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Category Archives: Entheogens

Entheogen – PsychonautWiki

Posted: July 1, 2017 at 9:26 am

An entheogen ("generating the divine within")[2] is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context[3] that may be synthesized or obtained from natural sources. The chemical induces altered states of consciousness. Jonathan Ott helped coin the term "entheogen".[4]

Entheogens have been used in a ritualized context for thousands of years; their religious significance is well established with anthropological and modern evidence. Examples of traditional entheogens include psychedelics like peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, and iboga; atypical hallucinogens like salvia and Amanita muscaria; quasi-psychedelics like cannabis; and deliriants like datura.

With the advent of organic chemistry, there now exist many synthetic drugs with similar psychoactive properties, with many derived from these plants. Many pure active compounds with psychoactive properties have been isolated from these respective organisms and chemically synthesized including mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, salvinorin A, ibogaine, ergine, and muscimol. Semi-synthetic (e.g., LSD used by the New American Church) and synthetic drugs (e.g., DPT used by the Temple of the True Inner Light and 2C-B used by the Sangoma) have also been developed.[5]

More broadly, the term entheogen is used to refer to any psychoactive drug when used for its religious or spiritual effects, whether or not in a formal religious or traditional structure. This terminology is often chosen to contrast with the recreational use of the same drugs. Studies such as the Marsh Chapel Experiment have documented reports of spiritual experiences from participants who were administered psychoactive drugs in controlled trials.[6] Ongoing research is limited due to widespread drug prohibition; however, some countries have legislation that allows for traditional entheogen use.

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Entheogen - PsychonautWiki

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The History and Possibilities of Putting Weed in Your Witchcraft – Seattle Weekly

Posted: June 29, 2017 at 11:27 am

From your bong to your broomstick.

Cannabis has been included in magical, religious, and spiritual rites for millennia, from Hindu sadhus who use cannabis as a prayer to Lord Shiva to Coptic Christians who burned it on altars as a devotional offering. Witches and warlocks, too, have had a long history with this helper, utilizing it for everything from medical remedies to summoning spirits. Cannabis and hemp were both staples in folk traditions. In his 1653 Complete Herbal, author Nicholas Culpeper wrote of the plant: This is so well known to every good housewife in the country, that I shall not need to write any description of it.

Some classic uses for cannabis were in spells and rites dedicated to healing, love, money drawing, visions, and meditation. Lovestruck witches would wander out under the midsummer full moon to sprinkle hemp seeds while circling a church nine times in hopes of seeing their true love(s). Witches attempting to see into the future would burn an incense made of cannabis, mugwort, coltsfoot, and angelica in front of a magic mirror, watching for signs in the reflection of the glass.

Perhaps the most infamous usage of cannabis in magic is its inclusion in the famed Witchs Flying Ointment. Blended with other mind-altering substances like opium poppies, morning glories, datura, belladonna, and nightshade and mixed with butter or lard, witches would smear it on their broomsticks and ride them, flying off in ecstatic, orgasmic bliss. Modern witches can replicate this by blending cannabis with small amounts of other entheogens like ayahuasca, cyanescens (magic mushrooms), and of course poppies. For an entirely legal version, cunning folks can create a weed blend with blue lotus, wild asparagus root, and mugwort. Make a tincture or decoction from your herbal blend and mix it with coconut oil for a bewitching lube to help you open up and push into the Universe with lust and love.

But you can also turn your cannabis use into a magical act. Do you like to work with crystals? The next time youre having a puff while studying sacred texts or reading tarot, try smoking a sativa that enhances concentration through a pipe made of lapis lazuli, a stone known for facilitating intellectual activity, augmenting learning, and improving memory. You can also keep stones with your weed, or use fruit or vegetables with magical connotations as pipes: apples for love spells, cucumbers before attempting dream or astral work, and potatoes and other root veggies for grounding energy after a ritual.

For an abundance spell, mix a little ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg, or thyme, basil, and mint, into fresh water and carefully paint sigils, a wish, or words of power onto a hemp rolling paper and let it dry. Roll up a joint and smoke it to release the energy into the Universe. Alternately, make some edibles with these spice blends, like cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookies. Dont forget to press a magical symbol into the top of the cookie.

Last but not least, smoking from a bong or bubbler is a special way for weed witches to commune with all the elements: Earth is represented by cannabis, fire is the fire you light your bowl with, air is your breath, and water is in the bottom of the bong. Make sure you charge your bong water, too, by thinking some good vibes at it.

Thanks to The Fat Feminist Witch Blog for serving as a reference for this piece.

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Entheogens : Al-Kemi : spagyrics and alchemy

Posted: June 27, 2017 at 7:25 am

As we discussed in our post about our new line of Spagyrics, Theurgica, we have returned to our original focus on making Spagyrics to support meditation, ritual, and spiritual practice of all kinds. Many Spagyrics fitting this category were already part of our work, and as promised, here are a few more. Click here to go [...]

Weve been busy this Spring, what with setting up our new home and lab, working in our yard, and catching up on all the work we set aside during our move. Somewhere in there, we managed to create two new Spagyrics, and more are on the way. Our first new Spagyric isnt a new herb for [...]

Years ago, before we even met, Paul was in the rare books business, dealing in out of print and special books on Western esoterics, Alchemy, Qabalah, philosophy, alternative healing and science, and related topics. When we met, it was in his bookstore in Boulder, Colorado, and since then, both our relationship and our stock of [...]

Each new single-herb Spagyric we create adds to our list of singles, but each one also increases the possibilities for new formulas, much like a painter mixing a new colour, which can then be used in countless paintings to come. In our last update, we told you about new Spagyrics of Solomons Seal and Vervain, and [...]

Note that this sale has expired; were leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see whats currently on sale, click here. Inspired by our new Vervain Alchymical Initiatic, we decided to have a 20% off sale on Old World initiatic [...]

To many of you, knowing and supporting our work for so long, that may seem like a very basic and easy to answer question. If so, thanks for paying attention all this time! But, if youre new to our work, or would just like a better understanding of what we do, this question is a [...]

February 26, 2012 by Micah Filed under News

Our newest Spagyric, an Alchymical Initiatic of Vervain,was inspired by my own Irish heritage and the deep reverence that many ancient European cultures held for this special plant. My own history with Vervain goes back a few years to a personal tradition I practice every year on Samhain, the ancient harvest festival more commonly known as [...]

Note that this sale has expired; were leaving the post up so that the information about these Spagyrics is available. To see whats currently on sale, click here. Looking out the window, searching the view for Nature to inspire us for a sale theme, all we see is water. Water falling from the [...]

Welcome to the conclusion of our series on the spiritual practice of flight and the plants that support it! In our first article, we talked about the legends and truths behind the witches flights, their brooms and ointments, and the tricky chemistry that practice entailed. In our second article, we discussed Eastern legends of gravity-defiance, including flying [...]

In our first article, we were inspired by the season, and talked about witches as practitioners of shamanic flight in Europe. We looked at their legendary flying ointment from a chemical perspective, and learned about its properties and dangers. Shamanic flight is not confined to archaic Europe, however, and examples of the phenomenon are common around [...]

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Entheogens : Al-Kemi : spagyrics and alchemy

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Virtual Reality Takes Consciousness Research into Mystic Realms of the Divine Play – The Sociable

Posted: June 26, 2017 at 5:29 pm

Virtual Reality is blazing new frontiers in the exploration of consciousness by adding whole new dimensions to the notion of what is real.

We will see in the near future extremely effective machines using modern technology to alter consciousness; some of them, including the virtual reality technology, are already quite advanced. Stanislav Grof

Similar to the psychedelic experience, Virtual Reality is opening new paths towards mystical experiences like those that have inspired the worlds greatest religions.

Through this powerful technology, we are closer than ever to being able to enter altered states of consciousness by being immersed in a realm where time travel is possible, where fantastical landscapes capture our imaginations, and where we can prepare ourselves for the next great adventure after this life.

Read More:Microsoft Predicts Terence McKennas Cyberdelic Vision of Virtual Reality

According to Dr. Stanislav Grof, a pioneer in transpersonal psychology and psychedelic research since the 1960s and whom Ill be quoting throughout this article, The menacing specter of death that we harbor in our unconscious interferes with our everyday existence and makes our life in many ways inauthentic. In technological societies, the predominant reactions to the situation are massive denial and avoidance that are in their consequences destructive and self-destructive on an individual as well as a collective level.

How can Virtual Reality show us another way of looking at death one that puts us not in denial or avoidance, but one that helps us accept and embrace our own mortality?

The man who dies before he dies, does not die when he dies. Abraham a Sancta Clara, 17th century German Monk.

Harvard Divinity School reported that researchers were using consciousness hacking through a VR app called When We Die to prepare people for what happens when they shuffle off this mortal coil.

According to one of the apps developers, Paula Ceballos, Aging, death, and mortality are not topics that are openly spoken about in western cultures, so its [the app] addressing that, making it top of mind, and making you comfortable in the discomfort of mortality and dying.

Ceballos touched upon a key theme which corroborates both ancient teachings and modern psychedelic research as it relates to what it means to prepare for ones own death.

Separatingoneself from the ego, or separating the desires of the body from the mind, is an important step towards a living a fulfilling life without the fear of death.

To experience the loss of the ego is like experiencing death in that it is the end of how you perceive yourself in this reality we call life the death of the idea of the self as being different from everything else in the cosmos.

This notion of death before dying led Grof to write in his 1998 book The Cosmic Game:Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness:

The experience of pyschospirtual death and rebirth is a major step in the direction of the weakening of our identification with the skin-encapsulated ego and reconnecting with the transcendental domain. We feel redeemed, liberated, and blessed and have a new awareness of our divine nature and cosmic status. We also typically experience a strong surge of positive emotions towards ourselves, other people, nature, God, and existence in general. We are filled with optimism and have a sense of emotional and physical well-being.

With Virtual Reality, we are now able to step outside our own bodies and experience a realm completely separated from waking life. The key word here is experience because one has to experience this virtual reality, not just study it, in order to grasp what if fully entails. You cant fully describe in words the scent of a rose to one who cannot smell.

In VR, our identity with ourselves is suspended, like in a dream, where we can take off and fly to uncharted territories which gives us insight into new perspectives never before imagined.

Read More:Terence Mckennas cyberdelic predictions for Virtual Reality 25 years on

It can even be argued that what we call reality is a form of virtual reality what the Hindu mystics called maya or illusion and we are both actors and directors in this celestial drama.

As Grof said, The virtual reality simulating a material universe is worked out with such an acute sense for miniscule detail that the result is absolutely convincing and believable. The units of consciousness cast as the protagonists in the countless roles of this play of plays get entangled and caught in the complex and intricate web of its illusionary magic.

