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Recommended Visionary Drug/Plant Reference Books Options
 
Entropymancer
#1 Posted : 1/31/2011 8:10:48 AM

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What books do you find to be your most indispensable references on entheogenic and other psychoactive plants? What books do you wish you had?

I'm always looking for more books to add to my collection (if I can find them for a reasonable price) or to my wishlist (if they're too expensive). I imagine many of you are as well. I know there's the stickied "Book Bin" thread for general reading, but I thought we could use a thread for books specifically on psychoactive plants. Some of the titles overlap with my thread on old psychoactive-related literature in the public domain, but most of the titles below are still under copyright.

Here's my dream reference library (books in each section are organized chronologically):

General References (books covering many plants)

  • The Chemistry of Common Life by James F.W. Johnston (1855; many revised editions were published in the following years)
    While Johnston's work was not explicitly a treatment of drug chemistry, it contained several chapters on "The Beverages We Infuse" (Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate), as well as on "The Narcotics We Indulge In" (datura, fly agaric, coca, betel, cannabis, opium, hops, and tobacco) which make it worth consideration as a historic book of drug lore. [Available online]

  • Die narkotischen Genußittel und der Mensch by Baron Ernst von Bibra (1855)
    I own the English translation, Plant Intoxicants (1994) which is nicely annotated with Technical Notes by Jonathan Ott. Bibra covers: coffee, tea, mate, huarana, chocolate, khat, the fly agaric, datura, coca, opium, hashish, tobacco, and betel... not a bad spread for over 150 years ago. [Original German edition available online]

  • The Seven Sisters of Sleep by Mordecai Cubitt Cooke (1860)
    Excellent early review of the seven best-known psychoactive plants in the Victorian era: tobacco, opium, cannabis, betel nut, coca, datura, and fly agaric. Cooke's attitude towards altered states is refreshingly positive considering the social mores of his era. [Available online]

  • Phantastica by Louis Lewin (1924)
    Translated to English in 1931 from the 2nd German Edition (1927), can be readily found in used book stores thanks to a 1998 by Park Street Press/Healing Arts Press (who reprinted Seven Sisters of Sleep and translated Die narkotischen Genußittel und der Mensch around the same time). This is basically Lewin's magnum opus on psychoactives (having previously published monographs on several of the plants discussed in the book). In this book, the well-known German pharmacologist covers opium and morphine (and some related opiates), coca and cocaine, peyotl, cannabis, the fly agaric, Solanaceous deleriants, ayahuasca, alcohol, kava, betel, khat, coffee, mate, tea, kola nut, guarana, cacao, tobacco, and a few other various and sundry plants and chemicals.

  • The Hallucinogens by Abram Hoffer and Humphrey Osmond (1967)
    Hoffer and Osmond were major players in early psychedelic psychotherapy (Osmond being the one who coined the term psychedelic. This volume explores the psychiatric potential of quite a cornucopia of substances: mescaline and its analogs, amphetamines, methylenedioxyamphetamines, asarone (from Acorus calamus), kava, LSD, ololiuhqui and some other ergot compounds, adrenochrome and related compounds, DMT and a variety of related tryptamines, psilocybin, harmine, ibogaine, and yohimbine. In short, an informative slice of history.

  • Narcotic Plants by William Emboden, Jr. (1972)
    I own the revised 2nd Edition (1979). It's a near-exclusively botanical treatment of the psychoactive plants, interspersed with the occasional graphic plate depicting the plant's context in indigenous use (generally either paraphernalia or ancient artwork). An excellent source for botanical information, but not a whole lot beyond that.

  • Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens by Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann (1973)
    Revised 2nd Edition published 1980. This one's definitely on my wish list; for now I just have a photocopy of chapter 4 (the main meat of the book, pp. 32-316) and the bibliography (pp. 369-409). Until Ott's Pharmacotheon, this was the definitive volume on the visionary plant drugs. Unfortunately the work lacks a Table of Contents. The "Plants of Hallucinogenic Use" whose chemistry and ethnobotanical backgrounds are discussed include: ergot, fly agarics, psilocybian mushrooms, cannabis, nutmeg, Virola spp., Anadenanthera spp., jurema, mescal beans, ayahuasca, the psychoactive phenethylamine-containing cacti, iboga, the bindweeds (Ipomoea, Turbina, and Argyria), Salvia divinorum, the Solanaceous deleriants, Justicia pectoralis, Psychotria viridis, and a few miscellaneous others.

