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Author Topic: The Spiritual significance of Ecstatic Trance, and the role of Psychotropics.  (Read 4958 times)

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Serpentium

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I started this as an answer in another thread, but it threatened to derail it. And to be honest, it should have a thread of it's own. Due to it's potential for being misunderstood, or politicised, or simply getting off topic, I've put it here.

With the mushroom season upon us, I assume I will not be the only person from these boards planning on spending a few cold wet mornings on some windswept hillside, in search of those tiny, but prolific cone shaped 'Wizard's Hats', or Liberty Caps.


This is something our Ancestors were doing at least as far back as 12,000 years, when the last Ice Age began to loosen it's grip on Western Europe. The climate changed, from Arctic, to Temperate, and the Flora and Fauna with it. No longer the short, seasonal glut of migrating herds of Mammoth or Mastadon. No more supersized Herbivores, just passing through a territory, once a year. Now there were Herds of smaller, year round Native animals to hunt.

This had a profound effect on Paleolithic Hunter gatherer people. They didn't have to follow the herds or starve. Settlement in areas of new, fertile grassands, rich in glacial deposits, became the transitionary point between the Hunter gatherer peoples that dominated the Paleolithic era, and the early Agricultural peoples of the Mesolithic era.
This is when the earlier, animist Shamanic traditions, slowly gave way to the settled, agricultural and seasonal traditions based around the Solar and Lunar Calenders, and any of innumerable corn goddesses. The only major unifying element of both traditions, is the use of Ecstatic trance as a doorway to the World of Spirit, and more specifically, the one agent of that Ecstatic trance, that both peoples were known to have used. Psilocybe semilanceata.

     
Because (I believe) of the ancient link between Magic Mushrooms, and our cultural development
the effects, both long and short term, of Fungus containing Psilocybin or Psilocyn have more depth, clarity, and cultural cohesiveness than other similar manafatured compounds. There seems to be a more co-operational relationship between our minds, and the visions it experiences on mushrooms, than there is with other hallucinogens. Even among first time users, a sense of familiarity is often reported, whereas to an equally un-experienced LSD user, the Trip, while just as intense, is more often than not, just a meaningless, and alien blur or rush of images.


I sincerely believe that the use of Psilocybin Mushrooms lies at the very root of all Mankind's Spiritual and Religious concepts. The Shamanic tradition goes back further than any other Spiritual practice, and in the West, Psilocybin mushrooms (And Ammonita Muscaria) have been the mainstay of the ecstatic trance, where the Shaman shifts his consciousness to a place where he can commune with those first Animistic Tribal Totems. These animistic avatars were vital to the lifestyle of those early Hunter/Gatherers, because they represented life, or death to their Clans. No game, no food. We know Mesolithic Man reverenced the Spirit World as integral, if not central to their societies, by the quality and craftsmanship of their grave goods.
Their Shamans knew the use of many mind altering plants, but by far the most prolific, the most profound in effect, and easily harvestable in season, were the mushrooms. For ceremonies or celebrations that bound the Clan together in bonds not only of familial ties, but spiritual ones, then three or four times a year, or for special occasions like the Death of a King, a big communal pot of Psilocybins that everyone drank from as a sacrament, would have been central to any Spiritual system they had.
Any thoughts? 
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Scorched Eartha

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  • Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

My thoughts are that it pays the controlling interests in our structured society to demonise hallucinogens, especially those that are freely available, growing wild in fields and meadows. The last thing anyone in control of us wants is a large number of people opening their minds to new perceptions, gaining insights and discovering  pathways to greater creativity.

Many will react, knee-jerk fashion by condemning what you've had to say here.

I expect you may be accused of irresponsibility in advocating drug use, but that's merely programming. Our dictatorial, monotheistic culture has done a stellar job of disseminating disinformation on the topic. People are afraid.

Hallucinogens are not for everyone. They are certainly not for overindulgence. If your only aim is to get wasted and get your kit off, take MDMA in a Club. Certainly those with deep, underlying fears about what the effects may be, or latent/blatant psychiatric disorders need to proceed with great caution. Indeed Everyone needs to proceed with caution.

