An entheogen, in the strictest sense, is a psychoactive substance used in a religious or shamanic context. A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a Chemical substance that acts primarily upon the Central nervous system where it alters Brain Entheogens generally come from plant sources which contain molecules closely related to endogenous neurochemicals. Plants are living Organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. The word endogenous means "arising from within" the opposite of Exogenous. They occur in a wide variety of sacraments of various religious rites [UDV/NAC] and have been shown (see Good Friday Experiment) to directly provoke what users perceive as spiritual/mystical experiences. A sacrament, as defined in Hexam's Concise Dictionary of Religion is "a Rite in which God is uniquely active The Marsh Chapel Experiment (aka " the Good Drug Experiment " was run by Walter N Spirituality, in a narrow sense concerns itself with matters of the Spirit, a concept closely tied to religious belief and Faith, a transcendent reality Mysticism (from the Greek grc μυστικός mystikos, an initiate of a Mystery religion) is the pursuit of communion with identity In a broader sense, the word "entheogen" refers to any molecule which stimulates the central nervous system through one of the two main neurological pathways: Phenethylamine (which is a brain chemical associated with the adrenaline pathway, and a precursor of Mescaline and 2C-B) and Tryptamine (a brain chemical associated with the natural metabolism of serotonin, a precursor of Psilocin), DMT. Mescaline or 345-trimethoxyphenethylamine is a naturally-occurring Psychedelic Alkaloid of the Phenethylamine class 2C-B or 4-bromo-25-dimethoxyphenethylamine is a psychedelic drug of the 2C family, an entactogen. Serotonin (ˌsɛrəˈtoʊnən ( 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT) is a Monoamine Neurotransmitter synthesized in serotonergic Neurons Psilocin (4-HO-DMT sometimes also (misspelled psilocine, psilocyn, or psilotsin, is a psychedelic ( hallucinogenic) Mushroom (Biochemical Basis of Neuropharmacology, Cooper Bloom Roth - PIHKAL, Shulgin) In the aforementioned books the pathways of the neurochemicals are described as occurring from simpler precursors. Through enzyme reactions, the brain creates more complex molecules with a higher binding affinity with unique neurological and cognitive results. See Federal Analog Act. The Federal Analog Act,, is a controversial section of the United States Controlled Substances Act, allowing any chemical "substantially similar" to an
These chemicals are the essence of the entheogens and are banned neurotransmitters, despite their use predating written language. Entheogens are molecules which induce alterations of consciousness identical in many ways to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional shamanic inebriants. An altered state of consciousness, (ASC also named altered state of mind is any condition which is significantly different from a normal waking Beta wave state A ritual is a set of actions often thought to have Symbolic value the performance of which is usually prescribed by a Religion or by the Traditions Examples are far reaching ancient sources predating the modern era: such as Greek: kykeon; African: Iboga; Vedic: Soma, Amrit. Entheogens have been safely utilized in a ritualized context for thousands of years.
The word entheogen is a neologism derived from the ancient Greek : ἔνθεος (entheos) and γενέσθαι (genesthe). A neologism (from Greek neo = "new" + logos = "word" is a word that although devised relatively recently in a specific time period has been Entheos literally means "god (theos) within", translates as "inspired" and is the root of the English word "enthusiasm". The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthe means "to generate". So an entheogen is "that which generates God (or godly inspiration) within a person".
The word entheogen was coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists and scholars of mythology (Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott and R. Gordon Wasson). Year 1979 ( MCMLXXIX) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1979 Gregorian calendar) Ethnobotany ( from " ethnology " - study of culture and " Botany " - study of plants) is the scientific study of the relationships The word mythology (from the Greek grc μυθολογία mythología, meaning "a story-telling a legendary lore" Carl A P Ruck (born Dec 8 1935, Bridgeport Connecticut) is a professor in the Classical Studies department at Boston University. Richard Evans Schultes ( January 12, 1915 &ndash April 10, 2001) may be considered the father of modern Ethnobotany Jonathan Ott is an ethnobotanist, writer natural products Chemist and Botanical researcher in the area of Entheogens and their cultural and historical uses Robert Gordon Wasson ( September 22, 1898 &ndash December 23, 1986) was an Author, amateur researcher and banker The literal meaning of the word is "that which causes God to be within an individual". The translation "creating the divine within" is sometimes given, but it should be noted that entheogen implies neither that something is created (as opposed to just perceiving something that is already there) nor that that which is experienced is within the user (as opposed to having independent existence).
