By Caroline Knight
The DMT Dome is something you may have heard of in DMT circles, or experienced directly when under the influence of DMT. The first time I became aware of the dome was in one of my earliest DMT experiences, but at that point I had no frame of reference and didn’t know what it was.
When the DMT kicked in, I found myself entering a space in which I felt that I was looking upward. It was as if I were laying on the ‘ground’ in this hyperspace realm, and everything was going on above me. I could not perceive any visible perimeters to this space, but there was a sense of enclosure. This enclosure left me with the distinct impression of being inside a dome.
Inside the dome was a machine spitting out colourful fractals
The environment inside the dome was dark, like a void; but in the ‘top’ of the space, there was some kind of otherworldly machinery at work. It appeared as gleaming, whitish-silver mechanisms that all fitted together perfectly and were moving endlessly, in perfect synchronicity. Cogs would be a rudimentary analogy, but this was far more complex and the shapes were more geometric in appearance.
The components of this hyper-dimensional machine were throwing out fractals of rainbow colours more beautiful than I could possibly describe. They ranged between iridescent flecks and whole shapes, something reminiscent of paisley, perhaps. I felt that I was watching some kind of show created for me to marvel at; I was privy to something never before seen by other eyes.
Terence McKenna had something to say about the dome…
I don’t recall much else about the experience, but the prevailing memory was that I had been inside a contained space, and that it seemed to be underground. At some point later in my DMT research online, I noticed that someone else had mentioned ‘the dome’ and I decided to investigate further. That’s when I came across Terence McKenna’s take on it in a transcript of his talk, The Archaic Revival, Tryptamine Hallucinogens and Consciousness:
“When you break into this space, you have several impressions simultaneously that are a kind of gestalt: First of all (and why, I don't know) you have the impression that you are underground - far underground - you can't say why, but there's just this feeling of immense weight above you but you're in a large space, a vaulted dome. People even call it "The DMT dome" I have said, had people say to me, "Have you been under the dome?" and I knew exactly what they meant.
Once smoked, the onset of the experience begins in about 15 seconds. One falls immediately into a trance. One’s eyes are closed and one hears a sound like ripping cellophane, like some one crumpling up plastic film and throwing it away. A friend of mine suggests this is our radio entelechy ripping out of the organic matrix. An ascending tone is heard. Also present is the normal hallucinogenic modality, a shifting geometric surface of migrating and changing colored forms.
At the synaptic site of activity, all available bond sites are being occupied, and one experiences the mode shift occurring over a period of about 30 seconds. At that point one arrives in a place that defies description, a space that has a feeling of being underground, or somehow insulated and domed. In Finnegan’s Wake such a space is called “merry go raum” from the German word raum, for space. The room is actually going round, and in that space one feels like a child, though one has come out somewhere in eternity.”
“The most incredible of all psychedelic experiences”
Apparently McKenna has described the dome as the most incredible of all his psychedelic experiences, which is saying something. It seems to be a rather common phenomenon, although there isn’t much available by way of conclusion.
One thing most seem to agree on is that the dome is a hive of activity, which in itself is both ephemeral and ineffable. For many it appears to be the place where what McKenna dubbed the ‘machine elves’ attempt some form of communication.
Incidentally, DMT-style art appears to have been represented in some of the stunning architectural creations around the world (as evidenced in the header photo of this article too). Coincidence or otherwise, there is something very DMT-like about the ornate decor in some of the ancient mosques and other buildings of their ilk.
Those who have done their research into the activities of ancient cultures around the world will tell you that there is much evidence that the ancients partook in entheogenic substances. This appears to be represented in various ancient artworks and accounts for many ‘myths’ and stories. If this subject interests you, check out the fascinating documentary, The Pharmacratic Inquisition.
A DMT Nexus forum user described their experience in the dome:
“In the Dome the elves (or quasi-sentient visual constructs) seem to take an interest in you, sometimes they dance or lunge towards you real close and then recede or ebb away. In the Dome the visuals are beautifully presented both in terms of how they are overall but also their sweet intricacy, when just analysing a small part of what you perceive visually.
Beyond the Dome the activity-levels and mania were so great there was no way of homing in on just a small part of it. But that is not a problem as the total sum of what you 'see' is just too much.”
Here is a Reddit user’s account of the DMT dome:
“I noticed within about 10-15 seconds that I was within an "underground?" dome. I put underground with quotes and a question mark because I got the feeling that I was deep within the center of something very, very heavy, though I got the feeling it wasn't earth - maybe another dimension or planet.
The walls of this dimension were much like that of a beehive, very fractally geometric, dripping with tens of thousands of beautiful balls of multicolored multi-dimensional beings. These "beings" certainly didn't present themselves as entities until they dropped from their cave and smacked the ground as a liquid would, taking the shape of the most beautiful feminine entities I've eve encountered. They came to me and touched me from the inside-out, showing me pictures of their own lives as multi-dimensional beings.”
An Erowid user also commented on their experience of the dome:
“Every thing was BLACK! The stream of colors had stopped, the 'in your face' visuals backed up, and turned into rolling/waving hills, completely covered with lights, then instantly the hills rolled into this ‘room’. I was in this 'domed' Room only seconds before overwhelming geometric patterns became the wallpaper of something without a distinct boundary, as if the fractal-style visuals were designed to hide the realm’s true dimensions. Others have described being slung shot into space, but when you look up at the night sky, you can clearly tell the stars are far from you. These visuals are not ‘far away’. I was reminded of how they photograph items on a white sheet of cloth or paper that then bends up to hide the edge between the floor and wall.
If I was able to pull back from my vantage point, it can be almost described as someone throwing a blanket of a zillion different multi-changing colors over my face, then as it hit my face, 'puffing' or pulling back the blanket, back up into a round room. I would imagine that change from the 'in my face' visuals, to a '3D' round ball-style room was me breaking through. I did feel totally outside of my body, as if my eye balls were shot down some electric slide. At this point as I am being astonished by the colors on the domed/circle/ball style room; I remember thinking that I was in another world or dimension. There was no more earth left, no more reality to be grounded in.”
Whatever the purpose of this dome, if there is one at all, it seems common for people to find themselves there during DMT trips. If you have experienced the dome in your DMT travels, we will be happy to hear about it – leave us a comment with your experience, or feel free to submit a DMT experience for the library… and if you like the artwork, we have a whole gallery full of entheogenic art. Enjoy!