I found myself writing multiple entries. and became tangled in the process. (Working on publishing the latest Invisible College as well, which is always a relearning event when it comes to submitting to the publishing house.)
I am loathe to follow what appears to be a linear path, but perhaps a spiral… My apologies for the tardiness of posting but all arrives as it should. This is another tale/incident that I have kept to myself (& Mary) over the years.
I hope you enjoy it, and more coming soon.
Mary and I went up the Clackamas River the other week, stopping at Barton County Park for a walk along the river.. When there we discovered this beautiful praying mantis on a rock which made us immediately think back to our late friend Dale Pendell who the mantis for him was a totem and a personal symbol.
Dale and I had many discussions over the years about mantises. Often the talks centered on why they occurred in peoples high end Tryptamine experiences... , as the time passes it gets a bit hazy on the particulars of those discussions, but they were very interesting, taking place on line, at his and Laura's house on Mantis Hill. I still have one of his t-shirts that he had printed up with a mantis on it and I take it out on occasion and wear it even though it is pretty thread bare now.
That is not the story that I want to tell today though. Along the same lines, different focus.
So, many years ago I grew Psilocybin Mushrooms for our own consumption. Generally I would grow from early fall to spring. For a couple of months during that time we would be using them on a weekly basis, usually in the evenings of the weekend when our son was either at a sleepover with his friends or he had gone to bed as he was not yet a teenager.
Our summer time use was a bit more sporadic due to work and other issues yet this is a summertime story set I think in July of 1999. It has been 22 years or so, a bit vague on the date details.
This was also the year that I discovered the Golden Teacher Strain of Psilocybin Mushrooms. Supposedly they had come from Thailand or somewhere else in Southeast Asia. I preferred them over the Romero strain which was quite popular at that time having been introduced by Terence McKenna. In my opinion there was a weird edge on the Romero strain. A real body load and elements of mental confusion. I think that mushrooms suffer over time not being in their native element. Too much time perhaps mutating out of their natural habitation. Just a thought.
(A Wee Bit Of Cultural Context: I consider a 1990s and early 2000s a true period of psychedelic Renaissance. With the work of people like Sasha Shulgin, and the activism of many towards Medical Marijuana, along with the push for new research into the use of psychedelics for PTSD and other issues.... Heading to the 2000's it felt like a new era was opening up. Little did we know what was coming around the corner September 11th, 2001. Suffice to say the summer of 2001 was a peak time for the Psychedelic Revival, I remember discussing this with friends at the Mind States Conference that year; it seemed to many of us to have a bit of the flavor of 1966 and 67.)
Back To The Story:
Our son that weekend was going to stay with his friend for a sleepover and gaming. Mary and I plan for a Saturday excursion into the mycological realm. As it turned out the sleepover was canceled. Due to that we didn't take the mushrooms till later in the evening. After our son went to bed we moved to the living room, shared some mushrooms probably about 1.5 to 2 Grams per dose. Neither of us have ever been into macro-dosing with Mushrooms, and we both seem to be highly sensitive to them as well.
Settling in for the evening, we began by blessing the space, lighting candles, incense, a small fire in the fireplace, Our kitty Nicky (from Old Nick “The Devil” who over the years demonstrated that he was the best of familiars) picked up that we were be-mushroomed. He so enjoyed riding the waves with us when we were in the divine state, he was ever so excited as he came rushing into the living room and sitting down beside us as we were listening to music and meditating.
About an hour in I started to develop 360° vision with my eyes closed. Off to my left and behind my head I perceived the “Great City” golden and ancient. I had visited the city before both in dreams and on psychedelics... ageless, beautiful gleaming with columns, jewel encrusted towers, architecture and full of exuberant life. It was a deep vision for me again and again... Often times I would be strolling up the grand boulevard, or observing from overhead. As I opened my eyes still feeling it Nicky was staring straight at the Golden City purring like crazy. I firmly believe that he could perceive something along the lines we were seeing and experiencing, albeit through his cat perception and cat awareness.
During the early part of this session we listened to music for awhile … Often when bemushroomed, music enhanced and brought out visions of import. There was some interesting things that happened whilst we listened to the chants of Hildegard von Bingen. Among many, I had the most delicious of visions at the height of the vocalizations. I beheld Hildegard singing, and in do so rising up into the air and slowly spinning around in ecstasy with a plume of holy fire rising out of her head.
Later on we listened to Celtic music (after all, Mary is from Scotland, and my family....) In the visions, found myself observing the Celtic tribes moving from the steppes of the Caucasus into Western Europe with their herds.. always heading west, following the sun. I could hear the cattle lowing, the sound of voices and the noise of chariot wheels in tall grass spinning. Falling into this reverie I perceived my mother's family line on the matrilineal side, going back over the centuries to the times of the great migration. What I was observing was codes of meaning within the braiding of women's hair observed from the back. The braiding told stories of the tribes, clans and septs. I watched in fascination as the designs ebbed and flowed over the centuries. Slowly, that vision faded.
