Friday, 27 July 2012

Magic Mushrooms

No doubt with the wettest summer on record the annual mushroom harvest will be starting early…
The oldest representations of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the world are in The Sahara Desert. They were produced 7000-9000 years ago. The idea that the use of hallucinogens should be a source of inspiration for some forms of prehistoric rock art is not a new one. After a brief examination of instances of such art, this article intends to focus its attention on a group of rock paintings in the Sahara Desert, the works of pre-neolithic Early Gatherers, in which mushrooms effigies are represented repeatedly. The polychromic scenes of harvest, adoration and the offering of mushrooms, and large masked gods covered with mushrooms, not to mention other significant details, lead us to suppose we are dealing with an ancient hallucinogenic mushroom cult.

What is remarkable about these ethnomycological works, produced 7,000 - 9,000 years ago, is that they could indeed reflect the most ancient human culture as yet documented in which the ritual use of hallucinogenic mushrooms is explicitly represented. As the Fathers of modern ethno-mycology (and in particular R. Gordon Wasson) imagined, this Saharian testimony shows that the use of hallucinogens goes back to the Paleolithic Period and that their use always takes place within contexts and rituals of a mystico-religious nature.
“In Egyptian temples there are many pictures of gods/neters feeding humans the “ankh” cross/circle symbol which is said to represent the water of life and immortality. This also suggests the mushroom as it has been called “the Elixir of Immortality” and “the Fountain of Youth.” Pictures of winged Babylonian and Sumerian gods are often shown feeding pinecones to humans. Could these be reference to the pinecone-shaped pineal gland?
At the Vatican there is suspiciously a gigantic statue of a pinecone in the Vatican “Court of the Pinecone.” On the Pope’s staff there is also a pinecone depicted right at the height of his third-eye/pineal gland. Ancient Sumerian gods were always depicted feeding men pinecones, just as the Egyptian gods were so often depicted feeding men the “ankh.” Because of their seedless growth/germination pattern, mushrooms were considered “virgin-births” by the ancients. They believed the mushrooms arose from dew, the divine fluid that magically appears at dawn. They also correctly believed the Amanita to be the “fruit of the tree” and referred to them as such.
 “The mushroom caps are the fruit of the larger mycelium beneath the soil which exists in a symbiotic relationship with the roots of the tree. To ancient people, these mushrooms were literally ‘the fruit of the tree.’ Ancient peoples were amazed at how these magical mushrooms sprang from the earth without any visible seed. They considered this "virgin birth" to have been the result of the morning dew, which was seen as the semen of the deity. -Dana Larsen