Medieval Symbols for Entheogens

MedievalSymbols2
The monopod was known as the One-Foot or club foot who would use his foot as a parasol to shield him from the hot Sun. Wasson suggests this is a personification of the magic mushroom protecting himself from the sunlight that will melt the mushroom. The Christian Satan was often depicted with a club foot, thus linking the serpent with the forbidden mushroom as Tree of Knowledge.

The cyclops, a popular monster since the ancient Greeks, is proposed by Wasson as the Vedic Third Eye. He points out that they were believed part of an ancient race of giants who provided powerful tools to the gods. A female cyclops was a special kind of oracle. The cyclops thus represents psychic enlightenment, traditionally induced by some kind of entheogen.

The blemmye, having its face on the torso, is also known as the "tongue-in-belly." Wasson proposed that this is a reference to the stomach aches and purging that often accompanies the ingestion of entheogenic plants.

As for the cynocephaly or dog-headed man, he is an archetype for Dogon and the Dog Star of the Hunter. The entheogenic connection here is the mythical trait of the dog-headed man as a cannibal (see also canine, Canaan, cannabis) associated with sacrificial communion. The guardian of the Underworld and god of the dead is the Egyptian Anubis. St. Christopher was described as dog-headed until he was baptized, after which time he became human. The wolfman legend in Europe is the dog-headed man, connected to the effect of the wolfbane plant that makes one's skin feel as if it is covered with hair. In general, the cynocephaly is symbolic of eating the plant god in communion like a dog.

The conjoined twins are symbolic of Gemini or the body double. St Thomas was called the didymus or double of Christ and was said to teach in India. Yet, at times didymus refers only to Christ. We might interpret the body double as symbolic of the astral body, spirit, nagual or soul. Entheogenic plants or fungi were ingested during religious ritual to liberate the astral body from the physical body.