Paul Stamets and Joe Rogan: A Shift in Consciousness

There is a shift in consciousness happening around the world, and it begins with people sharing nature’s message for humanity. 

Paul Stamets has appeared twice on The Joe Rogan Experience, introducing millions of listeners to nature’s intelligence and the magic beneath our feet. In his most recent visit, Paul explained why the Fantastic Fungi film is so important during these deeply transitional times. 

“These theaters are selling out days upon days. There’s a huge response. People have an appetite for this because it gives them hope and meaning and our time of desperation they say actionable solutions that cross political and cultural boundaries that can help the commons.” 

Paul Stamets’ Transformation

During his first interview with Joe Rogan, Stamets retold the story of his first magic mushroom trip, a transformational moment for the mycologist.

Throughout his life, Stamets had struggled with a stuttering problem. He took his first magic mushroom dose as a young man and described how the psychedelic experience changed his life.

After eating an entire bag of mushrooms, Stamets climbed a high tree in the middle of a powerful thunderstorm. “I was up there and I felt in touch with Gaia and the universe,” he explained. “My heart opened up I felt one with all. I was like, “Oh my gosh, this is such a powerful spiritual experience.” 

As the storm raged around him, Stamets began to wrestle with his stuttering problem. “I said to myself, ‘Stop stuttering now. Stop stuttering now.’ I said that dozens, hundreds of times. Over and over and over.”

Once the psychedelic journey had ended, Stamets no longer had a problem with his stutter. Stamets ended the story with an explanation of the healing power of fungi: “It has been medically proven that we can reset the neurology of the human brain through neurogenesis. I believe that experience allowed me to map new neurological pathways.”

 You can see that story brought to life in the Fantastic Fungi.

Watch the film today at this link!

 The BeeMushroomed Feeder 

On the Joe Rogan Experience, Stamets also discussed his patent-pending BeeMushroomed Feeder (BMF).

“We have found that this mushroom is extremely powerful for reducing viruses that harm bees,” said Stamets. Developed through Fungi Perfecti, this feeder delivers bees a proprietary mycelium extract that helps bees “sustain their natural health in this time of crisis.”

Watch the feeder in action at Moving Art!

 

While the feeder is still in development, you can join the mailing list and get your own feeder when distribution begins.

“Citizen scientists all over the world can take action to be able to help bee colonies from collapsing,” Stamets explained. “Bees can pollinate up to a thousand flowers a day … Every almond you eat was visited by a bee.”

Connection Between Christmas and Mushrooms

The Interesting Connection Between Christmas and Mushrooms

What Do Mushrooms Have To Do With Christmas?

The legend of Santa Claus has some deep ties to mushrooms. You might already know about the ways that the Coca Cola company utilized the character of Santa Claus to sell soda. But they also extrapolated from historic legends and characters from Northern European countries. Read on to see the interesting connection between Christmas and mushrooms.

Holiday eCard

Before you finish reading up on all of these Christmas connections below, we invite you to download this Holiday eCard from Fantastic Fungi, celebrating the connection between Amanita Muscaria and these wonderful holiday stories.

Happy Holidays from Fantastic Fungi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How Christmas Started

Originally, the figure of Santa Claus came from the Nordic countries. In this region, Arctic shamans used to dole out psychedelic mushrooms as part of their winter solstice celebrations. They dressed in red clothing with white spots, similar to Amanita mushrooms. People enjoyed a magical experience and communed with nature on the night of the solstice. Just like Santa enters homes through the chimney, Arctic shamans typically entered snow-blocked homes through an opening in the roof.

Nordic shamans had a deep connection with reindeer as well. They were generally recognized as the spirit animals for the shamans. Under the influence of magic mushrooms, it’s easy to see how someone could hallucinate flying reindeer beneath a beautiful night sky in December.

 

There’s another interesting connection between mushrooms and the tradition of gift-giving at Christmastime. Most people put up an evergreen tree inside their homes to mark the holiday. Gifts are wrapped and placed underneath the tree. Mushrooms also tend to grow at the base of trees, where decaying organic matter can feed the fungi. It’s more than a coincidence that people leave red and white presents underneath their pine trees on Christmas.

This year, honor the history of Nordic shamans at Christmas. Create some delightful mushroom-shaped ornaments to hang on your tree and share the story of the Arctic mystics who delivered gifts in the middle of the night, assisted by their sleigh and reindeer. Spread your newfound knowledge of the connection between Christmas and mushrooms!

 

Paul Stamets Explains Mushrooms & Christmas

 

More great video content to watch!

Joe Rogan “Santa Was a Mushroom”

After Skool

Check out this hilarious animation from After Skool that really packs a punch.

What Is STEM?

Here’s How to Use Mushrooms to Teach STEM

What Is STEM?

We celebrated National STEM Day on November 8! The STEM acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These are the areas of study that future citizens will need to understand in order to be creative and contributing members of society.

This week, teachers around the world are highly focused on delivering quality STEM education to students of all ages. 

Start your journey with a Fantastic Fungi Field trip, part of Fungi Day 2020.

It’s possible to teach STEM lessons via virtual lessons as well as in a real-life classroom. The natural world provides immeasurable opportunities to explore how math and science affect the world around us. Teachers are heroes who are constantly innovating and researching new ways to teach kids. 

In an age where climate change is poorly understood by many adults, it’s critical that the next generation builds the skills necessary to understand and combat harmful environmental activities. Kids as young as five can begin to learn about science with simple experiments and research trips to the backyard. Older children can explore physics and chemistry, or build marshmallow houses to understand engineering. 

How To Teach STEM

Mushrooms and other fungi are a wonderful way to showcase the power of nature to young children. Here are some resources to help parents and teachers with STEM lesson plans for children. 

  • The Fantastic Fungi curriculum is available online. It provides lesson plans, videos, and other content inspired by the popular documentary. Teachers and students can access content about mushrooms, natural habitats, experiment outlines, and inspirational content that uses fungi to teach ecological interconnectedness to children of all ages.
  • If you’ve got kids who are into icky and yucky stuff, mold-based experiments could be a great way to sneak in some STEM lessons. Anyone can complete these lesson plans at home with just a bit of expired food and some time.

Education can be fun! As we celebrate National STEM Day this month, say a big thank you to the educators in your life. Look to the natural world for inspiration and commit to helping kids advance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Let’s all your free dis family know that it’s National STEM Day!

Get Ready to Fall in Love with Mushroom Cappuccinos

Get Ready to Fall in Love with Mushroom Cappuccinos

A Twist on a Traditional Coffee

Coffee lovers are typically obsessed with caffeine. They love the mental boost that coffee delivers, and they also enjoy the ritual of preparing the drink itself. On November 8, we celebrated National Cappuccino Day, presenting the perfect opportunity to celebrate this delicious coffee beverage. Read on and get ready to fall in love with mushroom cappuccinos!

If you want to explore an unexpected twist on the typical cappuccino, then give the mushroom cappuccino a try, it’s perfect for these cold fall days.

Times of India describes this unexpected recipe:

“Mushroom Cappuccino is, in every way, a soup recipe that is served in the form of a cappuccino. It is easy to make and all you need is a little bit of spice like bay leaf and cinnamon to match the earthiness that the mushrooms and garlic have to give. The texture of the soup comes out to be creamy and oozes out flavours that not only warm your stomach but also your heart.”

How To Make Mushroom Coffee

Ready to try it out? Here’s how you can make a mushroom cappuccino that is light, frothy, and deep with flavor. Soon you’ll be sipping on a tasty dish that will blow your typical cup of coffee out of the water. 

