20 June 2007

Pan's Labyrinth and Mandrake

The movie Pan's Labyrinth, is the story of a girl living with a stepfather in the late days of the Spanish Civil War, who may be a lost princess of a pagan underworld. The girl sees all sorts of things that everyone else does not. One prominent way in which the "real world" and her fairy world in the movie interact is through the actions of a mandrake root. These roots have long magical associations as a result of their appearance.

But, I find it notable to discover that mandrake is also, in the proper dose and form a "deliriant" or true hallucinogen, so called "because they do cause hallucinations in the proper sense: a user may have conversations with people who aren't there, or become angry at a 'person' mimicking their actions, not realizing it is their own reflection in a mirror."

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