Citation: Heinrich C. "Amanita muscaria Preparation for Beginners". Erowid.org. Nov 23 2008; erowid.org/plants/amanitas/amanitas_info8.shtml.
Disclaimer: WHAT FOLLOWS IS NOT AN INDUCEMENT TO CONSUME AMANITA MUSCARIA, WHICH CAN BE DANGEROUS. While some Amanitae will kill you, muscaria will not. You may "die," however, and then come back to life -- Lazarus comes to mind. The way to avoid this is to use only mature, dried specimens and proceed very slowly with consumption. You should have a sitter at least for the first time, as some people (mainly those who eat too much too quickly) enter a sort of netherworld in which they act out. This can be dangerous, as any dissociative experience can be. I have heard a couple stories of people eating a bunch of muscaria and running willy-nilly through the forest with total disregard for their safety (they can also give you amazing strength and endurance for the nonce). Or you may pass out, sometimes over and over again (this has happened to me), and appear to the non-initiated to be in serious medical trouble and near death (or dead)--hence your sitter should be aware of these possibilities, and being strong physically might not hurt either. That said, it doesn't have to be like that. You might try simmering a few mature dried caps in water for a half hour and then drinking the tea slowly over a period of a couple of hours. When you go slow the mushroom has a way of letting you know when you've had enough or should have more. Another method is to tear off little pieces of dried cap and roll them into little pills; swallow these without chewing, with as little water as possible to get them down (too much water while eating can make some people nauseous, just as chewing can--the "pills" bypass the mouth's release of chewing enzymes). Again, go slowly, eating no more than one cap an hour. Be aware that the full effects sometimes take more than an hour to come on; people have gotten in trouble not knowing this. One big problem with fly agaric is the inability to know how potent a specimen is, which is one more reason to proceed slowly. There are indicators, though, when one has become familiar with harvesting the mushroom: if the mushroom has dried standing, and/or has lots of veil remnants on the cap, and/or has a thick fuzz of spores on the mostly dried gill side--these are generally stronger. Experience will be your best teacher. To begin getting familiar with the effects, try carrying a dried cap or two in your pocket as you hike and tear off and suck on pieces as you go. Don't chew it, just move it around until it gets very soft and starts to fall apart; swallow the bits as they come off. Let each piece fall apart in your mouth before putting another one in. You should find yourself getting a spring in your step and a nice boost in endurance and mood as you trip through the forest. Bon chance.