If we accept that the material universe as we know it is not a mechanical system but a virtual reality created by absolute consciousness through an infinity complex orchestration of experiences, what are the practical consequences of this insight? Stanislav Grof

The extent to which Virtual Reality can be used in exploring consciousness leads researchers to suggest that VR can affect our dreams to point of lucidity.

Lucid dreams are dreams where you realize you are dreaming. Its like waking up inside a dream where you can control what is going on around you.

Lucid dreaming is also the first step towards what is known as astral projection, but that is a topic for another time.

The Atlantic reported that MacEwan University Psychologist Jayne Gackenbach discovered that gamers report a greater sense of control in their dreams than non-gamers and that Virtual Reality would enhance that sense of control even greater.

When you alter peoples waking realities, their memory changes. The more you think youre in one reality, it alters your memory of other realities, said Gackenbach.

That means being immersed in a virtual reality can not only affect your dreams making them become more lucid but it also suggests that experiencing virtual reality can change ones perspective on everyday reality as well.

This is where we revert back to mystic traditions and psychedelic experiences as being in the same realm as virtual reality.

Its like the case of the Chinese philosopher Chuang-tzu who awoke from a dream in which he was a butterfly, and he could not fully determine whether he was not actually a butterfly dreaming of being a human.

Read More:New evidence for Holographic Universe backs up ancient esoteric teachings

The idea that we may be living in a computer simulation or that reality is some type of holographic illusion held together by consciousness be it collective or absolute seems a lot more plausible if we enter altered states of consciousness through the use of technology like VR, meditation, holotropic breathwork, or entheogens.

By undergoing death and rebirth in their initiatory crises, shamans lose the fear of death and become familiar and comfortable with its experiential territory. Stanislav Grof

The real world applications of Virtual Reality have led researchers to use this technology to treat depression much in the same way institutions like Johns Hopkins University is using magic mushrooms to helpterminal cancer patients.

Psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, has been used to induce mystical experiences in cancer patients that not only comforts them with their own mortality, but also as a way of allowing them to experience death before dying, much like the When We Die VR app.

Read More:Researching shrooms: The magic tripping dose, mystical experiences and the tech community

According to Grof, Many of the great mystical traditions developed specific technologies for inducing spiritual experiences and combined observation and theoretical speculation in a way that resembled modern science.

Shamanism is a worldwide phenomenon that preceded religion by thousands of years. Shamans were the first doctors, priests, and spiritual advisers of ancient communities.

Read More:The Deep Mind in the Cave: Awakening Consciousness in the Spirit of AI

In the view of the shaman, mental illness is a form of spiritual crisis, one that can be remedied by journeying into mystical realms.

Modern day shamans view psychiatric hospitals as horrific places where souls are trapped and tormented where they should be liberated and given spiritual treatment rather than be given mind-numbing drugs.

Read More:UW research into DNA storage backs up ancient shamanic knowledge

Virtual Reality is now being used to treat what our society calls mental illness.

According to an article in Big Think, So far the 285 studies published on virtual reality and mental health are encouraging. Sufferers of social anxiety, PTSD, and phobias are finding success.

Clinical psychology professor Daniel Freeman and his brother, writer Jason Freeman were paraphrased as saying, as in dreams, virtual reality is a safe space for us to engage in problem solving that wed normally be reluctant to attempt out there, and that they even foresee VR as being a diagnostic tool, cheaper and more accessible than fMRI machines and talk therapy sessions.

Virtual Reality has serious potential to unlock doors where modern pharmaceuticals and therapy have not, but what are the higher implications of VR as it pertains to altering consciousness, and where can that altered consciousness lead once the doors of perception are cleansed?

The creative intention behind the divine play is to call into being experiential realities that would offer the best opportunities for adventures in consciousness. Stanislav Grof

I keep referring to the work of Stanislav Grof in this article as his more than 40 years of experience working with consciousness is astounding!

According to Grof, whose practical research into ancient cultures combined with thousands of holotropic sessions have revealed, consciousness is not an epiphenomenon of the brain as mainstream science suggests.

Instead of the brain as a generator of consciousness, Grof postulates that consciousness acts more like a TV or radio signal if the TV or radio is damaged, the signal still exists.

In that respect, consciousness cannot be ruled out as a driving force in reality and that consciousness may actually create reality, and the source of creation is one and the same as nothingness The Void.

Just as physicists postulate that energy cannot be created nor destroyed and that the universe is filled with dark matter and dark energy that cannot be perceived, only measured, is just one mainstream science observation of this phenomenon known as The Void.

According to Grof, When all the boundaries dissolve and we transcend them, we can experience identification with the creative source itself, either in the form of Absolute Consciousness or the Cosmic Void.

Experiencing identification with the creative source or the void is to identify with our own consciousness as we are both actors and creators in the Divine Play. In other words we are the conscious universe having a human experience, as if every living thing is a simulated avatar of the original source of creation.

In order to experience life, following this logic, we are bound to act in the Divine Play, otherwise life would not exist in this respect.

According to Grof, Each of us appears in the divine play in a dual role of creator and actor. A full and realistic enactment of our role in the cosmic drama requires the suspension of our true identity. We have to forget our authorship and follow the script.

What better way to have adventures in consciousness, to explore vastness of the universe, the complexity of atoms, or the intricacies of our own psyches than through the mind-altering, dream-changing, ego-breaking technology of Virtual Reality?

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Posted: June 15, 2017 at 7:30 am

This is Entheogen. Elevate the Conversation.

Its March 12, 2017, and we are discussing psychedelic healing with Dr. Neal Goldsmith.

Neals book Psychedelic Healing: The Promise of Entheogens for Psychotherapy and Spiritual Development provides copious discussion points for our conversation today.

Neal's therapy practice, and how his use of psychedelics has informed his practice of psychotherapy

Imago therapy

LSD is a tool: Charles Manson becomes more Charles Manson; Richard Alpert becomes Ram Dass.

The substitution of the eucharist as a proxy for the original psychoactive sacrament. Can we please go back to the active version? What are the consequences of inactive substitutes in religious ceremonies? How have alternative spiritual practices sprung up in the absence of sanctioned Entheogenic rituals?

George Carlins Modern Man.

Are we in the midst of McKennas Archaic Revival? Is this another way to internalize the unfolding ecological apocalypse?

If were going to be post-post-modern, if were going to be integral, we cant have a fight between tribalism and modernity. We cant have a fight between spirituality and the material world.

Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, breathing

Deep breathing to expel carbon dioxide in addition to inhaling oxygen.

McKennas conjecture that its possible to get to the same state of consciousness that psychedelics provide access to, using meditation or chanting or drumming, but who has time for that?

What do you recommend to listeners who might be interested in some form of psychedelic therapy, present company included?

The dichotomy of tribalism vs. modernism: our human ancestors living naturally but for shorter time, vs. modern humans living longer but disconnected from nature. Spiraling up vs. retreating to tribalism.

Spirituality vs. science. The concept of rational mysticism. Einstein quote via Rick Doblin: There's no real conflict between science & religion; there's a conflict between bad science & bad religion.

Please support Entheogen by making a donation on Patreon. Become a Patron for as little as $1. Pledge just $3 or more, and get early access to new episodes, plus exclusive Patron-only features. Head over to and click on Support.

Find the notes and links for this and other episodes at Sign up to receive an email when we release a new episode. Follow us @EntheogenShow on Twitter and like EntheogenShow on FaceBook. Thanks for listening.

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Entheogens | Drug War Facts

Posted: June 5, 2017 at 7:37 am


"'Entheogen' is a word coined by scholars proposing to replace the term 'psychedelic' (Ruck, Bigwood, Staples, Ott & Wasson, 1979), which was perceived to be too socioculturally loaded from its 1960s roots to appropriately denote the revered plants and substances used for traditional sacred rituals.What kinds of plants or chemicals fall into the category of entheogen is a matter of debate, as a large number of inebriants - from tobacco and marijuana to alcohol and opium - have been venerated as gifts from the gods (or God) in different cultures at different times (Fuller, 2000). For the purposes of this paper, however, I will focus on the class of drugs that Lewin (1924/1997) terms 'phantastica,' a name deriving from the Greek word for the faculty of the imagination (Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1973). Later these substances became known as hallucinogens or psychedelics, a class whose members include lysergic acid derivatives, psilocybin, mescaline and dimethyltryptamine; these all shared physical, chemical, and, when ingested, phenomenological properties and, more importantly, have a history of ritual use as cultural tools to cure illness and/or to mediate cosmological insight (Grinspoon & Bakalar, 1998; Rudgley, 1994, Schultes & Hofmann, 1992;)."

Tupper, Ken, "Entheogens & Education: Exploring the Potential of Psychoactives as Educational Tools," Journal of Drug Education and Awareness, Vol. 1, No. 2, p. 146.

"Another peculiar effect of these drugs is a dramatic change in perception: it appears to the person as if the eyes (the 'doors of perception') have been cleansed and the person could see the world as new in all respects 'as Adam may have seen it on the day of creation' as Aldous Huxley (1954, p. 17) pointed out in his popular and influential book. This new reality is perceived and interpreted by some individuals as manifestation of the true nature of their mind; hence, the term 'psychedelic' was suggested by Osmond (1957). This interpretation has been embraced not only by professional therapists but also by some segments of the public, and gave rise to the 'Summer of Love' in San Francisco in 1967 with free distribution of LSD. This perception resulted in the formation of numerous cults, communes, and drug-oriented religious groups (Freedman 1968), permeated the lyrics and style of popular music (acid rock), and was viewed by some as one of the contributing sources of the occasional resurgence of popularity of illegal drug use (Cohen 1966, Szra 1968)."

Szra, Stephen, "Are Hallucinogens Psychoheuristic," National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1994) NIDA Research Monograph 146, p. 36.

"The term 'hallucinogen' is widely used and understood in both professional and lay circles, in spite of the fact that hallucinations in the strict psychiatric sense of the word are a relatively rare effect of these drugs (Hollister 1962). What is probably the first reference to hallucinations as produced by peyote appears in Louis Lewins book published in 1924 in German and later translated into English with the nearly identical title Phantastica (Lewin 1924, 1964). In this book by the noted German toxicologist, the term 'hallucinatoria' appears as a synonym for phantastica to designate the class of drugs that can produce transitory visionary states 'without any physical inconvenience for a certain time in persons of perfectly normal mentality who are partly or fully conscious of the action of the drug' (Lewin 1964, p. 92). Lewin lists peyotl (also spelled 'peyote') (Anhalonium lewinii), Indian hemp (Cannabis indica), fly agaric (Agaricus muscarius), thornapple (Datura stramonium), and the South American yahe (also spelled 'yage') (Banisteria caapi) as representatives of this class."

