Part Two: "Hidden in Plain Sight" Secret of Secrets:
Some of the earliest mushroom stones in Mesoamerica which date to Olmec times 1200 BCE to 400 BCE, bear toad or frog images carved on their base. The discovery of numerous toad bones in Olmec burials at San Lorenzo (1200-900 B.C.E.) suggests that the Olmecs may have used other mind-altering substances, such as hallucinogenic toad toxin, in various ritual practices (Coe, 1994:69; Furst, 1990: 28; Grube, 2001:294). Certain toads discard a toxin from the skin when touched, that can be dried and can be smoked or taken orally (Eva Hopman, 2008).
Mushroom stones bearing toad images carved on their base have been found throughout Chiapas, Mexico, the Guatemala highlands, and along the Pacific slope as far south as El Salvador (Borhegyi de, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1965a, 1965b).
"Toads and mushrooms, such as in toadstools, have had a long association with the more wild, darker elements of reality. The toad is a creature of the night, is slimy and covered in warts and lives in wet, foreboding marshes and swamps. In Europe, the toad has a long relationship with witchcraft and the dark potions and brews usually call for one, with other reptiles, as ingredients. In China, the toad was associated with powerful drugs and elixirs and mushrooms in particular. As Wasson and Needham theorize, the lingzhi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum), reishi of China, may have been chosen as a code for the Amanita muscaria mushroom to protect its profane use and for exclusive use by an elite. There are many images of the lingzhi mushroom depicted as growing out of the head of a toad linking toads, toadstool mushrooms and the possibly substituted lingzhi. Wasson informs us in China that the Amanita muscaria is known as hama jun (ha ma chun Needham 1974), the "toad-mushroom.”
Above is a Type C mushroom stone from Guatemala (Borhegyi de, S.F., 1957b.), depicting a mushroom (toadstool), emerging from the mouth of an upended toad. The late Maya art historian Tatiana Proskouriakoff demonstrated that in Mayan hieroglyphs the upended toad represents the symbol of rebirth (Coe, 1993:196)
Regarding Maya mushroom stones, Michael D. Coe, today's unofficial "Dean of Maya studies"....
"These peculiar objects , one of which was found in an E-III-3 tomb, are of unknown use. Some see vaguely phallic association. Others, such as the late Stephan de Borhegyi, connect them with the cult of the hallucinogenic mushrooms still to this day prevalent in the Mexican highlands, and it is claimed that the mortars and pestles with which the stones are so often associated were used in the preparatory rites" (The Maya, 1993 fifth edition, by M.D. Coe, p. 60).
Gordon Wasson was the first to call attention to the pervasiveness of the toad and it's association with the term toadstool, with the intoxicating or poisonous mushrooms in Europe. Wasson noted the recurrence throughout the northern hemisphere of a toad deity associated with the entheogenic mushroom (Wasson 1980, p.184-185).
Quoting Wasson (!957)
"In the association of these ideas we strike a vein that must go back to the remotest times in Eurasia, to the Stone Age: the link between the toad, the female sex organs, and the mushroom, exemplified in the Mayan languages and the mushroom stones of the Maya Highlands. Man must have brought this association across the Bering Strait (or the land bridge that replaced it in the ice ages) as part of his intellectual luggage.?
"Wasson wrote of cults that “survived in China until the 12th century, and in that century an unfriendly official of the Chinese government reporting on their activities complained that in their religious rites they consumed too many red mushrooms and performed ablutions with urine, apparently human urine.” Wasson writes that the toad and Soma must have been associated together from “earliest times”(Wasson 1992). As frogs and toads are often categorized and generalized together its interesting to not that O’Flaherty’s discussion of the sexual associations of uniting with a female frog in the context of a fire rite of Agni as well as the Hymns of the Frogs in the Rig Veda. Here the texture of the frogs, or toads perhaps, was likened to the Brahmins sweating around the soma bowl. The frogs are associated with the rains, which bring on the mushroom, as well as “prolonging of life” (O’Flaherty 1981; Morgan 1995) in a very interesting hymn of which I hope to treat at length in yet another paper. Ball (2004) informs that the Hindus “claim that the regent of the moon—known as Chandra or Soma—is symbolized by a toad.” (from Frederick R. Dannaway, 5-02-09 A Toad on the Moon: Or a Brief Speculation on Chinese Psychoactive Toad Venoms)
Quoting from ethno-archaeologist Peter T. Furst:
"It is tempting to suggest that the Olmecs might have been instrumental in the spread of mushroom cults throughout Mesoamerica, as they seem to have been of other significant aspects of early Mexican civilization......" It is in fact a common phenomenon of South American shamanism (reflected also in Mesoamerica) that shamans are closely identified with the jaguar, to the point where the jaguar is almost nowhere regarded as simply an animal, albeit an especially powerful one, but as supernatural, frequently as the avatar of living or deceased shamans, containing their souls and doing good or evil in accordance with the disposition of their human form" (Furst 1976, pp. 48, 79)."
In the late 1940s Ethno-archaeologist Gordon F. Ekholm boldly proposed a theory that Chinese visitors from the Shang Dynasty crossed the Pacific and taught the Olmec how to write, build monuments, and worship a feline god. Ekholm proposed multiple transpacific contacts with the New World beginning as early as 3000 B.C. He believed that this influence on New World civilization came from China, or Southeast Asia, and argued that the Chinese, during the Chou and Han dynasties undertook planned voyages to and from the western hemisphere as early as 700 B.C. in search of gold, jade, and feathers. Ekholm contends that planned voyages may have been religiously motivated particularly based on the well-known Buddhist predilection for proselytizing (see, for example, Ekholm, 1953: 88). Ekholm writes that scholars have underrated the maritime capabilities of the early Chinese, who not only invented the compass, but used a more seaworthy rudder than those used in the voyages of Columbus.
Diffusionism: is a term often used to describe the origins of cultural characteristics and their spread from one society to another.
As the author surprisingly discovered, the Fleur de lis in pre-Columbian art and iconography, carries the same encoded symbolism of divinity, "Lord", linked to a Trinity of gods, a Tree of Life, and a forbidden fruit (mushroom) of immortality.
Quoting the late Dr. Robert Heine Geldern:
“ Future research will probably indicate that Asiatic influences changed the whole structure of native society and transformed the ancient tribal culture [Mesoamerica] into civilization more or less comparable to those of the Old World.” (From Man Across the Sea; Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, 1971, third printing 1976)
Much of the mushroom imagery I discovered was associated with an artistic concept I refer to as jaguar transformation. Under the influence of the hallucinogen, the "bemushroomed" acquires feline fangs and often other attributes of the jaguar, emulating the Sun God in the underworld. This esoteric association of mushrooms and jaguar transformation was earlier noted by ethnoarchaeologist Peter Furst, together with the fact that a dictionary of the Cakchiquel Maya language compiled circa1699 lists a mushroom called "jaguar ear" (1976:78, 80).
Many of the images involved rituals of self-sacrifice and decapitation in the underworld, alluding to the sun's nightly death and subsequent resurrection from the underworld by a pair of deities associated with the planet Venus as both the Morning Star and Evening star. This dualistic aspect of Venus is why Venus was venerated as both a God of Life and Death. It was said that (The Title of the Lords of Totonicapan, 1953 third printing 1974, p.184), they [the Quiche] gave thanks to the sun and moon and stars, but particularly to the star that proclaims the day, the day-bringer, referring to Venus as the Morning star.
It may not be coincidental that in Mesoamerica there is a parallel belief in a World Tree, or Tree of Life with a great bird who sits on top. In Mesoamerica the cedar tree of Yucatan was called kuche, the "tree of God" and was the preferred wood for idol-making. In the Mayan creation story told in the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiche Maya of Highland Guatemala, a great bird known as 7 Macaw, or Vucub Caquix the Principal Bird Deity, sits atop the World Tree.
"The Phœnix is believed by the Chinese to uphold their Empire and preside over its destiny; it is also worn as a Talisman for Longevity and Conjugal Happiness; whilst in the mystic sense it typifies the- whole world, its head the heavens, its eyes the Sun, its beak the Moon, its wings the wind, its feet the earth, and its tail the trees and plants". (source.. http://japanesemythology.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/on-the-trail-of-the-toriis-origins/)
Above on the right is an ancient textile from Peru, South America Paracas culture 800 BCE and 100 BCE., depicting a double-headed bird clutching serpents or snakes in it's claws. Bicephalic or two-headed birds are a common theme in Old World art and mythology as they are in Pre-Columbian art and mythology.
The antiquity of the double headed bird in Zoroastrian (above left) and Hindu mythology may date back as far as 2000 BCE. In Hindu mythology Garuda is often depicted as a two-headed bird, and the destroyer of serpents and represents one of the avatars of Vishnu.
Above is a Classic period Maya stamp depicting a two-headed bird, from highland Guatemala. (From Galería Guatemala: Sellos Preshipánicos (Guatemala: Editorial Galería Guatemala, 2011), 45.]http://blogs.uoregon.edu/mesoinstitute/about/curriculum-unit-development/arts-crafts/textiles/)
In Mesoamerican mythology the harpy eagle is associated with the World Tree, as well as with both the resurrected sun, and the planet Venus as a resurrection star. In both the Old World and the New World the Fleur de lis carries the same metaphoric meaning of divine resurrection (note the Fleur de Lis symbol tagged to a ritual beverage of immortality).
The manifestation of this star in Mesoamerica being the "Feathered Serpent", the winged god-king Quetzalcoatl. It is said that when Quetzalcoatl died he was changed into that star that appears at dawn. This dualistic aspect of Venus is why Venus was venerated as both a God of Life and God of Death. It was said that, they [the Quiche Maya] gave thanks to the sun and moon and stars, but particularly to the star that proclaims the day, the day-bringer, referring to Venus as the Morning star (The Title of the Lords of Totonicapan, 1953 third printing 1974, p. 184).
In Aztec (Nahua) legends the sun, descends each night into the underworld to battle the forces of death in order to return, triumphant, each morning to the sky on the wings of an eagle. Note that the sacred beverage (Soma?) depicted above in the Codex Vaticanus B, an Aztec ritual and divinatory manuscript, encodes what I would argue are two Fleur de lis symbols, that may allude or be code for the Evening star, and Morning star aspects of Venus as a resurrection star. As the Morning Star the God-king Quetzalcoatl's avatar was the harpy eagle.
"While the pharmacology of Amanita muscaria is not completely understood, if the distribution of muscarine, and other toxic compounds that may be present, are uniformly distributed throughout the mushroom, then removal of the stem could be seen as a method of preparation that decreases the mushroom's overall toxicity. Among the Khanty of Western Siberia, only the cap of the Amanita muscaria is consumed" (Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.295)
"Earth-diver myths are common in Native American folklore but can be found among the Chukchi and Yukaghir, the Tatars and many Finno-Ugrian traditions. The pattern of distribution of these stories suggest they have a common origin in the eastern Asiatic coastal region, spreading as peoples migrated west into Siberia and east to the North American continent" (Wikipeda).
In 1980 Eyhno-mycologist Bernard Lowy, proposed that the "diving gods" depicted in the Dresden Codex, were portrayed as under the influence of psychotropic mushrooms (LOWY BERNARD, 1981, Were Mushroom Stones Potter’s Molds?, Revista/Review Interamericana, vol. 11, pp. 231-237.)
In the religion of the ancient Maya, various twins or brothers represent the dualistic aspects of the planet Venus, as both a Morning star and Evening star. Maya creation stories record that twins were responsible for placing the three stones of creation into the night sky at the beginning of this world age. These three stones, which represent the three original hearthstones of Maya creation, refer to a trinity of gods responsible for creating life from death. One of these gods, known as First Father, ruled as the Sun God in the previous world age. He was decapitated by the Lords of Death after being defeated in a ballgame. His twin sons, (Venus?) after finding his bones buried under the floor of the ballcourt, resurrected him from the underworld and placed him into the night sky as a deified ballplayer. I believe that the Maya could see this resurrected decapitated ballplayer, in the night sky, still wearing his ballgame belt, as the constellation of Orion. As the planet Venus, Quetzalcoatl in his impersonation of Tlaloc, rules the underworld, and was responsible for ritual decapitation.
"I think that all the religions of Eurasia and the New World sprang out of cults that employed natural plant products [hallucinogenic mushrooms] as a mighty medium for reaching a state of ecstasy" (High Times, Issue 14, Oct. 1976 p. 26)
"The equilibrium of the world was maintained through sacrifices and the ritual offering of Soma, the juice of a plant that could well have been Amanita muscaria or Amanita phalloida mushrooms. The meaning of that rite is worthy of reflection: The world exists only on condition that humans inebriate themselves on certain fixed dates and circumstances, thus partaking of the nature of gods. This is the basic principle of the Greek mysteries, and it is also the basis of Judaism's reactive hatred of drunkenness" (Gerald Messadie, 1997, p.38-39)
According to Samuel N.C. Lieu, author of Manichaeism in Central Asia and China, 1998:154)
"Manichaeans wore white dress when attending meetings and that their insatiable need for frankincense and red mushrooms had caused a dramatic rise in the price of these two commodities".
"The Chinese, as is well known, are hardly mycophobes, and surely there must have been something special about those red mushrooms to have attracted the opprobrium of Lu Yu (Manichaeism was introduced into China in the late seventh and early eighth centuries, and had considerable impact on the Taoists, with their famous icon of the ling chih, or the “divine mushroom of immortality”) (Ott J. 1995) (from Frederick R. Dannaway March 2009)
"Several varieties of Amanita muscaria exist, their color ranging from brilliant red to yellow-gold. To describe the soma, the Rig-Veda constantly use the word hari, which takes in this range of colors; and when substitutes came to be used, those with red coloration were favored" (p.26)
“Haoma was regarded by Zoroaster as the son of the Wise Lord and Creator Ahura Mazda and the chief priest of the Yasna cult. He was believed to be incarnate in the sacred plant that was pounded to death in order to extract its life-giving juice so that those who consumed it might be given immortality. He was regarded as both victim and priest in a sacrificial-sacramental offering in worship. As the intermediary between God and man, Haoma acquired a place and sacramental significance in the worship of Mithra (an Indo-Iranian god of light) in his capacity as the immaculate priest of Ahura Mazda with whom he was coequal. The Mithraic sacramental banquet was derived from the Yasna ceremony, wine taking the place of the Haoma and Mithra that of Ahura Mazda. In the Mithraic initiation rites, it was not until one attained the status of the initiatory degree known as “Lion” that the neophyte could partake of the oblation of bread, wine, and water, which was the earthly counterpart of the celestial mystical sacramental banquet. The sacred wine gave vigor to the body, prosperity, wisdom, and the power to combat malignant spirits and to obtain immortality.”
I propose that divine mushrooms were deliberately encoded "Hidden in Plain Sight," in an effort to conceal the sacred knowledge of eternal life from the eyes of the uninitiated.
"It [the mushroom] permits you to see, more clearly than our perishing mortal eye can see, vistas beyond the horizons of this life, to travel backwards and forwards in time, to enter other planes of existence, even (as the Indians say) to know God."
On the African continent there are prehistoric cave paintings in the Sahara Desert in the hills of the Ennedi Plateau in North-East Chad. Most of the rock art here dates roughly between 9,000 years ago to 4,000 years ago, however some of the paintings like the one above that depicts strange looking mushroom-headed people are said to have been painted within the last 2,000 years.
"What I think happened is that in the world of prehistory all religion was experiential, and it was based on the pursuit of ecstasy through plants. And at some time, very early, a group interposed itself between people and direct experience of the 'Other.' This created hierarchies, priesthoods, theological systems, castes, ritual, taboos." (Wikipeida.org).
" The mushroom is most correctly seen as an androgynous shape-shifting deity, which can take various forms depending on the predisposition of the culture encountering it" (Food of the Gods, 1992 p.63).
