In Search of the 'Numinous Mushroom’ (Lingzhi)

On Saturday, February 3, RST190 took a trip with Professor Flagg Miller to the Asian Art Museum as part of their week devoted to the history and study of “numinous mushrooms” in Chinese Taoism.  The class, entitled “Sacred Mushrooms, Holy Fungi and their Perils” has been exploring the history of psychoactive herbs in religious traditions through history. The picture here shows the Queen Mother of the West atop a 3rd-century money tree that was traditionally placed in tombs to accompany the deceased to the afterlife and provide them with comforts. 

a group of students in front of a museum display or an ornate, branching mushroom