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Makeshift Medicine, Mycology, Magic & Mirth

DIY Dream Divination

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For the swashbuckling Saturday shaman, who desires nothing more than to cultivate entheogenic empathy using some of the wisest & wiliest plant teachers known to man, the logical place to start is by spelunking the caves of one’s own subconscious. Dream divination, known as Oneiromancy by the ancient Greeks, allows us to peer into the depths, to know ourselves, to establish a symbolic vocabulary that helps us forage through the morass of daily life with the prophetic poise of a wise crone.

The functional prophetess should be able to navigate the dreamlands by one’s own compass, retrieving useful information for both oneself and others. The requisite accoutrements include traveling with fierce intentionality, a basic understanding of one’s subconscious mythos, and, of course, a well-maintained dream journal. Dream allies are your fiercest comrades in the Land of Nod, unlocking doors and mediating communion betwixt you and a motley crew of aetheric entities. The dream allies listed below are meant to be an ethnobotanical survey of my most prized oneirogens, and treated as such. If anyone wishes to approach the allies, it should be done in good health, only when deemed appropriate by a hearty sign-off from your healthcare provider. I am not keen on providing dosages over the Internet, as these plants are unique creatures with wildly variant properties, and a myriad spectrum of moxie from stem to stamen. I believe this should be the jurisdiction of your herbal purveyor, as they know the persnickety potency of each herb they grow and peddle. And also, my dears, DO check your state laws, as many of my most prized herbs for healing and gnosis are psychoactive at certain dosages, misunderstood by an ignorant hegemony, and therefore may be illegal for consumption in your state (don’t worry, you are still protected under the law to poison yourself slowly on Diet Coke and factory-farmed meat).

The Dream Herb: Calea Zacatechichi
My most favorite prophetic dreaming ally is the indigenous Latin American plant Calea Zacatechichi, also called the ‘Dream Herb’ by the Chontal people of Oaxaca. She’s used by the big ups of Mexican shamanism to produce psychotropic benders of prophecy and mirth, producing crystal visions worthy of a witched-out Stevie Nicks divinatory diatribe. Village shamans will bong rip Calea like there’s no tomorrow (which there very well may not be), though I prefer a genteel infusion of dried Calea in tea. Bitter to the point of near un-drinkability, a few stirs of honey will add an air of class to the whole ordeal, though it may still inevitably taste like someone has disgracefully vomited battery acid in your mouth. Do not let that deter you, dear seekers! In traditional Chinese medicine, bitterness is good for the heart spirit, and the quality detracts not from Calea’s lovely, generous spirit. Like a liminal Charlie Rose, you can ask her all matter of thorny questions, which she will graciously answer in bouts of epic visions and narrative. Though she’s often symbolic with an astounding archetypal imagination, many times her answers are so literal and linear, that you will be re-reading your dream journal months later with slack-jawed astonishment. She’s very forthcoming with her brujeria, and I’ve never had her turn me down. Therapeutic dosages will produce catnaps with bursts of intense visions. Dreaming recall is EPIC. I’ve found she’s well suited to a make-shift opium den constructed in your home parlor, with furs and pillows strewn willy nilly in front of a dream altar constructed with your dearest friends.

My basic method is to brew a strong pot of Calea tea and steep it for 15 minutes in my ritual chalice, while cradling it in my hand and meditating upon my query.  Occasionally, I’ll bundle up my herbs in a homemade teabag, and tie it with a tiny tag upon which my divinatory question has been scrawled. Then, I stir in my honey, imagining the tendrils of tea lacing the brew with my mojo.  Raising the chalice above and thanking Calea Zacatechichi for her wisdom and guidance, I imbibe my limbic elixir, and retire to my bedchamber with a journal nearby to record my visions. Seeing as she is traditionally used by shamanic healers to solve village health quandaries, I think she is an especially robust guide for clarity in healing work.

I will offer one caveat; there is, unfortunately, inferior Calea skag floatin’ around the ether. Which is why I ALWAYS order from the impossibly awesome Botanical Preservation Corps (if the emblematic bitterness is missing from your brew, you have an landed yourself an inferior herb). Should you be the journeyin’ kind, I have crafted a lucid dreaming elixir laced with Calea called Hypnotiana, and will be peddling my wares shortly at the Botanarchy test kitchen.


Mugwort: Artemisia Vulgaris
With fragrant silvery spires that glow incandescent white in the moonlight, Artemisia herself harkens to both the poetic dreamscapes of the moon and the subconscious hinterlands of the mind. A muse to both Old Gods and mere mortals alike, Mugwort is the sacred weed of Artemis (or Diana, if you’re a rapacious, re-appropriating Roman), a humble herb that grows freely (like the wild Botanarchist she is) amongst freeway meridians, sidewalk cracks, and areas of blight, disregard, and disarray. Foraging for her is the delight of urban hunters, left to get their jollies amongst paved-over pastures and sagacious sprawl.

Though herself humble & hoary, Mugwort has the pedigree of a bona fide goddess in disguise. In an appropriately foxy compendium of sex & death meeting myth & medicine, her patron goddess Artemis was said to have bestowed all of her herbal knowledge upon Chiron, a centaur (hot!), who then passed it on to the martyred necromancer Asclepius (even hotter!). Asclepius then compiled the sacred medicinal arcana into the Materia Medica’s of Ancient Greece, and taught ancient mortals the art of healing magic before being offed by Zeus for raising folks from the dead for money (even necromancer’s gotta eat!). Primordial seekers used to make holy pilgrimages to the Mugwort-laden Temples of Asclepius to practice dream divination, asking Asclepius for guidance to heal the sick and infirmed. Shall you not find yourself amongst the enshrined elite anytime soon, a clairvoyant cup of Mugwort tea drunk before bed produces visionary dreams, can enhance recall, and is often used by those who practice the art of lucid dreaming. Mugwort achieves this magical melee due to a chemical cocktail of constituents that prevent us from reaching a deep sleep, trapping us instead in the twilight hours of vivid dreamtime purgatory. That said, she may leave you a tad torn and frayed if used on the regular.  With anything, do your legwork before starting any herbal regimen, making sure you are in suitable shape for such dalliances. And never take Mugwort internally if you are pregnant (or any of the dream allies, really), as it can cause miscarriages at certain dosages. I’m partial to a few heaping teaspoons steeped in hot water for a good 10 minutes, then strained and served with a spot of raw honeycomb. She’s also quite divine whence mixed with equal parts Rosehips and Lemon Balm, a tea that I’m privy to sip before any scrying magic, or a bro-down with my cards.

