Hot Guano is:
Please don't get them mixed up!
- a philosophy
- a website( featuring a collection of seemingly unrelated information)
- a community (an open secret society in progress)
- excellent fertilizer
It all started back when I was doing a gig as a bat guano distributor. I had a notebook labeled, " Hot Guano". That's where I jotted down my best ideas and diagrammed plans and relationships for the project. The whole thing was seriously organic, including the business model.
Well, the warehouse full of bat guano burned down and the guano biz choked, but the notebook survived. The basic organic business model evolved into some sort of mandalic philosophy of living action and soon filled the notebook. Then it became a folder and then a cardboard box full of folders. Along the way, bits from many diverse subjects found their way into the box. It was where I put all the good stuff. It just kept growing.
For years I dragged that box with me from one place to another, occasionally stashing it with friends or relatives for safe keeping. Now, it has fallen off the back of a cyber U-haul and spilled out on the highway for all to see. Pick through the debris carefully... hot guano can be messy.
Gnostic Media is happy to announce the summer-2008 release of a new book by
The Holy Mushroom:
Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity;
A critical re-evaluation of the schism between John M. Allegro and R.
Gordon Wasson over the theory on the entheogenic origins of Christianity
presented in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
By J.R. Irvin, © 2008
Beginning in the 1950s a serious theoretical disagreement regarding art
interpretations emerged within the fields of theology and entheobotany.
Entheobotany is the study of how certain cultures use plants and fungi for
religious purposes. The question at the heart of this disagreement concerns
the study of the origins of religion, and more specifically
Judeo-Christianity. Gaining an insight into the core issues of this
disagreement is of utmost importance to anyone with an interest in
understanding the origins of religion.
The question: Were psychoactive drugs involved in the foundation of
This question has caused a schism within theological studies, and
especially within the field of entheobotany itself.
One side argues that the use of psychoactive substances can be traced only
up until, and their impact is limited to, the earliest writings of Genesis,
about 1000 BCE – which excludes Christianity.
The other side argues that the use of psychoactive substances was more
widespread and persistent. It has been central to the foundation of nearly
all religion, including Christianity, and evidence of this usage can be
found into more modern times.
It is important for biblical theologians and entheobotany scholars alike to
understand the cause and effect of this schism if open dialogue is to
continue. Until this issue is resolved and faced head on, scholarship, in
regard to Judeo-Christianity, is at a standstill.
Foreword by Judith Anne Brown
Author of John Marco Allegro: The Maverick of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Why should we be surprised or shocked by the idea that people of all eras
and cultures have used hallucinatory drugs to attain exalted states of
consciousness, which they take to mean divine understanding? In The Sacred
Mushroom and the Cross John Allegro tried to show that this idea was built
into the language and thought of religion from the very earliest times, and
was still evident in the language and thought of the first Christians.
When survival depended on the fertility of the earth, and fertility was a
gift of the gods, people sought to promote fertility by appealing to divine
power. The swiftest and surest way to know the mind of god was through the
use of herbal drugs. Throughout all ages and across all continents, priests
and shamans have used entheogenic drugs in religious rituals. One of the
chief sources of these drugs was fly agaric, Amanita muscaria, the sacred
John Allegro believed that Judaism and Christianity were no exception. He
held that many biblical stories and sayings derived from earlier fertility
cults based on the use of the sacred mushroom. He discerned mushroom
epithets behind many stories, names and phrases in the Old and New
Testaments, either elaborated into folk tales or deliberately hidden in
names and incantations. Embedded in different contexts, and often
misunderstood in translation, they still carried messages for those who
would look for them.
His evidence was linguistic. Starting with Greek and Semitic names,
phrases, themes and stories from the Old and New Testaments, he followed
them back through Phoenician and Akkadian to the earliest known writings –
those of Sumer in the third millennium BCE. Although the precise form and
interpretation of words changed with inflection and context in different
languages, he found that the basic phonemes, the building blocks of words,
carried their root meaning from one context to another. So by tracing the
development of words we can trace the intertwining evolution of language,
culture and religion.
The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross met outrage and derision. Part of the
problem lay in common revulsion at the idea of linking Christianity to
primitive fertility cults. The idea that the New Testament was a cover
story, deliberately designed to transmit occult knowledge to a particular
sect without the authorities realising it, seemed improbably complicated.
Also, Allegro based his evidence almost entirely on language study, and not
enough was known about Sumerian to make a solid case. Had he given more
attention to investigating the surviving cultural and artistic expressions
of ‘Christian’ fertility cults, he might have convinced more people of the
strength of his argument.
