Film: Mushrooms Heal You and the Planet!
By Neenah Payne
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider.
Mushrooms would appear to be unlikely candidates to heal our bodies, souls, and planet Earth. Who knew they have an ancient global communication system that detoxifies the planet and creates living environments – putting the internet to shame? Who could have imagined that Santa Claus is dressed to look like a red and white mushroom and that he flies around the world on reindeer high on fungi!
The films, books, videos, article, and podcast linked below show that there is a LOT more to the story of mushrooms than most people realize. These humble heroes are finally taking the stage now with a beautiful new film and book that showcase their many wonders.
See the trailer below for the 2019 Fantastic Fungi film by Paul Stamets and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. The film was 13 years in the making and won the 2019 Audience Award for Documentary Feature at the Maui Film Festival. It will be in theaters this fall. Check the screenings calendar to buy tickets now or save the date for the fall schedule.
Join film director Louie Schwartzberg, renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others for transformative events around the globe. These will sell out quickly — like this VIP event in San Francisco on October 10.
Book: Fantastic Fungi
The 2019 book Fantastic Fungi: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet was published in late August and is already an Amazon Best Seller.
An all-star team of professional and amateur mycologists, artists, foodies, ecologists, doctors, and explorers joined forces with time-lapse master Louie Schwartzberg to create Fantastic Fungi, the life-affirming, mind-bending film about mushrooms and their mysterious interwoven root-like filaments called mycelium.
What this team reveals will blow your mind and possibly save the planet. This visually compelling companion book of the same name, edited by preeminent mycologist Paul Stamets, will expand upon the film in every way through extended transcripts, new essays and interviews, and additional facts about the fantastic realm of fungi.
Fantastic Fungi is at the forefront of a mycological revolution that is quickly going mainstream. In this book, learn about the incredible communication network of mycelium under our feet, which has the proven ability to restore the planet’s ecosystems, repair our health, and resurrect our symbiotic relationship with nature. It aspires to educate and inspire the reader in three critical areas: First, the text showcases research that reveals mushrooms as a viable alternative to Western pharmacology. Second, it explores studies pointing to mycelium as a solution to our gravest environmental challenges. And, finally, it details fungi’s marvelous proven ability to shift consciousness.
Motivating both the visually stunning film and this follow-up book is an urgent mission to change human consciousness and restore our planet.
Paul Stamets: Visionary Mycologist Extraordinaire
In the videos below, Paul Stamets discusses many of the extraordinary aspects of mushrooms. The first video illustrates how medicinal mushrooms can quickly and dramatically heal a person. The second video shows that mushrooms are the communication and detoxification system of the Earth. They can quickly turn a wasteland into a garden. Mushrooms are key to the bioremediation of our world that is quickly being contaminated by a growing array of toxins.
Stamets explained that his Turkey Tail mushroom supplement helped save his mother from stage 4 breast cancer for which her doctor had given her just three months to live! Stamets modestly and wisely also gives credit to the two drugs his mother had already been taking. Most people avoid using the word “cure” to avoid charges of false advertising by the FDA.
However, it seems apparent that had Stamets’ mother not taken the Turkey Tail mushroom supplement, she would have quickly died. So, the drugs seem to have had nothing to do with her quick recovery. In other words, it looks like the Turkey Tail mushroom supplement cured her of a terminal illness!
Paul Stamets has discovered several new species of mushrooms and pioneers countless techniques in the field of edible and medicinal mushroom cultivation. He has recently achieved remarkable results cleaning up dangerous toxins using “fungal bioremediation” and radically improving soil fertility with mushrooms. Paul loves to hike the old growth forests with his wife Carolyn Dusty Wu Yao who is a plant specialist.
Book, Films, Article
Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion shows that the amanita muscaria (aka fly agaric) mushroom is connected to Santa Claus, Adam and Eve, Jesus, Last Supper, Pope, Holy Grail, manna from heaven, holy water, Knights of the Round Table, King Arthur, Ark of the Covenant, Easter Egg hunt, Catholic “communion”, four-leaf clover, Christmas tree, Fountain of Youth, Philosopher’s Stone, War on Drugs, snake, caduceus, dollar sign, etc.
The mushroom provides the Near Death Like Experiences that lead to transcendence which is prized by shamans and is the root of all religions. The book shows the hidden representations of the mushroom in religious art and architecture around the world.
Magic of Mushrooms is free on Amazon Prime and shows a wide variety of mushrooms in nature.
The fascinating and informative Super Fungi film explains how fungi can help save the world! It features American mycologist Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti who is perhaps the greatest ambassador for fungi! The 50-minute film is also free on Amazon Prime.
See the trailer on Amazon for A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin. It costs $4.99 to rent.
The article “5 Stunning Health Benefits of Medicinal Mushrooms” says there are more than 2,000 species of edible mushrooms. The article discusses some of the more common medical mushrooms: Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, and Cordyceps. However, it points out that even commonly-consumed Button mushrooms are medicinal!
Saami and Fly Agaric Mushroom
The Saami are the indigenous people of Northern Europe, a living remnant of the continent’s nomadic prehistory. Now numbering, by most accounts, less than 200,000, they are spread across the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia in an area known as Sáami. The northernmost indigenous people of Europe, they are in the “Fourth World” that spans the North Pole from Siberia to Alaska.
The Saami are reindeer herders whose traditional homes are yurts (tipis) and log cabins. The thrilling 1987 film Pathfinder, the first in the Saami language, documents the story of their founder and shows the similarity of the Saami’s lifestyle and worldview with those of many Native American cultures.
Historically, shamans have played a central part in Saami life. They reputedly mediate between Heaven and Earth, possess magical powers over wind and other elements, and are able to shapeshift and visit Jábmeájmoo, the Land of the Dead. When Christianity arrived in the High North late in the 17th century, shamans bore the brunt of the combined church-state assault on Saami independence. Their drums were singled out as instruments of the Devil and most of them were destroyed.
Saami survival is intertwined with and dependent on the life and migrations of the reindeer — just as the Plains Indians depended on the buffalo and later the horse. In addition to being a source of food, clothing, and housing, the reindeer serve as means of transportation.
Saami reindeer herders drive reindeer-drawn sleighs. Saami shamans wear red and white hats to show that the red and white amanita muscaria (aka fly agaric) mushroom is their sacrament. They wear red and white capes to symbolize their flight through the air when they eat the mushroom on their most sacred night of the year, the Winter Solstice, which ends on December 25.
The shamans gather the mushrooms and hang them on pine trees to dry. They put them in sacks and deliver them to each household by descending through the roof since the yurts are piled high with snow. The mushrooms are hung by the fire place to dry — just as stockings are hung on Christmas Eve in much of the US. The sacred red and white amanita muscaria mushroom is eaten on Christmas to provide a transcendental experience. Reindeer also like the mushroom and are said to “fly” when they eat it!
Santa Claus and Fly Agaric Mushroom
Why does Santa dress in red and white, come from the North Pole, magically drive a sleigh with reindeer flying through the night sky, carry a sack, and go down the chimney of each home to deliver gifts for Christmas? Why do we bring pine trees into our homes for Christmas and decorate them? Why do we hang socks by the chimney? See “Could Magic Mushrooms Explain The Story of Santa Claus?” and “Santa is a ‘shroom. And the reindeer are all tripping.” Also see “Christmas, Amanita Muscaria, and Santa Claus.” Finally, check out “Shaman Claus: The Shamanic Origins of Christmas.”
Like the Saami shamans, Santa Claus lives at the North Pole, wears a red and white hat and cape, rides magically through the sky in a sleigh driven by reindeer to deliver presents through chimneys Ho! Ho! Ho! In this way, Santa Claus preserves our connection to our shamanic roots — while hiding and disguising them. Instead of delivering the magic mushroom which is a pathway to wisdom and enlightenment through transcendental direct experiential knowledge, Santa Claus brings gifts we often don’t need or want — and ties us to the material world. It turns a sacred holiday into a shopping season!
Also Read the companion article: “Mushroom Supplements Boost Your Immune System!”