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Xhosa Dream Root: Silene Capensis

Known by shamans of the river valleys as the ‘Herb of the White Path’, Silene Capensis is a South African dream herb famed for bearing gossamer visions heavy on white symbolism. Though I haven’t met the White Lady in my dreams as of late, I will give Silene mad props for increasing dream intensity AND recall, a sibylline cocktail of Orphic bliss. The most astounding facet of her brouhaha might just be that a frothy brew of her twisted tendrils is ingested upon RISING from slumbers, with absolutely NO impact on waking life- all of the illusory vagaries happen between the sheets! Those with a penchant for Cthulhu and the Deep Ones will inevitably love Silene, as her spirit form is a magical, alien sea snake that lives in the deepest waters of the river, straddling the boundaries betwixt this world and the next.

Learning to work with Silene bears infinite rewards for the psychonaut, offering diviners Delphic intimations of their personal arcanum, connecting the dots between personal myth and ancestral legacy. When approached with the proper intentionality (as entheogens always should be), she brings communion with the ancestors, and can deliver you messages from those departed. I did tremendous work with her over the course of a moon cycle, using
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Way of the Tarot as a tactile counterpart to my work in the ethers, the two overlapping to form a deep symbology that I still draw upon often.

When I use Silene, I devote a week or so to her majesty, allowing the alkaloids to build up in my system over time. For those doing ancestral work, or looking to commune with a particular sea-faring entity, it is often helpful to set up an altar near your bedchamber dedicated to those with whom you desire to speak. I drink an infusion of the herb in hot water on an empty stomach upon rising, after stating my intention over my frothy chalice. When one feels the typical pangs of morning hunger, it is safe to eat. I am one to abstain from drinking coffee whilst taking counsel from Silene, and those with more sensitive constitutions may want to follow suit. After a day ensconced in the typical mire of humdrum consensual reality, I will state my query again before bed, with a befitting meditative interlude before my dream altar. Again, do be mindful of the dosage prescribed to you by your herbal purveyor; as is true of most alkaloid compounds, nausea and vomiting is not uncommon at higher doses.

Inquisitive parties simply MUST read ‘Root, Dream & Myth: The Use of the Oneirongenic Plant Silene Capensis,’ a tremendous exploration of her mystic myth, published in Eleusis: Journal of Psychoactive Plants & Compounds, Vol. 4. Snippets of the perfectly prolix incantation can be found here.

Frankincense: Boswellia Carteri

Dried tears of sap from resinous Frankincense trees are saturated with pineal-seducing sesquiterpenes ripe for the pillaging, and some folks preaching from the hinterlands of science believe it can stimulate the release of DMT from the pineal gland during near-death experiences, waking dreams, and psychotropic benders. Well, boy howdy! Is there any wonder why Frankincense is all biblical and stuff?! Located at the seat of the third eye, the pineal is a small endocrine gland resembling a tiny pinecone (hence its cheeky name), straddling the two hemispheres of the brain, suspended between our most primitive and most refined selves. 

Nary the size of a grain of rice, and considered to be a superfluous, vestigial organ until the swinging 1960’s, the pineal gland’s main physiological function was unbeknownst to modern scientists until recent times. The gland that mediates our primal, circadian rhythms with a symphonic flourish, the pineal secretes melatonin, which effects sexual development, animal hibernation, metabolism, and seasonal breeding, secreting this hormone in sync with the seasons and cycles of light and dark (oh, the panache!). However, the cabalistic pineal- the mystical third eye, if you will- has been the darling of the esoteric haut monde since for evs, revered as the mysterious connecting link between the physical & spiritual worlds. Learning how to unlock its adamantine doors was the psychotropic prize of mystical traditions ranging from the embalmers of Ancient Egypt to the Vishnu apostles of Angkor Wat, as it was believed to grant the adept psychonaut second sight and transcendental consciousness. It is believed that there may be an opiate substance secreted from the pineal gland during Samadhi that has been variously called Nectar of the Gods, ambrosia, amrita, and the Living Water, and research into neurological changes in the brain during heightened states of consciousness may actually support this theory. In her book, The Biology of Kundalini, Jana Dixon writes that during peak transcendent experience, “many changes happen in the retinas and occipital lobes, including increased ATP production, acting as a neurotransmitter, histamine increasing blood flow in the brain, and an increase in nitric oxide metabolism. The end result being that one has an increase in visual acuity, inner visions, inner lights, seeing auras and vivid dreams.” Whether or not you believe in science or value direct experience (or if you’re like me and value them one and the same), there is a palpable link between pineal-stimulation and an activation of the dreamstate.

Take it from a sista, Frankincense is bar none for coercing gloriously halcyon sleep visions from deep within that lil’ brain pinecone. My method for dreaming deep is to diffuse Frankincense essential oil in the bedchamber before slumbers, and anoint myself with it liberally until I feel fit for the pharoses (this may prove too stimulating for some constitutions). Be forewarned- there is a reason that Frankincense was the gold standard in biblical times, bestowed upon kings and pharaohs, and lavished upon the illustrious as an unguent unparalleled. It is PRICEY, so be prepared to pay top dollar for a quality oil. Because I’m a neurot, the only purveyors I trust are Young Living, Lifetree Aromatix, and Floracoepia, the former because I can attest to the purity of their oils through hundreds of my patient’s testimonials, and the later because I can attest to the fastidiousness and character of their creators.  Don’t worry, if you buy a bottle you can find countless uses for it in your healthcare regime. I have had success in using it for depression, narcolepsy, chest colds, pain, inflammation, wound healing, scarring, and skin infections. Not feeling quite that highfalutin? Procure a sprinkling of the resinous tears at an herbal shop (or lift some from your local Catholic church- it’s the incense they waft in those jaunty thuribles during mass), and burn it on a charcoal incense burner for a similar effect.

California Poppy: Eschscholzia Californica

Is anything more synonymous with the fantastical fairytale reverie of the dreamlands than Milk of the Poppy?! A bedfellow of the Opium Poppy without the déclassé trappings of, you know, having heroin, California Poppy can initiate deep dreaming by banishing the obsessive thought patterns that plague us during twilight hours, while snuggling us into a gently tranquilizing cuddle puddle.