Szra, Stephen, "Are Hallucinogens Psychoheuristic," National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monograph Series (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1994) NIDA Research Monograph 146, p. 34.

"Ayahuasca is a psychedelic decoction made from plants native to the Amazon Basinmost often Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria viridisand which contains harmala alkaloids and N,Ndimethyltryptamine (DMT), the latter being a controlled substance scheduled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances."

Anderson, B. T.; Labate, B. C.; Meyer, M.; Tupper, K. W.; Barbosa, P. C. R.; Grob, C. S.; Dawson, A. & McKenna, D., "Statement on ayahuasca,". International Journal of Drug Policy (London, United Kingdom: International Harm Reduction Association, March 2012) Vol. 23, No. 2.

"Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic tea originally from the Amazon Basin that is supposedly able to induce strikingly similar visions in people independent of their cultural background. Ayahuasca users commonly claim that this regularity across peoples visions is evidence that their visions are not simply the products of their own brains, but rather are representations of spiritual information learned from plant-spirits that one gains access to by drinking the tea."

Anderson, Brian, ""Entheogenic Visions: The Sacred Union of Word & Image," Undergraduate Humanities Forum, Mellon Research Fellows 2005-2006, Word & Image (Philadelphia, PA: May 5, 2006), pp. 2 and 30.

"Cross-cultural vegetalismo refers to ayahuasca ceremonies based, to varying degrees, on vegetalismo or equivalent traditions from other regions of the Amazon, but conducted primarily for (and increasingly by) non-Amazonians. Urban centres in the region are presently witnessing a boom in what has been pejoratively characterized as 'ayahuasca tourism' (Dobkin de Rios, 1994; see also Davidov, 2010; Holman, 2011; Razam, 2009), but cross-cultural vegetalismo ceremonies are also increasingly common outside the Amazon (Labate, 2004). Canadians and other foreigners regularly invite indigenous or mestizo Amazonian ayahuasqueros to their home countries to conduct ceremonies for people in the circles and networks of the sponsors friends and acquaintances (Tupper, 2009asee Appendix). Some individuals are undertaking apprenticeships in the vegetalismo tradition to become neo-shamanic practitioners of ayahuasca healing, in a manner similar to how yoga, Buddhist monastic, ayurvedic, or Chinese medicine practices have been taken up by modern Western disciples exogenous to the respective cultures and traditions of origin."

Tupper, Kenneth William, "Ayahuasca, Entheogenic Education & Public Policy," University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC: April 2011), pp. 14-15.

"Vegetalismo is a Peruvian Spanish term denoting the folk healing traditions of mestizo curanderos, or healers of mixed indigenous and non-indigenous ancestry who use ayahuasca and other 'master' plants for diagnosis and treatment of illnesses (Beyer, 2009; Dobkin de Rios, 1972; Luna, 1986). Known as ayahuasqueros, such folk healers undergo a rigorous process of initiation and training, requiring adherence to strict dietary and sexual abstinence protocols, and sometimes prolonged isolation in the jungle."

Tupper, Kenneth William, "Ayahuasca, Entheogenic Education & Public Policy," PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia Faculty of Graduate Studies (Educational Studies) (Vancouver, BC: April 2011), pp. 14-15.

"On February 21 of this year, 2006, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Centro Esprita Beneficente Unio do Vegetal (the UDV) in the case Alberto R. Gonzales, Attorney General, et al. Petitioners v. O Centro Espirita Beneficente Unio do Vegetal et al. The UDV is now legally allowed to drink ayahuasca (which contains the controlled substance DMT) in their ceremonies here in the US."

Anderson, Brian, ""Entheogenic Visions: The Sacred Union of Word & Image," Undergraduate Humanities Forum, Mellon Research Fellows 2005-2006, Word & Image (Philadelphia, PA: May 5, 2006), pp. 2 and 30.

"Aside from indicating a general lack of harm from the religious use of ayahuasca, biomedical and ethnographic studies have also generated preliminary evidence in support of the therapeutic potentials of ayahuasca or its constituents for alleviating substance dependence (Grob et al., 1996; Labate, Santos, Anderson, Mercante, & Barbosa, 2010) and mood and anxiety disorders (Fortunato et al., 2010; Santos, Landeira-Fernandez, Strassman, Motta, & Cruz, 2007). The study of ayahuasca could thus contribute to advances in ethnopharmacology and the cognitive sciences (Shanon, 2002), yet such studies are severely compromised when these traditions face the threat of legal sanction."

Anderson, B. T.; Labate, B. C.; Meyer, M.; Tupper, K. W.; Barbosa, P. C. R.; Grob, C. S.; Dawson, A. & McKenna, D., "Statement on ayahuasca,". International Journal of Drug Policy (London, United Kingdom: International Harm Reduction Association, March 2012) Vol. 23, No. 2.

"LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the most potent mood-changing chemicals. It was discovered in 1938 and is manufactured from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009).

"LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide)also known as acid, blotter, doses, hits, microdots, sugar cubes, trips, tabs, or window panes is one of the most potent moodand perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. It is a clear or white, odorless, water-soluble material synthesized from lysergic acid, a compound derived from a rye fungus. LSD is initially produced in crystalline form, which can then be used to produce tablets known as 'microdots' or thin squares of gelatin called 'window panes.' It can also be diluted with water or alcohol and sold in liquid form. The most common form, however, is LSD-soaked paper punched into small individual squares, known as 'blotters.'"

"Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs, including LSD, PCP, Ketamine, Dextromethorphan," National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report Series (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 2001), p. 3.

"Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs in people under the influence of LSD. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The users sense of time and self is altered. Experiences may seem to cross over different senses, giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair, fear of losing control, or fear of insanity and death while using LSD. "LSD users can also experience flashbacks, or recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks occur suddenly, often without warning, and may do so within a few days or more than a year after LSD use. In some individuals, the flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD). "Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, LSD does produce tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, cross-tolerance between LSD and other hallucinogens has been reported.

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009). https://d14rmgtrwzf5a.cloudfro...

"Past-year use of LSD, one of the major drugs in the hallucinogen class, has been hovering for about a decade at its lowest levels recorded by the study (Figure 5-4e). In 2015 the levels of use for students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade were 0.9%, 2.0%, and 2.9%, respectively. Consistent with most other drugs, use increased during the 1990s relapse and peaked in the mid-1990s. It then subsequently declined to its lowest levels ever in the early 2000s, where it has since plateaued. "LSD was one of the first drugs to decline at the start of the 1980s, almost surely due to increased information about its potential dangers. The subsequent increase in its use during the mid-1980s may reflect the effects of generational forgettingthat is, replacement cohorts know less than their predecessors about the potential dangers of LSD because they have had less exposure to the negative consequences of using the drug.3 "We believe that the decline prior to 2002 might have resulted in part from a displacement of LSD by sharply rising ecstasy use. After 2001, when ecstasy use itself began to decline, the sharp further decline in LSD use likely resulted from a sudden drop in the availability of LSD, because attitudes generally have not moved in a way that could explain the fall in use, while perceived availability has."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., OMalley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 19752015: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 161. Available at

"Our results indicate that this population of sexually active female adolescents and young adults have similar rates of lifetime use of LSD (13%) as reported in other surveys,1,30 and half of these young women report using LSD one or more times in the last year. Prior data suggests that the use of hallucinogens by African Americans is virtually nonexistent across all ages of adolescents and young adults.2,9 In fact, we found that none of our African American young women reported using LSD. However, the proportion of African Americans who reported using marijuana was much greater than either caucasian or Mexican American women."

Rickert, Vaughn I.; Siqueira, Lorena M.; Dale, Travis; and Wiemann, Constance M., "Prevalence and Risk Factors for LSD Use among Young Women," Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (Washington, DC: North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, April 2003) Volume 16, Issue 2, p. 72. http://www.beckleyfoundation.o...

"The physiological effects of this powerful drug have been well documented. These effects can be grouped into five general areas of action: LSD works on the sympathetic nervous system (which is involved in regulation of heart muscle, smooth muscle and glandular organs in a response to stressful situations); the motor system (which is involved in carrying out limb movements); the affective states; thought processes; and it has profound effects upon the sensory and perceptual experience.

"LSD is a semisynthetic preparation originally derived from ergot, an extract of the fungus Claviceps purpurea, which grows as a parasite on rye wheat. The dosage that is required to produce a moderate effect in most subjects is 1 to 3mcg per kilogram of body mass, and the effects can last from seven to 10 hours (Bowman & Rand 1980).

"Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system following LSD ingestion can lead to effects such as hypothermia with piloerection (hairs standing on end, such as can be found in reports of religious ecstasy), sweating, increased heart rate with palpitations, and elevation of blood pressure and blood glucose levels. These reactions of the autonomic nervous system are not as significant as other effects upon the body: action on the motor system can lead to increased activity of monosynaptic reflexes (such as the knee-jerk response), an increase in muscle tension, tremors, and muscular incoordination. This latter effect of muscular incoordination is also a symptom of religious ecstasy in many cultures, where the worshipper has such a profound feeling of love of God that he is said to be 'intoxicated by God.'"

Goodman, Neil, "The Serotonergic System and Mysticism: Could LSD and the Nondrug-Induced Mystical Experience Share Common Neural Mechanisms?" Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (San Francisco, CA: Haight Ashbury Publications, July-September 2002), Vol. 34, No. 3, p. 266.

"Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered an addictive drug since it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, LSD does produce tolerance, so some users who take the drug repeatedly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, cross-tolerance between LSD and other hallucinogens has been reported."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009).

"The effects of LSD depend largely on the amount taken. LSD causes dilated pupils; can raise body temperature and increase heart rate and blood pressure; and can cause profuse sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009). https://d14rmgtrwzf5a.cloudfro...

"Chemist Albert Hofmann, working at the Sandoz Corporation pharmaceutical laboratory in Switzerland, first synthesized LSD in 1938. He was conducting research on possible medical applications of various lysergic acid compounds derived from ergot, a fungus that develops on rye grass. Searching for compounds with therapeutic value, Hofmann created more than two dozen ergot-derived synthetic molecules. The 25th was called, in German, Lyserg-Sure-Dithylamid 25, or LSD-25."

"Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs, including LSD, PCP, Ketamine, Dextromethorphan," National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report Series (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 2001), p. 3.

