Why I Love Magic Mushrooms

Author’s note: This essay was not written with the intention of encouraging anyone to use psilocybin mushrooms. Rather, I wrote this piece with the intention of merely sharing my experience. It really must be stressed that this is my experience, and that each and every individual experience will be just that: individual. While I consider psilocybin to have a positive impact on my life, you may find that the same compound has the effect opposite. Furthermore, if you are struggling with mental illness, please refrain from self-medicating and talk with a doctor.

My Journey With Magic Mushrooms

For a long while, I have wanted to talk about this. But I have been too afraid—afraid of the judgment of those who will disapprove—and afraid I might lead a reader down what could be the wrong path for them.

However, I truly believe that psychedelics are an undervalued tool for introspection and expansion. I envision a future in which psychedelic therapy is normalized and utilized. And I pray that one day it will be more commonplace to trip shrooms than it will be to risk alcohol poisoning.

Yes, I take psilocybin mushrooms, more commonly known as ‘magic mushrooms’. And yes, I really believe psychedelics have the power to make the world a better place. I have chosen to make myself vulnerable and write about this, because I think it is important to be the change you want to see in the world.

Now, do not misunderstand me: with the benefits of psychedelic drugs, come some very real risks. Magic mushrooms (and all of Their colourful cousins) are certainly not for everyone! I, myself, have had a bad trip—no, not a bad trip—a horrific trip—a trip to hell and back.

That trip was actually my first experience of psychedelics. I was twenty years old and had no idea what I was doing taking them. I knew I liked other substances: Routinely, I got so wasted that I would ball my eyes out, maybe even vomit. And I smoked weed whenever it was offered (usually while drinking). I was a bit of a party animal; I would alter my consciousness to escape my emotions. So, when my at the time boyfriend asked me, “Me and my friend were thinking of having a shroom trip this Friday. Do you want to join us?”, I really didn’t understand what I was saying ‘yes’ to.

But that is a different story, and one I actually plan on telling in a future piece. In this essay, however, what I want to focus on is how I use psilocybin today, which is mostly through microdosing. The reason why I mentioned my first trip is because, while it was horrific, it was also life-changing. After said trip, I was put off psychedelics for years. And yet, despite how the trip challenged me, it also woke me up to the magic of life. Something about the experience stuck with me and changed my view of the world.

Actually, at age twenty-one, I entered therapy. I went to therapy to treat the following conditions: complex post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, and an eating disorder. I already struggled with these conditions prior to the shroom trip, and I really should have gotten myself into therapy long before this.

However, up until my first psychedelic experience, I had been running from my problems—pretending they weren’t there—distracting myself—numbing myself—self-medicating with food, and alcohol, and parties, and shopping, and sex, and codependent relationships, and the list goes on…

Taking those mushrooms was life-changing, because it forced me to, for the first time in my life, take an honest look at myself. Nowadays, I do consider magic mushrooms to be beneficial for my mental health. That said, after my first trip, my mental health did get worse.

But this initial worsening was actually a good thing, for it was the very thing that unraveled me and forced me into therapy. After seeing the world through the eyes of psilocybin, I was now much more aware of my thoughts and emotions. Naturally, this meant I was very depressed and anxious. I had, in Truth, been feeling these things for a long time. But now, I was finally allowing myself to actually experience it, to actually feel my feelings.

Getting into therapy was not a pleasant journey. In essence, my poor mental health created chaos in every area of my life, from my grades to my relationship—and that chaos was the bottom line that got me to, out of desperation, book an appointment with the therapist that I would continue to see for many years.

Bizarrely, in therapy, the themes of my mushroom trip kept coming up over and over again: Inner child healing. Seeing the world through a more ‘colourful’ lens. Feeling connected to nature. Creating. Laughing. Feeling joy.

Feeling the entire range of my feelings; why was I, underneath it all, so deeply sad? Being forced to process some of the shit that had happened to me: the trauma that had caused my collection of mental illnesses. Being forced to, not distract myself, but face myself. Having to admit that I didn’t really know who I was, not anymore.

These themes came up both in that first trip and in my recovery from mental illness. So, through time, naturally, I grew more and more curious about my experience with magic mushrooms, and more and more fascinated by psilocybin.

