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Descriptions of the DMT Experience
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Metaphorically, DMT is like an intellectual black hole in that once one knows about it, it is very hard for others to understand what one is talking about. One cannot be heard. The more one is able to articulate what it is, the less others are able to understand. This is why I think people who attain enlightenment, if we may for a moment comap these two, are silent. They are silent because we cannot understand them. Why the phenomenon of tryptamine ecstasy has not been looked at by scientists, thrill seekers, or anyone else, I am not sure, but I recommend it to your attention.


~ Terence McKenna, The Archaic Revival: Speculations on Psychedelics, Mushrooms, the Amazon,
Virtual Reality, UFO’s, Evolution, Shamanism, the Rebirth of the Goddess, & the End of History. (1991).


The Healer © Amanda SageAny attempts to begin to describe the DMT experience is fraught with the immediate dangers of either over-simplification or a swift flight into metaphor since it is almost impossible to describe with words alone the fantastic swirling multi-faceted gateway visions that are only the beginning of the DMT experience. Intrepid travelers report that past these jeweled-gates can be found mechanical-Elves, Aliens, Egyptian Gods, temples, pyramids, and palaces of pulsating light, and some would say, the entire possible population of the Collective Unconsciousness. A magical place where the totality of phenomenal existence can be experienced in an often terrifying transpersonal flash. No two DMT experiences are alike, and no two people should expect any similarity in their individual experiences. (Unless, in one of the many mysteries of the DMT zone, two experiences are indeed shared as One!) It is commonly said that DMT causes far many more questions than it does answers; for it is a flowerbed for all the mystery in the Universe. Mystery is an increasingly difficult thing to find in our Fact-or-Fiction society but the on-going mapping of this tryptamine accessed Inter-Zone may ultimately lead to the birth of powerful new spiritual metaphors for Mankind, and a new Mythology great enough to both resonate within us and encompass the incredible Universe we all occupy. So in this section, you will find collated here a number of DMT accounts as recounted by different psychonauts over the last 40 years, each one mapping out a small piece of this mysterious 8th continent of the Mind.


So in this section, rather than trying to say any one thing about “the DMT experience”, you will find collated here a number of DMT accounts as recounted by different psychonauts over the last 40 years. Select one from the drop-down menu below or to read all these accounts, start with Terence McKenna.




Terence McKenna


The feeling of doing DMT is as though one had been struck by noetic lightning. The ordinary world is almost instantaneously replaced, not only with a hallucination, but a hallucination whose alien character is its utter alienness. Nothing in this world can prepare one for the impressions that fill your mind when you enter the DMT sensorium.


~ Terence McKenna.


Terence Kemp McKenna (November 16, 1946 – April 3, 2000) was an American writer mainly on the subject of psychedelic drugs and their role in society, and existence beyond the physical body. He was also a public speaker, psychonaut, ethnobotanist, art historian, and self-described anarchist, anti-materialist, environmentalist, feminist, Platonist and skeptic. During his lifetime he was noted for his knowledge of psychedelics, metaphysics, plant-based entheogens, shamanism, mysticism, Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, biology, geology, physics, phenomenology, and his concept of novelty theory.


~ Wikipedia.


The introduction to this reference to Terence McKenna in Wikipedia is perhaps as notable for what is not said as much as what is. The rare combination of a psychedelic explorer, talented writer, and apparently insatiable idea-generator, McKenna’s books (The Invisible Landscape, The Archaic Revival, Food of the Gods, and True Hallucinations) and relentless spoken advocacy for psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and smoking DMT, made Terence virtually the sole public voice in the late 1980’s and early 90’s in the long societal silence that followed the collapse of the Psychedelic Revolution. A fuller summation of Terence’s accomplishments should include the following facts.


1. Terence (and his brother Dennis) were responsible for introducing psilocybin mushrooms into the United States in the early 1970’s and wrote the first manual on how to propagate them.


2. Terence (with brother Dennis again) was the first popular investigator of ayahuasca since William S. Burroughs. His writings on ayahuasca, shamanism, and the need for an Archaic Revival are largely responsible for the current interest in cross-cultural shamanism, and the booming business of ayahuasca tourism.


3. Terence is also mostly responsible for the current 2012 phenomena due to his interest in the Mayan Calender End-of-Time date, which seems to coincide with a ‘Singularity’ in McKenna’s own ‘Novelty Theory’. (Which came out of an extreme psychedelic experiment (with brother Dennis) on psilocybin mushrooms and a MAO inhibitor-containing bark in Colombia).


4.  A unique and often apparently possessed public speaker, Terence rise to popularity coincided with both the birth of Electronic Music culture and the Digital (Internet) Age, two movements that he embraced, and which embraced him in return. Subsequently, even after his untimely death, Terence remains one of the most accessible speakers on the Internet, with literally hundreds of available recordings and pod casts. And in much of his writings and spoken word, Terence remained the most persistent voice in the psychedelic wilderness advocating the smoking of DMT, a compound so rare in the 1980’s and 1990’s it had virtually disappeared from the public memory.


Terence McKenna recalling his first DMT experienceI first experimented with DMT in 1965; it was even then a compound rarely met with. It is surprising how few people are familiar with it, for we live in a society that is absolutely obsessed with every kind of sensation imaginable and that adores every therapy, every intoxication, every sexual configuration, and all forms of media overload. Yet, however much we may be hedonists or pursuers of the bizarre, we find DMT to be too much. It is, as they say in Spanish, bastante, it’s enough – so much enough that it’s too much. Once smoked, the onset of the experience begins in about 15 seconds. One falls immediately into a trance. One’s eyes are closed and one hears a sound like ripping cellophane, like some one crumpling up plastic film and throwing it away. A friend of mine suggests this is our radio entelechy ripping out of the organic matrix. An ascending tone is heard. Also present is the normal hallucinogenic modality, a shifting geometric surface of migrating and changing colored forms. At the synaptic site of activity, all available bond sites are being occupied, and one experiences the mode shift occurring over a period of about 30 seconds. At that point one arrives in a place that defies description, a space that has a feeling of being underground, or somehow insulated and domed. In Finnegans Wake  such a space is called “merry go raum” from the German word raum, for space. The room is actually going round, and in that space one feels like a child, though one has come out somewhere in eternity.


~ Terence McKenna: The Archaic Revival,
Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness


Sphongle: A New Way To Say HoorayThe following account is taken from a taped transcript that Terence gave on May 26/27th 1990 in New Mexico. This version has become probably the best known since it’s audio was sampled brilliantly by the English duo Sphongle on their album, Tales of the Inexpressible. (2002). The track is entitled, "A New Way To Say Hooray". To listen to the track, click on Sphongle's album artwork on the right.



Well, I suppose it's an invitation to describe a DMT trip, which is never to be passed up. Because ... I think what we're talking about here is a continuum, I'm talking about a very narrow band of experience. A continuum of experience that comes through tryptamine hallucinogens: DMT, Psilocybin, and the DMT-Harmine combination... and that's it... Mescaline doesn't, isn't what I'm talking about. Ketamine certainly isn't what I'm talking about. Datura certainly isn't what I'm talking about. And some of these are plants, and some of them are synthetic drugs, but it's a very narrow spectrum of these highly visionary ones, and then the most visionary, the quintessence is DMT. I mean, I think that DMT is as intense as any drug should ever get; I don't ever want to be more loaded than that. I don't think you can be more loaded than that and come back. You know? What happens on DMT for me, and this is based on, you know, composite image of many experiences, and I've confirmed it to some degree with other people, but I was talking to somebody the other day, somebody who had just done it, and I said, "what did you think?" and they said: "It's the most idiosyncratic thing there is." and I thought, what a wonderful description, that's exactly what it is - it's pure idiosyncraticness. It's so idiosyncratic that's all there's there - it's like idiosyncracy without an object, is what DMT is.

When you smoke this, the onset is very rapid. 30-45 seconds, you know? There's this feeling which comes over your body - half arousal, half anaesthesia. The air appears to suddenly have been sucked out of the room because all the colors brighten visibly, as though some intervening medium has been removed. And then there's a sound, like a piece of bread wrapper or cellophane being scrunched up and thrown away. A friend of mine says this is radio-entelechy leaving the anterior fontanelle at the top of your head. [laughter] I'm not sure I want to line up with that... but a membrane is being ripped; something is being torn. And then there is a total (what Mircea Eliade called in a wonderful phrase) "a complete rupture of the mundane plane". [laughter] You know? That's like a hit and run accident except the car came from hyperspace, you know? A complete rupture of the mundane plane. And you fall back into this hallucinogenic space, and what you see is a slowly rotating red and orange kind of thing, which, over the years we've nicknamed, uh, "The Chrysanthemum." And it's.. this represents some kind of disequilibrium state that has its roots in the synapses. What's happening as you're watching this Chrysanthemum is that millions and then hundreds of millions of DMT molecules are rushing into these serotonin bond sites in the synaptic cleft and disrupting the serotonin and switching the electron spin resonance signature of these neural junctions in this "other" direction. And this is taking, you know, 30 or 40 seconds, and there's this rising hum, this




that rising tone; the flying saucer tone of Hollywood B movies... you actually hear this thing. And then, if you've taken enough DMT (and it has to do entirely with physical capacity: Did you take, did you cross the threshold?) something happens [clap]... for which there are no words. A membrane is rent, and you are propelled into this "place." And language cannot describe it - accurately. Therefore I will inaccurately describe it.


The rest is now lies. When you break into this space, you have several impressions simultaneously that are a kind of gestalt: First of all (and why, I don't know) you have the impression that you are underground - far underground - you can't say why, but there's just this feeling of immense weight above you but you're in a large space, a vaulted dome. People even call it "The DMT dome" I have said, had people say to me, "Have you been under the dome?" and I knew exactly what they meant.

So you burst into this space. It's lit, socketed lighting, some kind of indirect lighting you can't quite locate. But what is astonishing and immediately riveting is that in this place there are entities - there are these things, which I call "self transforming machine elves," I also call them self-dribbling basketballs. They are, but they are none of these things. I mean you have to understand: these are metaphors in the truest sense, meaning they're lies! Uh, it's a jeweled self-transforming basketball, a machine elf. I name them 'Tykes' because tyke is a word that means to me a small child, and I was fascinated by the 54th fragment of Heraclitis, where he says: "The Aeon is a child at play with colored balls" ... and when you burst into the DMT space this is the Aeon - it's a child, and it's at play with colored balls, and I am in eternity, apparently, in the presence of this thing.

There are many of these things, but the main thing that's happening is that they are engaged in a linguistic activity of some sort, which we do not have words for, but it's visible language. They are doing the visible language trip. When you break into the space, they actually cheer! The first thing you hear when you pass across is this 'hhhyeaaaaaayyy' - you know the Pink Floyd song? "The Gnomes have Learned a New Way to Say Hoo-Ray?” This has gotta be what these guys were talking about; how else could it be? It doesn't make any sense otherwise.

You break into this space... the gnomes say hoo-ray! And they come rushing forward and they, and, and the thing then that happens is... and people say "is there risk, to DMT? it sounds so intense. Is it dangerous?".

The answer is: yes, it's tremendously dangerous; the danger is the possibility of death by astonishment. And you must prepare yourself for this eventuality, because you are so amazed. Amazement seems to be the emotion that has torn loose and swamped everything else - I mean astounded? When was the last time you were genuinely 'ASTOUNDED'? I mean, I think you can go your whole damned life without being 'ASTOUNDED'... and this is astonishment, you know, raised to the N-th degree to the point that your jaw hangs...
I mean you're like this:


And it raises issues: like you say, "Jesus, ah, huhh ... I must be dead!" And you, and the weird thing about DMT is it does not effect what we ordinarily call the mind. The part that you call "you" - nothing happens to it. You're just like you were before, but the World has been radically replaced - 100% - it's all gone, and you're sitting there, and you're saying, "Jesus, a minute ago I was in a room with some people, and they were pushing some weird drug on me, and, and now, what's happened? Is this the Drug? Did we do it? Is this it?" And meanwhile, these things are saying: "Do not give way to amazement; Control your wonder." in other words, they try to bring you down. They say, "Don't just goof out on this; pay attention. PAY ATTENTION... to what we're doing." "OK, what're you doing?...


New Beginnings © Amanda SageSay this is what we're doing, and then they proceed to sing objects into existence. Amazing objects. Objects that are Faberge Eggs, things made of pearl, and metal, and glass, and gel, and you, when you're shown one of these things, a single one of them, you look at it an you know, without a shadow of a doubt, in the moment of looking at this thing, that if it were right here, right now, this world would go mad. It's like something from another dimension. It's like an artifact from a flying saucer. It's like something falling out of the mind of God - such objects DO not exist in this universe, and yet, you're looking at it. And they're clamoring for your attention. " 'k at this! 'ook at This! Look at THIS!" and they pull these things... and each one, you look into it and it begins to open into this wonder that you must fight. You say "No, don't look at it, look AWAY from it!" because it's so wonderful that it's swamping my objectivity and destroying my ability to function in this space.