"Peyote is a small, spineless cactus in which the principal active ingredient is mescaline. This plant has been used by natives in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States as a part of religious ceremonies. Mescaline can also be produced through chemical synthesis."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"The top of the peyote cactus, also referred to as the crown, consists of disc-shaped buttons that are cut from the roots and dried. These buttons are generally chewed or soaked in water to produce an intoxicating liquid. The hallucinogenic dose of mescaline is about 0.3 to 0.5 grams, and its effects last about 12 hours. Because the extract is so bitter, some individuals prefer to prepare a tea by boiling the cacti for several hours."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"The long-term residual psychological and cognitive effects of mescaline, peyotes principal active ingredient, remain poorly understood. A recent study found no evidence of psychological or cognitive deficits among Native Americans that use peyote regularly in a religious setting.2 It should be mentioned, however, that these findings may not generalize to those who repeatedly abuse the drug for recreational purposes. Peyote abusers may also experience flashbacks."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"Its effects can be similar to those of LSD, including increased body temperature and heart rate, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), profound sweating, and flushing. The active ingredient mescaline has also been associated, in at least one report, to fetal abnormalities."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) is obtained from certain types of mushrooms that are indigenous to tropical and subtropical regions of South America, Mexico, and the United States. These mushrooms typically contain less than 0.5 percent psilocybin plus trace amounts of psilocin, another hallucinogenic substance."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"Mushrooms containing psilocybin are available fresh or dried and are typically taken orally. Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) and its biologically active form, psilocin (4-hydroxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), cannot be inactivated by cooking or freezing preparations. Thus, they may also be brewed as a tea or added to other foods to mask their bitter flavor. The effects of psilocybin, which appear within 20 minutes of ingestion, last approximately 6 hours."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"The active compounds in psilocybin-containing 'magic' mushrooms have LSD-like properties and produce alterations of autonomic function, motor reflexes, behavior, and perception.3 The psychological consequences of psilocybin use include hallucinations, an altered perception of time, and an inability to discern fantasy from reality. Panic reactions and psychosis also may occur, particularly if a user ingests a large dose. Long-term effects such as flashbacks, risk of psychiatric illness, impaired memory, and tolerance have been described in case reports."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"[Psilocybin] can produce muscle relaxation or weakness, ataxia, excessive pupil dilation, nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness. Individuals who abuse psilocybin mushrooms also risk poisoning if one of many existing varieties of poisonous mushrooms is incorrectly identified as a psilocybin mushroom."

NIDA InfoFacts, "Hallucinogens: LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, and PCP" National Institute on Drug Abuse (Bethesda, MD: National Institutes of Health, June 2009)

"Overall, the present study shows that psilocybin can dose-dependently occasion mystical-type experiences having persisting positive effects on attitudes, mood, and behavior. The observations that episodes of extreme fear, feeling trapped, or delusions occur at the highest dose in almost 40% of volunteers, that anxiety and fear have an unpredictable time course across the session, and that an ascending sequence of dose exposure may be associated with long-lasting positive changes have implications for the design of therapeutic trials with psilocybin. Considering the rarity of spontaneous mystical experiences in the general population, the finding that more than 70% of volunteers in the current study had 'complete' mystical experiences suggests that most people have the capacity for such experiences under appropriate conditions and, therefore, such experiences are biologically normal."

Griffiths, Roland R.; Johnson, Matthew W.; Richards, William A.; Richards, Brian D.; McCann, Una; and Jesse, Robert, "Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects," Psychopharmacology (Heidelberg, Germany: May 2011), p. 16.

"An important finding of the present study is that, with careful volunteer screening and preparation and when sessions are conducted in a comfortable, well-supervised setting, a high dose of 30 mg/70 kg psilocybin can be administered safely. . It is also noteworthy that, despite meetings and prior sessions with monitors ranging from 8 h (when psilocybin was administered on the first session) up to 24 h (when psilocybin was administered on the third session) of contact time, 22% (8 of 36) of the volunteers experienced a period of notable anxiety/dysphoria during the session, sometimes including transient ideas of reference/paranoia. No volunteer required pharmacological intervention and the psychological effects were readily managed with reassurance. The primary monitor remained accessible via beeper/phone to each volunteer for 24 h after each session, but no volunteer called before the scheduled follow-up meeting on the next day. The 1-year follow-up is ongoing but has been completed by most volunteers (30 of 36). In that follow-up, an open-ended clinical interview reflecting on the study experiences and current life situation provides a clinical context conducive to the spontaneous reporting of study-associated adverse events. To date, there have been no reports of persisting perceptional phenomena sometimes attributed to hallucinogen use or of recreational abuse of hallucinogens, and all participants appear to continue to be high-functioning, productive members of society."

Griffiths, R. R.; Richards, W. A.; McCann, U.; Jesse, R., " Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance,"Psychopharmacology (Heidelberg, Germany: August 2006), Volume 187, Number 3, p. 281.

"Our investigations provided no cause for concern that administration of PY [psilocybin] to healthy subjects is hazardous with respect to somatic health. However, as our data revealed tendencies of PY to temporarily increase blood pressure, we advise subjects suffering from cardiovascular conditions, especially untreated hypertension, to abstain from using PY or PY-containing mushrooms. Furthermore, our results indicate that PY-induced ASC [altered states of consciousness] are generally well tolerated and integrated by healthy subjects. However, a controlled clinical setting is needful, since also mentally stable personalities may, following ingestion of higher doses of PY, transiently experience anxiety as a consequence of loosening of ego-boundaries."

Hasler, Felix; Grimberg, Ulrike; Benz , Marco A.; Huber, Theo; and Vollenweider, Franz, "Acute psychological and physiological effects of psilocybin in healthy humans: a double-blind, placebo-controlled doseeffect study," Psychopharmacology (Heidelberg, Germany: March 2004) Volume 172, Number 2, p. 151. http://www.beckleyfoundation.o...

"Today, the medical value of hallucinogens is again being examined in formal psychiatric settings. One substance under investigation is psilocybin, 4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine, which occurs in nature in various species of mushrooms. Psilocybin is rapidly metabolized to psilocin, which is a potent agonist at serotonin 5-HT1A/2A/2C receptors, with 5-HT2A receptor activation directly correlated with human hallucinogenic activity.16 Psilocybin was studied during the 1960s to establish its psychopharmacological profile; it was found to be active orally at around 10 mg, with stronger effects at higher doses, and to have a 4- to 6-hour duration of experience. Psychological effects were similar to those of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), with psilocybin considered to be more strongly visual, less emotionally intense, more euphoric, and with fewer panic reactions and less chance of paranoia than LSD."17,18

Grob, Charles S.; Danforth, Alicia L.; Chopra, Gurpreet S.; Hagerty, Marycie; McKay, Charles R.; Halberstadt, Adam L.; Greer, George R., "Pilot Study of Psilocybin Treatment for Anxiety in Patients With Advanced-Stage Cancer, "Archives of General Psychiatry," (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, January 2011), Volume 68, Number 1, p. 71.

"Despite the limitations, this study demonstrates that the careful and controlled use of psilocybin may provide an alternative model for the treatment of conditions that are often minimally responsive to conventional therapies, including the profound existential anxiety and despair that often accompany advanced-stage cancers. A recent review from the psilocybin research group at Johns Hopkins University describes the critical components necessary for ensuring subject safety in hallucinogen research.36 Taking into account these essential provisions for optimizing safety as well as adhering to strict ethical standards of conduct for treatment facilitators, the results provided herein indicate the safety and promise of continued investigations into the range of medical effects of hallucinogenic compounds such as psilocybin."

Grob, Charles S.; Danforth, Alicia L.; Chopra, Gurpreet S.; Hagerty, Marycie; McKay, Charles R.; Halberstadt, Adam L.; Greer, George R., "Pilot Study of Psilocybin Treatment for Anxiety in Patients With Advanced-Stage Cancer, "Archives of General Psychiatry," (Chicago, IL: American Medical Association, January 2011), Volume 68, Number 1, p. 77.

"Salvia divinorum is a perennial herb in the mint family native to certain areas of the Sierra Mazateca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The plant, which can grow to over three feet in height, has large green leaves, hollow square stems and white flowers with purple calyces, can also be grown successfully outside of this region. Salvia divinorum has been used by the Mazatec Indians for its ritual divination and healing. The active constituent of Salvia divinorum has been identified as salvinorin A. Currently, neither Salvia divinorum nor any of its constituents, including salvinorin A, are controlled under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA)."

Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control, "Salvia Divinorum and Salvinorin A," (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, October 2013). https://www.deadiversion.usdoj...

"The putative primary psychoactive agent in SD [Salvia divinorum] is a structurally novel KOR [kappa opioid receptor] agonist named salvinorin A (Ortega et al., 1982; Valds et al., 1984). Consistent with KOR agonist activity, users describe SD in lay literature as hallucinogenic: it produces perceptual distortions, pseudo-hallucinations, and a profoundly altered sense of self and environment, including out-of-body experiences (Aardvark, 1998; Erowid, 2008; Siebert, 1994b; Turner, 1996). SD therefore appears to have the potential to elucidate the role of the KOR receptor system in health and disease (Butelman et al., 2004; Chavkin et al., 2004; Roth et al., 2002)."

Baggott, Matthew J.; Earth Erowid; Fire Erowid; Galloway, Gantt P.; Mendelson, John, "Use patterns and self-reported effects of Salvia divinorum: An internet-based survey," Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Philadelphia, PA: College on Problems of Drug Dependence, October 2010), p. 2.

"Salvia divinorum is a psychoactive plant that can induce dissociative effects and is a potent producer of visual and other hallucinatory experiences. By mass, salvinorin A, the psychoactive substance in the plant, appears to be the most potent naturally occurring hallucinogen. Its native habitat is the cloud forests in Mexico. It has been consumed for hundreds of years by local Mazatec shamans, who use it to facilitate visionary states of consciousness during spiritual healing sessions.57 It is also used in traditional medicine at lower doses as a diuretic to treat ailments including diarrhoea, anaemia, headaches and rheumatism. Effects include various psychedelic experiences, including past memories (e.g. revisiting places from childhood memory), merging with objects and overlapping realities (such as the perception of being in several locations at the same time).58 In contrast to other drugs, its use often prompts dysphoria, i.e. feelings of sadness and depression, as well as fear. In addition, it may prompt a decreased heart rate, slurred speech, lack of coordination and possibly loss of consciousness.59"

UNODC, World Drug Report 2013 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.13.XI.6), p. 66.

"Consistent with results from nonhuman animal research (Mowry et al.,2003), the present results suggest a safe physiological profile for salvinorin A at the studied doses, under controlled conditions, and in psychologically and physically healthy hallucinogen-experienced participants. Salvinorin A produced no significant changes in heart rate or blood pressure; no tremor was observed; and no adverse events were reported. Participants tolerated all doses. However, because of the small sample and the healthy, hallucinogen-experienced status of participants, conclusions regarding safety are limited."

