As a proud and passionate advocate and writer he spoke and wrote about a vast range of subjects, including plant-based entheogens, psychedelics, shamanism, alchemy, metaphysics, language, philosophy, culture, technology, environmentalism, as well as the theoretical origins of human consciousness.
Was often referred to as “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s.” In fact, Terence McKenna, who so playfully and persistently pressed his message that psychedelics are mankind’s salvation, was christened by Timothy Leary himself as “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s.”
**Sidenote: Timothy Francis Leary (October 22, 1920 – May 31, 1996) was an American psychologist and writer well known for his strong advocacy of psychedelic drugs. Evaluations of Leary are polarized, ranging from bold oracle to publicity hound. He was “a hero of American consciousness”, according to Allen Ginsberg, and Tom Robbins called him a “brave neuronaut”.
In addition to being known as the “the Timothy Leary of the 90’s”, Terence McKenna was called “one of the leading authorities on the ontological foundations of shamanism”. Ontology is essentially the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, becoming, being, and reality. He was also referred to as the “intellectual voice of rave culture”.
Terence McKenna’s History & Early Influences
Terence McKenna’s initial interest in the world of psychedelics and naturally occurring psychedelic substances was sparked in the early 1960s. His interest in psychedelics is said to have been ignited after he read several books including Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception’ and Heaven and Hell.
In 1965, McKenna enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley where he began studying Art History. Despite pursuing Art History as his main field of study upon his initial enrolment, McKenna graduated with a bachelor’s degree in ecology, shamanism, and conservation of natural resources in 1975 from the same institution (University of California, Berkeley). The years spanning his formal education, from 1965 to 1972 when he returned to U.C. Berkeley to finish his studies, were filled with plenty of travel, exploration, immersive and life-altering experiences, and profound journeys of discovery which would ultimately shape the course of his life entirely.
In 1967 is when he decided to truly explore his intrigue and interest in shamanism and immerse himself in the practice and everything surrounding it. As a result, he began studying shamanism through the study of Tibetan folk religion. It was also in 1967, which is the year he personally referred to as his “opium and kabbala phase”, when he travelled to Jerusalem, where he met Kathleen Harrison, an ethnobotanist, who would later become his wife.
In 1969, McKenna traveled to Nepal as he continued on his immersive journey of profound discovery led by his interest in hallucinogenic shamanism and Tibetan paintings, to learn first-hand about the shamanic use of psychedelic plants. In Nepal, he sought out shamans of the Tibetan Bon tradition, with the intention to learn more about the shamanic use of visionary plants and gain a greater degree of wisdom and understanding of this sacred practice. Bon is considered to be the indigenous religious tradition of Tibet, a system of shamanistic and animistic practices performed by priests called shen (gshen) or bonpo (bon po).
During his time spent in Nepal, McKenna studied the Tibetan language and also became a hashish smuggler. Hashish, also known as hash, is essentially a drug made by compressing and processing trichomes of the cannabis plant. He continued to work as a hashish smuggler until one of his shipments was seized by US Customs. Needing to move on, McKenna went to southeast Asia where he spent time wandering and exploring his new surroundings, toured the old ruins, and even became a professional butterfly collector in Indonesia.
Terence McKenna’s Life-Changing Travels to South America
In 1970, McKenna, his brother Dennis, and three of their friends embarked on the ultimate journey and traveled to the Amazon forest in Columbia, South America. Their initial quest was to find oo-koo-hé, a plant preparation made by the native people containing dimethyltryptamine (DMT). However, during their search for oo-koo-hé, they came across openings in the forest where they found fields full of gigantic Psilocybe cubensis mushrooms. This discovery changed everything and became the new focus of their entire expedition.
After spending some time in the Colombian Amazon forest, Terence and his brother invested a great deal of time and energy into learning everything they needed to know about the specific cultivation techniques used by the farmers in the region. They then brought the Psilocybe cubensis mushroom spores back with them to the United States.
Using all the experience and knowledge they gained, the Psilocybe cubensis spores, and ordinary kitchen utensils and implements, McKenna and Dennis developed a cultivation technique that essentially anyone could follow if they were eager to cultivate and grow their own mushrooms. This was a profound moment of ‘achievement’ and vital step in the psychedelic community as up until that point, no one had figured out how to do it. This also marked the very first time ‘laypeople’ could essentially produce entheogens in their own homes.
