Achronologyofpsilocybian Mushrooms Compiled by Irimias the Obscure OT

c. 3500 B.C. Frescoes of dancing shamans holding mushrooms in the presence of white cattle are painted on the rock surfaces of the Tassili Plateau in Southern Algeria **

c. 2500 B.C. Aryan people with hallucinogenic mushroom use as a central part of their religion enter India. Wasson has argued for Amanita muscaria as the identity of the mysterious Soma. The question remains an open one. A psilocybian mushroom may well have been the source of Soma.

c. 1100-400 B.C. Eleusinian Mystery rites using ergotized rye (Wasson) or psilocybian mushrooms (Graves) focus the mystical aspirations of the Ancient World.

300-500 B.C. In the latter half of this century, "mushroom stones" were found in highland Guatemala dating back at least as far as 300-500 B.C.

c. 300 A.D. Frescoes have been found in central Mexico with mushroom designs indicating the existence of a mushroom cult at this time.

387 A.D. St. Augustine, formerly a follower of Mani, con-dems Manichaeans for mushroom eating.

1502 A.D. Psilocybian mushrooms were served at the coronation feast of Moctezuma II and were used recreationally.

1547-1569 Fray Bernadino de Sahugun, A Spanish cleric, wrote Historia de las Cosas de Nueva España (also known as the Florentine Codex) which refers to "nanacatl" (= teonanácatl = flesh of the gods = psilocybian mushroom). Sahugun states that the mushrooms "are harmful and intoxicate like wine." Further, those who indulge "see visions, feel a faintness of heart and are provoked to lust."

1651 Dr. Francisco Hernández, a Spanish physician studying Central American Indian herbal medicine reported three types of mushrooms which were worshipped by Mexican natives. He reported that the ingestion of these caused"not death but a madness that on occasion is lasting, of which the symptom isa kind of uncontrolled laughter... these are deep yellow, acrid, and of a not displeasing freshness. There are others again, which without inducing laughter, bring before

* "Psilocybian" in this context means any mushroom containing psilocybin.

"Special thanks to J. Ginsberg of Boulder, Colorado who was the first to notice the importance of the Tasilli frescos for ethnomycology.

the eye all sorts of things, such as wars and the likeness of demons. Yet others there are not less desired by princes for their festivals and banquets, and these fetch a high price. With night-long vigils are they sought, awesome and terrifying. This kind is tawny and somewhat acrid."

1895 John Uri Lloyd publishes his fantasy-novel Etidorpha in which he makes it clear that he and his mycologist brother Curtis Gates Lloyd were aware of the hallucinatory properties of mushrooms other than Amanita muscaria. The Lloyds elected not to publish the botanical details of their findings.

1906 Stropharia cubensis is described by Earle in a Cuban agronomy journal.

1914 A.E. Merrill of Yale University published a paper inScifnre describing the hallucinogenic effects of ingesting Panaeolus papilionaceus from Oxford County, Maine. Although the identification of the mushroom may be in error, the effects described are very probably due to psilocybin and psilocin. Further, the article describes different reactions to this hallucinogenic mushroom which is compared to hashish and peyote in the text.

1915 American botanist William E. Safford attempted to identify the teonanicatl of the Aztecs. He claimed that sacred mushrooms had never existed, and that the teonand-catl referred to by the 16 th century Spanish chroniclers were actually dried peyotl buttons. Safford's theory was widely accepted by the scientific community for the next three decades.

1919 Dr. Bias P. Reko, who had carried out extensive anthropological and botanical work in Mexico for more than 25 years, published an article in a Mexican anthropological journal stating that nanclcatl(= teonandcatl) was a hallucinogenic mushroom. However, some of Reko's earlier work had been in error and this report was discounted.

1923 In a letter to the U.S. National Museum, Dr. Reko stated that teonanicatl "is actually, as Sahugun states, a fungus which grows on dung heaps and which is still used under the same old name by the Indians of the Sierra Juarez in Oaxaca in their religious feasts."

1936 Victor A. Reko (B.P.'s brother) publishes Magische Gifte. In it, he wrongly suggests that teonanicatl might be a species of Amanita.

1936 Ing. Roberto J. Weitlaner obtained some teonanicatl in Oaxaca. He was the first white man in modern times to have done so. He sent the specimens to B P. Reko, who sent them to Harvard, where they arrived in a decomposed state and thus escaped identification.

1938 Weitlaner's daughter, Irmgard, along with anthropologist Jean Basset Johnson and two others attended a mushroom rite in Huatla, Oaxaca. These were the first whites to attend a mushroom ceremony.

1938 Harvard botanist R.E. Schultes traveled toOaxaca and obtained from native informants two specimens of two different genera: Panaeoluscampanulatus var. spliirictrinus, andStro-pharia cubensis. In his field notes, hedescribeda thirdspecimen:

Psilocybe caerulescens var. Mazalecorum.