But used in context, with specific goals defined; with a peaceful mind and a secure vision of what one expects to get from the experience (and I would stress, in the company of those learned about the plants and experienced in the application of them) most initiates will find that their perceptions of and insights into the world, themselves and the spirit realm altered profoundly. Used in this manner, and in this manner alone, 'shrooms are not only an invaluable educational tool, but something which allows one to experience, possibly for the first time what catharsis actually is.

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dark magus

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We have at least three mushrooms here in B.C. that look like those.
One will get you high, one will make you very ill, the other will kill you.
Shrums are best left alone unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing!
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Scorched Eartha

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  • Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

DM...if you invert the fungi and look under the cap, ALL the hallucinogens have one feature in common...a dainty frill, around the top of the stem right near the cap itself. This is the litmus test of how to differentiate the killers from the kindly ones.

But as I said, never ever le try this at home without having someone as knowledgeable and experienced as Serp close at hand.

Trust him....he's a doctor.
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If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

The Edge there's no honest way to explain it as the only people who really know where it is have gone over.

Serpentium

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@Earthbreeze. Yes, I wanted to stay as far away from any 'drug' preconceptions as possible. As for your nod to proceed with caution, absolutely. But any quest of any worth, has to have it's dangers, and the danger in this case, although totally subjective, is very real at the time.

@DM, Here, there are no poisonous fungi that could possibly be mistaken for Liberty Caps, but having said that, it is still vitally important to know exactly what you are doing. Especially if you are deliberately looking for whichever respective Opener is applicable on your Path. Sometimes, the unprepared are left in drooling madness for hours afterwards when they   knock on that door. Only those who can pass through whilst riding The Correct Motorcycle can recieve the Blessing.     
 
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Scorched Eartha

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  • Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.

^^^^I TOLD you.....He's a Dr (or a Druid....or something.^^^^[/b][/size][/b]
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 05:44:21 PM by Earthbreeze »
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If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

The Edge there's no honest way to explain it as the only people who really know where it is have gone over.

dark magus

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Khara

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We went shrooming this past weekend, but the cold snap we had followed so quickly by a late summer heat wave seems to have killed them all, at least in the pastures we went to.  I'll try again when the temps drop and stay down below the mid 70's.

Here, the biggest issue is farmers who feed their cows tomatoes or other high acid veggies to kill off the spores.  :'(
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Serpentium

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This can be a problem. Sheep pasture tends to have more shrooms on it here than Cattle pasture. The temperature thing can be minimised if you pick on steeply sloping hillsides. This time of year, there seems to be a frost "band", and if you pick above or below this band, the frost doesn't affect so much. It takes about 4 or 5 hard frosts to stop them from fruiting usually. And the actual body of the organism, that the shrooms are just the fruiting heads of, can be tens of square miles in the area it covers. Hundreds sometimes. In fact, they may even be the largest and oldest living organisms in the world.
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Khara

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Yeah, Missouri doesn't have any sheep pastures that I am aware of.  There are a coulple of pastures whose owners I know that have rather steep hillsides, I'll have to check those.
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Serpentium

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On passing the threshhold.

You can languish forever in the reception room. Indeed, that is all the majority of people who find themselves on the shores of this ocean do. It's enjoyable, it's different, and it's fun. Mostly. However, there are things here, that to the eye of the profane, mean little. But to the eye that is wised up to "Things not being what they appear to be" they are signs. Signs that say there is something here, that they have only seen the shadow of, in this real World we live in.

Take for example, a field of Barley. The profane eye sees it's beauty in a way they never did before. It takes on an ethereal, living quality that is partly of the wind playing through the sea of stalks, partly the shifting colours of the surrounding countryside, and an undefinable hugeness, a slumbering significance just beyond the perception that threatens to overwhelm them should they be so bold as to waken it.

"It's just the 'shrooms" they tell themselves. And this is enough. After all, in a very real sense, it is. They get distracted by a shimmering flock of Starlings and the field is forgotten in this new wonder. But there is always the sense of something huge, and all pervading in the back of the senses. A silent watcher. Something whose attention it seems prudent to avoid.   
Sometimes, one of these day trippers might inadvertently wake it. There they are, happily splashing about in the shallows of this vast ocean, paddling in the breakers, then suddenly, the waters close over their heads, and they are swimming for their lives. They are overcome by fear. With consuming dread. With Panic.

