NOW SERVING Psychedelic Culture

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A few evenings ago, somewhere in Albion, six sovereign adults, taking full responsibility for their own consciousness and their own bodies, gathered for sacred ceremony with changa, a herbal mixture rich in monamine oxidase inhibitors and infused with the forbidden fruit of DMT. I was one of those adults and the two bowls I smoked were respectively my twelfth and thirteenth journeys with inhaled DMT. I have done regular work with DMT over the years in its incarnation in the Ayahuasca brew, more than 50 journeys since 2003, but as everybody who chooses to explore these realms knows, drinking Ayahuasca is special, there is usually a fair degree of negotiation with the brew, the experience is drawn out over several hours and the loving spirit of the vine, Gaian mother of our planet, is the guiding hand. Although there are points of contact and similarity, smoked DMT is very different, a rocket ship to the other side of realty, short acting but extremely intense and with no possibility of negotiation if you get the dose right. So I undertook my two recent changa journeys with a considerable degree of trepidation — particularly so since the last time I smoked DMT (then in its pure form rather than changa) I had one of the most challenging and frankly terrifying experiences of my life (see about half way through this article for my account of that previous experience which took place on 30 September 2011).

I am happy to say that the two bowls of changa I smoked a few evenings ago treated me much more gently. Contrary to reports I have read about changa I was only fully immersed in the experience for 5 or 6 minutes with each bowl, a few minutes less than with pure DMT. While I was in, however, I was really in and it was unmistakably the DMT realm that I had entered, unutterably alien and strange, yet eerily familiar from my previous journeys — known territory the essence of which, paradoxically, is to remain forever unknowable.

There is a magician at work in these realms of ultimate enchantment and what he showed me (I always experience smoked DMT as a male energy, and always experience Ayahuasca as a female energy) were evolving, living artworks of line and light in colours and arrangements so fantastic and extraordinary that they stunned and astonished me. These creations were loaded, packed, stuffed to bursting point with what felt like millions of terabytes of coded information waiting to be unzipped and deciphered somehow, sometime, when I’m ready to handle it. “Take a look at this”, the magician seemed to be saying, and he would draw out a design between his extended hands and fingers, a design filled with meaning and sentience and fearsome, poignant beauty that was at times so overwhelming, so full-on, so relentless that I panicked and opened my eyes in an attempt to stop it bearing down on me. “How about this,” he’d say, or “have a quick peek over here,” or “what about this one” — with each glimpse showing me more numinous, awe-inspiring, imposing, scintillating, glittering, implacable majesty.

And what came with the “show” were breathtaking feelings — intuitions, presentiments — of the love and mystery that energise and infuse the cosmos, operating at the grand universal scale and reaching down, in ever-reverberating fractals, as above, so below, to the realm of individual consciousness. As I phased back into that realm I looked up through the glass ceiling of our ceremonial space to the stars lighting the sky and then down again to the others watching over me and understood that we whose privilege it is to have been born in a human body are united with the eternal and the ineffable and that our purpose here is to give love and explore mystery to the limit of our ability.

There are immense forces infiltrating our society and narrowing our minds that work against this mission. Indeed that great mystic William Blake (28 November 1757 — 12 August 1827) was right when he wrote: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

Useful background article on changa.

Some great links on DMT in general.

An article that is skeptical of the parallel realms theory of DMT.

William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

Image: “Eve Tempted by the Serpent” by William Blake (Wikimedia Commons)

***

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