1952-53 R. Gorden Wasson and his wife Valentina became aware of the existence of a mushroom cult in cent ral Mexico. This ambitious couple set out to prove the theory that religion came directly from the use of hallucinogenic plants. The Wassons traveled to Mexico and were guided by Ing. Roberto J. Weitlaner to the mountainous village of Huautla de Jiménez in Oaxaca.

1955 R.G. Wasson and Allan Richardson became the first two Americans to attend a mushroom ritual and ingest the mushrooms. The mushrooms were taken under the supervision of Maria Sabina, Mazatec curandera. By 1957, news of this ritual had reached the world through articles in several popular magazines and the Wasson's book. Mushrooms. Russia, and History.

1956 Wasson invited Roger Heim, a French mycologist, to Oaxaca to research the use of the sacred mushrooms. Heim identified fourteen species and several subspecies belonging to three genera, Psilocybe. Stropharia, and Conocybe. Several of these species were new to mycology, but had been utilized as hallucinogens by the natives for centuries.

1957 Mycologist Dr. Rolf Singer and two young Mexican botanists, M.A. Palacios and Gustdn Guzmán, arrived in Oaxaca to do taxonomic work on the mushrooms.

1958 Dr. Albert Hofmann, a Sandoz chemist from Basel, Switzerland, isolated two active agents and named them psilocybin and psilocin after the genus Psilocybe.

1960 While vacationing in Cuernavaca, Mexico, Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary ate a dose of the mushrooms. Later, he wrote" ... it was the classic visionary voyage and I came back a changed man . . . You are never the same after you've had that one flash glimpse down the cellular time tunnel. You are never thesameafteryou'vehadtheveildrawn."

1960 Dr. Leary and an associate, Dr. Richard Alpert, obtained a supply of synthetic psilocybin from Sandoz for use in an experiment with prisoners in Concord State Prison, Massachusetts. Initial results were very promising: prisoners released following an experience with psilocybin seemed less likely to be rearrested and returned for parole violations than other parolees.

1960 Aldous Huxley ingested 10 mg psilocybin in a group under the supervision of Timothy Leary. Huxley"sat in contemplative calm throughout; occasionally produced relevant epigrams; reported the experience as an edifying philosophic experience."

c. 1965-66 Laws against the sale, manufacture, and possession of LSD, mescaline and psilocybin are passed by paranoid legislatures after being persuaded by a hysterical press. TheNew York State legislature deferred hearings on one bill to outlaw hallucinogens until after the law was voted on and passed!

1966 By this time, several illicit labs were set up to manufacture hallucinogenic drugs in response to the growing demand by users.

1967 Reacting to erroneous tales of massive chromosome damage produced by LSD use, users began to demand organic drugs such as psilocybin and mescaline. Compared to LSD, hallucinogens such as these are relatively expensive to manufacture. Many unscrupulous dealers soIdLSDaspsilocybin. Most of the tabbed or capsulated psilocybin on the street from 1966-75 was actually LSD, or LSD cut with PCP.

1970 A Key to the North American Psilocybin Mushroom was published by Leonard Enos in California. This poorly-illustrated but well-written guide instructed laypersons where, when and how they could obtain psilocybian mushrooms in nature. The book alsocontained instructions for cultivating mycelium on agar.

1971 Due to populardemand fororganicdrugs, unscrupulous dealers began lacing commercial mushrooms with LSD and selling them as psilocybian mushrooms. These spurious psilocybian mushrooms appeared on the street drug market as late as 1975 and can be differentiated from most psilocybian mushrooms in that they (a) don't blue, and (b) their effects last much longer than the 4 to 7 hours characteristic of psilocybin.

1975 The first living cultures ofStrophariacubensiswereseen in limited numbers on the underground market.

1975 Oss and Oeric(in this volume) bravely risked ridicule to become the first to suggest the extraterrestrial origin of Stropharia cubensis.

1976 Technology developed bv the authors (Oss & Oeric, 1976) is unleashed upon the world. The illicit hallucinogenic trade crumbles because of decentralization brought on by epidemic of home Slropharia cultivation. Invasion of North America by hallucinogenic mushrooms continues, leading shortly to metamorphosis of human beings into a symbiotic species.

1981 Over one hundred thousand copies of Psilocybin: Magic Mushroom Grower's Guide sold. Numerous imitations also flourish as an estimated five thousand North American mushroom growers work with love and dedication to make psilocybin the hallucinogen of choice in high-tech society.

1984 Heterodox Bengali Hindus announce identification of the Vedic intoxicant Soma as a psilocybian mushroom, Slropharia cuhensis. A reform of Hinduism centered around recovery of the 6000-year-old Soma rite is begun.

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