IHS and the Mushroom Symbol

The use of altar-cloths began some time before the fourth century, promulgated into canon law by Boniface III in the seventh century. As a required custom for the licit celebration of Mass, it is used in case the Precious Blood of communion should by accident be spilt and thus absorbed before reaching the altar-stone. Formally, the altar-cloths are made of gold andsilver inlaid with precious stones after the tradition of the Jewish breastplate or "hoshen" worn by a Hebrew temple priest.

In this altar-cloth we see depicted the letters IHS, a symbolic name for Jesus originating in the Phoenician sun god IHS or Ihsous. The Greeks called him Dionysus, also Iasius or Iesius, while the Romans called him Bacchus. The etymological meaning is revealed by "I" the one and "hs" or "es" the fire or light, taken together to mean "the one light." This is a reference to Zoroastrian sun worship and, more anciently, the Egyptian sun god Osiris [Walker].

Out of the "H" grows what appears to be a mushroom - a red "parasol" like the Amanita muscaria - overlaid with a crucifix. Above this is a crown held aloft by two cherubs, identifying this living/dying/resurrecting god as the King or Christ. Notice that the cherubs are also bringing plants to the communion altar, the left being a grapevine and the right wheat sheaves.

The fermented wine of grapes was commonly used as a base for many ancient communions, usually around 14% of volume, with the rest extracted from one or more entheogenic plants or fungi. The grapevine represents the "true vine" of Dionysus, which became the symbol for a line of vegetation gods - sons of the Sun - generally referred to as Green Men.

The wheat sheaves are then connected with the cult of the goddess Demeter, one in a long line of Venusian fertility goddesses. Wheat was used due to the growth of ergot fungus on the grain, making it useful for creating psychoactive bread (e.g. Hebrew shewbread). Together with the entheogenic grape wine, we have the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ (Iesous the King) fully represented on the altar-cloth.

* What turns water into wine? The Sun as it warms and ripens the grapes.