By Rob Crouch
In the words of the first psychedelic astronaut who boldly went, where no one had gone before; Terence Mckenna: “My plea to scientists, administrators, and politicians; look again at psychedelics, and realise that it is a phenomenon unto itself with an enormous potential for human beings”. He was right and his words paved the way for the discoveries we are making today with the emerging mycological treatments breaking mental shackles and shaking up psychiatry. People like Hamilton Morris, the current day Mckenna on Vice sharing his Fungipedic wisdom is at the very least destroying a few stigmas.
"...his words paved the way for the discoveries we are making today with the emerging mycological treatments breaking mental shackles and shaking up psychiatry."
Those who have dabbled in the magical world of the cranial flower bomb, the brain metamorphosis, experiencing thoughts like interlocked fingers inside a global tuning dome, magnetically attracting the frequencies of congenial souls, human or otherwise, who honour time and syncopate their hearts with timeless Earth hugs . . . For others it’s more about it’s traditions and the history of worship, the fascination with the microbial synaptic mesh underneath every inch of the Earth - The mass of hyphae Shamanic conjurers sometimes call “Shiro” or “Teonanácatl” (God’s Flesh) or what we call “Mycelium''. The written history of man’s first intoxicating experience with Fungi goes as far back as the Spanish conquistadors in the 1400’s. When forcing Catholicism on the Aztec’s they were stunned to learn the Aztec’s cared not for the bunkers they’d filled with gold, they worshipped their God’s and they honoured their God’s by eating “God’s Flesh”.
"The written history of man’s first intoxicating experience with Fungi goes as far back as the Spanish conquistadors in the 1400’s."
Many diferent states of consciousness are available to us. What our societal value system encourages and glorifies is the alert, problem solving state of consciousness. It’s the most useful state of being for the material world, the problem is that society has become over dependant on this state of consciousness, in fact, it’s monopolised it. Nonetheless, the world’s most boring drug (Alcohol) is revered, celebrated and encouraged proving we still love to alter our state of consciousness, albeit in a way that depresses our senses and reduces our social interactions to incoherent baby talk. Not to mention the dehydrated agony the following day. It’s the allure of altering your state of consciousness without breaking any rules, which suits us down to a tee in this post-Orwellian world, where the “War on Drugs” rhetoric from Nixon’s bloated mouth still holds many in fear.
There is room to rejoice however, the magic mushroom lives to fight another day and its battles should be more easily won this time around. Doctors the world over are researching the potential benefits in not only treating depression with high doses of psilocybin but curing that mental state altogether. Whether it’s a government-controlled double blind study or micro-dosing at home during lockdown the surge in mushroom culture reached an all time high last year (no pun intended). Brands like Fendi, Yves Saint
"Doctors the world over are researching the potential benefits in not only treating depression with high doses of psilocybin but curing that mental state altogether."
Laurent, Gucci, Fiorucci, Stüssy, Marc Jacobs, Valentino all foraging for a seat at Alice in Wonderland’s tea party so they can strawpedo the "Mushy Home Brew". JW Anderson’s toadstool printed T shirt, Fiorucci’s mushroom phone case, shirt dress and fungi hoodie. Stüssy sold out it’s Fungorium SS20 collection and Gucci’s sticking Aminita Muscaria’s on just about anything they can get their hands on, even bum bags for kids, now that’s my kind of future-proofing!
Of course, the icons of the fashion industry were going to hitch a ride on the psychotropic party bus, it was only a matter of time, even the most hard-nosed fungi puritans must be at least a little grateful for the free advertising which is in the process of changing the collective thinking of a generation. With the fashion industry taking care of the visual marketing campaign for the psilocybin revolution, the music industry has been conducting experiments on the sacred mushroom since music began and promoting it through frequencies instead of words, a far better vessel for the transport of psychedelic knowledge. In 1767, the German composer Johann Schobert died after eating a poisonous mushroom he had mistaken for one of its psychedelic cousins, tripping for days wondering in fields near Nuremberg composing a fungi rhapsody could do that to anyone right?! Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Grateful Dead, Bowie, Jeferson Airplane, Jim Morrison, Hendrix all made music whilst under the influence of the majestic alien fungus. As with all fashions, it’s cyclical and the 70’s musical highlight reel is peppered with shroom culture which we are exploiting and making our own today. I can remember Kid Cudi talking about having a nightmare whilst on mushies back in 2011 and subsequently, most of his music has the influence ever-present. Just listen to “Frequency” on “Passion, Pain and Daemon Slaying” ASAP Rocky’s main man in London is “ Skeppy" (Skepta), back in 2010 they were beginning to flirt with Mother Nature’s brain medicine. ASAP would hire a psychedelic professor to administer the psilocybin and conduct the ceremony, the purpose that the professor would be able to control the trip and by proxy guide them to a musical awakening, and so "Long Live ASAP" appears two years later, coincidence? "Ain’t no such thing!”.
"With the fashion industry taking care of the visual marketing campaign for the psilocybin revolution, the music industry has been conducting experiments on the sacred mushroom since music began and promoting it through frequencies instead of words"
The main thing is the conceptual paradigm that witnesses a naturally occurring psychedelic agent in the form of mushrooms and its inherent ingredient psilocybin living in the heart of humanities sacred traditions. As it has done throughout our entire history. Rock paintings found within the archaeological discoveries in Tassili, Northern Algeria; depicting shamans dancing with mushrooms. Dated to 6000BC, although many of the great mycological minds would argue that even the Tassili people had derived this act of worship from an even more ancient tradition passed on potentially thousands of years earlier. Making for a very distinctive neolithic trail of breadcrumbs leading to our modern day psychedelic Nirvana.
There is still a mystery to be solved, the torch passed first from the Aztecs is now glowing so brightly that perhaps the global treasure hunting mushroom eaters of today hold the magic key? . . Only one way to find out.