Quoting ethno-botanist Terance McKenna: concerning his hypothesis known as "the 'stoned ape' theory.""The psilocybin mushroom religion, born at the birth of cognition in the grasslands of Africa, may actually be the generic religion of human beings" (Food of the Gods, 1992)"McKenna's hypothesis was that low doses of psilocybin improve visual acuity, particularly edge detection, meaning that the presence of psilocybin in the diet of early pack hunting primates caused the individuals who were consuming psilocybin mushrooms to be better hunters than those who were not, resulting in an increased food supply and in turn a higher rate of reproductive success.[43 (Wikipeda)
"When our remote ancestors moved out of the trees and onto the grasslands, they increasingly encountered hooved beasts who ate vegetation. These beasts became a major source of potential sustenance. Our ancestors also encountered the manure of these same wild cattle and the mushrooms that grow in it" (Food of the Gods, 1992 p.25)" I believe that the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms on the grasslands of Africa gave us the model for all religions to follow" "...that hallucinogens, played a decisive role in the emergence of our essential humanness, of the human characteristic of self-reflection" (Food of the Gods, 1992 p.23).
"In the prehistoric but post-Archaic times of about 5000 to 3000 B.C., suppression of partnership society by patriarchal invaders set the stage for suppression of the open-ended experimental investigation of nature carried on by shamans. In highly organized societies that Archaic tradition was replaced by one of dogma, priestcraft, patriarchy, warfare and, eventually, "rational and scientific" or dominator values.
It may just be that the earliest evidence of mushroom consumption as a means of attaining divine immortality was supplied to us in 2010, when archaeologists working in a cave in Spain, discovered the remains of an ancient woman they believe was a shaman or leader of her tribe. Nicknamed the “Red Lady of el Miron,” by archaeologists she apparently ate mushrooms before she was buried in a elaborate tomb roughly 19,000 years ago in Cantabria, Spain. Archaeologists gave her the name "the Red Lady" because many of her bones and some of her surroundings were stained with red ochre made from hematite. Radiocarbon dating suggests that the Red Lady was buried around 18,700 years ago and that she was between 35 and 40 years old. The cave where the Red Lady was buried is named “el Miron", and archaeologists believe that this cave had an occupation dating back to the Middle Paleolithic, 41,000 years ago, up to around 1400 A.D. (Victoria Woollaston April 2015, "Mystery of the Red Lady of El Miron").
Archaeologists have theorized that the Red Lady was a person of high status and authority maybe even a leader or shaman who may have been ritually sacrificed before her interment. Although the Red Lady's skeletal remains were disturbed by an animal during her many years of interment, archaeologists were able to recover a jaw bone and teeth. Here is some food for thought. According to Anna Mchugh in her recent article 2017, "Paleolithic “Red Lady” Ate Mushrooms…19,000 Years Ago:
"A team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany proceeded to remove and analyze hardened plaque from the Red Lady’s teeth in order to discover what she ate. In addition to remnants of plants and animals, confirming what experts already knew about the Magdalenian lifestyle and diet, the team also discovered mushroom spores of at least two types of fungi in the hardened calculus on the Red Lady’s teeth. They found evidence that the Red Lady had been eating some sort of gilled mushroom in the order Agaricales, as well as a spongy-capped member of the Boletaecea family. (source Anna Mchugh 2017, Paleolithic “Red Lady” Ate Mushrooms…19,000 Years Ago)
"The use of mushrooms, if I am right, spread over most of Eurasia and the Americas, and as Stone Age Man has emerged into the light of proto-history these strange fungi may well have been the primary secret of his sacred Mysteries"(Wasson and Wasson 1957).
Quoting anthropologist Jeremy Narby, author of the book The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the origins of Knowledge 1998:
"Anthropologists invented the word "shamanism" to classify the least comprehensible practices of "primitive peoples". "The word shaman is originally Siberian. Its etymology is uncertain. In the Tungus language, a saman is a person who beats a drum, enters into trance, and cures people. The first Russian observers who related the activities of these samon described them as mentally ill".
Dikov, N. N. (1971. Chukotki: Petroglify Pegtymelia) was the first to propose that the Chukotka Petroglyphs in northeastern Siberia, were mushroom inspired.
The petroglyphs from the Chukotka region of Northeastern Siberia depict what appear to be mushroom-headed people as well as a sea vessel (see below) that suggests that paleo-Indians could have skirted the coast of the Pacific Ocean, into the New World in search of the mushrooms? The Wassons reported on the ritual consumption of fly-agaric among Siberian and northern Asian peoples, suggesting the antiquity of a mushroom cult to Stone Age times.
The Altai Mountain region in Central Asia is regarded as the ancient homeland of the Hungarians (Huns and Magyars), Mongolians, Turks, and Koreans. The Altai is a mountain range situated in the border land of Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The Ural-Altaic languages are named after this region. The Huns were a confederation of Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic people from the region of the Altai Mountains.
Although the most widely accepted hypothesis regarding the origin of Hungarians has been the Finno-Ugrian theory, Hungarians show a remarkable difference from Ugro-Finnic peoples, and that they are more closely related to ancient Middle-Eastern peoples. The linguistic similarities between Sumerian, Hungarian and other languages are corroborated by the archaeological and anthropological evidence discovered so far, and will be discussed in greater detail throughout.
"Based on ethnological and linguistic evidence, the Finno-Ugrian tribes (of the Uralic family of languages) which include the Hungarians, used the hallucinogenic mushroom, fly agaric, in proto-historic times, although some of them might have guarded the practice with profound secrecy" (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.147).
According to Wasson (1957):
"...that the same word for 'mushroom' is shared by the Indo-European peoples, the eastern Finnic peoples, the Paleo-Siberian tribes as far as the eastern tip of Siberia, and perhaps even the Eskimos and the Arabs. Do we not now discover the potent secret of the mushrooms that might explain the wide dissemination of a single pre-Indo-European word? For the cultural historian it becomes imperative that the surviving traces of the mushroom cult among the peripheral peoples of Siberia be minutely and sympathetically examined on the ground by anthropologists and linguists, and likewise the similar use of a mushroom in the interior of New Guinea."
" With the aid of certain magical herbs and plants, man may have invented religion. When the Aryans came down from Siberia they brought with them their Ur-religion and an urgaritic language, which became the Vedic and Persian religious expression and later the Indo-European language, which includes Sanskrit and Persian, and the dialects of Greek, Finnish, German, Hindi, and Urdu" (Richard J. Williams 2009 p.7).
"Sometime in the second millennium B.C. the "original" Aryans had marched into India from the northwest, sweeping across the land in their great military and cultural conquest, bringing with them new customs and sacred traditions, some of which have survived to this day in the Vedic texts, such as the Rigveda. It is distinctly possible that the ancestors of the Ob-Ugrian Ostyaks and Voguls, who still today imbibe the Amanita drink on the banks of the Yenisei, had passed the secrets of Soma to the Indo-Iranians, who apparently developed improved methods for the ritual preparation of this substance by removing successfully the toxic ingredients, and thus bypassing the occasional need to rely on the urine of those with apparent immunity. In this "recycled" state, Soma loses its toxicity without forfeiting its effects" (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.164).
"The secret of who built the Stonehenge megalithic stone circle is found in its Magyar name Isten Henger, meaning 'Circle', or 'Cylinder', of 'God'. The Magyar tribe involved was the Kazi, or Cassi, the same that centuries later sent the veteran roman legions fleeing back across the English Channel after their first invasion of the British Isles (Albion) in 55 BC." (Quote from Magyars and Moricz)
Stonehenge is one of the great unsolved mysteries of the ancient world. Archaeologists remain puzzled over how the builders without sophisticated tools or engineering were able to transport the giant bluestone boulders, using wooded sleds, over such a great distance? Most prehistoric builders did not stray more than 10 miles to collect stones for their monument. Scientists have traced the bluestones of Stonehenge that comprise the inner circle, that weigh up to 4 tons, from two quarries named Carn Goedog, and Craig Rhos-y- felin excavated around 3000 BCE., in west Wales, some 180 miles away from where Stonehenge sits today on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, England. Archaeologists have dates for both quarries, that link nicely with the first dates at Stonehenge, believed to have been constructed from 3000 BCE. to 2000 BCE. (source, archaeologist Michael Parker Pearson, University College London).
Although the carvings were first discovered at Stonehenge 50 years ago, they have never been fully surveyed or studied. The 3D scan of Stonehenge reveals what researchers propose are hidden ax-head carvings. According to researchers the so-called ax-shaped carvings show a certain obsession with the tool shape. The researchers did guesstimate the dating of the carvings based on the style of the axe-heads (c. 1750-1500 cal BC) with some variations. The best date given for Stonehenge itself is 2400-2200 BCE. (from 3D scan of Stonehenge reveals hidden ax-head carvings news.cnet.com Mar, 18 2013)
According to anthropologist Christian Ratsch...
"There is some evidence that the pre-historic "Beaker People" of Stonehenge, and later the British Celts, used fly agaric [Amanita muscara mushrooms ] in a cultic context" (from The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants).
Whether or not the carvings on Stonehenge represent axe-heads or sacred mushrooms, either way, its likely that the carvings are associated with human sacrifice, and the cult of the severed head. The Celts were known for taking heads as battle trophies, and there are a number of Celtic shrines associated with the cult of the severed head. With so much visual evidence suggesting that hallucinogenic mushrooms were consumed prior to ritual decapitation, it seems reasonable to propose that they were considered essential to the ritual itself, whether in real life or symbolically. Among the Aryans, Soma is portrayed in the Rig Veda as an elixir of health and strength, as well as being praised for as the direct means of communion with the gods.
"Although the term Druid is local, their religion was of deep root and a distant origin. It was of equal antiquity with those of the Persian Magi, the Chaldeans of Assyria, and the Brahmins of Hindustan. It resembled them so closely in its sublime precepts, in its consoling promises, as to leave no doubt that these nations, living so widely apart, were all of the same stock - W. Windwood Reade (Veil of Isis)
"In R. A. S. Macalister's The Archaeology of Ireland (Dublin, 1928), the author suggests that the Irish druids at least were learning sacred hymns dating from before the introduction of writing and, "like the Vedas in ancient India, preserved by oral tradition, because they would have been profaned were they to be committed to this novel art" (Raymond Buckland 2002, p.139).
Fairy rings or circles, also known as elf rings are naturally occurring circles that appear on the ground with mushrooms surrounding the perimeter. There are two generally recognized types of fairy ring fungus. Those found in the woods are called tethered, because they are formed by mycorrhizal fungi living in symbiosis with trees. Meadow fairy rings are called free, because they are not connected with other organisms. Fairy rings or Elf rings are the subject of much folklore, and myth in Europe in which fairies and elves (little people) meet and dance around in a circle. While they are often seen as hazardous or dangerous places, they can sometimes be linked with good fortune (Wikipeda). Visions of faeries are so strongly associated with mushrooms that the Gaelic slang for faeries and mushrooms is the same: pookies.
Nicole Buckler, 2018 author of The Mysterious And Lost Magic Mushroom Rituals Of The Ancient Celts:
"It has long been theorized that magic mushrooms were used in religious ceremonies by druids and other shaman since the dawn of humans in Ireland. Throughout Irish history, liberty caps were taken by normal people, the psychedelic trip is milder than that of the fly-agaric, which was left to highly-trained druids and other masters of the mushroom. (The fly-agaric was deemed too powerful for anyone who had not undertaken training at the higher levels of the mind. druids could take the mushrooms and report back to the laypeople what wisdom s the universe had transmitted to them while “away with the faeries.”
"In Ireland, our ancestors were extremely advanced. They constructed many monuments which showed a fantastic understanding of the seasons and celestial bodies, and they still stand today. These were centuries ahead of many other civilizations. Newgrange and the monuments of Knowth are among the oldest structures in the world, and are remarkable for their sophistication. The burial passage tombs at Knowth even look mushroom-shaped. Did this knowledge come from the mind-expanding use of mushrooms?
"Here, in Ireland, many people have seen the “bad” faeries, like shapeshifters. Irish people have always been suspicious of lone Hawthorne trees, saying that bad faeries have infested it and you should stay well away from them. One has to wonder whether magic mushrooms that were found underneath them led to bad experiences.""References to faeries, leprechauns, gnomes and an array of other creatures have been etched into most of our Irish minds from childhood. These images come from as far back as the Fomorians – the natives who were thought to inhabit Ireland before the Celts arrived. They spoke of one-legged one-eyed gods. The mushroom symbolism in the old myths seems undeniable. Have mushrooms been used since the dawn of Ireland, and we have only stopped using them in the last century? It seems so. What we do know is that orally-transmitted druid lore is lost beyond recall."
Who were the builders of Stonehenge, and why, and how were the builders of Stonehenge able to transport the giant boulders, over such a great distance? If we look to Celtic mythology for answers, Ireland was first peopled by the Formorians, a supernatural race of giants, monstrous beings who come from the sea or underground and exacted from their worshipers a toll of two thirds of the children born each year.(Nigel Davies 1981 p.46).
Were Amanita muscaria mushrooms consumed to induce superhuman strength ? The Amanita muscaria mushroom contains the powerful hallucinogen muscimol, which is known to cause the feelings of increased strength and stamina. The connection between Amanita muscaria mushrooms and feats of strength was first proposed by Samuel Odman in 1784. He proposed that Amanita muscaria was the intoxicant of the Viking Berserkers (Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.298). Hallucinogens taken before battle likely eliminated all sense of fear, hunger, and thirst, and gave the combatant a sense of invincibility and courage to fight at the wildest levels. The Viking Berserkers, who worshiped their warrior god Odin (Woden of the Anglo-Saxons), believed death was merely a passage from this life to another, and were expected to welcome death in the service of Oden.
Stonehenge has long been believed to have been built by the Druids, but archaeological evidence suggests that Stonehenge's earliest construction predates the Druids by hundreds of years. Mentioned earlier, the first Celtic settlements appeared in the British Isles in the Early Bronze Age, around 1180 B.C.
The name Druid (the ancient priesthood of Wisdom) is of unknown origin, but some suggest it comes from the Gaelic Druidh, meaning "wise man", or "magician", or "sorcerer". The Druids who were the high-ranking members of the priesthood in Celtic culture, constructed their temples in a circular or oval shape, and performed rituals of human sacrifice to their Celtic gods. Pliny the Elder believed the name Druid referred to the Greek drus, meaning "oak" because druidism was a tree cult, and the predominant tree in Europe being the oak. The worship of a World Tree, or Tree of Life is the common theme among all the great families of Aryan stock (Raymond Buckland 2002, p.139, 477).
Greek scholars of Alexandra likened the Celtic Druids, to the Zoroastrian Magi, and Vedic-Hindu Brahmans. A "triune world" in which the world is divided into three spheres formed the universe of Druid belief. The three worlds were connected by a Tree of Life, this was their axis mundi, a divine portal upon which the Druids were able to rise into the upper world of God, or descend into the lower world of their ancestors. The Druids during their altered state always rested their back against a big tree (a substitute for the Tree of Life) according to Sándor Timaru-Kast, (2012) author of CELTS AND MAGYARS I. EUROPE'S IRON AGE PEOPLE: About the origin of the Celts, their arrival in Europe and their settling in the Carpathian Basin. In Celtic mythology the two most persistent themes, is the Tree of Life, and the belief in a life after death.
In Tengrianism there is a conception of three worlds, an upper world, symbolized by a bird deity, a middle world symbolized by a serpent, and a lower world, symbolized by a feline, that are linked by a World Tree, the treetop being the gateway or portal into heaven or the upper world, symbolized by the Fleur de lis emblem as a symbol of divine resurrection, a belief system that is also shared by the ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica. The worship of Tengri, the Supreme Deity, and creator of the universe, of the ancient Turks and Mongols has been partially preserved to this day by the Altai people.
According to Carl A. P. Ruck Professor of Classics at Boston University:
"Mithraism [Magi priests] was the way that Zoroastrian monotheism spread the mushroom haoma sacrament of the Persians into Europe as an element in the sevenfold stages of its secret drug-induced initiation" (Ruck 2013, p.367)
If Wasson's identification, of Soma, if correct, than there should be evidence for the Amanita muscaria mushroom's religious role in other regions where the migrating Indo-European people settled. The Soma of the Vedas was a plant that grew on mountains and was picked and dried. The ancient Indo-Europeans called the Amanita Muscaria mushroom “Maga” (The Great Gift) and so great was this Gift that its fame and name echoes down the ages as the root of our modern word Magic. The “Magus” or “Magi” (Great Gift bearers) The great Gift bears hundreds of different ancient names; the Greeks called it “Ambrosia” (Not Mortal) the “Nectar” (Death-overcomer) of the Gods." (source, Amanita Muscaria: Herb of Immortality Revised 2007 Copyright © 2005 By Donald E. Teeter)
The idea of the Mother Goddess, or Great Fertility Goddess, has dominated the imaginations of modern scholars for decades. Scholars are now becoming more aware of the stylistic technique in which divine mushrooms have been encoded "Hidden in Plain Sight" in the headdresses of female fertility figurines in both the Old World and New World. While one can argue that the simultaneous appearance of encoded mushroom imagery in the earliest cultures of both the Old World and that of the New World, could be the result of parallel outgrowths of the same Paleolithic shamanistic mushroom religion proposed by Wasson. The ingestion of hallucinogenic mushrooms could very well have provided the spark that lifted the mind and imagination of early humans above and beyond the mundane level of daily existence to the contemplation of another reality.
Mushroom-headed Mother Earth Goddess from the Eastern Carpathian basin, Moldavia. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Celts, Illyrian, and Thracian tribes, of the Carpathian basin and Balkans, included the cult of the mother-goddess in their religious rites.
"Ancient Thrace was seen as the origin of the cult of Dionysus. Thrace was known for its wine whose potency was of epic proportions. In the Odyssey, it required dilution with twenty parts water to tame its intoxication. In the Roman period, it still was so potent that the consul appointed to the region reported that it required eight parts of water for dilution to render it safe to drink." (Ruck 2015 The Mushroom Stones. Dionysus, Orpheus, and the Wolves of War).
The Invocation of Dionysus:
"I call upon loud-roaring and revelling Dionysus, primeval, double-natured, thrice-born, Bacchic lord,wild, ineffable, secretive, two-horned and two-shaped. Ivy-covered, bull-faced, warlike, howling, pure, You take raw flesh, you have feasts, wrapt in foliage, decked with grape clusters. Resourceful Eubouleus, immortal god sired by Zeus. When he mated with Persephone in unspeakable union. Hearken to my voice, O blessed one, and with your fair-girdled nymphs breathe on me in a spirit of perfect agape"."In intoxication, physical or spiritual, the initiate recovers an intensity of feeling which prudence had destroyed; he finds the world full of delight and beauty, and his imagination is suddenly liberated from the prison of everyday preoccupations. The Bacchic ritual produced what was called 'enthusiasm', which means etymologically having the god enter the worshipper, who believed :that he became one with the god" (Wikipeda)(Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy).
Quoting Wasson (1957)
" Those who have mastered the mushrooms arrive at an extraordinary command of their faculties and muscular movements: their sense of timing is heightened."
According to Carl A. P. Ruck:
"The Dacian/Thracian (Scythian, Persian) warriors partake of the same tradition of the mushroom-induced battle fury documented for the Nordic berserkers, indicating a cult widespread throughout Europe. These warriors metamorphosed into wolves or bears on the battlefield, a tradition associated with the Thracians in antiquity."(source Carl P. Ruck, 2015 The Mushroom Stones. Dionysus, Orpheus,and the Wolves of War).
Quoting Carl A. P. Ruck:
"The specific mushroom, which figures prominently in folklore is the red Amanita muscaria, which alone of the psychoactive fungi is noted for its ability to impart intensified physical strength (Wasson, 2001; Keewaydinoquay, 1984, tale 6; Ruck et al., 2007, pp.287-294). This is a strong indication that this species is the mushroom involved in these rituals of lycanthropy. It is the only mushroom depicted in the fairytale tradition of European lycanthropy. Additionally, its red color (which links it with Claviceps purpurea and the red fox) identifies this as the species involved. It also fits the expectable paradigm as being visionary and psychoactive, but easily confused with its edible variety as the Amanita caesaria and its deadly relative the Amanita phalloides and related species. Contrary to common belief, which is a reflection of the taboo placed upon a sacred item, few mushrooms are actually lethal. Another of these Amanita mushrooms is also psychoactive and bears the name of regalis (‘royal’), and both regalis and caesaria (‘caesar’) is a nomenclature that reflects not the fondness of monarchs for these mushrooms, but the royal status of a sacred plant" (Carl A.P. Ruck, The Wolves of War: Evidence of an Ancient Cult of Warrior Lycanthropy)
Quoting Carl A. P. Ruck:
"The Dacians are explicitly documented with a sacred mushroom in the time of Trajan (Dio Cassius, Roman History, epitome of book 68.8.1), and the berserker rite of the mushroom was probably widespread throughout Europe in Classical times. The specific mushroom, which figures prominently in folklore is the red Amanita muscaria, which alone of the psychoactive fungi is noted for its ability to impart intensified physical strength (Wasson, 2001; Keewaydinoquay, 1984, tale 6; Ruck et al., 2007, pp.287-294).
"The best evidence of the ritual use of A. muscaria among the Huichol Wolves was recorded in remarkable detail by Susana Valadez whose informant, Ulu Temay, from San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco, came from a long line of Wolf-shamans. He specifically describes the fly agaric as wolf-peyote and gives us a revealing glimpse into the secret religion of the Wolf-people as well as the prolonged initiation process required of them".
“No, they do not eat peyote. They eat their own plants that make them feel as though they had eaten peyote. They bring mushrooms which they eat. This is a red mushroom with white spots. They use these mushrooms in all of their ceremonies.”
"His (Odin's) men rushed forwards without armour, were as mad as dogs or wolves, bit their shields, and were strong as bears or wild oxen, and killed people at a blow, but neither fire nor iron told upon them. This was called Berserkergang (Wikipeda).
According to Suetonius:"It is commonly agreed that Claudius was killed by poison. There is, however, disagreement as to where and by whom it was administered. Some record that, when he was at a feast with priests on the citadel, it was given to him by his taster, the eunuch Halotus, others that it was given him at a family dinner by Agrippina herself, offering him the drug in a dish of mushrooms, a kind of food to which he was very partial...His death was concealed until all arrangements were in place with regard to his successor. Agrippina's involvement in Claudius' death is not accepted by all modern scholars (Wikipeda).
While the Druids are reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form, thus they left no written accounts of themselves. Druidic lore consisted of a large number of verses learned by heart, and Emperor Julius Caesar remarked that it could take up to twenty years to complete the course of study. (Wikipeda). Like the priesthood of the Vedic-Hindu Brahmans (Soma sacrifice), and the priesthood of the Zoroastrian Magi (haoma sacrifice) the Druids priests sat at the top of the Celtic social pyramid, and according to Julius Caesar, "they act as judges in practically all disputes, whether between tribes or between individuals".
According to Peter Lamborn Wilson, author of Irish Soma"Irish myths and legends were not written down till the Christian era, and then only by monks who might well have misunderstood or even censored any references to a soma-type substance or cult. By that time, any entheogenic knowledge or ritual once possessed by druids might well have already vanished (or retreated into folklore), and the memory of soma distorted beyond recognition. Any mushroom lore that survived till the ninth to twelfth centuries A.D. would be the province of illiterate peasant wise-women and wizards – not of literate monks. For this reason we can expect that the myths and legends of the monkish manuscripts will be hard to read from our special perspective. But Irish folklore, as distinct from myths and legends, may prove a much clearer source. For reasons known to folklorists, Ireland is a special case of the survival of Indo-European lore, comparable perhaps only to India. In fact, Indian material should be used to throw light on Irish material where areas of darkness exist. From this point of view I think we can take for granted that whatever we may find in Ireland that looks like soma, and smells like soma, so to speak, might very well be soma, although we may never be able to prove the identity. But the well-known affinity between Celtic and Vedic cultures should pre-dispose us to at least a certain open-mindedness.
According to Allen Piper:"Zoroastrian scriptures called the Avestas, record that haoma was made with the fat of the sacrificial bull and that the haoma ceremony was intimately connected with the sacrifice of a bull" (Allen Piper 2013 p.232 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture).
"The use of psychoactive bulls flesh has been recorded among the Celts who are ultimately of Indo-European origin, and whose religious leaders, the Druids, have been repeatedly linked to the Brahmins, the priestly cast of the Vedas. Given that the Celts are an Indo-European people, it is not surprising that the Druids have been persistently linked with the Brahmins and Magi, by both ancient and by modern Indo-European scholars. Both Pliny and Hippolytus class the Druids and Magi together (Allen Piper 2013 p.245 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture).
According to Wasson, The Parsees, descendants of the Zoroastrians, drink bull's urine in there rites to this day (source Soma of the Aryans: an Ancient Hallucinogen?). The bull the animal of sacrifice, was a recurrent theme in Persian Art. On the occasion of the bull sacrifice, "at the resurrection of the bodies when the bull Hadayans is put to death, a drink that will confer immortality on all men is prepared from the fat of the animal mixed with haoma" (Larousse World Mythology, 1965 edition, p. 199). While its unlikely that the flesh of one bull could intoxicate an entire army, Wasson surmised that the third filter mentioned in the Rig Veda was the body, and that mushroom-infused urine, milk, or meat was the purest form of Soma. According to the Vedas, Soma was known as "the supreme dappled bull" (Larousse World Mythology, 1965 edition, p. 232, 233). The Greek historian Strabo reported that in 676-675 BCE., the Phrygian King Midas II after the collapse of his kingdom in central and western Anatolia, chose suicide by drinking bull's blood (Christoph Baumer, 2012 p. 225).
"One of the most interesting examples of trance is in an account of the choosing of a new king at Tara, when a bull was killed and a Druid gorged on its flesh. The Druid fell into a trance while incantations were recited over him, and on recovery he was able to prognosticate the distinguishing circumstances of the rightful claimant's approach to Tara. This rite was known as tarbfeis, "bulls dream" (Allen Piper 2013 p.245 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture).
The oldest petroglyphs at Kalbak Tash are believed to date from around 11,000 to 6,000 BCE. (photo source habit.ru Petroglifi_Kalbak_Tash_Prirodn…ovishche_pes_sverhu_(4472).jpg)
Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking or carving as a form of rock art, and are often the remnants of lost cultures. So who carved these mushroomic petroglyphs ?
One of the more interesting observation regarding the Kalbak Tash petroglyphs, are that all the mushroomic looking figures carry what appear to be a sac or pouch behind their back. It may be that depicted in these petroglyphs, a shamans pouch was used to collect mushrooms, or possibly to collect the urine of those who consumed the fly agaric mushrooms?
Wasson (1968) writes about one aspect of Siberian mushroom intoxication, that was reported in the earliest sources. He noted that one interesting feature of the Amanita muscaria mushroom is that its hallucinogenic properties pass into the urine, and another may drink this urine to enjoy the same hallucinogenic effect. It is safer to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms, because many of the toxic compounds are processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body.
"People generally claim that the effects of the mushroom poison becomes more intense and more beautiful when it has already passed through another organism. Thus an intoxicated man will often be followed by someone else who wants to collect his urine, which is supposed to posses this effect to a particularly high degree) (Wasson 1968: 257).
...the Koryaks [of Siberia] believe that the wapaq [Amanita muscaria mushroom] would tell any man who ate them, even if he were not a shaman, "what ailed him when he was sick, or explain a dream to him, or show him the upper world, or the underground world, or foretell what would happen to him.""As the reader will undoubtedly have guessed, the wapaq of Koryak mythology is none other than the familiar fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) the spectacular red-capped and whiteflecked "toadstool" whose renown among Europeans has for so many centuries floated uncertainly between the realm of magic and transformation, on the one hand, and death from its allegedly fatal poison on the other. In reality, the fly-agaric is hallucinogenic rather than deadly, having served for thousands of years as the sacred inebriant of the shamanistic religions of the northern Eurasiatic forest belt, especially those of Siberian hunters and reindeer herders."
Perhaps, long ago the ancients witnessed the reindeer’s love of the Amanita muscaria mushroom.
"Ethnographic documents about the Paleo-Asiatic peoples leads one to think that this urine could be preferable to the original substance because it is more powerful, according to some, or, according to others, because certain chemical compounds present in the mushroom, which cause unpleasant side effects, are eliminated in their passage through the body while the hallucinogenic alkaloid or alkaloids are preserved. Thus, the Siberians practiced two different modes of consumption: either of the mushroom itself or of the urine excreted by an intoxicated person".
"The reindeer with which man, first as hunter and then as herder, has lived in an intimate relationship for tens of thousands of years has itself a certain intriguing relationship with the hallucinogenic fly-agaric mushroom, even to the point of inebriation, a phenomenon that could hardly have failed to impress the Paleo-Eurasiatic peoples of long ago as much as it has impressed recent Siberian tribesmen" (Peter T. Furst, 1976 p.6).
According to Ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst...
"It happens that not only Siberian shamans but their reindeer as well were involved with the sacred mushrooms. Several early writers on Siberian customs reported that reindeer shared with man a passion for the inebriating mushroom, and further, that at times the animals urgently sought out human urine, a peculiarity that greatly facilitated the work of the herders in rounding them up—and that might just possibly have assisted their reindeer-hunting ancestors in early efforts at domestication:
. . these animals (reindeer) have frequently eaten that mushroom, which they like very much. Whereupon they have behaved like drunken animals, and then have fallen into a deep slumber. When the Koryak encounter an intoxicated reindeer, they tie his legs until the mushroom has lost its strength and effect. Then they kill the reindeer. If they kill the animal while it is drunk or asleep and eat of its flesh, then everybody who has tasted it becomes intoxicated as if he had eaten the actual fly agaric. (Georg Wilhelm Steller, 1774, in Wasson, 1968: 239-240)
"There is a prehistoric mural in Europe, the first known related to fungi located in the province of Cuenca, NE of Spain, near the Pyrenees. The fungi represented are P. hispanica (Guzman, 2000) known from the Pyrenees, where it grows on manure. The mural shows a scene of the hunting of bulls and deer and a small row of mushrooms. It is assumed that these fungi are related to animal manure" (Guzman, Vol. 50 . No. 1 . January - June 2016 ).
According to Wasson there are three cultural areas in the world where men consume mushrooms for psychic effects, Middle America, Siberia, and the third area being Papua New Guinea, in the northeastern part of that island, at the headwaters of the Wahgi River.
According to Wasson (1957):
"The practice is reported among the natives living in the Mount Hagen range of mountains, but it may well be more widespread. The Mount Hagen natives are a mixture ethnically of Negritos and Papuans, with some Melanesian blood. Concerning their use of an intoxicating mushroom the available evidence is clear but pitifully meager. In 1947 the American Ethnographical Society published as its Monograph No. 12 a paper by Abraham L. Gitlow entitled 'Economics of the Mount Hagen Tribes'. He devoted one brief paragraph to intoxicants, and said that one of the three in current use was a mushroom called nonda. Then he continued: The wild mushroom incites fits of frenzy and has even been known to result in death. It is taken before going out to kill an enemy, or in times of anger, sorrow, or excitement. That is all. We are vouchsafed no information about the mushroom itself, or its manner of preparation, or the dosage, or the meaning of its native name; nor any hint of the folk associations that must cling to this potent fungal growth. How odd that professional anthropologists should so often ignore in this way the obvious questions about fungi".
The Scythians (Saka) are believed to have migrated from southern Siberia into Sogdiana and Bactria and then into the Indian subcontinent where they were known as Indo-Scythians. A Siberian origin for the Indo-Europeans is also strengthened by Vedic references.