Terence McKenna’s remarkable efforts ultimately culminated in their groundbreaking book titled ‘Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide’ which was officially published in 1976, authored under the names O.T. Oss and O.N. Oeric. In 1975, the year prior to the highly successful release of ‘Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower’s Guide’, Terence and Dennis published another landmark book titled ‘The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching’, which was greatly inspired by their life-altering trip to the Amazon. The brothers’ incredible expeditions, adventures and discoveries and profound experiences in the Amazon would later become the main inspiration and focus of another one of Terence Mckenna’s books titled ‘True Hallucinations’, which was published in 1993.
In the early 1980s, McKenna began to speak publicly on the topic of psychedelics, establishing himself as one of the pioneers of the psychedelic movement. His main focus was on plant-based psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms, which were essentially the catalyst for his career, ayahuasca, cannabis, and the plant derivative DMT. He conducted workshops and lecture tours promoting natural psychedelics as a way to explore universal mysteries, re-establish a harmonious relationship with nature, and stimulate the imagination.
McKenna also began lecturing locally around Berkeley as well as started appearing on some underground radio stations. In fact, Hundreds of hours of McKenna’s public lectures were recorded either professionally or bootlegged and have been produced on cassette tape, CD and MP3.
McKenna became a fixture of popular counterculture as well as a popular personality in the psychedelic rave/dance scene of the early 1990s with frequent spoken word performances at raves.
He also made several contributions to psychedelic and goa trance albums by The Shamen, Alien Project, Capsula, Entheogenic, Spacetime Continuum, Zuvuya, Shpongle, and Shakti Twins.
In 1985, Terence McKenna along with his wife Kathleen founded Botanical Dimensions – Another one of their great achievements. Botanical Dimensions, a non-profit preserve on Hawaii’s Big Island, was dedicated to collecting, protecting, and propagating plants with ethnomedical significance.
They also focused on educating others about plants and mushrooms that they felt to be significant to cultural integrity and spiritual well-being. A big part of the preserve’s work included continuously updating and maintaining an accurate database on all the supposed healing properties of the plants.
Terence McKenna’s ‘The Stoned Ape Hypothesis’
Terence McKenna’s revolutionary literary accomplishments certainly did not end there. Another incredibly influential and important book McKenna wrote was his 1992 ‘Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution’. It is in this very book that he explains his “Stoned Ape Hypothesis.” McKenna’s “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” is based on his belief that Psilocybe cubensis contributed to the increase in brain size and enhanced capabilities of all our early human ancestors, ultimately leading to the evolution of Homo Sapiens.
McKenna goes on to explain that as Africa began to undergo desertification, human ancestors were forced out into the savannas and out of the forests to find food. In order to survive and provide for themselves and their families and elders, these groups of people would follow footprints and dung on the ground to find animals to hunt and eat. As it so happens, the hallucinogenic magic mushroom Psilocybe cubensis is a thriving dung-lover and was therefore frequently found growing in the manure of the animals that lived in the savanna.
According to Terence Mckenna’s “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” (as well as based on the above findings), it is believed that our human ancestors ate these magic mushrooms and experienced their extraordinary hallucinogenic effects. While magic mushrooms can bring about a vast range of profound hallucinogenic effects, the effects experienced by these individuals were described as “mind-opening,” enhanced feelings of empathy, increased courage, and seeing fractal patterns even with their eyes closed.
After consuming the hallucinogenic magic mushrooms Psilocybe cubensis, it is said that leaders began to emerge within these groups as those who were brave and kind to others. These leaders essentially became a trusted source of strength and guidance to the rest of the members as well as the one’s that would look out for everyone’s best interests.
McKenna’s theory and “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” goes on to propose that psilocybin magic mushrooms improved visual acuity in individuals, essentially making them better and more skilled hunters. He went on to state that more food meant a higher rate of reproductive success. Additionally, McKenna suggested that higher doses of Psilocybe cubensis would increase activity in the language-forming regions of the brain. Further, McKenna said the effects of psilocybin dissolved the ego and contributed to the development of religion.
