Daniel Pinchbeck - Mazatec Indians
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Mazatec people inhabit an area known as the Sierra Mazateca in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, as well as some communities in the adjacent states of Puebla and Veracruz.
Mazatec tradition includes the cultivation of plants for spiritual and ritualistic use. Plants and fungi used for this purpose include psilocybin mushrooms, psychoactive morning glory seeds (from species such as Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa), and Salvia divinorum.
A description of the experience
Daniel Pinchbeck – Opening the Head
The mushrooms central to Mazatec traditions come in many varieties. Each variant has its own purpose.
One is used for divination, another for healing, another for good luck upon starting a new undertaking.
This meticulous discrimination reminded me of the Indians in the Amazon who recognise many types of ayahuasca vine, each one causing different visions.
These visual differences are imperceptible to highly trained Western botanists.
As Levi-Srauss described in the Savage Mind, Indians are attuned to botanical subtleties at a level beyond our comprehension.