This section is about the use of the Fly-Agaric mushroom, for medicinal and spiritual use, by the Celtic and Pre-Celtic people of Ireland. This is probably the most well known fungi, because of it's association with the Shee, the Fairy Folk, it was a very important fungi to the Druids of the Celtic tribes. It was referred to as the 'Flesh of the gods', or 'Food of the Gods' because they believed that they were in direct communication with the Earth and the Universe when they consumed this Fungi. Although all the Celtic people consumed Liberty-caps, the Fly-Agaric was usually only taken by the Druids and other magic users. It was considered too powerful for those not trained in the higher levels of the mind.
This Fungus contains some very powerful psychotropic compounds. These fungi are the fruit of an Organism that can live to be thousands of years old. Most of this organism is the root system with only the fruit being seen here in the photos. The fruit of this organism is well known but few realise the fruit found over a certain area will usually all be from the one organism.
The most common way that this mushroom was consumed was in the form of a beverage. Some of these drinks were alcoholic in nature. It was also eaten, smoked or absorbed through the skin in ointments, in the steam of the sweat-lodges or even in the waters of a bath.
The eating of this mushroom, if it is not treated before hand, can cause violent stomach retching.
Not recommended. NEVER EAT RAW!
The smoking of the fungi would have been done when it was dried and where possible they would have tried to sun-dry the mushrooms. It would then have been mixed with other herbs and/or fungi and smoked through a pipe.
It would also have been burnt or mixed with the water in the sweat-lodges to be consumed through the pores in the skin.
The use of this fungi dates back to as long as it has been around. The exploration of the mind through the use of these mushrooms and others has always been happening, is happening and will continue to happen well into the future. Even though it is illegal to consume these fungi at the moment in most countries, it is also the right of every citizen to IGNORE and DEMAND the removal of all morally unacceptable laws.
The Organism that these photos are taken off, would be from 200-300 years old. So I for one do not have the right to destroy this old a living growing organism. As a Celtic Pagan I also have a right to use these tools of exploration and no other human has the right to deny me these tools. There is an arrogance from the politicians of today thinking that they have the right to interfere in the lives of others, this is not so and if these politicians don't realize this soon there will be a breakdown of the system as more and more people take radical action against their unjustifiable laws.
The photos above are prime examples of the Fly-Agaric mushroom. The small ball just coming through the grass and the cap at full spread above grass level. Most of the white spots are rubbed off by the grass as the mushroom is coming through. It is best to take them when they have matured into a full cap. It takes no more that a few days for the fungi to grow from the root to a full cap. If it is not eaten by another of Mother Earth's creatures.
Eating of the Fly-Agaric Mushroom : The most common way that this mushroom was eaten was when it had been dried. The Druid or Druids fasted for at least 3 days, drinking only water although sometimes small amounts of purifying herbs may also be taken and meditating before consumption of the fungi. This was done for a number of reasons, not only to purify the mind but also it purified the body because the body acts in a strange way to this fungi. When consumed the body removes the Mind-Expanding substances before the poison. So the Psychedelic is in the body before it starts to react to the poison. This reaction is violent stomach emptying as the body rejects what's left of the mushroom before it absorbs any more of the poison. The Druids were well prepared for this sickness as it was part of taking the fungi. After the poison is rejected the Psychedelic starts to act, this is when the second reason for body purity was needed as the first urine expelled after consumption is nearly all Psychedelic and this was either consumed at the time to give full effect of the fungi or stored for a later ritual. It was also used in many of their Beverages or Potions. This may sound a bit sick to some but with the 3 day fast and only water going in, only water was coming out.
Smoking the Fly-Agaric Mushroom : The dried mushroom can be broken into small amounts and smoked on their own or with other herbs or fungi in a pipe, chillum or bong. The effect can be felt almost immediately and is much milder than eaten, and there is no sickness when smoking as the poison is destroyed by the heat. Some of the poison is also removed during the drying process.
Photo Galleries : Year 1997 Year 1999 Year 2000 Birth to Death Year 2001 Year 2002 Year2003 Year2004 2005
For the last few years I have found it harder and harder to find this fungi and have no pictures for 2006, 2007 or 2008. Lets hope 2009 will be better.
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Personal use of these pictures is allowed.
Last Updated - August 3, 2023