Wild Windellama

by Paul Alessi

August 2007

Santa Claus could really fly !

Most of us would have seen this type of mushroom before, one of it's common names is the 
Fly Agaric Mushroom and it's botanical name is Amanita muscaria, they are mycorrhizal fungi which 
means they have a mutalistic relationship with nearby plants, in Australia the companion plants for this species are 
mostly but not always Radiata Pine. Amanita mushrooms rise just before the Winter solstice and so are 
not affected by cold temperatures, the cap is bright red with white highlights.
Amanita are an introduced species being common in many parts of the world and are one of the oldest known
 hallicinogens, they are not related to the Gold Tops of Hippy fame but are a mushroom with deep spiritual and
ritualistic significance in early civilisations from Siberia right through to India, Pagan Laplanders used a drink made 
from Amanita mushrooms called "Soma" for hallucinogenic enlightenment, and some say this gave rise to the legend 
of a man flying with his reindeer, the red cap with white garnishing very closely resembling our modern day Santa suit.
One source claimed that  Christian religion borrowed some traditions from their Pagan ancestors and so 
in the northern hemisphere they have Amanita mushrooms, the winter solstice and Christmas all in a one
week period, for us in the southern hemisphere we have Amanita mushrooms, the winter solstice and Christmas in July,
WARNING, The active ingredients in Amanita muscaria may be poisonous or toxic, 
 Ingesting any amount of this plant may be extremely dangerous or result in fatality.

Copyright Paul Alessi 2007