Observations placeholder

Ether butterflies



Type of Spiritual Experience

Perception recall

Number of hallucinations: 1


All sorts of experiences as the dosage increased

A description of the experience

Butterflies – Ether by R Duke EROWID

[Erowid Warning: The “water extraction” method is ineffective in separating diethyl ether from the volatile hydrocarbon liquids/gases in “starter fluid”. Our understanding of the literature is that there is no such thing as safe use of volatile hydrocarbon gases: their psychoactive effects are inseparable from nerve and organ damage.]

Let me just start out by saying that I do not like to get 'fucked up'. I have a strong interest in conciousness expansion, and my past experiences with drugs are weed, DXM, and various pills. I have never tripped, I have only been speeded up and slowed down and dissociated. So I wanted to see what madness would ensue after huffing some diethyl ether. I got a can of starting fluid from the gas station down the street and proceeded to separate the ether by pouring water into a glass with the starting fluid. I drained off the bottom layer and splashed some onto a rag.

I was laying on a couch on my front porch. The first huff burned my nose horribly, so I doubled over the rag and anticipated the effects. The first signs of the ether came on by means of a strong dizziness and a numb tounge. My body was quite numb, but I could still easily reach over to dip the rag in the ether glass. As I descended further into my binge, I noticed a strong humming noise coming from the streetlights (which were purple and swirling) and the sky turned pink and seemed very close, so close I could touch it.

Then the psychological effects started. I flashed back to when I was anesthesized for surgery when I was eight years old. I wasn't on my front porch anymore, I was laying in the Operating Room with my mother beside me holding my hand. And I saw a creature in the distance, not unlike a butterfly. It had big eyes that took up its whole head and made a happy chirping noise. I noticed that it was getting closer, and the closer it got the louder the chirping was. My vision was also completely obliterated except for a black and white strobing effect.

At the precise moment that my butterfly chirped, I …..took a deep breath. Everything was gone and I was laying on my front porch again in complete silence. I hadn't taken a breath in about two minutes, and I think the vision was a result of oxygen deprivation.

 This was the most profound experience in my life, and I haven't tried ether again since then.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Inhaling volatiles and gases