Well, then they say "do"...

And the objects that they make have the peculiar ability to themselves generate this linguistic "stuff" which condenses as other objects. So beings are making objects, showing you objects, the objects are turning into beings and making other objects, these beings and objects, they jump into your chest - and then they jump back out. They jump into your body and disappear into your body, and then they jump back out, waving these things, just throwing this stuff in all directions. They are - the word that comes to mind is: they are Zany. It's like a Bugs Bunny cartoon, uh, gone mad. And all of this energy - they are elves. This is what elves are. It's this weird thing, where they love you - or they like you a lot, but you can tell that their sense of humor is Weird. And that you must be very careful of the deals you cut with these things, [...] in fact I've spent so much time trying to understand what this is. It has different kinds of feelings about it. One is (and this really threw me for a loop when I figured this out) after many many of these trips, and analyzing this place I kept going to, I finally realized: "this place is... somebody very weird... it's their idea of a reassuring environment for a human being! It's like a playpen. It's this warm. well lit, secure, womblike environment, and when I break into it they these things, the elves and the toys, are toys! These are things to amuse me. The way you would hang, uh, cubes and blocks above a cradle... a playpen, you know? Because children are supposed to coordinate shapes and bright colors. That's what these things are: they are toys to try and get me to coordinate my perception in this place. It's a holding area of some sort - someone's created this and is watching me.


OK - that's one metaphor for what it is. Another metaphor is... I took this stuff to Tibetans, to the Amazon. I gave it to Tibetans, they said "this is the lesser lights, the lesser lights of the Bardo. You cannot go further into the Bardo and return. This takes you as far as you can go." When I gave it to shamanss in the Amazon, they said "It's strong - but this is, these are the ancestors. These are the spirits that we work with. These are ancestor souls. We know this place." Well then, the third and final metaphor, because when you're in that place you have such complex emotions - very complex emotions - something weird is going on with time, because you perceive your body image as infantile. You seem to have a very large head, and a very small body, and very short limbs. And, you know, I dunno what that's about...


Then the last facet of it that I want to mention is: there is this "you must be on your toes" thing - don't let these guys get behind you. They are tricky. And their elfin humor may not be your idea of a good time.


~ Terence McKenna
from a taped transcript


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Gracie and Zarkhov


The arrival of the Internet played a huge role in the on-going global dissemination of information about DMT as daring psychonauts built information websites, DMT forums, and released articles to the world-at-large without the worry or the wait  of being published. The following is one of the earliest pieces on DMT (titled “DMT: How and Why to get Off”) that first appeared on the WWW in the late 80’s.


The true identities of Gracie and Zarkhov remain unknown, but according to the most important of these information sites that originated at this time, www.EROWID.com;



Gracie and Zarkov are the pseudonyms for an intrepid pair of SF Bay Area psychonauts most well-known for their Notes from Underground, which first began to appear in 1983. While writing about their psychoactive drug experiments, they worked by day as investment bankers. Gracie has an MBA in marketing and finance, a BS in physical anthropology, and she has taught assorted science classes. She currently works as a communications specialist. The enigmatic Zarkov's background is more of a mystery.


Gracie and Zarkov were Associate Editors for High Frontiers, and frequently wrote for Reality Hackers and MONDO 2000, where they contributed articles, reviews, and interviews related to Heavy Metal music, books, and esoterica. Psychedelics, sex, magic, and a libertarian ethos were important elements in their underground research. They were the first to publish information regarding the potentiation effect that Peganum harmala extract has on smoked DMT. Although a book version of their Notes was planned for some years, it never materialized, and three Notes--each listed as "article in process" in a collection of their works--remain unpublished. Gracie and Zarkov always encouraged readers to copy and reprint their writings, remarking that "in a truly free society the price of packaged information would be driven down to the cost of reproduction and transmission"--a prescient attitude back in the early 1980s, considering how the Internet has mushroomed since that time”. (From www.Erowid.org.)  


~ www.Erowid.com


Notes on the Visual Stages of a DMT Trip


0—20 seconds: a scratchiness in the lungs
20—30 seconds : a buzzing starts in the ears, rising in tone and volume to an incredible intensity. Its like cellophane being ripped apart (or the fabric of the universe being torn asunder). Your body will vibrate in sympathy with this sound, and you will notice a sharp blood pressure rise. You may feel like you are deeply under water. Wearing a unitard or leotard and tights helps to minimize this sensation. Your visual field will also vibrate in resonance to the sound and will finally be completely obscured by the visions.

30 seconds—1 minute : You break through into DMT hyperspace. Often at this point, users believe that their hearts or breathing have stopped. This is not true. To an outside observer, you are breathing normally and your pulse, while elevated, is strong. We believe that this subjective effect is due to your "internal clock" being slowed so greatly that the subjective time interval between breaths or heartbeats seems like an eternity. Synthetic DMT has been extensively tested by medical authorities here and in Europe. It is perfectly safe with no lasting physical effects at these doses. However, since smoked DMT causes an abrupt blood pressure increase, it is probably not good for people with abnormally high blood pressure.

1 minute—2-5 minutes : depending on dosage: DMT hyperspace. For all practical purposes, you will no longer be embodied. You will be part of the intergalactic information network. You may experience any of the following:


  • Sense of transcending time or space
  • Strange plants or plantlike forms
  • The universe of formless vibration
  • Strange machines
  • Alien music
  • Alien languages, understandable or not
  • Intelligent entities in a variety of forms


DMT © Cobalt358Do not be amazed and do not try to actively direct your observations but merely pay attention. The beings can show you amazing things, but if you try to impose your personal trip on the DMT you will find that you cannot and may become frightened.


At the end of the "flash" of the visions you will have an after-vision of circular interlocking patterns in exquisite colors. It has been described as looking at a vaulted ceiling or dome. If you did not "breakthrough" to the levels described above, this "chrysanthemum" pattern, as we call it, is all you will see. It is worth the trip, too.


You may begin to wonder how you will ever find your way back to your body. If you have taken enough DMT to fully "breakthrough", by the time you can even wonder about it, you are almost back. Trust in your own wetware; your psyche and your body will be reunited. Worrying will only prolong the process.

5—12 minutes : The visions have subsided. There are still patterns when you close your eyes, but with eyes open the world is back. At this point a flood of information may rush through your mind. The phase is fleeting. In order to preserve your DMT ideation, we recommend that you begin talking as soon as you come out of the visionary state. Don't try for complete sentences but get as many ideas out as you can while you can. Have a tape recorder running during the trip and you can review your thoughts at a later time.

15—30 minutes : The ideation flood subsides leaving you euphoric. You may still have a trace of the vibrations in your body.
30—60 minutes : The euphoria subsides.
60+ minutes : You are completely down.

Note: While we recommend above not to combine DMT with other hallucinogens, we have had excellent results using DMT as a "pre-dose" for LSD, MDMA, MDA, or mushrooms. The technique is to take the second hallucinogen orally just as you come out of the vision state. The resulting trip will be more profound and will help you to understand the strange and alien vistas, which you were shown while on the DMT.


~ Gracie and Zarkhov


A Hit of DMT ~ 10/9/84


i loaded about 40-50 milligrams of dmt into a glass pipe on top of a small amount of damiana. even though i had been warned, i was still shocked at how harsh the first toke was. it tasted and smelled like burning plastic. i involuntarily exhaled. i immediately took a second toke. the heavy white smoke rushed up the pipe as harsh as before, but i was somewhat better prepared for the terrible taste and i was able to hold the smoke for a few seconds. i exhaled, took a third toke, and was able to hold this last lungful. suddenly i began to hear a loud, moderately high-pitched carrier wave. immediately, the room started vibrating in sympathy. the pattern on the wall hangings oscillated madly in time to the buzzing that overlaid the carrier wave's fundamental tone. simultaneously, a heavy, trembling feeling swept over my entire body as if i were being propelled at multiple g acceleration by some giant rocket engine. my visual field dissolved in the most amazing colors. i could not see the room over the intensity of the visual effects. the events of the preceding paragraph occurred in the space of a few short seconds.


Closing my eyes, i got a glimpse of several entities moving in front of a giant complex control panel. the visions were not crystal clear and seemed as if i were viewing it through a scrim. the creatures were bipedal and of about human size. it was impossible to say more other than they did not move like the giant insect creatures i have seen clearly under the influence of stropharia mushrooms. there was a direct awareness of an overwhelmingly powerful and knowledgeable presence! it was neither frightening, nor encouraging. it was just mentally there. a thought came, unbidden, into my head. i realized that i was viewing 'god central.' the central panel i saw was the control panel for the entire universe.


~ Zarkhov


Copyright December 1984 by Gracie and Zarkov Productions. We believe that in a truly free society the price of packaged information would be driven down to the cost of reproduction and transmission. We, therefore, give blanket permission and encourage photocopy, quotation, reprint or entry into a database of all or part of our articles provided that the copier or quoter does not take credit for our statements. Revised August 1985.


~ Gracie and Zarkhov


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‘TiHKAL’ by Alexander and Ann Shulgin


TiHKAL (Tryptamines I have known and love.) by the legendary chemist Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin and his wife Ann, is probably the most important book that will ever be published on DMT and all other related tryptamines. The inventor of dozens of tryptamines and phenethylamines as well as an intrepid investigator of both families of compounds over the past 40 years, Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin is the most important chemist in the psychedelic realm since Dr. Albert Hofmann, who arguably changed the world by creating LSD. When considering the staggering number of compounds that Shulgin has either invented or popularized, and the fact that he has tested them all on himself, one could argue that Shulgin’s contribution has been just as important to the world.


Alexander and Ann ShulginHis most valuable contribution however may in the end have been the publication of PiHKAL (Phenethylamines I have known and loved): A Chemical Love Story in 1993, and TiHKAL (Tryptamines I have known and loved): The Continuation in 1997, which along with his and Anne’s personal love story contains detailed formulas and instructions on how to make the various compounds in both families. (The publication of PiHKAL is presumed to be the cause of Dr. Shulgin’s office being raided by the DEA, his license revoked, and a later fine of $25,000, and yet the Shulgin’s went ahead and published TiHKAL regardless.) The publication of these books also bought the Shulgin’s some small degree of fame; they are now considered counter-culture icons due to the example that they have set with their own lives, and the bravery that they have consistently shown.



In the chapter in TiHKAL titled “DMT is Everywhere", Dr. Shulgin has this to say about DMT:


In a sense, DMT is to the world of indolic psychedelics what mescaline is to the world of phenethylamine psychedelics. It is the starting point of both our classification and understanding of the hallucinogenic psychedelics, and from it our entire understanding of the relationship between structure and activity must evolve. So let me try an organizational scheme that asks; (I) what is the chemical? (2) where is it found? and (3)does it do?

In answer to (I), the chemical is N,N-dimethyltryptamine(DMT) which is an in-house shortcut way of saying 3-(N,N-dimethylaminoethyl)-indole. It is N,N-dimethyltryptophan without the carboxyl group. It is bufotenine or psilocin without the hydroxyl group. (2), DMT is, most simply, almost everywhere you choose to look. It is in this flower here, in that tree over there, and in yonder animal. The whereness is, in effect, the stuff of this chapter. And (3), it is a relatively short-lived psychedelic compound that has a record of ancient and revered use in many cultures of the world. To some users, it is a connection to a vivid world of magic and mystical beings. To others, it is a dark exposure to the most negative aspects of the psches. And everything in between.”


~ Alexander Shulgin, TiHKAL (Tryptamines I have known and love)


Later in the book (The Chemistry Continues #6 DMT) there are numerous ‘trip reports’ for DMT listed … the following is a small selection:


(with 20 mg, intramuscularly)

"I began to see patterns on the wall that were continuously moving. They were transparent, and were not colored. After a short period these patterns became the heads of animals, a fox, a snake, a dragon. Then kaleidoscopic images appeared to me in my inner eye, fantastically beautiful and colored."


(with 75 mg, intramuscularly)

"The third or fourth minute after the injection vegetative symptoms appeared, such as tingling sensation, trembling, slight nausea, mydriasis, elevation of the blood pressure and increase of the pulse rate. At the same time, eidetic phenomena, optical illusions, pseudohallucinations, and later real hallucinations, appeared. The hallucinations consisted of moving, brilliantly colored oriental motifs, and later I saw wonderful scenes altering very rapidly. The faces of people seemed to be masks. My emotional state was elevated sometimes up to euphoria. At the highest point I had compulsive athetoid movements in the left hand. My consciousness was completely filled by hallucinations, and my attention was firmly bound to them; therefore I could not give account of the events happening to me. After 3/4 to 1 hour the symptoms disappeared, and I was able to describe what had happened."


