Book of Urizen
William Blake’s, Book of Urizen represents Blake’s attempt at rewriting the Bible, and incorporating Gnostic ideals. Rather than try to interpret the work, I just want to examine the art for their mushroom implications. Take the title page for example; it has an old man, sitting beneath a tree, writing a book. In the background, are the two-tablet like tombstones, which represent Moses’ Ten Commandments. These two tablets form the silhouette of a mushroom. In addition, Urizen is sitting under a tree. Is this the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Also, many of Blake’s works are framed as a mushroom; the canopy of the trees forms the cap, and the two tablets and the man form the stalk.
Object 4 of Urizen has Urizen reading a rainbow colored book, and his head appearing to emanate light. His arms are outstretched like the cap of a mushroom.
Object 5 is of an upside-down figure, entwined with a snake, with arms outstretched; Blake’s version of the staff of Asclepius. The snake is a symbol for the serpent from the Garden of Eden. And it appears underground, representing the mycelium of the mushroom.
Object 15 has a bent over figure, atop a red globe. I suspect the red globe to be the mushroom cap of the Amanita muscaria.
Object 20, shows Urizen chained, and mostly white. Emanating from his head, appears to be a red light. His body is the white stalk of the mushroom, which meets the red cap of the mushroom.
These are just the obvious examples.