In a regular deck this card would be the Knight of Fall/ Earth.
In this deck all 4 Gort = Ivy cards also feature a Boar in some form. In this image we see another bronze cast of a Boar hidden behind the Ivy. Boar was treasured by the Celts for its feistyness and stubborn resilience and was an emblem of the power of a mighty warrior. The Warrior in this image however is not out to make war, but involved in preparations for an exploratory journey into the Otherworld:
He is the Knight of the magic potion:
A Gnome beneath the Ivy is seen with his pot filled with a magic brew, that obviously also includes a few small Mushrooms as well as the freshly harvested Amanita Muskaria Mushrooms that are prominently featured on the image. What will he experience on his journey to the Otherworld?
The Fly Agaric Mushroom was and still is widely used as a hallucinogenic.
It is not proven, that the Celts of the British Isles were users, but in mainland Europe and Siberia the Mushroom was widely used. Even today there is the custom to give, as a hostess present at New year’s celebrations, a little wooden Fly Agaric Mushroom, ofter with a Ladybug on it, for good fortunes in the new year. Even my MIL sends us some made out of chocolate in her Winter Solstice parcel 🙂
In Siberia shamans eat Fly Agaric in order to enter a clairvoyant trance state and mobilize their shamanic powers of healing. Amanita muscaria are also ingested when they wish to communicate with the souls of their ancestors or to contact spirits. One to three Amanita mushrooms appear to be the usual traditional dose with initial Amanita effects being felt in about twenty minutes. It was the practice of Siberian and other tribes to recycle the urine of someone who had already eaten Amanita muscaria, and thus, because a substantial amount of active substances in it remained unchanged, it could be used for later or given to someone who did not manage to collect Mushrooms for their use.
The Fly Agaric employs the human imagination for centuries. European history and culture has many myths about Amanita Muscaria.
The German saying, that the red Toadstool Mushroom is a sign of good luck, points to a deep devotion to the Fly Agaric Mushroom. Thus, it is described that Wotan/ Voden, the Germanic god of ecstasy and knowledge was responsible for bringing it to the people. According to legend, Wotan rides through the Sky at the Winter Solstice and where the foam dripping from the mouth of his Horse Sleipnier fell to the ground, nine months later the red Mushrooms were sprouting.
Popular belief also associates the Fly Agaric with witches, wizards and wise women, and depending on the occasion, with pleasure or calamity. It also was suspected to be one of the ingredients of the famous flying ointments.
In many shamanic cultures the Fly Agaric is counted among the sacred plants that were used by shamans to achieve an ecstatic state, to delve into the Otherworld. Among Siberian shamans it is still in use. Also the priests of the Maya used the Mushroom as an intoxicant to get visions of the gods. Even the strong drink “soma” which goes back to the Vedas of India is said to have contained Amanita Muskaria.
Today you can still find imaginative representations of the red mushroom on old postcards, children’s book illustrations and comics. They are popular as seats for garden Gnomes, as piggy banks, as sock knitting aids, as Christmas Tree ornaments, as marzipan decorations on cakes or as lucky charms for New Year’s. Even in popular literature it had to serve as the murder weapon.
Although the consumption of Fly Agaric Mushrooms is usually not fatal, it leads to nausea, severe mental impairment and intoxication. Precisely because of this somnolent trance-like effect, the fungus is unfortunately often misused as a drug. It takes effect by causing dream-like drowsiness and then goes into hallucinations and under certain circumstances also agitation. Unfortunately also palpitations, muscle spasms , anxiety states and panic attacks can be the result.
Although the acute symptoms of Mushroom intoxication subside within a few hours, because of these serious side effects, experimentation with Fly Agaric is not recommended.
We do have Fly Agaric Mushrooms growing on our property.
It actually is a crazy coincidence, that just yesterday I took a picture of a Yellow Amanita,which has much the same properties than his red capped cousin, that is growing here in profusion, even right underneath our deck.
Am I eating them?
The amount of psychoactive substances they contain depends on where they grow and on weather and other uncertain factors.I enjoy their spiritual strength and “teacher Medicine.
But for trance journeys all I need is my drum .:)