and the Drug Propaganda: Mykenaikos
Professor Evans: "On the remarkable gold signet-ring, known from the
place of its discovery [Mycenaean Pylos] as the 'Ring of Nestor', the
scenes of inititiation into the after-life are divided by the trunk
and branches of a Minoan 'Tree of the World'. Here there can be little
doubt...that the plant, the shoots of which spring forth from the trunk
to give shade to the lion guardian of the realms below, must be identified
with the same 'Sacral Ivy' that climbs the rocky steeps in this cycle
of wall paintings....May we not perhaps go even farther? This conspicuous
spray - with its green leaves picked out, as we see them in the fresco,
by the bright orange outline of the sacred emblem - springing from the
hoar and barren trunk of the tree that here seems to stand on the borders
of the Minoan Underworld, might it not itself have possesed some mystic
power? It is impossible not to recall the Golden Bough, which, when
plucked by Aeneas, opened for him the passage to Avernus. But ever,
as one was torn away, another branch of gleaming gold sprang in its
The cult room dug up in 1969 at Mycenae, dating to about 1300 BC, revealed
Goddess figurines and snakes, basically a Cretan religion. At Argos
'Plant-Man' was called 'Dionysos The Cretan.' One of Ventris' most interesting
discoveries when he deciphered Linear B was the name of Dionysos, thus
confirming what the Greeks themselves had always maintained, that Dionysos
came from the womb of his Cretan mother, via the Mycenaeans, the Mykenaikos.
The Mykenaikos were the people of the mykes, the 'mushroom.'
Myesis, 'initiation' in Greek, mystes, 'initiate,' and
mysteria, 'the festival of the mysteries,' all derive from the
root of mykes. Pausanias: "When Perseus ('the destroyer') returned
to Argos, shamed by the rumours of this murder, he persuaded Megapenthe
('much suffering'), daughter of Proitos to exchange crowns, and taking
hers he founded Mycenae. This is where his mykes [cap, sword cap] fell
off, and he believed it was the sign to build a city. I have heard too
that it happened he was thirsty and pulled up a mykes [mushroom] from
the ground, and drank the water that rushed out, and that, liking it,
he called the place Mycenae."
The Mycenaean 'stirrup jar,' holding what the ancients called 'unguent'
or 'ointment,' was Mycenae's most popular export. Archeologists judge
the commercial reach of Mycenae by the appearance of its uniquely shaped
unguent jars in the finds, from the Hazor sacked by Joshua to Akhenaten's
Tell el-Amarna to Hittite Khattusha. The 'stirrups' were handles for
pouring out of the circular spout, which was small enough to be easily
One of the early full sentences Ventris was able to decipher in Linear
B was "How Alxoitas gave Thyestes the unguent-boiler spices for him
to boil in the unguent." On investigation, it was discovered that nothing
inedible was ever used in the aromatic 'unguent,' and that some ingredients,
such as wine and honey, were utterly inappropriate as a skin salve.
That is, the 'unguent' was for ingestion. Kyphi, Egyptian incense, was
also used as an aromatic and an interior medicine.
The ingredients listed included coriander, cyperus, henna, ginger-grass,
mint, iris root, wine, honey, olive oil and 'MA.' Cyperus can be three
or four plants of the genus cyperaceae, including papyrus, eaten
like sugar cane by the Egyptians, or chufa, brewed as an aromatic tea
or eaten by the root. It has been found in Egyptian tombs, c.2400 BC.
Henna, the ancient red-orange hair dye, was used by the Egyptians to
cure headache. Its flowers have a delicious aroma, and Egyptian ladies
colored their breasts with it. The fine foxes above, shown imbibing
amidst the floating fruit, were painted onto the walls of the tomb of
Userhet at Thebes, c.1300 BC. Coriander, the delicious spice, is also
a perfume and a tonic for the stomach. Iris root is a stomach tonic
mentioned by Theophrastus and Dioscorides, and ginger grass and mint
are edible aromatics.
'MA' is associated in the texts with Eileithyia, the Cretan/Greek Goddess
of Childbirth, obviously an aspect of Demeter, 'Earth Mother.' The Mycenaeans
made a point of importing herbal infusions from Crete, in stirrup jars
with Cretan place names, marked with the sacred Double-Axe sign. Since
they needed neither jars nor olive oil nor herbs for their large-scale
unguent manufacturing process, and, since opium had always been a major
Cretan crop, as the temple-palace records show, it is likely that 'MA,'
the ingredient called 'The Mother,' is mekonion, opium.