Updated: Nov 26, 2019
A Typical red variety of the Amanita muscaria - the single most written about and mystically symbolized Mushroom throughout history. This Mushroom played a major role in the formulation of nearly Every major world Religion and world Mythology
Unlike any other living organism, fungi contain unique and potentially toxic organic compounds - mycotoxins - which can be taken up from the environment or synthesised within the fungi itself. Over the centuries, Man has sought to exploit the pharmacological effects of the compounds they contain.
The primary active chemicals known in Amanita muscaria are: Muscimol, Ibotenic acid, Muscazone, and Muscarine. This mushroom has more toxic chemicals so it is a highly poisonous mushroom. Poisoning symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, stomach pains, weak pulse, cold limbs. There are no reports of human deaths resulting from its ingestion.
The mushroom is poisonous, but not fatal, unless dozens are eaten raw. Most fatalities (90% or more) are from ingesting the greenish-yellowish-brownish mottled death cap (Amanita phalloides), or one of the destroying angels (Amanita virosa).
Who uses Fly Agaric and for what purpose?
Ancient tribes and civilisations used this hallucinogenic fungi to enter the spirit world. The fly agaricmay have been the earliest hallucinogenic substance used for religious or shamanic purposes, dating back possibly over 10,000 years. The shamanic preparation and use of the mushroom are meant to induce higher levels of consciousness, vivid visions, spiritual growth, elation and hyperactivity. They also alter the perception of sight, sounds etc (the senses) and change/enhance the feelings and thoughts of the user. The shamans were intermediaries between the common folk and the unseen worlds of spirit. The shamans, or medicine men, of East Asia and Siberia used the mushroom mentally ‘flying’ to other levels of reality.
The ancient Shamanic use of Amanita muscaria in Siberia is well documented. Despite Governmental Oppression (of its use) there are still many who refuse to accept the Authorized State Religion, and continue the Shamanic traditions in secret. The Siberian Shaman (commonly dressing in red and white) would enter through the opening in the roof of a home where a ritual was to be done. Santa Claus (on the Holy Day) brings presents in his BAG. The Shamen gather the mushrooms in bags which they would bring with them when performing a ceremony. Reindeer (native to Siberia) eat these mushrooms. The Mythology of Reindeer taking flight reflects the supposed effects they get after such a meal. It is important to point out that this Christmas/Winter Solstice celebration, with all its various counterparts, transcends the worlds religions.
Siberians have a story about the fly agaric (wapaq) and Raven. In the story, the deity Vahiyinin, meaning Existence, spat on to the earth, his spittle became the wapaq and his saliva the flecks, or warts. Once he had experienced the power of the wapaq, Raven was extremely exhilarated and told it to grow forever on earth so his children, the people, could learn from it.
The active hallucinogenic ingredient is passed out in the urine of those ingesting the mushrooms. Sometimes the shaman/medicine man, takes the mushrooms, and then the rest of the tribe drink his urine. Though sounding highly unpleasant to modern ears, if the shaman had been fasting, the urine would have mainly been water containing the hallucinogenic compounds.
To minimise the toxic side effects the mushroom needs to be processed in some way e.g. dried out, made into a tea/broth/soup, smoked or made into ointments. When dried out the hallucinogenic chemicals are more concentrated (the ibotenic acid is changed into the more stable and less poisonous muscimol). Smaller doses may invoke effects ranging from twitching to drowsiness, lowered blood pressure, increased sweat and saliva, visual distortions, mood changes, euphoria, relaxation, and hallucinations. In near-fatal doses it has been known to cause swollen features and delirium, together with periods of obvious agitation followed by intervals of quiet hallucination. Effects usually show after 60 minutes after consumption, generally peaking within three hours. Although some effects may continue for up to ten hours. Effects are extremely variable with individuals reacting quite differently to the same dose.
The preparation for ceremony and ritual were highly important and part of the experience. For instance Celtic Druids would often times purify themselves by fasting and meditating for three days, drinking only water.
The Taoists of ancient China seem to have made use of the fly-agaric mushroom, and often make reference to the ‘Divine Mushroom of Immortality’. It has also possibly been used in ancient India and Scandinavia.
Fly agaric , years ago was used as an insecticide in some parts of Europe such as England and Germany. It used to be sprinkled in milk to kill flies, thereby earning the name Fly Agaric. This fly killer is now known as Ibotenic Acid. After two or three days the flies wake up from ther slumber and… fly off again! The mushroom won’t even kill a fly!
HOW MUCH IS AMANITA MUSCARIA MUSHROOMS WORTH? In the middle ages in north Europe forests was rare to find amanita muscaria mushrooms because people collected them. In the end of the winter and spring, when the Amanitas stocks were completed, for 15-20 dried Amanita muscaria caps Siberian Shamans could sell the deer. Nowadays you can buy dried fly agaric mushrooms in our shop cheap and easy!
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