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 whatecstasy 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
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 ValentinaWasson 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 thatit 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 achat 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 wedeveloped, 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 isan 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 written7
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 anddemons. 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...