Johnson, Matthew W.; MacLean, Katherine A.; Reissig, Chad R.; Prisinzano, Thomas E.; Griffiths, Roland R., "Human sychopharmacology and dose-effects of salvinorin A, a kappa opioid," Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Philadelphia, PA: The College on Problems of Drug Dependence, December 3, 2010), p. 4-5.

"There was little evidence of dependence in our survey population. At some point, 0.6% (3 people) felt addicted to or dependent upon SD, while 1.2% (6) reported strong cravings for SD. The DSM-IV-R psychiatric diagnostic system in the United States classifies people as drug dependent based on seven criteria. Of the three who reported feelings of addiction or dependence on SD, only one endorsed any DSM-IV criteria (strong cravings and using more SD than planned). When asked about these signs and symptoms individually, 2 additional respondents (0.4%) reported three dependence criteria. None of these individuals reported more than 2 of 13 after-effects characteristic of mu-opioid withdrawal (such as increased sweating, gooseflesh, worsened mood, and diarrhea)."

Baggott, Matthew J.; Earth Erowid; Fire Erowid; Galloway, Gantt P.; Mendelson, John, "Use patterns and self-reported effects of Salvia divinorum: An internet-based survey," Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Philadelphia, PA: College on Problems of Drug Dependence, October 2010), p. 4.

"A tripwire question asks about use of salvia (or salvia divinorum) in the last 12 months. Salvia is an herb with hallucinogenic properties, common to southern Mexico and Central and South Americas. Although it currently is not a drug regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, several states have passed legislation to regulate its use, as have several countries. The Drug Enforcement Agency lists salvia as a drug of concern and has considered classifying it as a Schedule I drug, like LSD or marijuana. Annual prevalence of this drug has been in a steady decline, and in 2015 levels were only 0.7%, 1.2%, and 1.9% among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, respectively."

Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., OMalley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 19752015: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 93. Available at

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Psychedelics touted as solution for society – Ashland Daily Tidings

Posted: June 1, 2017 at 10:47 pm

By John Darling for the Tidings

While psychedelic drugs rose to prominence in the 1960s, the attendees at an Ashland conference say the nation and world would be a better place if the non-addictive drugs regained their footing in society.

The peace and love message of the '60s inspired in part by psychedelic drugs hasnt changed over the last five decades, speakers told the approximately 300 attendees at the fourth annual Exploring Psychedelics conference, held May 25-26 at Southern Oregon University.

Pointing to a spiritual crisis in the west, conference organizer Martin Ball, an SOU adjunct faculty member, said mind-altering substances such as psilocybin mushrooms have been a positive part of culture since the beginning of history. But the federal government's War on Drugs over the last 50 years demonized the non-addictive entheogens (literally: generating god within) and pushed the movement to the periphery of society.

A psychedelic renaissance is underway as researchers and society learn of its benefits in health, healing and creativity in art, music, philosophy and a greater understanding of how to solve societys problems, says Ball. Were not talking about back-alley druggies and Grateful Dead concerts here. These are important members of our society.

Ball produces a podcast, the Entheogenic Revolution, with a motto, Just Say Know, a play on the Drug Wars just say no credo. Noting that psychedelics are not in the same category as meth or crack, he said they should stop being criminalized.

In the wake of the states legalization of marijuana, Tom and Sheri Eckert of Portland have organized the Oregon Psilocybin Society, which they said is promoting a ballot measure to legalize the mind-altering substance. The measure would set up a process for overseeing and training facilitators of trips, licensing, getting medical clearance for users who must be over 21 but would not legalize personal possession.

The psychedelic movement is rising to prominence and if humanity is to survive, we need to heal the culture, said Sheri Eckert. "Its bottoming out and forcing us to look at ourselves. We have to evolve and claim our higher consciousness or else. Psilocybin helps us reclaim our truth.

The plant offers relief for depression, end-of-life anxiety, addiction and PTSD, the Eckerts said.

When the history of this time is written in a thousand years, said Tom Eckert, a therapist, I bet they wont focus on our absurd politics but how we valued the inner dimension.

In a talk on marijuana, Michael Scott said psychoactive drugs are at the tipping point, with less and less suppression. More and more folks are talking about changing the world to a better place.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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The Deep Mind in the Cave: Awakening Consciousness in the Spirit of AI – The Sociable

Posted: May 20, 2017 at 7:02 am

Painting in caves thousands of years before the first civilization, human beings entered altered states that brought forth an awakening in our consciousness.

Archaeologists and anthropologist agree thatcave paintings at ancient sites like Lascaux, Chauvet, and El Castillowere inspired by visions from shamans in altered states of consciousness. These images of part-human, part-animal therianthropes, along with motifs of criss-crosses, dotted patterns, and impalement,mimic the same archetypes later reported by test subjectswhile on LSD.

Erect Birdman, a therianthrope from Lascaux Cave

The shift from the alert, problem-solving consciousness that kept our early ancestors alive from predators and the elements to the abstract state of mind signified our evolution into thoughts of the divine.

Artificial Intelligence, if itcan ever become truly conscience and not just a soulless, computational device, must take true hallucination into account if it ever wants to experience reality the way humans do. Our own evolution of consciousness, both spiritually and historically, is replete with tales of visions, dreams, and the supernatural.

Read More:AI and Spirituality: Toward the recreation of the mythical, soulless Golem

In his pursuit of getting to the bottom of the shamanistic approach to cave painting and altered states of consciousness, independent researcher and best-selling author Graham Hancock detailed in his book Supernatural: Meetings With the Ancient Teachers of Mankind, how he would not take an ivory tower, arm-chaired approach, but rather personally dive head-first into the psychedelic realm to uncover the truth.

Encounters with supernatural beings are documented in the oldest representational art that has so far been found anywhere in the world art depicting therianthropes and dating back more than 30,000 years. The discovery that shamans in surviving hunter-gatherer cultures routinely experience encounters with virtually identical beings when they enter trance, and that I could and did encounter such beings myself under the influence of the same hallucinogens that the shamans use, convinced me that there was a real mystery to explore here.

What researchers like Hancock, anthropologist Jeremy Narby, and the late psychonaut Terence McKenna tell us, is that our genetic makeup functions as a vessel for receiving altered states of consciousness. Under altered states of consciousness, we can encounter entities from other realms that can bring to us valuable information, both on a personal and global level.

Read More:UW research into DNA storage backs up ancient shamanic knowledge

So, what does this have to do with Artificial Intelligence?

If the goal is to make machines as human as possible, there must be an element of the supernatural a Divine Spark if you will. For McKenna, Hancock, and Narby, that divine spark whichbrought forth an expanded consciousness in humanity was the discovery of altered states of consciousness, whether it be through plant or fungal entheogens, rhythmic dance, drumming, starvation, or purposeful intoxication through insect bites.

Read More:Terence McKennas cyberdelic evolution of consciousness as it relates to AI

In his book Beyond Zero and One: Machines, Psychedelics, and Consciousness, scientist and engineer Andrew Smart raises the question how smart can machines get without being conscious? He believes that the issue of consciousness invariably raises the issue of LSD and hallucinations.

Smart also stated that human perception and consciousness often hide the true complexity of the world. The author illustrates the difference between how cameras in intelligent machines do not see things the same way humans do.

Heres an example. Before reading further, watch this video whilekeeping a silent count of the number of passes made by the people in white shirts.

Did you see the gorilla?

This was aHarvard experiment dubbedthe Invisible Gorilla, and the studyconcluded that half the people who watched the above video did not notice the gorilla, despite its nine second presence on-screen.

The gorilla was physically there and captured on camera, so it should be detected by us, right? What the camera sees in plain sight, the human mind may not, and that is one example of the conscious differences between human beings and computers.

The gorilla was a blind spot created in the brain that did not allow the human to perceive it, and this blind spot can also be construed as a hallucination. For what is a hallucination if not a mind-construction that allows you to see things that you normally would not, or not see things that you normally would?

Commenting on the influence of psychedelics in the tech community, of which Steve Jobs was a big proponent, Smart asks, What if Silicon Valley got back to its psychedelic roots? Only this time, instead of company founders and spiritually inclined engineers dropping acid, Silicon Valley would try to figure out how to give LSD to conscious machines.

Read More:Terence McKennas cyberdelic predictions for Virtual Reality 25 years on

Smartconcludes in his book, I do not believe it would be crazy to begin to try to design computers with the purpose of giving them psychedelic experiences. Along the way, we might finally crack the mystery of human and machine consciousness and in the process save the human race.

Unlike Elon Musks latest endeavor to create AI-human cyborgs, Smart isnt sure if this is the right path for humanity.

However, an AI-human hybrid does get a lot more interesting if you consider a neural-laced human brain infused with AI nanobots that is tripping on acid, psilocybin mushrooms, DMT, or some other psychedelic. Digital entheogens, anyone?

Read More:AI human cyborgs are next on Elon Musks agenda with the launch of Neuralink

Artist Katt McKennas rendition of the ancient bee-faced mushroom shaman of Tassili Niger, Algeria.

What connections couldbe made ifhuman consciousness, fused with AI, could have a psychedelic experience? What brave new horizons could be forged? What doors of perception could be opened?

It wasnt until humans began having hallucinationsin the caves of our prehistoric past that we developed a sense of the divine, which later led to spirituality and religion, and a higher consciousness.

Perhaps the deep mind in the cave will emerge once machines (or hybrids) are able to have full-blown psychedelic experiences.

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What is the Difference Between Entheogens and Drugs?

Posted: May 14, 2017 at 5:56 pm

James Oroc, Guest Waking Times

The word Entheogen means God contained within and in some other translations it means to awaken the divine within, which is closer to the word Entheogenesis, describing the process of doing away with all that which is transient and impermanent, while allowing the unchanging aspect of our being to awaken to itself. An Entheogen is a compound that induces a spiritual or mystical experience. There have been many kinds of Entheogens or plant based psychoactive substances used by humans. However, there isnt much known about these plant medicines commonly, as a result of which humanity has been for long exploited by psychological manipulation at the hands of the powers that be. Constant repetition of lies and negative propaganda seem to be working well on the sleeping masses, however with more information and awareness on these subjects things are quickly changing globally.

