Psychedelics – or entheogens as I prefer to call them have been a part of my life for almost thirty five years. As a young teenager I had read accounts of the shamanic mushrooms found in the temperate regions of the world – the red mushroom with white spots – that was the source of an inebriating delirium. Amanita is the original shamanic mushroom and nothing else quite looks like it. It is also considered the soma of the ancient Vedics. As it so happens I found some in the woods near where I lived, took them home and dried them (they must be dried to be properly effective). Upon eating them some weeks later, I had a trip of intense visioning, as well as intensely uncomfortable body load. I barfed a lot, but despite this whence I returned to the “real” world I was sold on the notion of exploring THIS. Whatever “THIS” was – I wanted more. Lots more.
There is extreme variability with individual specimens of Amanita – potency depending on soil conditions, weather, time of harvest etc. Eight grams will do the trick – but don’t think party with this material… because this trip is not a pleasant somatic experience. It would be best to start off with a half dose and see how that experience sits with one before continuing. It should come as no surprise that this fungi is listed as poisonous in many mushroom field guides, and much care should be used when exploring this ancient shamanic shroom. Amanita is legal to possess everywhere, but even so to consume one for its psychoactive nature may very well not be protected behavior. It will take over 90 minutes to come on and initially might feel like one is leaving one’s body. Make a tea of the dried specimens and be certain to consume the solids too. Or better still try smoking a small amount of dried amanita -- with cannabis works well -- for a more subdued effect.
Equally anciently used entheogens are the mescaline cactus peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and the more easily obtainable San Pedro cacti (various species of Trichocereus, T. pachanoi, T. peruvianus, etc.). Personally mescaline is king. There is no finer high – no finer sense of psychedelic awareness than being dosed on it. Enough cactus plant material to allow for 300mg or so of mescaline will suffice for a full blown educational and therapeutic experience. The legal-to-possess San Pedro cactus T. peruvianus contains as much mescaline per plant material as does the illegal-to-possess peyote and thus makes an excellent choice for the modern shaman seeking the king of experiences. A 10inch section of plant, de-spined, cored and consumed will do the trick. The visuals on mescaline let one see the world in all its natural beauty – a rose will never look so fine – never be so much a rose.
If the visuals on mescaline can be called so exquisitely natural – the LSD visual experience can be better described as NEON and bright lights. And if mescaline is king -- certainly LSD is pope – and indeed many a god has been experienced on it. LSD or Lysergic acid diethylamide is 62 years old this year being invented and discovered by Albert Hofmann on April 16, 1943 in an infamous bike ride. LSD is a chemical phenethylamine and as such is related to mescaline, psilocybe mushrooms and Ecstasy (and other psychedelic “research chemicals”). LSD was dosed in the 1960s at the 300mic level with brands such as orange sunshine or purple microdot, but today’s acidheads have to contend with smaller hits usually one sixth that amount.
Salvia is one of the stranger and more difficult to describe entheogenic experiences. Hojas de la Pastoral or the leaves of the Shepardess as salvia is called is still used for healing and divination among the Indians of Mazatec region of Mexico. Chemically unrelated to the phenethylamine and tryptamines psychedelics discussed here, it represents a whole new class of psychoactives – the diterpenes. The plant can be smoked, or the leaves chewed. To get off can be a bit tricky – getting the right amount of plant material in the correct context – so that modern salvia-enthusiasts have taken to making 5X or 10X extracts of the materials to ensure a precise and mature experience. A small amount may give the sensation of a small bit of cannabis herb, but a full-blown experience leaves one’s sense of self completely and rapidly lost. Initially due to rapidity of the experience there is fear, particularly when smoking. For this reason Natives prefer the non-smoking experience. They first roll pairs of leaves in their hands (so they are in contact with body lipids) and place the “quid” under the tongue allowing the juices to be in full contact with all of one’s mucous membranes.