This is a very light overview of some information you may want to know for your first mushroom trip. 2012 Shroomfest is July 21, 22, & 23.

If there’s anything I’ve left out or is too confusing, please let me know and I’ll make updates. We’re all in this together.

Where do I get them?

Step 1) Find your dirtiest friend

Step 2) Ask him for shrooms

Step 2b) Pay for shrooms

Step 3) Ask him to make a call for some shrooms

Step 3b) Pay his dealer for shrooms

Step 4) Find your second dirtiest friend

Repeat these steps until you have some mushrooms.

9 out of 10 times when people tell me they can’t find any, they’ve asked one person or fewer and then hoped the mushrooms would find them. People will usually protest, claiming they’ve asked a lot of people. But eventually, the honest ones will admit having asked nobody. Until you’ve followed those steps through to AT LEAST your 5th most degenerate friend, you haven’t really tried.

A lot of people think they can’t find any mushrooms. And to prove that they can’t, they’ll just keep alert to others talking about mushrooms. Sometimes they’ll ask one person, ask him to keep his ears open for some and then ask nobody else. Yet he’ll tell his friends that he’s asked everyone. If you really want to find them, you just have to keep asking around. But you have to for real do it. You know which of your friends seem like they do drugs. Your dirty friends. Ask them. If they don’t have any, ask them if there’s anyone they can call. If there’s not, move onto the next dirtiest friend. Don’t stop pursuing leads until you have mushrooms in your hands. They’re really not difficult to find if you ACTUALLY put the time into looking. Not just say you put in the time, but actually put in the time. Once you take mushrooms, you will be significantly less likely to be dishonest with yourself and tell people that you looked hard when you’ve actually barely looked. You’ll either say you haven’t looked or you’ll say you are in possession of some mushrooms.


Can I pick them in the wild?

Absolutely. I do not, however, have any understanding of what is a magic mushroom and what is a poisonous mushroom. So I usually just trust my drug dealer. If you know what to get, then I think the Pacific Northwest and areas around Missouri are full of them. But that’s just what I’ve heard. I really can’t comment too much on this subject.

I’ve heard the ones that grow on cow shit are the right ones but I’m a Jew and we don’t get things off cow shit so I can’t really tell you.


How much should I pay?

Around 30 bucks for an eighth. And eighth is about 3.5 grams. Depending on the type you’re doing, that would either be enough for  2 people. If it’s the Penis Envy mushroom, half of the eighth always works wonders for me and everyone else I know who has done them except for Eddie Bravo who has the tolerance of a hippie elephant. So half of the eighth (or under 2 grams) is right for me. But I’ll almost always put an extra cap or stem into whatever I’m taking just to make sure I trip.

If you pay a little more or a little less, try not to worry about it. It’s an 8 hour trip. Whether you pay the equivalent of 4 beers or 5 beers at a bar, it’s still a really good price to get fucked up.


How much should I take?

Great question. It depends what your environment is and how deep you wanna go. When I’m at a comedy festival hanging out with friends I might just take a cap and a stem to just get a mushroom buzz. That’s super fun, too. I just don’t want to sit in a corner talking to nature when I should be talking to colleagues I never get a chance to see.

I’m assuming you want to take a more significant trip.

If you go with 2 grams of dried shrooms on a very empty stomach it should get you to a nice place. Go up to 3.5 grams if you have eaten and/or you wanna be absolutely sure you go deep. But definitely ask your drug dealer. They have almost as many answers as doctors and if you ask them what a normal dose is, they’ll tell you. They want you to have a good experience so you’ll buy more.


Do they hit different people differently?

Yes. Depending on the amount of food in your stomach and the amount of fat on your love handles, it’ll hit you differently. Smaller, hungrier people need less, at least that’s what I’ve observed. A well fed linebacker will need more.


Can you overdose?

I don’t think so. Not to death, anyway. The worst that’s going to happen if you take too much is that you’ll be a little more likely to throw up and you’ll just go to a deeper place. You’ll still be over it in a matter of hours. There will not be any permanent danger caused by the mushrooms.

