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Observations placeholder

Masha Wasson Britten - Also takes the sacred mushrooms



Type of Spiritual Experience


Masha was Gordon Wasson's daughter

A description of the experience

Masha Wasson Britten – My Life with Gordon Wasson

The reader can …imagine my reaction when my father persisted in asking me such questions as: "Who was king of England" during this time or that time? Initially I turned my attention away from the visions and answered him. But finally I told him he was bothering me. ….. For although I could answer his questions I preferred the wonderful visions.

Clinically speaking, when the mushrooms take effect one at first feels nausea, and cold. Basal temperature drops and the pulse slows. There is also a diuretic effect, which can be problematic when one is unable to leave the room in which a velada takes place.

My body felt shortened. As I was curious about the effect of the mushrooms on pain, I bit my finger and found I could feel the pressure but no pain.  The visions lasted about five hours, passing all too quickly. Thereafter we slept for a short while.  When I awoke, I felt more rested and refreshed.

I have sometimes been asked if I was not afraid to take the mushrooms that first time. The answer is no. I knew that my father had taken them and he looked fine, as did the Indians, who had used them for centuries. Neither apprehension nor anxiety ever crossed my mind.

I took them again on several occasions, both as mushrooms and as pills prepared by Albert Hofmann. The experience seemed charged with more significance when a session was conducted by Maria Sabina, who was truly a great woman of this earth. Words are inadequate to describe her presence.

On one occasion, in my visions, I seemed able to hop all over the world. I would come down and alight to visit friends far away. There was a quality of truth about it. However, I told no one, for I did not know what to make of it. My parents and I were aware that the mushrooms appeared to have a certain extrasensory potential. But we did not want to publicize this fact.

It is difficult for me to say what lasting effect the mushrooms have had on my life, for I cannot imagine my life without them and the search for the role they played in other peoples' cultures.  To this day,  I find myself looking for mushrooms in paintings and tapestries. And though I do not go out of my way to hunt for wild mushrooms, I have a tendency to watch for them. When I go for a stroll with my friends I am always the one looking down!

 My father never told me why he felt it would be good for me to try the sacred mushrooms. But he genuinely wished to share his life with me and all his experiences.

The source of the experience

Scientist other

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps