It doesn't take long when searching for mushrooms to happen upon a few magical species and my story is no different. However, when I first came upon this particular specimen, I had no idea they were a hallucinogenic species . Just one look and them and you can see they possess magic.
I found a batch of them in the woods last week and I recognized them from, well basically, every Christmas decoration you think of. A quick check of my mushroom reference guide told me their name Fly agaric (Amanita muscaria) and that they were really poisonous so I snapped a few pictures and thought man what a great #mushroommonday post.
After leaving the area, I made a mental note that I should probably return to the woods and get rid of them since my children are playing there for kindergarten and I went on my way.
Today, when researching this post I discovered that this mushroom may be responsible for Christmas and is widely used around the world by shamans. The US Forest Service (my former employer) has done a wonderful write up on the magic mushrooms and how they may be responsible for Christmas. Please check out their website here.
It turns out European Shamans would dress up in red robes with white fuzz to collect the mushrooms for ceremonial purposes around the winter harvest and people would trip balls and see men flying around the sky in sleighs. Pretty cool huh?
I have no idea how to prepare something like this and I don't have the courage, or the time, to experiment with magic mushrooms, but I am extremely fascinated by their intoxicating effects and the power of nature.
From what I have read though, I don't think these mushrooms provide the same medical benefits as those that contain psilocybin, but there are many reports of people traveling to the netherworld and returning to life. Another prominent aspect of native European religion is the idea of reincarnation of nature and the soul and here is a great example of that.
If anyone has any experience with these mushrooms I would be very interested to know how you prepare them and what effects they had on you.
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