The strain that paved the way for today’s therapeutic interest in psilocybin, Mazatapecs were the first “magic” mushroom discovered by American researchers in the 1950s, a discovery that would go on to inspire Timothy Leary and all the decades of psychonauts that followed him. The Mazatapec name resulted from an initial mishearing that went uncorrected, but this strain is enough of an icon that you can just call it “Maz”. Named for the Mazatec tribe in Oaxaca, a people whose deep connection with this plant is seen in their tradition of multi-generational ritual use, the skinny grey stems and small brown caps of the Mazatapec variety look deceptively simple for the profound complexities they can reveal.
Users report an energetic yet meditative feeling with a general body buzz that gives way to frequent open-eye visuals, featuring lots of colours, shapes, pattern morphing, and sometimes auditory hallucinations. As the trip goes on, some users describe a loss of ego that can be humbling and awe-inspiring, and others have reported experiencing the unlocking of long-forgotten childhood memories. The trip can be spiritual, and for some, profound and emotional. Some users benefit from approaching this journey like the Mazatec people still do to this day, with a sense of reverence and ritual – which they call “Velada” – and like all psychedelics, a positive state of mind will help facilitate a more ideal experience. The overall trip can last from 5 to 8 hours, and inexperienced users should start small and up their dosage only after waiting an hour to assess their condition.