Magic Mushrooms – My experience with Psilocybin shrooms

Read about my profound spiritual healing experience with psilocybin, taking psilocybe subaeruginosa shrooms I found.

Bit of a different post but bear with me; it’s deeply related to my experience of personal finance. And I’ve debated posting it or not, given the content isn’t strictly legal (which makes me feel I’m taking a bit of a risk here). This post is all about my experience using A magic mushroom called Psilocybe Subaeruginosa to help heal, expand my consciousness, and to work towards repairing my relationship with money and inability to spend. 

The big disclaimer here is I do not endorse, nor encourage anyone to do the same. This is an illegal substance, and can cause serious health effects if not properly used. If you pick the wrong mushroom, you can end up in the ED or die a slow, painful death. This article is for information and harm reduction purposes only.

“Although native, the cultivation, manufacture, possession, use and supply of psilocybin is illegal throughout Australia.”

Psiliocybe Subaeruginosa
Psiliocybe Subaeruginosa – a wood loving magic mushroom (psilocybin containing) native to Southern and Eastern Australia

Introduction to psilocybin shrooms

These mushrooms are Psilocybe Subaeruginosa. They grow freely throughout the southern regions of Australia throughout winter, about a month or so on either side of winter solstice.  This mushroom contains psylocibin, which metabolises into psylocin which reacts with the 5HT(2A) receptors in your brain which normally work with seretonin (the happy hormone).

Magic mushrooms come in many different varieties, with the two most widely known in Australia being the native Psilocybe Subaeruginosa or ‘subs’ in the south, and the introduced Psilocybe Cubensis or ‘Cubes’ in the north. They all contain two psychoactive (psychedelic) compounds – Psilocybin and Psilocin, and when taken, psilocybin is metabolised into Psilocin which crosses the blood/brain barrier (and then is eventually removed by your body). These molecules cause ‘trips’ – a sort of mystical, wakeful dream like ‘lucid dreaming’ state which can include mild hallucinations and vivid, colorful patterns and Synthesia where you interpret one sense as another – you can taste colours, or see sounds. It can be intensely terrifying, and orgasmically amazing and awe inspiring. Very cool. 

The brain partly shuts down, and then ‘reboots’ itself making many new neural pathways and connections to try and get itself back online. Somehow in doing this, it resets the brains ‘Default Mode Network’ (DMN) – which is kind of part of our our ego – the ‘grooves of habit’ – all our internal monologues, biases, prejudices, opinions and what behaviours the brain wants to do to survive. For many people interested in shrooms, the ego death (or breaking down of the Default mode network) is the main aim, and is a very rewarding, yet extremely challenging experience.

It can be incredibly helpful for those dealing with anxiety, monopolar depression, PTSD, OCD or other neuroses. However, psychiatrists warn that it is not appropriate for those with a personal or family history of schizophrenia or bipolar (as there is a risk it might trigger mania).

Like LSD-25 (‘Acid), Psilocybin is considered non-toxic, non-addictive and non-profitable. The last reason (non-profitable) is why I think it’s illegal – big pharma haven’t been able to effectively monetise it, and government haven’t been able to effectively tax it (Much better for them for you to take an expensive PBS subsidised tablet like Sertraline, Zoloft, Lexapro or Prozac or every day…)

chopping dried Psiliocybe Subaeruginosa
Dried shrooms are often diced, pulverised or ground up into a powder before being consumed

Are shrooms dangerous?

The LD-50 of a substance is the lethal dose to kill 50 percent of a healthy population of subjects. The known LD-50 for psylocibin for mice is above 250mg/kg (Cerletti, 1958) but there is no figure for humans.

One MSDS suggests 470mg/kg will kill mice or “small animals” – this suggests you’d need to eat about 3+ kilos (wet) of the potent Psilocybe Subaeruginosa mushrooms (supposedly the strongest Psilocybe in the world), or 5+ kilos (wet) of the ‘regular’ Psiliocybe Cubensis magic mushrooms to achieve this however I would hazard at a guess that you will be passed out in a trance or reach stomach capacity well before this.

As mushrooms are approx 90% water by weight, if you were consuming dried quantities, it is obviously a tenth of the wet volume, but this would be exceedingly difficult to consume this much, and again, you’d probably be throwing up with this dose – but it is possible, especially with a mushroom tea (but also about $20,000 worth of drugs!).

