From ‘Magic Mushroom’ To ‘Power Plant’: Transformative Journeys With The Liberty Cap

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Since its rediscovery in the psychedelic 70s, the psilocybin-containing Liberty Cap mushroom has undergone a radical transformation. Back then the so-called ‘magic mushroom’ was regarded as a poor-man’s LSD, or by the mainstream press as a teenage scourge, yet another troublesome way for kids to get high each autumn. Now, as indigenous wisdom has filtered back from the Americas, the way we view this humble yet potent mushroom has completely changed. A new wave of psychedelic animists and shamans are creating ceremonies and traditions with which to contain and guide the powerful visions occasioned by this local medicine. The mushroom has become a transformative tool.

In this talk Andy Letcher tells the story of how this shift occurred, together with personal accounts of his own transformative journeys with the mushroom. A practising Druid for twenty years, Andy will explore the possibility that the Liberty Cap might have been used by the Iron Age Druids, and will consider what the Druid tradition has to offer the modern day explorer of visionary and other medicine plants.

Watch the video trailer:

Dr Andy Letcher


A writer and a folk musician, Andy Letcher has a D.Phil in Ecology from Oxford University and a PhD in the Study of Religion from Winchester University. He is the author of the critically acclaimed 'Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom' and has published a range of articles and academic papers on subjects as diverse as psychedelics, paganism, bardism, environmental protest, fairies, shamanism and evolution. A bard, he plays mandolin, English bagpipes, Dark Age lyre, and for ten years led psych-folk band, Telling the Bees. He is currently programme director for the new MA in Ecology and Spirituality at Schumacher College.

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