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Somalatha and its most probable candidates_ a Review by Vijayaraghavan Gonuguntla in his book "Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants Vol i pages 207 to 225 published by Studium Press, Houston

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  1. 1. Amanita muscaria (L. per Fr.) Hooker F: Amanitaceae VN: E: Fly Agaric, Fly Amanita, Fly Mushroom, Death’s head, woodpecker of Mars; Egypt: Manna; Greek: Ambrosia or Broma-Theon; Israel: Manna; Maya: Teonanacatl; S: Soma. PHYTOGRAPHY Pileus: Cap 6-39 cm broad, rounded at first, then plane in age, surface viscid when moist; margin striate often with adhering partial veil fragments when young; cap red, usually with white warts but in one variety, yellow warts. Lamellae: Gills adnexed to free, white to cream, edges roughened. Stipe: Stipe white, 7-16 cm long, 2-3 cm thick, tapering to a bulbous base; PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Plant Monographs A&B: Amanita muscaria 207 partial veil membranous, breaking to form a superior skirt-like veil. Volva consisting of two to three concentric rings at the stipe base. Spores: Spores 9-13 × 6.5-9.5 µm elliptical, smooth, nonamyloid. Spore print white (http:/ / C&AP Ibotenic acid (alpha-amino-2,3-dihydro-3-oxo-5-Isozoleacetic acid), muscamol (3hydroxy-5-aminomethy1 isoxazole), muscazon, muscimol, and bufotenine.
  2. 2. TRADITIONAL USES OF REAL SOMALATHA • To impart the knowledge to understand the concepts of cosmic events. • To impart total immunity against all sorts of diseases. • To improve Longevity. • To provide complete manhood. DOSAGE Modern Capsules: Taken orally, ibotenic acid is entheogenically active at 50-100 mg (Ott and Stafford) Taken orally, muscimol displays activity at 10-15 mg. Oral A. muscaria (Dried Cap) Dosage: Light: 1-5 g (1 medium cap); Common: 5-10 g (1-3 medium caps); Strong: 10-30 g (2-6 medium caps); Onset: 30-120 minutes; Peak: 1-2 h; Duration: 5-10 h (higher doses seem to last longer); Additional After Effects: 1-5 h. SAFETY Causes; Slightly blurred vision, watery eyes, increased salivation, runny nose. Some people experience moderate to extreme physical distress, usually focused on the stomach; Nausea, overwhelming for some, mild for others, increases with dosage. Physical relaxation/dreamy-state; Marked analgesia (pain relief); Muscle twitching and trembling (not convulsions); Loss of Equilibrium; Pupil dilation, glassy eyed stare + Possible Mental Effects; Euphoria: Feelings of peace and well being; Sedative: Effects are somewhat sleepy or sedative. Others report excitation and extreme energy bursts (this may be a timing issue, see Stages, next). Stages: Some people describe three stages of effects: first the nausea/body effects stage, the second sedated/dreamy state, and the third stage during which the active psychedelic effects predominate. Dream State: (during the sedative effects)
  3. 3. can be highly detailed, colorful, and have a great sense of clarity and lucidity. Some people describe these as being similar to Lucid Dreaming. Some describe them as Out of Body Experiences (OOBEs). As with normal dreams, the Amanita Dream State can consist of a wide variety of experiences. Body Perception: Effects often include dramatic shifts in body perception and motor skills: including perceived changes in size of body parts, increased strength, dizziness, clumsiness, change in proprioception. Internal Dialogue: Some people report a strong sense of an internal discussion, a feeling of being able to think through personal issues. Others report a significant PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version 208 Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants: Vol. 1 reduction of internal dialogue, sense of peacefulness, and internal quiet. Synesthesia: is somewhat common, smelling words, tasting colors, etc. Clarity: Often no interference with memory or logic: many report strong “clarity of thought” and “stillness of mind”. Others report mild to strong confusion. Internal Focus: Difficulty in focusing concentration on external tasks. Increased focus on internal imagination, imagery, day dreams. Sociability: Group interaction can become incoherent: “conversational weirdness”, frequent changes in topic, “non-linear conversations” Sexual Feelings: Some people report increased sexual feelings, others report very unsexual emotional and sensual distance/coldness. It should be noted that there is a significant difference in quality, potency, and effects between mushrooms found in different seasons and different areas, as well as
