Part Two, continued from page one, "Hidden in Plain Sight" Secret of Secrets:




Decoding the Fleur de Lis Symbol:

The ancient symbol that we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis appears in the art of Mesoamerica at approximately the same time in history as the rise of the ancient Olmecs (1200 B.C. to 400 B.C.).


In my examination of pre-Columbian art, I was surprised to discover that the gods and kings that are crowned with the Fleur de lis symbol are also linked to a World Tree, a Trinity of gods, and a sacred beverage of immortality, linked to the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Although the symbol known as the Fleur de lis is perhaps best known through its association with French royalty, it's origin in the New World is of far greater antiquity. 

As I discovered the Fleur de lis in pre-Columbian art and iconography carries the same symbolism of "King" or "Lord",  as in the Old World and is also linked to a Trinity of gods, a World Tree, or Tree of Life, and a mushroom of immortality. 

It is generally believed that the peopling of the Americas was, for the most part, accomplished by paleolithic man via the Bering Strait. The endless similarities between the Old World and the New World would suggest that the essentials of American civilization were brought from the Old World to the Americas, and that other migratory groups besides the basic Mongoloid migrations crossed the Bering Strait, and that voyages across the Oceans were in fact quite feasible (Miguel Covarrubias 1954 p.24). Cultural isolationists believe that diffusionists overestimate the sea-fairing abilities of pre-Columbian man to traverse the oceans.  

             Quoting Ethno-Mycologist Robert Gordon Wasson:

"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)


Sri. A. Kalyanaraman, an Indian author who has studied the Vedas, strongly argues in his book 1970,  Aryatarangini: Saga of the Indo-Aryans, that the Aryans of ancient India were a sun-worshipping sea-people, who sailed around the world, to the New World as well as to many parts of the Old.   

The diffusion of the Fleur de lis symbol via a Soma Haoma mushroom cult to the Americas by means of migration and acculturation, overland diffusion, and transoceanic contact is the primary focus of the author's research. As mentioned earlier in part one, "The Secret of Secrets",  the author's research proposes that the cult of Soma, as well as other Vedic traditions, migrated to the Americas sometime around 1000 B.C.E., with the rise of the ancient Olmec, and that the Indians of the New World modeled their religion on Vedic beliefs and ritual practices. Mushrooms were so cleverly encoded in the religious art of both the New World, and the Old World, "Hidden in Plain Sight" that prior to this study they virtually escaped detection.(see C. de Borhegyi and  S. de Borhegyi-Forrest, 2013 The Genesis of a Mushroom / Venus Religion in Mesoamerica: Entheogens and the Development of Culture, pp. 451-518) 



Quoting Alice B. Kehoe, author of Controversies in Archaeology 2008: 

"What the evidence shows is that America's indigenous nations were part of global connections for several thousands years before Columbus kicked off the historic invasions".


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 ancient Olmec appear on the scene having already developed a highly evolved system of writing, where no earlier or simpler forms have been found. Renowned Maya archaeologist Sylvanus G. Morley, noted that there was also the lack of known direct antecedents of Maya culture in the Maya region (Morley 1946, p.46). Morley noted writing as a perfect example, that even in its earliest known forms, it was already a highly evolved system, that no earlier, simpler forms of writing out of which it might have grown are known anywhere (Stephen C. Jett 1971,p.46).

We know very little about the religious beliefs of the Olmecs and their contemporary neighbors, other than that they apparently revered the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom, which they portrayed in small stone sculptures known as Mushroom Stones and also depicted in association with pottery figurines. It is likely that they also practiced ritual decapitation in connection with an esoteric cult of the human head associated with trophy heads, and with the Mesoamerican ballgame. As the first complex religion in Mesoamerica, the Olmec set the tone for future religious developments throughout much of the New World.

The earliest evidence of a mushroom-based religious cult in the New World, appears to date to approximately the same time period, around 1000-400 BC, and the beginnings in Mesoamerica of Olmec culture (S.F. de Borhegyi to Wasson, June 14th 1953). 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 are drawings of Olmec stone celts (900-500 BCE), the drawing on the left portraying a winged deity crowned with an emblem of divinity, that I would argue is a Fleur de lis symbol.

The religion of the ancient Olmec was grounded in sacrifice, and the need to offer men, women, and children to the gods. The ritual custom of decapitation and its relationship to the pre-Columbian ball game goes back to Olmec times (S.F. de Borhegyi 1965, p.26). Olmec religion set the tone for many of the future religious beliefs in the New World.


My father 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). Words like muxan and okox (mushroom) are two of several words borrowed or loaned by the ancient Maya, perhaps as early as 1000 B.C. (Furst, 1976, p. 79) Terrence Kaufman and Lyle Campbell, two linguists  studying the diffusion of languages in Mesoamerica, postulate that the language of the ancient Olmec, (at San Lorenzo ?) the so-called "mother culture" of New World civilization, was Mixe-Zoque.

Dictionaries of Maya highland languages compiled after the Spanish Conquest mention several intoxicating mushroom varieties whose names clearly indicate their ritual use. One type was called xibalbaj okox, "underworld mushroom" in reference to the belief that mushroom transported one to a supernatural realm of the underworld  (Robert J. Sharer, 1983: 484).

Not enough is really known about the Olmec people, the language which they spoke, what they may have called themselves, and where this ancient civilization originally came from. 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".  

The ancient cultures of the Nahua, Zapotecs, and Maya developed similar ideologies and mythologies from the same Olmec roots. The sacred mushroom ritual shared by these cultures was intended,  I believe, to establish direct communication between Earth and Heaven (sky) in order to unite man with god. As told in the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the ancient Quiche Maya, the sun-god of the Maya, Kinich Ajaw, and his Aztec equivalent, Huitzilopochtli, would be extinguished in the underworld if not nourished with the blood of human hearts. Quetzalcoatl's essence in the world as a culture hero was to establish this communication. Quetzalcoatl taught that mankind must eat the sacred mushroom and make blood sacrifices in order to achieve immortality.

Above is a Late Classic period (600-900 C.E.) incense burner from the ancient Maya city of Palenque, in Chiapas Mexico. Palenque is home to a triad (Trinity) of patron deities known as the Palenque Triad. The deity portrayed on the incense burner wears a crown with symbols reminiscent of the Fleur de lis.

"Our knowledge of Palenque's early dynasty comes from a collection of retrospective texts produced at the end of the 7th century. They combine to trace its royal line through a list of historical kings and back to their mythical precursors' (Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube 2000, p. 156)

Above is a Late Classic period (600-900 C.E) ceramic incense burner from Palenque, that portrays the underworld Sun God, one of the Palenque Triad gods as a fanged bearded feline deity, wearing a headdress encoded with a Fleur de lis symbol.


The discovery, of the Fleur de lis symbol encoded in Pre-Columbian art leads me to believe that, in addition to the ancient mushroom cult first proposed by my father Stephan F. de Borhegyi, (de Borhegyi, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963), other Vedic traditions migrated to the Americas as early as 1000 B.C.E.  

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.


 Mushrooms were so closely associated with death and underworld jaguar transformation and Venus resurrection that I conclude that they must have been believed to be the vehicle through which both occurred. They are also so closely associated with ritual decapitation, that their ingestion may have been considered essential to the ritual itself, whether in real life or symbolically in the underworld.          
   
In Siberia the Amanita muscaria mushroom or fly agaric, grows in a symbiotic relationship with the birch and pine tree, which gave rise to the World Tree within the cosmology of several Siberian tribes, and that an eagle is described as perched in the tree, while a serpent dwells at its base, a myth that is paralleled in both the Old and New World  (Kevin Feeney ch. 6, 2013 p.302) (Wasson 1968, p.214)

In Vedic Hindu mythology its an eagle named Garuda (Gayatri,) who gives the Soma beverage to the gods. Soma was considered to be the most precious liquid in the universe, used in sacrificial rituals to the gods, particularly Indra, the warrior god. In Hindu mythology the eagle is the Vahana, or vehicle of Vishnu and other deities.  

In Zoroastrian cosmology Haoma grows in the World Tree, which stands in the middle of the world sea, where a benevolent, mythical bird resides known as the simurgh. The Saena bird of Zoroastrian mythology symbolized wisdom, and the Persain simurgh is often depicted in Iranian art as a giant winged creature with feline features. 

The ancient carving above on the left from Central Asia, depicts a bird deity, with wings that encode a Fleur de lis symbol. The Türk-Moğol carving is from the North Caucasus region on the Caspian Sea, in the Russian Republic of Dagestan also spelled Daghestan (Türk-Moğol Altın Ordu Devletine ait Rölyefler. 1242-1502. Golden Horde Dağıstan) On the right is a modern day image of a phoenix crowned with a Fleur de lis emblem. The Phoenix, is a mystical bird said to live 500 or 600 years and then builds for itself a funeral pyre, to which it sets fire by fluttering its wings over it, once consumed by the fire the Phoenix rises again from it's own ashes renewed in youth and gorgeous plumage.

"The Phœnix is believed by the Chinese to uphold their Empire and preside over its destiny; it is also worn as a Talisman for Longevity and Conjugal Happiness; whilst in the mystic sense it typifies the- whole world, its head the heavens, its eyes the Sun, its beak the Moon, its wings the wind, its feet the earth, and its tail the trees and plants". (source.. http://japanesemythology.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/on-the-trail-of-the-toriis-origins/)

Above on the right is an ancient textile from Peru, South America Paracas culture  800 BCE and 100 BCE., depicting a double-headed bird clutching serpents or snakes in it's claws.  Bicephalic or two-headed birds are a common theme in Old World art and mythology as they are in Pre-Columbian art and mythology. The antiquity of the double headed bird in Zoroastrian  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. 


In Mesoamerica two-headed birds and/or two-headed serpents are linked to both accession and rulership, as well as to the dualistic nature of the planet Venus. In Mesoamerica, two-headed birds and two headed feline-looking serpents commonly represent Quetzalcoatl as both the Morning Star and Evening Star. Many years ago Eduard Seler linked  the jaguar-bird-serpent god associated with Venus and warfare to the god Quetzalcoatl as the Morning Star  (Miller and Taube, 1993 


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 belief in a "World Tree" or "Tree of Life" that interconnects the upper world with the underworld, is a belief in both the Old World and New World but that has it's origin in the Old World. Above is a page from the Codex Borgia, one of the few remaining pre-Conquest codices. These pictorial documents contain much valuable information pertaining to native history, mythology, and ritual, related to a pantheon of supernatural gods. Unfortunately, due to Spanish intolerance of indigenous religious beliefs, only eighteen pre-Conquest books attributed to the people of Highland Mexico have survived to the present day. The painting from the Codex Borgia depicts the World Tree", or "Tree of Life" emerging from the body of a death god in the underworld, (life from death). Perched atop the spectacular tree with its branches encoded with the Fleur de lis symbol is a harpy eagle, a symbol of the Morning Star and the new born Sun, and the avatar of the god-king Quetzalcoatl. (http://americaindigena.com/sacred16.htm).
           

Above is a mural scene from the Temple of Feathered Conches at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, (150 B.C.E.-750 C.E.). The Fleur de lis symbol appears in this scene with a harpy eagle. The ancient metropolis of Teotihuacan is located on the outskirts of Mexico City and thught to have been established sometime around 100 B.C.E. (photo © Robin Heyworth – Photo taken 10th December 2001)

In Mesoamerican mythology the harpy eagle is associated with the World Tree, as well as with both the resurrected sun, and the planet Venus as a resurrection star. In both the Old World and the New World the Fleur de lis carries the same metaphoric meaning of divine resurrection (note the Fleur de Lis symbol tagged to a ritual beverage of immortality). 


This dualistic aspect of Venus is why Venus was venerated as both a God of Life and God of Death. The manifestation of this star in Mesoamerica being the "Feathered Serpent", the winged god-king Quetzalcoatl. It is said that when Quetzalcoatl died he was changed into that star that appears at dawn. It was said that, they [the Quiche Maya] gave thanks to the sun and moon and stars, but particularly to the star that proclaims the day, the day-bringer, referring to Venus as the Morning star (The Title of the Lords of Totonicapan, 1953 third printing 1974, p. 184).

The manifestation of this star in Mesoamerica being the "Feathered Serpent", the winged god-king Quetzalcoatl. It is said that when Quetzalcoatl died he was changed into that star that appears at dawn. This dualistic aspect of Venus is why Venus was venerated as both a God of Life and God of Death. It was said that, they [the Quiche Maya] gave thanks to the sun and moon and stars, but particularly to the star that proclaims the day, the day-bringer, referring to Venus as the Morning star (The Title of the Lords of Totonicapan, 1953 third printing 1974, p. 184).


In Aztec (Nahua) legends the sun, descends each night into the underworld to battle the forces of death in order to return, triumphant, each morning to the sky on the wings of an eagle. Note that the sacred beverage (Soma?) depicted above in the Codex Vaticanus B, an Aztec ritual and divinatory manuscript, encodes what I would argue are two Fleur de lis symbols, that may allude or be code for the Evening star, and Morning star aspects of Venus as a resurrection star. As the Morning Star the God-king Quetzalcoatl's avatar was the harpy eagle.


The Toltec /Maya polychrome vessel above is from Quintana Roo, Mexico, Postclassic Maya, 1200-1400 C.E.  The vessel depicts the image of a "diving god", in the guise of the harpy eagle, attributes that link this diving deity to Quetzalcoatl as the Morning Star. It's my belief that the objects in the hands of Quetzalcoatl (Kukulcan in Yucatec Mayan) are the severed caps of psilocybin mushrooms. The removal of the head of the mushroom or mushroom cap is a symbolic reference to ritual decapitation in the underworld. Wasson writes that the stems of sacred mushrooms were removed and the mushroom caps consumed ritually in pairs prior to self-sacrifice. (Polychrome ceramic container with diving god wearing harpy eagle headdress. ht. 11.4 cm. U.S. Library of Congress, J. Kislak Collection)


"Earth-diver myths are common in Native American folklore but can be found among the Chukchi and Yukaghir, the Tatars and many Finno-Ugrian traditions. The pattern of distribution of these stories suggest they have a common origin in the eastern Asiatic coastal region, spreading as peoples migrated west into Siberia and east to the North American continent" (Wikipeda). 


In 1980 Eyhno-mycologist Bernard Lowy, proposed that the "diving gods" depicted in the Dresden Codex, were portrayed as under the influence of psychotropic mushrooms (LOWY  BERNARD, 1981, Were Mushroom Stones Potter’s Molds?, Revista/Review Interamericana, vol. 11, pp. 231-237.)


In the religion of the ancient Maya, various twins or brothers represent the dualistic aspects of the planet Venus, as both a Morning star and Evening star. Maya creation stories record that twins were responsible for placing the three stones of creation into the night sky at the beginning of this world age. These three stones, which represent the three original hearthstones of Maya creation, refer to a trinity of gods responsible for creating life from death. One of these gods, known as First Father, ruled as the Sun God in the previous world age. He was decapitated by the Lords of Death after being defeated in a ballgame. His twin sons, (Venus?) after finding his bones buried under the floor of the ballcourt, resurrected him from the underworld and placed him into the night sky as a deified ballplayer. I believe that the Maya could see this resurrected decapitated ballplayer, in the night sky, still wearing his ballgame belt, as the constellation of Orion. As the planet Venus, Quetzalcoatl in his impersonation of Tlaloc, rules the underworld, and was responsible for ritual decapitation.


Above is a pre-Columbian incense burner that portrays a fanged deity (the underworld Sun God) wearing the headdress of the Mexican god Tlaloc. Note that the headdress is crowned with what I would argue are three Fleur de lis symbols, and what I believe are two encoded mushrooms. The incense burner is from the Tarascan culture 1350 - 1521 C.E., and is now in the Snite Museum of Art. 

(photo from http://commons.wikimedia.orgwikiFile:  Tarascan_incense_burner_w_Tlaloc_headdress.jpg)



Haoma in the Americas:

There is a legend in Zoroastrian religion, that the prophet Zoroaster was conceived after his parents drank the Haoma drink, made from Zoroaster's divine essence that had fallen from heaven (Bennett and McQueen 2013,  p.63). Haoma was regarded by Zoroaster as the son of the creator god Ahura Mazda, who was believed to be the incarnate of that sacred plant that was pounded and pressed to death in order to squeeze out it's life giving juices so that those who consumed the Haoma might be given immortality (Donald E. Teeter, 2005 p.8).  

             According to Claude Levi-Strauss, author of Structural Anthropology, Vol. 2:

 "Several varieties of Amanita muscaria exist, their color ranging from brilliant red to yellow-gold. To describe the soma, the Rig-Veda constantly use the word hari, which takes in this range of colors; and when substitutes came to be used, those with red coloration were favored" (p.26)     

Haoma is the Persian pronunciation of Soma, the sacred drink of the Indo-Iranians, Iranian being cognate with Aryan.The Aryans who came from Central Asia, came to Persia or Iran, and northern India as nomads and warriors, and dominated Persia by about 800 B.C.E. The Haoma beverage was also made from a plant of immortality  connected in myth with a World Tree, that inspired the prophet Zoroaster to create a new religion (the Mazda religion) that became the state religion of the Persian Empire. Zoroaster didn't actually create a new religion he simply reformed the existing Vedic religion, elevating the Haoma sacrifice ceremony to the highest act of worship, but condemning the orgiastic excesses that accompanied both sacrifices and the ritual consumption of Haoma. Like Soma, the Haoma drink, appears to be a source of divine power and strength, as well as bestowing the sacred knowledge that leads to divine immortality. According to the Vedic priests the Soma drink was inebriating and sublime. In the Avestan Hom Yasht, (Y.9-11) which is an ode to the powers of Haoma, Zoroaster calls on Hom, as he is called in the Hom Yasht, for inspiration, strength, victory, healing. Near the end of yasna 11, at verse 9, the zot the priest who prepares the Hom, takes the hom cup from the raspi, the zot's assistant, with his right hand, reciting a formula that who is one becomes two, that what is two becomes three, four five, five six, six seven, a formula perhaps of the increasing strength gained through hom (Michael M.J. Fisher 2004, p.38)  In order to perform the ritual both priests must undergo a severe purification: the nine-day long bareshnum. Once in their roles, the zot and his assistant the raspi, are elevated beyond the world of men (Michael M.J. Fisher 2004, p.30). 


By the 7th century B.C.E., the Persians had settled in the southwestern portion of the Iranian Plateau, which came to be their homeland. The Iranian religion of the Persian Empire Zoroastrianism, had a profound impact on the much later religions of Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam. Zoroaster's teachings have come down to us through the Zend-Avesta, that includes the Yasna, the canon that describes the ritual preparation and consumption of the hallucinogenic drink called haoma. 

              Quoting Gerald Messadie, author of  "The History of the Devil"

"A prototype of Jesus, as the legend of Zoroaster's birth goes to show, he was the founder of the first true monotheism, as his "evangelical" hymns, the Gathas, prove and as Pahlavi texts and Greek historians confirm (Messadie 1993, p.82).

"By all accounts, both in his own day and over later centuries Zoroaster was considered not just a prophet but a supernatural being, which has led some Iran experts to call him a myth, mush as some historians have called the existence of Jesus into doubt".



In the middle of the third century, there arose in the east the Iranian prophet named Mani, who called himself Apostle of Jesus Christ, who was the founder of the Manichean church, an early Persian version of a Gnostic Christian sect that incorporated the use of the sacred mushrooms in ritual. Mani taught that the universe was divided into the forces of Light and Darkness, and that the God of Light had sent many messengers to human beings, but the most perfect of these messengers was Jesus Christ a truly divine being who only seemed to be mortal and material (Religious Traditions of the World, 1993 p.500). The Manicheans thrived between the 3rd and 7th centuries and was one of the most widespread religions in the world. Manicheism derived much its rituals from ancient Iranian/Persian religion of Zoroasterism. 

According to Wasson, an ex-Manichean, St. Augustinein CE 386 who spent nearly ten years as a Manichee, berated his former sect for eating mushrooms, and Wasson also reports that as late as thirteenth century in China, the official, Lu Yu, condemned a Manichean group for ingesting certain sacred, red mushrooms (Wasson, 72) (Essay by Joseph Szimhart October, 2002).  

             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".

Wasson supported his Amanita muscaria-Soma-urine-hypothesis by citing Chinese accounts of the "evil" practices of the Manichaeans, among them the practice of using urine in their rituals. Wasson also noted "that the modern Parsi religion is a descendant of the Zoroastrian religion and that in Parsi rituals they drink token amounts of bull's urine which, Wasson believed, is probably a throwback to the practice of urine drinking in the ancient Haoma religion of pre-Zoroastrian times, and that the veneration of urine is prevalent even today among Hindus in India" (Clark Heinrich 2002, p.21).

 

"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)

The Amanita muscaria mushroom also ranges in color from bright red to orange to bright yellow. (Photograph by mycologist Eric Osbourne)

In Zoroastrian religion haoma is the name given to the yellow mystery plant, from which a juice was extracted and consumed in the Yasna ceremony, the sacred sacrifice in honor of all the gods. The following is from the Encyclopedia Britannica (1991, vol. 26, pg. 789, Rites & Ceremonies): 

“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.”


 


In Mesoamerica the mushroom religion, as I see it, was spawned by early man's fear of death and his hopes for resurrection, if not in this life, then in another reality. Through shamanic rituals, very possibly springing from the discovery of the mind-altering effects of hallucinogenic mushrooms, he hoped to transcend the former and assure himself of the latter. (Wasson,1980). The shamans, in turn, looked to the most powerful forces in the natural world—the sun, the moon, and the stars, wind, lightning and rain, and such fearsome creatures in their environment as the lion, jaguar, eagle, serpent, and shark—as a means of understanding the place and fate of human beings within this divine framework. In time the shamans unraveled the mysterious but ultimately knowable and predictable movements of the stars and planets, and interpreted these movements as an avenue for understanding man’s relation to time, space, and immortality.

These beliefs, over time, spawned a great variety of gods bearing different names in different culture areas but with numerous identifiable similarities linked to divine rulership associated with lineage and descent. Westernized efforts by archaeologists and art historians to sort out and catalog the many overlapping names and identities have been frustrated by the fact that ordered and demarcated categories run counter to the fluidity that characterizes native American belief systems. A multiplicity of identities is a basic feature of the Mesoamerican supernatural realm.
          
            

I propose that divine mushrooms were deliberately encoded "Hidden in Plain Sight," in an effort to conceal the sacred knowledge of eternal life from the eyes of the uninitiated.



            Quoting R. Gordon Wasson...

"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."

Above is the Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-tall Venus figurine estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. Wikipedia


"There is no question that shamanism has great antiquity: the archaeological evidence suggests, for example, that something very like the shamanistic religions of recent hunters was already present among the Neanderthals of Europe and Asia more than 50,000 years ago"(Peter T. Furst 1976, p.6). It is reasonable to propose that a belief in the redemptive power and divinity of the sacred mushroom could have spread from one culture to another, and that our remote ancient ancestors worshiped and venerated a divine mushroom god, or maybe a mushroom mother goddess perhaps 25,000 years ago? "Old World archaeologists have clearly demonstrated that Neolithic culture diffused, it was not reinvented in the Near East, China, and Africa" (James A. Ford 1967, p.259)


Mushroom Rock Art of Northern Africa

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.  

Above are a couple more mushroom inspired rock paintings produced by pre-neolithic hunter gatherers in the Sahara Desert, at Tin-Tazarift (Tassili, Algeria), said to have been painted roughly 7,000-9,000 years ago. The paintings portray shamanic figures encoded with sacred mushrooms. The mushroomic looking figure on the right appears to have an Amanita muscaria mushroom encoded in his head (source Giorgio Samorini, http://en.psilosophy.info the_oldest_representations_of_hallucinogenic_mushrooms_in_the_world.html).



In his controversial book,  Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge, A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human EvolutionEthno-botanist Terrance McKenna, psilocybin mushrooms may have provide the evolutionary spark for mankind, from which language,  religion, philosophy, science, and all of human culture sprang.

McKenna proposed that certain hallucinogens, opened a so-called portal to a "parallel dimension", that enabled an individual to encounter 'higher dimensional entities". McKenna speculated on the idea that psilocybin mushrooms may be a species of high intelligence, which may have arrived on this planet as spores migrating through space, and which are attempting to establish a symbiotic relationship with human beings. He postulated that "intelligence, not life, but intelligence may have come here to Earth, in this spore-bearing life form".

According to McKenna...

"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).

McKenna's theory has been criticized by scholars for a lack of citation to any of the paleo-anthropological evidence relative to our understanding of human origins, and his controversial theory has now been given the name the "Stoned Ape Theory” (Wikipeida.org).

McKenna believed that the Soma beverage of the Rig Veda was a combination of water, cannabis indica, and the psilocybin mushroom. McKenna based his theory on the premise that the Amanita muscaria mushroom is widely recognized to be a poisonous mushroom, and that the Amanita muscaria mushroom does not produce a hallucinogenic experience. He writes that because he and Wasson never had an ecstatic experience from ever eating the Amanita muscaria that it was an unlikely candidate for the Vedic Soma.          

McKenna writes that Wasson became convinced that some method of preparation must have been involved, but that no ingredient or procedure has ever been found that reliably transforms the often uncomfortable subtoxic experience of Amanita muscaria into an ecstatic visionary journey to paradise. McKenna writes that he ate the Amanita muscaria mushroom in 1965 and again in 1966, and stated that the results were disappointing,"nothing like what happened when I took the psilocybe mushrooms in Mexico"


             According to McKenna:

"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)




             According to Mycologist Gaston Guzman:

"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 ).




The Origin of a Mushroom cult in Siberia:

It's generally excepted that before the Pleistocene Ice Age, small Paleo-Asiatic hunting and food-gathering bands migrated to the Americas through the Bering Strait region where Siberia is only a hundred miles or so from Alaska. The American Indians are descendants of these nomadic people. Controversy continues as to how early the migrations began, and whether these early migrants used boats or walked across a land bridge that later flooded. Diffusion by land seems easier to except than by sea.  We know that Asiatic traits filtered through Siberia into the American Arctic throughout the prehistoric period and have continued to do so among the modern Eskimo (Miguel Covarrubias 1954, p.150). 

Dr. Weston La Barre, a scholar in the anthropology and psychology of religion, hypothesized in 1970, that the "use of hallucinogenic plants by American Indians represents a survival from a very ancient Paleolithic and Mesolithic shamanistic stratum, and that its linear ancestor is likely to be an archaic form of the shamanistic Eurasiatic fly-agaric cults that survived in Siberia into the present century, and that while profound socioeconomic and religious transformations brought about the eradication of ecstatic shamanism and knowledge of intoxicating mushrooms and other plants over most of Eurasia, a very different set of historical and cultural circumstances favored their survival and elaboration in the New World" (Peter T. Furst 1976, p.4). 


            Quoting Wasson:


"The use of mushrooms, if I am right, spread over most of Eurasia and the Americas, and as Stone Age Man has emerged into the light of proto-history    these strange fungi may well have been the primary secret of his sacred Mysteries"(Wasson and Wasson 1957).



            Quoting anthropologist Jeremy Narby, author of the book The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the origins of Knowledge 1998:


"Anthropologists invented the word "shamanism" to classify the least comprehensible practices of "primitive peoples". "The word shaman is originally Siberian. Its etymology is uncertain. In the Tungus language, a saman is a person who beats a drum, enters into trance, and cures people. The first Russian observers who related the activities of these samon described them as mentally ill". 




Mushroom-headed figures recorded in Siberian petroglyphs:


The use of the Amanita muscaria mushroom in traditional practices began during the Paleolithic period with petroglyphs in Siberia and with prehistoric murals in the Sahara and in Spain.. Tassili Cave in Africa (Samorini 2001).  The petroglyphs found in the Chukotka region of Northeastern Siberia (photograph below) were studied by Dikov (1971) and later by Samorini (2001). Mycologist Giorgio Samorini, reported that Catalonia, Spain, is a region where Psilocybe semilanceata has traditionally been known by the unusual name of "sorgin zorrotz", or "witches' tread". This label according to Samorini strongly suggests early ritualistic usage of Psilocybe semilanceata in that area, and according to Samorini, Catalonia is also known as a region where traditional usage of Amanita muscaria has been confirmed. 

Dikov, N. N. (1971. Chukotki: Petroglify Pegtymelia) was the first to propose that the Chukotka Petroglyphs in northeastern Siberia, were mushroom inspired. 



The petroglyphs from the Chukotka region of Northeastern Siberia depict what appear to be mushroom-headed people as well as a sea vessel (see below) that suggests that paleo-Indians could have skirted the coast of the Pacific Ocean, into the New World in search of the mushrooms? The Wassons reported on the ritual consumption of fly-agaric among Siberian and northern Asian peoples, suggesting the antiquity of a mushroom cult to Stone Age times. 

The earliest records of the use of mushrooms in Asia are in connection with a nomadic people living in northwestern Siberia. Possibly as early as the Paleolithic, their shamans developed an ecstatic cult based on the consumption of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. We know from the Rig Veda, that Soma was an intoxicating plant worshiped as both a god and holy beverage by a people who called themselves Aryans. The Seers and Sages, who composed the Vedas describe the mountainous habitat and brilliant red and gold appearance of the Soma plant. According to Wasson, "the whole of the Rig Veda is permeated with Soma and one of the ten books of the Rig Veda is wholly concerned with the Sacred Plant" (Wasson 1969). Its around 1600 BCE, when these shaman priests who called themselves Aryans moved down into what is known today as Afghanistan and the Indus Valley. These Aryan people brought with them their religious cult and their hallucinogenic drink called they called Soma, along with the observance and celebration of certain celestial laws that they believed were essential to keeping the world in balance. This balance was maintained through acts of ritual sacrifice. 


