Psilocybe hoogshagenii art

One of the more exotic-looking members of the teonanacatl family, this species prefers muddy red soils, with a special affinity for coffee plantations, where occasionally it is quite numerous. The extended papilla on the cap is characteristic.

In Mexico it has been reported from the states of Oaxaca, Puebla and Chiapas; also reported from Argentina, and most recently from Colombia -- in a subtropical forest in the Municipio El Retiro -- near El Retiro, vereda El Chuzcal.

Mixe figurines

Above: Mixe figurines acquired in Coatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Courtesy The Stain Blue Museum Collection.

This hongo mágico is much sought-after by the shaman who finds himself confronted with an important philosophical decision. The Mixe of southeastern Oaxaca consider this species extremely wise, referring to it as atka:t, or "Judge."

A heavy accumulator of secondary metabolites, this species contains up to ca. .40% psilocin. "Rediscovered" by Roger Heim and named in honor of Searle Hoogshagen, who helped Wasson carry out important investigative work during his 1954 expedition.

Above: Psilocybe hoogshagenii var. convexa Guzman, a species held in high esteem by the Mixtecs.
Aquarelle by Carol Ann Wells. Courtesy The Stain Blue Museum Collection.

A closely related species sans papilla, Psilocybe hoogshagenii var. convexa is known only from Mexico and is reportedly used as a divinatory agent by the Mixtecs of Oaxaca.

Above: Detail of Mixtec fretwork at the Palace of the Columns, Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico, August 1996.
Archaeological excavations indicate that this site was occupied from as early as 900 BC.
Photo courtesy The Stain Blue Museum Collection.


Required Reading

Guzman, G. The Genus Psilocybe: A Systematic Revision of the Known Species Including the History, Distribution and Chemistry of the Hallucinogenic Species. Beihefte zur Nova Hedwigia Heft 74. J. Cramer, Vaduz, Germany (1983).
Guzman, G. "Supplement to the monograph of the genus Psilocybe." Bibliotheca Mycologica 159: 91-141 (1995).
Hoogshagen, S. "Notes on the sacred mushroom from Coatlan, Oaxaca, Mexico." Oklahoma Anthropological Society Bulletin 7: 71-74 (1959).
Lipp, F.J. The Mixe Calendrical System: Concepts and Behavior. University Microfilms (No. KKA830353). Ann Arbor, MI (1983).
Lipp, F.J. "Mixe ritual: an ethnographic and epigraphical comparison." Mexicon 7: 83-87. Berlin (1985).
Lipp, F.J. "Mixe concepts and uses of entheogenic mushrooms." In: Riedlinger, T.J. (Ed.) The Sacred Mushroom Seeker: Essays for R. Gordon Wasson. Ethnomycological Studies No. 11, pp. 151-159. Dioscorides Press, Portland, OR (1990).
Lipp, F.J. The Mixe of Oaxaca: Religion, Ritual and Healing. Foreword by M.S. Edmondson, pp. ix-xi. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX (1991).


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