  4. 4. different varieties of amanitas (i.e. different ratio of nausea/body effects to mental/entheogenic effects). PRECAUTIONS As with other entheogens, eat lightly before hand to reduce nausea and gastrointestinal discomfort. Start low with your dose and work up as you become familiar with the potency of the mushrooms and your individual react; Some people recommend using cannabis to offset the nausea. Many people recommend planning to lie back and relax during the Onset and Early phases of Amanita intoxication to reduce nausea. EDITOR’S COMMENTS Everty religion has practiced usage of psychedelic plants. Hindus called it as Sura, Soma or Amritha. Greeks called mushroom jelly Ambrosia; Romans and Jews called it as Manna. Mayans called it as Food of the Gods. Parsis call it as Homa, Haoma, Para Haoma. One of the prophecies of H G Wells was Food of Gods. It can be no coincidence that the Mayan, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, and Israelite words for the mushroom all mean exactly the same thing: The Bread Of God. ( Lord Chandra, the Moon, was most closely associated with the drink of the Gods known as soma, in fact he is so closely linked to it that many think that the name of the god is Soma, which was much like the nectar of the Greek Gods. Soma: (Rg-Veda, IX 76 (4)). The Mushroom God Monarch of everything that sees the sunlight, Soma cleanses himself. Triumphing over the Prophets, he made the Word of the Way to resound, he who is cleansed by the Sun’s ray, he the father of poems; Master-Poet never yet equalled! In
  5. 5. India the early alchemists thought somalatha is the Sparsavedhi which converts everything into Gold. Indian ayurvedic scholars believe that somaltha is born with fifteen leaf nodules and that on no moon day there will be no leaves left and on the full moonday fifteen leaves will be there so that by seeing the plant one can say the the paksha and thithi of the day. They also believe that on the night of the no moon day the creeper is self PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Plant Monographs A&B: Amanita muscaria 209 illuminating. According to them Soma is the Liquor made from the creeper with no leaves collected on the no moon day. Soma: Aryans; To the Aryans — the people who swept down from the Northwest into what is now Afghanistan and the Indus Valley, two thousand years before Christ — Soma was a god. Soma was also, simultaneously, a plant, and the juice of the plant, which was consumed and which inspired a religious ecstasy. Many hymns were sung to and about Soma, and were immortalized in the text of the Rg-Veda, and are still sung and revered by their Hindu descendents to this day. As per Egyptian Mythology, Odin rides the sky in his chariot pulled by horses which are exerting such an effort that their spit mingled with blood falls to the ground and the places where it hits, mushrooms (Amanitas particularly) grow. Religious use of A. muscaria has been documented among Siberians, American Indians, the Sami and the Japanese in modern times. Somarasa: Somarasa drink was described as a yellow drink that when
  6. 6. imbibed gave the drinker the ability to be both in the physical and spiritual worlds at the same time. The “Soma” juice was a favourite drink of the ancient Aryan settlers, and was regularly taken by them centuries before the Christian era. The partaker of Soma finds himself both linked to his external body, and yet away from it in his Spiritual Form. Freed from the former, he soars for the time being in the ethereal higher regions, becoming virtually “as one of the Gods,” and yet preserving in his physical brain the memory of what he sees and learns. The real property of the true Soma was (and is) to make a “new man” of the Initiate, after he is “reborn,” namely, once that he begins to live in his Astral Body; for, his spiritual nature overcoming the physical, he would soon snap it off and part even from the etherealized form. Soma: Western concepts; Various Western scholars expressed various opinions as to the nature of the Soma-plant — rhubarb, date juice, hashish, mead, Psilocybin mushrooms. None of these, however, were very satisfactory, primarily because they each conflicted, in one way or another, with the nature of Soma as accounted for in the Rg-Veda hymns. Psalm 78:24-25 calls Manna Food of Angels, just as Mayan/Inca Priests from MesoAmerica called it Teonanacatl Food of The Gods. Manna is an Egyptian word, not Hebrew or Aramaic, meaning; The Bread of God. This is what Moses called it in Exodus 16:15. “Bread of God” means Food-of-God, which is the same meaning of Teonanacatl (Mayan), and Ambrosia Greek, and Soma Hindu, a word for mushroom tea, all these words mean “Spiritual Food”. Plainly speaking, Soma is the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge forbidden by the jealous Elohim to Adam and Eve or Yah-ve, “lest man should become
  7. 7. as one of us.” (Theosophy, Vol. 11, No. 7, May, 1923; (Pages 301-304; Size: 13K); ( Initiates-Initiation-6.html) PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version 210 Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants: Vol. 1 Exodus 16: 14-24 indicates that Manna was a small round thing in the morning dew, it bred larva, and would melt to mush if not dried. King James Version. Daniel 5: 3-5 with Exodus 16:32 and Hebrews 9:4 indicates that the mushroom was a drug. Hebrews 9:4 makes it clear that Manna was the most holy thing to Israelites, kept in a Pot-of-Gold in the Ark of The Covenant, in the Most Holy of Holys. So sacred is the Manna that only the High Priest has access to it, and only on one day of the year Yom Kippur, which comes 3 days before the harvest moon AllHallowsEve. After sacking the temple in Jerusalem and stealing the Ark-of-the-Covenant, the King of Babylon and his table drank from the golden cup containing the holy “Manna” they had visions within them. Certainly for the Israelites, Egypt was the origin of Manna, which explains why all the Patriarchs of Israel were educated in Egypt. Moses, Christ, and Joseph, the favorite son of Israel, were all educated in Egypt. Solomon married Pharaoh’s daughter, and Abraham found his God at a place called Shechem, which is another Egyptian word for Manna. John 2: 6-9 indicates that Jesus made water into wine by boiling mushrooms Mushroom-Tea, the waterpots were made of stone, not clay, stone pots were used for cooking, clay pots used for storing
  8. 8. water. These pots already contained 2-3 firkins of a substance before the pots were filled with water. Those who drank the water made into wine said it was the most potent intoxicant St. John 2:10. The Bible tells us that Jesus making water into wine was the “beginning of miracles” … in other words no one saw any miracles until drinking the wine made from water. St. John 2:11. There is evidence of its use among the ancient Greeks and the proto-Hindi. Historically, an article from 1809 documents their contemporary use among the Kamchacals. Lewin (1931) described the use of the fly-agaric by the native tribes of North East Asia in Siberia. Lewin discussed briefly the suggestion Berserkers consumed this mushroom to produce their great rages. The flyagaric was in constant demand and there was a well-established trade between Kamchatka where it did grow to the Taigonos Peninsula where it did not grow at all. The Koryaks paid for them with reindeer and Lewin reported one animal was sometimes exchanged for one mushroom. The Kamchadales and Koryaks consumed from 1 to 3 dried mushrooms. They believed the smaller mushrooms with a large quantity of small warts were more active than the pale red and less spotted ones. Among the Koryaks, their women chewed the dried agaric and rolled the masticated material into small sausages which were swallowed by the men. Lewin does not report whether the women got some of the psychological response. The Siberians discovered the active principle was excreted in the urine and could be passed through the body once more. As soon as the Koryak noted his experience was passing, he would drink his own urine which he had saved for this purpose. The same mushrooms could thus give one person
  9. 9. several experiences or several people one experience. After several passages the urine no longer was able to produce the desired effect. It is very PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Plant Monographs A&B: Amanita muscaria 211 saddening that in the 19th century, the Spanish inquisition and witch hunt and others elsewhere have terminated several shaman, healers, priests of other sects, mages and magicians leading to the extinction of the Aztec/ Inca/ Mayan knowledge data, with which, much of the concepts relating to herbs that provide self consciousness and open the unused brain that enable the accessibility to the preserved knowledge data extincted. METHODOLOGY As nearly as can be pieced together from the ancient sources, the rites of Soma may have gone something like this: While the worshippers still lived in Northern Eurasia, they most likely collected the Soma themselves, in the forests of birch and conifer. Perhaps at the time there were ceremonies conducted at the gathering, as there are in other cultures that collect sacred mushrooms and herbs. Once they had migrated to India, however, this would have been impossible; Soma must have been traded for (if, indeed, it were much available at all) with the tribes that controlled the mountains. No collecting-ceremony would have been possible, but in the Satapatha Brahmana (as well as elsewhere) there are some peculiar-sounding accounts of ceremonial purchases of the Sacred Element, including such strange features as a cow of a particular color of skin and eye (quite a high price to
