Mushrooms & Christmas
“The mushroom is Jesus, and Santa Claus is also a mushroom,” said lecturer James Arthur (jamesarthur.net), who was the main guest on Thursday. He was referring to “magic” mushrooms such as the red Amanita, which are known to expand human consciousness into mystical or spiritual states. Arthur contends that the authors of the New Testament, as well as other ancient religious texts, were actually conveying secret knowledge brought on by the mushrooms, such as “the death and rebirth experience,” using anthropomorphized characters. He cited the book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross by John Allegro, as an example of a scholarly exploration of this theory, which he said had been suppressed by the Catholic Church.
Through a set of imagery posted on our site (see below), Arthur demonstrated a connection between mushrooms and Christmas, drawing an analogy of the presents under the tree, to mushrooms which grow under a tree. “The mushroom is the secret X-mas present,” he said with glee. A number of images (which he said came from his own collection of European holiday cards) did indeed show large, red mushrooms dotting various snowscapes.
According to his interpretation of the Book of Revelations, Arthur named the Caduceus (the medical symbol of intertwined serpents) as the “mark of the beast.” He related this to the pharmaceutical industry’s stranglehold on medicine, and the turning away from natural healing available from plants and herbs.