            According to Gerald Messadie, author of, "The History of the Devil"

"The equilibrium of the world was maintained through sacrifices and the ritual offering of Soma, the juice of a plant that could well have been Amanita muscaria or Amanita phalloida mushrooms. The meaning of that rite is worthy of reflection: The world exists only on condition that humans inebriate themselves on certain fixed dates and circumstances, thus partaking of the nature of gods. This is the basic principle of the Greek mysteries, and it is also the basis of Judaism's reactive hatred of drunkenness" (Gerald Messadie, 1997, p.38-39)


At some point in their history the simple shamanism of their Siberian homeland was expanded into a rich and complex religious tradition based on the worship and ecstatic experience achieved by consuming the plant known in Proto-Indian-Iranian as "sauma". It is this religious tradition that is recorded (undated) in the hymns in the Rig Veda that exalted the power of priests, in which ritual was the underpinning of a society and priests were the masters.


The Altai Mountain region in Central Asia is regarded as the ancient homeland of the Hungarians (Huns and Magyars), Mongolians, Turks, and Koreans. The Altai is a mountain range situated in the border land of Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The Ural-Altaic languages are named after this region. The Huns were a confederation of Turkic, Mongolic and Tungusic people from the region of the Altai Mountains.


(Map of the ancient cultures of Central Asia, 4000 - 3000 BC., from C. George Boeree 2013)

C. George Boeree, Prehistory of the Steppes 2013, writes that "the original people of the western and central steppes were likely Proto-Uralic (the ancestors to Finnish, Hungarian, Samoyede, etc.) They would include the neolithic Samara culture of the Volga valley, as well as the fishing communities of the Kelteminar culture near the Aral Sea". 

"Beginning about 6000 years ago there is an expansion of Indo-European speakers out of this homeland East into the Steppes of central Asia and West into central Europe. Approximately 5000 years ago there is another expansion into Mesopotamia, Persia, Europe and eastward deeper into the Steppes. About 4000 years ago there is a major expansion from which most of the modern Indo-European languages are descended; this expansion extends the Indo-European languages over a vast area of Europe, the Middle East, central Asia, Northern India, and the Siberian Steppe to Manchuria"  (source, Amanita Muscaria: Herb of Immortality Revised 2007 Copyright © 2005 By Donald E. Teeter).

Although the most widely accepted hypothesis regarding the origin of Hungarians has been the Finno-Ugrian theory, Hungarians show a remarkable difference from Ugro-Finnic peoples, and that they are more closely related to ancient Middle-Eastern peoples. The linguistic similarities between Sumerian, Hungarian and other languages are corroborated by the archaeological and anthropological evidence discovered so far, and will be discussed in greater detail throughout.  

The Finno-Ugrian theory claims that Siberia was the original homeland of the Hungarians (Magyar), and it should be noted that in Siberia, the Amanita muscaria, or Fly Agaric mushroom was ritually used by Finno-Ugaric people (Schultes & Hofmann p.84). Advocates of the Finno-Ugrian theory believe the linguistic and ethnic kinship between the Hungarians and the Finns, Ostyaks and Voguls provide evidence for the origin of the Magyars. 

The Ostyaks are linguistically nearest akin to the Hungarians but according to Wasson, there is no recollection among modern Hungarians of the ritual consumption of the Amanita muscaria mushroom.  

            According to Ripinsky-Naxon:

"Based on ethnological and linguistic evidence, the Finno-Ugrian tribes (of the Uralic family of languages) which include the Hungarians, used the hallucinogenic mushroom, fly agaric, in proto-historic times, although some of them might have guarded the practice with profound secrecy" (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.147).


             

According to Wasson (1957):


"...that the same word for 'mushroom' is shared by the Indo-European peoples, the eastern Finnic peoples, the Paleo-Siberian tribes as far as the eastern tip of Siberia, and perhaps even the Eskimos and the Arabs. Do we not now discover the potent secret of the mushrooms that might explain the wide dissemination of a single pre-Indo-European word? For the cultural historian it becomes imperative that the surviving traces of the mushroom cult among the peripheral peoples of Siberia be minutely and sympathetically examined on the ground by anthropologists and linguists, and likewise the similar use of a mushroom in the interior of New Guinea."




In Central Asia the fly agaric, or Amanita muscaria mushroom was an important part of shamanistic rituals, especially among the Finno-Ugric language groups. 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). 

Among the Hungarians (Magyars) there is an ancient expression used to describe the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom. The Hungarians call this mushroom bolond gomba (bolond = crazy, and mushroom = gomba) that means crazy-making mushroom, and it can also refer to a crazed person acting foolishly; a lunatic. The expression bolond gomba, can be found in both the Ostyak and Vogul tribal languages that still exist in the Ob River districts of northern Siberia.  Knowledge of the bolond gomba's effects as an entheogen or God producing mushroom goes back at least 4,000 years. (Essay by Joseph Szimhart Initially October, 2002).

Like the Huns, the Celts were an equestrian people (Scythian) of Central Asian descent, who, when they arrived in central Europe settled down in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary). Both the Celts and the Huns were characterized by their ferocity and mobility; "they struck without warning and observed no distinction between combatants and non-combatants, men, woman, or children. Human sacrifice was practiced, by both Huns and Celts, but usually of war captives. 

Once the Huns conquered Scythia, there seemed no stopping them. The speed with which the Huns moved, and their success in battle, is best illustrated in their conquest of the Carpathian Basin. In fact Budapest itself was built upon an old Celtic settlement bearing the name Aquincum (Celts and Magyars: Közzétéve: 2012. Január 09. Hétfő, 18:20 Írta: Timaru-Kast, Sándor). According to ancient Russian chronicles, the Magyars appeared in the Carpathian Basin (Hungary) as early as 670-680 A.D. When the Magyar tribes under Arpad in 895 A.D. arrived in the Carpathian Basin they also found a population already there, who understood their language. Their is evidence of Magyar-speaking people centered in the Carpathian Basin since at least the Early Neolithic (source The Scythians: 2008, by Professor Badiny Jos Ferenc and other esteemed scholars).

Little is known about the origin of the Celts, but they seem to have originated in central Europe. There are many similarities between the Hungarian and Celtic languages in there grammatical structure and syntax. For example, BODUA is the Celtic word for "victory" and it is possible that the invading Huns were greeted with a joyful cheers of "Bodua!" The victorious Huns may have been considered liberators. After the "victory" BUDA was built, the "Ancient Buda" (Ős-Buda), which we know as "Atilla's castle" (Etzilburg) from history. As mentioned earlier, the capital city of Hungary, Budapest, was built upon an old Celtic settlement bearing the name Aquincum (source, CELTS AND MAGYARS: About the origin of the Celts, their arrival in Europe and their settling in the Carpathian Basin  by Sándor Timaru-Kast). After examining the relationship between the Hungarian and Celtic languages, it may be that the Celts and the Hun-Magyars understood one another.

According to Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick, the first Celtic settlements appeared in the British Isles in the Early Bronze Age (around 1180 B.C.). They consider England's indigenous population at the end of the Stone Age to be Proto-Celts. Leon E. Stover and Bruce Kraig, English archaeologists, deduce from the prehistoric finds in Wessex and Hungary that the Celts may have been already present in Europe in the third millennium B.C. This date surpassed by far the imaginings of 19th century linguists and ethnographers who believed the Celts to be of Indo-European origin  (Celts and Magyars: Közzétéve: 2012. Január 09. Hétfő, 18:20 Írta: Timaru-Kast, Sándor).

"According to the Societe des Sumerologistes at the Sorbonne, in research published in 1975, that "the Magyars are the last living descendants of the Sumerian empire and spoke a language directly related to Sumarian. After 6,000 years they had finally returned to where some of their first towns and city states emerged, and where they had previously intermarried with and shared culture with the proto-Celts. The linguistic similarities between Sumerian, Hungarian and other languages are corroborated by the archaeological and anthropological data discovered so far. These archaeological finds indicate that the Sumerians were the first settlers of Southern Mesopotamia (5000 BC), where they had come from the mountainous regions to the North and East with their knowledge of agriculture and metallurgy, and where they built the first cities" (source Magyar Megmaradasert: Részletek Közzétéve: 2009, Sept. 27).

Could there be a connection between Celtic and Hungarian languages? 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..."Hungarians have always been Scythians descendants of the great Scythian "race" the "Sabarto asphalo" people, and this relationship is the same as the one with the Celts. "The Scythian influence upon the Celts appears not only in the metal (gold and iron) objects which were unearthed by archaeologists, but in the "kurgan"-style burial custom too. We find a great number of similar raised grave-sites (kunhalmok), all over the British Isles - at Stonehenge or in the region of the famous "crop circles" in Marlborough County with its giant-kurgan - and also in Brittany, Karnag, the famous Celtic "stone-sea" settlement where the "St. Michaels Mount" stands. The name Karnag is derived from the Breton-Celt word for kurgan, which is the same as the Irish CARNAN, little hill, grave"  (CELTS AND MAGYARS I. EUROPE'S IRON AGE PEOPLE).

Regarding Celtic syntax, Sir John Morris Jones (1900) writes in his work:  "Pre-Aryan Syntax in Insular Celtic", that even though linguists consider the Insular Celtic language to be Indo-Germanic, he believes that, according to their sentence structure, they are not. He claims it no accident that the Irish call themselves "The Magyars of the West" (Morris Jones, Pre-Aryan syntax in Insular Celtic 1900) It should also be noted that Morris Jones s article was not well received by the Celtic academic establishment and he never returned to the subject. (REMARKS ON THE INSULAR CELTIC/HAMITO-SEMITIC QUESTION by Steve Hewitt). John Rhos (1877: 189 f.) in Lectures on Welsh Philology and subsequent works raises the possibility that pre-Aryan languages may have exerted structural influence on the Insular Celtic languages.

Archaeologist believe that the early bronze artifacts found in Ireland, came with the peoples of the ancient Mediterranean sea empires that first settled the island a millenia before the much later Celts" (The Origins of Celtic Heritage on Continental Europe GERMANI, HELVETII, ALEMANII, TEUTONII, GOETII (GOTHS) ETC. A short Summary of Recent Consensus).


             According to anthropologist Christian Ratsch... 


"There is also 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). 



The Beaker people or Bell Beaker culture, named after a bell-shaped drinking vessel, spread across western and central Europe reaching Britain around 4,500 years ago. According to new DNA evidence within 500 years, the Beaker people almost completely wiped out the original Neolithic inhabitants of Britain. The DNA evidence comes from a new study of 400 prehistoric skeletons, suggesting that modern-day Britons are barely related to the original inhabitants who built Stonehenge some 5000 years ago. The DNA evidence shows that the Beaker people were more like today's modern British people, with fair skin, and lighter hair and eyes, and that the creators of Stonehenge appeared Mediterranean, with olive-hued skin, dark hair and eyes. Researchers speculate that disease may have killed off the ancient creators of Stonehenge and that 90% of the original inhabitants of Britain were replaced (Daily Mail.com. Dec 22nd 2018). 

Many scholars believe the origins of the Hungarians (Magyars) Huns and Avars, can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia through the Sumerian-Scythian-Hun-Avar-Magyar ethno-linguistic continuity, which, together with the evidence of the archaeological artifacts of Sumerian origin found in the Carpathian Basin, indicates that the ancestors of the Hungarians were the first permanent settlers of the Carpathian Basin"(source hunmagyar.org).  

In ancient Sumeria, the city known as Ur, of the biblical Abraham, was also called Mugayyar, a seaport, on the Persian Gulf, at the mouth of the Euphrates River, 12 miles from Eridu, traditional site of the Garden of Eden. Just preceding the time of Abraham, Ur (Mugayyar) was the most magnificent city in all the world  (Henry H. Halley 1951 p.86).


"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 world's most famous prehistoric monuments, and remains 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, over such a great distance?Scientists have traced the bluestones of Stonehenge that comprise the inner circle, that weigh up to 4 tons, from the vicinity of Carmarthen’s Prescelly Mountains, in Wales, some 200 miles away from where Stonehenge sits today on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, England.  Archaeologists believe that Stonehenge was constructed from 3000 BCE. to 2000 BCE. According to radiocarbon dating, the first bluestones were erected between 2400 and 2200 BCE. (Wikipeda). 




In 1953 carvings resembling axe weapons were discovered on three of the Stonehenge bluestones. Recently, a team of computer experts and archaeologists using 3D laser scanning technology to study the ancient monument, documented 72 newly discovered images that revealed through the data analysis, 71 Bronze Age axe-heads and one portrays a Bronze Age dagger. The carved axe-heads and daggers according to archaeologists may signify some sort of expansion or change in the great stone circle’s religious function. It’s known that, when the main phase of the monument was initially built in the middle of the third millennium BC, it was designed primarily as a solar temple, aligned on the mid-winter and mid-summer solstices. In Indo-European tradition axes were often associated with storm deities, and therefore may have been engraved on the stones as votive offerings (decapitation rituals?) to placate a storm deity.  (Stonehenge Sensation - Scanning Reveals Axe Carvings, 16 October 2003) (Revealed: Early Bronze Age Axe carvings...David Keys October 9, 2012)  


                                               Carved Axe-heads Engraved on Stonehenge, or Magic Mushrooms ?

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) 


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.  A number of Celtic shrines in the Rhône delta, like the feline looking Monster of Noves, third century B.C.E., are 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.



Fairy rings or circles, also known as elf rings are naturally occurring circles that appear on the ground with mushrooms surrounding the perimeter. There are two generally recognized types of fairy ring fungus. Those found in the woods are called tethered, because they are formed by mycorrhizal fungi living in symbiosis with trees. Meadow fairy rings are called free, because they are not connected with other organisms. Fairy rings or Elf rings are the subject of much folklore, and myth in Europe in which fairies and elves (little people) meet and dance around in a circle. While they are often seen as hazardous or dangerous places, they can sometimes be linked with good fortune (Wikipeda). Visions of faeries are so strongly associated with mushrooms that the Gaelic slang for faeries and mushrooms is the same: pookies.  




             Nicole Buckler, 2018 author of The Mysterious And Lost Magic Mushroom Rituals Of The Ancient Celts:


"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? 


"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.”

"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."



So who were the builders of Stonehenge, and why, and how were the builders of Stonehenge able to transport the giant boulders, over such a great distance?  If we look to Celtic mythology for clues, 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 worshippers a toll of two thirds of the children born each year.(Nigel Davies 1981 p.46).  


             According to Carl Ruck author of  “The Offerings from the Hyperboreans,”


"One gets the impression that the Fomorians represent a pre-Celtic Irish race, and that we are seeing them through the texts of the Celts, who invaded their land and subdued them, and now wish to present them as villains, boors, snake-worshippers, or even nonhuman monsters. This is a universal theme in folklore, which often seems to harbor memories of an archaic “us/them” situation. Ultimately it may lead us back to the emergence of agricultural peoples and their “conquest” and enslavement of hunter/gatherer tribes – i.e., back to the very beginnings of civilization and history. The Fomorians, who are connected with the megaliths by folklore, and who survive to play roles as ogres and giants in Irish fairy tales, may have been remnants of the great Atlantic Megalithic peoples, who created the culture of New Grange and Stonehenge long before the Celts arrived in Europe.



Its tempting to think that the Amanita muscaria mushroom was used to induce superhuman strength. The Amanita muscaria mushroom contains the powerful hallucinogen muscimol, which is known to cause the feelings of increased strength and stamina. The connection between Amanita muscaria mushrooms and feats of strength was first proposed by Samuel Odman in 1784, he proposed that Amanita muscaria was the intoxicant of the Viking Berserkers (Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.298) Hallucinogens taken before battle likely eliminated all sense of fear, hunger, and thirst, and gave the combatant a sense of invincibility and courage to fight at the wildest levels.  

As mentioned earlier, it's possible that the Amanita muscaria mushroom was consumed to induce superhuman strength. Wasson believed its ingestion, may even have provided the spark that lifted the mind of early man from mundane to sublime awareness of another level of consciousness. 


"The ecstatic rapture transforms a person into a god, and in this state of ecstasy the essential knowledge of the divine can be attained. Henceforth, through this state of being a god, one can understand the mystery that is god (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.206).  

Its worth mentioning again, that 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. 

The reason for building Stonehenge is still unknown, but Greek and Roman writers frequently made reference to the Druids as practitioners of human sacrifice.  There is archaeological evidence from western Europe that has been widely used to back up the idea that human sacrifice was performed by the Iron Age Celts (wikipeda). 


"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 importance of Druid rituals closely resembles the structures of Aryan religion, since it exalted the power of priests, "where ritual was the underpinning of a society in which priests were the masters".


Stonehenge was long been believed to have been built by the Druids, but in fact Stonehenge's earliest construction predates the Druids by hundreds of years. As mentioned earlier, the first Celtic settlements appeared in the British Isles in the Early Bronze Age, around 1180 B.C. The Druids who were the high-ranking members of the priesthood in Celtic culture, constructed their temples in a circular or oval shape, and the druid priests who performed rituals of human sacrifice to the Celtic gods, were the intermediaries between the people and the divinities. The name druid is of unknown origin, but some suggest it comes from the Gaelic Druidh, meaning "wise man", or "magician", or "sorcerer".  Pliny the Elder believed it referred to the Greek drus, meaning "oak" because druidism was a tree cult, and the predominant tree in Europe being the oak. Tree worship and the belief that spirits dwelled in trees is well documented for 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 Hungarian mythology, the world is also divided into three spheres: the first is the Upper World (Felső világ), the home of the gods; the second is the Middle World (Középső világ) or world we know, and finally the underworld (Alsó világ). In the center of the world stands a tall tree: the World Tree, or Tree of Life (Világfa/Életfa). Its branches being the Upper World, and the Turul bird dwells on top of it. The Middle World is located at its trunk and the underworld located at its roots, another belief shared by all Mesoamericans of the New World.

One of the theories about the ancient Hungarian religion is that it was a form of Tengrism, a shamanic religion common among the early Turkic and Mongolian people, that was influenced by Zoroastrianism from the Persians whom the Hungarians had encountered during their westward migration. Another theory ties the religion to that of the Huns and Scythians due to similar or even identical legends to the Hungarian origin myth.   


             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)


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. 

Above is a Hungarian painting depicting a mythological scene at the Tree of Life. Note the Amanita muscaria mushrooms, encoded as the sacred fruit by the artist at the foot of the Tree of Life.

Medieval Hungarian sources refer to the story of the Biblical Nimrod, son of  Kush, and Noah’s great-grandson, whose two sons, Hunor and Magor, led the Huns and the Magyars from the regions neighboring Persia to the land known as Scythia.

"The legend says that Hunor and Magor were pursuing a female stag that led them into a foreign land and there she vanished without leaving any trace. The disappointed hunters however, met there two sisters, princesses of the Sarmatians, kidnapped and married them, becoming the forefathers of the Huns and Magyars. The stag is also relevant in Scythian mythology – the role of Scythians will be considered afterwards. It is significant that in the Hungarian legend the sons of Ménrót/Nemere were hunters, and Nimrod in the Bible is described as a "mighty hunter" (Genesis 10:9). His Sumerian name – or better, his title – was Nimb-ur-shag, meaning "Lord of the Panthers", which in Hungarian is translated "Parduc-Uraság", conveying the same meaning of the Hebrew name quoted in the Bible, related with the word "nimra", that means "panther, leopard", combined with the verb "rad", that is "to subdue". Therefore, the first part of the Sumerian name resembles the Hebrew one, but the second component is definitely quite similar to Hungarian. It is relevant that Nimrod had to "subdue" panthers in order to become a "mighty" hunter: this title is often misinterpreted as he being a leopard-hunter – because it was the most dangerous animal in those times – but the actual meaning is another; in fact, the "lord" or "subduer" of the panther, implies that he was able to tame these animals in order to use them as a valuable aid in hunting other wild beasts. Indeed, also the kings and notables of Central Asia (from where the Hungarians departed towards Europe) trained the panthers to employ them in hunting. Panther skin has traditionally been the most precious garment among Hungarian kings and leaders, recalling the very fashion in which Nimrod himself was portrayed. (excerpt from Myths, Hypotheses and Facts Concerning the Origin of Peoples The Ancient Identity of Hungarians The Hungarian-Hebrew Connection)


Christianity and Judaism were both influenced by Zoroastrianism, an Iranian/Persian religion founded by the Babylonian/Sumerian King Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah.   

Wasson has studied the historical, literary, and ethnobotanical records concerning the identity of Soma. 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)


According to Donald Teeter 2005, author of Amanita Muscaria: Herb of Immortality, research in several dictionaries showed that all the names mentioned, Soma, Haoma, Ambrosia, Nectar and Dionysus are all Indo-European words, meaning that they all belonged to a specific language family called Indo-European. The term Indo-European describes a very large language family, which includes English, French, Latin, Greek, Gaelic, Iranian, Hindi, and Sanskrit to name but a few. Historically this language family was found from India to Ireland hence Indo-European. All of the Indo-European languages are descended from a common ancient ancestral language now extinct called Proto-Indo-European. Since all Indo-European languages share a common ancestor and in many ways are still very similar to each other, it is the common belief of language experts that about 7000 years ago all the Indo-European speakers in the world lived in a relatively small geographic area that is believed to be north or northeast of the Black Sea" (Donald Teeter 2005 Amanita Muscaria: Herb of Immortality)

Mushroom-headed Fertility Goddess from the Eastern Carpathian basin, Moldavia. 

Like the Soma and Haoma deities of the ancient Indo-Aryans and Iranian people, the Early Bronze and Iron Age tribes, of the Carpathian basin also worshiped an Amanita muscaria mushroom god and mushroom goddess.

In the 5th century B.C.E. the Carpathian Mountains were located in a land known as Dacia. This was a land that was sparsely populated by wondering Celtic, Illyrian, and Thracian tribes, but were know to the Greeks and Romans as the Dacians, a name derived from the ancient Greek word daos, meaning wolf, the animal most worshiped by the Dacian tribes. Their religious and social centers were in Transylvania which became the hearth of the future Dacian kingdom. This was a land that also attracted the Aryan tribes, and among them were the Scythians, who migrated from the Caucasus and the Sea of Azov region back to their ancestral tribal lands  (Ion Grumeza 2009 p.2). 

The Dacians are first mentioned in the writings of Herodotus, who lived in the 5th century B.C.E. and is regarded as the "Father of History" (Histories Book IV XCIII: "[Getae] the noblest as well as the most just of all the Thracian tribes"). The kingdom of Dacia or Thrace as it was mistakenly known, was populated by a confederacy of Thracian, Ionian, and Dorian tribes that existed until the Roman conquest in A.D. 106. This area corresponds to the present-day countries of Hungary, Romania, and Moldova as well as parts of Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The world map made by Herodotus showed most of the Balkan Peninsula occupied by the Thracians (Ion Grumeza 2009 p.4).  

According to Carl P. Ruck:

"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).

Above is a scene sculpted on Trajan's Column that portrays the Emperor Trajan holding an object that looks like the underside of an Amanita muscaria mushroom in his right hand. Trajan's Column is located in Trajan's Forum, in Rome Italy, and commemorates the Romans victory in the Dacians Wars. The scene above is titled "Trajan Sacrifices" (Scene 99) and takes place in front of what has been identified as the Danube bridge (Photographs by Roger Ulrich,  from a cast in the Museo della Civilta' Rome Italy)   



Before the Battle of Tapae, the Dacian tribe known as the Buri, sent the Roman Emperor Trajan a very large mushroom inscribed with a message in Latin, to withdraw from Dacia (literary source Dio lxviii 8.1) 

This famous message to Trajan, was unusual enough to become part of a frieze on Trajan's column, (source  Austin, N. J. E; Rankov, . N. B. 1998 p.65, Exploratio: Military and Political Intelligence in the Roman World from the Second Punic War to the Battle of Adrianople. Routledge). 

The removal of the head of the mushroom or mushroom cap is a symbolic reference to ritual decapitation. Wasson writes that the stems of sacred mushrooms were removed and the mushroom caps consumed prior to ritual sacrifice. 

According to Carl A. P. Ruck Professor of Classics at Boston University:

"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).


It's worth mentioning again that one of the features of Amanita muscaria intoxication is enraged stimulation and remarkable muscular strength. If a mushroom infused Soma-Haoma beverage was consumed before battle it may have eliminated all sense of fear, and gave the combatant a sense of invincibility and courage to fight at the wildest levels.

The connection between Amanita muscaria mushrooms and feats of strength was first proposed by Samuel Odman in 1784, who first proposed that Amanita muscaria was the intoxicant of the Viking Berserkers (Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.298) The Berserkers were a special group of Viking warriors who dressed in wolf-skins, and were famous for their so-called Berserker rage in battle. Some scholars believe that this ecstatic battle frenzy made the Berserkers impervious to pain, and neither fire nor iron affected them (L.M. Hollander 2002, p.10).  

"This theory was later supported by F.C. Schuber, a Norwegian physician and botanist, who noted that the symptoms Berserker rage are consistent throughout different accounts (Fabing 1956). Most importantly in 1930, Rolf Nordhagen uncovered an 1814 report from the Vinland regiment (Swedish Army) where an officer had taken note of troops that were raving and foaming at the mouth. Upon inquiry the officer was informed that the soldiers had taken Amanita muscaria in order to prepare for battle". "The symptoms of the Berserker rage appear to be compatible with ethnographic accounts of the mushroom's use in Siberia, including a report that the mushrooms are eaten among the Koryak when one is "resolved toward murder" (Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.298)  (A. Morgan 1995 p.103). 

Regarding the Soma mushroom of the Rig Veda, and Berserker rage, it's important to mention that Soma  is most commonly associated with the Aryan god of war Indra, who consumes the Soma elixir before battle. According to Feeney "parallels to the Berserker tradition can be also found among Celtic myths detailing the deeds of the hero Cu Chulaind, who was known for his ferociousness in battle, and parallels have been drawn between descriptions of his battle-fury and symptoms caused by Amanita muscaria mushrooms"(Kevin Feeney 2013, ch. 6, p.299) (T.J. Riedlinger 1999).

When the Greek historians described the beautiful mountain region of Dacia/Thracia, they were writing about the Carpathian Mountains, and Transylvania, and the mysterious people who lived there were the notorious barbarians who inspired fear in the impenetrable north-land. The famous historian Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, refers to this race of people in the Danube region as Scythian.

The identities of the so-called 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 name used by the Greek historian Herodotus who lived in the 5th century B.C.E., writes that the  war-like Scythians as far back as the 5th century B.C.E. had ruled over most of Central Asia and the northern subcontinent of India. 

The Scythians were known as a warlike people famous for taking scalps, trophy heads, and drinking the blood of their victim's from human skulls in order to imbibe some of their wisdom and strength. Herodotus states that the Scythians cultivated cannabis for trade (Herodotus, History, II, 4.75), and he writes that the Scythians marked their important occasions with drug-fueled rituals (Andrew Curry, Archaeology: June 13, 2016). 

Above are three scenes from Trajan's Column that depict the severed heads of Dacian warriors. In two of the scenes Roman solders hold up the Dacian trophy heads to attract the attention of the Emperor Trajan. 


The great Dacian king named Decebalus, knowing that his rule of Dacia had come to a sudden end (106 AD ) committed suicide by slashing his own throat before  Roman solders could capture him. We are told that the King Becebalus's severed head was taken to Trajan and eventually sent to Rome where it was apparently thrown on the Gemonian stairs. 

The historical evidence surrounding the death of the Roman Emperor Claudius is controversial and open to alternative explanations. The Roman historian, Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus commonly known as Suetonius, who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire wrote that the Greeks called mushrooms "food of the gods".   

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).

The historian Tacitus records that Roman Emperor Claudius, who at the time was dining with his priests in the Capital castle, was given a poison mushroom followed up by a thick gruel, and that he later died in the early hours on 13 October 54 AD.  The emperor's death was kept secret until all things were set in order for his successor.  (Claudius the God: By Robert Graves, 1934)

According to Suetonius, Nero had his former freedman Anicetus arrange a shipwreck; Agrippina survived the wreck, swam ashore and was executed by Anicetus, who reported her death as a suicide.  Nero was the first Roman Emperor to commit suicide on June 9, 68 AD   Nero's final words were "Too late! This is fidelity!"He died on 9 June 68, the anniversary of the death of Octavia (Wikipeda).

I his Memoirs, Voltaire wrote that the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Serbia, is also believed to have died from eating poisonous mushrooms on 20th of October 1740.

The Celts played a very active role in Dacia. According to Roman reports the Celts were also known for their obsession with trophy heads, using the skulls as drinking containers, believing that they would benefit from the powers of any decapitated head they could get their hands on, that the essence of a man was in his head. The Scythians were also known to drink the blood of their victim's from human skulls in order to imbibe some of their victims wisdom and strength.  

As mentioned earlier, a number of Celtic shrines in the Rhône delta, like the Monster of Noves, third century B.C.E. are associated with the cult of the severed head. Even after the Celts converted to Christianity, their descendants retained the grisly custom of headhunting. Headhunting is said to have persisted in the Scottish marshes among people of  Celtec decent until the middle ages (Brian Branston, 1955 p.149), and twelfth-century sources states that the Irish Celts, used to offer firstborn children to their great stone idol, Mag Slocht (Nigel Davies 1981 p.46). 

The Romans also provide information on the customs of Celts and Druids in Britain. The more brutal Druid rituals of human sacrifice were later suppressed by the Emperor Claudius, and the historian Tacittus wrote in specific terms about them: "They deemed it indeed as a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives, and to consult the gods through human entrails" (Nigel Davies 1981 p.46).  This same practice of consulting the gods through human entrails was practiced in Peru (Stephen C. Jett 1971 p.48)

 There are many theories as to why mushroom inspired rituals went underground among the Dacians, and the Danubian Celtic-Goths, and the Celts in the British Isles and in Gaul. The Romans outlawed Druid practices, spread propaganda about their demonic rituals and slaughtered large numbers of Druids. Christianity took over and the remaining Druids lost their rank and power, which would have caused a mushroom cult to die out or go underground (The Mysterious And Lost Magic Mushroom Rituals Of The Ancient Celts: 2018).


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.


The Greek scholar Lucius Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor (1st century BC) referred to the Druids as philosophers and called their doctrine of the immortality of the soul and reincarnation, "Pythagorean". "The Pythagorean doctrine prevails among the Gauls' teaching that the souls of men are immortal, and that after a fixed number of years they will enter into another body" (Wikipeda)  druids were believed to be not only religious leaders, healers and teachers, but also magicians and shape-shifters. The Roman historian Ammianus (330-395 BCE) said that Druids were "uplifted by searching into things most secret and sublime." They were later banned by Emperor Tiberius and Claudius, mainly because of their practice of human sacrifices. 

