P Wasson and R G Wasson Mushrooms Rusala anfl History New York Pantheon Books 1957 Vol II pp215216

rites. Johnson and his party were the first modern white people tp observe,, but not participate in, the sacred ceremony, which has survived in Mexico from before the Spanish conquest

until the present. In 1957 the Kassons presented a review of all the previous evidence along with their own discoveries. They argued that the pre-Columbian "mushroom stones" which had been found in the highland of Guatemala really were meant to represent mushrooms as a symbol of the center of a sacred cult. The earliest of these artifacts have been dated about 1500 B. C.22

The ceremony itself has been described in detail (with pictures) by the Wassons, who were the first outsiders to partake of the sacred mushrooms in the secret rite, which took place at night and combined ancient Indian religious tradition with some Roman Catholic symbols. The mushrooms are used in different ways in different places in the remote

20Schultes, "Plantae Mexicanaa II: The Identification of Teonanacatl, a Narcotic Basidicmycete of the Aztecs," Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard University, Vol. VII, No. 3 (1939), pp. 37-54.

"Jean Bassett Johnson, Elements of Mazatec Witchcraft ("Ethnological Studies," No. 9> Gothenburg, Sweden» Gothenburg Ethnographical Museum, 1939) cited by Wasson and Wasson, 2Z* cit.. p. 237.

0 -2

Post a comment