Archive for the 'entheogens' Category

Solstice, Stonehenge

Friday 22 June (2007)

stonehenge 

The summer solstice at Stonehenge is one of those really cool things that we all know about, and actually going there and experiencing it is a surreal, magical experience. I have no druidic beliefs and I don’t see Stonehenge as a place of worship, but man… it’s a hell of a good place for a party.

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Drawing pictures (on acid)

Tuesday 3 April (2007)

LSD drawing

 Tidying my room a little yesterday, I found an old notepad filled with strange scribbles and drawings. I soon remembered what I was looking at – mementos from my very first LSD experience. It was September 2004, in Manchester (where else?) and I had finally managed to track down the elusive drug I so desired. Unfortunately, it wasn’t particularly strong stuff, and that first experience wasn’t my ‘break-through’ experience. Nevertheless, it affected me so much that I couldn’t walk down the metal staircase leading out of our crummy flat (it was, for all intents and purposes, not connected to the ground), and my co-trippers Alan and JT weren’t handling it so well (although, JT had been up almost twenty-four hours when we dropped, and he’d probably been on pills the night before) so I did the only thing availble to do – I drew some drug-induced pictures.

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The religion thing

Wednesday 28 March (2007)

This has been bugging me for a while now. People all over the internet talking about how ‘religion is bad’ and that we shouldn’t be Muslim or Christian or whatever because it creates barriers and makes people kill each other. ‘Love is the only religion we need,’ they say.

And of course, there’s only one alternative to all of this, and that’s atheism. The incredibly dull concept that this is really all there is; there are no forces at work beyond the ones we have observed for ourselves, like gravity, and when we die that’s it. Apparantly atheism is a better way to live because you adhere to a moral code, and not some prescribed text. Ideas like ‘don’t murder people’ and ‘stealing is bad’ (which are coincidentally found in books like the Bible.)

Bullshit. If I honestly thought that this was it – when I die, I die, and I’ll never be judged for my actions – then I wouldn’t need a moral code. Why pay for something when you can take it for free? I mean, what’s the harm? Life would be pointless in my eyes, and also the only experience I would ever know. Why shouldn’t I make it as fun as possible? Hedonists – now there are some good atheists. Rapists, they’ve got it down too – oh I mean sure, they might cause pain to whoever they molest, but at the end of the day that pain is really just a series of chemical processes, right? It doesn’t mean anything. Who cares if someone elses chemical processes make them feel bad when mine are giving me orgasms?

I don’t buy any of this. Read on if you want to see my rant.

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Sandoz LSD: no better than modern acid?

Friday 17 November (2006)

In January of this year 2006, there was a symposium in Basle, Switzerland. It celebrated the 100th birthday of a very special man, and the discovery of a remarkable chemical. The man was Albert Hofmann, and the chemical was LSD-25.

And shit, me and my friend Tom were gonna go. But then we ran out of money, and it was hard explaining to our parents exactly why we wanted to go to a conference in praise of an illegal drug. So we didn’t go.

And then I read this.

Jesus H. Christ!! I mean I knew there’d be acid floating around the event, but I had no idea that someone would turn up with Sandoz acid! For those who don’t know much about LSD, here’s the rundown: Albert Hofmann discovered it when working for the Sandoz pharmaceutical company in Switzerland. Once the effects of the drug were known it was distributed worldwide to psychologists under the brand name ‘Delysid’ with the suggestion that it mimicked states of psychosis. Of course it was far too much fun for the doctors, and in the sixties the drug escaped the labs and hit the streets, predominantly in San Francisco. By 1967 it was illegal, and Sandoz were forced to stop producing it. As of that point in time, acid was driven underground.

Ever since then, some old hippies have been saying “Ah, the acid you kids get these days is crap. You should have tried that Sandoz stuff! My God, that was acid.” One of my favourite authors, Hunter S. Thompson, talked about using pure ‘Sandoz’ in such a way as to imply that anything else just isn’t good enough. Of course, no one could ever prove them wrong or right, because the Sandoz acid was long gone by the end of the seventies.

Until 2006. When someone, some unknown genius, brought some Sandoz Delysid from 1951 to the event and said: “Hey guys! Let’s trip on the real fucking deal!

The results are interesting. You can read them for yourself here, but the rub is this: Sandoz acid is pretty much the same as the acid you can buy from your dealer today.

What does this mean? Well, for one thing it means that LSD is just as good as it ever was, and that’s definately a good thing. But how could this misconception have been brought around in the first place?

