A brief history
One of the most famous cultures to have used mushrooms ceremoniously are the Mayan’s of Central America, but mushrooms go further back to the times of the Nuhua, the ancestors of the Olmecs, Toltecs and Aztecs. In fact, mushrooms have been traditionally used for over 3000 years. However, the earliest depiction of entheogenic mushroom consumption might be a cave painting found in the upper Tassili platueu of northern Algeria that dates to at least 5,000 B.C., if not older.
Since that time many other civilisations around the world have developed rich traditions that use mushrooms, these civilisations employed several entheogenic mushrooms for the purpose of healing and curing through divination via the spirit of the mushroom and its connection to the spirit world.
Clinical uses and treatments:
Mushrooms enjoy a bit of notoriety in respect to clinical studies that have been conducted with their use and effects monitored and published. Studies with “psychedelic naive” patients have repeatedly affirmed that the use of mushrooms can have profound and long-lasting effects on treating or controlling a range of mental and emotional disorders. Benefits of mushrooms are:
- Treating Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Treating Chronic anxiety
- Treating Severe depression
- Treating severe headaches and migraines
- Improving interpersonal skills
- Re discovery of the beauty and value of life
A resurgence in this type of therapy is currently being pursued and supported by doctors and researchers working with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Psilocybin is less toxic than aspirin or caffeine.
The Teachings of the Sacred Mushrooms
Mushrooms although completely individual to any other plant medicine in their working… work in a cross way between Ayahuasca and San-Pedro, they give you the ability to experience inner emotions, thoughts and revelations whilst you are usually able to explore outer realities of this world such as walking in a forest or talking with others during your experience. Mushrooms help to dissolve the boundaries of the ego and also of your individuality and allow you to see your place and purpose in this world without contrived perceptions you may hold. In essence it will take away the reality you usually sit in so you can see situations for what they really are. You will come to realise and sense a deep interconnectedness with the other lifeforms of the world such as animals, plants, trees and the air that you breathe.
As you feel this, you can also start to feel deeper connectedness with consciousness and a sense of deep spirituality, you can feel that all life has value and to take care of that life, this lesson extends from caring for yourself, to those around you, to all the earth’s inhabitants, to the earth, to the universe and beyond. Mushrooms can bring on a sense of humbleness and gratefulness and reflection on your life, these revelations can often be life changing and seen as a turning point in your life.
Sacred Mushroom Ceremonies
Consuming mushrooms is not something to be taken lightly. While many people in western society are introduced to mushrooms in a more casual or party-like environment, it is recommended to approach these mushrooms as something to be honoured and respected.
One fear for people who have never experienced mushrooms is the fear of a “bad trip / experience.” These experiences typically involve deep sensations of fear, dread, or an unidentifiable presence that is unwelcome. While these sensations are unpleasant, they can often be resolved and cut short with the help of an experienced shaman who is present through the entire ceremony to offer verbal, physical and spiritual support. It is a shaman’s responsibility to offer a safe space and environment for the ceremony to occur.
Other “bad trips” come about when the user is confronted with inner wounds, personal, and interpersonal trauma or drama that is painful and unresolved. While this type of confrontation with one’s shadow aspects are never fun in the moment, in the long run they are often very insightful experiences that help the user see the root causes of unhealthy physical and mental habits.
It is therefore important to make sure journey with someone who is experienced with mushrooms and understands the importance of dosage, setting, trust and respect for this medicine. When you take this sacred medicine, always take it with respect. Honour this natural gift and give thanks for the lessons and healing you receive.