Saturday, December 18, 2010


Wandering in the woods near Schwann Lakes in Santa Cruz on the first sunny December day after a week of rain, we discovered with pleasure that the entire forest had mushroomed. And that one of the most prominent upstarts were colonies of the bright red Amanita Muscaria. Amanitas were everywhere!
Red Amanitas are a common theme in fairy-tale illustrations where they form the background and sometime homes of supernatural creatures such as elves, fairies, sprites and the occasional hookah-puffing caterpillar. They have been associated with the Santa Claus legend, Viking berzerkers and used for psychedelic trances by Siberian shamans and modern-day mind explorers. Scientific and cultural information concerning this strikingly beautiful fungus may be found on Wikipedia while trust-worthy information about its mind-altering properties may be found at the Erowid site.
The oldest known religious scriptures, the Hindu Vedas, contain more than 90 hymns of praise honoring a mysterious potion called "soma" which seemed to act as a gateway to profound religious experiences.
Almost a hundred hymns in praise of a mind-altering brew? One can only speculate how different our lives would be if the Judeo-Christian Old Testament had contained half a dozen books commending some holy psychedelic substance as a reliable pathway into Jehovah's presence.

In Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality, J. P. Morgan vice-president and amateur ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson has argued that the Vedic soma was a brew prepared from the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Paraphrasing the Vedas I offer this little hymn to the power inside these beautiful Amanitas.

I have become immortal
Have I not drunk soma?
I have attained the Light
Have I not drunk soma?
I discover God and Her angels
Have I not drunk soma?
Have I not drunk soma?
I am high as a kite.
Am I just fooling myself again?
Or is this the first time ever
I've been right?

Photos by August O'Connor


kcb000 said...


Glad to see you're cleansing the doorways of perception for the holiday season!

muzuzuzus said...

Must have been an amazing sight!

See this
The Tungas women drum, then Tatiana explains Mukhomor