I am staying away from the Vedic scriptures of the Rig Vida which has hundreds of versus devoted to exalting the praises of Soma ( possibly Amanita muscaria, although a few scholars are currently writing books identifying it as a plant substance.
The Aryans brought Amanita and Hemp over the mountains 3000 years ago or so. BENGAL in India is where the4 term BHANG CAME FROM.
I want to point out that in 1730 A German reported on the use of Amanita in Siberia and thus followed dozens of new reports each year since of explorers, travelers, lost seaman, vagabonds, scientists botanists etc who wrote of the use of the Beautiful red and white shroom, sometimes misidentified as being a tool in association with Santa and christmas, and in religious writings etc.
While the Vedic Scriptures the Rig Vida talked of the drinking of the urine which was common in Siberian, it was also noted the reindeer who loved Amanita urine and could smell it from half a mile away when a man under the influence was taking a leak and reindeer where known to stampede over humans who had partaken of this mushroom and some of the related species.
While the first report of this mushroom in Siberian came in 1730 by a German explorer, 20 years later, R. Gordon Wasson was shown a letter form a Jesuit priest in French Quebec who wrote to his brother, also a Jesuit priest in Paris and wrote about American Indians in the 15th century Canada and northern New York, Michigan Ontario regions in the 1600s, over 100 years before it was discovered in Siberia/ that was a score. and in Keewaydinoquay, the Ojibway shaman who presides over Amanita ceremonies, Wasson brought her to speak showing the birch bark scroll over 400 years old used by her tribe telling the story of how the two bear brothers found the Amanita and it has been used in their culture ever since.
A beautiful photograph I took of a patch in Astoria at an old naval air station hospital that was closed up but had caretakers, this land produces over 100 pounds every fall in a field of birch trees.
The book of hymns devoted to Soma.
SOMA OF THE RIG VIDA
Mankind has learned though historical references in the known literature that there were two ancient civilizations which utilized mushrooms in a religious context. These two distinct civilizations were so far remote from each other, not just geographically, but also culturally. Yet they knew the secrets of the universe that we of the present have forgotten.
Although visionary plants have been used as catalysts to divination by hundreds of civilizations since mankind first walked the Earth, only two civilizations are of major importance in the field of ethnomycology. The most notable of the many cultures who employed some of these psychoactive plants as a key to divination were allegedly the ancient Aryans of Northern Eurasia, while the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans, as well as the Mayan people of Middle America also employed certain mushrooms in their rituals and culture.
The Aryans are believed by some, to have made use of a sacred divine god-plant which they, in their written records, often referred to as "Soma." It has been theorized that the entheogen in question is a mushroom species known as Amanita muscaria (Fr. ex L.) Hooker. The virtues of Soma are known to have been exalted and praised in hundreds of verses throughout the 9th and 10th mandala of the Rig-Veda (the Vedic scriptures). Use of this sacrament (Soma) by the ancient Aryan priests and their people had flourished for more than two thousand years (Wasson, 1967, 1968, 1970a, 1970b, 1971, 1972, 1979a). Now it is only an uncharted memory in the pages of Vedic history, its use has been aerated by western civilization. But its secrets are once again being questioned as to exactly what was the "Soma" and when did it's use disappear? We need only to look and maybe we shall find the answer. Although the Wasson's had suggested that "Soma" was a mushroom, most likely Amanita muscaria. R. Gordon Wasson, had pointed out that this mushroom was worshipped by the ancient Aryans and that several groups of primitive tribes currently living in Northern Siberia also used the Amanita muscaria mushroom in a cultic manner. However, several other plants such as Cannabis sativa (marijuana), Peganum harmala (Syrian rue) and even the coprophilous mushroom Psilocybe cubensis have also been thought of as being the "Soma" plant of the ancient Aryan religions. Currently a renowned scholar has claimed that he has identified the actual Soma plant and is writing his doctrine on its identity and cultural use.