  • Hallucinogens and Culture by Peter T. Furst (1976)
    I haven't finished reading this one yet, so I can't give it a proper review... but so far I like it. Has a particular emphasis on cultural roles that the plants fulfill. Covers: Tobacco, cannabis, nutmeg, eboka and ibogaine, morning glories and LSD, psilocybian mushrooms, the fly agaric, peyotl, datura, and hallucinogenic snuffs.

  • Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford (with technical editor Jeremy Bigwood) (1978)
    (2nd Edition 1983; 3rd Edition 1992)
    I was hesitant to include this one, since it's generally inferior to the other contemporary references. This volume is primarily noteworthy for its inclusion of preparation methods for the substances discussed, though the dosage advice is somewhat spurious. It is otherwise fairly unremarkable; informative, well-organized, but lacking in adequate citations or bibliography and containing little information that couldn't be found in Schultes & Hofmann's Botany and Chemistry for example. Primary subjects covered are: LSD, the lysergic acid amides, ergot, and bindweeds; peyotl, mescaline, and san pedro; cannabis; psilocybian mushrooms; nutmeg, MDA, and MDMA; DMT, DET, and DPT; ayahuasca and harmaline; iboga and ibogaine; fly agarics and panther caps. Subjects given cursory treatment include: Solanaceous deleriants, yohimbe, kava, and ketamine.

  • Plants of the Gods by Richard Evans Schultes and Albert Hofmann (1979)
    (Revised and expanded edition coauthored by Christian Rätsch printed in 2001)
    Much less informationally dense than Botany and Chemistry, but full of color photographs and other graphics. Sort of the 'coffee-table book' guide to the sacred psychoactive plants.

  • PiHKAL (1991) and TiHKAL (1997) by Sasha and Ann Shulgin
    While the books aren't focused on psychoactive plants, some of the chemicals covered in Part II of each book occur in some of our favorite plants, and Sasha is quick to refer to these plants whenever and wherever they're relevant.

  • Pharmacotheon by Jonathan Ott (1993)
    (2nd Edition, 1996)
    Truly a masterwork. This is one book I would never like to be without; unfortunately it's out of print but you might be able to track down a pdf if you can't find a hard copy of it. It's very thoroughly cited, treating the material in a lucidly direct and engaging fashion, informed by personal experience with the substances. Primary subjects are: mescaline and the cacti of which it's a constituent; lysergic acid amides and the morning glories (Convolvulaceae) and Ergot fungus in which it occurs; South American snuffs, particularly cohoba and epéna; β-carbolines, ayahuasca, and rue; the psilocybian mushrooms, psilocybin, psilocin, and baeocystine; and ibotenic acid, muscimol, and the fly agarics. Compounds given only a very cursory treatment include: calamus root and the asarones; atropine, hyoscyamine, scopolamine, and the Solanaceous deleriants; ibogaine and voacangine; nicotine, Tobacco spp., and pituri; kava and the kavapyrones; Salvia divinorum and salvinorin A; and Cannabis spp. and tetrahydrocannabinols. Very thorough bibliography. Defined scope of the work is the "entheogens".

  • Pharmako/Poeia (1995), Pharmako/Dynamis (2002), and Pharmako/Gnosis (2005) by Dale Pendell
    A very poetic trilogy covering the "poison path", with one volume on the inebriants (/Poeia), one volume on the stimulants (/Dynamis), and one volume on the visionary compounds (/Gnosis). Not a great source for thorough histories, dates, facts, etc... but I absolutely love Pendell's visceral approach. It beautifully captures the essence of the experience in the poetry of his monographs (and engaging interludes that evolve the poetic narrative). Pharmako/Poeia covers: tobacco, pituri, alcohol, absinthe, opium, kava, Salvia divinorum, cannabis, and a few sundry others. Pharmako/Dynamis covers: coffee, tea, chocolate, mate & guayusa, guarana, kola, betel, Ephedra spp., khat, amphetamine, coca, nutmeg, MDMA, and GHB. Pharmako/Gnosis covers: morning glories, psilocybian mushrooms, LSD, mescal beans, peyotl, Trichocereus spp., ayahuasca, jurema, syrian rue, Bufo alvarius, DMT, tropanes and the Solanaceous deleriants, ketamine, the fly agaric, and iboga.

  • Enzyklopädie der psychoaktiven Pflanzen by Christian Rätsch (1998)
    (Translated to English as Enclyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants (2005)
    Definitely encyclopedic in range of subjects (it covers 414 psychoactive plants) but the depth and accuracy of information leave a lot to be desired. Since Snu's Garden of Eden has come out covering a much wider range of plants in much more depth, I think it's safe take this volume off the top shelf.

