The first time I tried Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, it was an experiment, like testing the water before a hot bath. I spent weeks doing research, searching online trypt reports, reading books by Gordon Wasson, John Allegro and that really weird “Sacred Mushroom, Key to the door of Eternity” book. The classic title is fairly unknown but has a true scientist at the center of strange search for psychic ability. I felt prepared in my mind but experienced fear deep into my bones.
Amanita has a reputation that is hard to fathom. I grew up jumping on the red capped mushroom with Mario, watching Alice get 10 feet tall and confusing all mushrooms as being from the same cloth. The truth is much stranger as some mushrooms make you larger and some make you small.
Amanita mushroom use likely followed Genghis Khan from the edges of China to the Northern Siberian areas. Shamanistic use is culturally similar to the Tibetan spiritual rites. The Vikings liked to eat the skin before fighting going Bezerker killing dozens in a state of energized rage. The ancient Egyptians and Alchemists knew of it’s uses and deep within the symbols of Masonry secret sects are possible red capped mushroom rituals. Don’t even get me started about the Aztecs and human sacrifice.
There is something dark to Amanita that is hard to fathom, but as any good Psychonaut explorer on the edge of consciousness, one must suck up the fear and jump into the unknown.
My Mushrooms were traded for with my “high end” carefully aged bottle Kombucha creations. These Mushrooms are grown in the state of Washington under a Birch tree forest. They are as potent as their European cousins but display less red, for a muted orange. I smoked the skin first to get a taste and felt the mild euphoria.
Amanitas do contain a toxin, that is evened out by drying, and has a built-in antidote within it’s own chemistry. The Atrophine chemical components can cause the surge of energy, what the Vikings used for 15 mins of extra energy. While psilocybin hits on serotonin brain levels, Amanita seems effect the parasympathetic nervous system as well as act as a neurotoxin on certain brain functions.
I didn’t take enough the first time, and frankly …. just had a long sleep with odd dreams.
My second attempt was better prepared. One can make a sun tea, putting a few large caps in a sealed jar with water and drink it at the end of the day. I fasted for 24 hours, meditated and prepared my sacred space in which to trip. After some smudging with sage, an effort I still do, based on both shamanic and scientific ideas, the “setting” was ready and I drank half the jar.
The onset of the experience is almost anti-mind. One can simply not think, which is very different than a serotonin DMT based trip. They say one must surrender and that the Amanita is a fiercely feminine force. Dosages are wildly misunderstood and the threshold for a serious visionary trip is often very difficult to achieve.
A short point about Mushrooms. The active molecules in any mushroom experience tend to need a bit of processing to push past the blood/brain barrier and in most cases by the time it has metabolized and its ready, you have pissed it away. Up to 65 percent of the active stuff is moving too fast through your system. In Siberia they drink the reindeer urine of one who ate the mushrooms, or even the urine of the shaman themselves. This is for a reason. The super juice is ready to go, having already been processed, so the visionary state is …quicker.
If a visionary state is the point, than my second attempt at an Amanita dream was going well. The incense burned, candles popped, and for about 2 hours I drifted through odd visions. The peak was around 15 mins, most the time I struggled with remembering anything and base a lot of my memory on the notes I took.
Surrender was the key and I said the various names of the Mushroom out loud to make “contact”. In essence I felt I was connecting to those Ancient Asian psychonauts who found the visions of the future. In the Sacred Mushroom, Andrija Puharich claimed the mushroom actually shut down brain processes and evened both hemispheres of the brain to 8 hertz..or 7.83 hertz, the same vibration as the Earth itself, thus opening the psychic channels.
Sadly I sobered up with a whole night ahead of me, but I had a plan. Deep within the mythology of Amanita are a few glaring points. One, you can keep upping the dose, and unlike psilocybin, it will work. Two, the more your system adjusts to it, the better it gets. Three, I saved my urine from 30 mins after I drank the tea, just in case.
Yes, I drank my own urine, what’s the point of an exploration, if you only go half way up the mountain?
Since my diet had been on point, and I hadn’t eaten anything in 24 hours, the jar was filled pure processed Amanita juice. The molecules once again traveled down the hatch for a second journey through my digestive system and 20 mins later, I was in Wonderland.
Through deep breathing, I seemed to be travelling mentally. It was visionary in the way an Acid Trip is visionary. The dark room helped, as my mind followed light trails, weird notions of reality and brain felt like it was moving through time and space. The Mushroom was showing me the world and I stopped feeling fear and drifted along pushing the psychic channels like a river of madness.
A month later at a festival I tried Amanita sun tea again but this time with a group of 7 wonderful souls. We did a sacred ritual and then went to the river and frolicked …it is the only word for it. We didn’t talk, we didn’t get into each other’s heads. If amanita is used in a natural setting with no pressure or mind games, the subject can become like an animal basking in the sun, with utter relaxation.
There is a strange suggestiblity in Amanita and its chemistry with the human mind. Two forces are at work within the biological system, as the ibotenic acid and muscimol, the psychoactive molecules within Amanita Muscaria act on the brain. However a sedative effect is common and often a sort of disassociative aspect. Chemistry geeks should dig in further, for the rest of us, lets just say it’s a unique experience.
Wild ecstatic dancing is a part of Lithuania weddings where they use Amanitas and the Aztecs would use it with Cacao and Honey, . To be an antidote to the sedation. The draw back of eating these mushrooms at a festival, is my tripping friends and I missed most of the fun, as we lazily and without desire, lay about in tents.
My desire to ever use Amanita Muscaria again in a ritual is very low. I appreciated the feminine sort of quality to the experience and treasure the insights I had. I have no doubt that if used with a proper guide or sensitive Psychic individual, one could dig into the recesses of our inner minds. My fear is gone and I understand the vast importance of maintaining a healthy diet while tripping with the mushroom. My advice for those seeking these experiences…surrender…always surrender… fighting this fungi is a bad idea.
Final note.. Amanita also has a odd connection to our Santa Clause, from the red cloak of the Siberian shaman and his reindeer delivery service to the odd custom of dropping them through the chimney and finally the Shamanic pine tree with the Mushrooms drying on its branches. The Northern mythology of St Nick is intertwined with the red capped Mushroom. A truly unique shamanic tool and a potential for an epic understanding of the psychic channels our human mind is capable of.
Of course.. if you believe in such things!☺