Amanita muscaria, the highly visible and
strikingly beautiful mushroom, also known as the Fly Agaric, is yellow to red in
color and speckled with white. Amanita muscaria is probably humanity's oldest entheogen. Amanita muscaria's history has it associated with both Shamanic and
magical practices and it was identified as the "Soma" of the ancient (4000 BC)
Rig Veda by Gordon Wasson, although many disagree.
So Amanita muscaria potentially has historical use as far back as we have history, and it
shouldn't be hard to suppose that prehistoric man, in his activities as
hunter/gatherer, recognized that there were mushrooms and other plants that had
benefits not related to hunger. Our ancestors must surely have been intrigued by
the Amanita muscaria. They appeared magically from nowhere, in strange and
beautiful shapes and colors and gave magical visions of the beyond when eaten.
Today Amanita muscaria mushrooms are widely known: the Alice in Wonderland
mushrooms, and the "Christmas" mushrooms, especially in Germany, where the
Amanita is a common fixture of Christmas. Strangely enough, they are so
embedded in folklore, that most people aren't aware that they are, in fact,
real. This is the mushroom almost always found
in fairy tales with its big red cap and speckled appearance. This mushroom has
also been referred to as "Soma" although this is a topic of great controversy.
Amanita muscaria is a mushroom found throughout the northern hemisphere. It has
been found to be psychoactive by oral ingestion and inhalation, though, again, it has
been listed as a poison by the FDA because the Amanita family of mushrooms is
responsible for about 90% of all mushroom-related deaths. The infamous
Death Cap is the biggest culprit. For clarity, we strictly offer these
Amanitas as botanical specimens only, as additions to any Shaman's Garden, as an
ingredient in potpourri, as decoration, or any other use that does not involve
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(Fly Agaric - Europe, Aisa, Africa, Americas)
could very well be human's oldest hallucinogen, as it has been identified as
Soma of ancient India.
the Solanaceae -
Nature and Culture in Huichol Mythology ( - By
Peter T. Furst ) Article concerning the use of Solandra among the Huichol and the true
identity of Kieri
the Aryans - (R. Gordon Wasson)
This paper is based upon the author's "SOMA, Divine Mushroom of Immortality
", published in 1969 in New York by Harcourt Brace & World Inc., and in The
Hague by Mouton. This work is referred to in the following pages as " Soma".
Ethnobotanical Tools in the Ancient Near East ( - by William A.
Emboden, Jr.) It is suggested that art and artifact have been sources often overlooked in
determining the ethnobotanical content of any early civilization. The
suggestion is made that early civilizations in the area of the Fertile
Crescent employed Datura, Cannabis, Claviceps, Mandragora, Nymphaea, Vitis,
and possibly Papaver as medicaments and ritual entheogens.