DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

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DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by Aromagician » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:35 am

I was listening to a gnostic lecture the other day. And the gentleman proposed that in the 18th Dynasty they discovered a type of mandrake root in Egypt. Not the standard type that can be poisonous, but one that can induce hallucinations and visions.

His theory is that as a result the 18th dynasty may have had a "secret religion" Just like many other religions have their "mysteries".

By taking the root, in an initiatory type rite, he proposed they had a religious experience, similar to the ones had by mushrooms or ayahusca. He then proposed that Akhenaton akin to these experiences, decided to reveal the "mystery religion" to all his people. Which of course was probably his downfall.

I was a proponent of Tutankhamen taking the Blue lotus, but had not heard of this mandrake before. Have you?


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Re: DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by Aromagician » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:40 am

This interesting PDF here shows Tutankhamen holding a sheaf of mandrake and poppy. and outlines it uses?

Were the 18th dynasty using these substances to be closer to the gods?
http://www.bmijournal.org/index.php/bmi ... File/44/22
Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. ROY M GOODMAN

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Re: DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by LivinginLuxor » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:03 am

Not just the 18th dynasty but most dynasties!
And Akhenaten did not reveal his 'mystery religion' - the worship of Aten was popular throughout the 18th dynasty, and his father openly supported it. Akhenaten merely seemed to have taken it to its 'illogical' conclusion. If the pharaoh was a divine being, he would be equal to Aten, and therefore be Aten's representative on earth, and therefore the only intermediary between his people and his god.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

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Re: DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by Aromagician » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:45 am

Yes, that is what the Gnostic lecture reckoned too. I found this on the mandrake
http://www.wisdomplants.net/doku.php?id=mandrake

Mandrake has quite correctly been described as “the most famous magical plant in history”. Its medicinal and magical uses, its aphrodisiac and psychoactive effects, and its mythology and the legends surrounding the plant all raise it above the level of any other magical plant. There is probably no other plant about which such a rich and varied literature has been produced.

Probably the oldest written mention of the mandrake occurs in the cuneiform tablets of the Assyrians and the Old Testament; these refer primarily to the area of Babylon. In Assyrian, the mandrake was known as nam-tar-gir(a). Nam Tar was the god of plagues; ira means “male”. An Ugaritic cuneiform text from Ras Shamra (15-14th B.C.E.) appears to refer to a ritual; the text reads, “Plant mandragoras in the ground …”.

In ancient times, mandrake was an enormously important ritual, inebriating, and medicinal plant. The German name alraune suggests an Old Germanic use of the plant: “Alraun comes from Alrun, and originally meant “ho who knows the tunes” or “the all knowing”. The Germanic seeresses, who by late ancient times were known far beyond Europe’s borders for their miraculous abilities, would enter a prophetic ecstasy with the aid of such magical agents and shamanic techniques. With the Christianization of Germania, mandragora (as an ancient pagan ritual plant) was demonized.

Although Mandragora is numbered among the witches plants (witches ointments), it was often counterfeit during the Middle Ages because it was also valued as a talisman and bringer of luck. Surrogates were sold in pharmacies even as late as the 20th century. Because of the difficulty in obtaining actual plant material, mandrake has never attained much significance as a psychoactive plant in the hippie subculture or among the modern closet shamans. Surprisingly, the psychoactivity of the root has never been the object of any systematic study.

Traditional and Ritual use:
Traditionally consumed for its powerful aphrodisiac effects and love magic properties. Also used for its inebriating, hypnotic, euphoric and visionary effects.

In ancient times, the primary ritual significance of the mandrake was in erotic cults. Because of the poor quality of the sources that have come down to us, however, only rudimentary information about these practices is available. The most important source about the use of mandrake in the Orient is the Old Testament, where the fruits (love apples) are mentioned numerous times under the Old Hebrew name dûdû’îm and namely as an aphrodisiac. It is possible that the mandrake, which according to kabalistic principles is a symbol for becoming one, may have been used in secret mystical rites in ancient Israel.

