hist-brewing: kykeon

OZRICofPSYTH at webtv.net OZRICofPSYTH at webtv.net
Thu Jan 20 14:21:23 PST 2000

A sacred potion made of barley and mint and called the kykeon. The
possible psychoactive ingredients in kykeon have been hotly debated. It
has been suggested that the mint in the mixture might have provided the
mind-altering element as the mint family contains the plant Salvia
divinorum, used by the Mazatec Indians of Mexico in a divinatory
context. Terence McKenna has suggested that Stropharia cubensis, or
another psilocybin- containing mushroom, might be the key.
The most convincing theory about the nature of kykeon, results from
extensive research by Gordon Wasson, Albert Hofmann and Carl Ruck. In
'The Road to Eleusis' (2) they argue that the parasitic fungus ergot,
found on particular wild grasses, is the psychoactive component of
kykeon. It would have been simple for an Eleusinian priest to collect
the ergot from the wild grass growing near to the temple, grind it into
a powder and add it to the kykeon. The theory is further supported by
the fact that ergot is commonly found on grain, 

(Source-  Hofmann, A. (1997) The Message of the Eleusinian Mysteries in
Forte, R. (ed.) Entheogens and the Future of Religion. San Francisco:
Council on Spiritual Practices.)


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