In Mesoamerica, the Olmecs, the Toltecs, the Aztecs, and the Mayans, employed numerous visionary plants ritualistically in healing ceremonies. Mushrooms were one of the most important of the psychoactive agents employed by the Aztecs and their ancestors, the Náhuatl-speaking peoples. These sacred mushrooms belonged principally to the genus Psilocybe. Several investigators, who first studied the use of these plants in Mesoamerica, have noted that some species of Panaeolus and Conocybe may also have been employed in ritual healing and curing ceremonies, as well as Amanita species. Several of the early Spanish chroniclers
PALEO-SIBERIAN and NORTH AMERICAN OJIBWAY AMANITA EATERS
Isolated groups of Finn-Ugrian people, the Ostyak and the Vogul of Western Siberia are known to employ Amanita muscaria shamanistically, as do the Chukchee, Koryak and Kamchadal people of Northeastern Siberia (Heizer, 1944; Brekham & Sam, 1967; Wasson, 1968; LaBarre, 1975). Other reports have indicated and/or been verified, that the use of Amanita muscaria is not just restricted geographically to western and northern Siberia. Both Graves (1960) and Schultes (1976) have indicated that some Finns and Lapps, as well as a small enclave in Afghanistan may have used, and still do, use this species shamanistically (Graves, 1960; Schultes, 1976) and both have reported on its possible use in both in Japan and the Philippines. The use of Amanita muscaria was recently reported among some groups of North American Indians (Wasson, 1979b). In her books "Windmills of the Mind" and "Hallucinogens: Cross Cultural Perspectives," Marlene Dobkin de Rios (1976, 1984) discusses the strange custom of Amanita urine-drinking by the reindeer herdsmen of Siberia. This interesting habit had first been reported by travelers and explorers in Siberia during the late seventeenth and eighteenth century and similar evidence of the urine-drinking is also mentioned in the Vedic scriptures (Wasson, 1968). It has been suggested that some psilocybian mushrooms may have also been employed traditionaly in primitive Siberian shamanistic cultures (Wasson, 1968).
NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS
In North America, Amanita muscaria has been observed and reportedly used among two different groups of native American Indians:
l). the Dogrib Athabascan (Schultes & Hofmann, 1979) and
2). the Ojibway of Northern Michigan, U.S.A; and Ontario, Canada (Keewaydinoquay, 1978, 1979, 1998; Wasson, 1979b).
Use of this species of Amanita by Native American Indians dates back over four hundred years. This is the only record of a group of North American Indians who have used a mushroom as a sacrament.
Active ingredients isolated from Amanita muscaria and some related species include ibotenic acid and muscimol (Saleminck, 1963; Eugster, Jolly & Good, 1965).
The same causative agents have also been isolated from a similar species; Amanita pantherina (Takemoto, Nakajima & Sakuma, 1964). Both of the above-mentioned species are sometimes employed as recreational drugs in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (Ott, 1978; Weil, 1977, 1980). Furthermore, there are several other species of Amanita which also contain these classical agents (Ott, 1993; Guzmán, Allen & Gartz, 1999).
The Traditional use of Amanita muscaria in North America
The Traditional use of Amanita muscaria in North America. Notice the reference by Wasson of the letter to the priest in Paris and the comments of the going to heaven eating shrooms and having sex. I just turned up a few more dozen such comments about psilocybian fungi. And remember that this amazing discovery of this letter shows that North America Indians, although they did not use psilocybin mushrooms, did use Amanita mushrooms, at least 100 years before their use was discovered in Siberia
Both read by Wasson and Keewaydinoquay at conference and then published in the Journal of Psycedelic Drugs.
Keewaydinoquay reads her birch bark scroll at the Hallucinogens and Shamanistic Conference on Native American Life in San Francisco's Japan Trade Center in October-November of 1978.
COntinued tomorrow with 24 beautiful Mushroom Field Guides and books specifically on Amanita muscaria.
Unfortunately, the nicest books are in German with several hundreds of pages and each page has photos on the left and right side of each pages text. While many could not read German, the photos are worth looking at,but I am only posting the cover author and year of publication. I am not including the 350 references in my bibliograph as they take to much space.
Man of Knowledge (mjshroomer)
hey to all, Happy Sunday.