So, in essence, Terence McKenna’s theory argues that access to hallucinogenic magic mushrooms was to all intents and purposes an evolutionary advantage for humans. In fact, McKenna went as far as to call it an ‘evolutionary catalyst.’
Terence McKenna’s belief in naturally occurring psychedelic substances
Throughout all of Terence McKenna’s travels, achievements, literary accomplishments, immersive experiences, journeys of discovery, and strides in the psychedelic world, he continuously advocated for the exploration of altered states of mind via the ingestion of naturally occurring psychedelic substances, particularly experiences facilitated by the ingestion of high doses of psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and DMT.
He believed these three powerful psychedelics to be the apotheosis of the psychedelic experience. He was significantly less enthralled with synthetic drugs, stating that, “I think drugs should come from the natural world and be use-tested by shamanically orientated cultures. One cannot predict the long-term effects of a drug produced in a laboratory.”
Besides being one of the most influential advocates for the exploration of altered states of mind via the ingestion of naturally occurring psychedelics, McKenna always stressed the responsible use of psychedelic plants, saying: “Experimenters should be very careful. One must build up to the experience. These are bizarre dimensions of extraordinary power and beauty.
There is no set rule to avoid being overwhelmed, but move carefully, reflect a great deal, and always try to map experiences back onto the history of the race and the philosophical and religious accomplishments of the species. All the compounds are potentially dangerous, and all compounds, at sufficient doses or repeated over time, involve risks. The library is the first place to go when looking into taking a new compound.”
In addition, McKenna also recommended, and often spoke of taking, what he called “heroic doses”. He defined a heroic dose as five grams of dried psilocybin mushrooms, taken alone, on an empty stomach, in silent darkness, and with your eyes closed. He believed that when psilocybin mushrooms were taken in this particular way one could expect a profound visionary experience, believing it is only when “slain” by the power of the mushroom that the message becomes clear.
Although McKenna avoided giving his allegiance to any one interpretation (this formed part of his rejection of monotheism), he was open to the idea of psychedelics as being “trans-dimensional travel”. As part of that view, he proposed that DMT sent one to a “parallel dimension” and that psychedelics enabled an individual to encounter “higher dimensional entities”, or what could be ancestors, or spirits of the Earth.
McKenna supported this by saying that if you can trust your own perceptions it appears that you are entering an “ecology of souls”. McKenna also put forward the idea that psychedelics were “doorways into the Gaian mind”, suggesting that “the planet has a kind of intelligence, it can actually open a channel of communication with an individual human being” and that the psychedelic plants were the facilitators of this communication.
SPORE PRINT & MYCELIUM TRANSFERS
- By Admin
- By Admin
Psychedelics for the “betterment of well people” isn’t a new notion, but recent legislation is giving the idea new life.
While psilocybin mushrooms are well known for their powerful psychedelic effects, there is far more to these magical mushrooms than many may think. In fact, more and more scientific studies are shedding light on the various incredible life-altering mental and physical health benefits of magic mushrooms.
From managing mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, aiding in the maintenance of several forms of addiction, supporting an array of health issues, enhancing creativity, eliciting deep spiritual journeys, and increasing productivity to improving overall mood and well-being, to mention just a few, researchers are finally acknowledging and highlighting the potentially far-reaching benefits of psilocybin mushrooms – and it is about time!
The array of negative stigmas surrounding magic mushrooms has been well and truly shattered. This is in large part due to psilocybin mushrooms emerging as a groundbreaking therapy tool for the treatment and management of various chronic ailments, from alleviating symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to the management of addiction and addictive behaviours, and several mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
In fact, psilocybin therapy was recently given “breakthrough therapy” designation (a review fast track) by the FDA for the treatment of depression. To step it up another notch, as mental health is such a vital component of any individual’s overall health and wellbeing, new research and scientific studies are continuously being conducted on psilocybin mushrooms and its ability to manage and treat various mental health conditions effectively. This means that in addition to the already promising studies and results, there may be even more incredible breakthroughs on the horizon and thus a very bright future ahead with regards to mental health and magic mushrooms.