It was coined as a replacement for the terms "hallucinogen" (popularized by Aldous Huxley's experiences with mescaline, published as The Doors of Perception in 1953) and "psychedelic" (a Greek neologism for "mind manifest", coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, who was quite surprised when the well-known author, Aldous Huxley, volunteered to be a subject in experiments Osmond was running on mescaline). Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 &ndash 22 November 1963 was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. Mescaline or 345-trimethoxyphenethylamine is a naturally-occurring Psychedelic Alkaloid of the Phenethylamine class The Doors of Perception is a 1954 book by Aldous Huxley detailing his experiences when taking Mescaline. Year 1953 ( MCMLIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Modern psychedelia For "psychedelics" see Psychedelic drug. Humphrey Fortescue Osmond ( July 1, 1917 - February 6, 2004) was a British Psychiatrist, known for inventing Ruck et al. argued that the term "hallucinogen" was inappropriate due to its etymological relationship to words relating to delirium and insanity. Traditionally insanity or madness is the behaviour whereby a person flouts societal norms and may become a danger to himself and others The term "psychedelic" was also seen as problematic, due to the similarity in sound to words pertaining to psychosis and also due to the fact that it had become irreversibly associated with various connotations of 1960s pop culture. Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή "psyche" for mind or soul and -οσις "-osis" for abnormal condition with adjective psychotic The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969 Popular culture (or pop culture) is the Culture — patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activities significance and importance —
The meanings of the term "entheogen" were formally defined by Ruck et al. :
Since 1979, when the term was proposed, its use has become widespread in certain circles. In particular, the word fills a vacuum for those users of entheogens who feel that the term "hallucinogen", which remains common in medical, chemical and anthropological literature, denigrates their experience and the world view in which it is integrated. Use of the strict sense of the word has therefore arisen amongst religious entheogen users, and also amongst others who wish to practice spiritual or religious tolerance. Religious toleration is the condition of accepting or permitting others' religious beliefs and practices which disagree with one's own
The use of the word "entheogen" in its broad sense as a synonym for "hallucinogenic drug" has attracted criticism on three grounds:
Ideological objections to the broad use of the term often relate to the widespread existence of taboos surrounding psychoactive drugs, with both religious and secular justifications. A taboo is a strong Social prohibition (or ban) against words objects actions or discussions that are considered undesirable or offensive by a group culture A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a Chemical substance that acts primarily upon the Central nervous system where it alters Brain The perception that the broad sense of the term "entheogen" is used as a euphemism by hallucinogenic drug-users bothers both critics and proponents of the secular use of hallucinogenic drugs. A euphemism is a substitution of an agreeable or less offensive expression in place of one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener or in the case of doublespeak Critics frequently see the use of the term as an attempt to obscure what they perceive as illegitimate motivations and contexts of secular drug use. Some proponents also object to the term, arguing that the trend within their own subcultures and in the scientific literature towards the use of term "entheogen" as a synonym for "hallucinogen" devalues the positive uses of drugs in contexts that are secular but nevertheless, in their view, legitimate.
Beyond the use of the term itself, the validity of drug-induced, facilitated, or enhanced religious experience has been questioned. The claim that such experiences are less valid than religious experience without the use of any sacramental catalyst faces the problem that the descriptions of religious experiences by those using entheogens are indistinguishable from many reports of religious experiences which, are presumed in modern times to, have been experienced without their use. Such a claim however depends entirely on the assumption that the reports of well-known mystics were not influenced by ingesting visionary plants, a derivation which Dan Merkur calls into question. 
In light of mystery schools, secret teachings and covenants of various traditions (in addition to factors such as periods of suppression and persecution) it becomes further difficult to determine precisely the concealed and mystical processes whereby the mind derives its fruits. A modern example is the discovery of the double helix structure of Deoxyribonucleic Acid by Francis Crick which he credits Lysergic Acid Diethylamide the noble honor of facilitating the augmentation of cognition essential to the revelation (which caused him to be awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine). Deoxyribonucleic acid ( DNA) is a Nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known While this alone is not conclusive evidence of a mystical or religious experience it does contribute to the mounting evidences that subjective states evoked by entheogens have a capacity to induce holistic understanding which may be differentiated from psychopathic or hallucinating states by a matter of several degrees.
In an attempt to empirically answer the question about whether neurochemical augmentation through biological or chemical entheogens may enable religio-mystical experience, the Marsh Chapel Experiment was conducted by physician and theology doctoral candidate, Walter Pahnke, under the supervision of Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project. The Marsh Chapel Experiment (aka " the Good Drug Experiment " was run by Walter N Walter N Pahnke MD PhD (1931-1971 was a minister physician and psychiatrist who attended Harvard in the early 1960s Timothy Francis Leary ( October 22, 1920 &ndash May 31, 1996) was an American Writer, Psychologist, Futurist The Harvard Psilocybin Project was a series of loose experiments in psychology conducted by Dr In the double-blind experiment, volunteer graduate school divinity students from the Boston area almost all claimed to have had profound religious experiences subsequent to the ingestion of pure psilocybin. The blind method is a part of the Scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being influenced by either the Placebo effect or the Observer Psilocybin (IPA /saɪləˈsaɪbɪn/ (also known as psilocybine) is a psychedelic Indole of the Tryptamine family found in Psilocybin In 2006, a more rigorously controlled version of this experiment was conducted at Johns Hopkins University, yielding very similar results.