A living emblem of the halcyon hallucinatory spirit of our chimerical Californian landscape, California Poppy is the state flower, and therefore, is illegal to wildcraft. My advice, as always, is to grown your own for tea and tincturing. She is a stubborn hausfrau, and like myself, loathes being picked or transplanted, preferring to proliferate footloose and fancy-free where she damn pleases. However, she has a joie de vivre so robust that she responds quite well to having her seeds scattered with wild abandon in a neglected, sun-drenched yard. A kindred spirit invited me to wildcraft Eschscholzia at her homestead near the desert, and I am now thoroughly obsessed with the resulting tincture. I urge all folks with a penchant for gardening to follow suit. Though easily procurable at your local apothecary, homemade California Poppy tincture is a picnic, as you simply tug her out of the dirt, clean her off, and use everything from root to petal. Taking a liberal dose of the tincture before bed will ferry one to the subterranean squall of dreamlands far beyond the cloying confines of physical and emotional pain.  

MEDICINAL BONE BROTH

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Never does a week go by in our household where the scraps of our epicurean labors aren’t heaped in a giant enamelware pot and stewed for hours while we mill about the homestead. We’re fanatical about our bone-collecting, surreptitiously slipping chicken carcasses into napkins under the table, asking waiters to box up our goat bones after indulging in a hearty pot of Birria De Chivo Goat Stew. The result of our rampant scrap-mongering is a rich, profoundly nourishing bone broth, imbued with golden melted life-force, exceedingly nourishing to the illustrious Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine:

Jing, our Essence, the source of life, the basis for all growth, development, and sexuality.

Qi, our energy, giving us the ability to activate and move our bodies, whilst protecting us against external and internal pathogenic factors.

Shen, our inner light, the vitality behind Jing and Qi, the mental and spiritual force that shapes our personality and spirit.

Bone Broth- or ‘stock’, depending our your particular cultural milieu- is a pan-cultural old world panacea, utilitarian kitchen alchemy transforming vegetable scraps and bones into pure nutritional gold. Heaps of vegetables, herbs, and leftover bones are pragmatically piled in a pot, and left to simmer slowly for long periods of time, extracting every morsel of function and flavor. The resulting infusion is a gently potent brew, teeming with trenchant, bio-available nutrition, easy to digest and suitable for all matter of medicine, both preventative AND curative. A complex, rich mosaic of variegated flavors, it is also an opulent addition to stews, soups, sauces, poaching liquid, grains, beans, and porridge, transforming blasé cooking water into a savory swill. It nourishes our tendons, ligaments, skin, bones, and blood, keeping us limber and spry, with an assassin-worthy immune system. As a grounding force in our otherwise hypersonic, twenty-first century lives, it forces us to spend a few hours a week at home, tending to our hearth fire. If I seem a little in love with it, it’s because I am. I get to melt bones in a giant pot, like a surly wizard necromancer.

Many moons ago, before I was religious about my bone broth, I was stricken by a persnickety set of symptoms that left me vacillating between a sprightly 20-something yoga warrior and a knobby, decrepit old crone. One day, I would be handstanding in yoga class like nobody’s business, and the next day, I could barely touch my toes, plagued with spells of tightness, pain, and numbness, accompanied by psychotropic bouts of sleep seizures that made me feel ancient, neurotic, and utterly powerless. After getting diagnosed with a vague autoimmune disease, delivered with a despondent, helpless send-off from the Western Medical Hegemony, my homegrown recovery was rooted in cutting out all inflammatory foods (gluten, sugar, ungainly processed rubbish), and going the way of old man Hippocrates by using food as my medicine. Through Traditional Chinese Medicine and the wisdom of thee Weston A. Price Foundation, I discovered the ancient magic of bone broth, and have never looked back. Years later, I am symptom free (though on occasion, I go to town on Chocolate Stout and homemade bread), and enjoying all sorts of bendy melee on the regular. And really, despite seeing tens of under-the-weather patients daily, have developed a super-human resistance to colds and flu. I make my cauldron of bone broth weekly, and drink a cup a day, increasing in times of debauchery, disorder, or debilitation. I suggest this to everyone that walks through my door, as I’ve seen countless miracles in managing all matter of disease (you can check out the foxy graphic below from Vanessa Romero at Healthy Living How To for a list of its wiles and wonders). If broth seems too good to be true, it’s because it is. Our leery, infirmed culture has taught us to be inherently disdainful of anything that seems ‘too good to be true’, a silly idiom I’ve always despised for shading the world in a Saturnine hue, thwarting the everyday magic of simple things, and propagating the ‘snake-oil’ mythos that impedes the advancement of traditional medicines. I much prefer the wisdom of wise old Yeats, who knew that “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

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Why is bone broth so beautiful? The venerable Dr. Mercola at The Mercola Institute drops some science on this egregious elixir below, adding some credence to my highfalutin claims:

BENEFITS OF BONE BROTH

Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion.

Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses: A studypublished over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection.

Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage. (Aside: glucosamine and chondroitin are usually sold over the counter as fancy supplements for arthritis)

Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects. Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis(whole-body inflammation).

Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.

Promotes strong, healthy bones: As mentioned above, bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation.

Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the ample gelatin in the broth.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

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Large Stainless Steel Stock Pot or Crock Pot

Roughly two pounds of organic chicken, beef, lamb, or fish bones, procured from a local butcher, or culled from recent feastings and stored in the freezer until needed. We’re talkin’ carcasses, knuckles, and hooves, oh my! If you plan on making a habit out of your stock making shenanigans (which you should!), I suggest finding a sympathetic meat peddler to bro-down with in your hood. In Los Angeles, I’m sweet on J&J Grassfed Beef. You can peruse sustainably raised local livestock on LocalHarvest.org, or check out the CrossFit gyms in your area, as many CSA’s are starting to offer gym delivery.   

¼ cup vinegar: Of paramount importance, for extracting the minerals from the bones into your broth.

A Mirepoix, consisting of 1 coarsely chopped onion, 2 carrots, and 2 sticks of celery.

