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Mushroom Essences: Vibrational Healing from the Kingdom Fungi Paperback – Illustrated, July 19, 2016
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"I love this book. It is simple, easy to read, and user friendly, with case studies to illustrate the potential impact of each mushroom essence and a a ready-to-use repertory. Robert Rogers provides an astute explanation of how each of us not only has a dark side or shadow side but must embrace it, not only for our own healing but for the healing of our planet."—Sabina Pettitt, Dr. TCM, cocreator of Pacific Essences®
"In Mushroom Essences, Robert Rogers points out how mushroom essences help us work with our shadow side and deal with the depths of human suffering and despair—something we must come to grips with on a worldwide level. This book is a must-read in order for us, as humans, to take up our rightful place within nature as true stewards instead of mere shadows of this honored position."—Pam Montgomery, author of Partner Earth: A Spiritual Ecology and Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousness
"Charting new territory and going where no one else has gone before always takes special courage and oversight. Within the realm of vibrational preparations, mushrooms and lichens have hitherto been almost entirely ignored. With his remarkable research, Robert Rogers gifts us with unprecedented insight into a neglected corner of energy medicine. Rogers presents several novel ways of essence preparation, showing his deep and sensitive communion with nature. Detailing the indications and uses of forty-eight new essences backed up with case histories, he poetically weaves together this must-read source of mushroom wisdom."—Julia Graves, author of The Language of Plants
"If we are to reach our fullest potential, we must learn about and integrate the shadow. As difficult as this journey can be, we have been provided the means to be supported throughout it: the fungi. Robert Rogers’s work with their intelligence in the form of “essences” to augment this challenging journey is a poignant eye-opener—one many of us may not be ready for, but one we dearly need. Mushroom Essences provides a valuable toolkit for anyone on the herbal path towards psychospiritual health."—James W. Jesso, author of True Light Of Darkness
"Soul connection, transformation, healing the traumatized psyche—these are the purview of mushroom essences. They transmute the dark elements of our injured minds and spirits to experiences and expressions of the authentic, joyous life that is our birthright. They speak healing truths to the body, mind, and spirit without harm or pain. In Mushroom Essences Robert Rogers gives us clear knowledge, means, and methods for personal freedom and wholeness."—Sandra Dutreau Williams, PhD, founder and director of Mushrooms for Well Being Foundation
About the Author
Robert is past chair of the Alberta Natural Health Agricultural Network and Community Health Council of Capital Health. He is a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, past chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms and Discovery Phytomedicine. Robert cohosts The Alberta Herb Gathering (www.herbgatheringalberta.com), held every other year.
He lives on Millcreek Ravine in Edmonton with his beautiful and talented wife, Laurie Szott-Rogers, and an out-of-control cat, Ceres. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.selfhealdistributing.com.
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Mushroom Essences contains an amazing collection of research on a variety of mushrooms, describing not only the process by which the mushroom essences enter and work within the human body, mind, and spirit, but the specific character and properties of each mushroom's vibrational essence. The book also contains indications for use of each essence, and detailed preparation information for each as well.
I was able to follow Rogers' instructions to make several essences; dosing recommendations are also provided. Myself and some of my community of clients and healers have had profound, life-changing experiences using these potions as an aid.
In order to properly prepare some of the essences, I found that I needed to learn more about lunar signs and phases, something that I had not needed to factor in to more traditional tincture-based medicines. There are also some mushroom essences that require extended time and additional steps for preparation, Chaga as one example. I found that re-reading not only the basic preparation info, but the specific preparation info for each essence was very valuable, as Rogers does a great job of laying out each step in detail.
From Rogers' work, I have been able to easily prepare and use essences made from quite a few of the mushrooms highlighted in this book. I am still learning about much of the alchemical/homeopathic/vibrational concepts at work with this type of medicine, and will continue to enjoy my journey using this book as a guide.
Robert Rogers has really put all his life work into this book. His obesrvations are so insightful, and every time I read this book, I learn something new.