Well personally I think it’s down to two things. The first is that the strength of the doses has steadily decreased since the sixties. Back then it was common to get 300 micrograms from a single blotter, but these days it’s more like 50 micrograms (I would know – I once had some acid where I had to eat five blotters just to hit mild effects) – so any old hippie who tripped his face off on two blotters in 1965 would probably think that two 1980’s blotters were ‘worse’ acid than the sixties stuff.

The other reason is that you become very… suggestable, when on acid. If you take it with the subconscious belief that what you’re taking isn’t as good as the stuff forty years ago, you’ll invariably end up experiencing that.

What’s my point? I don’t know. I’m just pleased that the concensus now is that LSD = LSD. Go forth and trip.

Drug-danger ‘league table’

Monday 9 October (2006)

the drug 'league table'
click here for the full chart

I was browsing the Internet this afternoon when I came across something rather interesting. An article on New Scientist reveals a list formulated by the ‘UK Science and Technology Select Committee’ which attempts to re-organise drugs (both licit and illicit) into an order based on the ‘actual social and physical harm they cause’. I’ve only tried six of the substances on the list, but the results are very interesting reading.

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A post about grass

Monday 21 August (2006)

 some people like to smoke a spliff before bed

I guess it’s safe to say that the most common recreational illegal drug in use in the world today is grass – cannabis, marijuana, sweet mary jane. But, with my propensity for consuming psychoactive substances of almost any variety in study of the psychedelic realms, it might come as a slight surprise to you that I don’t really smoke a lot of grass. In fact, I hardly ever do – sure, if I’m at a party and a joint is going round I’ll not turn it down, and when I lived in Manchester I got high more than once with my friends, but I’ve never really yearned for it or anything. This is the real ‘I’m not into grass’ clincher for me though; I’ve never actually paid for any.

The thing is, grass makes you high, and in my experience it is a fun but ultimately pointless high. It has made me laugh uncontrollably at things which really aren’t that funny, and that is basically it. It’s a mellow trip – you don’t need to set aside two days before you consume it, and there’s generally no hangover. It’s just that, well – I don’t see the point. As I’ve said if someone offers me some, I’ll probably not turn it down, but being as it’s illegal (and thus blackmarket and without quality control) it becomes more of a pain in the ass than anything else. Sure, it’s very easy to find (I challenge one person who reads this to tell me they don’t know someone, however vaguely, who could get them some) but so is alcohol, and if you buy quality drinks that you actually think taste nice (as opposed to the cheapest/strongest in an attempt to get drunk) then it will put you in a very agreeable mood. I guess this is all personally speaking, but to me a good wine, or rum, or beer, and the right setting (good friends and good music) is a comparable and equally enjoyable high as getting stoned is, and without having to smoke anything, which is always a bummer. The only real difference is the laughter that grass brings, and I’m not overly convinced that tricking your body into laughing at something which isn’t really funny is a good thing anyway.

However, I am now going to about face and eat my words.

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Salvia 3: I’m not ready to come with you (yet)

Monday 29 May (2006)

Fuck, this stuff. I want some more. A few days ago I tried it again and had perhaps the most acid-like trip yet, and also the most disorientating. It started with Sally deciding that she wanted to see what the fuss was all about. She kind of wasted her opportunity through a bong-malfunction, but wanted to stay with me whilst I did it – and thank you, Sally, for being a good sitter.

I went through the motions and lay down on the bed. All very familiar until the thoughts that were floating around my head ("I wonder what will happen this time" / "I hope this is fun") started bounding forwards, literally bouncing away from me leaving a tubular trail in front of my eyes. "Oh shit," I think I thought. All of these random thoughts and questions were flowing out of my head into the middle distance; ahead of me yet with an untangible sense of going towards the left that I can't properly describe.

I was paralysed, pretty much, and was far too blitzed to say anything to Sally. I kind of stuck my hand out towards her, sat on a chair besides the bed, and she took it without wrenching me into limbo by asking questions. She was sat to the right of the bed, and with the prevailing sense of the Salvia going to the left of me, acted as a sort of anchor – she kept me firmly on the border of this world and the spiritual world.

As I realised that she wasn't overly worried about me, and that I didn't need to worry about that myself, I could concentrate on the thoughts that were (literally) in front of me. But, the thoughts suddenly weren't my own any more. It was Salvia, and she was talking to me. "Come with us," was all I could hear. (Sally thought it was weird that it was an "us" and not a "me", perhaps it was because there were so many 'tubes' of thought bounding away from me.)

And for the first time, I didn't want to go. "Let me stay," I begged. "I'll come with you next time, I promise – I'm just not ready." I swore to her that I wanted her guidance, but not today. And so, with a lingering sense of 'next time' floating in the air, she gently let go and put me back on my bed.

Argh! Afterwards I was kind of embarassed at my own cowardice. But I wouldn't want to enter Salvia Space with anything other than honourable intentions, either. We've got a date… and next time, I'm going for it.

(I still find it so hard to believe that a threshold dose of Salvia can make you laugh your ass off and a little bit more than that can blow your mind. It's almost like a trap – you taste a little, and think it's all okay, but then you take a bit bite and suddenly realise you've bitten off more than you can chew. It's a good natural deterrent for thrill-seeking junkies, but it's also a good way for Salvia to find itself as a controlled substance. Mark my words, if my children want to smoke Salvia they'll not be paying for it with a credit card, and they won't get a receipt.)

Blotter acid

Thursday 25 May (2006)

Say what you will about LSD, but blotter acid is fucking cool. I’m not talking about the drug itself here, but the paper it’s delivered on.

I mean, blotters work on many levels – they’re so small (four blotters in a square is about the size of a postage stamp) that they can only hold a small amount of any chemical. Although this sounds bad if you’re thinking ‘the more acid the better’ it’s actually not, because LSD-25 is one of the most potent chemicals known to man. The advantage of course is that you can’t really get given bunk acid – oh the blotters might be weak or even just blank, but if some charlatan decides to cut the stuff with something like Strychnine (ho ho) then you won’t die, because the paper cannot physically absorb enough of the poison to kill you! Hooray. This also applies to selling other psychoactive drugs in the guise of LSD – you couldn’t soak a sheet of blotters in PCP, say, and get a trip from eating one. What this amounts to is that LSD is just about the safest drug you can try, because you’ll either get ripped off and no effects at all or you’ll get the real deal and have some fun. (It’s also less poisonous than vitamin-C :D)

But anyway! This isn’t what I wanted to talk about. The really cool thing about blotters are the designs that are printed on them. Some real pop-culture icons have been depicted on sheets, from Tintin to Beavis and Butthead, and I’ve always considered it some kind of unoffical badge of honour if something is deemed worthy enough to be the last thing people see before they start tripping. Because my body clock is messed up from staying up all night writing assignments, I couldn’t sleep tonight and made some images of blotter art that I would print, if I were a badass drug dealer. See below!

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Salvia 2: entering the dimension of colour

Saturday 13 May (2006)

My, Salvia, she certainly is a powerful spirit. My excitement fuelled by the first successful experiment, I decided to give it another try – alone, this time, with a much higher dose. I was at the same time prepared and unprepared for the amazing journey I was about to go on.

I'm reasonably familiar with psychedelics – I've looked up at the sky and seen it radiant pink, I've watched flowers on a bathroom tile blowing in the acid breeze, and I've watched my pillow dissolve into beautiful mathematical fractals, but never, ever out of all these experiences have I actually forgotten where I am, or what drug I'm on. Essentially, I've never left this world behind, I've just altered it slightly for a while. This second Salvia experience was something different. I smoked a reasonably large hit in the bathroom (no smoke detectors; extractor fan on) amounting to about 3 grams of pure leaf. Retreating quickly to my bedroom, when I could hold the smoke in no longer I blew it out the window and lay on the bed.

The Salvia gravity was back and energy was flowing along both of my arms. Instinctively I closed my eyes and then, I left this dimension.

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Salvia 1: fun, and disaster

Wednesday 10 May (2006)

I've been after Salvia Divinorium for some time now, but I've never really gotten round to it. The main reason for my laziness is the fact that you need to smoke it on a bong, and whilst I lived at home there was no way I could get one without my parents jumping to that shocking conclusion: cannabis! I was put off it here at uni by the fact that the smoke detectors in my room would have made it a bit awkward, but then one day last week I thought fuckit and I ordered a bong online.

The good thing about Salvia is that it's legal in the UK, so I went down the road to my friendly local head-shop and bought a gram of 10x extract. The extract is a product that exists due to the legality of Salvia; if grass was legal you'd probably see Marijuana extracts and such which do the same as the Salvia ones: increase the potency of the leaf. As such, one gram of 10x extract equates to ten grams of pure leaf.

Then, things got interesting.

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