Felix could feel his heart pounding as the first waves of the psilocybin started to hit. This was his first time trying “magic mushrooms”, and he had no idea what to expect. His friend Darren, an experienced psychonaut, had acquired the mushrooms and agreed to guide him on this maiden psychedelic voyage.
After months of reading trip reports and listening to Darren’s stories, Felix felt he had mentally prepared himself. But as the colours in his living room began to twist and breathe, he realized no amount of reading could have readied him for how deeply this experience would challenge his grasp of reality.
Over the next several hours, Felix would dissolve into mystical visions, confronting his deepest fears, and reaching heightened states of consciousness he never thought possible. At the peak, Felix would be rocketed into another dimension, where heaven and hell combined in a churning kaleidoscope of infinite space and time.
But before he reached such mind-blowing terrain, Felix had to navigate the gentler opening act of the trip. Soon the visual distortions would give way to waves of euphoria, launching Felix into the colourful chaos that awaited him at the peak.
Felix has taken psychedelics over 100 times, but in 2012 this was his first time stepping into the vast world of psychedelics.
Ingesting Psilocybin Containing Mushrooms
Felix stared down at the bag of dried mushrooms on the kitchen counter. According to Darren, it contained about 2 grams of dried Psilocybe cubensis—a moderate dose but enough to propel him into the psychedelic headspace for the first time. Felix felt a nervous excitement building inside him.
[dosage and potency differ significantly between batches and types of mushrooms/truffles (sclerotia), keep in mind that we are talking about roughly 50% of a high dose]
After some final words of reassurance from Darren, Felix picked up the bag and poured the contents onto his tongue. The taste was earthy and bitter, nothing like he expected. Felix quickly washed it down with some water and waited.
Darren, the tripsitter for this first experience, reminded him it would take about 30-60 minutes to start feeling the effects. He told him to relax and put on some of his favourite music. Felix queued up a playlist and tried to calm his mind. He was anxious but also deeply curious about what was to come.
As the minutes passed, Felix found himself getting lost in the music. His foot started tapping uncontrollably. “I think it’s starting,” he said with a grin. Darren smiled back and told him to breathe. The mushrooms were taking hold.
The Psychedelic Come Up
About 45 minutes after ingesting the mushrooms, Felix sensed the effects setting in. The colours in the room began to look more vibrant and saturated. Patterns on the couch and wall started to shift and breathe subtly. Felix felt a building energy in his body, like he was vibrating from the inside.
“How are you feeling?” Darren asked. “The colours…everything looks so amazing,” Felix said with wonder. He got up to look closer at a tapestry hanging on the wall. The geometric shapes were swirling slowly. Felix’s thoughts began to speed up as the visual changes intensified.
After about an hour, Felix felt his sense of perspective start to shift. The room felt both smaller and bigger at the same time. “I think it’s really hitting me now,” Felix said as a wave of euphoria washed over him. He started giggling uncontrollably. Darren smiled and told him to enjoy the ride.
Felix sat back on the couch, feeling in awe of the world around him. His senses felt electrified – sounds were crisper, and colours shimmered brightly. He was overcome by the beauty all around him. As the drug took fuller hold, Felix surrendered himself completely to the experience.
The euphoria Felix felt was unlike anything he had experienced before. He felt both completely energized and deeply relaxed at the same time.
However, there was a slight sense of unease underneath the blissful sensations. Felix became aware of his breathing and heartbeat, which seemed louder and faster than normal. His stomach also felt unsettled and gurgly.
“I feel incredible but also a little nauseous and jittery,” Felix told Darren. “That’s normal; just breathe through it,” Darren reassured him.
Felix focused on taking slow deep breaths. As he tuned into his body more, the discomfort began to subside. In its place arose an open, childlike sense of wonder.
Felix gazed around the room, appreciating all the tiny details he normally overlooked. The grains in the wood table, the dance of dust in the sunlight, the sound of wind chimes outside – it was all so mesmerizing.
After weathering the initial body load, Felix felt ready to surrender to the experience fully. He could sense the mushroom reaching its peak potency within him. With fascination and courage, he awaited the apex of the journey.
The Peak of the Trip
After about two hours, Felix settled into the peak effects of the mushroom trip. As he gazed around the room, the visual field began to bend and breathe in sync with his breaths. The walls undulated in circular motions, and every surface became fluid.