Don’t Forget Mushroom Coffee!

Even if you missed National Cappuccino Day, you can still brew a mushroom coffee and enjoying it on a brisk walk around the block. Make enough to share and you might make some new friends who are impressed with the natural benefits and delicious flavor of mushroom coffee.

Mushroom coffee is growing in popularity. People have realized that they can access the benefits of medicinal mushrooms by blending them into their tasty, daily cup of coffee.

By doing this, they also prevent some of the more harmful side-effects of pure coffee. Some mushroom blends provide a more gradual rise in mental acuity without the harsh drop-off that coffee can deliver.

Happy National Cappuccino Day, and get ready to fall in love with mushroom cappuccinos!

Young Voters Will Shape the Future. Vote yes on mushrooms for health, mushrooms for pharmaceuticals, super mushrooms and medical mushrooms!

Oregon Voters Support Psilocybin Therapy

After gathering more than 164,000 signatures from voters, Oregon activists have won the vote to bring psilocybin therapy to Oregon “through a licensed, regulated system that supports and protects patients to get them the help they need” inside the Oregon Health Authority.

Mushrooms on the Ballot

In Oregon, this statewide measure to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin gave voters chance to formally support the use of mushrooms. This particular initiative has been under debate for years and was finally approved for the ballot in summer 2020.

For young voters who care about the planet and community health initiatives, this measure was a great reason to head to the polls in Oregon in 2020.

There are other initiatives around the country that aim to legalize the use of mushrooms for therapeutic purposes. California, Michigan, and Colorado are other states that are leading the movement toward legalization and regulation of psilocybin therapy.

In this special video, watch Louie talk with Tom Eckert and Sherri Eckert, the founders of this landmark bill, after a 2019 screening of Fantastic Fungi.

Fungi for a Sustainable World

Fungi as the Foundation for a Sustainable World

Mushrooms Can Be Used For Building?

Mushrooms hide in the dirt and they invisibly process waste from the forest, recycling it into usable material for plants and trees. So how could they play such a major role in building a more sustainable world? Fungi are a model of interconnectedness that illuminates new ways of living.

Fantastic Fungi highlighted the work of William Padilla-Brown, the founder of MycoSymbiotics.

He found a way to change his life and his neighborhood through mycology.

“I was a city kid, I just played video games. My parents never really took me on hikes or went outside. So finding mushrooms to me was like a spiritual journey.” Today this self-taught “citizen-scientist” is one of the most respected mycologists in the world.

Networks of beings connected in one pulsing ecosystem is the real truth of the natural world. When humans learn from fungi and incorporate this system thinking into the human world, the result is a much more sustainable way of life. This is how we use fungi for a sustainable world!

Mushrooms Can Change Lives

One powerful example is how some farmers are beginning to grow mushrooms instead of livestock. This process often involves less square footage, and typically produces results in much less time. Mushrooms production also results in less CO2 emissions than those resulting from raising livestock. In another sustainable twist on grain farming, some growers are using spent grain as a planting ground for mushrooms. Previously, animals had been allowed to eat this grain and it gave them gas, resulting in lots of methane gas emissions. Instead, a nutritious crop of mushrooms can be grown in the wasted grain pile. This creates additional jobs and nutrition without harming the environment.

Mushrooms For Sustainability!

Overall, mushrooms have a lot to teach us about sustainability in two ways. The first is that the actual material of mycelium is very sustainable. It can be used in architecture, as packaging, and to replace other non-sustainable materials. The second way is that fungi follow a model of existence that is based on interconnectedness. Fungi exist in symbiotic relationships with the rest of the plant world. They make it possible for dead matter to decompose and be used to nourish new growth. Mushroom networks communicate via vast underground connections, spreading wisdom over miles just by staying connected.

We can learn from fungi in many ways to help us build a more sustainable world. Start here to learn more about the role mushrooms play in creating a sustainable future.

Celebrate Pollinators on World Food Day

What Do Bees Have To Do With Food?

Let’s all celebrate bees on World Food Day! On October 16, governments, businesses, NGOs, and general public will join together to “promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.”

When you bite into your lunchtime sandwich, you’re probably not thinking about the bees that pollinated the crops and made your entire meal possible.

We want to help everyone celebrate pollinators on world food day. 

Pollinators make it possible to grow and produce food around the world. Not only do bees facilitate the science of pollination, but they create art in the process. In his TED talk on the hidden beauty of pollination, Louie Schwartzenberg reveals macro imagery of bees in the process of pollination.

We Need To Protect The Bees!

Unfortunately, there are many threats to bee populations that also threaten global food production. From the destruction of bee habitats to the use of pesticides, bees are struggling to stay stable and productive. 

But billions of crops rely on bees for pollination. Around one-third of the crops we eat are depends on pollinators. Not only are bees essential for food cultivated for human consumption, but bees help pollinate wild plants too which keep wildlife fed. 

So the next time you buy food at the grocery store, prepare a meal for yourself, or observe an animal snacking on a plant, thank the bees. Better than thanking them, take steps to protect bee habitats in your neighborhood. Write to your local parks department and inquire about bee-friendly protection for local plants.

Get some plants that bees love to grow in your backyard. Look for bee-friendly crops and support farmers that practice sustainable agriculture. Just make sure you don’t forget to celebrate pollinators on world food day!

Are Legal Psilocybin Mushrooms Coming?

Are Legal Psilocybin Mushrooms Coming?

The legalization of marijuana was a historic victory for cannabis activists. Finally, people were able to safely and responsibly access marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes after years of unregulated production and distribution.

In Ann Arbor this week, the city council unanimously passed a resolution decriminalizing Entheogenic plants within the city. MLive has the story:

“Magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi are now effectively decriminalized in Ann Arbor, at least in terms of city police enforcement priority.”

Are legal psilocybin mushrooms coming? A vote in Oregon could start the shift in consciousness! In this video, watch Louie Schwartzberg talk with Tom Eckert and Sherri Eckert, the creators of this landmark legislation, after a 2019 screening of Fantastic Fungi.

Are You Celebrating International Magic Mushroom Day?

On September 20, the world will be celebrating National Psilocybin Day, or “Magic Mushroom Day.” Everyone is invited to mark the occasion in their own way. Mycologists will give speeches and organize panel discussions on the healing power of mushrooms and the lessons of plant intelligence. People who use medicinal mushrooms for self-healing will gather to acknowledge the powerful role of mycelium in personal and collective transformation.

 It’s one thing to utilize mushrooms like Chaga or Lion’s Mane in your daily morning brew for health benefits. But psychedelic mushrooms have had a harder time reaching public levels of approval or political legislation.

 This year, National Psilocybin Day celebrations come just two months ahead of a historic vote that could legalize psilocybin therapy in the State of Oregon. Organizers hope to make “9/20 as iconic as the date 4-20 is for cannabis activists.”

 Indigenous communities have used psychedelic mushrooms for healing and ceremonial purposes for centuries, if not millennia. This historic vote is an opportunity for Oregon to lead the way for psilocybin in the same way it did for cannabis. 

One Vote Could Legalize Psilocybin Mushrooms!

Located in the Pacific Northwest, a successful vote could point the way towards increased foraging and harvesting of mushrooms near the Columbia River and on the Oregon Coast. 

 Come September, Portlanders may well be on the path to seeing psilocybin therapy and other uses. When it comes to mushrooms for healing, psilocybin mushrooms could be the way of the future!