Quoting Michael Howard 2013, Secrets of Siberian Shamanism 2013:
"In Siberian and especially Mongolian shamanism the yurt, a traditional dwelling constructed from a framework of wooden poles covered with animal skins and with a central smoke-hole in the roof, was a microcosmic symbol or representation of the universe. For this reason all movement inside the yurt was conducted, if at all possible, in a deosil or sunways direction. This also reflected the traditional direction of movement used in shamanic rituals and dances. The centre of the yurt, where a fire burnt in a hearth and was seldom extinguished, was symbolic of the actual centre of the world or universe. The column of smoke that drifted up from the fire and left the yurt through the central smoke-hole in the roof was symbolic of the axis mundi – the World Mountain, World Pillar or World Tree. This links the underworld below with the heavens above and ends at the North and Pole Star around which all the other stars revolve in the night sky".
"Unfortunately when Buddhism came to Siberia and Mongolia many of these female healers were ruthlessly persecuted and exterminated by the misogynist monks. As a result their extensive knowledge of herbs and plants used for natural healing was either lost completely or taken over by Buddhist healers and only practiced in a debased or diluted form" (Michael Howard 2013, Secrets of Siberian Shamanism).
The Kalash people from the mountains of the Hindu Kush in Pakistan, have also fascinated anthropologists for a long time. Anthropologists characterize Kalash religion as a form of animism that objects, places, and creatures all possess a divine spiritual essence. The Kalash are believed to be the descendants of the Central Asian peoples that called themselves Aryani, that migrated from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau around 2,000 BC. Those who settled in the Iranian plateau and the Indus Valley recorded their use of Haoma in the Zoroastrian scriptures called the Avestas, and the use of Soma in the Indus Valley in the Rig Veda (Allen Piper 2013, p. 214). As mentioned previously in Zoroastrian religion, the same sacred plant god was known as Haoma. Like Soma, this plant deity played a major role in Persian culture and mythology. Like the god-plant Soma beverage of the ancient Aryans, it has long been established that Haoma was also a psychoactive beverage of the ancient Persians (Bennett and McQueen 2013, p.64) (Stein 1931, Falk 1989, Brough 1971, Rudgley 1998).
"This effect goes the other way too, as reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human, especially one who has consumed the mushrooms. In fact, reindeer will seek out human urine to drink, and some tribesmen carry sealskin containers of their own collected piss, which they use to attract stray reindeer back into the herd. The effects of the Amanita mushroom usually include sensations of size distortion and flying. The feeling of flying could account for the legends of flying reindeer, and legends of shamanic journeys included stories of winged reindeer, transporting their riders up to the highest branches of the World Tree (Lee Sayer, Dec. 25, 2014)
The origin of religion goes back to primitive times when early man sought answers to basic questions like what is the invisible force that brings darkness and light, rain and drought, summer and winter, and life and death. Because of the belief that man was subject to these invisible forces which could only be seen and invoked with the aid of visionary mushrooms.
One of the more striking parallels for the argument of diffusion is that both the Chinese and Mesoamericans saw a rabbit in the full moon, pounding something in a mortar. The belief among the Chinese is that the rabbit is pounding plants to make the elixir of immortality, while the Aztecs believed that the rabbit is pounding maguey to make their elixir called pulque (Alice B. Kehoe 2008, p.161).
Above is a page from the post-Conquest Florentine Codex Book 4, f. 13v, that depict men in white capes drinking the "elixir of life", from the body of a rabbit. In pre-Conquest Mexico, the moon rabbit was closely identified with the intoxicating drink known as pulque, an elixir derived from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant.
In 1643, Johannes de Laet presented his theory of an Asiatic land bridge, and proposed that it was the Scythians of Central Asia who first discovered the Americas (Miguel Covarrubias 1954 p.10).
Sumiya Jambaldorj, a professor of History at the Genghis Khan University in the Mongolian capital of UIan Bator, has studied the similarities between American place names and words in the Mongolian language. Jambaldorj has found over 20 place names in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands that could be Mongolian, and proposes that "about 8,000 to 25,000 years ago, Mongols with stone tools crossed the Aleutian Islands and arrived in America."
" Though it turns out that neither Australian nor any other language of the Old World that might have come across the Pacific has lived on in the Americas, this does not prove that there were no transpacific contacts. A number of archaeological traits, several common agricultural plants, and certain features of calendars represent parallels that could hardly have come about either by pure chance or by migration across the Bering Strait. If there has been diffusion of any sort, there is every reason to suppose that some loan words must also exist. A number of concrete similarities can be mentioned".
The title “Khan“, is a title of imperial rank in the Turkic and Mongolian languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate (empire). The female equivalent is Khatun. It may also be translated as Khan of Khans, equivalent to King of Kings".(Wikipeda)
"There are perhaps 135 million Turkic people in the world today, with only about 40% of them living in Turkey. The rest are scattered across Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and northern and western China, making them one of the most widely scattered races in the world. All these people descended from a small tribe of horseman that originated in the Altai region" (source factsanddetails.com)
"Originally khans headed only relatively minor tribal entities, generally in or near the vast Mongolian and North Chinese steppe, the scene of an almost endless procession of nomadic people riding out into the history of the neighboring sedentary regions. Some managed to establish principalities of some importance for a while, as their military might repeatedly proved a serious threat to such empires as China and kingdoms in Central Asia" (Wikipeda)
One of the earliest notable examples of such principalities in Europe was Danube Bulgaria (presumably also Old Great Bulgaria), ruled by a khan or a kan at least from the 7th to the 9th century (Wikipeda)
In the language of the ancient Maya, the word chan or kan means both sky and serpent, and refers to a sky-portal or divine path at the World Tree, that the gods and ancestral dead travel in their journey in and out of the underworld. Many years ago archaeologist Edward Seler linked the jaguar-bird-serpent god associated with the World Tree, with Venus and warfare, to the god Quetzalcoatl as the Morning Star (Miller and Taube, 1993 p.104). According to Edward Seler; In a passage from the Anales de Quauhtitlán:
"At the time when the planet was visible in the sky (as evening star) Quetzalcoatl died. And when Quetzalcoatl was dead he was not seen for 4 days; they say that he dwelt in the underworld, and for 4 more days he was bone (that is, he was emaciated, he was weak); not until 8 days had passed did the great star appear; that is, as the morning star. They said that then Quetzalcoatl ascended the throne as god".
There is a Nahua legend in ancient Mexico of a paradise of "nine heavens" that was dedicated to their god Quetzalcoatl, called Tamoanchan (chan) where there was a sacred tree that marked the place where the gods were born and where sacred mushrooms and all life derived (Hugh Thomas 1993, p.474). Borhegyi first noted the significance of the number nine and the nine miniature mushroom stones from Kaminaljuyu with a group of nine deities known as the "Nine Lords of the Night", and gods of the underworld (de Borhegyi, S.F. 1961 p.501).
Quoting Stephan de Borhegyi, describing the contents of the Kaminaljuyu cache:
"The cache of nine miniature mushroom stones demonstrates considerable antiquity for the "mushroom-stone cult," and suggests a possible association with the nine lords of the night and gods of the underworld, as well as the possible existence of a nine-day cycle and nocturnal count in Preclassic times. The association of the miniature mushroom stones with the miniature metates and manos greatly strengthens the possibility that at least in some areas in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica metates were used to grind the sacred hallucinatory mushrooms to prepare them for ceremonial consumption." (de Borhegyi 1961: 498-504)
" The lords used these symbols of rule, which came from where the sun rises, to pierce and cut up their bodies (for the blood sacrifice). There were nine mushroom stones for the Ajpop and the Ajpop Q'amja, and in each case four, three, two, and one staffs with the Quetzal's feathers and green feathers, together with garlands, the Chalchihuites precious stones, with the sagging lower jaw and the bundle of fire for the Temezcal steam bath."
In Mesoamerica the Nine Lords of the Night, were responsible for guiding the Sun, into the underworld to be sacrificed by ritual decapitation and reborn again as baby jaguar, the new born Sun God. In Maya religion the monkey represents the first of the Nine Lords of the Night or underworld. Called the Bolon Ti Ku, in Yucatec, the first god associated with re-birth was the Monkey (GI) and Quetzalcoatl (G9) was the last, associated with death, decapitation and completion. The word "Ku" in Classic Maya glyphs was assigned to the monkey god and in glyphs his monkey profile was used to describe "holy" or "divine," referring to "god", Lord, or king (M.D. Coe 2001, p.109).
The Mexican god-king Quetzalcoatl and his Maya god-king counterparts known as Kukulkan (Kan), and Gukumatz (ku) names that mean "Feathered Serpent", were all reputed to be the inventors of the science of measuring time, and that feathered serpents represent the bondage of time, and its cyclical nature. The fear that the gods had destroyed previous creations and that their own world might meet a similar fate, led Maya calendar priests to make calendric and astronomical calculations as precise as those that are made today by modern astronomers. Nahua (Mexican) manuscripts (Annals of Cuauhtitlan) record that it was Lord Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl who invented the ballgame (Irene Nicholson, 1967 p.117), and that there is plenty of evidence that mushroom ceremonies are intimately associated with human sacrifice and the ritual ballgame associated with period endings in the Mayan calendar.
Alma M. Reed author of The Ancient Past of Mexico, 1966, p. 13, writes that a member of the Chinese National Assembly holds that a Chinese monk named Fa Hsien landed in Mexico in A.D. 412, and that he became the Toltec culture hero Quetzalcoatl, symbolized by the "plumed serpent". Reed mentions (page 27) that the identity of the Toltecs poses one of the most confusing problems in the legendary and documented history of Mexico. She writes that,
"the fierce warrior, the Toltec god-king Mixcoatl, who has been called the "New World Genghis Khan" and who was deified by his own people, the Toltec hordes appeared with the suddenness of a cyclone, which the word "Mixcoatl" signifies". After burning and sacking Teotihuacan the energetic chieftain moved on, seeking a favorable site, finally settling on the southern shore of Lake Texcoco at Culhuacan ("The Place of the Turning" or "The Place of the Bent Ancient Ones"). According to the Anales de Cuauhtitlan he later moved the seat of the Toltec empire to Tula"(The Ancient Past of Mexico, 1966, p.27-28).
Franciscan friar Diego de Landa, the only writer to leave a detailed account of the religious beliefs of the Mayas of Yucatan at the time of the conquest, writes that a great leader known as Kukulkan, which in the Mayan language signifies "The Plumed Serpent", appeared in Yucatan in the forepart of the eleventh century, A.D. 1072, where he became a powerful political figure who ruled at Chichen-Itza. Most historians believe that Kukulkan and the Mexican god-king Quetzacoatl also meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man. According to Molina Solis, a recognized historian of Yucatan, writes, "It is stated authoritatively that with Kukulkan were many people and they all came from outside of the country". There is also plenty of evidence in the archaeology of Yucatan for a sea-borne invasion by the Toltecs in the late tenth century (B.C. Hendrick 1971, p.260-262).
The Iranians (Aryans) of the steppes would, in the final millennium BCE, expand in many directions: They would move back into eastern Europe as the Scyths and Sarmatians, and move east to Xinjiang (western China) as the Sakas. And they would move into the Iranian plateau where they would become the Persians, Parthians, and Medes (George Boeree 2013). The European Scythians eventually were overthrown and assimilated by the Sarmatians who were called "Royal Scythians" as they were thought to have prevailed over all other Scythian tribes, and that the Sarmatians are the result of a mixture of Scythian elements. The Greek historian Herodotus asserted that the Sarmatians were the offspring of Scythian men and Amazon women, although unlikely, researchers today consider the Sarmathians as Iranic peoples or Aryans (imninalu.net).
The Amyrgians, were a subset of Indo-Scythian Sakas, called Saka haumavarga ("Haoma-drinking Scythians") that inhabited the region then called "Sakastan", near the border of the Persian Empire, centered on the Amyrgian plain (Ferghana) well to the east of most of the Sakas tribes:
"...testimony from that valley southeast of Samarkand where Yaghnobi is spoken, a dialect descended from the ancient Sogdian language, related to Persian and of course belonging to the Indo-European family. The folk who speak this tongue believe that when the highest god shakes his winter coat, the air is rent with thunder, and then the children must say: Katta xarcak man, pullja xarcak tau. The big mushroom is for me, the small one for you.
"A number of artifacts recovered from the Tarim Basin mummy burials have provided important evidence for early horse riding. These include a wooden bit and leather reins, a horse whip consisting of a single strip of leather attached to a wooden handle, a wooden cheek piece with leather straps, and a padded leather saddle of exquisite workmanship. This seems to confirm that the mummies belonged to a mobile, horse-riding culture that spread from the plains of eastern Europe. It also supports the growing belief of archaeologists that the spread of Indo-European genes, culture, and language may be linked to the gradual spread of horse riding and the technology of horse-drawn vehicles from their origins in Europe 6,000 years ago.
I believe that I have found sufficient visual evidence from the corpus of existing pre-Columbian art to identify this sacramental food as the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom. Like the Vedic god Soma of Hindu mythology, the Amanita muscaria mushroom of Mesoamerica assumes, from earliest times, the persona of the god itself. In Mesoamerica this god took the form of the underworld "were-jaguar".
The best-known Saka, who were also known as the Sakya tribes or Scythian's, was Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became Buddha. He was the son of King Suddhodana Gautama, and Queen Maya. Guatama was the name of the royal family of the Saka kingdom. Siddhartha, who became known as Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. He was known among his own people as Shakyamuni, "the sage of the Shakya Tribe", the son of Suddhodana the chosen leader of the Śākya Gaṇarājya (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Shakya)
Gautama Buddha was also called Sakyasinha "the Lion of the Sakya Tribe", and Guatama was the name of the royal family of the Saka kingdom. The Kalachakra are the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni, passed down from the original seven Dharmarajas of the legendary kingdom of Shambhala, The first notable king of Shambhala, King Suchandra ( c. 900 to 876 BC.E) is reported to have requested teaching from the Buddha. Note: "the Kalachakra calculations put the life of Shakyamuni Buddha quite a bit earlier than what is generally accepted" (Wikipeda).
According to the legend, Shambhala is a Utopian paradise located in a beautiful valley lost in the mountains. It is believed to be a kingdom where all the inhabitants are enlightened, and that Shambhala can only be found by those who are pure in heart. The first mention of Shambhala is found in the Ancient Indian epos Mahabharata, however Shambhala isn't the name of a country there, but of a small Vedic village, where according to the prophecy Vishnu's future manifestation will be born: (Vostok Magazine 9-20-2014)
The legends of Shambhala are said to date back thousands of years, and that the Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth. Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana mention Shambhala as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu who will usher in a new Golden Age. According to Buddhist legend, Kalapa is the capital city of Shambhala, where the thirty-two Kulika Kings are said to have reigned on a lion throne.
The Prophecy of Shambhala:
"The concept of Shambhala plays an important role in Tibetan religious teachings, and has particular relevance in Tibetan mythology about the future. The Kalachakra prophesies the gradual deterioration of mankind as the ideology of materialism spreads over the earth. When the “barbarians” who follow this ideology are united under an evil king and think there is nothing left to conquer, the mists will lift to reveal the snowy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the king of Shambhala will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish "dark forces" and usher in a worldwide Golden Age" (source, http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/mysteries-kingdom-shambhala-0015295 April, 2014)
Above is a mural from the Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. Located in Gansu Province of China, the caves are strongly linked to the history of transcontinental relations and of the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. The mural above portrays the Buddha, or a Kulika King sitting on what appears to be a feline throne, encoded with looks like seven sacred mushrooms ? The Mogao Cave Grottoes contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The first caves were dug out 366 AD., and form a system of 492 temples as places of Buddhist meditation and worship (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440).
"Persepolis Seal PFS 79 and outline. Seal of Seddha, standing ruler flanked by bird-headed Arya-Sramana priests of Indus-Vedic tradition, linked to Saka tribe (Scythians) royal family of King Suddhodana Gautama, and his son-prince Siddhartha".