WINNER IS : Golden Teacher
First appearing in the 1980s, the golden teacher cubensis is highly sought mushroom strain by researchers due to its reliability, the exact origin of the golden teacher strain is not known, though it is believed to be discovered on a farm in Georgia. In nature, the first flush of golden teacher will produce medium-sized mushrooms and in later flushes, the mushroom caps might grow very large. It’s a very robust mushroom with big, massive stems. These mushrooms have gills which vary from whitish to purple-brown.
We pride ourselves on great quality and 100% viable spores.
Red Boy Spore
Red Boy was resurrected from a 20 year old print! It has short thick stems and a dark cap that often doesn’t fully open. This Strain is unique in that it drops red tinted spores, making it an excellent specimen for researching.
Florida White (F+) Spore
F+ is an A+ strain. high potency, nice flushes, and very dense, and doesn’t lose a lot of size while drying.
Originally discovered in buffalo dung outside the Amazon , Burma by a Thai student, gifted this wonderful specimen to mushroom John Allen. Fairly resistant to contams with strong fast moving mycelium.
Treasure Coast comes from the U.S. state of Florida. That should tell you something already. A lovely mushroom with inner treasures that will delight the eyes, mind, and soul.
Before icons of mind-expanding 60s psychedelia like Timothy Leary and Ram Dass brought us the blueprint for a new cultural archetype, magic mushrooms were actually “niños santos”: the stuff of sacred healing rituals in the Mazateca communities of northern Oaxaca. In fact, the countercultural magic mushroom craze all started with a humble Mazateca curandera (medicine woman) from the Oaxacan mountain village of Huautla de Jiménez by the name of María Sabina Magdalena García.
Known as the “priestess of mushrooms,”, the Mystical Shaman Wise One, Mazateca curandera (medicine woman), and a visionary in her own right, María Sabina is, even to this day, widely regarded as the most famous Mexican healer to have ever lived. María Sabina was world famous as a ‘Wise One’, in fact, she could easily count the likes of Bob Dylan and Keith Richards amongst her fans.
Over the course of her life, María Sabina emerged as a true symbol of spirituality and firmly established herself as one of the most influential pioneers in the world of psychedelics, magic mushrooms, and sacred healing rituals. This was primarily attributed to the profound culmination of her life’s work as well as her unwavering passion, belief, and dedication to the hallowed practices of her community. In her native country, she was greatly admired by her people, who became the secret accomplices of her work, while western countries were captivated by María’s mysticism.
Since her childhood, María Sabina had guided ailing patients through healing rituals called Velada. In fact, she was the first contemporary Mexican curandera, or sabia (‘one who knows’), to allow Westerners to participate in this specific healing ritual. The Velada healing ritual requires all participants in the ritual to ingest psilocybin mushrooms as a sacrament to open the gates of one’s mind. The Velada healing ritual is seen as both a purification and a communion with the sacred.
The History of María Sabina
María Sabina was born into the Mazatec ethnic group in 1894. She came from a very small town in southern Mexico called Huautla de Jiménez, located in the Sierra de Oaxaca. According to research, María Sabina was only 8 years old when she had her first experience with hallucinogenic mushrooms. It is said that she relied on psilocybin mushrooms and their hallucinogenic powers to connect – both from a young age and throughout her life. It is believed that from a young age, Sabina frequently ate psilocybin mushrooms with her friend Maria Ana due to these hallucinogenic mushrooms growing abundantly and wildly around her, because she was hungry, and as a means to help her and her friend cope and deal with the grinding poverty of their colonized existence.
Following her first hallucinogenic experience, it is believed that she intuitively developed an in-depth understanding, knowledge, and appreciation for the sacred rituals and practices of her people and their profound healing powers. As one would expect, this earned her somewhat of a noteworthy reputation in and around her community. Her history and reputation ultimately led her to serve as a guiding spiritual force, healer, and bridge between the mystical and ritual world of the people in her community, as well as the spiritual exploration of the Western world as a whole.
María stemmed from a long lineage of shamans as her father’s family consisted of several shamans, spanning over decades. Both her grandfather and great-grandfather on her father’s side were highly respected shamans in her community. As María had regular contact with her shaman relatives from a young age, it brought her significantly closer to the region’s traditional ceremonies and sacred practises.
