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Word Count: 513
They possessed another method of intoxication which sharpened their cruelty for if they used certain small toadstools they would see a thousand visions and especially snakes They called these mushrooms in their language teunamacatlth which means Gods flesh or the Devil whom they worshipped and in this wise with that bitter victual by their cruel God were they houseled Schultes and Hofmann 54 Being how the church described the mushroom cults of Mexico during the era of Spanish exploration and conquest in the region For centuries a complex relationship between humans and hallucinogenic drugs has existed but only in the last few decades has their usage become recreational Despite this there remains a great deal of mystery surrounding these substances What do they do How do they work Can we as a society benefit from their existence or are they just to be bundled up with all of the other drugs plaguing the youth They require revisiting from the scientific community due to their extreme potency and therefore potential as treatment for various medical or spiritual conditions Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been employed in religious practices in Mesoamerica for at least 2000 years The first non-native to fully participate in the mushroom ceremony wrote this about his experience Here let me say a word about the nature of the psychic disturbance that the eating of the mushroom causes This disturbance is wholly different from the effect of alcohol as different as night from day We are entering upon a discussion in which the vocabulary of the English language of ally European language is seriously deficient Schultes and Hofmann 67 The actual ceremony is extremely complex A virgin girl collects mushrooms from the forest at the time of the new moon She then brings them to the shaman were they remain briefly on an altar Interestingly mushrooms are considered so sacred that they are never sold in the marketplace and therefore
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