A heroic dose of magic mushrooms is anything over 5 grams. I took 7 in silent darkness.

The great psychonaut (someone who uses psychedelics to reach a higher level of consciousness and spiritual fulfillment) Terence McKenna describes a heroic dose of magic mushrooms as consuming 5 plus dried grams (15-20 grams if they are fresh) of hallucinatory mushrooms in silent darkness, alone (FOR MANY hours). While that thought may terrify most modern souls, as the thought of being alone with solely your thoughts is some people’s biggest fear, I enjoy finding myself through psychedelic journeys (something I have shared with you all before), and I am by no means a stranger to consuming large quantities of mushrooms in an attempt to reach spiritual enlightenment and better understand the human condition and my role in that. But doing it in silent darkness is a genuinely scary thought, but not so scary it kept from from doing it. The reality is, if you want to change your life, you often need to step outside your own comfort zone and challenge yourself. So that is what I did.

And it was life changing.


Before I expunge the meat of the story, there is a quick lesson everyone needs to have on how to consume psychedelic mushrooms. The reality is, from movies to literature, people have been eating magic mushrooms for as long as fiction has existed. But, that is wrong.

Eating magic mushrooms not only increases a risk of nausea, but it also wastes a great deal of the psychoactive compounds found within the fungi.

What you actually need to do is grind the mushrooms to a fine powder (mortar and pestle, grinder, blender, however) and then introduce a quarter cup of lemon juice to those powdered mushrooms.

Then you close it up tight and shake the thing for 20 minutes. Really. Keep it moving and meditate on it, what you want out of it, what you hope to learn. Invest that energy into your cocktail.

You then use a cheesecloth to separate the meat of the mushrooms from the lemon juice, tossing out the shrooms after you get the liquid out. The lemon juice extracts the hallucinatory alkaloids within the shrooms, and makes it  so you literally just drink the lemon juice (add sugar and fruit to legit make it enjoyable), and as oppose to the hour long come up you normally have, the come up is about twenty minutes with lemon juice, and it launches you right into peak. The actual trip is much more psychedelic, and the duration is much shorter. About six hours strong, then you are done and you just pass out. As opposed to the three hour comedown of digesting them. It also gets rid of any gastrointestinal issues one may have regarding the mushrooms, as you consume exactly zero.

Once your lemon tek is ready, take your shot, and then step yourself into whatever darkened proverbial cave you plan on spending the next six hours in.

Let the Games Begin!

The thing about psychedelic journeys that can be tough for some people is the wait. Psychedelics are not like other drugs in the sense that you get immediate gratification. You have to wait to see how it will hit you, and that can be the most difficult part.

But with lemon tek, that wait is all but abolished, for as soon as you kind of settle and become situated, they hit you like a hammer-sized fist.

While normally, most people would kick on some music and light some candles and vibe out, during a heroic mushroom dosage, that is not an option. You have nothing to hide behind. So the first thing you have to do is legitimately…

Hand Yourself to Them

To understand psychedelic drugs you need to know one thing:

You don’t take psychedelics. They take you.

And if you try to battle that or fight it or keep control, you are gonna have a bad time. If you are a person who sits with your legs crossed and hands folded and just buttoned up so tight you can’t breathe, these are not for you. You have to be strong enough and brave enough and trust in them enough that you say to them (and yourself), I accept wherever you choose to take me and whatever it is you choose to show me or share with me. If you incapable of that, you’re incapable of truly tripping or having an enlightening journey.

Trust them, they will be kind to you, but you NEED to be brave enough to let them be.

I was. I had no choice.

And they cradled me like a child.

Well, an orphan, but it still counts.

Ooops, I Did It Again

There is definitely a moment, when you are ensconced in darkness, beset in all sides by the  deafening tone of your own inner voice, that you think to yourself:

If you don’t, you aren’t on a heroic dose, you are just a tourist. And that moment comes from the realization that you are DEFINITELY gonna be forced to face some shit you probably didn’t want to, but NEED to. 

Every one of us has demons, and never are they more pronounced than when you are in pitch black silence, tripping your fucking balls (or vulva) off.

But there’s an interesting fact about demons, proverbial or otherwise.

They don’t like being confronted.

By nature, evil is cowardice, even our own evil memories that haunt us like ghosts.

So in that moment when you are seeing colorful fractals exploding in front of your iris’ and you are recalling that one party where that one kid pants you and hald the school saw your limp cock, facing it finally ends it. It may not be fun or easy in that moment, but the psychedelics allow you to access parts of yourself that are normally locked down, and in that exposed and  vulnerable state, you can truly face something, accept it, and move beyond it.

