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The Psychedelic Tree of Life

Richard Merrick

The Egyptian goddess Lusaaset, meaning ‘the great one who comes forth,’ was considered the grandmother of all the Egyptian gods, except for her husband the sun god Tem or Atum (Amun-Ra). Similar in appearance to later goddesses Hathor and Isis, Lusaaset is depicted as wearing the Egyptian vulture crown surmounted with the uraeus (Kundalini cobra) and solar disk between two horns.

We can best understand the meaning behind Lusaaset and relevance to present day religion by exploring her corresponding symbols for birth and resurrection.

Acacia – Spiritual Rebirth

The ancient Egyptian goddess Lusaaset was associated with the acacia tree known as the Tree of Life to ancient Egyptians. More specifically, she was associated with the oldest known acacia tree at the time, which was situated just north of Heliopolis, Egypt, in the famous Garden of Heliopolis.

It is important to note that all species of acacia are known to be hallucinogenic, either in their bark, roots, leaves or fruit, due to the natural production of DiMethylTryptamine or DMT. In particular, acacia trees were used by the ancient Egyptians to make a hallucinogenic wine. The Egyptians called this wine Yrp, which when consumed during sacred ceremonies, caused the appearance of Lusaaset, ‘the great one who comes forth.’

‘I am the son of Khepri, born in Hetepet under the tresses of the Goddess of Iusâas-town [i.e. Lusaaset], north of Ôn, who ascended from the vertex of Geb.’ – Egyptian priest, Utterance 519.


In this Egyptian scripture, the acacia tree of Lusasset is located in the Garden of Heliopolis and described as the ‘tresses of the Goddess’ which ‘ascended from the vertex of Geb’. Since Geb was the god of the Earth and husband of sky goddess Nut, the acacia Tree of Life bridges the Earth and Sky at the center of the Garden. In this way, the hallucinogenic experience of drinking Yrp was a way to ascend the sacred Tree of Life and be reborn as spirit into the heavens.

Venus – Celestial Rebirth

Lusaaset was also associated with the planet Venus and celestial fertility.

‘Give me these your two fingers which you gave to the Beautiful, the daughter of the great God, when the sky was separated from earth, when the Gods ascended to the sky.’ – Egyptian priest addressing the Morning Star (Venus), Utterance 519.

Here, the epithet ‘the Beautiful’ refers to Lusaaset as she ascends from the head of Geb (Earth) as Venus rises out of the Earth or sea in the Eastern Sky (Nut). Thus, Lusaaset occupies the space between Geb and Nut (Earth and Sky) as the planet Venus, who ascends and is reborn every day as the Morning Star.

Greek historian Plutarch referred to Lusaaset as the ‘mistress of Annu’ (or Atum) and the ‘Eye of Ra.’ Some suggest that this name originated from the rare Venus Transit. This is when the planet Venus crosses the face of the sun (about once a century), appearing like an eye and symbolizing the union between male Atum and female Lusaaset. This idea is repeated in the Hindu Vedas where the sun god Indra swallows Shukra, the goddess of Venus, and spits her out as a seed or semen to be born into the waters of Earth. In this way, the Transit of Venus once represented the celestial union of sky gods, symbolizing celestial fertility and rebirth from Egypt to India and beyond.

The Eye of Ra was later associated with the goddess Hathor, the daughter of Ra who like Lusaaset was also known as the ‘Mistress of Heaven.’ And, like Lusaaset, Hathor was closely identified with Yrp wine and celebrated across Egypt, particularly at Denderah which was known as the ‘Place of Intoxication.’

Thus for the Egyptians, the spiritual rebirth experienced while drinking Yrp wine was associated with the rebirth of Venus at dawn. The acacia Tree of Life was a kind of spiritual bridge between the Earth and Sky.

Tree of Life – Bridge to the Afterlife

These Egyptian beliefs and symbolisms are repeated in Christianity. The names Juesaes, Ausaas, Saosis, Lusas and Jusas are all variations of Lusaaset, with Jusas still the preferred spelling for Jesus in some cultures. Furthermore, Jesus may have represented the alchemical union of the Sun and Venus to the Hebrews, a kind of incarnation of the all-seeing Eye of Ra (or Eye of Horus). But the similarities do not stop there.

The Tree of Life in the Garden of Heliopolis may be the same Tree of Life described in the Biblical Garden of Eden. Its hallucinogenic fruit would have been the forbidden fruit of knowledge. From this we might conclude the wine drank by Jesus and his apostles could have been the Yrp wine from the sacred acacia fruit, used to induce a spiritual rebirth in the fashion of Venus.

This interpretation is reinforced by the Latin name Lucifer, meaning ‘lusas-feri’ or ‘light-bearer’, which refers to Venus as the Morning Star rising bright in the dawn’s early light. Thus, the all-seeing eye is sometimes called the Eye of Lucifer. But when Venus is viewed as both the Morning Star and Evening Star, represented by Egyptian god Set, the composite name Lusaa-Set or Lusaaset becomes an even greater symbol of resurrection into the night or afterlife.

Jusas as a demi-god of fertility would then represent not just physical birth, but also rebirth into the afterlife. And like the rebirth of Venus, the Luciferian followers of Jusas could be ‘born again’ into the Sun’s light by drinking the psychedelic ‘juices’ from the Tree of Life.

Additional essays on similar practices in Indian and Greco-Roman traditions:

Ritual of the Last Supper
The Last Serpent Deity
The Birth of World Religion from the Divine Proportion


Richard Merrick

Richard Merrick was the founder and CEO of Postfuture, a pioneering rich-media communications provider for companies like Best Buy and Microsoft. Under his leadership, the company grew from a tiny start-up in 1999 into the top digital communications company of 2004 and 4th fastest growing technology company in Texas. Prior to this, he was the technology founder and elected CEO of 7th Level, a global CD-ROM game publisher and Internet technology company known for such award-winning titles as TuneLand Starring Howie Mandel and Monty Python's The Quest for the Holy Grail. Merrick's work spans many areas of digital media, including search engines, graphics operating systems, multi-media authoring applications, interactive games, voice-response Web agents and dynamically personalized Internet communications. Throughout his career he has been invited to speak around the world on the future of digital media and cited as an expert in leading publications. He is an improvisational pianist & composer, archetypal artist and independent researcher into the physics, history and social ramifications of harmonic science. He received his B.A. (magna cum laude) and M.S.C.S. degrees from the University of Texas at Dallas.

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