[image from Wikipedia]
This blue mushroom received so much interest, deservedly, on my earlier post that I thought I’d pass along some info about it. As I said in reply to a comment, it was almost otherworldly. Such a stunning find. Below is info from Wikipedia.
Anyone care to suggest a symbolic significance?
Couple of things to take into account: 1) it is not common in northern Minnesota, where I encountered it. 2) It’s symbiotic relationship with trees 3) it’s Edibility 4) found around the world 5) Of course, the stunning indigo coloration. [you should be able to click the photos to get a more vibrant view)
Lactarius indigo, commonly known as the indigo milk cap, the indigo (or blue) Lactarius, or the blue milk mushroom, is a species of agaric fungus in the family Russulaceae. A widely distributed species, it grows naturally in eastern North America, East Asia, and Central America; it has also been reported in southern France.
Lactarius indigo is distributed throughout southern and eastern North America, but is most common along the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and Guatemala. Its frequency of appearance in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States has been described as “occasional to locally common”. Mycologist David Arora notes that in the United States, the species is found with ponderosa pine in Arizona, but is absent in California’s ponderosa pine forests. It has also been collected from China, India, Guatemala, and Costa Rica (in forests dominated by oak). In Europe, it has so far only been found in southern France. A study on the seasonal appearance of fruiting bodies in the subtropical forests of Xalapa, Mexico, confirmed that maximal production coincided with the rainy season between June and September.
L. indigo grows on the ground in both deciduous and coniferous forests, where it forms mycorrhizal associations with a broad range of trees.
Lactarius indigo is a mycorrhizal fungus, and as such, establishes a mutualistic relationship with the roots of certain trees (“hosts”), in which the fungi exchange minerals and amino acids extracted from the soil for fixed carbon from the host. The subterranean hyphae of the fungus grow a sheath of tissue around the rootlets of a broad range of tree species, forming so-called ectomycorrhizae—an intimate association that is especially beneficial to the host, as the fungus produces enzymes that mineralize organic compounds and facilitate the transfer of nutrients to the tree.
The fruit body color ranges from dark blue in fresh specimens to pale blue-gray in older ones. The milk, or latex, that oozes when the mushroom tissue is cut or broken—a feature common to all members of the Lactarius genus—is also indigo blue, but slowly turns green upon exposure to air.
The cap has a diameter of 5 to 15 cm (2 to 6 in), and the stem is 2 to 8 cm (0.8 to 3 in) tall and 1 to 2.5 cm (0.4 to 1.0 in) thick.
It is an edible mushroom, and is sold in rural markets in China, Guatemala, and Mexico.
The firm flesh is best prepared by cutting the mushroom in thin slices. The blue color disappears with cooking, and the mushroom becomes grayish. Because of the granular texture of the flesh, it does not lend itself well to drying. Specimens producing copious quantities of milk may be used to add color to marinades.
A chemical analysis of Mexican specimens has shown L. indigo to contain 95.1% moisture, 4.3 mg of fat per gram of mushroom (mg/g), and 13.4 mg/g protein. There is 18.7 mg/g of dietary fiber, much higher in comparison to the common button mushroom, which contains 6.6 mg/g. Compared to three other wild edible mushroom species also tested in the study (Amanita rubescens, Boletus frostii, and Ramaria flava), L. indigo contained the highest saturated fatty acids content, including stearic acid with 32.1 mg/g—slightly over half of the total free fatty acid content.
THIS SITE BRINGS TO MIND THE OLD GEORGE CARLIN ROUTINE ~ “Whose got all the blue food?”
Lactarius indigo is a delicious edible mushroom– and fun to eat. There are very few blue foods. Even blueberries are not really blue, but purple!…. there’s just one natural blue food that I know — blue corn!… Lactarius indigo is delicious simply sautéed in butter, but the most fun way I have prepared them is in an omelet with or with scrambled eggs. You can guess what this does to the eggs– it turns them green!! Green eggs are lots of fun to have, especially for kids. You’re on your own for the green ham.
George Carlin video:
Where’s the blue food? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l04dn8Msm-Y
guess I should have eaten that mushroom!!!
draws me back
after so many long years.
Walking paths I knew not
that were ruined
before my time.
Built alongside gushing brook
and ancient waterstone walls
that once held pools serene
now toppled over
torn down by torrents
that would not abide constraint
no matter how serene
on their way to the wild Saint Croix.
and plunging falls in miniature
through all the eons
that I have lived
to see you once again
the hollow that remains
within my chest
forsaken in the sublime resonance
of the unstuck sound
that final sound
of the intonation of OM
that sacred syllable
that you draw from the depths
of my effulgent being
that lingers upon
my unkissed lips
the silence that hums
at the end of mmm
where sages hear
the unstuck chord
vibration of primal being
sound not made
of two things
but arising from the One.
of Shiva and Shakti
of Purusha and Prakriti
a bell struck by love
a hollow filled
with sonorous resonance
but there is no
Picture of the Sri Yantra at top is from: http://www.sriyantraresearch.com
From various sources:
All sounds within our range of hearing are created by things visible or invisible, striking each other or vibrating together, creating pulsing waves of air molecules which our ears and brain interpret as sound.
So, sound that is not made of two things striking together is the sound of primal energy, the sound of the universe itself.
And the ancients say that the audible sound which most resembles this unstruck sound is the syllable OM.
