The Essential Psychedelic Guide by D. M. Turner

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DMT-Water Spirit

A Magical Link

In my descriptions of psychedelic experiences thus far, I have attempted to describe the range of effects that most users encounter. However, in some cases psychedelic experiences can become quite unique and personal. I've had a most unusual relationship with N,N-DMT, which has led to my discovering a magical alliance between N,N-DMT and the spirit of water.

When I first encountered N,N-DMT I quickly became an aficionado, and began smoking either 5-MeO or N,N-DMT two or three times each week. Over the next two years I used DMT approximately 100 times.

My natural curiosity has led me to take psychedelics in as many different settings as possible. I've taken psychedelics in the peaks of the Sierras and at mountain lakes, in desert wilderness and rugged canyons, in local parks and open space preserves, at the ocean, in tropical forests, in airplanes, even while hanging upside-down in amusement park rides. I've also had numerous experiences in a variety of indoor environments. Given this inclination, it's an unlikely coincidence that I never smoked DMT near a body of water until I'd been using it for several years. It was the contrast between this experience and my many other DMT tryps which provided the basis for my discovering this magical link.

When I began smoking N,N-DMT my experiences over the first few months were bright, positive, enjoyable, and ever touching new dimensions. Some aspects of certain experiences had been quite frightening. However, the scary episodes only led to a deeper understanding of myself and the realms to which DMT introduced me.

After about four months of use I began to lose some of the rapport I had experienced with DMT, accompanied by a reduction in the frequency of my use.

Shortly thereafter I took a vacation to Arizona with plans to take psychedelics while backpacking in several desert areas. The first leg of my journey brought me to the vicinity of Mt. Lemon, just south of Tucson. This was to be my first experience smoking DMT in the Southwest, and I was anticipating an experience as magical as my previous trips in the desert.

However, the results were entirely different than what I'd expected, and completely unlike any of my previous DMT experiences. I felt a deep fear which is hard to speak of. I sensed the presence of death, despair, and loneliness. I felt haunted by some mysterious evil, and I thought of the word "spooky" to describe the unsettling feeling this experience left me with. The feeling of "enchantment," which is normally delightful on DMT, had become something sinister. And I was quite baffled as to how this occurred.

From Mt. Lemon I drove south to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. In this beautiful "green" desert I took Ketamine while outdoors for the first time. This proved to be an excellent journey, and I found that the environment entered into the Ketamine experience even though I was quite unaware of my body and surroundings. The next day's "trip" entailed consuming a large section of Trichocereus macrogonus, which I had brought with me, and small pieces of two local cacti, the Organ Pipe cactus and the Saguaro. The latter of these is said to contain psychoactive alkaloids.

The third stop of my journey was in Sedona where I hiked into the red rock cliffs. Not one to be intimidated by any psychedelic experience, I tried smoking DMT again. This experience was even more frightening than the last. I was overwhelmed by dread and terror. And although it was a cool March evening at 7,000 ft. elevation, I produced so much sweat on my forehead that it dripped down my face while the rest of my body remained dry. I've heard the analogy of someone being so scared they produced beads of sweat on their forehead, but I never knew this was literally possible.

I saved the Grand Canyon for the last portion of my journey, since I knew that no other sight could match its spectacular beauty and intensity. A few years back I had a wonderful experience taking acid in the Grand Canyon, and I dropped a couple hits as I began my descent. I was again in awe as I walked through "God's playground" where every rock became a jewel and each bend in the trail exposed more of this impossible work of art. Inside the Canyon I find that I enter a non-linear time state. While the erosion which created the canyon presents a vast timescape, I experience the ever-changing terrain as always alive within a continual state of flux. Formations that appear dead from one perspective are beginning a new phase of life from another. The music and lyrics of Hendrix capture the feeling of the moment. "I float in liquid gardens way down in Arizona's new red sands 1."

Some people claim that LSD is too cold and synthetic to provide a mystical nature experience. I have not heard this from anyone who's dropped acid and hiked into the Grand Canyon, although I noticed an even larger amount of synergy when I had the opportunity to take synthetic mescaline in the Canyon a couple years later.

After returning home from Arizona, whenever I smoked DMT I would do so with trepidation. I found it difficult to access the realms which I had previously enjoyed on DMT. Despite my determination to break through any barriers, I was not able to succeed. A brief flash of visuals was the highest attainment on most of my trips, and the feeling of magical enchantment had all but departed. I frequently felt that some metaphysical force was preventing my progress, and I now believe this must certainly have been the case. Although I continued to work with DMT, as the satisfaction of the experience diminished, so did the frequency of my use. I logged only 15 DMT tryps between my vacation to Arizona and my "water" experience over a year later.