Naturally occurring entheogens such as psilocybin and dimethyltryptamine, also known as N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or simply DMT (in the preparation ayahuasca) were, for the most part, discovered and used by older cultures, as part of their spiritual and religious life, as plants and agents which were respected, or in some cases revered. Psilocybin (IPA /saɪləˈsaɪbɪn/ (also known as psilocybine) is a psychedelic Indole of the Tryptamine family found in Psilocybin Dimethyltryptamine (DMT also known as NN -dimethyltryptamine, is a naturally occurring Tryptamine and potent psychedelic drug found not only in This entry focuses on the Ayahuasca brew for information on the vine of the same name see Banisteriopsis caapi Ayahuasca By contrast, artificial and modern entheogens, such as MDMA, never had a tradition of religious use. MDMA ( 34-methylenedioxy- N -methylamphetamine) most commonly known today by the street name Ecstasy (often abbreviated E, X,
Entheogens have been used in various ways, including as part of established traditions and religions, secularly for personal spiritual development, as a tool to augment the mind, secularly as recreational drugs, and medical and therapeutic use.
The use of entheogens in human cultures is nearly ubiquitous throughout recorded history.
The best-known entheogen-using culture of Africa is the Bwitists, who used a preparation of the root bark of Iboga (Tabernanthe iboga). Bwiti is a West Central African religion practiced by the forest-dwelling Babongo and Mitsogo people of Gabon (where it is one of the three official religions  A famous entheogen of ancient Egypt is the blue lotus (Nymphaea caerulea). This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Nymphaea caerulea, also known as the Egyptian blue lily or sacred blue lily, is a Blue water-lily in the Genus There is evidence for the use of entheogenic mushrooms in Côte d'Ivoire (Samorini 1995). Côte d'Ivoire (ˌkoʊt divˈwɑː(r ' in English, kot diˈvwaʀ in French) or Ivory Coast, officially the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, is a Numerous other plants used in shamanic ritual in Africa, such as Silene capensis sacred to the Xhosa, are yet to be investigated by western science. Silene capensis (syn Silene undulata (also known as African Dream Root is a plant native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, where is regarded by the Xhosa people See also Xhosa language The Xhosa (ǁʰɔsɑ( people are speakers of Bantu languages living in south-east South Africa, and in the last two
Entheogens have played a pivotal role in the spiritual practices of most American cultures for millennia. The first American entheogen to be subject to scientific analysis was the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). Lophophora williamsii (loʊˈfɒfərə wɪlˈjæmsiaɪ lō-fof′ŏ-ră will-yăm′sē-ī better known by its common name Peyote, (from the For his part, one of the founders of modern ethno-botany, the late Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University documented the ritual use of peyote cactus among the Kiowa who live in what became Oklahoma. Richard Evans Schultes ( January 12, 1915 &ndash April 10, 2001) may be considered the father of modern Ethnobotany The Kiowa (ˈkaɪoʊwə are a nation of American Indians who migrated from what is now Canada to their present location in Southwestern Oklahoma. Used traditionally by many cultures of what is now Mexico, its use spread to throughout North America in the 19th century, replacing the toxic entheogen Sophora secundiflora (mescal bean). The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance is able to damage an exposed organism The Mescalbean, Mescal Bean or Frijolito ( Calia) is a genus of three or four species of Shrubs or small Trees in the subfamily Other well-known entheogens used by Mexican cultures include psilocybin mushrooms (known to indigenous Mexicans under the Náhuatl name teonanácatl), the seeds of several morning glories (Náhuatl: tlitlíltzin and ololiúhqui) and Salvia divinorum (Mazateco: Ska Pastora; Náhuatl: pipiltzintzíntli). The United Mexican States ( or commonly Mexico (ˈmɛksɪkoʊ () is a federal constitutional Republic in North America. Nahuatl ( is a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan or Nahuan branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family Morning glory is a common name for over 1000 Species of Flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae, belonging to the following genera Ipomoea tricolor is a species of morning glory native to the New World Tropics, and widely cultivated and naturalised elsewhere Rivea corymbosa (common synonym Turbina corymbosa) is a species of Morning glory, native throughout Latin America from Mexico Salvia divinorum, also known as Diviner’s Sage, ska María Pastora, Sage of the Seers, or simply by the genus name The Mazatecan languages are a closely related group of indigenous Mesoamerican languages spoken in the northern part of the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico
Indigenous peoples of South America employ a wide variety of entheogens. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a Better-known examples include ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis caapi plus admixtures) among indigenous peoples (such as the Urarina) of Peruvian Amazonia. This entry focuses on the Ayahuasca brew for information on the vine of the same name see Banisteriopsis caapi Ayahuasca The Urarina are an Indigenous people of the Peruvian Amazon Basin ( Loreto) who inhabit the Chambira, Urituyacu and Corrientes Rivers The Amazon Rainforest (Brazilian Portuguese: Floresta Amazônica or Amazônia; Spanish: Selva Amazónica or Amazonía Other well-known entheogens include: borrachero (Brugmansia spp); San Pedro Trichocereus spp); and various tryptamine-bearing snuffs, for example Epená (Virola spp), Vilca and Yopo (Anadananthera spp). Brugmansia is a genus of six species of Flowering plants in the family Solanaceae, native to subtropical regions of South America, along The San Pedro cactus ( Echinopsis pachanoi, syn Trichocereus pachanoi) is a fast-growing columnar Cactus native to the Tryptamine is a Monoamine Alkaloid found in Plants and Animals. Virola, also known as Epená, is a genus of medium-sized Trees native to the South American Rainforest and closely related to other Anadenanthera colubrina (also known as Vilca Huilco Wilco Cebil, or Angico) is a South American tree Anadenanthera peregrina, also known as Yopo, Cohoba, Mopo, Nopo, Parica or Calcium Tree, is The familiar tobacco plant, when used uncured in large doses in shamanic contexts, also serves as an entheogen in South America. Tobacco is an Agricultural product recognized as an addictive drug processed from the fresh Leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. Also, a tobacco that contains higher nicotine content, and therefore smaller doses required, called Nicotiana rustica was commonly used. Nicotiana rustica, known in South America as Mapacho, is a plant in the Solanaceae family
In addition to indigenous use of entheogens in the Americas, one should also note their important role in contemporary religious movements, such as the Rastafari movement and the Church of the Universe. For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States. The Rastafari movement (also known as Rastafari, Rastafarianism or simply Rasta) is a monotheistic, Abrahamic, New Testament The Assembly of the Church of the Universe, an Entheogen Religion, was established by Walter Tucker in 1969 in the Canadian province of
The indigenous peoples of Siberia (from whom the term shaman was appropriated) have used the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria) as an entheogen. Siberia (Сиби́рь Sibir) is the name given to the vast region constituting almost all of Northern Asia and for the most part currently serving Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and Psychoactive Basidiomycete Fungus, The ancient inebriant Soma, mentioned often in the Vedas, may have been an entheogen. Soma ( Sanskrit: सोम) or Haoma ( Avestan) from Proto-Indo-Iranian * sauma-, was a ritual drink of importance "Veda" redirects here For other uses see Veda (disambiguation. (In his 1967 book, Wasson argues that Soma was fly agaric. The active ingredient of Soma is presumed by some to be ephedrine, an alkaloid with stimulant and (somewhat debatable) entheogenic properties derived from the soma plant, identified as Ephedra pachyclada. Ephedrine (EPH is a Sympathomimetic Amine commonly used as a Stimulant, appetite suppressant concentration aid Decongestant, and to treat ) However, there are also arguments to suggest that Soma could have also been Syrian Rue, Cannabis, or some combination of any of the above plants. Harmal ( Peganum harmala) is a Plant of the family Nitrariaceae, native from the eastern Mediterranean region east to Cannabis ( Cán-na-bis) is a Genus of Flowering plants that includes three putative species Cannabis sativa subsp
An early entheogen in Aegean civilization, predating the introduction of wine, which was the more familiar entheogen of the reborn Dionysus and the maenads, was fermented honey, known in Northern Europe as mead; its cult uses in the Aegean world are bound up with the mythology of the bee. Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age Civilizations of Greece and the Aegean. In Classical mythology, Dionysus or Dionysos (in Greek, Διόνυσος or Διώνυσος; associated with Roman Mead (ˈmiːd is a fermented Alcoholic beverage made of Honey, Water, and Yeast. The bee, found in Ancient Near East and Aegean cultures is believed to be the sacred insect that bridged the natural world to the underworld
The extent of the use of visionary plants throughout European history has only recently been seriously investigated, since around 1960. The use of entheogens in Europe is thought, by most entheogen scholars, to have become greatly reduced by the time of the rise of post-Roman Christianity and especially during the great witch hunts of Early Modernity. "Witch trial" redirects here For the song by Rush, see Fear series. European witches used various entheogens, including thorn-apple (Datura), deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), mandrake (Mandragora officinarum) and henbane (Hyoscyamus niger). Witchcraft, in various historical anthropological religious and mythological contexts is the use of certain kinds of Supernatural or magical powers Datura is a Genus of 12-15 species of vespertine Flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. Atropa belladonna or Atropa bella-donna, commonly known as belladonna or deadly nightshade, is a perennial Herbaceous Henbane ( Hyoscyamus niger) also known as stinking nightshade, is a plant of the family Solanaceae These psychoactive properties include visual These plants were used, among other things, for the manufacture of "flying ointments". In Christian society, witches were commonly believed to fly through the air on broomsticks after coating them with the ointment and applying them to the skin.
Any association with these plants could have proven dangerous, leading to one's execution as a "practitioner of witchcraft". The vehemence of some Christian groups suppressing such use of visionary plants renders inconclusive the question of how widespread the use of visionary plants was throughout Christendom; from one perspective, clamping down on psychoactives appears to indicate the absence of use, if successful suppression is assumed, while from the other perspective, indicates widespread presence of use.