These Classic Rock Album Covers Were Inspired By Mushrooms

A Generation Who Started A Movement 

What’s your favorite classic rock song inspired by mushrooms?

Classic rock is a feel-good genre of music. When you play a song by the Grateful Dead, it’s natural to want to kick back and relax. When a Cream song plays on the radio, a smile always appears. 

Vincent Berry wrote this track for our film–now our official National Mushroom Month music video!

Some of the greatest rock music was inspired by mushrooms.

Many of these bands were living and working in the 1960s, in a music scene highly influenced by psilocybin. So, it makes sense that mushrooms made widespread appearances on the album covers of many classic rock groups from the time.

Here are just a few of the many classic rock albums that feature mushrooms or psilocybin-inspired patterns as part of their cover art. And don’t forget the Fantastic Fungi Reimagine album!

The Sacred Mushroom

Bombeats reminded us of this psychedelic band: “Rewinding back to 1969 and here are Sacred Mushroom with their only self-titled album Sacred Mushroom. Though they never found mainstream fame, man they can sure rip! There isn’t much mentioned about them online and this is the only album they made but it’s devilishly good! Those psychedelic and bluesy sounds to wind down to. Definitely one for the vault!”

Allman Brothers’ “Where It All Begins”

Not only does the band logo include a mushroom, but the album art for their record “Where It All Begins” features a gorgeous illustration with a glowing red mushroom front and center. The original logo was designed in the 1970s, whereas the album cover was designed in the 1990s. Against a glistening dark blue pool, a large red-capped mushroom obscures the sun and glitters in the water. Several smaller red mushrooms adorn the shores of the tiny lagoon, giving the cove a Peter Pan-like appearance. Seussical trees arch over the lagoon on the sides of the album.

 

Grateful Dead’s “Aoxomoxoa”

An ode to death and fertility, the album art on the cover of Aoxomoxoa shows a skull, trees, the Sun, and mushrooms, of course. The art reflects the experimental nature of the album, which reviewers noted for its loving and lifelike mood. The Grateful Dead is well-known for speaking openly about taking psychedelic mushrooms, and the Aoxomoxoa album art is partially their nod to the influence of nature and plant intelligence on their music.

Cream’s “Disraeli Gears”

This psychedelic album cover features the group members and trippy flowers and other natural ornamentals, all in a brilliant neon color palette of pinks, oranges, and yellows. They did not produce only psychedelic music, but they occasionally took LSD and were inspired by the psychedelic vibes of magic psilocybin mushrooms.

Brewing Mushroom Coffee At Home

What is mushroom coffee?

Mushroom coffee is a combination of regular black coffee brewed with powdered medicinal mushrooms. Cultures all over the world, from Finland to the United States, have been consuming medicinal mushrooms like Chaga and Lion’s Mane in liquid form for generations.

There is no time like the present to brew mushroom coffee at home!

Mushrooms have benefits that are good for both your mind and body.

“I teach other doctors about the uses of mushrooms, and I recommend mushrooms and mushroom products frequently to patients; their health benefits are myriad, and we keep finding new ones,” wrote Dr. Andrew Weil in the Fantastic Fungi companion book.

“There’s a long tradition of using mushrooms as medicines in East Asia, especially in Korea, China, and Japan. I’ve studied traditional Chinese medicine and was very impressed with its use of mushrooms to fill niches for which we don’t have solutions in Western pharmacology.”

If you’re wondering how it tastes, you’ll be pleased to learn that it tastes just like normal coffee. The mushrooms in mushroom coffee are specifically selected for their neutral flavor, so won’t get any unpleasant earthiness or sponginess in your daily cup.

“Whenever I would drink coffee, I would get incredibly jittery and anxious,” recalled Rachel at Bakerita.

“When I tried mushroom coffee though, it balanced out all of the negative feelings of coffee and instead gave a boost of creative energy.”

Wondering how to brew mushroom coffee at home?

In fact, you can make mushroom coffee anyway you like in order to match your specific needs and taste preferences.

 There are lots of benefits to be gained by drinking mushroom coffee, which is probably why it’s growing in popularity. When you consume regular coffee, you get the caffeine jitters. It does have some antioxidants and it can activate your nervous system, but that’s pretty much it. 

On the other hand, mushroom coffee benefits digestion by promoting healthy gut bacteria. You only get half the caffeine of regular coffee, and your body benefits from the amazing healing properties of medicinal mushrooms. For instance, adrenal gland support, mental focus, and even more antioxidants than plain old coffee.

 You can buy mushroom coffee from a company, but you can also brew DIY mushroom coffee at home with just a few ingredients. All you need is the mushroom powder of your choice and whatever other coffee equipment you typically use to brew coffee at home.

 Here are three DIY recipes to brew mushroom coffee at home:

Have you tried mushrooms in your coffee? It’s not as scary as it sounds—learn all about the benefits that are possible!

How To Find Fantastic Fungi Around the World

 

Fantastic Fungi, the number one documentary on Apple TV, is now streaming on Amazon’s Prime Video, Google Play, VUDU, and Apple TV around the world!

The whole Fantastic Fungi team is grateful for the support of our mycelial network, the fellow travelers spreading the spores of this shift in consciousness.

For readers in the United States, just follow these links.

Rent or buy the film on Prime Video

Rent or buy the film on Google Play

Rent or buy on VUDU

Rent or buy the film on Apple TV

Watch Fantastic Fungi Around the Globe

There are many other options for our global audience! Just follow these links to watch in other locations.

We are adding more options in the coming months!

Prime Video UK

Google Play Canada

Google Play Australia

Google Play Ireland

Google Play Netherlands

Google Play Great Britain

Google Play Mexico

Google Play Argentina

For our friends outside of the United States, Fantastic Fungi is also available at these Apple TV links:

Canada

United Kingdom

Ireland

Australia

Netherlands

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Bahamas

Belize

Bermuda

Bolivia

British Virgin Islands

Cayman Islands

Chile

Colombia

Costa Rica

Dominica

Dominican Republic

Ecuador 

El Salvador

Grenada

Guatemala

Honduras

Mexico

Nicaragua

Panama

Paraguay

Peru 

Saint Kitts and Nevis 

Trinidad and Tobago

Venezuela

‘Fantastic Fungi’ is already a cult hit,” wrote The Washington Post about our film. 

“Louie Schwartzberg’s documentary about mushrooms became hugely popular during a limited theatrical run earlier this spring; its rerelease for digital viewing during the coronavirus quarantine couldn’t be better timed. What might have been mind-blowing just a few months ago now feels urgently of the moment.” 

 

When so many are struggling for connection, inspiration and hope, Fantastic Fungi brings us together as interconnected creators of our world. 

Fantastic Fungi is a consciousness-shifting film about the mycelium network that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet.

Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors like Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions that fungi kingdom offers in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges.

The Healing Power of Fungi

Do you know the power of mycology and the healing power of fungi?

“I hope this resonance of gratitude spreads, like waves meeting other waves and transforming little by little, opening the eyes to beauty,” says Louie Schwartzberg, remind us that gratitude and nature can illuminate the love we sometimes forget to see around us. Most of us don’t think of mushrooms for pharmaceuticals or the healing power of fungi, but it is a real thing!

From Fantastic Fungi to Moving Art, Louie’s work has always explored the healing power of nature. “This made me weep with joy over the beauty and intricacy of this world. A feeling I’ve always had within me, but do not often enough take the time to nurture. Gratitude has the power to heal,” wrote one viewer.

