"Hidden In Pain Sight"
The earliest evidence of a mushroom-based religious cult in the New World, appears to date to approximately the same time period, around 1000 BCE, and the beginnings in Mesoamerica of the Olmec culture (S.F. de Borhegyi letter to Wasson, June 14th 1953). The rise of the ancient Olmec in the New World has puzzled archaeologists for some time. The Olmec, the first complex civilization of the New World emerge from the jungles of the Gulf Coast of what is now present day Mexico, sometime around 1500-1200 B.C. Archaeologists contend that the Olmec culture appears to come from out of nowhere in full bloom at the site of San Lorenzo, in Veracruz, Mexico. Carbon 14 dates place Olmec civilization at San Lorenzo at 1200 B.C. E. (M. D. Coe, 1970, p.21).
The Olmec are best known for the gigantic colossal stone heads they created, at ceremonial sites along the Gulf of Mexico in the states of Vera Cruz, and Tabasco. This sophisticated culture, with its distinctive art style and mythology, pyramids and megalithic stone sculpture adorned with the images of gods and rulers, appeared quite suddenly in full blossom, first along the Pacific coast of Guatemala and Mexico, and shortly thereafter in what is now the state of Veracruz, Mexico.
Above is an Olmec figurine, that most likely comes from the San Lorenzo phase of Olmec culture, 1200-400 B.C.E. These infantile baby-faced figurines, many of which depict the symbolism of a snarling jaguar, are a distinctive feature in Olmec art. This figure appears to represent an Olmec baby holding what appears to be a gigantic Amanita muscaria mushroom. According to ethno-mycologist Gastón Guzmán, one of the effects of the Amanita muscaria mushroom experience is to see objects as gigantic in size. (Guzman, 2010) (photograph by Higinio Gonzalez of Puebla, Mexico).
Above is a close up scene from Page 24 of the Codex Vindobonensis, that portrays the Wind God Ehecatl-Quetzalcóatl carrying what appears to be a mushroom god on his back, similar to the story in the Popol Vuh, where the founders of the Quichéan lineages traveled a great distance eastward “across the sea” to the Toltec city called Tulan Zuyva where they received their gods “whom they then carried home in bundles on their backs” (Christenson, 2007: 198) According to Ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst, the scene on page 24 depicts the divine establishment of the ritual consumption of sacred mushrooms (1981, pp.151-155).
Above is an image of Lord Quetzalcoatl crowned with a Fleur de lis symbol, reproduced from page 19 of the Codex Borgia one of five codices, or divinatory manuals in the Borgia group (now in the Vatican), that predate the Spanish Conquest. Here, the Aztec Toltec god-king, and culture hero Quetzalcoatl, (known as Waxak-lahun-Ubah-Kan among the Classic Maya) is portrayed wearing his trademark wind-jewel and the mask of the Wind God Ehecatl-Quetzalcoatl. A closer look at the attributes of Quetzalcoatl's headdress, depicts a harpy eagle, one of the many avatars of Quetzalcoatl, a trefoil in the shape of the Fleur de lis symbol, and the "single eye" motif, a universal symbol of the resurrected Sun God. Also encoded in Quetzalcoatl's headdress is a five pointed Venus half-star symbol. The "fiveness" of Venus, 5 synodic cycles, comes from the fact that five Venus cycles of 584 days each equal eight solar years to the day, and that 584 days is the time it takes for Earth and Venus to line up with respect to the Sun. This day was a period ending day in the sacred 260 day calendar (almanac) and always ended on the day Ahau (also spelled Ajaw). Ahau in the Mayan language means Lord.
The were-jaguar appears in the art of the ancient Olmecs as early as 1200 B.C. Like the Vedic god Soma, 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 "were-jaguar" a half-human, half-jaguar deity first described and named in 1955 by archaeologist Matthew W. Stirling.
The so-called "Olmec snarl" a common motif in Olmec art may represent the powerful effects of the Amanita muscaria, and Amanita pantherina (also hallucinogenic) mushrooms, resulting in were-jaguar transformation. 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. Its the author's 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 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. According to Olmec archaeologist Michael Coe "...the concept of the were-jaguar is at the heart of the Olmec civilization" (Michael D. Coe, 1962, p.85).
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)."
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).
Wasson was the first to call attention to the pervasiveness of the toad and it's association with the term toadstool, with the intoxicating mushrooms in Europe. The Amanita muscaria mushroom is considered a poisonous and deadly mushroom, however human deaths from eating the mushroom are very rare. 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.?
"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 are Type C mushroom stones from Guatemala (Borhegyi de, S.F., 1957b.) The Type C mushroom stone above center and right depicts 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) Mushroom-shaped stones, many bearing toad images carved on their base, have been found throughout Mesoamerica, in the areas of Chiapas, Mexico, Highland Guatemala, and along the Pacific slope as far south as El Salvador (de Borhegyi, 1957, 1961, 1963, 1965a, 1965b).