The imposition of Roman Christianity also saw the end of the two-thousand-year-old tradition of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony for the cult of Demeter and Persephone involving the use of a possibly entheogenic substance known as kykeon. The Eleusinian Mysteries (Ἐλευσίνια Μυστήρια were initiation ceremonies held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone Demeter (dɨˈmiːtɚ Greek:, possibly "distribution-mother" from the noun of the Indo-European mother-earth * dheghom * mater In Greek mythology, Persephone ( Kore or Cora) was the embodiment of the Earth's fertility at the same time that she was the Queen of the Underworld Kykeon (Gr κυκεών from κυκάω "to stir to mix" was an Ancient Greek drink made mainly of water barley and herbs Similarly, there is evidence that nitrous oxide or ethylene may have been in part responsible for the visions of the equally long-lived Delphic oracle (Hale et al. Nitrous oxide, commonly known as " laughing gas," is a Chemical compound with the Chemical formula N 2 O. Structure This Hydrocarbon has four Hydrogen Atoms bound to a pair of Carbon atoms that are connected by a Double bond. Delphi ( Greek,) ( pronounce and dialectal forms) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western , 2003).
In ancient Germanic culture cannabis was associated with the Germanic love goddess Freya. Cannabis ( Cán-na-bis) is a Genus of Flowering plants that includes three putative species Cannabis sativa subsp Freyja (sometimes anglicized as Freya) is a major goddess in Norse Paganism, a subset of Germanic Paganism. The harvesting of the plant was connected with an erotic high festival. A religious festival is a time of special importance marked by adherents to that Religion. It was believed that Freya lived as a fertile force in the plant's feminine flowers and by ingesting them one became influenced by this divine force. Similarly, fly agaric was consecrated to Odin, the god of ecstasy, while henbane stood under the dominion of the thunder god - Thor in Germanic mythology - and Jupiter among the Romans (Rätsch 2003). Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and Psychoactive Basidiomycete Fungus, Odin (ˈoʊdɪn from Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse paganism. Henbane ( Hyoscyamus niger) also known as stinking nightshade, is a plant of the family Solanaceae These psychoactive properties include visual Thor ( Old Norse: Þórr) is the red-haired and bearded God of Thunder in Germanic paganism and its subset Norse paganism In Roman mythology, Jupiter was the king of the gods and the god of Sky and Thunder. Roman mythology, or more appropriately Latin mythology, refers to the mythological beliefs of the Italic people inhabiting the region of Latium and its
In modern-era Christianity, at least, the Eucharist plays a symbolic role in religious tradition that has occasionally attracted the label of "entheogen" or "placebo entheogen", even though the modern-era mainstream Eucharistic practice does not conform to the definition of entheogenic as a vision-inducing substance. Placebo is a substance or procedure a patient accepts as medicine or therapy but which has no specific therapeutic activity
The entheogenic use of substances, particularly hashish. Hashish (from Arabic: ar حشيش, lit "grass" also hash) is a preparation of cannabis composed of the compressed Its use by the "Hashshashin" to stupefy and recruit new initiates was widely reported during the Crusades. The Hashshashin (also Hashishin, Hashashiyyin, Hashasheen or Assassins) were an offshoot of the Ismā'īlī sect of Shia The Crusades were a series of military campaigns of a religious character waged by much of Christian Europe against external and internal opponents However, the drug used by the Hashshashin was likely wine, opium, henbane, or some combination of these, and, in any event, the use of this drug was for stupefaction rather than for entheogenic use. Wine is an Alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of Grape juice Opium is a Narcotic formed from the Latex (ie sap released by lacerating (or "scoring" the immature seed pods of opium poppies ( Henbane ( Hyoscyamus niger) also known as stinking nightshade, is a plant of the family Solanaceae These psychoactive properties include visual It has been suggested that the ritual use of small amounts of Syrian Rue is an artifact of its ancient use in higher doses as an entheogen. Harmal ( Peganum harmala) is a Plant of the family Nitrariaceae, native from the eastern Mediterranean region east to
Philologist John Marco Allegro has argued in his book The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross that early Jewish and Christian cultic practice was based on the use of Amanita muscaria which was later forgotten by its adherents, though this hypothesis has not received much consideration or become widely accepted. John Marco Allegro (born 17 February 1923 London - 17 February 1988, (his 65th birthday was a scholar who challenged orthodox Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and Psychoactive Basidiomycete Fungus, Allegro's hypothesis that Amanita use was forgotten after primitive Christianity seems contradicted by his own view that the chapel in Plaincourault shows evidence of Christian Amanita use in the 1200s. 
