- amanita reverie
- A term used to denote a hallucinatory state attributed to intoxication with the mushroom Amanita muscaria. A. muscaria is known under many other names, including A. formosa, A. mex-icana, A. muscaria, Agaricus muscarius, fly mushroom, fly amanita, and fly agaric. The name Amanita comes from the Greek noun amanitès, which refers to a mushroom with a bright red cap and white warts - in other words, the archetypical mushroom depicted in children's books and fairy tales. It has also been speculated that the term Amanita may derive from Amanon, the name of a mountain in Cilicia, Asia Minor (now southern Turkey). The names fly mushroom, fly amanita, and fly agaric derive from the former mid-European custom of crumbling Amanita mushrooms into a saucer of water and placing it near a window to kill off flies. One of the oldest sources in which the name fly agaric is mentioned is the Kräuterbuch published in 1440 by the German physician Johannes Hartlieb (±1400-1468). In biology the name Amanita is used to denote a genus of mushrooms that includes over 600 species. Many of these mushrooms are edible, but due to toxic species such as the death cap (A. phalloides) and the destroying angel (A. virosa and A. bisporigera), the genus Amanita is responsible for some 95% of all deaths resulting from mushroom poisoning. The most potent toxin that has been isolated in these mushrooms is known as alpha-amanitin. A. muscaria is a species known since ancient times, which has been used as an " entheogen by " mystics and shamans in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. It has been speculated that it may well be the oldest entheogen or " hallucinogen known to mankind. Today it is seldom used for recreational purposes. A person intentionally employing A. muscaria for the purpose of exploring the psyche may be called a "psychonaut. The identified psychoactive compounds of A. muscaria include the isox-azole derivatives ibotenic acid, muscimol, and muscazone, as well as muscarine. It is believed that the alkaloid muscimol acts as the mushroom's primary psychoactive substance. A. mus-caria can be administered either orally or via the lungs, through smoking. As the urine of the Amanita eater also has hallucinogenic properties, up to five persons can benefit from a single ingested mushroom - provided that they are prepared to drink each other's urine in a serial manner. When consumed in small quantities, A. muscaria is said to have stimulating properties that allow for exceptional physical performances. This thesis has been debated, however, by authors who state that the effects of A. muscaria resemble those of opium. A. muscaria intoxication may entail a period of 'sleep' lasting from a half-hour to 2 hours, during which the subject is said to remain largely aware of all regular sensory input. After that incubation period, with or without sleep, the subject tends to experience a so-called amanita reverie, i.e. a 5- to 10-hour stretch of "visual and/or "auditory hallucinations. The occurrence of "hyperaesthesia, " lilliputian hallucinations, " gulliverian hallucinations, " synaesthesias, and " metamorphopsias (including " macropsia and " micropsia) has been reported as well. The duration of the Amanita reverie seldom exceeds 24 hours, although an occasional duration of 5 days has been reported. Deaths due to the consumption of A. mus-caria are very rare. However, the typical hallucinatory state is occasionally followed by paranoid " psychosis, " delirium, convulsions, and even coma. It has been suggested by the American historian and author Michael Carmichael that the perceptual experiences described in the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland were based on Lewis Carroll's knowledge of - or even his own experiences with - the hallucinogenic effects of A. muscaria.ReferencesRudgley, R. (1998). The encyclopaedia of psychoactive substances. London: Little, Brown & Company.Rätsch, Chr. (2005). The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants. Ethnopharmacology and its applications. Translated by Baker, J.R. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press.Brvar, M., MoZina, M., Bunc, M. (2006). Prolonged psychosis after Amanita muscaria ingestion. Wiener klinische Wochenschrift, 118, 294-297.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.
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