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Mushroom in Christian Art

Chapter One

Plate 1:1– Christ on Cross Embraces St. Bernard, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Genoa, Sampierdarena, Santa Maria della Cella e San Martino, c. 1642 CE Graphic depiction of St. Bernard accepting the Blood of Christ. Blood is not blood, and that being the case, Jesus is not Jesus. The angels represent ecstacy—this is a dreamscape as is all Christian art.

Plate 1.2– Top left – John before Christ who Explains John’s Vision, Douce Apocalypse, 1270 CE Upper right – The Multitude Adore God and the Lamb (Douce Apocalypse). Lower right – Destruction of the Great Whore in Flames and Triumph in Heaven, Douce Apocalypse. Notice that one leg is forward and the other is back, the hokeypokey.

Plate 1.2b –  New Testament Trinity, Moscow History Museum, c. 1720 CE The hokeypokey. Notice where the deity is pointing with his right hand.

Plate 1.2c – Virgin Handing Her Belt to St. Thomas, Dormition of the Virgin, Balamand Monastery, Lebanon, c. 1750 CE Notice the one leg in and one leg out of what appears to be the underside cap of a mushroom. Also note the mushroom-shape in Mary’s cape.

Plate 1:3– La Vierge au Coussin Vert, Andrea di Bartolo, dit Solario, Milan, Italy, c. 1510 CE The Virgin Mary as asexual, nurturing Mary.

The Virgin of Yaroslavl, Moscow, Tretyakov, 1460 CE  The Madonna as Martyr, the role  model for her son.  Notice the mushrooms in Jesus’s cape and his suspiciously curly hair.

Plate 1:4– Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten (1,356-1,332 BCE). Some scholars see the sun disk (Aten, Adon in Hebrew) as Amanita muscaria. Hands of the god Aten are preceded by rays of light. Notice the ankh right beneath the uraeus, or cobra with a hawk or human head (“Exalted Enchantress”). Also note Akhenaten’s androgynous shape, and the shape within the offering table. Right –  St. Brigid’s, San Francisco, The Annunciation, Early Twentieth Century. Notice the mushroom-dove with mushroom nimbus, large nimbus mushroom below,  and rays issuing from the dove.

Plate 1:5Vienna, Austria – Moses Before the Burning Bush, Domenico Fetti, Oil on Canvas, 1613 CE We see God as  the burning bush and he holds one of the symbols for the “bush” in his left hand. In the bottom frame, the hand of God comes through the cloud (cap), while the red material around his wrist is the annulus, and the white hand and wrist are the stalk of the mushroom. Notice the plants to the right of Moses, the mushroom shapes in his alb and stole, including the celestial erection.

Plate 1:6 – From Papal Crypt, Catacombs of St. Callixtus, 180 [?]-222 CE The “Good Shepherd.” We have with this representation a combining of the Good Shepherd with the Aten sun disk (halo or nimbus). Notice the book the symbol of the mystery and the non-flowing, hanging cape.

Plate 1:7– Putto and Grotesque, Macclesfield Psalter, 1350 CE This is probably a reference to urine drinking.  What are those strange looking plants? And what are those objects in the right lower corner? This art shows emotion and movement unlike much of the Egyptian art.

Plate 1:8– Freshly dried Amanita muscaria with appearance of blood on wool. Cap is 4.5 inches across.

Plate 1:9a – Bibliothèque Nationale Paris, Canterbury (Anglo Catalan)  Psalter, 1180-1190 CE Unless this is artistic balance, here we see different species of mushrooms. There is probably a Psilocybin sp. in the center (blue), while those flanking it are different species of Amanita.  The plant on the far left appears to belong to an opium poppy bulb. Notice that the deity has something in the palm of his right hand and at the tip of his left index finger.  Also, notice  the deity is  surrounded by Seraphs (“fire makers”), probably a reference to the early  effects of chemicals within.

Plate 1:9b – San Pedro  (Trichocereus pachanoi) in full bloom corresponding with the full moon, October 2-5, 2009.

Plate 1:10a– Ferrarese Master (Unknown), Madonna and Child, 1450-1500 CE Notice the fly on Jesus’ right leg. Mother Mary is looking at and pointing to it, while Jesus holds a transparent globe in his hand and looks up either at Mary or past her at something else not revealed in the art.

Plate 1:10b– Carlo Crivelli, Madonna and Child, c. 1480 CE Similar motif as in Plate 10a. Mary is looking at the fly while baby Jesus clutches a bird (dove). His right eye appears to be looking at the fly and his left at Mary’s left hand while she gently pulls him away from evil. Turned upside down the pillow becomes the mushroom cap while the stalk is formed by his left thigh and buttux. Flies love Amanita; they consume its life force. Amanita muscaria is also known as

Fly Argaric or Fly Mushroom.

Plate 1:11 – Dried Amanita muscaria forming a chalice-shape.

Plate 1:12 – St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai, The Divine Ladder, Second half of Twelfth Century CE What is it that God is handing out? On the top of the ladder is a monk, John Climacus, and behind him an elder, Archbishop Anthony, and then other monks behind him.  Notice what God is handing out. This is spiritual bread, non-caloric. Also notice the mushroom-shape(s) in the mountain (bottom, left image) complete with knobby cap and annulus. The ladder motif was borrowed from the ancient Egyptians.

Plate 1:13a – On left, Our Lady Psychosostria (Saver of Souls), Icon Gallery, Ochrid, c. 1320 CE In the center is Our Lady Periblepto, Museum-Preserve of History and Art, Sergiev-Posad, 1360 CE, and far right is St. Irene, St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai, Egypt, c. 835 CE Notice the shoulder mushroom on St. Irene (stock and cap). Notice where baby Jesus is pointing.