Other coarsely chopped vegetables and assorted kitchen detritus: Perhaps the most admiral facet of broth is its commonsensical use of otherwise discarded cooking debris, with a peasant zeal otherwise reserved for Bruce Springsteen. Yellowing parsley, disfigured carrots, celery tops, blood-red chard stalks, onion skins, the graveyard of your heroic juicing efforts, haunted specters from the crisper… they all get their day in the sun. Your ingredients will be subject to the capricious nature of your weekly eating habits, producing a protean olio that is romantically un-reproducible from one week to the next. We keep a jar in the freezer that we fill with our forsaken vegetable fragments just for this purpose. My mainstays for flavor are 1 bunch of parsley, 2 quartered potatoes, a few hearty sprigs of rosemary and thyme from the garden, and a few cloves of garlic.

1 tsp black peppercorns

Fresh, cold water

I love to add a smidgen of Chinese herbs to my brew, to enhance and direct the healing vectors of my broth. 2-3 ounces of each herb should do the trick, always being intuitive with your needs and working with what you have on hand, like the cunning egalitarian Kitchen Witch that you are. These folks are mainstays in my cabinet, and on any given Sunday, I may sprinkle a smattering of the following into my cauldron:

A handful of Dang Shen/Codonopsis Root: To help strengthen the qi, counter mental and physical fatigue, build blood, and nourish body fluids.

Perhaps 5-10 slices of Huang Qi/Astragalus Root: To boost the immune system and strengthen qi, ensconcing one in protective energy that helps prevent illness due to external influences.

Certainly always a knuckle or so of Sheng Jiang/Fresh Ginger Root: To stoke the digestive fires and stimulate the circulatory system.

A pinch of Xi Yang Shen/American Ginseng Root: Boosting gentler Ginseng tendrils than the Chinese or Korean varietals, an admirable addition to combat fatigue and stress, whilst improving athletic and mental performance,

Dong Quai/Chinese Angelica Root: The ultimate femme tonic, invaluable for strengthening the blood, nourishing the reproductive organs, regulating menstruation, and alleviating period pain.

Shan Yao/Chinese Wild Yam: A lovely anti-inflammatory that tonifies qi, nourishes yin, and strengthens the spleen, lungs, and kidneys, particularly puissant after a long-term illness.

A sprinkling of Shan Zhu Yu/Dogwood Fruit: An excellent astringent herb and reproductive tonic that strengthens the liver and kidneys, while securing leakage of vital essence.

6 or so strands of dried Dong Chong Xia Cao/Cordyceps Mushroom: My most favorite herb in the Chinese pharmacopeia, Cordyceps is hailed on the street as the Himalayan Viagra for its revered ability to increase stamina, sex drive, virility, strength, brainpower, athletic prowess & focus. It’s a favorite of Chinese Olympians, so you know it’s gooch.

HOW TO

1. Break your precious bones up into smaller pieces (ideally about 3 inches long), with kitchen scissors or a fun weapon (living with a ninja has infinite perks). This will increase the surface area of bone exposed to the water, giving you a higher nutrient yield.

2. If using beef bones, you’ll want to roast your bones until browned at 400 degrees F for roughly 60-90 minutes to add richness.

3. Place the bones in your stockpot or crockpot, along with your vegetables, scraps, peppercorns, and Chinese herbs (if you fancy using ‘em). Cover with cold water, adding a few fingers for good measure. Add your splash of vinegar and cover with a lid.

4. Slowly bring your stock to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer gently for 6-48 hours (yes, I know 48 hours is a very daunting commitment in our breakneck world). I love to use a crockpot, because you can just pile all your business in, turn on high until boiling, reduce to low, and then promptly forget about it whilst retiring to your bedchamber for the evening. It’s so egalitarian, I can hardly stand it. If using a stockpot, you can use the following guidelines (and your own pending commitments) to gauge cooking time: 6-48 hours for chicken bones, and 12-72 hours for beef and other meats.

5. Give your bone broth the occasional shout-out during simmering, checking to see that there is always a fair amount of water covering your accoutrements.

6. At some point, you will inevitably notice a thick, insalubrious scum rising to the top of your broth. Many folks will trick you into thinking you MUST skim this off routinely, to clarify the product and make a finer tasting brew. To this I say, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” The whole skimming off the top thing is sadly overrated, as tests have shown that this “scum”, while unsightly, contains nothing harmful. If you wanna be fancy, go right ahead. Otherwise, fret not!

7. When you’re ready to call it quits, remove your bones with a slotted spoon, discard, and strain the rest through a colander into a large bowl. If you’re feeling spry, you can strain again through a sieve or cheesecloth to achieve an extra-fancy, clear broth. Chill your luscious potion of collagen and gelatin in the fridge, until the fat congeals and rises to the top. If you want a liquid broth for cooking purposes, you can skim the fat off and store the remaining liquid in the fridge for roundabout a week’s time. However, if you want your broth to drink like a rich toddy of hot buttered rum, I say leave the fat on (we do), and enjoy your broth like molten velvet bone mojo. Enjoy in radiant heath, golden ones!

Tiny Chocolate Love Spells

Making raw chocolates is really the only Valentine’s Day tradition we subscribe to over at the Baroness Homestead. I like my holidays heathen and my bacchanals ungentrified, avoiding all the banal trappings and manufactured melodrama of the Hellmark holidays. That said, I relish any occasion where I can get my dainty paws sullied with surreptitious chocolate mulch, and nefariously dust the embers all over the foxy countenance of my favorite gentleman caller (and undisputed best human on earth). Being the full moon and whatnot, I figured I’d get down with some good oldfangled kitchen witchery, and wrap some libidinous mojo into my favorite raw chocolate recipe.
These tiny edible spells were made with my secret recipe of qi-tonifying ingredients, including raw cacao, cacao butter, coconut palm sugar, and vanilla bean. They were then infused with the puissant aphrodisiac punch of Horny Goat Weed and Maca Root. After inoculating them with garlands of seductive gusto, they were dusted in tiny crystalline pyramids of smoked Maldon sea salt. Finally, they were poured into molds and left to smolder their embers in a crisp freezer until set, and elegantly enjoyed by my amorato and I during our ribald Lupercalia shenanigans under the Snow Moon.
Along with being one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet, raw chocolate is a sacred medicinal that boosts anandamide, the so called ‘bliss chemical’ in the brain, serotonin, our body’s natural anti-depressant, theobromide, caffeine’s more genteel cousin, and magnesium, a powerful heart tonic and smooth muscle relaxant. Despite its cheeky moniker, Horny Goat Weed- known as Yin Yang Huo in traditional Chinese medicine- is an ancient aphrodisiac revered for its ability to slow the effects of aging, increase libido, and soothe PMS & menopausal symptoms. Not to be upstaged, Maca Root is an Andean adaptogenic used by Incan warriors to increase their agility, strength, and endurance, recently enjoying much ado for its ability to regulate our complicated lady hormones.