The aphrodisiac quality was attributed primarily to the scent of the ripe, golden yellow fruits. In the Near East today,. The aromatic fruits of the mandrake are still regarded as aphrodisiacs and used in love magic.

The most extensive description of this magical and erotic root and the ritual surrounding its harvest is from Flavius Josephus (1st century), who wrote in Greek so that he could make the customs of the people of Judea more comprehensible to the Greeks. It is possible that he obtained his magical and botanical knowledge from the Essenes, with whom he lived for some time.

In ancient Egypt, mandrake fruits were used as gifts of love during courtship and probably were eaten as aphrodisiacs. The love plant appears to have been associated with Hathor, the goddess of love. The mandrake beer that was consecrated to her played an important role in the famous myth describing the destruction of the human race and the creation of heaven. end of quote


So we thought they were just having a drunken party, but they were having visions as well.
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Re: DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by Aromagician » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:00 am

Here is another interesting paper on the subject.
http://rbedrosian.com/embod_tools.htm

The full exegesis of psychoactive plants in the context of dynastic Egypt is discussed by Emboden (1979, 1981). The argument is made that these plants and their psychoactive constituents were adjuncts to the state of ecstasis among the priestly castes of ancient Egypt and that they lead us to a very new way of viewing Egyptian art and artifacts, as well as those of other ancient civilizations. A limestone relief of the Amarna period circa 1350 B.C. shows us the healing of King Semenkhara by his consort Meritaton using Mandragora and Nymphaea; this is a fine example of the specific context of these plants. These plant motifs appear again in the eighteenth dynasty portrait of Tutankhamen on his throne with his queen.

One bit of iconography that still puzzles Egyptologists is the depiction of "Lady Tuth-Shena" on the stela in which she is before the god Horus. Emanating from the sun disc on Horus's head are five "rays" of tubular flowers that strongly suggest Datura.
( A picture is shown)
Since Datura is pantemperate and pantropical, the genus could not be considered scarce in any region. It is also a genus with easily identifiable virtues. It has been used in every area in which it is known, in rites of passage and in diverse forms of shamanism. Its psychoactive properties are extraordinary, and one of the usual modalities in the Datura experience is that of mystical flight, an out-of-the-body sensation.

This explanation, like so many others relating to Tuth-Shena and Horus, might seem specious were it not for the other, associated plants that have psychoactive properties: the central flower and leaf of Nymphaea caerulea; at the foot of Horus, the unguent jar wrapped with the narcotic water lily bud; the strand of grapes and their leaves hanging from the opposite side of the supporting pedestal upon which offerings rest; the four repeated representations of a cleft water lily leaf in the series of glyphs at the right-hand margin. It is the realm of the dead, evidenced by the resin cone on the head of Tuth-Shena. The light is the light of Horus, realized in the psychoactive flowers of Datura which "illuminate" Tuth-Shena in allegorical fashion. It is the power of Horus before which she throws up her hands in awe. Vitis, Nymphaea, and Datura are the intoxicating elements portrayed in this scene of shamanic manifestation.

It is perhaps by coincidence that the frequency of portrayal of psychogenic plants is correlated with the level of development of ancient civilizations, but I do not think so. A shamanic caste appears and, subsequently, there is further shamanic stratification, the adjuncts to these priestly office that is to say, psychoactive plants-increase. The length of the associated rituals is progressively increased, and the litanies or magical incantations become hypertrophied. We can see the same thing among the Maya. It parallels the complexity of medicine and medicinal practices, for all these are inseparable at a certain level. They are manifestations of belief systems that are enhanced by altered states of consciousness.
Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. ROY M GOODMAN

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Re: DID the 18th dynasty use mandrake root for visions?

Post by Who2 » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:45 am

Well if you know where I can hold of some, I will gladly undertake a scientific evaluation and report back my findings in a 'lucid and eligible form, I did the mushrooms & ayahusca years ago....:cool:
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

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