Plate 1:13b – Our Lady Pantanassa, St. John the Theologian monastery, Patmos, Crete, c. 1560 CE  Notice where Jesus is pointing using the “Hand of God” gesture—

the red dotted object on the arm of the throne. Also note the mushroom above his hand (shoulder mushroom Plate 1:12a), and the mushroom in his cape.

Plate 1:14 – Renaissance Secular Paintings from left to right: Portrait of a Young Man, Agnolo Bronzino, c. 1540 CE;  A concert, Lorenzo Costa, c. 1485-1495 CE; and  Portrait of Giovanna degli Albizzi Tornabuoni, Domenico Ghirlandaio, c. 1488 CE These are pictures and not  icons.

Plate 1:15 – Renaissance Secular Paintings from left to right: Woman with a Man at the Window, Fra Filippo Lippi, C. 1438 CE;  Profile of a Young Man, Tommaso Masaccio, c. 1425 CE;  Simonella Vespucci, Pieero de Cosimo, c. 1501 CE;  and Ginevra de Benci, Leonardo da Vinci, c. 1474-1478 CE Lower left is by Jacques-Louis David, 1785 CE, The Oath of Horatii, which is typical of hanging cloth in secular art in both the Renaissance (1300-1600 CE) and neoclassic periods. Mushroom-shapes are not as clearly defined in secular art.

Plate 1:16 – Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Old Testament Trinity, Simon Ushakov, 1671 CE Notice the mushroom folds in the garments and mushroom caps (“bread”) on the table.

Plate 1:17 – The San Paolo Bible, 850-890 CE, Reims, France. Scene from Deuteronomy 32. Notice that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the angel have mushroom-shaped hems, while the soldiers  do not.

Plate 1:18 – The Nativity, Dijon, Musee des Beaux-arts, Robert Campin, c. 1425 CE

Plate 1:19a – Anastasis from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries.

Anastasis,  Twelfth Century, St. Catherine’s, Sinai.

Anastasis,  Thirteenth-Century.

Anastasis, Fourteenth-Century. Notice the mush- room-shape in the cape, an example  of the celestial erection.

Anastasis, St. Mark’s, Venice, Twelfth-Century, repaired in the Fifteenth Century.

Plate 1:19b – Left,  Descent into Hell, St. Catherine’s Monastery, Mt. Sinai, Egypt, c. 1180 CE  Right,  Descent into Hell with Selected Saints, Russian Museum,

St. Petersburg, c. 1490 CE

Plate 1:20 – Our Lady of Vladimir, History of Religion Museum, St. Petersburg, 1701 CE (left), Our Lady of Vladimir, Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, c. 1130 CE (center), and  on the right, Our Lady Hodegetria (of Tikhvin), Andrei Rublev Museum of Early Russian Culture and Art, Moscow, c. 1530 CE The sole/soul-mushroom motif.

Plate 1:21 – Medici  Popes – Notice how they are dressed, with the red cape representing the mushroom cap while the alb, the stalk. Notice the crown worn by Leo XI.

Plate 1:22a – The Hours of Catherine of Cleves Plate 111, Saint Philip, 1440 CE

Plate 1:22b – Baking “bread.”

Plate 1:23 – Scribe, Fourth Dynasty, 2613-2494 BCE, Saqqara, Egypt. Right – Hieroglyph for scribe with stylus, two ink pots, and pot of water.

Plate 1:24a – Various forms of non-poisonous, mind-altering Amanita. Notice how the cap can invert forming a cup or chalice.

Plate 1:24b – Amanita muscaria. Notice the skirt , annulus (left) , on stem which is part of the veil encasing the cap before emerging. This is synonymous with the skirt worn by Jesus on the cross.  The dots on the cap are also parts of the veil. Picture on right, Crucifix in sanctuary of St Edzi, Tenth Century Romanesque Catholic church, Inowlodz Central Poland.

Plate 1:25 – Various types of Psilocybin species

Plate 1:26 – Cannabis from a shaman’s cache dated, c. 700 BCE Perhaps  enough for one season in the Netherworld?

Plate 1:27On the left is Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) which grows in Europe and the Middle East. The species native to Egypt is Hyoscyamus muticus. On the right is Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), often associated with the suffering of Christ.  Henbane is a better match for the flowers in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Failed God 2008).

Plate 1:28 – Atropa belladonna with yellow flowers. Note the Phalaris arundinacea (“Turkey Red Strain”) growing around the base.

Plate 1:29 – Datura inoxia. Notice the trumpet flowers and fruit called a “thorn apple.”

Plate 1:30 – Mandragora officinarum. This image of the mandrake on the left is from a Tacuinum Sanitatis (1474 CE),  a medieval handbook on wellness based on an eleventh century Arab medical treatise (Taqwin al‑sihha), by Ibn Butlan of Baghdad. The right image is  a lotus between Mandrake flowers and partial root, in the hand of King Tutankhamun, King’s Golden Shrine, Eighteenth Dynasty, Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Plate 1:31 – Opium poppy pod.

Plate 1:32 – Claviceps purpurea (black spurs). This may be the Cause of “stigmata” of St. Francis of Assisi.

Plate 1:33 – Left: Portion of stela of the official Inyotef. Note that Inyotef is holding a lotus to his face,  while his wife holds an erect lotus bud. The lotus represents life in the physical sense, or sex and life.  On the right we see Seti I being offered life by Ma’at in the form of an ankh, food of the gods, or spiritual life.