fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria)
A couple of years in the past, I used to be known as as an knowledgeable witness in a legal case involving trance and possession. The circumstances of the case aren’t essential to this text however, to not depart you hanging, needed to do with a person who had flown to the UK from Nigeria and was discovered to be carrying cocaine when he was stopped by Customs Officers. His defence was that he had been entranced, or presumably drugged, by a bunch of males who had planted the cocaine on him earlier than he boarded the aircraft.
What was extra attention-grabbing for me was that I obtained to have lunch with one other knowledgeable witness, a toxicologist from one of many UK’s main instructing hospitals, who had a eager curiosity in mycology and deliberate to publish a e-book on the sacred use of fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) in religious therapeutic and historic warriorship practices.
On account of his research, he had just lately labored with a TV manufacturing firm who had made a documentary with him to check one in all his private pet theories: that the Zulu Battle was fought by the indigenous individuals beneath intoxication from the sacred mushroom. This had given them, not solely superhuman energy and imperviousness to ache, however a way of fearlessness and their very own divine goal in battle. It was this that had helped them depart the sphere victorious, he claimed.
Clearly, the TV firm couldn’t stage one other battle to check this concept, however what they may do – and did – was to get two martial arts specialists into a hoop to struggle it out for the cameras.
Within the first a part of this experiment, the combatants met equally and fought a couple of rounds collectively. Neither emerged as a transparent winner on this fastidiously matched contest.
Within the second half, nevertheless, one of many fighters was given 5 strips of fly-agaric to eat. He was allowed to relaxation whereas it took impact, after which each fighters met once more.
Besides they did not, precisely. In line with the knowledgeable I used to be talking to (apparently, over a lunch of mushroom paella), the fighter who had taken fly-agaric merely flew throughout the ring as quickly because the bell rang, hardly even touching the bottom, and threw his opponent so onerous that he ended up on the ground exterior the ropes. The intoxicated fighter by no means even broke a sweat and was not respiration at something above regular ranges when his opponent was counted out.
Utilization and results of fly-agaric
Within the trendy West, now we have misplaced most of our historic ceremonial practices and not imagine in a ‘spirit world’. Consequently, fly-agaric (whether it is thought of in any respect) is regarded solely as a harmful and probably toxic ‘drug’, moderately than a path to the divine.
In his e-book, Ploughing The Clouds, nevertheless, Peter Lamborn Wilson argues convincingly that fly-agaric just isn’t solely the sacred Soma referred to within the Rg Veda, however that it was utilized in many European international locations and was additionally central to the Irish Keltic custom of shamanism, which nonetheless continues in its fundamental kind, at present.
The mushrooms themselves, brilliant purple with white spots, are gathered for ritual use in these traditions in the course of the hottest months of the yr – July and August – when they’re most infused with the component of fireside and the breath of the solar/Sky Father. Probably the most highly effective mushrooms, in actual fact, are mentioned to dry themselves, able to be picked for his or her communion with man. These are thought of far ‘stronger’ than these picked early and dried artificially. Smaller mushrooms are additionally mentioned to have a lot better energy than bigger ones, and it appears doubtless, from trendy experimentation, that their narcotic results are actually extra intense in the course of the early rising part.