  10. 10. pay for a mushroom!), and a speckled cane with which to beat the seller. Soma would then have been juiced, or “milked” as the RgVeda often puts it; the mushrooms pressed with stones and the resultant liquor filtered through lambswool. It was then mixed with milk or curds and drunk: IX ii5-6 “Cleanse the Soma, pressed out by the hand-worked stones; dilute the sweet one in the sweetness. Approach with reverence; mix him with curds, put the Soma juice into Indra.”. It may have been drunk again, in its second form, perhaps by less-experienced Brahmans, or by the laity. After the drinking, of course, came the religious ecstasy for which purpose the ceremony was composed: “Thy inebriating drinks, sweet, are released ahead, like teams running in divers directions, like the milch cow with her milk towards her calf, so the Soma juices, waves rich in honey, go to Indra, thunderbolt carrier. Like a racehorse launched in movement for the victory prize, flow, o Soma, thou who procurest the light-of-the-sun for heaven’s vat, whose mother is the pressing stone; thou, Bull, seated in the filtre above the calf’s wool, clarifying thyself, thou Soma, that Indra may have his pleasure.” (IX 86 2,3) As the RgVeda is the record of the Brahmans, or the priestly caste, it is not known whether only priests partook of Soma, or whether other worshippers did so in either its first or second forms. A Biological Identity for Soma: The RgVeda offers many clues about Soma’s botanical characteristics. A dozen References are made to Soma’s place “on the mountain” or “on the mountain top”. In color it is “hari” — brilliant, flame-colored, the color of the steeds of the sun. Twenty References in the RgVeda invoke Soma by speaking of the sun, “Soma did fill the sun PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version
  11. 11. 212 Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants: Vol. 1 with rays”; “the Soma’s flowing liquor like the rays of the sun”. Soma is linked to Agni, the god of fire. Soma is like a “red bull”, but with a “dress of sheep”. Soma “creeps like a serpent out of his old skin”. Soma has a fleshy stalk, from which an inebriating juice can be pressed. No mention is made of its leaves, roots, blossoms, or seeds. Soma itself is a sacred drink, which sometimes becomes the god Soma. Its composition has given rise to many interpretations. It is sometimes Sarcostemma viminale or Asclepias acida, and can lead to divine exhilaration, perhaps with added hallucinogenic substances such as hemp. The composition varies according to the type and place of the ritual. Some rituals require plants to be ground up during the ceremony, indicating that they were collected locally. (Francois Pannier; number 4 of Kaos Parcours Des Mondes, 2004; translated by David Hunter from the French; As per John Stevenson (1842), Soma plant is Sarcostemma viminali. Windischmann (1846) reports (1846: 129) that Soma is known to be Sarcostemma viminalis, or Asclepias acida (the latter nowadays also known as Sarcostemma acidum Voigt.), to which he attributes a narcotic-intoxicating (“narkotisch-berauschende”) effect. Adalbert Kuhn 1859 thought that the plants related to Aryan Soma and Avestan Haoma are different. Max Mueller (1823-1900) expressed his doubts about Sarcostemma brevistigma as Soma plant. A quotation from a medical Sanskrit work, to which attention was drawn by Prof. Max Muller