Quoting R. Gordon Wasson;
“In two examples of mushroom stones, one stone has a mushroom emerging from the mouth of a giant toad, another stone has a mushroom rising from the back of a toad with an anthropomorphic face”. (Wasson, 1957; p.185) Many more such mushroom toad stones have been found...”Strangely moving is the sporadic recurrence throughout the northern hemisphere of this chthonic deity, the toad, with the entheogenic mushroom."
There is ample evidence that the mushroom stone cult lasted well into the Colonial Era. According to testimony recorded in 1554 in the Colonial document entitled El Titulo de Totonicapan, (Land Title of Totonicapan), the Quiché Maya revered mushroom stones as symbols of power and rulership, and before them they performed rituals (of blood sacrifice) to pierce and cut up their bodies. (Sachse, 2001, 363).
" 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."
It may be that the one-legged gods of Mesoamerica, represent the divine mushroom and that the one-leg refers to the mushroom's stem or stipe, as well as to lightning. Tedlock's analysis of the Popol Vuh reveals that "the three q'abawil were wooden and stone deities called Cacula Huracan, Lightning One-leg"; Chipa Cacula, "Youngest or Smallest Lightning"; and "Sudden or Violent Lightning" and suggests that spirit is manifested within material objects (Tedlock,1985, 249-251).
In the highlands of Guatemala where the majority of mushroom stones have been found, and where the Amanita muscaria mushroom grows in abundance, archaeologists working at the Preclassic site of Kaminajuyu discovered nine miniature mushroom stones in a Maya tomb, along with nine mortars and pestles, stone tools which were likely used in the mushroom's preparatory rites (see S.F de Borhegyi,1961, 498-504).
While the actual identity of Soma has been lost through time, both its description and the details of its preparation seem to point not to a plant but to the Amanita muscaria mushroom. The flesh of the plant was crushed, using “Soma stones,” and the juices were filtered through wool into large jars. In a like manner, Maya mushroom stones, when they have been found in situ in the course of archaeological excavation, are often accompanied by stone grinding tools known as manos and metates. Accounts of mushroom ceremonies still in practice among the Zapotec Indians of Mexico confirm the use of these tools in the preparation of hallucinogenic mushrooms for human consumption. One must conclude that these manos and metates were used for the same purpose as the sacred stones described in the Rig Veda that were used to prepare Soma.
Above is the list of the 20 Zapotec day signs from Javier Urcid (2000). There is a repeating cycle of 20 named days in the 260 day calendar each day represented by a unique symbol or glyph, the 20th day name which means Lord, or Ruler. The Zapotec glyph on the bottom right, encodes a symbol into the headdress which I propose is a pre-Conquest or New World version of the Old World Fleur de lis symbol, representing ruler or lord. In Mesoamerica, as in the Old World, the royal line of the king was considered to be of divine origin, linked to the Tree of Life.
The Zapotec stelae with inscriptions officially known as the danzante with glyphs (or Monument 3 at San Jose Mogote), was carved sometime around 600 B.C. (Josephy 1991, p.159). Shortly after the conquest, Spanish chronicler Pedro Perez de Zamora, in his "Relacion de Teticpac", Papeles de Nueva Espana 1580, reported the use of sacred mushrooms among the Zapotec Indians, in the Valley of Oaxaca. (Wasson and de Borhegyi 1962, The Hallucinogenic Mushrooms of Mexico and Psilocybin: A Bibliography, p. 37 1962).
Above are symbols and names for the 20 day signs in the Aztec calendar, note that the symbol on the bottom right referred to as a flower and representing the number 20, is identical in shape to the Old World Fleur de lis symbol. Flowers symbolize a state of the soul on its journey to full godhood and the mushroom of the Aztecs, was called teonanacatal, teo meaning god, nanacatl meaning mushroom, or the flower of god.
Fray Alonso de Molina's big lexicon of the Nahuatl language (language of the Aztecs) published in 1571, Molina gives us another word for mushroom, xochinanacatl, meaning flower mushroom, xochitl meaning flower and nanacatl meaning mushroom (Wasson 1980, p80).
Aztec poets likely used the word for flower as a figure of speech when they were referring to the mushrooms. The Aztec symbol above referred to as a flower in the day signs of the Aztec Calendar, and representing the number 20 is really a symbol for divinity, or "Lord" and represents an esoteric symbol of the Tree of Life and its mushroom or flower of immortality.
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". I propose that the flower that makes one drunk, and sends one to heaven was a sacred mushroom, and that the Fleur de lis emblem was code that symbolized mushroom immortality.
In both hemispheres the Fleur de lis symbol is associated with divine rulership, linked to mythological deities in the guise of a serpent, feline, and bird, associated with a Tree of Life, it's forbidden fruit, and a trinity of creator gods. In Mesoamerica, as in the Old World, the royal line of the king was considered to be of divine origin, linked to the Tree of Life. Descendants of the Mesoamerican god-king Quetzalcoatl, and thus all Mesoamerican kings or rulers, were also identified with the trefoil, or Fleur de lis symbol.
