e bohemica Sebek
The classification of these synonyms is
particularly difficult, because the mycologists
involved provided detailed descriptions for
isolated collections of fruiting bodies only,
followed by comparisons with mushrooms
found at other locations, using dates provided in
the literature. Under the best of circumstances,
an analysis was performed on dried samples
Spores Introduced From Overseas
In this section I would like to discuss
several aspects of the bluing Psilocybe mushrooms.
Detailed information about several isolated sample
collections has been presented by Krieglsteiner.
A description of any mushroom species
becomes valid only after a Latin diagnosis of the
collected sample has been published in a
mycological journal, along with distinctive
characteristics in relation to other species.
In 1946 Wakefield described as Psilocybe
cyanescens Wakefield a sample of bluing darkspored
mushrooms collected at the botanical
gardens in Kew, England. It had been suggested
that those mushrooms occurred adventitiously,
that is, that the spores had been imported from
overseas together with other plant materials. The
presence of such mushrooms in botanical gardens
had been observed quite frequently, and such
imports are likely whenever the mushroom in
question has never before been found in
surrounding areas. The possible importation of
Gymnopilus purpuratus is described elsewhere
(see Chapter 3.5).
The mushrooms displayed a much more
intense blue staining reaction than Psilocybe
semilanceata. They were observed growing on
small pieces of wood in the forested areas of Kew
Gardens during the fall season for several years.
Among the mushrooms' most notable features are
their undulating, twisted caps. Guzman believes
that specimens collected in British Columbia and
the Pacific Northwest of the United States
(Northern California, Oregon, Washington) are
identical to those found in Kew Gardens (see
Figure 24). Indeed, all of the macroscopic and
some microscopic descriptions and photographs
match the mushrooms found in England. However,
conclusive proof of identity can be provided only
by results from DNA analyses and cross-breeding
experiments with single-spore mycelia. I will
elaborate on this method in a later section.
In 1975, fruiting bodies of this species
were also discovered in Holland. Additional bluing
mushrooms growing gregariously on grass and
decaying reeds were found in the Jura Mountains
of Switzerland in 1972 (MTB 8511). Other
samples are known to have been collected in the
Steiermark region of Austria in the fall of 1976, as
well as on the Mediterranean island of Corsica in
1972 and 1984.
On several occasions, a number of
fruiting bodies classifed as Psilocybe cyanescens
were also discovered in Germany (see Figure 23, p.
More elaborate descriptions of several such
collections are provided below:
On October 31, 1983 considerable
quantities of fruiting bodi
In l970, twelve years after Psilocybe cubensis was identified on the Australian continent, two other scientists Picker and Rickards, 1970
reported that they had found psilocybine, but no psilocine, in specimens of Australian collections of P. subaeruginosa.
Mail Sud.Farmexpert.Ro Infosensecomcnlocnl xican mushroom species, so that
these materials need not be repeated in this
context. However, certain aspects concerning the
more recent uses of these mushrooms as well as
their conditions of growth will receive more
detailed attention in later chapters.
The main purpose of this book is to
inspire further study of these mushrooms,
particularly basic research efforts and medical
applications of magic mushroom ingredients.
The extensive bibliography will help
scientists and other interested mycophiles to
further immerse themselves in this complex area
Figure 6 - Bronze doors with mushroom motif entitled "Trial and
Judgment" at Hildesheim Cathedral, Germany (ca. 1020).
REFLECTIONS ON THE HISTORY
AND SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF MAGIC MUSHROOMS
It is remarkable that cultures native to the
American continent knew about a relatively large
number of natural mind-altering substances
compared to early cultures that evolved in Europe
or Asia. Botanical evidence does not support the
notion that Europe is home to fewer hallucinogenic
plants than other regions. Furthermore, the
growing number of recently discovered European
mushroom species containing psilocybin indicate a
flourishing psychotropic mycoflora in Europe
similar to those found in other countries.
