Amanita mushrooms first emerge from the ground looking like an egg. While 'inside' and before 'hatching,' the mushrooms hidden form is referred to as the 'primordial body.' Encapsulated by a white membrane known as the 'universal veil,' they grow, mature, and eventually, push through that veil revealing their fruiting bodies. Here we have the beginnings of that classic image we are all far too familiar with - the Red and the white toadstool top.
The remnants of that torn veil stick to the amanita's cap, giving it its iconic white spots, known as warts or scales. In its pre-adolescent phases of growth, a partial veil covers the gills found underneath the red cap. But, as the mushroom continues to mature, this veil is also broken. It remains as a skirt around the stalk and acts as another identifying marker for this particular genius.
Mushrooms are often referred to as fungi. Fungi is the plural for fungus. The fungus family also includes yeasts and mold. These eukaryotic organisms flourish by extracting nutrients from decaying materials. A healthy and complete fungal growth is designed to render a mushroom just as a tree is designed to render a fruit or seed. Mushrooms are technically the fruits of fungal growths. They release the seed -or in this case, the spore- of the fungal organism.
These spores are released from the gills of the fruiting body. The spores are extremely tiny and easily carried off by the wind. If a good gust takes a spore out into the upper atmosphere, it may potentially leave the exosphere and make its way out into space. The outer layer of a spore is comprised of metals for this very reason - to protect it from ultra-violet light and harsh cosmic rays lending it the opportunity and power to survive the radiations of space. A spores metallic shell also gives it a strong ionic charge which can help pull it out beyond the atmosphere magnetically (almost like it evolved to do this). From there it can maybe hitchhike on a solar wind to an asteroid which can hopefully one day shuttle it off to a suitable planet. This understanding of fungal and bacterial travel is what seeded the theory of panspermia, the most commonly accepted scientific theory to the propagation of organic life within a universe
Ever wonder why satellites are made in clean rooms with men wearing sanitized paper suites and masks? You probably haven't.... but It's because orbiting apparatus are often decommissioned or compromised due to fungal decomposition. Clean rooms are a necessary step to ensure that a multi-million dollar satellite isn't eaten away by fungal growths out in orbit before its lifespan is up. The study of fungus in space is categorized as Astromycology. It is often an overlooked science...
But, if that spore doesn't embark on such a dramatic journey of discovery, and if it lands on suitable soil, it will begin to germinate into a homokaryotic cell that will asexually divide and create the mycelial growth common of a mushrooms beginnings.
If two mycelia of a common species grow to meet one another, they may join, forming a dikaryotic mycelium which can now share genetic code, propogate diversity, and fruit to express new seed.
Amanitas are often found growing at the base of coniferous trees in the summer months. They tend to prefer elevations above 8,000ft but can also be found close to sea level in some forests.
These mushrooms have a symbiotic relationship with trees such as Cedar, Pine, Spruce, and Birch. The symbiotic relationship is formed between the trees and the mushroom when mycelial nets of a fungal family mingle with the roots of a tree.
Mushrooms cannot digest nutrients within their bodies, so they excrete nitrogen and phosphorus into the ground to break down harder substances like cellulose and lignin - an abundant source of the Sulfur of Pine. This break-down of organic material renders a myriad of available nutrients for rooted plants in the area and the added nitrogen and phosphorous act like fertilizers. Animals in the area provide additional nitrogen to the soil through their urine and excrement for the mushrooms to utilize in a process of recycling. This cycle is exceptionally common in coniferous forests where Deer and Elk are often found bedding down under trees. You can recognize their presence from the flattened grass and collection of little brown pellets. The disturbance to the soil that the animal's presence has stimulates mycelium to fruit and in effect helps the process along.
This relationship with the trees works seamlessly because mushrooms also require moisture and shade. Most mushrooms are over 90% water. If exposed to direct sunlight, they can easily be dehydrated before reaching a mature state at which to release spores. Although the mushroom's spore can survive dehydration and even the vacuum of space, the fruiting body itself is quite fragile.
For the mushrooms, the trees provide shade and a temperate environment. The host tree also channels water down towards its base keeping the ground moist for the mycelium.
Trees and mushrooms harvest each other in this way. Mushrooms provide the essential nutrients that the soil needs to be healthy, in exchange giving ripe breeding ground for a forest. Setting such a stage for itself the Amanita helps to care for more mushrooms moving forward, out into a broadened environment of abundance.
Mushrooms are life promoters in every way. Especially the Amanita!
Is it toxic?
Despite the commonly accepted myth surrounding Amanita Muscaria, these mushrooms are not to be considered toxic. Stories of poisonings are propagated via those that harbor internal fear towards something they do not understand or have experience with. This often comes from individuals of older generations.