The rest of the tiny spells are getting test driven by a smattering of favorite friends, and once I suss up their potency, I reckon I’ll offer them for sale in my Etsy Shop. I can always do custom orders, weaving magic and mirth into every bite!

I think I just fell in love with BromeLeighad, and her epically awesome knitting project ‘52 Forms of Fungi’. These saucy little fabric fungi have my heart dancing a festive gnome jig on a Fly Agaric somewhere deep within the ether.

LOVE.

(Source: thegreenwolf, via smugtownmushrooms)

MycoPorn:

Vignettes from the Los Angeles Mycological Society’s Wild Mushroom Fair

Mushrooming season has been abysmal in Southern California this year, leaving me in heaps of despair with my dusty boots and empty basket. Since I can’t get all frolicsome with my fungal friends in the midst of this arid interlude, oogling specimens from the Wild Mushroom fair held at the LA Arboretum this weekend was like being on shore leave during the Great War. Whetting the whistle for all matter of mycelium, there were cooking demos, inoculation and dyeing workshops, forays in the botanical gardens, and a lecture from my most favorite mirthful mycophile, Gary Lincoff. Mayhaps I will make it through the dry season, after all!

DIY Love Magic: Body-Cultured Raw Yogurt

Howsabout this for Valentine’s Day… culture a jar of homemade yogurt by the heat of your own body! Raw milk + yogurt starter + mason jar + snuggling + ecstatic love = romantical and delicious Valentine’s Day breakfast, or sublimely sexy gift for your darlin’!

Before Valentine’s Day was co-opted by squaresville Judeo-Christian materialists with a penchant for stale chocolate and ugly thongs, February 14th was part of Lupercalia, a carnal hootenanny of Ancient Roman proportions, harkening the Great God Pan with all sorts of lascivious melee. Lupercalia, the ‘Wolf Festival’, honored the She-Wolf who suckled the orphaned infants Romulus and Remus, the mythical founders of Rome. Like a regular afternoon in the Baroness Homestead, folks would run through the streets buck naked, whipping each other bawdily with improvised lashes, adorning themselves in goatskins, and petitioning the Gods and Goddesses for love & fertility. Bring a bit of this heathen witchery back to Valentine’s Day this year, and celebrate by making your own She-Wolf yogurt!

METHOD

You will need the following: one quart raw milk, yogurt starter (easily procurable at your local health food store), thermometer, saucepan, clean mason jar with tight-fitting lid (at least one quart), snuggle buddy. For best results, perform the following in the nude, right before bed, on a sympathetic moon:

Gently heat your milk in a saucepan over a low flame until it reaches a balmy 180 degrees. Try your damnedest to maintain this temperature for about five minutes, making sure you DO NOT BOIL (this is important for keeping all of the lusciously lively beneficial bacteria alive & kicking). This would be an excellent time to stir your pot o’ milk, weaving incantations of mojo and magic into your love yogurt. Turn off the heat, and allow the milk to cool to about 108-112 degrees. Add the yogurt starter to your clean mason jar. My starter takes about 1-2 teaspoons per quart of milk, but as these are living beings with varying potency, yours may be a lil’ different. Follow the directions on your packet for best results. Languidly add a few tablespoons of milk, mixing lubriciously to make a smooth paste. Continue adding your milk in a slow stream until the jar is bursting with mirthful milky goodness, and cap tightly once you’ve sealed your intention into the jar. Sequester yourself in bed with your amorous accomplice, and incubate your yogurt overnight by the warmth of your steamy flesh. My Magic Man and I cradled ours between the sheets for a good eight hours, and as the sun crowned over our bedstead, we had a perfectly-cultured jar of ambrosial alchemy, cultured in our curves and imbued with the enchantment of our ecstatic love. Refrigerate as you would ho-hum store bought yogurt, and spoon feed when the mood strikes.

metaphysicalmahogany asked: What are those field guides called that lead you to the binomial nomenclature of a species by asking a question with one or two answers until it narrows it down to one species?

Greetings, mescaline-mahogany!

Might you mean ‘dichotomous keys’, perchance?

SPRINGERLE

Behold the baroque splendor of the fussiest biscuit this side of Middle Earth, hand-pressed with love & squalor in the Botanarchy test kitchen! Oh, Springerle!

Lovingly dubbed the ‘sadomasocookie’ by those of us bewitched by its tedious, cruel opulence, these highly bedecked biscuits date back to 14th century Germany. The origins of Springerle can be traced back to Julfest, a midwinter celebration of pagan Germanic tribes. Julfest- later Christianized to Christmas, sans all the blood, guts, & glory- marked the dark time of the year with the donning of the winter solstice. It was customary to sacrifice animals to the gods, in hope that such gallant offerings would bring a mild winter and an early spring. Us poor folk, ill-equipped with livestock to spare, would instead make token sacrifices, in the form of animal-shaped breads and cookies. Speckled with anise seeds and dusted with a flourish of flour, Springerle are a hearty atonement, surely suitable to please the persnickety pantheon.

The molds used to make Springerle are intricately hand-carved from wood, and are a flourish of folksy labyrinthine opulence. My love affair with the cookie began whence spying my gal Jen’s lovingly curated mold collection, hanging on the wall of her sunny kitchen. A mélange of rococo mushrooms, ancient crests, knights in shining armor, gilded owls…the wooden scenes of antiquated pastoral life wooed me to pieces, and struck up what is sure to be a life-long love affair. Loaned to me for my birthday bake fest, you can see part of her prodigious collection in all its sumptuous splendor in the photograph above.

Springerle is a labor of love, in the truest sense. The dough is sensitive and finicky, eggs must be beat by your wearisome hands for AT LEAST twenty minutes, each cookie must be delicately pressed and cut with dainty finesse, and then left over night to harden with wild abandon. You will inevitably mess up, and at some toilsome juncture you will be covered in flour, crying in your kitchen as the moon crowns through your window. It is all entirely worth it.