  • Garden of Eden by Snu Voogelbreinder (2009)
    An amazing work of scholarship. It blows Rätsch's Encyclcopedia clear out of the water. The species it covers are far too numerous to give even a brief overview, and every single entry is thoroughly documented with citations. I am truly in awe of this volume. The price tag may seem a bit high, but it's worth every penny (and then some).

  • Trout's Notes Series by Keeper Trout
    Trout is a great aggregator of information. If you're interested in any subject that Trout has written about (ayahuasca/analogues, tryptamines, Acacia, visionary cacti, etc.) then you'll want to check out Trout's Notes on the subject. They contain huge amounts of information, and the citations can point you to other sources that you'll want to check out as well. They aren't light reading, but they're great if you want to be really thoroughly informed. For a list of known Trout's Notes books/pamphlets/etc., see post #27





Collections

These books don't really belong in the general reference section, but they aren't specific to a particular plant either. Each one covers a range of plants with contributions from several writers in the related fields.

  • Flesh of the Gods edited by Peter T. Furst (1972)
    Particularly covers tobacco, ayahuasca, san pedro, peyotl, fly agaric mushrooms (through the lens of Wasson's soma hypothesis), cannabis, and eboka (iboga). Authors include Emboden, Furst, La Barre, Reichel-Dolmatoff, Schultes, and Wasson.

  • The Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs edited by Daniel Efron, Bo Holmstedt, and Nathan S. Kline (1967)
    This volume is a collection of papers from a symposium on psychoactive plants from January 1967 (sponsored by NIMH). It particularly covered kava, nutmeg, South American snuffs, ayahuasca, and the fly agaric. It includes contributions from Richard Evans Schultes, Sasha Shulgin, Gordon Wasson, and a number of other good names in ethno/psychopharmacology. [Available online]





Books covering particular plants

Entheogenic Snuffs

  • Ritual enemas and snuffs in the Americas by Peter A.G.M. de Smet (1985)
    This was on my wish list until about an hour ago, when I discovered the publisher is allowing it to be downloaded for free since it's been out of print so long. So far it looks like everything I'd hoped for and more. Rich in information with thorough citations (I'm a sucker for a nice thorough bibliography employed to good effect). The section on enemas covers includes Anadenanthera seeds, ayahuasca, brugmansia, datura, guayusa, peyotl, and tobacco. The section on snuffs covers calamus, Anadenanthera seeds, ayahuasca, cannabis, datura, coca, guayusa, Justicia pectoralis, tobacco, and Virola. [Available online]

  • Shamanic Snuffs and Entheogenic Errhines by Jonathan Ott (2001)
    A rare book indeed, and stylistically not my favorite of Ott's offerings; at times he lets himself diverge into wordplay almost enough to lose the thread of his points. Still, very dense on information (thoroughly cited as always), and a good reference to check no matter what plant you're researching... it's surprising how many plants have been used in relation to snuffing practices. Unfortunately only 1026 copies were ever printed, so even when you find a used one it costs several hundred dollars (it retailed for $120, already a hefty price for a 160 page volume).

  • Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America Constantino Manuel Torres and David B. Repke (2006)
    An outstanding book covering the history (and archaeology), chemistry, and ethnography of traditional use for Anadenanthera colubrina and A. peregrina seeds (both smoked and as a snuff). I've got a soft spot for the seeds, and this is an excellent treatment of them.


Methylxanthine Plants (Cacao, coffee, guarana, mate, tea, etc.)

  • All About Coffee by William Ukers (1922)
    A very good source on the history of coffee. The writing isn't terribly engaging, but the depth of information is great. [Available online]

  • The Cacahuatl Eater: Ruminations of an Unabashed Chocolate Addict by Jonathan Ott (1985)
    Highly entertaining book about chocolate. A divergence from Ott's typical academic approach, you can tell that chocolate is something Ott really enjoys. Apparently some people thought that Ott's central thesis (that cacao is psychoactive) was controversial... guess they haven't had good cacao Smile.

  • Caffeine Blues: Wake up the the Hidden Dangers of America's #1 Drug Stephen A. Cherninske (1998)
    Not exactly up to the caliber of the other literature here, but it's a great guide to the literature on the health effects of caffeine. I don't exactly agree with the book's thesis (that caffeine is a dangerous drug and everyone should stop using it), but I do think it's worth noticing the studies, particularly on the actual efficacy of coffee at enhancing work output (used daily, it's really next to nothing), and that people should be mindful of how it effects them so that they can alter their pattern of use to suit the effects they want to obtain from it.

