“Entheogens in Christian Art: Wasson, Allegro and the Psychedelic Gospels,” Journal of Psychedelic Studies, October 2019, by Jerry B. and Julie M. Brown Abstract: In light of new historical evidence regarding ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson’s correspondence with art historian Erwin Panofsky, this article provides an in-depth analysis of the presence of entheogenic mushroom images in […]Continue Reading
The Psychedelic Gospels
The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity
Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., and Julie M. Brown, M.A.
Throughout medieval Christianity, religious works of art emerged to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. What, then, is the significance of psychoactive mushrooms hiding in plain sight in the artwork and icons of many European and Middle-Eastern churches?
Invitation to Readers
There is an old saying: If you want to hide something, put it in plain sight. To our surprise, we learned that this saying is especially true for Christianity, where medieval works of art were created to illustrate the teachings of the Bible for the largely illiterate population. A close look at these religious works of art reveals the presence of psychedelic plants–hidden in plain sight for centuries.
Hidden in plain sight…in Christian churches?
Yes, that’s exactly what we said.
Based on stunning visual evidence found in cathedrals and churches, we invite you to join us as we relive our discovery of the “Psychedelic Gospels” and propose an alternative theory of the origins of Christianity−one radically different from that portrayed in the Bible.
This book takes you along, step-by-step, on our decade-long anthropological adventure, providing an easily-readable account of this controversial theory.
It was during the turbulent decades of the 1960s and 1970s that we had our first experiences with psychedelics, a class of drugs that in time we came to know as “entheogens”: psychoactive plants and chemicals that generate mystical experiences. It was through entheogens that we first came to experience God as the divine intelligence that permeates the universe.
Later, in 2006, we made an archeological discovery that caused us to seriously consider the role of entheogens in the foundations of Judeo-Christianity. At that point our personal experiences with psychedelics merged with our professional interests (Jerry’s in anthropology and religion, Julie’s in psychotherapy and spirituality), and we felt compelled to undertake a search for evidence of entheogens in Christian art.
While our findings are startling, it is not our intention to question the fundamental beliefs of Christianity, but to uncover a mystery that we believe applies to many religions. Our findings do not deny the importance of religious sacraments, but suggest that they should encompass all of God’s creations, including psychoactive plants.
All that we ask of you, dear reader, is to consider what we have to say with an open mind and to follow our findings and speculations to their conclusions. Our journey begins in Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland.
About the Authors
Julie M. Brown, M.A.
Julie M. Brown, M.A., is an integrative psychotherapist, who conducts research on the role of sacred plants in religion. She took all the original photographs for The Psychedelic Gospels.
Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D.
Jerry B. Brown, Ph.D., is an anthropologist and activist, who for four decades taught a course on “Hallucinogens and Culture” at Florida International University.
Invite the Authors to Speak at Your Event!
- The Psychedelic Gospels: Sacred Sacraments and the Future of Religion
- New Science of Psychedelics: Breakthroughs in Psychology, Medicine and Spirituality
- Spirituality and Consciousness: Transcending Negative Love-with Julie M. Brown, M.A.
What People Are Saying
Author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys
A fascinating piece of scholarly work that opens new possibilities of understanding human consciousness.David Crosby
Bestselling Author of The Harvard Psychedelic Club
Founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Author of The New Science of Psychedelics
Co-Authors of Aging With Attitude and A Mini Course for Life
Past President, American Booksellers Association
Author of Mycelium Running
Psychedelic ResearcherAuthor of The Psychedelic Renaissance
Co-Author, Personal Mythology
Sacred Sites & Churches Visited by the Authors
Rosslyn chapel Green Man sculpture with mushroom
Great Canterbury Psalter, God Creates Plants
St. Eustace Window, Chartres Cathedral
Rennes le Château
Holy water stoop, Rennes le Château
Chapel of Plaincouralt
Temptation in the Garden of Eden in the Chapel of Plaincourault.
Abbey of Saint-Savin
Fresco painting at Saint Savin in France
Church of Saint Martin
Towers of Jerusalem fresco at Saint Martin
St. Michael's Church
Eden Panel in Saint Michael’s Church
Basilica of Aquileia
Mushroom floor mosaic, Basilica of Aquileia
Pine Cone Sculpture, Vatican Museum
Archeological Site: Eleusinian Mysteries
Crucifixion painting, Open Air Museum in Turkey
Fresco from the Ihlara Valley in Turkey
(click on location markers to learn more)
Recent Blog Posts
Solutions News Radio show on cannabis legalization, psilocybin decriminalization, Portugal policy and The Psychedelic GospelsContinue Reading
This guest post by Aeden Smith explores Ibogaine treatment as a psychedelic approach to American’s growing opioid epidemic. Finding freedom from heroin or opiate addiction can be an overwhelming task for many addicts and their families. With so many to choose from, and staggeringly low success rates of many mainstream treatments, many are turning to […]Continue Reading