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Magic Mushrooms & Our Ancient Origins

Fungi have ancient origins. Our ancestors may have consumed magic mushrooms for as long as we have existed. Psilocybin has existed for over 10,000 years and possibly longer with its use being widespread with shamans across the world.


Fungi grow everywhere and have a function is every ecosystem. So, it would be of no surprise if primates originally took the mushrooms thinking that they are normal mushrooms. Their discovery of these psychedelic fungi may have also enhanced their healing and cognitive abilities. Continue reading to learn about our exciting historical relationship with magic mushrooms.


Prehistoric use of Psilocybin

The earliest known species of fungi found in fossils was over a billion years old. Palaeobiologists, including Corentin Loron, believe fungi and algae were among the first organisms to colonise land. Their mycelial networks stretch across many miles and contain the knowledge and wisdom of the land. So, if an ape-man ate a magic mushroom they would connect with this energy too, and the Earth, and the Universe.


Some ethnobotanists, including Terence Mckenna, believe that magic mushrooms may have accelerated human evolution. This theory is known as the ‘Stoned Ape’  theory. This theory claims that  Homo erectus, who lived around 1.8 million years ago, evolved into Homo Sapiens using mushrooms which contain psilocybin and other psychedelic compounds. Our evolution may have been triggered by DNA activation caused by these magic mushrooms.


The increase brain communication as well as new mystical experiences leading to changes in habits such as discovering fire and cooking food. Cooked food fuels the brain much better than raw food and this allows the brain to evolve faster.



Many indigenous people across the world, from Siberia to Central America, have used psychedelic mushrooms for a greater connection with their people and with nature, and to access higher powers. The history of our magic mushroom use reflects the development of human culture across history.

Psilocybin in Central America

There is a large volume of widespread indigenous artwork which shows magic mushrooms played a role in their cultures. They used psilocybin mushrooms as a channel or bridge to communicate with the gods. Their use is highly significant and their use common in sacred rituals and shamanic healing practices.


The Aztec and Mayan peoples spoke the Nahuatl language. In Nahuatl, psilocybin was known as Teonanácatl, the flesh of the gods. Also, Aztec, Mayan, and Toltec mythologies point to the use of certain mushrooms. They say that their ancestors were shown which ones to pick by Quetzalcoatl, the serpent god, who was revered as the creator of all of life. These ancient civilisations created spiritual mystery schools, a large body of art, and mythological stories that revolve around their exploration of magic mushrooms and their spiritual powers.



Shrooms in Ancient Siberia

The spiritual use of psychoactive mushrooms across Europe was widespread throughout human history. For example, in the snowy landscapes of Siberia, mushrooms were used by tribes throughout the whole region.


A custom still exists today which has remained largely unchanged from thousands of years ago. This custom involves the sipping of the hallucinogenic urine of reindeer who love Fly Agaric mushrooms. These reindeer are immune to the psychedelic effects of snacking on the red and white spotted Amanita Muscaria mushrooms. This ritual practice among Siberian tribal societies in history and today is considered by them to be very spiritual and transformative in nature.



Amanita Muscaria allows you to see and communicate with the Fly Agaric spirits, or wapaq. These mischievous spirits are mushroom-shaped and love to play practical jokes to trick those who are drunk on magic mushrooms.


Magic Mushrooms in Ancient Greece

Psychedelic rituals involving the use of magic mushrooms in Ancient Greece emerged with the Eleusinian Mysteries. These were psychedelic rebirth rites of passage. This practice existed in the Greek Dark Ages where the Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrated by the ancient society.


Provided that you spoke fluent Greek and had not killed anyone, you were welcome to drink the Eleusinian magical potion called kykeon.  The healing experience was often enlightening and life changing. The ritual was held to celebrate the harvest cycles and promote connection with Demeter who is the grain goddess.


Kykeon may be a blend of the ergot fungus and psychedelic mushrooms. These secret rituals were well attended, and the people spent all night connecting with each other, and their ancestors, under kykeons’s psychedelic spell.


Mushrooms in Ancient Egypt

The ancient Egyptians also created a huge volume of artwork showing their relationship with magic mushrooms. They believed that all mushrooms were planted into the Earth by the god Osiris because mushrooms do not come from any seeds that could be seen.  Psychoactive mushrooms were also known by them as the food or sons of the gods.


Magic mushrooms were considered divine and sacred so only the priesthood and the upper classes could consume them. It is likely that the ancient Egyptians cultivated these mushrooms on barley grain to maintain a substantial supply. A large supply was needed because they were used so often by the many priests, nobility and oracles who craved them.


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