There Are No Mushrooms in Christian Art

A talk by Thomas Hatsis
Co-Director, Psanctum Psychedelia

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About this talk

One of the more popular ideas of contemporary psychedelic culture holds that medieval Christians secretly (and sometimes, not so secretly) painted psychedelic mushrooms, specifically the Amanita muscaria, into their frescos, stained-glass windows, stone work, and illuminated manuscripts. And, of course, Santa Claus’s red and white outfit is secretly based off the Amanita muscaria. Intriguing as these ideas strikes us they are total fabrications of modern scholarship gone awry. If it’s important in the psychedelic Renaissance to get the psychology, chemistry, criminology, and ethnobotany correct, it should be important to get the history correct too. Join Tom Hatsis as he untangles the modern myths around the “holy mushroom” hypothesis and outlines why it’s time for the psychedelic Renaissance to abandon this outdated, baseless claim.

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