Illuminations from such substances are often seen to be hazardous to society because the proclaimed enlightened may see through the guise of cultural constructs and then choose to not participate. Another reason Amanita Muscaria has been poised as toxic is because of its abundance of Ibotenic Acid which has the potential to cause nausea or in the worst case scenario, vomiting. But, these conditions are rare and tend to only be seen when absurd amounts of the mushroom are consumed without being dried first. It would take the ingestion of roughly 15 raw, full sized, mushroom caps to even begin to consider a fatal dose. These mushrooms are rather large, so to eat 15 full sized caps would be the same as eating about 10-15lbs of raw amanita in one sitting. Probably not something anyone would want to do regardless of the mushroom. Currently, there are no deaths or physical traumas on record that have been caused by the ingestion of Amanita Muscaria, and as stated above, Amanita is found to be a life promoter.
Preparation for medicinal use
The drying of Amanita is a crucial process in its preparation for consumption because a gentle heat can decarboxylate ibotenic acid converting it to Muscimol - the major psychoactive and medicinal compound. If a Amanita is consumed raw, the Ibotenic acid may upset your stomach, but it cannot seriously harm you.
Eating the raw mushroom is an inefficient way to take advantage of its medicinal qualities anyways. Only about 10-20% of the ibotenic acid consumed is converted in the body to form muscimol; the rest is passed via the urine within 20-90 minutes. But, if you dry the mushroom first, all of the acid can be converted to muscimol, which is directly usable as a neurotransmitter by the body.
Fly Agaric and your Brain
Muscimol is one of the main compounds of interest within the Amanita due to its profound effects on the nervous system. Muscimol is considered a GABA agonist, which means that this compound can replace GABA as a neurotransmitter, in return sending its own electrochemical signals to the body. It is these signals that are of the utmost importance to this plants therapeutic value.
A GABA agonist is considered to be a sedative. These compounds have calming effects on the nervous system and are often used in anti-panic, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anticonvulsant, and insomnia treatments or medications. Individuals whos GABA receptors are blocked or damaged due to heavy metals in the hippocampus -most commonly Aluminum- have a higher chance of expressing hyperactive disorders, developing schizophrenic tendencies, or displaying early signs for Dementia or Alzheimers.
Becuase Amanitas are rich in organic sulfur and silica; they can help detox the brain of heavy metals and restore neurotransmitter regulation and expression. This action alone can lead to a calm and collected disposition, laced with deep levels of clarity and harmonized chemical function within the endocrine system.
On top of harmonizing the hormones of the body, Muscimol is also shown to stimulate synchronization of brain waves, rendering deeper and more productive thoughts, sounder sleep states filled with more insightful and lucid dreams, and increased abilities in vision.
Muscimol is known to stimulate the Hippocampus, and one of the features of this center is that it produces large quantities of Theta waves. Exaggerated levels of Theta waves are associated with REM cycle sleep and deep meditation. The Hippocampus is also involved in spacial recognition and overall navigation. This correspondence traverses both the physical and spiritual planes of navigation and helps the individual to first dissociate with the storyline their mind has been generating regarding the perceived self, and then take a step up to the 'crows nest' of consciousness where a wider landscape of reality can be more easily obtained. The qualities of emotionally removed observations are often common of GABA agonists and are what give these compounds the title of 'dissociatives.'
The Hippocampus also contains a high amount of glucocorticoid receptors, which make it extremely sensitive to stress. Muscimol, acting to sedate the production of stress hormones and balance endocrine function also means that amanita can be considered as a powerful remedy against intense depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Extracts of this mushroom are extremely beneficial for those who deal with anger, rage, depression, anxiety, or insomnia.
Amanita and your Eyes
Since Muscimol -the active ingredient in the Fly Agaric mushroom- relaxes the nervous system, it also has effects on the optic nerve. Your eyes are directly linked to your nervous system and are therefore immediately affected by muscimol's presence. This often is experienced as a relaxation and dilation of the pupil. Opening the pupil allows more light to enter the eye and stimulate the optic nerve. More sensory input from the eyes means sharper vision and pronounced colors. Using an Amanita extract consistently as a tonic may be helpful in natural forms of vision correction.
The Fly Agaric is most often known for its psychoactive qualities. The same compound -Muscimol- which is responsible for the medicinal qualities of the mushroom can also be responsible for psychoactive trips when large quantities are consumed. The extract featured here is not potent enough to cause a psychoactive trip and is not designed for that purpose. But, it is still of value to know the potentials held within this fungus.