Tradition has it that this ancient mantra is composed of four elements: the first three are vocal sounds:
A” It represents normal waking consciousness, in which subject and object exist as separate entities.
“U” This vibration represents the level of dream consciousness and lies mid-way between waking state (A) and deep sleep (M). From the sleep state of consciousness associated with “U”, object and subject become intertwined in awareness. Both are contained within us.
“M” This sound represents the realm of deep, dreamless sleep. There is neither observing subject nor observed object. All are one and nothing. This is the cosmic night, the interval between cycles of creation, the womb of the Divine Mother.
The fourth sound, unheard, is the silence which begins and ends the audible sound, the silence which surrounds it.
In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called “Anahata Nada,” the “Unstruck Sound.” Literally, this means “the sound that is not made by two things striking together.”
For millennia, mystics have recounted their experience of this energy, which is said to manifest in our hearing awareness as a humming vibration around and within everything else.
Anahata (Sanskrit: अनाहत, Anāhata) is the fourth primary chakra, also called the Heart Chakra, according to Hindu Yogic, Shakta and Buddhist Tantric traditions. In Sanskrit, anahata means “unhurt, unstruck and unbeaten”. Anahata Nad refers to the Vedic concept of unstruck sound (the sound of the celestial realm). Ananhata is associated with a calm, serene sound devoid of violence.
Anahata is represented by a smoke-grey lotus flower with 12 petals. Inside is a smoke-coloured region made from the intersection of two triangles, creating a shatkona. The shatkona is a symbol used in Hindu Yantra, representing the union of the masculine and feminine. Specifically, it is meant to represent Purusha (the Supreme Being) and Prakriti (Mother Nature) and is often represented by Shiva and Shakti.
The Sri Yantra is a configuration of nine interlocking triangles, surrounded by two circles of lotus petals with the whole encased within a gated frame, called the “earth citadel”. The nine interlocking triangles centered around the bindu (the central point of the yantra) are drawn by the superimposition of five downward pointing triangles, representing Shakti ; the female principle and four upright triangles, representing Shiva ; the male principle. The nine interlocking triangles form forty three small triangles each housing a presiding deity associated with particular aspects of existence.
In the 1960s and ’70s Swiss engineer and medical doctor Hans Jenny performed experiments using sound frequencies on various materials such as water, sand, dust, liquid plastic and milk. Dr Jenny placed the material on a metal plate attached to a crystal oscillator which was controlled by a frequency generator capable of producing a wide range of vibrations. He then filmed and photographed what happened on the plate. He coined the term Cymatics (the study of wave-form phenomena), which is derived from the Greek ‘kyma’ meaning ‘wave’, and ‘ta kymatica’ meaning ‘matters pertaining to waves’.
The picture at top is of the Sri Yantra. This is probably one of the most celebrated yantra in India, a symbol of Great Cosmic Power Tripura Sundari and is said to be in resonance with the energies of beauty and love. This is the pattern that the ‘OM’ is said to represent. Or rather, this is the image that the ancient Rishis envisioned when meditating on the ‘OM’.
When Om was chanted into the Cymatics apparatus, the Sri Yantra was said to form in the sand on the vibrating plate. If so, it confirms what the ancient Rishis experienced.
These pictures are said to have come from the OM cymatics experiment ~
“The team [was] astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife S.O.S., told the MailOnline. “It was so incredibly emotional for all of us. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed.
“Elephants are not only majestic, but they are highly intelligent animals, who have been proven to have feelings of grief, so we can only imagine what torture half a century has been like for him.
“Until we stepped in he’d never known what it is like to walk free of his shackles–it’s a truly pitiful case. But today he knows what freedom is and he will learn what kindness feels like and what it’s like to not suffer any more.”
Beside the shore of the hallowed lake, there has dwelt a kindhearted Elf for nigh unto 20 years. A shy emissary from the lands of enchantment, on spring’s first day he returns to his dwelling by the water. Politely knock on his door and peer inside to see piles of candy and slips of paper, little notes written by the hands of children. The young ones leave him treats and letters, with sincere greetings or serious queries, to which Mr. Elf kindly replies. Upon their return a child will find a note addressed to them by name, neatly typed in the smallest of print. So many to rifle through, but they always find a merry reply, with the closing salutation, “I believe in You.”
Then when summer is done and fall in is in the air, it is time for the Elf to vacate his tree once more. He hangs a plaque announcing that he has departed and returned to his castle in the west for the winter.
Thanks to my exchange with Laura Bruno, who reblogged this on her blog, I recalled an additional piece of information that I’d like to add to this post ~
This tree is located on the shores of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. The lake was named by an army colonel who was stationed in the area in the early 1800′s. He found the lake so beautiful that it reminded him of his cherished fiancé, Harriet, who was far away in the east. So he christened it in her honor. Harriet’s last name was…Lovejoy!
[the name “Harriet” is derived from “Henry”, derived from Henrik, derived from Germanic Heimrich: heim = home & ric = ruler…and thus means “ruler of the home”, otherwise rendered as “keeper of the hearth”. ]
But to part the clouds
to find that inner light
and cast it upon the pain
transmutes grief to glory.
Every poignant tale
that pangs the heart
with colors of emotion
is born of alchemy
when someone let the sun shine
upon their clouds of sorrow.