We've all heard the stories. Stories of how so and so once had a bad mushroom trip, and how they've never been the same since.  About how they were so terrified they had some kind of nervous breakdown, and have been on tranquilisers ever since. It's rare. It's usually temporary, but it does happen. Most people who have ever dipped a toe in the water have an idea of what this can be like. They've seen it happen to someone, or had it happen themselves. They're OK, still functional, but they are different. Touched. Some of them have obviously shattered at some point, and been glued back together. Like I said, functional, but you can see the cracks.

Some of them, (A very few) will by some twist of fate, suddenly realise they can swim. But more on them later.

That is pretty descriptive of what is 'known' about magic mushrooms. It's a common story, Hallucinations. Euphoria. Laughing at things that aren't real. Walls breathing in and out. That sort of thing. And coming out the other side, thinking WTF was that all about?
Either that, or worst case scenario, the screaming horrors for 6 hours, followed by vows of "I'm never doing that again". And so the word gets spread about the horrible things that mushrooms can do to you.
That just about covers the experience of the profane on shrooms.

More to come. 
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 04:51:43 PM by Serpentium »
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Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?

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Scorched Eartha

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The best place to find them near me is on the North Coast, in the highlands where they get a touch of frost. Not at this time of year though. We had a cold snap this past winter and I got a lovely surprise when walking the dog, I found a small patch growing in the park down the road.  :o People take horses through that park all the time so maybe horse manure is fertile for them too.

I dried them but haven't had occasion or suitable company yet to do anything with them.

I was invited to The Blue Mountains with some pagans I know to celebrate the equinox. I might pack them to take up there.
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If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

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Serpentium

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Now let's go back to where things start to go wrong. Where the Panic sets in. Because that's what triggers The Fearô and the Horror. P A N I C.
Examine the root of this word. What it really means. "To enter the presence of Pan". Pan is all. Pan means "everything". And everything is suddenly very real. Very powerful. And very scary.
Pan is old. Ancient. He is older than the Olympians, to whom he is sometimes counted among. But he never had much time for those who dwelled on Olympus, preferring his wooded glades, and his Arcadian Nymphs and Satyrs for company. Older than the God of Moses, who hates Him, and would kill him if such a thing were possible. Old as the caves where his horned visage was first painted on walls of limestone. His presence is everywhere, and still, the woods are alive with the smell of his coming. 

He is overwhelming. All encompassing. And he is here. He is, in this sense, the Opener. The keeper of the Gate. The Watcher. To pass into fair Arcadia, and seek the blessing of those who dwell within, you must first pass the test of the Opener. (I'm deliberately not revealing the key to this test, and there is only one) The answer is not a secret. Secrets cannot be told, but it is a Mystery. One that the Christians make much of. The Krishnas know it too. As do the Moslems. It is not a thing of Religion though, it is a thing of Man. The smallest child can manage it as well as the most doughty Warrior.

In some mythologies, it is a Sphinx you have to pass. In others, a Giant. In the Old Testament, he is an Angel, with a Sword of Fire. But I'm using the Mythos that has been revealed to me, and my Opener is Pan. And Pan is all.
There are many paths to His Door, and not all of them are instructive enough to allow the candidate to earn passage through. The unsuccessful candidates will be ravaged by The Fearô before they find their way back. The Fearô will have it's way with them. It must be overcome before you can pass. There is no other way.

The profane can remain splashing in the shallows, with relatively no risk. This is still part of the dreamworld created by Maya to confound the eye. The Veil of Isis, that no mortal shall see beyond. But the True Seeker must risk everything in his Quest. The Hermeticists don't call it the Siege Perilous for nothing.
You cannot come thinking through the Door. There is something you need to do first, and to some, it does not come easy. To many, it will not come at all. They hoist themselves upon their own petards, before they can achieve the state of grace required. Before I go any further with this, can anyone tell me what the key to this mystery is? How to rise above The Fearô, and obtain the good offices of the Opener?
(It's not just the Door that he opens that gives him his Title "Opener")
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Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?

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Scorched Eartha

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I always thought when dealing with Pan, sex was the key.

Or is that just me??
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If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

The Edge there's no honest way to explain it as the only people who really know where it is have gone over.

Khara

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Quickly deep fried is an amazing way to consume these little jewels.   ;D
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"Tis a human trait to hate one you have wronged" - Seneca
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