Revised May 1, 2002; August 31, 2007; August 27, 2008; August 26, 2010; and April 21, 2013.
Copyright 1998-2013 by John W. Allen.



 
The Ultimate Field Guide to Magic Mushrooms
by
John W. Allen




INTRODUCTION






INTRODUCTION
 

Hello mellow fellow shroomers. My name is Mushroom John [John W. Allen], and I am here to help guide you into the light of the sacred mushrooms of the earth. It has now been more than thirty-four years since I first became aware of the special properties of the sacred visionary mushrooms of México sine then, much has developed worldwide in the expanding field of ethnomycology (the study of man and his relationship with mushrooms).

To follow the trail of the sacred mushroom is a most adventurous trek and many of the various cultures throughout Western civilization have definitely played an important role in spreading the awareness of psilocybian consciousness throughout the world.

Fifty-three years have now passed since the rediscovery of the native ceremonial use of entheogenic mushrooms in southern México by R. Gordon and Valentina Wasson and their photographer, Alan Richardson (see Life Magazine, May 13, 1957), and during the past thirty-two years, more than two dozen entheogenic mushroom identification guides and cultivation manuals have been published for the novice consumer. Many of those identification guides provide macroscopic descriptions of entheogenic mushrooms which are known to occur in North America (including the Pacific Northwest and Southeast United States, México, and British Columbia, Canada); Great Britain, Europe; Asia, South and Southeast Asia, Japan, the Caribbean, as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

This mushroom identification manual provides information for those mycophiles interested in altered states of consciousness with a proper means of identifying more than 60 species of entheogenic mushrooms found throughout the world.

The casual use of entheogenic mushrooms for ludible purposes first gained public recognition in the early 1960's after psilocybin research projects initiated at Harvard University by Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Ralph Metzner and numerous undergraduate students became widely publicized in local and then the national media. First reports of students, and drug experiments involving the use of mushrooms appeared in numerous daily editions of the Harvard Crimson, a University paper published by students of which many such articles were written by Andrew Weil. These tales of mushroom use, LSD, Peyote and/or mescaline, as well as DMT, soon reached the attention of the popular press.

By the early 1970, the ludibund use of psilocybin mushrooms slowly became popular in some regions of México, South America and the southeastern and Pacific Northwest United States and Canada. As early as 1971, Australian surfers were aware of the magical properties of entheogenic mushrooms and by 1972, tourists in Bali and other regions of Indonesia were consuming entheogenic mushrooms. About the same time (1973), in the Hawaiian archipelago, entheogenic mushrooms were also quite popular with surfers on Oahu's North Shore. Eventually, foreign tourists from Australia vacationing in Bali, and Hawaii, soon discovered the existence of entheogenic mushrooms and brought such news back to friends in the British Isles, Scandinavia and other European countries.

Foreign tourists in Indonesia, South Asia (India and Nepal), and Southeast Asia (Thailand) also learned that entheogenic mushrooms were common in these countries and began to seek them out. Recently, these mushrooms became popular with tourists in the Philippine Islands.

Entheogenic mushrooms described in this guide occur in many regions of the world. Rainfalls throughout the world often provide ideal climatic environments for the abundant growth of several entheogenic species of psilocybian fungi.

A few of these psilocybian fungi are coprophilic; occurring in dung and/or manured soil of four-legged ruminants [i.e. cattle (Bos), Asian buffalo (Bubalis bubalus) horse (Equus caballus), sheep (Ovis aries), etc.], however, the majority of entheogenic mushrooms occur in deciduous woods among decayed leaves and twigs. Some occur in grassy areas such as lawns, meadows and pastures, rice paddies, open fields and/or in rotted hay.

The active ingredients which occur in these entheogenic mushrooms are referred to psilocybine and psilocine. Numerous species are briefly described as are their habitats and locations. A history on the discovery and use of the sacred mushrooms by Native Americans in Mesoamerica is provided as are several short chapters on methods of preparation, mushroom poisoning, mushroom toxicology, field identification, collecting, and preserving. Additionally a short bibliography is provided for those mycophiles who are interested in broadening their research in this particular field of endeavor . Published papers by the author are posted in the Articles section of this site.




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