(with 100 mg, smoked)

"As I exhaled I became terribly afraid, my heart very rapid and strong, palms sweating. A terrible sense of dread and doom filled me—I knew what was happening, I knew I couldn’t stop it, but it was so devastating; I was being destroyed—all that was familiar, all reference points, all identity—all viciously shattered in a few seconds. I couldn’t even mourn the loss—there was no one left to do the mourning. Up, up, out, out, eyes closed, I am at the speed of light, expanding, expanding, expanding, faster and faster until I have become so large that I no longer exist—my speed is so great that everything has come to a stop—here I gaze upon the entire universe."


~ Alexander Shulgin, TiHKAL (Tryptamines I have known and love)



An interview with Alexander Shulgin
In this mini-interview, Trip asked Alexander Shulgin, co-author of the astounding psychedelic compendiums PIHKAL and TIHKAL, his thoughts on DMT as a therapeutic substance, the popularization of ayahuasca use in the west, and what role these substances play in his spirituality, among other questions. Shulgin offers a thought-provoking look at the DMT experience, both experientially and culturally.

Trip: Let's start with a rather broad question. What sort of role does DMT play in the entheogenic pantheon, so to speak? How does it "fit" along side such notables as LSD, MDMA, mescaline, etc.?

AS: There is no question but that N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is one of the cornerstones of the psychedelic drug world. Not only is it one of the most widely distributed alkaloids in the plant world, but it is the structural nucleus, the parent chemical skeleton, of most of the natural and synthetic psychoactive indoles. The parallel to mescaline is a good one, in that mescaline provides the parent chemical skeleton for all of the phenethylamines. These two prototypes have been the inspiration for a great deal of creative synthesis.

Trip: Do you have a sense that DMT has specific uses as a psychological tool, or does it seem to you to be more of a powerhouse anomaly? Certainly few experiences compare to it, but do you see productivity there along with the intense novelty of the experience?

AS: In my own experience, I have found DMT to be one of the most intense and rapidly acting drugs. Probably powerhouse anomaly is closer to the mark. Part of that is certainly due to the route of administration (by smoking) and the only competitor is the equally rapid and considerably more potent 5-MeO-DMT. But I have found the actual content of the experience a bit too overwhelming. There is the rapid entry into a space that seems to allow, at least to me, no dialogue. There may be intense colors and shapes alternating with periods of darkness which somehow seem to be much the same. There is none of the questions and answers that I hold to be the true value of the psychedelic experience. If that is what you meant by "productivity" I sense that that is missing. And with a familiarity that is there after the first few experiences, the novelty too is lost.

Trip: How useful do you feel DMT might possibly be in a therapeutic setting?

AS: I do not see DMT playing a role in therapy. The value of the psychedelic drugs in this context is in part from the communication that the patient establishes, first with his therapist and then with himself. But either interaction requires a dialogue, and none is possible when you are flat on your back being overwhelmed with imagery alternating with a lack of any input whatsoever. DMT seems to be better suited to one playing a solo role, taking an individual trip, but this is not the usual path of psychotherapy.

Trip: When you began researching the tryptamine class in earnest, did you observe any specific overall emotional changes or shifts, as opposed to when phenethylamines were more prominent in your ongoing work? Or does that kind of question not even really apply?

AS: There is a phrase that is commonly heard between people who are involved with the identification of mushrooms. There are the lumpers and the splitters. Some (the lumpers) try to combine Genera, minimize the number of categories of classification, and search for broad generalities that will bring order out of individuality. Others (the splitters) emphasize variability and differences, and often end up with almost as many pigeon holes as there are things to be pigeon-holed. In the psychedelic area I guess I started as a lumper. There were two major neurotransmitters involved in the mechanism of action of these materials: there was dopamine, which was a phenethylamine, and there was serotonin, which was a tryptamine. And almost all the known active chemicals were either phenethylamines or tryptamines. How simple. Two pigeon holes and everything can be accounted for. But the more I observed the many styles and flavors of action, the less happy I was with that simple classification. Both neurotransmitters can be involved with the action of almost any of these drugs, so those labels immediately came off. And every material had its own claim to some actions that might be shared with other materials, but not in all people. The vocabulary of descriptions continually grew. I eventually yielded to the reality that every drug is an individual, and efforts to generalize have been fruitless. The popular concept of "structure-activity relationships" depends on the explanation of potency as a function of structure and the extrapolation of observation in the areas of prediction. But the reduction of the field of so many properties down to a single one - how potent is the drug - is unfair. Potency is but one variable for classification, and in truth there are many others.

Trip: Does DMT tend to be a "favorite" among the tryptamines you've studied, or are there other tryptamines that people tend to find more interesting?

AS: I cannot say that it is a favorite of mine. Over the years I have made some effort to avoid choosing favorites, because I wished to keep my experimental field rather clear, the better to pick up suggestions of new activities in new compounds. There is always a lingering fear that repeated exposure would risk some form of tolerance, thus softening the sensitivity of observation.

Trip: Part of my curiosity about the value of DMT relates to setting; it seems impossible for most Westerners to recreate the shamanic/religious setting of traditional ayahuasca use, for example. So what could be an ideal set/setting for, say, ayahuasca use in an American city?

AS: This is a very complex question! I don't believe that the concept of ayahuasca has any meaning in an American city. Ayahuasca is popularly taken as a drink that is a mixture of harmala alkaloids and indole alkaloids. But that is the ultimate pigeon hole and it is completely inadequate. Rather than a drink, it is a concept which cannot be so simply stated and an accurate definition of ayahuasca must call on many variables. Let's evaluate the original ayahuasca scene in South America.

Who is creating it? What plants or plant parts have been chosen? How have they been prepared? How were they brought together and maybe cooked and maybe boiled down to a consumable potent? Perhaps quickly, and perhaps slowly. Every ayahuasca cook has a different recipe. Why is it being made? Is it for a religious experience? Possibly for a healing experience? Is it for establishing patterns of behavior and group unity or is it for allowing self exploration and individual spiritual transformation? Every occasion has a different structure. Where is it to be used? In the darkness around a central fire on the banks of a river, or in a church? Shall it be in song or in silence?

And on and on. How can this all be translated to a house in Beverly Hills? In the absence of Psychotria viridis (the Amazonian DMT source) perhaps we can use some Phalaris grass or maybe the bark of an Acacia tree for the needed DMT, or maybe no DMT at all but something else like mushrooms or San Pedro extracts. In the absence of Banasteriopsis caapi (the Amazonian harmala source) maybe some Syrian Rue seeds, or maybe even some clinical antidepressant that works by being a valid monoamineoxidase inhibitor. No reason to boil them together -- just take a couple of capsules and turn up the volume on the music tape. This North American experience just might be a spiritual journey, or a mind altering revelation, or a body purging horror, but it is in no way an ayahuasca experience. It is a totally different set (the event that is expected) and a different setting (where the event takes place) and so it is a totally different experience.

Trip: This is the sort of contradiction I'm poking at: we've only really got this one term, "ayahuasca," and its variants ("mimosahuasca," etc.), as a kind of umbrella term for an orally active DMT experience. You knew what I meant to some degree when I used the term, but yes, the cultural overtones of the term are for the most part totally unavailable to many people, unless they've actually had this experience "in the field" so to speak. So we have this massive experience, a fundamental component of these shamanic traditions, suddenly being cut loose and popularized to a degree as a sort of "renegade technology"; it's as though we were handed a very complex and powerful tool, but the instruction manual that goes along with it never got translated.

AS: You are absolutely correct. The "instruction manual" for the ayahuasca experience is the native structure that defines its use. And this is in continuous transition in Brazil. What used to be a search for answers with a shaman in a jungle environment has become a religious and community interaction with the UDV and Santo Daime groups. All things change as they become assimilated into new cultures and more changes will, without doubt, take place as the ayahuasca name becomes associated with mixtures of other drugs in our own culture here.

Trip: This sort of cycles back to my question on therapeutic use; you mentioned that the experience of smoked DMT happens so fast that it's hard to process, so what about a version of the DMT experience that unfolds over several hours? Would that provide any possible therapeutic uses?

AS: Without doubt. When the oral route can be used for DMT, as in the examples where its rapid metabolism is inhibited by a second material, then it bids fair to be effective as a therapeutic tool as would many other psychedelics. The onset is slower and the duration is longer. Again, it is not the identity of the drug that suggests its potential use in these areas, but rather the set that is in mind when it is used. If you seek escape via some experience, you may indeed be entertained. And if you present troubling questions, you may get answers.

Trip: You mention at one point in TIHKAL that you were curious about alphamethyltryptamine's possible use as an MAOI for a 'huasca combination. I found that idea very intriguing - have you heard any reports on this since TIHKAL was published?

AS: No I haven't. There are some complexities that are intrinsic to the idea of the huasca combination being the combining of an intrinsically active component that is destroyed as soon as it gets into the body with an intrinsically inactive component that does nothing but inhibit this destruction. Many of the orally active psychedelic drugs are indeed metabolized by deamination, but this process may be a minor one or a slow one. Nonetheless, the use of monoamineoxidase inhibitors may further inhibit it and thus decrease the amount of the drug needed (increasing the effective potency). Also, many of the MAOI candidates in this combination have some central activity in their own rights, and so there may be a synergism seen with the mixture. Both may contribute something to the final effects. Even more subtle is the realization that all plants are in fact mixtures of many things, and there may be drug/drug interactions that make the experience from the use of a plant very different from the observed activities of these components when consumed in isolation.

There are those who insist that plants are the ultimate teachers and any and all psychedelic experiences should be explored only from plant use. That is the way, after all, that our original shamans used them and they knew best. But, plants are complex, and may contain compounds that are not friendly. And they are variable in composition from month to month, even from hour to hour, so how can one walk the same path twice? There are even continuous disagreements among botanists as to whether two similar plants collected in different places should have the same name. Others insist that an isolated compound, or a synthetic compound, circumvents these complications. True, there can be consistency and reproducibility, but mixtures and interactions of both components and effects are not able to be explored.

There is no right answer!

Trip: On a broader note, are there parallels to be drawn in your mind between the kind of psychedelic therapy that is described in TIHKAL or in Myron Stolaroff's The Secret Chief, and the ages of shamanic use of psychoactive substances?

AS: Each of these uses is its own style of medical practice. The active materials, be they mind-altering plants or chemicals, are the vehicles responsible for healing. In the shamanic school, the drug may be taken by the healer. In the Western psychotherapy school, it may be taken by the one needing healing. But in either case, its function is the same: the drug is used as an instructive tool for analysis and insight.

Trip: Are you familiar with the work of the Council on Spiritual Practices? Do you have any thoughts on their work? I'm particularly interested in how their notion of "spiritual guide" seems to have resonance with the notion of "shaman" without having any particular religious overtones of its own.

AS: I am quite familiar with the CSP and would like to support it in any way I can. There is much talk of the use of psychedelic drugs as the means of understanding the body or the mind, but these views seem to always suggest that the drugs do things. More delicate are their roles as catalysts that allow things to be realized, things that may already be in the person's reality but not recognized or appreciated. Here can be the gracious realization that there is something of the divine in each of us. This is the spiritual side of our psyches, always present but now revealed in some remarkable way. This is the concept behind the alternate name that has been used, entheogens. And this realization need not require a drug -- it can come from any of a number of processes as varied as meditation or falling in love. But the opening of that part of the inner person is of ultimate importance, and the CSP is committed to exploring this process.

Trip: Do you personally have any identification with the term "spiritual" as it relates to these substances?

AS: To me personally, the term "spiritual" has evolved over the years into the word "wonderment." I am continuously surprised and amazed in the discovery of what is clearly present there in the human mind but simply not available. My exploration of psychedelic drugs, not just the known ones such as DMT and mescaline, but newly created ones as well, is motivated by the excitement of discovery. New drugs may serve as models for new tools for research, or for new medicines to treat our illnesses. But to me the reward is the finding of them, not the use of them.

In that sense, perhaps the profound joy I feel in this search is indeed a form of spirituality.


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Next Topic > DMT Liberation Theology


The carefully documented ‘case-studies’ of the participants in Dr. Rick Strassman’s study on the effect of DMT on human volunteers at the University of New Mexico in the early 1990’s is the most significant body of scientific evidence for the extraordinary nature of the DMT experience. Once published in “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” these reports only reaffirmed much of the anecdotal lore of the DMT underground with tales of fluorescent reptiles, tryptamine Elves, alien visitations, and even incidents of gnosis and the full-blown mystical experience.


DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Dr. Rick StrassmanSubjects saw all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things. The least complex were kaleidoscopic geometric patterns, which sometimes partook of "Mayan," "Islamic," or "Aztec" qualities. For example, "beautiful, colorful pink cobwebs; an elongation of light," “tremendously intricate tiny geometric colors, like being one inch from a color television.

The colors of this imagery were brighter, more intense, and deeper than those of normal awareness or dreams: "It was like the blue of a desert" but on another planet. The colors were a hundred times deeper." Background and foreground distinctions might merge so that countless stages would occupy a volunteer's visual field. It was impossible to tell what was "in front" and what was "behind." Many used the term “four- dimensional" or "beyond dimensionality" to describe this effect.