It is good to see great change manifesting when people join hands and come together against this regressive oppression and tyranny that act out through the various world governments, big greedy corporations and the Military Industrial Complex. One of the ways to beat the system is through creating more awareness by disseminating useful information, sharing knowledge speaking your truth and more importantly, living it ! We came across this brilliant source of information on various drugs and their effects on human consciousness and thought it must be shared here

In 2010 I was fortunate to be a presenter on the subject of entheogens at a fascinating conference in San Rafael, California, titled Beyond the I the end of the Seeker. The conference organizers had recruited a remarkable collection of physicists, neuroscientists, consciousness researchers, and spiritual teachers, all with a common interest in what turned out to be the rather hazy subject of Science and Non-Duality. (I say that I was fortunate to present because I was also able to attend workshops and lectures with some of my personal heroes including the physicist/authors Peter Russell, Amit Goswami, NASAs zero-point scientist Bernard Haisch, anesthesiologist Stuart Hammerhof on his and Roger Penroses theory of Quantum Consciousness, and a remarkable presentation by Nassim Haramein exclusively on his paper about the Schwarzschild Proton). The entheogen section of the conference titled Entheogens as a Portal was a panel comprising of Rick Doblin (MAPS), Dr. Martin Ball, James Fadimann, myself and a couple of other speakers (whose names I must confess I dont remember) all who received 20 minutes to speak about entheogens and (I presumed) non-duality.

So for this conference, rather than discussing my usual subject (the endogenous entheogens, DMT and 5-MeO-DMT), I decided to consider the broad spectrum of different mood-enhancing compounds available, and rather than considering how each particular drug affects our bodies or our mental well-being as most scientific studies would, I would instead rank each drug on how it affected our sense of Ego, our sense of I. Since the total loss of Ego and the sense of I is the core of the transpersonal mystical experience (and I am an experiential-mystic at heart) I decided that I would assign each drug its own Mystical Value, with the drugs that can induce the transpersonal state of total loss of Ego and Identity having the highest value (most value to an experiential mystic), while the drugs that reinforced or inflated the sense of the Ego would have the lowest. After having ranked the various compounds (according to experiential reports in literature, EROWID, etc), it was interesting to note that the scale naturally descended by the chemical class of the compoundtryptamine, phenethylamine, opiates, amphetamines, alcohol and that this corresponded to a noticeable increase in toxicity.

Here is how I ranked the various compounds, along with my personal commentary on the effects of the compound, its toxicity, and human history.

The endogenous entheogens/ Simple tryptamines:

1. 5-Methoxy-DMT: Regularly capable of inducing a classical mystical experience of transpersonal oneness with complete dissolution of Ego and Identity, even at dosages as low as 5 micrograms. Endogenous. Which means that it is naturally produced within our own bodies and thus 100% physically non-toxic. Also present in nature in the leaf, bark, and roots of trees, and in the venom of the Bufo Alvarius toad. 5-MeO-DMT has been used in South America in the forms of snuffs for an estimated 3000 years. 5-MeO-DMTs modern use, first in the form of smoking toad venom, and then as synthesized 5-Meo-DMT, is approx 35 years old.

2. DMT (dimethyltryptamine): Capable of inducing a classical mystical experience of transpersonal Oneness, with complete dissolution of Ego and Identity, mostly at high dosages, and in certain individuals. Endogenous. Found in the leaf, seeds, bark, and roots of plants, DMT has been used in South America as snuffs, and as the active alkaloid in ayahuasca, for more than 1500 years. These plant admixtures are regarded as sacred medicines amongst the Amazonian cultures from which they originate. After being discovered to be psychologically active by the Hungarian psychologist Stephan Szara in 1957, DMT was used by IM sporadically throughout the early 1960s (most notably by William S Burroughs and Timothy Leary) before experiencing a brief burst of popularity in the late 1960s (after the underground chemist Nick Sand discovered that the fumurate was smokable), before disappearing almost completely by the end of the 1970s. The writings of Terence McKenna subsequently rekindled interest in the compound and its natural analogue ayahuasca, which combined with the unsubstantiated theories of Dr Rick Strassman presented in the more recent book DMT: The Spirit Molecule, has resulted in a significant modern mythology amongst the current psychedelic counter-culture.

The Complex Tryptamines:

3. LSD-25. (lysergic acid) Also a tryptamine, LSD is capable of inducing a classical mystical experience of transpersonal Oneness, with complete dissolution of Ego and Identity, in high dosages, and in certain individuals. Synthetic, with close analogues found in nature. The Eleusinian mysterieswhich could only be attended once in a lifetimewere considered the high point of Greek Society and ran for more than 2000 years, tremendously influencing Greek Philosophy and thus Western Thought. Kykeon, the entheogen at the heart of these mysteries, was most likely an LSD analogue produced from an ergot (grain) fungus. (The Temple at Eleusis was dedicated to Demeter, the Goddess of Wheat). LSD-like compounds have also been isolated from the Aztec ololiuqui (morning glory) seeds. Lysergic Acid LSD 25, which captured the public imagination like no other entheogen in modern history during the late 1960s and early 70s when an estimated 75 million people tried the drug is the synthetic counterpart of these natural plant analogues. While the very high dosages (800+ micrograms) recommended by Leary, Metzner, and Alpert in The Varieties of the Psychedelic Experience (1963) to induce a transpersonal-mystical experience ultimately proved to be more than most people liked to handle psychologically, LSD is physiologically one of the safest compounds known to man, since it requires the smallest known amount (1/10,000th of a gram) to be psychologically active, and is thus has an incredibly low toxicity to dosage. (You can ingest the same amount of cyanide, or even plutonium, and it will pass through your body with affecting you). Wikipedia reports a suspected fatal overdose (Kentucky, 1975) medical literature on LSD, which involved the IV injection of a ridiculously large amount of LSD (1/3rd of a gram more than 3000 of todays hits!) but notes most sources report that there are no known human cases of such an overdose.

4. Psilocybin (4-OH-DMT). Can induce transpersonal-mystical experience in high dosage. Naturally occurring in some 200 mushroom species. The presumed entheogen in Terence McKennas Stoned Ape theory. The least powerful of the tryptamines, psilocybin is of low toxicity although overdoses are reputedly possible on synthetic psilocybin, such as in the death of John Griggs, the leader of the notorious LSD-and-hashish cartel, The Brotherhood of Love, although none are reported on EROWID.


5. Ketamine/PCP: Capable of inducing a classical mystical experience of transpersonal Oneness, with complete dissolution of Ego and Identity, mostly at high dosages, and in certain individuals. The only legal PCP analogue (estimated 5-10% the strength of PCP), Ketamine, which acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system, requires inclusion due to its impressive record for inducing mystical experiences in individuals (mostly by IM injection) and it could be argued that it deserves a higher ranking than the complex tryptamines. Since it is used as a medical anesthetic, it is considered physically very safe and overdoses are rare. While PCP was first synthesized in 1926, with an illegal street use that peaked in the mid-70s, Ketamines illegal use as an entheogen (and increasingly as a party drug in small doses) is a relatively recent human development.

The Psychedelic-Phenethylamines:

6. Mescaline: Can induce transpersonal-mystical experience in high-dosages. Naturally occurring in various cactus species, mescaline is one of the oldest psychedelics known to man. The San Pedro cactus cults of Northern Peru are the longest known continuous shamanic tradition having existed for at least 3000 years, while there is evidence of peyote use in Mexico and North America dating back 5700 years. In these cultures, the mescaline-containing cacti were considered sacred medicine. Although very rare today, synthetic mescaline was the main subject of Aldous Huxleys The Doors of Perception, which helped spark the 60s psychedelic revolution. (Mescaline, Psilocybin, LSD, and DMT would be the 4 compounds listed in the introduction to Leary, Messner, and Alperts The Psychedelic Experience in 1965.). Like most psychedelics, mescaline is physically non-toxic and non-addictive.

7. 2-CB, 2-CI: Structurally related to mescaline, both 2-CB and 2-CI can induce transpersonal-mystical experience in high-dosages. Synthetic phenethylamines, these are notoriously dose-sensitive and little is known about their toxicity, but due to the extremely low toxicity of mescaline and virtually all psychedelics, they can be assumed to be physically non-toxic and non-addictive. Both are creations of Alexander Shulgin (most famous for popularizing MDMA), which rose to popularity in the LSD drought of the early 21st century caused by the infamous Kansas Silo bust, proving once again that prohibition simply results in diversity.


The Empathagenic-Phenethylamines:

8. MDA: (Sassafras). Empathogen. The original 1960s Love Drug. As with all the compounds in this class, empathogens can decrease the effect of Ego by inducing love and compassion to others, weakening the sense of I. Empathogens also differ from psychedelic/entheogens in their acute toxicity, with deaths caused by cardiac arrest/brain hemorrhaging at a fatality rate of approx 2 in 100,000 users, approximately the same as the more popular (though less toxic) MDMA.

9. MDMA (Ecstasy). See MDA. Rediscovered and popularized by chemist Alexander Shulgin in the 1980s, MDMA held great promise for psychiatry before becoming illegal in a wave of Federal paranoia. Currently being used in hospital trials in Israel, the organization MAPS (Multi-disciplinary Association of Psychedelic Sciences) wants to start clinical trials on returning soldiers with post-traumatic stress syndrome here in the USA.

Other Popular Illegal Compounds:

10. THC (Cannabis or marijuana). Decreases the effect of the Ego by shifting perspective, often towards the humorous side. Relatively low toxicity, no possibility of physical overdose. While cannabis related crimes are the number one reason for incarceration in the USA, with over a million people in jail for its sale, distribution, production, or possession, there has never been a single death related to THC consumption itself.

11. Opiates/Heroin: Nullifies the Ego by negating all desire although not the sense of I. Highly physically addictive with regular fatal overdoses, heroin was involved in 213,118 Emergency Room (ED) visits in 2009. Meanwhile Oxycodon fatalities (OxyContin is a semi-synthetic opiod pain reliever derived from opium) have increased 66.7% over the last five years due to this pain-medicines relatively high toxicity. (14,459 in 2007 82,724 people died from FDA approved drugs in 2010.) ED visits involving nonmedical use of pharmaceuticals (either alone or in combination with another drug) increased 98.4 percent between 2004 and 2009, from 627,291 visits to 1,244,679. OxyContin sales currently exceed $4 billion per year.

12. Cocaine: The ultimate Me drug. Physically and psychologically addictive. Highly toxic. A nervous-system stimulant, cocaine dependence (addiction) can result in cardiovascular and brain damage. The Greed Culture of the 1980s that came only 15 years after the Psychedelic Revolution can almost be epitomized by its reverence to cocaine, the most expensive drug that does the least for the shortest amount of time. In 2009 Cocaine and crack cocaine overdoses were responsible for over 400 000 ED room visits in US hospitals. While the first cocaine epidemic in the USA was in the 1880s, cocaine has greatly grown in popularity since the 1970s, with the estimated U.S. cocaine market exceeding $70 billion in street value in 2005 a greater revenue than a corporation such as Starbucks. The multi-billion dollar War against Cocaine has been waged at the military level in foreign countries since the 1980s with no noticeable affect on supply, while drug violence long the border of Mexico mostly over the cocaine and methamphetamine trade is killing more than 5000 people a year.