There are cases of people having bad trips and running around barefoot and cutting up their feet, but the mushrooms themselves won’t do you much harm. And those cases are very rare. It will not happen to you.

Those cases of bad trips or tripping too hard are usually caused by taking waaaaaay too many shrooms. Like 5 to 7 grams. I can’t see much point in taking over 3 grams of dried shrooms your first time. 3 is probably already too much when you don’t even know what it really feels like.

I suggest starting with a normal half an eighth dosage for a first trip. Maybe, maybe 2 grams. If you really want to get wild, go for the 3 but I really don’t recommend it. But know that even if you do go for 3, you WILL BE FINE.


How bad do they taste?

Just prepare for the worst thing you’ve ever tasted and know it doesn’t taste nearly that bad. They’re a little bit bitter but you can just chase it with some OJ or water or even a couple of vinegar potato chips and the taste is gone. Honestly, it’s really not bad at all. It definitely won’t make you gag. But just close your nose and chew them up.


How do I ingest them?

Lots of different ways.

The first thing to know is that the emptier your stomach, the stronger it’ll hit you.

When I’ve gone my deepest, I ground them up in a coffee grinder and then added them to a glass of orange juice. I didn’t even taste the shrooms and they got me FUCKED UP. I also fasted for 15 hours leading up to it. That’s not as hard as it seems. That means you eat a couple hours before bed, then wake up and you’re already at 10 hours. Try to fast for at least 12 before you start if you want to really blast off. But if you do eat, the less the better. Having 2 potato chips is way better for your trip than having 2 bags of potato chips. It’s not a win or lose game, it’s more of a points system.

Grinding them up acts much like grinding up a prescription pill in that it can help get into your bloodstream faster and more productively. Don’t worry, though. Grinding them won’t send you into any stage that can make you overdose. So if you start thinking that you did something different than normal and this will cause you to die, get rid of those thought. They’re without merit.

If you are going to eat something, they say orange juice and dark chocolate (milk chocolate has dairy) are the two things that will help the shrooms. So a lot of times people grind them and put them in dark chocolate bars. I use the dark chocolate and OJ as a chaser for the shrooms. Do not eat any dairy. That will hold your trip back. Milk chocolate has milk in it so only eat dark chocolate. Don’t eat dairy and don’t eat burritos. Really anything that MIGHT give you diarrhea. Just stay away from loose stool foods when you eat something that’s going to make your stomach want to eject everything in there.

You can also boil them in tea. Then you just drink the tea and some people don’t even eat the caps and stems, a practice which they say leads to no nausea. They say it’s those caps and stems which cause the nausea and the psychedelic stuff gets boiled into the water.

You can chew them up and eat them straight. That’s the first and most common way I’ve done them. It works great, too. An oldie but goodie.

You can also take them on a full stomach. It won’t hit quite as hard but you’ll still have an awesome experience.

Remember, this isn’t about bragging about much you took. It’s about having a great time on mushrooms. If you don’t want to fast, don’t. If you want to skip lunch, do that. Whatever makes you happy.


How long do mushrooms take to kick in?

Anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour. Mostly between 20 and 30 minutes. If you have to drive somewhere to enjoy your trip. I recommend getting all the way to your destination, and THEN taking the shrooms in the car before exiting.


Will I barf?

Possibly. But don’t worry about that too much. The great thing about barf is that it can’t follow you. It’s easier than walking up stairs to avoid talking to someone in a wheelchair. Just take 12 steps in any direction and you won’t be near barf any more.

If you’re worried about feeling bad after you barf, don’t. Once you hurl, you’ll feel fine. And as the mushrooms kick in harder you won’t even worry about it.

With that said, you probably won’t barf. You will feel queazy for a time. If you feel like you may barf just sit down, try to take some slow deep breaths of fresh air and the feeling should pass. 90% of the time it will pass. Possibly higher. But just know that either way, it won’t be that big a deal. You won’t suddenly projectile vomit out of nowhere. You’ll feel it getting worse and have plenty of time to get to a toilet, trash can, or bush.


How often can I take shrooms?

I say that I like to take mushrooms at least once a year. But I end up taking them usually once during the winter and 3 or 4 times during the summer.

