Where are the machine-elves?
In the series ‘Azarius experiences', one of the indomitable Azarius employees shares his or her experience with a psychoactive substance or product related to psychonaut or stoner culture. In today's episode: DMT-smoking.
‘The businessman’s lunch trip’ it’s often called: smoking DMT gives a very short but intense psychedelic experience: you will be teleported into other dimensions. According to Terence McKenna, almost everyone smoking DMT will encounter intelligent alien beings, which he called machine-elves.
Hitting it right
Recently a friend obtained some of the precious substance and we decided to give it a go. Besides a very precise scale (it comes in small doses), you need smoke-trained lungs, a glass pipe and a willing companion that assists you in not dropping it.
Our scale isn’t too precise, but after some fiddling around we’re pretty confident we have the right amount.
I’m to go first. We make a small altar with a candle and flowers and I sit down cross-legged on a mattress in front of it. It seems wise to do a short meditation first. Then my friend hands me the glass pipe. The white powder in the bowl needs to melt and vaporize, not burn.
When the first vapour forms I start inhaling. The taste isn’t as bad as I expected. I inhale deeply. The second toke is much harsher, actually: almost unbearable. The flavour of burnt plastic gets stuck deep down in the bottom of my throat. This sensation increases with the third and fourth toke when things are already starting to get blurry.
Warm fairytale world
Within a couple of seconds, I experience a sequence of very different visuals, almost all reminding me of previous trips. It’s beautiful: first, the flowers on the table come completely alive. Then I perceive a very warm, orange-like glow around the pipe, the flame and the hand that is holding it. It reminds me of the fairytale worlds of Roald Dahl and Alice in Wonderland.
I still sit cross-legged and I’m aware of it. I’m also aware of the strangeness of that: I’m not teleported into other dimensions, I’m still in the room. However, I feel very centred and alive, like the flow of life is running through me.
‘Are you still there?’ my friend asks. This is a difficult question: yes and no. When I close my eyes I’m in another dimension. But I don’t see machine elves. Instead, I’m in a space I’ve been before on ayahuasca: a space beyond ordinary concepts. A stream of smells, colours, images and sounds that goes on like an ever going pulse. It feels earthy and motherly: the heartbeat of the universe. It also feels very familiar, but I know I won’t stay there for long.
‘It’ seems to communicate to me: “this is not the way to go. If you want to work with me better drink ayahuasca.” I know ‘it’ is right. My lungs are telling me the same. I’m still swallowing with disgust in order to get rid of the nasty taste in my throat. I even experience difficulty breathing.
I open my eyes: yes, I’m still in the room. But I’m also tripping. I lie down and see colourful, moving patterns on the ceiling. They’re beautiful as well, but again I know it will only last for a couple of minutes.
Then I return, I’m impressively clear in my mind. I feel happy and satisfied but also surprised: this isn’t what I’d expected at all: no extraordinary strange spaced out worlds with aliens and machine-elves, but instead a familiar world. Maybe I already drank too much ayahuasca?
Hall of mirrors
A bit of cannabis makes it easier to recollect the experience. After about half an hour I’m ready to assist my friend on his trip. He hits it slightly harder and is definitely out of this world for five to ten minutes.
On the outside, he seems to be doing fine. But upon his return, he tells me the adventure wasn’t completely pleasant. He says to have experienced “everything at the same time.” According to him: “It was like a barrage or a nuclear war in a hall of mirrors.” He didn’t see any machine-elves either. Interestingly, he experienced a similar start of the trip with the sequence of visuals and the warm, orange glow.
All together DMT makes an interesting journey. Despite its short length it really feels like a trip and there’s enough to process. It’s not heavy on the body, just horrible on the throat. The big question remains: should I take slightly more next time to have a real ‘break-through’ including machine elves? Or should I listen to the ‘message’ and stick to ayahuasca for now?
Written by: Juniper