But now other types of evidence are coming forward to show that elements of
the ancient religion survived at least into medieval times, where they were
widely accepted in pagan and Christian folklore and religious practice, if
not openly condoned by the established Church. For example, a fresco in a
thirteenth-century church at Plaincourault, France, shows Amanita muscaria
as the Tree of Life. Allegro used it as an illustration to The Sacred
Mushroom and the Cross, but in the outcry against the book even this
obvious reference to mushroom veneration met denial.
Starting with the Plaincourault fresco, Jan Irvin sets out to justify John
Allegro’s stance and to explore the objections to it. As I explained in the
biography John Marco Allegro: The Maverick of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the
main doubts about Allegro’s theory are whether the New Testament could
deliberately conceal a secret code about mushroom usage, and the need to
further substantiate Sumerian word connections. In the light of Irvin’s
findings, there can now be little doubt that entheogenic drugs were used to
attain divine understanding in Christianity as in other religions. I also
think it is worth questioning whether mushroom lore was as secret as
Allegro assumed it to be: lost in translation, perhaps, but not lost on the
early followers of the cult, for whom the symbolism of the holy mushroom
was a guide to revelation. In this book Jan Irvin subjects both sides to
courtroom-like scrutiny, and adds powerful new evidence to help fill the
gaps in our understanding of the origins of religion.
Academic endorsements for The Holy Mushroom:
Christianity and the Piltdown Hoax share many similarities: In both stories
the information was constructed and then salted into the information
stream, and, through the word of noted scholars, presented as fact, the
truth. Scholars have egos and once committed to their ideas through
scholarly publications, faculty meetings, and conferences, have difficulty
seeing, hearing, or even appreciating an adverse view. To waver from a
strongly held opinion could spell academic ruin and withdrawal of acclaim.
This leads to lively debate, counter stories, and even character
assassination if one side or the other is being out trumped in the symbolic
Jan Irvin (The Holy Mushroom) has captured what we might call an
“anthropology of clarification” regarding whether or not mushrooms, and
mind-altering substances in general, played any role in the development of
not only Judaism and Christianity but the total culture in play at that
time. It is now recognized in many academic communities (anthropologists,
sociologists, psychiatrists, psychologists) that sufficient evidence exists
of the importance of these substances, both textual and visual, to say
“yes” in very large letters. It is no longer theory. The questions Irvin
asks is this: “If mind-altering substances did play this major role, then
how would this affect our interpretations of the Bible and the Qur’an?
Would this shed light on the origins of mystical experiences and the
stories, for example Abraham hearing voices and Ezekiel’s convenient
visions? What would this suggest about the shamanic behavior of Jesus? What
impact would this have on organized religion? These are bold questions.
This is a very useful volume for those interested in the Holy Mushroom,
Amanita muscaria, and the politics of truth. Detailed and wonderfully
illustrated; great bibliography.
~ Professor John A. Rush, Sierra College
John Allegro's revelation of the sacramental role of a sacred mushroom
in the ancient religions spanning the agrarian region from Mesopotamia to
the Near East was immediately and unfairly rejected by a chorus of scholars
less competent than him, but continuing research into early Christianity
and the mystery religions of the Greco-Roman world and their perpetuation
in alchemy and European folkloric traditions has vindicated the correctness
of his discovery.
~ Professor Carl A. P. Ruck, Boston University
Jan Irvin has produced a most thoughtful and valuable account of debate
around the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms in early Christianity. Irvin's
careful account of the main protagonists, their sources and intellectual
motivations shows the importance of continuing research on this significant
moment in early Christian thought, as well as how academic research itself
is affected by the cultural attitudes of the day. In adducing new textual
evidence and showing the iconographic prevalence of the mushroom motif Jan
Irvin is to be warmly congratulated - all serious scholarship for the
future will have to take account of his achievement.
~ Professor Neil Whitehead, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Check out www.theholymushroom.com for more information regarding The Holy
All content copyright 2008, Jan Irvin
The Guano Philosophy
The basics of Guano are that Life follows cycles that produce rhythms and counter-rhythms that living organisms use to regulate their metabolism. The goal of Guano is to understand how all of this works so that we can act in harmony with these rhythms. Guano is a combination of many ancient traditions seen through the eye of desperate environmental survivalism.
