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Mazatec Traditional Velada Ceremony


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#161 Mushinist

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 12:36 PM

Looking good Mushinist! It’ll be interesting to hear what you make of it. There’s a new thread specifically about the grain tek, it might be good to keep related posts over there. Just a thought!
https://mycotopia.ne...ated-grain-tek/


My bad, if one of the mods wants to move it to the grain tek thread I'm cool with it!

#162 friendscat

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 02:11 AM

”My friend in Huatla tells me that there are Mazatecan people who live outside the city and do not closely associate with the urban centers. Their ritual usage of the Little Saints does not include any of the colonial Catholic iconography, but center upon the pre-Christian spiritual symbolism of the mountain deities, or Chicons, the most well-known being Chicon Nindo Tocosho who is associated with the Cerro de Adoracion located on the North side of Huatla de Jimenez.”

Fascinating. Anything on how the Chicon are represented on the altars, etc. Of course, any knowledge from these corners might be invaluable.
I also find it interesting that there are more of us endeavoring to learn the Mazatec spiritual techniques and finally taking them seriously and at face value, rather than engaging in ethnocentric crap with all its arrogance and all its hubris.
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#163 DonShadow

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 04:08 AM

On Friday night I spent the evening in front of my altar and drank a tea made from 8 tablespoons of dehydrated brown rice inoculated with Ps. caerulescens mycelium. It had been exactly one year to the day since my first real velada out in the woods. It seems only fitting to write a update after a year, since I did set it as a goal for myself to try to do a velada every week for one year. I didn't quite accomplish this, but I did accumulate over 50 veladas this year since, particularly in the early months, I often ate mushrooms up to 3 times per week. The process catalyzed in me required that I greatly reduce my workload, and since I'm self-employed I was able to work less and live minimally while I recovered from what felt like an infectious disease of the soul. I became sick with the knowledge of my selfishness. Sometimes I could do nothing better than lay in bed for hours while sweating bullets and involuntarily processing unbelievable torrents of information mixed with shame. I won't attempt to elaborate much on these experiences here, as it would be a major undertaking to even scratch the surface. Still, I'm slowly working on compiling my ideas and hopefully will one day put out a book detailing my entire process as it has unfolded thus far, once all of the information has consolidated enough to clearly transmit some of it in writing. Writing things down is incredibly helpful, I highly recommend this as potentially the most useful tool at one's disposal for maintaining a routine of deep self-reflection.

The caerulescens mycelium was not very potent. 8 tablespoons of rice (incubated for two full months) felt to be roughly equivalent to 1.5 - 2 grams of cubensis at the most. I'm not sure if I got unlucky and accidentally selected a weak strain, but it was definitely not anywhere close to the potency of the equal quantity of Ps. semperviva grain. I'll have to experiment more with this strain to see if I did something wrong, or if it might perform better on another grain, or if prepared differently. In any case, it was still very pleasant to visit the altar and I came away with many insights and an optimistic outlook for the coming months.

I'll share a few key insights that I mulled over as I gazed into the candle and reflected on this very difficult and transformative year. Gratefully, I've become much more capable of drawing clear distinctions between reality and my fears or projections. It's a bit astonishing to recall how much fear I've battled with over the last few years. When it came on during the initial stages, it felt very real, like the monster was really present and alive in the room, and it drew nourishment from my unquestioning belief in its existence. It took me a very long time to understand that I don't have to identify with my fears, and that I have the power to defiantly choose not to be controlled by them. Fear has many layers and disguises--its power can be truly insidious. I see now that I've lived most of my adult life as a slave to fear. Ironically, this may be largely due to the fact that I've actually not endured very much real suffering in my life at all. Sure, I came from a somewhat dysfunctional family (like so many others), and I may not have always received the kind of emotional support or understanding that is healthy for a child (again, like so many other people), but at this point I just think, "so what?". I had all of my needs met, I've never had to deal with death or or serious tragedy, I've always had friends and I live in an incredibly beautiful and safe part of the world.

 

So I ask myself, why was I so miserable throughout my teens and twenties? Why did I always feel like the world was out to get me? Why was I so unable to empathize with my romantic partners, and why did I ostracize myself from my parents, who are incredibly kind and virtuous people who worked so hard to give me the amazing life I took for granted? There are no easy answers to these questions. It's better to accept that it was all just a necessary process, and bearing witness to the selfishness makes gratitude possible. My story is not unique. I think that the relative comfort of our existence in North America has permitted the activation of powerful unconscious forces lurking just below the surface, forces which manifest as a sort of false memory that becomes mistakenly identified with one's own personal history, as in the "satanic panic" of the late 1980's. The details of my upbringing have far less influence on my personality than the collective forces that have been permitted to possess and awaken in me due to the stable conditions of my environment. The soul needs soil to germinate, and this process of germination begins with insanity, the manifestation of repressed unconscious forces that slaughter our identity and fertilize the soul.

