Simon G. Powell

Natural Intelligence: An Excerpt from Magic Mushroom Explorer by Simon G. Powell

Wild psilocybinetic treks undoubtedly inspired my ideas about the nature of the world. Indeed, they led to what I call the “natural intelligence paradigm,” which has become a major part of my work. Such wilderness voyages can be contrasted with Terence McKenna’s advice that the mushroom be consumed in the safety of one’s own home in silent darkness. McKenna was wont to tell would-be psychonauts to disable phones and to make sure that they would not be disturbed in any way. He would then advise people to lie down in silent darkness, shut their eyes, and pay attention to the visions that are invariably catalyzed by psilocybin. This is wise counsel because it underscores the potential significance and tutorial nature of the psilocybin experience. Continue Reading…


Trip or Treatment? by Michael Pollan

Excerpt from The Trip Treatment
Michael Pollan’s recent article in The New Yorker.

On an April Monday in 2010, Patrick Mettes, a fifty-four-year-old television news director being treated for a cancer of the bile ducts, read an article on the front page of the Times that would change his death. His diagnosis had come three years earlier, shortly after his wife, Lisa, noticed that the whites of his eyes had turned yellow. By 2010, the cancer had spread to Patrick’s lungs and he was buckling under the weight of a debilitating chemotherapy regimen and the growing fear that he might not survive. The article, headlined “HALLUCINOGENS HAVE DOCTORS TUNING IN AGAIN,” mentioned clinical trials at several universities, including N.Y.U., in which psilocybin—the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms—was being administered to cancer patients in an effort to relieve their anxiety and “existential distress.” Continue Reading…

Gratitude Revealed

Foraging the fragrant Matsutake, By Constance Green

This legendary mushroom is probably the greatest barely explored ingredient in the kitchens of western culture. In terms of preciousness, dollars, and demand; only Italian white and Perigord truffles surpass it in the world. The face of any Japanese person to whom I’ve handed a matsutake always looks much like ours when we got our first bicycle. Every single time, with glowing face, they hold the matsutake with great care, lift it to their nose, and inhale deeply with closed eyes. Nothing in the world smells like matsutake. Continue Reading…

Fantastic Fungi Truffle Trade

Inside the Truffle Trade

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve been skunked buying truffles, well, you are not alone. Serious home cooks and even food pros get bamboozled all the time. It’s actually pretty difficult and always expensive to attain good quality truffles, especially for retail customers. In fact, acquiring truffles is so fraught with potential rip offs that it’s easy to wonder if the gastronomic experience is worth the financial risk. Continue Reading…