Tatiana, a shaman in Kamchatka, in the Russian Far East



Chukchee petroglyphs along the northeast coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula



Psilocybe cyanescens in New York City


Gymnopilus spectabilis, Big Laughing Gym, Woodlawn Cemetery

Gymnopilus spectabilis, Big Laughing Gym, Woodlawn Cemetery




Gymnopilus spectabilis complex

Possibly 3 or more species in our area – common in fall throughout the northeast….some collection bruise or age greenish, and some smell like anise…more dis-inhibiting, causing unprovoked laughter than, say, hallucinogenic


Panaeolus cinctulus (Panaeolus subbalteatus)

Not uncommon in lawns in the Bronx


Pholiotina (Conocybe) smithii

A mother-lode appeared in the lawn at Paul Smith College, Lake Placid, New York


Pluteus salicinus

Collected almost every year but not always identified to species…blues on bruising!….summer and early fall


Psilocybe caerulipes

This is the Psilocybe we find growing on fallen logs, blues on bruising…summer and fall….throughout the area


Psilocybe cyanescens

The wavy-capped bluing Psilocybe in mulch of various kinds, blues on bruising – Inwood Hill Park & the NYBG (late fall)


Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata

The spring Psilocybe in wood chip mulch every spring and sometimes fall. Can be large, and it blues on bruising.


AMANITA MUSCARIA – A SPECIAL CASE – Not “psychoactive” but mind-altering nevertheless…….variously potent wherever it occurs…..



Guzman, Gaston. The Genus Psilocybe: A systematic revision of the known species including the history, distribution, and chemistry of the hallucinogens. (1983)


Lincoff and Mitchel. Toxic and Hallucinogenic Mushroom Poisoning: A handbook for physicians and mushroom hunters. (1978)


McKenna, Terence. Mushrooms, Mankind, DMT, Hyperspace. (2017)…Many additional titles available on Amazon, etc.


McKenna, Terence. Archaic Revival. (1991)


Ott, J. and J. Bigwood, eds. Teonanacatl: Hallucinogenic mushrooms of North America. (With essays by Jonathan Ott, Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, R. Gordon Wasson, Jeremy Bigwood, and Andrew Weil. (1978)


Riedlinger, T. The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Essays for R. Gordon Wasson. (1990)


Stamets, Paul. Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World: an identification guide. (1996)


Wasson, R. Gordon. SOMA: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. (1968)


Wasson, R. Gordon. The Wondrous Mushroom: Mycolatry in Mesoamerica. (1980)


Wasson, R. Gordon, S. Kramrisch, J. Ott, and C. Ruck. Persephone’s Quest: Entheogens and the origins of religion. (1986)



A few FILMS, TAPES, etc.


Pegtymel: Indigenous Peoples of the Russian North

A film by Andrei Golovnev


Know Your Mushrooms – a film by Ron Mann


Song of Mukhomor: Take a fascinating journey into the world of a Kamchatka Shaman – a film by Tom Stimson


Four Cassettes recording Maria Sabina’s Mushroom Velada Recorded in Mexico by R. G. Wasson


Terence McKenna’s True Hallucinations (Full Movie) HD – YouTube….an experimental documentary. (2016)


The Bear – an animated film (1988) – baby bear gets high eating Amanita muscaria!


See YouTube pieces by Lincoff, McKenna, Wasson, Weil……




Fadiman, James. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys. (2011)


Grof, Stanislav. The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of consciousness and new perspectives in psychotherapy and inner exploration. (1988) – Many other titles, as well.


Leary, Timothy. The Psychodelic Experience. A manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead. (2000)




The US Penal Code has magic mushrooms listed as a Schedule One prohibited substance. Use or even possession of a magic mushroom is a felony. While it has no LD50 (where half a tested population will die from ingesting a substance), and in fact has no known lethal dose, and has an onset of about 30-45 minutes and a duration of about 4 hours, and no addicting qualities, or even habituating qualities, still it is illegal to possess the compound psilocybin, the primary active ingredient in the mushrooms. Possessing the mushrooms, or what are presumed to be magic mushrooms, can lead to an arrest – taking up your time and costing you money. On the other hand, often only hippie-looking long-haired young people find themselves in the cross-hairs of crew-cut officers of the law.


Magic Mushrooms (containing psilocybin) are reported to stop the onset of cluster headaches, a condition that has led to suicide, but most often to a debilitating bed-ridden condition, unable to work, or go about the daily routine of life.