Indigenous Australians are generally supposed not to have used entheogens, although there is a strong barrier of secrecy surrounding Aboriginal shamanism, which has likely limited what has been told to outsiders. Indigenous Australians are descendants of the first known human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. Natives of Papua New Guinea are known to use several species of entheogenic mushrooms (Psilocybe spp, Boletus manicus). Papua New Guinea (or ˈpæpjuːə in Tok Pisin: Papua Niugini) officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania 
Kava or Kava Kava (Piper Methysticum) has been cultivated for at least 3000 years by a number of Pacific island-dwelling peoples. KAVA (1480 AM) is a Radio station broadcasting a Regional Mexican format Historically, most Polynesian, many Melanesian, and some Micronesian cultures have ingested the psychoactive pulverized root, typically taking it mixed with water. Polynesia (from Greek: πολύς many, νῆσος island) is a Subregion of Oceania, comprising a large grouping of over Melanesia (from Greek: μέλας black, νῆσος island) means "islands of the black-skinned people" Micronesia, from the Greek mikros (μικρός (meaning small) and nesos (νῆσος (meaning island) is a Subregion Much traditional usage of Kava, though somewhat suppressed by Christian missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries, is thought to facilitate contact with the spirits of the dead, especially relatives and ancestors (Singh 2004). There are no known uses of entheogens by the Māori of New Zealand. This article discusses the Māori people of New Zealand For their language see Māori language, and for other meanings see Māori (disambiguation. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island
There have been several examples of the use of entheogens in the archaeological record. Many of these researchers, like R. Gordon Wasson or Giorgio Samorini, have recently produced a plethora of evidence, which has not yet received consideration within academia. Robert Gordon Wasson ( September 22, 1898 &ndash December 23, 1986) was an Author, amateur researcher and banker Giorgio Samorini (born in 1957 in Bologna, Italy) is an Ethnobotanist and Psychedelics researcher The first direct evidence of entheogen use comes from Tassili, Algeria, with a cave painting of a mushroom-man, dating to 8000 BP. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BC, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus. The Pazyryk (Пазарык is the name of an ancient Nomadic people who lived in the Altai Mountains lying in Siberian Russia south of the modern city The Scythians or Scyths (Σκύθες Σκύθοι were an Iranian speaking people of horse-riding Nomadic pastoralists who dominated the Pontic Herodotus of Halicarnassus ( Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek Historian who lived in the 5th century BC ( 484 BC&ndash
Although entheogens are taboo and most of them are officially prohibited in Christian and Islamic societies, their ubiquity and prominence in the spiritual traditions of various other cultures is unquestioned. The entheogen, "the spirit, for example, need not be chemical, as is the case with the ivy and the olive: and yet the god was felt to be within them; nor need its possession be considered something detrimental, like drugged, hallucinatory, or delusionary: but possibly instead an invitation to knowledge or whatever good the god's spirit had to offer. " (Ruck and Staples)
Most of the well-known modern examples, such as peyote, psilocybe and other psychoactive mushrooms and ololiuhqui, are from the native cultures of the Americas. Psilocybe is a Genus of small Mushrooms growing worldwide This genus is best known for its species with hallucinogenic properties widely However, it has also been suggested that entheogens played an important role in ancient Indo-European culture, for example by inclusion in the ritual preparations of the Soma, the "pressed juice" that is the subject of Book 9 of the Rig Veda. The Rigveda ( Sanskrit sa ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, a compound of ṛc "praise verse" and veda "knowledge" Soma was ritually prepared and drunk by priests and initiates and elicited a paean in the Rig Veda that embodies the nature of an entheogen:
The Kykeon that preceded initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries is another entheogen, which was investigated (before the word was coined) by Carl Kerenyí, in Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. Kykeon (Gr κυκεών from κυκάω "to stir to mix" was an Ancient Greek drink made mainly of water barley and herbs Other entheogens in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean include the poppy, Datura, the unidentified "lotus" eaten by the Lotus-Eaters in the Odyssey and Narkissos. The Odyssey ( Greek: Ὀδύσσεια or Odússeia) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer.
According to Ruck, Eyan, and Staples, the familiar shamanic entheogen that the Indo-Europeans brought with them was knowledge of the wild Amanita mushroom. The Genus Amanita contains about 600 Species of Agarics including some of the most Toxic known mushrooms found worldwide It could not be cultivated; thus it had to be found, which suited it to a nomadic lifestyle. When they reached the world of the Caucasus and the Aegean, the Indo-Europeans encountered wine, the entheogen of Dionysus, who brought it with him from his birthplace in the mythical Nysa, when he returned to claim his Olympian birthright. Wine is an Alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of Grape juice In Classical mythology, Dionysus or Dionysos (in Greek, Διόνυσος or Διώνυσος; associated with Roman In Greek mythology, the mountainous district of Nysa, variously associated with Ethiopia, Libya, Tribalia or Arabia by Greek The Indo-European proto-Greeks "recognized it as the entheogen of Zeus, and their own traditions of shamanism, the Amanita and the 'pressed juice' of Soma — but better since no longer unpredictable and wild, the way it was found among the Hyperboreans: as befit their own assimilation of agrarian modes of life, the entheogen was now cultivable" (Ruck and Staples). In Greek mythology, according to tradition the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived far to the north of Thrace. Robert Graves, in his foreword to The Greek Myths, argues that the ambrosia of various pre-Hellenic tribes were amanita and possibly panaeolus mushrooms. Robert Graves (24 July 1895 &ndash 7 December 1985 was an English Poet, Translator and Novelist. The Genus Amanita contains about 600 Species of Agarics including some of the most Toxic known mushrooms found worldwide Panaeolus is a genus of small black-spored saprotrophic Agarics.
