We know that the sacred mushroom has been around for a very long time, but the recent discovery in the Republic of the Congo of a fossilized mushroom gives us a better perspective with its estimated existence at nearly 715-810 million years ago. Sacred mushrooms are an integral part of life to our ecosystem as a whole. Not only do they play a key role in the recycling of our natural resources, certain strains nourish us through consumption and provide us with spiritual insight. Sacred mushrooms have been used for many generations by our ancestors to guide us in transmuting negative emotions and traumas, and give us a direct connection to the Creator.
There have been several discoveries of hieroglyphics and hidden cave art from indigenous cultures around the world depicting sacred hallucinogenic mushrooms, and the visions experienced by them; the oldest being discovered in places such as the Sahara Desert and tucked away caves in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The pictographs hidden amongst the remote badlands of the Sahara Desert in Tassili n’Ajjer in Algeria show that sacred mushrooms may have been utilized as far back as 9,000 years ago. These depictions show medicine men with fistfuls and rows or sacred mushrooms sprouting from their arms signifying the connectedness of the mycelium web created by these little helpers of humanity. The use of sacred mushrooms continues to be documented, drawn, painted, and sculpted throughout ancient civilizations. In Dendera, Egypt, there are relics depicting sacred mushrooms on a Temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor. In Ancient Greece, it is surmised that the popular tonic “kykeon” which was ingested during the secret and sacred rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries held in honor of the Goddess Demeter and the Goddess Persephone, also contained sacred mushrooms. Throughout Mesoamerica, sculptures and stone glyphs depict the use and honoring of “Teonanácatl,” or “flesh of the Gods,” in Nahuatl, to honor their sacredness among civilizations spanning throughout the Aztec Empire.
What is the Chemistry behind
What is it about these sacred mushrooms? The active chemical compound that makes these mushrooms so sacred is psilocybin. Once ingested, the body converts the psilocybin to psilocin. Psilocin is very close to serotonin, and fits into the already present serotonin 2A receptors of the brain. This is why we can experience a boost in mood and motivation after ingesting psilocybin. The sensory effects we experience are due to psilocin’s affinity for the areas of the brain which control taste, smell, touch, hearing and sight. There are often “crossovers” of these control hubs, leading to episodes of synesthesia. Although it is not fully understood, recents studies suggest that psilocin breaks down barriers in the brain, allowing certain parts to communicate that normally wouldn’t. This ability to analyze ourselves as a whole with these walls dissolved, is how we are able to go so deeply within ourselves with mushrooms. They allow us to see all the parts, connections and roots in ourselves.
How are they administered?
Mushrooms can be ingested in many forms, the most popular being the raw fruit, both dried or fresh, and eaten straightforward, but there are also supplements, tea, honey, candies, tinctures, and extracts like lemon tek. Eating the raw fruiting body of sacred mushrooms, while being the easiest method, does have downsides. Usually higher doses can come with gastric upset, as our stomachs are not able to break down the cellular structure of mushrooms properly for digestion. This is why some people may experience extreme gastric upset with certain types of culinary mushrooms. Mushrooms must be cooked very well in order to help break down those cell walls, and make it easier for the stomach to digest. The psilocybin conversion into psilocin may cause nausea, or even vomiting, before the hallucinogenic effects begin.
Supplements are typically found in microdoses, and often include other mushrooms with health benefits, such as reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane, and/or cordyceps. A microdose is considered one-tenth of the average hallucinogenic dose. It should be enough to feel cognitive effects, but not enough to cause hallucinogenic effects. A microdose is different for everyone, so it can take a bit of experimentation to find the proper “fit.” Microdoses can range from between 100-400mg. Through general consensus, 500mg is the point that a dose becomes more than a microdose. Microdosing for motivation, creativity, focus, and an all-around mood-booster, is becoming more and more acceptable in a society that seeks natural and holistic alternatives to western and pharmaceutical medicines.
Mushroom honey, known as “Blue Honey”, is an alternative way to ingest psilocybin mushrooms, and can stay preserved for an indefinite amount of time. This method combines the sacredness of the mushroom with the divine energy of fertility and creation that the bee possesses. It is made by grinding up mushrooms, and simply allowing the powder to steep in honey for as long, or as short, of a timeframe desired. Of course, the more mushrooms used, the more concentrated the blue honey, just as the longer you let them steep, the stronger as well.
Part of the reason blue honey preserves the mushrooms indefinitely is due to the high sugar content and anti-microbial properties of the honey.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT WITH A Microdose?
Microdosing is considered one-tenth of a typical dose, but can range from 100mg to 400mg. It has recently been the focus of quite a few worldwide studies, and has been found to boost aspects of creativity, such as convergent thinking, where the subjects were observed making more connections between seemingly unfamiliar pictures, and coming up with more creative ideas. Further aspects of microdosing include boosts in self-confidence and energy, while simultaneously producing calming, anti anxiety benefits.
There are two main formulas developed for microdosing, one created by James Fadiman, and the other created by Paul Stamets. “The Fadiman Protocol”, as it is called, requires ingestion of 400mg or less, every three days. This three day cycle is repeated for one month. By the end of that month, people typically reduce the amount they are taking, or do not need to take any for the following month or longer.
“The Stamets’ Stack”, which has recently been the more popular, requires ingesting 100mg to 300mg for four days, along with lion’s mane (known for its protection against age-related cognitive decline), and niacin,
which helps distribute the psilocin and lion’s mane throughout blood flow to nerve endings where most neurogenesis takes place. This formula requires dosing on the first, second, third and fourth days, then abstaining for the fifth, sixth and seventh days. The process is repeated for two to four weeks.
Anything exceeding 500mg is no longer considered a microdose. After that point, vision may become more vivid and hallucinations may occur. The gradual dissolution of the ego is said to be experienced at 2g or higher, depending on the individual, as well as the strain of mushroom. Please take note that not all mushrooms are created equal. Wild varieties that grow on the west coast, such as p. azurescens, p. cyanescens, and p. allenii, are typically twice as strong as your average psilocybin cubensis. They are incredible experiences, but extremely potent, and as such should be used responsibly under the supervision of a spiritual guide and treated with utmost respect. After surpassing the point of a typical dose, which is said to be 3.5g, it is possible to to reach a realm of complete ego dissolution, out-of-body experiences and full hallucinations. Experienced practitioners have reported experiencing visuals of sacred geometry, wormholes, and in some cases communication with higher-dimensional beings. A heroic dose, being 5.0g or more, can result in complete disconnect from what we know as the physical realm and illusions of separation (realizing Oneness in all). A point can be reached where the bigger picture can be seen from any perspective.
HOW SAFE ARE SACRED PSILOCYBIN MUSHROOMS?
Mushrooms run the lowest risk of adverse side effects and/or addiction out of every other natural and/or man made substance. There can be anxiety and fear that initially bubbles to the surface, but rest assured that this too, shall pass. It never lasts.
Ego dissolution at higher doses can be overwhelming and sometimes frightening experiences to navigate. Please be aware that there have been rare cases where higher doses have triggered manic episodes in those with bipolar disorders. Microdosing alone is generally safe when a practice and protocol is well established, but taking high doses alone is never encouraged. Partaking in Sacred Mushroom Ceremonies should only take place under the supervision of an experienced Spiritual guide to avoid any self-inflicted physical trauma.
Mesoamerican Sacred Mushroom Statues