The region’s traditional ceremonies and rituals included the intake of hallucinogenic mushrooms. These ceremonies were performed as a method of bringing about contact with divinity. The hallucinogenic mushrooms used for the specific ceremonies were referred to as “holy children”, “saint children,” the “blood of Christ,” and “Flesh of the Gods” amongst the Mazatec people.
María Sabina, together with her entire community and elders, always bestowed the greatest degree of respect upon the “saint children”. Throughout her life and various endeavours, she always continued to echo the ancient wisdom of her people who felt that these hallucinogenic mushrooms were sacred and only to be used as medicine and for connection and contact with divinity and not for any meaningless psychedelic thrill or some sort of ‘magical bus’ taking you on a psychedelic trip.
Due to her unwavering convictions, passion, and beliefs, as well as the profound sacredness of each practice and traditional ceremony, both herself and her whole community held so dear, María completely despised the ‘hippies’ of her time. She firmly believed that they were spiritually off-base. As a result, she accused them of the dilution of sacred substances, ungrounded misuse, and corruption. In doing so, she reaffirmed and echoed the ancient wisdom and sacrosanct practices of her people, as well as herself.
The most common healing method/ceremony among the Mazatec people since prior to the colonial period, was the ritual intake of fungi of a certain mushroom species called Mexican Psilocybe. Mexican Psilocybe only grew in a particular mountain range. When someone with a distinct physical or spiritual condition requested and/or desired to visit this specific area of significance, Sabina served as a guide on the patient’s journey both to, and from, the spiritual realms (along with a cure for the illness).
To María Sabina, hallucinogenic mushrooms were so much more than most people regarded them to be – She viewed and perceived these magical mushrooms as a potential catalyst for something far greater and more profound. To Sabina, mushrooms were an instrument for connecting dimensions and realities that happen in parallel. Because of their peculiarity, intensity, and various reports of effectiveness, María’s healing sessions became remarkedly popular in Mexico during the early 1950s.
María Sabina & Healing Rituals
Following her first hallucinogenic experience, Sabina intuitively developed an in-depth knowledge, appreciation, and understanding of the consecrated rituals of her people and their profound healing powers. Since her childhood, Sabina had guided ailing patients through healing rituals called Velada. The Velada healing ritual requires all participants in the ritual to ingest psilocybin mushrooms as a sacrament to open the gates of one’s mind. The Velada healing ritual is seen as both a purification and a communion with the sacred. Because of the vast reports of effectiveness, peculiarity, and intensity associated with it, Sabina’s healing rituals and ceremonies became remarkedly popular in Mexico during the early 1950s.
During that same decade (around the middle of her life), María’s commitment, passion, and dedication to the healing practices and rituals of her community began to manifest and really take hold.
Sabina’s healing rituals and ceremonies with fungi included several aspects, including Mazatec chants, mezcal consumption, tobacco smoke, and ointments extracted from medicinal plants. These rituals and ceremonies were carried out at night, as the night was regarded as the primary time for the healer to be accompanied and guided by the stars to the kingdoms of the afterlife.
Over time, and as María’s sacred ceremonies and rituals became more renowned, her remarkable story, fame, and mystery caught the attention of several media outlets and various personalities around the globe and from different walks of life and disciplines. One of the first being Robert Gordon Wasson.
María Sabina & Robert Gordon Wasson
Robert Gordon Wasson was an American bank executive and economist by profession. He was also an amateur mushroom enthusiast (who eventually cultivated a lifelong fascination with hallucinogenic mushrooms), best known for his studies in ethnobotany (the interaction between humans and plants). Wasson, together with his wife Valentina Pavlovna Guercken, had several varied interests, one of which was the use of hallucinogenic plants in the rituals of ethnic groups from different parts of the world.
This interest, combined with the fact that he was a passionate student of ethnomycology, drew Wasson to Mexico after learning of Spanish codexes which spoke of Aztec mushroom rituals. After embarking on several trips, he finally made his way to Huatla de Jiménez where he visited the Mazatec Sierra. This is where Robert Gordon Wasson first heard of the infamous and mystical healer from Huautla and where a local community leader introduced him to María Sabina.
After Robert Gordon Wasson tracked Sabina down, María Sabina became somewhat of a global psychedelic superstar, which inadvertently sparked a cultural revolution that still continues to reverberate to this day.
