- Psilocybe Aztecorum Characteristics
- Psilocybe Aztecorum Locations
- Psilocybe Aztecorum Similar Species
- Psilocybe Aztecorum Ritual Use
- Psilocybe Aztecorum Benefits
Psilocybe aztecorum is a species of psilocybin mushrooms known to come only from Central Mexico. It grows on decomposing woody debris and is found in elevations of 3,200 to 4,000m, typically in meadows or open, grassy forests associated with Hartweg’s pine.
Its name derives from its association with the Nahau people, more known as the Aztecs, and it may also have been one of the sacred mushroom species reported by the 16th century chronicler Bernardino de Sahagun.
Psilocybe Aztecorum Characteristics
The cap of Psilocybe aztecorum is convex to bell-shaped, sometimes it develops a small, nipple-like protrusion at the very center called an umbo. With age, the cap flattens, and eventually forms a central depression. In some old specimens, opens into the hollow stem.
Psilocybe aztecorum caps can reach an average diameter of 1.5-2cm. The surface is slimy to the touch, and has translucent stripes along the margins when moist. The cap is also hygrophanous which means it changes color depending on its amount of moisture. These colors range from yellowish brown to golden yellow in young button forms to brownish gray in age with greenish-gray tints on the margin. The color later changes to whitish from the center to the margin. Dried specimens are straw-colored to pale brownish.
The gills are broadly attached to the stem and are violet gray to dark violet brown. They are either uniform in color or have white edges.
- aztecorum’s stem is 5.5 to 7.5cm in length and it approximately 3-4mm in thickness which gradually becomes thicker at the top. The stems surface is also smooth, silky, and stains blue green with age or when it gets handled. The base of the stem is densely covered with white rhizomorphs. Young species of this mushrooms have a veil similar to cobwebs that eventually turns into a non-permanent ring on the upper part of the stem.
Unlike most psilocybin mushrooms, P. aztecorum doesn’t stain blue upon injury. Only the margin stains slightly green blue. Like most Psilocybe mushrooms, P. aztecorum has a slightly starchy smell and taste similar to freshly ground flour. As they dry, they tend to have a more intense odor. They also leave a blackish violet spore print.
Psilocybe Aztecorum Locations
Psilocybe aztecorum is a lignicolous species which means it lives on the remains of dead trees such as leaves, sticks, wood, or other similar debris. The fruiting bodies of P. aztecorum typically grow in groups of 5 to 20, sometimes in bundles. It favors getting nutrition from wood debris buried in soil, twigs or very rotten logs, and rarely, pine cones.
The mushroom is seen from August to October in low density forests or woodlands at an altitude of 3,500m. These woodlands often contain Hartweg’s pine as well as grasses, and the herb Alchemilla procumbens also known as “the lady’s mantle.”
Psilocybe aztecorum is known only in the high mountains of Central Mexico, specifically in Sierra Nevada, Nevada de Toluca, and La Malinche in the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Tlaxcala. It’s highly likely that the species also grows in other areas with high mountains such as the states of Nuevo Leon, Veracruz, Colima, and Chiapas, which provide the same conditions allowing P. aztecorum to thrive.
Psilocybe Aztecorum Similar Species
Psilocybe aztecorum shares similarities with other species. In India, an indigenous psilocybin mushroom called the Psilocybe pseudoaztecorum has almost the same features except for a filamentous neck.
Fresh specimens of P. aztecorum closely resemble P. pelliculosa but the latter species is found only in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and Canada.
The Psilocybe natalensis and Psilocybe baeocystis also bleach in color to white when dry, just like the P. aztecorum. Found in northwest North America from British Columbia to Washington and Oregon, P. baeocystis differs from P. aztecorum on a cellular level. Chroniclers have also theorized that P. aztecorum was the ancestor of P. baeocystis in northwestern North America and P. quebecensis in northeastern North America.
Psilocybe Aztecorum Ritual Use
The psychoactive compound psilocybin is found in Psilocybe aztecorum. In terms of psychoactive potency, mycologists rate P. aztecorum as “moderately to highly active.”
A 16th-century stone effigy was unearthed on the side of the volcano Popocatapetl. The effigy is of Xochipilli, the Aztec god of flowers, depicted as a single figure seated cross-legged upon a temple-like base. His body is covered in carvings of sacred and psychoactive organisms. These carvings are stylized fruit bodies of Psillocybe aztecorum just before hitting maturity.
- aztecorum is also one of two sacred, magic mushrooms thought to be described by chronicler Bernardino de Sahagun as the tenonanacatl, which translates to “flesh of the gods.” These mushrooms are considered holy sacraments by the Aztecs and were consumed during spiritual rituals to create hallucinatory premonitions.
To date, P. aztecorum is still used ceremonially by the people of Oaxaca, and by the Nahua people in the Popocatepetl region but the number of people who perform these ceremonies is slowly diminishing. Folk healers, also known as curanderos, are familiar with hallucinogenic mushrooms and diagnose illnesses by having the patient ingest the mushrooms.
One of the initiation ceremonies for a curandero is to abstain from talking, sex, and all foods except nuts for three days. Afterwards, he would go up to a mountain, survive on nothing but a little honey, ingest mushrooms, and pray for the power to heal.
Psilocybe Aztecorum Benefits
Despite the numerous therapeutic and religious uses of psilocybin, it’s still defined as a Schedule I drug. However, it should be noted that psilocybin has lower potential for abuse and addiction than the other drugs in the same class.
The scientific community sees therapeutic potential in Psilocybe aztecorum. As of writing, P. Aztecorum and other magic mushrooms are being studied for their capability to cure different mental illnesses and improve work performance.
Psilocybin from these fungi have already been proven to alleviate depression and emulate a religious/spiritual experience that can last for months from a single dose. Technological experts from Silicon Valley use small, barely perceptible doses of magic mushrooms to boost creativity and work performance, and these magic mushrooms are also known to boost overall health.