Citation: Mycal Shroompatrick. "Amanitas: My Personal Relationship: An Experience with Amanita muscaria (exp69322)". Erowid.org. Mar 12, 2010. erowid.org/exp/69322
I moved to Colorado a few years back from Cascadia, where the edible psychedelic fungus grows in abundance. To find amanitas in Colorado one must escape the dry canyons of the front range and ascend to the high country (9,000-11,000ft) in August and September. I live and work in a community of river people – fishermen, river guides, kayakers. One day friends came to me with some astonishing news. While fishing, they had found red mushrooms with white dots along our river we call Cache La Poudre—at an elevation of 6000ft! I was shown the site (named “shaman island” by my helpers) and positively identified the fungus as A. muscaria.
I have always been fascinated with mushrooms, consciousness and my relationship with the earth. My wife and I have come across amanitas on backpacking trips, but never perused their knowledge. We were perfectly content with our psilocybin. Ironically, I dressed as an Amanita Muscaria for Halloween the year before. Finding amanitas practically in my back yard, in an obvious spot, and in a super-arid climate led me to believe the mushrooms were looking for me. I began to collect the mushrooms, carefully slicing the stem at the top of the bulb, leaving a portion of the fruiting body in the ground in hopes they’ll return. Every week or so there would be 5-6 more, they grew in a circular pattern in a nice bed of pine needles. It was so arid that some of the mushrooms I picked were dried in the ground! I made my intent clear and thanked the earth for the bounty. This enhances my relationship with the Earth Mother and in turn glorifies my experience whether I'm picking berries, gathering firewood or looking for plant entheogens.
This is my preparation suggestion:
The stash was brushed clean of dirt and pine needles (don’t wash them, they get slimy!). Dry your mushrooms as soon as you pick them as they rot quickly. I dried them on a baking sheet, oven door open, temperature on warm-190 degrees, stems removed, gills up. Juices from the shrooms should be spooned back into the open cap. This process can take hours depending on the size/juiciness of your find, you are going for a ‘caramelized’ look. This method is called decarboxylization which converts the Ibotenic acid to Muscimol, the ingredient that induces the psychedelic experience. If not prepared correctly, eating these mushrooms can cause great discomfort as Ibotenic acid is very toxic.
Once you have your caramelized shrooms, they should be eaten with in the year. Reduce them to a powder in a coffee grinder and make a tea. I typically ingest 5-8 grams (3-5 caramel caps) at a time. This produces a drunk feeling with out the ego amplification and sloppiness of alcohol, perfect for physical activity. Effects are usually felt in 1.5 – 2 hrs, and I return to baseline consciousness after 8-10 hrs, as opposed to psylocibes which take me there and back in less then 6 hrs-even with heroic doses.
Personally, I use a. muscaria as a body check when I’m feeling the onset of cold and flu. They tend to purge you mentally and physically. I also like to use them for energy when I’m hiking or performing. I find it funny that they can be used to induce great sleep—and provide awesome energy, at the same time. This goes to show the power of psychedelics over the mind and the importance of knowing your set and setting. I have also cooked imperceptible amounts into food to add wonderful flavor. The mushroom powder makes an amazing seasoning for soups, and makes robust gravy for the thanksgiving table—something I wouldn’t do with psilocybes!!
Like psilocybes, these mushrooms lend themselves well to ritual and prayer; however I have not heard “the voice” under the influence of a. muscaria like I have with cubensis. It could be that I have not ingested enough, but my instincts tell me that I am in a good place with my self-prescribed methods and dosage. At the same time, I wish to dive deeper but fear that with out shamanic guidance I could get lost. I am always excited to talk with others that use these for spiritual purposes. The psychedelic experience is a tool (like no other) for re-assessment of your current model of reality. Certain aspects of your life (especially the ones you hide from) come to the forefront of consciousness like a roaring mountain lion jumping out of the bushes. By having these experiences, I feel we are regaining valuable lost knowledge for our species and enriching our personal lives.
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