much for you.” I said “No, I meant for you to take on all of that for men, that is a lot”, and then I ran down the hill that was in front of me.

Shortly after, we met back indoors to check in once again. One of the women participants told our male facilitator how grateful she was to him for the apology as she had never heard that from a man before. She said she really did not like men and that is was nice to see that some could be okay. The other two women had similar words for him, but I did not. I was not feeling it. I felt anger, which I expressed. Our female facilitator asked if I was open for some anger work before the ceremony, to which I agreed.

Turns out all of the women were open as we all met on the hill outside. All five of us women were in a circle and our male facilitator stood like a mountain in silent witness.

The women began to rage. Our female leader spit into the ground and the spit came back up into her hair. I loved it and I clapped and told her it was awesome. Another woman, my roommate started swearing at men, telling them to leave her the fuck alone, to get their hands off her body. I cheered for her. The woman across from me got low to the ground and growled through her abdomen. It reminded me of all the grief of giving birth and being in a woman’s body in regard to reproduction. I clapped and cheered for her.

At that point the male facilitator whispered something to the female facilitator. I decided that he was telling on me, because I had not screamed or yelled or stomped or used my voice to show my anger. I asked myself if I could and I could not, or would not. I am not sure which.

Our leader than said to look up into the trees or into each other’s eyes so that would could be seen. I made eye contact with her and we smiled. I looked further across from me. The final woman dressed in pink, very feminine, small and polite lifted her head and I could see her beauty and her tears. As her head came back, she went from rage to regal and she became a queen. She was so beautiful, so feminine and so sparkly.

We went back inside to debrief and get ready for our full dosage. During this practice I came to terms with some solid boundaries for myself. If I am not sure, it is a no. It isn’t a yes, until I am sure it’s a yes. I don’t want to be convinced and I want time to decide and to sort out my own feelings.

The beautiful wooden box was passed around again and we were able to pick out our individual little shrooms. I picked out all the little cuties and held them in my hand, and then we ate them.

For me, the effect came on quickly. As I laid down in my bed, I could hear the electric heater that was placed close to me. I was also getting hot. I kept telling myself it was okay and I would just deal with it. This went on for a while until finally I heard that if I did not ask for what I needed, to have the heater removed, my entire journey would be about the heater and not about my healing at all. I believe it was a really big step for me to get up, take off my shade and ask our male facilitator to please remove the heater.

The next thing came on almost the second my head hit the pillow. The mushrooms held me in such a buoyant way. The told me, although no words were spoken, that in order to get the reset I had requested, I had two options. I could choose to do many journeys and work on my traumas little by little, remembering and diseecting each one piece by piece. Or they could just give me a reset, in which I did not have to remember everything. It would be very quick but also could get very intense.

I agreed to the second choice. We then went through a process of which I can no longer remember the details where we discussed all of the particulars. They asked what about this and this and this and I said yes or no to each.

Then came the unwinding, which was gentle at first, but then began to feel like blows against my body and specifically my face. I flashed back to when I was one or two years old and fell out of my Mother’s moving VW bus. I smashed my head on the pavement, received stitches and still carry the scar some fifty years later.

The rest I don’t remember in detail, as was promised by the mushrooms. I didn’t feel the pain as my body went through blow after blow after blow. I must have been making noises because my roommate asked me if I was okay. I told her that I was. We began to talk a little bit, about what I do not remember.

I do remember at one point I said to her, “Let’s go back to our childhood.” She said “That would be nice, if we had different parents, a different home and we lived in a different town.” We both laughed and laughed at this and I said something like “They didn’t take very good care of us, did they?” I told her to stop laughing. And then I said I was sorry, that I had been told as a child not to laugh, not to giggle, to be quiet.

Many things were happening at the same time. I could hear all the women’s voices. At this point, I listened for my own voice. I kept using the tools our female facilitator had taught us and I kept bringing myself back to my center, listening, trying to find my own voice. My roommate and I laughed about how serious I was in trying to do my journey so perfectly.

At some point, I decided that all of the other women were parts of me. That the anger exercise we had done outside was not real, it was just me, parts of me; my teacher voice, my whiny voice, my maternal voice and my beautiful soft feminine voice. I convinced myself that I was actually the only one on this journey and that I had made up all of the other stuff.

I decided that I never ate those other little guys, and that this all began when I took the little bite from the cap of the first ring shaped little mushroom. Then I thought, no, even further. Perhaps I was really back in that very first holotropic breathwork experience I had and that I was in fact still in that room, near Chicago, holding Matthew’s hand.

It was then that I realized that Matthew was my partner, that he was always my partner. I remembered that I recognized him during that first exercise at the GERI workshop way back in September.

I realized that Matthew and I were one, just like all of these women and I were one. I realized that his voice was just my voice and when I heard him say something judging or hurtful that it was my voice saying these things to me.