 

So, part of the mushroom's power seems to lie in its ability to open one up to direct experience of the suffering of others, or to the realm of suffering in general. I used to live my life inside of a narcissistic shell, and I rarely allowed my selfish little cell membrane to be penetrated or contaminated by the needs or gestures of compassion from others. I was able to maintain appearances and conduct myself in a way that convinced others that I was kind and empathetic, but when it came down to the choice of whether to serve others or serve myself, I was adept at choosing the latter while maintaining an illusory facade of kindness. An ex-girlfriend of mine once told me rather spitefully that she thought I was a "closet narcissist". Naturally I was insulted but in retrospect I think that was a very apt description. Sadly, this seems to have almost become the norm in western culture. The bizarre individualistic drive to consume and achieve success by ignoring and even abusing everyone around us in hopes of building a private island of selfishness where one can stagnate and die alone, has become a strange disease that so many appear to be perilously infected by, and almost none are completely immune to.

 

It seems obvious to me at this point, that attending to suffering and the needs of others ought to be the primary motivating force that moves history forward on its course. If people were taught at a very early age that the greatest sense of purpose and satisfaction in life comes from attending to the needs of our families and communities, there might be some hope in salvaging what is left of our civilization. Unfortunately, empathy cannot be learned by rote. If it isn't cultivated through personal experiences of suffering, it may only be feigned. I suspect that there is a kind of empathy far more powerful than what the imagination can simulate, that it might actually be something like a spiritual instrument that requires activation, maintenance, tuning, and practice. No doubt, if such an instrument exists or ever existed in some manifestation, be it biological or imaginal (is there a difference?), it seems it has become terribly atrophied in our present age.

 

There is a lot of emerging hype related to the possibility that psilocybin reduces fear and heals the brain. The former is of course obvious to anyone with sufficient experience, and the latter might even be directly correlated. Rat studies show that this may well be the case: effects of psilocybin on hippocampal neurogensis and extinction of trace fear conditioning. I believe the effect this has on the individual will naturally extrapolate outward and automatically affect one's family, community and beyond. The bonds we build and repair between one another are analogous to healing neural structures in the brain. Fear is a kind of cancer, a buildup of scar-tissue, a once-necessary but now-redundant protective barrier that prevents us from vocalizing our needs and addressing those of others. As the various regions of our brain remembers how to communicate with one another, it follows that we will also learn to respectfully communicate with our parents, our elders, our sisters, our brothers and our lovers. We must learn to communicate our needs, listen to those of others, and take action by working together to seek imaginative solutions to problems.

 

If what I'm suggesting is true, that healing the brain is--perhaps through a kind of quantum function--directly correlated with social cohesion, there really may be no better way to heal the world than to simply eat mushrooms. Strip away all the bullshit, the fear, the prejudices, the ideology, the stigma, the excuses and procrastination disguised as precaution, and just be brave. Listen to your heart. Trust in God, the universe, the Great Mother, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever meaningless identity you choose to give to a higher power. If you have just enough courage to eat mushrooms without any agenda beyond the desire to heal yourself, then you are a very special individual indeed. You have power, and it will increase and flow outward each time you trust enough to face your fear and experience the conviction that the higher authority living within really does have an essential role for you in the cosmic drama we are blessed to play a part in. That higher power might choose to cloak itself in your very own thoughts; it might disguise itself as your mother or your father; it might even reveal itself as that beautiful, kind man or woman who doesn't quite equate with your projection of the perfect lover, but is in reality a love that surpasses understanding. If you can, for just a moment, suspend your judgments and listen, you might be surprised to find that God is everywhere, speaking through everyone and everything always, and this God wants to be your friend and help you create the real world.


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#164 Samwise

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 11:06 AM

Thanks for sharing Don...always appreciate and enjoy reading your musings and insights. :)

 

Thanks for sharing your Caerulescens experience...a friend and I sampled some too, also on rice...it was only 6 weeks old following inoculation. We started off with 4 tablespoons of the grain gently simmered, and ingested in the form of cocoa...this first dose produced subtle effects so two hours in we had a top up, of another 3 tablespoons...so 7 tablespoons in total, but staggered. In my case, it boosted the experience a little, but it was still quite subtle...but my friend had a relatively short lasting, but immersive and powerful experience that she described as feeling quite reminiscent to her of ayahuasca, based on her prior experiences with that. Clearly our sensitivities vary! I appreciate incubation time wasn't long so this may well have impacted potency, but it seems like your experience was not a great deeper than mine. I concur that the Hoogshagenii/Semperviva seems to be a great deal more potent by weight. I was expecting a bit more from this species after reading senor Elfstone's experience earlier on this thread which kick started this...I wonder if there could be other issues at play here? Wondering if you might have any thoughts on this Elfstone? It will be interesting to compare eating grain vs tea consumption...the tea certainly seems smoother on one's system, but my feeling is that ingesting it may yield a longer lasting experience. It will be interesting to see how the oats compare. I'm in the process of inoculating grain jars (rice, oats and rye grain) with Azurescens, Caerulescens, Mexicana, Hoogshagenii/Semperviva and Zapotecorum. My hunch is that the Mexicana won't be as potent as the Semperviva, and I'm quite intrigued about the Azurescens and Zapotecorum.


