Featured image is the Ceiling Painting of Jesse Panel, St. Michael’s Church, Hildesheim, Germany, from the early 13th century. Many people speculate that the image is depicting an amanita muscaria mushroom, aka Fly Agaric. Amanita is a entheogen (chemical substance in plants that cause altered states of consciousness) that has long been used in shamanic practices to induce powerful visions and spiritual experiences. Amanita is known for its psychoactive properties, and its ability to cause drastically altered states in which people often “see god”, or have revelations about the nature of reality and and their own psyche. Many pieces of early Christian artwork show imagery depicting psychedelic mushrooms, leading people to wonder if the religion may somehow have its origins related to them, or if some early Christians were participating in shamanic journeys using amanita and others.
There have been several books written on this subject, two of the most popular being Terrence Mckenna’s “Food of the Gods“, and “The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross” by John Allegro. In both there is ample evidence and information supporting the idea that hallucinogenic mushrooms played a major part in early Christianity. Many other ancient civilizations also prominently display mushrooms in their artwork, from Mesopotamia to the Americas. The widespread use of this symbolism would seem to indicate that mushrooms are very relevant to religious concepts. People found them important to their spirituality, for accessing certain states of consciousness that help better understand whats going on in realms outside normal human perception.
The evidence is enough to at least consider the role psychoactive mushrooms may have played in the rise of Christianity. What do you think? Comment below with any thoughts or additional information.
More info in these links : Sam Woolfe on the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
Mushroomstone.com – Exhaustive Research on Mushrooms in Ancient Cultures