  12. 12. many years ago, states that, ‘the creeper, called Soma, is dark, sour, without leaves, milky, fleshy on the surface; it destroys (or causes) phlegm, produces vomiting, and is eaten by goats.’ In 1881 Roth wrote in an article that as the original plant became rare and inaccessible to the Vedic people, the admission and prescription of surrogates resulted in later Vedic texts. He thinks it is likely that the ancient Soma was a Sarcostemma or a plant belonging, like the Sarcostemma, to the family of Asclepiadeae, but not the same kind as the one used in current sacrifices (of 19th Centuary). A letter, by Mr. A. Houttum-Schindler, dated Teheran, December 20, 1884, in which an account is given of the plant from which the present Parsîs of Kerman and Yezd obtain their Hûm juice, and which they assert to be the very same as the Haoma of the Avesta. The Hûm shrub, according to this description, grows to the height of four feet, and consists of circular fleshy stalks (the thickest being about a finger thick) of whitish colour, with light brown streaks. The juice was milky, of a greenish white colour, and had a sweetish taste. Mr. Schindler was, however, told that, after being kept for a few days, it turned sour and, like the stalks, became yellowish brown. The stalks break easily at the joints, and then form small cylindrical pieces. They had lost their leaves, which are said to be small and formed like those of the jessamine. This description, according to the above naturalists, would seem to agree tolerably well with the Sarcostemma (akin PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Plant Monographs A&B: Amanita muscaria
  13. 13. 213 to the common milk-weed), or some other group of Asclepiads, such as the Periploca aphylla which, as Mr. Baker states, has been traced by Dr. Haussknecht to 3000 feet in the mountains of Persia, and, according to Dr. Aitchison, is common also in Afghanistan According to Prof. Spiegel, the Parsis of Bombay obtain their Homa from Kerman, by sending their priests from time to time to get it. The plant at present used by the Hindu priests of the Dekhan, on the other hand, according to Haug, is not the Soma of the Vedas, but appears to belong to the same order. ‘It grows (Ait. Br. II, 489) on hills in the neighbourhood of Poona to the height of about four to five feet, and forms a kind of bush, consisting of a certain number of shoots, all coming from the same root; their stem is solid like wood; the bark grayish; they are without leaves; the sap appears whitish, has a very stringent taste, is bitter, but not sour: Aitchison in 1888 observed that in the valley of the Hari-rud river he notices the presence of several varieties of Ephedra, including Ephedra pachyclada, of which he reports as “native names” Hum, Huma and Yehma. Caland & Henry’s description of the Agnistoma on the basis of Vedic texts (1906 and 1907) is still the basis for the study of the ritual context of the Soma; Another candidate for the Soma plant is the Asclepias acida, which yields a juice from which that mystic beverage, the Soma drink is made. What exactly the soma plant was is not known, though a number of plants, such as Cannabis sativa, Ephedra vulgaris, Asclepias acida have been mentioned (Sir Ram Nath Chopra , I.C. Chopra; 1957/01/01; United Nations; Office on drugs and Crime;
  14. 14. bulletin_1957-01-01). In 1963, Gordon Wasson — the same American banker who, with his medical-doctor wife Valentina Wasson, had already documented the sacred Teonanacatl mushrooms of South America, and traced the obscured history of ethnomycology in traditional Europe — turned his attention to the mystery of Soma. He wrote, “As I entered into the extraordinary world of the RgVeda, a suspicion gradually came over me, a suspicion that grew into a conviction: I recognized the plant that had enraptured the poets. For this purpose the text of the hymns, the epithets and tropes pertaining to the plant, are abundantly clear. As I went on to the end, as I immersed myself ever deeper into the world of Vedic mythology, further evidence seeming to support my idea kept accumulating. Wasson’s “candidate” for Soma is, indeed, a mushroom — to be specific, the Amanita muscaria. A muscaria, sometimes called “the fly agaric” in English, is the very redcapped, white-spotted fungus that is perhaps our most canonical and easilyrecognized “toadstool”. In a book that appeared in 1969, R. Gordon Wasson (1898-1986) presented impressive array of circumstantial evidence that the original Soma is Amanita muscaria. Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, contributed a chapter, (“Part II: The Post-Vedic History of the Soma Plant,” pp. 95-147) PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version 214 Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants: Vol. 1 in Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality, by R. Gordon Wasson (New
