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Magic

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The publisher does not advocate the breaking of the law. The material herein is presented as information which should be available to the public.

DEDICATION This book is respectfully dedicated to R. Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann, whose investigations of the botany and chemistry of the magic mushroom brought psilocybin to the world.

"At last you know what the ineffable is, and what ecstasy means." -R.G. Wasson, 1972 ©Copyright 1976 by And/Or Press P.O. Box 2246 Berkeley, CA 94702

ISBN: 0-915904-13-6 First Printing

Layout: C. Schnabel

TABLE OF CONTENTS FORHWORD
INTRODUCTION STEP I: Locating and Identifying the Fungus: Collecting and Germinating Spores STEP II: Growing Stock Inocula STEP III: Growing on Sterilized Rye STEP IV: Casing STEP V: Harvesting, Preserving, and Dosage AFTERWORD CONVERSION TABLE CHRONOLOGY BIBLIOGRAPHY GLOSSARY

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11 17 25 33 45 51 55 56 57 61 62

FOREWORD Less than twenty years have passed since Albert Hofmann isolated and named the hallucinogen psilocybin. Hofniann's psilocybin was extracted from various species of mushrooms whose occurrence and ritual use in the mountains of Oaxaca had been discovered by Gordon and Valentina Wasson in the summer of 1953. Of the many species which were in use in Oaxaca, subsequent laboratory tests revealed that only one species was easily grown and able to fruit under a variety of artificial conditions. That one species is Stropharia cubensis the starborn magic mushroom. This book is a path to this mushroom; how to grow it and how to place it in your life like the shining light that it is. The sections which follow give precise no-fail instructions for growing and preserving the magic mushroom. We have made these instructions as clear and direct as possible; what is described is only slightly more complicated than canning or making jelly. These instructions can be adapted to undertakings of any size from a few jars to thousands. But before all these details there should come a chat about just what this is really all about. We imagine that if you are avidly reading this book it is probably because you have taken dried mushrooms or been exposed to fresh ones in Latin America, so we do not begin with readers unfamiliar with the joys of mushroom tripping. Our instructions arc a combination of research into other people's methods of cultivation and procedures which we developed, tested, and found useful ourselves. Nothing we recommend is untried by us. There may be other ways to carry on small-scale cultivation indoors but cither they are variations on our method that are less direct or they are unknown to us. Cultivation of Stropharia outside on compost is possible in the U.S. if the local temperature is warm through the growing season. But compost cultivation is an art in itself and demands more space, more effort, and more public exposure than our indoor method. Getting involved in composting a ton of manure is not a necessary part of producing huge quantities of perfect magic mushrooms! Our method is scientific but our opinions about Stropharia cubensis are not. Our opinions in this matter do not rest upon the opinions of others nor upon anything written
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iii any book, instead they rest upon the experience of the mushroom psilocybin at the 10 mg level; at that level a peculiar phenomenon occurs. It is the emergence of an I-Thou relationship between the person taking the psilocybin and the mental state it evokes. Jung calls this "transference 1 " and it was a necessary condition of early and primitive humanity's relationship to its gods and demons. The mushroom speaks, and our opinions rest upon what it tells eloquently of itself in the cool night of the mind: '"I am old, older than thought in your species, which is itself fifty times older than your history. Though 1 have been on earth for ages I am from the stars. My home is no one planet, for many worlds scattered through the shining disc of the galaxy have conditions which allow my spores an opportunity for life. The mushroom which you see is the part of my body given to sex thrills and sun bathing, my true body is a fine network of fibers growing through the soil. These networks may cover acres and may have far more connections than the number in a human brain. My mycelial network is nearly immortal-only the sudden toxification of a planet or the explosion of its parent star can wipe me out. By means impossible to explain because of certain misconceptions in your model of reality all my mycelial networks in the galaxy are in hyperlight communication across space and time. The mycelial body is as fragile as a spider's web but the collective hypermind and memory is a vast historical archive of the career of evolving intelligence on many worlds in our spiral star swarm. Space, you see. is a vast ocean to those hardy life forms that have the ability to reproduce from spores, for spores are covered with the hardest organic substance known. Across the aeons of time and space drift many spore-forming life-forms in suspended animation for millions of years until contact is made with a suitable environment. Few such species are minded, only myself and my recently evolved near relatives have achieved the hyper-communication mode and memory capacity that makes us leading members in the community of galactic intelligence. How the hypercommunication mode operates is a secret which will not be lightly given to man. But the means should be obvious: it is the occurrence of psilocybin and psilocin in the biosynthetic pathways of my living body that opens for me and my symbiots the vision screens to many worlds. You as an individual and man as a species are
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on the brink of the formation of a symbiotic relationship with my genetic material that will eventually carry humanity and earth into the galactic mainstream of the higher civilizations. "Since it is not easy for you to recognize other varieties of intelligence around you, your most advanced theories of politics and society have advanced only as far as the notion of collectivism. But beyond the cohesion of the members of a species into a single social organism there lie richer and even more baroque evolutionary possibilities. Symbiosis is one of these. Symbiosis is a relation of mutual dependence and positive benefits for both of the species involved. Symbiotic relationships between myself and civilized forms of higher animals have been established many times and in many places throughout the long ages of my development. These relationships have been mutually useful; within my memory is the knowledge of hyperlight drive ships and how to build them. I will trade this knowledge for a free ticket to new worlds around suns younger and more stable than your own. To secure an eternal existence down the long river of cosmic time I again and again offer this agreement to higher beings and thereby have spread throughout the galaxy over the long mlllenia. A mycelial network has no organs to move the world. no hands; but higher animals with manipulative abilities can become partners with the star knowledge within me and if they act in good faith, return both themselves and their humble mushroom teacher to the million worlds all citizens of our starswarm are heir to."