In Celtic folklore, the cauldron had an almost religious significance, believed to be magic, and the cosmic womb of the Great Mother Goddess. Giant magic cauldrons were supposedly owned by several Welsh and Irish deities, and their theft by semi-divine heroes is a popular theme in the early Celtic mythology. In Finnish folklore the cauldron was a source of magic, and gave the recipient great strength, knowledge and inspiration (Raymond Buckland 2002, p.79). 

Hunnic (Hun-Magyar) cauldrons (below) have long claimed the attention of archaeologists because of their mushroom shaped handles, which until 1896, (Reinecke 1986) were classified as Scythian cauldrons. In 1955 Laszlo (Acta Archaeologica Hungarica, Vol. 34 1955, pp. 89, 249-252) proposed that the mushrooms on the handles of the Hunnic bronze cauldrons represented "shaman crowns" drawing the connection between mushroom iconography and ecstatic religion among the Huns. Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen author of The World of the Huns: Studies in their History and Culture pp. 329-330 has also identified the handle designs as mushrooms


(Photograph of Hunnic cauldron by Hungarian photographer Gyorgy Klosz photo in Public domain)

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),  there is no written evidence indicating the specific function and use of the mushrooms among the warlike Huns. Most of the reports on the custom of divination were written by Christian priests, set on denouncing the practice as ungodly and demonic (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.162).  Similar cauldrons with mushroom shaped handles have also been found in Xinjiang (China) that are associated with the Saka culture of the Xiongnu in southern Siberia. Researchers have found numerous connections between the Magyars and the Uyghurs. The Uyghurs are people who live in the Xinjiang province of China, who are Caucasian in appearance and speak a Turkic language. The Yakut Turks called themselves Sakha, or Scythian Sakas.

As mentioned earlier one of the theories about the ancient Hungarian religion is that it was influenced by Zoroastrianism from the Persians whom the Hungarians had encountered during their westward migration. 

 According to Allen Piper:

"Zoroastrian scriptures called the Avestas, record that haoma was made with the fat of the sacrificial bull and that the haoma ceremony was intimately connected with the sacrifice of a bull" (Allen Piper 2013 p.232 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture). 

"The use of psychoactive bulls flesh has been recorded among the Celts who are ultimately of Indo-European origin, and whose religious leaders, the Druids, have been repeatedly linked to the Brahmins, the priestly cast of the Vedas. Given that the Celts are an Indo-European people, it is not surprising that the Druids have been persistently linked with the Brahmins and Magi, by both ancient and by modern Indo-European scholars. Both Pliny and Hippolytus class the  Druids and Magi together  (Allen Piper 2013 p.245 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture).


According to Wasson, The Parsees, descendants of the Zoroastrians, drink bull's urine in there rites to this day (source Soma of the Aryans: an Ancient Hallucinogen?). The bull the animal of sacrifice, was a recurrent theme in Persian Art.  On the occasion of the bull sacrifice, "at the resurrection of the bodies when the bull Hadayans is put to death, a drink that will confer immortality on all men is prepared from the fat of the animal mixed with haoma" (Larousse World Mythology, 1965 edition, p. 199). While its unlikely that the flesh of one bull could intoxicate an entire army, Wasson surmised that the third filter mentioned in the Rig Veda was the body, and that mushroom-infused urine, milk, or meat was the purest form of Soma. According to the Vedas, Soma was known as "the supreme dappled bull" (Larousse World Mythology, 1965 edition, p. 232, 233). The Greek historian Strabo reported that in 676-675 BCE., the Phrygian King Midas II after the collapse of his kingdom in central and western Anatolia, chose suicide by drinking bull's blood (Christoph Baumer, 2012  p. 225). 


"One of  the most interesting examples of trance is in an account of the choosing of a new king at Tara, when a bull was killed and a Druid gorged on its flesh. The Druid fell into a trance while incantations were recited over him, and on recovery he was able to prognosticate the distinguishing circumstances of the rightful claimant's approach to Tara. This rite was known as tarbfeis, "bulls dream"  (Allen Piper 2013 p.245 in the book, Entheogens and the Development of Culture).      




The earliest steppe nomads whom there is any accurate record of were a people known as Scythians, a Bronze age culture who migrated out of the east around 800-700 BCE. The word Scythian comes from the Greek skythai, while their Persian name was "saka". Therefore, we may assume that Scythians and Saka are the same people and that both terms may be used as synonymous. It's believed that the ancestors of the Indo-Scythians are thought to be Sakas (Scythian) tribes, who ruled in Central Asia, and who were originally from southern Siberia. The Scythians (Saka) are believed to have migrated from southern Siberia into Sogdiana and Bactria and then into the Indian subcontinent where they were known as Indo-Scythians.   

Late 3rd-early 2nd millennium BCE, stamp seal from the Bactria Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC), located in Central Asia, that thrived 2300 to 1700 BCE. The seal has been described as a figure holding snakes, when in reality, I believe this figure represents a shaman with god eye and horns, attributes that are common in the depiction of shamans in ancient art, and that the so called snakes surrounding the shaman are actually encoded mushrooms, encoded to portray divine ecstasy and the mushroom as the medium.


In his book In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Archaeology and Myth 1989, J.P. Mallory cites that all the evidence indicates that Indo-Europeans of the Andronovo culture settled in western Siberia during the Bronze Age. 

The Indo-Scythians known as the Saka peoples of Central Asia and Southern Siberia were the successors of a branch of people who belonged to what archaeologists call the Andronovo culture, a Bronze Age culture of the 2nd millenium BCE. considered by most scholars to be proto Indo-Iranian, Iranian being cognate with Aryan. 

Soviet archaeologist S.I. Rudenko discovered archaeological evidence in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for the use of Cannabis sativa to induce trances in Scythian funeral rites during his excavations between 1947 and 1951, of the great burial mounds (tombs called kurgans) at Pazaryk (Peter Furst 1972, notes p. 223). 

The Altai Mountains of Siberia were inhabited by the Scythians (the Huns in the west were called Scythians) some time between the 7th and 2nd century BCE. The Scythians left richly supplied grave sites called kurgans. A kurgan is a type of burial mound or barrow, heaped over a burial chamber, often of wood.  Ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst ("Flesh of the Gods") writes that German botanist Ludwig Wittmaack (1839-1929), also identified Cannabis seeds in a Scythian funeral urn, and that evidence would suggest that the Scythians were disseminating Cannabis to other areas around 500 BCE. (Furst 1972,  p.223). Furst also writes that in a number of related Indo-European languages, bangha, the Iranian word for Cannabis simultaneously refers to mushroom intoxication, Cannabis intoxication, and the Cannibis plant itself (Furst 1972, p.224).


The Altai Mountains in Siberia are also home to tens of thousands of petroglyphs believed to have been carved by the ancestors of the Altai, over a period of 12,000 years. The Kalbak Tash petroglyphs depict hunting scenes of an ancient people, all of whom appear to have mushroom-shaped heads, and all of whom are portrayed carrying what appears to be a pouch at their waist. The interpretation of these ancient petroglyphs by Russian authorities refer to the figures as, "tailed people who have semicircular formations on their heads". No mention of mushrooms at all. 

The oldest petroglyphs at Kalbak Tash are believed to date from around 11,000 to 6,000 BCE. (photo source habit.ru Petroglifi_Kalbak_Tash_Prirodn…ovishche_pes_sverhu_(4472).jpg)


Petroglyphs are images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking or carving as a form of rock art, and are often the remnants of lost cultures. So who carved these mushroomic petroglyphs ?          


One of the more interesting observation regarding the Kalbak Tash petroglyphs, are that all the mushroomic looking figures carry what appear to be a sac or pouch behind their back. It may be that depicted in these petroglyphs, a shamans pouch was used to collect mushrooms, or possibly to collect the urine of those who consumed the fly agaric mushrooms? 


Wasson (1968) writes about one aspect of Siberian mushroom intoxication, that was reported in the earliest sources. He noted that one interesting feature of the Amanita muscaria mushroom is that its hallucinogenic properties pass into the urine, and another may drink this urine to enjoy the same hallucinogenic effect.  It is safer to drink the urine of one who has consumed the mushrooms, because many of the toxic compounds are processed and eliminated on the first pass through the body.

             
            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). 


In Siberia, the urine of those consuming fly agaric was highly prized, and that its has been reported that a Koryak tribesman would eagerly exchange a reindeer for a single fly agaric" (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.163). 

"Muscimol, the psychoactive element of Amanita muscaria, remains active in urine for up to seven re-ingestions (Jason Fitzgerald, Amanita muscaria and Cannabis Sativa, Keys to Christianity).


             According to Ethno-archaeologist Peter T. Furst:

...the Koryaks [of Siberia] believe that the wapaq [Amanita muscaria mushroom] would tell any man who ate them, even if he were not a shaman, "what ailed him when he was sick, or explain a dream to him, or show him the upper world, or the underground world, or foretell what would happen to him."

"As the reader will undoubtedly have guessed, the wapaq of Koryak mythology is none other than the familiar fly-agaric (Amanita muscaria) the spectacular red-capped and whiteflecked "toadstool" whose renown among Europeans has for so many centuries floated uncertainly between the realm of magic and transformation, on the one hand, and death from its allegedly fatal poison on the other.  In reality, the fly-agaric is hallucinogenic rather than deadly, having served for thousands of years as the sacred inebriant of the shamanistic religions of the northern Eurasiatic forest belt, especially those of Siberian hunters and reindeer herders." 

Perhaps, long ago the ancients witnessed the reindeer’s love of the Amanita muscaria mushroom, and the reindeer's love of drinking their own urine afterwards.            



             According to anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, author of Structural Anthropology, Volume 2  p. 226 writes:

"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 psychoactive properties of the flesh of stupefied animals may have been discovered through the ease of their capture. Reindeer were known to eat the Amanita muscaria mushroom and appeared to be intoxicated after ingestion. Reindeer are very fond of mushrooms and actively seek them out. The connection between the reindeer and the Amanita muscaria mushroom has been reported, most notably by Gordon Wasson. According to Wasson: "wild reindeer that have eaten (fly agaric or Amanita muscaria mushrooms) are often found so stupefied that they can be tied with ropes and taken away alive; their meat then intoxicates everyone who eats it, but only if the reindeer is killed soon after being caught; and it appears that the communicability of the narcotic substance last about as long as it would have affected the animal's own nerves (Alan Piper 2013 pp. 241-242)

           Quoting ethno-archaeologist Peter T. Furst:

"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). 


In the eighteenth and nineteenth century, travel writers and natural scientists described the ritual use of  Amanita muscaria mushrooms among certain tribes in Siberia, and on the curious practice of secondary intoxication with urine suffused with Amanita muscaria mushrooms (Furst, 1972 ix). 

      

             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).

The most famous literary account of urine intoxication suffused with Amanita muscaria mushrooms was presented by Oliver Goldsmith in 1762, regarding the use of Amanita muscaria mushrooms in northeastern Asia by the Tungus, Yakuts, Chukchies, Koryaks, and Kamchadales tribes. Among the Khanty peoples of Western Siberia only the head or cap of the Amanita muscaria mushroom is eaten. One Amanita muscaria mushroom was a prize that was traded for with as many as four reindeer. According to Goldsmith "a rich owner of mushrooms would have a woman chew a couple of the mushrooms into a sausage, which the male would ingest. Then when he walked outside to relieve himself later, the urine was saved in a wooden pot and reused. Apparently the active substances are even more potent in the urine than in the original material. The tradition was called "passing the pot." An entire village could remain high for a week on one to several mushrooms."   (from  Literary accounts of Amanita muscaria mushroom rituals in northeastern Asia, Goldsmith from http://wikicompany.org/wiki/911:Entheogens)


One other fascinating, and thought provoking observation regarding the Altai Mountains in Siberia, are petroglyphs that Ancient Alien enthusiasts would argue resemble rocket ships.

The Altai Mountains in Siberia, was also home to three distinct variety of ancient man, Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. Denisovans descended from hominids who reached Asia earlier than modern humans.  

In 2008, paleoanthropologists digging in a cave (Denisovan Cave) in southern Siberia unearthed a finger bone that had belonged to a young girl who was between five and seven years old when she died. Scientists also unearthed a tooth of an adult believed to have lived around 40,000 years ago. Knowledge of the Denisovan hominids derives primarily from DNA evidence, and artifacts. The DNA from the finger bone suggested that Denisovans shared a common origin with Neanderthals, and that they ranged from Siberia to Southeast Asia. Surprisingly, the scientists found genetic overlap between the Denisovan genome and that of some present-day east Asians, and, in particular, a group of Pacific Islanders living in Papua New Guinea, known as the Melanesians (National Geographic: Why am I Denisovan)

If this genetic mixing did occur, the fact that Denisovans were discovered in Siberia but contributed to the genomes of modern humans living in Papua New Guinea suggests the species ranged widely across Asia. and beyond.  

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".



As for the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Papua New Guinea there are bibliographical reports of several tribes, using these mushrooms namely the Kuma, Mogei, Papus, and Sina-Sina. Traditions relating to hallucinogenic mushrooms in Papua New Gguinea were noted by Ross (1936), Gitlow (1947), Wasson and Wasson (1957), Singer (1958, 1960), Reay (1960), Heim (1962) et al (1966)  (Guzman and Horak (1978), Trew and Adamson (2006)

Now that prehistoric depictions of mushrooms have been found in Siberia, and taking into consideration the bizarre Altai Mountain Mushroom Stones (rock formations below), Denisovan, Papua New Guinea connection, it's obvious that more studies need to be done if we which to understand the significance of hallucinogenic mushrooms throughout history. Was the Amanita muscaria mushroom the "secret of secrets" the secret source of divine power and strength to move mountains, as well as bestowing divine immortality.

Recent molecular research on the ancestors of the fly agaric (Amanita muscaria mushroom) has shown that it was present in eastern Asia and Siberia sixty-five to 2.4 million years ago, and that it spread over Asia, Europe, and to North America from there" (Gerrit J. Keizer 2013, p.161). 

Above are the bizarre rock formations in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, that ironically are called  the Mushroom stones of Altai.  


The Soma / Haoma plant appears to be a source of divine power and strength, as well as bestowing the sacred knowledge that leads to divine immortality.  The Amanita muscaria mushroom was at the center of religious reverence among the Indo-Aryans. 


"Embroidered in woollen thread on the thin cloth is a procession of Zoroastrian warriors marching towards an altar; (Below) one of them, standing at the altar, is holding a mushroom in his hands (Above). For the first time, we can see vivid evidence, embroidered on an ancient cloth discovered by archaeological excavations (2009), for the use of mushrooms for religious purposes, probably, to make Haoma, a “sacred drink.” "For over a hundred years now, scientists have been discussing what plant was used to prepare Soma (Haoma), a sacred drink of the ancient Indians and Iranians, which "inspired poets and seers, made warriors fearless." The hypotheses were plenty: from ephedra, cannabis, and opium poppy to blue water lily (Nymphaea caerulea) and fly agaric (Amanita muscaria). The answer was found in a grave of a noble woman buried in an elite burial ground of the Xiongnu, the famous nomads of Central Asia" (Excerpt from “We drank Soma, we became immortal...” : Science First Hand 03.09.2015)

The Scythians (Saka) are believed to have migrated from southern Siberia into Sogdiana and Bactria and then into the Indian subcontinent where they were known as Indo-Scythians.  A Siberian origin for the Indo-Europeans is also strengthened by Vedic references.

According to Michael Howard, author of Secrets of Siberian Shamanism 2013, "The revival of shamanism in its modern Tengrist form would seem to hearken back to a romantic past that probably never existed in reality. Its increasing popularity among urban Russians is based on an idyllic image of yurts on the steppes, a nomadic lifestyle and living in harmony with nature. Trees symbolize the world center, where heaven and earth touch, the top of the World Tree, which is usually visualized as a birch or pine tree or the open ring of the yurt  is the entry gate for shamans on their journeys to the other world.  

             Quoting Michael Howard 2013, Secrets of Siberian Shamanism 2013:

"In Siberian and especially Mongolian shamanism the yurt, a traditional dwelling constructed from a framework of wooden poles covered with animal skins and with a central smoke-hole in the roof, was a microcosmic symbol or representation of the universe. For this reason all movement inside the yurt was conducted, if at all possible, in a deosil or sunways direction. This also reflected the traditional direction of movement used in shamanic rituals and dances. The centre of the yurt, where a fire burnt in a hearth and was seldom extinguished, was symbolic of the actual centre of the world or universe. The column of smoke that drifted up from the fire and left the yurt through the central smoke-hole in the roof was symbolic of the axis mundi – the World Mountain, World Pillar or World Tree. This links the underworld below with the heavens above and ends at the North and Pole Star around which all the other stars revolve in the night sky".



Berthold Laufer an anthropologist and historical geographer with an expertise in East Asian languages, demonstrated that the word shaman is of Turkish-Tungusian origin in contrast to earlier beliefs that it came from Sanskrit, and that it was introduced to Siberia by Buddhist monks. In Siberia and the Turic-speaking areas of Mongolia, shamanism was known as Tengrism, the "Sky God religion", a Central Asian religion characterized by ancestor worship, and the animistic belief that everything in the natural world was alive and inhabited by spirits. It was the prevailing religion of the Turks, Mongols, Hungarians, Xiongnu, and Huns, and the religion of  the five ancient Turkic states: Gokturk Khaganate, Western Turkic Khaganate, Great Bulgaria, Bulgarian Empire, and Eastern Tourkia (Khazaria), and is known as Turuk Tangrisi or "God of Turks" (Wikipedia).

When shamans are communicating with spirits, they use a special dress and special accessory; mirrors, totems – spirit houses (source: Religion of the indigenous people of Siberia). To this day Siberian shamans still encode the bright red with white spots, the colors of the Amanita muscaria mushroom in their ceremonial attire (Tatina the Evensk shaman from Kamchatka). 


"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).



In Siberia, ceremonies of prayer and honor to spirits are arranged at places such as the World Tree, or Barisaa. Trees growing in unusual places are especially powerful, such as the lone birch, the "shaman tree", the home of the shamans' helping spirits (Ongons). Trees symbolize the world center, where heaven and earth touch, and these are places for prayers and the homes of spirits. Toroo – the top of the World Tree, which is usually visualized as a birch or willow or the open ring of the yurt is the entry gate for shamans on their journeys to the other world (source: Religion of the indigenous people of Siberia). Many scholars now believe that the yurt developed in Central Asia among Turkic tribes, and that it was borrowed from them by Mongols and Iranian-speaking nomads of Iran and Afghanistan (Elena E. Kuz'mina 2007 p.65)

The Kalash people from the mountains of the Hindu Kush in Pakistan, have also fascinated anthropologists for a long time. Anthropologists characterize Kalash religion as a form of animism that objects, places, and creatures all possess a divine spiritual essence. The Kalash are believed to be the descendants of the Central Asian peoples that called themselves Aryani, that migrated from Central Asia to the Iranian plateau around 2,000 BC. Those who settled in the Iranian plateau and the Indus Valley recorded their use of Haoma in the Zoroastrian scriptures called the Avestas, and the use of Soma in the Indus Valley in the Rig Veda (Allen Piper 2013, p. 214). As mentioned previously in Zoroastrian religion, the same sacred plant god was known as Haoma. Like Soma, this plant deity played a major role in Persian culture and mythology. Like the god-plant Soma beverage of the ancient Aryans, it has long been established that Haoma was also a psychoactive beverage of the ancient Persians (Bennett and McQueen 2013, p.64) (Stein 1931, Falk 1989, Brough 1971, Rudgley 1998). 


Siberian shamanism incorporates ecstatic trances brought on by a ritual of dance and the inducement of hallucinations, most commonly through the consumption of Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The intention of the Shaman was to open communication directly with the spirit world, often through a form of animal transformation. In both Siberia and Mesoamerica the divine mushroom speaks through the voice of the shaman (Wasson 1980, p.52). In Siberia the Amanita muscaria mushroom was often fed to a domesticated reindeer, and then the shaman most of whom were female shamans would then drink the reindeer's toxic urine to induce ecstatic trances and hallucinations.


"This effect goes the other way too, as reindeer also enjoy the urine of a human, especially one who has consumed the mushrooms. In fact, reindeer will seek out human urine to drink, and some tribesmen carry sealskin containers of their own collected piss, which they use to attract stray reindeer back into the herd. The effects of the Amanita mushroom usually include sensations of size distortion and flying. The feeling of flying could account for the legends of flying reindeer, and legends of shamanic journeys included stories of winged reindeer, transporting their riders up to the highest branches of the World Tree (Lee Sayer, Dec. 25, 2014)



Tengrism was the belief system practiced in earlier times by Turk and Mongolian tribes in Siberia and Central Asia. The belief is based on the heaven god Tengri and comprises ancestral worship as well as animism, shamanism, and totemism.  Like Tengrism of Central Asia, the religions of the ancient Mesoamericans was also based on animism and ancestral worship, that all things, animate or inanimate, were imbued with an unseen power, inhabiting rocks, trees, or other objects. In Mesoamerica the shaman, is responsible for the relationships between humans and the surrounding animistic forces. The shaman's ability to communicate with these forces by divination (with the use of visionary mushrooms) provided a measure of power over other members of society (The Ancient Maya: 4th Edition 1983, p.460). Because of the belief that man was subject to these invisible forces which could only be seen and invoked with the aid of visionary mushrooms.  

The Turk people see the wolf, their forefather as the most important totem. In their creation stories, there is given the legend that it was the wolf that fathered them. 
In a fascinating article about the Huichol's of present day Mexico, and their esoteric practice of  "Wolf-shamanism" posted online by researcher Mark Hoffman, 3-27-02, titled "Huichol Wolf Shamanism and A. muscaria"

              Hoffman writes:

"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".
   
According to Hoffman, when asked if the Wolves use peyote to stimulate their reputed ability to communicate telepathically, Temay answered, 
“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.”    


The Lukhang murals of ancient Tibet, depict what I propose are scenes of Amanita muscaria mushroom (Soma?) worship. The Vedas' repeatedly mention that the mystery plant Soma grows high in the mountains. The shamans, or priests in the scenes above appear in ecstatic trance, and wear clothes that encode the red with white spot colors of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. The murals are from the Lukhang Palace, the Dalai Lamas’ Secret Temple near the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. I believe that knowledge of the mushroom ritual was considered so sacred that the artist deliberately encoded the mushroom imagery in the shaman's cloths rather than depict the mushrooms themselves in the painting. 

One of the more striking parallels for the argument of diffusion is that both the Chinese and Mesoamericans saw a rabbit in the full moon, pounding something in a mortar. The belief among the Chinese is that the rabbit is pounding plants to make the elixir of immortality, while the Aztecs believed that the rabbit is pounding maguey to make their elixir called pulque (Alice B. Kehoe 2008, p.161).
In China, stories about the moon rabbit date back as far as 475-221 BCE. In both Chinese mythology, and Mesoamerican mythology the moon rabbit is the companion to the moon goddess. Above on the right is a page from the pre-Conquest Highland Mexico Codex Borgia that portrays the image of a rabbit in the moon similar to that depicted in the Lukhang murals of ancient Tibet.  The Rig Veda describes Soma: a red plant growing in the mountains, associated with the moon, and with an intoxicating drink , or elixir that gives a feeling of power, strength, peace, inspiration and great visions. The Rig Veda states that the gods consumed the Soma beverage in order to sustain their immortality, and a few hymns in the Rig Veda make a clear reference to increased life spans of Soma users.


In ancient Chinese mythology the rabbit in the moon makes an elixir of immortality at the Tree of Life. Above in the center is a Chinese fabric that depicts the rabbit mixing the elixir of immortality (image from Secret Drugs of Buddhism). Above on the right is Asian bronze mirror with Pahlavi script, and on the left from the Tang dynasty (618-906 AD) era is another mirror both depicting a rabbit mixing the elixir of immortality at the Tree of Life (Source: Hiart/Wikimedia Commons)  As mentioned earlier mirrors were a common ritual object in Central Asia, and China, used by priests and shamans in rituals to communicate with ancestors and gods.                      


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. The first representations of pulque intoxication in Mesoamerica appear at the site of Teotihuacan, where the earliest building date to about 200 BC. and we see the appearance of the quetzal serpent at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl-Tlaloc (Miller and Taube 1993, p.142 and 138). 

According to Wasson, alcoholic inebriation was condemned severely by the Nahua (native Mexicans) in pre-Conquest times, and that pulque was expressly reserved for the oldsters who had passed their period of usefulness and were awaiting their end (Wasson, 1980 p. 108).  

Above is a page from the post-Conquest Florentine Codex Book 4, f. 13v, that depict men in white capes drinking the "elixir of life", from the body of a rabbit. In pre-Conquest Mexico, the moon rabbit was closely identified with the intoxicating drink known as pulque, an elixir derived from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant. 




In 1643, Johannes de Laet presented his theory of an Asiatic land bridge, and proposed that it was the Scythians of Central Asia who first discovered the Americas (Miguel Covarrubias 1954 p.10).   

In his book, Men Out of Asia, 1947, Harold S. Gladwin boldly proposed that Mongoloids and Northern Chinese, and other Central Asians migrated to the Americas around 300 BCE., because they were running from the Huns, and from the chaotic situation that followed the breakup of the Chou dynasty of China. Gladwin suggests that "this migration was numerous and prolonged, entering by the Bering Strait and reaching Mexico and Central America" (Miguel Covarrubias 1954, p.27). 

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."





             Quoting linguist Morris Swadesh (1964:538) 

" 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". 


Little scholarly work has been done in regard to the question of words lent between Old World and New World languages, I believe the word "Khan" may be one of those words that should be added to the growing list of borrowed words as evidence of diffusion and pre-Columbian contact. Turkish nomads from the Altai Mountain region founded the great Gorturk Empire, a confederation of tribes under the dynasty of Khans. 

"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)   

The title Khan, is a title of imperial rank in the Turkic and Mongolian languages equal to the status of emperor and someone who rules a khaganate (empire).[2] The female equivalent is Khatun. It may also be translated as Khan of Khans, equivalent to King of Kings".(Wikipeda)


"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)


"Khan now has many equivalent meanings such as "commander", "leader", or "ruler" "king" "chief".  Khan was also the title of the rulers of various break-away states and principalities later in Persia (Wikipeda)  A Khanate or Khaganate is a political entity ruled by a Khan or Khagan. This political entity is typical for people from the Eurasian Steppe and it can be equivalent to tribal chiefdom, principality, kingdom or even empire (Wikipeda)

The Khanate of Sibir, or Siberia Khanate also historically called the Khanate of Turan,[1][2] was a Tatar Khanate located in southwestern Siberia with a Turco-Mongol ruling class. The area of the Khanate was itself once an integral part of the Mongol Empire, and later came under the control of the White Horde and of the Golden Horde (Wikipeda).


The Khanate of Sibir ruled an ethnically diverse population of Turkic Siberian Tatars and various Uralic peoples including the Khanty, Mansi, Nenets and Selkup. The Sibir Khanate was the northernmost Muslim state in recorded history. Its defeat by Yermak Timofeyevich in 1582 marked the beginning of the Russian conquest of Siberia (Wikipeda). 



"As of 2015, Khans exist in South Asia, Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Turkey."(Wikipeda)  There is no mention of Mesoamerica.



In the language of the Maya, the word chan or kan means both sky and snake, and is code for a sky-portal or path at the World Tree, that the gods and ancestral dead travel in their journey in and out of the underworld. Many years ago archaeologist Edward Seler linked the jaguar-bird-serpent god associated with the World Tree, with Venus and warfare, to the god Quetzalcoatl as the Morning Star (Miller and Taube, 1993 p.104). According to Edward Seler; In a passage from the Anales de Quauhtitlán:


"At the time when the planet was visible in the sky (as evening star) Quetzalcoatl died. And when Quetzalcoatl was dead he was not seen for 4 days; they say that he dwelt in the underworld, and for 4 more days he was bone (that is, he was emaciated, he was weak); not until 8 days had passed did the great star appear; that is, as the morning star. They said that then Quetzalcoatl ascended the throne as god".


There is a Nahua legend in ancient Mexico of a paradise of "nine heavens" that was dedicated to their god Quetzalcoatl, called Tamoanchan (chan) where there was a sacred tree that marked the place where the gods were born and where sacred mushrooms and all life derived (Hugh Thomas 1993, p.474).  Borhegyi first noted the significance of the number nine and the nine miniature mushroom stones from Kaminaljuyu with a group of nine deities known as the "Nine Lords of the Night", and gods of the underworld (de Borhegyi, S.F. 1961 p.501).



              Quoting Stephan de Borhegyi, describing the contents of the Kaminaljuyu cache:


"The cache of nine miniature mushroom stones demonstrates considerable antiquity for the "mushroom-stone cult," and suggests a possible association with the nine lords of the night and gods of the underworld, as well as the possible existence of a nine-day cycle and nocturnal count in Preclassic times. The association of the miniature mushroom stones with the miniature metates and manos greatly strengthens the possibility that at least in some areas in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica metates were used to grind the sacred hallucinatory mushrooms to prepare them for ceremonial consumption." (de Borhegyi 1961: 498-504)



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, 186).
"  The lords used these symbols of rule, which came from where the sun rises, to pierce and cut up their bodies (for the blood sacrifice). There were nine mushroom stones for the Ajpop and the Ajpop Q'amja, and in each case four, three, two, and one staffs with the Quetzal's feathers and green feathers, together with garlands, the Chalchihuites precious stones, with the sagging lower jaw and the bundle of fire for the Temezcal steam bath."


In Mesoamerica the Nine Lords of the Night, were responsible for guiding the Sun, into the underworld to be sacrificed by ritual decapitation and reborn again as baby jaguar, the new born Sun God. In Maya religion the monkey represents the first of the Nine Lords of the Night or underworld. Called the Bolon Ti Ku, in Yucatec, the first god associated with re-birth was the Monkey (GI) and Quetzalcoatl (G9) was the last, associated with death, decapitation and completion. The word "Ku"  in Classic Maya glyphs was assigned to the monkey god and in glyphs his monkey profile was used to describe "holy" or "divine," referring to "god",  Lord, or king (M.D. Coe 2001, p.109).


