Amanita muscaria is that large white-gilled, white-spotted, usually red mushroom, commonly depicted in popular culture, including children’s fairy tales such as Alice in Wonderland and The Smurfs. Actually, this is a highly potent hallucinogenic mushroom, which has been used as an entheogenic religious sacrament by the peoples of Siberia. According to Robert Gordon Wasson, Fly Agaric is the soma mentioned in the Vedas (others believe soma is Syrian Rue.)

Amanita muscaria (Fly Agaric)
Photo by Michael Hartwich (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ibotenic acid and muscimol (agarin) are the psychoactive constituents responsible for the hallucinogenic properties of the Fly Agaric mushroom.

Ibotenic acid is an analogue of the neurotransmitter glutamate, and thus, acts as a non-selective glutamate receptor agonist, making it a powerful neurotoxin. When ingested, 10-20% of the ibotenic acid is turned into muscimol in the body.

Muscimol is a potent, selective agonist for GABA receptors. Its effects are psychedelic, dissociative, sedative-hypnotic, deliriant, depressant, and hallucinogenic. Siberian shamans would drink their own urine, which contained psychoactive metabolites of this alkaloid, thereby lengthening and deepening their visionary experience.

When using dried mushroom, the correct dose, although difficult to determine because of potency variations from one mushroom to the next (with spring and summer mushrooms being much more potent than autumn ones), is said to be 1-10 grams. When using fresh mushroom, one cap of Amanita muscaria should suffice. Since the active constituents of the Amanita are water-soluble, a tea can be made, if eating the mushroom is undesirable.

Effects begin 30–120 minutes after consumption and last for 5–10 hours. Ingesting Amanita may cause euphoria, macropsia (feeling that you’re smaller than you are) and micropsia (feeling that you’re larger then you are), a dream-like (lucid) state of mind that can be highly detailed, colorful, and clear, out-of-body experiences, hallucinogenic changes in perception, auditory and visual distortions, mood changes, physical relaxation, and synesthesia (e.g., hearing colors or seeing sounds).

When taken before going to sleep, it may initiate lucid dreams.

It is not recommended to take Amanita muscaria without a trip sitter to watch over you. (Check if, and where, I’m available to serve as a trip sitter.)

Daniel Pinchbeck describes a profound experience he had with the Amanita in his book Breaking Open the Head: A Psychedelic Journey into the Heart of Contemporary Shamanism. He saw three human-sized Amanitas standing in front of him, warning that if he eats them again, they will kill him.

You can read about experiences with Amanita muscaria on Erowid.org. One person, for example, recounts:

The world is PULSING with energy. Each item in the room is alternately expanding/contracting (PULSING), with life and energy. Colors are very intense and vivid and the light seems to penetrate everything. Objects have an inner glow much as I remember seeing things when I was a child. Lighting seems like that within the Big Top, at the Circus. This is a very high energy buzz; intellectual, religious, physical. […] This is the greatest drug in the world! I feel God pulsing through my muscles. Just realized “anyone can dance to every song because the beat is God. The pulse of energy that emanates through everything is God. I am dancing with God, literally. God is a mushroom, or rather — God created the mushroom so that man could participate in God’s consciousness.”

Fly Agaric mushrooms may be illegal in some countries, including but not limited to Romania, The Netherlands, Louisiana USA,  and Thailand.

While it is legal to buy and consume Amanita muscaria in the US, you can’t buy this dream mushrooms on Amazon. It is currently available on eBay however.

This is a Dream...

Buy Amanita Muscaria

Fly Agaric - Amanita muscaria
CC BY-SA 3.0 nl

If you have any questions about any topic related to sleep, dreams, and other altered states of consciousness, you’re welcome to contact me or leave a public comment below.

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