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are also known as sacred mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms, and, more generally, hallucinogenic mushrooms. This last term is misleading. Though hallucinations can occur when under the influence of magic mushrooms (as with many other drugs, such as alcohol, cocaine, etc.), they are of secondary importance and do not account for the significance that these fungi have had in human history.
Magic mushrooms are fungi, found mainly in the genus Psilocybe (although there are also species that belong to the genera Conocybe, Stropharia, Panaeolus, and Copelandia). These belong to the Agaricaceae family and grow in a variety of substrates, among them cow dung and wood chips and bruise with a bluish color, often still visible on dried stems.
The major psychoactive compounds are the tryptamines psilocybin and the closely-related psilocin, although several species also contain baeocystin and norbaeocystin.
Examples of magic mushrooms are Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe cyanescens and (Psilocybe semilanceata) Liberty cap. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_mushrooms [Mar 2005]
Rock paintings in the Sahara of mushroom effigies date back to 7000 BC. Some scholars believe that Soma, the drink mentioned in Vedic literature, was derived from magic mushrooms. Albert Hofmann and Carl Ruck contend that the Eleusinian Mysteries made use of magic mushrooms.
S. Odman, in 1784, first suggested that Nordic Vikings used fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) to produce their berserk rages. Supposedly, the Norse took these mushrooms so that the effect came on during the heat of battle or while at work. During the berserk rage they performed deeds which otherwise were impossible. The rage started with shivering, chattering of the teeth, and a chill. Their faces became swollen and changed color. A great rage developed in which they howled like wild animals and cut down anyone in their way, friend or foe alike. Afterward their mind became dulled and feeble for several days.
Psilocybe mushrooms were a revered tradition in native Central American cultures at the time of the European invasion, and have been in continuous use up to the present time . Named teonanacatl in Nahuatl, "flesh of the gods," they have been employed for healing, divination, and for intercession with the spirits. Since the beginning of colonial times their use has been hidden due to persecution by the Christian church, which branded all native religious practices and especially those employing entheogenic sacraments as "devil worship."
Around the middle of the 20th century two amateur western mycologists, R. Gordon Wasson and his wife, Valentina Pavlovna, were admitted to these secrets rites and became the first westerners to experience the agape of this sacrament. The ceremony, known as a velada, Spanish for "vigil," took place in a Mazatec mountain village named Huautla de Jimenez, and the shamaness who introduced the Wassons and a few of their friends to the secret rites was named Maria Sabina. Later, as the village was overrun with westerners seeking either god or kicks, she was to rue her action, declaring "From the moment the foreigners arrived the 'holy children' [Mazatec euphemism for the mushrooms, which are otherwise not named directly] lost their purity. They lost their force, they ruined them. Henceforth they will no longer work. There is no remedy for it."
Subsequently the Wassons wrote about their experiences, first in an article in Life magazine, followed by various books. Their accounts triggered a wave of experimentation with these mushrooms which resulted in their eventual classification in the USA and international treaties as a Schedule I drug. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_mushrooms [Mar 2005]
Present SituationIn most western countries possession and use of the mushrooms were declared illegal shortly after their appearance, and therefore their use has been driven underground and is uncontrolled. An exception to that rule is Holland and some other countries in the European Union, where fresh mushrooms can be obtained in smart shops which cater to the needs of psychonauts and others. Dried mushrooms however are considered a "preparation" and thus remain illegal there. Nonetheless there is an active international trade both in mushrooms and in spores, which can be easily grown in sterile medium. (See Drug policy of the Netherlands.) Another exception is the United Kingdom, where fresh magic mushrooms are legal, and only become illegal when 'prepared' (i.e. dried, or made into a tea). Magic mushrooms are widely available for sale throughout the UK, but their legal status is currently under review - most notibly in the new Drugs Bill currently at revue, section 21, which proposes to make any Psilocin containing fungii (which includes the wild-growing liberty caps) class A illegal drugs.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_mushrooms [Mar 2005]
- Underground Moderne - La Compile By Actuel [Amazon FR] | [Amazon US] | [Amazon Uk]
1. Ghost Rider (Suicide) 2. Mushroom (Can) 3. Gypsy Love (Silver Apples) 4. King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown (Augustus Pablo) 5. Solo/from The Film 'der Tote Bin Ich'(Irmin Schmidt) 6. Sweet Surrender (Tim Buckley) 7. Le Voyageur (Heldon) 8. Chrysler Rose (Dashiell Hedayat) 9. Fohat Digs Holes In Space (Gong) 10. Comme à La Radio(Brigitte Fontaine;Areski;Art Ensemble Of Chicago) 11. Revolutionary Words (Mutabaruka) 12. You Play For Us Today (Agitation Free) 13. Peaches En Regalia (Frank Zappa) 14. Birds Lament(Moondog) 15. One Nation Under A Groove (Funkadelic)
- Mushroom Jazz 4 (2002) - Mark Farina [1 CD, Amazon US]
1. Little Soul, A - Pete Rock 2. Hot Bananas - Scienz Of Life 3. Suite For Beaver Part 1, The - People Under The Stairs Listen Listen 4. Truth In Position - Maspyke 5. Chicago Babe - Trankilou 6. Wiggle And Giggle - Joshua 7. Shoplif - Ripshop feat. Mr. Lif 8. Keep Your Head Up - Laurnea 9. Original Beats - DJ Slave 10. No - Fat Jon 11. Mellow Soul Fruit - Wick Wack 12. Listen - Benny Blanko 13. Phone Tap - Bernal Boogie 14. Irreconcilable - Sub-Conscious 15. Seems To Know - Juluis Papp & Dave Warrin 16. Find Yourself - Space Hopper 17. Dayz - DJ Spinna 18. Big Fish - Dubbie-D 19. Bath Music - Greyboy feat. Dave Pike & Elgin Park
For the fourth release in his acclaimed Mushroom Jazz series, DJ Mark Farina lets the urban dance and hip-hop roll while staying true to the downtempo, rainy-day-jazz mode that inspired the series title. Farina has left a trail of devoted jazz-house fans in his wake, from Chicago to San Francisco. Some might not follow the path he walks on this record, which even more than Jazz 3 finds inspiration in the DJ flava of rappers like Mr. Lif and Fat Jon. Others will appreciate the easy, smooth vibe of the record, not to mention Farina's always dependable taste in selections and contrasts. Benny Blanko's "Listen" empties into the funky din of Bernal Boogie's "Phone Tap" with nary a ripple, while tracks from Scienz of Life and People Under the Stairs hypnotize and pleasantly disorient the listener with a sweaty serenity. By cradling rougher styles in smooth trip textures, Farina successfully expands his palette and keeps the series crispy fresh. --Matthew Cooke for amazon.com [...]
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