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 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
Usually, when people hear about
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. Shaman believe that this altered state is actually reality,
not what we experience every day.
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, and to make a direct connection to the God/Goddess of
our understanding. Yes! a direct
The Shamanic healing ceremony can give someone
something to rest into – to allow more uncomfortable content to emerge with
surrender and presence.
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 believed it 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 Leary who later discovered
LSD. 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. It is said, that they used to
eat them with honey and as soon as the components started to work may found
themselves in deep meditation. They had different visions, some had visions
of themselves dying( loss of Ego) some saw fractal geometry and felt the
connection to the universe. Some had visions of themselves in past lives. 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, drumming, smudging and rattles 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 profound 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 4 to 7 hours,
but in higher doses it can last longer and is considered a hero’s’ dose.
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 slow voice and the message it gives is always different. Mostly,
the experience is described to be positive and healing. Some say, that the
voice claims to have an extraterrestrial origin, such as the earth’s voice.
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 elves and fairies during the shamanic healing 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.
Psilocybin Mushrooms in Medicine
According to a study by John
Hopkins University, more 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, releasing
judgment, attachment and fear.
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 stress (PTSD) 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.