There were more formed, specific visual images, too. These included "a fantastic bird," "a tree of life and knowledge," and "a ballroom with crystal chandeliers." There were "tunnels," "stairways," "ducts," and "a spinning golden disc." Others saw the "inner workings" of machines or bodies: "inside a computer’s boards," "DNA double helices," and "the pulsating diaphragm around my heart."

Even more impressive was the apprehension of human and "alien" figures that seemed to be aware of and interacting with the volunteers. Non-human entities might be recognizable: "spiders," "mantises," "reptiles," and "something like a saguaro cactus."


~ Dr. Rick Strassman, DMT: The Spirit Molecule


One can question the role that “set-and-setting” played in Dr. Strassman’s trials – when one is injected with DMT in a sterile hospital room and regularly checked by the Doctor and his assistants (even using an anal probe in some trials!) then it could be argued that it is no wonder that some participants felt as if they were ‘being examined by aliens’! Nevertheless, the ‘case-studies’ in DMT: The Spirit Molecule make for undeniably compelling reading.  A few choice excerpts are listed below.


Segment from That was real strange. Then were a lot of elves. They were prankish, ornery, maybe four of them appeared at the side of a stretch of interstate highway I travel regularly. They commanded the scene, it was their terrain! They were about my height. They held up placards, showing me these incredibly beautiful, complex, swirling geometric scenes in them. One of them made it impossible for me to move. There was no issue of control; they were totally in control. They wanted me to look! I heard a giggling sound  — the elves laughing or talking at high-speed volume, chattering, twittering.


When I was first going under there were these insect creatures all around me. They were clearly trying to break through. I was fighting letting go of who I am or was. The more I fought, the more demonic they became, Probing into my psyche and being. I finally started letting go of parts of myself, as I could no longer keep so much of me together. As I did, I still clung to the idea that all was God, and that God was Love, and I was giving myself up to God and God's love because I was certain I was dying. As I accepted my death and dissolution into God's love, the insectoids began to feed on my heart, devouring the feelings of love and surrender.


There were two crocodiles. On my chest. Chrushing me, raping me anally. I didn’t know if I would survive. At first I thought I was having nightmare. Then I realized it was really happening. I was glad he didn't have the rectal probe in place, this being a screening day. Tears formed in his eyes, but stayed there. It sounds awful. It was awful. It’s the most scared I’ve ever been in my life. I wanted to ask to hold your hands, but I was pinned so firmly I couldn't move, and couldn't speak. Jesus!


I felt the DMT go in and it burned in my vein. It was hard to breathe into it. The patterns began. I said to myself, "Let me go through you." At that point it opened, and I was very much somewhere else. I believe it was at that point that I went out, into the universe —being, dancing with a star system. I asked myself, "Why am I doing this to myself?" And then there was, "This is what you've always been searching for. This is what all of you has always been searching for."

There was a movement of color. The colors were words. I heard what the colors were saying to me. I was trying to look out, but they were saying, "Go in. " I was looking for God outside. They said, "God is in every cell of your body." And I was feeling it, totally open to it, and I kept opening to it more, and I just took it in. The colors kept telling me things, but they were telling things so I not only heard what I was seeing, but also felt it in my cells. I say "felt," but it was like no other ''felt,'' more like a knowing that was happening in my cells. That God is in everything and that we are all connected, and that God dances in every cell of life, and that every cell of life dances in God.

In a letter that she sent several days later, Cleo wrote, "I am changed. I will never be the same. To simply say this almost seems to lessen the experience. I don't think anyone hearing or reading this can truly grasp what I felt, can really understand it deeply and completely. The euphoria goes on into eternity. And I am part of that eternity."


~ Dr. Rick Strassman, DMT: The Spirit Molecule


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Nick Sand


Nick Sand in 2009The world of DMT is incredibly vast. What DMT opens in us is so profound that it is impossible to truly express. I have been making, using, and initiating people into DMT use, for around 40 years. I was the one who first discovered that the free-base could be smoked. It has never ceased to amaze me, nor have I ever felt that one could fairly arrive at any hard and fast conclusions about what was happening during a DMT trip. I do think that there are general rules for approaching the DMT journey such as diet, preparation, set and set- ting, and intention. But DMT is about the beyond. “Beyond what?” you may ask. Beyond the intellect, beyond the senses, beyond any devices and biological instruments for dealing with the external world. When you journey through the realms of the interior, the rules of the intellect and the values of the material world are not only irrelevant, but using them as yardsticks can create confusion. Tools of intellect are analytical, and as such are divisive. The processes of expression, communication, analysis, and intellect are tools for the ignorant. With these tools, we work our way out of the dark; but this ignorance is of the material world, not the spirit realm.


~ Nick Sand, (∞Ayes) "Entering the Sacred World of DMT"
The Entheogen Review Vol. X; No. 2.


Talking to Nick Sand, you come away feeling as if you have been talking to Paracelsus, the Master Alchemist, himself. Originally becoming interested psychedelics during a stay with the Mazatec Indians in Oxaca, Mexico, Nick then became a member of the League of Self-Discovery upon return to the United States in 1963. An experienced ‘trip sitter’ at the headquarters of the L. of S.D. at Millbrook Estate in upstate New York at the time that LSD itself became illegal, Timothy Leary suggested that Sand learn how to manufacture LSD himself – something he did so very successfully, creating the Orange Sunshine LSD (with Owsley’s assistant Tim Scully), and in league with a SoCal smuggling/surfing cartel known as of the Brotherhood of Love, is reputed to have been responsible for the production of over 250 million hits of LSD over the following 30 something years.


A less well-known fact about Nick Sand is that he is also the man who realized that freebase DMT was smokable some 40 years ago and that it wasn’t necessary to inject it anymore. Considering the fact that he has probably made (and possibly smoked) more DMT than anyone else in history (He had 4 kilos of DMT when busted in Canada!), then it is no surprise that there is probably no greater wealth of information about DMT in the world. Nick also has a rare ability to fearlessly relate in the most intimate details the extraordinary experiences he has had.


One of my many memorable DMT trips (at about 0.9 mg per kg of body weight, intramuscular of the HCl) was sitting on a Persian carpet listening to a recording of Sharan Rani playing a love raga on a sarod. I had my two trip buddies with me. There were candles and incense. The room was set up as a temple space for tripping. As I arrived at my internal trip space, I was filled with overwhelming feelings of womanly love and sensuality. I looked down and was very surprised to see myself dressed in filmy harem pants and no shirt on. I had a beautiful copper-colored female body— breasts and all. I had many bangles on my arms, and ankle bells on my legs. I looked around and found that I was dancing a seductive love raga to the two musicians facing me play-ing sarod and tabla. We were performing in the courtyard of a beautiful Indian temple similar to Bubhaneshwar Temple, famed for its erotic sculpture and soaring towers. My dancing was an exact counterpart in rhythmic motion to the melodies and rhythms of the music. It was an exquisite act of love. It was so beautiful that when I came down, I declared that if I died right at that moment, I would regret nothing as I had experienced beauty more exquisite than I could ever imagine. Perfect love and unity. As I came down, I saw my beautiful breasts shimmer away and the bangles slide off my arms twinkling into nothing. There was a momentary ache in my heart as all of this love withdrew. As the room reappeared around me, I experienced confusion; I could not remember if I was a sacred temple dancer dreaming I was a man, or if I was a man dreaming I was a female dancer. This was obviously a very touching and profound trip that infused my being with a new appreciation of love and harmony, some- thing I carry as a memory and a perspective on life to this day. Obviously, I am not a woman, but I was so profoundly influenced by a woman playing a love raga that I created myself in accordance to what was entering into me from my environment. So it is apparent that set and setting are extremely influential in acting upon the DMT state, which is clearly a magnifying, creative, and sensitizing medium.


~ Nick Sand


Another time I had been travelling in México, and wound up on a deserted beach in Zihuatanejo, leaning against a huge rock. I was tired, and I had just had a fight with my wife. I went for a walk and sat down against this rock at the end of the beach to smoke some DMT. It was a dark night, and a distant street-light cast a wan light over the sand, as soft sounds of the jungle surrounded me. I lit up my DMT pipe and took 3 or 4 tokes. Suddenly, I shot upwards and was at an upscale cocktail party. The colors were rich and enchantingly beautiful. The men were very big and handsome, dressed in well-cut suits. The women were gorgeous in gowns and cocktail dresses. They were gathered in groups of 4 or 5, discussing very arcane, deep, and interesting topics. I couldn’t quite hear and my head barely reached up to their shoulders. I felt like a juvenile trying to crash an adult party. I was standing on my tip-toes, looking into one of these groups, trying to hear, when an intelligent-looking large fellow in a light grey suit turned to look at me. He regarded me with a benign expression of friendly sympathy and said, “You know you are too tired to be here.” With a wave of his hand, he threw a lightning bolt at my feet. There was a flash of light, an explosion under me, and I was falling into a black void at whose depth I settled slowly, finding myself seated cross-legged on the beach with the pipe in my hands. I was clear. I was completely unintoxicated, as though I had not smoked any DMT. I understood one of the many lessons that these guardians were to teach me over the years about the proper and most enlightened way to use the sacrament. Who are these creatures? Where do they come from? I don’t know, but I have my ideas.


~ Nick Sand, Moving into the Sacred World of DMT


Nick Sand on National GeographicNick was arrested in the early 1970’s for his LSD manufacturing and after posting a bail of $50,000 in 1976 skipped the country and went underground. A man on a sacred mission, he resurfaced in 1996 in Canada when finger-prints revealed his true identity after he was one of seven people arrested for operating what the RCMP says Sand was one of the largest LSD labs in North American history, a facility near Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, that produced enough acid to dose every man, woman and child in Canada 1.5 times.


Equally remarkable is the fact that while in jail, Nick Sand still found a way to smoke DMT … in this remarkable account he recounts the effect DMT had on a hardened cell-mate. The obvious sacred truth in Nick’s writings here clearly reveal the great injustice our society has accorded to many of our great alchemists like Nick Sand.


One time many years ago in the penitentiary on McNeil  Island we had managed to get a group of psychedelic prisoners living all together in one of the 8-man cells. Every Saturday night we would sit together in a circle around a little makeshift shrine, and take LSD, as well as smoke DMT. One of our cellmates, whom we could not dislodge from the cell, was an exception. He was a Mafia hitman. Sick as he was, he eventually gave it a try. The night he smoked DMT he came out of it with a look of astonishment and awe, and he said, “That’s the first time I’ve gone to church in 30 years.” Even this stone-cold killer could recognize the sacred. DMT creates a well-spring into a type of infinite space. You can feel and taste it, as it moves through your whole being like a cool refreshing breeze on a hot sticky day. Like a mother’s soothing touch on your fevered brow, but much deeper and more profound. You can feel the wind of the Divine blowing through your soul. Not every time—it is a trial and error process of finding the best moment, the best preparation, a moment when you are already in a great space. Then you can catapult into the vastness of Godliness, and this is the highest fulfillment in life.


~ Nick Sand, Moving into the Sacred World of DMT


Released from prison in 2000, Nick was released from parole in 2007 and has had all travel restrictions lifted from him. Since this time he has been sighted around Entheon Village at Burning Man, at the MAPS conference, and other places where minds curious to hear about the sacred possibilities inherent in the use of psychedelics. In the following essential extract, Nick offers us his full wisdom about DMT; including the 3 possible stages of DMT smoking he has known. If there is ever a definitive Bible written about DMT, then let us hope it is by Nick Sands, Dimethyltryptamine’s true High Priest:


Here is what I have found: DMT can be used to find answers. You can enter into the trip with a strong desire to find an answer to something that is bothering you, something you need to know, either in your practical life or to find a direction or vision to carry you forward on your spiritual quest. You can draw answers from the Akashic record in this DMT space. However, there are some problems and difficulties that have to be overcome. Let us consider some of these. The contradictory programming and natural impulses that course through us are not just ideas. We are a unity, and the body, the heart, and the mind are all together on the most basic level. If there are any contradictions in you, it will manifest physically, emotionally, and mentally. You will be a little sick from this. Most disease is psychosomatic. This means that faulty  programming manifests itself in sickness. This can happen by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or by eating incorrectly, or being unmotivated to properly exercise and care for your body. This can cause an effect on your immune system (which normally protects you from invasion of foreign organisms).


