Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making Dreams with Mugwort Smoke

(Originally written on 7/20/10)
Interesting experience last night. Mugwort is a plant that I have possessed a dried quantity of for some time. Back in the Chicago Ridge days, while I was recording the bulk of the Forest Children albums with Dennis and Chooch we would mix the stuff with our pot and smoke it all night long. I'd found out about it from some guy in some occult shop in some city, probably while looking for Salvia or DMT. Mugwort is legal as it is a mild substance when ingested, usually as a tea or smoke tincture. During my initial research period with it, and now subsequently as I've begun ingesting it again, I have seen it often mentioned as being particularly effective as a catalyst for strong or even lucid dreams. I'm not sure if I could ever corroborate this claim before last night*, but yeah, that does indeed seem to be the case.

I've smoked two or three times in the last week, the most recent of which was last night. I sat down to watch El Topo for the first time despite being tired to the point where I knew I would probably have to fight to make it through the entire film. I smoked a bit of a mixture and settled in for the film, which I quickly realized I hated. However, as I sat struggling through the movie I began to nod off. What occurred next I am still unsure whether was in sleep or waking.

I began to feel very conscious of my heart rate. My vision flickered and my head spun a bit. I'd open my eyes knowing I'd been out but unsure how long. I The film playing out on screen is nonsensical to a degree anyway, so there was no way to use the perceived rhythm of its story to tell how long I was going out for, or whether or not the film was insinuating itself into my dreams. Had I been sitting here only a moment ago and feeling as though my heart was ramping up, threatening me, or had that been a part of the dream? As I was thinking this I even became aware that to some degree I was dreaming.

But then I wasn't.

It is as I have described here before, that when the REM pattern breaks up so does the dream. But the dreams can often hold on, like a rider bucked by a horse who may slip from side to side but ultimately manages to stay mounted.

My dream was telling me something. Or trying to at least.

The room and its accoutrements became a hazy dimension suspended in the twilight between wakefulness and REM. Even when I was finally certain that I was awake everything had the soft halo glow we associate with dreams or mild hallucinogens. I was burrowed into the N.O.W.** but something seemed as though it was moving around me, just outside my veiled consciousness. And my heart was beating.


Maybe fast is the wrong word. And maybe this wasn't the reality of the situation at all. Everyone who has taken acid knows that feeling where the drug suddenly seems as though it is about to climb on top of you and batter your senses to its own twisted-reality whim. I tried to recognize this and utilize it as an antidote to the encroaching panic but to no avail; of course thinking about needing to slow my heart down implies there is a problem, implies there is a danger in how fast it is beating. This is the ridiculous sing-song drug logic that, for the most part, made me stop doing them a loooong time ago. But this is Mugwort. I mean, come on, really?

Eventually I was able to out fix my paranoid android and get everything under control. My mind is stronger than this and again, the mixture in question is nothing that has ever reacted with me like this before. I ended up crawling into bed and falling asleep pretty much immediately. My dreams were long and vivid, I think, and I've since found literature reporting it is possible to die from prolonged ingesting of Mugwort, if taken over enough consecutive days.

Where the hell was that information before, when we were ingesting it daily and recording? Or, how much of those recordings possible contain messages from that plant, using the musicians harbored in those late night recording sessions at Dennis' as their vehicle to try and impart some subtle, archetypal knowledge to the world through our hands and voices, ideas and melody?


* Well, that's not true, but let's just say it's been so long and if I wrote anything down I'd have to unearth it.

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