Hallucinogenic culture was not a ‘sub-culture’ in ancient times – it was very much at the centre of rites and daily life right across the world.
I state this with complete confidence, as there are nearly thirty hallucinogenic plants featured in the Holy Bible – most notable of which is Mandrake (Mandragora Officinalis) and Calamus. Mandrake and many, many other ‘visionary’ plants – what professor Andrew Sherratt describes as “Sacred Weeds” – were the stock in trade of the Magi. Similarly, ganja, opium and cannabis were swapped and traded in Egypt.
And let us never forget that the Magi of Iran, according to the ancient biblical sources, seem to closely resemble the Shaman-healers we find in Siberia, India, Lebanon and the Americas.
They would nomadically roam the ancient world, exchanging little pouches of hallucinogenic sacraments and sit around a campfire ruminating on the cosmic wonder of the night sky, with stories to tell of the wonders their little pouches of seeds and plants contained. We know this has been going on centuries, because UTZI THE ICE-FROZEN MUMMY from the Italian alps got stranded and mummified in the permafrost. When anthropologists thawed out his body hundreds of years later, he was found to be carry a little pouch of psycho-active HENBANE seeds…
Yes, those little pouches contained doorways to the Ether. A Magi was not merely an ancient drug peddlar, they were selling the greatest gift of all; Knowledge of the Infinite Cosmos.
Hallucinogens were well known to have the ability to open a ‘Third Eye’. The Eye of Ra in ancient Egypt refers to this telepathic all-seeing-eye and is no doubt a reference to the ‘knowingness’ or ‘gnosis’ which emerges when you eat a hallucinogenic herb, seed, fungi or vine.