This is a medicine not too many people work with these days despite a long historical usage - perhaps the longest historical usage of any entheogen! Found on every continent of the planet besides Antarctica, many claim this fungi to be the root behind many religious myths and cultural myths the world over.
Some say this is the holy grail or even Jesus himself. Many see this as the root of the Santa Claus story. It is also claimed to be at the root of other religions: Hinduism via the Rig Veda, Zorastrianism, all 3 Abrahamic faiths, Greek mythology, Mythraism ect....
When I first heard of this mushroom I was unsure whether it was really safe to ingest, and I heard horror stories of stomach cramps and vomiting that didn't sound so interesting to me.... But years later someone told me about smoking the caps of this mushroom and how it was a gentler experience which induced lucid dreaming and had none of the body load associated with eating the mushrooms. I was intrigued. And in a likely synchronicity, 3 days later I found the first wild Amanita I had ever seen in my life!
I of course had no choice but to pick it and smoke it!
And I was in for a surprise! Things started off very gentle with smoking this mushroom, but as I kept smoking the experience built up and I had one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. Incredibly personal and liberating realizations - true medicine work. I had just spent 2 months in Peru and this experience was just as deep if not deeper then anything I had experienced with the shamans their - and I was just at home with a mushroom I found growing in downtown Seattle!
I was lucky enough to find a few patches of Amanitas that year and the following year as well. Since I had good experiences with smoking I just stuck to that. Had many gentle journeys and just a few really deep ones - but when this mushroom takes you deep it takes you all the way!
Well I have been doing some research lately and looking into other ways to work with this mushroom. I wanted to share some of the valuable resources I have found with others - maybe you will feel called to work with this medicine as well.http://www.ambrosiasociety.org/http://www.ambrosiasociety.org/files/herbofimmortality2.pdf
(the second one is a free online pdf with great info)http://www.somashamans.com/
Between these sources I think you should find any information you need to safely work with this mushroom. A lot of the info is free and there are also some books and a DVD available for those wanting more information. If you have any experiences with this mushroom - please feel free to share! I would love to hear more personal accounts!
So far I have tried smoking them which is mild but nice and drinking amanita infused grape juice which is my favorite method of ingestion so far. I made a Holy Grail from the Herb of Immortality pdf linked above which I got a few doses of "ambrosia" from before it died (the grails can last indefinitely but mine got infected which is common). The "ambrosia" or infused grape juice is also very pleasant and gentle - I would highly recommend it for those interested.
note: make sure you research any plant or mushroom before ingesting it - while this mushroom is safe some areas have deadly look-alikes so make sure your mushroom is id'd correctly.