On the Right Hand of God
A Partial History of the Sacred Fungi




Part One
    The Fungus Among Us
    Mushroom Detectives
    Urine of Drunkenness
    Sacrifice for Science
    Split Brain
    Trauma the Teacher
    The Savior Syndrome

Part Two
    The Written Word

Part Three
    Naked in the Desert

Urine Of Drunkenness

Mr. Wasson and his wife were not the first to record some of the bizarre effects of this fungus. Earlier researchers had found that the "inebriating virtue" was not filtered out by the body and was found, nearly full strength, in the urine of the original consumer. 1 Wasson

This was discovered by studying tribes that live in a very close association with reindeer. These tribes followed the herds in much the same way that the American Indians of the plains followed the buffalo. The reindeer have also discovered the inebriating properties of the mushroom and eat them whenever they get the chance. They were also aware of the filtered version and were extremely fond of such urine. They weren't too choosy about where this stuff came from and had developed a taste for human urine as well as their own. They were so fond of it that it has been said to be dangerous to one's health to take a leak in the open when there are any reindeer around. These facts have been substantiated by several researchers and are surely true. 2 Wasson

The truth is often strange, but what is not so strange is that this information is not common knowledge in the "civilized" world. The bizarre practices of drug crazed reindeer can certainly have no place in the education of "proper" citizens, but this is where the real education begins. There was a time when this practice of drinking urine impregnated with Amanita muscaria was popular throughout most of Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia, India and the Persian Gulf. Finding any direct mention of urine drinking in any of these areas is next to impossible, the censors have been at it for centuries, but the indirect references abound. It helps if the student has knowledge of the languages of the ancients. For example, once Mr. Wasson had established beyond a reasonable doubt that Soma was indeed the Amanita muscaria, and that urine drinking was a part of the ritual practice in the Siberian region, the passages of the Rg Veda referring to urine drinking became easier to find and maybe even obvious.

Although the Rg Veda is basically poetry and open to some interpretation, once the secret is out it is very hard to deny that urine drinking is what the ancient poets were talking about. According to this interpretation of the ancient Hindu writings, "the Indo-Aryans were drinking urine impregnated with the fly-agaric 3,500 years ago..." 3 Wasson

Warrior's Brew

Besides hallucinations, the fly-agaric is said to banish pain, to cause a feeling of supernatural strength 4 and invincibility, along with the access to psychic powers. 5 There are many tales of super-human deeds while under the influence of the drug.

We can't be sure that the effects of eating the Amanita muscaria are the same today as when the Aryans were around, but the effects of drinking urine probably haven't changed much. Recent studies have shown that the pheromones in human urine cause increased aggression in the male when simply inhaled, not to mention drinking the stuff.

It would seem that the combination of Amanita and urine would be an ideal Warrior potion.

The Amanita was scarce and only the Warrior priests were allowed to harvest and dispense the drug. Of course, they did it by urinating in a sacred vessel. It was then distributed to the next highest ranking of the clan. They, in turn, passed their urine on to those beneath them in the hierarchy. This was said to go on for 6 or 7 cycles before the inebriant was used up.

Fungus Gods

The hallucinations, were interpreted by the Aryans as messages from their gods. Although the Aryans had many gods, most of them, and all of the leading ones, can be traced to their origins as fungus deities. Indra was the god of the thunderbolt and probably the most powerful of their gods and the one that delivered Soma to the earth. Soma was sometimes called by the name of Agni, the god of fire. There were many other deities that we first interpreted as having unique identities, when in fact, they were names describing the various functions of one god.

The Aryans weren't the only warriors to discover the sacred mushroom; the Berserkers, elite fighting men of the Vikings, have given us many records of their use of the drug plant and its ritual. Their name Berserker originally meant, "be-mushroomed". "Crazy" from the influence of the Amanita, would certainly be the observation of any law abiding citizen. Our term to be "pissed off" probably originated from the same observation.

This practice of drinking hallucinogenic urine shows itself to be a vital part of the ritual complex of many warrior tribes around the globe. One of the first clues that the culture has some fungus in its history is that it has a sacred drinking vessel as part of its religious paraphernalia. Even to this day, some of the tribes in the Siberian region use a special wooden bowl to contain their "holy water". 6 Schultes Throughout Europe, there are fountains that have a cherub urinating in the pool. Tourists from our puritan colonies have often expressed the opinion that those statues are vulgar and certainly detract from the beauty of the fountains. The significance of these art works has remained obscure until recently. The cherub has been identified with many early fungus worshipping cultures. There was a time when the piss from a cherub would have been considered a wonderful addition to the drinking water, for it would surely contain the "Holy Spirit".

"The religion of Zoroaster still survives in the community of Parsis, largely centered in Bombay. It is pertinent to my argument that they still drink urine in their religious rites, though only in token amounts and only the urine of the bull. As I have already mentioned, throughout the area that stretches from Iran to India, cow's urine is used as a disinfectant, paralleling somewhat our historical use in the West of Holy Water."
7 Wasson

The bizarre rituals practiced by these warrior cults certainly kept them separate from decent folks. Piss drinking murderers, who raped and pillaged at will, would not be popular in many places.

No Name For The Deadly

There are many varieties of mushroom that are truly lethal, that have no name among the peasants, and that play no role in the history of their neighborhoods. The people who forage for fungus food know better than to eat any of them, but they have never been important to anyone except maybe the occasional unfortunate who does eat one. The Amanita, on the other hand, has an elaborate folk history expressed from both its detractors and its fan club. Most folks shudder at the thought of eating one, 8 Wasson but the tribes that still ingest them will do almost anything to obtain even a single specimen. 9 Wasson

The fear that the peasants have for the red spotted Amanita is based on the memory of the blood thirsty behavior of the worshippers of the sacred fungus from days gone by. The combination of the effects of the urine and its mushroom component acted very much like the steroids that are causing so much controversy today; they increase the levels of male hormones in the blood stream, producing physical changes like increased muscle mass, and behavioral changes like increased aggression.

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1 Wasson,Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality , Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 25, 160.
2 Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 161.
3 Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 161.
4Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 159.
5 Schultes, Hallucinogenic Plants, Golden Press, New York, 1976, p 7.
6 Schultes, Hallucinogenic Plants, Golden Press, New York, 1976, p 25.
7 Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 75.
8 Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 192.
9 Wasson, Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich, New York, 1967, p 24.

©2005 jim cranford