Jump to content

* * * * * 2 votes

Maria Sabina

  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 mjshroomer



  • OG VIP
  • 2,651 posts


Awards Bar:

Posted 02 April 2018 - 06:47 AM



The following article is by the wife of Rolf Singer and is about what she recalled of Maria Sabina. 







Dr. Singer is the mycologist along with Dr. Alexander H. Smith of the University of Michigan, .long deceased who wrote the first monograph on the Genus Psilocybe in a 1958 issue of Mycologia.  It described, with some line drawing sketches, several species of Psilocybe from the PNW and Mexico.   However, Smith who had previously in the late 1940s had found P. semilanceata in the PNW and BC,, Canada, failed to mention it in this monograph because it had been noted in the past as being in the region.  This is from Part 2 of his Monograph. 




Part 1 of the Singer and Smith lengthy paper was about Schultes Investigations of the Aztec use and modern use of the mushrooms. Thus Singer's Wife wrote of her encounter years later in the above noted journal McIllvainea.


I must mention that I and about 10 other people all published little pamphlets on the mushrooms of the PNW using information provided to the public from that article in our field guides.  Leonard Enos was the first and he also provided several water colored renditions of those species to the world.  Many mycologists had negative comments about the quality of Leonard Enos' water colored species, but i found his drawings of the liberty cap (Psiloocybe semilanceata and Panaeolus subbalteatus to be very accurate and I often recommended that others use his guide.  







In the early 1970s, I and my wife owned a used bookstore on the Chicago's north side and I purchased this $1.50 book for 20 cents from a customer.  Of course this book was for P. cubensis in Florida to Texas.  In the book, the author had scratched onto a page a note in his hand-writing that his nest book would be with Dr. Gaston Guzman.  In the later 1970s I asked Dr. Guzman about this man and his book and Dr. Guzman said he had no idea who this author  (Arnold Wolman) was.  The book also had poetry by the author noted another book of his poetry was also available.  Cover and Inside Cover as printed.




When I first began to study these mushrooms, information about them in the early 1970s up to 1980 was very scarce.  Many books and journal publications at the University of Washington, and some at the University of Oregon in Eugene had had such articles excised by razor or scissors from both books and journals on their library shelves and stacks.  At the time, my first field guide was by F. C. Ghouled from South Carolina and it was specifically for Psilocybe cubensis and Panaeolus subbalteatus.  However, Ghouled had never seen Panaeolus subbalteatus and in his field guide he had two images of penis shaped cubes listed as Panaeolus subbalteatus.  For two years I looked at manure in Oregon and I walked right by the liberty caps which did not grow in Manure but did fruit in manured soil.  Here is Ghouled's guide. This book sold well in the PNW but was worthless since Psilocybe cubensis and P. caerulescens only grew in the south from Texas to Georgia and Florida.



The Wolman guide and the Ghouled booklet were worthless.

Several years later, Ghouled and a co author (Richard Meredith) published a profession looking book as A cultivation manual with ID of species, most of the species ID'ed in their guide were species found in the  PNW and the info also was copied from other such manuals.



Another popular PNW guide was written by Everett Kardell and it had great sketches of the primary PNW species. Was printed in a mimeograph  with blue line ink.  



I also learned other articles in books or journals had photographs missing from the literature so it was virtually impossible to learn about what these mushrooms looked like.


In the early to mid 1970s, I was in the Magus bookstore in Seattle's U-District when I met a look man, David Tatelman. He also had a Head Shop on the Avenue, American Dream.  He told me he was interested in publishing a book on Magic Mushrooms and gave me his business card and said he would like to get together with me to publish such a field guide.


Unfortunately for me, I lost that card and David then met Paul Stamets and in 1978, a year after I published Magic Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest, 

5 copies had purple covers and then 2000 with blue at $1.50 per.  Than a 2nd printing 5 months later of 12,000 copies at $1.75 each.



