Entheogens & the Development of Culture

Paperback: 672 pages

Publisher: North Atlantic Books; 6.9.2013 Edition (July 30, 2013)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 9781583946008

ISBN-13: 978-1583946008


There can be no doubt that our ancient ancestors used mind-altering substances to commune with the other side, the ancestors and eventually the gods, and sometimes demons. Mind-altering substances, evidenced by liver enzymes and receptor sites in the brain, have been with human kind for many millions of years, and these experiences are at the base of shamanism and every – what is loosely called – “religion” in the world. Decision-making and thus cultural directions for our ancestors, as in today’s world, are closely connected to the use of a wide variety of mind-altering substances and yet these substances are left out of the discussion.

Table of Contents

with image links​



Chapter One

Mind-Altering Substances and Decision Making John A. Rush

Chapter Two

Altered Consciousness and Drugs in Human Evolution Michael Winkelman

Chapter Three

Cannabis and the Hebrew Bible Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen

Chapter Four

Hildegard of Bingen: Unveiling the Secrets of a Medieval High Priestess and Visionary Gerrit Keizer

Chapter Five

The Milk of the Goat Heiðrun: An Investigation into the Sacramental Use of Psychoactive Milk and Meat  Alan Piper

Chapter Six

The significance of pharmacological and biological indicators in identifying historical uses of Amanita muscaria  Kevin Feeney

Chapter Seven

Enter the Jaguar  Mike Jay

Chapter Eight

Ravens’ Bread, and Other Manifestations of Fly Agaric in Classical and Biblical Literature  Edzard Klapp

Chapter Nine

Democracy and the Dionysian Agenda  Carl Ruck

Chapter Ten

Virgil’s Edible Tables  Carl A.P. Ruck and Robert Larner

Chapter Eleven

The Genesis of A Mushroom/Venus Religion In Mesoamerica  Carl de Borhegyi and Suzanne de Borhegyi

Chapter Twelve

Sacred mushrooms and man: Diversity and traditions in the world, with special reference to Psilocybe  Gaston Guzman

Chapter Thirteen

The Soma Function in Jung’s Analytical Psychology  Dan Merkur

Chapter Fourteen

Gordon Wasson: The Man, the Legend, the Myth  Jan Irvin