"This is Gaumâta, the Magian. He lied, saying "I am Smerdis, the son of Cyrus, I am king"
"King Darius says: Afterwards with an army I went off to Scythia, after the Scythians who wear the pointed cap. These Scythians went from me. When I arrived at the river, I crossed beyond it with all my army. Afterwards, I smote the Scythians exceedingly; [one of their leaders] I took captive; he was led bound to me, and I killed him. [Another] chief of them, by name Skunkha, they seized and led to me. Then I made another their chief, as was my desire. Then the province became mine (Behistun Inscription)"
"By the 3rd century BC, the Chinese were building oceangoing merchant vessels up to 80 feet long and weighing up to 60 tons. According to the Shi Chi chronicle, in 219 BC, during the reign of Emperor Shi Huang, a fleet of ships, led by Captain Tzu Fu, left China for Fu Sang, a far-off land to the east, also known as the Isle of the Immortals. The purpose was to bring back the legendary ling chih mushrooms for the ailing emperor. (source davidpratt.info May 2009)
The commander of the expedition and ships captain Xu Fu's (pronounced "Shoo Foo") was informed "that the Chinese priests back home would gauge the success of his mission based on his return with the fruit of Fu Sang, and Fu Sang Jade (Thompson, 2010 p.57). According to Dr. Gunnar Thompson, there were old priests who claimed that they had once tasted the elixir of the gods, and that the effects of the plant had been overwhelming. "The transcendental experience had been so immediate and so through that mortal existence no longer seemed important. Surely, the Emperor would have Taoist Masters taste the ling chih in order to assure that the plant was authentic" (Thompson, 2010 p.57).
Dr. Gunnar Thompson writes that when Xu Fu reached Fu-Sang in search of its "food of the gods" the natives traded them baskets filled with mushrooms in exchange for Chinese fen (or hemp) and iron tools. The mushrooms "were so plentyful in this region that they were as cheap as a piece of fruit in the public markets." They were also known to the Chinese philosophers as "the mushroom of inlightenment" because they produced a transcendental or hallucinogenic effect when eaten.". "There were such mushrooms in China; but they were not the same as the kind as the ones that came from Fu Sang." (Gunnar Thompson, 2010 p.57)
Thompson goes on to write that the chronicles of Shih Chi reported in later years that Xu Fu returned home to the Emperor after spending nearly three years on his Fu Sang expedition. The Emperor was elated to hear that the expedition had returned with the treasures from Fu Sang, only to realize that the most important treasure was missing, there were no mushrooms of immortality. According to Thompson Xu Fu told the Emperor that the "Immortals from Fu Sang" regard the sacred mushrooms as priceless, and so valuable that they will only allow me to bring back a small chest if I return to Fu Sang with a suitable tribute (Thompson, 2010 p.59). Based on official chronicles that were written shortly after these events took place. The Immortals required the Emperor to send as payment 3,000 of the most beautiful young men and women of the Dragon Kingdom, and that they must all be skilled in some essential art or craft, such as agriculture, astronomy, and medicine. There would be thirty new ships built and that Xu Fu insisted upon designing these vessels himself. The following year according to the Shih Chi chronicle, the Fu Sang Fleet departed in the year 219 BCE. (source Gunnar Thompson 2010 p.60).
Xu Fu never returned home with the mushrooms of immortality, and the Chinese emperor eventually died in the year 207 B.C. (for an account of Xu Fu (aka Hsu Fu) see Thompson, 1994, 116-117; see also George Carter, Archeological Journal of Canada (14:1), 14.
The authors of a 1st century BC. edition of the Shih Chi chronicle concluded that the first voyage was simply a rehearsal for a grand deception. According to Thompson, Xu Fu did not trust the Emperor, his advisors warned him that his life would be in jeopardy upon his return, so he absconded with all the wealth and tribute, all the beautiful damsels, and the entire fleet of ships, and that their final assessment was that Xu Fu had made himself a king of Fu Sang (Gunnar Thompson 2010, p.58-61).
According to Wikipeda, who uses the words, "elixir of life", rather than "mushroom of immortality"....
"An earlier account claims that in 219 BC emperor Shi Huang sent an expedition of some 3,000 convicts to a place lying far off to the east, across the ocean, called Fusang, to be a sacrifice to a volcano god who holds the elixir of life. There were, apparently, two expeditions under Xu Fu, the court sorcerer, to seek the elixir of life. The first expedition returned c. 210 BC when Xu Fu claimed a giant sea creature was blocking their path. Archers were then sent to deal with this monster when the expedition set out a second time, but it was never heard from again. However, "... asides in the Record of the Historian imply that its leader Xu Fu had returned to China long ago and was lurking somewhere near Langya, frittering away the expedition's impressive budget."Wikipeda
"Three of the four sections of the old Winter Palace in the heart of Peking are the same as those of the Palace of Atetelco at Teotihuacan. Exact parallels are to be seen in the two constructions" (The Ancient Past of Mexico 1966, Alma M. Reed p.42).
"In the concept of the Tlalocan, Teotihuacan offered something tangible, something desirable, a rich and readily available compensation that no previous Mesoamerican culture was able to offer. Appropriate initiation rituals perhaps included bloodletting or self-torture, or baptismal rites by the use of holy water, or purification rites with copal incense (the "blood" of the copal tree) and the ceremonial consumption of such mind-changing hallucinogens as the sacred mushroom (teonanacatl, "the flesh of god"), or peyote.""The success of an expansionistic, theocratic society does not always necessitate a solid economic base, since its best export commodity may be a widely acceptable and intangible esoteric theological concept or reward rather than locally grown or produced surplus can transcend cultural, political, ethnic, or class boundaries. Therefore it is apparent that the Teotihuacan religion, like the popular Hellenistic mystery religions, like Mithraism, Christianity (and Gnosticism), Islam, or Buddhism, must have possessed, at least initially, such universally acceptable and eclectic concepts. Otherwise their rapid diffusion, adaptability, and power of attraction could never have been so irresistible and so eminently successful.""But as with Hellenism, Classic Teotihuacan, through the concepts of individual salvation and the Tlalocan, was able to tender a spiritual and real reward, a magic, coercive and popular holding power that remained unparalleled in the New World until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and Christianity" (from Man Across the Sea: Problems of PreColumbian Contacts; S.F. de Borhegyi, 1971 pp. 90-97, Third Printing 1976)
"This style can be mistaken for no other in Mexico; on the contrary, its closest affinities seem to lie, for no apparent reason, across the Pacific with the bronze and Iron Age cultures of China" (Michael D. Coe, 1994, p.115)
I Central Asia, trees symbolize the world center, where heaven and earth touch, at the top of the World Tree. The central smoke-hole in the roof of the yurt was a microcosmic symbol or representation of the World Tree at the center of the universe (note cosmic symbol on yurt). The opening at the top of the yurt is the entry portal for shamans, on their journeys to the other world.
The photo above on the left depicts the deity scholars identify as the Maya Maize God, known as First-Father, Hun-Nal-Ye. The Maize God sculpture itself is of the Late Classic period, and is from the Maya ruins of Copan, in Honduras. He makes what appears to be the same hand gesture commonly depicted in Hindu and Buddhist art. The Maya artist encodes what looks to me like three stylized mushroom caps, two as ear plugs associating the sacred mushroom with the number three and the mythical three hearth stones (or deities) of Maya creation. The photo on the right represents the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who makes a similar hand gesture. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi holds in her hands what appear to be stylized mushrooms, and she wears a headdress with a symbol that looks very similar to a Fleur de lis symbol.
"Now if, as seems likely, the Chinese once worshiped an hallucinogenic mushroom and employed it in religious ritual and medicine, and if some of their sages reached the New World, by accident or design, they could of course have introduced some of their own advanced pharmacological knowledge, or at least the idea of sacred mushrooms, to the ancient Mexicans. The same would apply to early India, whose calendrical system, like that of China, bears a perplexing resemblance to its pre-Hispanic Mexican counterpart" (Furst, 1976 p.104)
Above is a stone ballgame yoke fragment with footprint that was excavated by J. Eric Thompson along with a tripod mushroom stone from a pit in front of Monument 3 at the Pacific coastal site of El Baul in Guatemala.
It should be noted, that there is also an ancient Chinese ball game (2nd and 3rd century B.C.E. Han Dynasty) similar to the Mesoamerican ballgame, in that the use of hands was not allowed, called Cuju or Ts'u Chu, that was also played in Korea, Japan and Vietnam ( Wikipedia)
Guatama was the name of the royal family of the Saka kingdom. Siddhartha Guatama, who became known as the Buddha, was known among his own people as Shakyamuni, "the sage of the Shakya Tribe", the son of Suddhodana and the chosen leader of the Śākya Gaṇarājya, and Gautama was also called Sakyasinha "the Lion of the Sakya Tribe". (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Shakya)
We know that the ancient Maya apparently revered the Amanita muscaria mushroom, which they portrayed in small stone sculptures known as mushroom stones, associated with the ancient cultures of the Olmec and Maya, that have been interpreted as evidence for the usage of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Mesoamerican religion spanning almost 3,000 years (S.F de Borhegyi 1961).
"So many are the points of coincidence between China and Mexico on the use, the manner of carving and polishing jade, the artistic styles, and the beliefs in the supernatural powers of the stone that it is difficult not to believe in a common origin"(1954:104).
"There lived once upon a time a king of the Śākya, a scion of the solar race, whose name was Suddhodana. He was pure in conduct, and beloved of the Śākya like the autumn moon. He had a wife, splendid, beautiful, and steadfast, who was called the Great Maya, from her resemblance to Maya the Goddess".— Buddhacarita of Aśvaghoṣa, I.1–2 (Wikipedia: Shakya)
Source: New World Encyclopedia...
Maya (Sanskrit māyā, from mā "not" and yā "this") In early Vedic mythology, maya was the power with which the gods created and maintained the physical universe.
Maya is the power that brings all reality into being as it is perceived by human consciousness. Therefore, all the particular things contained within this material world are products of maya.
Soma (Soma), was considered to be the most precious liquid in the universe, and therefore was an indispensable aspect of all Vedic rituals, used in sacrifices to all gods, particularly Indra, the warrior god. Supposedly, gods consumed the beverage in order to sustain their immortality. In this aspect, Soma is similar to the Greek ambrosia (cognate to amrita) because it was what the gods drank and what helped make them deities. Indra and Agni (the divine representation of fire) are portrayed as consuming Soma in copious quantities. (Excerpt is from New World Encyclopedia)
"Considerable numbers of Chinese symbols and artifacts have been found all along the American West Coast. These relics bear testimony to enduring trade across the Pacific Ocean. Major Chinese migrations to ancient America took place following the triumph of the Zhou People over the Shang Dynasty in about 900 BC. In Mexico, the arrival of Chinese refugees from this conflict was called “the Great Migration” in Mayan folklore. A second migration took place between 500 and 300 BC following the “Warring States” conflict. This second wave of Chinese immigrants was known as “the Lesser Migration.” One result of this new influx of people and ideas from the Orient was the introduction of the hallmark Yin/Yang Symbol and a related complex of religious symbols that the author has identified as “the Omnibus Power Sign.” "This Heartland of Fu Sang was also the habitat of a sacred plant called the ling-chih. It was the psilocybin hallucinogenic mushroom."
There is no mention of the numerous mushrooms cleverly encoded above as the leaves of the legendary Fusang tree. According to the report of Hui Shen to the Chinese during his visit to China, described in the Liang Shu:
"that at the center of the Taoist Island of Paradise stood a giant immortal pine, amid the most beautiful flowers, and animals that symbolized eternal life; among these is a fungus of immortality, the legendary Ling Chih, whose real ancestor may have been the fly-agaric [Amanita muscaria] of Eurasiatic shamanism".
"the dwellers of this blessed island stayed eternally young by drinking from the fountain of life at the foot of the enormous, never-decaying pine, which reminds one of similar references cited by ethno-Mycologist R. Gordon Wasson, in connection with Soma and the origins of the Tree of Life" (Peter T. Furst, 1976 page 162).
"Taoist literature makes frequent references to what scholars often translate as "magic mushrooms" (ling chih). Despite pop culture associations with this term it must be understood to literally be magic and capable of producing anything from immortality to visionary states to shamanic journeys." (Frederick R. Dannaway March 2009)
The first century philosopher Wang Ch' ung described Taoist practices in this way..."They dose themselves with the germ of gold and jade, eat the finest fruit of the purple polypore fungus. By eating what is germinal their bodies are lightened, and so they are capable of spiritual transcendence."
A person who had attained this state of transcendence, was called a hsien, a word that literally means taking flight from the material world.
The Pazyryk carpet was excavated in 1949 from the grave of a Scythian nobleman in the Pazyryk Valley of the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Radiocarbon testing indicated that the Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century BC. This carpet is 183 by 200 centimetres (72 by 79 inches) and has 36 symmetrical knots per cm² (232 per inch²). The advanced technique used in the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in weaving. It is considered the oldest known carpet in the world.Wikipeda
Mushroom intoxication, according to Spanish reports gave sorcerers (priests or shamans), the power to seemingly change themselves into animals, and that the powerful visions and voices the mushrooms produced were believed to be from God.
The were-jaguar appears in the art of the ancient Olmecs as early as 1200 B.C. I would argue that the so-called "Olmec snarl" a common motif in Olmec art represents the powerful effects of the Amanita muscaria, and Amanita pantherina (also hallucinogenic) mushrooms, resulting in were-jaguar transformation. Its my belief that jaguar transformation symbolizes the soul's journey into the underworld where it will undergo jaguar transformation, and ritual decapitation, and thus divine resurrection. The were-jaguar eventually came to be worshiped and venerated throughout Central and South America.
The religion of the ancient Olmec was grounded in sacrifice, and the need to offer men, women, and children to the gods. The ritual custom of decapitation and its relationship to the pre-Columbian ball game goes back to Olmec times (S.F. de Borhegyi 1965, p.26). Olmec religion set the tone for many of the future religious beliefs in the New World.
The powerful unitary religion of the Olmec, appears to spread quickly throughout the New World with certain elements of the belief system that spread as far as the Andean area of South America. We know this culture by its powerful art style featuring adult and baby "were-jaguars;" an art style so pervasive that it led the late archaeologist Matthew W. Stirling in 1955 to call the Olmec the "people of the jaguar." He speculated that the Olmecs believed that at some time in their mythical past a jaguar had copulated with, and impregnated, a human female.
"If we postulate for the Teotihuacán period a liturgical use of shells with hallucinatory mushrooms, this border becomes intelligible. The fresco itself, according to Seler, invokes the rites of inebriation, which is consonant with our hypothesis of hallucinatory mushrooms."
13th Century Jewish depiction of the "Tree of Life" emerging from the head of a feline. Note what appears to me to be probable priests picking and bagging the mushroomic looking fruit from the Tree of Life, and they both wear what I would argue are mushroom encoded hats.
Its worth mentioning once again that both Christianity and Judaism were influenced by Zoroastrianism, an Iranian/Persian religion founded by Babylonian/Sumerian King Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah.
"...the Persians made the ancient Semitic belief in the survival of the soul into a belief in its immortality; this in turn made its way into Jewish doctrine, a channel through which Zoroastrianism penetrated even Christian theology." Like many other religions Judaism tapped into the wellsprings of Vedism (Gerald Messadie 1993 p. 247).
The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon which arose during the Bronze Age around the start of the 2nd millennium BC and led to a rapid and massive migration of peoples from the region into distant parts of Europe and Asia.
