Homecoming

All trips start before they have begun and continue long after they have ended. Even the first sign of psychedelic awareness is the symptom of a subconscious event set in motion at an earlier point on a subtler sentient scale. It is the delayed grok that says alteration is already underway, like the ontic reverb the seasoned psychonaut feels holding a mushroom cap, a symbiotic moment charged with a dual tone of uncharted voyage and a peculiar consciousness of coming home.

It is upon this recognition that I take leave of the hillside and turn homeward, finally in possession of the psychedelic key whose delicate biochemistry resonates far beyond the field in which it was born. Preparations must be made for such far-flung effects. My conscious intention for the day’s trip is usually verbalized immediately upon waking, but the circuitous vector of most psychedelic events is largely established before dawn, in the dreaming bodies of trippers, in the fruiting bodies of fungi, before wending its way along the serpentine path of the seekers’ steps as they unwittingly trace through the dew-glazed grass the tapestry of subterranean filaments from which their trip key bloomed.

As I descend towards town, the crisp morning air of the autumn meadow invites me to rise above the cracked slate roofs and blackened chimney tops and cast off my socially sanctioned self-image, but it is within the sheltering walls of home where today’s ritual centre of gravity resides. Disentangled for a time from the responsibilities of quotidian life, from all its attendant frustrations and petty demands, the familiarity of a quiet, empty house protects the solitary tripper, and allows one to trip in peace. It is often a place in which to turn inward, but today I choose to allow awareness a freer reign, in the hope that an encounter with these familiar spaces might reveal to me the most domesticated aspects of my own psychology.

A living past dwells in every house. Heirlooms have a psychic weight, wallpaper and shadow an emotional tone. Memories retain their coloured imprint on things, like the lingering impression of long-dead limbs on old sun-bleached furnishings. As the mushroom begins to uncoil the presuming power of my itinerant senses, the virtuality of my residence gradually reveals itself. The mnemic stamp of previous dwelling places co-penetrate within a singular compressed time. These location-events disclose themselves as places I have tripped, having now been reconstituted in the present trip experience. I am reminded of the house I grew up in, my first universe, the earthly paradise of the maternal home in which I was born, long before my inescapable fate of being thrown into the world.

This feeling of throwness gradually begins to expand and encircle me, and as I sit in silence, an immemorial domain seems to open up beneath my feet. It is another place I have called home, but one which seems to lie beyond my earliest memory. This feeling eventually gives way to the anticipation of a great discovery, then to an almost cosmic sensation of otherness, and I realize my voyage is only just beginning.