13. Methamphetamines. Physically and psychologically addictive. Highly toxic. The highly lucrative illegal underground market of the USAs most-popular legal drug (Ritalin and Adderall are legal methamphetamines the USA consumes 85% of the worlds prescription speed.) Sometimes called white-trash cocaine, methamphetamine abuse is reaching epidemic proportions at many levels of American society with over 93,000 ED room visits in 2009. Crack cocaine and methamphetamine addiction have long been associated with both forced and voluntary prostitution in every country that they appear in, while the violence associated with Mexican drug cartels fighting for control of a cocaine and methamphetamine market valued in excess of 50 billion dollars is currently responsible for over 15,000 fatalities a year.

(And finally, our Societys chosen legal inebrient)

14. Alcohol: Considered a psychoactive depressant. Highly toxic and physically addictive. The United States Center for Disease Control estimates that medium to high consumption of alcohol leads to the death of approx 75,000 people a year in the USA. While the last three compounds on this chart Cocaine, Methamphetamine, and Alcohol are the only three compounds most likely to reinforce the Ego to the point of physical violence, alcohol is the one your most likely to do yourself physical harm on due to self-loathing. Alcohol is the most common extenuating factor for homicides, rapes, beatings, and suicides, not to mention vehicular fatalities. Alcohol is arguably the least sophisticated drug in both its production and its crude inebriating effects. The first alcoholic beverages can be traced back 9000 years to Neolithic times, which is why I like to call it our stone-age drug. Paradoxically, (or perhaps because of its ancient origins) alcohol it is the only 100% legal drug on this list in the vast majority of countries around the world.

My conclusion from ranking these various compounds by their unique Mystical Value and comparing their relative toxicity can thus be expressed quite simply (as):

Orocs Law: The more a compound disrupts the Ego (the sense of I), the physically safer (less toxic) that compound will be, while the more a drug reinforces and inflates the sense of Ego, the more physically harmful (toxic) that compound will be.

After my presentation a number of the enthusiastic audience asked me if I had ever written anything about this Mystical Value Scale and I had to confess that I had not, but that some time in the future I would try to. But in all truth, I would probably have stored it away in the back drawers of my very messy mind had not the former Chief Advisor on Drugs to the British Government published a very interesting report in the respected Lancet medical journal that was released just a month later (Nov 2010) and made world-wide news. In this report by the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, every common drug in British society was scored by a panel of social health experts on the harm it created including mental and physical damage, addiction, crime and costs to the economy and the community, thus basically ranking the public health effect of the various drugs. The maximum harm score was 100 and the minimum zero. When the results were tabulated, the most harmful drug was alcohol (72), then heroin (55), crack-cocaine (54), methamphetamines (33), cocaine (27), cannabis (20), ketamine (15), and MDMA (9), with LSD (7) and magic mushrooms (5) being ranked as the least harmful substances to British society! (Neither DMT or 5-MeO-DMT were on the list). The esteemed authors also wrote that our findings lend support to the previous work in the UK and the Netherlands, confirming that the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm.

Based on this highly scientific report, my observation about the related toxicity of my Mystical Value scale would seem to have been validated, with those drugs that most eradicate the effect of the Ego being deemed (by public health experts) the safest. Non-addictive and of low toxicity, psychedelic drugs offer no threat to your physical health, and yet they are considered by our Society to be extremely dangerous and are amongst the most illegal substances on the planet.

The word drug incidentallywhich means (in this context, according to the Websters dictionary) a chemical substance which enhances physical or mental well-being is a ridiculously misleading and almost meaningless word if you think about it, since nearly everything we eat and drink can be considered a drug. Nitrous oxide, a gas, is a drug. Coffee, tea, sugar, and chocolate are all drugs. Even McDonalds french-fries under this broad definition could be considered a (highly addictive) drug. Now, as much as I love chocolate, coffee, and even I hate to admit it the occasional McDonalds French-fry, I see little purpose in comparing them in any way, shape, or form, to LSD, DMT, or 5-MeO-DMT, which are far more likely to completely change your consensual reality then they are enhance your physical or mental well-being. But the very use of a word/term as broad as drugs (drug law, drug war, illegal drugs, dangerous drugs etc) to describe and legally regulate (DEA) such a ridiculously broad range of compounds is in its self a verbal smokescreen designed to help limit the distinctly society-changing possibilities of psychedelic-entheogens.

If I may diverge for a moment, it is my personal opinion that the first psychedelic revolution in the United States (1963 Saturday 6th December 1969) failed ultimately due to the mass influx of a variety of distinctly non-psychedelic drugs into the chaotic and highly exploratory youth culture of that time. Psychedelics when used in high-dosages have proven to be safest when used in a thoughtful and controlled set-and-setting, but as the Youth revolution took hold many teenagers were exposed to super-powerful entheogens like LSD-25 and STP (DOM) in what can only be described as a cavalier and Dionysian manner. Considering the fact that an average hit of LSD in 1968 (400-500mg) was 5 times stronger than a hit of street acid (80 to 100mg) today, and that first-timers LSD users were frequently encouraged to take two hits if they wanted to see Tim Learys promised white light, with little thought to their set-and setting, then it is easy to see how a large number of young hippies feared acid as much as others revered it. (You still witness this same phenomena today many of the 20 somethings that I talk to at festivals seem to love DMT but are terrified of LSD having already experienced a trip too long and arduous for them and they probably ate a quarter of what their parents did for their first time in the 60s!). This tendency to push all experiences to the limit (the Prankster ethic) opened the backdoor for the more seductive and much easier rides of first heroin, and then cocaine. (Which when it was first introduced was not thought to be addictive.)

Disregarding the potential (and well-documented role) that the CIA played in the introduction and distribution of virtually all the illegal drugs that became available, by failing to recognize the essential difference of psychedelics/entheogensthat they are best used carefully in a sacred manner with trusted guides and not wildly in recreation amongst crowds of strangersand then by lumping the wide-variety of compounds that followed into a singular Drug Culture that fails to distinguish between the wide variety of experiences that this vast family of so-called drugs can produce, the Alternative culture that had been inspired by psychedelics and the chance for change, ended up settling for uppers-and-downers and the Status Quo, as heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines became the most popular illegal drugs of the last thirty years of the 20th century. (And the use and abuse of legal prescription drugs sky rocketed).

It is interesting now with more than 40 years perspective to realize the fact that our Societys so-called Drug Culture has increasingly turned away from the 60s psychedelic ethos of the mystical destruction of the Ego (and consequently the social structures that the Ego creates) towards a range of compounds that actually reinforce the concept of the Ego (and thus maintain the existing social structures that Ego has built). It could be argued that the last thirty years of the twentieth century that came after the failed psychedelic revolution of the 1960s were the most egocentric years in human history, as television and a global communication network have relentlessly promoted the cult of the Ego as the highest human ideal to the post Vietnam generations of techno-capitalists, with the constant accumulation of individual wealth and power seen as a Darwinian function inherited from our hunter-gatherer days. This obsession with the role of the Individual has resulted in 5% of the worlds population now controlling 50% of its wealth, as multi-national corporations controlled by a handful of families continue to strip the globe of its resources to line the pockets of shareholders and board members in those industrialized nations whose military are effectively the World Law, a treacherous and seemingly unstoppable situation that is threatening life on this planet as the military-industrial complex lurches increasingly erratically through the last of its days. The cult of the Individual Ego has now grown so predominant, we have a societal case of what I call extinction denial where the fate of the individual has become paramount, best expressed in the concept You better get yours while you can.

A radical reassessment of the effect of capitalism and consumerism on both the human condition and our planet is clearly required, but what can bring about a change in a viewpoint that has been steadily being programmed into us by the very technology whose reckless use we need to reassess? According to the Dalai Lama achieving genuine happiness may require bringing about a transformation in your outlook, in your way of thinking, and this is not a simple matter and I believe this applies to us as much as a Society as it does to each of us individually. But what can any of us really do other than reorganize deck chairs on the Titanic? What action can actually have a chance of bringing about a fundamental transformation in the way Humanity perceives and values Life on this planet?

In July of 2003 when first introduced to the super-entheogen 5-MeO-DMT, I underwent what I now believe to be a classical mystical experience of transpersonal unity with the Source of Being. This event had a profound effect upon my world-view since I found myself changed from an agnostic scientific-rationalist to believing in the existence of a God far greater than I could have ever imagined, all in the space of a single 40 minute drug-induced trip. The result for my subsequent search for answers on how such a radical transformation could have occurred is contained in my book Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad. (Park Street Press, 2009), and within the pages of that book I make the claim that this discovery of a spiritual element to the Universe, and the realization that God not only CAN exist but exists as the mystics have always insistedas a part of you, is the most exciting realization that a human being can make. More than eight years have now past since I myself made that unexpected discovery, and while I still agree that is ultimately the most exciting discovery possible, I must concede it is not always the most practical, a dilemma that mystics have known and have suffered for since the beginning of time. The personal discovery of Godany kind of God or Buddha-State, for they are all streams of the same Cosmic rivercan never be scientifically proven and inevitably any entheogenic realizations or enlightenment can only offer the same proofs as any other spiritual system the sticky dual-problem of personal testimony and faith.

I have however come to realize that while entheogens can never prove the existence of God (rather one can only experience God-Consciousness through the use of them and thus form your own opinion), true-entheogens can be used as the most powerful tools of exploration available for investigating some of the most perplexing philosophical questions that humanity has managed to conceive, especially those concerning the role and reality of Consciousness, and its human-shadow, the Ego. As our Society and technology begins to progress beyond the Newtonian-Darwinian paradigm, we are coming to scientifically realize that nothing in the Universe exists as an individual point in space-and-time, since the emerging quantum view of the Universe states that all things are linked and connected thru a matrix of fields of energy that far surpass the energy of physical matter, matter is merely the froth on the wave of reality if you like, while our consciousness, the vehicle of this discovery, far from being an accidental by-product of chemical reactions produced within the matter of the brain as purported by the old paradigm, increasingly seems to be a part of an infinite field of consciousness that both permeates, and creates, the Universe itself. I can also personally testify that thru the use of entheogens one can actually experience a moment outside of time and space as pure Consciousness, with no idea or memory of who you are or where you came from, and in that instant the realization arises of the interconnectedness of all things, that all is truly Onethe transpersonal experience as Stanislav Grof calls itand that this is quite possibly the most profound human experience available, a speculation that the recorded history of all varieties of mysticism would seem to support.