Seima-Turbino phenomenon refers to a pattern of burial sites dating around 1500 BC found across northern Eurasia, from Finland to Mongolia, which has suggested a common point of cultural origin, advanced metal working technology, and unexplained rapid migration. The buried were nomadic warriors and metal-workers, traveling on horseback or two-wheeled chariots. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
The Pazyryk culture flourished between the 7th and 3rd century BC in the area associated with the Sacae. Ordinary Pazyryk graves contain only common utensils, but in one, among other treasures, archaeologists found the famous Pazyryk Carpet, the oldest surviving wool-pile oriental rug. Another striking find, a 3-metre-high four-wheel funerary chariot,[toy chariot] survived well-preserved from the 5th to 4th century BC.Wikipeda
Late Classic period 600-900 A.D. (Gulf Coast region of Mexico) ceramic jaguar on wheels now in the Ethnologists Museum Berlin, (photo by Martin Franken)
Transpacific diffusionist Gordon F. Ekholm believes that the wheeled toys were most likely derived from the better-known toy chariot cult, of the Bronze Age Near East (3300-1200 B.C.). Ekholm reported the discovery of wheeled effigies (American Antiquity 1946) that were excavated at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes in Veracruz, Mexico. Tres Zapotes was an Olmec center boasting Colossal heads that was founded just a few centuries before 1000 B.C. The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mesoamerica (1200 B.C.
to 400 B.C.) rising up in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico,
at the centers of San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de Los Cerros, and Tres
Zapotes, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.
Several monuments from the Olmec site of La Venta, Stela 3, Monument 19, and Monument 13 called the "Ambassador" (altar with footprint) appear to celebrate foreigners, and that foreigners are clearly indicated by their distinctive items of dress ( Prudence M. Rice 2007, p.98) (Drucker 1981, pp.42-46).
influence of these Olmec ceremonial centers extended in all directions and
Olmec culture seemingly laid many of the foundations for the Zapotec,
Maya, Teotihuacano, Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec civilizations that were to
follow. The question remains, of whether the invention of the wheel could
have been made independently in both the Old Word and the New World.
For documentation of wheeled
animal figurines in Mesoamerica see G.F. Ekholm, 1946; C. Irwin,1963;
131-135, and for documentation of wheeled animal figurines in the Old
World see H. G. May, 1935: 23-24. E. Speiser, 1935: I, 68ff.; R. S.
Star, 1937: I, 425.
Zapotec urn from (Tomb 7) from the Olmec infuenced site of Monte Alban, in Oaxaca Mexico. The urn portrays a ruler or deity with facial features that appear remarkably similar to those found in the cultures of Asia. Note the familiar "Olmec snarl" symbolism of a snarling underworld jaguar. The ruler or deity portrayed is crowned with a symbol of rulership that I believe represents a New World version of the Old World Fleur de Lis symbol. (photograph of Zapotec urn from http://roadslesstraveled.us/monte-alban/)
According to archaeologist Stephan F. de Borhegyi:
"When one world collapsed in flood, fire, or earthquake, they believed another was born only to come, in its turn, to a violent end?. ? This philosophy probably led religious specialists to divine by magical computations the sacred cycle of 52 years, at the end of which cosmic crisis threatened the survival of mankind and the universe?. ?Mesoamericans further believed that in order to avoid catastrophe at the end of each 52-year period man, through his priestly intermediaries, was required to enter into a new covenant with the supernatural, and in the meantime, he atoned for his sins and kept the precarious balance of the universe by offering uninterrupted sacrifices to the gods? (Borhegyi,1965a:29-30).
Hunnic (Hun-Magyar) cauldrons (below) have long claimed the attention of archaeologists because of their mushroom shaped handles, which until 1896, (Reinecke 1986) were classified as Scythian cauldrons. In 1955 Laszlo (Acta Archaeologica Hungarica, Vol. 34 1955, pp. 89, 249-252) proposed that the mushrooms on the handles of the Hunnic bronze cauldrons represented "shaman crowns" drawing the connection between mushroom iconography and ecstatic religion among the Huns. Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen author of The World of the Huns: Studies in their History and Culture pp. 329-330 has also identified the handle designs as mushrooms.
Although the use of hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushrooms in Siberia, Mongolia, and the adjoining steppe regions is well documented, and Hunnic cauldrons with mushroom handles have been found in the Altai Mountains (Otto Maenchen-Helfen "The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture p. 332).
As mentioned earlier, Wasson noted that one interesting feature of the Amanita muscaria mushroom is that its hallucinogenic properties pass through the urine, and another may drink this urine (or eat his flesh) to enjoy the same effect (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.147).
According to Wasson:
"People generally claim that the effects of the mushroom poison becomes more intense and more beautiful when it has already passed through another organism. Thus an intoxicated man will often be followed by someone else who wants to collect his urine, which is supposed to posses this effect to a particularly high degree) (Wasson 1968: 257).
Above on the left are three illustrations from Book IV in the Florentine Codex, compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590) that depicts a sequence of rituals beginning with the mushroom ritual, leading next to ritual heart sacrifice, and ending with ritual cannibalism. Sahagún describes the sacrifice and feast in relation to the festivals of Xipe Tótec, the god of spring and regeneration, and of Huitzilopochtli, the god of war and of the sun (folio 268r). It should be mentioned that the first illustration depicts a sacrificial victim that I propose is under the influence of sacred mushrooms. Note that the dangling eye-ball in front of the victim's face, is the artist's code for mushroom intoxication.
Our knowledge of the Huns and Magyars, is still vague; according to Hungarian legend, preserved in the 13the century chronicle by Simon of Keza, called the Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum, the brothers Hunor and Magor, while out hunting, they saw a miraculous white horse. The brothers pursued the horse but it always stayed far enough ahead of them, that the white horse lead them westward into Levedia, where they met and married two princesses and founded the Hungarian peoples, known as the Nation of the White Horse (Fehérlófia). The Huns are Hunor's descendants, and the Magyars are Magor's descendants.
According to Stephan de Borhegyi....
"The little red topped mushroom with white polka dots occur frequently in Hungarian folktales, usually in connection with little dwarfs who live under them" (letter from de Borhegyi to Wasson April 29th, 1953 Wasson archives, Harvard University)
The Tree of Life, and the Fleur de lis Symbol:
In Mesoamerica, as in the Old World, the Tree of Life represents the symbolic center of the earth, the Axis mundi, or pillar of the world. In both Mesoamerica and in the Old World, the royal line of the king was considered to be of divine origin, linked with the Tree of Life. Descendants of the Mesoamerican god-king Quetzalcoatl, and thus all Mesoamerican kings or rulers, were also linked to the Tree of Life encoded in both the Old World and New World with the trefoil symbol, we recognize as the Fleur de lis emblem.
In Iranian (Persian) and Vedic-Hindu mythology, both the Haoma and Soma plant are connected in myth with a ritual beverage and Tree of Life. For reasons that may never be known, the ceremonial use of Amanita muscaria mushrooms
and the drinking of Soma, was later replaced in Vedic and Hindu
rituals, and Soma's true identity became a mystery. In the Persian
sacred texts called the Zend-Avesta, the bible of the Zoroastrians, there is a passage in which
Zoroaster asks, when will the practitioners get rid of the "urine of
drunkenness" that the priests have been using to delude the people
(Clark Heinrich 2002, p.20).
According to Jenny Rose, author of Zoroastrianism: An Introduction 2011,
"The Gathas do not mention the plant haoma, although the epithet duraosha, which is used exclusively of haoma in the Young Avesta, is referred to in conjuction with usage by corrupt kavis. This, and another obscue reference to intoxication, has led many to assume that the practice of using haoma was castigated altogether. But in the later Avesta, haoma is recognized as an integral part of the liturgical and mythical schema, receiving many positive epithets, and identified as an element praised by Zarathushtra [Zoroaster]. As many scholars have pointed out, it is corious that followers of the Gathic teachings would retain, or reintroduce, a practice into the liturgy that was so obviously criticized in the Gathas, while the Gathas themselves formed the core of that liturgy (Rose 2011, p.15)
(Photo of Olmec whistle by Higinio Gonzalez of Puebla, Mexico) (Photo of Amanita muscaria mushroom from Royalty Free Stock Photos)
Aztec and Toltec mythology, Quetzalcoatl was the god-king who
came down from the sky to bring humanity sacred mushrooms, and he
instructed humans on how to perform blood sacrifices in exchange for
chronicler Fray Diego Duran writes that war was called
xochiyaoyotl which means "Flowery War". Death to those who
died in battle was called xochimiquiztli, meaning "Flowery
Death" or "Blissful Death" or "Fortunate Death".
Above on the left is the Hindu god Vishnu who in Hindu mythology is the keeper of the universe and one of the triumvirate (Trinity) along with Brahma, and Shiva. Vishnu is usually depicted with four arms holding the sacred symbols of his power in his hands. Shiva or Siva, the "Auspicious One" is the Supreme being in Hindu religion who creates, protects and transforms the universe. Shiva is portrayed above on the right holding an Amanita muscaria mushroom (Soma?), Shiva is "the transformer" within the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity, that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Hindu mythology the deity Aja Ekapada (an aspect of the Hindu god Shiva) is closely connected with Soma, and his name roughly translates to "un-born single-foot" (Wasson 1997) (Kevin feeney 2013 p.305).
Mushrooms Encoded in Egyptian Art:
Quoting Anthropologist Christian Ratsch...
"The Fly agaric [Amanita muscaria mushroom] has been known since antiquity. The Egyptians called it "raven's bread," a name which it has retained in Central and Eastern Europe to the present day. It was said that Saint Anthony ate this raven's bread before the ancient pagan gods appeared to him as demons. Among the ancient Germans, the fly agaric was associated with Wotan/Odin, the god of ecstasy and the discoverer of the magical runes. According to legend, fly agarics appeared where the foam from Wotan's horse fell onto the earth. The name raven's bread refers to Wotan's two all-knowing, all-seeing ravens. According to Graves (1961), the followers of Dionysos consumed fly agaric during the Dionysian festivals and mysteries, for it "bestows enormous physical power, erotic potency, delusional visions, and the gift of prophecy." One author (Allegro 1970) has even argued that Christianity began as a fly agaric cult" (from The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants).
It's tempting to speculate that "raven's bread" is analogue for the divine mushroom...
Stephen R. Berlant theorize that the plant known commonly as the Eye of Horus, which the Egyptians included in cakes and ales designed to spiritually rebirth the living and the dead, was an entheogenic mushroom cap entirely analogous, if not identical, to Soma. (The entheomycological origin of Egyptian crowns and the esoteric underpinnings of Egyptian religion, July 2005)
"It becomes imperative for the anthropologists everywhere to take cognizance of ethno-mycology as an avenue for promising cultural inquiry. In various directions there seem to be fruitful areas for the re-study of ethno-mycological evidence, such as, for example, the strange absence of mushrooms from the immense corpus of ancient Egyptian art and texts. Is this because the Egyptians ignored the fungal world or because Egyptologists have ignored it."
The Egyptian's depicted their divine mushroom in pairs of two, shaped as parasols. This divine mushroom was referred to in the Pyramid Texts of ancient Egypt, as a red /golden plant with magic properties, used in sacred religious rites (Kathy J. Forti May 21, 2018).
Egyptian sandstone carving (18th Dynasty 1570-1342 BC), depicting Pharaoh Akhenaton
and wife Queen Nefertiti in profile, with hands raised in the air to
venerate what appear to be two Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The Pharaoh is known to have introduced a "new religion" (Soma / Haoma ?) into Egypt, based on the worship of the sun god Aten. (source of authenticity... http://www.worldwidestore.com/36340c.htm.
Human habitation in Anatolia dates back to the paleolithic, and that the ancient Anatolian language is believed to have been spoken in Anatolia since at least the 19th century BCE. and that some linguists propose that Anatolia was the homeland of the Indo-European language family. The Anatolian Hypotheses proposes that the dispersal of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Anatolia and that the origin of Indo-European goes back about 8,500 years ago, the first split being that of the Hittites (Wikipedia.org, Anatolian hypothesis, and Proto-Indo-European homeland).
"This is the reason that esoteric practitioners need to study the ancient cultures. We are working with the damaged and fragmentary remains of an esoteric tradition which, stretching back many thousands of years, has taken innumerable forms as it was adapted to the needs of culture after culture"...."The Vedas and the Sutras, the Torah, Bible, and Koran, cannot be understood out of context; their true, complex, interwoven levels of meaning are distorted by translation, and the world in which they were based, the agricultural city-state civilizations which dominated our planet thousands of years ago, is entirely foreign to us. We have little hope of understanding the original ideas and practices of the great spiritual teachers unless we can, at least to some degree, put ourselves in their place. Thus, the study of the archaeology and history of spiritual traditions is one of the few ways we can test the quality of our modern esoteric material. With this in mind, let us turn to the Near East, the rough northern edge of the Fertile Crescent. the cradle of civilization. The time is 8,000 years B. C., the place is Anatolia, the rich central plateau of what is now modern day Turkey For millennia Anatolia has been a fountainhead of the Esoteric Tradition. And it all started at Catal Huyuk."
Above are prehistoric petroglyphs that only recently have been discovered carved on large rocks and on cliffs, at Kalbak Tash in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, that appear to me to portray mushroom-headed people carrying sacks at their hip.
There is no question that the mushroom cult of the Altai Mountains in Siberia has great antiquity. That being said, it's reasonable to propose that a belief in the redemptive power and divinity of the sacred god producing mushroom could have spread from one continent to another, and that our remote ancient ancestors worshiped and venerated a divine mushroom god, or goddess perhaps 25,000 years ago?
Is it just coincidence, or maybe evidence that mushroom-headed petroglyphs are also found in association with mushroom-shaped rock formations in the American southwest ?
"SINCE revisiting The Greek Myths in 1958, I have had second thoughts about the drunken god Dionysus, about the Centaurs with their contradictory reputation for wisdom and misdemeanour, and about the nature of divine ambrosia and nectar. These subjects are closely related, because the Centaurs worshipped Dionysus, whose wild autumnal feast was called 'the Ambrosia'. I no longer believe that when his Maenads ran raging around the countryside, tearing animals or children in pieces and boasted afterwards of travelling to India and back, they had intoxicated themselves solely on wine or ivy ale.
I now believe that ‘ambrosia’ and ‘nectar’ were intoxicant mushrooms: certainly the amanita muscaria; but perhaps others, too, especially a small, slender dung-mushroom named panaeolus papilionaceus, which induces harmless and most enjoyable hallucinations. A mushroom not unlike it appears on an Attic vase between the hooves of Nessus the Centaur. The ‘gods’ for whom, in the myths, ambrosia and nectar were reserved, will have been sacred queens and kings of the pre-Classical era. King Tantalus’s crime was that he broke the taboo by inviting commoners to share his ambrosia. Sacred queenships and kingships lapsed in Greece; ambrosia then became, it seems, the secret element of the Eleusinian, Orphic and other Mysteries associated with Dionysus. At all events, the participants swore to keep silence about what they ate or drank, saw unforgettable visions, and were promised immortality. The ‘ambrosia’ awarded to winners of the Olympic footrace when victory no longer conferred the sacred kingship on them was clearly a substitute: a mixture of foods the initial letters of which, as I show in What Food the Centaurs Ate, spelled out the Greek word ‘mushroom’. Recipes quoted by Classical authors for nectar, and for cecyon, the mint-flavoured drink taken by Demeter at Eleusis, likewise spell out ‘mushroom’.
"The Maenads’ savage custom of tearing off their victims’ heads may refer allegorically to tearing off the sacred mushroom’s head—since in Mexico its stalk is never eaten. We read that Perseus, a sacred King of Argos, converted to Dionysus worship, named Mycenae after a toadstool which he found growing on the site, and which gave forth a stream of water. Tlaloc’s emblem was a toad; so was that of Argos; and from the mouth of Tlaloc’s toad in the Tepentitla fresco issues a stream of water. Yet at what epoch were the European and Central American cultures in contact?"
More Mushrooms encoded in Christian Art:
"Most people read Christian art as pictures, as snap shots representing historical events, but that is not what Christian art is about. An icon is a representation of something that cannot be represented; icons are spiritual renderings of another world, a spiritual geography; what you see is not what you get. A cross is not a cross, a book is not a book, an angel is not an angel, and a mushroom is not a mushroom. This being the case the Apostle’s Creed is likewise an icon, a mega-icon because it encapsulates all others. Again, this is not history; it is an elaborate, artistic, spiritual attempt to explain and pay homage to the mushroom experience."
that the image of the cross beneath the crown, once you add the white
spots looks very much like an encoded Amanita muscaria
Gordon Wasson was the first to call
attention to the pervasiveness of the toad and its association with the term
toadstool, with the intoxicating or poisonous Amanita muscaria mushrooms in Europe. Wasson noted
the recurrence throughout the northern hemisphere of a toad deity associated
with the entheogenic mushroom (Wasson 1980, p.184-185).
