Monday, May 3, 2021

The Immortality Key and the Goddess Connection

"My impression from your book is there was a big backlash at some point and a need to suppress feminine wisdom, and before that they were the keepers of the tradition, they were the priestesses," says Dennis McKenna introducing Brian C. Muraresku, author of The Immortality Key: The Secret History of the Religion with No Name. McKenna (the more scientific-leaning brother of psychedelic author Terence McKenna) will host Muraresku for a "fireside chat" with live Q&A on Saturday, May 8 at noon PST. 

I listened to Muraresku on Joe Rogan's podcast from an appearance last October when his book was released, and can't wait to read or listen to the book (it won't be out in paperback until next year, but is available in hardback, Kindle, and an audiobook read by the author).

A young, independent researcher who studied the classics along with Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit, Muraresku then became an attorney, bringing a case Doctors for Cannabis Regulation on behalf of an NFL player who wanted to use cannabis for pain. He got interested in studying psychedelics when he read the Johns Hopkins studies that found people had religious experience on them. 

Muraresku's reading of thousands of studies and papers includes, he mentioned, Dioscorides Materia Medica and the recent discovery of cannabis at an ancient Judaic shrine. He spent time at the Vatican in Rome looking for evidence of ancient mystical religions and their suppression, and traveled to Greece hoping to do a chemical analysis on residues in the sacramental cups used for the ancient Eleusinian mysteries, with their mysterious and probably psychedelic sacrament kykeon.  

Told that the Eleusinian ceremonial cups had been "cleaned" and couldn't be tested, he instead found his way to a Spanish archeological site with heavy Greek influences, such as the depictions of the goddesses of Eleusis—Demeter and Persephone—on an incense burner and coins (pictured above, on Rogan's show). At that site, ceremonial cups contained ergot, the mold that grows on grains and is the precursor to LSD. At another site, cannabis was found to be among 50 different ingredients used to spike ancient "wine," which wasn't alcoholic but rather something priestesses concocted from herbs and spices. One of the theses he is trying to prove is that ancient priestesses were concocting a kind of beer spiked with ergot. 

One of the researchers whose work Muraresku has built upon is Carl Ruck, who was deposed as chair of the Classical Studies Department at Boston University after he co-wrote The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, with LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann and R. Gordon Wasson, who brought psilocybin to the English-speaking world. Checking out a footnote he spotted in a book of Ruck's about a 1978 paper that found Greek priestesses depicted spiking wine on a 5th century BC vase at the Louvre, Muraresku traveled there and found the vase was chipped just at the point of the important ingredient. However, he did find another vase that clearly shows a woman holding a mushroom she is about to add to a potion (pictured). 

Author Graham Hancock, who wrote the forward to The Immortality Key, appeared with Muraresku on the Rogan podcast and commented that being a psychedelic "virgin" could be helpful to his young colleague, since Hancock himself has been disregarded by some who think his taking of psychedelic drugs have altered his brain. Many academics have left the field, and are unable to get support for further work, Muraresku reported. 

Rogan noted that the War on Drugs is a big part of the police violence and brutality our society is seeing, giving the example of Brianna Taylor, a young woman who was killed in a no-knock drug raid. "It's not a war on drugs, it's a war on consciousness, and it treats us like children," Hancock said. Here's to society growing up, with full knowledge of the ancient mystery religions and their goddess connections. 
Muraresku will also be discussing The Immortality Key on a Wombkind Book Club event on Tuesday, May 4 at 6 PM PST along with Rick Doblin of MAPS, advocate Samantha Rose Stein, and Nana Meriwether, an "American philanthropist, former professional volleyball player, and beauty pageant titleholder."

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