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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

History of Mushroom Use

Based on representations in rock paintings, many historians believe that magic mushrooms may have been in use since 9000 years before the birth of Christ, at least in North American cultures. Among Aztec and Mayan ruins in Central America, statues and other artifacts of what appear to be mushrooms have been unearthed. Many believe that the substance that the Aztecs called the “flesh of the gods” was indeed, mushrooms. In these cultures, mushrooms were used to bring on a trance, cause visions, and allow the user to communicate with the gods. The word “berserk” has some ties to the use of magic mushrooms. Legendary Berserkers were Norse warriors who were infamous throughout history for fighting a in a trance-like vehemence, thought to have been fueled by pre-battle consumption of magic mushrooms. Mushrooms and the Sixties Hippie Movement The notion of the magic mushroom having a long and holy use in history is somewhat controversial. Some folks point out that none of the evidence that has been presented in regards to the historical use of mushrooms is definitive, and that people see what they want to see in ancient sculptures, paintings and manuscripts. Regardless, Westerners began to enjoy the effects of magic mushrooms in the middle of the twentieth century following an article that appeared in Life magazine in 1957 by Gordon Wesson, a mycologist who had traveled to Mexico to study mushrooms and ended up consuming magic mushrooms during a ceremony that he participated in with the Mazatec peoples of Southern Mexico. This article spurred the use of magic mushrooms in what became known as the hippie movement of the 1960s