  15. 15. York: Harcourt Brace, 1968). The year 1989 saw the publication of the book Haoma and Harmaline by David Stophlet Flattery and Martin Schwartz where the authors based on Iranian evidence provide an extensive and careful argument that the Haoma- and Soma-plant was in fact Harmel, which contains an alkaloid with hallucinogenic properties, harmaline (as well as harmine). A detailed description of the Yasna ritual in which Hom is prepared and offered appeared from the hand of Kotwal and Boyd (1991). “Hummel’s miracle” was presented in publications of Victor I. Sarianidi (e.g., 1994, 1998), and his conclusions on the findings of Ephedra have been received positively, though not uncritically, e.g., by Parpola (1995) and Nyberg (1995). The latter had already investigated specimens provided by Sarianidi but could not confirm Sarianidi’s claims. Spess 2000 promotes an argument for new candidates for Soma: the Nelumbo nucifera and members of the Nymphaea genus: cf. ( The term amsu, commonly applied to the Soma-plant, used to be taken to mean simply ‘plant’ or ‘sprig, shoot;’ but Professor Roth seems now inclined, perhaps rightly, to take it as Referring to the internode, or cylindrical piece between two joints of the stem. As per Sat. Br. I, 2, I, 2, ‘The cake is the head of Yagna (the sacrifice, and symbolically the sacrificer himself); for those potsherds (kapalani) are what the skull-bones (sirshnah kapalani) are, and the ground rice is nothing else than the brain.’ On the other hand, the kapalas are usually arranged in such a manner as to produce a fancied resemblance to the (upper) shell of the tortoise, which is a symbol of the sky, as the tortoise itself represents
  16. 16. the universe. Thus with cakes on a single kapala, the latter is indeed a complete dish. In the same way the term kapala, in the singular, is occasionally applied to the skull, as well as to the upper and the lower case of the tortoise, e.g. Sat. Br. VII, 5, I, 2: ‘That lower kapala of it (the tortoise) is this world, for that (kapala) is firmly established, and firmly established is this world; and that upper (kapala) is yonder sky, for It has its ends turned down, and so has that sky its ends turned down; and that which is between is that atmosphere: verily that same (tortoise) represents these worlds.’ More usually, however, the term is applied to the single bones of the skull (and the plates of the tortoise-case). Hence the Medini says (lanta 71), kapalo ’strisiro-’sthni syad, ghatadeh sakale, vrage,—kapala may be used in the sense of ‘head-bone,’ in that of ‘fragment of a pot,’ &c., and in the sense of ‘collection.’ ( sbe2602.htm#fr_). The two most popular candidates being the 1. Amanita muscaria or fly agaric mushroom (note: this is highly poisonous) which was suggested by R. Gordon Wasson and picked up by many other including Robert Graves (who also thought that this was the mushroom that Lewis Carroll gave PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version Plant Monographs A&B: Amanita muscaria 215 Alice in his Wonderland stories!) and others. 2. Asclepias acida (milkweed), though no one really knows for sure. There are some who think that the yellow color of soma came about because whatever the source the only way
  17. 17. that it could be drunk safely was for a priest to be made partially immune to the toxic effects of the substance through long exposer while the worshippers were only exposed to the priest’s soma soaked urine. ( The biology, appearance, and chemistry of Amanita muscaria fit very well with the descriptions of Soma in the Rg Veda. It sprouts, and has a “foot” and a “head” (usually called in English the “stalk” and the “cap”); unlike a true plant, it does not have blossoms or leaves or seeds. Like many other Amanitas, it begins fruiting as a white “egg” encased in the material of the universal veil; as it grows, the stalk pushes up and the fiery, crimsonto-orange cap appears from behind this veil, which remains in fuzzy white spots or patches — just like a “hide of bull” in a “dress of sheep”, or like a “serpent creeping out of his old skin”, to use the RgVedic metaphors. When crushed, the Amanita muscaria yields a tawny yellow juice, just as the Soma was described as yielding juice. Perhaps most peculiar is the “two forms” of Soma, compared with the “two forms” by which Amanita muscaria may be taken for its psychoactive effects. One is directly, eating the mushroom or its juice. The other—well-known to us as a practice in Siberia — is to drink the urine of somebody who has previously imbibed. In the RgVeda, Soma is Referred to has having “forms”—once in the dual construction, twice in the plural. Perhaps the most significant Reference, however, is in IX 74, 4: “Soma, storm cloud imbued with life, is milked of ghee, milk. Navel of the Way, Immortal Principle, he sprang into life in the far distance. Acting in concert, those charged with the Office, richly giftted, do full honor to Soma. The swollen men piss the flowing *Soma+.”