Mushrooms for Health and Mushrooms for Wellness?

If you’ve ever experienced a traumatic event as a child, then you can sympathize with Bett Williams. As a teenager, Williams had a transformative experience during the first time she ever took psilocybin mushrooms. But when she shared the miraculous story with her boss, she was fired from her job. The situation spiraled downwards from there, and Williams avoided psilocybin entirely for the next few years of her life. But something called her back again. 

 It all started with Williams’s desire to heal herself. She met with high-psilocybin Afro-futurist artist collectives and Mazatec indigenous elders. She started writing a book and opening herself up to the healing power of psilocybin and plant intelligence. Titled The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey, Williams’ memoir shares her journey as she learns about fungi’s indigenous roots, and how it eventually came to transform her life. There really is something to the healing power of fungi!

 “It was my desire to honor the psilocybin mushrooms as the Mazatec do, not as a pharmaceutical helper, a pleasure drug, or even a tool of self-discovery in the Western psychological sense,” Williams says. “I wanted to honor them as a holy sacrament.”

 Williams is now an author, mushroom farmer, public speaker, and podcaster. Her podcast, No Cures, Only Alchemy, focuses on the intersection between psychedelics and culture.

 Ultimately, the memoir is a celebration of life and what it truly means to choose healing. It’s not easy to come back from the darkness, and Williams shares every wild adventure with readers on her journey to the light. “Plant medicines truly can connect people, bridge gaps, and build a vast mycelial network,” she observes. 

How to Celebrate National Mushroom Month 

National Mushroom Month is an annual celebration established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to highlight the benefits of the mushroom. 

We can’t all be together this year to celebrate in person, but Fantastic Fungi will lead the virtual gathering all month long!

Start by watching our National Mushroom Month music video…

 

The Fungi Movement

Mushrooms are undeniably having a moment, gaining attention from mainstream agriculturalists for their health benefits and unique growing process.

Mushrooms grow in dead and decaying material, often underground. They have a network of spores that communicate with one another, and the diverse variety of mushroom types ranges from the delectable morel to the psychedelic psilocybin. 

Many people can benefit from consuming mushrooms medicinally, and National Mushroom Month is an opportunity to learn more about how they can benefit you. Plus, you can go foraging mushrooms for free.

 The USDA reports that more than 900 million pounds of mushrooms are produced in the United States every year. Not only that, but the Mushroom Council is committed to educating Americans with recipes and identification tips so that all people can enjoy the health benefits of mushrooms. 

Mushrooms can be found in all different kinds of landscapes, but it’s a good idea to start learning about the ones that grow in your region. 

For instance, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, you may want to learn about the mushrooms that typically grow on rotting logs rather than desert mushrooms. Foraging mushrooms can be a great pastime with tremendous benefits.

 In Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, they host an annual Mushroom Festival which has been occurring since 1986. It started as a simple scholarship support fund and to highlight the region’s biggest cash crop. Now, it has grown to a full-fledged festival with booths, entertainment, exhibits, and opportunities to sample culinary delights directly from vendors.

 How will you celebrate National Mushroom Month?

Where Is Your Favorite Body of Water?

This summer, people around the world have gathered at their favorite oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams, cooling off and immersing themselves in nature.

“Beauty is nature’s tool for survival, because we protect what we love,” says Louie Schwartzberg, the filmmaker behind Fantastic Fungi. Through his work at Moving Art, he has created many powerful short films to encourage humanity to defend our waterways and keep our water pure. 

August is National Water Quality Awareness Month. To celebrate, we are gathering some beautiful short films from Louie’s Moving Art archive.

Protect What You Love

“We need to protect the water today, because the longer we wait, the sicker the plants and animals get. If we wait until tomorrow or the next day, the water won’t be the same as that day,” said Autumn Peltier, a Canadian Native American water warrior who has fought for water protection and conservation since the age of eight. 

In 2008 she spoke to the United Nations in New York, declaring, “Water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth. Our water should not be for sale. We all have a right to this water as we need it.”

Moving Art viewers from around the world shared the waterways they want to protect. Read their suggestions and add your own!

skrootooThe upper Adirondacks where the Hudson is still clean enough to drink and my own local pine barrens.”

Lori Chaission Grogan wants to protect the river by her home: “As an artist, living on a river you have given me joy my birthday month. I am forever in awe of the movement of water showing us the lesson of present time.” 

Terran Ambrosone: “I often play the Moving Art series on Netflix on my tablet to fall asleep to. And will play it during the day for my birds. They love it too. Favorites are the forest and underwater ones.”

Lindsey Scott: “Oceans season 1. Can’t count how many times I’ve watched to go to sleep. And put my kids to sleep.”

Monique Navarrette agrees: “I love the waterfalls, they’re so relaxing.”  

Jess Wink added this: “I love the waterfalls segment!”

Miller Canning: “I live in Baja California. As I’m sure you are aware, Tijuana dumps it’s polluted water into the ocean every night. The smell is horrible. And it is destroying the environment around Playas de Tijuana as well Imperial Beach in California. No one seems to have a solution. Our waters here need help!”

pavel_k_novy “So true, thank you for sharing your inspiring videos Louie. My favourite forest is an ancient rainforest of the Pacific North West, specifically on a central coast of British Columbia.”

Film Creates a Shift Consciousness

We are all connected, and sometimes we just need to be reminded. And once we tap into that revelation, it becomes clear that we must protect what we love.  

The gift of the mushroom reveals how we are all interconnected. That’s the message of Fantastic Fungi, now available to rent or own on Apple TV.

A Change In Perspective

Filmmaking is one way to bring the shift in consciousness we all need.

“Cinema has been described as an engine of empathy because it allows you to see the world through the eyes of someone else,” said Jason Silva during the “A Shift in Consciousness” panel discussion for Fungi Day. “That’s a metaphysical technology that puts you in the feet of another person. It’s really magical.”

 Fungi Day is an annual opportunity to learn about the history and power of mushrooms.

This virtual panel included Jason Silva, Francoise Bourzat, IN-Q, Jeremy Narby, and Paul Stamets, exploring how mushrooms have been used by indigenous populations both spiritually and medicinally for millennia.

Therapist and author Francoise Bourzat has studied the relationships that indigenous Mexicans have with mushrooms. She notes that “their interfacing with nature is inherently part of their practice with the mushroom. It’s part of their cosmology.”

Modern healthcare practitioners, on the other hand, are just beginning to understand their power.  Jeremy Narby agreed. He’s spent his life studying how different cultures think about ideas like viruses and plant medicine. 

“The logic of viruses and virology and these invisible entities that surround us and then grow in the human body and that can cause harm and that can travel all around the world has been understood by the Shamanic Amazonian people for a long time. But when the first Western observers got there and heard them talk about these things, they just said ‘these people are crazy.’”

Alongside holistic healthcare professionals, scientists and researchers are interested in the role that mushrooms play in agriculture and ecosystems. Without the obvious contributions that crops like corn produce, mushrooms have flown under the radar of mainstream horticulturalists for years. But seekers from all walks of life have always used mushrooms as a way to overcome self and connect with nature.

Jason Silva, futurist and storyteller, observes that “the time is absolutely ripe for experiences that take us out of ourselves.” Mushrooms are especially effective at this because “they allow us to tune away from the broadcast of the ego and instead tune into the broadcast of the whole …  So you have a little more of an unmediated experience of the world and you have less of an identification with self.”

