“Magic mushrooms” is a term used to generally describe mushrooms with psychoactive properties.
However, the cultural concept of “magic mushrooms” clashes with the general term. Culturally speaking, most people are referring to a specific genre of psychoactive mushrooms called “psilocybin mushrooms” when they say “magic mushrooms”. However, “magic mushrooms” encompass other psychoactive mushrooms as well – for example amanita muscaria or claviceps purpurea, which are not part of the psilocybe mushrooms family.
Magic mushrooms are sacred medicine (also called “psychedelics”), used traditionally in Central America in religious and spiritual rituals. They contain psychoactive compounds which induce visions, psychedelic experiences and enhance extrasensory senses. Magic mushrooms are one of the safest and most popular psychedelics of our current times.
The modern Western world has come into closer contact with them around the 1950’s, thanks to an article published in Life Magazine in 1959.
There are more and more scientific studies proving that consuming these magic mushrooms have clear benefits, both in healing psychological disorders as well as enhancing spiritual and meaningful experiences.
Before consuming these psychoactive mushrooms, it is better to know the different types of magic mushrooms, how they are consumed and in what specific contexts.
Here are the most popular 3 types of magic mushrooms…
Magic Mushrooms #1 – Psilocybin Mushrooms
Psilocybin mushrooms are the most popular type of magic mushrooms. They are part of the Strophariaceae family and the Psilocybe genus.
There are more than 180 species of psilocybin mushrooms, each one with a different intensity and “flavor” of experience.
The most popular psilocybin mushrooms are “Psilocybe Cubensis” (also called “Golden Teacher” due to the fact that it is a powerful spiritual teacher) as well as “Psilocybe Semilanceata Mushrooms”.
Other less-known species of psilocybin mushrooms include psilocybe cyanescens, psilocybe azurencens, psilocybe bohemica and others.
The active psychoactive compounds in psilocybin mushrooms are psilocybin and psilocin. These biochemical substances are the ones responsible for the psychedelic and mind-altering experiences of psilocybin mushrooms.
Depending on the contents of these two compounds, psilocybin mushrooms differ in potency and the psychedelic experience they offer. For example, psilocybe azurencens is the most potent one because it contains the highest amount of these two compounds(potency of selected Psilocybe mushrooms). Another potent one is psilocybe baeocystis, with high amounts of the two psychoactive compounds.
However, psilocybe semilanceata is the most popular in Europe because it is the species which grows most frequently on its own in this area, particularly in the forests. They are also called “Liberty Caps” due to their large cap.
All these mushrooms also differ when it comes to the conditions in which they grow and thrive. Some of them are fit to be grown at home, in a sterile environment, using jars or carton boxes. Other species of psilocybin require much more exquisite conditions to prosper.
Magic Mushrooms #2 – Amanita Muscaria
Amanita muscaria is another type of popular magic mushrooms. It is also known as “Fly Agaric” or “Fly Amanita”. It belongs to the genus “Amanita”, amongst many other types of mushrooms.
If you remember the mushrooms with a red cap and white dots on it, depicted in most fairytales and cartoons, then you know how they look. They can be found frequently in forests, especially in autumn.
Amanita muscaria were used most frequently by Siberian shamans since history started being recorded in those parts. They also have a long history of being used in the rest of Asia, as well as Northern Europe. Interestingly enough, records state that the urine produced by the persons who ingest amanita muscaria is much more potent (as in having psychedelic properties) than ingesting the mushrooms themselves.
This can be explained due to the fact that the liver recognizes the psychoactive compounds in these mushrooms as being toxic, hence it rushes to evacuate it with the use of the kidneys. The psychoactive compounds in amanita muscaria are called “botenic acid” and “muscimol”.
Magic Mushrooms #3 – Claviceps Purpurea
Claviceps purpurea (also known as “Ergot”) is a specific type of mushrooms which grows on rye. Actually, this type of mushrooms are more like parasites growing off the rye, infesting this grain and feeding off of it.
The main psychedelic biochemical compound is called “ergotamine”, which is also the predecessor of the modern psychedelic LSD.
They belong to the family of Hypocreaceae and Claviceps genus. Traditionally it is considered a poison, although the ancient Romans and Greeks used them as sacred entheogens. Ergot poisoning (also known as “St Anthony’s Fire”) causes hallucinations, gangrenous loss of limbs, and death. Outbreaks plagued medieval Europe and were associated with witchcraft and the Inquisition.
Another fascinating story about Ergot includes the Eleunisian mysteries(Wikipedia). The Eleunisian mysteries are thought to actually represent a close guarded ancient secret – they were thought to be sacred ceremonies consuming this type of mushroom in order to facilitate spiritual experiences. Plato and other famous thinkers of this ancient period were thought to have consumed this sacred psychedelic.
It is advised to exercise maximum caution when it comes to cultivating these mushrooms, both in a sterile environment or in their natural environment. There are many species of mushrooms which are not psychoactive. Some are deadly poisonous while others are edible.
It is best to work with a shaman who knows how to properly prepare and cultivate this sacred medicine. It is imperative that you consume them in a safe, nurturing and sacred environment with the utmost respect for the mushrooms and their spirit.
These are not “toys” to play with – they are powerful sacred medicine. Treat them accordingly and you will have a beautiful experience.
Click the image below for the seminal book on growing Magic Mushrooms.