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part 3 of 3 – wow no wow in huautla

my sacred mushroom packet – foto by smith

i’ve tripped on hallucinogens between 300-500 times from 1968 through 2000 – mostly lsd, but dozens of mushrooms, mescaline, psilocybin, thc, dmt, stp, and other stuff i’m not sure what it was. i tripped for fun, for adventure, for spiritual growth, out of habit and boredom. but coming to huautla was to be my first controlled trip guided by a curandero shaman – i was solely interested in the spiritual path this time. for once i was going to go pure, do it right.

of course we didn’t find an affordable guide thanks to our miss-screw-everyone-but-me traveling companion, so goal one shot down. goal two was to analyze myself during the trip – see what part of me was good, what needed work, what had to go.

my banana leaf had fewer shrooms than lady’s, but they were much larger. i ate half my mushrooms at 6:30, could immediately feel the alkaloids moving through me. by 7 i knew i needed more and ate the rest. by 8 i had the classic physical symptoms of pressure in my body, a sense of sound and growing movement in my head, the remoteness of a body wrapped in insulating cotton, and a thickened sense of mucous and phlegm. but no high, no color, no visions, no patterns, no happy, no nothing. and that is as far as i got. no trip for smith.

i was flabbergasted. i was prepared for the trip to fail, for us to not even reach huautla. i was prepared to arrive and not find mushrooms. but once i had the mushrooms, i never even considered the possibility they wouldn’t work on me – after all, these are the sacred fresh ultra-strong magic mushrooms the beatles, bob dylan and donovan took and praised. this is the super source for magicville.

i thought of multiple scenarios why i didn’t get off. maybe i’m already tripping all the time now and don’t even know it, so the mushroom high was merely business as usual. or perhaps we have a finite number of trips in our being and i’d used up mine over the past 40 years. or reality and the mushroom gods were angry at my negative thoughts about our unpleasant traveling companion. or perhaps my two days without food, three days of traveling and energy expenditure of walking down the mountain twice overwhelmed my spiritual high potentiality.

but most likely the dose wasn’t large enough for me. ever since i started doing drugs in 1968, i always required a higher dose than those around me due to my size, metabolism, and mind. back then folks would have me do the drugs first so they could judge their dose by how high i got. i figure the curandero gave us small doses because we were doing them on our own and he was worried about our losing it. he didn’t realize my size and past use made a difference. or maybe they were weak mushrooms, or a stingy dose. all i know for sure is the other two got off fine. (i learned since that with the selfish couple, the man said he didn’t feel a thing, and the woman claims she had a fine time but none of us believe her).

by 9 p.m. i knew i wasn’t getting off, not even a smattering of joy would be mine, so i gave up, ate some crackers and a small avocado and drank a lot of water to fill my empty stomach. lady went to sleep and i smoked a joint to try to slow down my body which still felt like it was going to get high. took an hour before i could try to sleep and then it was troubled and mediocre.

got up at 5:50 to put my glasses on to check the time – and i couldn’t see. during the night, the left lens had fallen out and i couldn’t focus. how can a lens fall out while the glasses are sitting alone unworn? i laugh, thinking what a marvelous metaphor – i couldn’t have visions last night, and now i can’t see this morning. seems to me there’s some serious smith work i need to do.

we get up, pack, check out, see hummingbirds dart in the sunshine while waiting for a cab back to the center of town. watch a hummingbird land on a leaf – i’d never seen one land before and it looked like a large alien scary iridescent green insect. we gave up getting a cab and started walking up the mountain to town when a cab came by and took us. sat on the city hall steps watching kids play soccer (hoping for more mushroom offers), then rode the uncomfortable 5 hour van ride back to oaxaca.

back side of Maria Sabina banner hanging from City Hall balcony – foto by smith

i told lady since she loved the shrooms so much, she could have the remaining 4 folded banana leaf packets we’d scored the day before, and i’d stick to grass and hash until we could get some larger doses. i couldn’t see depriving her of her joy by my trying another useless dose or a dose and a half. she was sad for my loss but happy about 4 more trips and talked of tripping after our 5 hour van ride home. told her that wasn’t a good idea because she’d be wasted from the van ride, and the body required a week or so between trips to recharge its spirituality.

she couldn’t wait, and she tripped last night – which left 3 days between trips. she got high, saw colors, some hallucinations, but the universal oneness and the joy wasn’t there – it was just a high, which is rather sad after experiencing oneness. she took a couple hits of hash to give her high a push, and the hash heaviness melded with the mushroom intensity to give her a heavy wasted days & wasted nights kind of high.

she said the shrooms would go bad within two weeks so she had to eat her remaining 3 doses every 3 days or lose them. i explained each trip would be less and less fun and more and more disappointingly frustrating, so suggested we wait a week, then turn the three remaining doses into two and we’ll both drop. the extra half dose might get me off and might be enough to get her to oneness again. who knows – this spirituality business has a lot of crap shoot clauses in it, so we’ll have to wait to find out what happens and where we go.

an added insult to injury, i bought a maria sabina tee-shirt with gorgeous flourescent green mushrooms on the back to celebrate my huautla mushroom trip. the trip didn’t trip, and the tee-shirt don’t fit, so i have a non-souvenir of my non-trip. how apropos.

what are the gods telling me? i think my mind and soul have become too hardened, too selfish, too cynical. i need to become nice again. then maybe the mushrooms will work. try again in 5 days with larger dose and see.

the trip was a great success because the important thing was for lady to experience her first hallucinogenic trip. she had a grand time, took to tripping like the natural magic mushroom munching mama she is. the ride up and back through the mountains is gorgeous, and huautla itself is a special magic place. we’re considering living there for a month or so, doing mushrooms as often as feasible.

now all i have to do is get my magic mojo working again so i can munch shrooms myself.

back side of my too small Maria Sabina tee-shirt – foto by smith

One Response to “part 3 of 3 – wow no wow in huautla”

  1. NQ04 says:

    I just wanted to let people know that there is a new psilocybin study underway at Johns Hopkins University that is recruiting volunteers with a current or past diagnosis of cancer.

    For more information please visit:


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