Most ‘re-creational’ doses are around .1 to .2mg/kg of body weight so around 10-20mg (1-2g dried), and therapeutic medical doses above .3mg/kg bodyweight so generally above 30mg (3g dried). Although its worth pointing out, psilocibin content of shrooms vary significantly and for Psilocybe Subaeruginosa, they can range between 0 (nothing) to -1.9% psilocybin by dry weight, so most people average it out to be about 1% – but you simply don’t know what you have unless it gets properly texted in a laboratory – one of the risks of recreational shroom foraging and use.

But the point is, for ‘recreational’ or therapeutic doses, the amount is so exceptionally small compared to a potential lethal dose, it is considered extremely safe. In fact, I have never read about someone dying from the actual drug itself.

That’s not to say it isn’t dangerous, as people have died doing incredibly dumb things like taking huge doses in public and then walking in front of traffic (this was a documented case), and there are rumors of people being killed jumping off of buildings thinking they can fly whilst tripping.

Some trips can be scary – what people call the ‘bad trip’ and this can be intensely terrifying and even make someone suicidal during the experience – hence why the clinical trials are closely monitored, and the researchers generally have muscle relaxants, tranquilizers and antipsychotics available if things get out of hand (i.e. haloperidol – which I have had the unfortunate experience to have been administered once before after waking up from a general anesthetic very confused and ending up in a fight in the hospital ward). They also have safety plans and Standard Operating Procedures to keep you safe.

The real danger of magic mushrooms in my opinion, is misidentifying a mushroom and picking a toxic look alike.

The amatoxins found in some Galerina, Hypholoma, and Leratiomyces species can make you sick, cause liver failure, or even kill you. Amatoxins are a very specific type of toxin found only in fungi.

Obviously, you should never try to drive a vehicle under the influence of any drug, especially a psychedelic. This could be exceptionally dangerous to you and others.

Research into psychedelics like psilocibin

Research into psychedelics was started to get huge in the 50s and 60s (and even somewhat in the 70s) in treating mental health problems and addiction, but unfortunately after LSD ‘escaped the lab’ and became associated with the counter culture movement (“Tune in, turn On, Dop out” – Timothy Leary, 1966) it became the target of the ‘war on drugs’ by the American President Nixon (and continued by Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush snr.).

President Clinton was more reasonable after significant public pressure and lobbying, signed legislation that allowed continued research into psilocibin and use of psychedelics for religious freedom – for example on the 6th of October 1994, President Clinton signed into law legislation that guaranteed the right of Native Americans to possess, transport, and use peyote (mescaline) in the course of traditional religious ceremonies.

Since the 90’s, research into sychedelics like psilocybin and LSD-25 is slowly coming back, and studies are being legalised and conducted for medical research.

With the right ‘set and setting’ it can be incredibly beneficial for not only healing your past traumas but even for ‘healthy normals’ (as they are called in the research) to expand their consciousness, creativity and awareness of the universe. For example, half of The Beatles songs were written under the influence of psychadelics – and you’d all agree this is probably the worlds most popular and influential band of musicians. 

You can’t tell me this wasn’t inspired by Psychadellics…

Some people are even microdosing with a tenth or a twentieth of a ‘re-creational’ dose to help their depression or improve creativity. Turns out it is massive in the tech space especially in places like Silicon Valley and the Bay Area in USA. 

My experience with Psilocybin shrooms

My experience with psilocybin mushrooms was not unlike many others.

The context – the need for healing

Now one of the reasons I got into FIRE in the first place was because I was dealing with a high pressure and for the most part, a bit of a toxic workplace. I was suppressing multiple personal traumas including shit from my childhood, wanting to fit in and seek approval and feel respected (something hard for someone with ADHD), and dealing with a heap of shitty circumstances like family members dying. 

Financial Independence was a way for me to try and regain control back over my life, and I became obsessive about overtime, side hustles, earning more and never spending unless I absolutely had to. For fucks sake I mean at one point I was earning $160k+ yet still taking home frozen meals from flights out of the trash (in my defence they were unopened and literally still fine and frozen solid).

The point is, I used FIRE as an outlet and unhealthy obsession to deal with deteriorating mental health. 

Anyway. When I finally stopped flying (which I guess coincided with the peak of feeling my worst, and not actually feeling safe to continue flying due to stress, and so deciding to quit), I actually sought out help and spoke to a my GP and got a mental health care plan, spoke to a counseller, psychologist and even a psychiatrist. I got a referral to a pain clinic and to a physio and have been working on my physical health, too. Which was great. It definitely helped. I do feel much better. 

Opiods helped the pain, but getting put on them and SSRIs and gaining 13kg didn’t help (especially with dealing with chronic pain, as extra weight means extra strain on joints). Anti depressants, benzos, opioids and NSAID painkillers for my back and sleeping tablets. And then more tablets to help with the side effects from those. It became a bit of a ridiculous cocktail and with some deeply embarrassing side effects. 

My research into psilocybin

One day I read something about psilocybin on social media and how people had been using magic mushrooms to help with anxiety, depression and chronic pain; again, being very straight edge as a Pilot with strict annual class 1 medicals and security clearances, I had never even entertained the idea of taking an illegal substance, yet here I was swallowing prescription meds by the handful.  

Then 9 perfect strangers came out on Amazon Prime, a bloody awesome drama series about healing mental illness and the use of psychedelics. It was really cool, and whilst obviously stylised and dramatised for entertainment, it got me thinking. 

I went on to watch the Fantastic Fungi documentary on Netflix, then read Entangled Life by Merlin Shelldrake, then I read ‘you can change your mind’ by Michael Pollan, and only this week did I discover pollans book ‘How to Change Your Mind’ has been converted into a series for Netflix. And it is Brilliant!

Another fantastic read was ‘the doors of perception’ by Aldous Huxley (as well as his classic novel ‘a Brave new world’ which you may have already read or covered during your schooling or further education). 

Michael Pollan and Paul Staments have lots of brilliant interviews and videos all over YouTube as well, and whatever your opinion of Joe Rogan, the interviews he has done of Pollan and Staments are both brilliant episodes.

I have a lot of respect and admiration for Michael Pollan as his book (and Netflix documentary and then series) in defence of food was what triggered me to adopt a predominantly plant-based diet and more healthy lifestyle. 

Deciding to take psilocybin shrooms

After over a year of research, thinking and consulting with my GP and psychiatrist, I decided I wanted to do it. I signed up for the few clinical trials I could find, but I never got selected. I considered going to California to do the psilocybin psychotherapy (similar to what you see on 9 perfect strangers) and just paying for this all myself, however this was a significant cost ($20k+), flights to USA travelling whilst the threat of Covid-19 was still lurking – and time away from my parents while they were on chemo. So I ruled this down as a final option or last choice

Trying to buy shrooms

I actually even tried to buy some psylocibin mushrooms online, where I was directed to liaise with an account on Snapchat. As requested, I transferred $500 of Bitcoin (plus a $25 transaction fee) to their wallet, which, I found after a month of patiently waiting for a package to turn up turned out to be a total scam – they even had a fake tracking website all set up, so by the time you realise your money (bitcoin) is long gone – what are you going to do – go and complain to the police? haha! When I told them I figured it out, they then tried to further sell me an ‘import licence fee’ so it could be released by customs, but I wasn’t going to be fooled twice.

It dawned on me that I did not know how to, nor want to ‘buy drugs’ from a dealer – plus I realized how could I even be sure of the safety and quality of something provided – they could literally be mailing me dried up supermarket mushrooms, or even worse, toxic gallerinas which could cause my organs to fail! So I chalked this loss up to a valuable lesson. 

How much are shrooms? About $40 per gram (dried), so that’s about $4 per milligram of psilocibin – so a 30mg therapeutic dose is about $120. So I should have known that $500 was a bit of an odd number and a red flag from the start.

Trying to forage shrooms

I had no solid connections to the underground psychedelic therapy community where I could source a psychotherapist (shaman) or guide for the experience, so I spent the better part of a year trying to find them in the bush. After dozens and dozens of bushwalks, I found nothing. 

There are a number of easily found online forums and even facebook groups which people exchange information and photos of forages on, where some mycologists, guides and academics will actively frequent to help give IDs for harm reduction to reduce people eating toxic look likes. You can also find many great videos on YouTube to help with this.