The drawing above is from a Classic period (200-650 CE.) Teotihuacan drinking vessel. It depicts the Teotihuacan god Tlaloc (or ruler dressed in the guise of Tlaloc?) crowned with a trefoil similar in shape and meaning “Lord” as the Old World Fleur de Lis symbol. Note that the Tlaloc figure on the drinking vessel carries an axe, and that he is surrounded by footprints alluding to his underworld journey as the Evening Star and god of underworld decapitation.
Quoting Spinden:" 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).
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. The sun god of the Aztecs Tonatiuh first found in Toltec art is frequently paired with Quetzalcoatl in his aspect of Venus as Morningstar.
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/)
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 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 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. Venus as the Morning Star aspect, or avatar of the God-king Quetzalcoatl was the harpy eagle.
Above is a closeup from a page of the Codex Bodley, a Mixtec manuscript from Highland
Mexico, painted sometime around A. D. 1500. I would argue that the Mixtec artist intentionally encoded a
Fleur de lis symbol, as a symbol of divinity on top of a sacred mushroom, and that the three dots
below the Fleur de lis is code for a trinity of creator gods.
Above is a page from the Codex Laud that depicts the Aztec goddess Mayahuel, goddess of the maguey plant, in the act of self sacrific. In her right hand she holds a ritual beverage that I propose is tagged with a stylized Fleur-de-lis emblem symbolizing a divine beverage of immortality. Note the serpent and turtle below the "Tree of Life". Both the turtle and serpent are avatars of the god-king Quetzalcoatl and the planet Venus as the Morning Star.
"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).
Ethno-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.)
According to Bernard Lowy:
"Maya codices has revealed that the Maya and their contemporaries knew and utilized psychotropic mushrooms in the course of their magico-religious ceremonial observances" (Lowy:1981) .
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.
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, decapitation, and the ritual ballgame, associated with period endings in the Mayan calendar.
The ancient Iranic peoples (Iranian being cognate with Aryan) who emerged after the 1st millennium BCE, include the Alans, Bactrians, Dahae, Khwarezmians, Massagetae, Medes, Parthians, Persians, Sagartians, Sakas, Sarmatians, Sogdians, and Scythians among other Iranian-speaking peoples of Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Eastern Steppe.
" 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).
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.
The poets of the Rig Veda repeatedly speak of Soma as growing in the Mountain heights. We are told that the Aryans of the Rig Veda had come down from the north on horse and chariots, but know one knows from where. It's probable that the chariot originated in Central Asia and was later adopted by the civilizations of China, Mesopotamia, and the Caucasus (The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221BC: 1999) The early presence of chariots in Central Asia is documented by petroglyphs from the Altai Mountain region in Siberia and Mongolia.
"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)
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)
“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.”
Mithridates or Mithradates VI, also known as Mithradates the Great and Eupator Dionysius, was king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia from about 120–63 BC. Wikipedia
This may be about Amanita muscaria mushroom poisoning...
Mithridates then took out some poison that he always carried next to his sword, and mixed it. There two of his daughters, who were still girls growing up together, named Mithridates and Nysa, who had been betrothed to the kings of [Ptolemaic] Egypt and of Cyprus, asked him to let them have some of the poison first, and insisted strenuously and prevented him from drinking it until they had taken some and swallowed it. The drug took effect on them at once; but upon Mithridates, although he walked around rapidly to hasten its action, it had no effect, because he had accustomed himself to other drugs by continually trying them as a means of protection against poisoners. These are still called the Mithridatic drugs. Seeing a certain Bituitus there, an officer of the Gauls, he said to him, "I have profited much from your right arm against my enemies. I shall profit from it most of all if you will kill me, and save from the danger of being led in a Roman triumph one who has been an autocrat so many years, and the ruler of so great a kingdom, but who is now unable to die by poison because, like a fool, he has fortified himself against the poison of others. Although I have kept watch and ward against all the poisons that one takes with his food, I have not provided against that domestic poison, always the most dangerous to kings, the treachery of army, children, and friends." Bituitus, thus appealed to, rendered the king the service that he desired. . Wikipedia
Cassius Dio's Roman History records a different account:
Mithridates had tried to make away with himself, and after first removing his wives and remaining children by poison, he had swallowed all that was left; yet neither by that means nor by the sword was he able to perish by his own hands. For the poison, although deadly, did not prevail over him, since he had inured his constitution to it, taking precautionary antidotes in large doses every day; and the force of the sword blow was lessened on account of the weakness of his hand, caused by his age and present misfortunes, and as a result of taking the poison, whatever it was. When, therefore, he failed to take his life through his own efforts and seemed to linger beyond the proper time, those whom he had sent against his son fell upon him and hastened his end with their swords and spears. Thus Mithridates, who had experienced the most varied and remarkable fortune, had not even an ordinary end to his life. For he desired to die, albeit unwillingly, and though eager to kill himself was unable to do so; but partly by poison and partly by the sword he was at once self-slain and murdered by his foes. . Wikipedia
I propose that divine mushrooms were deliberately encoded "Hidden in Plain Sight," in an effort to conceal the sacred knowledge 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 Terence 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)" 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)."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)
"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).
