Tuesday, 1 September 2015

If you're like me - then the first of September will bring the start of the mushroom foraging season! I've been a mushroom hunter for many years now, and as usual it's a wet start to September - ideal mushroom growing conditions! In fact today I was out collecting Birch polypore (Piptoporus betulinus) which isn't really edible* but can be made into a tincture for medicinal use. (*it is edible but tastes terrible and has a horrible texture!)

Every book you read on mushrooms will tell you never to eat a mushroom unless you know what it is. As there are many hundreds of mushrooms my idea was to learn the ten most poisonous mushrooms, and the ten most easily recognisable edible mushrooms. That way you can't really go wrong - though there is the theory that you can eat any mushroom - at least once!

The most famous mushroom is probably the Fly Agaric or Amanita muscaria. It is the Amanita family that contains the most poisonous mushrooms. There are various myths about the Berserkers and their supposed use of the mushroom. In the picture below we see a ritual drum used by Woden's Folk, which contains many runic symbols. Around the Irminsul  are drawings of a very ancient symbol used to represent the Fly Agaric mushroom, and the runic element is very clear - the Death rune!

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