Ep. 61: Fly Agaric - A Compendium of History, Pharmacology, Mythology, & Exploration (feat. Kevin Feeney PhD)

Today we have the privilege of speaking with Kevin Feeney, PhD, JD. Kevin is a cultural anthropologist and lawyer currently working as a Program Director and Instructor in Interdisciplinary Studies – Social Sciences at Central Washington University. His primary research interests include examining legal and regulatory issues surrounding the religious and cultural use of psychoactive substances, with an emphasis on peyote and ayahuasca, and exploring modern and traditional uses of Amanita muscaria, with a specific focus on medicinal use and preparation practices. His research has been published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, Human Organization, and Curare, among other books and journals. He is a current board member of Cactus Conservation Institute, which is dedicated to the study and preservation of vulnerable cacti and is also a member of Chacruna’s Council for the Protection of Sacred Plants.   

Topics Covered:   

  • Kevin’s Formative Experiences with Amanita muscaria  
  • Amanita’s Biochemistry and Psychoactive Compounds  
  • Gordon Wasson’s Famous Analysis of the Vedic “SOMA”  
  • Breakthroughs on Soma’s “Three Filters” with Trent Austin  
  • Hypothesized Migration of the Mushroom Cult  
  • Recurring Mushroom Symbology Found Across Cultures  
  • Is Santa Claus an Amanita Shaman?  
  • Tales of Medicinal & Shamanic Uses from the Indigenous Koryak and Sami Peoples  
  • “Killer Details” in Examining Archaeological & Mythological Evidence  
  • Discernment When Interpreting Folklore and Historical Texts  
  • Viking Berserkers, Odin and the Mead of Inspiration  
  • Amanita Muscaria Motifs in Celtic and Irish Folklore  
  • Did a Worldwide Amanita Muscaria Cult Influence most Spiritual Traditions?  
  • Inspiration for Writing the Book & Hopes for the Future  

Episode Resources:   

1 comment

  • I had an accidental high dose experience with Amanita pantherina in Central Idaho Wilderness August 22nd, 2013 – I was foraging for mushrooms and gathered up a quart pot of button stage Panther Cap and cooked at ate the whole pot, which promptly put me fast to sleep and could not be woke, my son and friend contacted 911 services and I flew out of the wilderness in a Black Hawk Helicopter 13 hours later. I was extremely euphoric for 15 minutes than fast asleep with vivid remarkable dreams that seems like real events when I woke 12 hours later, still in a delirium and still dreaming when I woke and in the hospital hallucinating seeing and talking to people that were not there and people that were there looked and seemed to be other people that I knew – so confusing yet delightful, I felt the effect strongly for 36 hours after ingestion and slowly came back to base level after 4 days – quite an experience – since I ate all the mushrooms I found we could not ascertain what mushroom I had ingested, later while studying cases on the internet from Erwoid I thought it was probably Amanita muscaria later Amanita pantherina. I have since used the mushroom 30 times and had 3 more remarkable experiences – which did not involved hospitalization or medical intervention – but still very powerful. Amazing substance for which I look forward to summer season to find again. Thanks for the podcast – only recently has accurate and helpful information became available about this mushroom.

    Brian R Gard

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