Amanita muscaria and Cannabis Sativa - Keys to Christianity?
Adapted from an e-mail to the Global Ideas Bank.
Editorial comment: We hold no brief for marijuana - indeed there are credible research reports which state, for instance, that it can trigger schizophrenia in susceptible individuals. But the following article is an interesting restatement of the claim that Christianity has emerged from an ancient mushroom cult. Christianity is a mature enough religion not to take offence at this exuberant anthropological excursion into its possible prehistory.
The Rig-Veda, one of humanity's oldest scriptures, contains over 1,000 poems extolling the merit and virtues of 'King Soma', who is portrayed as a lightning-born, mountain-residing deity and a urine-tinged elixir of health & strength, as well as being praised as the direct means of communion with the Divine and as the supreme poetic & musical inspiration.
R. Gordon Wasson's Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality 1969) identifies Soma as a mixture of amanita muscaria, a mushroom found under conifer trees having a blood-red cap spotted with white thornlike crusts, and the resinous flowers of cannabis sativa, commonly known as 'marijuana'.
'Muscimol, the psychoactive element of Amanita muscaria, remains active in urine for up to seven re-ingestions'
Wasson notes ancient Hindu scriptures depicting urine drinking as bestowing spirituality, just as Siberian shamans drink the urine of amanita muscaria-fed reindeer which exhibit appropriate signs of mushroom intoxication in order to gain insight and wisdom. This is because muscimol, the psychoactive element of Amanita muscaria, remains active in urine for up to seven re-ingestions or for use by others, which the shamans drink as a holy wine, the epitome of true transubstantiation.
(Wasson's archive of research, writings & correspondence is maintained by Harvard University's Herbarium Library and can be viewed by appointment only. Contact 617 495 2366.)
John Marco Allegro used Wasson's theory and comparative linguistics to decipher the Gospels of Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls. He was summarily dismissed from the translation team for these documents upon publishing his findings in The Sacred Mushroom & the Cross 1970).
Clark Heinrich published his further research on entheogens - organic substances which enhance feelings of the Divine residing within those who partake - in Strange fruit - Alchemy & religion, the hidden truth 1995, Bloomsbury Press), explicating the case for the amanita muscaria as the interpretive key to the mythic symbolisms of the Vedas, Torah and Talmud and Gospels of Jesus, as well as the true identity of the Philosopher's Stone of Alchemy and the Holy Grail, which Heinrich suggests is simply the chalice-shaped mushroom.
'The role of Messiah or "Anointed One" - literally, "one smeared with semen" '
Jesus as a symbol of the mushroom
Jesus is portrayed as the Son of God, sent to fulfil the role of Messiah or 'Anointed One' - literally, 'one smeared with semen'. As a mushroom, the amanita muscaria does not disseminate seeds as plants do, but ejaculates microscopic spores which create a threadlike fungal network at the base of conifer trees from which thunderstorms elicit more mushrooms. Prior to knowledge of spores, lightning was thought to be the source of mushrooms and lightning was considered the fiery progenitive spears of God, hence the phallic fungi were called 'Sons of God'.
The mushroom's spore ejaculate leaves an oily film on the blood-red cap spotted with white thorns, hence the term 'Messiah' ('Anointed One') and allusions to thistle-entwined, bloody-browed sacrifices, such as the miraculous 'Ram' of Abraham (Genesis 22:13) and Jesus the thorn-crowned 'Lamb of God'.
'Mushrooms were also seen as "winged" creatures, or crowned by a cloudy cap or "halo", each carrying a "message" from God'
Mushrooms were also seen as 'winged' creatures, or crowned by a cloudy cap or 'halo', each carrying a 'message' from God, the very definition of an 'Angel'. Some mushrooms were 'good' or nutritious, some were 'evil' or poisonous, but amanita muscaria was considered 'blessed' and capable of bestowing health, strength, inspiration and the power of prognostication.
Ingestion of the amanita muscaria can revive the deathly ill and enables people to perform unusual feats of strength. The Gnostics used the mushroom to access 'gnosis' or 'sacred knowledge' and become privy to seeing the 'Kingdom at hand.'
The experience can also result in a very deep sleep, giving the appearance that the partaker has died, only to be 'resurrected' as the effect wears off. The decaying mushroom smells like rotting flesh thus attracting flies, hence another term for the mushroom, 'fly agaric'. Flies seem to die on contact with the mushroom, but if observed for a period of about 12 hours, however, the insects experience 'resurrection' and fly away.