"A prodigious expansion in Man's memory must have been the gift that differentiated mankind from his predecessors, and I surmise that this expansion in memory led to a simultaneous growth in the gift of language, these two powers generating in man that self-consciousness which is the third of the triune traits that alone make man unique. Those three gifts - memory, language and self-consciousness - so interlock that they seem inseparable, the aspects of a quality that permitted us to achieve all the wonders we now know." (R. Gordon Wasson, p. 80, Entheogens and the Origins of Religion. Yale University Press, New Haven MA.)
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.
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."
The Amanita muscaria mushroom was used among the Ugrians, Ostyaks, the Samoyeds, the Chuckchee, the Koryak, the Kamchadals and the Inari-Samis in Finland (Gordon Wasson, 1971, p.3-71). In Siberia, the Amanita muscaria mushroom was ritually used by Finno-Ugaric people (Schultes & Hofmann p.84).
"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 Allegro:
"No one knows where the Sumerians came from, but about 4000 B.C. they were already developing a culture which was to affect the whole world for over five thousand years" (Allegro, 1970 p.31)
"All roads in the Near East lead back to the Mesopotamian basin, to ancient Sumer. Similarly, the most important of the religions and mythologies of that area, and probably far beyond, are reaching back to the mushroom cult of Sumer and her successors".
"Linguistic scholars from around the world have attempted to associate the Sumerians with the ancient cuneiform language, but have agreed on nothing. These scholars all accept that it is an extinct agglutinative language (Michalowski, 2006) and that it is not an Indo-European or Semitic language; and arguments regarding this subject continue today. Everybody wants to claim the affiliation in one way or another, or at least they want to prevent others from claiming the affiliation if they cannot claim it themselves" (Metin Gunduz, Origins of the Sumerians Sept. 2012 p.221).
The assertion of the identity of the Huns and Hungarians, was first made by ninth-tenth century European chronicle (Gabor Klaniczay 2011 "The Myth of Scythian Origin and the Cult of Attila" p. 187). Comparative linguistic analysis indicates that of all known ethno-linguistic groups, the Hungarian, Turkic, Caucasian and Finnic languages are by far the closest to Sumerian (K. Gosztony: Dictionnaire d'étymologie sumérienne et grammaire comparée). This is confirmed by archaeological and anthropological evidence which shows that thousands of years ago, the Sumerians and other related Near Eastern peoples settled in the vast region of Central Eurasia from the Carpathian basin to the Altai mountains, from the Urals and Siberia to Iran and India (L. Götz: Keleten Kel a Nap (The Sun Rises in the East).
The identities of the Scythian people and their migrations is still uncertain, and that the term "Scythian" should be taken loosely, as many people of different tribes were called Scythians, a term referring to horse-nomads. The Greek historian Strabo (676-675 BCE) applied a generic label to all western central Asian tribes of the Steppe beyond Anatolia as Scythians, based on similarity of customs and practices.
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."
" They [the Huns] are short in stature, quick in bodily movement, alert horsemen, broad shouldered, ready in the use of bow and arrow, and have firm-set necks which are ever erect in pride. Though they live in the form of men, they have the cruelty of wild beasts". (Jordanes : Getica: The Origin and Deeds of the Goths, c. 551 CE)
"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).
The Amanita muscaria mushroom is a species of mushroom that can form what is known as hexenringe or fairy rings. Also called witches rings or elf rings, they are naturally occurring circles that appear on the ground with mushrooms surrounding the perimeter. According to Nicklas Failla, author of "The Origins of Religion", spores that fall to the ground from a mushroom cap will often form a circular network of mycelium beneath the ground, and over time as mushrooms grow from these mycelium rings, the rings will grow out as the mycelium ages. So the size of the ring indicates the age of the mycelium patch, similar to the rings in a trunk of a tree. It just so happens that one of the largest fairy rings in the world surrounds the megalithic monument of Stonehenge (Roman Vishniac, 1966)(Nicklas Failla, 2015 p.8).
Fairy 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. The mushrooms around the perimeter were seats where the sprites could rest after their exertions. It was thought that toads would sit on these mushrooms and poison them creating a toadstool. While these mysterious rings are often seen as hazardous or dangerous places, they can sometimes be linked with good fortune.
Quoting Stephan F. 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 word gnome comes from the Latin gnoma, meaning "knowledge" suggesting gnomes as "the knowing ones" (Raymond Buckland 2002, p.208).
Quoting Wasson:"Only in recent decades have scholars made serious inquiries into the peculiar witchcraft phenomena of the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, and the panic that they provoked in the Churches, Catholic and in later stages Protestant. There was no witch-hunting in Eastern Orthodoxy" (Wasson 1980 p.108)
Photograph © Justin Kerr:
Maya figurine K2853 Late Classic Period (A.D. 600-900) from the Justin Kerr Data Base. The Maya figurine on the left, represents a bearded gnome or dwarf, wearing a hat that I propose is an upside down or inverted Amanita muscaria mushroom (Princeton Art Museum). In Mesoamerican mythology the dwarf guides the dead in their descent into the underworld. On the right is a photograph of an Amanita muscaria mushroom. (photograph copyrighted and owned by the artist, Esther van de Belt ).
