A lovely line up of Liberty cap shrooms, growing in a 'traditional formation'.  One of the most widely distributed and easy to find, magic mushrooms - also one of the most powerful too. Image courtesy of Chips55.

A line up of wind-dried Psilocybe semilanceata mushrooms in a local park. These mushrooms can be found in solitary outposts, or large to extremely large clusters (villages) (if you are lucky enough!!). This mushroom appears in the Autumn months, and late summer, (in exceptional years).

Psilocybin Shrooms

Of all things magic in this world, these humble mushrooms truly live up to their name, and users can quickly be transported to a world of Tolkienesque strangeness and magnificence. For within the realm of magic mushrooms, fairies, wizards and sorcerers truly abound. Dragons carve the evening sky, trailing a wake of sparkling, glittering swirls behind them. The imagination possible in this world is unlike imagination possible anywhere else - this is a world of imagination. It is not just enhanced, it is super-enhanced. At one moment you can be drifting down an alien superhighway, the next, gliding in a deep-sea submersible, illuminating underwater cities in your high-powered lamps through the aqua gloom. Perhaps even the great empire of Rome rises up before you in your vision, marble pillars, and mosaic floors abounding everywhere, as the sun slowly rises, orange and golden above it.

This poses the question why is it the mushrooms are capable of such an amazing experiences - why mushrooms? Obviously, the experience is generated by the chemical compounds found in the mushrooms, mainly psilocybin, psilocin and baeocystin. Similar mind-manifesting drugs can also be found elsewhere in the Natural World in plants, frogs, and even some rare kinds of fish!!! But why have mushrooms developed these chemicals? What purpose does it serve? According to Andy Letcher, author of Shroom – A Cultural History (2006)

“Some of the more lurid theories suggest that the mushrooms altruistically synthesise them for human benefit, to kick-start a human-mushroom symbiosis, or perhaps to open our eyes to the planet’s ecological needs; others, that they are a gift from God. More prosaically, they may be by-products from some other essential metabolic process, or have some yet-to-be determined ecological function, perhaps in deterring mycophagous flies” Paul Stamets in his book Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, states “Psilocybes have propelled themselves to the front lines of the evolutionary race, precisely because of their psilocybin content. The production of psilocybin has proven to be a competitive evolutionary advantage. Psilocybin mushrooms carry with them a message from nature about the health of the planet. At a time of planetary crisis brought on by human abuse, the earth calls out through these mushrooms – sacraments that lead directly to a deeper ecological consciousness, and motivate people to take action."

What the mushroom says about itself is this:

that it is an extra-terrestrial organism, that spores can survive the conditions of interstellar space. They are deep, deep purple - the colour that they would have to be to absorb the deep ultraviolet end of the spectrum. The casing of a spore is one of the hardest organic substances known. The electron density approaches that of a metal.  (Read full article)

Terrance McKenna

Mushrooms in many ways are nature's gateway between life and death – they are saprophytes by their very nature, meaning that they decompose dead wood, plant or animal material, recycling them back into the environment. The mushrooms themselves also form many symbiotic relationships with many plant and tree roots – forming complex underground networks called mycorrhizae, or a ‘wood-wide web without which both the plant and fungus would struggle to survive. Without similar fungal relationships, the Amazon rainforest would simply not exist. Mushrooms play a crucial role in the life cycle of the planet, and without whom we probably wouldn't be here today. Yet as soon as the Psilocybin mushrooms begin to release their chemicals shortly after consumption, a connection occurs, and a deep unlocking of the secrets of the mind and life itself becomes startling apparent. It's like travelling back along an evolutionary pathway where the true ability of the human psyche is unleashed and stripped back to a primitive state of heightened sensitivity. You have to go there to experience it, but believe us when we say it will exceed your wildest dreams. It's truly fascinating stuff and mushrooms are certainly not something to be underestimated. Their power and magical capabilities are immense.

It is also strange that fungi are one of the simplest organisms, primitive (yet sophisticated) in their design. Estimates suggest they have existed on Earth for at least 400 million years, since the Devonian period. They have proved to be remarkably successful, exploiting a huge array of niche’s and the mushrooms themselves coming in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Mushrooms were one of the earliest organisms to exploit the Earth (comparatively speaking), whereas humans by contrast were the last. We represent the most evolved and advanced species on the planet in no small part down to our amazingly advanced brain, an evolutionary masterpiece - a biological super computer allowing us to imagine tools we need in order to shape and manipulate our world around us, along with our opposable thumbs, which better allow us to make and grip the tools we have envisioned.

Yet the chemical effect of psilocybin in the brain is profound – it seems the close similarity of psilocybin and psilocin to serotonin means that they latch onto the brain’s so called 5-HT2A serotonin receptor sites (but, unlike LSD, psilocybin does not directly affect dopamine, the neurotransmitter implicated in schizophrenia). It is rather as if a new, alien but curiously compatible piece of software is thrown into the brain’s computer, disrupting its normal operations in novel and unexpected ways." Is this not a case of convergent evolution? I.e. tantamount to throwing in a super software that unleashes your super computer brain to its maximum operating potential. Amazing when we think this software (arguably) is at least 200 million years old. It just adds to the ongoing mystery of the relationship, between man and mushroom. Have these chemicals been evolved just for us? Is it an accident, or is it part of some greater plan?

As you have seen, magic mushrooms offer plenty to fascinate one and all. And that is why the Shroom Liberation Front feels so passionately that the magic mushrooms deserve more respect in today’s modern society, not least by the governments of the world. People have the right to explore their own minds and makeup. Use of magic mushrooms does not by default amount to misuse. Shrooms can be used responsibly and safely when used in a correct manner and a right mindset. And when done so they can offer a truly liberating experience that should not be forbidden from people's reach. That is the truly immoral aspect of banning mushrooms - it's simply unjustifiable and indefensible. In creating the Shroom Liberation Front, we wanted to devise a legitimate means of publicising the amazing benefits and qualities of magic mushrooms as well as fully explore all their fascinating nuances. We wanted to do justice for shrooms. This persecuted little mushroom and its followers deserve no less. Aztec.

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