Psilocybin has deep roots in history. The first evidence of psilocybin dates back to between 4,000-7,000 B.C.E. Within mountain ranges in Tassili, Algeria, there are ancient rock carvings that suggest ancient psilocybin use. In one carving, a row of masked figures hold up mushrooms in their right hands. Two parallel dotted lines from each mushroom connect to the top of the figures’ heads. In another carving, a large, masked figure is shown with mushrooms growing from its hands, forearms, and thighs.
Furthermore, around 1,000-500 B.C.E, tribes and indigenous persons in Mexico and Guatemala erected temples for mushroom gods. In addition, mushroom-carved stones and other mushroom motifs from 200 A.D. also appeared throughout Central America.
Studies of psilocybin’s connection with spirituality continue today. In April 2019, Roland R. Griffiths, Ethan S. Hurwitz, Alan K. Davis, Matthew W. Johnson, and Robert Jesse, published a survey on the use of psychedelic substances. The authors determined, “Most participants reported vivid memories of the encounter experience, which frequently involved communication with something having the attributes of being conscious, benevolent, intelligent, sacred, eternal, and all-knowing.” Furthermore, the researchers found that, “More than two-thirds of those who identified as atheist before the experience no longer identified as atheist afterwards. These experiences were rated as among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant lifetime experiences, with moderate to strong persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning attributed to these experiences.” It follows, psilocybin remains an important tool to facilitate strong spiritual connections.