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More Magic Than You May Have Thought Possible

Posted by Carolina Landolt-Marticorena on

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Song of the Week - Walk on the Wild Side by Lou Reed

"I always thought it would be kind of fun to introduce people to characters they maybe hadn't met before, or hadn't wanted to meet.", is what Lou said about this song. A classic track, it was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and came out at a time when audiences were intrigued by cross-dressing and homosexuality in 'glam rock'. I've certainly heard some of my more conservative family members singing along to this track - it's a testament to how the arts are part-and-parcel to every culture shift. 
Mushroom picking, artist Franciszek Kostrzewski c. 1860
Mushroom picking, artist Franciszek Kostrzewski c. 1860
The Long Form - The State of Mushrooms and the Ancient Stash Bag

While we were sleeping, Denver decided by the slimmest of margins to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms - and just like that, things change!

In early reporting, it looked like the grassroots ballot initiative had gone down in flames... but this was the little ballot that could, and a win was secured with a 50.56% majority. Now, before everyone starts booking Colorado destination weddings, there are some things you should know.

First of all, no one likes destination weddings.

Secondly, this win does not mean that ‘shrooms are legal, but rather that police will now consider possession and personal use ‘no biggie’, legally speaking. Though the current gains are modest, it’s the implications of this win which matter most.

Denver plans to move forward with analyzing the ramifications of decriminalization, which is the gateway to legalization. This progressive move dovetails nicely with the growing interest from the medical community in researching the potential benefits of psilocybin in the treatment of depression and quitting smoking, amongst other potential uses. Well done, citizens of Denver!
1,000-year-old shamanic leather pouch (A) with carved and decorated 'snuffing tablets' (B&C) and 'snuffing tube' (D); an animal-skin pouch made of three fox snouts (E); two bone spatulas - dabs, anyone? (F); some small pieces of dried plant material attached to wool and fibre strings (G), and a sick headband, yo (H).
In news from the Ancient world, Jose Capriles -  an anthropologist at Penn State University - reports the discovery of a 1000-year old ritual bundle. The pouch contained several hallucinogenic compounds including the two principal ingredients of ayahuasca and possible traces of psylocybin.

Recovered from an Andean cave traditionally used as a ritual burial site, this find is the earliest documentation of the use of hallucinogens in South America. Capriles proposes that these were used during religious rituals to create transcendent experiences through which practitioners could communicate with ancestors believed to exist in alternate realms.

What is most interesting here is the idea that hallucinogens open a portal to unseen worlds, opening us up to new insights or perspectives. As Carlo Rovelli says ‘these drugs don’t interpret themselves but open up material to be interpreted’.

While we wait for the laws to catch up on psilocybin, many have been wooed by the inherent appeal of amateur foraging. Who would not want to spend a day in nature and be rewarded with a mind expanding bounty of fresh mushrooms?

Unfortunately, gathering the right fungi while avoiding the toxic ones requires sophisticated botanical knowledge, and a mistake here could be deadly. As the Croatians say, "all mushrooms are edible, some only once".

Experts recommend at least taking a spore print of all your mushrooms, as psilocybin-containing species tend to have purplish brown to black spore print and its flesh becomes bluish to bluish green when bruised. To us, this seems like little to go on without expert guidance. We look forward to the inevitable magic foraging sessions that are sure to pop-up this fall in Colorado.
The News

According to the press release, Canada is getting it's own 'cannabis & music festival' à la Woodstock. The event will include live music, craft beer, an artisan village, art installations, and a cannabis village with 'award-winning Licensed Producers who will host informative and interactive kiosks for the ultimate cannabis experience'. Journey Festival takes place in Vaughan from August 25 - 27th, 2019.
The Social Calendar
"Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom" - Thomas Carlyle

- Emma & Carol
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