Amanita was divine food, according to Ruck and Staples, not something to be indulged in or sampled lightly, not something to be profaned. Divinity and divine (sometimes 'the Divinity' or 'the Divine' are broadly applied but loosely defined terms used variously within different faiths and belief systems — It was the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and it mediated between the two realms. In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia is sometimes the food sometimes the drink of the gods, often depicted as conferring ageless Immortality It is said that Tantalus's crime was inviting commoners to share his ambrosia. In Greek mythology Tantalus ( Greek Τάνταλος was a son of Zeus and the Nymph Plouto. In ancient Greek mythology, ambrosia is sometimes the food sometimes the drink of the gods, often depicted as conferring ageless Immortality
The entheogen is believed to offer godlike powers in many traditional tales, including immortality. The failure of Gilgamesh in retrieving the plant of immortality from beneath the waters teaches that the blissful state cannot be taken by force or guile: when Gilgamesh lay on the bank, exhausted from his heroic effort, the serpent came and ate the plant. Gilgamesh was the son of Lugalbanda and the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II first dynasty of Uruk ruling circa 2600 BC according to the Sumerian king Serpent is a word of Latin origin (from serpens serpentis "something that creeps snake" that is commonly used in a specifically mythic or
Another attempt at subverting the natural order is told in a (according to some) strangely metamorphosed myth, in which natural roles have been reversed to suit the Hellenic world-view. The Alexandrian Apollodorus relates how Gaia (spelled "Ge" in the following passage), Mother Earth herself, has supported the Titans in their battle with the Olympian intruders. Gaia (ˈgeɪə or /ˈgaɪə/ (" land " or " Earth " from the Ancient Greek Γαîα also Gæa or Gea In Greek mythology, the Titans ( Greek: Tītā́n; plural Tītânes) were a race of powerful Deities that ruled during the legendary The Giants have been defeated:
According to some scholars, cannabis was an ingredient of holy anointing oil mentioned in various sacred Hebrew texts. The holy anointing oil described in Exodus was created from 500 Shekels (about 6 kg of Myrrh, half as much (about 3 kg of fragrant Cinnamon The herb of interest is most commonly known as kaneh-bosm (Hebrew: קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם). This is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as a bartering material, incense, and an ingredient in holy anointing oil used by the high priest of the temple. In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon. Although Chris Bennett's research in this area focuses on cannabis, he mentions evidence suggesting use of additional visionary plants such as henbane, as well. 
The Septuagint translates kaneh-bosm as calamus, and this translation has been propagated unchanged to most later translations of the old testament. The Septuagint (ˈsɛptuədʒɪnt or simply " LXX " is the Koine Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, translated in stages between the Calamus or Common Sweet Flag ( Acorus calamus) is a Plant from the Acoraceae family Acorus genues However, Polish anthropologist Sula Benet published etymological arguments that the Aramaic word for hemp can be read as kannabos and appears to be a cognate to the modern word 'cannabis', with the root kan meaning reed or hemp and bosm meaning fragrant. Poland (Polska officially the Republic of Poland Sula Benet (also known as Sara Benetowa; 1903&mdash1982 was a Polish anthropologist of the 20th century who studied Polish and Judaic customs and traditions Etymology is the study of the History of Words &mdash when they entered a language from what source and how their form and meaning have changed over time Aramaic is a Semitic language with Cognates in Linguistics are words that have a common origin They may occur within a language such as shirt and skirt as two English words descended from Both cannabis and calamus are fragrant, reedlike plants containing psychotropic compounds. A psychoactive drug or psychotropic substance is a Chemical substance that acts primarily upon the Central nervous system where it alters Brain
Although some scholars, particularly philologist John Marco Allegro, have suggested that the self-revelation and healing abilities attributed to the figure of Jesus may have been associated with the effects of the plant medicines [from the Aramaic: "to heal"], this evidence is dependent on pre-Septuagint interpretation of Torah and Tenach, and goes firmly against the accepted teachings of the Holy See. See Comparative linguistics for the narrower field of "comparative philology" John Marco Allegro (born 17 February 1923 London - 17 February 1988, (his 65th birthday was a scholar who challenged orthodox However even the most conservative estimates contend the ecstatic experiences of some undefined minority of Christian hermits and mystics could possibly involve the use of entheogens, in conjunction with fasting, meditation and prayer. 
Allegro was the only non-catholic appointed to the position of translating the dead sea scrolls. His extrapolations are often the object of scorn due to Allegro's theory of Jesus as a mythological personification of the essence of the psychoactive sacrament, furthermore they seem to conflict with the position of the Catholic Church in regards to the exclusivity of the non-canonical practice of transubstantiation and endorsement of alcohol ingestion as the exclusive means to attain communion with God. However, it is interesting to note: The Great Catholic Mystics Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Meister Eckhart were accused of heresy only to have their ideas later adopted as revered and holy Jesuit teaching. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (pjɛʀ tejaʀ də ʃaʀdɛ̃ 1 May 1881, Orcines, France – 10 Meister Eckhart OP (c 1260–c 1328 is the most common formula used to refer to Eckhart von Hochheim, a German theologian Therefore one may infer certain conclusions in regards to the derision against Allegro's work, particularly in light of historical evidence [pursuant to this perpetual pattern].
Allegro's book, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, relates the development of language to the development of myths, religions and cultic practices in world cultures. Allegro believed he could prove, through etymology, that the roots of Christianity, as of many other religions, lay in fertility cults; and that cult practices, such as ingesting visionary plants (or "psychedelics") to perceive the Mind of God [Avestan: Vohu Mana], persisted into the early Christian era, and to some unspecified extent into the 1200s with reoccurrences in the 1700s and mid 1900s, as he interprets the Plaincourault chapel's fresco to be an accurate depiction of the ritual ingestion of Amanita Muscaria as the Eucharist. Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings Fertility rites are religious Rituals that reenact either actually or symbolically sexual acts and/or reproductive processes Psychedelic drugs are Psychoactive drugs whose primary action is to alter the thought processes of the brain and perception of the mind A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the fly agaric or fly Amanita is a poisonous and Psychoactive Basidiomycete Fungus,
The historical picture portrayed by Carl Ruck and other authors associated with Entheos journal is of fairly widespread use of visionary plants in early Christianity and the surrounding culture, with a gradual reduction of use of entheogens in Christianity.  These entheogen scholars have found and published many instances of visionary plant depictions in Christian art. R. Gordon Wasson's book Soma prints a letter from art historian Erwin Panofsky asserting that art scholars are aware of many 'mushroom trees' in Christian art. 
The question of the extent of visionary plant use throughout the history of Christian practice has barely been considered yet by academic or independent scholars. The question of whether visionary plants were used in pre-Theodosius Christianity is distinct from evidence that indicates the extent to which visionary plants were utilized or forgotten in later Christianity, including so-called "heretical" or "quasi-" Christian groups, and the question of other groups such as elites or laity within "orthodox" Catholic practice. 
James Arthur asserts that the little scroll from the angel with writing on it referred to in Ezekiel 2: 8,9,10 and Ezekiel 3: 1,2,3 and Revelation 10: 9,10 was the speckled cap of the Amanita Muscaria mushroom. 
The substance melange (spice) in Frank Herbert's Dune universe acts as both an entheogen and a geriatric medicine. Melange is the name of the Fictional drug (also known as spice) central to the Dune series of Science fiction Novels Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr ( October 8 1920 &ndash February 11 1986) was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful American The Dune universe, or Duniverse, is the political, scientific, and social fictional setting of author Frank Geriatrics is the branch of Medicine that focuses on health care of the elderly Control of the supply of melange was crucial to the Empire, as it was necessary for, among other things, faster than light navigation.
Consumption of the imaginary mushroom anochi as the entheogen underlying the creation of Christianity is the premise of Philip K. Dick's last novel, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, a theme which seems to be inspired by John Allegro's book. A mushroom is the fleshy Spore -bearing Fruiting body of a Fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source Philip Kindred Dick (December 16 – March 2) was an American Science fiction Novelist and Short story Writer. The Transmigration of Timothy Archer is a 1982 novel by Philip K
Aldous Huxley's final novel, Island (1962), depicted a fictional entheogenic mushroom — termed "moksha medicine" — used by the people of Pala in rites of passage, such as the transition to adulthood and at the end of life. Island (ISBN 0-06-008549-5 is the final book by English novelist Aldous Huxley, published in 1962. Year 1962 ( MCMLXII) was a Common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar of the Gregorian calendar.
Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire novel refers to the religion in the future as a result of entheogens, used freely by the population. Michael Bruce Sterling (born April 14, 1954) is an American Science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades Holy Fire is a 1996 Science fiction novel by Cyberpunk writer Bruce Sterling.
In Stephen King's The Gunslinger, Book 1 of The Dark Tower series, the main character receives guidance after taking mescaline. Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American Author, Screenwriter, Musician, Columnist, The Gunslinger is a novel by American author Stephen King, and is the first volume in the Dark Tower series which King considers to be Mescaline or 345-trimethoxyphenethylamine is a naturally-occurring Psychedelic Alkaloid of the Phenethylamine class
The Alastair Reynolds novel Absolution Gap features a moon under the control of a religious government which uses neurological viruses to induce religious faith. Alastair Preston Reynolds (born in 1966 in Barry, Wales) is a Welsh Science fiction author. Absolution Gap is a 2003 Science fiction Space opera Novel by Welsh author Alastair Reynolds.
Roberts, Thomas B. (editor) (2001). Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion San Francisco: Council on Spiritual Practices.
Roberts, Thomas B. (2006) "Chemical Input, Religious Output—Entheogens" Chapter 10 in Where God and Science Meet: Vol. 3: The Psychology of Religious Experience Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.
Roberts, Thomas, and Hruby, Paula J. (1995-2003). Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy http://www.csp.org/chrestomathy [Online archive]