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 how were they able to transport the giant boulders, over such a great distance? If we look to Celtic mythology for clues, we are told that 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).
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. The worship of Tengri under the name "T'angri Khan" is attested among the Caucasian Huns in the Armenian chronicle attributed to Movses Dasxuranci during the later seventh-century (Wikipeda: Huns).
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.
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).
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.
(Photograph of Hunnic cauldron by Hungarian photographer Gyorgy Klosz photo in Public domain)
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).
"There are obvious parallels in burial rite, art form and symbolism between the Steppe Bronze Age and the Ancient Aryan hymns of the Rig Veda, dated to between 1500 and 1200 BC." (Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology 1980 p. 254)
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 mushroom-headed figures carry what appears to be a sac or pouch at their side. These images depict the shamans pouch, made of the stomachs or bladders of various animals. The pouch was probably used to collect the urine of those who consumed the fly agaric mushrooms. We are told that reindeer also enjoy the urine of those who has consumed the fly agaric, and that some Siberian tribesmen carry skin-containers of their own collected urine, which the hunter then uses to attract reindeer (Lee Sayer, Dec. 25, 2014).
Wasson (1968) writes about one aspect of Siberian mushroom intoxication, that was reported in the earliest sources, 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. That 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).
"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 (Lee Sayer, Dec. 25, 2014)
"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 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 ancient hunters witnessed the reindeer’s love of the Amanita muscaria mushroom, and carried their urine in skins.
"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)
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).
"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).
"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 ).
In order to escape the dangers of wild beasts and the exposure of the outdoors, caves became the dwellings for many early nomadic people, and in essence man symbolically considered himself a cave animal. Caves therefor have been the site where archaeologists have found some of the earliest skeletal remains of humans unearthed from beneath the cave floors.
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".
Wasson postulated that the mysterious Soma in the Vedic literature, said to be a red fruit leading to spontaneous enlightenment for those who consumed it, was actually a mushroom known as the Amanita muscaria, the so-called Fly Agaric or toadstool mushroom. Wasson’s theory was further strengthened by his linguistic studies of cross cultural names for mushrooms, and most importantly on the linguistic origins of the name “toadstool” given to the most feared mushrooms. Wasson postulates that the very word “toadstool” may have originally meant the “demonic stool”, and may have been a specific name of a European mushroom, that causes hallucinations (R.G. Wasson, Life Magazine, May 13, 1957).
For the first time, we can see visual evidence embroidered on an ancient cloth, discovered by archaeological excavations (2009), for the use of mushrooms for religious purposes, probably, to make the “sacred drink” Soma.
" I believe that Soma was a mushroom, Amanita muscaria (Fries ex L.) Quel, the fly-agaric, the Fliegenpilz of the Germans, the fausse oronge or tue-mouche or crapaudin of the French, the mukhomor of the Russians. This flaming red mushroom with white spots flecking its cap is familiar throughout northern Europe and Siberia. It is often put down in mushroom manuals as deadly poisonous but this is false, as I myself can testify" (Wasson, 1968).
The answer to the Soma mystery was found in a grave of a noble woman buried in an elite burial ground of the Xiongnu, the famous nomads of Central Asia" (source... “We drank Soma, we became immortal...” : Science First Hand 03.09. 2015)
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). 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).
"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).
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".
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 her book, The Ancient Past of Mexico, 1966, p. 13, Alma M. Reed 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).
"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)
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".
According to Swadesh:
"It is perfectly possible that a group of people having arrived speaking a new language [in the New World] eventually was absorbed into an already established lingistic community" (Linguistic Relations Across Bering Strait: American Anthropologist 64/6 December 1962).
"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 kan or Kaan or Chan means both serpent, and sky (heaven) and refers to a serpent-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".
Fray Sahagun writes that the Aztecs, were a tribe which had only recently entered the Valley of Mexico in the middle of the thirteenth century and that they had moved into an area that had existed for over a thousand years inhabited by people the Aztecs called Toltec, meaning “artist or builder”. Sagahun mentions that the natives spoke of an earlier Toltec society, headed by Quetzalcoatl, which believed in only one god.
In 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 immortality. There is plenty of evidence in Mesoamerican mythology linking the many avatars of Quetzalcoatl, Jaguar-Bird-Serpent, to the duality of the planet Venus. In Aztec mythology the cosmos was intimately linked to the planet Venus in its form as the Evening Star, which guides the sun through the Underworld at night, as the skeletal god Xolotl, the twin of Quetzalcoatl. As the Morning Star, Quetzalcoatl's avatar was the harpy eagle. Among the Quiche Maya, Venus in its form as the Morning Star, was called iqok'ij, meaning the "sunbringer" or "carrier of the sun or day." (Tedlock, 1993:236).
Spanish chronicler Fray Toribio de Benavente, affectionately called Motolinia by the Indians, recorded that the Indians of New Spain regarded Quetzalcoatl as one of their principal gods. They called him the God of air and wind, and built temples to him.
