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Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe
This illustrated book traces the history of an unlikely force in the shaping of Western civilization: the use of psychedelic mushrooms, namely by a secret society called the cult of Mithras. Nero was the first emperor to be initiated by the group’s “magical dinners,” and most of his successors embraced the ritual as a source of spiritual transcendence. The cult was ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by City Lights Publishers
(first published August 1st 2009)
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Aug 01, 2016 City Lights Booksellers & Publishers rated it it was amazing
"This is real renaissance scholarship. Mushrooms, Myths & Mithras is a brilliant and exciting synthesis of data gleaned from disciplines as diverse as anthropology, botany, linguistics, astronomy, archaeology, art history, pharmacology and classical literature. The history of recreational drug use it distills from the material and literary sources is both captivating and compelling. It effortlessly straddles the modern academic divide between the sciences and the arts. The authors' ...more
Interesting read, with comparisons to the symbolism of other ancient mystery religions and the reappearance of the mushroom imagery in Freemasonry. In parts it did feel as though the authors were labouring the point, and I'd been hoping for more background information about Mithraism in general. But well worth a read nonetheless, and I couldn't have hoped for a better book to be caught reading when the police came to visit (I was a witness not a suspect, if that makes it any better.)