Pray to the Moon when She is round,
Luck with you will then abound,
What you seek for shall be found
On the sea or solid ground.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mycophilia: Mushrooms + Anything = Magic. Always. (Just Another Bout of Sciento-Reverence)

Hello... Soma?
Hello... Soma?
Sometimes -- especially when not sleeping -- I ask myself how I can possibly make sense of a worldview which seems to be comprised of such disparate "prime movers" & abstruse ideas. Really, what am I thinking with this soup of mycophilia inflamed animism, dreamwork driven polytheism & Lunar obsession? Most of the time, I cannot answer myself. Sometimes, I consider the possibility that I might be a more productive member of society if I just walked away from all this weirdness. Then again, what would be left of me if I did? 

Sometimes when not sleeping -- but generally whilst in a more pre-sleep state -- all of it makes complete sense. Every last fragment of weird coalesces into a comprehensible, nearly describable whole. The dots connect. Like the night I wrote, "It is incredible to me, how the pieces of Everything continue to fit together, despite my inability to articulate the Whole." Oh! If only more nights could be thus!

Then some days I get lucky & I stumble upon some scrap that tells me I am not completely off base. Of course, I never get handed the whole story, but I always seem to gain a lead which keeps me going, keeps me wandering through the morass of sciento-mytho-animistic thoughts. Last week the folks at the Cornell Mushroom Blog threw me a bone. I'm still chewing on it.

I love fungi. They make everything make sense except that they do it in such a way that I absolutely cannot convey all this sense-making in any effective manner. Mention something fungal & I will likely be led to a lightbulb moment, but I will not have the ability to explain it to you. Ever. 

The Cornell article, "ZAP! Lightning, Gods, and Mushrooms" is yet another piece of science-meets-mythos-plus-weirdness which affirms my cosmology. Somehow. I think. I don't recall submitting a personal request, but good grief! It makes so much sense & I can't even explain why!

The crux of the sciento-story is that many fungi are stimulated, in a reproductive manner, by exposure to an electrical charge. That is to say, many mushrooms, after being struck by lightning will produce a "monstrous flush" of fruiting bodies. Weirdness. Seriously, who does this? Oh, wait... They do.

"Tiny Thunderbolts Help Mushrooms Grow"
from Modern Mechanix.
The article contains some fascinating & valuable discussion about the still mysterious mechanics of electricity & mushroom-making, but there is also much more. Weaving connections between Japanese folklore, Vedic deities, experimental agriculture, high voltage generators & polyester leisure suits, the story tickles me everywhere. It even contains colourful, animistic language like, "Lightning is notoriously disobedient..." & crazy tongue-in-cheek statements like, "If you thought mushrooms were magical all on their own, the combination of mushrooms and electricity might knock your socks off." There is also a brief discussion of the ever elusive Soma, "child of the thunderstorm" & the Vedic god's enigmatic identity... Amanita muscaria? (Can we actually ever know?) Plus, the story references another article which tells the story of a man in New York who raised his own fungi with "miniature thunderstorms, artificial fogs, and a drumming kind of 'jazz music'." Jazz music... That makes perfect sense! But I could never, ever tell you why.

/end (more) Thoughts While Not Sleeping.


Chas S. Clifton said...

I have long loved the lightning-mushroom connection, although it often comes as watching the website of the nearest NOAA radar station, hoping that the green blotch of a storm moves across the Hunting Grounds.

Moma Fauna said...

Ah, see, I had *heard* of this, but never really thought much about it because, I think, we don't get lightning here in the Anchorage area. In fact, I don't recall ever, ever hearing a thunderclap since I have been living here...

But oh! If I could track the storms in Utah during mushroom season! I love the NOAA -- what weird magick! Someday perhaps, I can be there for the blushing, flushing season. Afterwards, we can compare notes. ;)

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