Amanita muscaria Mushroom

Amanita muscaria Mushroom

The Amanita muscaria mushroom has been the subject of numerous books, it’s deeply rooted in not only our myths, but much of the world history as well, it’s an integral part of the Christmas tradition, and a host of other cultural traditions without many of us realizing it.  Amanitas even go back to Biblical times, where, if you look to the painting above which was made around the time of Jesus Christ, he appears to be surrounded by mushrooms, with the Amanita muscaria mushroom on his left.  Many believe that below him is the mystical brew called Soma that he used to induce visions in himself and his followers, but that is another topic for another day, steeped in more controversy than we care to instigate in this discussion.

There is a great deal of historical data in relation to the Amanita muscaria, including religious cults that were built around this sacred plant, some of which reportedly still exist today, and some of which take on the traditions of the past, and revere this sacred plant.  The “Soma Shamans” are one such group, who have this mushroom as the root of their religious belief and practice.

One of the many questions that people have, is whether or not the Amanita muscaria is poisonous as the FDA states it is.  This is a delicate question to try to answer.  There are varieties of Amanita muscaria that are deathly poisonous, and no matter what you plan to do with Amanitas, it’s important that you gather them with an expert on mushroom identification, or you buy them from an extremely reputable dealer.  By the way, the best dealer we have found, year after year, is always The IAmShaman Shop.  They are EXPERTS in their field, they have reliable and consistent quality, and you can be assured that they will NEVER mis-identify any plant that they offer as botanical specimens to their customers.

So, the Death Cap that most people know about is a sure way to get poisoned and die.  But, this is only ONE species in a large number of Amanita species.  We outline some of the most interesting ones in our Amanita Varieties section, but to us, there is no species more interesting than the Amanita muscaria and the Amanita pantherina.  The one most are familiar with is the old Red Cap mushroom; the one that is in everything from German Christmas decorations to Alice in Wonderland, to countless other paintings and images.  Sometimes we feel that the Amanita is so deeply rooted in our different societies around the world, that most don’t notice them anymore, but I challenge you to find anyone who doesn’t know, if you show them a photo, what an Amanita mushroom is.

So, throughout this website is a growing compendium of information about this sacred botanical.  We want to see it more accepted, researched, and understood.  We would love to see the FDA restriction on it removed, because from a personal experience standpoint, this plant has more than just a few uses.

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