Then found myself transported to Western Europe, Gaul before the times of the Caesars. It was early morning and a mist was rising as I disembarked from a chariot, and walked up an avenue of standing stones, each with a niche carved out, with a skull placed within. Walking up this avenue, to a temple composed of towering menhirs. Where I stood in meditation. I could feel the ancestors flowing through me, it was a moment of high reverence, whilst perceiving the tribes stretching back in the time and their love of the lands that they crossed with their herds... the sound of chariot wheels spinning through the grass. Slowly these visions faded. I told Mary of what I had seen as we sat together.
Later on.... After 2 or 3 hours we were reaching the peak out of the trip. It was a beautiful evening and we decided to go to the back garden and sit.
Our garden though small was filled with beautiful plants, vegetables, herbs, sacred and entheogenic friends. We had several Vines growing, hops, morning glories etc. In the middle of the yard we had a round cement table with seating with a beautiful canopy of trees over head, and bamboo to the north as well.
The garden had distinct magical properties as my beloved has an amazing green thumb and she poured her heart into creating a space for us.
So there we were, sitting outside in the beautiful dark a few stars over head, a deep sense of presence surrounding us. It being quite late, there wasn't any traffic going down Hawthorne boulevard. Quiet... The moment is magical and so peaceful. We sat, talking quietly absorbing the evening and the beauty that surrounded us.
After a while sitting, Mary and I noticed that one of the vines that arched over the gate to our left was trembling. And as we watched the oddest vision occurred.
Before our eyes stepping out of the Vine was a 7 foot Praying Mantis. It coalesced and seemed to solidify before our very eyes. I was struck by a over powering sense of weird primordial terror. The next series of events was even more startling, it disengaged from the Vine and walked over to the table looking down at the both of us. My heart was beating at such a rhythm I put my hands over my eyes and leaned down to the table trying to block this vision out. Mary was not so affected by this as I was.
Mary and the Mantis seem to be communicating, not on the verbal level yet communicating. I lifted my eyes to watch, as the two gestured at each other. The only sound I could hear was like buzzing, white noise. Both seemed to be emitting to the other. Finally Mary turned to me and said “it's asking what's wrong with you why are you trying to block it out?”
I really didn't have an answer, I looked up as it was standing there expectant and awaiting for me to engage with it. My fear drained out of me, but I still couldn't do it and slowly, slowly it moved away from the table and back into the Vine it merged, shimmering, and then disappeared.
We sat for a while longer as we were beginning to come down from the peak of our mushroom possession and in the early dawn, went inside to spin/spend the rest of of the trip cuddled together in our bedroom.
The next morning we got up feeling refreshed as we usually did after one of these sessions We stepped outside to have coffee and I looked over at the Vine and realized it was Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, which happens to have psychedelic properties in its seeds. The vine, which hadn't had any flowers the previous morning was covered in them in the morning light. Such beauty.
I have come to a place over the years to consider the vast differences of plant/fungal based entheogens and man made entheogens. On the main, man made entheogens have less of a signature of presence of being. Much like a tool, which would open doors. This is not a criticism, but just a statement. Excellent tools for breaking into the cosmological viewpoint, just the same. I will always be grateful for my intial LSD experiences.. Plant/Fungal entheogens in my experience all have a spirit involved/entwined with them. I first noticed this with Peyote back in 1967. Grandfather Peyote emerged during an experience deep in the Colorado Rockies, showing me the energy lines, that pulses through the land. An astounding experience.
Mushrooms, Cebil & Ayahuasca are of a different level all together. Could it be that they are entities within themselves? Here is my observations, Aya steps forward and speaks. Cebil does the same. They talk, they converse, they reveal. Mushrooms, though, not only talk, reveal but Possesses, hand down. I have found myself being ridden (in the Sybil/Voudon sense) by the mushroom many times, The experience of having the Mushroom meld with ones consciousness, and having the sensation of the mushroom using ones senses... staring out with your eyes, touching tasting, experiencing the human version of consciousness. I have seen mushroom possession many times. It is is real. I was startled when this occurred for the first time. In a way it was frightening, and then of course, surrender is the key. It makes one wonder about the ancient oracles, and others...
On The Mantis:
What is up with the Mantis? Why does tryptamines generate or open up to this manifestation? That Mary and I shared this vision speaks I think to tryptamines being a key to other dimensions. Since that occurrence I have had that experience of interacting with a Mantid/Mantis being several times. Never again on Mushrooms, but DMT.
From Wikipedia: “Several ancient civilizations did consider the insect to have supernatural powers; for the Greeks, it had the ability to show lost travelers the way home; in the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the "bird-fly" is a minor god that leads the souls of the dead to the underworld; in a list of 9th-century BC Nineveh grasshoppers (buru), the mantis is named necromancer (buru-enmeli) and soothsayer (buru-enmeli-ashaga). Some pre-Columbian cultures in western Nicaragua have preserved oral traditions of the mantis as "Madre Culebra", a powerful predator and symbol of female symbolic authority”
In further tales, I will disclose some of the visionary experiences with these divine vessels/messengers of consciousness.
Thank You For Reading,