The history and significance of psilocybin mushroomsJoerg Happe Starting with the early human history suggests Joerg happenings in his contribution a bow on the (re) discovery of the sacred mushrooms, whose "disenchantment" by isolation of the active principle to the psychological studies of the sixties and today's mushroom rituals as harbingers of profound social and historical changes
The Magic bearer of culture
In the history of humanity have altered states of consciousness, waking, which are caused by the use of psychoactive plants, probably already had great significance very early. So there was already in early human history about 60,000 years ago specialists for the use of medicinal plants. This is demonstrated in excavations in Iraq medicinal plants found, which were identified as grave goods. They contain substances that still find use in medical application. Among them, the psychoactive substance ephedrine was detected.
By other archaeological finds, we know that plants that contain psychoactive substances, in prehistoric times were on almost every continent in use. Such magical plants are so close to human life and that their formation is mentioned in the myths of origin of all other populations. Thus, it is likely that first experiences of God have taken place substances under the influence of psychoactive substances. The magic plants were obstetricians of religion, the key to mystical space, the ground of human culture. Our ancestors recognized in such plants teacher who gave them visions decrypted the language of nature or advice given to the physical and spiritual healing. All over the world religions arose, in the center of the ritual is taking magical plants. Some of these Rituals have survived for thousands of years until modern times. Among them is the religious use psilocybin mushrooms in Central America.
The Mexican magic mushrooms
Only a few plants gods was brought greater veneration than the sacred mushrooms in Mexico. The Aztecs called it Teonanacatl what "divine flesh" means. Like the other magical plants and fungi of the Spanish conquerors and the incident with them Catholic missionaries were branded as devil's work. One tried to exterminate the mushroom cult, but the Indians kept the secret of Teonanacatl successfully over many centuries in secret.
That psilocybin mushrooms and their ritual use are fairly well known today, especially the inquiring mind of the couple R. Gordon Wasson and VP is due to. The two mycologists (mushroom scientists) had long been fascinated by the different way of looking at fungi in different cultures. They differed in Mykophile people who love mushrooms, and Mykophobe, fear the mushrooms. The Europeans are mykophob example, in their majority today. They believe that even the pleasure of a single fly agaric means certain death and many fungi are not the devil's work. A sad evidence of the many walkers blindly vice occurred toadstools in our native forests and the demonization of psilocybin mushrooms as a drug whose use will be prosecuted.
In contrast, the mykophilen Indians of ancient America celebrated grand festivals for their gods through ritual and experienced mushroom ingestion paradise on earth. The Wasson had long been spent much of her free time with the unveiling of the history of the sacred mushrooms, as they made the acquaintance of the ethnobotanist RE Schultes. Schultes worked on the same subject and the Wasson pointed the direction in which they would have to search for the remains of the old fungal cultures. In June 1955, they were successful in a small village in the highlands of Oaxaca. Of the later famous curandera (healer, seer) Maria Sabina RG Wasson and the photographer A. Richardson were initiated into the mysteries of the sacred mushrooms. While many other expeditions which explored the Wasson's mushroom cult preserved over thousands of years, took part in rituals and made their findings to the greater public.
The chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann, discoverer of LSD-25, interested in the research of Wasson and was soon able from the magic mushrooms and psilocybin, the psychoactive molecules Psilocin to isolate and produce them synthetically. With a further expedition in 1962 Hofmann was the shaman Maria Sabina instead of the mushrooms, the synthetic molecules in tablet form. After the ritual, she told Hofmann that the effect is identical. The secret of the sacred mushrooms was aired.
Meanwhile, about eighty to ninety psychoactive mushroom species are known that spread across the globe. If the "flesh of the gods" is mentioned, we certainly think first of Psilocybe Mexicana - from this species Albert Hofmann synthesized the psychoactive molecules. In addition, many other Psilocybe and Stropharia species in different tribes such as the Matzateken Mexico, Zapotec and Chontal in use. Of the various types of the species Stropharia cubensis is [today Psilocybe cubensis, ed] is of particular interest that can be artificially bred relatively easily. He has become widespread, especially in the U.S. and in Central Europe since the seventies by the possibility of cultivation of this fungus on rye substrate. Most of the available on the underground market psilocybin mushrooms are today. Upon the species Stropharia cubensis In this context, however, must be gewisen out that possession, consumption, production and trade is punishable with substances psilocybin under the Narcotics Act in Germany.
Also on the domestic fields and meadows grow different types psilocybin mushrooms. This is especially the Spitzkegelige bald head (Psilocybe semilanceata) call, a widely-used type, whose active ingredient is similar to Stropharia cubensis equally high.
