Autumn is a great time to high in the woods. You saw our shop launched with the unique Tentsile tents that suspend the occupants up in the trees? Casting an eye from your treetop haunt, there is a fair chance you would spot Fly Agaric mushrooms. They are blooming all over Instagram.
These vibrant autumn sproutings feature prolifically in folk and popular culture. Think Alice in Wonderland or Super Mario, you know why right?
Your Mum told you to steer clear of these alluring fungi because they are poisonous. Actually, no, they wont kill you. In reality, overwhelming nausea and a disorientating trip are the routine result of ingestion.
Lewis Carroll must be credited with first bringing the psychoactive effects of the Amanita muscaria to the masses. As well as dodgy interests in befriending small girls, he was also an early psychonaut, with an avid interest in literature on the subject. Which led him to tales of Syberian Shaman and their ritual use of Fly Agarics to commune with the spirit world.
The Shaman ate the mushrooms direct, whilst their followers drank the Shaman's urine. The psychoactive effective still effective, despite a filter through the digestive tracts. Perhaps this is the origin of the term 'getting pissed'? A quick scan though their intoxicating effects shows why they were used as a window to another realm:
“...depressant, sedative-hypnotic, dissociative, and deliriant paradoxical effects may occur.”
Their other prominent effect is that objects can appear larger or smaller than they are. Which prompts the conclusion that Carroll indulged in their deliriant paradoxical effects. The medical term for this distorted perception is Macropsia, aka Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.
If it's good enough for the literary canon, it's good enough for gaming super-titles. Ever notice Mario change in size as he hits a mushroom powerup?
If by this point your interest has been piqued, lets just burst that bubble. First off, Tentsile prohibit the use their of tents whilst intoxicated. More tellingly, online comments about the results of experimenting with Fly Agarics are stark:
“Its shit, you feel a mild high and later you will feel the worse come down ever.”
More importantly, unless you've served an apprenticeship to a Mycologist, it's unlikely you can reliably distinguish a Amanita muscaria from Amanita phalloidesthe Yellow Death Cap: the cause of the majority of deaths due to mushroom poisoning.
So probably best just to get hepped-up on hops or your preferred hooch. We don't however advise experimenting on whether the intoxicating effects of alcohol pervade in piss.
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