DMT is a healer. It is a curing drug. DMT purifies your systems by quickly eliminating the toxins that have built up from unconscious living. If your gut is filled with junk food, you may spend your trip vomiting. DMT will clean you out. If you are coming down from too much smoking, drinking, eating, drugs, etc., you may have to go through some unpleasantness, as DMT cleans your house with awesome efficiency. Even having mental conflicts and worries will produce tox-ins that need to be cleaned out. This can take some time, and since DMT is of fairly short duration, you may be down by the time this is over. So DMT can be used for curing and it can be used for getting answers. If you want the big answers, then you do not want to waste your DMT trips on junk food habits or whatever negative conditioning you want to escape from. I have found that pretreatment with LSD and subsequent ingestion of DMT works very well in this regard and produces an impressive synergistic effect. For example, 200 ug of LSD followed by 60 mg DMT HCl or 80 mg DMT fumarate IM in the tenth hour works very well. Or simply
smoke the DMT base until you disappear. No Cannabis.


All of the psychedelics are curing and purifying agents. What happens with this combination is that by the time you reach the tenth hour of an LSD trip, most of the pushing through the envelope and inner cleansing has happened. LSD is not as acutely dramatic as DMT is. It lasts so long though, that the inner cleansing can happen. When this stage is reached, then you can approach the DMT experience more efficiently and access deeper levels of understanding and realization without wasting valuable DMT clock time on gross clean- outs. IM injection need not be the only route; smoking the DMT can work quite well also. Three or four good tokes will usually do the trick. If you do it in the eighth or tenth hour of your acid trip, you can move right into the DMT levels as I have experienced them. My experience has shown me three distinct levels. The first level is the region of incredible de- sign. Multi-colored grids flexing and slowly twisting, carnivals of colorful patterns, and little people peering through fences; hieroglyphs of arcane and hauntingly familiar aspects, but not quite decipherable. Floating spheres of lambent iridescence descending through diaphanous veils of woven infinity and passing away leaving a poignant feeling of missing, of not quite understanding, and aching to find the meaning behind it all. Although something is definitely indicating a deeper level, this region is incredibly beautiful and worth the trip just for this.


"Parabolic Vehicle of Conception" by Adam Scott MillerFor a variety of reasons, probably youth, psychological readiness, and spiritual naïveté, I stayed on the level described above for hundreds of trips. Part of it was probably that there was no one who could teach me how to use this sacrament or had any idea how deep you could go with it. I had to blaze my own trails through my jungles of ignorance, conflict, and confusion. There was much I was not ready to accept, especially about myself. So I had to let DMT seduce me along the path of the vision quest, through beauty and mystery, until my rigid psychological structures and boundaries had relaxed enough and I had gathered enough courage to look beyond the veils of these incredible designs. At some point I had gotten sated with all of these beautiful patterns and designs, and I understood that there was a much deeper level of knowledge that I could access. I had also gathered my courage and was ready to look at myself in a deeper way and see how I was the only obstacle in my path. I became aware that self-realization meant going deeper, and all I had to do was give up this exquisite layer of beauty. I began to realize that these beautiful patterns and designs were disguises that protected my limited mind from seeing a deeper reality that would be disturbing until I had reached a stage of readiness. Of course, this understanding cued the arrival of that stage of readiness. I began to realize that all the designs were symbols of psychological states that were in this form because I didn’t want to see that truth about myself yet. Inside I said, “Let all these pretty baubles be gone, and let me see beyond,” and immediately the beyond opened as the pretty designs disappeared. Suddenly, I was walking up a steep road carved into the side of a sheer, jagged wall of grey rock. On my right was the mountain, on my left a cliff that dropped straight down into a huge canyon whose other side was a range of these jagged mountains. I was hiking up this steep mountain to a higher place of knowledge. I had penetrated the veil of superficial distractions of the lower mind, and I was approaching the region of the higher mind—a land of magic and realization. As I trudged along this road I saw a gate—a huge ornate rusty portcullis beside which stood a small but very nasty looking beast with piercing red eyes, no neck, large fangs, and an obviously very bad temper. This demon or demigod was without doubt the guardian to the gate of higher knowledge. Humbly, I begged permission, “May I please pass?” The guardian choked and snarled, then fixing me with a penetrating stare, nodded unpleasantly while he hauled laboriously on a chain that slowly lifted the gate. As I passed through, everything faded away and I was back sitting with the pipe in my hand. I was totally disappointed that I had gotten through the gate but had not made it to the magic land just beyond.


In my ignorance I did not realize that I had passed from level one to level two, and the gatekeeper was my initiation. This was the first of many encounters with various teachers who were all symbolic representations of an immanent state of realization of a higher order of understanding and interpretation.


Another time, I smoked and found myself in a beautiful wood-panelled and crystal-windowed room with easy chairs and couches all around. Next to me was an incredibly beautiful white-haired old woman crocheting doilies. The designs on the doilies were all symbols of the world’s religions. I looked at her and said (without speaking), “Where is this place? What are we doing here?” It seemed like a very beautiful waiting room. She peered at me over her spectacles with her piercing blue eyes, and smiled at me kindly, patiently, while she indicated with a flicker. Suddenly it dawned on me—I was in God’s waiting room! All I had to do was wait to be called, and I could step through the door. The beings and creatures I’ve seen have been curious and various, but they have never looked like anyone I’ve ever seen, nor any mythical creature from history. Nor did I ever feel that these creatures were extra-terrestrial. Although they were totally original and amazing, never did I feel that they were strangers. I recognized them immediately. They had a bizarre but faintly and curiously familiar feeling to them. I think that this is significant, in that the lesson is one of personal responsibility. These are our creatures created by the infinitely capable creative force to teach us about ourselves. They are mirrors that help us to do the difficult job of looking at ourselves, and remembering who we are. In the overworld and underworld of shamanic journeying to the beat of the shaman’s horse—the drum—we also experience passageways, guardians, and guides. The denizens of these netherworlds, although symbolic, do not resemble those of the DMT worlds—they differ. This mind we wear has
infinite creative abilities.


Getting back to the ascent from level one DMT experiences to level two for a moment, I remember coming down from that trip thinking, "Boy, that was really a bit disappointing. Here I’ve found the gate, and been grudgingly passed through by some terrifyingly ferocious curmudgeon who I had best pass by humbly with folded hands because I inherently knew he could slap me down with a flick of a finger, and then I am on this same road and everything fades. DMT is too short— that’s the problem with it." And so on, my mind went. That’s the way the mind is; it is always thinking more is better. So why didn’t I arrive at the promised land, and have all of my questions answered? The point I was missing was that I had gone through that gate. I had moved from a series of colorful hallucinations to a completely different place—going up to a higher place—and I had found the gate. And by an act of sincere humility, I had been permitted to go past this gate to a new level of consciousness, to which I had not had access before. This was a great thing, but the mind is such that it is always rushing hither and yonder, looking for a new distraction out there, that it misses the simple profundity that comes from looking inwards.  I had passed the gate!Not only had I passed through the gate, I had found the gate in the first place! Such simplicity. The road was the same rocky road through a dangerous mountain, defiled on either side of the gate, so what was so great? This precious entry into a place so fascinating was the entry into the inner world of spiritual messengers, the land of teachers. And I had figured out how to get there, all by myself. At the time I didn’t realize that. I just thought, “Here I am on that same rough piece of road.” It was the same road, but my attitude and intention had almost totally undergone some subtle and unconscious change (underneath that trite chattering mind that never shuts the fuck up), and on that road I had my first touch of the whisper of creation that underlies all things. This is to me the point about DMT. It can be a doorway to the Divine. Used with the intention of contacting our inner creativity, we meet our higher selves. The higher the intention, the more devout the sincere supplication will be. While crying for a vision, the higher will be that aspect of self we meet. Properly prepared, we enter into a fluid multi-dimensional field of interpenetrating realities, which are all things to all people.


Nick Sand Audio ClipOn this path, when we are ready, we meet the Gods that live deep within all of us. In that meeting we experience intense recognition of the oneness of all things. We receive true and simple instructions. We experience such poignant realizations that we are swept away by the exquisite beauty and truth of this inner knowing, which is utterly undeniable. Dimethyltryptamine is unique and extremely powerful. If I were asked what its most important attribute was, I would have to say that it is the doorway to the intensely personal temple of our own sacredness. It opens the doorway to the vastness of the soul; this is at once our own personal soul, and its intrinsic connection to the universal soul. When the underlying unity of this fictional duality is seen and felt, one experiences a completeness and interconnection with all things. This experience, when we attain it, is extremely beautiful and good. It is a song that rings and reverberates through the lens of God. Now we know why we were born; to have this intense experience of the sacred, the joyous, the beauty, and the blessing of just being alive in the arms of God.


So there it is. And it is there. The mystery. Beyond the known, beyond logic, there is the experience. Each one is a unique journey. There are way-markers, however, and signposts at every turn. And if we are but intelligent enough, we under- stand that the language of mystery is written on water. Fleetingly, we glimpse the ordinary, and in that momentary flash—if we are quick enough—we see the doorway. When we see it, we must knock. Remember though, that there are no guarantees for the explorer; only the frontiers of consciousness and the blazing of new trails.


~ Nick Sand, (∞Ayes) "A wee bit more about DMT"
The Entheogen Review Vol. X; No. 2.



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Dr. Timothy Leary


During the first two years of the Harvard Psychedelic Research Project rumors circulated about a powerful psychedelic agent called dimethyltryptamine: DMT. The effect of this substance was supposed to last for less than an hour and to produce shattering, terrorizing effects. It was alleged to be the nuclear bomb of the psychedelic family.

~ Dr. Timothy Leary
Psychedelic Review, Issue 8, 1966.


TImothy LearyThe legendary and ever-polarizing figure of Dr. Timothy Francis Leary (1920-1996) is probably the only member of this pantheon who needs no introduction; Dr Leary and his achievements were the Face of the Psychedelic Movement to the entire world through its embryonic and most controversial years, as his slogan - that we all just ‘Turn On; Tune In; And Drop Out’ – became the mantra of the so called Flower Power revolution. Indeed, due to the high-profile role that he played in popularizing psychedelics, to many Timothy Leary WAS the psychedelic revolution; and much of that Revolution’s successes and failures, both unfairly and justifiably, have since been attributed to him as his generation’s anointed High Priest.


While most known for popularizing the formerly little known compound LSD-25, Leary also played an important role in introducing DMT into the psychedelic pantheon, when in 1962 his natural curiosity overcame a warning he had received from William S. Burroughs the year before about the dangers of DMT, and Leary and his wife were had their first DMT experiences (IM injection) with an experienced psychiatrist friend.



Dr. Timothy Leary Audio ClipMy experience with DMT occurred in the most favorable setting. We had just witnessed the ecstatic experience of my colleague and the radiance of his reaction provided a secure and optimistic background. My expectations were extremely positive.


Five minutes after i.m. injection, lying comfortably on the bed, I felt typical psychedelic onset symptoms--a pleasant somatic looseness, a sensitive tuning-in to physical sensations.


Eyes closed...typical LSD visions, the exquisite beauty of retinal and physical machinery, transcendence of mental activity, serene detachment. Comforting awareness of Margaret's hand and the presence of friends.


Suddenly I opened my eyes and sat up... the room was celestial, glowing with radiant illumination... light, light, light... the people present were transfigured... godlike creatures... we were all united as one organism. Beneath the radiant surface I could see the delicate, wondrous body machinery of each person, the network of muscle and vein and bone--exquisitely beautiful and all joined, all part of the same process.


Our group was sharing a paradisical experience--each one in turn was to be given the key to eternity--now it was my turn, I was experiencing this ecstasy for the group. Later the others would voyage. We were members of a transcendent collectivity.


Dr. X coached me tenderly... handed me a mirror where I saw my face, a stained-glass portrait. Margaret's face was that of all women--wise, beautiful, eternal. Her eyes were all female eyes. She murmured exactly the right message. "It can always be this way."


The incredible complex-unity of the evolutionary process--staggering, endless in its variety--why? Where is it going? etc., etc. The old questions and then the laughter of amused, ecstatic acceptance. Too much! Too great! Never mind! It can't be figured out. Love it in gratitude and accept! I would lean forward to search for meaning in Margaret's china-flecked face and fall back on the pillow in reverent, awed laughter.


Gradually, the brilliant illumination faded back to the three-d world and I sat up. Reborn. Renewed. Radiant with affection and reverence.


This experience took me to the highest point of LSD illumination--a jewel-like satori. It was less internal and more visual and social than my usual LSD experiences. There was never a second of fear or negative emotion. Some moments of benign paranoia--agent of the divine group, etc.


I am left with the conviction that DMT offers great promise as a transcendental trigger. The brevity of the reaction has many advantages--it provides a security in the knowledge that it will be over in a half hour and should make possible precise exploration of specific transcendental areas.

~ Dr. Timothy Leary


After Leary realized that (when used correctly) DMT wasn’t the ‘terror drug’ that William S. Burroughs had warned it to be, then he swiftly included it as a compound of interest at his new tenure in Harvard University. In the introduction to The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead published in 1964, Leary/Metzner/Alpert write:


A psychedelic experience is a journey to new realms of consciousness. The scope and content of the experience is limitless, but its characteristic features are the transcendence of verbal concepts, of space-time dimensions, and of the ego or identity. Such experiences of enlarged consciousness can occur in a variety of ways: sensory deprivation, yoga exercises, disciplined meditation, religious or aesthetic ecstasies, or spontaneously. Most recently they have become available to anyone through the ingestion of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, DMT, etc.