  18. 18. This “second round” for the substance may in fact be easier on the body than the “direct route” of consumption; the mushroom is somewhat poisonous, and the poisons may be broken down or filtered out by the body of the first person to consume it. This would seem to be what the RgVeda is talking about in IX 70, 9-10: “Clarify thyself, O Soma, for the invitation to the gods. Thou who art a bull enter into the heart of Indra, receptacle for Soma! *....+ Purify thyself in Indra’s stomach, O juice! As a river with a vessel, enable us to pass to the other side, thou who knowest; thou who battlest as a hero, save us from disgrace!” In IX 80,3a “In the belly of Indra, the inebriating Soma clarifies itself.” The RgVeda Refers to Soma as the “plant from the mountains”, “seated on the mountain top”, “born on the mountain top”, “grown on the mountain top”. The Amanita muscaria grows in a mycorrhizal (symbiotic) relationship with birch and conifer, which grow at sea level in Northern Eurasia, but only at great heights — 8,000 to 16,000 feet — south of the Oxus and in India. The Indo-Aryans, having conquered only the valleys, would not have PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version 216 Comprehensive Indian Medicinal Plants: Vol. 1 controlled the Soma’s habitat — the mountains were held by their enemies, probably the despised Dasyus. With the true Soma lost to the social economy, the priests turned to symbols and substitutes — an antique and popular practice among religions faced with changing circumstances — and went right on worshipping their Soma, without actually partaking of
  19. 19. it again. As a late passage in the sacred texts concludes, One thinks one drinks Soma because a plant is crushed. The Soma that the Brahmans know — that no one drinks. ( Amanita muscaria (or, at least, some populations of it) contains a substance called ibotenic acid, which is psychoactive and potentially entheogenic. It has a wide tradition of religious use in many cultures, continuing up through the modern age. Recent School of thought: When Amanita muscaria material is floated on grape juice a cottony thread is produced. It is assumed this life form is an unidentified mucor of some sort while others assert that this is the resurrection of Soma and insist it is amanita mycelium. What exactly it is has been under much debate. The threads, or “fleece” can be reliably reproduced under a number of circumstances. ( forum/showthread.php?t=7784) EDITOR’S COMMENTS It may prove beneficial to probe the steep liquor of Amanita muscaria and isolate microorganisms that may appear in due time say in about 30 days, particularly on the no moon day and the full moon day; and study the effects of these microorganisms. This may be the true meaning of the two forms. FURTHER REFERENCE SUGGESTED Clark Heinrich’s ‘Strange Fruit: Alchemy & Religion, the Hidden Truth’ (Bloomsbury Press) Amanita+muscaria&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=Tpil8laV9t&sig =JGnZG-rEPHP8VimJMMgceCMo7hY&hl=en&ei=fNqMSu3GDtKCk
  20. 20. AWbnMC5DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7#v=onepage&q= Amanita%20muscaria&f=false.