The original trip was in the year 2014. The fascination started in 2015. And yet I did not trip again until 2022! Despite how curious I was, I was also terrified of having another bad trip—even though, I knew my bad trip really changed me and reset the trajectory of my life, both for the better.

I would like to tell you that I took magic mushrooms for the second time out of courage. But what actually got me to swallow those dried up pieces of fungus was desperation—much like it was desperation that brought me to my old therapist’s office.

My life had flipped upside down: I had gone from taking six months off of dating and relationships, to meeting the person who I believe is my twin flame. For half a dozen Lunar cycles, the only person I had to consider was myself, and then, in one magical rightward swipe, my life changed, almost instantly.

Now, because I have borderline personality disorder, even though meeting my partner was a joyful and welcome change, I was also a bit, well, scared. I was afraid of abandonment—naturally, as this is borderline’s signature symptom. And this fear of abandonment was steering my brain down some very dark roads.

On one particularly dark day, out of nowhere, almost randomly, I suggested that my partner and I take some magic mushrooms. In hindsight, I attribute this bolt of inspiration to divine intervention. Anyway, my partner agreed that this might be helpful, and in just a few hours we were sitting at our kitchen table, measuring out the appropriate dose. (I had learned that vital lesson from my first trip: the horrors of taking too much.)

This trip was incredibly helpful: it reminded me that I can trust my partner, and it reminded me that I can trust myself; that life is truly magical; that the present moment is a real blessing. I was relieved that the trip was one of pure joy—how unlike my first!

And I kept taking magic mushrooms. Now, you really don’t want to trip very often. In fact, you actually can’t trip very often! If you try tripping again too soon after a previous trip, the substance simply will not be effective. But something you can do regularly is microdose.

Tripping Versus Microdosing Versus Macrodosing

Okay, maybe now would be a good time to explain the difference between ‘tripping’, ‘microdosing’ and ‘macrodosing’. I think we all know what a trip is, but for the purpose of this essay, I will define the term like this: to trip on a drug requires that the substance blatantly affect your perception.

In the case of mushrooms, some common effects are: feelings of euphoria, enhanced sensory perception (For example, colours might appear brighter than usual.), synesthesia (a blending of the senses, being able to ‘hear colours’ and ‘see sounds’), a distortion of time (Usually time slows down.), increased introspection, and ‘spiritual’ experiences.

Results will vary from person to person, but typically one has to take at least a gram of dried magic mushrooms to trip. Many people will take two, three or even four grams. That said, results will very. I, for example, have tripped under the influence of just seventy-five micrograms of magic mushrooms—that’s less than a gram!

Now, a macrodose is when someone takes an exceptionally large dose of magic mushrooms (or their psychedelic drug of choice). In the case of psilocybin mushrooms, generally speaking, a trip of at least five grams is thought to be a macrodose. I’ve seen five grams referred to as a ‘hero’s dose’, which, considering I am a fan of Joseph Campbell’s work, makes perfect sense to me.

Five grams of magic mushrooms will typically induce an ‘ego death’, and Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey theory, teaches about how, in order to embark on the Hero’s Journey, one must say goodbye to, not just their former life, but their former self—their ego. The hero dies on the journey—not literally, but metaphorically—only to be reborn as a wiser and more selfless being.

Typically, when someone takes five (plus) grams of magic mushrooms, it is for therapeutic purposes or spiritual awakening, rather than merely for pleasure. Despite the bad intentions I had with my first trip, these days, I really do not view psilocybin as a ‘party drug’.

I consider magic mushrooms to be both a medicine and a pathway to Truth. Sure, often times, I do have a blast on mushrooms. But not always. With mushrooms, it is best to go into the experience with as few expectations as possible. The more you try to control the trip, the more likely you are to have a bad experience.

Contrasting the macrodose, there is the microdose—which is a great option for those who want to experience the healing effects of psilocybin, but maybe don’t want, or don’t feel ready, to trip.

The research I’ve done indicates that a microdose is anything less than one gram. But, once again, the effects will vary from person to person. I am sensitive to substances, which is likely why I was able to trip off of just seventy-five micrograms. So this definition of microdosing doesn’t really work for me.

