"This is the wattle
the symbol of our scene.
You can smoke it in a bottle
or eat with harmaline..."

-from"The Pipe Song"
by the Pagan Love Cult inc



DMTor dimethyltryptamine
is a short acting (5-15 mins) extremely potent psychedelic compound. Western scientists have been synthesizing and taking it since the early 50s. Throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s it has been occasionally available to longtime acid connoisseurs. Recently it's been popping up all over the place.

Because of DMT's extreme potency and the sudden, almost immediate onset of it's effects, it really helps to have some prior experience and familiarity with deep psychedelic spaces. Uninformed, inappropriate experimentation could result in some fairly hellish experiences for newbies. When used intelligently however, DMT is one of the most important and powerful psychedelic sacraments available.

The Pagan Love Cult inc (and many indigenous tribal people throughout history) have found that DMT when taken in a forested or natural environment almost invariably triggers a classic Gaian experience- a directly experienced realization of the interconnection and unity of all life on Earth and our place within this most amazing tapestry. For this reason and in the interests of public education, we offer the following information...

One of the more interesting things about DMT is that it exists in many plants and trees. In fact it's also in our cerebro-spinal fluid and stored in our pineal gland.

Turns out it's an extremely common alkaloid that just keeps popping up all over the place, and seems to serve no earthly purpose other than to kick-start us into some of the most intense and overwhelming psychedelic experiences we could possibly imagine.

Once again, Mother Nature is the ultimate psychedelic prankster

Needless to say, many tribal people have known about this for longer than anyone can remember and accordingly there's a long history of sacred DMT use throughout the Amazon jungle, where it occurs in many forms.

Another quirky thing about DMT is that if you eat it on it's own, nothing happens... the stuff has to be smoked to have any effect. If it's mixed with another ingredient called an MAO inhibitor however, it can be eaten and the trip lasts for several hours.

Curiously though not surprisingly, many different tribes of Indians throughout the Amazon basin have independantly figured out that there's an MAO inhibitor occuring in the Banisteriopsis vine that grows throughout the jungle.

In each geographical region however DMT occurs in a different plant. Showing considerable ingenuity and perserverance, each tribe has managed to figure out which plants contain what and as a result Ayahuasca (as it is known) is a major initiatory tool for the South American shaman.

Until recently, Western psychedelic voyagers in search of the DMT experience had to content themselves with either a rare and occasional blast of synthetic product or a long and arduous journey to the Amazon jungle.

In the last few years however, it's become more widely known that DMT can be quite easily extracted from a variety of common plant sources. In Australia, this is especially so.

Several species of native acacia or wattle trees are quite high in DMT content. It is a relatively simple process to extract the active alkaloid. We aint talking high-tech designer drugs here, folks... this is kitchen sink science project stuff... there's at least one person in every tribe capable of the necessary procedures.

And so in the late 90s DMT has become an increasingly common sacramental drug amongst both long term trippers and younger, more dance-culture based members of the psychedelic fraternity.

What we're looking at is Drug Enforcement's worst nightmare come true - an extremely potent psychedelic that's being produced not by a single, central crime syndicate but in the backyards and bathrooms of many, many personally committed individuals and communities.

The reaction from police and so-called health education experts has been typically knee-jerk and ill-informed.

Sydney Morning Herald, May 2nd(?) 1998

The plain simple fact of the matter is that as we lurch our way into the 21st century, a wide variety of drugs will become more freely available. This is an inevitable byproduct of our accumulation of scientific and botanical knowledge, coupled with the wide dissemination of information afforded by the internet. But before we join Mr Paul Dillon (see press clipping above), the fundamentalist right, many of our more pig-ignorant, publicity-seeking politicians and the braying, sensation-hungry national press in yet another beat-up of "unregulated internet sites" (how the fuck do you "regulate" an internet site?), let's pause for a second to reflect on the fact that most of the information these people are worrying about has been freely available in books and libraries for many years.

In point of fact, the first acacia-based DMT I ever saw (a few years back now) was produced by people who had the ingenuity to go to the Mitchell Library in Sydney and track down various scientific papers dating back as far as 1966 (that's how long this information has been in the public domain) that specified which trees and how much DMT they contained.

The chemical alchemy necessary is really just a simple, two-stage alkaloid extraction, as described in innumerable science text books... after ya bust the internet sites, officer, ya better bust every high school library in the world!

Any wonder "the authorities" are shitting bricks!

If we can believe the press reports (a statistically unlikely possibility), Australian teenagers are smoking DMT, freaking out and "running through fields". Presumably, this is after they've "fallen over" onto the strategically-placed cushions, but what I really wanna know is when does the ceremonial part happen?

What is glaringly apparent is that the "authorities" (once again) don't know what they're talking about.

This is unfortunate in the extreme. All the drug "experts" ever really achieve with their worthless fear-mongering is to make themselves laughable to the very kids they're trying to reach.

The one relatively interesting and relevant point made in the whole article was that the "teens" mentioned were apparently using the drug in a "ceremonial manner"... just like the Amazon Indians.

Interesting, huh?

Take a batch of typical, red-blooded Aussie teenagers, give 'em a traditional plant-based, shamanic ceremonial drug and (surprise, surprise) they wind up using it ceremonially!

I could be wrong, but I somehow feel there's a lesson in all this for the so-called "drug educators".
You know, humans only seem to wind up in trouble with drugs when they stop using them ceremonially. Most tribal cultures enjoy a very healthy and spiritual relationship with drugs- they're generally regarded as doorways to the spirit world, initiatory tools and such. But as soon as the tribal culture is introduced to a colonial western model of drug use, the traditional society is quickly eroded. Invariably this is accompanied by missionaries and armed thuggery of all descriptions. Booze, bullets and Bibles- the classic weapons of colonial conquest.

