WOW!? IT IS REPORTED THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE TAKING PSYCHEDELIC MUSHROOMS TO HEAL FROM RACISM. Someone said “This is our protest” Daniel Whyte III President of Gospel Light Society International says, BLACK PEOPLE, HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START TAKING PSYCHEDELIC MUSHROOMS. SHH! Don’t Tell Pastor Jamal Bryant about this. He will have you all farming and tripping in church.
Deep in a redwood forest in California’s Castro Valley, the crowd of about 75 people was hard to miss. Not only because of the DJs kicking off dance parties, tables full of snacks and sparkling water, and people sharing shrooms and cannabis. But everyone there was also “melanated,” as one member described. Some even wore traditional African garments or golden halo crowns.
They’d traveled to the confluence of canyons about half an hour’s drive from downtown Oakland to celebrate the two-year anniversary of Negus (which means “king” in the Ethiopian language Amharic) in Nature. The group, which now has more than 300 subscribers, plans outdoor excursions around Oakland for Black people and provides a space for them to microdose on magic mushrooms, particularly as a way to heal from racial trauma.
“We’re really tapping into what’s organic and what’s natural to us. And so coming into nature with some psilocybin, with some good people, with some good herb, with some good music, some good drinks, some good food and no alcohol—you’re going to have yourself a good time guaranteed,” Negus in Nature founder Langstyn Williams, dressed in an Afrofuturistic top with blue, orange, red, and yellow patterns, said to the group at the June 4 party.
“I believed that there was a space that was needed for Black people to feel safe and comfortable in nature. And I didn’t know one that existed. So I was like, ‘I’m gonna go create it’,” he continued into a microphone.
While the vibe was celebratory, the party had an underlying poignancy. Williams, 30, asked people to shout out the names of ancestors they want to remember before leading a grounding ceremony, where he told people to breathe deeply and “let all the bullshit out that don’t serve you no more.” His friend Luna Bey, a historian, followed up by instructing guests to set an intention for their shrooms trips.
Oakland is one of a handful of cities and states that have effectively decriminalized shrooms and other psychoactive plants. For Black people in those places, the change has presented an opportunity to claim space in the wider psychedelic movement and the outdoors, which are typically dominated by white folks. Many of the Negus in Nature members who spoke to VICE News said taking shrooms has helped them heal from the trauma, both first-hand and vicarious, of racism—an idea that’s bolstered by a growing body of research. They described psilocybin as giving them room to breathe, allowing them to process pain, and helping them gain perspective or connect thoughts that they might not otherwise put together.
“I’m trying to take mushrooms with intentions and focusing on certain things in my life that I need to heal,” said Brian Edwards, a stand-up comedian who grew up in West Oakland and was attending his first Negus in Nature event.
Edwards told VICE News he’s been in 32 different group homes and that his sister was molested by staff at one of them. He also said one of his group home roommates died by suicide.
“I come from the streets and shit—I sold a lot of drugs. I had some shootouts and stuff, you feel me?” he said.
When he takes shrooms, he tries to reflect on some of the painful experiences of his past and think about positive ways to heal.
“A lot of people here, we shower our love on each other, and we work with each other. We need to work with each other in a way, we need to heal each other,” he said.
Williams formed Negus in Nature because he was tired of protesting.
Over the years, the deaths of unarmed Black kids and adults like Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and many others have often catalyzed massive, country-wide demonstrations in the streets. But a couple years ago, Williams said he began to realize he didn’t feel safe there.
“Protesting is dangerous. Imagine if we go out there and try to go fight OPD [Oakland Police Department.] They have a badge. They have guns. They got radios. They’ve got tanks, trucks. We’re not ready to fight them. You know what we can do? We can hone our energy,” Williams said.
In May 2020, Williams, an entrepreneur and event curator, organized a trek on the Yuba River and called it “Psychedelic Sundaze”—a chance to microdose on shrooms and frolic in the water. It was meant to be a one-time thing.
“As soon as we got back, people were like, ‘when are we going to do that again?’” Williams said. So he planned a string of shroom-friendly hikes and outdoor adventures and launched an Aquatic Summer series held at various bodies of water to challenge the idea that “Black folks can’t swim.” He said anywhere from 10 to 45 people typically show up to Negus in Nature events.
“I want to see more Black people getting outside, and I want to see more Black people enjoying nature. I want to see more Black people taking holistic routes to their mental well-being and using these native and natural remedies to fight depression or anxiety or stress that they’re just having to deal with in the day to day,” Williams said.
“This is our protest, being able to stick out in the woods. Black joy, negro laughter—that’s our protest,” he said.
The night before the forest party Williams’ downtown Oakland apartment was bustling. As his partner, Deja Pinkney made a taco spread, two of their artist-friends spray painted a magic mushroom-themed mural on his balcony.
While they painted, Williams explained that he sees mushrooms as a vehicle for “transformative thoughts.”
“It connects plants and trees. Basically the mycelium is like the underground, like wifi of the world,” he said, referring to networks of fungal threads. “I’m able to bring coordinates of my head together or thought patterns in my head that typically don’t communicate.”
“It’s crazy, the stigma,” said Mani Draper, one of Williams’ friends, at dinner, explaining that for a long time his perception was, “It’s some white boy shit.”