While Sabina was initially very reluctant to perform the hallowed ritual/ceremony on someone who wasn’t technically ‘sick’ (as her sacred ritual was aimed at guiding ailing patients through healing rituals), she eventually acquiesced and agreed to perform the velada on Wasson and his wife.
Returning several more times, Wasson and his wife conducted numerous veladas (vigils) with the fungi, guided by Sabina herself. They further documented the experience in its entirety with both recordings and photos. In addition, Wasson also obtained research samples of the fungi that were used during the sessions.
With the knowledge and guidance of Sabina, Wasson underwent/ conducted several veladas with support from everyone from LIFE Magazine to the CIA (who experimented with mushrooms as part of their infamous mind-control program, MK Ultra, at the time). Following his experience, Wasson went on to publish an article in LIFE magazine in 1957. This infamous article, which included both text/information and images, not only described the research he conducted and gathered, but went on to chronicle the couple’s experiences with Sabina. After LIFE published this very detailed profile written by Wasson, visits by people from all around the globe to the mystical healer – María Sabina – multiplied tremendously, turning Sabina into a wildly famous, world-wide phenomenon.
Robert Gordon Wasson published his book ‘The Wondrous Mushroom: Mycolatry in Mesoamerica’ in 1968. In his book he revealed, in detail, the fruits and findings of his anthropological and mycological research he gathered in Mexico. María Sabina was undoubtedly the main character. The book achieved enormous success and popularity, mainly due to the fact that at the time of publication in the United States, the hippie movement – who were ever interested in psychedelia and its accompanying mystique – was at its ultimate cusp.
In addition to María Sabina’s global popularity, the off-grid Oaxacan mountain village of Huatla de Jiménez quickly transformed into a tourist destination. As time went on, both foreign and domestic visits only continued to increase. However, many of these visitors were adventurous young mystics seeking an authentic velada or individuals purely and solely interested in engaging in psychedelic recreational pursuits – several (if not all) of whom abused the ceremony as a temporary thrill rather than respecting the ancient wisdom behind the ritual.
Once Sabina’s existence became known (following the infamous LIFE article) everyone from famous actors, artists, Beat poets and rock musicians travelled to Huautla de Jiménez in the hopes of being guided on a journey by the mushroom priestess herself.
All of these groups of people greatly obviated the long-standing and hallowed history and tradition of the incredibly sacred and ancient rituals, ceremonies, and practices of the Mazatec community. In the process, they also lost respect for the sacrosanct and deeply rooted culture, history, and religion of the Mazatec people. Through it all, Sabina condemned those who ignored the mushrooms’ sacred purpose in favour of purely hedonistic pursuits.
Regardless of her unwavering belief and deep admiration and appreciation for the sacredness of the practice of her people, in the end, the resulting world-wide spectacle significantly displeased the members of Sabina’s community as they believed that she was profiting from their hallowed traditions. As a result, María Sabina was shunned by her community for commercializing their sacred rituals and ceremonies as they claimed the niños santos lost their power after so much misuse on her part.
Her continued fame and popularity still gave her some economic stability however, although her sessions, even until her final days, were paid for with voluntary donations.
María Sabina as a Poet
While María Sabina was a visionary, shaman, healer, and influential pioneer, she was also a profound poet, but not in the ordinary sense. Although she didn’t know how to read or write, her poetry transcended far beyond that. Sabina expressed herself through the voice of ‘the sacred mushroom’, in a language that could be neither taught nor acquired. María lived out her life in the Oaxacan mountain village of Huautla de Jiménez, and yet, her words, always sung or spoken, have carried far and wide. This is a profound and powerful reminder of how poetry can arise in a context far removed from literature as such.
Seeking cures through language – with the help of psilocybe mushrooms, said to be the source of language itself – Sabina was, as Henry Munn describes her, “a genius [who] emerges from the soil of the communal, religious-therapeutic folk poetry of a native Mexican campesino people.” She may also have been, in the words of the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis, “the greatest visionary poet in twentieth-century Latin America.”
María’s chants were first translated from her native Mazatec tongue into English, and later into Spanish. All in all, María Sabina is, and forever will be, regarded as an influential and sacred figure in Huautla as well as one of Mexico’s greatest poets. Regardless of the high praise and recognition she received, Sabina never took credit for her poetry – according to her, the mushrooms spoke through her.
Death of María Sabina
María Sabina died in poverty in 1985 at 91 years old, but not before tending to the likes of Bob Dylan and John Lennon. While on the one hand, Sabina left behind a controversial legacy, she also left one of remarkable influence, profound discovery, dedication, and passion, and one that inadvertently sparked a cultural awakening and revolution that still continues to reverberate to this day.
One could go on to say that she left an extraordinary compendium of transformative and profound wisdom and medicinal practices by sharing the customs of the Mazatec people and her community with the rest of the world. However, at the same time, her story is a stark reminder and contains a vital lesson in reminding us all of the ease with which the modern world consumes ancestral traditions. Which, as with Sabina’s story, is not always with due respect, but rather based on fashion. This, in itself, can bear significant consequences.
Although Sabina’s final years were filled with poverty, illness, and misfortune, carrying the endless burden and anger of her people, fuelled by the unwelcome attention she had brought upon her community, she was always aware of her suffering.
Yet, despite it all, she had fulfilled her ultimate calling. In an oral account of her life, Sabina described a mushroom vision whereby the ‘Principal Ones’ – regarded by her as the tutelary gods, the lords of the rivers and mountains, and ancient invisible presences in nature – announced her mission:
“On the table of the Principal Ones, a book appeared, an open book that went on growing until it was the size of a person. In its pages there were letters. It was a white book, so white it was resplendent. One of the Principal Ones spoke to me and said, “María Sabina, this is the Book of Wisdom. It is the Book of Language. Everything that’s written in it is for you. The Book is yours, take it so that you can work.” I exclaimed with emotion, “That is for me. I receive it.”‘
María Sabina Conclusion and Take-Away
What is really interesting, and profoundly remarkable is the fact that when researching and learning about María Sabina’s story, and the sacred healing rituals of the Mazateca communities, you realize that when it comes to understanding human spirituality, science is, and always has been, really far behind.
The truth is, the Mazatac people and communities, María Sabina included, understood the immense healing powers of Connection Supplements (supplements such as psilocybin mushrooms, cannabis, and peyote) hundreds, probably thousands, of years before Western hippies and Westerner scientists in their matte white lab coats. In fact, for all its intents, purposes, and pretension, science is only now cluing into and recognizing the remarkable and far-reaching benefits and powers of these substances and their ability to facilitate profound healing connections in a multitude of ways – And often in ways that transcends all logical and scientific understanding.
Thankfully, the academic inquisition and confusion seems to be coming to an end, and not a second too soon either. What the entire world needs now is not more negative stigma, false reporting, misinformation, and grand misrepresentation of these substances. But rather a massive healing push, grand representation, and powerful spread of accurate information, properly facilitated by using these remarkable substances within an appropriate, grounded, and scientific spiritual framework. That is where the true power and purpose lies. With that being said, according to several scientific studies, history and research, psilocybin mushrooms and other connection supplements are exactly what is going to facilitate this vital global push.
With regards to María Sabina and her influence and legacy among the people native to Mesoamerica, the healer (of which Sabina was one, if not the greatest, of them all) is a character whose community function is vitally essential as she is responsible for communicating and connecting this world and that of the gods. As a result, she is responsible for curing diseases (physical or spiritual), as well as predicting the future and endless other possibilities.
The figure of María Sabina, specifically, was not only a symbol of wisdom and mysticism within her community, she was also an integral bridge between the world of divinity and that of humankind. Beyond that, Sabina was one of the key figures of recent decades in the world’s approach to the sacred practices and rituals of these people, a journey which still has many lessons to show us till this day.
Magic mushrooms, also known as psychedelic mushrooms, psilocybin mushrooms, booms, and shrooms, all belong to the polyphyletic group of mushrooms which are enriched with various psychedelic compounds like psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin.