~ Leary/Metzner/Alpert
The Psychedelic Experience: A Manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead


Thus revealed, these 4 compounds would now be recognized as the Holy Cross of psychedelic experimentation in the rapidly-brewing Consciousness Revolution, a situation that would not change until the wide-spread introduction of the 2-C family of compounds (invented by Alexander Shulgin) some 30+ years later. (MDMA should be considered an empatheogen, not a psychedelic.)


Timothy Leary at MillbrookDMT was subsequently used as a sacrament at Millbrook; the headquarters of Timothy Leary’s League of Spiritual Discovery, after Leary and Harvard went their separate ways. However it was never embraced with the same fervor that LSD was, and considering the great interest that DMT now holds with the current psychedelic generation some 40 years later, it is interesting to speculate why that was then, and why things have changed now. A number of factors would seem to have been involved.


  1. In 1965; LSD was easier to manufacture, transport, sell, and imbibe. It is a true miracle drug in the sense it was able to reach out and touch so many people so quickly, and Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and others, saw the potential in this radical new transformative “technology”. Meanwhile (in 1965) DMT was extremely rare and still being injected IM. DMT could never have touched so many people in such a short time by being the opposite in terms of its synthesis (difficult), product (smelly and obvious), and methodology (notoriously tricky!), and comparatively few people (even in the sixties) have had the opportunity to try it.  In 2010 however; LSD is just coming out of its worst ‘drought’ since the 1960’s after two very influential (different) busts in 1996 and 2000 that the DEA claim shut down 95% of the world’s acid! While DMT, after having virtually disappeared for numerous years has made a comparative resurgence due to the fact that DMT is no longer generally synthesized, but rather extracted from common plant analogues, and that information is easily available via the Internet.

  2. For somewhat obvious reasons the tremendous length of the LSD experience (and the culture –music, festivals, etc - that went with glamorizing that experience) was more important to the Flower Power generation, then the very short-acting DMT experience. Though once again, comparatively few people would have tried DMT in the sixties, and those who did often characterized it as ‘the nuclear bomb of the psychedelic family”, cementing its overall reputation as being powerfully sacred, but generally unobtainable.

  3. In the 60’s; when LSD first came into circulation, people generally took larger dosages than today – one ‘street-hit’ of LSD in 1967 was generally around 250mg, while today it is 80-100mg. So two hits in 1967 = 5 hits in 2007 … you get the picture. But people were also reading Leary’s books and taking the idea of enhancing their spirituality with a ritualized kind of LSD use seriously and thus the higher dosages provided a more spiritual effect. In 2010; Today’s chemists have realized that kids are more interested in dancing then talking to God, and the LSD dosages have long since been adjusted accordingly, since too many people cant handle the physical turmoil of a high-dosage LSD trip in today’s repressive Society. But there is that same intense yearning inside of many people today to liberate their denied spirituality; DMT has a rare ability to transport a person to the most undeniably sacred of realms, and when a entheogen can transport your consciousness to the transpersonal zone, then it doesn’t really matter how long you are there.


The importance of Leary including DMT amongst the sacraments of the League of Spiritual Discovery also had unforeseen consequences; it was Leary who would persuade Nick Sand, a trip-sitter at Millbrook, that he should learn how to become an LSD chemist when Leary learned that LSD would soon be made illegal. Nick Sand went on to create Orange Sunshine LSD and become the most important underground chemist in the world, though is role remained unknown for many years. Nick Sand is also perhaps the original Disciple of DMT after becoming introduced to it at Millbrook; as well as learning the difficult process of how to synthesize it, Nick was also the first person who realized that freebase DMT could be smoked instead of injected, a discovery which undoubtedly helped its spread and popularity.


(*DMT is also mentioned in Tom Wolfe’s account of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters famous visit to Millbrook in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; it is a turbulent DMT trip at Millbrook taken by Sandy Lehmann-Haupt that is the beginning of his dissatisfaction and eventual departure from The Merry Pranksters.)


Timothy Leary’s last psychedelic experience would be on DMT, an account of which is included below, and contains a rather bizarre appearance by William S. Burroughs in heaven. Considering the little-known fact that Burroughs warned Leary of the dangers of DMT in 1961 after being one of its earliest explorers, one can only marvel at the bizarre sense of humor that the DMT zone seems to possess!


Tim Leary’s last DMT trip.

His surge lasted two months. From mid- March till mid-May he was lucid, playful, wise. He was dying with grace, humor, dignity, and not without, I must add, some real human terror and fear. Dying with dignity doesn't mean fear and terror are absent. It means you embrace the terror as you do the joy of life's greatest mystery.

The house was open to anyone who wanted to visit. They came at all hours of the day and night. "Seven million people I turned on," he said, "and only one hundred thousand have come by to thank me."

Many of these well-wishers brought drugs with them and Tim was an indiscriminate user. Toward the end of May, after a few days of ketamine and some narcotic drugs, he began drinking alcohol more heavily and he began to show signs of kidney and liver failure. The hospice nurse said death was imminent. I came down to see him one last time and found him confused and incoherent most of the time; he was frustrated he couldn't recognize even old friends. He hadn't slept for two days, as if he were afraid to go lie down. He was falling asleep standing up. "Tim, go to bed," I told him. "Why, why should I?" he protested. "Because you're falling asleep standing up." "I'm okay, I know what I'm doing," he said with a wink, "it's kind of interesting really, you should try it sometime." He talked to himself, "I did a good job," he said again and again, "I did a good job." Finally his friend, the angelic Camella, snuggled him off to sleep. I spent that night outside his door. The next morning when I heard him stir I went in to help. When he saw me the first thing he said, trying to be chipper, was "Great to see you. Now, how are we going to make people smarter and happier today?" But a couple hours later his energy was low and he asked for some cocaine. Someone offered him DMT instead. This was to be his last psychedelic experience. It was approximately 50 milligrams again, smoked in a glass pipe. A man and a woman, both old friends, held his hands as he laid back in his bed. A look of sublime peace came over him and again he said softly, "Beautiful." Then he looked just a bit worried, maybe puzzled. Then he came back, more dazed than the last time. "What happened?" they asked him. "I went to heaven," he said with a smile, "and saw William Burroughs there."


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William S. Burroughs


William Burroughs had tried it in London and reported it in the most negative terms. (See letter) Burroughs was working at that time on a theory of neurological geography--certain cortical areas were heavenly, other areas were diabolical. Like explorers moving into a new continent, it was important to map out the friendly areas and the hostile. In Burroughs' pharmacological cartography, DMT propelled the voyager into strange and decidedly unfriendly territory.


Burroughs told a gripping tale about a psychiatrist in London who had taken DMT with a friend. After a few minutes the frightened friend began requesting help. The psychiatrist, himself being spun through a universe of shuttling, vibratory pigments, reached for his hypodermic needle (which had been fragmented into a shimmering assemblage of wave mosaics) and bent over to administer an antidote. Much to his dismay his friend, twisting in panic, was suddenly transformed into a writhing, wiggling reptile, jewel-encrusted and sparkling. The doctor's dilemma: where to make an intravenous injection in a squirming, oriental-martian snake?


~ Dr. Timothy Leary
Psychedelic Review, Issue 8, 1966.


William S. BurroughsIn 1957, William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) travelled to Colombia and became was one of the first Westerner’s (other than an anthropologist or plant explorer) to try ayahuasca (or yagé as it was then commonly known). His subsequent book on these apparently often terrifying experience, The Yagé Letters  (W. S. Burroughs and A. Ginsberg, 1963), was one of the first books published on plant-entheogens.


Whilst living in London, England, at the beginning of the 1960’s, after reading about Stephen Szara’s experiments, Burroughs (and his group of psychiatrist friends) obtained a supply of pure DMT, and proceeded to experiment with the drug by IM (intra-muscular) injections. Burroughs believed that he nearly over-dosed on a 100mg injection, and wrote the following letter to Timothy Leary, warning him of ‘the terror drug’ – a reputation that would stick with DMT until Dr. Leary himself became a convert to the drug.




May 6, 1961
Cargo U.S. Consulate
Tangier, Morocco


Dear Dr. Leary,

I would like to sound a word of urgent warning with regard to the hallucinogen drugs with special reference to N-Dimethyltryptamine.

I had obtained a supply of this drug synthesized by a chemist friend in London.

My first impression was that it closely resembled psilocybin in its effects.

I had taken it perhaps ten times - (this drug must be injected and the dose is about one grain but I had been assured there was a wide margin of safety) - with results sometimes unpleasant but well under control and always interesting when the horrible experience occurred which I have recorded and submitted for publication in Encounter.

I am sending along to you pertinent sections of this manuscript and I think you will readily see the danger involved.

I do not know if you are familiar with apomorphine which is the only drug that acts as a metabolic regulator.

I think if I had not had this drug on hand, the result could have been lethal and this was not more than a grain and a half of N-Dimethyltryptamine.

While I have described the experience in allegorical terms it was completely and horribly real and involved unendurable pain.

A metabolic accident?

But I have wide experience with drugs and excellent constitution and I am not subject to allergic reactions. So I can only urge you to proceed with caution and to familiarize yourself with apomorphine. Dr. John Dent of London has written a book on the apomorphine treatment for alcoholics and drug addicts - (it is the only treatment that works but the U.S. Health Dept. will not use it).


His book is callen Anxiety and its treatment. I can ask him to send you a copy if you are interested.


Let me hear from you... William Burroughs


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Alex Grey


© Alex GreyThe leading representative of the current ‘Visionary Art Movement’ and rapidly becoming the most recognized American artist since Andy Warhol, Alex Grey states that his paintings are very much representations of the visions he sees whilst on entheogens; he likens his work to the 19th Century landscape painters who ventured out into ‘wilderness never before seen’ and who returned with a painted record of what they had witnessed. The influence of DMT on Alex’s work is well known – his painting ‘The Vision Crystal’ is an increasingly famous representation of the DMT molecule, while his painting ‘Dying’ was used as the cover of Rick Strassman’s book ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’.


In July of 2010 I interviewed Alex Grey about his first DMT experience, intending to transcribe it for this site. However a month later I came upon the following description (by Alex) of his first DMT trip as part of a piece he had contributed to Ervin Laszlo's freshly published The Akashic Experience titled Connecting with Universal Mind in the Creative Process. Because this excerpt views Alex's first DMT trip in a broader context then simply that experience itself, I have decided to use it instead.


Alex Grey's "Transfiguration"In an effort to illuminate many stages of the creative process, I’d like to share something of the story behind my painting Transfiguration. I have always been mystified by the body-mind-spirit relationship and the difficulty of making these multiple dimensions of reality visible in a work of art, but not until my LSD experiences did I want to make mystical consciousness itself the subject of my art.

It took me ten years of creating art and obsessively reflecting on this subject to reach the understanding that this was one of my primary artistic problems, an important part of my vision. I prepared a slide show and lectured on the subject ‘Transfiguration,” showing artistic representations of transcendental light or energy in relation to the body. At that point I didn’t know that I’d be doing a painting by that name. There is an incubation stage in the creative process where the vast womb of the unconscious takes over, gestating the problem. The embryonic artwork grows effortlessly at its own pace. For the Transfiguration painting, this phase lasted about half a year. Then early one morning I woke from a dream. In the dream I had been painting apiece called Transfiguration. The painting had been a simple composition, two opposing spherical curves connected to a figure. Floating above the Earth sphere, a human figure, fleshy at the feet, became gradually more translucent. At about groin level it “popped” into a bright hallucinogenic crystal sphere.

Rare Inteview with Alex Grey on DMT by Roger EssigThe dream revealed a unique solution to me to my simmering aesthetic problem of how to portray the transfigured subject. But this illuminating or inspiration phase, my “Aha”!” moment provided by the dream, was extended or underscored later that week when I smoked DMT for the first time. As I inhaled the immediately active and extremely potent psychedelic, I got to experience the transfigured subject of my painting first hand. In my vision, my feet were the foundation of the material world. As I inhaled, the material density of my body seemed to dissolve and I “popped” into the bright world of living geometry and infinite spirit. I noticed strange jewel-like chakra centers within my glowing wire-frame spirit body and spectral colors that were absent from my dream painting. I was in my future painting and was being given an experience of the state in order to better create it.


~ Alex Grey, Connecting with the Universal Mind in the Creative Process,
from Ervin Laszlo's The Akashic Experience: Science and the Cosmic Memory Field. (2010).


Alex and Allyson Grey

Alex and his wife Allyson’s high public profile as artists allows them to speak and educate about entheogens all over the world with a presentation titled. “Better Religion through Art and Science” that explains their shared vision of a ‘Chapel of Sacred Mirrors’ (to be built at the COSM site in upstate New York) that is a startling affirmation to the power of mystical vision.