Like marijuana, your batch of mushrooms can lose its efficacy if you keep taking them. But there is a fix. Rotate between strains and each time is like your first time. If you go at least a couple weeks in between doses, it shouldn’t matter about the strain any more. Your body has forgotten about the last trip. So that means you and Tom can take his mushrooms on Saturday, and then you, Tom and Bobby can take Bobby’s mushrooms on Monday and you’ll have 2 great trips.

I personally don’t often take them very close together. That is, if I’m taking a major trip. If I’m taking only a little, then a few days later is fine. But with the bigger trips, I’ve found I need a day or two to come to terms with all the new thoughts going through my brain. I like to sort those out before going back to communicate with mother nature.


What should I expect to happen?

(These are all just what has happened to me as I am able to describe using a limited vocabulary. You may or may not relate to this but it should at least feel similar)


The wobbles. The ground starts to feel like there’s a parking garage underneath you

Your sense of space begins to distort. Objects 20 yards away will seem 200 yards and objects very far will seem almost close enough to touch.

The swims. This is where lines or patterns seem to start moving. If you’re staring at a stucco wall, the shapes will start seeming like someone is stirring them on the other side. This is actually one moment where the movies gets it right. Staring at clouds or sand will have the same effect. In Ottawa one time I stared at a building for almost an hour because the windows and columns started moving around like snakes. Pretty much staring at any patter will give you this effect. This is the normal level of hallucination. I’ve gone bigger where I saw a  street performer kicking bowls off his foot and onto his head. The bowl seemed to be in a vortex that looked kind of like the air separating in the Matrix as bullets were cutting through it in slow motion. The vortex looked as real as the bowls. Another time I was watching one of the Jackasses with Big Jay Oakerson and one of the sharks that was swimming around Steve-O turned and looked at me and smiled. Just for a second, but it seemed real.

Everything is hilarious. I mean everything. You won’t even be able to explain what you’re laughing about. It’ll just seem funny. Pete Carboni had an experience once where his friend Moses was staring at a video poker machine on the floor of a Vegas casino and he was just laughing. Pete wandered over and saw Moses laughing and asked what he was laughing at. So Moses pointed to the video poker machine. Pete stared for 3 seconds and then started cracking up. He still has no idea what was so funny but he’ll swear that it was hilarious.

Everything is beautiful. This is why you shouldn’t be around your cell phone. You will think about people you know and you will only be able to concentrate on their best qualities and moments. That time your 7th grade buddy picked you first in basketball will seem like a tremendous kindness. You’ll want to properly thank him for it.

These are the moments that I like to try to take back with me. If I think of the kindness of an old friend, I will try to write them a text or a facebook message shortly after I’m back. The instincts you get during the everything is beautiful phase are wonderful instincts that, if followed, WILL improve the overall quality of life on earth. I do not use those words lightly. I mean that.

Everything is sad. This is the opposite but equal symptom as the last one. You will think about moments in life that you regret. Anything from not holding the door open for your elderly neighbor that one time to screaming at your mother because you were a bratty teenager. And they’ll fill you with a level of sadness you can’t quite comprehend. My advice is to just soak it in and see what you can learn from it. If the worst thing that happens is you calling your mom to tell her thank you for raising me and I’m sorry I was a jerk sometimes when I was little, you’ll start seeing how beneficial these things can be.

Hallucination. This is kind of like the swims but it goes further than that. Depending on the strain of shroom you take, you’ll get more or less of the hallucinations.

Communicating with a higher power. If you go deep enough (that means a dose on the larger side) you’ll start communicating with mother nature. You feel a level of connection to all things kind of like the tree of life in Avatar. I’m reticent to use the word “god” because that’s not exactly what it is. It’s not any deity that you connect with. It’s more just some being giving you a clear understanding of how the world operates and your place inside it. This doesn’t happen through language, which is why I say communicating instead of conversing. You just sort of gain access to source of knowledge. This access doesn’t happen on any plane of existence that we live in. It doesn’t operate by the same rules of physics that we live with. You’re just in another place and you’re gaining knowledge. No words, really, just understanding. The first time you come back from your trip after gaining this access, it’ll be hard to put the new knowledge into words. And it’ll also be hard to hold onto. The understanding will start to fade away like it was a dream. After multiple times getting the same knowledge I was able to only begin to explain it to others.