Everything You Need To Know About Forest Bathing

Director Louie Schwartzberg has been exploring forests with his camera for more than four decades, showing us the healing power of Visual Healing with imagery of a wooded setting.

Millions of viewers around the world have relaxed with Louie’s Moving Art short film, “Forests.” In Fantastic Fungi, we received an intimate look at the vast mycelial network beneath our feet in the forest.

Watch this short Moving Art film where Louie explains the power of nature…

 

 Forest Calm

If you’ve ever had the transformative experience of finding instant calm while walking through a forest, then you are ready to try forest bathing.

 Forest bathing is a Japanese practice of deeply immersing yourself in nature. It’s believed to improve physical and mental well-being, reduce stress hormone production, lower heart rates, boost the immune system, and even accelerate recovery from illness. Some say it can even help with the symptoms of menopause, too.

It’s not a physical bathing experience, it’s about being in a forest and letting nature wash over you.  Nature Connector Deborah Mendes helps people discover forest bathing and other forest meditations—a gateway to more abundance, better relationships and good health.

She collected a series of testimonials from her participants about the experience.

An Introduction To Forest Bathing

But forest bathing is more nuanced than simply visiting trees and hoping for healing. To practice it correctly, you must prepare to be fully present during your experience. Here’s how.

 First, look for a quiet grove of trees where you can spend some time alone in communion with nature. Busy parks are not the best places for forest bathing due to the noise and distractions caused by other visitors. On the other hand, if you only have access to public parks, you could visit them very early in the morning to get some quiet time. Make sure you leave your phone at home or turn off notifications.

 Now it’s time to enter the forest. Release all your expectations and goals. Forest bathing is about connecting with nature, not planning or evaluating. Every time you notice a thought arise, simply acknowledge it and let it pass by. Instead, turn your attention to the amazing ecosystem before you.

 Try to observe the trees, the leaves, and the forest floor. Touch the tree bark and admire the different textures on different trunks. Inhale deeply and allow your senses to fully embrace the forest. Notice the way the ground feels underneath your feet. Listen to the sounds of birds and wildlife around you.

 Where To Go Forest Bathing

Forest bathing is growing in popularity as people begin to understand that connecting with nature is just as important as connecting to the Internet. Take yourself to a nearby grove and enjoy the trees. Your body and mind will experience benefits now and in the long-term.

There are many places you can visit!

 For East Coast forest bathing, the Travel Channel has a great list of sites you can visit.

 For West Coast forest bathing, the Los Angeles Times has a great feature with international and national spots.

Get Your Mushrooms at a CSA

How Permaculture Can Change Our Lives

Louie Schwartzberg demonstrated our powerful connection to nature in his Earth Day 2020 short film.

The mycelial network gives us a glimpse of what is possible through connection. How we can live in harmony with the earth.

We need to recognize that what we do the earth, we do to ourselves. Watch the short film today! 

 

What Is Permaculture?

Permaculture is the practice of living in alignment with nature’s systems. For instance, the mycelial network connects communities of living things and establishes shared economies where ecosystems can flourish without greed. That’s because Earth’s natural ecosystems have created smart systems that help plants and animals live in harmony.

 The practice of permaculture taps into this harmony and works with natural systems, rather than against them. You can apply permaculture principles to your everyday life, no matter where you live.

 The most important part of permaculture is creating symbiosis with nature. For people who live in cities, it can sometimes feel like a challenge to connect with nature. But everyone can find ways to build a relationship with local ecosystems.

 The World Permaculture Association has tons of courses and resources if you want to learn more.

Starting Your Permaculture Journey

 Embracing your local ecosystem is especially important now during this time of social distancing. Visiting a local park is a wonderful way to connect with the trees, plants, and wildlife in your neighborhood.

 If you have the opportunity to visit a wilderness area with less human cultivation, you’ll be able to observe how Mother Nature’s natural systems work together to support life.

 One great way to begin your relationship with permaculture is to grow something. You can do this in your big backyard, on your small balcony, or in apartments with good light.

 Having plants indoors has become a major trend in the last decade, and for good reason. Not only do plants help clean the air for you, but just looking at them can make you feel more balanced.

 Start your permaculture journey today. Permaculture is a way of thinking and doing that will change your life and change the planet. We all belong to the same ecosystem, after all. Connection is everywhere and we must shift our perspective to see the interconnectedness all around us.

 Permaculture can show us how. It’s time to recognize that whatever we do to the earth we do to ourselves.

 There’s no better way to learn about permaculture than watching Fantastic Fungi. Pre-order now on Apple TV!

Visionary Art for Deeply Transformative Times

Louie Schwartzberg received the American Visionary Art Museum’s highest honor, the Grand Visionary Award.

Louie’s work will be on display at the museum through January 2021, part of its 25th original mega-exhibition, “The Secret Life of Earth.”

Watch his inspiring keynote speech below!

A Visionary Exhibit

The American Visionary Art Museum exhibit brings together global earth science researchers and indigenous devoted land stewards. It reflects “the rapidly changing state of our earth while providing insight into the disruption of the delicate balances which permit all life to flourish.” 

The exhibit will help viewers understand and respect the preciousness of our planet. The exhibit focuses on nature’s intelligence, reminding us of the power of pollination, mushroom benefits, ecosystem balance, and even birdsongs!

If you want to read more about visionary art, visit our article at Moving Art.

In this video, American Visionary Art Museum founder and director Rebecca Hoffberger takes you on a video tour through the exhibit, including Louie’s work.

Visionary Art and Visionary Film 

“There’s a magical intersection between the animal and the plant worlds. What do plants need in order to survive? They need soil. Where does soil come from? It comes from the largest organism on the planet,” said Louie Schwartzberg as he accepted the Visionary Award at the 20th annual Maui Film Festival. 

“It can heal, you can feed you can clean up an oil spill can even clean up the atmosphere. And it’s only one cell thick. It’s inside of you. It’s fungi.” You can watch more of his moving speech here, an introduction to the way Louie’s work bridges the realms of science and art. 

 

Louie Schwartzberg’s unique body of work crosses two different artistic genres: visionary art and visionary film.

The Maui Film Festival’s award honors “a film artist for their long-standing commitment to inspire and nurture the endlessly evolving tapestry of global cultures into an ever more compassionate and life-affirming planetary community.” 

The festival only gave out the award one other time in its 20-year history. The first award went to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. 

 

 The exhibit will help viewers understand mycelium art and respect the preciousness of our planet. The exhibit focuses on nature’s intelligence, reminding us of the power of pollination, ecosystem balance, and even birdsongs!

If you want to read more about visionary art, visit our article at Moving Art.

The Stoned Ape

How did the human brain triple in size in just two million years?

According to the “Stoned Ape Theory” developed by Terrence McKenna and his brother Dennis McKenna, a community of proto-humans might have consumed the magic mushrooms they found in the wild. That act could have profoundly changed their brains.

“It was like a software to program this neurologically modern hardware,” explained Dennis McKenna in this clip from Fantastic Fungi.

Did Our Ancestors Eat Mushrooms?

First of all, the Stoned Ape theory starts with our ancestors, the great apes who left the forests, traveling across the savannahs on two feet.

You can learn more when you watch Fantastic Fungi.

However, as these ancient relatives of human beings began their journeys, their food choices expanded as they hunted animals and foraged in new environments.

Research has found that 23 different primates—including humans—added mushrooms in their diets over centuries of evolution.

Charles Grob, a professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, reminds us that many indigenous cultures have a rich history with plant medicine.