Paul's book, Psilocybin Mushrooms and their Allies, appeared in print. Unbeknownst to many, I personally sold the 1st 100 copies of Paul's book at the 1978 fall Conference on Hallucinogens and Shamanism in Native American Life at the Japan Trade Center in San Francisco.   


Paul's First Book.

35-Stametsabndtheir allies_1978abc.jpg


That was the same year that Frank and Cheeri Renaldo and I published from my Med poster of hallucinogenic and toxic species, the 85 page-all colored, Safe-Pik Mushroom ID pocket sized guide with a forward by Dr. Andrew Weil. 

First it was a poster for med ER room to help physicians attend possible poisonings by young adults who may have picked a wrong Shroom. Here I am in 1978 with R. Gordon Wasson, photo by Michael Aldridge.



The Frank and I put the 80 photos into 8 individual envelopes with 10 cards to a packet.



Then we had three colored covers, Black, Red, and Green in a small pocket booklet sized product.  




And then some pages of introduction about the booklet.



Between 1976 over one dozen books were published on How to Identify psilocybian mushrooms and over half a dozen cultivation manuals also were published.


While my book, Magic Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest was popular,  David Tatelman of Homestead Book Co,. the major distributor of Drug books in the PNW informed me in a forward to my book on Mushroom Pioneers that my book printed on a xerox copy machine had outsold his professional book (Two editions).  As seen here.  First edition by Richard Alan Miller of Seattle and the 2nd smaller booklet co-authored by David Tatelman.  




This is a bit of history and should be archived. Ir is not complete as their were many manuals like mine that came out before and after my PNW guide.  But I and many others were hampered in our search for the mushrooms due to greedy people who clipped photos of known species as well as articles from such journals as Mycologia. It was not until late 1979 that I was able to get an inter-library copy of the article for $12 dollars from Harvard.  And back then I was xeroxing every article I could find about the magic shrooms at a cost of about 25 cents per page. Some articles were 1-2 pages and some were as many as 100 pages.  When purchased from a University library in the 1970s,  most cost was $10 dollars per article whether it was 2 pages or a 100 pages. a  standard fee for a student on work study who would go find such research and xerox it for the person who requested it.  So over the years I spent a small fortune. While at the U of Hawaii, I had access to a key card for the DEPT i worked in, so I was able to get many articles from the Asian side of the globe but I still was able to get the school to pay for the inter-library loans\\


This article about is from a journal I have in my library and for several years I was unaware of the article by Martha Singer.


Enjoy the lesson in history of the id of the shrooms.  


If everyone likes this lesson I will surely post more historical facts from my library here so people will know what occurred and when.




Edited by mjshroomer, 02 April 2018 - 08:48 AM.

  • Hash_Man, Samwise, Mrs.Hippie3 and 7 others like this

#2 cosmicsistar



  • Free Member
  • 39 posts

Posted 02 April 2018 - 08:59 AM

fascinating read...thank you for sharing xoxo

#3 MyShroooms



  • Free Member
  • 18 posts

Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:31 PM

Very well written post.

#4 PsyBearknot



  • Moderator
  • 5,437 posts

Awards Bar:

Posted 03 April 2018 - 05:14 PM

Thank you for more history lessons John. His is awesome to read !

#5 Cigarsam



  • Free Member
  • 911 posts

Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:28 AM

Awesome life's work, M.J. Thank you for sharing your experience and travels educating yourself and many others along the way.
Fascinating work and still much to learn from the many different fungi you documented over the years.

#6 Sidestreet


    Digging for Rainbows

  • App Administrator
  • 9,189 posts


Awards Bar:

Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:53 AM

Excellent reading and pics, thank you so much!

#7 mjshroomer



  • OG VIP
  • 2,651 posts


Awards Bar:

Posted 06 April 2018 - 12:52 PM

Thank all of you for being here to read these bits of life from the past.

  • PsyBearknot and Tenderfoot like this

Like Mycotopia? Become a member today!