INTRODUCTION It seems characteristic of the human condition that man, in whatever environmental or existential milieu he finds himself, experiences an urge to seek contact with the essential mystery underlying the fact of being. Indeed, the entire odyssey of our species, both phylogenetic and historical, can be seen as a groping toward some sensed transcendent fulfillment. The story of man—of his art, science, philosophies, civilizations and religions—is largely the story of this quest for contact with the holy, numinous, and self-transcending. It is a quest at least as old as man; evidence indicating that early man possessed religious consciousness has been found dating back to the Middle Paleolithic. The archeological evidence shows clearly: Man was at home with the concept of the sacred long before he possessed writing, agriculture, civilization. or science; it is a concept that has abided in the mind of man and guided him forward since the earliest infanthood of humanity, contemporary with, possibly even preceding, his earliest use of tools, fire, even language itself. The life of pre-literate man is one in which nature exists as the primary condition of existence: one is surrounded by it, one is immersed in it, one depends upon it for one's very survival. The quest for food and for the material necessities of life must be a constant and unending one for man-in-nature, a quest in which every plant and animal that one encounters comes under the scrutiny of a restless curiosity. Given this situation, it was inevitable that'sooner or later in the search for food man would accidentally ingest certain plants containing compounds affecting the central nervous system—and find himself suddenly transported to a realm of the profoundest rapture and strangeness. Indeed, the ethno-mycologist R. Gordon Wasson (1958, 1961) has suggested that the accidental ingestion of an hallucinogenic plant, probably a mushroom, constituted man's earliest encounter with the numinosum, and led directly to the formation of the concept of deity and the supernatural. This notion is not without a certain logical appeal: it stands to reason that man's restless, roving eyes, scanning nature for potential sources of food, would quickly single out the lowly mushroom, so odd in appearance and so unlike the rest of the vegetation with which he was familiar.

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Given a few thousand years for random experimentation (a relatively short time in the scale of prehistory), he would eventually discover and ingest fungi containing centrally-active compounds, undergo the hallucinogenic experience and the connection with the numinosum would be established. The scenario described is, of course, imaginary. We cannot know the exact circumstances under which man first confronted the psychedelic experience. We do know, thanks to the work of Wasson and his colleagues in the 1950s (cf. V.P. & R.G. Wasson, 1957, R.G. Wasson & R. Heim, 1958, & Wasson, 1957), that a religious cult centered around the ritual ingcstion of hallucinogenic mushrooms has existed in the highlands of central Mexico at least since before the Conquest, and is very likely much more ancient than that, its real origins having been lost in the mists of prehistoric time. But the fact remains that, whether encountered through the ingestion of a fungus or some other plant, or through some spontaneously triggered altered state of consciousness, the direct experience of the transcendent has had and is having a profound impact on human history, perhaps even on human evolution. The urge toward the transcendent—and the dynamic tension that exists between the drive to transcend and the mundane necessities which impose themselves on the primary fact of biological being—is in a sense what all history, all religion, art, philosophy, discovery and science—in short, all of human thought and civilization—is about. The urge to reach beyond the known to what is unknown and unplumbed is irredeemably woven into the fabric of human history. It is this urge which built the pyramids, Stonehenge and the Gothic cathedrals. The same urge drove frail ships across the trackless oceans to the shores of a new world, and the same urge in our own time has driven us to fling a tiny bubble of light and air across the vast and howling abysses of space (that cosmic milli-micron) that separates our earth from its moon. It is the same urge that stirs the shiver along our spines when we gaze with wonder and longing at the star-dusted sky on a clear winter's evening. Today, we stand on the threshold of the stars. Slowly it is emerging in mass consciousness that the next evolutionary step forward will so transform humanity that all that has gone before will seem but a prelude. We stand at the edge of history ready to accelerate our human experience out into the vast chasm of night which engulfs our planet, the lessons of our
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historical career still echoing down the corridors of time. We are about to embark on the greatest adventure we have ever known, one that will change our very notion of what it is to be human; yet we should not forget that between ourselves as we ascend the ramp of the starsliip and our mushroom munching ancestor gazing into his Paleolithic fire lie only seconds of cosmic time. This book is essentially a how-to manual for those who have the interest, time, and patience required for cultivating "the magic mushroom" in their own homes. It is for people who feel that they still may be able to learn something by experiencing the primordial visions of their ancestors, and feel it strongly enough that they are willing to invest a little time, money and effort in order to realize that vision. By "magic mushroom" is meant those mushrooms which are members of the genus Psilocybe, and the closely related genera 5Yro/;/j

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