Magic Mushroom (containing psilocybin) are reported to be successful in a single large dose of the extracted or synthesized chemical of alleviating a number of anti-social conditions, like alcoholism and spousal abuse. Research is ongoing in NYC’s Bellevue Hospital and at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere….


Magic Mushrooms (containing psilocybin) are reported to be effective in hospice care facilities, giving some patients the ability to “step aside” from their all-consuming feelings of depression, guilt, anger, etc., and allow them to be receptive to their family and friends who are trying to comfort them (and themselves) in this time of the approaching death of a loved one.


Legal status[edit]…….from WIKIPEDIA

For more details on this topic, see Legal status of psilocybin mushrooms.

In the United States, psilocybin (and psilocin) were first subjected to federal regulation by the Drug Abuse Control Amendments of 1965, a product of a bill sponsored by Senator Thomas J. Dodd. The law—passed in July 1965 and effected on February 1, 1966—was an amendment to the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and was intended to regulate the unlicensed “possession, manufacture, or sale of depressant, stimulant and hallucinogenic drugs”.[146] The statutes themselves, however, did not list the “hallucinogenic drugs” that were being regulated.[146] Instead, the term “hallucinogenic drugs” was meant to refer to those substances believed to have a “hallucinogenic effect on the central nervous system”.[146]

Despite the seemingly strict provisions of the law, many people were exempt from prosecution. The statutes “permit[ted] … people to possess such drugs so long as they were for the personal use of the possessor, [for] a member of his household, or for administration to an animal”.[146] The federal law that specifically banned psilocybin and psilocin was enacted on October 24, 1968. The substances were said to have “a high potential for abuse”, “no currently accepted medical use,” and “a lack of accepted safety”.[147] On October 27, 1970, both psilocybin and psilocin became classified as Schedule I drugs and were simultaneously labeled “hallucinogens” under a section of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act known as the Controlled Substances Act.[148] Schedule I drugs are illicit drugs that are claimed to have no known therapeutic benefit.

The United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances (adopted in 1971) requires its members to prohibit psilocybin, and parties to the treaty are required to restrict use of the drug to medical and scientific research under strictly controlled conditions. However, the mushrooms containing the drug were not specifically included in the convention, due largely to pressure from the Mexican government.[149]

Most national drug laws have been amended to reflect the terms of the convention; examples include the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the US Psychotropic Substances Act of 1978,[148] Australia Poisons Standard (October 2015),[150] the Canadian Controlled Drugs and Substances Act of 1996,[151] and the Japanese Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law of 2002.[152] The possession and use of psilocybin is prohibited under almost all circumstances, and often carries severe legal penalties.[149]

Possession and use of psilocybin mushrooms, including the bluing species of Psilocybe, is therefore prohibited by extension. However, in many national, state, and provincial drug laws, there has been a great deal of ambiguity about the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms, as well as a strong element of selective enforcement in some places.[117][153] Most US state courts have considered the mushroom a ‘container’ of the illicit drugs, and therefore illegal. A loophole further complicates the legal situation—the spores of psilocybin mushrooms do not contain the drugs, and are legal to possess in many areas. Jurisdictions that have specifically enacted or amended laws to criminalize the possession of psilocybin mushroom spores include Germany (since 1998),[152] and California, Georgia, and Idaho in the United States. As a consequence, there is an active underground economy involved in the sale of spores and cultivation materials, and an internet-based social network to support the illicit activity.[154]


Usage[edit]…..from WIKIPEDIA

A 2009 national survey of drug use by the US Department of Health and Human Services concluded that the number of first-time psilocybin mushroom users in the United States was roughly equivalent to the number of first-time users of cannabis.[149] In European countries, the lifetime prevalence estimates of psychedelic mushroom usage among young adults (15–34 years) range from 0.3% to 14.1%.[155]

In modern Mexico, traditional ceremonial use survives among several indigenous groups, including the Nahuas, the Matlatzinca, the Totonacs, the Mazatecs, Mixes, Zapotecs, and the Chatino. Although hallucinogenic Psilocybe species are abundant in low-lying areas of Mexico, most ceremonial use takes places in mountainous areas of elevations greater than 1,500 meters (4,900 ft). Guzmán suggests this is a vestige of Spanish colonial influence from several hundred years earlier, when mushroom use was persecuted by the Catholic Church.[156]


RECIPES………Stay tuned….