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Monday, July 8, 2013

The Magic Mushroom History

Magic Mushrooms The usage of Magic Mushrooms could be as old as humanity itself! There are several theories about Magic Mushrooms (also well known as hallucinogenic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms or psilocybin mushrooms) and the beginning of their usage. But the truth is, nobody knows for sure when humans begun to eat psilocybin mushrooms to travel into other worlds or dimensions. The earliest time span, where the usage of psychedelic mushrooms can be proven, is during the time of Inca and Maya tribes.

But we can be pretty sure that they also had been used by other people all around the globe, because psilocybin mushrooms can be found in nearly every region of this world. Good candidates are Africa, since the first humans we are today come from there, Asia and Europe.

The traditional usage of magic mushrooms was mainly found in America and a few regions of Asia. In Europe the traditional usage must have been discontinued hundreds or thousands of years ago. But it came back in the 20th century, through the hippy generation, pop culture and today, the Psychedelic and Goa trance culture.

The use of psychedelic mushrooms during the Maya and Inca

What exactly they used the mushrooms for is yet unclear; scientists still try to find out more of the magic mushroom history in their documents, scratched in stones. But what they currently know about hallucinogenic Mushrooms, is that they where used in healing, spiritual and religious ceremonies from the Maya and Inca tribes. But of course they where not the only medicine used in these days, so we do not know for which wounds, illnesses or infections they might have been used. It could be that magic mushrooms where used to get in touch with the afterlife, during spiritual ceremonies. As a way to hear the voices of their gods during religious rituals. Some scientist even believe the healing usage was very advanced and so they used the hallucinogenic mushrooms to heal mental diseases. The development of the Inca culture still counts to the stone age, because they build everything with stone. No matter for what, buildings, weapons or to write down history for future generations. But what we understand under stone age, doesn´t properly fit to the rest of their knowledge. They already gained a huge knowledge of stars, farming, martial arts, watering systems and many more.

So it is indeed very likely that psilocybin mushrooms where used to heal mental disorders. Just a few years ago, our modern medicine picked these psychedelic mushrooms up again. Simply because a study had proven it has a very positive influence on depressive people and the positive effects don´t fade quickly, nor the patient has to consume them through many sittings, just one consumption of magic mushrooms in a proper setting can help for up to 6 months.

Sure the Inca where not a peaceful and lovely civilization, it is true that they killed people in rituals to make the gods merciful to them. For example, those periods of rain and sun are well for the plants of the farms, so that they have a lot of food ready.

Theories of the hallucinogenic mushroom usage before the chronicles

Since documentations was very difficult in the early days, most delivered knowledge of these times was found as art painting in caves, scratched in stone or was puzzled together through items found from these times. Also the languages do not even exist anymore, so it is even difficult to read documentations, because first every letter or symbol of the writing has to be translated. Some say that the psilocybin mushroom can be followed through the spreading of Psilocybe Cubensis. It is the most spread psychedelic mushroom in the world. Of course you can always find a local psilocybin mushroom, but in every tropical and sub tropical climate you also find at least one of the many Psilocybe Cubensis variations.

But they seem all to have one single origin in Africa and where spread with the expanding humanity. So it could be thought it was transported as psychedelic mushroom already, but it´s more likely that it was transported by the animals which the humans took with them for stockbreeding. Cows eat the grass where they live and of course they often eat stuff that is growing between the blades of grass. For sure there also had been some Psilocybe Cubensis eaten by cows. When they where through digestion, some spores could have come out with the dung again. So it went from Africa, to Asia, America and some parts of Europe.

The occurring of the magic mushroom type Psilocybe Cubensis is no proof for the usage of hallucinogenic mushrooms in general. Another fact that it must have been spread when humanity colonized the continents for the first time is the large difference between the variations. For most of these Psilocybe Cubensis variations it must have taken thousands of years in evolution to become so distinct from their African ancestors.

hallucinogenic mushrooms Terrence McKenna was a well-known scientist in the hippy era, many respected him, but a lot of people claimed he has a mental disease, too. Oh and yes, the strain Psilocybe Cubensis McKenna is named like him, to show him respect and to make him never forgotten. He even had a very wild theory, that humans are only the intelligent life form we are today, because of hallucinogenic mushrooms. He said that the human was just a monkey like animal, not very intelligent and by far never able to send a rocket to the moon, no matter how many million years of evolution they would have. Sometimes these monkey like animals came across the psilocybin mushrooms and had eaten these, through their effects they repeated to eat them and to make others join. And through the long years of eating psychedelic mushrooms, humanity gained an evolution booster. Since magic mushrooms are often described as “mind expanding” among other drugs like LSD and Mescaline, it seems logical that a permanent influence of those substances could slowly lead to a further developed brain in the future. But nothing of this theory is build on any scientific research or fact that had been found already. And without any doubt, we will never find one.

Early usage of psychedelic mushrooms in Europe

It can not be estimated if Europeans started to use these magic mushrooms in the same time the Indian tribes in America did, but here there was also a stronger demand for magic mushrooms. When the Vikings started to spread over Europe, they also brewed an alcoholic drink called “Met”. Most of you will know of it already, but in most cases the ingredients are just made to properly fit into normal food regulations. In the time of the Vikings it was a wild mix of whatever could enhance the effects of the ethanol.

The Met contained in most cases way more than alcohol, things like henbane, fly agaric and psilocybin mushrooms. Of course in the cold climate of Europe they where not able to use the Psilocybe Cubensis, they used other hallucinogenic mushrooms which are local. For instance there is the Psilocybe Semilanceata, also known as “Liberty Caps”.

Psilocybin mushrooms in more recent times

The last big cultural usage of psychedelic mushrooms was in the Indian tribes that lived in America before the Europeans took over. So Land was bought, a lot get into alcoholism as the “fire water” was totally new for them and old traditions had been gone and forgotten over times. But since these rituals still exist partially, the delivered chronicles of hallucinogenic mushrooms in these days are very complete. In most cases it was also used in religious ceremonies, a large part of these natives used them to speak with people in the afterlife, like grand parents or to get support from their spirits and gods.

Psilocybin mushrooms better known as “Magic Mushrooms” today

When the modern civilization started its research on mescaline in the 20th century, the psychedelic drugs where a big topic in all media, just because the people where unable to even imagine the effects of them. When LSD started to crawl up and finally formed a whole generation, the spread of other psychedelics like hallucinogenic mushroom grew with it. People started to want more psychedelics than just 2 or 3, because each has it unique aspects in their psychedelic effects.
Since these days, the use of magic mushrooms didn´t disappeared again and even remains as recreational drug today.

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