According to Allegro:
"The dream of man is to become God. Then he would be omnipotent; no longer fearful of the snows in winter or the sun in summer, or the drought that killed his cattle and made his children’s bellies swell grotesquely. The penis in the skies would rise and spurt its vital juice when man commanded, and the earth below would open its vulva and gestate its young as man required. Above all, man would learn the secrets of the universe not piecemeal, painfully by trial and fatal error, but by a sudden, wonderful illumination from within."But God is jealous of his power and his knowledge. If, in his mercy, he will allow just a very few of his chosen mortals to share his divinity, it is but for a fleeting moment. Under very special circumstances he will permit men to rise to the throne of heaven and glimpse the beauty and the glory of omniscience and omnipotence. For those who are so privileged there has seemed no greater or more worthwhile experience. The colours are brighter, the sounds more penetrating, every sensation is magnified, every natural force exaggerated."
The Old Testament refers to the act of beheading, and trophy heads (Numbers 25:4)
"And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel".
Gordon Wasson believed that the origin of ritual decapitation lay in the mushroom ritual itself, that in many languages instead of the "cap" of the mushroom, people speak of the "head". (Wasson 1968 pp.45-46). In the Rig Veda, there are recurring themes that allude to decapitation and the spiritual potency of the head. In the ancient Hindu texts known as the Brahmanas, that follows the Vedas, one of the cups of Soma is referred to as the head of Gayatri, the eagle who bore Indra down from the heavens after beheading the dragon Vrtra, and obtaining Soma, only after Vrtra's beheading, known in the Vedas as Ahi meaning "snake" (Kevin Feeney 2013, p. 296).
Relic Caskets or Reliquary Caskets: contain objects or parts of the body (e.g. clothing, teeth, bones) left behind after the decay of the corpse, which are venerated for saints of the Roman Catholic and Eastern churches.
"... a jeweled wooded chest containing relics of the Virgin and Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, George, John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Martin, and Hippolytus, plus the foreskin and umbilical cord of Jesus" (Religious Traditions of the World, 1993 p.565).
Christian martyrs followed in the footsteps of Jesus and of the first apostles, and those who had died as martyrs were believed to ascend directly to heaven at death, unlike the ordinary believer, who had to wait for the return of Christ,. Martyrs became available to Christians on earth as heavenly spirits who were their protectors. Martyrs became the great saints of Christianity, their power after death, enshrined in their relics, helped sustain believers in their faith. Churches put relics under their altars, or encased them in boxes to be displayed behind the altar as a kind of foundation stone for the holiness of the church. King Charlemagne (Charles the Great) when he took the throne ordered that all altars without relics be destroyed, and that all oaths be sworn on a relic, and that no new saints be introduced (Religious Traditions of the World, 1993 p.504-505, 511).
The Eucharist, or Holy sacrament (the Holy mushroom), of receiving bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ, was regarded as a relic of Christ, or the substance of Christ himself... It's my belief that these Relic caskets above and below, depict more than just esoteric scenes of decapitation and divine resurrection. We are told that these Reliquary Caskets were created to contain the physical remains of saints. Many of these Relic Caskets portray Saint Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury who was killed, (although not decapitated) by four knights in Canterbury Cathedral, in London England, on December 29, 1170. I found that a closer look at these reliquary caskets may actually reveal encoded Psilocybin mushrooms "Hidden in Plain Sight" as the sacrament of immortality. I also found that many of these reliquary caskets often depict a female in these scenes of ritual decapitation, after drinking a sacred beverage from a chalice that is always depicted in the scene like in the relic box below. This chalice, like many other relics, was thereby thought to possess the magical powers of immortality.
It is likely that the concept of divine immortality via decapitation was inspired by the mushroom ritual itself. Gordon Wasson believed that the origin of ritual decapitation lay in the mushroom ritual itself (Wasson 1968 pp.45-46). Note the chalice of Holy Communion is depicted in every scene of ritual decapitation.
The iconography encoded above the entrance to San Stefano Monastery, in Bologna Italy (circa 11th 13 th century) appears to me to portray a giant bird perched atop what looks like an Amanita muscaria mushroom.
Genesis: "And Jahweh commanded man saying, 'from every tree of the garden thou shalt eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat.'
Mural painting of Adam and Eve eating the fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge”. Mural from the apse of Sant Sadurní in Osormort Spain, 12th century (Image from April Deconick http://forbiddengospels.blogspot.com/2012/04/sabbatical-post-3-why-mushrooms.html)
The Book of Genesis never mentions apple
or forbidden fruit, only the "fruit of knowledge" and the "fruit
of everlasting life". Ethno-mycologist Gordon Wasson, and
other notable scholars have written that the mythological apple is a symbolic
substitution for the Amanita muscaria mushroom.
Genesis 3: 3-7, "The fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it neither shall ye touch it, lest you die."
4. "And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die."
5. "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
The Significance of Mythology:
According to Stephan de Borhegyi....
little red topped mushroom with white polka dots occur frequently in
Hungarian folktales, usually in connection with little dwarfs who live
under them" (letter from de Borhegyi to Wasson April 29th, 1953 Wasson archives, Harvard University)
As mentioned earlier, in Siberia and in Mesoamerica going back to Olmec times, the sacred mushrooms evokes an imaginary world of little people more or less the size of mushrooms (Wasson 1980 p.52).
Late Classic figurine from Tenenexpan, Mexico in the State of Veracruz (Remojadas? A.D. 700-900). (Photo copyright S.F. de Borhegyi).
The figurine above depicting mushroom worship is from the archaeological site of Cerro de Coamiles in Nayarit, Western Mexico. The conical or cone-shaped hat is a trademark attribute of the Mexican god-king Quetzalcoatl and of his priesthood.
Quoting Fray Motolina:
"the Indians adored this star more than any other save the sun, and performed more ritual sacrifices for it than for any other creature, celestial or terrestrial....The final reason why their calendar was based on this star, which they greatly revered and honored with sacrifices, was because these misguided people believed that when one of their principal gods, called Topiltzin or Quetzalcoatl, died and left this world, he was metamorphosed into that radiant star." (LaFaye, 1987)
“All the ceremonies and rites, building temples and altars and placing idols in them, fasting, going nude and sleeping on the floor, climbing mountains, to preach the law there, kissing the earth, eating it with one's fingers and blowing trumpets and conch shells and flutes on the great feast days-- all these emulated the ways of the holy man, Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl”. (Duran, 1971: 59).
“They [the Indians] were very devout. Only one was their god; they showed all attention to, they called upon, they prayed to one by the name of Quetzalcoatl. The name of one who was their minister, their priest [was] also Quetzalcoatl. "There is only one god" [he is] Quetzalcoatl.”( Sahagún, 1950-75,10:160).
Above is a Classic Period Teotihuacan inspired Maya polychrome plate, that depicts at it's center, the Mexican god Tlaloc. Tlaloc is surrounded by what appears to me to be four stylized Fleur de lis symbols, and Tlaloc wears what could be encoded mushroom inspired ear flairs. The Mexican god Tlaloc, who represents the Evening Star aspect of Venus, shared the same temple as Quetzalcoatl, who represents the Morning Star aspect of Venus, at the great city of Teotihuacan in highland Mexico.
late Maya archaeologist J. Eric S. Thompson identified this
configuration of five as the quincunx, a variant of the Central Mexican
Venus sign. The
design of this symbol symbolizes the four cardinal directions and its
central entrance to the underworld where the World Tree is located.
The symbol of the quincunx is of great antiquity, having been found at
the Olmec site of San Lorenzo on Monument 43 dated at 900 B.C. The
quincunx design also appears on Maya Venus Platforms. The Olmec and Maya
believed that It was through this portal that souls passed on
their journey to deification, rebirth and resurrection. According to
Maya archaeologist David Freidel, the Maya called this sacred center, mixik' balamil, meaning "the navel of the world" (Thompson,1960:170-172, fig. 31 nos.33-40; Freidel & Schele, 1993:124)
According to Thompson the idealized Venus cycle always ended on the day 1-Ahau, (Milbrath 1999, p.170). The synodic revolution of Venus, from Morning Star to Morning Star is 584 days, and that these revolutions were grouped by the Nahuas and Maya in fives, (see Maya Dresden Codex) so that 5 x 584 equaled 2,920 days, or exactly eight solar years (Nicholson, 1967 pp. 45-46).
both Vedic (Hindu kalpas) and Mesoamerican cosmology (Popol Vuh) there
was the belief in a cyclical creations, a multi-tiered heaven and underworld,
deities who reside at the four cardinal directions and its sacred center.
In the course of my studies I not only found mushroom-related symbolism "Hidden in Plain Sight" throughout Mesoamerica, but also in the ancient art of the Inca, Mochica (Moche), Chavin, Chimu, and Paracas cultures of South America, and in the Rapa Nui civilization of Easter Island.
The drawing of this petroglyph and others on Easter Island bear a striking resemblance to Venus symbols found in Pre-Columbian art among the ancient Maya depicting the ancient Mesoamerican god Tlaloc. Scholars have noted very early images of Tlaloc in the archaeological record in Mesoamerica, including ancient rock art, going back to early Olmec times. Tlaloc whose attributes are goggled eyes and feline fangs was known as the “provider”, a creator god just like Easter Island’s “Make Make”, who is associated with life giving rain, deadly storms, and divine lightning. Tlaloc was known as “he who made things grow”. Tlaloc is easily identified by his trademark goggled eyes, which represent I believe, the vision of Tlaloc’s paradise, called Tlalocan.
Quoting Mark A. Hoffman:"The concept of tapu, as the source and translation of our word “tabu,” is close in meaning to mana, an important concept in Polynesian religion that describes a contagious spiritual power that lasts only a short period of time. The word tapu is similarly used in describing transitory states such as shamanic ecstasy—or “being under the influence of the Gods”—and the sacredness of the ceremonies whose main function it was to channel this divine “energy” where it was desired (Eliade 1987). Because this energy is characterized by its motion, tapu-infused or “sacred” foods, [objects], etc., must be carefully managed to avoid accidental exposure to potentially dangerous spiritual influences. The proscriptions are assigned “forbidden” status, and special preparations and precautions are established for entering states of “divine possession.”
The painted textile above is from the Chimu culture of Peru, 1000-1400 C.E. The textile depicts a figure standing above what I would argue is a sacred mushroom. The figure is accompanied by two jaguars with spots. Gordon Wasson (1968, 1971), was the first to connect the motif of 'spots' with the Amanita muscaria mushroom cult. The jaguar god, or were-jaguar motif in Andean art, suggests a religious concept similar to those of the ancient Olmecs and Maya. The two spotted jaguars and vultures may symbolize the dualistic nature of the planet Venus as the Evening Star, emulating the Sun God in his daily journey into the underworld. The esoteric association of mushrooms and jaguar transformation was earlier noted by ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst (1976:78, 80).
There is an Inca legend of white men with beards who inhabited the shores of Lake Titicaca, who
built a great city, 2000 years before
the time of the Incas. Lake Titicaca is a large body of water lying high in the Andes Mountains at an altitude of over 12,000 feet. The ancient ruins of Tiahuanaco located near the shores of Lake Titicaca is considered one of the earliest pre-Columbian cultures which developed in the high altitude of the Andes.
The Inca Indians of Peru, told Spanish conquistador (1532–1572) Francisco Pizarro that they were the last descendants of the Viracochas. The Viracochas, they said, were a divine race of White men with beards. They were so like the Spanish that the Europeans were called Viracochas the moment they came to the Inca Empire. The Incas thought they were the Viracochas who had come sailing back across the Pacific. According to the principal Inca legend, before the reign of the first Inca,... the sun-god, Con-Ticci Viracocha, had taken leave of his kingdom in present day Peru and sailed off into the Pacific with all his subjects. The White men had abandoned their pyramids and statues and gone with the leader, Con-Ticci Viracocha, first up to Cuzco, and then down to the Pacific. They were given the Inca name of Viracocha, or "sea foam', because they were white skinned and vanished like foam over the sea. (Heyerdahl, ibid.-American Indians in the Pacific) (Frontiers of Anthropology 2013)
Quoting John Marco Alero, 1970:
"The mushroom has always been a thing of mystery. The ancients were puzzled by its manner of growth without seed, the speed with which it made its appearance after rain, and its as rapid disappearance…. Every aspect of the mushroom's existence was fraught with sexual allusions, and in its phallic form the ancients saw a replica of the fertility god him self. It was the “son of God,” its drug was a purer form of the god's own spermatozoa than that discoverable in any other form of living matter. It was, in fact, God himself, manifest on earth. To the mystic it was the divinely given means of entering heaven; God had come down in the flesh to show the way to himself, by himself."— “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.”
The photo above of the tallest and most noticeable monument at the Inca ruins of Chucuito in Peru, does appear to resembling a penis, however I would argue that the surrouning stone statues actually do represent mushrooms, some of which appear to have been ritually decapitated. (© South American Pictures/ Tony Morrison, photo from internet, http://members.cox.net/ancient-sites/inca/day10_LakeTiticaca.htm).
As mentioned earlier, Maya
archaeologist David Kelley noted the similarity between the
Mesoamerican calendar and the Hindu lunar mansions. Kelley saw the
resemblance between the Mesoamerican cycle of the Nine Lords of the
Night, to the Hindu planetary week of nine days, and noted the parallel
belief of four previous world ages and their cataclysmic destruction
(Susan Milbrath, 1999, p.292). Kelley's Harvard Ph.D. dissertation on trans-Pacific contacts and his professional research in Maya archaeology and epigraphy has been for the most part well received by his colleagues (Alice B. Kehoe 2008, p.169).
Quoting Maya archaeologist David H. Kelley:
"Much of Aztec religion looks like a modified Hinduism in which one important change was the deliberate abandonment of religious eroticism" (Man Across the Sea, 1971, p.62).
There is plenty of evidence in India of human sacrifice, decapitation, and self decapitation, and the offering of heads to the gods. One account of mass sacrifice took place in Assam in north-eastern India in 1565 A.D. at a ceremony celebrating the re-dedication of a temple to Rajah Nara Narayana. The Rajah celebrating this event had one hundred and forty men decapitated, and then offered their severed heads on copper and gold plates to the goddess Kali, wife of the Hindu god Shiva (Davies 1981, p.76).
The art style at the archaeological site of El Tajin is also reminiscent of the Cotzumulhuapa culture on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, and there is little doubt that there must have been close contact between the two regions. Cotzumahlhuapa's imagery also depicts serpents, jaguars, human skulls and skullracks, and bloody sacrifices performed by were-jaguars (see Lee A. Parsons 1963, 1965a, b, 1966 a,b, 1967). It was in this region that the decapitation of human heads (trophy head cult) and the dismemberment of body parts reached new levels.
In Mesoamerican mythology the World Tree, with its roots in the underworld and its branches in the heavens, represents the axis mundi or center of the world. Its worth mentioning once again, that there is a Nahua (Aztec/Toltec) legend in ancient Mexico of a paradise of nine heavens that was dedicated to their god Quetzalcoatl, called Tamoanchan where there was a sacred tree that marked the place where the gods were born and where sacred mushrooms and all life derived (Hugh Thomas 1993, p.474).
The mushroom ritual I believe was probably timed astronomically to the period of inferior conjunction of the planet Venus. At this time Venus sinks below the horizon and disappears into the "underworld" for eight days. It then rises before the sun, thereby appearing to resurrect the sun from the underworld as the Morning Star. For this reason mushroom induced bloodletting rituals were likely performed in caves, which I suspect was timed to a ritual calendar linked to the movements of the planet Venus as both a Morning Star and Evening Star. The mushroom experience, as well as caves and ballcourts were believed to be entrances or portals into the underworld.
