Psilocybe aztecorum Heim is an iconic mushroom of Mesoamerican biocultural heritage. It has two recognized varieties: P. aztecorum var. aztecorum and P. aztecorum var. bonetii.
As his name transpires, it shares a sacred history in relation to the Aztecs people.
Its common names, “Niños de las Aguas” in Spanish or “Apipiltzin” in Nahuatl, both translating to “Children of the water” refers to their small size and gregarious growing, frequently nearing ravines and waterfalls and undoubtably powerful potency for their size: like little kids carrying powerful souls.The species was first mentioned in 1956 by French mycologist Roger Heim based on material gathered by American ethno-mycologist R. Gordon Wasson in Paso de Cortés, on the slopes of Popocatépetl mountain in Mexico.
On these same slopes, a 16th-century statue of the Aztec “prince of flowers” Xochipilli was unearthed, and its carvings represented stylized fruit bodies of the Psilocybe aztecorum. It is believed to be amongst the probable psychoactive species reported in the manuscripts of Spanish explorer Bernardino de Sahagún when referring to “teonanacatl”, translating to “flesh of the gods” or “sacred mushroom” by the Aztecs.
Though because there were more than two dozen species of sacred mushrooms used in traditional healing and curing ceremonies in Oaxaca, it is difficult to limit the use of the word “teonanacatl” to only three species.
Nonetheless, it seems that its shamanic properties make it a desirable choice for people in seek of a spiritual journey and deep healing.It is to this day used ceremonially by the indigenous people of Oaxaca, and by the Nahua people in the Popocatépetl region.