The Mexican god-king Quetzalcoatl and his Maya god-king counterparts known as Kukulkan (Kan), and Gukumatz (ku) names that mean "Feathered Serpent", were all reputed to be the inventors of the science of measuring time, and that feathered serpents represent the bondage of time, and its cyclical nature. The fear that the gods had destroyed previous creations and that their own world might meet a similar fate, led Maya calendar priests to make calendric and astronomical calculations as precise as those that are made today by modern astronomers. Nahua (Mexican) manuscripts (Annals of Cuauhtitlan) record that it was Lord Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl who invented the ballgame (Irene Nicholson, 1967 p.117), and that there is plenty of evidence that mushroom ceremonies are intimately associated with human sacrifice and the ritual ballgame associated with period endings in the Mayan calendar. 


Maya archaeologist David H. Kelley also noted the significance of the number nine and the similarity between the Mesoamerican calendar and the 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, a belief shared by Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians (Susan Milbrath, 1999, p.292), a resemblance, according to archaeologist Michael Coe far to close to be merely coincidental (M.D. Coe, The Maya, fifth edition 1999, p.45). 

On the left is a Late Classic period (A.D. 600-900) Maya drinking vessel dubbed the "Dynastic vase" that describes the accession of the Kaan rulers.  The Codex-style vase with sixty hieroglyphs, is from the Guatemalan lowlands, now in the Jay I. Kislak collection. The middle page above is from Michael Coe's, and Mark Van Stone's book Reading The Maya Glyphs: 2001, p.80. In it Coe, and Stone gives the names of many of the Classic period Maya kings that use the name or title Kaan,  Kan or Chan as a dynastic title.  The page on the far right is from the book, Altaic Hieroglyphs: And Hittite Inscriptions, by Conder, C. R. (Claude Reignier), 1848-1910who writes that the words Khan and Kan are also the names or titles of Hittite, Turkic, Siberian and Hunnic (Huns) and other Altaic monarchs.  


Alma M. Reed author of The Ancient Past of Mexico, 1966, p. 13, writes that a member of the Chinese National Assembly holds that a Chinese monk named Fa Hsien landed in Mexico in A.D. 412, and that he became the Toltec culture hero Quetzalcoatl, symbolized by the "plumed serpent". Reed mentions (page 27) that the identity of the Toltecs poses one of the most confusing problems in the legendary and documented history of Mexico. She writes that, 


"the fierce warrior, the Toltec god-king Mixcoatl, who has been called the "New World Genghis Khan" and who was deified by his own people, the Toltec hordes appeared with the suddenness of a cyclone, which the word "Mixcoatl" signifies". After burning and sacking Teotihuacan the energetic chieftain moved on, seeking a favorable site, finally settling on the southern shore of Lake Texcoco at Culhuacan ("The Place of the Turning" or "The Place of the Bent Ancient Ones"). According to the Anales de Cuauhtitlan he later moved the seat of the Toltec empire to Tula"(The Ancient Past of Mexico, 1966,  p.27-28).


Franciscan friar Diego de Landa, the only writer to leave a detailed account of the religious beliefs of the Mayas of Yucatan at the time of the conquest, writes that a great leader known as Kukulkan, which in the Mayan language signifies "The Plumed Serpent", appeared in Yucatan in the forepart of the eleventh century, A.D. 1072, where he became a powerful political figure who ruled at Chichen-Itza. Most historians believe that Kukulkan and the Mexican god-king Quetzacoatl also  meaning "Plumed Serpent" were one and the same man. According to Molina Solis, a recognized historian of Yucatan, writes,  "It is stated authoritatively that with Kukulkan were many people and they all came from outside of the country". There is also plenty of evidence in the archaeology of Yucatan for a sea-borne invasion by the Toltecs in the late tenth century (B.C. Hendrick 1971, p.260-262).

Above on the left is a portrait of Tiwol Chan Mat: From the Tablet of the Slaves at Palenque. (source David Stuart p.26 The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque 2005)  The Maya figure appears to have a winged dragon perched atop his elongated head that has been artificially deformed. The origin of winged dragons within Chinese culture dates back to the fifth millennium BCE.   

In Central Asia the Huns, Magyars, Avars, and Alans who were known as Scythians practiced cranial deformation (Book of Hippocrates, "De Aeris, Aquis et Locu", lib. ix). The practice of artificial cranial deformation, a form of head binding in which the skull is flattened intentionally, is found in both Old World and New World cultures. Hippocrates tells us that the practice of cranial deformation was likely performed to signify group affiliation, or to demonstrate social status. 


Soviet excavations have revealed the surprisingly high culture of the Huns (Scythians) who lived and buried their dead in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. in the Altai Mountains. Hun religion was based on ancestor worship, and that the veneration of departed leaders was thought to be a manifestation of a patriarchal social order in Hun religion. The Asian Huns, Tabgatch and Blue Turks frequently offered sacrifices to their ancestors at the mouths of sacred caverns (Mavi Boncuk, 6-19-2004). 

The Iranians (Aryans) of the steppes would, in the final millennium BCE, expand in many directions: They would move back into eastern Europe as the Scyths and Sarmatians, and move east to Xinjiang (western China) as the Sakas. And they would move into the Iranian plateau where they would become the Persians, Parthians, and Medes (George Boeree 2013). The European Scythians eventually were overthrown and assimilated by the Sarmatians who were called "Royal Scythians" as they were thought to have prevailed over all other Scythian tribes, and that the Sarmatians are the result of a mixture of Scythian elements. The Greek historian Herodotus asserted that the Sarmatians were the offspring of Scythian men and Amazon women, although unlikely, researchers today consider the Sarmathians as Iranic peoples or Aryans (imninalu.net).


The Amyrgians, were a subset of Indo-Scythian Sakas, called Saka haumavarga ("Haoma-drinking Scythians") that inhabited the region then called "Sakastan", near the border of the Persian Empire, centered on the Amyrgian plain (Ferghana) well to the east of most of the Sakas tribes:


            According to Wasson:

"...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.





"Evidence of a now-extinct Indo-European people who lived in central Asia has long existed. The discovery of more than 100 naturally mummified European corpses, ranging from 2,400 to 4,000 years old, in the Tarim Basin region of western China. Known as Tocharians, they are described more accurately as Arsi, which is cognate with Sanskrit arya and Old Persian ariya, meaning "Aryan": "that which is noble or worthy." According to Mark Deavin, author of Aryans: Culture Bearers to China...

"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.

Terracotta horse-shaped vessel from Azerbaijan (Maku) 8th -7th century BCE. Central Asia, that clearly encodes a Fleur de lis symbol (Archaeology Museum, Tehran, Iran).  The domestication of the horse has its origin in Central Asia prior to 3500 BCE.


Above is a logo from Altai also spelled Altay, depicting a symbol that we recognize today as the Fleur de lis. Its possible that this iconic symbol along with an Amanita muscaria mushroom cult, may have its origin in Central Asia, and in the region of the Altai Mountains. 
(Special thanks to Nuray Bilgili, personal communication Sept. 9, 2017)




The Pazyryk is the name of an ancient people who lived in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, who are associated with some unusual Bronze Age archaeological findings, including mummies with European features, found frozen in the permafrost in royal tombs called kurgans, dated to the 6th and 4th centuries B.C.E. 
Above and below are Pazyryk. 6th century BCE. wooden plaques, that were preserved in the frozen sub-soil in a kurgan. The wood plaque above is similar if not exact in shape as the Fleur de lis symbol (The Hermitage Museum), Pazyryk culture, Altai Mountains.  


Above is a Scythian felt applique carpet or wall hanging, depicting the Fleur de lis in association with felines, the Tree of Life, and the four cardinal directions and its sacred center, Pazyryk barrow no. 5, 252-238 BCE, excavated 1949 Altai, Siberia (photo from Christoph Baumer,"The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors" 2012, p. 195)
According to Christoph Baumer,  author of "The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors", the most sacred animals of the Scythians of the Pazyryk Culture, was the leopard, deer, and eagle, all of which are native to the Altai Mountains. 


It's reasonable to propose that a belief in the redemptive power and divinity of the mushroom and the symbol that we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis, could have spread from one culture to another. The first mushroom cult in the New World, identified by its powerful artistic expression of the were-jaguar, that dominated Olmec culture as early as 1500 B.C. As early as 850 B.C. a were-jaguar cult begins to appear in South America, identified in the religious art of the Chavin and Paracas cultures of Peru. 


Diffusion of the Were Jaguar Mushroom Cult:
The murals above are both from the Mogao Caves, also be known as the Dunhuang Caves, and Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. The murals portray  Uyghur Turk Buddhist priests in feline or leopard attire. The Uyghur Turks dominated Mongolia and Central Asia (Turkestan) from the 8th to the 12th century. Its clear from these murals that totemism was practiced among the early Turk priests, believing in a mystical relationship with a spirit-being, such as the 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 throughout Asia.

Researchers have found numerous connections between the Magyars (Hungarians) and the Uygurs. There are many Asiatic influences seen among Hungarians today. Similar Hunnic cauldrons with mushroom shaped handles have also been found in Xinjiang (China) that are associated with the Saka culture of the Xiongnu in southern Siberia. The Uyghurs are people who live in the Xinjiang province of China, who are Caucasian in appearance and speak a Turkic language. 

The Uyghur Turks practiced a form of astrology in which the movements of the moon and stars and the planet Venus (called 8-Star) were consulted before setting out a campaign. In Mesoamerica, Maya inscriptions tell us that the movement of the planet Venus and its position in the sky was a determining factor for waging a special kind of warfare known as Tlaloc warfare or Venus "Star Wars." The planet Venus is perhaps best known in Mesoamerican studies through its connection with this special kind of warfare. These wars or raids were timed to occur during aspects of the Venus astronomical cycle, primarily to capture prisoners from neighboring cities for ceremonial sacrifice (Schele & Freidel, 1990:130-31, 194)  These wars, waged against neighboring city-states for the express purpose of taking captives for sacrifice to the gods, thus constituted a form of divinely-sanctioned "holy" war. Those who died in battle went directly to Tlaloc's paradise called Tlalocan, and were blessed with immortality. Known as "The Master", the god Tlaloc shared the same temple as Quetzalcoatl (Twin temple) at the great city of Teotihuacan, where archaeologists have found the remains of some 200 sacrificial victims, buried under the temple, dedicated to Tlaloc and the Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl. As a Rain and Lightning God, Tlaloc provided the sustenance needed for everlasting life, in return for the shedding of human blood on earth. 


Most of the mushroom imagery I found encoded in the pre-Columbian art was associated with an artistic concept that I refer to as jaguar transformation. Under the influence of the mushroom, the "bemushroomed" acquires feline fangs and other feline attributes, emulating the Sun God in his nightly journey into the underworld. This esoteric association of mushrooms and jaguar transformation was earlier noted by ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst, together with the fact that a dictionary of the Cakchiquel Maya language compiled circa 1699, lists a mushroom called "jaguar ear" (1976:78, 80. 

I believe the ancient Mesoamericans believed that the consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms, whether orally, anally through enemas, or drinking, metaphorically, transformed the individual into a "were-jaguar". 


In Mesoamerican mythology the were-jaguar was a metaphor for a journey into the underworld where as the underworld Sun God would go through the process of divine transformation, from death, underworld decapitation to rebirth to resurrection. The passage or portal into, and out from the underworld that assured the decapitated victim divine resurrection, was esoterically encoded in art with the Fleur de lis symbol and linked to a ritual beverage that likely contained hallucinogenic mushrooms.


I believe that I have found sufficient visual evidence from the corpus of existing pre-Columbian art to identify this sacramental food as the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom. Like the Vedic god Soma of Hindu mythology, the Amanita muscaria mushroom of Mesoamerica assumes, from earliest times, the persona of the god itself.  In Mesoamerica this god took the form of the underworld "were-jaguar".



Above on the left is a Classic period figurine from Veracruz Mexico, dressed in the guise of the were-jaguar. The obvious facial features of the figurine is remarkably similar to those facial features found in many of the cultures of Central and Eastern Asia. Above on the right is a closeup scene from a page in the pre-Conquest manuscript from Mexico known as the Codex Laud. The image is of a were-jaguar priest in association with the Fleur de lis symbol and a ritual beverage both of which are symbols of eternal life.




In both hemispheres the symbol we recognize as the Fleur de lis is esoterically linked with a World Tree, and a mushroom of immortality, both intimately associated with a feline deity who represents both the underworld Sun God, and as twin felines, represents the planet Venus (resurrection star of the newborn Sun God) as both a Morning Star and Evening Star, associated with the death, rebirth, and resurrection of the Sun God from the underworld.
The author has found plenty of evidence of diffusion in the art of the Andean civilizations of ancient Peru, South America. 


The descendants of the Andronovo culture who remained on the steppes of Central Asia were known to the Greeks and Persians as "Skythians" and "Saka" respectively. " (source and excerpt from Europa Barbarorum Wiki)

The best-known Saka (also called Shakya and Sakya tribes) was Siddhartha Gautama who became known as Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. He  was known among his 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". 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 BuddhaNote: "the Kalachakra calculations put the life of Shakyamuni Buddha quite a bit earlier than what is generally accepted" (Wikipeda).


According to the legend, Shambhala is a Utopian paradise located in a beautiful valley lost in the mountains. It is believed to be a kingdom where all the inhabitants are enlightened, and that Shambhala can only be found by those who are pure in heart. The first mention of Shambhala is found in the Ancient Indian epos Mahabharata, however Shambhala isn't the name of a country there, but of a small Vedic village, where according to the prophecy Vishnu's future manifestation will be born: (Vostok Magazine 9-20-2014)  


The legends of Shambhala are said to date back thousands of years, and that the Buddhist myth of Shambhala is an adaptation of the earlier Hindu myth. Hindu texts such as Vishnu Purana mention Shambhala as the birth place of Kalki, the final incarnation of Vishnu who will usher in a new Golden Age. According to Buddhist legend, Kalapa is the capital city of Shambhala, where the thirty-two Kulika Kings are said to have reigned on a lion throne.  


             The Prophecy of Shambhala:


"The concept of Shambhala plays an important role in Tibetan religious teachings, and has particular relevance in Tibetan mythology about the future.  The Kalachakra prophesies the gradual deterioration of mankind as the ideology of materialism spreads over the earth. When the “barbarians” who follow this ideology are united under an evil king and think there is nothing left to conquer, the mists will lift to reveal the snowy mountains of Shambhala. The barbarians will attack Shambhala with a huge army equipped with terrible weapons. Then the king of Shambhala will emerge from Shambhala with a huge army to vanquish "dark forces" and usher in a worldwide Golden Age" (source, http://www.ancient-origins.net/ancient-places-asia/mysteries-kingdom-shambhala-0015295 April, 2014)



Above is a mural from the Mogao Caves, also known as the Caves of the Thousand Buddhas. The first caves were dug out 366 AD and are located in Gansu Province of China. The caves are strongly linked to the history of transcontinental relations and of the spread of Buddhism throughout Asia. The mural portrays the Buddha, or a Kulika King sitting on what appears to be a lion (feline) throne, encoded with what looks to me like seven sacred mushrooms ?  (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440)

The Mogao Cave Grottoes contain some of the finest examples of Buddhist art spanning a period of 1,000 years. The caves form a system of 492 temples as places of Buddhist meditation and worship. The mural above depicts a symbol very similar in shape and meaning to the symbol we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis.



In the late 1940s Ethno-archaeologist Gordon F. Ekholm boldly proposed a theory that Chinese visitors from the Shang Dynasty crossed the Pacific and taught the Olmec how to write, build monuments, and worship a feline god. Ekholm proposed multiple transpacific contacts with the New World beginning as early as 3000 B.C. He believed that this influence on New World civilization came from China, or Southeast Asia, and argued that the Chinese, during the Chou and Han dynasties undertook planned voyages to and from the western hemisphere as early as 700 B.C. in search of gold, jade, and feathers. Ekholm contends that planned voyages may have been religiously motivated particularly based on the well-known Buddhist predilection for proselytizing (see, for example, Ekholm, 1953: 88). Ekholm writes  that scholars have underrated the maritime capabilities of the early Chinese, who not only invented the compass, but used a more seaworthy rudder than those used in the voyages of Columbus.    

In her book Pale Ink (self-published c. 1958), anthropologist Henriette Mertz noted two Chinese expeditions to America. Both expeditions are in the Chinese records, one in the fifth century A.D., and the other, much earlier in the twenty-third century B.C. (Peter Tompkins 1976 p.352-353). The 5th century Chinese expedition is described by Hwui Shan a Buddhist monk who reported on the travels of five Buddhist missionaries to a country far to the east called "Fu-sang", which Mertz and several other historians including Joseph de Guignes 1721 - 1800, who was the first to propose the idea that Fu-sang was ancient Mexico. According to Mertz, "this 5th century visit to Mexico changed the entire course of Mexican history" (from Peter Tompkins 1976 p.352-353).

Mertz writes this in her book about Joseph de Guignes: "He devoted much of his life to a study of the early Chinese, particularly to that which concerned navigation. During his course of study of the Classics, he came across a story, retold by Ma Twan-lin, in his "Antiquarian Researches" published in 1321, of a Buddhist priest, Hwui Shan by name, who, in the fifth century, reported having been to a far country to the east of China. After translating the account, de Guignes believed that he recognized the country described by Hwui Shan to be that of Mexico." (Pale Ink: self-published c. 1958)

Dr. Gunnar Thompson author of the book, Secret Voyages to the New World, 2010, writes..

 "...according to a scribe in the court of Emperor Laing  Wu Ti, a Buddhist missionary claimed that he had returned from a trip to Fu Sang in the year 498 AD. The missionary Hui Shen, said that he had left China on a pilgrimage to spread the blessing of the Buddha to the lands of barbarians across the Eastern Ocean. He visited a a country that was situated 20,000 li (or about 6000 miles) to the east of Siberia. That would place Fu Sang in the vicinity of Mexico." (Thompson 2010, p.65). 

Hui Shen descriptions of Fu Sang are recorded in the 7th-century text Book of Liang by Yao Silian, (Wikipeda).


Dr. Thompson goes on to write that between 500-300 B.C.E., Chinese explorers sailed down the coast of central America searching for magic mushrooms to take back to China. Early Chinese texts use the language chhiu, meaning “searching for”, the herb or plant of immortality, often described as a fungus. 

The controversy regarding the existence of a land called Fu Sang in America has to do with the mythical style in which the Chinese chronicles are written. According to Thompson, Royal Chinese chronicles describe a land far away to the East called Fu Sang, (also spelled Fusang),  that for thousands of years was known to the Chinese as the "Isle of Immortals". According to these chronicles Fu Sang was a "Sacred Isle" that was considered totally off limits to mortals. 


The great Emperor Qin Shi Huang who ascended the throne in 246 BCE., commissioned the voyages to Fu Sang, in his search of the legendary ling chich, the mushroom of immortality (Gunnar Thompson 2010, p.55). The great Emperor (depicted above holding the ling chich mushroom in his left hand ?) believed that if he obtained this sacred fruit of the gods, before he died that his youthful vigor would be restored; and he would live forever (Gunnar Thompson 2010, p.54). This is the same Emperor who built the Great Wall of China, and a mausoleum guarded by thousands of Terracotta Warriors. Qin died in 210 BCE., at the age of 49, after a futile search for a mushroom of immortality.                              


"By the 3rd century BC, the Chinese were building oceangoing merchant vessels up to 80 feet long and weighing up to 60 tons. According to the Shi Chi chronicle, in 219 BC, during the reign of Emperor Shi Huang, a fleet of ships, led by Captain Tzu Fu, left China for Fu Sang, a far-off land to the east, also known as the Isle of the Immortals. The purpose was to bring back the legendary ling chih mushrooms for the ailing emperor. (source davidpratt.info May 2009)



The commander of the expedition and ships captain Xu Fu's  (pronounced "Shoo Foo") was informed "that the Chinese priests back home would gauge the success of his mission based on his return with the fruit of Fu Sang, and Fu Sang Jade (Thompson, 2010 p.57).  According to Dr. Gunnar Thompson, there were old priests who claimed that they had once tasted the elixir of the gods, and that the effects of the plant had been overwhelming. "The transcendental experience had been so immediate and so through that mortal existence no longer seemed important. Surely, the Emperor would have Taoist Masters taste the ling chih in order to assure that the plant was authentic" (Thompson, 2010 p.57).


Dr. Gunnar Thompson writes that when Xu Fu reached Fu-Sang in search of its "food of the gods" the natives traded them baskets filled with mushrooms in exchange for Chinese fen (or hemp) and iron tools. The mushrooms "were so plentyful in this region that they were as cheap as a piece of fruit in the public markets." They were also known to the Chinese philosophers as "the mushroom of inlightenment" because they produced a transcendental or hallucinogenic effect when eaten.". "There were such mushrooms in China; but they were not the same as the kind as the ones that came from Fu Sang." (Gunnar Thompson, 2010 p.57)


Thompson goes on to write that the chronicles of Shih Chi reported in later years that Xu Fu returned home to the Emperor after spending nearly three years on his Fu Sang expedition. The Emperor was elated to hear that the expedition had returned with the treasures from Fu Sang, only to realize that the most important treasure was missing, there were no mushrooms of immortality. According to Thompson Xu Fu told the Emperor that the "Immortals from Fu Sang" regard the sacred mushrooms as priceless, and so valuable that they will only allow me to bring back a small chest if I return to Fu Sang with a suitable tribute (Thompson, 2010 p.59). Based on official chronicles that were written shortly after these events took place. The Immortals required the Emperor to send as payment 3,000 of the most beautiful young men and women of the Dragon Kingdom, and that they must all be skilled in some essential art or craft, such as agriculture, astronomy, and medicine. There would be thirty new ships built and that Xu Fu insisted upon designing these vessels himself. The following year according to the Shih Chi chronicle, the Fu Sang Fleet departed in the year 219 BCE. (source Gunnar Thompson 2010 p.60).


Xu Fu never returned home with the mushrooms of immortality, and the Chinese emperor eventually died in the year 207 B.C. (for an account of Xu Fu (aka Hsu Fu) see Thompson, 1994, 116-117; see also George Carter, Archeological Journal of Canada (14:1), 14.


The authors of a 1st century BC. edition of the Shih Chi chronicle concluded that the first voyage was simply a rehearsal for a grand deception. According to Thompson, Xu Fu did not trust the Emperor, his advisors warned him that his life would be in jeopardy upon his return, so he absconded with all the wealth and tribute, all the beautiful damsels, and the entire fleet of ships, and that their final assessment was that Xu Fu had made himself a king of Fu Sang (Gunnar Thompson 2010, p.58-61). 



According to Wikipeda, who uses the words, "elixir of life", rather than "mushroom of immortality"....


"An earlier account claims that in 219 BC emperor Shi Huang sent an expedition of some 3,000 convicts to a place lying far off to the east, across the ocean, called Fusang, to be a sacrifice to a volcano god who holds the elixir of life. There were, apparently, two expeditions under Xu Fu, the court sorcerer, to seek the elixir of life. The first expedition returned c. 210 BC when Xu Fu claimed a giant sea creature was blocking their path. Archers were then sent to deal with this monster when the expedition set out a second time, but it was never heard from again. However, "... asides in the Record of the Historian imply that its leader Xu Fu had returned to China long ago and was lurking somewhere near Langya, frittering away the expedition's impressive budget."[4]Wikipeda

 





The City of the Gods:

Evidence of pre-Columbian contact between Teotihuacan and China was presented in 1962 by Dr. Paul Kirchhoff, Dr. Gordon F. Ekholm, Dr. Robert von Hein-Geldern, and Dr. Eulalia Guzman at the International Congress of Americanists held in Mexico City.


           Quoting Dr. Eulalia Guzman...

"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).


The city of Teotihuacan, a religious mega-metropolis, located thirty-six miles to the northeast of present day Mexico City, had a population of over a quarter of a million people and covered some thirty-five square miles in its heyday. Teotihuacan was known as the burial place of kings, where those who died became gods, and to speak of a person as a god meant that he had died. Teotihuacan is where Quetzalcoatl sacrificed himself, and in death and resurrection became the new fifth sun, to bring light back to the world: (M. D. Coe 1994:91). Teotihuacan's influence over all of Mesoamerica between A.D. 300-700, can be identified archaeologically by the widespread distribution of Teotihuacan ceramics, which depict Teotihuacan's patron gods Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc. The rulers of Teotihuacan established a vast empire that reached as far south as Kaminalyuju, in the highlands of Guatemala. Wherever the Teotihuacanos went they took their religion and their mushroom god Tlaloc with them.

Archaeologist Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi writes this about Teotihuacan's successful, rapid spread of religious ideas, and the acceptance of the Teotihuacan-designed "earthly paradise" and afterworld, 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 to the Mictlan, the ninth and final resting place of the Aztec dead. (for the possible association of effigy mushroom stones with the cult of the nine gods of the underworld among the highland Mayas in Preclassic times, see Borhegyi, 1961a: 501-503)

"In the concept of the Tlalocan, Teotihuacan offered something tangible, something desirable, a rich and readily available compensation that no previous Mesoamerican culture was able to offer. Appropriate initiation rituals perhaps included bloodletting or self-torture, or baptismal rites by the use of holy water, or purification rites with copal incense (the "blood" of the copal tree) and the ceremonial consumption of such mind-changing hallucinogens as the sacred mushroom (teonanacatl, "the flesh of god"), or peyote."

"The success of an expansionistic, theocratic society does not always necessitate a solid economic base, since its best export commodity may be a widely acceptable and intangible esoteric theological concept or reward rather than locally grown or produced surplus can transcend cultural, political, ethnic, or class boundaries. Therefore it is apparent that the Teotihuacan religion, like the popular Hellenistic mystery religions, like Mithraism, Christianity (and Gnosticism), Islam, or Buddhism, must have possessed, at least initially, such universally acceptable and eclectic concepts. Otherwise their rapid diffusion, adaptability, and power of attraction could never have been so irresistible and so eminently successful." 

"But as with Hellenism, Classic Teotihuacan, through the concepts of individual salvation and the Tlalocan, was able to tender a spiritual and real reward, a magic, coercive and popular holding power that remained unparalleled in the New World until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and Christianity" (from Man Across the Sea: Problems of PreColumbian Contacts; S.F. de Borhegyi, 1971  pp. 90-97, Third Printing 1976)


The Classic period in Mesoamerica (250 A.D. to 900 A.D.), is generally characterized by the strong influence of Teotihuacan. Especially during the years, around 400 A.D. to 650 A.D., Teotihuacan exerted a tremendous amount of religious and commercial influence throughout Central America. Teotihuacan influenced ceremonial vessels and ceramic incense burners adorned with the Teotihuacan patron deities of Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc are found throughout the Maya area of Guatemala, and Yucatan Mexico. The power and religious influence of Teotihuacan declines suddenly around 600-650 A.D. after the burning and subsequent destruction of that great city, by "barbaric" Chichimecs or Otomi invaders from northern Mexico.         

During Preclassic times (1500 BC to AD 250), the source of cultural influences radiated from the Olmec heartland on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz in Mexico. The Classic Veracruz art style of the great religious center of El Tajin in Veracruz Mexico, according to archaeologist Michael D. Coe, today's unofficial "Dean of Maya studies", and author of the book, Mexico, From the Olmec to the Aztecs, Coe is quoted as saying:

"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)

The late Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist who studied comparative mythology and religion believed that Asian culture was responsible for Mayan myths, religion, and astronomy, and noted that the Mayan eclipse table in the Dresden Codex was identical to a table that Chinese astronomers produced during the Han Dynasty. According to Thompson, Both tables predicted 23 eclipses within a 135-month period when in fact, only 18 eclipses actually occur. In other words, both Mayan and Chinese eclipse tables were faulty; and that they both contained the same errors. Campbell realized that identical errors could not occur if the original observations had been made independently in China and Mexico. Therefore Campbell concluded that the Mayan eclipse table was derived from a Chinese prototype" (Gunnar 2010, Thompson, p.63) 

I Central Asia, trees symbolize the world center, where heaven and earth touch, at the top of the World Tree. The central smoke-hole in the roof of the yurt was a microcosmic symbol or representation of the World Tree at the center of the universe (note cosmic symbol on yurt). The opening at the top of the yurt is the entry portal for shamans, on their journeys to the other world. 

Above, top left is a page from the Dresden Codex depicting symbols identified as a star, or Venus glyphs in the Dresden Codex. Just below the Dresden Codex page,  is a petroglyph from China, that appears similar in shape to a Maya Venus symbol. According to Yaoliang Song, a professor at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, he estimated that the Chinese petroglyph to have been created some 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. (source “Prehistoric Human-Face Petroglyphs of the North Pacific Region,” published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1998) Above on the lower right is a page from the Madrid Codex, also known as the Maya Tro-Cortesianus Codex. The codex page clearly depicts two Amanita muscaria mushrooms, "Hidden in Plain Sight"

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), and 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 (signifying immortality) and buried with jade funerary offerings, a burial custom also found in China (Alma Reed, 1966, p.17).  

Mexican archaeologist and art historian Miguel Covarrubias writes, "there is a tantalizing similarity between the art styles and spirit of some American Indian cultures and the arts of pre-Buddhist China, Malaysia, and the South Seas" (Miguel Covarrubias 1954 p.24).

Photographs © Justin Kerr      (Photo of Hindu statue from amazingdiscoveries.org) 

The photo above on the left depicts the deity scholars identify as the Maya Maize God, known as First-Father, Hun-Nal-Ye. The Maize God  sculpture itself is of the Late Classic period, and is from the Maya ruins of Copan, in Honduras. He makes what appears to be the same hand gesture commonly depicted in Hindu and Buddhist art. The Maya artist encodes what looks to me like three stylized mushroom caps, two as ear plugs associating the sacred mushroom with the number three and the mythical three hearth stones (or deities) of Maya creation.  The photo on the right represents the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who makes a similar hand gesture. The Hindu goddess Lakshmi holds in her hands what appear to be stylized mushrooms, and she wears a headdress with a symbol that looks very similar to a Fleur de lis symbol.  



