The phrase “psychedelic trip” was first coined by the US Army in the ‘50s to describe the deep and life altering journeys people went through after taking large doses of psychedelic substances like shrooms.

Psychedelic trips can be really expansive. When you take them, you should be ready to give in to something much bigger than yourself. Although you may experience anxiety, discomfort, panic and fits of laughter, you will also emerge from the other side better for the experience, and full of deep insights that can greatly alter your perspective about life.

During your journey you will normally go through four phases: ingestion, onset, the peak and the comedown. Let’s examine just what happens during these phases of your trip.

1.    Ingestion

The most common way people take magic mushrooms is by eating them raw. However, due to their unpalatable taste, some shroomers look to find alternative ways of ingesting shrooms like steeping them in tea, making a lemon juice cocktail, or drying and grinding them into a powder before swallowing. Magic mushrooms can also be taken in the form of pill capsules or edibles like gummies and chocolates.

When mixed with saliva, psilocybin gets into your blood stream and takes effect in about 45 minutes to 1 hour. When you infuse them in a lemon tek cocktail, the process is even faster because the lemon acts as a catalyst. For the best results, it’s advisable to take them on an empty stomach.

2.    Onset

Onset is the time it takes to experience the full effects of magic mushrooms after ingestion. This can be anywhere between one and two hours. Physically, your pupils start dilating as your eyes become more sensitive to light. Colours become brighter as the world around you starts to feel more alive. You’ll also experience unusual sensations in your body that may be accompanied by changes in body temperature. You may also feel some nausea setting in. Mentally, you may begin to feel your mood lightening up, although this may be tempered by anxiety, especially if it’s your first time taking psilocybin mushrooms. Usually it’s good to have some background music playing, or doing something else like journaling or drawing to keep your mind off things.

3.    The Peak

About an hour or so after ingesting psilocybin, you will start to go through changes of perception like illusions and synaesthesia – hearing visions and seeing sounds. You’ll also feel as if there are no limits to time and space. This is an indication that you are getting to the peak of your trip which can last anywhere between three and five hours. Whether or not you have a good trip will be heavily influenced by what your mind frame as you go into the trip.

Visuals will become more enhanced and you will start seeing halos around lights and objects and sometimes even geometric patterns when you close your eyes. Typically these visuals are distortions of objects that are actually there, although sometimes you may see things that in reality don’t exist.

Soon you’ll start giggling as euphoria takes over. You’ll feel awed and enchanted by the world around you, but at the same time deeply connected to it and very much at peace. This feeling can sometimes go on for some days after the trip has subsided.

Expect your thoughts and emotions to also go through turmoil. Thoughts and feelings that you keep under the lid in your ordinary life may start to bubble to the surface. Try not to suppress these feelings; instead embrace them and let them reach their logical conclusion. People who experience strong negative emotions report that it helps them feel calm and detached afterwards.

4.    The Comedown

Contrary to what many people think, the comedown from a psilocybin trip is quite different from the hangover and feelings of regret you get after a night of hard partying fueled by drugs and alcohol.

In fact, a magic mushroom comedown can be quite the opposite. You get lulled into a calm and contemplative period where you question some of the most basic precepts about life. However, you will be relieved and thankful for having regained a sense of order in your thoughts which go haywire during the ego dissolution process. It’s like coming back from the brink of a precipice, which can be somewhat exciting because you’ve now started to develop new thought patterns.

Physically, the comedown of a shrooms trip will feel like a slow unraveling of everything you went through before reaching the peak. The feelings you previously had like a deep sense of euphoria, seeing illusions and feeling deeply connected to the universe gradually begin to dissipate as the psychoactive ingredients get are metabolized by your body. You will feel lethargy start to creep in as the mushrooms’ effects wear off, usually in the last hour or two of your trip.

Be sure to relax and take it slow the day after your magic mushroom trip. This should be a time for deep introspection on any lessons you picked up during your trip. Jot them down if you can – that is the whole point of tripping with intent. Don’t forget to hydrate and take foods rich in vitamin-C as you slowly return to “normalcy”.

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