Basically, this could reinforce the possibility that our prehistoric ancestors began this experience.

“Human existence on this Earth goes back an extraordinarily long period of time, most of which we have no identifiable information.  It’s entirely plausible, given that, that the indigenous people all around the world know intimately all the plant life, and will know the different combinations of plant life, that our prehistoric ancestors, they had come across the plants that do alter consciousness.”

The Stoned Ape in Popular Culture

Terrence McKenna and his brother Dennis McKenna developed this theory in the 1970s, and it has spawned some amazing art.

The great comedian Bill Hicks did an unforgettable riff on the Stoned Ape during his Revelations tour, telling audiences:

“I believe that God left certain drugs growing naturally upon our planet to help speed up and facilitate our evolution.”

 

Finally, mycologist Paul Stamets touched on what he calls the “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” Fantastic Fungi. In the film, he outlined the impact magic mushrooms could have provided our ancestors’ brain development.

“These magic mushrooms open up the amount of information you receive.  Basically, you can think of it as a contact fluid between synapsis in the brain.  Wow, what a competitive advantage.  Especially if you’re working with the geometry of weapons or having to put something together that will give you a better chance of survival.”

Stamets outlined the hypothesis for this hilarious animated video from After Skool.

Everything You Need To Know About Astromycology

Fungi could hold the key to our travels in outer space, both in real life and science fiction.

On Star Trek: Discovery, a fictional astromycologist named Paul Stamets harnessed the power of cosmic fungi to power an entire spaceship.

Watch the Star Trek character describe his work here:

Star Trek Astromycology

First of all, that’s a little far-fetched for most earth-bound mycologists, but he was inspired (and named after) a real-life mycological superhero–Paul Stamets.

In other words, Stamets describes how real-life fungal networks carry messages. The science-fictional mycologist then expands that idea into a cosmic concept.

Using a fictional mushroom called Prototaxites stellaviatori, the Star Trek Stamets explains how spaceships could use a cosmic mycelial network to travel vast distances:

“Its fungal roots, aka mycelium, spread across the universe, fanning out into infinity to create a matrix that serves as our intergalactic freeway system.”

In addition, if have high hopes for space travel and extraterrestrial contact, you should check out The Harmonic Convergence. It’s a ten-day meditation event dedicated to these consciousness-shifting concepts.

Real Life Astromycology

However, astromycology is a real-life scientific discipline! These scientists use fungi and the mycelium in fungi fto explore the mysteries of life. Scientists in this new discipline test how fungi can survive and thrive in outer space. They hope that someday, these discoveries will teach us how to survive in space.

An article in the Harvard Science Review explored the promise of this new science. 

“In nature, it seems that mushrooms play an integral part in the cycle of nutrients breaking down lignin and other plant material … Perhaps one day, scientists will find a way of incorporating fungi to aid in production of fresh food out in space and degradation of biological waste; or maybe fungi will be used in the absorption of radiation.” 

Finally, in Fantastic Fungi, you get to see Paul Stamets’ Star Trek character for a brief clip in the credits. Just like the fictional character, our film places great hope in the science of fungi.

Watch Fantastic Fungi at home!

Oregon Puts Psilocybin Therapy on the Ballot

Psilocybin Therapy – On The Ballot

Activists have collected more than 164,000 signatures from voters in Oregon to ensure that psilocybin therapy will be on the ballot this fall. 

Next, the state will vote on Initiative Petition 34 (IP 34) in November a petition that would bring psilocybin therapy to Oregon “through a licensed, regulated system that supports and protects patients to get them the help they need” inside the Oregon Health Authority.

In this special video, watch Louie talk with Tom Eckert and Sherri Eckert, the founders of this landmark bill, after a 2019 screening of Fantastic Fungi

Fantastic Fungi Possibilities

To begin with, Fantastic Fungi film explored some of the ways medical mushrooms and psilocybin therapy can help in the medical field, and other research shows it can help individuals coping with depression, anxiety, and addiction. 

Tom, a psychotherapist and one of the chief petitioners for IP 34, summed up why this ballot initiative matters right now:  

“Even before COVID-19 hit, Oregon was dealing with sky-high rates of mental illness—which is why we started campaigning to advance this uniquely effective therapeutic option … stressors associated with the pandemic will undoubtedly push those rates even higher, which further highlights the importance of this initiative.”

Mycologist Paul Stamets sits on the board of this initiative, and sees the support of this ballot and its impact on medical mushrooms and psilocybin therapy as a crucial development:

“The Oregon initiative is so critically important. It’s time to create the structures within society for safely using psilocybin in a responsible manner for maximum benefit, as this is a uniquely powerful tool for healing,” said Stamets.

If you want to read more about the power of mushrooms and psilocybin therapy, you should explore the Fantastic Fungi, the Book

Fantastic Fungi sold out 500 screenings in 2019, helping drive this momentum nationwide pushing for more psilocybin research. “Through this mycelium network, people showed up,” said Louie Schwartzberg. 

In a special conversation with Isis Indriya for The Harmonic Convergence, he explained how that journey has kept him inspired:

“We hold conversations with local beekeepers, foragers, scientists, cooks, chefs, and psychonauts. We brought all these people together in a local community, along with local leaders as well, to hold a conversation in public to say: “Here we are, we’re part of a movement and we are unstoppable.”

Experience The Harmonic Convergence

Fantastic Fungi director Louie Schwartzberg joined The Harmonic Convergence—a 10-day long global meditation for universal contact organized by Unify.

His unique work was played throughout the week-long broadcast, and Louie spoke with Isis Indriya for a fascinating conversation about our conscious evolution.

Watch everything here:

A Shift in Consciousness

The Harmonic Convergence (THC) took place from July 5th through the 14th, a historic experiment: “A global meditation to invite peaceful extraterrestrials to show themselves with thousands of lightships across the sky.”

The founders hope to collectively raise human consciousness and empower our planetary stewardship. Through meditation, they hope to elevate “humanity into deeper resonance, coherence, and world peace, and beyond world peace…universal peace.”

Fantastic Fungi creator Louie Schwartzberg has been shooting time-lapse macro-cinematography of fungi for many years. By studying the vast communication network underneath our forests, he discovered a fundamental truth about reality.

Lessons from Nature

Louie has also learned that plant medicine can shift your consciousness and make someone feel our ultimate connection with all living things on the planet. “That’s the shift of consciousness we need right now—to care about everybody and everything,” he said. “The fact that we’re disconnected from each other is what’s hurting us more than anything right now.”

Louie explained how the mycelium network is key to our understanding of nature’s secrets. “We need to understand nature’s intelligence for us to gain the knowledge of how to live sustainably on our planet,” he said. “So it is right there under our feet.”

The study of myology has grown into its own science, providing young fungi scientists a chance to explore this new world.

“Bringing virtual nature into your home is a gift. Because I’m not just showing you what a mountain looks like or what a river looks like. With the use of time-lapse, slow-mo, micro, and macro I’m trying to make the invisible visible,” said Louie.

If you want to continue your adventure, try watching Fantastic Fungi online.

Mushroom Foraging with John Cage  

The great American composer John Cage once wrote, “I have come to the conclusion that much can be learned about music by devoting oneself to the mushroom.” 

John Cage Foraging for mushrooms, from William Gedney.

He was an amateur mycologist throughout his life, and this summer, his writings about fungi will be re-released in a gorgeous collection, John Cage: A Mycological Foray.

Decades after the book was published in an enormous format, Atelier Éditions will bring out a reprint that readers can enjoy. 