Alex and Allyson Grey have embarked on an ambitious potentially life-long plan to build a Sacred Chapel for their work in upstate New York – The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors. This may not only be the most significant piece of (permanent) ‘Visionary Architecture’ since the construction of Antoni Gaudí I Cornet’s, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain, but one of the most important on-going ventures designed to represent and nurture the emerging conversation about entheogens in our currently prohibitionist society.


The original Chapel of Sacred Mirrors in New York CityThe significance of this bold venture for both the Visionary Art Movement, and for entheogenic culture at large, cannot be under estimated. For while each of Alex (and/or) Allyson’s paintings are capable of expressing some corner of the DMT universe, it is only when they are all seen together as a singular body of work that they really begin to encompass the full wonder of entheogenic discovery. One day, when they are housed in a sacred and inspired edifice conceived for exactly this purpose, this trailblazing body-of-work will be able to represent the awesome and ultimately undeniable sacred power and beauty of the entheogenic experience.


About Chapel of Sacred Mirrors


The Mission of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, is to build an enduring sanctuary of visionary art to inspire every piligrim's creative path and embody the values of love and perennial wisdom. The Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, is a 501(c)(3) organization, supported solely by charitable donations from the community. CoSM provides a public exhibition of the Sacred Mirrors and the most outstanding works of mystical art by Alex Grey.


For five years the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, was open in New York City for contemplation and as a center for events encouraging the creative spirit. Hosting hundreds of spiritual and cultural events over the years, CoSM closed it's doors in New York City on January 1, 2009. The Sacred Mirrors, which were on display in the Chapel, are a series of paintings that allow us to see ourselves and each other as reflections of the divine.


Chapel of Sacred MirrorsThe Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, recently acquired a 40 acre interfaith retreat center as a permanent home. Here creative people will join together to build an oasis for spiritual and cultural renewal.

Sixty-five miles north of New York City and just a 20-minute walk from the MetroNorth train stop at New Hamburg, in the town of Wappinger, CoSM will reopen a magnificent new Chapel exhibition environment for the artwork that has become a context for a growing community. The exhibition of Alex Grey's Sacred Mirrors collection will not be open until the spring of 2010, after massive renovations of the existing brick exhibition hall.



Chapel of Sacred Mirrors


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Joe Rogan


Joe Rogan talks about DMTThe American comedian and actor, who regularly uses his marijuana, magic mushroom, and DMT use, as material in his comedy routines, has become an unlikely spokesperson for the wonders of DMT thanks to a hilarious radio interview he did that has been widely distributed on the Internet. Rogan discusses his own DMT and 5-MeO-DMT use, and makes mention of Dr. Rick Strassman’s book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, where he (somewhat unfortunately) passes various of Strassman’s hypotheses – such as that the Pineal Gland is the source of production in the body - as if they are facts. Thus this interview with Rogan, while highly entertaining, has also been one the main sources of misrepresenting the known facts about DMT.


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James Oroc


While my book Tryptamine Palace is primarily concerned 5-MeO-DMT, there is also considerable information about the more common DMT. And although I cannot say that the majority of my personal DMT experiences have been as remarkable as my 5-MeO-DMT experiences, I have included this experience smoking DMT in Panama due to the rather remarkable after-effect of that experience.


I decided that I would try some of the conventional DMT and loaded up my pipe with a Shulgin-recommended dosage which I realized was quite a lot larger than what I had tried before. You need quite a lot of N.N-DMT to achieve a release, three good tokes seems to be the consensus, but you only need a tiny amount of 5-MeO-DMT, which makes you very wary of indulging in too large of a dosage of any known tryptamine!


Sitting cross-legged I started to take a number of steady hits on the pipe, and in the distance I heard a mechanical humming noise that at first I took to be a distant generator, until the noise built up steadily as I hit on the pipe and stared out into the darkness. In an instant, the veil is lifted, and I saw the tryptamine world glowing as colorful as a cartoon on television, and suddenly all my eyes could see were snakes, large fluorescent primitive looking snakes covered in dots, the whole scene reminding me of an Australian Aboriginal song-line painting. ‘Damn these snakes’ I thought annoyingly, since Doug had just told me that day about Jeremy Narby’s book ‘The Cosmic Serpent’ and how ayahuasca shamans commonly saw snakes, and I wished he hadn’t told me that, since I now had to wonder if some kind of auto-suggestion was at play.


This field of snakes now completely occupied my vision in the dark, I could not see the jungle behind it, but I was still aware that I was sitting on the balcony, and that I was myself, even though I would have been incapable of taking another hit on the pipe at this point.  Suddenly, the hundreds of snakes in my vision wriggled this way and that and unbelievably congealed into a very clear representation of the elephant-headed Hindu god, Ganesh.


Ganesh     ’Ganesh!’ I remember saying/thinking in surprise. ’What are you doing here! The image seemed so out of place, and then suddenly the fragile DMT trance shattered, almost as if my surprise dashed it to pieces, and I found myself base-line and back on the balcony after what was apparently a very short experience of two or three minutes at most.


… I awoke the next morning feeling better than I probably ever have before, and after witnessing a sunrise that nearly bought me to tears with its sublime beauty, I began to realize that everything was glowing with an inner light and beauty and that I was in a virtually euphoric state. Feeling unbelievably alive and in balance, I climbed down out of my roof top perch where I had been sleeping, went down to the main house for some breakfast, and then decided to walk the three miles in to the small Jungle Research station where I was taking a course.

On the walk that morning I felt as if I was walking six feet in the air, and everything continued to glow with this same inner light. I could only describe my mood as euphoric, and this same unbelievable state of being lasted more than three days during which I shared dormitory accommodations with a bunch of mostly American college students 15 years younger than myself, and ate the same food each day from the single restaurant, two conditions which would usually definitely dampen my mood, and yet I was as happy as I could possibly be.
An indescribable form of contentment, of wonder, and I went to sleep each night wondering if the miracle could continue through to the next day, because the rational observer inside of myself could see that something remarkable was going on, it was as if I was eating a steady diet of that good MDMA we used to get from Texas in the eighties, the total euphoric feeling, but without any of the excess energy, sweating, and madness, that came from that love-drug, simply a tremendous inner happiness. Somehow, smoking the N,N-DMT and bumping into a snake-infested Ganesh had triggered some kind of deep-seated inner contentment within me that bordered on the Sublime.
I remembered that back in the early eighties when I had been at University in my homeland studying Phenomenology of Religion, I had written a paper on the subject of whether or not it was possible to obtain nirvana while you were alive. And in which I had stated that the Buddhist faith asserted that it was possible, and that in Gautama’s time, according to the Buddhist texts, several hundred people had obtained enlightenment while they were alive by realizing nirvana through his teachings. It was one of the few papers that I ever received an A for (my tertiary career was brief) and I remembered being deeply impressed by this idea that enlightenment/nirvana was obtainable in this lifetime and that it was something that we could strive for. The whole concept seemed so positive compared to Christianity’s ‘you must accept Me and die pure to enter the Kingdom of Heaven’ doom and gloom. And now, after dismissing my N,N-DMT encounter with fluorescent anaconda’s and Ganesh as ‘a minor effect’, I had somehow stumbled into experiencing living in this state of sublime grace where everything in the world was full of wonder and I could not feel a hint of malice towards anyone, a state of total euphoria and contentment, a living state, dare I say it, of nirvana.

Tryptamine Palace by James OrocI did not believe that it could last, I almost felt as if I had to hold my breath to stop the bubble from bursting, maybe that was my mistake, not believing that it could be possible. Just as Nathan’s eyes had shone with the wonder and asked me if it could stay that way forever, and I had told him that it couldn’t and that he should hold on to it while he could. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I shouldn’t have told him that, maybe with enough believing you really can hold on. Unfortunately for me, it had to end, and so it did after three incredible days, when the whole school/research station arose at dawn and we made our way by boat and then bus into the interior to visit the cloud forests in the mountains, and I felt that fragile state slowly begin to evaporate away, the change in scenery apparently enough to cancel the effect. Over the next 24 hours I returned to my normal self, a little bit sad to be losing that state of grace, but glad that I had been fortunate enough to experience it, and know that such ways of living are real and possible. 

The second post-script to this singularly remarkable N,N-DMT experience happened some nine months later when my time in India and a heavy diet of Tibetan philosophy reawakened an interest in Buddhism, and then Hinduism. Many of the most interesting ideas for me in Buddhism originated spontaneously in the Indus Valley thousands of years ago, and became the philosophical bed-rock for Hinduism after the invasion of the Aryans from the north, who brought with them their colorful pantheon of Vedic gods. These same ideas were then reinterpreted and enlarged in a different form in the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.


One of the spectacular facts about Hinduism, probably the most tolerant and resilient religion in history, is that there are an estimated 160,000 Hindu Gods that have been venerated throughout the ages (with more still being created everyday), and that out of that mass of possibility, a few (such as Krishna, Hanuman, Laksmi, etc.) have achieved the highest status in the pantheon, due to mass popularity. Of this mass of Gods I discovered that the elephant-headed Ganesh is one of the most loved and venerated of all the Gods by all Indians (even non-Hindus!), and that his popularity is in fact spreading worldwide (just look around a yoga-studio).


And amongst his many attributes - including being the Lord of writers and scribes - he is considered the Guardian of Gateways, or the Gatekeeper, and most homes in India have a picture of Ganesh above the doorway to prevent evil forces from entering the house. Since I believe that N,N-DMT is effectively a ‘door’ or ’gateway’ to another dimension, I am now no longer so surprised at bumping into Ganesha that night in Panama! Obviously that was not my night to step through that door.  


~ James Oroc, Tryptamine Palace, 2009.


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More DMT Experiences


KrystleyezConsidering the simple fact that DMT and 5-MeO-DMT are the only two known endogenous entheogens, and thus would appear to be crucial to understanding the relationship between our Humanity and the existence of the Sacred, there really has been very little written about these magical entheogens at all. Outside of major works of by Terence McKenna, Alexander and Ann Shulgin, and Rick Strassman, DMT is often only mentioned peripherally, while Tryptamine Palace  (James Oroc) was the first book to be written specifically about 5-MeO-DMT. The experiences that these compounds invoke are often so potent that the subject involved is reduced to the least number of words, or probably more often, total speechlessness. Collected here are a number of quotes, short sections, or anonymous trip-reports relating to DMT, and links to further vaults of DMT experiences.


It's like loading the Universe into a gun, and shooting it into your brain.

~ Alan Watts


LSD is like being sucked up a straw; DMT is like being shot out of a canon.

~ Grace Slick


In the '60s, I took DMT. DMT was a gaseous wax that you could smoke that gave you a 20-minute psychedelic high. You'd inhale it. And then when you'd exhale—poof, you'd be high. I saw Buddha, man. I know that sounds like no big deal. But I saw a gigantic holographic Buddha—correct in every way! Buddhas can be very intricate—these drawings that you see in books. Thousands of details were included in this Buddha. Where did they come from? I didn't make them up. I can't even draw, you know. I could barely spell cat, you know. And there it was. And I thought, Wow—the power of the mind, you know.


~ Iggy Pop


DMT? That’s God’s video game.

~ John Perry Barlow


This happened to me twenty seconds after I smoked DMT on a particular day in 1966. I was appalled. Until then I had thought that I had my ontological categories intact. I had taken LSD before, yet this thing came upon me like a bolt from the blue. I came down and said (and I said it many times), "I cannot believe this; this is impossible, this is completely impossible.


~ Terence McKenna
The Archaic Revival, 1991


I inhaled a single hit, and barely had time to lie back before it opened up like a sunburst in the middle of my forehead; a veritable third eye. The sunspot proceeded to reticulate into a complex of luminous circuitry or perhaps a mosaic of organic metal. Somehow I passed through it and found myself in a space that seemed two-dimensional, yet was all around me like a dome or sphere.

A kaleidoscopic array of shifting patterns scrolled across the sphere. Luminous blue balls circulated around it on a kind of track. Barely distinct from the background, but discernible by a difference in their motions, was a group of cartoonish or playing card-like figures, who were interacting with the balls. I had difficulty grasping the entire scene, as my attention was constantly being drawn to a point that was perfectly central, but I understood as "up. I felt I was being led. Whatever way my mind turned, it was corrected. A voice prompted me, "This is the way, this is the way."

When you eat mushrooms or LSD, it takes a while for the experience to build up to a peak. Often this entry period is the hardest part of the trip to handle; the ego desperately tries to maintain itself. If you can't let go, things can get bad. A brutal experience of death or diminution may occur, my childhood freak-out on Chocolate Mescaline being an example. With the DMT, the velocity of the trip was so fast that I was propelled through those levels before they could affect me. I realized that I was dead, and that I was in the place which is the aboriginal base of all existence.