It takes about 5g of dried Amanita cap to trigger a worthwhile entheogenic experience. Remember that the word 'entheogen' means 'Divine Within,' and that is essentially what is happening or being experienced when you ingest substances like this. You are awakening to the divine nature of true-self that is buried within the form we perceive as self.
Throughout the centuries, many rumors have been spread, and are still shared in the modern day, because of the fear around the experiences that can be had when one ingests larger quantities of this mushroom in a single sitting. To the individual who has consumed an Amanita cap, the effects can be disorienting, but also extremely euphoric and enlightening. Many claim to find God or retrieve complete understanding of all things due to its influence.
Large doses of Muscimol can warp perceptions by sedating the areas of the brain that are in charge of sensory perception, memory, navigation, and motor function. When experiencing this directly, it looks first like a disorientation of the space you are occupying. It becomes hard to determine the distance of objects relative to you, forms begin to shimmer and dance, colors take on an auric glow, and any memory of things being any different than your current observations leave you completely. Surely, to you, things are always in this state, but you have been ignorant to their true form. Only now, upon eating the amanita, do you see clearly. At least, that's the sensation of the experience....
Such a view allows the individual to completely accept and appreciate the relativity of all experiences and see that nothing is as concrete as it was once thought to be.
Because of Muscimol sedating effects, this state of disoriented perception will only last for a few hours before you begin to feel extremely tired and desire to lay down and sleep. Most Amanita trips end with the individual laying down to sleep, though the active components are still at work. A state of deep sleep is almost instant upon lying down. With your brain waves already stimulated to a harmonized theta state, you will enter into dreams almost immediately. These dreams are extremely vibrant, lucid, and full of lessons. The majority of the psychoactive benefits of a Fly Agaric happen in the dream world. It is close to impossible to outline what might be experienced inside the mind of the individual dreaming, but almost all reports share that the dreams are positive and enlightening. A deep reverence for the mushroom and life tend to imbue the user upon awakening.
Altogether a psychoactive trip will last from 10-18 hours depending on the individual, with the majority of that time spent asleep.
As it was mentioned above, the extract featured here is not designed to render such psychoactive experiences as described. There just isn't enough of the active compound to push someone into that state inside each bottle. Instead, this spagyric is created to gift the user its benefits without having to 'check out' of reality. That means that this could essentially be referred to as 'micro-dosing' and that this spagyric can be used in your daily and normal routine without any fear of tripping out on the job.
*Amanita is not an illegal substance. There is currently no legislation in place in the United States that limits its use or sale. Not available for international purchase.
The Fly Agaric mushroom shows most predominantly characteristics of both Solar and Lunar Qualities. The synthesis of these two planetary bodies corresponds most readily with the metal platinum and Solar Eclipse energies.
Working with Amanita helps to bring clear vision to the subconscious mind in both the waking and sleeping states. This is most beneficial for recognizing unconscious patterns that may be present and in effect causing particular physical, mental, or emotional disturbances. By becoming aware of the once unknown, we can choose to loosen the grips of fate and begin to self-direct flow, circumstance, and perceived reality. The unconscious is a limitless place. It is from where we harvest our infinite potential. In magical or scientific circles, this limitless place might be referred to as Chaos. Awareness of unconscious possibilities empowers the individual who can see impossible potentials. Amanitas influence on the mind and sleeping states helps to draw awareness into this foggy place of unknowns. If we look at it from the planetary perspective, the Sun embodies the conscious mind and the Moon embodies the subconscious mind. Think about your perspective as the observer on Earth during an eclipse. It appears as if the Moon covers the sun and when this happens the light changes; the world we once knew feels more dreamy. In a dream, anything is possible. Especially in one you are lucid in. All of our conscious/sun self is now being shown upon the unconscious/moon self.This is where lucidity and conscious manifestation begin. From the perspective of inner alchemy, this is the marriage between the sun and the moon, the conscious and unconscious selves. The union of the two into one mind will birth a 'divine child.' The awakened, the reborn, the avatar of consciousness. Amanita pull us towards this. With its influence in place, clear passage is granted. The destination is the unknown, but with a strong power of observation and with one that is disassociated from the thought that the body and mind are the self, power to navigate and map a reality of your choosing is more easily attained. See, if you want control of life circumstances, you have to first surrender and lose all faculties. Your vision has to blur, your knowingness for the nature and beingness of anything you once thought to observe clearly has to become shakey, yet at the same time, all is illuminated as you try to understand what it is that you are actually viewing. After careful observation of the true nature of reality, it is without a doubt that you will find yourself awake in a dream. Amanita helps guide an experience to this place. To achieve this experience is to be perfectly calm and collected in all circumstances and to have more controlled response towards the unexpected. Flight or flight reactions are sedated, then Amanitas presence and blissful acceptance of what is becomes a joy to receive.