Also know this. You may not get all of those experiences. Don’t feel like it’s a failure if you don’t. Every mushroom strain is different and every trip is different. The epic trips you hear about in stories are not the norm. They’re all relatively epic, but the deepest trips are just that; the deepest trips. The average trip, while still crazy, won’t be crazy crazy. Movies only show the craziest trips because it’s funnier and it reads as tripping better if they’re showing all the symptoms. But that’s not normal. A lot of times it just makes a trip to Disney three times more fun.


The stages

There is no exact time limit for these stages. The stages also overlap quit a bit. You might be in the middle of stage 2 and then get a symptom from stage 1 or stage 3. But generally, these are the moments of your trip.

Stage 1: Nausea and kicking in.

Stage 2: Laughs

Stage 3: Hallucination

Stage 4: Talk to nature

Stage 5: Introspection

Stage 6: Dealing with what you’ve learned.

People list mushroom trips as the most spiritual experiences of their lives. You will have loads of new thoughts while you’re tripping. It takes me at least a day or two to comb through those thoughts and to really toss them around my brain. That’s why I don’t advise taking them the day before something important because sometimes it can make you want to disassemble everything you know and rebuild it in a manner that works better for your new understanding of the world. This doesn’t make a lot of sense but it will when you get back.


Where should I take shrooms?

Here’s an awesome thing: There really aren’t any bad places to take mushrooms. I’ve done them in my apartment alone, at a friend’s apartment, by the beach, at outdoor malls, at a UFC, at a party, during music festivals, and I’m sure I’m forgetting about some times. They were all great experiences.

I would stay away from taking them in places where your feeling of self consciousness gets in the way of your relaxing. For example: If you take them before a relative’s funeral, you’re going to feel really bad if you start laughing midway through. And just knowing that your family will be mad at you for ruining their moment should be enough to make it a worse trip. Stay away from places where the consequences of reacting badly will be too great. Like at your job, or while driving. But almost anywhere else, the worst thing that can happen is some stranger might think you’re weird. More likely some stranger will think that he has to enjoy life more after seeing how much you will be seeming to enjoy it.

The benefits to being outdoors is that you can come across almost anything. Whereas if you do them in your home, you’re way less likely to feel overwhelmed or scared. The drawbacks to being outdoors is that you can’t control your surroundings. If it starts raining, you’re just going to be in the rain (by the way, if it’s raining and it’s warm, it’ll feel amazing). Whereas if you do them in your home, you may not have quite enough stimuli helping you along.


When should I take shrooms?

Whenever you feel like it’s time for another mushroom trip. When you start getting the itch, start looking.

You SHOULD NOT take them when you have something important to do. If you have finals on Monday, don’t take them on Sunday. And DEFINITELY don’t take them on Monday. Use your head about it. If there’s something you can’t afford to be in a place of rethinking your life decisions, don’t do it then.

Summer is a great time because it’s warm and you can enjoy the night longer. That’s why Shroomfest always falls on the summer weekend closest to a full moon not counting September. So there’s the most light during the night. But winter can be fine, too.


With whom should I shroom?

With people you feel comfortable. It doesn’t even have to be your best friend of all time. Just someone who doesn’t make things uncomfortable. Examples of that can be someone you hate, or a girl you like but haven’t gone out with, an aunt who isn’t cool, someone whose girlfriend you just boned. It’s way better to take them alone than to take them with people who are going to put you on edge when all your feelings get enhanced.

A good friend is a great idea. So is alone. A big group can make the trip really fun, too. And don’t forget, you can always wander off on your own for a little bit during your trips. If you feel bored or if something way over yonder catches your fancy, go for it. You’ll wander right back.