It is unlikely that early European cultures
learned less about local plants and mushrooms
through usage and experience than cultures
elsewhere in the world. Most likely, early cultural
knowledge of European psychoactive plants and
mushrooms was lost or destroyed at some time in
history, probably as early as several hundred years
The discovery that the fly agaric
mushroom (Amanita muscaria) was known for its
psychoactive properties in Siberia invited the
conclusion that this mushroom was used as a
psychotropic agent in medieval Europe as well. In
fact, there is very little evidence from the Middle
Ages to indicate widespread knowledge of the
effects of specific mushrooms on human
consciousness. However, I believe that past reports
on psychoactive mushrooms were causally linked
to Amanita muscaria simply because this was the
only known psychotropic mushroom in Europe at
While the usage of Amanita muscaria
among Siberian tribes has generated reports of
spectacular hallucinations, European accounts of
fly agaric intoxications do not generally include
descriptions of such intensely hallucinatory
Accordingly, the potent hallucinogenic
effects of specific Psilocybes and related species
are likely to have had a much more significant
influence on early European cultures than the
delirium-like visions induced by Amanita
muscaria, a species that is also known to induce
unconsciousness and severe somatic side effects.
This hypothesis is corroborated by data from
comprehensive field studies conducted in Mexico.
I believe that historic accounts including those
described below - indicate a knowledge of
mail fact.ne.jp loc:NL
mail hidrotec.net.br loc:US Info Richforever Cn Loc Nl
t resume his affection for his son.
Something of a subtle nature was therefore resolved upon, such as would disorder his
brain and require time to kill. Oxford translation, Annals, Book xn, Chap. 66
There was only one poison available to the ancients that would fulfill Agrippinas
requirements - the poison of the deadly anianita. Info Tcol Com Tw Loc Nl
, this "fool's mushroom" was documented in
Slovakia as well. In addition, the mushroom found
its way into the verses of Polish poet Vaclav
Potocki (1625-1699), who refers to its potential of
"causing foolishness much like opium does ".
Similarly, in England, John Parkinson's
"Theatricum Botanicum" (1640) includes details
about a 'foolish mushroom ".
The Austrian colloquial expression "He
ate those madness-inducing mushrooms" refers to
states of mental confusion.
Historic source materials such as these
are scarce and widely scattered. Undoubtedly, they
refer to psychotropic mushrooms, but lack
sufficient information to permit clear identification
of a specific species. However, considering the
habitats and occurrence of Psilocybe semilanceata
and Psilocybe bohemica, these two species are
among the most likely candidates (see page 16 ff.).
It is remarkable that these historic portrayals
revolve around just one aspect of the mushrooms'
overall effects: the occasional semi-schizophrenic
reaction which can at times be quite dramatic.
None of these accounts reflect a distinct
appreciation of mushrooms in the tradition of the
Mexican Indians ("teonanacatl" = flesh of the
Between Reverence and Fear
By contrast, in Europe we find that the
symptoms of mushroom intoxication have always
been compared to symptoms of mental illness.
Such cross-cultural differences in value judgments
can be explained in terms of two concepts
introduced by R.G. Wasson and his wife:
mycophilia and mycophobia. This distinction subdivides
cultures with different traditional attitudes
towards mushrooms into two groups. For instance,
an entrenched dislike for mushrooms (mycophobia)
in Britain indicates traditional beliefs vastly
different from those found in Slavic countries,
where mushrooms are generally cherished
(mycophilia). The origins and evolution of such
diverging attitudes remain lost in the shadows of
The development of early cultural taboos
and prohibitions against psychotropic mushrooms
may be the root cause of enduring mycophobic
behavior. On the other hand, it is possible that,
thousands of years ago, the process of harvesting
mushrooms as a food source caused alarming
clusters of regionally isolated cases of fatal
mushroom poisonings. Such experiences may well
have seeded a potent and lasting aversion towards
an entire country's mycoflora.
Similarly, the mycophilia typical of
ancient Mexican cultures goes hand in hand with a
general social acceptance of the effects of
Psilocybe mushrooms and their established ritual
usages. Among Mexican Indian tribes, the effects
of psilocybin have never been causally linked to
any type of known mental illness. It is interesting
to note that the Indians of Mexico were the only
Indians in the Americas who also harvested a large
number of mushroom species for food.
Unfortunately, our current socio-political
climate is - strongly biased against newly
discov Spore Mushrooms Loc:Nl Loc:Nl