House on the Hill is the de rigueur resource for all things Springerle, and my friend (who’s Springerle is arguably the most scrumptious) swears by their recipe.  They even have a gluten-free version, which I’m chomping at the bit to tackle next. I played around with King Arthur Flour’s recipe (if only for the medieval flair of their flour’s moniker), but found the directions to be a bit spotty, and the result a bit hard. They are, however, simply transcendent dipped in a carafe of black coffee whilst swooning over the fruits of your labor. Es ist noch kein Meister vom Himmel gefallen!

PLAGUE TONIC

My bosslady Sara Pettitt, L.Ac., got me hip to this infernal brew, and now I whip it up every cold season to chase the devil away (once I have my way with him, natch). I give it out to all my kin, and we take turns knocking back shots like career Bukowski’s courtin’ strumpets in a skid row rattrap. This is not a dainty convenience store dalliance, like popping a few Sudafed between hits of Emergen-C (which are so déclassé, I won’t even touch them). This wicked brew has a visceral tang harkening to the necrotic fury of the Black Death, as the basic formula goes back to medieval Europe & Asia during the Bubonic Plague. It is a broad-spectrum antibioticthat will destroy both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.Puissant to the point of arrogance, it is also a potent antiviral and antifungal formula. Drink one ounce a few times daily for broad immunity, and increase as necessary for acute conditions, such as inducing a sweat to vent a fever. If you’ve a brutish constitution, you can even gargle this tonic for sore throats.

Mix equal parts of the following in your Vitamix, or equally tenacious blender. Oh, and be sure to wear gloves, as the nefarious pairing of pepper-stained fingers and your nethers is disdainfully inelegant:

Garlic cloves, peeled

Fresh ginger root/Sheng Jiang

Fresh horseradish root

White onions, peeled

The hottest peppers you can get your paws on (Habanero, African Bird, Scotch Bonnet, Cayenne, et. al.)

1/3 cups Braggs Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

2/3 cups vodka or grain alcohol

Blend on high until liquid, and down a thimble full. Store the rest in a glass jar in your refrigerator.

TURMERIC TODDY
This tangerine-tinted titan has been my bedfellow all morning whilst nursing a wee cold in my gypsy sleep tent.  The ocherous alembics of turmeric and ginger root warm the bones and stoke the middle jiao, while the saccharine swirls of maple syrup tendrils send me into an autumnal abyss from which I never want to return. Whip the following up in a Vitamix until milky, and warm on the stove:
1 large knuckle of fresh Turmeric root/Jiang Huang
1 small knuckle of fresh Ginger root /Sheng Jiang
3 Tbsp raw Hemp seeds
Maple Syrup, to taste
2 cups fresh water
The sweet solar energy of this hot toddy will boost your wei qi, providing you with Viking-worthy armor against pathogenic pests and shivering bones all season long.

TURMERIC TODDY

This tangerine-tinted titan has been my bedfellow all morning whilst nursing a wee cold in my gypsy sleep tent.  The ocherous alembics of turmeric and ginger root warm the bones and stoke the middle jiao, while the saccharine swirls of maple syrup tendrils send me into an autumnal abyss from which I never want to return. Whip the following up in a Vitamix until milky, and warm on the stove:

1 large knuckle of fresh Turmeric root/Jiang Huang

1 small knuckle of fresh Ginger root /Sheng Jiang

3 Tbsp raw Hemp seeds

Maple Syrup, to taste

2 cups fresh water

The sweet solar energy of this hot toddy will boost your wei qi, providing you with Viking-worthy armor against pathogenic pests and shivering bones all season long.

How to Become a DIY Mushroom Forager
 
I often get asked how I got into the business of traipsing through the underbrush and scavenging in the sediment. Did I get all learned up in fancy college? How do I keep from dying valiantly by the miasmal dagger of a rogue toadstool? How can one discern the Shitakes from the shinola?
Here’s a guide for the slapdash forager, those urban swashbucklers after my own heart, armed with nuthin’ but a rusty pocketknife, mud-soaked boots, and the gallant heart of a hunter.
 
1. Frolic in the forest.
Hone your mushroom mind. This is a sublime state of mushroom gnosis, where the detritus comes alive with crowning caps, and the lichen lean in to whisper sweet nuthin’s in your ear. Never forget that you are a hunter-gatherer. You have a second sight that comes alive when beckoned, enabling you to spot your prey in the vast sprawl of primeval morass. We have to process a staggering mess of stimuli these days, dulling our best senses and thwarting spontaneous shamanic illumination at every twist and turn. Visualize the mushroom, and let it guide you where it will. Suddenly you will slip into a state both lucid and liminal, a primal summoning of your nomadic lust. This is the quintessence of foraging. I swoon at the very thought of it.
 
2. Research your feculent fortune.
Because you aren’t a super-sentient forest crone living in a hollowed out toadstool conversing with the deer & the dryads, you have no idea what you just dug up. After your hunting spree in the witchwood, you’ll want to take your precious toadstools home and identify them like a bona fide mycophile. Bust out the bifocals. Make a spore print, if you wanna show pony around. Check your specimens against your guidebooks, or use the vast swamp of myco-porn on the Internet. Become CONSUMED by minutia- it’s the only thing that will keep you topside of the soil. Here’s a smattering of my favorite resources for the budding forager:
The Fifth Kingdom: The crème de la crème of mycological textbooks.
Wood Decay Fungi: Keys, photographs, and descriptions of macroscopic fungi utilizing wood as a substrate in the Northeast United States.
MushroomExpert.com: Featuring my most favorite mushrooming tool, “What’s This Thing In My Yard?”
MykoWeb: The main attraction at MykoWeb is The Fungi of California. It contains photographs over 600 species of mushrooms and other fungi found in California, with over 480 of the species with descriptions. There are currently over 5400 total photographs of the mushrooms. Included are links to other online descriptions, and photos of the species treated plus references to common field guides. Hubba hubba!
 
3. Nerd out and join your local Mycological Society.
Mycological Societies hold local forays, invite guest lecturers, provide cookies, and typically have a handful of resident nut job mycologists who are just chomping at the bit to help you classify your mushies. Bring in your haul! High five your brethren! Best of all, you will enjoy the company of sympathetic folk who know their way around an artfully-placed mycological pun, and swoon at the curves of a bodacious Bolete. Find your local chapter online at http://www.namyco.org/clubs/index.html or http://msafungi.org/.
 
