Mazatec Mushroom Ceremonies: A Talk on Ancient Mexican Shamanism

The Mazatec and other Mexican indigenous groups have been using Psilocybe mushrooms as agents of healing and divination for many centuries.

  • How do the Mazatec approach mushroom use, and what can we learn from this?
  • How does their approach differ to the western clinical therapeutic approach and other ways of using mushrooms?
  • What species of mushroom are in use and held in high shamanic regard in Mexico?
  • Which of these species are easy to cultivate and how would one go about this?

This talk from Sam Gandy of the Beckly Foundation will explore:

- A brief history of Mesoamerican mushroom usage and Western discovery of the underground Mazatec tradition.

- A look at the different species in use by the Mazatec and other indigenous groups in Mexico.

- A look at the Mazatec mushroom velada (ceremonies), how these are conducted, how they compare to other approaches, and how people can hold their own sessions in a Mazatec context.

- Cultivation notes on one of the easiest shamanically revered species to grow.

- A look at grain mycelium culture of some of this species, at how this provides an alternative means of producing psilocybin without the need to grow mushrooms.

20% of proceeds will go towards building a centre in Oaxaca for people go and experience the mushroom under the supervision of Mazatec shamans, which will be the first place of its kind in the world.

Photograph by Oliver Quintanilla, The Little Saints:

About the Speaker

Sam Gandy

Dr Sam Gandy works on the cutting edge of psychedelic research as Scientific Assistant to the Director of the Beckley Foundation, and as a collaborator with the Psychedelic Research Group at Imperial College London. Sam's work is especially concerned with the capacity of psychedelic substances to enhance human-nature connection, and the implications this has for human well being and the biosphere at a time of growing disconnection and ecological destruction.

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This event is wheelchair accessible.
The talk features some visual cues and is suitable for people with visual impairment. The talk primarily features talking and listening and might not be suitable for people with a hearing impairment.

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