Some thoughts on an Mazatec indigenous wise woman

Sometime later I knew that the mushrooms were like God. That they gave wisdom, that they cured illnesses, and that our people, since a long time ago, had eaten them. That they had power, that they were the blood of Christ — Maria Sabina

Maria Sabina was a Mazatac Wise One, a Shaman in the white man’s terms. I read about her this past week as part of my research on mystical Connection Experience. For those of you who don’t know her, Maria Sabina was world-famous as a Wise One. She could count the likes of Bob Dylan and Keith Richards amongst her fans.

I did learn some interesting things from reading about her that I did not know, or did not fully realize, before. For example, I learned she relied on Psilocybin Mushrooms to connect, and that she started using these when she was only ten years old, or thereabouts. She ate them often with her friend Maria Ana because they grew wild around her, because she was hungry, and because they helped her and her friend deal with the grinding poverty of their colonized existence.

Maria Ana and I continued to eat the mushrooms. We ate lots, many times, I don’t remember how many…. Sometimes grandfather and at other times my mother came to the woods and gathered us up from the ground where we were sprawled or kneeling. ‘What have you done?’ they asked. They picked us u bodily and carried us home. In their arms we continued laughing, singing, or crying. They never scolded us nor hut us for eating mushrooms. Because they knew that it isn’t good to scold a person who has eaten the ‘little things because it could cause contrary emotions and it’s possible that one might feel one was going crazy.

I learned that her people called the mushrooms “saint children,” the “blood of Christ,” and “Flesh of the Gods.” I learned that her people, particularly the elders, had always given the saint children great respect.

I also learned, not to my surprise, that she didn’t like the “hippies” of her time. She thought they were spiritually off-base. She accused them of ungrounded misuse, corruption, and dilution of sacred substances. In so doing, she echoed the ancient wisdom of her people who felt that these substances were to be used primarily as medicines, and not as magical buses taking you on a psychedelic trip to find God.

Before Wasson, I felt that the saint children elevated me. I don’t feel like that anymore. The force has diminished. If Cayetano hadn’t brought the foreigners…the sainy children would have kept their power…From the moment the foreigners arrived, the saint children lost their purity. They lost their force; the foreigners spoiled them. From now on they won’t be any good. There’s no remedy for it. Maria Sabina

Most interesting, for me at least, was what I realized about science, which is that when it comes to understanding human spirituality, science is really, really, really far behind. The Mazatac people understood the healing power of Connection Supplements hundreds, probably thousands, of years before Western hippies in their buses, and Westerner scientists in their matte white lab coats.

Science, for all its pretension, is only now tossing off its superstitions and  cluing in to the remarkable power of these substances and their ability to facilitate healing Connection. I have to admit, up until just recently, and except for a brief period in the late fifties and sixties, we, and by “we” I mean scientists in general, and sociologists in particular, have been pretty close-minded about these “savage” things. Even when we did “tune in,” we were still pretty far off base in our use and understanding.

Thankfully however the academic inquisition and confusion seem to be coming to an end, and none too soon. What the world needs now is not more misrepresentation of these amazing medicines, but a massive healing push, facilitated by using these remarkable substances within an appropriate, grounded, and scientifically appropriate spiritual framework. If you ask me, it is going to be psilocybin mushrooms and other connection supplements that are going to facilitate this vital global push.

Further Reading

The growing push for medical use of psilocybin in Canada.

‘Magic mushroom’ drug can reduce anxiety and depression for years.

Google Search: All about Cannabis and its remarkable healing properties


Estrada, Alvaro. 1981. Maria Sabina: Her Life and Chants. Translated by Henry Munn. Santa Barbara, California: Ross-Erikson.

Wasson, R. Gordon, George Cowan, Florence Cowan, and Willard Rhodes. 1974. Maria Sabina and Her Mazatec Mushroom Velada. Flo. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

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