I’m sitting in Miami Airport en route to Jamaica, ruminating on my next adventure which is soon to to be upon me!
Mexico >>> Jamaica to spend 6 weeks assisting and Co-creating deep Healing Retreats using Magic Mushrooms. Honoured to head out to Mycomeditations Retreat Centre. These guys are the only completely legal mushroom retreat centre I know of in the World! Learn more at www.mycomeditations.com .
Yes, its no secret, I love Mushrooms, more specifically, their healing qualities. Research shows that they are highly effective for drug resistant moderate-major depression, PTSD and anxiety (especially end of life). With Mental Health positioned as the leading cause of disability worldwide according to the World Health Organisation, I was naturally inspired to learn more…
So, last summer I spent few months up in the Mountains of Oaxaca searching for psychedelic mushrooms and a local Mazatec Curandera (Medicine Woman) to hold Ceremony for me with these incredible Healers… At times, equally as strong and as revealing as Ayahuasca, I had been called to begin working with this Sacred Medicine the summer before. After a completely unexpected and rather dramatic entity extraction, performed by myself under the influence of the Mushrooms; I vowed to go to a Land where healing under their influence was Culturally practiced. Perhaps here I could find some answers as to what had happened… Here’s the first instalment of my story…
I knew finding a Mushroom Curandera would be hard. I was well aware of the tragic story of the legendary Mexican Mushroom Healer, Maria Sabina, and what happened after she shared her healing Mushroom Ceremonies with white foreigners… A peaceful Woman of God working with the Mushrooms for healing purposes, she was tricked into sharing her Ceremony by Author and amateur Ethnomycologist, George Wasson. Normally only ingested for Healing purposes he lied to her and said he had come to find God after which she allowed him to take mushrooms with her. Really, he was documenting the Cultural use of the Mushrooms for his own interests…
Abuela (Grandma) Maria Sabina
Despite good intentions as a genuine mushroom enthusiast, his subsequent article about Maria and the Mushrooms in Time Magazine in the mid 1950’s, lead to a massive influx of Culture-flaunting, free-love advocates from the States. The small rural town, with strong Catholic principles, was soon overrun and the entire economy upturned. Other recreational drugs could be found, prostitution flourished and kids stopped working in the coffee plantations in favour of selling highs to Tourists.
Stunning Mexican Mountains in the rainy Summer Mushroom Season.
Having realised what she had unwittingly done, Maria herself said “I realised the young people with long hair didn’t need me to eat the little things. Kids ate them anywhere and anytime, and they didn’t respect our customs.” The rest of the story doesn’t end so well, so i’ll leave it there…
So, you can understand why I knew it would be hard to locate a legit “Shaman”. With business booming in the Mountains it was guaranteed that every other “Shaman” would be a charlatan. Luckily, as chance would have it, a Mexican chap i’d couchsurfed with in 2012 had spent every summer in the Mountains where I was headed since he was 15 and he was happy to take me there and ask around on my behalf. A few days into our time in the Mountains, we had received the same message from all his contacts, no Shamans to be found here. The recurring comment was ¨the Mushrooms will tell you everything you need to know, no intermediary is needed”. Hmmm. Though true it was not welcome news.
Kittens and kiddies to pass time when you hit a dead end
My friend left and I went back to the drawing board. I decided to move to a town an hour down the road, a little more rural, and hold out there for a while, eating a simple diet, trying the mushrooms on my own and waiting for the Teacher to appear…
After 3 weeks, definitely wondering what on Earth I was doing with my life, I heard tell of a man who had discovered the mushrooms aged 14 and left his (wealthy and, no doubt, rather perturbed) family in Mexico City. All in favour of a life in the Mountains, following a Spiritual path in Meditation and peaceful Eco-community.
Despite having his details, for some reason one day I woke up and set off to find him unannounced! As is the way in the Mountains, what should’ve taken 45 minutes took 4hours. I finally arrived at his door on exactly the same footstep as an Abuela (Grandmother) arriving in the other direction. The door opened to the both of us and I was informed, very kindly, that he was on sabbatical and not holding Ceremony this year. “It is no coincidence that you arrived at exactly the same time as Maria” he said in a highly suggestive way. At this point she indicated for his to ´shhh´! He rolled his eyes a little at me and did as he was told. It was clear that she did not want him to disclose her Mushroom services.
After 20minutes of idle loitering, puppy stroking and smiling she softened to me and invited me to her little Ranchito (farmhouse) a few hours down a dirt road from where we were. Finally I was to sit in a Velda (candle lit night time ceremony) with the Little Mushrooms and a local Curandera!
Mexican Mountain Lilly, often painted by Frida Kahlo
The kindness of her facial features and inclination towards smiling gave the game away.. She was clearly so full of Heart and radiated such a humble warmth… something had told me to sit put.
We decided that I would get to hers the following weekend for a night with the Mushrooms on the eve of the full moon. A few others were also coming to partake. I set off on the long Journey home, exceedingly happy and excited for what was to come…
Next installment soon… With Love
Illustrators depiction of Maria Sabina
Come follow me on blogging platform Steemit: https://steemit.com/ayahuasca/@alchemywithalex/healing-magical-mushrooms-in-the-mexican-moutains-part-1