In fact, some historians have said the use of magic mushrooms can be traced back to North African cave paintings from 9,000 B.C. One report found that the religious use of shrooms in Mexico and Central America is at least 3,500 years old. But they weren’t used by westerners until mycologist and banker R. Gordon Wasson ate them while on a trip to Mexico in 1955.
Source: Vice News, Manisha Krishnan
To read more, click here: https://www.vice.com/en/article/qjk98p/shrooms-racial-trauma-negus-in-nature
BLACK PEOPLE, HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START TAKING PSYCHEDELIC MUSHROOMS. SHH! Don’t Tell Pastor Jamal Bryant about this. He will have you all farming and tripping in church
Magic mushrooms are wild or cultivated mushrooms that contain psilocybin, a naturally occurring psychoactive and hallucinogenic compound. Psilocybin is considered one of the most well-known psychedelics according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA).
Psilocybin is classified as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for misuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
Although certain cultures have been known to use the hallucinogenic properties of some mushrooms for centuries, psilocybin was first isolated in 1958 by Dr. Albert Hofmann, who also discovered lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
Magic mushrooms are often prepared by drying and are eaten by being mixed into food or drinks. Although, some people eat freshly picked psilocybe mushrooms.
Also Known As: Magic mushrooms are also known as shrooms, mushies, blue meanies, golden tops, liberty caps, philosopher’s stones, liberties, amani, and agaric.
Drug Class: Psilocybin is classified as a hallucinogen.
Common Side Effects: Magic mushrooms are known to cause nausea, yawning, feeling relaxed or drowsy, introspective experience, nervousness, paranoia, panic, hallucinations, and psychosis.
How to Recognize Shrooms
Psilocybe mushrooms look like dried ordinary mushrooms with long, slender stems that are whitish-gray and dark brown caps that are light brown or white in the center. Dried mushrooms are a rusty brown color with isolated areas of off-white.
Magic mushrooms can be eaten, mixed with food, or brewed like tea for drinking. They can also be mixed with cannabis or tobacco and smoked. Liquid psilocybin is also available, which is the naturally occurring psychedelic drug found in liberty caps. The liquid is clear brown and comes in a small vial.
What Do Magic Mushrooms Do?
Magic mushrooms are hallucinogenic drugs, meaning they can cause you to see, hear, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. The effects of magic mushrooms, however, are highly variable and believed to be influenced by environmental factors.
A number of factors influence the effects of magic mushrooms, including dosage, age, weight, personality, emotional state, environment, and history of mental illness.
While psilocybe mushrooms are often sought out for a peaceful high, shrooms have been reported to induce anxiety, frightening hallucinations, paranoia, and confusion in some.3 Hospital admissions related to the use of magic mushrooms are often connected to what is known colloquially as a “bad trip.”
What the Experts Say
Magic mushrooms have been used for thousands of years for both spiritual and medicinal uses among indigenous people of America and Europe.
Shrooms have a long history of being associated with spiritual experiences and self-discovery. Many believe that naturally occurring drugs like magic mushrooms, marijuana, and mescaline are sacred herbs that enable people to attain superior spiritual states. Others take magic mushrooms to experience a sense of euphoria, connection, and a distorted sense of time.
The psilocybin found in shrooms is converted to psilocin in the body and is believed to influence serotonin levels in the brain, leading to altered and unusual perceptions. The effects take 20 to 40 minutes to begin and can last up to 6 hours—the same amount of time it takes for psilocin to be metabolized and excreted.
Potential Benefits of Magic Mushrooms
While some people take magic mushrooms solely for their peaceful high, they may also provide a few benefits that are more medicinal in nature.
Can magic mushrooms help with medical conditions? Some say yes. In 2018, researchers from Johns Hopkins University recommended reclassification of psilocybin from Schedule I to Schedule IV in order to allow for medical use.
As a Schedule 1 drug, psilocybin cannot be prescribed for medicinal use. If its classification is changed, psilocybin mushrooms could then potentially be available by prescription.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that psilocybin was an effective treatment for depression and nicotine and alcohol addictions, as well as other substance use disorders.5 Studies have also shown that magic mushrooms were effective for relieving the emotional distress of people with life-threatening cancer diagnoses.6
The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins is also researching how psychedelics affect a variety of conditions such as:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Anorexia nervosa
- Opioid addiction
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome
One study found that people who self-medicated with small dosages of psilocybin were able to relieve cluster headaches while avoiding any psychoactive effects of the drug.7 This type of practice is often referred to as microdosing, or taking very small amounts of a drug to test its benefits while minimizing unwanted side effects.
It should be noted that researchers tend to advise against self-medicating with psilocybin because, outside of a clinical setting, it may be harder to manage your anxiety while under the influence (potentially leading to a bad trip), you may take too high of a dosage, and it’s hard to know the purity of the drug if you’re purchasing it from an unregulated source.8
In addition, people with pre-existing mental health conditions may be more likely to experience adverse effects from psilocybin.
Some psychedelic agents are currently being investigated for their benefits when used in combination with psychotherapy. Psilocybin is one that is being considered as a psychedelic therapeutic for both addiction and anxiety associated with terminal illness.9
This therapy may work, in part, through its effects on personality. One small-scale study involving subjects with treatment-resistant depression found that, after engaging in psilocybin therapy, their neuroticism scores decreased while their scores in extraversion, openness, and conscientiousness increased.