“It’s getting so intense now,” Felix shouted with glee. Darren reminded him to drink water and relax into it. Felix leaned back and closed his eyes. Vivid geometrical patterns and colours swirled on the insides of his eyelids.
As Felix surrendered control, the boundaries between himself and the outside world dissolved away. His normal sense of self and identity started disintegrating and merging with his surroundings. He felt connected to everything and everyone.
Profound realizations about the nature of consciousness and reality rippled through Felix’s mind. Life’s mysteries seemed graspable in this space, yet simultaneously remained elusive.
Time stretched on indefinitely. Felix lost track of whether minutes or hours were passing. He plunged into a mystical state – at once both terrifying and exquisite. With Darren’s calming presence beside him, Felix trusted in the wisdom of the experience.
As Felix dove deeper into mystical realms, his vision became overwhelmed by wildly shifting kaleidoscopic geometry. Ever-changing fractals and symmetries emerged, morphing into bizarre alien vistas and fantastic landscapes.
Felix felt his ego fully dissolve away now. He became one with the continuum of energy that connects all beings. Though he could no longer distinguish himself as an individual, Felix felt profoundly aware of the universe’s fundamental oneness.
In this space beyond time and identity, Felix was confronted with both the blazing white eternity of heaven and the endless black chaos of hell. He realized these were one and the same – different facets of the universal consciousness.
Felix was rocketed through tunnels of galactic webs, witnessing the infinite vastness of space. He was shown truths about the cycles of creation and destruction that construct reality.
At times the intensity of it all overwhelmed Felix. But Darren’s grounded energy kept him from spiralling too far. Felix managed to surrender into the experience, trusting in its ebb and flow.
After some eternity, Felix began to feel the energies settle. The visuals softened as his ego started to re-form. The peak was giving way now, the lesson having been revealed. Felix felt prepared to integrate back into ordinary consciousness, changed but renewed.
Coming Down From the Peak
After three hours of intense psychedelic experience, four hours after ingesting the mushrooms, Felix slowly began to feel the effects diminishing. The visual distortions settled down, and his sense of self started to return. It was like waking from an endless dream.
As the peak dissolved, Felix could process and make sense of the visions he had encountered. He felt a crystalline clarity about what truly matters in life. An immense sense of gratitude washed over him.
While the magical kaleidoscopic realm had disappeared, the world around Felix still looked radiant and new. The colours remained vibrant, and everything seemed to glow from within.
Though the intensity had passed, Felix still felt touched by the mystical awareness he had tapped into. He was thankful for this window into a reality beyond his everyday perception.
As Felix integrated the experience, he felt changed positively. He resolved to carry this expanded state of mind into his daily life. Felix knew the deepest truths revealed to him would slowly fade to the recesses of memory.
Yet he hoped to retain the renewed sense of childlike wonder, interconnectedness, and joy that the psilocybin had unearthed. With patience and intention, he could integrate this trip into his being.
Felix turned to Darren with a look of pure love. He had shown Felix incredible beauty and self-realization within. They shared a laugh, ready now to savour the afterglow of what they had experienced together.
Looking Back at the First Psychedelic Trip
The psychedelic voyage is never finished.
It’s been over a decade now since that first dance with psilocybin. I can still recall the kaleidoscopic visuals and mystical insights as if they happened yesterday. My trip with Darren opened doors in my mind that permanently expanded my perspective.
Over the years, I’ve had many more journeys into psychedelic realms. Each has provided challenging yet profound lessons about consciousness and our connection to each other and the universe.
Integrating these experiences into my sober life has allowed me to live with greater creativity, empathy and a sense of meaning. My fear of death has lessened. I feel far more aware of each fleeting present moment.
Yet some of the most transcendent truths I glimpsed have faded into vague impressions. No amount of mystical awakening exempts you from the human cycle of forgetting and remembering.
Still, on certain quiet nights, I tune into my breath and enter states of meditation that bring back flashes of that first trip. In those moments, I access the larger reality behind the veil, the infinite potential of the cosmic web.
What matters most is absorbing each experience, integrating it, and allowing it to guide my path. The psychedelic voyage is never finished. It just ebbs and flows. I’m grateful for these gifts that reunite me with the eternal, innermost self – if only momentarily.
[this story is a rendition of Floris‘ first trip, told through the eyes of Felix, one of the characters who help explain psychedelics through stories]