Atelier Éditions is a limited-edition publishing house that specializes in archival monographs, contemporary art books, and exploratory printed matter. 

One section of the book is printed on environmental Cartamela paper, a product derived from the industrial waste of apple processing.

This section pays homage to Cage’s 1990 art series, Edible Drawings, illustrations created on paper that could be recycled as food. 

Cage used mushrooms for food while living as a starving artist in Carmel during the Depression.

“I didn’t have anything to eat … So I picked one of the mushrooms and went in the public library and satisfied myself that it was not deadly, that it was edible, and I ate nothing else for a week.” 

 

The great composer even brought his love of mushrooms and being an amateur mycologist to the university. Starting in 1959, he began teaching a course about mushrooms at the New School in New York City along with horticulturist, Guy Nearing.

An Artsy article described that delicious classroom experience:

The class, which included Fluxus artists Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins, went on foraging expeditions, but only to woods accessible through the city’s public transportation system. Creating a positive out look on mycology and Cage as a mycologist himself. They held large dinners to consume their spoils, and their Annual Banquet even made it into the culinary pages of the New York Times.

The Sound of Fungi

Music and nature are intertwined in the work of contemporary creators as well. 

Merlin Sheldrake, the author of Entangled Life, recorded the sound of the Pleurotus fungus consuming his new book. He made some wonderful music with the sound.

You can watch the whole video here: 

Merlin explained the idea behind the video:

“The fungus made such a good noise that I couldn’t resist playing along on the piano… The video and recording of the book being digested was made by the sound ecologist Michael Prime (Youtube: ‘Carbon Ladder’). The electrodes record the bioelectric activity of the fungus alongside its galvanic response (like a lie detector). These data streams control a tunable oscillator. Michael Prime uses filters to shape the raw oscillator signal, but the fluctuations in pitch and rhythm that you hear are a real-time sonic representation of the activity of the fungus as it eats the book.” 

Avatar and the Real Life Wood Wide Web

Did you know there was real science behind Avatar‘s most famous concept?  The forest is alive, all nurtured by the Mother Tree.

James Cameron’s Avatar caused a sensation upon its release in 2009. Fans of the science fiction movie returned again and again for repeated viewings, making it one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

The movie touched a real nerve in the modern psyches of so many longing for more balance and connection with all living things in nature.

Continue Reading…

Fungi Field Trip

There are worlds of wonder that every child should visit. A journey to the Kingdom of the Mycelia world will spark your children’s curiosity about mushrooms and all the hidden magic there is to be discovered in nature. And it’s as close as a forest near you. 

Start your journey by watching “The Fantastic Fungi Field Trip” panel discussion, part of Fungi Day 2020.

 

Taking the Journey

A fungi field trip can help guide their children in embracing hope and joy, rather than becoming numbed by fear. It’s a way to stimulate and encourage a child’s curiosity in learning about the wonders of our existence.

There are more than 1.5 million species of fungi and mycelium in soil, six times more than the plants with which they share the ground. They are the largest living things on earth, yet in most of their vastness, microscopic. They live all around us, even inside us, hidden from us in plain sight. 

Before embarking with your kids on your exploration of the mycelial world, you should watch that marvelous instructive primer to guide you as to what to be looking for, and what exactly it is you’re finding and seeing in the woods as you spot mushrooms and turn over fallen logs. 

Your kids will be inspired by William Padilla-Brown, the founder of MycoSymbiotics.

The circumstances of his youth, living in the city, afforded him little chance of ever entering the upper echelons of science or academia to learn about subjects such as mycology. 

“I was a city kid, I just played video games. My parents never really took me on hikes or went outside. So finding mushrooms to me was like a spiritual journey.” Today this self-taught “citizen-scientist” is one of the most respected mycologists in the world. 

Paul Stamets, author of the now-classic mushroom text,“Mycelium Running,” explains what hooked him on the mysterious world of mushrooms and mycology as a boy.  “My parents warned me, ‘don’t touch wild mushrooms, they can kill you,’ and so I was attracted to that which was forbidden. Think of this: something that only comes up and disappears in four or five days, that can heal you, kill you, feed you, or send you on a spiritual journey, something that is so powerful yet ephemeral.” 

Explore with Mushroom Kits

 At Far West Fungi, you can buy a mushroom grow kit online, like this gorgeous Lions Mane Mini Farm that has beneficial effects on the brain, heart, and gut. Any kid can handle this project:

“This Mini-Farm requires light misting to produce three to four crops over a two month period. It grows fairly well in warm climates as well. Expect one to two pounds of mushrooms with proper care.”

 If you want a tastier mushroom, you can’t go wrong with the kid-friendly Shiitake Mini-Farm.

“This is our longest lasting Mini-Farm producing three to four crops over a four to five-month period. This is also our most durable Mini-Farm if you have less than perfect indoor growing conditions. The Shiitake mushroom has a unique and fabulous flavor, perhaps the finest of any mushroom.” 

And if you prefer stay-at-home adventures, try watching Fantastic Fungi online.

This documentary has a 5-star rating at Common Sense Media, the gold standard for children’s programming. The reviewer called the film  “one of the most positive and hopeful documentaries in years, this lean, beautiful, entertaining mushroom movie suggests that the answers to many of our problems could grow naturally and abundantly.” 

Want to learn more about foraging and mycology?

Fantastic Fungi, directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a consciousness-shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale into the magical earth beneath our feet, an underground network that can heal and save our planet.

Follow this link to watch Fantastic Fungi at home!

 

The Feminine Side of the Mycelium Network

At a special Healer Collective seminar, director Louie Schwartzberg explained how the mycelium network shows us a different way of thinking about the world.

You can watch the complete seminar here. Read inspiring quotes from the event below…

Our culture has created a psychological sense of separation from the planet, from nature. But we are of this planet, a part of its ecology body and soul. Our emotional connections to each other are a reflection of how we are connected to nature on Earth.

Louie’s unique visual presentation was followed by an inspiring conversation with female leaders in the corporate and wellness space.

The conversation included Susan Griffin-Black of EO Products, “Everything comes from plants,” she said, speaking about powerful natural medicines being developed around the world.

“How do we connect it up so that it’s not so laden with expense, greed, and the other things that come with business? How can we bring medicine to people who need it, people who would be very willing to experiment with it? Because the need is so there and so it just keeps reaching out like the mycelium. There’s such a need. There’s so much suffering in that need. We need that to shorten the distance so that there is less suffering. That is really what all of our work is about.”

During the seminar, Julia Jackson, the founder of the Grounded, explained how the name of her organization references the feminine side of nature. “The core of our name celebrates nature and its innate intelligence,” she said. “It’s about reconnecting human beings and our essence to nature, which is to get grounded.”

“There’s a sense of urgency in me, but I’m also intuitively optimistic because there are so many climate solutionists out there. We can learn from the mycelial network. What we’re trying to achieve with Grounded is to build a global mycelium network of climate solutionist to come together and help scale up solutions that we need.”

Other panelists included Jasmine Scalesciani-Hawken, the co-founder of Hairprint, a science-based company in Sausalito, California that takes its cues from nature and biology.

“Nature is not linear, it’s all happening at once. It may look chaotic, but what I want to call forward is that we don’t know. Let’s remain in the mystery and the wisdom of what is happening right now. Let’s lean into the support of our heart and the support of our innate nature-being,” she said. “It looks chaotic, but it is awake and it is looking to heal.”

