My First Psychedelic Mushroom Experience
I don’t know what I want to do, but I do know the study of mycology is evolving rapidly. We're quickly realizing mushrooms can change the world, and I want to be a part of it. That's the hope.
I had my first psychedelic mushroom experience when I was about 12 years old. I had skipped school with a friend and he had a bag of magic mushrooms given to him by his older brother. We had no idea what we were doing; I think I ate about 2 to 2.5 grams of shrooms with peanut butter. Oh, I was high as a kite. Watching the walls breathe and the carpet turn into puddles. It’s so hard to put into words...Afterward, I just had a fascination with them. How, what, why they did what they did to me. Where did they come from, where can I get more? Why were they illegal?
Initially, from Muskoka, Ontario, I’ve been in tune with nature: foraging, hunting, and trapping since I was a Cub in Boy Scouts. But this was indeed a unique mind-expanding experience; it was beautiful. I grew up in a Mormon family, but after my first trip, it opened my eyes to another side of spirituality. I realized I had intelligence in me, that I think differently than other people and it was ok. All of it was ok. Instead of me trying to fit in with people, I became my true self.
Ironically, I met Ben while working at a restaurant called Forage. Instantly we bonded over mushrooms and (too much) beer. I've endlessly hounded him with mushroom questions and have learned plenty!
Interesting fact: Vancouver, BC has some of the most potent magic mushrooms, such as: Liberty (Psilocybe semilanceata), Wavy (Psilocybe Cyanescens), and Knobby (Psilocybe Baeocystis) Caps, and a few more (but not as potent such as the Stunzi Caps -Psilocybe Stuntzii). Chances are you have psilocybin (psychedelic) mushroom growing no more than 2km from your front door. Ben points from my window, across the water to a known patch under the Granville Street Bridge. Psilocybin is a decomposing wood mushroom, so garden beds with wood chips are fantastic, as are bike paths, manicured lawns, elementary woodchip playgrounds, or even the SFU garden beds.
The best way to eat freshly foraged fungi (the non-psychedelic ones) is a quick fry with garlic and butter. He’s never been sick eating his own pick.* Best advice for any beginners: do not forage for mushrooms without an expert. When in doubt, throw an image up on "Mushroom Identification" or the "Pacific Northwest Mushroom Identification and Identification Forum” Facebook page. It’s also apparently ridiculously easy to cultivate your own, even on an apartment sized balcony.
Ben came to BC, fell in love with the mountains, and never left. He doesn’t know what he wants to do just yet, but he’s got plenty of years ahead of him to figure out what he wants to do. I always tell people the 20’s is for figuring shit out, 30’s is for doing shit, and 40 is when you actually get good at whatever you’re doing. Although one thing he’s headstrong on is not to let work control his life. He makes sure he has plenty of time for late night karaoke battles (boy he can howl!) jam sessions and weekly foraging adventures. A prime example of, do what you love, and do it often!
A lover of all things weird, and extremely open-minded, I would be more than curious to hear about your first trip here. The weirder the better!
*I must mention, as he made this statement he, "knocked on wood" but the floor he knocked on is laminate. Oops!