  • The World of Caffeine Bennett Alan Weinberg and Bonnie K. Bealer (2001)
    Again, I'm hesitant to include this one. I decided to include it because its account of the social history of tea, coffee, and cacao is excellent, particularly during the era when they were first introduced to Europe and began to spread between countries and each gained particular following in different countries. Its endnotes and bibliography are also fairly decent, though as I checked into their sources I began to notice occasional errors (mostly sloppy ones, like dates being incorrectly transcribed).



Cannabis

Frankly I haven't found any comprehensive references on cannabis that really impress me. Nothing with much wow-factor... it seems bizarre, considering I can find that sort of thing for plants like kava and cebil that are comparatively so much more obscure than cannabis. Surely I must be missing something. Anyone got any good cannabis references?

  • The Hasheesh Eater by Fitz Hugh Ludlow (1857)
    Historically, Ludlow's book helped to spark some public interest in cannabis, and his descriptions of its effects are interesting... been years since I've read this one though. [Available online]



Coca

  • History of Coca, "the Divine Plant of the Incas" by W. Golden Mortimer (1901)
    A charming book on the coca leaf and its history. While its emphasis is a little too heavy on Peru (largely ignoring the other nations in which it has traditionally been used), it's a great historical source on the period of the conquest of Peru and the decades that followed, quoting extensively from early Spanish writers. It also is an excellent source in tracing coca's re-emergence into European consciousness in the 19th century, albeit with a sometimes naïve eye. Mortimer was friendly with Mariani, and was dismissive of the notion that pure cocaine could have any significant addictive tendencies; whether neglecting the late-19th century sources that had already begun to indicate otherwise was his own editorial hand or Mariani's influence, I do not know. And although he tends to diverge into tangents that bear only minimally on coca (such as the then-current medical understanding of nutrition, or plant biochemistry, etc.), and more is know known on the precise chemical composition and pharmacology of cocaine, I've yet to find a modern source that's as engaging as this one. [Available online]



Ayahuasca

  • Ayahuasca Analogues by Jonathan Ott (1994)
    Just the sort of crunchy informative book that you can expect from Ott. And less exorbitantly priced than his rarer books, used copies generally running less than $100 despite being out of print in English (I think it's still in print in Spanish though). This is the single most exhaustive reference on ayahuasca that I've found. Invaluable reading material.

  • Trout's Notes on Ayahuasca & Ayahuasca Alkaloids by Keeper of the Trout (1998)
    (2nd Edition 2004 as Ayahuasca: Alkaloids, Plants & Analogs)
    Not quite as dense and exhaustive as Ott's book, but a valuable source nevertheless. [Available online]

  • Singing to the Plants by Stephan Beyer (2009)
    A very thorough guide to mestizo shamanism in South America, particularly modes of healing learned or applied through the use of ayahuasca (though it touches on other plants as well). It should appeal to the casually-interested reader, but contains extensive footnotes and a comprehensive bibliography that should satisfy the more scholarly reader. The book gives good attention to pharmacology, botany, and other practical considerations, but is especially unique in its in-depth treatment of the syncretic use of the plants for healing in the parts of the Amazon that are becoming more urban.



Fly Agaric

  • Mushrooms, Russia and History by R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson (1957)
    A classic text, elucidating the various lines of reasoning that led them to postulate a period in the past where there was a pervasive religion or worship centered around mushrooms. Includes a summary of the literature of the fly agaric eating cultural groups in Siberia. It culminates with their expedition to Mexico where they are the first Europeans ever known to consume the psilocybin-containing mushrooms employed by indigenous people there. Only 500 copies were ever printed, so little hope of acquiring a hard copy. [Available online]

  • Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality by R. Gordon Wasson (1968)
    Another classic, wherein Wasson lays out in detail his arguments for the identification of the Aryan Soma as a psychedelic drug, specifically the fly agaric mushroom. While I don't personally tend to agree with this identification (for one thing, while the literature certainly casts soma as psychoactive, it's not unambiguously psychedelic... for another, psychedelic is hardly the word I'd use to describe the experience of the fly agaric), the book is still a great source of information, and it restructured the academic discourse on soma and opened the floodgates on speculation about its identity.