Do yourself a favor and read this book :)
I was drawn to review this book by one word in its title: Essences. I have been excited by a new insight triggered by the word essence. I have until recently held the belief that the use of flower essences and homeopathy made little sense since in preparing the essences the essence has essentially no physical substance remaining in it. The herbal substances of these remedies are repeatedly watered down such that none or almost none of the substance remains in the preparation. Yet over the years I have valued the power of other spirit guides and felt that there was no need for me to actually ingest anything of any of my spirit guides, e.g. the bear. My belief is that the bear spirit provides vibrational healing, i.e. as what the bear teaches comes alive within me these teachings heal. Thus, I have recently come to the belief that I can also have similar relationships with plants, that what the plants teaches can heal. The process of preparation of flower essences and other homeopathic remedies bring me into such a relationship with the herb that what I learn from this preparation is healing. But I have learned another effective way of developing these relationships, whether with the bear or with wormwood, a way that I will present later in this review.
Rogers reviews the essence of forty-eight mushrooms. He suggests that the mushroom essence brings awareness to our shadow side while the essences of flowers act on the emotional body. Our shadow is that part of us that we deny or do not want to face, and with such denial we are not aware of our shadow yet it exists in our unconscious. But the struggles in life that are caused by our shadow block the path to our soul. In the words used by Thomas Moore, our soul is the quality or dimension of experiencing life and ourselves that bring to it genuineness, depth, value, relatedness, heart and personal substance. A major goal in life in the journey to our soul is to open ourselves to our shadow and the essences of mushrooms facilitate this journey.
In my reviews of previous books on medicinal herbs I have not read them in their entirety, but I have selected those herbs that I have found of special interest to me at the time. These books are valuable as reference books, but reading them from cover to cover creates confusion, making it difficult to remember what each herb has to offer. Only when researching and using a particular herb are these book offerings remembered. Yet, I did read Mushroom Essences in its entirety, and though I have not remembered what each mushroom essence has to offer, as a psychologist I found especially interesting the many forms the struggle with the shadow can take. Roger’s research into what each of these forty-eight essences has to offer reveals these many forms of the personal struggle on the journey to the soul.
Each review begins with a list of words that he refers to as indications for the mushroom essence. Upon first reading the lists they seem to be random and disconnected, e.g. for the Badia mushroom the indications are boredom, empty nest syndrome, self-pity and stagnation. But upon reading the quotes and description of the psychological struggle along with the essence description, these indications come together in a meaningful and understandable way. With the Badia mushroom the empty nest can cause boredom, self pity and stagnation or depression.
These descriptions are followed by the process of preparing the mushroom essence. A number of factors are taken into consideration in these preparations: the time of day, whether during the day, under a full moon or a new moon, and the length of time, sometimes just a few hours but sometimes for a full lunar cycle. The fresh mushroom is immersed in a crystal bowl of rainwater or the rainwater is placed in a cavity of the mushroom. In some cases a vile of rainwater is inserted into a hole drilled in the mushroom. Slicing the mushroom for preparation is to be done with a ceramic knife, and particular astrological lunar signs are recommended for when to prepare it. The rainwater is then combined with an equal part of brandy to preserve its essence.
Rogers then concludes each description with one or two case studies which again tie together and add real potency to what each mushroom essence provides.
I will offer a couple of examples of how facing one’s shadow in the journey to soul is facilitated with the help of a mushroom essence and will begin with the Shitake mushroom, a mushroom I have tried unsuccessfully to grow. I will soon try again. The list of indications for the Shitake mushroom is control, racism, cultural awareness, fear, judgment, shadow work, adoption, abandonment and antibiotics. Though this list at first seems disconnected, with our country’s crisis in facing racism this mushroom essence seems appropriate to consider. The first quote is from Karl Jung: “Thinking is difficult; that’s why most people judge.” Rogers continues, “Individuals who have been abandoned, adopted, or raised in a culture that differs from their genetic roots will find the essence helpful in adjusting to or accepting their new family and home.” In that a person is generally blind to or denies their prejudices, prejudices that reside in one’s shadow, the Shitake essence facilitates seeing into this shadow. By expanding the quote of Jung, it is recognized that people judge out of fear, and judgments are the basis of prejudices. Also fear is the basis of one’s need to control. Except for the word “antibiotics,” the list of indications thus comes together. But the Shitake essence also creates a more ideal condition for intestinal floral growth to flourish and to reestablish a healthy intestinal balance for optimal health and well-being, thus the need for antibiotics is diminished.
To prepare this essence slice the mushroom thinly with a ceramic knife and place the slices in rainwater in a crystal bowl during a full moon under the lunar influence of Libra, Aquarius or perhaps Sagittarius. Rogers offers a case study of a coffee franchise manager who manages mostly immigrants who he feels do not like him. In using this essence for several months his relationship with these workers changed as he started showing them more respect and work became much less stressful.