It was a clear, cool May night beneath a new moon when my relation with DMT took a turn. I had joined a group of friends for a boat ride up the Petaluma River off of San Francisco Bay. I'm not much of a seafarer and had never tripped on a boat before. The majority of my boating experience has been on the choppy waters of the sea or the bay, and the thought of spending a trip poking over the side of a boat never much appealed to me. This evening I was in for a surprise!

I had brought along some acid and a bit of DMT. I had no intention of pre-dosing with Harmala alkaloids and smoking enough DMT for the full effects, but I thought that some light DMT "dusting" may be enjoyable for all. We cruised up the river for an hour or so and threw the anchor. There we would float for the next nine hours under a sky full of stars and where the current flowing downstream mingled with the ebb and flow of the tide in San Francisco Bay.

I began the evening by dropping 250 mics of acid. This was consumed by nearly all present. I then took a hit of ecstasy since they were being passed around. And after I mentioned that I brought some DMT, one of my friends whipped out some ground Syrian Rue seeds and a pipe.

Smoking non-extracted Syrian Rue can hardly be considered a satisfactory method of assimilating enough Harmala to act as a DMT potentiator, but it does produce an effect. Smoking just a few hits of these seeds while high on acid produced a pleasant buzz. And we figured that the small amount of Harmala would also act as a synergistic enhancement for the DMT.

I was the first to take a hit of DMT, probably about 15 mg. worth. I took my hit in the cabin of the boat and was rewarded with beautiful and enchanting visions. None of the menace that had plagued my recent DMT tryps was present, and the luxurious and magical qualities had returned. I continued to load small hits of DMT in the pipe and pass it amongst my friends, each of whom reported a serene and beautiful experience.

Before taking my second hit I left the cabin of the boat, snuggled under blankets with friends, and ventured into the brisk air outside on the deck. I had been planning to take my second hit lying on the roof of the boat looking up at the stars. However, one member of our group just had his first-ever DMT experience while on the deck of the boat. And after listening to his fanatical hooting, hollering, and raving about how "it started with the patterns in the water and went up into the air, then it came down from the stars and connected in the sky...", I decided to take my second hit while looking out over the water.

I smoked my hit and the effect was truly magical. Although I was not too high to observe my surroundings, the experience had all the qualities that I desire in DMT. The profound effect the water imparted to my experience was immediately obvious. The current, tide, and wind, playing with the surface of the water, and the reflected light from the sky was absolutely mesmerizing and enchanting. The synchronism between the visions I saw with my eyes open, and those seen with my eyes closed was phenomenally amazing. It seemed that the patterns on the water were responsible for these visions, as well as the profoundly magical and harmonious mental/emotional state to which I found myself transported.

At this time I was in the midst of reading Terence McKenna's True Hallucinations. This book describes his psychedelic adventures in the Amazon jungle, many of which took place on the banks of the Amazon River. It immediately dawned on me that the river must have played a large part in creating the setting for his mystical trips. The harmony between DMT and the river was clearly present.

It was not until a day later that I became aware of the magical link between DMT and water, and that DMT is most compatible when used in the vicinity of water. This knowledge actually came to me not while high on DMT, but while tripping on Ketamine and a 2C-B-like substance, with Ketamine being the primary factor.

Both Ketamine and N,N-DMT can take me to a world where leprechauns and munchkins chatter with me, and I can understand the language of the birds chirping away. With Ketamine I enter this world frequently if I'm taking it in combination with psilocybin or 2C-B. It was while in such a state that one of these leprechaun creatures whispered in my ear that "DMT is a Water Spirit plant. "

In addition to the "verbal" message, this elfin creature also transmitted thoughts, images, and knowledge, the essence being that the DMT spirit likes to be in the vicinity of water, that DMT is more likely to bestow peaceful visions and experiences on those who use it while maintaining this link, that DMT detests being away from water, and those who use DMT removed from water will often experience its wrath.

Simultaneous with this transmission I was able to see how my own experience with DMT fit this pattern. I have described my experiences using DMT in the desert in areas devoid of water. These were the negative extremes.

I've also smoked DMT in moist areas. I distinctly recall my two DMT tryps in Hana on Maui. My first experience was done indoors during the evening. The sliding door to the back patio was open, and through it floated the sounds of a stream with splashing pools and waterfalls that flowed by some 30 feet away. My second experience took place on the front yard of the estate during the daytime. The stream was still audible, and had I been sitting up I could have looked out over the ocean less than a mile away.

When I took this second hit I lay down under a giant coconut palm, staring up into its bountiful clusters of fruit while sunlight filtered through its giant drooping fronds. These were two of the most luxurious, peaceful, and magical DMT tryps I've had. In front of my closed eyelids the creative force was generating intricate visions of beauty at a rate approaching a billion per second! I saw harmonious and magically charged scenes which intermingled nature, plants, animals, spirits, people, and what I took to be ancient Hawaiian Gods.

