~ Maria Sabina – The Mother of Magic Mushrooms


~From an Article at wholecelium website~

Today we are gonna talk about the mother of psychedelics. Or at least, the woman who brought them to the attention of the Western world.

Introducing Shrooms To The World

Yes, Maria Sabina — (1894 – 1985) the famed Maztec curandera from Southern Mexico. A curandera is a traditional native healer or shaman. Their life’s task is to administer cures for spiritual, mental, emotional and physical illness. To do their work as an intermediary between the physical and spiritual worlds, curanderas often use psychedelic plant medicines like magic mushrooms or ayahuasca.  Sabina’s sacred healing mushroom ceremonies, called veladas, were made globally famous by the American banker and ethnomycologist  R. Gordon Wasson in 1957. He and his wife Valentina, a scientist and pediatrician, visited Sabina in 1955 where they participated in one of her veladas, the first known Westerners to do so. They left with spores of the Psilocybe mexicana, taking them back to Paris, and cultivating them there. In 1958, Albert Hoffman (creator of LSD) would isolate the psychoactive ingredient of the shroom, psilocybin.

A year before that however, in 1957, Wasson authored an article about his experience under the guidance of Sabina, which was published in Life magazine, titled Seeking The Magic Mushroom. In the original article Sabina’s name and location was not revealed.

But, in a later publishing —where he revealed that the now world famous velada with Sabina had not been his first rodeo, mushroom-wise — Wasson also revealed Sabina’s name and location. By 1962 people were travelling across the world to Sabina’s home of Hualta de Jimenez to experience the fabled veladas. They consisted of a strange mix of scientists and hippies (hey, it was the ‘60s). It is said that Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, John Lennon and even Walt Disney all ‘visited’ Sabina, and though these visits have never been confirmed, they only intensified the mythology. 

The Price Of ‘Fame’

This flurry of interest had many drawbacks for Maria Sabina. She felt as though her sacred gift of the mushrooms had lost its purity, stating:

“Before Wasson, nobody took the children simply to find God. They were always taken to cure the sick.”

Psychedelic Meeting

A fascinating meeting of psychedelic behemoths occurred in 1962, when Albert Hofmann travelled to Mexico with Wasson to meet with Maria Sabina and gift her some psilocybin pills he had synthesised. Sabina reported that she found little difference between the effects of the pills, and the shrooms themselves, saying that the pills contained the ‘spirit’ of the mushroom. High praise indeed, Hofmann!

Sacred Children

Poem by Maria Sabina Magdalena Garcia:

“Cure yourself with the light of the sun and the rays of the moon.

With the sound of the river and the waterfall.

With the swaying of the sea and the fluttering of birds.

Heal yourself with mint, with neem and eucalyptus.

Sweeten yourself with lavender, rosemary, and chamomile.

Hug yourself with the cocoa bean and a touch of cinnamon.

Put love in tea instead of sugar, and take it looking at the stars.

Heal yourself with the kisses that the wind gives you and the hugs of the rain.

Get strong with bare feet on the ground and with everything that is born from it.

Get smarter every day by listening to your intuition, looking at the world with the eye of your forehead.

Jump, dance, sing, so that you live happier.

Heal yourself, with beautiful love, and always remember: you are the medicine.”