A Solo Mushroom Journey – The Only Way Out is Through

Last week I did something epic. I went on a solo mushroom journey. Meaning, I ate 3 grams of mushrooms, out in nature, all by myself.

In other words, I went on a vision quest 👁️

This was something I’ve been thinking about and calling in since October. Something I had put in my calendar THREE other times, but had backed out of because I was a little bit scared.

Alright, I was a lot scared. Solo mushroom experiences are a big deal.

Last week, on Monday, I woke up, did my morning breath work and meditation, wrote in my journal, and called in my experience. The main things I asked of the mushrooms were for them to guide me, teach me, show me; take me deep but please be gentle with me. Most of all, help get me out of my own way.

What I Packed:

A journal, one pen, two markers

Earbuds (in case I wanted to listen to the mushroom album from East Forest)

Toilet paper, because, well duh.

Baseball cap

Sunglasses

Large towel, sweater, and cozy shawl

2 water bottles with filtered water and OmniBlue minerals

2 mushroom chocolates, 1.0-1.5 grams each

Exposition

The most difficult part of setting up this experience was finding a place to be. I had a general idea of where I wanted to go, somewhere in nature, secluded from people, but also in a place that was easy to access (in case I got into trouble), close to my house, where I felt safe. I ended up on the American River bike path in Fair Oaks 🌳

As I left my house, I called a friend and told him what I was up to and where I was going. My boyfriend was out of town and it’s always a good idea to have the buddy system in place (even when you’re on a solo adventure). 

I parked my car, put on my backpack, and set out. The sun was shining, the air was warm for January, and as I walked along the river, feeling nervous and excited, I munched on two mushroom chocolates. The chocolates were from a friend, someone I trust, and each chocolate had approximately 1-1.5 grams of mushrooms in them. I had two of them, which means I ate between 2 and 3 grams of mushrooms…. I think this is the most I’ve ever eaten in one sitting, I usually dose between 1-1.8 grams, plus, as I’ve said, I was ALONE. 

It took me a while to settle, which I found to be very symbolic of the way I move through the world. I walked this way and that, watching myself change direction, walk back to where I started, and finally settle into a little cove. I almost ended up on a sunny, exposed river bank because I wanted to be in the sun, but after what went down, I sure am glad I settled across the way, on a private, slightly muddy beach that I had all to myself. To get there, you have to walk pretty far down a dirt path, through a big patch of reeds, and wind your way down to the water. 

The entire time I was there, no one else made their way down.

Thank goodness 🙏

Rising Action

For me, the beginning of a mushroom trip is usually nice. All I desire is to close my eyes and BE with myself. Laying out a large towel on the ground, I took off my shoes and got comfortable. I wrapped myself in a sweater and placed a hat over my eyes to block the sunlight.

Swirling behind my closed eyes were colorful, dancing patterns. Motion and movement, designs, lines, and colors began to deepen and grow more intense. Ahhh, I thought, here we go. 

Having a mushroom experience is this incredible mix of inner and outer worlds. A lot of time is spent with closed eyes, allowing you to journey into yourself, into your own psyche, into your past and present, your relationships, memories, thoughts and experiences. Everything is happening WITHIN you and you go to places you barely remember, but that are so profound they feel as if they happened yesterday and that your entire world is built around them. 

It’s vulnerable and leaves you feeling raw and exposed.

For me, the effect is nice. I felt relaxed, surrendered, allowing the mushrooms to take me wherever I needed to go. There were moments that were uncomfortable, sure – it’s not easy to look deeply at your life and relationships, the ways you behave and think and feel – but for me, these psychedelic experiences where my heart is opening and my ego is falling away, are pure gold.

After some time had passed, (maybe five minutes, maybe forty-five), I turned on my side, experiencing the outer world, and let my gaze fall across the top of the river. The water sparkled and the sun shone down on me, warming my skin. I was in my mushroom trip and everything was all right. I became hypnotized by the steady pulse of energy pumping from water to earth, from earth to tree, and back again. The side of my face touched the earth and my view of the world was tipped on its side. The trees growing on the opposite river bank became charged with green, purple, white lights. Everything was illuminated, connected, pulsing with energy.

I watched this incredible scene before me, mesmerized, for what felt like a long time. How long? Who knows, maybe a minute. Maybe twenty.

And then I felt things change, intensify.

Climax

I sat up quickly, straight back, every cell in my body tingling. The atmosphere had changed. The sun had gone behind dark clouds, which flooded across the sky, blocking out all warmth and light. I heard music coming from across the river, weird music, eerie music, music I somehow sensed wasn’t quite…right

The only way I can describe what I felt is that the dementors had come. All my fellow Harry Potter readers out there (readers, not viewers, because the HP series are books people, not just movies) will get this. 

The dementors had come and ALL of the light and happiness had been sucked out me and out of the world. I squinted my eyes to see where the music was coming from but everything was blurry, breaking into fractures, shapes and patterns that dissolved the moment they were formed. I couldn’t see.

Immediately I thought, I’m out! I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m ready for this to be over. But even as these thoughts came to me, I knew they were fruitless. There was no way to make it stop. I had no control, no one was coming to save me, the only way out of this was through.

So, what the hell did I do now? I called my friends. Duh. I wanted to be saved.

I called two of them, in fact. Two people I trust and love and knew would understand my situation. I’m scared, I told each of them. I’m having a solo mushroom experience and things just got really dark and weird and I’m scared.

Although neither of them could come and save me, they both offered me love and support. I was told to put my bare feet on the earth and to breath. You’ve got this, they told me. We love you and you’ve got this.

I hung up. Scared, desperate for help, all the while knowing that no one was coming. I was on my own and the mushrooms had just gotten started with me.

During these darkest of moments when I was utterly terrified, I talked to the mushrooms. I asked them to please stop, to ease off. I told them it was enough and to please go easy on me. I think they listened and eased back. I think they gave me exactly what I was ready for. 

No more, and definitely no less. 

When I opened my eyes and looked down at my hands, they had completely dissolved. Worms were eating through my skin, crawling into my hands, eating away at any substance that I thought I was. I saw and felt snakes, worms, and insects taking over my body. There was no difference between myself, the earth, death, life, skin, mud, compost. It was all one and the same.

The next thirty minutes or so were some of the most difficult of my life

What am I afraid of? I kept asking myself. WHY am I SO afraid?

I wrapped myself in a large shawl. I pulled my legs in close to my body, hugged my knees, and buried my head in my lap. All the while, my head was echoing with the thought, I am so scared, I am so scared, I am so scared. 

I am scared of myself, I realized. Scared of being alone, scared that no one was coming to rescue me. Scared that I am the only one I can rely on. I was scared of other people too, of what they would DO to me, what they would THINK of me if they saw me over here, sitting all alone on the edge of the river, rocking back and forth, talking to myself. 

I was WRECKED. For a good amount of time.

And then, all at once, I found my way out. I don’t know how and I can’t say why or when, but what I know is that breath saved me.

I saved me.

Hello mushrooms, you powerful, powerful beings 🍄

Falling Action

When I came through the darkness, I emerged into a crystalline world of rainbows and unicorns. SERIOUSLY. It was the most magical place I’ve ever been. Everywhere I looked there were hawks swooping, geese playing, and otters laughing. The sun and the sky, the clouds, the trees, the air, the water, the plants, the mud, my body, EVERYTHING was in complete and total harmony. 

Oh, mushrooms, you powerful, powerful beings 🌈

I found my way off my towel, down on the river’s edge. I sat squatting, laughing, crying, all at the same time. I submerged my bare feet in the mud and sank my hands into the cold river water. I was in absolute awe, mesmerized with the world.

Also, I could not stop yawning. If you don’t already know this, often times during plant medicine journeys, our bodies will purge out old energy by vomiting, shitting, shaking, or yawning. For me, on this day, it was yawning. I have NEVER yawned as big or as frequently as I did on this day.

As I sat there, I knew instinctively that finding my way through the darkness and fear was a prerequisite to this place. I had to pass a test to enter. I had to learn to navigate my inner world on my own. THIS was my rite of passage. 

It wasn’t easy, and I definitely cannot recommend this experience to everyone, but I also think it’s something everyone should go through if they are ready and so choose. It was a rite of passage in a culture where we don’t really have any. A vision quest of sorts. I was a hero on a journey, coming to save myself.

Resolution

I emerged from my hidden piece of shoreline back into the world of humans after four hours, and let me tell you, when you are tripping on magic mushrooms, humans look WEIRD. Seriously. It is so difficult to look at other people during a mushroom journey; faces are distorted, bodies completely out of whack.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell if the people I saw on the bike path were human, or AI, or had special needs. And I don’t say that to be an asshole: I seriously couldn’t tell. I made my way to the top of a cement staircase and sat, just sat, for another thirty minutes, watching in with curiosity as the world went by. 

I saw people running, walking, biking, all of their bodies looking weirdly mechanical and trapped in small, linear movements 🏃‍♀️🚶‍♂️🚴.

I got up and tried to call a Lyft to take me home but when I saw the driver’s face show up on my phone, I knew there was no way in hell I was getting in a car with another human.

So, I walked.

I walked and I walked and I walked. I walked until I was ready to drive the six short miles home, where I quickly proceeded to get in my bed and drink bone broth. 

I was proud of myself. I had eaten 3 grams of mushrooms, all alone, and had made it out alive. I sure was glad I had done it and I sure was glad it was over. 

I had two big TAKEAWAYS from the day. The FIRST was just how much I am loved and supported. When I called my people and asked for help, they were there, they showed up with love and support and understanding. When I came out of the experience and looked at my phone, it was blown UP with people asking if I was ok and sending their love. The SECOND takeaway, was that life may not always look how we want it to look, but it is ALWAYS serving us.

And to trust that.

We are ALWAYS having the exact experience we need for our growth and our journey towards greater freedom and when we release our need to control or know or figure it all out, THAT is when the real magic happens ✨.

Thank you and goodnight 🌙

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