Some people have said that taking them and going to a UFC or any other very public place is a bad idea because the volume of people would freak them out, but I don’t hold by that. I really enjoy being amongst anonymous people in public. The first memory I have of people taking shrooms were my friends at University of Maryland who took them at Disneyworld and they had a GREAT time. I mean great. They talked about it for 2 years.


What supplies should I have?

1) Music. Classic guitar driven rock will never sound so good. If you remember, play Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” in it’s entirety. You’ll be hooked after one song. One 8 minute song called War Pigs. But that’s just me. You might get into some other kind of jam. However, if you’ve ever heard a band that people you respect have been into but you’ve never quite gotten, this would be a good time to give that music one solid chance.

2) Pens and paper out in as many places as you can find. You don’t know where you’ll end up (even in a confined space like your apartment) and when you have these crazy thoughts, you may want to jot them down before they get wiped off your brain. If you don’t want to jot anything down, the pen and paper won’t bother you at all. You can collect them the next day.

3) (I don’t advise this one, but) A big glass of milk. If you feel like you’re tripping too hard and want to reel it back in, you can drink a tall glass of milk and that should help line your stomach and lessen the effects. I don’t advise this because almost every moment I’ve had on shrooms where I’ve gotten scared of it going to hard, has been followed by a level of joy and universal understanding that eventually led me start an international mushroom festival. It’s kind of like the feeling on a rollercoaster right before you get to the top before you start your first descent. That always makes me want to get off the coaster immediately, but that’s when the most fun kicks in. My thought is that if I had a glass of milk for the rollercoaster, I would almost always take it before the top and I would never get the joy of the scary ride. Same is true with mushrooms. If you have a way out, you’ll convince yourself to take it. But if you’re genuinely frightened of things getting out of hand on shrooms, then have the milk in the fridge to put yourself at ease. But seriously don’t take it. Just don’t. Give in to the moment.

4) Joints and/or cigarettes. Whatever you smoke, have plenty of it available. It feels great when you’re shrooming. Plus, marijuana can kick your trip back into overdrive. Kind of the same way as when you’re tipsy from alcohol and then you smoke pot and now suddenly you’re drunk. Marijuana is a kickstarter for all the best drugs.

5) Orange juice. This kind of acts the same way the marijuana does. The citric acid or the vitamin C makes you trip a little harder.

So when you’re starting to come down and you decide that you’re not quite ready for your trip to be over, smoke a joint and drink a glass of OJ. It’ll kick you up 20% or so.


How long do mushroom trips last?

A good long trip can last around 9 hours. That’s just my experience. A smaller trip can be around 5 hours. But that includes many stages of the mushrooms. The actual hallucinogenic period usually goes away for me maybe halfway before all the effects subside. So, maybe 3-4 hours. Sometimes that first stage lasts 2 hours, sometimes it lasts 6.

Keep in mind, though, that the hours of hallucination are not continuous. You hallucinate for a minute or less and then you’re back to reality. And you never totally lose track of reality. For instance, I once saw a movie on shrooms and in the preview for some Katherine Heigl movie, I could see her pores come alive and her face melted a bit. But I never lost sight of the fact that I was watching a preview to a movie.


What if I have a bad trip?

In the movies bad trips seem a lot worse than they are in real life. In real life, the bad trip will just make you feel bad for a little while. But you should know these things and they’ll help you out.

1) Nothing permanently bad will happen to you. The idea of staying like that forever is a myth and it’s never happened.

2) You’re not going to lose control and shoot your father. You don’t even get evil ideas like that and if you do, you don’t lose enough control of reality to make you feel like you should do it. Now, you might have heard about a friend of a friend who walked in front of a bus when they were on shrooms. First, that never happened to your friend’s friend. They either made it up or they’re quoting one of a small handful of cases amongst the millions and millions of psychedelic trips that happen every month. It’s like worrying about getting shot while going to the convenience store just because 6 or 7 people have been shot while going to a convenience store. Really, don’t worry.

3) Screaming in the corner is more of an acid thing anyway.