The Spitzkegelige bald head hidden under the grass often grows on well-fertilized pastures and fields, with a preference for moist, warm, sunny places. Especially on Kuhwiesen, also sheep and horse pastures, is expected in high yield. Harvest time is from August to January, mainly early September to mid-November. Then the fungi often occur in large Groups on. The cap is approximately 5 to 30 mm high, to spitzkegelig hemispherical, with a nipple at the top. The skin is smooth and slimy, the color varies from pale yellow to dark brown, beige, with a clear olive-impact when it is wet. The stem is 20 to 80 mm high and about 2 mm thick, consistent (thickening at the base), often curved. It is slightly lighter than the brown hat. The slats are beige to dark brown. A bluish tint, which occurs especially on sites of injury is considered as an indicator of the Psilocybingehalt. When collecting one should be careful not to tear the fruit body, but short abzuknipsen above the ground in order not to hurt the actual fungus that underground Mycelgeflecht. The collected mushrooms can be enjoyed either fresh or air-dried and stored. Water and packed they are a long time in the refrigerator.
Both the Spitzkegelige bald head as well as Stropharia cubensis contain equally high amounts of about 0.3% psilocybin and psilocin in the dry matter. These belong - like many other psychedelics - the class of the alkaloids. The psilocybin is very similar to LSD-25 and N, N-DMT. All these tryptamine derivatives are in turn built similar to the human neurotransmitter serotonin, which may provide an explanation for the activity of these psychotropic hallucinogens. It features the same basic structure, the molecules are able to interact with the same sites in the nervous system, in which serotonin exerts its effect. This causes the mental functions, which are located at the relevant points of the brain unchanged.
The physical toxicity of psilocybin is extremely low - the lethal dose is about 600 times higher than the dose normally drunk and would correspond to the amount of 40 kg fresh mushrooms. Even with many years of use from Psilocybinpilzen occur no physical damage. The dangers of psychological dependence does not exist, there being no effects on the hormonal system. Tolerance to psilocybin is easily achieved if the mushrooms are made more frequently than once a week, that is, covered with the same amount, the effects of far weaker. This effect disappears when about a week to ten days waiting for the next intake.
Dosage and effect
A dose of about 10 to 12 mg of psilocybin, corresponding to approximately 50 g of fresh or 5 g dried mushrooms (the mushrooms are 90% water), enough to reveal an adult of 70 kg body weight of the full spectrum of hallucinogenic effects. This corresponds to a volume of about 5-7 medium sized Stropharia cubensis mushrooms or 60 to 70 Spitzkegeligen bald heads. Less noticeable effects can already be felt when taking 1 to 2 g of dried mushrooms. The fungus appears from about 15 to 30 minutes after ingestion, the duration of action is 4-7 hours.
The effects of a full dose fungus include visual and auditory hallucinations, extreme euphoria, distortion of time and space perception and states of calm clarity. The perceived with eyes closed images are in color, sharp and very clear. They can range from abstract geometric shapes to visions of fantastic landscapes and architectural perspectives. The outward perception is of a rare clarity. In nature, an intense connection with plants and animals is often experienced.
In general, the effect of extremely highly dependent on the environment in which takes place the mushroom ritual, as well as the preparation and the expectations of the participants. Mexican tribes today are taking the magic mushroom still in healing ceremonies and religious rituals have always been aware of the importance of "set and setting". You begin the ritual already in collecting the mushrooms, accompanied by prayers. In the nightly gatherings of healers, patients and interested you sit together in a circle. The mushrooms are served and eaten. The shaman or the curandera often sing for hours, where they beat the rhythm on her thighs. They become human language, enlightened by the Spirit. They call themselves "those who speak". By the "inspired speaking" the promptings of the fungus disease causes can be recognized and given prophecies.
"The deeper one penetrates into the world of Teonanacatl, the more things you can see. And you can see past and future, which are then combined, already finished, already happened ... I saw stolen horses and buried cities, whose existence was unknown and which are now being excavated. Million things I saw and did. I knew and saw God: a huge clock that ticks, with slowly rotating spheres, and in the stars, the earth, the whole universe, day and night, crying and laughter, happiness and pain. Who all seen through the mystery of Teonanacatl can even see the infinite clockwork. "
So the healer Maria Sabina describes their connection with the sacred mushrooms.