I eventually learned that there was a specific season for finding them (Here in Adelaide around May to August as they require below 8 degrees celsius overnight with some rain to help them fruit), so I waited till the perfect time and spent the time seeking out tip offs on forums, through the grapevine and finding out environments they would likely flourish (mostly valleys in eucalyptus forests or bark chips). But even then, dozens of long walks later, yielded nothing. Nothing except very sore feet from plantar fasciitis. 😅

I Pretty much became disheartened and gave up, and I decided to travel to the USA for a week to do the therapy. Later that same day I went to walk the dog and literally 100m or so from home there was a big patch of them, growing right in a children’s playground in the bark chips. Right in the middle of the CBD!

I nervously gathered a small bag and whisked them home, my heart was pounding I was so nervous I thought I’d get caught and locked up by the police. When I got them home I took many photos, compared them to photos online and in forums like shroomery and got them identified by a mycology academic (and confirmed by dozens of other mushroom enthusiasts) and then dried them out in a dehydrator. 

Psiliocybe Subaeruginosa mushroom patch in grass
Patch of Psiliocybe Subaeruginosa in grass

My experience taking shrooms

Initially, I had planned my experience taking shrooms to be graduated to some extent. I was going to trial 1g of mushrooms, and then go up in one gram incriments to see how it went. I had the initial trial, and then for some reason absolutely launched myself into the deep end. Looking back, I should have stuck to the original graduated plan but I was very nervous about having them and also excited to go on the journey.

My first experience taking shrooms

I don’t know why, but I decided ‘fuck it’ and impulsively shoved three small ‘fresh’ mushrooms down the hatch as soon as I had 5 confirming identifications. They tasted bitter, earthy and even a bit ‘chemically’. This was quite gross as I had a food aversion to mushrooms since childhood after I got sick eating some. I nervously waited and after a couple of hours I hadn’t died or noticed any effects (ss a side note, this is not a recommendation or plan for ‘testing shrooms’ – taking even one small mushroom as a ‘test’ can still kill you, I only did it because I knew 100% that they were subs). After that I nervously took another small dose of dried shrooms, choking down a small scratchy handful of dried subs equivalent to about a total all up dose of around 1g of dried mushrooms (10g wet) – at best guess this would have been approx 10mg of Psilocibin, or .1 mg/kg bodyweight (which is about a third of what the clinical trials were using) at home with my mum, and we watched the latest Harry Potter movies (the Grindelwald ones).

Whatever your opinion of these movies, I found them quite amazing at the time and did lots of giggling, and at times I did have some difficulty focusing properly on the movie (the TV did feel a bit blurry at times), after all the laughing I did eventually have to confess to my mum that I had indeed taken some ‘magic mushrooms’ before the film started. Which she found quite entertaining, and we spent a lot of time laughing about this. I had very vivid dreams that night, however I didn’t really feel any classical psychedelic effects (i.e. visuals, synethesia etc).

A lot of what I read online was that even a ‘low dose’ of .1mg/kg bodyweight would cause psychedelic effects and it would be really trippy and cool, but yeah I didn’t experience much at all.

My second experience taking shrooms

Later when I had done some more research and a bit more mental prep and meditation, I decided I would skip the graduated protocol and I did an exceptionally large (“Heroic”) Psylocibin journey at home.

I did this by blending the remainder of my dried shrooms and making a lemon tek tea – I added the juice of two lemons to 10g of powered subs and let it soak. After 20 minutes or so, I added some warm water and honey, mixed it all up and then ate everything. This ‘lemon tek‘ is supposed to cause a stronger, but shorter experience and to reduce the effects of nausea.

psilocybin lemon tek
Lemok Tek shroom tea involves soaking dried psilocybe in lemon juice – the weak acid helps digest and break down the mushroom cell walls, releasing the psilocybin and helping metabolism it into psilocin, the psychoactive molecule.

I had my partner there for safety. I listened to the John Hopkins and New York University psylocibin research playlist on noise-canceling headphones and also tried to follow the information I had read on set and setting, closing the blinds and lying down with a blanket, and meditating.

However, as I later found out, this was many times more than what I would have needed for a therapeutic dose and could have been in the vicinity of up to 190mg of psilocybin (but who knows as it wasn’t tested) – for reference most clinical research trials are using around .25mg/kg bodyweight so about 20-30mg of psylocibin for a single, mystical experience for an average bloke – somewhere equivalent to 2-3g of dried subs.