Which brings about the about the very interesting possibilityas suggested by the psychologist Julian Jaynes in his increasingly influential book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mindthat the modern highly-individualized human Ego that has been so venerated in the 19th and 20th centuries may be a comparatively recent development in both human history (and perhaps the history of the Universe), and that the voice in our head that we now all constantly hear, a few thousand years ago would only arise only in times of severe crisis and danger. (And was often thought to be the voice of the Gods). The non-denominational spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle in his modern classic A New Earth argues that our highly refined sense of I has come from the development of our technology-driven Society, since the narrowing of our mental focus away from the transpersonal has allowed us to develop our fantastic technology, but at the expense of disconnecting us with another deeper layer of consciousness that we share with all other things in the Universe. We can no longer see the woods for the trees so to speak, as we have become prisoners of our own inflated sense of self.

As our scientists start to discover the outer realms of Quantum Consciousness, and our psychologists and spiritual masters begin to return our attention to the idea of a Cosmic or Absolute Consciousness that both unites and transcends all religion, with the role that the Individual Ego plays in our Society coming under increasingly critical scrutiny, then it would seem clear the lesson that the careful use of entheogens can teach virtually any of us. It is a scientifically verifiable fact that entheogenic compounds can cause a human ego to be disrupted or even momentarily wiped away, and that when this happens, to paraphrase the poetic words of William Blake, the doors of perception are cleansed, and all things appear to man as they are, Infinite. Throughout the recorded history of Humanity there has been no experience considered more profound or more valuable then the singular realization that All is indeed One, and now as the scientists have begun to catch up with the mystics on realizing the simple undeniable fact that all systems are linked, and that the very idea of the sacredness of the individual is somewhat absurd, we now need to reform our governments, our religions, our financial institutions, our schools, and most importantly ourselves, to this fundamental Universal Truth.

In a world where we have been programmed by the constant sounds and flashy moving images of our rapidly developing modern technology since we have been born, the ancient schools of meditation and contemplation have had little chance to reform the Ego or the society that our love of technologythe human child of the Egohas built for us, since we have long since forgotten that the death of the Ego is a desirable goal. Deepak Chopra once wrote that synchronicity is the universe showing its intention, and therefore I do not find it strange that mescaline was first synthesized the year that Rntgen discovered radiation, or that Albert Hofmann had a strange dream to reinvestigate a compound that he had put on a shelf many years earlier, thereby instigating a chain of events that would cause him to discover LSD-25s remarkable psychoactive qualities while the Manhattan Project was months away from igniting the worlds first atomic bomb, arguably humanitys most egocentric invention. Lysergic Acid (LSD) is a remarkable 20th century invention in the fact that it is the only entheogen that a competent chemist can make a million hits of in an afternoon, and its mass-production qualities (for a mass-production society) should not be under-valued, since it has been responsible for reintroducing the mystical/shamanic concept of the death-and-rebirth of the Ego into our Society at a time when it is most desperately needed. An entheogenic moment outside of space of time can cause a lifetime of egocentric programming to come tumbling down like a house of cards, an illumination almost impossible to ignore, and it is for exactly this reason that our Governments so fear them. If we build the foundations of the Entheogenic Revolution the 2nd Psychedelic Revolution upon the basis of a constant awareness of the influence of the Ego, and seek out a deeper connection with the Mind of the Universe that we all share in a process of liberation theology, then we have a chance to rebuild our tribes into a true World Family that will find a way through the troubling times to come. For if there is one thing that is for sure, it is that none of us will make it alone.

James Oroc

References: DMT Site&Psychedelic Adventure

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What is the Difference Between Entheogens and Drugs?

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OH to NY to AL: Claude Lawrence Cornett – Patheos (blog)

Posted: May 8, 2017 at 12:06 am

Larry Cornett has worked tirelessly on and for the Craft for almost 40 years. The story of his work, spread over at least four states, stitches together many strands of the tapestry, yet he has never received nor, I think, wanted any great measure of public acclaim. Here is the beginning of the story he sent me on Nov. 15, 2009. Larry is rather ill right now. He deserves and needs your thoughts.

I was born on August 28, 1947, and raised as a Presbyterian. In the early 1960s, in high school in Chesterland, Ohio, I was involved in the Civil Rights Movement, through which I made contact with people with diverse religious philosophies. In 1962, in 10th grade, I became interested in the philosophy of world religions, especially those that did not claim to be the one and only true way and which were not into personality cults. I had rejected the Christian view of an all knowing, all powerful, omnipresent deity and the simultaneous existence of evil. Nevertheless, I sensed that something interconnected everything and loved Nature.

In 1965, I went to Purdue University to study physics and became active in the Peace Movement as well as the counter-culture. I discovered the mystical implications of quantum mechanics in the spring of 1968, noticing that the mathematics of quantum mechanics describes reality as waves that are interconnected everywhere and that change states everywhere all at once. This implied non-localized connections in reality, which fit into Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist Eastern philosophy, including the writings of Alan Watts and Swami Vivekananda. My main difference from most of the Eastern philosophies was my attitude that, if we are one with the universe, why not enjoy it and use the connection for healing and improving life on this planet? I also considered the concept of non-localized consciousness not centered in people or specific organisms to be plausible, and discovered that things happened when ancient Gods and Goddesses were invoked in ritual.

By the fall of 1968, I had experienced somepsychokinetic control of candle flames, knew the power of chants at changing consciousness, was hosting informal shamanic rituals in my apartment; and became active in the Reformed Druids of North America, by whom I was initiated.

After getting my B.S. in Physics in 1969, I went to the University of Chicago to go for a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics. However, in February 1970, I was arrested at my physical for passing out literature advocating a choice of draft resistance, desertion, joining the American Servicemens Union, etc., for getting other people taking their physical at the time to also pass out the literature, and for almost starting a riot. The day I was arrested, I dropped out of graduate school to work full time as the Indiana Regional Coordinator for the Vietnam Moratorium Committee. I decided that, even if I could prove mathematically a cosmological theory of physics describing how the universe operates and its relationship to consciousness, it would not stop the war in Vietnam or make the air safe to breathe. After the Vietnam Moratorium Committee went bankrupt, I went to the University of Cincinnati, starting in June 1971, and got an M.S. in Air Pollution Control Engineering in 1972.

I didnt pursue formal magical studies from 1971 until 1979 (although I did continue to follow developments in theoretical physics related to cosmology, consciousness, and the fundamental nature of the universe). I also continued to do informal rituals with friends with the objective of exploring consciousness, sometimes under the influence of entheogens (a practice I had been performing since 1967).

In 1978, Larry, Ian Corrigan, and C.C. Rosencomet (Jeff Rosenbaum) were among the founding member of the Chameleon Club at Case Western Reserve University. They organized the first Starwood on July 24 26, 1981. It began as a weekend festival and grew over the years to a six-day event. Attendance grew from 185 in the first year to peak at around 1800 people in 2002. In 1983 Chameleon Club members founded the Association for Consciousness Exploration (ACE), which took over the Starwood Festival, and began the Winterstar Festival as well, on February 9-12, 1984, at Burr Oak State Park in Glouster, OH. The Chameleon Club also considers itself an extended family in the style of the Merry Pranksters; its members can be found from Cleveland to New Orleans, from California to New York.

I got heavily involved with studying magic and organized Paganism again in 1980, when, on a hunch, I went to the Pan Pagan Festival, where I felt I had finally reconnected with the tribe I was part of in the late 1960s; and I learned I had been a Pagan for at least seventeen years without knowing it. I re-experienced some of the power of the Goddesses and Gods and Pagan magic. At a NROOGD circle, I found myself thrust, within minutes, into a state of mind that I had only achieved on very rare occasions while meditating on entheogens, and the results were clearer, more controlled, and without any entheogenic assistance.

Those experiences motivated me to start seriously studying magic again and to make conscious Paganism a major part of my lifestyle. I was living in Dayton, Ohio, at the time, and became an apprentice with Circle, from whom I received much useful guidance. At Samhain 1980, I performed my first full-scale, solitary, Wiccan-style ritual- invoking a God and a Goddess at each quarter. The next day, I led a successful Wiccan- style exorcism with friends (the house I lived in was haunted by a lost spirit, and we helped her find her way to the Summerland).

At Yule 1980, I connected with Amaranth Energies, a Dayton coven at the time, and found that six of the eight Gods and Goddesses that I had invoked at Samhain were also the ones invoked at the quarters by this coven. However, the High Priestess (Prudence Priest) and the High Priest of Amaranth Energies moved to California a few months later; I didnt know about her NROOGD connection until years later. The one other remaining member of the coven (Pasha) and I kept the Dayton Amaranth Energies coven going strong. We did many powerful workings, including Wiccan Shamanic work with the spirits of the land.

In 1981, I was about to be laid off in Dayton; so I worked a spell to find a job in a cosmopolitan area, as a cone of power launched at an extremely powerful bonfire drum/dance and chant circle Saturday night at the first Starwood Festival. When I returned from Starwood, I found a letter waiting for me, about a job interview in New York City. I went to the interview and got the job within three days.I worked solitary most of the time for the first three years in New York City, although I did attend classes and participate in rituals of the Circle of Naught in upstate New York, worked with a Cherokee medicine man, and traveled to Wisconsin a few times for Circle Apprenticeship training.

In 1982, I started to publish an International Calendar of Pagan Festivals that were two days or longer; it continued until 2000. I also published a local calendar of Pagan workshops and events in the New York City area, as an activity of the Atlantic Pagan Council.

Larrys Calendar of Events was one of the most important Pagan publications during the 1980s and 1990s; in those days before the Internet, it was a major resource for keeping track of what other Witches and Pagans were doing.

By 1984, I was active in the Coyote Medicine Society, and connected with Isaac Bonewits and his newly organized Ar nDraiocht Fein Druid Fellowship, as well as Coven Marasmius, a NROOGD coven led by Sally Eaton, in which Isaac was also involved. At last, I had found groups in New York City that performed rituals in the forest and actively worked with Nature Spirits. By August 1985, I had been initiated into Coven Marasmius by Sally Eaton, into ADF with Isaac Bonewits, and into Amaranth Energies by Prudence Priest (the original high priestess). By that time, the Atlantic Pagan Council was dead, but I continued to publish the International Calendar of Pagan Events and a local calendar on my own.

My job situation changed, and I found myself in living in Birmingham, Alabama, for almost a year. I had two Birmingham subscribers to the International Pagan Events Calendar when I moved there, and they introduced me to some of the local Pagan community. I called a party and ritual in Birmingham to celebrate the defeat of the Helms Amendment and to empower Pagan freedom; more than 20 Alabama Pagans came. Before long, I and several people who attended the party had organized a networking and ritual group called Pagan Web. Soon, we had a functioning coven and were often up in the hills of Alabama (weather permitting) working with the Goddess, Gods, nature spirits, etc., at full moons, new moons and Sabbats.

Larrys life in Virginia will be covered in Volume III.

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OH to NY to AL: Claude Lawrence Cornett - Patheos (blog)

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