4) I’ve never had a bad trip, but 2 of my comedian Pete friends have. Pete Carboni started feeling very insignificant after seen the Bruno trailer and ended up crying and running home and then calling a girl with whom he had broken up and then had to go out with her for another 6 months. That’s about the worst thing I’ve ever heard of on shrooms. The other Pete, Pete Halms once said that he had a bad trip because of not vibing with his trip partners and it filled him with unpleasant thoughts but he was eventually able to steer clear of those thoughts and he still says it was immense fun and a great trip.

Actually, comedian Dan Madonia once decided to chase his buddy down the street on mushrooms. The only problems were that the friend had left 30 minutes earlier so there was no way he was catching him, and also Dan was naked and it was 2pm in the middle of Hollywood. But he didn’t have a bad trip. He just got into a crazy adventure. His trip was still really fun for him. And the only lasting result was that he had to sleep off his trip in a holding cell. He was let out in the morning and no charges were filed. Dan got a great story out of it with zero negative repercussions.


Can you come out of a bad trip?

Yes! I’ve had this experience and so have A LOT of people who wrote to me. There was a common description of telling the mushrooms in your system that you’re starting to lose control and asking them to reign it back in a little. Multiple people have had this same experience. And the amazing thing is that the MUSHROOMS WILL LISTEN.

That seems crazy, but I can tell you why it works. When you start having bad thoughts that are threatening to consume you, you need to focus on having good thoughts. Asking the mushrooms for help actually makes you conscious of the fact that you’re having these negative thoughts. That act alone should help you then think about positive things in your life and this will steer you out of that danger zone.

I’ve also used this technique. Reasoning. I have started having negative thoughts. Thoughts that I was going to OD and I would have lasting medical damage caused by the mushrooms or possibly even death. But then I reasoned with my brain. I thought out (and you can even do this out loud) that no one has died from an overdose of this drug. The thoughts that I will be the first person in history to die are ridiculous and are caused by my altered state but the thoughts are not real. I continue to tell myself that it only lasts for 8 or 9 hours and it will pass out of my system when that amount of time has passed so I’ll be fine tomorrow either way. This REALLY helps me calm down and go back to having a terrific time.

The people that tell you bad things will happen to you are almost always people who have never taken hallucinogens, people who have never had a bad trip, or people that like to fuck with people’s trips (the worst kind of people to have around you)


What should I avoid on a mushroom trip?

People and places you don’t like. (these increase the negative thoughts)

Dairy food. (dairy lines the stomach and lessons the effects of mushrooms)

Shit music (unlike ecstasy, shrooms only make the Pussycat Dolls sound worse)

Police (they won’t know but it’ll make you worried that they do know)

People who find humor in messing with people on trips (mushrooms don’t need their help)

Operating heavy machinery (don’t drive)

Texting people (you WILL feel embarrassed the next day)

Calling your parents (They won’t know which drug but they’ll think you’re on drugs)


Other things to know

1) Before you go to sleep, masturbate. At least for men. Probably women, too. It feels amazing. Trust me.

2) People won’t know. Just avoid the instinct to tell them you’re on mushrooms and the only people who will be any wiser are old bearded hippies who will feel nothing but happiness for you.

3) The universe will provide for you. I don’t know how. And this does not match up with my views on miracles vs coincidence but somehow, I still believe that there’s something out there looking out for people on psychedelic trips. I’ve caught a tee shirt from a tee shirt cannon at a UFC minutes after saying how cold I was. I’ve seen a mother and son twirling glowing necklaces for me to stare at right below the back porch of where I was tripping. I’ve come across a parade mid trip.

Perhaps it’s just the idea that you’re open to possibilities when you’re on mushrooms but I’ve just seen time after time where the universe will hook you up when you’re on something.

4) Go to http://www.erowid.org/ for more detailed information.

5) Shroomfest falls out the Saturday, Sunday, Monday in summer closest to a full moon not counting September with a tie going to the earlier date. This is the Mat Edgar moonlight clause. 2013 Shroomfest is June 22, 23, & 24. 2014 Shroomfest is August 9, 10, & 11. 2015 Shroomfest is August 29. 30, & 31. 2016 Shroomfest is June 18, 19, & 20. If the full moon is on a Saturday or Sunday night, that’s ideal.

6) You’re going to love this experience. Know that I am excited for you.

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