Here in the South, summer is in full swing. It is punishingly hot, the air hits you like a sauna even at night. Each and every afternoon is visited by a temporary but impressive thunderstorm that rolls in from the mainland and out towards the Gulf. The unforgiving weather keeps me feeling languid and sluggish, but the free time I have now in between semesters means I can pursue more of my occult interests, usually indoors. Except when it comes to my lessons with the Golden Teacher, the flesh of God, Teonanacatl, psilocybin cubensis.
Each year around this time I produce my annual crop of mushrooms. I love giving them out to friends and strangers alike–in fact, it’s one of the things I’m known for here. Many a good trip has been had here thanks to my “community service”. I consider it a true vocation to promote the proper use of mushrooms for spiritual, psychic and emotional development.
At our annual trip, our party leaves the urban sprawl to retreat in a vast preserve, a land set apart with pine forests, marshes, river swamps and dark open skies. Last year my boyfriend had his first trip, while I served in a shamanic capacity as guide. It was a deeply spiritual experience, but also resulted in such an opening of our hearts for each other, we talked for hours with such honesty and truth. It was one of the most important nights of my life.
Despite its ease of use, each trip becomes more difficult for me as I try to penetrate more the mystery, and learn difficult, sometimes painful lessons from the Spirit of the Mushroom. Often the lesson is not something I wanted to hear but I know would be to my benefit. I admit I sometimes still struggle with the Spirit and I know there are some lessons I have been postponing, and that soon the Mushroom will not allow me to postpone any further. Each trip is a lesson in dying, a face to face confrontation with Life and Death–my life, my death, the world’s, the Universe’s. While there are many plant teachers in my life, the Mushroom reigns supreme.
Apart from the crazy theories and visions worthy of science fiction that it has shown me, it always leaves me with a greater sense of wholeness, wisdom and lasting peace. For that reason, and realizing my need to push deeper each time, this year I will finally be taking the “Heroic Dose” so often mentioned by Terence McKenna. Let us see what vistas the mind can truly fathom!
“There is a tradeoff for border crossing and trespassing. Both pain and pleasure are required to harrow and heal the souls art: if fear were to deter, rather than to invigorate and illuminate shadow, there would be no path beyond the trees…
It is often required to leave behind one’s mundane world, persona, assumptions, comforts, habits and securities in order to comprehend with all the senses required. May the teachings that come from nature’s adversarial and opposing forces serve to illuminate the layers of black earth and sky, where roots and stars are in union, that place where the Devil and the Witch meet.” – Plants of the Devil, Corinne Boyer