I went through a similar process with my best friend Tiffany. I realized we were one as well, and mirrors for each other. That we gave each other love and support but we also challenged each other to grow. I realized that when I heard judgement in her voice, it was in reality my voice I was hearing.

Next up were my children, my two girls. I realized that we were all one as well. That they are really me and I am really them. My oldest being the part of me that likes to be adventurous, travel, shine and the youngest the part of me that likes to snuggle up in a safe place to make art, read and learn. I saw them both as parts of me in the same way I saw the women on my journey.

At some point, I came back to the voice of my roommate. The whiny voice was gone and the laughter was gone and now she was using her voice, our voice, to sing. It was very grounding and brought me back to me.

The first time I had to use the bathroom, I felt I should throw up, but I never did. Instead I got sidetracked by the mirror. I saw my face, my dads face and the face of a lion weave in and out and in and out. The three faces kept morphing into one another. I could see my lion’s mane and how my face was that of my fathers. I felt my patriarchal line was that of the Lion.

I got obsessed with my hair, something was sticky in it. My scar on my forehead hurt. I picked at my face and my chin.

I began to think about the Cosmic Game and how Grof said that the cosmic force was bored. I heard my roommate say the word bored a few times. I began to think of my old boss and how he was plenty rich and had no need for a business, but he worked hard anyway, every single day. Why? Not for boredom, but for fun. I knew then that the Cosmic game was not about filling in boredom but for enjoyment and fun.

Our facilitators checked in with us and said our ceremony was over and we could come eat if we liked. For me it, was not over, I had many hours left before me.

My second trip to the bathroom was spent looking in the mirror again as I saw my ugliest version of me and the oldest version of me. Neither really bothered me. In fact I looked with real curiosity.

My roommate and I went into the kitchen. I could not eat. Everything looked and smelled real bad. I am sure that was the queasiness of my stomach. My roommate asked me if I liked to cook and I said no. She said she did, that when she began to chop vegetables she got very meditative. I then asked myself if that was my voice, not hers. Did I really enjoy cooking?

Eventually everyone in the house was sleeping except for me. I went back into the kitchen and sat in the chair and looked at the bowl of fruit. I felt a presence and was scared for a minute, but then I remembered that our female facilitator said we could be discerning and ask that only our healed ancestors who wanted our highest and best be allowed to join us. So I said out loud that whomever was present was only invited under those conditions.

The lights above me flickered and I said “Oh hi Mom.”

I then picked up a strawberry and I could not eat it. I felt sad and I asked her, although again there were no words, if I starved her and made her die. She told me that after my step-father Milt died that she wanted to die too. She said I knew that. I did.

She said that he was her soul mate. That she tried, tried real hard to live for me, because she knew I wanted her to. She said she even got a David, but she was not happy. So, she lived part in this world and part not in it. She said I knew that, that there were moments in her alzheimer’s journey when we connected. I did know moments when she was with us.

She said she tried, but she just didn’t want to live anymore, that she got tired of playing the game. She said I did not starve her. She didn’t want to eat. She chose to stop eating. She chose to die.

I went back to bed. My stomach was on knots. I thought I might have diarrhea or throw up and that it might be good for me. I tried to sleep.

I focused on my face. The scar on my forehead, the cancer on my nose. I thought who would I be without my scar on my face. The sticky thing was still stuck in my hair, so I knew I was still with the mushrooms. I knew from my reading that I had to have an ego death to be reborn. I thought I might poop my pants in my bed and that could be it.

I went to the bathroom again and brushed out my hair. I looked better, a little more clear in the mirror. I still could not use the toilet to purge.

I went back to bed. I touched my scar again, who would I be without the scar, without the trauma? Could I give up my story, the story of me? I went into this and realized that to give up my story would to be to give up my kids. Could I do it?

No, I was not ready, not today. I had a long, long journey. I learned a lot, but this ego death, I was not ready for.

The house was quiet. It was about 6am. I went downstairs and looked at some books and read some passages and even copied somethings down into my journal. Then I went into the art room to make my mandala.

When the others woke, we had breakfast and we talked a lot. I realized that I was not alone on the journey, that the others heard me as I heard them. They were each a part of me, but they were also separate, like Matthew, like Tiffany, like my girls. They are all my voice, and they are their own voice.

I am sure I have forgotten to record pieces of this journey. I was surprised how it affected my physically. I took me a few days to recover and is not nearly as kind to my body as holotropic breathwork. That may also be because of the agreement I made with the mushrooms in those first few minutes. I could have chosen the more gentle path, but that is not my way.

I feel the mushroom medicine with me. I look at others differently now and I listen to them much more closely. I listen for their word and for my voice creeping in. I am grateful.


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