Above is a Seated Buddha meditating under a Fleur-de-lis symbol, Nalanda Site Museum, Bihar, India. Buddhism is named for its reputed founder Gautama also known as Siddharatha Gautama, who came to be known as the Buddha, an Indian prince of the 6th century B.C.E.

The meaning of Buddha is "the Enlightened" or "Awakened one" that it was not a name but a title. According to legend, Buddha eventually reaches enlightenment, or Nirvana under the bodhi tree but only after eating what history says was a poisonous mushroom. 


Siddha or Siddhar, is derived from Siddharatha or vise-versa:

Siddha (Tamil "great thinker/wise man"; Sanskrit, "perfected one") is a term that is used widely in Indian religions and culture. It means "one who is accomplished".[1][2] It refers to perfected masters who have achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. In Jainism, the term is used to refer the liberated souls. Siddha may also refer to one who has attained a siddhi, paranormal capabilities.

Siddhas may broadly refer to siddhars, naths, ascetics, sadhus, or yogis because they all practice sādhanā.[3](Wikipeda)


In Tamil Nadu, South India, a siddha (see Siddhar) refers to a being who has achieved a high degree of physical as well as spiritual perfection or enlightenment. The ultimate demonstration of this is that siddhas allegedly attained physical immortality. Thus siddha, like siddhar, refers to a person who has realised the goal of a type of sadhana and become a perfected being. In Tamil Nadu, South India, where the siddha tradition is still practiced, special individuals are recognized as and called siddhas (or siddhars or cittars) who are on the path to that assumed perfection after they have taken special secret rasayanas to perfect their bodies, in order to be able to sustain prolonged meditation along with a form of pranayama which considerably reduces the number of breaths they take. Siddha were said to have special powers including flight.


Rasāyana, रसायन is a Sanskrit word, with the literal meaning: Path (āyana) of essence (rasa). It is a term that in early ayurvedic medicine means the science of lengthening lifespan, and in later (post 8th-century) works sometimes refers to Indian alchemy (Wikipeda).





Buddhism and Jainism were no doubt significant in the early stages of Tamil culture, and contributed greatly in terms of religious thought, art and sciences. 


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, or Holy Ambrosia, that grants their gods immortality".

                       
"We have drunk the Soma and become Immortal; we have attained the Light, and found the Gods". (Rig Veda, 8.XLVIII.3



The  Amanita muscaria mushroom was the mystery plant Soma and the Secret of Secrets, the mushroom being the divine medium through which one achieved ecstasy and thus communion with the gods. 

As the story goes, Buddha becomes enlightened while sitting under the Bodhi tree. The word bodhi which means enlightenment, is a metaphorical reference or code for the Amanita muscaria mushroom.

I believe that Buddha's enlightenment was mushroom related.


 
           Quoting R. Gordon Wasson...

"Now if, as seems likely, the Chinese once worshiped an hallucinogenic mushroom and employed it in religious ritual and medicine, and if some of their sages reached the New World, by accident or design, they could of course have introduced some of their own advanced pharmacological knowledge, or at least the idea of sacred mushrooms, to the ancient Mexicans. The same would apply to early India, whose calendrical system, like that of China, bears a perplexing resemblance to its pre-Hispanic Mexican counterpart" (Furst, 1976 p.104)


Above is a limestone carving 1st century B.C.E. now in the British Museum in London, titled "the enlightenment of the Buddha". Note what looks to me like two encoded Amanita muscaria mushrooms under the bodhi tree of enlightenment.


The footprint motif is a common one in pre-Columbian art, symbolizing "a journey", which leads me to propose that Guatemala may have been called in ancient times "the land of the Gautama", one of the many lands visited by Buddhist monks in pre-Columbian times ? In Chinese religion, the word "tao " means road or path. The Aztecs called their divine mushroom, teonanacatl, "teo" meaning God, teonanacatl, meaning "God's flesh".
Above is a stone ballgame yoke fragment with footprint that was excavated by J. Eric Thompson along with a tripod mushroom stone from a pit in front of Monument 3 at the Pacific coastal site of El Baul in Guatemala.

           Quoting Ethno-mycologist  R. Gordon Wasson:


“There is nothing incompatible between the mushroom stones and the ball game. Those who have mastered the mushrooms arrive at an extraordinary command of their faculties and muscular movements: their sense of timing is heightened. I have already suggested that the players had ingested the mushrooms before they entered upon the game. If the mushroom stones were related to the ball game, it remains to be discovered what role they played”. (Wasson, from Mushrooms Russia & History, p. 178)



Evidence of early Olmec culture in the Maya area has been established at numerous archaeological sites in Guatemala along the Pacific coast on the same fertile cacao-growing plain where archaeologists have found a number of mushroom stones. Archaeologists suggest that the Olmec were the first to set up cacao plantations in this fertile region later called the Soconusco by the Aztecs. This area is where we find the earliest forms of pottery, known as the Barra phase and tentatively dated at 1600 BCE. (Muriel Porter Weaver 1972, p.40). The Olmec exploited the local resources, including both cacao and mushrooms, and eventually established the "south-coast trade routes that became part of an even larger economic network connecting Mexico with southeastern Central America, and beyond. This north-south Olmec trade network was later controlled by the ruling elites of the ancient Maya. Evidence of sea voyaging and trading between Guatemala and Ecuador occurs as early as the formative period 2000 BCE–200 CE, (Stephen C. Jett 1971, p.11) (Michael Coe 1960: 384-386). "Chinese documents indicate that sea-going sailing rafts were in common use off China as early as the fifth century B.C. and perhaps more than two millennia earlier"(Stephen C. Jett 1971, p. 11) (Ling, 1956: 47,49,51).

As mentioned earlier both the Maya (all Mesoamericans) and Chinese attributed magic powers to jade and considered it the most precious of materials, and was worshiped as a symbol of everything precious and divine. Both the Maya and Chinese placed jade in the mouth of the dead, as a symbol of resurrection, and both painted their funerary jades with red cinnabar (Miguel Covarrubias 1954 p. 104).

           Quoting Mexican art historian Miguel Covarrubias:

"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).

Direct diffusion, involves either the importation of an actual item or its manufacturer or the learning and implementation of the trate by members of a recipient culture through contact and imitation. (Stephen C. Jett 1971 p.44). Just as in Mesoamerica (the ancient Maya), the Chinese believed that there were five cardinal directions, the fifth being the center of the universe. In Mesoamerica and in China each of the five directions was symbolized by a color.      

Coincidence or evidence of direct diffusion ? Above on the left are Chinese jade Bi, pronounced "bee", that are flat disks often depicting celestial symbols of the four cardinal directions. The extremely sacred objects (the round hole symbolizing a divine portal), were used in ceremonies by early Chinese kings to venerate the celestial spirits. Jade Bi, are commonly found in Chinese royal graves. Similar jade disks with holes and celestial symbols have been found in the royal graves of Maya kings. The Maya jade disk above on the top right was discovered in a royal grave at Pomona, Belize. The Olmec and Maya believed that It was through this central portal that souls passed on their journey to deification, rebirth and resurrection, the Axis Mundi, a divine portal of up and down where the Sun God and deified kings enter and resurrect from the underworld. The disk has a diameter of seven inches, with glyphs arranged to form a quincunx pattern with the central hole as the sacred center. The glyphs on the Pomona disk have not been deciphered, but the style of the glyphs are similar to those on the Leyden plate suggesting a very early date. 

Maya archaeologist Robert Sharer considered it no accident that the earliest examples of Maya hieroglyphic writing and sculptural style have been found at Late Preclassic, (formative period) southern Maya centers. These southern Maya centers displayed the first flowerings of Maya civilization centuries before the rise of the Classic lowland sites.(Sharer,1983, 63-66)

According to the Rig-Veda, Maya was the goddess, by whom all things are created by her union with Brahma. Maya is the cosmic egg, the golden uterus, the
Hiramyagarbha (The Project Gutenberg EBook of Vestiges of the Mayas, by Augustus Le Plongeon).

"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)


Is it just a coincidence that the Buddhist prophet named Gautama had a mother named Maya, and is it just a coincidence that the Vedic god named Soma had a son named Budha (source http://www.crystalwind.ca/mystical-magical/pantheons-and-myths/hindu/soma-chandra-god-of-the-moon).

Its tempting to think that the female figurine below from the Maya ruins of Xelha in the Yucatan state of Quintana Roo Mexico, is a portrait of Buddha's mother, Queen Maya, and that the name Guatemala, was "the land of the Gautama". According to linguist Morris Swadesh (1964:538) "If there has been diffusion of any sort, there is every reason to suppose that some loan words must also exist".  The Maya still live in the Yucatan peninsula, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Guatemala.



Above on the left is a statue of the Buddha under what I would argue  is a Amanita muscaria mushroom and not a parasol. Above on the right is a female figurine now in the collection of the Cancun’s Maya Museum. The female figurine in question is from the Maya ruins of Xelha in Quintana Roo Mexico, and represent what I would argue is Gautama's mother, Queen Maya ?   

Quoting Wasson, "It is curious that elsewhere than the Indie languages we find the 'parasol' figure applied to fungi only in the Spanish dialect of Jocotan, Guatemala"...(Wasson and Wasson, 1957)


Coincidence or evidence of pre-Columbian contact between China and the ancient Maya?
In Buddhist art Queen Maya is portrayed as a beautiful woman in the prime of life. I wonder if this Maya figurine above is one of those "oopart", or "out-of-place-artifacts" that actually depicts what it looks like, a Chinese woman.


In the Rig Veda the term Maya, refers to the power of Soma, with which the gods possessed to create and maintain the physical universe, and to assume various material forms. Maya is the power that brings all reality into being as it is perceived by human consciousness. Therefore, all the natural phenomena contained within this material world are products of maya. We are even told that the gods themselves were described as Mayin.


Source: New World Encyclopedia...
 

In the  Rigveda, the term Maya, (maya)  is introduced referring to the power that devas (divine beings) possessed which allowed them to assume various material forms and to create natural phenomena.                

Maya (Sanskrit māyā, from "not" and "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)               



Gunnar Thompson writes, "that the now famous Tuxtla Jade Statuette (c.300 BC—300 AD) found near the West Coast of Mexico, and now in the National Museum of Anthropology and Archeology in Mexico City, is covered with contemporary Zhou Chinese tortoise-shell writing that was previously unknown in the region. Thompson believes that this jade statuette is "conclusive evidence of contact between Mexico and China" (Gunnar Thompson, June 11, 2014 Early New World Maps). According to Thompson:


"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."



The Land of the Immortals:

According to Wikipeda: "In Chinese mythology, Fusang refers to a divine tree and island in the East, from where the sun rises. A similar tree, known as Ruomu (若木) exists in the west, and each morning the sun was said to rise from Fusang and fall on Ruomu. Chinese legend has ten birds (typically ravens) living in the tree, and as nine rested, the tenth would carry the sun on its journey. This legend has similarities with the Chinese tale of the fictional hero Houyi, sometimes referred to as the Archer, who is credited with saving the world by shooting down nine of the suns when one day all ten took to the air simultaneously. Some scholars have identified the bronze trees found at the archaeological site Sanxingdui with these Fusang trees. The Liang Shu also describes the conversion of Fusang to the Buddhist faith by five Buddhist monks from Gandhara: "In former times, the people of Fusang knew nothing of the Buddhist religion, but in the second year of Da Ming of the Liu Song dynasty (485 AD), five monks from Kipin (Kabul region of Gandhara) travelled by ship to that country. They propagated Buddhist doctrine, circulated scriptures and drawings, and advised the people to relinquish worldly attachments. As a result, the customs of Fusang changed".(Wikipeda)

Fusang tree as depicted in a rubbing from the Wu Liang Shrines' reliefs, mid-2nd century. The scene depicts the Fusang tree, Xihe who is going to hitch her Dragon Horse to the Sun Chariot, and Archer Yi who takes aim at the Sun Crows. (Wikipeda https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusang)

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:

Above is a painting depicting Hindu mythology, from India that I propose encodes the fruit of immortality as mushroom-shaped lily pads beneath the Tree of  Life.


            In Japanese mythology Mount  Horai is the legendary land of immortals:

                  

"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 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. We now know that the Turkic Saka people or Yakuts of the Verkhoyansk area of Siberia still prepare a ritual drink from the caps of the Amanita muscaria mushroom for ceremonies performed by shamans (Gerrit J. Keizer 2013, p.163) ( Keizer 1997). 

"We know that some of the Saka tribes must have worshiped the cult of Haoma, since one of the Saka tribes known to the Achaimenid Persians and seen on the inscriptions at Persepolis and Naqsh-i-Rustam were known as the "Saka Haomavarga" or "Haoma-drinking/Haoma-consuming Saka". Haoma was the name of both a plant and a deity in the Zoroastrian religion. The mystery plant Haoma was used in the Zoroastrian ritual of Yasna where the plant was pounded in a mortar partly filled with water and then its juice squeezed into a cup to be drank by a Zoroastrian priest" (source and excerpt from Europa Barbarorum Wiki).

In the Achaemenian cuneiform inscriptions of Darius I the Great (522-486 BCE), the list of nations that comprised the Persian Empire included three nations using Saka as a prefix to their names: Saka Haumavarga, Saka Tigrakhauda and Saka Paradraya. The Saka Haumavarga along with the Saka Tigrakhauda, are the two Saka nations or peoples most consistently mentioned as part of the Persian Empire. The literature suggests that Hauma-varga describes a defining trait of this Saka group. It is taken to mean that this Saka practiced haoma-drinking Saka ( K. E. Eduljee,  Zoroastrian Heritage).


The feline figure, or better yet half-feline half-man figure above with a prominent Fleur de lis symbol emerging from his head, is depicted on a gold vessel in the famous Nagyszentmiklos Treasure discovered in 1799, near the small town of Nagy Szent-Miklós in western Romania, near the border with Hungary. The treasure consisting of 23 gold vessels is dated from the 6th to the 10th century.  Scholars have connected the Nagyszentmiklos Treasure with the Avars, a nomadic people of uncertain origins and ethno-linguistic affiliation. The language of the inscription on the gold vessels is not clearly known but thought to be a Turkic language. The Avars like the Hungarians (Magyars) are of Altaic descent having a Mongolic, Turkic, or Tungusic origin. Historian Gyula László has speculated that the late 9th century Pannonian Avars spoke a variety of Old Hungarian, thereby forming an Avar-Hungarian continuity with then newly arrived Hungarians; it has been heavily questioned and criticized whether this speculation is true.[22](Wikipeda).  Graeco-Roman historiographers called the Pannonian Avars, Huns and Hungarians "Scythians"(Wikipeda).



Above on the left is a Scythian/Saka drinking vessel that depicts twin felines, and a symbol that looks exactly the same as the symbol on the feline flask above right from Peru, South Ameria. The ceramic feline shaped flask from Peru, Wari (Huari) culture AD 500 to 1000, and also depicts what I have identified as three Fleur de lis symbols emerging from the feline's head, back, and tail (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

 
The similar symbol can be found encoded in this Late Classic Maya vase painting. The drinking vessel depicts a creation scene in which the underworld deity is wearing the trade-mark goggled eyes of the Mexican god Tlaloc who I propose represents the Evening Star aspect of the planet Venus and thus the god of underworld decapitation. The underworld deity is resurrecting the new born baby jaguar who in Maya iconography represents the new born Sun God.
"According to scientists, rug weaving must have originated in the dry steppe regions where the nomadic tribes lived. Central Asia was a suitable location for the first rug-weaving center because of the availability of land for herding sheep and because of the climate of the region" (source http://www.allaboutturkey.com/carpet.htm).

The Pazyryk carpet was excavated in 1949 from the grave of a Scythian nobleman in the Pazyryk Valley of the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Radiocarbon testing indicated that the Pazyryk carpet was woven in the 5th century BC.[5] This carpet is 183 by 200 centimetres (72 by 79 inches) and has 36 symmetrical knots per cm² (232 per inch²).[6] The advanced technique used in the Pazyryk carpet indicates a long history of evolution and experience in weaving. It is considered the oldest known carpet in the world.[7]Wikipeda
The Persian term Saka is used for the Scythians in Central Asia. The Chinese used the term Sai (Chinese: 塞; Old Chinese: *sˤək), for Sakas who once inhabited the valleys of the Ili River and Chu River and moved into the Tarim Basin. Iskuzai or Askuzai is an Assyrian term for raiders south of the Caucasus who were probably Scythian. A group of Scythians/Sakas went south and gave their name to Sakastan. They, or a related group, invaded northern India and became the Indo-Scythians. Near the end of this article is a list of peoples that have been called Scythians (Wikipeda: Scythians)








The "Were Jaguar" and "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. 


The were-jaguar appears in the art of the ancient Olmecs as early as 1200 B.C.  I would argue that the so-called "Olmec snarl"  a common motif in Olmec art represents the powerful effects of the Amanita muscaria, and Amanita pantherina (also hallucinogenic) mushrooms, resulting in were-jaguar transformation. Its my belief that jaguar transformation symbolizes the soul's journey into the underworld where it will undergo jaguar transformation, and ritual decapitation, and thus divine resurrection. The were-jaguar eventually came to be worshiped and venerated throughout Central and South America.


The religion of the ancient Olmec was grounded in sacrifice, and the need to offer men, women, and children to the gods. The ritual custom of decapitation and its relationship to the pre-Columbian ball game goes back to Olmec times (S.F. de Borhegyi 1965, p.26). Olmec religion set the tone for many of the future religious beliefs in the New World.



In the Old World, there is an ancient belief that the Sun God was born from the sea and soared into the sky like an eagle. For this reason, ancient solar deities were often depicted as half-man and half-fish, or half-man and half-bird, or half-man and half-feline.

In both hemispheres the symbol we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis is associated with mythological deities of a feline, serpent, and giant bird, all associated with a Tree of Life, and a trinity of creator gods.  In Assyro-Babylonian art of Mesopotamia the Sun God (underworld Sun God) is also portrayed at times as a "half-man, and half-lion deity" depicted above crowned with a Fleur de lis symbol. 


As mentioned earlier, I have found plenty of visual evidence from the corpus of existing pre-Columbian art to identify this sacramental food as the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom. Like the Vedic god Soma, 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 were-jaguar appears in the art of the ancient Olmecs as early as 1200 B.C. 

The worship of animal spirit companions and the concept of human-animal transformation is so ancient, that the origins of these beliefs appear to predate the development of agriculture. Since these beliefs are also present throughout North and South America that they may very well have been brought there by the first hunters and gatherers to reach the New World. However we do find the first evidences of these shamanistic rituals in Mesoamerica in the art of the ancient Olmecs along with the development of agriculture, food production, and settled village life. 
Above is the infamous "Lion Man" a half-lion and half-man ivory sculpture believed to be the oldest known anthropomorphic sculpture in the world dated 32,000 years ago.




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.   




Above is an Olmec low-relief panel, from the south coast of Guatemala (800-500 B.C) photographed by Nicholas Hellmuth. The panel portrays a ruler as a "were-jaguar" crowned with a symbol reminiscent of the Old World Fleur de lis symbol. The esoteric art style of the ancient Olmec emphasized jaguar transformation in anthropomorphic feline figures and or grotesque feline-masked figures. Once again we see the footprint motif encoded in pre-Columbian art, symbolizing "a journey".  The ruler is portrayed with the "Olmec snarl", a common motif in Olmec art that I demonstrate represents the mushroom's effect of jaguar transformation and the soul's mythical underworld journey.

Archaeologist Michael D. Coe (1972) demonstrated a long-standing Mesoamerican association of the jaguar with rulership, royal lineages, and power, having an intimate relationship with the sun in the underworld, the Jaguar Sun God (John B. Carlson 1981, p.125).

The underworld Jaguar God of ancient Mexico is depicted above in a pre-Columbian Mixtec manuscript called the Codex Zouche-Nuttall or Codex Tonindeye. The painting depicts the underworld Jaguar God sitting on a thrown encoded with the Fleur de lis symbol above his head, and three upside down or inverted Fleur de lis symbols, pointing to the underworld and maybe alluding to a Trinity of creator gods.

Above is a Late Classic Maya vase K6608 from the Justin Kerr Data Base of Maya vase paintings, photographed in roll out form. The three underworld jaguars all wear mushroom shaped ear plugs, and wear sacrificial scarves that encode the colors and spots of the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Photograph © Justin Kerr # 6608, Owner: Denver Art Museum Denver CO.
The drawing above is of a Classic period Teotihuacan III fresco from Teopanzalco, Mexico entitled "el altar del sol."  c. 300 A.D. to 600 A.D. I believe this scene represents the resurrection of the underworld Sun God. In the frieze on both the right and left margins are encoded mushrooms, to symbolize the sacred journey of Venus into the underworld as the sacrificial were-jaguar. The two deities, or twin priests impersonating deities in the above scene represent the twin aspects of the planet Venus as both a Morning Star and Evening Star (note light and dark cheek mark). They appear to be offering their blood in sacrifice at an altar that symbolizes the underworld Sun God of the present world (note twisted olin symbol in center of sun). The two priestly characters are dressed as were-jaguars, their outfits decorated with numerous five-pointed stars which have been identified as Nahuat Venus symbols from highland Mexico.

           Quoting Wasson (1957):

"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."


Above is a carved doorway panel from ancient Persia (Syria) that depicts a very similar scene of twin felines resurrecting the Sun God from the underworld at the Tree of Life. Note that the artist encodes the Fleur de lis symbol in the tails of the twin felines, and the Tree of Life.

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).

I was surprised to find images of mushrooms encoded with feline deities in association with the Tree of Life in both the ancient art of the Old World, and the the New World.

Scythian cross of feline as Sun God with :Tree of Life" stylized as a Fleur de lis symbol emerging from mouth. Pazyryk culture, (c. 4th to 3rd centuries BC) Altai Mountains.

The Altai Mountains have been identified as being the point of origin of a cultural enigma termed the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon[13] 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)


Scythian gold jewellery depicting felines

(Photo and excerpt from British Museum: Introducing the Scythian exhibition May 30th 2017)


The Pazyryk culture is a Scythian Iron Age archaeological culture identified by excavated artifacts and mummified humans found in the Siberian permafrost, in the Altay Mountains, Kazakhstan and nearby Mongolia. The burials at Pazyryk are responsible for the introduction of the term kurgan, a Russian word of Turkic origin, to describe these spectacular tombs. The region of the Pazyryk kurgans is considered the type site of the wider Pazyryk culture. The site is included in the Golden Mountains of Altai UNESCO World Heritage Site.[6]Wikipedia

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.[97]Wikipeda


Ceramic feline wheeled toy from Chanhu-daro, the Indus Valley Civilization, India, Harappa Culture (2500-1500 BCE.) now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Ma.


Toy Chariots in the Americas: The discovery of pre-Columbian wheeled toys, also called chariots (A.D. 300-900) in Mexico and El Salvador has caused some scholars to re-examine the notion that the principle of the wheel was not known anywhere in the Americas before Columbus. Researchers have noted the similarities of wheeled clay toys dug up in Mexico with wheeled clay toys from Mesopotamia, Syria, China, and India. Wheeled animal figurines were commonly placed in Chinese tombs to represent sacrifices (Alice B. Kehoe, 2008, Controversies In Archaeology, p.160).


Late Classic period 600-900 A.D. (Gulf Coast region of Mexico) ceramic jaguar on wheels now in the Ethnologists Museum Berlin, (photo by Martin Franken)



Transpacific diffusionist Gordon F. Ekholm believes that the wheeled toys were most likely derived from the better-known toy chariot cult, of the Bronze Age Near East (3300-1200 B.C.). Ekholm reported the discovery of wheeled effigies (American Antiquity 1946) that were excavated at the Olmec site of Tres Zapotes in Veracruz, Mexico. Tres Zapotes was an Olmec center boasting Colossal heads that was founded just a few centuries before 1000 B.C. The Olmec were the first major civilization in Mesoamerica (1200 B.C. to 400 B.C.) rising up in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, at the centers of San Lorenzo, La Venta, Laguna de Los Cerros, and Tres Zapotes, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco.


Several monuments from the Olmec site of La Venta, Stela 3, Monument 19, and Monument 13 called the "Ambassador" (altar with footprint) appear to celebrate foreigners, and that foreigners are clearly indicated by their distinctive items of dress ( Prudence M. Rice 2007, p.98) (Drucker 1981, pp.42-46).


The influence of these Olmec ceremonial centers extended in all directions and Olmec culture seemingly laid many of the foundations for the Zapotec, Maya, Teotihuacano, Toltec, Mixtec, and Aztec civilizations that were to follow. The question remains, of whether the invention of the wheel could have been made independently in both the Old Word and the New World.


For documentation of wheeled animal figurines in Mesoamerica see G.F. Ekholm, 1946; C. Irwin,1963; 131-135, and for documentation of wheeled animal figurines in the Old World see H. G. May, 1935: 23-24. E. Speiser, 1935: I, 68ff.; R. S. Star, 1937: I, 425.




Surprisingly, as I discovered, the ancient symbol that we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis appears in the ancient art of the Americas at approximately the same time in history as the rise of the ancient Olmecs (1200 B.C. to 400 B.C.).  I believe that the Fleur de lis symbol along with several other symbols migrates from Central Asia to the Americas, along with the Amanita muscaria mushroom cult.


Zapotec urn from (Tomb 7) from the Olmec infuenced site of Monte Alban, in Oaxaca Mexico. The urn portrays a ruler or deity with facial features that appear remarkably similar to those found in the cultures of Asia. Note the familiar "Olmec snarl" symbolism of a snarling underworld jaguar. The ruler or deity portrayed is crowned with a symbol of rulership that I believe represents a New World version of the Old World Fleur de Lis symbol. (photograph of Zapotec urn from http://roadslesstraveled.us/monte-alban/)



The earliest evidence of hieroglyphic writing in Mesoamerica appears on pictorial stelae at the ancient Zapotec ceremonial site of Monte Alban. New evidence would suggest that the ceremonial center at Monte Alban, was Olmec influenced, and begins to develop under Olmec influence about 700-800 B.C. Radiocarbon dates by Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus, of the oldest Zapotec palisade, range between 1680 and 1410 B.C.E. (Charles C.Mann 2006, p.237). The 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).

The hallucinogenic mushroom cult still survives to this day among certain tribes like the Zapotec, Chinantec, and Mazatec Indians of Mexico  (S.F de Borhegyi,1961, 498-504).

Above is the list of the 20 Zapotec day signs from Javier Urcid (2000). 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.

In the creation story of the Quiche Maya Popol Vuh, we are told that there was a previous world that was created, destroyed, and re-created before the present creation.



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).


In the previous world age,twin brothers known as Hun Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu representing the twin aspects of the planet Venus as the Morning Star and Eveningstar, playing a ballgame on the eastern horizon. The new world was created on the day when the first word was uttered. According to Maya inscriptions at Coba and Quirigua, that day was 4 Ahau 8 Kumk'u, the day in the Mayan calendar when Venus rises from the underworld as the Morning Star. Considered the completion day or starting point in the Maya Long Count, it set all the cycles of the calendars in motion. 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 named Ahau, which means Lord, or Ruler. The 20th day name in Quiche is Hunahpu, a name we find in the Popol Vuh which means "the One Master of Magic Breath" (Gates, 1978 p.53).

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. I propose that this Aztec symbol referred to as a flower in the day signs 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 forbidden fruit, the mushroom of immortality. Flowers symbolize a state of the soul on its journey to full godhood and Teonanacatal, the mushroom of the Aztecs, was called "the flower that makes us drunk" (Nicholson 1967, p.90). 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.


On the right, is a page from the Codex Mendoza, an Aztec codex created just after the Spanish Conquest, that shows tribute collected by Aztec civil servants from the province of Tochtepec. Included in the tribute are probable psilocybin mushrooms (second image from left on next to bottom row). The enlarged image on the left, shows the vessel with probable psilocybin mushrooms emerging from an encoded Fleur-de-lis symbol. The Aztecs called their sacred mushrooms teonanacatl, meaning "Gods Flesh".

Late Classic (600-850 C.E) Maya Vase painting above photographed in roll-out form by Justin Kerr, No. K5390. The ceramic drinking vessel likely depicts a scene in the Maya underworld. The figure on the far left holding a spear and shield wears the headdress of the Maya God L, who in Late Classic times symbolized the Maya God of the underworld. The dark-skinned figure on the far right also wears a headdress that depicts an underworld deity, and is portrayed standing in front of a kneeling sacrificial victim dressed in jaguar attire. The figure on the far right holds a staff in one hand with an up-side-down trophy head attached, and more importantly he holds in his left hand an Amanita muscaria mushroom encoded esoterically I believe in the shape of a Fleur de lis, to symbolize divine mushroom resurrection and immortality.
Hunnic-Magyar diadems were made out of bronze plaques and then plated with gold. Note the similarity of the Hunnic diadem with Fleur de lis symbol and the Olmec diadems. 

The Olmec figurine above on the left has been described in the book The Olmec & Their Neighbors 1981, as analbite-and-jadeite seated figure, ten centimeters high, wearing a helmet with three-pronged element at the top, said to have come from Tabasco Mexico (Elizabeth P. Benson 1981, p.103) Above on the right also described in the book The Olmec & Their Neighbors 1981, is Stela 9, Kaminaljuyu, Mound C-III-6. Columnar basalt, Height, 145 cm. (No. 2359, Museo Nacional, Guatemala. Drawing by Ryntha J. Gibbs).  The monument is from the archaeological site of Kaminaljuyu, located just on the outskirts of Guatemala City. This powerful city in the highlands of Guatemala controlled trade of the obsidian deposits of El Chayal since Early Preclassic times (1000 BC) The stela portrays an important figure crowned with what appears to me to be a Fleur de lis symbol similar if not exact in shape and meaning as the Hunnic diadem. The art style of this period is called Olmecoid Substyle, or Epi-Olmec or  Post-Olmec (Lee A. Parson, 1981 p. 264-265)

Hunnic (Hun-Magyar) cauldrons (below) have long claimed the attention of archaeologists because of their mushroom shaped handles, which until 1896, (Reinecke 1986) were classified as Scythian cauldrons. In 1955 Laszlo (Acta Archaeologica Hungarica, Vol. 34 1955, pp. 89, 249-252) proposed that the mushrooms on the handles of the Hunnic bronze cauldrons represented "shaman crowns" drawing the connection between mushroom iconography and ecstatic religion among the Huns. Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen author of The World of the Huns: Studies in their History and Culture pp. 329-330 has also identified the handle designs as mushrooms

Although the use of hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushrooms in Siberia, Mongolia, and the adjoining steppe regions is well documented, and  Hunnic cauldrons with mushroom handles have been found in the Altai Mountains (Otto Maenchen-Helfen "The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture p. 332),  there is no written evidence indicating the specific function and use of the mushrooms among the warlike Huns. Most of the reports on the custom of divination were written by Christian priests, set on denouncing the practice as ungodly and demonic  (Michael Ripinsky-Naxon 1993, p.162).

