The Darkness of Theocracy

The hallucinogenic datura is setting the art history world a-twitter. A piece of fruit in the bottom right-hand corner of Sandro Botticelli's Venus and Mars has caught the eye of art historian David Bellingham. He suspects that the 15th century master depicted the deities lounging with the hallucinogenic datura stramonium, also known as "poor man's acid." i got a copy of High Art: Were Botticelli's Venus And Mars Stoned? in my inbox this morning followed by another cautioning of datura's deadly potential and the danger, espeially to young experimenting kids, both very real considerations in light of our culture's church forced ignorance through this centuries long 'dark ages' we live in.

Datura was one of the power plants used by our ancestors to induce visions, the flights of witches were powered by the daturas. Almost every ancient culture has used some form of hallucinogenic drug as part of either their daily routine or religious ritual or both. When in this past century our ethno-botinists have studied the power plants of the tribes hidden away and still living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle they all knew well and used the hallucinogenic properties of everything in their enviroment flora or fauna.

A friend told me another story recently of a marriage between hallucinogenic plants and legend. This one involves flying reindeer during the other solstice season. Apparently Aminita Mucarus, one of the most powerful and dangerous magic mushrooms, has grown wild in the tundra regions inhabited by the reindeer/cariboo and the Inuit forever. The Aminita is poisonous and eaten fresh throughout the summer it makes both reindeer and human far to sick to experiment with. But, somehow, the reindeer figured out that the urine excreted by a fellow reindeer who'd eaten them was no longer poisonous but still hallucinogenic. The Inuit watched as early each winter the cariboo/reindeer would sniff around in the new snow each morning looking for a frozen urine ball with a certain smell. The animals would eat the urine ball then, a short time later, the urine eating reindeer would start to twirl and leap into the air. What the reindeer were experiencing as mushroom induced ecstatic bursts the humans were seeing as flying reindeer. When the white folks and christianity came along centuries later they supressed the hallucinogenic mushrooms and turned the legends of the flying reindeer into guess who.

The rise and spread of the Abrahamic religions came at the cost of the pagan tribes who used the power plants like datura and magic mushrooms. Today those same forces of religious intolerance and absolute certainity believe they are serving their one true god by supporting the war on marijuana. Legalizing pot, even just in California, could be the thin edge of the wedge we on the fringe need to break through this long darkness of theocracy.