The experience of the journey

OK this is where the post gets a bit ridiculous. I am just going to write what I experienced from my notes and memory to the best of my ability. But don’t expect this to make sense. For those psychiatrists / psychologists / psychotherapists amonst us, you’re probably going to get a deep insight into my DMN or inner vulnerable brain, which even I haven’t managed to properly unpack yet.

It was amazing and terrifying at the same time. I was slingshotted into a different dimension fairly quickly, with onset about 30 minutes after drinking the tea which was about mid morning. The first sign was my tinnitus became deafeningly loud, overtaking the sounds of the playlist, interspersed with the sounds of lighting cracking inside my head.

At first I was just in awe, my skin felt electric, the sounds of the playlist felt like they were vibrating on my skin, or like my skin was somehow all made of dancing waves of electricity all vibrating in sync to somehow produce my physical manifestation, and for a long time I was in an orgasmic writhe on the couch going ‘oh my god oh my god wow’ and just totally in awe with my mouth wide open totally in disbelief of what was happening.

It felt like I had opened to full throttle on my sports bike or in a jet, and I was rapidly accelerating whilst simultaneously having an orgasm and learning the truth of the universe. It was at first, truly esctatic. I was shouting ‘WOO HOO OH MY GOD YES WOW!’ and was so excited.

I then had some nausea and so went to the bathroom and spent some time bent over the toilet bowl (but couldn’t spew). I was amazed at how beautiful the toilet bowl was and somehow thought of all the times I had been to the toilet, different toilets I had visited, places I had crapped, as well as all of the articles I had ever read, memes and conversations I had had on my phone whilst sitting on the toilet. It was sort of mind blowing. I was so amazed by toilets and the concept of pooping and handwashing and sparkling liquid water coming out of the tap and spilling around the sink.

Heading back to the couch and closing my eyes I started to confront a lot of my inner demons. I began to freak out at the experience and thought I was dying, and whether I needed to take some diazepam (valium) and vitamin C tablets to try and calm down and get out of the trip. I was panicking but trying to keep it together and I moved from the couch to my bedroom and back probably dozens of times, pacing in the hallway. I felt totally out of control and as someone who is used to always constantly being in control and overthinking and over analysing everything, this was terrifying. I thought I was going to die.

At around 4pm (I only know this from my phone records) I phoned a friend and explained that I unfortunately had been turned into a potato by the mushrooms, and I was pretty upset that I had fucked my life up and now I had to just be a potato for the rest of eternity, I was deeply saddened and crying about this. He asked if everything was ok, and I said yes, except that I was a potato and it was more than likely that he was actually secretly a potato also but that he just didn’t realize it yet. I asked if he knew if he was a potato, and he said no he isn’t, so I asked him whether he had the potato selfie filter applied to the facetime call and he said no he wasn’t using a potato filter – so I said that settles it, he must definitely be a potato also (how is that for psychedelic logic for you!)

He asked where I was and I told him that I was inside the incredible octopus. But that the incredible octopus was mad at me because I had taken so much magic without asking and with no experience or guide or tutor, I felt like I was a naughty potato. And so it became the incredible Angry Octopus. He reassured me that octopuses were quite healing animals, and this was a good thing, and I replied ‘yes, even though it is mad with me I am still safe’. (I was sitting under an 8 blade ceiling fan so perhaps I was hallucinating somewhat and thinking this was an octopus). After we got off the phone, my phone screen seemed to be swirling around like fractals and I felt like I could see inside the LCD panel and it sort of freaked me out so I put it down. I just lied down and kept repeating “Safe, Safe, Safe” in the foetal position for a while.

I must add, I was not experiencing any significant major visual hallucinations. I still saw the same things, however they came across as having different meanings to me. I started hearing distorted techno music, and in my minds eye imagination seeing what looked like the windows OS screen glitching and crashing (kind of like when you win a game of solitare). I heard glitching, error sounds like you might hear when playing music on a computer that starts malfunctioning. I felt so cold, my body lost its ability to regulate temperature, and I had some significant muscle twitching. I felt incredibly ill, and my mind felt like it was stuck in a loop of being a crashing, malfunctioning computer with this glitchy techno soundtrack which just kept saying ‘Mycelium-elium-elium-elium-elium’ in the voice of Paul Staments (from the mushroom documentaries).