It sounds insane, but those are the moments that make heroic doses worthwhile. You aren’t locking yourself in a pitch black room to see pink elephants (though that would be quite badass). You are doing it in the same way someone takes spiritual pilgrimage to mecca. You are doing it to get answers. You are doing it to better understand your own consciousness. And to face those things and to grow often requires a challenging moment (r ten). But if you ask the fungus questions, like I said…

They Answer

People who take enough mushrooms can tell you, there is a consciousness with you in this state that is not your own. I call it the “ghostly voice” because it will tell you things that you normally wouldn’t have the courage to hear. But if you meditate, and treat this stuff as spiritual medication and not something to take and watch SpongeBob (though that is a blast, too), you can come away from it a bigger, brighter, healthier person.

But you need to know, six to ten hours in silent darkness by yourself tripping face is some scary ass shit, because it HAS TO BE. It is called risk/reward. If the risk is big, the reward is generally quite large, too. In this case, the risk is being alone with your thoughts and having them turn “full dark” on you, with no ways to stop and switch that thought pattern when it hits.

But why switch it?

Why not run into battle with your pants around your ankles, firing madly?

The only way OUT of something is THROUGH it.

Not around it. Not between it. Not behind it.

The way out is through, truly.

And no one ever beat anything by ignoring it or pretending it didn’t exist. Those types of people just generally compound their own struggles that way.

What the Heroic Dose Did For Me

I knew what I wanted going into my heroic dose, and though it took hours and what felt like walking through miles of memories, it was in that mile long spiritual walk I realized, I would have never dealt with a great deal of what I faced in that trip if I hadn’t done it in that exact way.

The darkness forced me to almost literally travel within myself. The silence forced me to ask and answer questions that I normally use music and movies to drown out.

And yes, that was difficult and terrifying at times, but in that fear came a true sense of liberation because I was no longer a slave to things that have “happened” to me.

I finally moved beyond them. Granted, not all of them and I also need to stress:


I am a well-versed psychonaut who has been taking mind altering substances for 20+ years, so I approached this heroic dose with a great deal of experience.

Have had great trips, have had hellish trips, and have had what many call ‘challenging trips’.

And in many ways, the heroic dose in darkness was all of that in one evening.

The Scary Parts

It’s funny when you tell someone you took a heroic dose of hallucinogens, because tourists always ask the same thing:


Listen, let me address the hallucinogenic aspect of hallucinogens.

It is quite randomized.

Some of the greatest psychedelic trips have no visuals. They are a heightened sense of consciousness, a body bliss, but a great deal of people who have tripped will tell you, there are not always visuals.

That said, yes, there were a shit ton of visuals in this case but you NEED to understand why.

Because my brain, which was reacting to chemical compounds, was in a non-simulated environment. No sound, no light. Truth be told, you go into a deprivation tank for an hour and you can hallucinate far more intensely than on hallucinogens, and it is because your brain fills in those voids when there is zero outside stimuli.

What do you think dreaming is?

Same is said on seven grams of dried mushrooms in the silent darkness.

Though they start mildly (mandala patterns, geometric patterns, zig zags of color), the more you sit in that darkness with nothing around you, the more the brain fills that all in. So in the first hour, I was gazing at what looked like rainbow fractals, unfolding out for infinity, but within the third hour, I was traversing alien landscapes (not literally, mind you) and was in and among other like-minded creatures, all shown to me as beams of light that radiated warm energy.

It is in this moment, you can ask questions. You can TRY to come away from all this having learning something about yourself.

But real talk for a sec. YOU BETTER be prepared for the most painfully honest answers of your fucking life if you do make inquiries. If you want to talk to the fungi deities (as some call them), you better not ask a question where the answer MAY send you off the deep end of bad vibes, because once a trip turns, unless you have benzos (aka the trip killer, which I don’t fuck with) or MDMA, that trip has TURNED, and they rarely turn back without chemical assistance.

So yeah, I asked some fucked up questions about my life, and didn’t get every answer I wanted, but if you filmed me walking into that room and walking out after, you could see I came out a different person.

More in touch with myself, more aware of the importance all of our actions have and how they reverberate on the strings of life for a lifetime.

I walked away far more spiritually fed than I had been for ten years or so before the incident.

In Closing…

To sum it up, a huge, heroic dose of mushrooms in silent darkness is akin to arm wrestling God and walking away having won. It is scary and challenging and life changing, but you will come away from it a genuinely better human being.

If you can handle it, that is.

Kids, don’t try that at home (or, like, do. The drugs most people are doing commonplace these days are FAR worse than any dose of mushrooms, real talk). Shrooms are LEGITIMATELY the least dangerous drug available to humans, with a zero percent fatality rate. Literally, look it up if need be.

Even caffeine is ruled far more dangerous than psychedelic mushrooms.


The reality is, we are on the  verge of a psychedelic renaissance, people, and you can either tune in, turn on, or drop out. Be part of the revolution or have it march right past you.

The call is yours.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back into my cave. I have a few more questions….

Featured image by Se Re — Flickr.