A few years prior to now, I was often known as as an educated witness in a felony case involving trance and possession. The circumstances of the case shouldn’t essential to this textual content nonetheless, to not go away you hanging, wanted to do with an individual who had flown to the UK from Nigeria and was found to be carrying cocaine when he was stopped by Customs Officers. His defence was that he had been entranced, or in all probability drugged, by a gaggle of males who had planted the cocaine on him sooner than he boarded the plane.
What was additional fascinating for me was that I purchased to have lunch with one different educated witness, a toxicologist from one in every of many UK’s principal instructing hospitals, who had a keen curiosity in mycology and consider to publish a e-book on the sacred use of fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) in non secular therapeutic and historic warriorship practices.
On account of his analysis, he had not too way back labored with a TV manufacturing agency who had made a documentary with him to test definitely one in every of his non-public pet theories: that the Zulu Battle was fought by the indigenous people beneath intoxication from the sacred mushroom. This had given them, not solely superhuman vitality and imperviousness to ache, nonetheless a approach of fearlessness and their very personal divine perform in battle. It was this that had helped them go away the sphere victorious, he claimed.
Clearly, the TV agency couldn’t stage one different battle to test this precept, nonetheless what they could do – and did – was to get two martial arts consultants right into a hoop to fight it out for the cameras.
Inside the first part of this experiment, the combatants met equally and fought a few rounds collectively. Neither emerged as a clear winner on this rigorously matched contest.
Inside the second half, nonetheless, one in every of many fighters was given 5 strips of fly-agaric to devour. He was allowed to rest whereas it took influence, after which every fighters met as soon as extra.
Apart from they didn’t, exactly. In accordance with the educated I was chatting with (apparently, over a lunch of mushroom paella), the fighter who had taken fly-agaric merely flew all through the ring as shortly as a result of the bell rang, hardly even touching the underside, and threw his opponent so onerous that he ended up on the bottom outdoor the ropes. The intoxicated fighter not at all even broke a sweat and was not respiration at one thing above common ranges when his opponent was counted out.
Utilization and outcomes of fly-agaric
Inside the trendy West, we’ve obtained misplaced most of our historic ceremonial practices and never think about in a ‘spirit world’. Consequently, fly-agaric (whether or not it’s considered the least bit) is regarded solely as a dangerous and doubtlessly poisonous ‘drug’, pretty than a path to the divine.
In his e-book, Ploughing The Clouds, nonetheless, Peter Lamborn Wilson argues convincingly that fly-agaric shouldn’t be solely the sacred Soma referred to throughout the Rg Veda, nonetheless that it was utilized in lots of European nations and was moreover central to the Irish Keltic customized of shamanism, which nonetheless continues in its elementary kind, proper now.
The mushrooms themselves, good crimson with white spots, are gathered for ritual use in these traditions all through the most popular months of the 12 months – July and August – after they’re most infused with the ingredient of fireplace and the breath of the photo voltaic/Sky Father. Primarily essentially the most extremely efficient mushrooms, in reality, are said to dry themselves, capable of be picked for his or her communion with man. These are considered far ‘stronger’ than these picked early and dried artificially. Smaller mushrooms are moreover said to have so much increased vitality than larger ones, and it seems likely, from trendy experimentation, that their narcotic outcomes are literally additional intense all through the early rising part.
For non-ritual utilization, the mushrooms are utilized in so much the similar method as coca leaves throughout the Peruvian Andes, to create a gentle shift in consciousness, accompanied by light euphoria and elevated vitality. In such utilization, the mushrooms are merely rolled proper right into a ball and swallowed total, with out chewing. One larger mushroom (Three-4cm) or 2-Three small ones is adequate.
For prescribed ritual utilization, nonetheless, quite a few mushrooms are often consumed, usually in a set, or models, of three. “The Rg Veda always speaks of Soma in models of three cups and, in Siberia proper now, three Amanitas are nonetheless considered the right ritual dose”, says Wilson.
An elaborate ceremony will usually accompany the ritual consumption of ‘magic mushrooms’. This may occasionally sometimes take the kind of a ‘hunt’ for the mushroom, adopted by the ‘killing’ of its spirit by symbolically attacking it with spears, golf tools, or arrows, so it’s ‘made protected’ for human ingestion. It’s then prepared in a time-honoured method which is designed the least bit phases to honour its vitality, avoid its wrath and, on the similar time, purchase administration of its non secular energy. Solely then is the mushroom eaten, beneath extraordinarily contained, sacred conditions, and in a Holy space defended by the shaman, who will lead the ritual all by.
As quickly as ingested, what we’d identify the ‘narcotic’ outcomes of fly-agaric begin after about 30 minutes.
Outwardly, the intoxication might sound as involuntary muscle spasms, adopted by a approach of the fluidity of actuality and sensory disorientation. Usually, there could also be vomiting, all through which total mushrooms is also regurgitated. Paradoxically, nonetheless, this usually serves to intensify the otherworldly sensations of flight and entry to a ‘non-ordinary’ space.
Inwardly, the shaman, and individuals who partake of this sacrament, in the meanwhile are in communion with the gods.
In accordance with one description at Erowid.org, which, possibly, bridges the opening between outward influence and inward sensation, the have an effect on of fly-agaric is that “the nerves are extraordinarily stimulated and the slightest effort of will produces very extremely efficient outcomes. If one must step over a small stick, he steps and jumps as if the obstacles had been tree trunks. If an individual is ordinarily talkative, his speech is now fastened, and he involuntarily blurts out secrets and techniques and methods, completely aware of his actions and aware of his secret, nonetheless unable to hold himself in take a look at. An individual who’s eager on dancing dances, and a music-lover sings incessantly. Others run or stroll pretty involuntarily, with none intention of transferring”.
Two of primarily essentially the most fascinating aspects of fly-agaric are that it retains its effectiveness just about utterly, and that its outcomes are merely transmitted to others, notably by way of ingestion of urine from the first particular person to eat the mushrooms. The similar influence might be transmitted to a third, fourth or fifth particular person in exactly the similar method.
In actuality, the facility of the mushroom to behave on this way is also partly on the foundation of the ‘Father Christmas’ myths that are seen throughout the Winter rituals of the West.
Inside the shamanic traditions of Siberia, the shaman would ingest fly-agaric in an effort to journey to the Sky Father and convey once more gadgets of information and vitality for his neighborhood. Sporting a warmth, fur-lined, ritual costume, with a thick belt hung with bells, the shaman would make his journey at nightfall to hunt the recommendation of with these otherworldly spirits. Inside the hours that adopted, the shaman would need to urinate and may stroll into the woods to take motion. Reindeers would then eat the urine-covered snow as part of their common grazing and likewise flip into intoxicated.
‘Flying’ (intoxicated) reindeers with one sky-borne human (the shaman) who controls them… the similarities in costume… the bells and the belt… the crimson and white of the mushroom… the journey by way of the sky to ship gadgets… all of the climate of the trendy day Father Christmas are there, making a reasonably idyllic view of buy fly amanita