News & Politics

Knights in Armor (and Other Mescalin Dreams)


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

July 27, 1961, Vol. VI, No. 40

A Visit to Other Worlds

By John Wilcock

The first time I sampled mescalin, conditions were (I realized in retrospect) exactly right. It was up in the country, at a lovely house surrounded by grass and trees. Lazing up in the country, at a lovely house surrounded by grass and trees. Lazing in a hammock on the lawn, I could gaze into a clear blue sky. The sun shone and in the woods surrounding the house I could hear the chirruping of a score of birds. Relaxation then is important, and so is the presence of close friends who are aware of what you’re doing.

Naturally I was a little apprehensive. I had read the Huxley book and also an excellent casebook called “Drugs and the Mind,” by Robert S. de Ropp (Grove Press, $2.95), but I didn’t really know whether I was going to lose control of myself or be physically ill as a necessary concomitant to the expected “visions.” Actually, neither happened; nor could what I saw be accurately described as visions.

As a matter of fact, it is astonishingly hard to explain exactly what did happen. Since that first occasion i have compared my experiences under mescalin with those of other people, and we are all agreed on one basic point, which is that there are no words to convey accurately what happens. Attempts to describe it — in no matter how flowery a language — are merely one-dimensional, little better than a debasement of the experience…

About one hour after swallowing four-tenths’ of a gram of mescalin, my legs began to feel slightly wobbly (although I was still able to walk about), but this soon passed off, as did the mild feelings of nausea…I found that my mind could wander into unfamiliar realms with extraordinary ease. Geometric symbols, knights in armor, rivers, lakes, canals, mountains, patterns – all passed through my mind in bewildering succession…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956. John Wilcock is still going strong at]


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