The Mexican mushroom rituals have many similarities with today's therapy sessions, which are held under the influence of MDMA or other psychoactive substances. It is important to note that in most West Europeans the ego structure is particularly strong. We are accustomed to a rational-technological, demystified the world and have the roots to the magical knowledge of our ancestors largely cut off (it is quite possible that the small bald men were also our ancestors known, although the evidence to date is pending). Thus, in union with the fungus is also about to change our personality structure to break down barriers through our strong egos to get old, eternal knowledge. This may be initially connected to many of us with great terror and suffering. Particularly strong during the first experiences with hallucinogens, one often makes a stage of "Anguished I-resolution" through when the ego begins to dissolve and this is not allowed and will be perceived as "dying".
The sacred mushrooms are compared with other hallucinogens, a rather soft keys to the doors of perception. Through a deliberate ritual designing the risks of a "bad trip" are largely excluded. First, make sure that no participant is in mentally unstable state. A multi-day match in a quiet environment is desirable. To be taken on an empty stomach at least a few hours beforehand should be fasted.
It is advisable to perform the ritual mushroom in a special place in nature (for example on a wood glade protected or striking rock formations) or in a beautifully decorated and provided with positive association guidelines ritual space. The room and the participants will be ritually cleansed by being abgeräuchert with sage or other herbs. Before taking collective meditations and breathing exercises help in relaxation and "Emptying the mind of worldly problems."
Will you take a high dose, so the anxiety is consequently reduced during the often violent onset of action that initially takes a small amount of mushrooms and taking the full dose while waiting until a soft mushroom effect is felt. From now reached plateau can be much easier to "stand out" as a fasting state out. Stimulation by odors (incense) and quiet music can be performed during the session.
It can also occur circles: Participants hold each others hands, and healing energy to flow through the circuit. During these sessions, the participants often experience a strong connection with each other, a kind of telepathic contact, the simultaneous through-air-will of a mind. During the ritual, none of the parties should come with his actions or statements with incomprehension or rejection within the group. Anything as bizarre translucent is taken, understood and integrated.
Extremely important for a valuable experience is the follow-up session, which begins with the common "lands". At best, the participants still have a few days to process alone and together with the group their experiences and integrate. This is a very important phase in which decides how much of the experience and remember you can use for his future. Following a rest period, it is recommended as soon as possible to make a memory protocol because the memory of the experience fades quickly. In addition, group meetings will be held, which will be discussed and interpreted in the personal and shared experiences. Who well prepared for the experience goes, spends most cases a wonderful, ecstatic time with the mushrooms.
The early sixties led the young psychologist Timothy Leary experiments with psilocybin in many subjects. A publication of its test results with 129 men and 48 women was published in 1963 in a psychological specialist newspaper. Accordingly found 70% of the intoxication pleasing or ecstatic, 88% felt they had learned something or had come to important insights, 62% of the subjects were convinced that the experience would have turned their lives for the better and a full 90% expressed the desire to "drug" to test again.
The visionary and ethnobotanist Terence McKenna believes that the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is far older than 3,000 years, and the fungus was already used and worshiped by primitive man. According to his theory could be fungal spores that came from space, have been the first form of life and intelligence on our planet. More recent scientific studies have shown that certain fungal spores up to 45 million years ago could survive in space.
In his experiments with the thriving Stropharia cubensis on rye substrate Terence received messages that changed his life significantly:
"I am old, older than thought in your species, which is times older than your history even fifty. Although I have been on the earth for centuries, but I come from the stars. However, my home is not a single planet with many of the worlds scattered shiny disc of the galaxy have conditions that give my life an opportunity spores. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body, the sexual titillation and the sun giving that my real body is a fine network of fibers entangle the earth. These networks can run through several interfaces morning and have far more than a human brain. My mycelium is almost immortal - only the sudden poisoning of the planet or the explosion of the star, which keeps him alive, can obliterate me. All my mycelia in the galaxy are in communication with each other, and even faster than the speed of light and time and space, but as the proceeds, I can not tell you because there are some flaws in your model of reality. The mycelium is as fragile as a spider's web, but about the collective spirit and collective memory are like a vast historical archive of the career of evolving on many worlds in our spiral nebulae intelligence ... "
Today we stand on the threshold of the stars, slowly it dawns in the minds of the masses that the next development step will change humanity so that everything has gone before as a prelude appears. We are on the brink of history, ready to our human development and experience in the vast abyss of the night that engulfs our planet, to accelerate during the hours of our historic career nor fade in the corridors of time. We are going to plunge us into the greatest adventure ever experienced, one that our notions of what it means to be human, changes from the ground up. The sacred mushrooms and other plant teachers help us in this increasingly dense time to find our way to the stars and give us views of our upcoming stages of development.
Courtesy of Rhode Hartwin "entheogens leaves"
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