Magic mushrooms are both remarkable and profound, from the immersive, enriching, and life-altering experiences they occasion to the mystical compounds that they naturally produce. But what’s even more mindblowing is that there are over 200 species of psychedelic mushrooms that grow wildly around the globe, each possessing visually unique characteristics along with varying ratios of the three psychotropic compounds (psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystin). Not to mention, some species have dozens of different psychedelic mushroom strains with their own signature shape, flavour, and trip.
There are hundreds of magic mushroom strains or “subspecies” which have been genetically isolated and classified by both professional mycologists and recreational enthusiasts. While these psychedelic mushroom strains are all considered members of their respective species, with some of the most prevalent psychedelic mushroom species being P. azurescens, P. cyanescens, P. semilanceata, and P. cubensis (which is the most widely known and easily cultivated), magic mushroom strains can differ drastically in potency, appearance, conditions required for cultivation, and overall psychedelic experience.
Here are some of the top psychedelic mushroom strains:
#1 Golden Teacher Magic Mushroom
The Golden Teacher magic mushroom strain is among the most popular psychedelic fungi, highly sought by shroomers and growers alike. There are several factors that contribute to the popularity of this psychedelic mushroom strain, not the least of it being the air of mystery that surrounds it.
Golden Teachers are easy to grow, easy to dose, and easy to enjoy.
Cultivators love Golden Teacher mushroom spores because of their tendency to grow in great flushes. Psychonauts on the other hand, are obsessed with this magic mushroom strain because of the immersive psychedelic journey they provide. Therefore, besides being one of the most desirable psychedelic strains, Golden Teacher mushrooms are widely celebrated for their ability to elicit an intense, profound, and powerful psychedelic experience.
While its exact origins are unknown, this magic mushroom strain is regarded as one of nature’s best psychedelic gifts. The Golden Teacher is highly recognizable due to its distinct appearance, boasting a long, winding stem and a wide golden cap with specks of yellow. This wonderfully unique psychedelic strain is known to produce very large fruitbodies (which is said to get even bigger in size in later flushes).
These fruitbodies are considered to be very potent for a Psilocybe cubensis strain.
The Golden Teacher strain has a mild to moderate level of potency. The recommended dosage for dried Golden Teacher mushrooms is between 1gram and 2.5grams. 2 grams is suggested for most people to feel some effects, but nothing too overpowering. For most experienced shroomers, this dose may be quite small, but it allows a margin of error for novice shroomers who have never ingested Golden Teachers before.
Golden Teacher magic mushrooms typically have an onset time anywhere between 20 and 60 minutes and can last for a duration of 4 – 6 hours. This psychedelic mushroom strain elicits a mildly high psychedelic effect, making it the ideal mushroom strain for those that are new to the psychedelic world. Beyond that, Golden teachers are celebrated for their spiritual properties and shamanic effects. As a result, the Golden Teacher mushroom is not simply used for ‘casual tripping’, but rather to gain new insight about oneself and the universe.
Golden Teachers also produces hallucinogenic effects. When taking this remarkable psychedelic mushroom strain, people further report feeling incredibly euphoric, spiritually in-tune, more perceptive, a greater sense of lightness and/or giddiness, as well as experience incredibly profound and powerful emotions, and moments of remarkable self-reflection.
#2 Penis Envy Magic Mushroom
The prominent Penis Envy magic mushroom strain is regarded as one of the most prevalent, distinct, and widely cultivated psychedelic mushroom strains. As its name so aptly suggests, Penis Envy cubensis is famous for its penis like appearance and structure. It exhibits a thick, dense, and bulbous shaft with a somewhat underdeveloped cap that only sometimes separates from the stem, at least with the true genetics. Its fruits are typically shorter and dense and can be very large in size.
Besides being one of the most notorious magic mushroom strains among shroom enthusiasts, Penis Envy is considered one of the most powerful mushrooms in the world in terms of psychotropic potential. It is renowned for its potency, producing up to 50% more psilocybin than most other Psilocybe cubensis strains.
Penis Envy brings about an intense psychedelic trip and elicits a highly immersive psychedelic experience comprised of intense euphoria and euphoric discovery, deep philosophical ideations, extreme mental clarity, tremendous joy, and remarkable perspective on personal issues. It is also known to prompt feelings of contentment and relaxation in some individuals. Due to Penis Envy’s powerful and potent effects, it is only recommended for advanced and experienced magic mushroom users.