In Mesoamerica, evidence of cannibalism from household refuse appears very early on at San Lorenzo, an Olmec ceremonial center dating around 1500 to 800 B.C. Ancient manuscripts from Mexico that predate the Spanish Conquest such as the Codex Borgia Group, depict illustrations of warriors' heads in bowls, and of whole bodies boiling in large pots. If the sacrificial victim had been a valiant and or high ranking warrior his body was sometimes divided and eaten by nobles and other spectators. The hands and feet were reserved for the priests, and, if the victim was a prisoner of war, his captor wore certain bones of the victim as a mark of prowess (The Ancient Maya 4th Edition 1983, p.484)  Above is a scene of cannibalism depicted in the Codex Magliabechiano folio 73r.  

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. As mentioned earlier, Wasson noted that one interesting feature of the Amanita muscaria or fly agaric mushroom is that its hallucinogenic properties pass into 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). 






Our knowledge of the Huns and Magyars, is still vague; and the research on their history remains controversial. According to Hungarian legend, preserved in the 13the century chronicle Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum by Simon of Kéza, while out hunting, the brothers Hunor and Magor saw a miraculous white stag. They pursued the animal, but it always stayed ahead of them, leading them westward into Levedia, where they married two princesses and founded the Huns and Hungarian people, (the Magyars). One of the main reasons for claims of religious and cultural ties between Huns and Hungarians is the stag and the brothers Hunor and Magor (Wikipeda).  The Huns are Hunor's descendants, the Magyars are Magor's.


Hundreds of loan words adopted from Chuvash-type Turkic languages prove the Magyars were closely connected to Turkic peoples. Byzantine and Muslim authors regarded them as a Turkic people in the 9th and 10th centuries (Wikipeda). 
King Karoly Robert, (Hungarian: Károly Róbert; Croatian: Karlo Robert; Slovak: Karol Róbert; 1288 – 16 July 1342) who was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1308 to his death (Wikipedia).

The author, Carl Robert de Borhegyi, was actually named after King Karoly Robert by his Hungarian father. No surprise, all portraits of Hungarian kings appear to be crowned with the Fleur de lis symbol. Although perhaps best known through its association with French royalty, the symbol itself is of far greater antiquity, and occurs in the ancient art of the Olmecs (1200-400 B.C.E.)  as a symbol of divinity, and "Lord" linked to a Trinity of gods, and a Tree of Life and a herb of immortality.


The Amanita muscaria mushroom continues to be the classic symbol of enchanted forests, the kind of place where fairies, gnomes, and witches dwell. In Russian and Slavic folklore there are many stories of a ferocious-looking witch named Baba Yaga, who lives in a hut deep in the forest.
 Above are three paintings of Baba Yaga, surrounded by Amanita muscaria mushrooms, as depicted by Ivan Bilibin 1900. 

Baba Yaga is mostly portrayed as a terrifying old witch, but she can also play the role of a helper and wise woman. In her guise as wise old witch, she gives advice and magical gifts to heroes and the pure of heart. The hero or heroine of the story often enters the crone's domain searching for wisdom, knowledge and truth. She is all-knowing, all seeing and all-revealing to those who would dare to ask (mushroomic wisdom). She is said to be a guardian spirit of the fountain of the Waters of Life and of Death. Baba Yaga is the Arch-Crone, the Goddess of Wisdom and Death, the Bone Mother. Wild and untamable, she is a nature spirit bringing wisdom and death of ego, and through death, rebirth. These are all aspects associated with the folklore surrounding  the Amanita muscaria mushroom  (sourse http://www.oldrussia.net/baba.html).

 In Siberia and in Mesoamerica going back to Olmec times, the sacred mushrooms evokes an imaginary world of little people more or less the size of mushrooms (Wasson 1980 p.52).
The word gnome comes from the Latin gnoma, meaning "knowledge" suggesting gnomes as "the knowing ones" (Raymond Buckland 2002, p.208).

            

            According to Stephan de Borhegyi....


"The little red topped mushroom with white polka dots occur frequently in Hungarian folktales, usually in connection with little dwarfs who live under them" (letter from de Borhegyi to Wasson April 29th, 1953  Wasson archives, Harvard University)   

                                        




The Tree of Life, and the Fleur de lis Symbol:



In Mesoamerica, as in the Old World, the Tree of Life represents the symbolic center of the earth, the Axis mundi, or pillar of the world. In both Mesoamerica and in the Old World, the royal line of the king was considered to be of divine origin, linked with the Tree of Life. Descendants of the Mesoamerican god-king Quetzalcoatl, and thus all Mesoamerican kings or rulers, were also linked to the Tree of Life encoded in both the Old World and New World with the trefoil symbol, we recognize as the Fleur de lis emblem.

In Mesopotamia the Fleur de lis was a symbol of Lord, or King linked to the Tree of Life, and the Sumerian-Babylonian Trinity, of Nimrod, Tammuz, and Simerimas.


The symbol that we have come to recognize as the Fleur de lis, first appears in the art of the ancient Sumerians (see Sumerian cylinder sea above). Historians propose that Sumer was settled between 4500 and 4000 BC by a non-Semitic people and that ancient Sumer was known as the "land of the civilized kings". The earliest written literature of the Sumerians dates from about 2600 BC. The Sumerian word for "Lord" is apu, the same exact word for "Lord" used in the New World by the ancient Inca civilization of Peru (Quichua language of Peru) (Hugh Fox, 2005 p.7).

In ancient Egypt for example the symbol for "plant" meaning "Tree of Life" was the lotus lily, a symbol in the shape of a trefoil, and like the Amanita muscaria mushroom, a symbol to represent eternal life and divine resurrection.

The Sumerians were the creators of the first high civilization in Mesopotamia. The earliest Sumerian gods were nature deities, concerned with fertility, but by the third millennium BCE. Mesopotamian gods were referred to "Lords or Masters" and mirrored the actions of human rulers (Bodley p.180). Like Mesoamerica, Mesopotamian religion was highly polytheistic a system based on the belief of many gods, or deities.

Hungarian adventurer Juan Moricz, born Janos Moricz Opos, in Hungary, in 1923; believed that, after the Deluge, the so-called New World of the Americas became the mother of civilization and that its culture was ancient Magyar:  The similarity between the old Magyar and Sumerian tongues, declared Moricz, cannot be attributed to coincidence: apart from philological similarities - such as nap for 'light of the Sun', Ur for 'lord' and Isten for 'god' - there are ethnographic, religious, artistic and folkloric connections. Moricz proposed that the Magyars of the Carpathian Mountains of Europe are of American origin, that between 8000 and 7000 BC they arrived in Lower Mesopotamia in boats made from balsa wood found only in South America. Upon leaving the Andes they brought across the Atlantic idiomatic elements of the Magyar language, together with an accumulation of legends, traditions and beliefs: that, in Ecuador - as elsewhere in the Americas - the Cayapos, Jibaro-Shuar, Tschachis, Saragurus, Salasakas and others speak versions of the old Magyar tongue; that place-names and dialects of Ecuador, although many have been eroded by acculturalisation, or eliminated by force, are numerous (From Magyars Moricz and Mother Language)



In the northern Peruvian highlands of South America, the ancient Chavín civilization flourished, that in many ways paralleled the contemporary Olmec civilization of Mesoamerica. Both were major early civilizations and both used feline images in their sacred iconography. Pioneer archaeologist Marshall H. Saville was the first to call attention to certain Mesoamerican influences he called "Mayoid" in archaeological material from the Ecuadorian and Peruvian highlands and Pacific coastal areas of South America (Saville, 1907, 1909, 1910). Since Saville's first observation numerous archaeologists have reported other apparent artistic and ideological similarities between the two areas dating from as early as the Preclassic and continuing through the Postclassic, a time span from 1500 B.C. to A.D.1400. There is now a consensus that this exchange likely occurred by sea.
Moche portrait vessels from Peru, both wearing Amanita muscaria mushroom inspired headdress. The Moche culture reigned on the north coast of Peru during the years 100-700 A.D.
Above is an incense burner from the north coast of Peru, South America, Chimú culture, that portrays a fish deity wearing a conacle shaped hat crowned with what appears to be two Fleur de lis symbols. The Chimú people of South America, were known as the great navigators of the sea, and that they were the heirs to a great knowledge gained through the centuries by peoples who came before them. The Moche or Mochica civilization (1st century to 8th century C.E) has been identified as Early Chimú.

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)


Its likely that in the Persian Empire (see Persian Sassanian period plate above depicting a spotted feline and World Tree) the psilocybin mushroom later replaced the Amanita muscaria mushroom in the Soma ritual, (called Haoma in Zoroastrian and Persian mythology), where the Amanita muscaria mushroom was unavailable or not as abundant. The Vedas' repeatedly mention that Soma grows high in the mountains.
Above is a section of Persian silk, Sasanian period, that depicts a Fleur de lis symbol with what looks to me like a possable Psilocybin mushroom emerging. The Sasanian Dynasty ruled Persia from 226 to 651 CE.


According to the late Mexican mycologist, Dr. Gastón Guzmán, (2010, 2013 p.489, and personal communication) one of the effects of the Amanita muscaria mushroom experience is to see objects as gigantic in size (macropsia) a property immortalized in the fiction of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland.  
The meaning of Buddha is "the Enlightened" or "Awakened one" that it was not a name but a title. According to legend, Buddha eventually reaches enlightenment, or Nirvana under the bodhi tree but only after eating what history says was a poisonous mushroom. 

"The Awakened One", Buddhist mural depicting Buddha sitting under the Tree of Life and Tree of Knowledge, encoded as a stylized Fleur de lis symbol  (from Po Win Daung, Myanmar).  

Visual evidence of encoded mushroom imagery in Hindu art that supports Wasson's identification of the revered and deified mystery plant of the Rig Veda, called Soma, cleverly encoded in the religious art of the New World, "Hidden in Plain Sight" that prior to this study sacred mushrooms virtually escaped detection.

The Amanita muscaria mushroom, appears not only to have played a role in the early history of  Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrian, Judaism and Christianity, but also may be the metaphorical key to decoding the esoteric religions of ancient Mesoamerica, and South America, including Easter Island.

After examining thousands of artifacts, a project that would have been impossible before the existence of the computer and the Internet, I discovered a wealth of mushroom imagery. Surprisingly, most of this mushroom imagery concerned the Amanita muscaria, or Fly Agaric mushroom, rather than the better known hallucinogenic Psilocybin mushroom. Both varieties, however, as well as others were represented. The fact that they had not been noted earlier is explained by the way these images were so cleverly encoded into the art that they became almost invisible. Invariably the mushroom imagery was associated with ritual sacrifice in the underworld, with jaguar transformation and period endings, and with the decapitation and resurrection of the underworld Sun God by a pair of deities associated with the planet Venus as both the Morning Star and Evening star. Mushrooms, in fact, are so closely associated with underworld jaguar transformation, and underworld jaguar resurrection, that they must have been believed to be the vehicle through which both were accomplished. They are also so closely associated with ritual decapitation, that their ingestion may have been considered essential to the ritual of decapitation, whether in real life or symbolically in the underworld.


(Photo of Olmec whistle by Higinio Gonzalez of Puebla, Mexico) (Photo of Amanita muscaria mushroom from Royalty Free Stock Photos) 

Above is an Olmec ceramic whistle, 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, and facial features that appear remarkably similar to those found in the cultures of Asia, are a distinctive feature in Olmec art. This figure appears to represent a baby holding on to a tree or gigantic Amanita muscaria mushroom. Once again according to the late  ethno-mycologist Gastón Guzmán, one of the effects of the Amanita muscaria mushroom experience is to see objects as gigantic in size. (Guzman, 2010). 

Above and below, are close up scenes 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.

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.

Above is an Aztec figurine now in the collection of the National Museum in Mexico City, of the Aztec god of flowers Xochipilli, whose name in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, means "Prince of Flowers. " This figurine clearly holds Amanita muscaria mushrooms in each hand.

The Aztec deity Xochipilli, may have been an aspect of a young Quetzalcoatl, and the patron deity of sacred mushrooms and hallucinogenic plants. Xochipilli was also known as Macuilxochitl, meaning "five flowers". Note the headdress of Xochipilli which contains two adornments of five plumes each--a possible reference or code to what scholars call the "fiveness" of Venus, referring to the five synodic cycles of Venus identified in the Venus Almanac of the Dresden Codex.

Spanish 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".


The esoteric art style of encoding mushroom imagery in Vedic inspired art has led the author to conclude that the mushroom cult of the New World did not develop independently, but rather, it was brought to the New World, long before the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
 

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.




The three faced ceramic incense burner above comes from the ancient Olmec-Maya site of Comalcalco, located in Tabasco, Mexico near the mouth of the Usumacinta River. Researchers at this archaeological site now argue in favor of transoceanic contact between the Old World and Comalcalco. The site is unique for substituting what is now believed to be Old World fired brick technology using a special type of kiln, with stone masonry. Comalcalco is believed to have been occupied by an infamous group of great seafarers known as the Putun, who were most likely the infamous Itzas who were believed to be Chontal speakers (Culbert 1973, p148). The incense burner above depicts the faces of three deities all with tongue sticking out, representing what may be a Hindu inspired conception of a Maya trinity. (Photograph © Rob Mohr, 2010)

The Vedic inspired Hindu concept of a Trinity, called the Trimurti, personified the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction as the deities Brama, Vishnu, and Shiva. The so-called Maya Trinity is known to scholars as GI, GII, and GIII of he Palenque Triad. Note that two deities appear to have a stylized Fleur de lis emblem encoded in their headdress as a symbol of divinity, and that the central figure with tongue sticking out, and T-shaped Ik glyph encoded in his headdress, is an esoteric symbol of the Wind God, which is arguably the same shape as the Aryan Tau cross. I found the T-shaped Ik glyph in Mesoamerica to be intimately connected with the Fleur-de-lis, and tied to the births of the Maya god GI, (Chac) and the Mesoamerican god-king Quetzalcoatl as 9-Wind.

 
Mesoamericans in general believed that Quetzalcoatl created both the universe and humankind. Along with mushrooms, maize and fire, Quetzalcoatl also gave to man the sciences, the calendar and writing, and the knowledge to fix certain days for feasts and blood sacrifice. Rulers bestowed with this divine knowledge were believed to be incarnates of this god.

In the Codex Chimalpopoca, the god-king Quetzalcoatl is referred to as a spirit of regeneration and as the Morning star. A passage from that Codex reads..."Truly with him it began...Truly from him it flowed out...From Quetzalcoatl all art and knowledge" (Neil Baldwin 1998 p.34).
Photograph © Justin Kerr

Maya vase K1185 from the Justin Kerr Data Base, depicts a Maya scribe with what I believe is a sacred mushroom encoded into his headdress. Painted Maya vessels like the one pictured above may have contained a sacred drink concocted from the Amanita muscaria mushroom or other hallucinogenic mushrooms in a manner very similar to that described for the legendary Soma. Soma was prepared by extracting juice from the stalks of a certain mystry plant. That mystry plant was likely the Amanita muscaria mushroom. Soma was the divine beverage of immortality in the Rig-Veda, and Soma was referred to as the "Father of the Gods" seemingly giving him precedence above all other Gods (RV9.42). Among the present day Mixtecs of Highland Mexico, the sacred mushrooms must be gathered by a virgin. They are then ground on a metate, water added, and the beverage is than drunk by the person consulting the mushroom (S.F. de Borhegyi, 1961).

Photographs © Justin Kerr K5062

Above is Maya vase K5062 photographed in roll-out form by Justin Kerr. The drinking vessel likely portrays a Maya ruler in front of four figures, three of them dressed in the guise of the underworld jaguar, and a forth figure dressed in the guise of the sacrificial deer. The ruler sits on a thrown above three large vessels all marked with an X-symbol, that symbolizes death and rebirth in the Maya underworld. The Ruler sits next to an offering plate that looks to me like it may contain an Amanita muscaria mushroom, used in this case in the sacred mirror ceremony to enter the so-called underworld, and to communicate with ancestors and gods. Standing just to the right of the ruler is a female attendant who holds a mirror in both hands for the ruler's mushroom induced vision quest. The three figures dressed in the guise of jaguars may allude to the three hearth stones of Maya creation, a "trinity of gods" known from the archaeological site of Palenque as GI, GII, GIII, who were the gods responsible for the creation of the Maya universe.

In the Maya Highlands of Guatemala, a dance drama that takes place in the town of Rabinal in the department of Baja Verapaz, called the Rabinal Achí. The drama is based on a sacred drink, in which a prisoner of war is captured and is granted one last drink, called “the drink of lords,” before he is ritually decapitated. According to anthropologist Dennis Tedlock, there were repeated efforts by colonial authorities to ban the performances of the Rabinal Achi because it was considered a dramatization of Maya culture and Maya royalty. Was this ritual drink called Ki’ also called “twelve poisons” which, according to Tedlock, brings dreams to the character in the Rabinal Achí? a mushroom beverage similar to the Soma beverage of the Rig Veda ?

Late Classic (A.D. 600-900) Maya drinking vessels that clearly encode the symbol we recognise from the Old World as the Fleur de lis.





Mushrooms Encoded in Egyptian Art: 



          

          


            Quoting Anthropologist Christian Ratsch...


 "The Fly agaric [Amanita muscaria mushroom] has been known since antiquity. The Egyptians called it "raven's bread," a name which it has retained in Central and Eastern Europe to the present day. It was said that Saint Anthony ate this raven's bread before the ancient pagan gods appeared to him as demons. Among the ancient Germans, the fly agaric was associated with Wotan/Odin, the god of ecstasy and the discoverer of the magical runes. According to legend, fly agarics appeared where the foam from Wotan's horse fell onto the earth. The name raven's bread refers to Wotan's two all-knowing, all-seeing ravens.  According to Graves (1961), the followers of Dionysos consumed fly agaric during the Dionysian festivals and mysteries, for it "bestows enormous physical power, erotic potency, delusional visions, and the gift of prophecy." One author (Allegro 1970) has even argued that Christianity began as a fly agaric cult" (from The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants). 



It's tempting to speculate that "raven's bread" is analogue for the divine mushroom... 


Stephen R. Berlant theorize that the plant known commonly as the Eye of Horus, which the Egyptians included in cakes and ales designed to spiritually rebirth the living and the dead, was an entheogenic mushroom cap entirely analogous, if not identical, to Soma. (The entheomycological origin of Egyptian crowns and the esoteric underpinnings of Egyptian religion, July 2005)




           Quoting Wasson (1957):

"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

.
Researchers have proposed that Pharaoh Akhenaton's wife Queen Nefertiti may have been a Hittite princess, who came from the land of Mitanni, a small kingdom of Indo-Aryan people, just north of the Upper Euphrates, in what is today northern Iraq. The Hittites were an ancient people who established their empire in north-central Anatolia around 1600 BC., in what is today, modern day Turkey.  Artifacts excavated from Hittite burials at Alaca Huyuk in modern day Turkey resemble anthropomorphized mushroom headed figures, and that the Hittite hieroglyph for "King" found on numerous royal seals also resemble mushrooms.

Pharaoh Akhenaton is best known for introducing a new religion to Egypt, that was strongly supported by Nefertiti, that made the Aten, the sun disc, the center of Egypt’s religious life. She may have brought with her the worship of an intoxicating plant called Soma and a pantheon of Vedic Gods, like Indra, Mitra, and Varuna. After the death of Akhenaton sometime around 1334-1336 B.C. Egypt would return to its original pantheon of gods and religious beliefs. (Online source, Was Nefertiti, An Aryan Princess? by K. Gajendra Singh http://www.boloji.com/index.cfm?md=Content&sd=Articles...) 


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 that portrays the warrior Tutankhamun, appears to have what may be encoded psilocybin mushrooms.

There's evidence of the worship of Vedic gods among the Hittites in the Hittite-Mitanni tablets discovered at Bogaz-Koz in present day Turkey, venerating such gods as Mitra, Varuna, and Indra, Mitra being the light and power behind the sun. Images of the Persian Sun God Mithra (Avestan Mithra) portray Mitra as a sun disc in a chariot drawn by horses. According to Hungarian scholar Hargita Csaba, the Scythian component of the Hungarian ancestry was closely associated with the descent of the ancient Mitanni. According to Csaba, Assyrian accounts refer to Nimrud having twin sons, one of whose name was Magor, confirming the Hungarian myth, and that the territory of the Mada or Mitanni is referred by some Egyptian documents as Magor, and that the Magyars (Hungarians) might be the ancient tribe of Mitanni (The Ancient Identity of Hungarians: The Hungarian-Hebrew Connexion).  

One of the recurrent themes found in Hungarian mythology is the concept of duality expressed in the twins Hunor and Magor, in the Legend of the White Stag. The Legend of the White Stag mentions characters having Biblical and ancient Mesopotamian names like Nimrod, son of  Kush, and Eneth, and Noah’s great-grandson, whose two sons, were Hunor and Magor. 

The Legend of the White Stag ascribes the origin of the Hungarians to the merging of the Huns, and Magyars. The Huns are Hunor's descendants, the Magyars are Magor's. The Huns and the Magyars are known to be from the regions neighboring Persia to the land known as Scythia, a designation generally given to the region stretching from the Carpathians into Central Asia. 


Above is a Hittite relief carving dated around the 9th-8th century BCE. from Anatolia, in modern day Turkey. The relief carving depicts a scene of two figures following a horse drawn cart carrying what I propose is a sarcophagus, secretly encoded with three sacred mushrooms, symbolic of a Trinity and divine resurrection. I propose that the wheel of the cart in this scene may esoterically allude to the resurrecting Sun God or sun disc, or to the planet Venus as resurrection star. I would also argue that the three encoded mushrooms I identified on the rulers or priest's  sarcophagus is code for a Trinity of creator gods responsible for divine resurrection. It may be that the two figures on the left following the cart, represent the dualistic aspects of the planet Venus as both Morning Star and Evening Star, a dualistic star responsible for the death and subsequent resurrection and rebirth of the Sun God.
The Hittites were an Indo-European people, who were contemporaries of the early Assyrians and Babylonians, and were known to have possessed stone idols that had the appearance of anthropomorphized mushrooms.

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).
Göbekli Tepe is a Epi-Paleolithic archaeological site in Southeastern Anatolia in modern day Turkey. Archaeologists believe that Göbekli Tepe was built by hunter-gatherers around the 10th millennium BCE. making Göbekli Tepe the oldest religious site yet to be discovered anywhere. The mushroom -headed female figure above center, is from Göbekli Tepe and demonstrates the antiquity of the mushroom-goddess fertility cult in ancient Turkey The female fertility goddess on the right with mushroom inspired head is from the Anatolian archaeological site of Alaca Hoyuk in north-central Turkey.


The Neolithic city of Catal Huyuk in ancient Anatolia was a thriving and completely planned and developed city by 6500 B.C. According to researcher William Eichman, the religion of Catal Huyuk utilized psychedelic drugs and points out that Catal Huyuk is located in an area of modern day Turkey where  Amanita muscaria mushrooms, are commonly found.

           According to William Eichman:

"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."


Neolithic artifacts found in the area of Cappadocia attest to an early occupation in the Anatolian region (modern day Turkey). The earliest appearance of the name of Cappadocia dates from the 6th century BCE. when Zoroastrian temple cults were apparently widespread (source Encyclopedia Britannica: Cappadocia ancient district, Turkey). 

The area of Cappadocia in east-central Anatolia (modern day Turkey) is known for its distinctive giant rock formations called “fairy chimneys,”  clustered in and around Monks Valley, Göreme National Park, Turkey. These mushroom-shaped rock formations were most likely created as a result of wind and eroding rains, just like the mushroom-shaped rock formations called Mushroom Stones worshiped in the Altai Mountains.

The Altai Mountains in Siberia border Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan, and are home to tens of thousands of petroglyphs that depict hunting scenes of an ancient people with mushroom-shaped heads who lived in the Altai Mountains over a period of 12000 years. The oldest petroglyphs at Kalbak Tash have been dated from 11,000 to 6,000 BC. 

The cult of the hallucinogenic mushroom has been traced back to ancient Siberia by mycologists, where the Amanita muscaria mushroom grows in abundance.

Above are prehistoric petroglyphs that only recently have been found that appear to portray mushroom-headed people, carved on large rocks and on cliffs, at Kalbak Tash in the Altai Mountains of Siberia.

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 ? 

Above are mushroomic looking petroglyphs discovered in Arizona and Utah. 





The Mushroom in the Greco-Roman World:

Among the ancient Greek and Romans Mitra, known as Mithra in the Greco-Roman world, was the Sun God, and mediator between heaven and earth. Worshipers of Mithra had a complex system of rituals and initiations known as the Mithraic mysteries, and initiates were required to swear an oath of secrecy and dedication.(.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism#cite_note-novaroma.org-58)

The worship of Mithra, however, never became popular in the Greek world, because Mithra had been the god of their enemies the Persians.
          
The myth of the birth of Mithra's (the Sun God) among the Romans will sound familiar to Christians. Mithra like Jesus was born of a Virgin in a cave, announced by prophets, with his miraculous birth heralded by the appearance of an exceptionally bright star on the winter solstice December 25th, "Christmas" a claim based on the Calendar of  Filocalus or Philocalian Calendar (c. 354 AD/CE) Mithra is believed to be the Mediator between God and man, he has twelve satellites, (twelve disciples of Jesus) and his symbol is the Lamb (Mithra: The Pagan Christ by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock)

In ancient Greece there were three main mysteries, the Dionysian, the Eleusinian, and the Orphic. The most popular of the mystery cults in ancient Greece was the Eleusinian Mysteries, initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone, known simply as the religion of the two goddesses, where a sacred beverage called kykeon was consumed that like the Soma beverage of the Indo-Aryans promised immortality.   
             
             Quoting Carl A. P. Ruck, author of Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess: Secrets of Eleusis

"At Eleusis itself, the religion toward which the ancient traveler made his way was shielded from profane observance by the sanctuary's fortification wall, and the essential dogma was imparted only to those who, under pain of death, had vowed to keep it secret and had undergone a lengthy preparation for their initiation" ( p.10)

On the left is a Scythian gold pendant representing the head of the goddess Demeter, 4th century B.C. (Kiev Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine). Note the encoded Fleur de lis and Tree of Life symbolism in Demeter's headdress. On the right is a wall carving of Persephone and Demeter adoring a sacred mushroom, from the Temple of Eleusis 450 B.C.
Greek vessels like the one above (4th century B.C.) now in the Archaeological Museum of Florence, appear to encoded mushrooms in scenes involving the use of mirrors.  Mirrors were used by shamans, priests, and rulers in their rituals to see into the past and future and communicate with ancestors and gods. I believe that in many, if not most cases, this divine communication was conducted under the influence of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Mirrors were also a common ritual object in Central Asia, and China, as well as in the Americas. Terracotta skyphos (deep drinking cup) lower left, mid-4th century BC Metropolitan Museum of Art.



            Quoting Robert Graves.. (Deyá, Majorca, Spain, 1960)

"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’.

Above is a Roman mosaic from Tunisia 3rd century A.D. of the triumphal march of Dionysus (or Bacchus, as he was known in Rome) in a chariot drawn by tigers through the lands of India. Note what I propose are cleverly encoded Amanita muscaria mushrooms in the robe of the Maenad playing the tambourine. The procession is presumed to be the followers of his mushroom cult.

It has been suggested that the woman worshipers who celebrated the Eleusinian, Orphic and other Mysteries associated with Dionysus, called maenads or "madwomen",  ripped apart human beings and devoured them.

In Robert Graves book "What Food the Centaurs Ate", Graves proposed that centaurs and their Maenad women drank a beverage to wash down a stronger drug, that Graves believes was the hallucinogenic Amanita muscaria mushroom, which induces hallucinations, senseless rioting, prophetic sight, erotic energy, and remarkable muscular strength. According to Graves:

"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?"


The centaurs who were half horse and half man lived in the mountains and forests and ate raw flesh. In the stained glass above both the Amanita muscaria (red cap) and Amanita pantherina (brown cap) mushrooms both hallucinogenic, are encoded in association with a centaur, in this stained glass window at Chartres Cathedral Eure-et-Loir, France 1217.

Above is a painted vessel in the Museo de Metales Preciosos Precolombinos, in La Paz, Bolivia (Colección Fritz Buck) Tiahuanaco culture, that clearly depict a light skinned Centaur, a mythological  half- horse, half- man, deity of Old World mythology. Note that the head of a feline is encoded in the scene The ruins of Tiahuanaco are located in western Bolivia, on the shores of Lake Titicaca where there is an Inca legend of white men with beards who built a great city on the shores of Lake Titicaca.

 





           More Mushrooms encoded in Christian Art:



            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."



Above, is a humeral veil used by the 17th century Dominican Cardinal, Thomas Howard, which encodes the Fleur de lis symbol below, circled in yellow, in association with an upended toad, a symbol of rebirth in both the Old World and New World.  In Christian thought the toad and toadstool both represent the dark and evil representations of hell.  Both the toad and toadstool were toxic agents of death, associated with the supernatural. The Cardinal's veil now belongs to the Dominican Priory in Oxford. (Photo from http://www.naturephoto-cz.com/muhara-picture_ba-3573.html)  



As mentioned earlier, John Allegro linguistically linked the SOMA (Greek=Body), the Manna (Sumerian = Mushroom), (of which there are two kinds), the names Jesus, James, and John, the Fruit of the tree of Knowledge, and the symbol of the cross, to the Amanita muscaria, by stating that all of these names and terms (and others) were synonyms and wordplay for the hidden identity of the mushroom.