The drawing above by Daniela Epstein-Koontz, is another one of the ball court relief panels from El Tajin, in Veracruz Mexico. Upon noticing the turtle in this creation scene I knew right away that this ballcourt scene from El Tajin was a version of the Hindu/Buddhist myth known as "The Churning of the Milk's Ocean", a creation story often depicted in Hindu art. According to Vedic,Hindu, and Buddhist literature, the Gods got together at the beginning of time and churned the ocean to extract a substance which would offer them immortality. According to Richard J. Williams author of "Soma in Indian Religion" Etheogens as Religious Sacrament (2009 p.2 Introduction), The Gods agreed to share this mighty elixir, calling it Amrita, or Amrit which is a Sanskrit word for "nectar", a sacred drink also in Buddhist mythology that grants their gods immortality. Although Soma's actual identity has been lost through time, Soma was described as a god, and as a "heavenly liquor" that was guarded by a Serpent.
As it turns out I wasn't the first researcher to make this connection. The late great Maya archaeologist and epigrapher David H. Kelley, noted the similarities years ago, but his work was more than often suppressed, and criticized, for his insistence to carry on his studies of long range cultural contacts via trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic voyages. Trans-oceanic contact between the hemispheres prior to the voyages of Columbus is still considered highly unlikely by most Mesoamerican archaeologists, despite the exception of the Viking outpost discovered in Newfoundland in the 1960's, and the recent awareness that early humans reached far distant Australia by boat, possibly as early as 50,000 years ago. Kelley noted the striking similarities between the Late Chow decorative styles of China of 700-200 B.C.E. and those of the El Tajin culture of Veracruz, Mexico, of A.D. 500-1000 (Stephen C. Jett 1971, p.44) (Heine-Geldern, 1959a).
Diffusionists will argue that the best piece of evidence for trans-Pacific contact, is that both India and Mesoamerica shared a similar calendar, and that the sophistication in both calendars could not have been a duplicate invention. Kelley (1960) and anthropologist Paul Kirchhoff (1964) detail a large number of exact correspondences between the Hindu and Mexican calendars and their religious and mythological associations, suggesting diffusion s from India or Southeast Asia to Mexico (Man Across the Sea: Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts: 1971, p. 36-37).
"New data and new techniques of analysis will eventually show that a great many contacts have occurred between far separated cultures, and more sophisticated analyses of the processes of cultural change will eventually allow clear-cut positive or negative conclusions about many cases that now remain in doubt."
Diffusionists have frequently been accused of "trait-chasing", the comparison of Old World and New World traits....Isolationists argue that diffusionists overestimate the abilities of pre-Columbian man to traverse the oceans.
The drawing above is from a mural at Tulum, Structure 5, in Yucatan Mexico, that depicts what I propose is a Post Classic Maya version of the Hindu myth, The Churning of the Milk Ocean. "The style of these murals is similar to that of the Paris Codex, one of the few surviving Maya books" (Morley / Sharer 1983, p.359). Note the intertwined serpents in the main section of the scene as well as a serpent swimming below in the primordial sea along with a fish and a turtle in the lower section. The turtle bears the so-called head of a god scholars have identified as God N (see Schellhas). Once again the turtle acts as the central pivot point, below the churning mechanism, which is composed of intertwined serpents. The characters above likely depict the gods from the four cardinal directions representing both life and death, upper world and underworld. The four deities use hand gestures to churn the Milk ocean, and together with the serpent and turtle, (both are avatars of the planet Venus), create and resurrect the reborn sun god. (drawing of Mural 1 from Tulum from Milbrath 1980) (drawing by Felipe Davalos G)
above in the Codex Selden, is another scene that I feel represents a
Mesoamerican version of the Hindu inspired creation myth known as
The Churning of the Milk Ocean. The complex scene on the page is first
and foremost divided into three sections, separating the upper world,
from the underworld, and the middle world from which the Tree of Life emerges.
The upper world is depicted and framed at the corners of the page with a
sky band depicting disembodied eyes, which represent the soul of the
deified ancestral dead as the stars above. Framing in the bottom
portion of the page is a two-headed feline/serpent, depicted with a
stylized design of criss-crossing bands which can be linked to a Maya
verb jal, which means create, (Michael D. Coe 2001, p.163).
The dual headed
serpent which frames the bottom of the page also surrounds a body of
water that I believe represents the so-called Milk ocean of Hindu
mythology. Emerging from this sea of creation (note waves) is a tree
depicting a single eye, and intertwined serpents, emerging from a sacred
altar platform that depicts a band of stylized step glyphs,
symbolizing the descent and emergence from the underworld.
Its worth noting that verses in the Rig Veda refer to Soma as the
"single eye", the eye of the sun, symbolism, that can be clearly seen in
the iconography above. Coiled
around the trunk and branches of this sacred tree is a two-headed
serpent, which depicts feline fangs symbolizing the serpents descent
into and out from the underworld.
The serpents feline attributes
represent the underworld transformation that takes place prior to the
Sun God's resurrection from the underworld. The central portion of the
scene likely symbolize middle earth, from which the Tree of Life
emerges. The codex scene depicts two main characters or deities sitting
on opposite sides of the tree. I believe they symbolize both the God
of Life and the God of death. The God of Life and god of the upper
world sits at the left of the tree. He appears to have emerged from the
mouth of the serpent below him at left. Opposite the God of Life, on
the other side of the tree is the God of Death, who has emerged from
the mouth of the serpent with the feline head.
Both deities hold in their hands a ritual sacrament, to be eaten or offered as a gift to the Tree of Life, from which the Sun God is reborn and immortality is obtained.
the top of the page we see the newly born Sun God emerge from a
V-shaped cleft depicted in the upper branches of the Tree of Life. To
the right of the Sun God in the upper right hand corner of the page is
an icon that is shaped like a drinking vessel that bears a symbol of
five points beneath the vessel that refers to the so-called "fiveness"
of Venus, referring to the planets five sonodic cycles, noted by
scholars in the Dresden Codex.
I believe that this symbol is linked to
the Soma ritual and the sacred day Ahau, in the Venus calendar, when
Venus is first visible rising from the underworld as the Morning Star. I
would argue that this Venus resurrection ritual is intimately
connected with the Soma beverage and Soma sacrifices mentioned in the
Rig Veda. The symbol to the left of the Sun God, and opposite the
probable Soma vessel located at the left hand corner of the page is the
year sign in the Aztec calendar.
on to the middle portion of the scene, I believe the sequence of
events, reads from right to left, and is as follows. Just to the right
of the altar platform from which the Tree of Life emerges, there is a
bleeding turtle just above a body of water I believe refers to the "Milk
Ocean" in Hindu mythology. The bleeding turtle is located just below
the deity identified as the God of Death and the underworld. The
bleeding turtle in this scene represents the sacrificial victim, whose
shell or carapace in this scene will be the sacred portal linked to
immortality and divine resurrection.
The turtle's bloody heart can be
seen sitting on top of the altar platform just to the left of the tree,
as a sacrificial gift to the Gods of Life and Death who are responsible
at times completion for the death and daily rebirth and resurrection
of the Sun God. Note that the three turtle carapaces depicted in the
primordial sea moving from right to left, under the Tree of Life, is a
reference to the three hearthstones of creation, and that the turtle
carapace located on the far left just below Tlaloc's severed head
appears to have a star symbol inside the shell, which likely alludes to
the planet Venus and that the turtle represents Venus as a divine
Just below the Tree of Life, underneath the altar platform is the carapace of the turtle with the head of a feline emerging, symbolizing the turtle's transformation in the underworld into the Underworld Jaguar. The sequence of events moves to the left, and then up, with the empty turtle carapace still in the sea, but just above and to the left of the altar platform is a stylized severed head, associated with the ritual act of decapitation. The stylized severed head bears the image of the Mexican Rain and Lightning God Tlaloc, who also represents the God of the Underworld and thus he represents the god of underworld decapitation, as the Evening Star aspect of the planet Venus. Tlaloc's severed head in this scene is stylized to represent a divine star reborn from the Underworld. Tlaloc can be easily identified in this scene by his trademark goggled eyes, feline fangs, and handlebar mustache. Those who died for Tlaloc or were under his watchful eye, went directly to his divine paradise called Tlalocan.
Most historians believe that maize, or corn was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, by the Olmec and Maya civilizations around 2500 BC. It was only after the voyages of Columbus in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, that explorers and traders carried maize back to Europe and introduced it to other countries
Quoting archaeologist John L. Sorenson...
"Maize or American Indian corn was represented in pre-Columbian times in the sacred art of India at over a hundred temples, as well as in Java. At least four Sanskrit names for maize are recorded in India, and botanical evidence from corn varieties grown in remote areas of south and east Asia confirm the crop’s very early presence there. Zea mays was also known in medieval Arabia as shown by a lexical entry. (It is uncertain whether the Asian maize came from Mesoamerica or from elsewhere in the New World.)" (source, Sino-Plantonic Papers, Number 195, Dec. 2009)
Above on the left are sculptures of dwarfs from the Olmec site of La Venta, portrayed as holding up an altar. On the right are Hindu dwarfs, called Yakshas also portrayed holding up a temple. The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mesoamerica (1200 B.C. to 400 B.C.) rising up, out of know where, in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, at the centers of San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de Los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco. Maya archaeologist Stephan de Borhegyi theorized that Maya civilization developed as the result of direct influences from the Olmec civilization of La Venta, and suggested that the Olmec of La Venta most likely spoke a Proto-Mayan, living among such other Maya speakers as the Huaxtecs, and proto-Totonacs (S.F. de Borhegyi 1965a p.19). The ancient cultures of the Nahua, and Zapotecs, also developed similar ideologies and mythologies from the same Olmec roots.
Tree of Life and Mushrooms encoded in Indian coins ?
Ancient India was one of the earliest users of coins, they were made of silver of a standard weight (punch marked coins) with irregular shapes, punched marked with numerous symbols, many of which are astronomical called Puranas, Karshapanas, or Pana, were minted in the 6th century B.C.E.
Fleur de lis encoded in Old World coins ?
"...the absence of coined money in America has been mentioned as one of these alleged proofs [of isolation ]. Yet coinage was not adopted by most of the ancient hinduized countries of southeastern Asia despite the close connection they had with India where coinage was used since the time of the Mouryan kings".
According to John L. Sorenson author of, A Complex of Ritual and Ideology Shared by Mesoamerica and the Ancient Near East, 2009:"English anthropologist Edward Tylor (1878a; 1878b) pointed out numerous details in common in the setup and rules governing these games in Mexico and India. He concluded that since we do not know from historical sources how the similarities might have been transmitted from one area to the other, “all we can argue is that communication of some sort there was.” He found it impossible to accept that human minds had twice invented the same set of arbitrary notions. The only satisfying explanation for parallels of such specificity as pachisi and patolli display is that the two occurrences were indeed historically related through some contact that has not so far been identified. Anthropologist Robert Lowie observed about this case that “the concatenation of details puts the parallels far outside any probability [of their having originated independently]”.
Many clay figurines like the one on the right, found at the Olmec influenced site of Tlatilco, in the Valley of Mexico, Early-Middle Preclassic period 1300-800 B.C.E. depict double-headed deities.
Once again the famous bronze statue on the left, of a young women sporting a club-like hand, is from Harappa, early Indus civilization and thought to be about 4,500 years old. The standing female figurine on the right, represents a female ballplayer from ancient Mexico wearing a protective helmet, and club-like glove and wears what may be a mushroom-inspired ballgame protective cup and belt. (For more on "knuckle dusters" or ballgame hand stones and ballgame gloves see de Borhegyi, 1961: 129-140. (photograph of Xochipala female ballplayer from Whittington, 2001).
The female ballplayer figurine above on the right, comes from the archaeological site of Xochipala, Mexico, Tlatilco culture in the western state of Guerrero, and dates to 1200-900 B.C.E It is now in the Princeton University Art Museum. Many of the clay figurines found at the Olmec influenced sites of Xochipala, Tlatilco, and Tlapacoya, in the Valley of Mexico depict ballplayers holding bats or paddles, or so-called "knuckle dusters" which are over sized hand gloves like the one depicted above on the female Xochipala ballplayer (de Borhegyi S.F. 1980, p.24).
The seven-headed serpent motif is commonly encoded in both pre-Columbian art, and in ancient Hindu, Buddhist, Jainism and Sikhism art. In fact the Buddha is often portrayed being shadowed by a seven headed serpent or “Naga”. Above on the left is a carved stela from Veracruz Mexico, Classic Veracruz Culture (site of Aparicio, 400-700 CE.), in which we see a decapitated ball-player in full gear, with seven snakes emerging from his neck. A similar scene of snakes emerging from a decapitated ballplayer also appears on the wall of the Great Ball court at the Maya site of Chichen Itza, in Yucatan Mexico. On the far right is a drawing of Stela 13, from the Olmec influenced Maya site of Seibal
(also spelled Ceibal) in the jungles of Guatemala, that depicts the esoteric motif of seven snakes.
Elephants in Mesoamerica ?
While there clearly have been no elephants in the Americas since the extinction of the mastodon and wooly mammoth thousands of years ago, numerous images resembling elephants have been noted in Mesoamerican art over the years.
Several glyphs in William Gates, Dictionary of Maya Glyphs (1978: 165,165) are widely believed to represent Indian elephants. They are depicted in row 421
Jade elephant pendent, Olmec culture, 1200-400 B.C.E.
Quoting Ethno-archaeologist Dr. Robert Heine Geldern:
"The influences of the Hindu-Buddhist culture of southeast Asia in Mexico and particularly, among the Maya, are incredibly strong, and they have already disturbed some Americanists who don't like to see them but cannot deny them....Ships that could cross the Indian Ocean were able to cross the Pacific too. Moreover, these ships were really larger and probably more sea-worthy than those of Columbus and Magellan" (from "Man across the Sea" Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, published in 1971, Third Printing 1976)
In Iranian and Vedic-Hindu mythology, both the Haoma and Soma plant are connected in myth with the "World Tree". Like the god plant Soma of the ancient Indo-Aryans the god myths of Mesoamerica contain a sacramental food or beverage associated with sacrifice and immortality. The Aryans, who introduced their Soma religion into the Indus Valley civilization around 1500 B.C.E, believed that sacrifices were necessary to keep the world in balance. This balance was maintained through the acts of ritual sacrifice and the offering of Soma (Sanskrit) Haoma (Avestan), the hallucinogenic drink of the Indo-Aryans and ancient Persians of Iran.
" It seems quite likely that Quetzalcoatl was a Mexican adaptation of one of the principal Maya deities, probably the Long-nosed God".
"Many authorities consider God B [Chaak the Long-nosed God] to represent Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent, whose Aztec equivalent is Quetzalcoatl "(A Study of Maya Art 1975 p.62).
Quoting Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi:
" the ballgame, and cultural diffusion may be in order"
"While human decapitation was a widespread custom throughout both the Old and New Worlds as early as the Paleolithic period, its association with ancient team games seems to have occurred only in central and eastern Asia, Mesoamerica, and South America (for ballgames in Southeast Asia, see Loffler, 1955). The use of severed human heads in the polo games of Tibet, China, and Mongolia goes back at least as far as the Chou Dynasty (approximately 1100 B.C. -250 B.C.) and possibly to Shang times (about 1750 B.C. -1100 B.C.). By the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), the polo game in China had become more refined and human heads were apparently replaced by balls. However, the custom of using "trophy heads" in the game must have survived in modern form in marginal areas, as evidence by the fact that the present day Tajik tribesmen of Afghanistan still use the head of a goat as a ball during the game (Abercombie, 1968). While more studies are needed along this line, it is tempting to suggest that the custom of using human heads in competitive ballgames be added to the growing Pre-Classic inventory of "trans-Pacific contacts". (S.F. de Borhegyi 1980, p.25)
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