Most historians believe that the God-king Kukulkan (Kan) and the Mexican god-king Quetzacoatl, both meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man. He was also known among the Classic period Southern Maya as Waxak-lahun-Ubah-Kan, (Kan) the great "Vision Serpent", and symbol of Maya kingship (Forest of Kings 1990 p.394). The Vision Serpent goes back to earlier Olmec conceptions, of the "bearded dragon", essentially a portal, at the World Tree, representing the doorway to the spiritual world. In both hemispheres serpents are associated with the Tree of Life and immortality by virtue of renewing themselves, through the shedding of their skin. Spanish records also record the worship of a supreme creator god named Kon-Ticci Viracocha among the Andean cultures of South America. The Itzas of Yucatan who were Mexicanized Chontal Maya called their god-king Kukulkan. Once again the word Kon or Kan is a Maya name for both snake and sky, and probably Lord..
In South America, Quetzalcoatl has an almost identical counterpart from an ancient Inca legend named Kon-Tiki Viracoccha. Spanish explorer, and historian Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa (1532–1592) wrote in his "History of the Incas", that Viracocha, "Creator of all things" was described as "a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe, and that he carried a staff and a book in his hands" (from "History of the Incas" by Pedro Sarmiento De Gamboa, translated by Clements Markham, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society 1907, pp. 28-58).
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, a non-Maya priest-ruler known as Kukulkan, which in the Mayan language signifies "The Plumed Serpent", appeared in Yucatan at the city of Chichen Itza, in the forepart of the eleventh century, A.D. 1072, where he became a powerful political figure who ruled at Chichen-Itza. Again most historians believe that the God-king Ku-kul-kan and the Toltec priest-ruler Topilzin Quetzacoatl, also meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man. It should be noted as well that among the Classic period Maya, the Feathered Serpent or vision serpent was known as Waxak-lahun-Ubah-Kan.
Spanish chronicler Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex (Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España), 1547-1582
“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 closeup scene taken from the pre-Conquest manuscript known as the Codex Laud.
The scene, I believe, portrays the feathered serpent deity Quetzalcoatl as the World
Tree, encoded with three Fleur de lis symbols, paying homage to a trinity of creator gods in
We know from ancient manuscripts called codices that Quetzalcoatl the supreme god, created mankind from drawing blood from his penis in the underworld. Quetzalcoatl the man is known to have created the calendar, and he delivered mushrooms and corn to his children. Among the Mixtecs of Oaxaca, Quetzalcoatl was known by his calendrical name "9 Wind." The Maya of Yucatan called him Kukulcan.
Above is a close up image of Quetzalcoatl on page 24 in the Codex Vindobonensis Mexicanus believed to be a 14th century Mixtec document, the original of which is now held in the National Library of Vienna, Austria.
Page 24 of the codex depicts the God-King Quetzalcoatl delivering mushrooms to his children mankind, and the ceremonial use of mushrooms among the Mixtec gods. The God-king Quetzalcoatl is portrayed on the left holding an axe in one hand and the severed skull of the underworld Death God in the other. Quetzalcoatl appears to be giving instructions to a young Xochipilli who is depicted holding a pair of sacred mushrooms in his right hand, and with tears in his eyes, the young Xochipilli learns the secret to divine immortality.
Like the Itzas of Yucatan, the Quiche Maya people of the Guatemala Highlands, also believed that they were led by Lord Plumed Serpent from the great city of Tollan /Tula. This God-king led his people eastward to the “land of writing” (Maya region) to a sacred mountain top citadel called Bearded Place, and it was there that the Quiche people settled down to live (Tedlock: 1985: 205. 213).
Aztec poems recorded by Spanish scribes, speak of a land called Tamoanchan, which translated from the Mayan language means "Land of the Serpent". It was said that "this was a land settled long before the founding of Teotihuacan, where there was a government for a long time, and it was a paradise of gods, ancestors, and humans".
Borhegyi noted the significance of the number nine with 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.501-503).
"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).
Tlalocan, is described by Fray Sahagun in the sixteenth century (Sahagun, 1946: I, 317-318) as the "earthly paradise of Tlaloc" the second of the nine resting places of the deceased, on the arduous road to the Mictlan, the ninth and final resting place of the Aztec dead.
The Mexican god-king Quetzalcoatl is alluded to in Nahua myth as King of the Toltecs, and his Maya counterparts known as Kukulkan (Kan), and Gukumatz (ku) names that both mean "Feathered Serpent". Kukulkan, the Feathered Serpent deity Yucatan, was known as Gukumatz among the Quiche Maya of the Guatemala Highlands, and this spiritual leader is closely associated with the Toltec invasion. All three Feathered Serpent god-kings were reputed to be the inventors of the calendar, and time keeping. 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.