Wellness investor Dina Burkitbayeva spoke about how her time in quarantine helped her step back from the masculine world of business. “Before, I was constantly networking and trying to meet pitching things,” she said.

“During quarantine, I had to take a step back and nurture myself. I had to nurture what I had built so far and the relationships to companies that I’ve invested in. It was critical to take a step back and really feel grateful for the work that I’ve done.”

Take Action!

Now it’s your turn. Check out our 7 Mycelium Pillars for different ways you can start making a difference.

Throughout history, everything–from creativity to sports to relationships–has been expressed in terms of predator versus prey relationships. We have treated life like a macho struggle for survival.

But if you look at the feminine essence of nature, you won’t see competition. You’ll see cooperation. It’s time to shift our focus from survival of the fittest to survival of the kindest. No more kill or be killed.

Instead, let’s create partnerships, rebirth, regeneration, connection, and love.

Getting Started with DIY Mycology

Have you ever thought about foraging for mushrooms? There’s no better time to start!

As we all shelter-in-place together, millions of people have explored life-changing new activities–including mycology.

Biologist Merlin Sheldrake just published Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, a wide-ranging exploration of the world of mycology.

His passion for mushrooms could inspire anybody to go foraging.

“My childhood superheroes weren’t Marvel characters,” Merlin told author Robert Macfarlane in an interview.

“Lichens can crumble rocks into dust with terrifying acids. Fungi can exude massively powerful enzymes outside their bodies that dissolve soil. They’re the biggest organisms in the world and among the oldest. They’re world-makers and world-breakers. What’s more superhero than that?”

How To Get Started

We asked Sheldrake for advice about how a complete novice could try mycology during our quarantine. He had lots of tips for us.

But before we go any further, we want to share this important disclaimer about mushroom foraging from Amateur Mycology, a rule that all DIY mycologists must respect:  “It is the sole responsibility of visitors to this site to positively identify their own mushrooms. This website is entirely for informational purposes only.”

1. Start with a Kit

“In my opinion, mushroom grow kits provide the quickest and easiest way in. A range of delicious fungal species are available in grow kit form, and all you do is add water. Kits provide a good gateway experience: you get the thrill of watching the mushrooms grow within a matter of days, with no specialized skills or techniques required. From here it is easy to ramp up and start to cultivate fungi using more involved methods,” Sheldrake explained.

2. Try Online Mycology School

Sheldrake suggested another useful online resource for amateur mycologists: “For those interested in learning more about cultivation, the online mycology school Mycologos is an excellent place to look.” You can check out their Spawn Box subscription box or visit Myco-Uprrhizal for other kits.

Places To Learn More

Radical Mycology: A Treatise On Seeing & Working With Fungi by Peter McCoy (also check out the online Radical Mycology community)

Mushroom Mountain: “Mushroom Mountain is a company that focuses on the needs of the planet. We are developing innovative fungal solutions for world hunger, pest control, and disease.”

DIY Mushroom Cultivation by Willoughby Arevalo: “presenting proven, reliable, low-cost techniques for home-scale cultivation that eliminate the need for a clean-air lab space to grow various mushrooms and their mycelium.”

DIY fungi: “There are so many cool things you can do once you understand the basics about fungi, and I hope this blog will offer some inspiration for further mushroom adventures.”

 Bay Area Applied Mycology: “a collective of environmentally-minded mushroom enthusiasts who are seeking to enrich the environment and community through the cultivation & application of fungi, plants, and bacteria to problems facing the environment and humanity.”

Learn Your Land: “an advertisement-free media channel, helping you improve your nature skills one species at a time.  Special emphasis is placed on wild plant, tree, and mushroom identification.”

CoRenewal: “ a 501c-3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and research in ecosystem restoration, health and healing, and sustainable community dynamics.”

Marie Forleo Interview

Feel like you’re speeding through life? Watch this beautiful conversation about the beauty of slowing down, with Marie Forleo and Louie Schwartzberg.

Mushroom Waltz

Dance among the mushrooms in this cheeky 1min video that shows a variety of fungi waltzing through the forest.

Naked Beauty

Witness a subtle poetic movement of flowers as they dance to the moving light, combining close-up cinematography at its finest along with wide and aerial perspectives of the flowering plant world that sustains us.

Moving Art Season 2

In this follow up to the acclaimed first season, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg presents new films exploring the natural world and transporting viewers across the globe.

Guggenheim

Louie Schwartzberg projects his stunning nature imagery on the walls of the famous Frank Lloyd Wright designed museum.

Moving Art Season 1

Viewers will experience the power of ocean waves and the sea’s underwater splendor as celebrated filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg takes his camera into the deep to unveil the mysteries and wonders of the natural world.

Tea Time with Oprah

Oprah steeps the soul with nature cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, who has worked around the world, filming in 54 countries. Yet, no matter where he is, the award-winning filmmaker still finds surprising and inspiring moments as he captures the beauty in nature.

Wonder and Awe

Louie Schwartzberg shares the wonders of nature, as he transcends the ordinary and tests our concepts of time and scale with his beautiful imagery.

Wonder and Awe is about celebrating the intersection where science meets art; the juxtaposition of knowledge and creativity.

Malynn Meditation

This visual meditation opens our hearts and light through the beauty of nature and is led by Malynn Utzinger, a physician and teacher.

California Dreaming

Explore the natural beauty of California set to Jose Feliciano’s California Dreamin’

Iceland Panorama

Traverse the glaciers and watefalls that populate the landscape of Iceland as filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg captures the wonder and awe of this frozen yet verdant island.

Golden Gate Wonder

Louie Schwartzberg’s amazing time-lapse footage of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Underwater Mandala

See below the surface of the ocean like never before in this visual meditation.

Olympic Park

Under the shade of various greenery, water rushes down the streams and waterfalls of the Olympic Peninsula as salmon migrate in the opposite direction.

Yosemite

Yosemite National Park as portrayed through this inspiring short film. Yosemite’s landscapes and views are awe-inspiring. Go back to nature through this epic short film that takes you from sunrise to sunset at Yosemite National Park.

Take in the great vistas of Yosemite and share the beauty with others.

When we think about the importance of protecting our national parks, we often ponder nature’s intelligence. Beauty as a core attribute for the sights we find is nature’s greatest defense against environmental destruction and industrialization. The beauty of these images makes us fall in love with nature and we protect the things we love.

You can watch beautiful videos of nature that celebrate the power of nature to move humanity.

Louie: LA Stories

LA Stories with Giselle Fernandez profiles award-winning nature cinematographer Louie Schwarztberg, who has made what is invisible to the human eye visible to the world.

Moving Art Season 3

Season 3 of Moving Art by Louie Schwartzberg is now streaming with Netflix. This season Will explore Machu Picchu, Hokkaido Japan, Tahiti, Marquesas, New Zealand and Patterns of nature.

Energy with Jason Silva

Jason Silva describes a mezmerizing thought-journey on the subject of Energy for the short film series on Gratitude Revealed.

Gratitude Revealed

Narrated by Brother David Steindle-Rast, this inspirational short motivates us reminds us to be grateful for the little things and find happiness in the world around us.

Connection, Nature and Gratitude

Oprah steeps the soul with nature cinematographer Louie Schwartzberg, who has worked around the world, filming in 54 countries. This excerpt from the OWN series “Steep Your Soul” asks Louie to describe his morning ritual.

 

The Vatican Loves Mushrooms

Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s Images projected onto St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican to bring awareness to climate change. The show coincided with the last week of international climate talks in Paris.