The voice that guided me I attributed to God, although it was the typical psychedelic voice I have always known; my voice really, but attenuated, heightened, and in some sense torqued or spinning. I had time to doubt or interpret it; I found it completely convincing. As. it led me on, the motion became tighter, enfolded. I felt like a rope being tied into a knot of increasing density. The nature of things became clearer and clearer. I felt that all the difficulties of the world must certainly surrender to this understanding. Being dead was not a problem. I was happy to spend eternity in this state.

Then, to my complete surprise, it culminated abruptly. I was tied deeper and deeper into the knot, and then it was as if someone pulled on both ends of the rope and it straightened out, the knot disappearing like a magic trick. Poof! I was released into an empty space of soft grayness. There was no sense of a drug experience that plays out and fades away; it was as if a specific body of information was imparted, and that's all there was to it. I immediately sat up, as if some constraint lad been removed, and said, "Yes!" The experience was such that all I could do was agree with it. More than agree, I identified with It, not merely saying "yes," but being YES. I had felt a truth that I could not distinguish from my own being or from being as such.

Unfortunately, I could not exactly remember what that truth was; not in so many words. My friend seemed to have experienced something similar. "I just wish I could remember where I was just before the end," he said, and I knew what he meant. Materialists may laugh at us if the wish. It’s a cliché, the drug user who says, “I knew the secret of existence, but I forgot.’ After a subsequent trip, I came back saying that it's better to know and to forget than not to know at all; for what's forgotten has left a mark, and may yet be remembered, but ignorance is nothing to be proud of.


~ From Tripping; An anthology of true-life psychedelic adventures. (2000)
Edited by Charles Hayes


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Four Reports of DMT Journeys

From http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/index.htm#index


DMT Trip Report #1


DreamcatcherMy very first smoke was given to me by a friend. Having just discovered that I was interested in hallucinogens he was eager to introduce me to something that leaves acid and mushrooms for dead. My first smoke left me with no more than slight Celtic band-like images that could well have been imagination. An hour later when my MAOI had settled down, he handed me another pipe. Fearing nothing after the last hit I took a large toke, then another ..... MMM I grunted.

I began rapidly falling into this Kaleidescope of changing, morphing, intelligent, geometrically sharp colored shapes.

The sound of my breathing was being fractured and was making the shapes change. Very freaky. Five minutes of full shift. I only had one smoke from this batch. The next batch was very weak and despite my friend telling me about aliens (I imagined him to be talking about extra-terrestrials, hah, and was extremely skeptical) I never got more than light images, nothing like the first flight of beautiful horror.

Though I saw beings they were always dream-like and very much imagination-born, I felt. They moved in that quantized fashion but were certainly not overpowering in experience. Some of these light trips included a space-age looking being taking me down a river of geometry going past other beings in their street.


Quite pleasant. Also very faint impression of a short being with stethoscope-type instrument made of light which was placed on my forehead; very inquisitive little fellow but very faint, dreamlike.


DMT Trip Report #2


Having had many of these light trips, my courage assured by my thinking that oh well, maybe the first is the strongest then all else is light, another friend who has strongly chartered these areas came over to discuss it. He had some from another batch, golden brown in color and very crystalline. He loaded up a pipe for me, rather generously I suspect. I coughed my first toke before I could finish it. Trying to take another toke, I felt it coming on stronger than ever. I began to do what we affectionately call alien speak, that is, uncontrollable stoppage of the exhalation of breath mid-exhalation, so as to make a type of reverse hiccup.


This was my first very real alien encounter. The being was controlling the way I was breathing almost as some esoteric pranayama to lock me into a different form of consciousness (this is how it felt anyway). With each stoppage the geometric patterns which were very strong, bright and solid, were relaying information through my voice box, though my biological meat couldn't relay their meaning, so all one could hear was this strange gulping. The being, thin, multi-colored, with an unwavering grin, was moving its hands down my head controlling my breath. My fingers began curling into spontaneous mudras in conjunction with the grinning aliens.


It had a sort of Hindu feel about it but, like, the real stuff. Whatever gesture the being performed, I was helpless but to do exactly the same thing in perfect sync. Needless to say this was very freaky, with the alien also splitting its head in front of me (still grinning) with my own mind being warped left into right and right into left. I was quite gripped at this stage and my awareness felt as though it was being kneaded like dough, then the whole thing got even weirder. I found myself being driven into this small square room with very real walls made of continuously changing, sharp, perfect geometry. Everything was backlit like a fluorescent tube of pure cold light. So much movement.


I began to realize that there was a wheel about two feet in diameter to the left of me. It was like a swastika with its outer arms rounded to form a wheel with four extra spokes in between. It also had a depth of about eight inches but this kept changing as it spun one way then the other, its geometric patterns also changing like a cuttle fish. Though it did not look like a being, I could feel it had personal intent, it was conscious. In fact, its movements seemed intended to fill me with one-way non-verbal information. Scary.


I then noticed in front of me more movement. (This all happened very rapidly.) I looked to see a little round gnome-like being, more like tweedle dee than like a gnome, about chest height, trying to jump up to face height in order to freak me out. He was holding back an almighty laugh behind a quivering, thin smile. His hat (and his whole body) was moving geometric patterns, but his hat spun around in multi-colored forms, a little round skull cap (no propeller). He knew I was there in his space, he was very, very aware of me being there and took great joy in teasing me. He knew I was not understanding, nor handling the situation and enjoyed this immensely.


This was not some smoky dreamy hallucination. It was more real than where I'm sitting right now, it was so real.
I willed my way out and was still tripping for the next 20 minutes with the lights now turned on. My friend had a strange color to his body. It was like he had an aura very close to his skin. Everything felt very New Age (sounds strange but I'm only telling you as it felt). Everything was white, cold and different dimensions were merging.


I saw phalaris grass growing on the side of roads, I don't know, in ways it was weirder than the flash. I can't explain it fully. The flash lasted 3-4 minutes.

DMT Trip Report #3


The next smoke a couple of weeks later was less hectic. I packed my own pipe. I saw two demons, the Balinese type, amidst the usual sharp shapes and patterns. They did not seem to be aware of my existence or at least did not try to reach me in any obvious way.

They were symmetrically opposed and dancing perfectly. Their fingers were performing mudras which were drawing laser sharp lines which combined to form mathematically pure angles and shapes.

These shapes were amazing in their perfection. They were so fine that they conveyed a highly unsettling feeling. I felt as though they were spinning laser sharp visual spells which were penetrating straight into my psyche without me having a say in the matter.

They were wielding these like one would wield a samurai sword. I recall reaching out to the outer world with the word amazing, the only word I seem often to be able to mutter in these trances, and only towards the end when it's losing its power. The flash lasted 2-3 minutes.

DMT Trip Report #4


My last big smoke was perhaps the strangest for a number of reasons. I have not been game since to even venture a small toke of leftovers. I put a small pinch of crystals in the glass pipe for a light trip. I didn't even get halfway through the toke before I felt a strong shift occurring. As I handed the pipe away, with the lights going off, the shift came on rapidly. Different to how it usually manifests itself. Instead of my vision being overtaken by geometry, I found the outside world being broken up into little digitized squares.

Looking at a window with a streetlight until I could do so no longer. So quickly, from the outer periphery inwards. It was like glass shattering. I immediately knew I was where I always go to, but always forget about. Like a corridor that I always go through but never can pull the recollection out of the trip. I don't know if this is true or a synthesized recollection like deja vu.

I am outside in a very futuristic patterned garden with bright colored, very small, dots over everything, which are all flowing in certain directions. No plants as such but garden nonetheless. There is a corridor with a very tangible ambience, one can feel the space around. It now appears to be a temple structure of some futuristic sort, like some space age Hindu/Mayan temple with the walls displaying architecture similar to the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan except the walls are inverted to angle outward with the terraces reversed. It seems very real but also very fleeting, changing rapidly.

Carey Thompson’s “Stargate’ at BOOM! 2010, Portugal. © OrocThere are beings that are here the whole while from the very moment I entered the trip right to the moments of trying to get out of it. They seemed to have been waiting for me. It has taken me some time to come to terms with what they look like. For weeks I was sure they were Hindu deities until I saw a poster of Egyptian figures which awoke my memory. They were very colorful, had strange relentless grins, very slender and could move their arms around at strange angles. Despite the high frequency quantized pulsing in which they moved, there was still a very fluid flow to it. It was very cyberspace. Their fingers moved very rapidly into mudras which they again paralleled with my own movements as rapidly as a Huntsman spider, moving with the exhalation until the middle of the exhalation where all movement stopped then reversed into another mudra form with the rest of the exhalation.

These movements were highly spiritual and esoteric, made yoga postures seem like egotistical naive poses.
I felt like I was being indoctrinated and it did not feel good. These beings just kept on grinning. They knew that I knew that this was the price paid to enter their special world. They were very keen to show me their magic. I would try to look away but each time I tried, they would stop my breath and do some amazing transformational magic which I simply can't describe and was so amazing that I was prevented by awe from looking away.

Sorry, I can't even hold it in thought for more than a fleeting moment. It was very beautiful and totally bizarre. It was as though the strength of magic taking place was way too much. Solid forms of color and shape, way beyond the geometric forms. In your face. They kept on fanning out this magic like opening one of those decorated hand fans. They knew that this was the only place that I could experience it. Not even in memory could I see this stuff. I couldn't take it back with me. They were going for it big time. It was a really solid reality but constantly changing. I finally began to reach the surface.

I'm not going to do . . . I started, but they dragged me back in and flipped my words upside down so as to form strange hiccup words. . . . this again. I said it again and the same thing happened mid-sentence. I said it a third time and they began to let me go. I have come to believe that, if one is smoking a waxy form of DMT, it is important to use a clean pipe each time as it may be that the carbonized wax concentrates an anaesthetic quality in the alkaloid which induces the alien hiccup syndrome.


When I came out I heard my friend's voice in the usual cold stilted fashion that it sounds like when coming down. What did you see? he chuckled, not realizing the weight of the situation. Pretty heavy? he asked playfully. Though this was the first time he'd ever had it and had not gone in properly anyway, it was as though he knew what I'd just confronted. I was tripping more heavily than I ever have in the normal trip sense (not DMT space), even more so than on mescaline or psilocybin.

Though my vision was clear, his face was ghosted both vertically and horizontally, i.e. there was a ghost of his face to the left of him and above him, like some bad TV reception. He had a yellow glow around his body. It was his eyebrows that were most weird (both sets). Very strange!

It was taking me a long time to straighten out, in fact I wasn't, which was quite alarming. I had thoughts that I may have been shifted into this strange awareness forever. It felt very new age. I don't know why I use that term because it doesn't mean much. I guess I mean, very spiritual though very futuristic and on multi-dimensional levels, thoughts being just as real as the room I was in, all coalescing (the future, the past, the present, in the same spacetime). I felt I had taken on the same consciousness as the aliens, that they had shifted me as their gift. Of course I eventually came down after about thirty minutes, but when you're there you just don't know.

That was the last journey I took. I'm still very interested in it but have come to the conclusion that each time one goes in, you are taken further, and with less quantity of freebase, so I'm gathering my thoughts while I await the right time to do it again. I'm in no hurry.


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Eric Davis on Changa


Finally, all this talk of drugs would be incomplete if I did not relate an experience I had with a substance that came my way through the happenstance that festivals breed—what the visionary artist Luke Brown called “syncronnections.” Changa is a DMT-containing smoking mixture developed in Australia that is being touted, with fair reason, as “smokable ayahuasca.” Unlike freebase DMT, changa is a dried plant mixture containing crushed leaves from the ayahuasca vine Banisteriopsis caapi, along with other herbs, which were not identified on the colorful sticker of my plastic baggy but that sometimes include the Mexican dream herb Calea Zacatechichi and the South American Justicia Pectoralis. A solution of DMT is then most likely enfused into this smoking mixture. As with the ayahuasca brew, the vine provides the MAO inhibitor that modifies and extends the sometimes beautiful and always bizarre flash of DMT, which, given changa’s Oz origins, is most likely sourced from acacia.


Along with a friend, I said hello to changa on the last night of the festival. We sat on a small hill facing away from the sound systems and towards the lake, where the bulbous moon—which had been almost entirely eclipsed the night before—glittered on the water like a quicksilver mist. In the distance glowed the lights of a medieval mountain town with the somewhat ominous name of Monsanto. The smoke was sweet, and the entrance into the vestibule of the tryptamine palace was smooth but strong, and I slid gently along DMT’s inside-outside Mobius strips of sentient energy with more clarity and with less anxiety than usual. My fingers folded into spontaneous mudras and the breath of fire sparked without will. Then the vibrating weave of nature’s alien mind fluttered and unfolded us and set us gently back on the scraggly hillside, where the crickets and their ambient chirp-track trumped the distant thump of machines. Boom!


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Links To More DMT Experiences

The following sites offer still more fantastic descriptions of real-life DMT experience.



Do You Have a DMT or a 5-MeO-DMT experience that you would like to share on this site? Email us at myexperience@dmtsite.com


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