Another mushroom essence that I found central to my life and my thinking is the Agaricus species, though many of the others essences presented in this book were important to my beliefs and life. The indications list for Agaricus was long: alienation, attention, survival, stress, awareness, zest, hyperactivity, nature-deficit disorder, urban-rural discontent, biomedicine, veterinary medicine, and Ritalin. I did not find the disconnect in these words that other lists did, especially after seeing “nature-deficit disorder” among them. Again I feel this is a major problem in our society, especially with so many people’s faces on their cell-phones. I recall from a number of years ago a person from New York City when journeying into the underworld of the unconscious mind saw only the underground tunnels of the crisscrossing of pipes and wires. Richard Louv is quoted: “Nature-deficit disorder describes the human costs of alienation from nature, among them: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and high rates of physical and emotional illnesses.” Many of our modern illnesses are stress related and fear based.
As I have frequently written about, about ten-thousand years ago our transition from the hunting-gathering society to the agricultural-domestication society began us on the road for our down-fall, a road that has led to our current impending demise because of global climate change. Quoting Thomas Berry, “Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives.” Agaricus mushroom essence helps us accept and embrace our wild side in a respectful manner that appreciates the demands of modern society. This essence is related to our compulsive need to control ourselves and nature as with the domestication and taming of earth’s flora and fauna.
The essence is prepared under the moonlight of Taurus or Sagittarius with the sliced mushrooms in a crystal bowl of rainwater for one night. The case study is of a successful city graphic designer overcoming his fear of the outdoors by using Agaricus essence.
As mentioned above I practice an alternative way of developing a relationship with one’s spirit guides. Briefly, ecstatic or shamanic trance is a trance state induced by rapid stimulation to the nervous system with drumming or the shaking of a rattle. The anthropologist Felicitas Goodman in her research of ecstatic trance identified six basic elements needed to induce trance. First, the person needs to believe that the trance experience is useful and healthy. Second, one comes to the session with the expectation of an extraordinary experience. Third, a sacred or protective space needs to be set aside for the trance experience. This is done by smudging and a litany of calling the spirits of each direction. Fourth, the mind needs to be quieted as occurs with following one’s breaths. Fifth, the nervous system is stimulated with the rapid beat of a drum or the shaking of a rattle. And sixth, probably the most important contribution made by Goodman’s research is the direction given to the trance experience by using specific body postures. These postures were identified in her search of the art of the hunter-gatherers cultures found in museums and books to find the postures she believed were used by their shamans. She found approximately fifty such postures. Upon using the postures with her students at Dennison University she found that some postures led to increases in healing energy and emotional strength. Other postures are for divination to find answers to questions, and some for metamorphosis or shape-shifting to become one’s spirit guide. Then there are the postures for spirit journeying, some for journeying into the underworld, some for journeying in the middle world, and some for the upper world. Finally there are the postures for initiation or for providing a death-rebirth experience with the death of some unhealthy aspect of the self and rebirth of innocence or some healthier way of living.
Ecstatic trance has provided me with a number of spirit guides, generally of animals, but recently I began to seek medicinal plants as spirit guides. Upon reading Rogers’ Mushroom Essences, I have sought mushrooms as my spirit guides. In a most recent mushroom experience I found myself walking down along a small brook on our property to a dead ash tree that is covered with mushrooms. What came to me in experiencing this mushroom was the recognition that to learn something takes immersion or commitment to deeply experiencing what is to be learned. This commitment need not be life-long, and that going beyond this commitment can be an act of personal growth. Such a commitment need not be feared. After this experience I collected several of these mushrooms in my attempt to identify it, and I concluded that it was coriolus versicolor. I shared the experience with Robert Rogers and he reported that upon reading the experience what immediately came to him was instead the cerrena unicolor mushroom. In my further research of the mushroom and after sending Robert a picture of the mushroom, we concluded that my initial identification was wrong and he was right, it is a cerrena unicolor mushroom. This again validates the power of ecstatic trance in communing with plants, in this case the cerrena unicolor mushroom. From Rogers description of this essence, commitment does not need to be held in an obsessive-compulsive manner but can lead to growth, and the cerrena unicolor essence can open one on the path to this growth.
Healing can come from the power of a plant or mushroom essence as well as from ecstatic trance. Both work in similar ways, without ingesting the physical substance of the plant or mushroom but with its vibration or spirit.