I truly thought I had gone mad. I got up, drank some water and turned the heating on and then went and lied on the bed. I thought about taking the diazepam and vitamin C again, so got up and laid out one diazepam and two vitamin c tablets in a line on the bathroom vanity, tried to tell my partner these would help me, then decided I should try and meditate my way out of the trip instead, so went back and lied down (I don’t know why I thought these would pull me out of the trip but therein lies the danger of large doses of psychedelics, you can do dangerous shit and had I taken a bunch of these I could very well have overdosed).

I then started seeing a faint visual of a sort of gently swirling spiral vortex I was travelling into, each ‘line’ of the swirl was made up of many smaller swirls, like a fractal or mandelbrot set. Inside of each swirl was a devil’s face – weirdly it was the devils head from the powderpuff girls (HIM – His infernal majesty), and it just rotated in circles too which was creepy. I asked it what it had to teach me and what it was there for, and that I was only here to learn and to heal, and that I surrender. Then it showed me shadow puppetry visions of ‘fat cat rich bankers’ eating babies. They looked like a cross between a pig wearing a top hat and tuxedo and the monopoly guy. It was fucking terrifying. I asked why are you showing me this and then it all disappeared.

I think I blacked out for a while. I woke up and it was dark, I think around 9pm, so around 9 hours into the trip. I woke up and was a child. I roused my partner who was sleeping next to me and proceeded to rapid fire questions at her about everything. I couldn’t understand why my feet and elbow hurt, so pointed to them and asked what they were. I was blown away by the concept of elbows.

I asked her if she knew about sideways energy (I felt like I had discovered a new form of energy generation that was related to lying sideways across a bed) and then talked about how it could revolutionize the world, and then asked her if she knew about spiders and how incredible they were and whether she was ready to make a spider baby with me. I kept telling her about spiders being able to live upside down (which I can only think is a reference to Stranger things season 4 which we had only recently watched) and how absolutely fascinating spiders were and that we should breed more upside down spider babies for the world.

I felt completely energized and manic, fervently switching the conversation, it felt like we were speaking rapidly, changing conversations every sentence or two but still understanding each other. It felt like we spoke for hours and hours.

I had an urge to urinate, but standing over the toilet I couldn’t. I was less mystified and chuffed with the toilet bowl and more distracted about my cold feet and wanting to get back into bed so we could continue our ‘utterly amazing’ conversation.

She told me she wanted to go travelling and that I should book flights to Asia right now (I actually dont think this happened, I think I just imagined it) but I said how about we go inside this painting instead. When I looked at the painting in my bedroom (Oil on canvas cityscape) the painting appeared to drip, and inside the picture it was raining and I could see the rain falling down and out onto the floor making the carpet wet which slightly annoyed me but I accepted was just part of having such a beautiful painting on the wall. I said ‘we can live inside these buildings rent free so it’s the perfect solution for financial independence and we never had to work ever again! We would be totally free and no one could tell us what to do’.

At this point, I think she hugged me and gave me a kiss to reassure me that everything was ok and we didn’t have to live in a painting and would get by, but I felt like I had been seriously assaulted. I cried and cried and asked her to stop biting me because it hurt, and then she basically just cradled me for a while whilst I sobbed. Again, I fell asleep.

The universe told me I was about to die and asked whether I was going to fight it or surrender. I said I was scared but I surrender. My body was slowly lowered like a leaf into a grave, and everything dissolved into blackness. I was terrified as I felt the bacteria and micro organisms inside the earth dissolved me but it was painless, until all that was left of me was me, a floating, aware consciousness in the cosmic void. It told me I could do anything, be anyone, see anything.

I lived thousands of lives, I was many versions of myself, as well as others all through time. I was exhausted. I woke up muttering “nothing matters, nothing matters anymore, its ok”. I felt like I had another profound philosophical discovery of the universe that no one had ever felt before, like I knew the meaning of life, like I understood why we were here. And the meaning was that there was no meaning, that nothing matters. Like I had seen everything and done everything, and in the end nothing matters, no decisions matter as ultimately they all lead to the same outcome – death, and rebirth – and this was a beautiful revelation. That death was to be looked forward to with curiosity and respect, to return to the cosmic energy pool. Had I met god? I felt my purpose was discovered and that it was simply ‘to spread life’.