Needless to say, in such a climate spiritualised, ceremonial drug use quickly becomes an archaic (often persecuted) practice. By default abusive and socially destructive drug use becomes the norm. The end product of all this can be plainly seen in the current massive social problems caused by Western culture's unfortunate relationship with drugs and the authorities' ongoing attempt to control all this with repression..

What's really called for at this point in history are models for healthy drug use:- healthy for the individual, healthy for society and healthy for the planet we all share. One of the most obvious existing models is the tribal one - spiritualised, earth-based, ceremonial use of organic psychedelics.

How unfortunate then that when our teenagers (through ingenuity, evolution or propinquity) stumble on to just such a traditional model and substance, that our drug "educators" can only respond by issuing dire, hysterical warnings and comparing it to the nearest thing they can find in their own limited experience... ouija boards

#What's it look like?

#How do you take it?

#What does it do?


#Official research.

#Unofficial research.

#How do you make it?

What does it look like?
In synthetic form, DMT tends to be a whitish crystal but the acacia-based extractions available in Australia seem to range from a brown or yellowish gummy substance to a clearer more crystalline creation.

DMT has a distinctive, strong and subjectively unpleasant odour, but long-term initiates seem to develop a liking for it. The Sydney Morning Herald describes it as "like burning plastic", the Pagan Love Cult prefers the more colourful description of "tasting like death and dogshit", but whatever your choice of olfactory comparison we would recomend having a friend stationed nearby with a glass of water in case the unusual taste proves too much. Though, depending on the dosage you may not even notice...

How do you take it?
Smoking DMT is probably the most common way of taking it, though when mixed with an MAO inhibitor you can eat it.

What does it do?
Whew, that's a tricky one... well, for a start it speeds up your heart and blood pressure, so if you've got a bad heart or high blood pressure you definitely should stick to acid or mushrooms... that aside, it gives you a very intense and short-acting psychedelic experience that's far more over-whelming than anything most contemporary trippers are used to. On a strong dose, it's unlikely that you'll bother (or be able) to maintain an upright position... not that you'd really want to.

Effects are felt almost immediately. Often the first noticeable sign is a high-pitched whistle that increases in volume as the trip takes off. Colourful and otherworldy patterns and "hallucinations" are usually observed, and classic psychedelic ego dissolution and oneness feelings often follow.

So far, this sounds like a pretty typical 60s-size acid dose which is true on some levels but quite incorrect on others. There are many subtle differences between the acid "planes" or "head-spaces" and the DMT ones.

One of the most obvious ones is that with a classic LSD (or mushroom) experience many hours are spent going up and coming down, this can often be the most disorienting and grueling part of the trip. The human ego doesn't seem to really like being dissolved, and as a result there's often an unconscious almost physical resistance to the onset of psychedelic symptoms. Once a strong peak is reached, the tripper usually has little choice but to let go. At this point, total ego dissolution can become a very enjoyable, enriching and inspiring experience.

One of the real beauties of DMT is that it projects you immediately into this kind of space without the long and often freaky psychic unraveling of the "going up" process. The trick here is to lay back, breathe real slow and deep and go with it... let go and head for the light (as they say).

Many DMT smokers report apparent communication with DMT plane "beings" during their trip. This is by no means universal and in our own experience, The Pagan Love Cult have seen little of this sort of phenomona leading us to the conclusion that quite possibly any "discarnate intelligences" encountered are either externalisations of different aspects of our own psyches or the (un)conscious projections of whoever's handing out the dose.

This is not to say that there aren't very many archetypal and universal "thought forms" that can be encountered and learnt from on DMT, it's just that it would be at best premature and at worst plain stupid to ascribe any kind of objective physical reality to 'em... but then again as any self-respecting pagan will tell you, there ARE Nature Spirits.

Interestingly, DMT seems to be far more influenced by set and setting than the other major psychedelics.... and that's saying something. The expectations and preconceptions of all those involved in a DMT circle seem to play a much larger part in the "style" and even physical effects of the trip.

Different groups working in different areas seem to have quite divergent (yet internally consistent) experiences. Our own experiments have all been conducted in natural, forested places. Our overview incorporates both a belief in, knowledge of and respect for traditional tribal sacramental use of psychedelic plants, an appreciation of various psychotherapeutic models as pioneered by Grof, Osmond, Hubbard, Leary, Metzner, Janiger etc., and a lifestyle that somehow gives higher esteem to Owsley, Kesey, Cassady and co than to any of the aforementioned academics.

Two consistent themes emerged as a result.

Firstly, a greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all life and an experiental realisation of our place as humans within a living eco-system, in short- a classic Gaian experience was invariably reported. We attribute this to the physical environment in which the experiments took place (a living forest) and our own pre-existing awareness of the environmental imperatives currently facing life on this planet.

Secondly, resolution or at least re-evaluation of personal emotional and psychological issues and traumas have been regularly reported, often without any conscious understanding until several days after the trip. Put more simply, DMT seems to have great potential for moving "psychic boulders", and it may take you until some time afterwards to figure out exactly what those boulders were. For this reason (as with all the psychedelics), it's advisable to allow adequate time between doses so as to process and assimilate what's been experienced.

Interestingly, in our local corner of Australia the acacia or "wattle" tree is regarded as a very effective "pioneer species" for forest regeneration. The formula is strikingly simple. Take any ol' denuded cow paddock and fill it full of wattle trees... they replenish the nitrogen in the soil and create a canopy for the other species of trees that soon follow. We figure that what works for a forest should also work for humans.

First posted in June 1998

Some historical reminiscences about DMT in the 70s, 80s, 90s & beyond...
"The First Time I smoked DMT"

Pot? Acid? Mushrooms
...or just...

Get me the hell outtahere!!!