4. Get learned up on your trees.
Fungi and their arboreal blood brothers are inextricably linked in labyrinths of mycorrhizal matrimony. Morels love Ash, Amanitas love Aspen, and so goes the symbiotic Saturnalia of the forest floor. Knowing which fungi are sweet on which trees can often be the key to identifying ambiguous mushroom mysterions. Mushroom Expert has a fabulous catalogue of North American trees with their frequently associated mushroom kinfolk.
http://mushroomexpert.com/trees/index.html
 
5. Amass your library.
You simply must invest in the following tomes, of biblical importance in my ramshackle homestead:
Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora
All that the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms by David Arora
The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff
 
6. Go to mushroom camp.
SOMA Wild Mushroom Camp is held every January by the Sonoma County Mycological Association in the redwood-studded wilds of Occidental, California. It’s three days of woodland reverie, featuring forays, gourmet mushroom cuisine, and workshops on mushroom identification, cooking, dyeing, paper-making, medicine-making, photography, cultivation, and more. Being a dyed-in-the-wool nerd of the highest degree, this was just about the best thing that ever happened to my natty old soul. We ate homemade mushroom chocolates, and traipsed through the fandangled forest like Hansel and Gretel, with overflowing baskets and the folksy wisdom of our fearless leader, Gary Lincoff  (he was that year’s guest speaker). Hello, wet dream! Before the foray, I chastised my boyfriend for his behemoth basket with a cool “let’s not get cocky here, kid.” Much to my surprise, we filled the whole damn thing, and were chastising ourselves for our paltry accoutrements (we are from the mushroom wasteland of Los Angeles, after all). By the end of the foray, I had of reams of Russulas and heaps of Amanitas shoved down my cleavage, and was bartering mushroom real estate with my fellow frolickers. We ate wild mushroom pizza for WEEKS. Then we went back to camp, identified our burly bounty, ate a wild boar, drank some homemade wine, met some folks changing the world with emergent mushroom technology, and listened to Lincoff wax poetic late into the eve on foraging psychotropic ‘shrooms. So yeah…best weekend ever.
http://www.somamushrooms.org/camp/
 
7. Become fabulously wealthy, and Mushroam around the world with Daniel Winkler.
This is what I wish for on dandelion tendrils and falling stars. The Indiana Jones of wild Cordyceps, Daniel Winkler leads medicinal mushroom forays into Tibet and the Bolivian Amazon, as well as the glamorous hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest. Altogether badass, his field guides to edible mushrooms are also top-notch, and he’s doing wonders for rural communities whose economies are based on mushroom-medicine.
http://www.mushroaming.com/
 
8. Don’t be a hero.
The mushroom spirit is a capricious mistress who eats chumps like us for breakfast. Mushrooms, by their very nature, are destroyers. Therein lies their mystery and moxie. There are plentiful reasons they have the nom de guerres ‘Destroying Angel’ and ‘Death Cap’…they allow us to walk between worlds, yet they often slam the door behind them. There is nothing glamorous about sacrificing children whilst being ravaged by Satan in a robust bout of Amanita psychosis (well, maybe there is…but it ain’t worth the gamble when ya get right down to it), or having your liver decompose in mere hours in a necromantic tango with the Deadly Galerina. Every year she claims new souls, and even the most reverent and skilled are not above her diabolical law. Experts die at the behest of these sorcerous specters every year- do be a dearheart, and DON’T BECOME ONE OF THEM.
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-5-truly-toxic-mushrooms
 
9. Semper Fi, buttercups!
I have a knife and a field guide on me at all times (an Opinel and The Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of California, should you ask). You never know what sort of illuminated treasures lie in wait within the cracks and crevasses of urban decay. You have promised your heart to the wildwood now, and must always be prepared for her succulent surprises.


How to Become a DIY Mushroom Forager

 

I often get asked how I got into the business of traipsing through the underbrush and scavenging in the sediment. Did I get all learned up in fancy college? How do I keep from dying valiantly by the miasmal dagger of a rogue toadstool? How can one discern the Shitakes from the shinola?

Here’s a guide for the slapdash forager, those urban swashbucklers after my own heart, armed with nuthin’ but a rusty pocketknife, mud-soaked boots, and the gallant heart of a hunter.

 

1. Frolic in the forest.

Hone your mushroom mind. This is a sublime state of mushroom gnosis, where the detritus comes alive with crowning caps, and the lichen lean in to whisper sweet nuthin’s in your ear. Never forget that you are a hunter-gatherer. You have a second sight that comes alive when beckoned, enabling you to spot your prey in the vast sprawl of primeval morass. We have to process a staggering mess of stimuli these days, dulling our best senses and thwarting spontaneous shamanic illumination at every twist and turn. Visualize the mushroom, and let it guide you where it will. Suddenly you will slip into a state both lucid and liminal, a primal summoning of your nomadic lust. This is the quintessence of foraging. I swoon at the very thought of it.

 

2. Research your feculent fortune.

Because you aren’t a super-sentient forest crone living in a hollowed out toadstool conversing with the deer & the dryads, you have no idea what you just dug up. After your hunting spree in the witchwood, you’ll want to take your precious toadstools home and identify them like a bona fide mycophile. Bust out the bifocals. Make a spore print, if you wanna show pony around. Check your specimens against your guidebooks, or use the vast swamp of myco-porn on the Internet. Become CONSUMED by minutia- it’s the only thing that will keep you topside of the soil. Here’s a smattering of my favorite resources for the budding forager:

The Fifth Kingdom: The crème de la crème of mycological textbooks.

Wood Decay Fungi: Keys, photographs, and descriptions of macroscopic fungi utilizing wood as a substrate in the Northeast United States.

MushroomExpert.com: Featuring my most favorite mushrooming tool, “What’s This Thing In My Yard?”

MykoWeb: The main attraction at MykoWeb is The Fungi of California. It contains photographs over 600 species of mushrooms and other fungi found in California, with over 480 of the species with descriptions. There are currently over 5400 total photographs of the mushrooms. Included are links to other online descriptions, and photos of the species treated plus references to common field guides. Hubba hubba!

 

3. Nerd out and join your local Mycological Society.

Mycological Societies hold local forays, invite guest lecturers, provide cookies, and typically have a handful of resident nut job mycologists who are just chomping at the bit to help you classify your mushies. Bring in your haul! High five your brethren! Best of all, you will enjoy the company of sympathetic folk who know their way around an artfully-placed mycological pun, and swoon at the curves of a bodacious Bolete. Find your local chapter online at http://www.namyco.org/clubs/index.html or http://msafungi.org/.