I think I finally ‘landed’ about 2 or 3am in the morning and my partner and I spoke for hours about the experience trying to make sense of everything until the morning. I felt this huge sense of being humbled and that I had lived thousands of lives so ‘nothing really mattered’ anymore. We had a big cooked breakfast and went back to bed. 

Afterwards I was absolutely exhausted and dehydrated, it took a few days at home and some big meals and lots of water and orange juice to fully recover and process the experience. 

These were the main things I could remember, but there was probably so much more that I couldn’t. It was such a strange feeling, or an awareness of so many multiple things going on at once it was quite overwhelming, chaotic even at times.

Set and setting for shrooms, and bad trips

I think it is crucially important to pay attention to the ‘set and setting’, start with a small dose and to have a safety guide there with you, and to ensure there is a proper preparation, meditation, set your intentions, follow the plan and be true to your intentions and mantra, and then have a reintegration plan (which might be to take a few days off afterward for quiet reflection and recovery). 

Some people prefer to trip in nature out in forests, however for me this idea caused anxiety, as I preferred to be in the safety and security of home.

psilocybin setting
Example of setting in the John Hopkins Psychedelic research centre – Eye shades, Noise cancelling headphones playing the John Hopkins NYU playlist on a soft sofa, with therapists for safety and guidance

To illustrate one potential danger, I had a friend who did a heroic dose and became intensely suicidal. Had it not been for his safety guide, he may very well have taken his own life. 

“Bad trips” can be intensely terrifying, and I even felt a huge amount of anxiety at several points in my journey before I remembered my little mantra to ‘surrender to the experience, surrender my body and mind, float down stream, go with the flow, to let it happen’. Once I confronted these fears and demons, asked why it was here and what it could teach me so I could become better, it eventually became happy and transported me to a peaceful area. 

So yes, not all sunshine and happiness. There is a lot of hard work and sometimes suffering to go through. Intense highs and lows. These bad trips are thought by some to be a manifestation of our traumas which allow us to confront them and move on – some people even suggest there ‘are no bad trips, just difficult ones that we need to go through’.

How I feel after shrooms

Now… I feel more relaxed, not just about money, investments and just finances in general, but about everything. I feel happier, more content and just better than I have ever felt in a long time. I feel less anxious and more chilled. My chronic pain feels like the dial has been wound down to a more manageable level. I feel like I have a newfound appreciation for the beauty and amazement of nature and the universe, as well as more able to enjoy listening to music.

I feel like my ‘Default Mode Network’ of constantly needing to be in control and in charge of everything (and never feeling safe and always feeling like I have done the wrong thing) has been quietened. Like that doesn’t define me, my career as an aviator (and its sudden end) doesn’t define me. Financial Independence doesn’t define me.

I have also been able to meditate much more easily now and help quieten my mind (which I would previously often describe as a bit of an ongoing cacophony of ideas and feelings and memories constantly firing off). To just peacefully sit and experience life, and focus on sensory inputs and breathing rhythms. 

Whilst it isn’t a hail mary magic bullet, and I never expected it to be one, I am very glad I took psilocybin. However if I was doing it again, I would not have taken so much.

Current research into psychedelics like psilocybin show that these feelings can last anywhere from 6 months to forever. Just from a LBM (little brown mushroom) that you find growing on the ground. Of course, there are many mushrooms that look like these that will kill you in a slow, agonising death as your kidneys fail. So I don’t recommend going and picking random mushrooms. 

I do however, recommend you watch the documentaries and read the books I mentioned, as it is some pretty game changing stuff. There is also a fantastic episode of SBS insight with Antanika who discusses her personal journey and use of psychedelics to improve her mental health and deal with significant treatment-resistant depression.

I rate this experience as probably THE single most important transformational experience of my life, and it has significantly changed my relationship with money and my understanding of my place in the universe. 

I’m happy to chat discreetly about my experience in general terms, but just with the disclaimer that for everyone’s safety and for my own I am not prepared to meet, supply, purchase, forage or discuss where I found the patch etc with anyone as I have done it now and that’s enough for me, and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone experience, for better or worse.