Because a microdose is supposed to be a sub-perceptual experience. In other words: you should not be experiencing the effects of a trip. If your wooden floor is flowing like a river, then you have taken too much psilocybin for this to be considered a microdose, and you are, in fact, tripping.

Regardless of whether you are tripping or microdosing, it is recommended that you start with a smaller dose than you think you will need. You can always take more of the drug, but once you have taken it, there is nothing you can do but let it run its course.

Why I Microdose

So, why do I microdose? Why do I take a portion of psilocybin so tiny that I don’t even get high? Without further ado, these are the reasons why I love magic mushrooms…

Increased Neuroplasticity

First and foremost, I love how psilocybin enhances the neuroplasticity of the brain. The brain is already neuroplastic—meaning that the brain is already capable of making new synaptic connections. In layman’s terms, what this means is that the brain is capable of change: changing beliefs, changing thought-patterns, changing cognitive habits.

That said, as we age, our neuroplasticity decreases. When someone is young, their neuroplasticity is at its peak. This is why children and even young adults are so impressionable. And this is why, once people get into their thirties—once people ‘mature’—typically, they become less open to new ideas and new experiences.

Pair that simple bio-psychology with trauma, and you can see why people develop mental illness. Look at any ‘fully developed’ adult in your life: if you know their story, everything they do makes perfect sense.

And speaking for myself, my struggle with borderline personality disorder makes perfect sense. During my youth, I experienced trauma—a few traumas. And then I developed BPD. What my borderline really is is this: a set of maladaptive coping mechanisms for dealing with the hardships of life.

And while I know logically that it would be more effective to not be so terrified of abandonment, to not ‘split’ on myself and others, to not think in black and white… logic simply cannot beat these long-held beliefs and systems of thought, developed as a strategy for dealing with the perils of being a human being. Maybe these were good strategies for dealing with the traumatic experiences, but they are bad strategies for dealing with most of what life has to offer.

I want to be careful about misrepresenting psilocybin as a magic pill. Everyone will have a unique experience with any drug, and, as mentioned at the start of this essay, my fear in writing about magic mushrooms is that someone will, after reading my story, take magic mushrooms and have a bad experience.

That said, psilocybin is one of the most powerful tools I have for introspection, for taking an honest look at my thinking, for thinking novel thoughts. Sure, I have other tools that help me in this way—Tarot, journaling, emotional freedom technique—but, generally speaking, magic mushrooms get to the root of the issue much more quickly and effectively.

And when I pair magic mushrooms with Tarot, journaling and EFT, each tool amplifies the effectiveness of the others, allowing me to take a really good look at my own mind and add another layer to my healing. You can see how helpful this is for someone with borderline personality disorder, for someone who regularly experiences intrusive, obsessive thoughts, for someone who struggles so much with fear.

Enhanced Creativity

Beyond benefiting my mental health, psilocybin also enhances my creativity. Being an entactogen, magic mushrooms help me connect better to myself, better to my source. And is creativity not all about your relationship to yourself? I find, when microdosing, not only do I receive plenty of creative ideas, what with the enhanced neuroplasticity, but I am also much more willing to take action on said ideas.

Some of my favourite days from last year consisted of me sipping a cup of tea and, with the help of the ‘Mushroom Gods’, writing short stories longhand. Sure, I could have written these stories without the psilocybin, but the compound allowed me to enjoy the creative process more deeply. Psilocybin reminds me that I do the work I do, not for the finished result, but because of the joy I find in writing.

Spiritual Connection

Furthermore, psilocybin connects me with Truth, with God and Goddess, with the Universe. Feel free to replace these words with your language of choice. If you are an atheist, you can replace them with ‘something beyond myself’.

Psilocybin aids in spiritual awakenings, and I attribute my spiritual awakening to my first mushroom trip. Before that trip, I was a staunch atheist—and I loved to debate people on the matter! After the trip, however, I knew there was something more… something beyond this myopic human experience…

Once again, this essay was not written as an encouragement to take psilocybin. Rather, my intention with this essay is simply to share my experience with magic mushrooms.

Personally, I am incredibly grateful for this special fungus; it holds a very dear place in my heart. You must remember, however, that experiences vary from person to person. What works for me, may not work for you.

And above all, always take the opinion of some random person on the internet (Me!) with a massive pinch of salt.


MD Luna