I can also remember some experiences smoking DMT at home when it was raining outside. These tryps stood out from the norm as being delightfully enchanting, with the elfin energies being extremely abundant and rambuctious.

Another odd point that struck my awareness was the coincidence of the places I have not smoked DMT. I've already remarked that it was an unusual coincidence that I had never smoked DMT near water, given my penchant for taking psychedelics in a multitude of outdoor environments. This is exaggerated by the fact that I live near the ocean, and my normal routines take me jogging or bicycling along the beach once or twice each week.

There could be two logical explanations for this as well. One is that DMT is not something one tends to use in public, reducing the likelihood of my smoking DMT at the local beach. The second reason, which I discovered soon enough, is that with the normally windy conditions of the California coast it is difficult to keep a lighter burning, much less get a proper hit of DMT.

However, based on internal perceptions from my many DMT tryps, I feel that something which exists in a metaphysical realm was trying to prevent me from gaining knowledge of the DMT~Water Spirit connection. It seems that these energies are somehow threatened by my having this knowledge, and that my discovery of this information and subsequent spreading of this knowledge is an unleashing and upheaval of powerful shamanic forces. Indeed on the first evening following my discovery I had dreams throughout the night where I was battling or fending off malevolent non-physical entities.

One other occasion at which I did not smoke DMT should also be noted. Seven months prior to my "water" experience I went backpacking in Death Valley. Although I brought along Peyote, LSD, and Ketamine, I did not bring any DMT. This could have been due to the poor rapport I was experiencing with DMT at the time. But it may have been the result of some omen, instinct, or intuition, which caused me to avoid bringing DMT to the driest spot in the country.

Another notion which this leprechaun imparted to me is that in the Amazon region, where DMT has been used by the natives for millennia, it is most frequently consumed in the Ayahuasca beverage. Another traditional method of administration is the snorting of concentrated DMT snuffs. However, I've never heard of a native method of consumption which involves burning, or putting a flame to the DMT. Yet some of the native preparations would certainly have produced a strong effect if used in this manner. Up to this time all of my DMT journeys had been through smoking, but this would soon change.

My discovery of the DMT~Water Spirit connection took place shortly before I was to go to Hawaii. There I would have many opportunities to smoke DMT where waterfalls, streams, pools, and ocean abound.

While in Hawaii I smoked DMT twice along the awesome and beautiful Napali coast of Kauai. I was anticipating experiences similar to what I'd had on the boat. But I received another lesson that DMT experiences are never predictable, or subject to fitting into my preconceptions. The energy of natural environments seems to frequently affect a DMT tryp, and this was quite prevalent in this intense setting.

For my first hit I was sitting naked in the middle of a stream, on the ledge of a waterfall, with my legs dangling over the side and water flowing over my body from the waist down. As I took the hit I was looking seaward, and focusing on the stream. The sensation was peaceful, yet not the deep serenity I had experienced on the boat. As I lay down to submerge my back in the water I found myself staring up into a grove of Koa trees. The energy from these trees was sharp and lively, much more vibrant than any of the trees I'd been around when smoking DMT in California. The Koa trees' energy shattered the sensations I'd experienced while looking at the water, but it was a pleasant, shimmering intensity. I then stood up, turned around, and looked into the majestic, silken-sheered mountains behind me. My response to the mountains' energy nearly made me fall over. The mountains of the Napali coast are like no others in the world. The highest rainfall levels on earth have eroded these volcanic remains into sheer, razor-sharp contours covered with a dense blanket of tropical foliage. They rise to nearly 4,000 ft. in just a short distance from the sea. At the time of my visit these mountains were even more ferocious looking than usual. The hurricane which devastated Kauai the previous fall had stripped off nearly all foliage and branches above lO feet, leaving thousands of silver tree skeletons in its wake.

The sight of these mountains invoked a fear in me. Not of something evil, but of something so powerful and durable that human frailty is greatly magnified. To get an idea of this feeling try to imagine an ant in the midst of an elephant stampede, suddenly becoming cognizant of the situation.

I then tried switching my vision between the mountains and the stream. I found that the water acted as a grounding force, preventing me from being overwhelmed by the intensity of the mountains.

A couple months later I began experiments with ingested DMT which I've found to be very significant. As mentioned before, DMT is never smoked or burned in the cultures where a shamanic tradition exists. It seems to me that DMT is adverse to fire. It may yield positive results to those who begin with, or only know of this method of use. But in my case at least, it eventually led me to this preferred ancient method of use.