Syrian Rue

  • Haoma and Harmaline: The Botanical Identity of the Indo-Iranian Sacred Hallucinogen "Soma" and its Legacy in Religion, Language, and Middle Eastern Folklore by David Stophlet Flattery and Martin Schwartz (1989)
    Another book on the soma mystery, in this case examining haoma (linguistically identical to the Vedic soma from the Iranian branch of the Aryans. Again, I don't agree with the main thesis (I don't believe Syrian rue was the original soma), but the book is still a useful resource. In addition to providing information on the cultural place of Peganum harmala in contemporary Iran, it also provides useful information in considering alternative candidates for soma (particularly Ephedra spp.). The low point of the book is when Flattery decides to treat the experience of Syrian rue as identical to that of an ayahuasca brew (complete with chacruna and several other psychoactive admixtures). [Available online]



Psilocybian Mushrooms

  • Mushrooms, Russia and History by R. Gordon Wasson and Valentina Pavlovna Wasson (1957)
    [Yes, I know I put this under Fly Agaric literature too] A classic text, elucidating the various lines of reasoning that led them to postulate a period in the past where there was a pervasive religion or worship centered around mushrooms. It culminates with their expedition to Mexico where they are the first Europeans ever known to consume the psilocybin-containing mushrooms employed by indigenous people there. Only 500 copies were ever printed, so little hope of acquiring a hard copy. [Available online]

  • Teonanácatl: Hallucinogenic Mushrooms of North America edited by Jonathan Ott and Jeremy Bigwood (1978)
    This book was put together from papers presented at the Second International Conference on Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in 1977. Contributors include Ott, Schultes, Hofmann, Wasson, and Bigwood. Covers history, chemistry, description of the psilocybian mushrooms known to occur in North America at the time, and developments in cultivation. In addition to being a fine reference, its also a nice slice of history, a peek into a time when the four of the most eminent minds on psychoactive drugs had all turned their attention on the same substance. This also marked the time when mushrooms began to become widely available in western cultures through developments in cultivation of Psilocybe cubensis. Considering the relative rarity of this volume, I thought I'd got a great deal a few years ago when I got it for $30, but it looks like Amazon has several used copies in decent condition for only $10 or so right now!

  • The Wondrous Mushroom: Mycolatry in Mesoamerica by R. Gordon. Wasson (1980)
    This one's on my wish list. I had started reading a borrowed copy at one point, and it seemed like a good retrospective on Wasson's researches on the psilocybian mushrooms over the previous couple of decades. Unfortunately things came up and I wasn't able to finish the book. Sooner or later I need to pick up a copy and finish reading the book.



Kava

  • Kava - The Pacific Elixir: The Definitive Guide to its Ethnobotany, History, and Chemistry by Vincent Lebot, Mark David Merlin, and Lamont Lindstrom (1992)
    Republished 1997. It's everything it says in the title. If you're interested in kava, you'll want to read this book. Aside from the history (which I always find interesting), their use genetic and chemical analysis to identify classes of kava (chemotypes) and track its spread through the Pacific is very informative. Their thesis that Piper methysticum is actually a set of closely-related sterile cultivars of Piper wichmannii is pretty well bulletproof. And it's affordable; I picked up my copy for $5.




Substances that I haven't found any excellent books on, but would like to know about if they exist:
  • Salvia divinorum
  • Psychoactive bindweeds (morning glory, ololiuqui, HBWR)
  • Cannabis
  • Betel
  • Datura and Brugmansia




So that's my list as it stands now.

But I want to hear from the rest of you: What are your favorite books on entheogens? Ones that turned you onto entheogens (either in general, or maybe one you hadn't heard of before)? Which ones could you simply not do without?
 

STS is a community for people interested in growing, preserving and researching botanical species, particularly those with remarkable therapeutic and/or psychoactive properties.
 
Ljosalfar
#2 Posted : 1/31/2011 8:20:47 AM

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The Cacahuatl Eater: Ruminations of an Unabashed Chocolate Addict by Ott.
Awesome exegesis of, of course, chocolate! Engaging, opinionated, and tightly written, as is most of Ott's work.
And very tough to find for an affordable sum.

Oh yeah, and chocolate's cousin, coffee:

The Devil's Cup by Allen. Not a reference book, but dense with information and the best place to start if you're curious about coffee. A riotously enjoyable gonzo romp, half travelogue, half history, all good!
L
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman
 
Sally
#3 Posted : 1/31/2011 9:16:28 AM

I do not have the vocabulary to articulate this particular musing at the current time...

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CRC Ethnobotany Desk Reference by Timothy Johnson (1998.)
A fantastic source of information on over 30,000 plants, their attributes and historical uses. Definitely on my wish list. Can be quite expensive, but the price is well worth the 1211 pages of information. Very happy

Much love,
Sally
xx
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Entropymancer
#4 Posted : 2/1/2011 2:29:33 PM

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Ljosalfar wrote:
The Cacahuatl Eater: Ruminations of an Unabashed Chocolate Addict by Ott.
Awesome exegesis of, of course, chocolate! Engaging, opinionated, and tightly written, as is most of Ott's work.
And very tough to find for an affordable sum.


I love that book! Actually, I don't think Ott's written anything I don't like. If I ever come across a copy at a decent price I'll definitely snag it.



I just finished putting together my list in the first post... and in the process discovered that one of the books on my "wish list" is available free online from the publisher! Ritual Enemas and Snuffs in the Americas looks like everything I'd hoped it would be; definitely check it out if you're interested in traditional snuffing practices (along with section 4 [pp. 233-274] of Ethnopharmacologic Search for Psychoactive Drugs, also available free online).
 
dreamer042
#5 Posted : 2/1/2011 2:31:53 PM

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thanks for these Smile
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Visual diagram for the administration of dimethyltryptamine

Visual diagram for the administration of ayahuasca
 
Shaolin
#6 Posted : 2/1/2011 3:00:32 PM

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Some ideas.

http://psypressuk.com/
Got GVG ? Mhm. Got DMT ?

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jbark
#7 Posted : 2/1/2011 3:19:52 PM

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For Salvia:

PEOPLED DARKNESS: perceptual transformation through salvia divinorum by J.D. Arthur is quite good, but mostly anecdotal trip report musings (I think it has been re-issued under the title "Salvia Divinorum: Doorway to Thought-Free Awareness"Pleased.

Martin Ball's book sage spirit was OK, much better than mushroom wisdom (which reads like its written for and by a 15 year old), but I am not a big fan of his anyway.

Daniel Siebert's long awaited tome is due out this year, but I believe last year it was due out last year, so who knows...

Not a lot of literature about salvia out there... there are a few more books on Amazon, but they don't look very good, IMHO:

There are a few listed on THIS PAGE.

Anyone know of any others?

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JBArk is a Mandelthought; a non-fiction character in a drama of his own design he calls "LIFE" who partakes in consciousness expanding activities and substances; he should in no way be confused with SWIM, who is an eminently data-mineable and prolific character who has somehow convinced himself the target he wears on his forehead is actually a shield.
 
Ljosalfar
#8 Posted : 2/2/2011 1:39:29 AM

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Another great psilo ref:
Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World by Stamets
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman
 
Entropymancer
#9 Posted : 2/2/2011 4:52:07 AM

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Ljosalfar wrote:
Another great psilo ref:
Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World by Stamets

Oh yeah, that's a good one. I haven't read it, but I've skimmed it and was impressed with what I saw.



jbark wrote:
For Salvia:

Martin Ball's book sage spirit was OK, much better than mushroom wisdom (which reads like its written for and by a 15 year old), but I am not a big fan of his anyway.

Daniel Siebert's long awaited tome is due out this year, but I believe last year it was due out last year, so who knows...

Not a lot of literature about salvia out there... there are a few more books on Amazon, but they don't look very good, IMHO


Yeah, there really isn't much out there for books on salvia. Martin Ball's book was definately better than mushroom wisdom, but still leaves a lot to be desired... I don't think I'm a fan of Martin Ball. Siebert's book will probably be a good one... if it ever comes out. As I recall, it was originally due out two years ago, so I've kind of given up hope on that happening anytime soon. [Edit: Actually it was originally due out in winter of 1998, and has been due out every single year since then...]

I've collected enough resources over the years that I could write a crunchy 120 page book on salvia (about the size of Ayahuasca Analogues) without too much effort just so there's something decent available on the subject... I wonder if any publishers would bite at such a book? The market for these things probably isn't great, but a place like Healing Arts Press or Dioscorides Press might go for it.
 
jbark
#10 Posted : 2/2/2011 11:27:11 AM

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Entropymancer wrote:
[quote=Ljosalfar]
I've collected enough resources over the years that I could write a crunchy 120 page book on salvia (about the size of Ayahuasca Analogues) without too much effort just so there's something decent available on the subject... I wonder if any publishers would bite at such a book? The market for these things probably isn't great, but a place like Healing Arts Press or Dioscorides Press might go for it.


Do it!! It is much needed and you seem like a thorough fellow, so I'd love to see an Entropymancer salvia reference book for my coffee table!Very happy

Long term, I am thinking myself of compiling my trip reports and a few essays and random writings I have into a kind of 1st person psychonaut's "pilgrim's progress"... one among many projects.

I have a few more books in my library I will add later, when I have some free time.

Cheers,
JBArk
JBArk is a Mandelthought; a non-fiction character in a drama of his own design he calls "LIFE" who partakes in consciousness expanding activities and substances; he should in no way be confused with SWIM, who is an eminently data-mineable and prolific character who has somehow convinced himself the target he wears on his forehead is actually a shield.
 
Ljosalfar
#11 Posted : 2/3/2011 9:48:44 AM

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Another one, IMHO indispensable, although not quite "reference":
Shadows in the Sun by Wade Davis - the essay "Smoking Toad" wherein he relates the eponymous act in the company of none other than... Dr. Andrew Weil! The essay is impeccably researched and deep alongside the personal story, as are the other essays.
Davis is brilliant. One River, his biography of his mentor Richard Evans Schultes is on my list to read.
L
"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool." Richard P. Feynman
 
endlessness
#12 Posted : 2/3/2011 11:56:14 AM

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Great collection so far!


All books by Bia Labate are very good quality material:

http://www.bialabate.net/books

I have two of them in portuguese, "O uso ritual da ayahuasca" (very good essays divided in 4 sections, indigenous use, santo daime, UDV and scientific research) and "O uso ritual das plantas do poder" (also good essays about different entheogens including mimosa, snuffs, coca leaf, etc). I bet whatever she wrote/edited/coordinated in english is also good.

Another book I really like is from Giorgio Samorini but I dont know if its available in english, its called Los alucinógenos en el mito : relatos sobre el origen de las plantas psicoactivas (about the indigenous mythology regarding different entheogens such as iboga, aya, peyote, etc)


oh and for hash, the book Hashish by Robert Clarke is awesome . And then Marijuana Horticulture by Jorge Cervantes is awesome top class book. And still for THC, written from the perspective of a big time smuggler, the book Mr Nice is excellent
 
Shaolin
#13 Posted : 2/3/2011 7:13:57 PM

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endlessness wrote:
Great collection so far!
oh and for hash, the book Hashish by Robert Clarke is awesome . And still for THC, written from the perspective of a big time smuggler, the book Mr Nice is excellent


"Hashish" is impossible to find online. Been searching since 08. When you'll be in some creative essay mode, a few words of review ? Also if anyone is buying, "new updated 2nd edition, April 2010" is available.

"Mr. Nice" was movied/movizied in October 2010 (if you're more of a LCD than Kindle fan).
Got GVG ? Mhm. Got DMT ?

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jbark
#14 Posted : 2/3/2011 7:51:28 PM

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I have a few of the tomes listed above, but let me add a few that haven't been listed yet:

--- Magic Mushrooms in religion and Alchemy by Clark Heinrich

--- Psilocybin Mushroom Handbook by Nichols and Ogame

--- Tryptamine Palace by James Oroc

--- Ayahuasca: Sacred vine of the spirits edited by Ralph Metzner

--- Sacred Mushroom visions - Teonancatl edited by Ralph Metzner

--- A psychonaut's quide to the invisible landscape by Dan Carpenter


With the exception of perhaps the last one, nothing really unusual or difficult to find, but interesting reads nevertheless. Be warned the Metzner edited books have no real new information, just a good simple resource in one volume, along with some interesting (and not so...) trip reports.

JBArk
JBArk is a Mandelthought; a non-fiction character in a drama of his own design he calls "LIFE" who partakes in consciousness expanding activities and substances; he should in no way be confused with SWIM, who is an eminently data-mineable and prolific character who has somehow convinced himself the target he wears on his forehead is actually a shield.
 
Entropymancer
#15 Posted : 5/19/2011 4:40:40 AM

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Just wanted to add one more to the list: Singing to the Plants by Stephan Beyer (he's a contributing editor over at the ayahuasca forums, posting under the name steve beyer).

I just got my copy today (for under $20 including shipping) after skimming through an overpriced copy I found at a local bookstore. It's a thorough guide to mestizo shamanism in South America, particularly modes of healing learned or applied through the use of ayahuasca (though it touches on other plants as well). It's well-written and should appeal to the casually-interested reader, but contains extensive footnotes and a comprehensive bibliography that is satisfying to the more scholarly reader. The book gives good attention to pharmacology, botany, and other practical considerations, but is especially unique in its in-depth treatment of the syncretic use of the plants for healing in the parts of the Amazon that are becoming more urbanized.

I haven't finished reading it (and may not have the chance for awhile, I'm busy with a little project at the moment), but I've been impressed with the book from what I've read so far.
 
Entropymancer
#16 Posted : 7/22/2011 7:15:14 AM

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One more book to add to the list: Garden of Eden by Snu Voogelbreinder.

Just received my copy today, and I am seriously impressed. Big book, very small margins, very small text. The amount of information packed into this book is simply astounding. Especially remarkable for the thoroughly referenced information about a very large number of lesser-known plants. Rätsch's Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants may have the advantage of color photos, but Snu's Garden of Eden blows it right out of the water in virtually every other respect. If you're looking for information on a major entheogen complex (ayahuasca, fly agaric mushrooms, etc.) you're probably better off consulting Ott. But if you're prone to getting curious about more obscure plants, this is a book you will want to have.

The price tag may seem hefty... $100 AUD for the book, plus shipping from Australia is another $60 AUD or so... but holding the book in my hands, that seems to be a bargain price. Only 500 copies were printed (only a few dozen were left when I inquired), no second print run is currently anticipated, no libraries have picked up the title, and considering the quality of the book I don't think any used copies are likely to crop up anytime soon.
 
Entropymancer
#17 Posted : 7/31/2011 4:11:41 AM

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Just snagged up a copy of Vine of the Soul by Schultes and Raffauf. Overall, I'm somewhat disappointed. It's well enough for a casual read, but as a reference it leaves a lot to be desired.

It's written in the form of sort of photo-journal... I'd call it a coffeetable book, but all the photos are black-and-white. Each picture is accompanied by a paragraph or so of anthropological or ethnobotanical anecdotes relating to visionary plants and the cultures and people around them. Each picture is also accompanied by a very brief excerpt (just a sentence or two) from the travelogues of early explorers and ethnobotanists. These excerpts are actually one of the best parts of the book: they can be a good launching-off point, pointing the reader toward interesting primary literature.

The biggest shortcoming of the book is that it lacks an index, and the table of contents is nowhere near detailed enough to make up for that omission. If you want to know whether the book has any comments on a particular plant or ritual practice, there is no way to check short of reading the thing cover-to-cover. This one won't be added to the list in the first post.


I'm hoping Schultes and Reichel-Dolmatoff's Ethnobotany: Evolution of a Discipline will be more satisfying. Also, Metzner's books Ayahuasca: Sacred vine of the spirits and Teonanácatl: Sacred Mushroom visions are on my list of books to acquire per jbark's recommendation... I know I leafed through them in a bookstore a few years ago, and seem to recall being favorably impressed.
 
Untm
#18 Posted : 10/16/2011 12:56:48 PM

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Quote:
Shamanic Snuffs and Entheogenic Errhines by Jonathan Ott (2001)
A rare book indeed, and stylistically not my favorite of Ott's offerings; at times he lets himself diverge into wordplay almost enough to lose the thread of his points. Still, very dense on information (thoroughly cited as always), and a good reference to check no matter what plant you're researching... it's surprising how many plants have been used in relation to snuffing practices. Unfortunately only 1026 copies were ever printed, so even when you find a used one it costs several hundred dollars (it retailed for $120, already a hefty price for a 160 page volume).


I posted a thread awhile back were I gave a link to download this rare and sought after text; I titled it as the same as the text.

For anyone who is interested in downloading this wonderful bulk of knowledge.

Tea fell into water
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11:53:11 ‹Untm› Nexus chat and anti-gravity simulated racing is my coffee.

 
AlbertKLloyd
#19 Posted : 10/17/2011 10:32:50 PM

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I like the Trouts Notes series.
there are a number of them, some out of print and a few unpublished
just amazing works!


I would throw out anything by Ott or Rätsch, or at least know that they publish a lot of hearsay and questionable claims as fact. Also the Plants of the Gods was written largely by Rätsch and had very little to do with Hoffman and Schultes, this includes the older version lacking Rätschs name on the book. Good coffee table book, bad as a reference work.




 
Untm
#20 Posted : 10/17/2011 10:35:02 PM

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Does anyone know where I can get Trout's notes on 'Some Simple Tryptamines' as well as his notes on Peyote?

I have heard that I can buy them directly from him but I'm still not sure where to go and my searching turns up empty.

Thanks for your help.
-Untm

Tea fell into water
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Quote:
11:53:11 ‹Untm› Nexus chat and anti-gravity simulated racing is my coffee.

 
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