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Safe-Pik Mushroom Identification Guide
by John W. Allen
Mar 2000
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New Introduction (2000)
by John W. Allen

In 1978, I created a mushroom poisoning identification poster to be used at poison control centers and at hospitals where identification of toxic mushrooms were a necessity during the middle and late 1970's due to a large amount of young teenage Americans who were consuming visionary mushrooms collected in the Pacific Northwest, United States.

This poster, which contained 70 photographs of the 6 most common species in the United States was first introduced to the world at the Hallucinogens and Shamanism Conference on Native American Life in San Francisco in the late fall of 1978. (see photographs 1 and 2 of the author with R. Gordon Wasson).

A year later, the photographic poster was cut up into 7 individual packages, each containing ten photographs of the various species common to collectors and an 8th package which contained 10 poisonous look-a-likes (see photograph 3 which is a single packet from the set of 8).

The following text is the original text which accompanied the 80 photographs and their description in the Safe-Pik Guide. They were originally on the back of each card.

Erowid Note: The Safe-Pik Guide should not be used as a guide to pick mushrooms as there are now far better resources with larger, more detailed photos and more information about poisonous look-alikes. (May 2005)

Original Introduction (1978)

You now possess the ultimate guide for safe mushroom picking. Shroomer Publication's Safe-Pik kit is by far the best collection of photographs available to date.

As novice shroomers a year ago (1977), we were concerned about not having enough realistic photos for correct identification. With the help of this new field guide, our concerns have ended.

The Safe-Pik kit deals with the most common Psilocybins. All the information needed to identify them is printed on the right side of each card. With 10 photos of each species and a bonus of 10 poisonous look-a-likes, you can get an idea of the shrooms at different stages of development. The poisonous look-a-likes are a necessity when hunting for shrooms.

"These cards should be helpful to people who want to learn the common psilocybin containing mushrooms. The photographs show the most important species in many of their aspects and together with the written descriptions are a good introduction to these interesting little mushrooms."
-- Andrew Weil, M.D.
Author 'The Natural Mind', 'Marriage of the Sun and the Moon', 'Eight Weeks to Optimum Health', and 'Spontaneous Healing'

We would like to thank Fred Rose for his encouragement and support, without which this final product would still be in the closet. I also must thank John W. Allen who is by far the best field mycologist I have ever met. His photographs and text are the basics of this guide.

Frank and Cheeri Rinaldo
Shroomer Publications, 1979

John W. Allen and Erowid,
March 2000