 

4. Get learned up on your trees.

Fungi and their arboreal blood brothers are inextricably linked in labyrinths of mycorrhizal matrimony. Morels love Ash, Amanitas love Aspen, and so goes the symbiotic Saturnalia of the forest floor. Knowing which fungi are sweet on which trees can often be the key to identifying ambiguous mushroom mysterions. Mushroom Expert has a fabulous catalogue of North American trees with their frequently associated mushroom kinfolk.

http://mushroomexpert.com/trees/index.html

 

5. Amass your library.

You simply must invest in the following tomes, of biblical importance in my ramshackle homestead:

Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora

All that the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms by David Arora

The Complete Mushroom Hunter: An Illustrated Guide to Finding, Harvesting, and Enjoying Wild Mushrooms by Gary Lincoff

 

6. Go to mushroom camp.

SOMA Wild Mushroom Camp is held every January by the Sonoma County Mycological Association in the redwood-studded wilds of Occidental, California. It’s three days of woodland reverie, featuring forays, gourmet mushroom cuisine, and workshops on mushroom identification, cooking, dyeing, paper-making, medicine-making, photography, cultivation, and more. Being a dyed-in-the-wool nerd of the highest degree, this was just about the best thing that ever happened to my natty old soul. We ate homemade mushroom chocolates, and traipsed through the fandangled forest like Hansel and Gretel, with overflowing baskets and the folksy wisdom of our fearless leader, Gary Lincoff  (he was that year’s guest speaker). Hello, wet dream! Before the foray, I chastised my boyfriend for his behemoth basket with a cool “let’s not get cocky here, kid.” Much to my surprise, we filled the whole damn thing, and were chastising ourselves for our paltry accoutrements (we are from the mushroom wasteland of Los Angeles, after all). By the end of the foray, I had of reams of Russulas and heaps of Amanitas shoved down my cleavage, and was bartering mushroom real estate with my fellow frolickers. We ate wild mushroom pizza for WEEKS. Then we went back to camp, identified our burly bounty, ate a wild boar, drank some homemade wine, met some folks changing the world with emergent mushroom technology, and listened to Lincoff wax poetic late into the eve on foraging psychotropic ‘shrooms. So yeah…best weekend ever.

http://www.somamushrooms.org/camp/

 

7. Become fabulously wealthy, and Mushroam around the world with Daniel Winkler.

This is what I wish for on dandelion tendrils and falling stars. The Indiana Jones of wild Cordyceps, Daniel Winkler leads medicinal mushroom forays into Tibet and the Bolivian Amazon, as well as the glamorous hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest. Altogether badass, his field guides to edible mushrooms are also top-notch, and he’s doing wonders for rural communities whose economies are based on mushroom-medicine.

http://www.mushroaming.com/

 

8. Don’t be a hero.

The mushroom spirit is a capricious mistress who eats chumps like us for breakfast. Mushrooms, by their very nature, are destroyers. Therein lies their mystery and moxie. There are plentiful reasons they have the nom de guerres ‘Destroying Angel’ and ‘Death Cap’…they allow us to walk between worlds, yet they often slam the door behind them. There is nothing glamorous about sacrificing children whilst being ravaged by Satan in a robust bout of Amanita psychosis (well, maybe there is…but it ain’t worth the gamble when ya get right down to it), or having your liver decompose in mere hours in a necromantic tango with the Deadly Galerina. Every year she claims new souls, and even the most reverent and skilled are not above her diabolical law. Experts die at the behest of these sorcerous specters every year- do be a dearheart, and DON’T BECOME ONE OF THEM.

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-5-truly-toxic-mushrooms

 

9. Semper Fi, buttercups!

I have a knife and a field guide on me at all times (an Opinel and The Field Guide to Edible Mushrooms of California, should you ask). You never know what sort of illuminated treasures lie in wait within the cracks and crevasses of urban decay. You have promised your heart to the wildwood now, and must always be prepared for her succulent surprises.

River reveries

River reveries

Aunt Archa’s apple harvest in my snazzy new cauldron from my true love. Fixing’s for old fashioned apple butter over a roaring fire in the witchwood next weekend! Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

Aunt Archa’s apple harvest in my snazzy new cauldron from my true love. Fixing’s for old fashioned apple butter over a roaring fire in the witchwood next weekend! Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble!

Mushrooming season is nigh! All hail the spongiform alien obelisk!
#PsathyrellaCandolleana

Mushrooming season is nigh! All hail the spongiform alien obelisk!
#PsathyrellaCandolleana


“Lichenes”
from Ernst Haeckel’s Artforms of Nature, 1904
"Recently, on 26 April 2012, scientists reported that lichen survived and showed remarkable results on the adaptation capacity of photosynthetic activity within the simulation time of 34 days under Martian conditions in the Mars Simulation Laboratory (MSL) maintained by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)."

Holy interloping, extraterrestrial lichen! Could this be the skeleton key lending some right & proper gravitas to Terence McKenna’s highfalutin hypothesis that alien mushroom spores colonized our hapless Neanderthal brains, ushering forth a maelstrom of evolutionary empathic consciousness? Leapin’ lichen, I’m all asunder with hopeful hubbub! In the meantime, do yourself a solid and watch ‘The Pharmacratic Inquisition’ (the whole shebang is available for your perusal on the ever gracious YouTube), so you can be all learned up when the spore trumpets herald us outta these entropic entrails. Huzzah!

“Lichenes”

from Ernst Haeckel’s Artforms of Nature, 1904

"Recently, on 26 April 2012, scientists reported that lichen survived and showed remarkable results on the adaptation capacity of photosynthetic activity within the simulation time of 34 days under Martian conditions in the Mars Simulation Laboratory (MSL) maintained by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)."

Holy interloping, extraterrestrial lichen! Could this be the skeleton key lending some right & proper gravitas to Terence McKenna’s highfalutin hypothesis that alien mushroom spores colonized our hapless Neanderthal brains, ushering forth a maelstrom of evolutionary empathic consciousness? Leapin’ lichen, I’m all asunder with hopeful hubbub! In the meantime, do yourself a solid and watch ‘The Pharmacratic Inquisition’ (the whole shebang is available for your perusal on the ever gracious YouTube), so you can be all learned up when the spore trumpets herald us outta these entropic entrails. Huzzah!

(Source: dulcedisco, via mycology)