Featured fiction from The Luce Gravel Chronicles by jim cranford
History of the Immortals
Back before the last great extinction, the Earth was ruled by an advanced race of people who called themselves, The Immortals. Their technology was very advanced, even by today's standards, including ships that could travel in space and orbiting satellites and space stations. They claimed to have come to Earth from the stars.
Their immortality came, not from some supernatural power or highly developed spiritual skills, but that they had perfected the technology to rejuvenate cellular tissue. They used a combination of a beneficial electromagnetic field with nutrients and growth hormones ported directly into the bloodstream. With a backup power source and emergency nutrient supply, the unit was self contained within a nearly indestructible capsule about the size of a coffin.
They could stay alive indefinitely if they spent a percentage of their time sleeping in one of these special rejuvenation chambers. Just a few hours in the chamber would restore their cells to their optimum condition, completely eliminating aging. The chamber could handle very serious physical damage, as well, so as long as there was a chamber available within a few minutes after a trauma, their immortality was assured.
Immortals tend to look farther into the future than the rest of us. Their long range vision warned them that the surface of the Earth was not a very safe place to live over the long haul. Or maybe they knew that all along, but it makes sense, even to this mortal.
A close look at the Moon's many craters shows that BIG chunks of something are flying around out there and smashing into us from time to time. Besides falling rocks, there are volcanoes and earthquakes that seem to occasionally wreak havoc. A peak into outer space reveals a violent universe who's extreme conditions eventually threaten to engulf our peaceful world. These periodic catastrophes have the power to destroy centuries of careful construction not to mention blow holes in anyone's claim to immortality.
Their rejuvenation chamber technology also gave them the capability for longterm hibernation. All they needed was a relatively safe place to park their chambers and they could survive any catastrophe.
They also perfected a larger and more efficient version of the technology that allowed them to hibernate large numbers of ordinary, non-immortal people. The subjects were suspended in giant bladders, filled with a womb fluid which supplied the nutrients instead of individual ports, as with the rejuvenation chambers. The womb fluid system didn't produce any healing in it's subjects, just preserved them as they were.
These new citizens were chosen for their varied physical attributes and skills in world wide competitions. They planned to use these bags of humans to jump start civilization, as soon after the catastrophe as the Earth became inhabitable.
They built a space station to house the immortals. The bladders, housing their army of refugees, were strung out on tethers in all directions. They also developed a wide range of specialized robots and automated vehicles to transport and support the system. The Immortals lived and worked in the command center of their space station. From there they monitored and directed their machines.
As they detected the approach of the last big extinction, they gathered their army of new citizens, and moved them into their hibernation bladders. Then the Immortals settled in for a long sleep in their own private chambers.
When their sensors detected the surface of the Earth was once again suitable habitation, the Immortals were awakened and preparations begun for the return. The hibernating army was revived and an automated physical training regimen was instituted to get them all in shape to function on the surface. It didn't take long, but if it was not done, the citizens would be nearly helpless at full Earth gravity.
As the new citizens were ready, the transport ships carried them to the surface and deposited them in strategic positions around the globe. There they set up outposts and began building small cities. At first, everything went well.
They were surprized to find that some human beings had survived the great extinction. Not only had they survived, but they had flourished. Although they were very primitive, these small bands of hunter/scavengers were scattered across all of the continents. The Immortals paid little attention to these savages as they were deemed only a curiosity and not considered intelligent enough to pose any problems to their resettlement of Earth. How wrong they were.
Before any real fortifications could be built the barbarians began to raid the settlements. At first they were easily repulsed, but more and more of them kept arriving to join the raids. The raids escalated into full scale attacks. The Immortals countered with improved armaments for their outposts, but each escalation was met with a greater improvement in the tactics of the barbarians
The barbarians were especially tough and resourceful. And there were an awful lot of them. They soon threatened all the settlements.
The long hibernation had not only diminished the strength and stamina of the new citizens, but it had also dulled their resolve. On the other hand, the years of struggle for survival had made the barbarians strong on all counts. Some of the settlements lasted quite awhile, but eventually, they all had to be rescued and the few survivors returned to the space station. The resettlement was a failure.
This caused a change in the strategy. The Immortals decided to take advantage of the strength of this new breed of human and use them to build their civilization. They began a program of infiltration and propaganda to train the new humans in their ways. They captured and chipped many of these new humans to use as their agents. Lucifer Stone(aka, Luce Gravel) was in one of the first groups to be abducted.
To be continued...
Find out more about The Luce Gravel Chronicles
If you haven't read On the Right Hand of God, yet...