Note that the image of the cross beneath the crown, once you add the white spots looks very much like an encoded Amanita muscaria mushroom.


Gordon Wasson was the first to call attention to the pervasiveness of the toad and its association with the term toadstool, with the intoxicating or poisonous Amanita muscaria mushrooms in Europe. Wasson noted the recurrence throughout the northern hemisphere of a toad deity associated with the entheogenic mushroom (Wasson 1980, p.184-185). 

 
Saint Eustace, also known as St Eustathius, was a Christian martyr who lived in the 2nd century AD. Saint Eustace is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church and is also commemorated in the Orthodox Church, on September 20. According to legend, prior to his conversion to Christianity, Eustace was a Roman general named Placidus, who served the emperor Trajan. While hunting a stag in Tivoli near Rome, Placidus saw a vision (note the mushrooms in the stained glass above)  of Jesus crucified, between the stag’s antlers. He was immediately converted, had himself and his family baptised, and changed his name to Eustace.  He is considered to be the patron saint of hunters.  He was second abbot of the Irish monastery of Luxeuil in France, and his feast is commemorated in the Celtic martyrologies on the 29th of March (Nicholasjv.blogspot.com). 


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." 


Amanita muscaria mushroom encoded above the doorway at the East entrance to the Basilica de San Vicente, in Avila, Spain. (Close up of Amanita muscaria mushroom from Ruck 2006, p. 26)    


Mushrooms appear encoded in this 14th century tapestry, known as the Apocalypse Tapestry, at the castle of Angers in France 1377- 1382. The Apocalypse Tapestry depicts the events in the Book of Revelations written by  Saint John the Divine of Patmos who is most likely portrayed standing on the left. Above  Saint John of Patmos, holding the scroll that is sealed with the seven seals is the Lamb of God the Lion of Judah (Jesus Christ).  On the right above the mushrooms and next to what must be the Tree of the Knowledge or Tree of Life, in the Garden of Eden,(note snake)  is the third horseman of the Apocalypse signifying famine.



Mushrooms and Ritual Decapitation:




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).

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.

The visual evidence I will present strongly supports my theory that visionary mushrooms may have been included in a ritual drink such as the beverages Soma, and Haoma, and that this drink was consumed prior to ritual decapitation. It must have been believed that this intoxicating beverage would transport the individual to the underworld in which underworld decapitation was the portal to rebirth in the underworld and divine resurrection.
Above center is a Greek vessel that depicts a decapitation scene at the foot of the Tree of Life. Note the mushrooms encoded by the artist in the upper left hand corner of this esoteric scene.



Above is a close up of a Paliya or Hero stone monument from the Chalukya period at Siddhesvara temple at Harveri in the Indian state of Karnataka. The Hero stone depicts an esoteric scene that one could argue encodes the divine mushroom, not a parasol, the divine mushroom esoterically being encoded in its association with decapitation and  trophy heads. A Paliya or Khambhi is a type of memorial stone monument found in western India that commemorates the death of a person. The custom of erecting these stone monuments dates back to around 1000 BCE-600 BCE. 


I have noted the pattern of artistically encoding the divine mushroom in scenes of ritual decapitation associated with trophy heads in both the art of the Old World and the Americas. In Mesoamerica the ritual of decapitation was believed necessary to save mankind from calamity and the cosmos from collapse. Since the greatest gift one could offer the gods was one’s own life, the purpose of human sacrifice was to preserve life rather than destroy it. I believe strongly that this concept of life from death via decapitation was mushroom-inspired. It's likely that certain mushrooms may have been considered essential to the ritual of decapitation, whether in real life or symbolically in the underworld. 


In the early Middle Ages Christians defined their religiousness through  their devotion to  holy relics.

Relic Caskets or Reliquary Caskets: contain objects or parts of the body (e.g. clothing, teeth, bones) left behind after the decay of the corpse, which are venerated for saints of the Roman Catholic and Eastern churches.


"... a jeweled wooded chest containing relics of the Virgin and Saints Peter, Paul, Andrew, George,  John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Martin, and Hippolytus, plus the foreskin and umbilical cord of Jesus" (Religious Traditions of the World, 1993 p.565).



Christian martyrs followed in the footsteps of Jesus and of the first apostles, and those who had died as martyrs were believed to ascend directly to heaven at death, unlike the ordinary believer, who had to wait for the return of Christ,. Martyrs became available to Christians on earth as heavenly spirits who were their protectors. Martyrs became the great saints of Christianity, their power after death, enshrined in their relics, helped sustain believers in their faith. Churches put relics under their altars, or encased them in boxes to be displayed behind the altar as a kind of foundation stone for the holiness of the church. King Charlemagne (Charles the Great) when he took the throne ordered that all altars without relics be destroyed, and that all oaths be sworn on a relic, and that no new saints be introduced (Religious Traditions of the World, 1993 p.504-505, 511). 


The Eucharist, or Holy sacrament (the Holy mushroom), of receiving bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ, was regarded as a relic of Christ, or the substance of Christ himself... It's  my belief that these Relic caskets above and below, depict more than just esoteric scenes of decapitation and divine resurrection. We are told that these Reliquary Caskets were created to contain the physical remains of saints. Many of these Relic Caskets portray Saint Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury who was killed, (although not decapitated) by four knights in Canterbury Cathedral, in London England, on December 29, 1170.  I found that a closer look at these reliquary caskets may actually reveal encoded Psilocybin mushrooms "Hidden in Plain Sight" as the sacrament of immortality. I also found that many of these reliquary caskets often depict a female in these scenes of ritual decapitation, after drinking a sacred beverage from a chalice that is always depicted in the scene like in the relic box below.  This chalice, like many other relics, was thereby thought to possess the magical powers of immortality.

It is likely that the concept of divine immortality via decapitation was inspired by the mushroom ritual itself. Gordon Wasson believed that the origin of ritual decapitation lay in the mushroom ritual itself  (Wasson 1968 pp.45-46).  Note the chalice of Holy Communion is depicted in every scene of ritual decapitation.

I have found that in Mesoamerica, rituals of self-sacrifice and decapitation, whether in real life or in the underworld, is a metaphor for divine immortality, that alludes to the sun's nightly death via decapitation in the underworld, and subsequent resurrection from the underworld by a pair of deities (twins) 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 God of Death.


Cephallophores: Are the saintly "head-carriers" who miraculously continued to speak or move despite being decapitated.
A common depiction of enlightenment is a glowing halo that resembles the mushroom.


A cephalophore (from the Greek for "head-carrier") is a saint who is generally depicted carrying his or her own head. In Christian art, this was usually meant to signify that the subject in question had been martyred by beheading. Handling the halo in this circumstance offers a unique challenge for the artist; some put the halo where the head used to be, others have the saint carrying the halo along with the head, and some split the difference (Wikipeda).

Perhaps the most famous cephalophore is Denis, patron saint of Paris, who, according to the Golden Legend, miraculously preached with his head in his hands while journeying the seven miles from Montmartre to his burying place.[3] Although St Denis is the best known of the saintly head-carriers, there were many others; the folklorist Émile Nourry counted no less than 134 examples of cephalophory in French hagiographic literature alone.[4] Given the frequency with which relics were stolen in medieval Europe, stories like this, in which a saint clearly indicates his or her chosen burial site, may have developed as a way of discouraging such acts of furta sacra.[5] (Wikipeda)
The image of three Saints rising from the dead encoded with Fleur de lis symbols.


Above is a scene of St. Adalbert, Bishop of Prague who was decapitated by pagan Prussians on April 23, 997, because he denounced the practices of tree-worship and human sacrifice, or as I discovered, mushroom worship (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint.php?n=685).

The scene of St. Adalbert being decapitated is portrayed on the bronze doors of Gniezno Cathedral in Gniezno, Poland (Wikipeda).  More on this door and its esoteric meaning and the mushrooms of immortality I found encoded on it.Adalbert of Prague (Latin: Adalbertus; c. 956 – 23 April 997), known in Czech by his birth name Vojtěch (Latin: Voitecus), was a Bohemian missionary and Christian saint. He was the Bishop of Prague and a missionary to the Hungarians, Poles, and Prussians, who was martyred in his efforts to convert the Baltic Prussians to Christianity (Wikipeda)
Mushrooms are cleverly encoded on the bronze doors of Gniezno Cathedral, Gniezno Poland.

The Gniezno Doors (Polish: Drzwi Gnieźnieńskie) are a pair of bronze doors at the entrance to Gniezno Cathedral in Gniezno, Poland, a Gothic building which the doors pre-date, having been carried over from an earlier building. They are decorated with eighteen scenes in bas-relief from the life of St. Adalbert, or Wojciech in Polish, whose remains had been bought for their weight in gold (shown in scene 16), and carried back to the cathedral and set up in a shrine there.[1][2] They were made in about 1175 during the reign of Mieszko III the Old and are one of the most significant works of Romanesque art in Poland.(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


The Prussians were mostly pagan at the time the doors were made, and remained pagans until the end of the Middle Ages. To illustrate the life of a single saint on such a monumental scale was most unusual at this period, and the doors are the only Romanesque ones in Europe with such a programme.[11] The designs perhaps followed a now lost cycle in an illuminated manuscript of the life of the saint, though even in this sort of works such an extended pictorial treatment of a saint's life was unusual. Two lives of Adalbert have survived, written around 1000, soon after his death, but no illuminated copies that throw light on the visual sources for the doors, though their texts help explain the scenes.[12] Whatever the origin of the designs, the compositions show the borrowings from more common subject compositions to which early medieval artists usually resorted when confronted with a novel subject; devising new compositions was not part of their training. Some scenes adapt subjects from the Life of Christ and other models. The left door shows his early life and life in Christian territory; the right one his missionary activities, apparently ignoring those outside modern Poland.[13] Their iconography "clearly shows they were made as a political statement".[14] (Wikipeda)

To my knowledge I am the first person to point out the sacred mushrooms encoded in the Guienzo Bronze doors in scenes associated with a sacred beverage, ritual decapitation and divine resurrection.
In fact I found all  the iconographic elements of the mushroom cult that emerges in the New World around 1000 BCE., on this bronze door from Gniezno Poland.
The Gniezno Doors esoterically depicts mushroom iconography that includes felines (also note door knob), a sacred beverage of immortality, ritual decapitation, a Tree of Life and the Fleur de lis symbol associated with a bird deity (in this case a dove representing the Holy Spirit), and last but not least, a trophy head associated with decapitation and divine resurrection. Like the Holy Spirit, Soma was the god who came down from heaven and manifested himself in the rituals, as medium between human beings and the gods.
Above are all close up scenes from pre-Conquest Codices, that depicts the Fleur de lis esoterically encoded with a feline, a sacred beverage, a bird deity that sits atop the World Tree, and a trophy head associated with ritual decapitation.

Above is a close up scene from the Codex Vaticanus B that depicts a sacrificial victim (painted blue the color of sacrifice) emerging from a sacrificial bundle from which body parts (relics) are kept. The figure is clearly holding an axe in one hand, encoded with the Fleur de lis symbol, and in his other hand are arguably three sacred mushrooms.

The story of creation and destruction, death and rebirth appears frequently in pre-Columbian art. When we look at pre-Columbian art and see images that celebrate death, we must keep in mind that death to all Mesoamericans was just a prelude to rebirth--a portal to divine immortality.
Above are scenes from the Florentine Codex (Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España), by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún, between A.D. 1547-1582. Both of the pages depict what I believe is the eating of sacred mushrooms before ritual decapitation. The page on the right depicts what appears to be the smiling faces of willing sacrificial victims, prior to their decapitation. Note that the sacrificial victim's capes have been turned around as bibs, maybe to be used to wrap up their severed heads.




In Mesoamerica, rituals of self-sacrifice and decapitation, whether in real life or in the underworld, are a metaphor that allude to the sun's nightly death and subsequent resurrection from the underworld by a pair of deities (twins) associated with the planet Venus as both the Morning Star and Evening star. Note that the Nahua artist appears to encode a Fleur de lis symbol in these esoteric scenes of decapitation.

The belief in a "World Tree" or "Tree of Life" that interconnects the upper world with the underworld, is a concept that has it's origin in the Old World. Throughout northern and central Asia, the Amanita muscaria mushrooms grow in a symbiotic relationship beneath giant pine and birch trees. This fact likely gave rise to belief in a Tree of Life, and in Asia it was believed to have been surmounted by a spectacular bird, capable of soaring to the heights, where the gods meet in conclave. (from Furst 1976, p.102) There are repeated references to the Food of Life, the Water of Life, the Lake of Milk that is hidden, ready to be tapped near the roots of the Tree of Life." "There where the tree grows near the Navel of the Earth, the Axis Mundi, the Cosmic Tree, the Pillar of the World." (from Furst 1976, p.103)

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.


The "Tree of Life", located in a paradise of immortality, or the "Garden of the Gods", is one of the most pervasive and enduring legends in the history of religion. In the Bible, in the Genesis account of the origins of humanity, there is a "tree of life" and a "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" found growing in the Garden of Eden, and that God is afraid of humans attaining the secret knowledge from that tree of eternal life. 

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) 



In the Book of Genesis, God told Adam that he was forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge. God told Adam that if he ate the fruit he would die.  Later, Eve who was deceived by a serpent, ate the fruit which she then took to Adam and he ate it, knowing he had disobeyed what God had explicitly told him. God expelled them from the garden, and through this act, sin entered the world. We don't know what kind of  fruit this tree had, that would cause Adam and Eve to die, (some Amanitas are poisonous) but the idea that the deadly fruit was an apple wasn't even connected to the Eden story until the Middle Ages, when artists began to depict Eve with an apple, and than later when the apple was introduced by John Milton in his epic poem  Paradise Lost.


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."


 

Above is a scene from the Book of Genesis depicted on the famous bronze doors of the 11th century Hildesheim Cathedral, in Hildesheim, Germany. The bronze door portrays God scolding Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit from the "Tree of Knowledge". Adam and Eve are portrayed standing under a mushroomic looking tree that mycologist Georgio Samorini (2001) has identified as two Psilocybe semilanceata mushrooms.
 

The Canturbury Psalter, 1147 AD, depicting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.




The Significance of Mythology:

Is it just coincidence, that in Mesoamerican folklore and mythology a bearded gnome or dwarf, also appears to be esoterically linked with the Amanita muscaria mushroom, just as it is throughout the Old World.  In Germanic mythology the dwarf is connected to the so-called "Mead of Inspiration" or "Dwarfs Mead". In northern Europe, the sacred "Mead of Inspiration" is described in similar ways to the Soma and Haoma plant, that it produces similar effects such as  divine visions and immortality.

Above left is a Late Classic Period (A.D. 600-900) Maya figurine that portrays a bearded gnome, or dwarf, wearing a hat that I would argue is an encoded 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 of Amanita muscaria mushroom copyrighted and owned by the artist, Esther van de Belt ).  Spanish chroniclers recorded that the Aztecs drank or ate certain mushrooms to induce hallucinatory trances and dreams during which they saw colored visions of jaguars, birds, snakes, and little bearded gnome-like creatures” (Quest for the Sacred Mushroom, Stephan de Borhegyi 1957).



According to Stephan de Borhegyi....

 

"The little red topped mushroom with white polka dots occur frequently in Hungarian folktales, usually in connection with little dwarfs who live under them" (letter from de Borhegyi to Wasson April 29th, 1953  Wasson archives, Harvard University)   


As mentioned earlier, in Siberia and in Mesoamerica going back to Olmec times, the sacred mushrooms evokes an imaginary world of little people more or less the size of mushrooms (Wasson 1980 p.52).


Above is a figurine from Nayarit, Western Mexico, dated 100 C.E-, depicting a little figure sitting under what appears to be a gigantic Amanita muscaria mushroom.  The figurine, which is 7.5 cm tall,  is now in the INAH Regional Museum in Guadalajara Mexico. (photo of Amanita muscaria mushroom by : © Michael Wood)




Mushroom Worship:

The mushroom ritual was likely timed astronomically to the movements of the planet Venus and possibly to the sacred period of inferior conjunction. At this time Venus sinks below the horizon and disappears into the "underworld" for eight days. It then rises from the underworld as the Morning Star.

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.

Late Formative (300 B.C. to A.D. 200 ) ceramic grouping of figurines from the Ixtlan del Rio style of Nayarit, Western Mexico, depicting four figures worshiping a giant mushroom as if it were the Tree of Life.



We know from early chronicles that in the Postclassic, Quetzalcoatl was revered both as a god and as a Toltec ruler. We are told by the Aztecs that the human culture hero Quetzalcoatl died in the year 1-Reed, one 52 year cycle from his birth. It is further recorded in 1570 in the Nahua manuscript known as the Annals of Cuauhtitllan, that he was apotheosized as Venus and transformed into the Morning star in the “land of writing,” which has been interpreted by scholars as being the Maya area  (Susan Milbrath 1999:177).


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. Motolinia recorded in chapter 24 of the Memoriales,  that the principal gods of Tlaxcala, known as Cholula and Huexotzinco, were known by three names and that Huexotzinco was also called Quetzalcoatl and Camaxtli. Motolinia called into question the legends that described Quetzalcoatl as opposing human sacrifice, and writes that the Holy city of Cholula, was where human sacrifices were performed in honor of Quetzalcoatl. Mesoamerican researcher David Carrasco has noted that a "Topiltzin-Morning Star cult" was celebrated in Cholula, suggesting that the fusion of the culture hero Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl and deity Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl and Morning Star developed (Diane Wirth 2002 p.13). 

In his Memoriales, (chapter 29), Motolinia describes the great ceremony to Quetzalcoatl which lasted eight days. Coincidentally, this is the same number of days that, according to legend, Quetzalcoatl was in the underworld creating humanity by bloodletting on the bones of his father and the bones of past generations. He then emerged from the underworld resurrected as the Morning star. Motolinía describes a star,  (Venus) he calls Lucifer, of which he writes:

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)



One of the most renowned Spanish chroniclers, Fray Diego Duran, wrote in his Histories of New Spain (1537—1588)  mentions that the word for sacrifice, nextlaoaliztli, in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, meant either "payment", or the act of payment. He writes that young children were taught that death by the obsidian knife was a most honorable way to die, as honorable as dying in battle or for a mother and child to die in childbirth. Those who were sacrificed by the obsidian knife were assured a place in Omeyocan, the paradise of the sun, the afterlife.

          Quoting Fray Diego Duran:

“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 painting from the Borgia Codex one of five codices, or divinatory manuals in the Borgia group (now in the Vatican), that predate the Spanish Conquest. Quetzalcoatl can be identified in this codex image by his trademark conical hat (note harpy eagle), that in this case is adorned with a Fleur de lis symbol. He wears the wind-jewel breast-plate, a trademark symbol of Quetzalcoatl, called ehecailacacozcatl, or "breastplate of the Wind God". 

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).


Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and god-king was a real person who stood for learning and the arts, who was a ruler of the Toltec empire. We know that succeeding rulers or High Priests who emulated the ways of Quetzalcoatl also used his name, and that there may have been more than one Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl. We know from ancient manuscripts that Quetzalcoatl was also worshiped as a creator god, who created mankind from drawing blood from his penis in the underworld. Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl the revered legendary hero, is known to have invented the calendar, and he was the god who delivered fire, mushrooms and corn to his children.

The Mesoamerican gods Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc merged together to represent the dualistic planet Venus, signifying divine Venus resurrection from the underworld. The name Quetzalcoatl has been interpreted to mean “Precious twin,” indicating that the Morning Star and Evening Star are one and the same (Caso, 1958:.24; Duran:325). It should be mentioned that both Tlaloc and Quetzalcoatl shared the same temple at Teotihuacan.

In my examination of pre-Columbian art I have discovered that the gods that appear to be linked to mushroom imagery are clearly linked to the planet Venus as both a Morning Star and Evening Star. It must have been a natural step for the ancients to associate this dualistic Venus God, Quetzalcoatl/Tlaloc, with both life in the upper world and death in the underworld. In his guise as the Evening Star, Quetzalcoatl/Tlaloc presided over the nightly death of the Sun God as he sank beneath the horizon into the underworld. (Sharer, 1994:120) Judging by an abundance of images painted on Maya funerary vases, I believe they thought he was then ritually decapitated and transformed into a baby jaguar or "were-jaguar." According to Aztec legend, he was resurrected each morning by Quetzalcoatl/Tlaloc as the Morning Star, and ascended into the heavens on the wings of a harpy eagle. The harpy eagle was thought of as the jaguar of the day sky being the greatest avian predator of Mesoamerica. The harpy eagle was most likely the personified form of the katun period (a period of almost 20 years) among the Classic Maya becoming a symbol of the morning sky associated with human sacrifice and divine resurrection in nourishing the new born sun (Miller and Taube, 1993:82-83).



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) 

             

According to Thompson the idealized Venus cycle always ended on the day 1-Ahau, (Milbrath 1999, p.170). The synodic revolution of Venus, from Morning Star to Morning Star is 584 days, and that these revolutions were grouped by the Nahuas and Maya in fives, (see Maya  Dresden Codex) so that 5 x 584 equaled 2,920 days, or exactly eight solar years (Nicholson, 1967 pp. 45-46).


The planet Venus is perhaps best known in Mesoamerican studies through its connection with the special kind of warfare called Venus-Tlaloc warfare. These wars or raids were timed to occur during aspects of the Venus astronomical cycle, primarily to capture prisoners from neighboring cities for ceremonial sacrifice (Schele & Freidel, 1990:130-31, 194)
.
Those who died in battle went directly to Tlaloc's paradise called Tlalocan, and were blessed with immortality. Also known as "The Master", the god Tlaloc shared the same temple as Quetzalcoatl (Twin temple) at the great city of Teotihuacan, and as a Rain and Lightning God, Tlaloc provided the sustenance needed for everlasting life, in return for the shedding of human blood on earth.

Above is a slab of serpentine (Musee de l' Homme) depicting Tlaloc wearing a mushroom-shaped ear plug, can be easily identified by his trademark goggled eyes, feline fangs, and handlebar mustache. Note the artist has encoded what I propose are mushroom inspired ear plugs. Those who died for Tlaloc were under his watchful eye, and went directly to his divine paradise of immortality called Tlalocan.
The drawing above is from a Classic period (200-650 CE.) Teotihuacan drinking vessel. It depicts the Teotihuacan god Tlaloc, or it may be a ruler or priest dressed in the guise of Tlaloc wearing an elaborate feathered headdress crowned with a Fleur de lis symbol. Tlaloc carries a bloody axe, and he is surrounded by footprints alluding to a very long journey through the underworld and beyond. The rulers of Teotihuacan established a vast empire that reached as far south as Kaminalyuju, a large Maya city in the highlands of Guatemala. Wherever the Teotihuacanos went they took their religion and their god of war, Tlaloc with them. Tlaloc, better known as a Rain and Lightning God, is also a Mushroom God who provides the sustenance for life and the after life if the shedding of human blood is reciprocated (Drawing from Kubler 1967, fig. 14).

The god Tlaloc is depicted above in the pre-Conquest Codex Borgia, one of the few remaining pre-Conquest codices, depicts Tlaloc in association with a symbol I believe is a New World version of the Fleur de lis. Tlaloc once again is recognizable by his trademark goggled eyes, and feline fangs. Although the Spanish sources never refer to Tlaloc as a mushroom god, I believe that his goggled eyes reflect a mushroom's vision of paradise called Tlalocan, a place of endless spring. Those who died and went to Tlalocan were blessed with immortality.


In 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 author, while no expert on Easter Island archaeology, has been struck by the similarity of some Easter Island petroglyphs, as well as rituals such as monument building, and monument mutilation, with those of the ancient Olmec culture that 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 quincunx configuration above also appears on Easter Island. In Mesoamerica this design symbolize the four cardinal directions and its central entrance to the underworld. The Olmec and Maya believed that it was through this portal that souls passed through on their journey to deification, rebirth and resurrection. As mentioned eariler the Maya called this sacred center, mixik' balamil,  meaning "the navel of the world".  The Rapa Nui of Easter Island also referred to their Island as the  "the navel of the world".  
The Olmec were jaguar above known as Monument F, is from 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.

In 1886, William Thomson a U.S. Naval officer and Easter Island's first scientific researcher visited Easter Island. According to Heyerdahl, Thompson found many representations of catlike figures symbolizing their supreme god, a Sun God they called Make-Make. He noted that this was remarkable because there were no members of the cat family on Easter Island or anywhere else in Polynesia.
Cave artifacts discovered by Easter Island archaeologist Thor Heyerdahl and his team include numerous stone trophy heads, and figurines that resemble were-jaguars. Carbon dating of many of these Easter Island artifacts suggests an occupation of Easter Island around A.D. 380 A.D, about a thousand years earlier than scientists previously speculated. According to Heyerdahl the legends of these people claim that a feline god named named Make-Make was a guardian spirit of sacred family caves. Heyerdahl's work, although, initially discounted, gained some support after he presented his studies at the Tenth Pacific Science Congress in Honolulu in 1961. Heyerdahl (1958) in his book Aku-Aku: The Secret of Easter Island, hypothesized transatlantic contact between Egypt and Central America.
The drawing above on the left is by Lorenzo Dominguez (1901-1963) of a petroglyph from Easter Island. When Dominguez asked what the symbol meant, the Easter Islanders replied that it represented "Make Make," their creator god. It may be that this symbol found on Easter Island also symbolize the planet Venus as it does among the ancient Maya in Mesoamerica (Venus glyph from Michael D. Coe, 2001, "Reading the Maya Glyphs" p.163)

The symbol above on the right has been identified by archaeologists as a Maya Venus glyphs (Coe, 2001 p.163 Reading the Maya Glyphs) (Morley/Sharer, 1983, p.479) (Gates, 1978, p.149). This glyph, which is linked to the color green (Yax), symbolizes the planet Venus as the divine resurrection star. The ancient Maya associated the color green with the quetzal bird who sits atop the World Tree. The avatar of the serpent god Quetzal-coatl, is the quetzal bird, and the color green, yax, designates the central portal, the Axis Mundi, located at the center of the universe, a divine portal of up and down (Venus), where the Sun God and deified kings enter and resurrect from the underworld.


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.

Yaoliang Song, a professor at the East China Normal University in Shanghai, estimated the petroglyph from China on the left to have been created some 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. (source “Prehistoric Human-Face Petroglyphs of the North Pacific Region,” published by the Smithsonian Institution in 1998)
Photo and drawing above from the GALLERY OF NORTHWEST PETROGLYPHS: SHAMANIC ART OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: © 2010 Daniel Leen.
Venus, the brightest star (actually a planet) in the sky, was called "Ek" by the ancient Maya, and was visible to early sky watchers even, at times, during the day. What must have seemed truly fascinating about Venus is that it appears as both a Morning Star and an Evening Star. As the Morning Star, rising before dawn, it may have seemed to "resurrect" the Sun from its nightly sojourn through the underworld. At night, as the Evening Star, it appears after the Sun's daily "death" and descent into the underworld. For this reason it became closely associated with death and resurrection in the underworld. Venus also appears to die and rise again from the underworld with great regularity. Every eight years it can be predicted that Venus will return to the "same position in the sky, at the same time of year in the same phase every eight years" (Milbrath 1999:51). 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.

Mentioned earlier, Sri. A. Kalyanaraman, an Indian author who has studied the Vedas, argues in his book Aryatarangini: Saga of the Indo-Aryans, that the Aryans of ancient India were a sun- worshipping sea-people, who sailed around the world, to the New World as well as to many parts of the Old. 

When Captain James Cook first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands in 1778 he noted that the headdresses worn by the elite appeared to represent mushrooms. Hawaiian Mahiole mushroom helmets were worn by warriors (mushroom warfare?) and chiefs (Peter Buck, 1957, Arts and Crafts of Hawaii, p. 231). Mark A. Hoffman (2002) in his article Mushroom Myth and Imagery in Hawai'i: Evidence for an Indigenous Cult, argued that the mushroom looking helmets were indeed entheogenic. According to Hoffman, the word huna literally means secret, the name of a Hawaiian religion whose practitioners and functionaries are called kahunas. Hoffman also mentions that in Hawaiian mythology "the wind God [storm god] Makai-ke-oe, also endowed with the power of plant growth, took form as an intoxicating tree whose branch (mana in Hawaiian) was a potent but dangerous love potion, inducing visions and voices (Beckworth 1940)."

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.”


Pre-Columbian ceramic Moche portrait vessels, from Peru depicting priests or shamans, wearing what are arguably headdresses encoded with  Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The Moche culture reigned on the north coast of Peru during the years 100-600 A.D.

 Gold figurines depicting shamans encoded with sacred mushrooms, Quimbaya culture Colombia, South America. The Quimbaya civilization reached their zenith during the 4th to 7th century CE.
Pre-Conquest artifacts from Colombia, South America. The middle artifact above with tiny figurines attached clearly represents an Old World Fleur de lis symbol, "Hidden In Plain Sight"  in the New World.
Gold mushroom-headed figures from Colombia, South America Quimbaya culture. Note that the larger central gold Quimbaya figure above wears a unique headdress encoded with a symbol (Venus?) similar to the symbol depicted below in the Paracas textile just below the chin of the shamanic figure holding a severed head, and just above the proposed Amanita muscaria mushroom. 
Above is a woven textile from Peru, South America, Paracas culture 750 B.C. to A.D. 100. The textile incorporates what appears to be mushroom-Venus iconography associated with a bodyless human head. What might appear as an axe in his hand and a trophy head in the other, is a clever metaphor denoting mushrooms + decapitation = Venus resurrection. The axe in this case is purposely shaped to look like an Amanita muscaria mushroom.  I believe that the design below the figure's chin symbolizes the Eveningstar aspect of the planet Venus. This symbol is similar in design to Venus symbols from Mesoamerica and represents an aspect of Venus associated with the ritual of underworld decapitation.