A Mysterious Toltec Book:
"A piece of Nahua literature, the disappearance of which is surrounded by circumstances of the deepest mystery, is the Teo-Amoxtli (Divine Book), which is alleged by certain chroniclers to have been the work of the ancient Toltecs. Ixtlilxochitl, a native Mexican author, states that it was written by a Tezcucan wise man, one Huematzin, about the end of the seventh century, and that it described the pilgrimage of the Nahua from Asia, their laws, manners, and customs, and their religious tenets, science, and arts. In 1838 the Baron de Waldeck stated in his Voyage Pittoresque that he had it in his possession, and the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg identified it with the Maya Dresden Codex and other native manuscripts. Bustamante also states that the amamatini (chroniclers) of Tezcuco had a copy in their possession at the time of the taking of their city. But these appear to be mere surmises, and if the Teo-Amoxtli ever existed, which on the whole is not unlikely, it has probably never been seen by a European."(THE MYTHS OF MEXICO & PERU, 1995, BY LEWIS SPENCE)
Dr. Paul Kirchhoff was of the opinion that the Aztec and Maya ritual calendar was a Chinese invention (The Ancient Past of Mexico 1966, Alma M. Reed p.41-42). Dr. George C. Vaillant noted that at the ancient site of Zacatenco, in the central valley of Mexico, a settlement that flourished around 1100 B.C., had burials with bodies covered with red cinnabar and buried with jade funerary offerings, a burial custom also found in China (Alma Reed, 1966, p.17).
Anthropologist Alice B. Kehoe...
"China and Mesoamerica shared the complication of two simultaneous calendars, of differing lengths, that meshed like cogwheels, arriving at the same day starting point every so many years, 52 for Mesoamerica, 60 for China". (Alice B. Kehoe, 2008, Controversies In Archaeology, p.162).
The Mexican god-king and culture hero Quetzalcoatl is alluded to in Nahua myth as king of the Toltecs, and his Maya counterpart known as Kukulkan, (Kan) and names that both mean "Feathered Serpent", are believed to be one and the same person.
According to Molina Solis, a recognized historian of Yucatan, writes, "It is stated authoritatively that with Kukulkan (Lord Plumed Serpent) there 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). And it's worth stating again that many historians believe that the God-king Kukulkan and the Toltec priest-ruler Topiltzin Quetzacoatl, both meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man.
Above are two more "Dynastic Kaan Vases", there are 11 vessels in all that describe the accessions of Kaan rulers (Martin and Grube, 2000 p.102)
The Mayan glyph for k'an, is a representation of a snake or serpent head site, an actual city, thought by many scholars to represent the great Toltec city of Tollan, the legendary city of the Feathered Serpent Ku-kul-kan, aka. Quetzalcoatl. Most historians believe that the God-king Kukulkan and the Toltec priest-ruler Topiltzin Quetzacoatl, both meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man. Political dynasties legitimized themselves throughout Mesoamerica by claiming decent from the rulers of a city called Tollan, and historical accounts document that outsiders who claimed descent from Tollan were responsible for conquering the Maya people of the Guatemala Highlands.
Spanish chronicles document that when the Aztecs spoke of their history it was always said that they had been preceded by a marvelous people who called themselves Toltec. In a letter from Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza to Fernandez de Oviedo, a historian collecting material for his history of the Indies in 1541, Mendoza denied ever having thought that the Aztecs, in their migration from their mythical homeland of Aztlan, had been led by their patron god Huitzilopochtli into the Valley of Mexico. In fact, Mendoza claims that the Aztecs had been led by a god and wise man called "Quetzalcoatl", and that there was some confusion, and Quetzalcoatl had always been the intended leader (Conquest, by Hugh Thomas 1993 p.185).
"The third lineage began with Pacal the Great himself. As the son of a ruler, Lady Zac-Kuk, he had the same legitimate claim to the throne as Lady Kanal-Ikal's child, Ac-Kan. Difficulties arose, however, when Pacal's own children, Chan-Bahlum and Kan-Xul, followed their illustrious father to the throne. these men belonged to the lineage of their father and their paternal grandfather, Kan-Bahlum-Mo" (Forest of Kings, 1990 p.223)
"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.
The Mogao Cave murals depict the practice among the early Uyghur priests, believing in a mystical relationship with a spirit-leopard. The Mogao Caves are located in Gansu Province of China. The caves are strongly linked to the history of transcontinental relations via the Silk Road, and of the spread of Buddhism and Manichaeism throughout Asia.
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 "were-jaguar".
"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."
The best-known Saka, (also known as Scythian or the Sakya tribes) was Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became Buddha. He was the son of King Suddhodana Gautama, and Queen Maya. Siddhartha, who man 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)
"The Seal of Sedda depiction of a Sramana (Persepolis Seal PFS 79), a Lion-Sun shaman, is based on information gathered from a number of other seals the name refers to Sedda Arta (Siddhartha), i.e., Siddha (Liberator of) and Arta (Universal Truth)". Its worth mentioning again that Gautama Buddha was called Sakyasinha "the Lion of the Sakya Tribe", and Guatama was the name of the royal family of the Saka kingdom.
"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" (Gunnar 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 (Gunnar 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"
"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)
In 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. The figure makes what appears to be a hand gesture palms outward, one raised and one lowered, in a classical teaching gesture or mudra, characteristic of the bodhisattva, a sign of the spiritually perfected one who is Buddha, "awakened", the same hand gesture commonly depicted in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain 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 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 stylized Fleur de lis symbol.
