Tuesday this week I was out walking dogs near my home and found three Amanita muscaria v. formosa, two had been trampled but one was just starting to bloom. I admired it in the morning and took a closer look in the afternoon. As I bent to take a photo I just barely touched it with my finger to see if I could get a look at the gills underneath, the head popped right off. I felt terrible, not meaning to pick it until it had bloomed/opened. I thought about it and hoped it wasn’t entirely my fault, these are sturdy mushrooms, my gentle touch was not enough on it’s own to damage it. So I nabbed the cap and stem, having a talk with it on my way home. I am terribly interested in actually trying this mushroom for spiritual purposes but with a small child I don’t want to lay my life in my very inexperienced hands. The mushroom, who I will use “they” pronouns for, was curious as to why I was so very excited to find it. I did my best to explain the whole oak tree connection, and the Mother of Rot/Mushrooms thing, and the spiritual journey with mushrooms but for the toddler bit. They seemed quite pleased by my attention so made an offer. Take them home, dry and place in a jar on my altar and they would offer as much assistance as they could without actually being ingested. I offered to gather one of each of the Amanita’s that I come across in my travels and place them all in the jar together, the whole family together. They seemed very pleased by this idea and agreed. So into the oven they went.
Last Wednesday, the 21st, while working I came across two immature Amanita muscaria var. muscaria. I was lucky enough this Wednesday to go by the same spot and they were still there! I picked the one that had opened completely, leaving the unopened one to w/Whoever wanted it. This one had a quieter disposition, wasn’t as chatty as the yellow Amanita had been. I explained the situation, they were pleased to be gathered. They are both now in a jar on my altar with a few of the oak leaves they were found in. They are quite pleased. So am I really. I already love putting things in jars on my altar and around my home. Now I need to read up on the others I need to find. My other favourite name for these mushrooms is now berserkur, that’s the Icelandic common name for them.