This might sound like a strange thing to say, but as I read, “Let the medicine call to them” Which means if you need it enough, you will find it – they (the mushrooms) will quietly be there for those who need them. As with what happened to me. I truly believe that mushrooms are intelligent beings, a physical manifestation of the inexplicable, a gateway to another realm, large, a connected global networks of mycelium on the ”Wood Wide Web” which helps support all life on Earth and expand consciousness. I needed them, and it was only after they saw how much that I did, that they presented themselves to me. Of course, I did tilt the scales in my favor with the amount of time and energy I put into finding them.

This is a very interesting experience which I am unpacking with my therapist, and may be something I look at revisiting in the future. However, due to the risks involved and the nature of the drug, something I am not rushing in to do again. Perhaps it is a good thing they only grow once a year!

Capt. FI

Frequently Asked Questions about shrooms

Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about psilocybin shrooms

How much do shrooms cost?

Buying shrooms costs about $40 per gram (dried), so that’s about $4 per milligram of psilocibin – so a 30mg therapeutic dose is about $120. Magic mushrooms are an illegal drug in many countries.

How much psilocibin is in shrooms?

Psilocibin content of magic mushrooms vary from species to species, however the most powerful magic mushroom is Psilocybe Subaeruginosa which can contain up to 1.9% psilocybin by dry weight.

What is a blue meanie mushroom?

Blue meanie is the nickname for psychedelic mushrooms containing psilocybin, which bruise blue when the psilocybin oxidises when it is picked. Sometimes people are referring to a specific species of psilocybe native to New Zealand.

How to dry shrooms?

Cut the tips off the bottom of the stipe (stem), clean off any dirt or debris and place in a dehydrator at 40-60 degrees C for several hours until cracker dry. Store in an airtight glass jar with moisture and oxygen absorbent desiccant sachets.

Mushroom tea benefits?

Mushroom tea can help reduce nausea experienced compared to eating whole mushrooms.

Where to find magic mushrooms?

In cooler climates, wood loving magic mushrooms can be found in moist bark chips in winter. In warmer climates, they can be found often growing out of animal dung such as cow patties or horse poo.

What do shrooms taste like?

Shrooms have a distinctly earthy taste, similar to many other edible mushrooms. Fresh, they taste slightly bitter.

Lsd (acid) vs shrooms?

LSD (Acid) and psilocybin have similar effects as psychedelics. Approximately 100 Micrograms of LSD is equivalent to 30 Milligrams of psilocybin.

Is drinking on shrooms ok?

No, you should avoid drinking alcohol if you are going to take shrooms.

Can you smoke shrooms?

Yes, but it is a waste of time. High heat destroys the psilocybin, so you only ingest a fraction of the molecule. You have a much stronger experience simply eating them or making a tea.

How long does shrooms last?

Depending on the amount of mushrooms taken, the technique used and your metabolism, mushroom trips can last from anywhere from 2 hours for a light dose, right up to 24 hours for a heavy dose. Lemon Tekking can reduce the duration of a shroom trip, but increases the intensity.

How to store shrooms?

Shrooms should be stored cracker dry in an airtight glass container or jar, with an oxygen and moisture absorbant desiccant sachet.

How to make magic mushroom tea?

Weigh out your desired dose of dry magic mushrooms. Chop finely or grind into a powder and then steep in warm (not boiling) water – 60 degree Celcius is fine. Leave to steep for 15-30 minutes, then reheat gently to desired temperature to consume. Some pre-soak in lemon juice to help break down the mushroom before adding the water, and then add honey or sugar for taste after steeping.

How long do mushrooms last

Stored in an airtight container from cracker dry with a moisture absorbing desiccant sachet, dried mushrooms can last years before oxidising.

What is the most potent mushroom?

The most powerful magic mushroom is Psilocybe Subaeruginosa or ‘subs’, native to Southern and Eastern Australia, which can contain up to 1.9% psilocybin by dry weight.

How long do mushroom trips last

Depending on the amount of mushrooms taken, the technique used and your metabolism, mushroom trips can last from anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.

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4 thoughts on “Magic Mushrooms – My experience with Psilocybin shrooms

  1. Wow! That was an incredibly powerful piece of writing! I applaud you for admitting to how so many of us feel. I’m not sure I would actually try this but it’s very, very interesting how the brain works and how it can be reset. Thankyou for your honesty

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