Before ingesting the DMT I take four grams of Syrian Rue and wait until MAO inhibition is in effect. I've had good results using about 160 to 200 mg. of DMT. This is far more than is required for smoking, but it produces a three to four hour experience. I've found it best to consume the DMT over half an hour to allow for a more gradual inebriation. With smoked DMT the "flash" is part of its legendary effects. But a more gradual ascent allows the experience to unfold in a more natural manner, as occurs with LSD, mushrooms, mescaline, or the Ayahuasca beverage.

The content of an ingested DMT experience is quite different than the traditional psychedelics. And after my first such experience I came away with the conviction that this was deep and serious, making LSD and mushrooms seem like child's play in comparison. The experience tends to unfold before me, and I find I must maintain sharp awareness to understand the messages being conveyed. The scenes are rich, vivid, emotionally charged, and filled with symbols and archetypal images that feel imbued with deep meaning and significance. The speed at which visual images develop is slower than with those that accompany the "flash" of smoked DMT. I've found that this allows me to absorb the content of the images more fully.

With ingested DMT I've had visions which challenge Ketamine visuals for vastness and cosmicity. Yet these DMT visuals had a degree of realism I've never before encountered. The images were so real, so alive, palpable, and tangible that I could almost taste them. And I nearly felt that I could reach into their dimension and physically touch them. At times it was as though I was a spectator watching a performance of the grand universal theatre. But at other times entities in the visions were quite aware of my presence, and were able to metamorphose as a means of communicating to me. The play-like elfin chatter which accompanies many smoked DMT tryps has also been present during these journeys. In nearly all manners, these ingested DMT tryps have exceeded my experience of smoked DMT.

In order to find out if DMT affected other people similarly when used near water, I interviewed friends that have used DMT several times. I found that most of them have not used DMT outdoors at all, and only a few have used DMT near water or in a desert. None of these people knew what I was seeking when asking about their DMT experiences in different outdoor environments. Yet approximately 75% of those who had used DMT near water reported some of their most profound tryps in this environment. A couple people who had not smoked DMT near water also had water play an important role in their experiences. The one person who had smoked DMT in a desert had begun on a powerful shamanic journey, but had to disengage as the intensity and fear that he couldn't handle the ride increased. And a few people reported experiences too intense to enjoy when using DMT in the presence of fire.

Since discovering this link I have spent lots of time thinking about its application. That this knowledge can be used by DMT smokers to increase the chances of a positive experience is the most obvious use. This may allow DMT smokers to gain reliable access to DMT's magical aspects, and through developing this alliance, to enter into the shamanic world. However, since becoming aware of this connection I feel that mastery of the DMT experience is still many steps away, or that it may even be something which one can never truly have a firm grasp on.

Perhaps this is a stepping stone in humanity's reestablishing its relationship with DMT. We may be at a turning point where DMT will be removed from obscurity and become a "mainstream" psychedelic.

I'm also curious as to what science will find in relation to this theory. Since DMT is normally present in the brain, blood, and spinal fluid of humans, it would be interesting to see how the levels change in people who live in dry or wet areas, or who travel between these areas. I'd also like to see how DMT is metabolized by the brain and the body in different climates. I suspect it would be different.

Another useful study would be to chart the numerous plants throughout the world that contain DMT.To my knowledge most of these plants grow in areas with abundant water, but a study done by an expert botanist would be more conclusive. And from a cultural perspective, do any of the native users of DMT ascribe a link between DMT and water, and is this link present in their rituals and practices?

Something else I've speculated about is whether DMT is one portion of an alchemical formula. If DMT corresponds to water, is it possible that some other substances correspond to earth, air, and fire? And would a combination of these substances bring one to the "ultimate state of consciousness"?

If this is so, there are many possible candidates for the other substances. Could the psilocybin mushroom be an Earth Spirit? What would happen if one were to take psilocybin away from earth, say in a space shuttle or an airplane? The Harmala alkaloids are also an important factor here. I should note that this link I'm describing exists between N,N-DMT and water. Whether a similar link exists for 5-MeO-DMT I can not presently say. And virtually all of my N,N-DMT experiences have been done in combination with Harmala alkaloids.

One of my courses for future study will be to continue psychedelic use in different areas. I will be looking for distinct differences in the experiences produced in different settings. In the past I have focused on combinations where I'd expect a positive synergy. This has often been the natural habitat of the substance I was consuming, like taking cactus in the desert or mushrooms in the forest. I have yet to try many opposing combinations such as mushrooms in the desert or cactus in snow-covered mountain peaks.

As of yet though, DMT is the only psychedelic to produce highly positive results in one natural environment, and equally negative results in a reversed environment. Since becoming aware of this connection my relationship with DMT has become strongly positive. I feel I now have an ally for venturing into this fascinating world of the unknown.

1 Lyrics from the song Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix on the LP Electric Ladyland.

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