María Sabina

María Sabina was born outside of Huautla de Jimenez in the Sierra Mazateca towards the end of the 19th century, perhaps in 1894 although Sabina herself was not sure. Her parents were both humble campesinos, her mother María Concepcion and her father was Crisanto Feliciano. Her Father died from an illness when she was just three years old. She had a younger sister María Ana. Her grandfather and great grandfather on her father’s side were also wise men, skilled in using the mushroom to communicate with God. After the death of her father her mother took the family to live with her parents, and Sabina grew up in the house of her maternal grandparents.

María Sabina was the first contemporary Mexican curandera, otherwise known as a native shaman, to allow Westerners to participate in the healing vigil that became known as the velada (journey), where all participants partake of the psilocybin mushroom as a sacrament to open the gates of the mind. The velada is seen as a purification and as a method of communion with the sacred blessed Virgin Mary. It’s likely that the Catholic practice of communion is a watered down derivative of this original form. Many recent scholars believe the correct interpretation of the words of Christ when he said, John: 654; Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. refers to this type of entheogenic sacrament. John Allegro, one of the original translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls had concluded that Jesus, and his story was a metaphor for the velada, or mushroom / entheogenic experience, and that the insights written in His name, were actually discovered by the apostles while they did these entheogens together.

In 1955, the US ethnomycologist and banker R. Gordon Wasson visited María Sabina’s hometown of Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca, and participated in a velada with her. He also brought spores of the fungus, which he identified as Psilocybe mexicana, to Paris. The fungus was cultivated in Europe and its active ingredient was duplicated as the chemical psilocybin in the laboratory by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1958.

US youth began seeking out María Sabina and the “holy children” as early as 1962, and in the years that followed, thousands of counterculture mushroom seekers, scientists, and others arrived in the Sierra Mazateca, and many met her. By 1967 more than 70 people from the US, Canada, and Western Europe were renting cabins in neighboring villages. Many of them went there directly after reading “Seeking the Magic Mushroom“, a 1957 Life magazine article written by Wasson about his experiences.

Sabina cultivated relationships with several of them, including Wasson, who became something of a friend. Many 1960s rock and roll musicians visited María Sabina, including such as Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

While she was initially hospitable to the truth seekers thronging to her, their lack of respect for the sacred and traditional purposes caused María Sabina to remark: “Before Wasson, nobody took the children (mushrooms) simply to find God. They were always taken to cure the sick.” María had her own relationship with the mushroom beings she encountered while taking them, and she called the mushrooms little saints. At times, she had shown her impatience with the Virgin Mary when on occasion Mary was reluctant to reveal Herself. During one such ceremony, María had been quoted as saying, “Am I not a good person? Am I not a faithful servant?”

A chant that was taught to María by the Mushroom Goddess is sung by her while in a trance, and possessed by the spirit of the Mushroom:

Because I can swim in the immense
Because I can swim in all forms
Because I am the launch woman
Because I am the sacred opposum
Because I am the Lord opposum

I am the woman Book that is beneath the water, says
I am the woman of the populous town, says
I am the shepherdess who is beneath the water, says
I am the woman who shepherds the immense, says
I am a shepherdess and I come with my shepherd, says

Because everything has its origin
And I come going from place to place from the origin…

This chant reminds me of this manuscript very much. Thunder – Perfect Mind

To prove that we are still no further than we were as a species the day Christ was crucified, María’s neighbors decided to burn down her house, and murder her son. They did this because they believed that she should never have revealed the secret of the mushroom to the west. However, anyone who has been in the presence of These beings and spoke to them knows, absolutely no violence against each other is tolerated, ever. We are all their children, and it requires an immense amount of resources to create each of us. None among us has the authority to kill another. So, these people claiming to be so reverent, and sacred as to carry out a horrible scenario like this, are the most Godless of all, and have no heart. These types of beings have no insight, and harbor a jealous ugly infatuation with our Creators. Some of these kinds of people even call themselves after one of our Creators today, and travel the world and inflict this kind of terror on the Creators children. All who do this will not be glorified when they meet their end, they will be horrified instead, then they will be extinguished for harming the children.

Late in life, María Sabina became bitter about her many misfortunes, and how others had continuously profited from her name, while she had nothing. She also felt that the ceremony of the velada had been desecrated and irremediably polluted by the hedonistic use of the mushrooms: “From the moment the foreigners arrived, the ‘holy children’ lost their purity. They lost their force, they ruined them. Henceforth they will no longer work. There is no remedy for it.” Some of the elders of the community also remarked that the mushrooms had indeed been changed permanently, and that the mushroom now unfortunately spoke English.

As it goes with the human curandera and curanderros, the element of ego is always present. They, above all else know what is good and righteous, and what is behind the mushrooms, and The Gods’ intentions for our human race. So, at a certain point, the great spirit leaves them to some degree, and works instead with and through others where some good may yet still be achieved. Once the ego takes a supernatural hold upon the shaman, their career as a shaman is all but finished, a sham. These Mazatec individuals complaining about the purity of the mushrooms are correct about the purity, but they are incorrect about the reason, it was the money, and the esteem they craved and began to compete for that locked them out of the Secret Garden, again they become lost from Eden.

They began to discover and crave wealth outside of themselves, and their petty jealousies followed. Their own purity or lack thereof is mirrored back at them. I assure you, these entheogens are just as pure as the user, even more so. Their power has not diminished at all, it cannot. The Gods speak all languages, they wrote them. Do not let any shaman or curandera interpret your experience or comment on these beings at all, they are all tainted. My friends and I only go here because of the historical significance, the fact that the mushrooms are legal, and those around us are more or less tolerant of this process, even if they get it a little mixed up.

During one of my trips there, I recorded Maria’s Grandson telling us of his many experiences with the Magical Hongos. If you get a chance, a taxi can take you to the Maria Sabina museum, and if you are nice, he might recount some of his tales. He only speaks Spanish and mazeteca BTW. For 20 pesos you can tour the museum.

Beginners guide to entheogenic ceremony

Stage One expectations, insights and revelations

Stage Two expectations, insights and revelations

Stage Three expectations, insights and revelations

Emergency psychic treatment for those who went too far too soon