Isn’t it enough to see that the garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too? ~ Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams obviously didn’t believe in fairies. I believe there are fairies in the garden, or at least in the forest. I have seen them but they are not the fairies you will see in books or those that Adams did not believe in. Now before you think I am completely wacko (which I am anyway) here is a little story.
We were camped in a mysterious, very old sessile oak forest on the shores of Loch Dan in the stunning Wicklow mountains. Our group was a gathering of fifteen adventurous souls and as day morphed into night, our adventure would shape our lives such that we would never see the world the same again.
We sat in a circle around the previous nights camp fire, with the placid lake nearby. To get the most from our faery walk we had fasted that morning. The “Shaman” prepared the faery liquid (a tea of Psilocybin spp). We said a prayer and each of us filled our cups and drank the potent brew. I downed three cups, three servings, three helpings. The rabbit hole beckoned.
We then sauntered off through the forest. It was a lovely cool summers morning. The oaks were giant ents reaching down toward the earth. Their branches, encrusted with lichens and moss, were like giant arms and fingers caressing the air.
After just fifteen minutes I began to feel and see the forest change. A shift occurred where the boundaries of the vegetation became somewhat diffuse. After another five minutes I noticed a shimmering, speckled, silvery, golden light emanating from people as they moved. I asked my friend to run past me as I watched from the side of the path. He did so and the light left in his wake was so astonishing I almost fell to my knees. Thousands or possibly millions of motes of light emitting 5 or 6 meters from my friend as he quickly moved past. The body of light was wispy and diaphanous. It was celestial and alive — a collection of giant photons all moving like a school of fish, curling and folding but flowing out behind my friend.
I was awestruck and utterly blown away but simultaneously was lucid and fully aware of all things around me. I watched and experimented with the emanating light for another ten minutes or so, making mental notes and talking to others in the group about how it behaved around each of us.
Once this phase passed I completely lost clarity as the fabric of my space and time was torn apart. I can only describe it as a cacophonous visual and auditory hallucinogenic pummeling, which (I found out later) went on for a terrifying fifteen minutes or so.
Thereafter I lay in the forest on a bed of moss in complete bliss and surrender, as the earth pulsed underneath me. For more than an hour I breathed in Gaia’s aliveness.
From this experience I gleaned some insight. Insight into a world that is possibly just a sliver away from our own. A world inhabited by so called faeries. For I can imagine that some, if they so desired, would see this shimmering, celestial light morph into little winged creatures. But to me the light didn’t have wings. It was not infinitely loving, nor did it have a purpose. The light was not God showing me the way (or maybe it was – I suppose I can’t really say). What I do know is that it was ineffably beautiful. In fact the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
My theory is that when our minds are shunted out of place we seek congruence for our sanity. Christians, who experience hallucinogenic altered states, tend to see Jesus or Mary figures showing up to point them the way. For the Shaman in the South American jungle, she will see jaguars. For the Indian guru, a blue tinged Krishna. Others see insects or have anal probing alien visitations. But they are not real (which must come a relief to people who have been remotely probed). They are constructs as our minds move toward the familiar to desperately make sense of what is going on.
So we ask the question: Was the celestial light we saw in the oak forest real? I have given it a great deal of thought (and have experimented further) and can only come to the conclusion that it was real and not a hallucination. This is because I was completely lucid and walked and talked normally throughout the experience. Moreover, I have met people who actually see this “energy field” in everyday life.
We all saw the same celestial light that day and while I have seen it from time to time since, never again have I experienced it so large and breathtaking. This grand manifestation is due to what Terence McKenna called (a bit pompously I would say) the heroes dose. What he means is that if one wants to access altered states of consciousness and truly push the boundaries, then one has to up the dose — and that was what I did that day in the oak forest. Big time. I don’t desire a repeat experience because going down the rabbit hole was hellish, even though the beginnings of my trip irrevocably changed the way I look at our world. Plus coming out the other side was something to behold. Unforgettable.
It’s entirely natural for the human species to explore altered states of consciousness. I read recently that Paul McCartney had a DMT session with a few friends and saw God. It’s good that people come out and talk about it. I cannot recommend such adventures, but if you want to explore the inner worlds through psychoactives, make sure you get your set and setting right — because, in there, you are on your own.