Persia, Haoma and the Greek Mysteries
Carl Anton Paul Ruck
In the mythological tradition, the Greeks traced tribal affiliations with the Persians through Perses, the son of the hero Perseus, and with the Medes through the sorceress Medea’s son Medos. They also traced family ties with the Egyptians through the Argive Greek cow-maiden Io and with Phoenicia through Europa, abducted by Zeus metamorphosed into a bull, and through Perseus’ Phoenician bride Andromeda, and through Cadmus of Boeotian Thebes, and further ties with Egypt through Perseus’ visit to his great female ancestor’s African homeland. These traditions pertain to the Greek Mystery religions and to the psychoactive sacrament involved in the rites of initiation. One version of this sacrament was the Persian haoma, which in the Sanskrit Vedic rite was the not-personified plant deity Soma. The same sacrament seems to have originated in Africa, perhaps stimulating humankind’s first awareness of a spiritual dimension beyond the perceived reality. This was the psychoactive Amanita muscaria mushroom. Its assimilation into Hellenic theology underlies the identity of the Greek deities Dionysus and Demeter, and the various groups of dwarfish highly sexualized African grotesqueries that apparently materialized in the Mystery initiations of the Great Gods on the island of Samothrace and elsewhere, and in the great rite of the Eleusinian sanctuary.
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