The painted textile above is from the Chimu culture of Peru, 1000-1400 C.E.  The textile depicts a figure standing above what I would argue is a sacred  mushroom. The figure is accompanied by two jaguars with spots. Gordon Wasson (1968, 1971), was the first to connect the motif of 'spots' with the Amanita muscaria mushroom cult. The jaguar god, or were-jaguar motif in Andean art, suggests a religious concept similar to those of the ancient Olmecs and Maya. The two spotted jaguars and vultures may symbolize the dualistic nature of the planet Venus as the Evening Star, emulating the Sun God in his daily journey into the underworld. The esoteric association of mushrooms and jaguar transformation was earlier noted by ethno-archaeologist Peter Furst (1976:78, 80).  

Above is a Moche portrait vessel from Peru, portrayed wearing a headdress encoded with what I propose are Amanita muscaria mushrooms. The Moche culture reigned on the north coast of Peru during the years 100-600 A.D. (Photograph courtesy of Todd Braum)
Above and below are mushroom inspired gold ornaments, Inca culture of Peru, South America. Both ornaments bear the metaphorical shape of a ritual axe, alluding to underworld ritual decapitation. The mushroom inspired ornament below is also encoded with imagery reminiscent of the spotted caps of the Amanita muscaria mushroom.

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)


There is also plenty of evidence of a trophy head cult in the archaeological record of South America. According to Andean researcher Christina Conlee (Texas State University) large numbers of decapitated heads or so-called trophy heads have been found in archaeological excavations in the area of Peru. At the archaeological site of Tihaunaco not far from Lake Titicaca, several dozen decapitated bodies were found in a burial arranged in a geometric layout, buried alongside drinking vessels suggesting the act of ritual (Soma) sacrifice. Not far fom the ancient ruins of Tihaunaco in Bolivia, are the ancient Inca ruins of Chucuito in Peru, also not far from Lake Titicaca where archaeologists have discovered a graveyard  filled with mushroom-shaped monuments that local tourist guides call Phallic stones.
In a letter to Stephan de Borhegyi, archaeologists Marion and Harry Tschopik, described the stone monuments above at the Inca ruins of Chucuito in Peru, on the shore of Lake Titicaca as mushroom stones, and not as phallic stones (Letter from Gordon Ekholm to Stephan de Borhegyi, March 12, 1953, Borhegyi Archives, MPM).

             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).


Without doubt early man noticed the likeness of certain mushrooms to a human penis. This association could have led them to draw metaphors with fertility and birth. According to Nahua mythology, it was the god-king Quetzalcoatl who created mankind, and he did so from the blood he drew from his penis in the underworld. There are numerous historical reports that link mushroom consumption to such self-sacrificial religious activities as blood letting and penis perforation. In Mesoamerica, sacred mushrooms were most likely consumed by priests before the holy act of penis perforation. In this ritual blood was drawn from the penis and sprinkled upon the exhumed bones or cremated ashes of deceased ancestors, thus emulating in myth the way of Quetzalcoatl.  It was through blood sacrifice that Mesoamerican rulers and priests nurtured the gods who had been their ancestors. This bloodletting mushroom ritual was I believe, the medium, to establish direct communication between Earth and Heaven (sky) in order to unite man with god. Quetzalcoatl's essence in the world as a culture hero was to establish this communication. Quetzalcoatl taught that mankind must make blood sacrifices to transcend this world in order to achieve immortality. 

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).  

 

 

                                                                                      Trophy head cult in ancient India:

There is plenty of evidence in India of human sacrifice, decapitation, and self decapitation, and the offering of trophy 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.


Diffusionism: is a term often used to describe the origins of cultural characteristics and their spread from one society to another.


Diffusionist Gordon Ekholm postulated a wave of influence during the Late Classic period (600-900 CE.) and Postclassic (1200-1400 CE.) periods in Mesoamerica, from the Hindu-Buddhist civilizations of India and Southeast Asia.


In Mesoamerican mythology the World Tree, with its roots in the underworld and its branches in the heavens, represents the axis mundi or center of the world.  Its worth mentioning once again, that there is a Nahua (Aztec/Toltec) legend in ancient Mexico of a paradise of nine heavens that was dedicated to their god Quetzalcoatl, called Tamoanchan where there was a sacred tree that marked the place where the gods were born and where sacred mushrooms and all life derived (Hugh Thomas 1993, p.474).

The carved relief panels above and below are of a series of six carvings in the vertical side walls of the South Ball Court at El Tajin, in Veracruz, Mexico. The carved panel at the top depicts a ruler or underworld god, with were-jaguar fangs, in the sacred act of drawing blood from his penis. Note that the figure in the water below receiving the blood offering, wears a fish headdress, which may be a symbolic reference to a mythological ancestor from a previous world age, who survived a world ending flood by being changed into a fish. Most importantly, note what I would argue are tiny mushrooms encoded in both panels on the limbs of a trees (drawings from M.E. Kampen "Classic Veracruz Grotesques and Sacrifical Iconography")


I believe that sacred mushrooms were consumed in rituals of human sacrifice and self sacrifice. Self sacrifice by means decapitation and of ritual bloodletting was likely the most important ritual among the ancient Maya. The act of bloodletting was so sacred in fact that according to Michael D. Coe, today's unofficial  "Dean of Maya studies", that the perforator itself was worshiped as a god (from Olmec Bloodletting: An Iconographic Study 1991).  

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 Churning of the Milk's Ocean,  in Ancient Mexico:

In both Vedic-Hindu, and Buddhist-Jain mythology there is captivating tale of a creation myth called "The Churning of the Milk Ocean", in which the precious elixir of immortality, known as Amrita was lost in the churning of the cosmic sea.  I found the same creation story encoded at the archaeological site of El Tajin, in Veracruz Mexico, and at the Maya ruins of Tulum, located on the East Coast of Yucatan Mexico, on the sea cliffs overlooking the Caribbean. We know that Soma was the focal point of Vedic religion, and that drinking Soma produces immortality, and that the gods drank Soma to make them immortal". 

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. 


In the drawing above by Daniela Epstein-Koontz of the Tajin ballcourt panel, note that a dual headed serpent lurks below at the bottom of the scene, emerging from the ocean's depth. The turtle at the bottom of the scene, may indeed represents the avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu who acts as the central pivot point, below the churning mechanism which is composed of an intertwined serpent being pulled at both ends by sky deities (four cardinal directions) who create the new born Sun (Vishnu ?). Also note that the tail of the serpent ends directly above the symbol of the new born Sun, just above the turtle in a three-lobed stylized design of the Fleur-de-lis symbol, esoterically alluding I believe to the trinity of creator gods. The three arrows penetrating the Sun in the scene alludes to the triad and the Sun's life giving rays of light. 

If this ballcourt scene above does represent "The Churning of the Milk's Ocean" and I feel certain that it does, than the two deities behind the central characters hold containers or ritual buckets in their hands filled with the elixir of immortality, known as Amrita (the Soma beverage).

For documentation of motif of ritual bucket (bag?) held by figures in hieratic scenes in Mesoamerica see Drucker, Hiezer, & Squier, 1955: 198. For documentation of motif of ritual bucket (bag?) held by figures in hieratic scenes in the Old World see H. Frankfort, 1955: pl.83.  


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). 


"Kelley’s (1970) basic thesis are as follows: (1) The animal names of the Mesoamerican calendars are similar in nature, in sequence and absolute position to those of Eurasian animal cycles. (2) The sequence Twin-Death-Deer-Rabbit-Water and the opposition Rain in Middle America reflects the Hindu deity sequence. (3) The Mesoamerican days (and World Ages) of Wind, Fire, Earthquake, and Rain correspond to the complex Eurasian concepts of the World Ages and the Four Elements. (4) The use of an era in Mesoamerica, the association of colors with World Ages and the deities of the lunar mansions point directly to India" (From,  REVIEW ARTICLE The Evolution and Diffusion of Writing The Alphabet and the Ancient Calendar Signs. HUGH A. MORAN and DAVID H. KELLEY. 1969 p.301). 



                       Quoting the late Maya archaeologist and epigrapher David H. Kelley:

"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." 


The prevailing anthropological view of ancient New World history is that its indigenous peoples developed their own complex cultures independent of outside influence or inspiration.  Any suggestions to the contrary have been generally dismissed as either fanciful, racist, or demeaning. The peoples of the New World, scholars have argued,  were fully capable of developing their own civilizations as sophisticated as any found in Asia or the West. Today trans-oceanic contact between the hemispheres is still considered highly unlikely 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 as many as 50,000 years ago. After viewing the visual evidence presented below, readers of this study may wish to challenge this outmoded view of New World history with a more open-minded acknowledgement of the capability of ancient peoples to explore their environment and disperse their intellectual heritage to its far corners.  

This view was strongly challenged by a number of anthropologists around the middle of the twentieth century. Among them were Robert Heine-Geldern, an Austrian pioneer in the field of Southeast Asian studies, and Mesoamerican archaeologist Gordon Ekholm. They argued that numerous Old World-New World contacts may have occurred, the majority of them by boat. Ekholm proposed multiple transpacific contacts between the Old and New Worlds beginning as early as 3000 B.C., While Heine Geldern was fascinated by, and wrote about, the significant parallels he found in the symbolic arts of Southern Asia and Middle America, Ekholm made an investigation of possible Old World/New World connections a major focus of his career. Heine-Geldern speculated that the Chinese, during the Chou and Han dynasties, undertook planned voyages to and from the western hemisphere as early as 700 B.C.E. At the time, an abundance of convincing evidence appeared in print supplied by Ekholm and other anthropologists as well as by scholars from different disciplines (Riley, et al, 1971). In addition to providing examples of probable animal, plant, and technological exchange between the continents, they argued that most American prehistorians, being landlubbers, underestimated the ability of ancient seamen to build a craft capable of navigating the oceans. These well-reasoned and documented arguments notwithstanding, acceptance by American anthropologists of the possibility of significant trans-oceanic contacts between the Americas prior to 1492 CE. was not forthcoming. Even with the recent awareness that early humans used boats to explore their world as early as 50,000 years ago, when they reached the shores of Australia, this denial has remained as intractably lodged in the minds of New World archaeologists as the possibility of a Worldwide mushroom-based religion.


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. Were the great pre-Columbian civilization of the the Americas the result of independent evolution ? Was there contact between the Old World and the New World, before the arrival of Columbus ?

Evidence of pre-Columbian contact? The Makara (Sanskrit; Javanese: Makårå) often called "the water monster vehicle", or "sea dragon", is a Hindu-Buddhist mythological sea creature, often depicted with its trunk tilted up and its mouth spread wide open, and at times from which a deity emerges. The Makara is a common motif in Hindu and Buddhist iconography, generally portrayed guarding the entrance of many ancient temples in Indonesia. The drawing above the Makaras, is by the late Tatiana Proskouriakoff, taken from the palace at the ancient Maya ruins of Sayil, in Yucatan Mexico (1946: p.53).
In Hindu mythology the Makara is considered a guardian of gateways and portals, generally depicted as a half land creature, and half sea creature, the front half of its body resembling a crocodile or elephant, his rear end having an aquatic tail. The Makara is the vehicle (Sanskrit: ‘vāhana’) of the Hindu water god Varuṇa who in Vedic times was also the God of the Sea. Note the similarity above right, of the Maya Rain God Chaac, riding on the back of a long-nosed aquatic creature?


The Churning of the Milk's Ocean, in the New World cont...

The fortified Maya ruins of Tulum, located on the East Coast of Yucatan Mexico, on the sea cliffs overlooking the Caribbean  was settled sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries, and appears to have been occupied at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Tulum is home to the Temple of the Frescoes, known as Structure 16,   

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)

Mural inside the Maya Temple of the Frescoes, known as Structure 16. The mural is from the Late Post Classic Maya ruins of Tulum, in Quintana Roo, Mexico. A close up view of the mural depicts what I would argue are encoded Amanita muscaria mushrooms. (Photograph of Tulum mural taken by Fadrique R. Diego)
Mushrooms encoded in ancient Maya murals, Tulum Temple of the Frescoes, Structure 16.

Mushrooms encoded in ancient Maya murals, Tulum Temple of the Frescoes, Structure 16.
Above on the left is page 19, from the Madrid Codex, also known as the Maya Tro-Cortesianus Codex that depicts what I believe are also elements of the same Hindu inspired myth The Churning of the Milk Ocean. Note that the deity above the turtle is painted blue, just like the Hindu god Vishnu is in Hindu art, and that the turtle below once again acts as the pivot point for the churning stick. The serpent's intertwined body is the mechanism by which the gods churn the milk's ocean. In the scene above the artist depicts the importance and creative forces of self sacrifice by substituting a rope for the serpents long body, in a blood letting ritual, in which the rope is being pulled through the penises of the deities above. The glyphs in the scene marked with the X-symbol, may represent the Maya word jal, a verb meaning to create ( see Reading the Maya Glyphs: 2001 p.163). The Vedic god who may have been the inspiration or prototype for the ancient Maya rain god Chac, depicted in the scene above on the upper right with an elephant, or makara inspired nose, was the Vedic rain god Indra, a warrior god who according to the Vedas assumed many of the attributes of the god Soma. Note that the page on the right also from the Madrid Codex clearly depicts not just mushrooms, but Amanita muscaria mushrooms, "Hidden in Plain Sight".


Depicted 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.

At 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. 

     

Moving 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 resurrection star.     

                                        

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.    




Maize in Ancient India before Columbus:


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

Numerous sculptures dated 12-13th century A.D. in Hindu and Jain Temples depict maize, or what appears to me to be corn cobs. 


In the monumental book titled, "Man across the Sea" Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, published in 1971 from a symposium held in May of 1968, during the national meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Herbert G. Baker (page 436), one of the many contributing authors writes that carbonized maize grains and their impressions upon potsherds were found in (Kashmir), India to be pre-Columbian (see Vishnu-Mittre, 1966).  

 

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)




 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.

INDIAN COINS: Magadha Janapada silver coin from India,(c.600-500 BC) covered with astronomical symbols, encoding what I would argue are mushrooms in profile, in association with the Tree of Life.
INDIAN COINS: Magadha Janapada silver coin from India (c.600-500 BC) depicting mushroom-like symbols in association with a Tree of Life.    
INDIAN COINS: Magadha Janapada silver coin from India (c.600-500 BC) depicting mushroom-like symbols in association with a Tree of Life (red arrow). The symbol above on the upper left (blue arrow) is referred to in Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy as the quincunx, a symbol or glyph that alludes to the five synodic cycles of Venus as well as to the four cardinal directions and the sacred center.





Fleur de lis encoded in Old World coins ?

13th and 14th century..Buddhist Mameluks coins.....Budist kültürde Lotus, Hıristiyan kültüründe Zambak ve Türk kültüründe Gonca-Rumi motifi adı verilen Hayat Çiçeği İkonografisi..(source Nuray Bilgili 2015)

           Quoting the late Dr. Robert Heine Geldern (1960: 278-279)

"...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".




As mentioned earlier, Diffusionist Gordon Ekholm postulated a second wave of influence during the Late Classic period (600-900 CE.) and Postclassic (1200-1400 CE.) periods in Mesoamerica, from the Hindu-Buddhist civilizations of India and Southeast Asia. 

Gordon Ekholm noted a striking resemblances between the cylindrical tripod vases of Teotihuacan and Chinese vessels of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 220).   

One argument in support of the isolationist viewpoint against an Old World origin for New World pottery is that nowhere or at anytime, did ancient Americans make use of the potter's wheel, that this device was unknown in the Americas before Columbus.
Above on the right is one of many creamic spiked incensarios from Highland Guatemala. Archaeologists have theorized that these spiked incense burners were inspired by the Tree of Life. The ancient Maya venerated the Ceiba tree as their so-called World Tree, or Tree of Life. According to Maya archaeologist Stephan de Borhegyi, in a letter to Gordon Wasson...(April 8th,1954 Wasson archives) "the ceiba tree when young definitely has short spikes and I think that the spiked incensarios in the Maya area are related in concept to the spiked ceiba tree, which was the sacred tree of the Maya". Above on the left is an archaic bronze food vessel, Late Shang / Early Western Zhou Dynasty, 10th Century B.C.E

Miniature mushroom stone from Guatemala, or board game piece from India?

Archaeologists have noted the almost exact similarity of an ancient board game played by the Aztecs called Patolli, with an ancient board game from India, called Pachisi. Indian parchesi was known as far west as Syria. A similar dice game was shared between Sumer and the Indus Valley as early as the Early Bronze Age (John L. Sorenson  1971, p.228) (Piggott, 1950)

For documentation of Patolli-Parchisi game in Mesoamerica and the Old World see Z. Nuttall, 1961,  S. Culin, 1898: 854 ff; S. Piggott, 1950: 190-191) (photo from February 16, 2011, From, Games in Ancient Indus' Mohenjo-daro: (Image from http://goddesschess.blogspot.com/2011/02/games-in-ancient-indus-mohenjo-daro.htm.) 
 
Archaeologist Gordon Ekholm argued that because of the games layout and design, the game could never have been developed independently on opposite sides of the worlds (see Man across the Sea" Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, published in 1971)

According to John L. Sorenson author of,  A Complex of Ritual and Ideology Shared by Mesoamerica and the Ancient Near East,  2009: 

"English anthropologist Edward Tylor (1878a; 1878b) pointed out numerous details in common in the setup and rules governing these games in Mexico and India. He concluded that since we do not know from historical sources how the similarities might have been transmitted from one area to the other, “all we can argue is that communication of some sort there was.” He found it impossible to accept that human minds had twice invented the same set of arbitrary notions. The only satisfying explanation for parallels of such specificity as pachisi and patolli display is that the two occurrences were indeed historically related through some contact that has not so far been identified. Anthropologist Robert Lowie observed about this case that “the concatenation of details puts the parallels far outside any probability [of their having originated independently]”. 


Coincidence or evidence of pre-Columbian contact ? Above is a double-headed jaguar throne from the ancient Maya city of Uxmal (C.E. 800-1000). in Yucatan Mexico, that resembles a 1st century CE. double-headed lion throne from the Mathura region, Uttar Pradesh, India.         


Many clay figurines like the one on the right, found at the Olmec influenced site of Tlatilco, in the Valley of Mexico, Early-Middle Preclassic period 1300-800 B.C.E. depict double-headed deities.


Once again the famous bronze statue on the left, of a young women sporting a club-like hand, is from Harappa, early Indus civilization and thought to be about 4,500 years old. The standing female figurine on the right, represents a female ballplayer from ancient Mexico wearing a protective helmet, and club-like glove and wears what may be  a mushroom-inspired ballgame protective cup and belt. (For more on "knuckle dusters" or  ballgame hand stones and ballgame gloves see de Borhegyi, 1961: 129-140. (photograph of Xochipala female ballplayer from Whittington, 2001). 


The female ballplayer figurine above on the right, comes from the archaeological site of Xochipala, Mexico, Tlatilco culture in the western state of Guerrero, and dates to 1200-900 B.C.E  It is now in the  Princeton University Art Museum. Many of the clay figurines found at the Olmec influenced sites of Xochipala, Tlatilco, and Tlapacoya, in the Valley of Mexico depict ballplayers holding bats or paddles, or so-called "knuckle dusters" which are over sized hand gloves like the one depicted above on the female Xochipala ballplayer (de Borhegyi S.F. 1980, p.24).



The seven-headed serpent motif is commonly encoded in both pre-Columbian art, and in ancient Hindu, Buddhist, Jainism and Sikhism art. In fact the Buddha is often portrayed being shadowed by a seven headed serpent or “Naga”. Above on the left is a carved stela from Veracruz Mexico, Classic Veracruz Culture (site of Aparicio, 400-700 CE.), in which we see a decapitated ball-player in full gear, with seven snakes emerging from his neck. A similar scene of snakes emerging from a decapitated ballplayer also appears on the wall of the Great Ball court at the Maya site of Chichen Itza, in Yucatan Mexico. On the far right is a drawing of Stela 13, from the Olmec influenced Maya site of Seibal (also spelled Ceibal) in the jungles of Guatemala, that depicts the esoteric motif of seven snakes. 




Elephants in Mesoamerica ? 


While there clearly have been no elephants in the Americas since the extinction of the mastodon and wooly mammoth thousands of years ago, numerous images resembling elephants have been noted in Mesoamerican art over the years.  

Several glyphs in William Gates, Dictionary of Maya Glyphs (1978: 165,165) are widely believed to represent Indian elephants. They are depicted in row 421

Jade elephant pendent, Olmec culture, 1200-400 B.C.E.

Above is a drawing by Alfred P. Maudslay - archaeological site of Quirigua, Guatemala 19th c.(Image of elephants in Maya sculpture, http://ldsarchaeology.blogspot.com/)



            Quoting Ethno-archaeologist Dr. Robert Heine Geldern:

"The influences of the Hindu-Buddhist culture of southeast Asia in Mexico and particularly, among the Maya, are incredibly strong, and they have already disturbed some Americanists who don't like to see them but cannot deny them....Ships that could cross the Indian Ocean were able to cross the Pacific too. Moreover, these ships were really larger and probably more sea-worthy than those of Columbus and Magellan" (from "Man across the Sea" Problems of Pre-Columbian Contacts, published in 1971, Third Printing 1976)



In Iranian and Vedic-Hindu mythology, both the Haoma and Soma plant are connected in myth with the "World Tree".  Like the god plant Soma of the ancient Indo-Aryans the god myths of Mesoamerica contain a sacramental food or beverage associated with sacrifice and immortality. The Aryans, who introduced their Soma religion into the Indus Valley civilization around 1500 B.C.E, believed that sacrifices were necessary to keep the world in balance. This balance was maintained through the acts of ritual sacrifice and the offering of Soma (Sanskrit) Haoma (Avestan), the hallucinogenic drink of the Indo-Aryans and ancient Persians of Iran. 


Above are ceramic figurines that I would argue are all holding a divine mushroom, and not an umbrella or parasol; all three figurines are from Western Mexico, and date around 300 BCE–250 CE. (photo on the left, is from American Friends of the Israel Museum) (Photograph in the middle is from the Walter Art Museum) (Photograph on the far right courtesy of Dr. Gaston Guzman) 


Above is a drawing of a Preclassic stela from the archaeological site of Izapa, located on the Pacific coast, near the border of Guatemala, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Archaeologists have theorized that Izapa may have been settled as early as 1500 B.C. making Izapa as old as the Olmec sites of La Venta and San Lorenzo. Maya researcher Vincent Malmstrom proposes that the origin of Mesoamerica's Ritual 260 day calendar is from Izapa, and that he places the calendar's origin at 1359 B.C. (Susan Milbrath 1999 p.64).

The Izapa stela above clearly depicts a bearded man in a boat, maybe even a foreigner from the Old World, who voyaged to the New World bringing with him the symbol of the cross, the Fleur de lis and a trinity of gods. Note that the boat is shaped or encoded like the Maya Ik glyph, (looks like a capital T) a symbol in Mesoamerica of the Wind God, similar in shape to the Old World tau cross. 

I discovered that the Ik glyph in Mesoamerican iconography, is intimately connected with the Fleur-de-lis symbol, linked to the resurrected Sun God and to the Sun Gods creator and decapitator, the planet Venus as both a Morning Star and Evening Star. The Ik glyph is also tied to the births of the Maya god GI, (Chaac the long nose Maya god ?) of the Palenque Triad, and the Mesoamerican god-king Quetzalcoatl as 9-Wind.

According to the late Dr. Herbert J. Spinden, one of the great scholars of Mesoamerican art and archaeology, and curator of Mexican archaeology and ethnology at the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, and author of, A Study of Maya Art, 1975, writes...

" 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).

Referring back to the Izapa stela, see drawing above, we see a long-nosed or long-lipped deity depicted in the sea below, crowned with an emblem similar in shape and meaning (Lord) to the Fleur de lis, along with an X-symbol encoded in his head, a common attribute of the Maya god Chaac. Chaac is a Maya deity derived from a serpent, and is the most frequently represented god in the four pre-Hispanic Maya codices, and in the Colonial texts Chaac is referred to as the god of
cornfields, as a manifestation of water, in the form of rain, lakes, rivers, and the sea. In Mesoamerica, this X-symbol is clearly linked to the underworld and the dualistic nature of the planet Venus as a death and resurrection star. Many of the monuments at Izapa such as Stela 25, portray winged deities and a religious theme of a World Tree or Tree of Life.  

Izapa's cultural sphere called Izapan, includes the archaeological sites of Kaminaljuyu, El Baul, Takalik Abaj, and Chiapa de Corzo. It was in the region near the border of Mexico and Guatemala, that the first calendrical inscriptions are found in the Maya area. At the Olmec influenced site of Takalik Abaj, where Stela 2 portrays a bearded man surrounded by dragon masks and scrolls and has a date but unfortunately the stela is missing the glyph that identifies the period and cycle of the Long Count. The monument credited with the earliest Long Count date in the Maya area is from the archaeological site of El Baul in Guatemala, a site excavated in the 60's by my father Stephan de Borhegyi and fellow archaeologist Lee A. Parsons. The monument at El Baul known as Stela 1, has a Long Count date of 7.19.15.7.12, and using the GMT correlation, would read A.D. 36 in our present day calendar. Other early sites being excavated in the area dating back to 1000 BCE. are La Blanca and Paso de la Amada which may have influenced Izapa's culture. 

This area near the border of Mexico and Guatemala, is most likely where the mushroom cult got it's start, based on the numerous mushroom stones found in this area. 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 a cache offering of nine miniature mushroom stones in a Maya tomb, along with nine mortars and pestles, stone tools (Soma stones?) which were likely used in the mushroom's preparatory rites (see S.F de Borhegyi,1961, 498-504). 

It was in this region that the decapitation of human heads and the dismemberment of body parts reached new levels. Borhegyi surmised that victims or captives for sacrifice were decapitated by priests or ballplayers dressed in jaguar or were-jaguar attire after which the decapitated heads of both ballplayers and jaguars were hung up by ropes over ballcourts or temples. Borhegyi proposed that the stone heads and later stone rings set in the walls of formal ballcourts were a symbolic replacement for the trophy heads of earlier times (Borhegyi,1980:20, 24). These trophy heads were venerated as sacrificial offerings, and may even have been used during certain ballgames in lieu of balls. The Mesoamerican ball game, the so-called sport of life and death, can only be explained as a cross cultural phenomenon, for it transcended all linguistic barriers in Mesoamerica.

The earliest known archaeological site from which actual ball game paraphernalia has been recovered is El Manati on the Mexican Gulf Coast. Excavations (Scott JF, 1976, no.46 pp.25-48) have uncovered a stone yoke and a serpent-shaped scepter (early Preclassic 900 B.C.) indicating an early relationship between the ball game and serpents. Gerard Van Bussel (Van Bussel 1991 Ibid pp. 256-57) analyzed the relationship between the Maya words for blood and semen, and concluded that the ball game may be an allegory of life through dynastic succession, and that the serpent-shaped scepter found at El Manati may be an insignia of power and kingship, similar to the Fleur de lis symbol is in both the Old World and the New. 

In Mesoamerica, ritual ball courts were numerous, and nearly every city boasted at least one or more formal ball courts. According to archaeologist Stephan de Borhegyi, "the rather amazing uniformity of these I-shaped courts, and of the numerous paraphernalia used by players (stone and wooden yokes, stone hachas, palmas, ballgame hand-stones, bats, clubs, helmets, face masks, knee and wrist pads, leather aprons...) over a large portion of Mesoamerica argues for a common origin of these games and attests to the widely accepted popularity of these competitive ball games, irrespective of linguistic and culture area boundaries.  Whether or not the ball game originally included a trophy head cult, with its human sacrifices and decapitation, is not altogether clear, but perhaps this aspect of the game was only a local elaboration that developed at and was diffused from the Gulf Coast of Mexico during late Early or Middle Classic times" (S.F. de Borhegyi 1971, p.87). 

Its worth noting that there is also an ancient Chinese ball game (2nd and 3rd century B.C.E. Han Dynasty) similar to the Mesoamerican ballgame, in that the use of hands was not allowed, called Cuju or Ts'u Chu, that was also played in Korea, Japan and Vietnam. It has been credited as being the earliest form of football which gradually leads to the invention of modern football.[4] ( Wikipedia)


In China by the fifth century BCE. the ancient practice of headhunting and human sacrifice became less respectable and gradually went out of style with the refinements of  human sensibilities during the Classical Age, that began around 600 BCE (Ancient China by Edward H. Schafter p.15). Human sacrifice has existed from time immemorial not only in China but also in Japan, and seems to have likely started as a cult of the human head (Nigel Davies 1981, p.40-41). In both China and in Mesoamerica, we find the popular practice of burying sacrificial victims beneath the foundations of new buildings and temples and the royal palace. There is also plenty of evidence in India of human sacrifice, and the offering of trophy heads to the gods. As mentioned earlier, 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 plates to the goddess Kali, wife of the Hindu god Shiva (Nigel Davies 1981, p.76). 




              Quoting Dr. Stephan F. de Borhegyi:


            " the ballgame, and cultural diffusion may be in order"


"While human decapitation was a widespread custom throughout both the Old and New Worlds as early as the Paleolithic period, its association with ancient team games seems to have occurred only in central and eastern Asia, Mesoamerica, and South America (for ballgames in Southeast Asia, see Loffler, 1955). The use of severed human heads in the polo games of Tibet, China, and Mongolia goes back at least as far as the Chou Dynasty (approximately 1100 B.C. -250 B.C.) and possibly to Shang times (about 1750 B.C. -1100 B.C.). By the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.), the polo game in China had become more refined and human heads were apparently replaced by balls. However, the custom of using "trophy heads" in the game must have survived in modern form in marginal areas, as evidence by the fact that the present day Tajik tribesmen of Afghanistan still use the head of a goat as a ball during the game (Abercombie, 1968). While more studies are needed along this line, it is tempting to suggest that the custom of using human heads in competitive ballgames be added to the growing Pre-Classic inventory of "trans-Pacific contacts". (S.F. de Borhegyi 1980, p.25)





Disclaimer In Accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, any copyright material on display here is under Fair Use without any claim of ownership or any profit accrued by the display. The Material herein is for non-profit educational or criticism puposes only. Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 106 and 106a, the fair use of a copyrighted work including reproduction and distribution of said material as specified in that section, for purposes of education, news reporting, commentary or criticism, scholarship or research, to persons who have expressed a prior interest in receiving such material for such purposes, is NOT an infringement.