Some of us, however, have consumed more than the apple. Some of us have dedicated ourselves to the Poison Path. Witchcraft is the Poison Path Snow White, so take the apple and then go deeper. Take the mushroom Alice. Go deeper. Well, let me say this because you can read me but I cannot read you.....
If you are afraid of drugs or of altering your mind then stop reading. This post is not for you. If you still have echoes of Christian guilt about freedom and Nixonian racist drug laws rattling in your brain, this post is not for you. If you don't believe mind altering substances are part of witchcraft and that you can achieve THE SAME results with meditation, this post is not for you.
If you want to go deeper. If you want to follow the bread crumbs and you have an open mind then let us proceed.
Bread of the Gods. This is our heritage as North American witches and we have the keys to our salvation in the very land we walk. We have the keys to freedom and Gnosis.
But know this. The war on "drugs" is a religious war. A war of enslavement for your mind and soul.
Being free takes courage. Being free is dangerous.
Genus Psilocybe has many active species: Psilocybe azurescens, P. baeocystis, P. bohemia, P. semilanceata, P. cubensis, P. mexicana and many more....
Walk with me if you will in the desert. In the mountains. In Michoacan, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Puebla, Xalapa and Veracruz.
Mushrooms are the Voice of the Earth. The Voice of our Mother.
Set and setting are important. To walk in beauty you must prepare. Altar. Fast. Purify with copal.
The mushrooms like to grow free in wild spaces. Interesting, however, that they follow so close to human camps. Boundaries. This world and that. Go beyond the hedge if you can. If you dare to be free. Hail Maria Sabina, Huautla and the nameless shamans of the mountains!
Walk with me if you will in Thessaly, Monte Bego, Valcamonica. Twelve thousand years or so they have dated the Neolithic rock paintings with the magic mushrooms on them. Ancestors guide us. Oh how the Thessalian witches were feared. Because they could see in the dark. Because their spells achieved results. Because they consumed the bread of the Gods. Hail Circe, Medea, Erichtho, Calypso, Dido and Folia!
Set and setting are important. To walk in power and to see in the dark you must prepare. Collect only a certain amount. Never take the first and never take the last. Give gifts to the old Gods. Purify with sage (the modern Italian witches added this from Native American rituals in the 1970s). But then mushroom people KNOW mushroom people and they share. Fast. Consume in the forest.
Be prepared for the fear.
It will hit you first. This is ego death. It is necessary so that you do not fall into the traps of the Guru. So that your illusions shatter. A witch must be clear in self. Some traditions of witchcraft have within them realms of illusion. The Fae traditions especially. These realms protect the deeper mysteries. Some initiates never pass through these realms because they cannot even see that they are in an illusion. Oh how the Ego lust is intoxicating. It reminds me of a scene in "The Holy Mountain" by Jodorowsky, where the dedicants, who desire to be initiated, are brought to a market where all the traps of illusion are sold. Addiction. Sex. Cash-Grass-Ass, Power, Guru-hood, BNPs. A distraction to be sure on the way to the Mountain. Push past it witch bitch. Push past. The mushroom can help. But I digress. My apologies. I wish that you were here with me in my garden so I could look in your eyes. Then we could really talk. Shall we have a glass of wine? Something stronger?
Purify. Honey. Hot Chocolate. Push past the fear. Release. Now the medicine can show you.
"The great gift of the mushroom ally is a special clarity and intelligence, a special and compassionate healing presence. The experts, the people who kept the ally alive for four hundred years while the rest of the world pursued more destructive visions, say that matters relating to the mushroom ally are muy delicado. The mushroom people know that the little ones have a sacred nature, and they use them within sacred space--that is, there is an alter of some sort and prayers are said. The interaction with the mushroom is reverential, even if it is sometimes punctuated by laughter or shouts of wonder. The spirit opens the gate to "that which matters", so respect and a certain humility are appropriate." (Pendell 2009, 29-30)
Do you ever ask your teachers questions? Ever ask why? Or do you already know?
Why cakes and wine? But specifically in our quest....cakes. Do we follow the rituals of the Cult of the Dying God. Or do his children follow ours? They who destroy all other faiths? They who cannibalize? They who drink blood? They who revel in death?
Bread of the Gods.
God within.... Entheogen.
Yes, we too take God(s) within our bodies and not just in the popular trance possessory methods that are so en vogue these days. Not if you walk the Poison Path.
Your body is the corporeal laboratory. Your connection to God(s) is within you. Shhhh the priests don't want you to know you are God(s). They would gladly kill you to protect their profits/prophets.
Our bread and our cakes are the sacrament of the little mushroom. We don't fear shamanic dismemberment. Well maybe a little. But we do it anyway. We know the fairy ring is dangerous so we master the Poison so that we can see in the dark. So that we can walk past the illusion into power. Step over the ring. Step back.
I believe we are going to need these technologies in the coming days. I believe that we are going to need strength and the ability to see in the dark. As witches. As the wise. As those who walk on the Poison Path. As those who choose to walk in Beauty.
Laessoe, Thomas, "Mushrooms: How to Identify and Gather Wild Mushrooms and Other Fungi", DK London 1996.
Pendell, Dale, "Pharmako Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path", North Atlantic Books 2009.
Ratsch, Christian, "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants", Park Street Press 1998.
Schulke, Daniel, "Veneficum: Magic, Witchcraft, and the Poison Path", Three Hands Press 2012.
Siegel, Noah & Schwarz, Christian, "Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast", Ten Speed Press 2016