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Observations placeholder

Keen, Roger - The Mad Artist - More mushrooms



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Roger Keen – The Mad Artist – Psychonautic adventures in the 1970s

Ever alert, Henry suddenly stopped in his tracks and bent down to pick a specimen, saying,  ‘Hello...what have we here?’

He held up a mushroom that was part suede in colour, pointy on top but more rounded and convex at the gills, rather than fanning out like a bell or a chinese hat, like some of the others we'd found. The gills were inky dark with bluish streaks going into the cap. I got out my pocket guide and flicked through, to find the right photo.

'That's the one, I reckon,'  Henry said.

'Yeah,' I agreed. 'Look at this.' I put the picture of a Liberty cap next to the mushroom, and they did indeed match.

Henry then scanned the ground and immediately came upon another.  Excited now, I bent down and found a couple myself, within four or five feet of the first ones. They seemed to stand out and arrest my attention in a quite singular way, almost as if they were marginally incandescent. The mushrooms seemed to be saying, find me! find me! We'd evidently come upon a patch, and so we searched the area methodically, marking it out into rows and marching up and down in formation, as though we were a forensic team seeking out clues at a crime scene. After ten minutes or so, we’d found several more each, but the initial dizzy feeling of stumbling upon treasure soon subsided as we realised this wasn't a hugely abundant patch. Before we gave up and continued on our way, we amassed our collection in Henry's plastic container. The mushrooms numbered twenty-one, which Henry considered wasn't quite enough even for a single decent trip. But at least it was a start.

At the end of the hike, before getting the bus, we decided to split the score of mushrooms and dry them for future use. Henry said we must come out again and try to add to the collection. Back at home, I left my share of ten in a plastic bag in my rucksack, as I wasn't about to lay them out for drying and have my mother making enquiries. The following day, when my parents were at work, I examined them and found that they were turning rather mulchy, the caps darkening and the inky colour from the gills spreading wider like a stain. Deciding that they'd spoil if kept any longer, I ate them on the spot, curiosity getting the better of me as much as anything.

Within half an hour, I felt a definite uplift, as though the slider of my consciousness had been raised a couple of notches.  I went onto develop a comforting sense of well-being and an all around sharpness and greater clarity of perception, with a raised background awareness of the infinitude of the cosmos. There was a marginal enhancement of colour too, like an ever so subtle tuning of the retina's receptivity. The high lasted around two hours and my overall impressions were very positive. Even at such a low dose, I could tell psilocybin was very different to acid, much gentler and more natural.

The source of the experience

Keen, Roger

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps