Mycology is a truly fascinating field of study and interest. While I am nowhere near well-versed enough to even consider myself an amateur mycologist, I do thoroughly enjoy discovering and stumbling upon various mushrooms as I ramble about outside. As a child I was very aware of how toadstools and mushrooms were linked with the Faerie Folk (Brian Froud books were a steady presence on my life from very, very early on) and I was quite in awe of them as a result. I felt they must all be magical and I steadfastly refused to trample on them, pick them or eat any of them.
Many mushrooms have been claimed by the Faerie, however, the red Fly Agaric (Amanita Muscaria) is the most associated with the Faerie. Various myths hold that Amanita Muscaria is the nectar or gift of the Gods and it is considered a sacred mushroom in many cultures. Vikings even ate this ‘magic mushroom’ to gain their fighting frenzy known as “Berserk” and extracts from it induce their partakers into great animation, wild dancing and give visions and hallucinations. What better mushroom to be the classic European fairy tale mushroom and a gateway to Faerieland? How’s that for a mycology lesson, eh?
Okay, so maybe I’m a wee bit of an amateur mycologist, but I am quite rusty when it comes to naming mushrooms as I find them. I suppose I should brush up on my identifications and whatnot, but even if I never quite know without some help (thank you Internet for such grand sources!) I still enjoy mushrooms in all their glorious forms!
Namaste ~ Ella
**Have a suggestion for a word? Please feel free to drop me a line and let me know!