According to Wasson (1957):
"There must have been a potent reason why from western Europe to Eastern Greenland people have believed down to our own days in the demonic nature of mushrooms, and we think that reason lies in the strange hallucinatory powers of certain species. From Eastern Siberia to France these mushrooms are linked with 'flies', i.e., the insect world that is itself saturated in demonic mana."
"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).
The Popol Vuh is the sacred book of the Quiché Maya, written in the Mayan language of the Quiche but with a European script sometime around 1550, by anonymous members of the Quiche-Maya nobility. Although the Quiche Maya have lived in the Guatemala Highlands for more than two thousand years, the Popol Vuh suggests a reference to the Old World as a point of departure, and of coming from "the other side of the sea" (Alma Reed, 1966 p.9). The authors of the Popol Vuh, at various times refer to their land, the nation, the capital city, and the people themselves as Quiche, meaning "many trees" or "forest". (P.V. 2007, Allen J. Christenson, p.50).
We know that the ancient Maya of the Guatemala Highlands 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).
In the highlands of Guatemala and along the Pacific slope where the majority of mushroom stones have been found, and where the Amanita muscaria mushroom grows in abundance, the mushroom stones that reappear in the highland Maya area during Late Classic times are mostly the plain and or tripod variety (Type D) common to the Pacific Coast and Piedmont area as well as in Western El Salvador (for their distribution by archaeological sites see Borhegyi de, 1961a, p. 500)
Above is a stone ballgame yoke fragment with footprint that was excavated by J. Eric Thompson along with a (Type D) tripod mushroom stone from a pit in front of Monument 3 at the Pacific coastal site of El Baul in Guatemala.
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)
"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 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.
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.). Its worth mentioning again that the earliest presence of chariots in Central Asia is documented by petroglyphs from the Altai Mountain region in Siberia and Mongolia.
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.
The question still remains of whether the invention of wheeled animal figurines 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.
The Pazyryk is the name of an ancient Scythian Iron Age archaeological culture identified by excavated artifacts and mummified humans with European features, found in the Siberian permafrost in the Altai Mountains in royal tombs called kurgans, dated to the 6th and 4th centuries B.C.E. Iron cauldrons with mushroom-shaped handles associated with the Huns (Scythians) have also been found in the Altai Mountains (Otto Maenchen-Helfen "The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture p. 332).
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 (Magyar) cauldrons (above and 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.
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)
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 in Ancient Egyptian Art:
Soma in Egypt "Hidden In Plaine Sight"
Stephen R. Berlant theorizes 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)
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 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.
Above is the image of the Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun, better known today as King Tut. Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty (ruled c. 1332–1323 BC.), who was the son of Pharaoh Akhenaton and wife Queen Nefertiti. The image above on the left portrays the warrior-King Tutankhamun, riding in his chariot, with what appears to be encoded psilocybin mushrooms, alluding possibly to mushroom warfare. Below are three mysterious objects of unknown use that were discovered in King Tuts tomb, that resemble pottery mushrooms from Mesoamerica.
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?"
Quoting Dr. John A. Rush author of, The Mushroom in Christian Art (2010: 138-139).
"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."
Note that once you add the white spots, the cross looks very much like an encoded Amanita muscaria mushroom.
Above are easily recognizable mushrooms encoded as the sacred fruit from the Tree of Life, in the mosaics at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, over a cave that Christians believe marks the birthplace of Jesus. Built around 350 A.D. the Basilica was commissioned by Constantine the Great and his mother Helena. To the right we see more mushrooms and the Fleur de Lis encoded in the Tree of Life.
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.
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."
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).
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.
The 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)
Quoting Gordon Wasson (1957):
"If we were to postulate mushrooms in pre-Conquest art in Mexico, we would direct our search precisely to frescos dealing with Tlaloc and the Paradise of our mushroomic visions, to the very frescos where we have found mushroomic shapes.
It's my belief that the scene above in the Lienzo de Zacatepec, depicts the probable act of ritual sacrifice, and that it portrays the Mexican god Tlaloc as a death god responsible for the act of underworld decapitation. Thus Tlaloc as the Evening Star aspect of the planet Venus, represents the god of underworld resurrection. Those who died for Tlaloc, and in this case willingly by decapitation, were under his watchful eye, and went directly to his divine paradise of immortality called Tlalocan. The footprints in this scene represents a long journey by one of the royal figures above. I believe this journey is to the underworld, via sacred mushrooms, where the soon to be willing victim, or victims of ritual decapitation, resurrect from the underworld. Note the flint knife at the foot of the temple steps, that esoterically represents the ritual of decapitation.
The encoded Fleur de lis symbol in the glyphs above next to the one of the figures, is I believe code for immortality and divine resurrection. Note that the victim's severed head below, is portrayed with mushrooms, on top of what is likely a sacred mountain or hill, that marks a sacred portal to the paradise of Tlaloc called Tlalocan, described by Fray Sahagun in the sixteenth century (Sahagun, 1946: I, 317-318) as the second of the nine resting places of the deceased, on the arduous road or journey (note footprints) to the Mictlan, the ninth and final resting place of the Aztec dead. With the lightning bolt Tlaloc engenders the divine mushrooms.
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 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.
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: