History of use
Magic, hallucinogenic or psychedelic mushrooms have been in use for thousands of years and by various ethnic groups.
Therе are ancient depictions of mushrooms on the rocks in Spain and Southern Algeria that are around 8000 years old.
It has been speculated that those depictions could imply the use of Psilocybin mushrooms in sacred rituals that took place in various cultures worldwide.
It’s a well known fact that ancient South American Indians have been using Psilocybin mushrooms in religious rituals for centuries before European colonies first discovered them.
While religion and spirituality discovered the power of magic mushrooms long ago, science has only recently started studying their healing potential.
Even Big Pharma admits to the great and undiscovered potential of psilocybin, but science usually lags behind spirituality so it has to come a long way before fully realizing the force behind these entheogens.
Hippie culture and the later New Age spirituality reinstated the use of magic mushrooms in order to bring the cultural and spiritual revolution to fruition, but the puritan law forbade the use of psilocybin.
Nowadays it has become popular among the millennials to use Psilocybin mushrooms at parties to “get high”.
Although psilocybin can help you alter the state of mind you’re in, it’s not to be regarded as means to “get high” nor should it be used at parties and such.
It’s neither a mere medicine that you can just swallow and reach enlightenment, nor is it a drug to toy with in order to escape the burden of adolescence.
On such voyages, it’s best to consult someone experienced in soul searching and explorations of the mind. A shaman or a guru may be your best advisor and trip sitter for the whole experience.
Besides, it’s not just pharmaceutical properties of the psilocybin that make up for the whole spiritual travel. It’s the spirits of the nature that shaman communicates with that participate in the trip.
What are psilocybin mushrooms and how do they work? What does science say about it?
This article will address the psilocybin mushrooms only because both kinds of magic mushrooms (psilocybin and muscarine) deserve articles of their own.
The use of psilocybin is more widespread than the use of Amanita Muscaria. There’s more than 150 species of mushrooms containing psilocybin all over the world.
Besides that, psilocybin mushrooms are easier to digest and, contrary to the widespread opinion, they’re not going to cause you any physical harm since they’re not toxic.
Psilocybin is a natural occurring structural analogue to the serotonin – a neurotransmitter that causes you to feel happy.
Since its chemical structure is similar to serotonin, your receptors treat it as such and the effects are you being happy.
The great advantage of serotonin is that it doesn’t deplete your natural resources of your “happiness hormones”.
Instead of enhancing the release of your neurotransmitters which later results in shortage of serotonin in your system, psilocybin simulates serotonin and acts as a “happiness hormone” per se.
When it gets out of your system, your serotonergic systems continue working as nothing had happened even though your mind is still positively affected by the trip so you get a double serving of the joy.
A common misconception is that mushrooms cloud your thinking and vision. They actually work to raise your awareness and increace your cognitive capacities.
Brain imaging proved that, when on psilocybin, your brain centers communicate more and in more peculiar ways. The result of that are a heightened sense of awareness and hallucinations or visions.
Another misconception about psilocybin is that it causes addiction. That couldn’t be more false as psilocybin is actually used in addiction treatments and not as a substitute, but as a solution itself.
Many patients in trial experiments report life- changing experiences that often help them resolve many problems some of which are addictions.
Psilocybin actually builds a great degree of tolerance in the system so after administrating it once, it simply doesn’t have any effects on your brain for the next couple of following weeks.
Besides that, the psychological or spiritual experience of the trip is so immense that we don’t really know anyone who uses mushrooms more frequently than once in a couple of months.
There’s simply a lot to process after you take them once. Now, let’s peek into the spiritual experiences themselves.
Psychological and spiritual experiences or “the trip” itself
It’s important to separate set and setting. Set is your mindset or your current state of mind and that which you bring into the whole experience. Your expectations, emotions, feelings, memories, vibrations.
Setting is the environment in which you use magic mushrooms. Environment may imply everything from the physical ambient to the atmosphere and the mindsets of the people that surround you.
Both set and setting are equally important as mushrooms can induce and highlight your inner content in order to induce enlightenment.
There are two paths to enlightenment. One is ecstatic and pleasant and the other is through personal psychological hell or what they call a “bad trip”, although in truth, there’s no such thing.
Every trip you take leads you somewhere where you needed to be in order to learn the lesson you needed to grow and ascend.
Be that as it may, you still may want to ensure that you ascend from pleasure rather than from suffering.
That’s where the setting comes to the spotlight. During your trip, your senses may enhance as well as your intuition and empathy for others. That way your auras begin to communicate.
Needless to say that, if someone harbors negativity in their hearts, you will fill that and it will affect your light and vibrations.
Other than that, your perception on psilocybin significantly changes. You may experience visions of patterns or archetypal images which will always hold a symbolic meaning that you should discover.
Some people who are not prepared for the spiritual experiences and the shift of paradigms in their perceptions may start laughing too loud or communicating too much which may distract you.
The point of the experience is to commune with your environment as you will feel all life breathing as one and your perception of yourself will change.
Your ego will diminish and you will feel as part of a greater cosmic and spiritual oneness.
Be that as it may, the point of the experience is also to travel inside into the depth of your own and everyone else’s being.
That may sometimes become hard when people get too loud or too distracting.
That’s why it’s best to do take the magic mushroom trip in the ceremony with a shaman that will guide you through the depths of self discovery.
Shaman will also call upon the spirits of nature to aid you and provide you with visions necessary for reaching the state of enlightenment where you will see that all is one and all is good.
That’s the prevailing feeling that you’re supposed to have and that many people do get – a sense of serenity, peace, universal love and understanding and deep consciousness of unity with all life.
It’s easy to feel that even when you take the shrooms alone because you’re so full of the pure joy of life that it naturally leads you to the overwhelming awareness of the cosmic soul that you belong to.
However, some people come with past trauma or negative emotions like anger, grief, sadness, self-pity, hate or lack of confidence.
All those psychological obstacles block your inner vision and prevent you from reaching enlightenment and a catharsis is in order.
However, some people subconsciously identify with their suffering and it’s hard for them to let go of their points of view.
Catharsis is hard for those kinds of people and they may experience euphoria or may even start to panic.
Shrooms naturally don’t tend to lead you there, but if you strive too hard to control everything it only means that you come from a place of fear.
It may become necessary to face you with that fear to bring you to a realization that it’s just an illusion and that you’re actually afraid of being afraid.
There are negative spirits and negative psychological tendencies that feast on your fear and suffering and it may be for the best to have a shaman or a guru to protect you from such entities.
Magic mushrooms provide you with a map that leads to the enlightenment and your spiritual teachers provide instructions on how to read that map and interpret the signs.
That’s why it’s for the best to take magic mushrooms during a guided plant ceremony and ensure the best possible results of your quest for enlightenment and self-discovery.