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The hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom is one of the favorite foods of the Arctic Circle reindeer (domesticated caribou) in Scandinavia. 

Reindeer are central to the lives of the indigenous Saami peoples of the Arctic circle who herd them. The shamanic traditions of the Saami include eating the mushrooms and contacting the “Great Reindeer Spirit.”

Ingesting fly agaric mushrooms can produce a sensation of flying. It is thought that the 19th century myth of Santa Claus may have its roots in older Saami traditions.

Alexandra Bruce

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Alexandra Bruce

Alexandra Bruce

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  • Here in New Jersey, their yellow cousins grow under pine trees. If you collect the caps and place them on a screen for drying, the next day all the fly larvae are out and about, creating a rather disgusting sight. Because of this, I never attempted to ingest any, so I don’t know if this variety has any of the magic juice in them.

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