As John Allegro points out, the 'Cross' is merely the cuneiform symbol of the mushroom, just as the 'Asclepius', or snake-entwined staff topped by a winged disc found on nearly all medical facilities, is also just an ancient symbol of the mushroom.
Jesus as a symbol of marijuana
Jesus is also portrayed as the offspring of a female virgin named 'Mary', who represents cannabis sativa or hemp, since female plants are cloistered, or kept separate from male plants, in order to produce more THC, the medicinal chemical found in the resin of cannabis flowers which are commonly known as marijuana.
'Jesus performs healings astonishingly similar to the confirmed medicinal effects of THC'
Jesus, the offspring of the Blessed Virgin, performs healings astonishingly similar to the confirmed medicinal effects of THC.
Healings of Jesus Diseases THC treats
Sickness Nausea; Cramps; Migraine
'Leprosy' Skin Lesions
'Demon-Possession' Epilepsy; Multiple Sclerosis
Not only does cannabis heal people, it also restores topsoil to poor land such as the Jews were relegated to. Mark 4:3-8, the Parable of the Sower, is a premier hemp reference since (a) hemp seed is the favoured food of most species of bird; (b) hemp grows very quickly (having four seasons per year in climates as diverse as Siberia & Jamaica); and (c) hemp, unlike wheat and other crops, replicates itself 30-, 60- and 100-fold, as any good 'weed' should.
Cannabis was the basis of pre-industrial civilisation, providing Earth's most nutritious food for humans & animals (hemp seed), rope and canvas for tents & clothing ('canvas' being derived from the word 'cannabis'), fuel for heating & cooking (seed oil), the means of fishing & sea travel (sails, rope for rigging and nets, sealant for boats) and wood oil & varnish (aged seed oil), part of the occupational means of a carpenter, which Mary's husband, Joseph, is portrayed as being.
The importance of the Jesus myth
If Jesus is just a fictional personification of psychedelic mushrooms and marijuana, what is the significance of his capital punishment at the hands of civil and religious authorities and his subsequent resurrection celebrated on Easter?
Jesus life and execution symbolise the inherent antagonisms between Earth's organic bounty of food, provisions and medicine plus the natural fact of human mortality versus the pseudo-scarcity economics of the centralised technological state and the empty assurances of human immortality by esoteric ecclesiastic polities, which both profit from human misery and sickness as well as from environmental ignorance and disregard.
By prohibiting and criminalising the very essence of 'Jesus', the modern state fully realises its biblical designation as the 'Anti-Christ', orchestrating the monopolisation of ecology and economy by corporations whose inferior substitutes for botanic resources desecrate the Earth and its inhabitants - an 'abomination causing desolation'.
Ironically, it is very often those who designate themselves as Christians who are most vocal and active in their support for measures to persecute and imprison those who actually know 'Jesus' more intimately than any self-righteous prohibitionist ever could, even as so-called Christians read and study the Gospels of Jesus as printed on the tissue-thin hemp paper used in the majority of modern Bibles (source: Zondervan Books). They reject the true sacrament and settle for stale bread and sour grapes.
'Jesus' resurrection symbolises Earth's faithful yielding of the true sacrament'
Jesus' resurrection symbolises Earth's faithful yielding of the true sacrament as well as the undying hope that humanity might learn to recognise and embrace both the natural means of living and the natural fact of dying and henceforth live abundantly, even under penalty of imprisonment, persecution and death.
In demonstrating that most sacred myths are symbolisms of psychedelic mushroom & marijuana use, Wasson, Allegro and Heinrich undermine claims of unique access to communion with the Divine as well as claims of entitlement to eternal life and bliss made by those who effectively prohibit the easiest means of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the indigent and attending the sick by criminalising the 'soma' (see Note below) of Jesus, King of kings.
Note:'Body' in Greek, Mark 14:22.
Lucy Faringold (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). © 1999 Musique Pour Le Bot.
Wasson links: www.herbaria.harvard.edu/Libraries/wasson/BIOG.html; http://mojo.calyx.net/~schaffer/lsd/eleucont.html
James Arthurs's web site with artistic and archaeological evidence:
Franco Fabbro's site with mosaics from the Basilica of Aquileia: www.etnoteam.it/maiocchi/fabbro.htm
Good Friday Experiment critique: www.erowid.org/entheogens/writings/doblin_good_friday.shtml
Connections between Nazi's & American cannabis prohibitionists: www.sumeria.net/politics/shadv3.html