Edited by Samwise, 09 December 2019 - 11:37 AM.

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#165 elfstone

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 12:41 PM

My wife and I drink cacao about 4 hours before the experience and during as well - myself, all day long - and so the cacao definitely synergizes the experience.  I am hopeful that going through the bother of cultivating the mycelium on rice will soon be obviated by what I am strongly suspect is going to be a fruiting substrate.  I have a hypothesis that the derrumbes are a lignicolous species and would do better on wood chips.  We have a mixture of shredded alder wood, coffee wood sawdust pellets and rye grass seed that colonized very well and is now forming large hyphal knots throughout the substrate.  It definitely takes to the wood quite well and has fully colonized it. I am debating whether or not to case the substrate or just see if, like Lion's Mane, it will fruit directly off the wood chips.  I will keep everyone posted.

 

Don Shadow's comments on the work he has done with over 50 veladas in the last year is remarkable.  That was also my experience with 52 consecutive weeks of veladas back in 1987.  Following that remarkable year, I had a professor in a course on clinical hypnosis who had not seen me during that entire time, who after the first class quietly took me aside and told me in private, "I don't know what it is that you're doing, but whatever it is, keep it up!  My God!  What a transformation!"  At that time, in 1988, under the repressive neofascist regime of Reagan/Bush, to even allude to psychedelics would effectively result in professional suicide.  How things have changed!  In no small part thanks to those of in the professional arena connecting and working underground through the 1990s when the internet came online and we all started talking with one another.  Also, my deepest gratitude to Terence and Dennis McKenna, who courageously kept the tradition alive and, amongst others, gave us all an easy way to grow a plant teacher in the privacy of our own homes.  I am pleased to see others taking up the mantle of doing the real work and taking the deep dive into the practice of eating them often and regularly.  It takes incredible courage, but it is well worth it.


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#166 elfstone

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 01:24 PM

Note the hyphal knots readily forming on the wood substrate:


748ea017251bb427f4eced7de106aa81.jpg

0f864e6ea14b05ed0ccad8fa5f814c67.jpg

Edited by elfstone, 09 December 2019 - 01:25 PM.

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#167 Samwise

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 01:59 PM

My wife and I drink cacao about 4 hours before the experience and during as well - myself, all day long - and so the cacao definitely synergizes the experience.  I am hopeful that going through the bother of cultivating the mycelium on rice will soon be obviated by what I am strongly suspect is going to be a fruiting substrate.  I have a hypothesis that the derrumbes are a lignicolous species and would do better on wood chips.  We have a mixture of shredded alder wood, coffee wood sawdust pellets and rye grass seed that colonized very well and is now forming large hyphal knots throughout the substrate.  It definitely takes to the wood quite well and has fully colonized it. I am debating whether or not to case the substrate or just see if, like Lion's Mane, it will fruit directly off the wood chips.  I will keep everyone posted.

 

Great work Mr elfstone! And yes I am also a fan of the cocao/mushroom combo, like the Aztec and Mazatec before me. Regarding your hypothesis of the Caerulescens being at least partially lignophilic...I think there may be something to this.

 

A little bit of this episode of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia on the mushrooms of Mexico is worth checking out if you've not already seen it (a few minutes from 11 minutes in). In it Hamilton visits someone growing vast amounts of large Caerulescens mushrooms on soil fertilised with [cellulose and lignin rich] sugar cane pulp/mulch in the hills outside Huatla, on which they appear to be thriving. The mushroom grower has the view that the large size of the mushrooms is down to the use of the sugar cane mulch.

 

 

A thread with some good info on sugar cane mulch here, making reference to this:

 

https://mycotopia.ne...4351-sugarcane/

 

So yes it seems experimenting with some woody/cellulose rich substrate in the hope of fruiting this species definitely wouldn't be a bad shout. I'll be very interested to hear how you get on.


Edited by Samwise, 09 December 2019 - 02:07 PM.

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#168 elfstone

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 09:20 PM

Those are the bagasse strain:

IMG_0919.jpg

The ones we are working with are the forest strain found where there were landslides:

IMG_0691.jpg

Edited by elfstone, 09 December 2019 - 09:21 PM.

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#169 DonShadow

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 03:21 AM

Here's a nice photo of the landslide variety posted by Alan Rockefeller earlier today. Given that they grow in a forest environment it seems fair to assume that they are lignicolous.

 

78949333_10156758312867031_210657404155592704_o.jpg


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#170 Asura

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Posted 10 December 2019 - 07:26 PM

Elfstone, were you using shredded bagasse plates? I can't remember where I read that, but I bought a

bunch and will run them through a paper shredder  :biggrin:

 

Not sure when it's going to happen but Ryche has a bunch of bagasse and is going to start selling

it soon...it's been "soon" for a while but I know of two people that have received some from him.



#171 swayambhu

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:33 AM

 

 
 

 

A little bit of this episode of Hamilton's Pharmacopeia on the mushrooms of Mexico is worth checking out if you've not already seen it (a few minutes from 11 minutes in). In it Hamilton visits someone growing vast amounts of large Caerulescens mushrooms on soil fertilised with [cellulose and lignin rich] sugar cane pulp/mulch in the hills outside Huatla, on which they appear to be thriving. The mushroom grower has the view that the large size of the mushrooms is down to the use of the sugar cane mulch.

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed that video a lot.

It was a (to me) revealing juxtaposition of the monoglot old boy with the mushroom patch in his yard, and the shaman grandson of Maria Sabina, with the presenter acting as foil to both.



#172 elfstone

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:44 PM

Bagasse plates proved to be a bust. Wood chips are looking more promising.


γνῶθι σεαυτόν
gnōthi seauton
know thyself
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#173 friendscat

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:26 PM

The Mazatec are very open and include the Chicon and other symbols on the altar. I see it as more gnostic and indigenous than Abrahamic per se. They are not bound by doctrine.


The only representation of the Chicon That I’m familiar with is San Martín Caballero, so I’d be very interested in learning about others my friend.
I too prefer the derrumbes over other species and look forward to the day when I will be able to have the great fortune of having them at hand constantly. I was also surprised at my first velada when I was given a dinner plate heaped with derrumbes by the chota chjine (Wise One). I hope to return to Huautla next year and maybe I will be able to acquire some good spore samples. Perhaps we’ll encounter some that will not be too difficult to cultivate and have all the necessary qualities found in the derrumbes there.
I am also of the mind that the Mazatec tradition as well as others is contained within the Ndi Ki Xo (derrumbes).
I also suspect the Mazatec language itself comes from them. The Mazatecos regard the most elevated form of speech to be during veladas and the name the Mazatecs have for themselves is Ha Chota Enima meaning “The Humble people who speak The Language.
Funny I just came across a Mazatec vocabulary that Eunice Pike sent me back in the 80s. Now that takes me back.
I find the work you and Azure are doing to be extremely gratifying and am very proud and grateful for you both.
And may you beloved wife recover well.
Since the Little ones that reside in the derrumbes wrote on my soul and being and being, They will always be a part of me and I a part of them.

#174 friendscat

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:27 PM

The Mazatec are very open and include the Chicon and other symbols on the altar. I see it as more gnostic and indigenous than Abrahamic per se. They are not bound by doctrine.


The only representation of the Chicon That I’m familiar with is San Martín Caballero, so I’d be very interested in learning about others my friend.
I too prefer the derrumbes over other species and look forward to the day when I will be able to have the great fortune of having them at hand constantly. I was also surprised at my first velada when I was given a dinner plate heaped with derrumbes by the chota chjine (Wise One). I hope to return to Huautla next year and maybe I will be able to acquire some good spore samples. Perhaps we’ll encounter some that will not be too difficult to cultivate and have all the necessary qualities found in the derrumbes there.
I am also of the mind that the Mazatec tradition as well as others is contained within the Ndi Ki Xo (derrumbes).
I also suspect the Mazatec language itself comes from them. The Mazatecos regard the most elevated form of speech to be during veladas and the name the Mazatecs have for themselves is Ha Chota Enima meaning “The Humble people who speak The Language.
Funny I just came across a Mazatec vocabulary that Eunice Pike sent me back in the 80s. Now that takes me back.
I find the work you and Azure are doing to be extremely gratifying and am very proud and grateful for you both.
And may you beloved wife recover well.
Since the Little ones that reside in the derrumbes wrote on my soul and being and being, They will always be a part of me and I a part of them.
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#175 friendscat

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Posted 12 December 2019 - 09:43 PM

Also, I note that many Mazatec Persons of Knowledge were given a choice during their initiation by the sacred mushrooms. As Maria Sabina Garcia put it - they ask if you want to The Lords of the Mountains, the masters of the places, to guide you, or do you want God the Christ to guide you?
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