Magic Mushrooms – this is the common name for mushrooms containing psychedelic compounds such as psilocybin and psilocin. Psilocybin is a natural and highly visionary compound which has a traditional shamanic healing use with a long history.
Psilocybin frees and enlightens the mind – and awakens the active state of the dream. The magic mushroom helps to see the wonders of life by the expansion of consciousness. For many years it has been considered a deep spiritual tool that helps to reveal one’s true nature.
Usually, when people hear about spiritual ceremonies, they immediately think of songs and dances with feathers. Whereas, the ceremony is a state of being – it is a state of experience, it’s a container that is opened and that is closed. And in that state of being there is an opportunity for encounters with that which rests on the other sides of our altered states.
Psilocybin ceremonies – and in general ceremonies with Magic mushrooms are used as a way of bettering one’s life. To explore the more uncomfortable aspects of oneself and to go into more difficult experiences.
The ceremony can give someone
something to rest into – to allow more uncomfortable content to emerge with
surrender and presence.
History of Psilocybin Ceremonies
For thousands of years, many
cultures have used Psilocybin for shamanic practices and the first evidence comes
from a cave painting in Algeria dating back to 5000 BC.
Central America is the most
popular spot for psilocybin use by the native people dating back to
pre-Columbian times. The mushrooms were used for healing and communion. Also,
historians have discovered that the mushrooms were popular among Aztecs – which
served as a means of communication with their gods and spirits.
Later the magic mushrooms were
banned by Catholic Missionaries as they were believed to let people communicate
with the devil. As a matter of fact, although being banned it was still used in
The first time a Westerner
participated in a mushroom ceremony was Gordon Wasson with his wife. Later, he
wrote an article about his experience for Life Magazine.
It created a sensation among
hippies and they started moving to Mexico in the search for these magic
mushrooms. In the 60s and 70s, the use of such mushrooms and LSD made a huge
cultural movement across the world. Because these substances got widely spread,
they turned to be illegal and in The USA they started to be ranked as Schedule
I drugs and they remain that way till today.
Shamanic Ceremony with Visions
The preparation of Psilocybin is
considered the simplest among other magic mushrooms. However, there are
poisonous mushrooms that look very similar to these, so one needs to be very
Traditionally, Aztecs consumed
these mushrooms at night – which caused visions and stimulated sensuousness. It
is said, that they used to eat them with honey and as soon as the components
started to work, they started to sing, dance and some were even meditating.
They had different visions, some had visions of themselves dying, others saw
that they were wealthy and possessed many slaves. Some had visions of
themselves being guilty of robbery. When the effect of the mushrooms had reduced,
they began to discuss their visions with others.
Nowadays, the ceremony lasts the entire night, accompanied by the chants of the shaman.
Mental & Physical Effects
About an hour after the consumption, tactile senses and visions may appear. According to users, the mushrooms give euphoric sensations and emotional as well as mental clarity. Sometimes the mushrooms may have physical effects as well, such as pupil dilation, headache, nausea, and increased heart rate. Overall, the process lasts from 2 to 7 hours, even in high doses there are no recorded deaths or anyone recorded of “loosing their minds”
Assumption of higher doses can cause a loss of ability to talk. Another aspect that makes these mushrooms so famous is the voice that users start hearing. Often the voice is described as an old man’s or an old women’s slow voice and the message it gives is always different. Many believe that this is the voice of the Goddess or God of your understanding, while other believe that it is the spirit or essence of the mushroom itself. Many believe that since the mycelium of the mushroom is hundred and even thousands of years old this spirit has the ability to communicate with us,as it communicates with the trees. Many of us have had visions of “blue” pockets that we can leave information in for the next generation. The experience, what ever it is, is described to be positive and healing. Some say, that the voice claims to have an extraterrestrial origin, such as the earth’s voice or mother Gaia.
A famous ethnobotanist, even
claimed that psilocybin mushrooms are something like a portal for communication
between the users and extraterrestrial intelligence. According to him, these
mushrooms were able to travel across space in comets and when they arrived at an
inhabitable planet they started seeding. As if forming symbiotic relationships with more
advanced primates and continued to spread their higher consciousness network throughout
So, as a conclusion to the above-mentioned statements, we can say that it is no surprise that many users report seeing Celtic elves and fairies during the shamanic ceremonies.
In a way, these are similar to the experience with dimethyltryptamine. Users of DMT report being studied by extraterrestrial scientists. Other users even report seeing plant and animal spirits from species originating from the biosphere of the Earth. So the mushroom experience is pretty much similar to the DMT as well as Ahayuasca experience.
The Use of Psilocybin Mushrooms in Medicine
According to a study by John
Hopkins University, less than half of the users claimed that they had the most
spiritually significant experience in their lives. 79% of the participant in
the study reported that their well-being increased after the procedure.
Psilocybin has the ability to positively affect the personality traits, such as broad-mindedness, openness, reduce feeling of depression and resolve and rewrite trauma.
In another study held by UCLA, psilocybin
mushrooms were given to terminally ill patients and the results were
surprising. The patients became less stressed and with less anxiety about their
near death. The magic mushrooms have also shown positive results in patients
with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and with patients in the Post-Traumatic period.
And finally, another John Hopkins University study, shows that controlled use of psilocybin mushrooms can help in the treatment of alcohol and tobacco addiction.