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The Psychedelia book does not go into great detail with regards to the Greek myth of Demeter's search for her daughter Persephone, abducted by Hades. This myth bears marks of having been derived from an even older fertility-agricultural myth, in which the seasonal changes and coming harvests were focal points for deity worship and offerings. In an interesting development, this Greek goddess myth then went through another cycle of transformation, where the old paraphernalia (such as symbolic grain spikes) was retained, while the symbolic purpose of the rite now had become oriented towards the spiritual enlightenment of each participant. As described in Psychedelia, the hallucinogenic kykeon provided the psycho-active catalyst for this revelation of a higher, eternal world.
This ancient fresco of Persephone and Demeter is curious as it shows the goddesses holding up and admiring what clearly looks like mushrooms. However, the kykeon brew is today believed to have come from ergot infested barley (much like the ergot rye that led to LSD-25), from which an LSD analogue such as LSA was derived.
Except for the hallucinogenic connection, the presence of psycho-active mushrooms in the Great Mysteries is not known at all, which makes the fresco image puzzling. Carl Ruck, in his Sacred Mushrooms Of The Goddess (2009) speculates that psycho-active mushrooms may have been used in the Lesser Mysteris that preceded the night in the Great Temple by many months, and whose purpose may have been to screen out mentally unstable candidates. In any event, the image of the goddesses and shrooms provides an intriguing of another, perhaps yet unknown, hallucinogenic tradition in the old high culture of the Mediterranean.