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Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  66 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
This fascinating book discusses the role played by psychoactive mushrooms in the religious rituals of ancient Greece, Eurasia, and Mesoamerica. R. Gordon Wasson, an internationally known ethnomycologist who was one of the first to investigate how these mushrooms were venerated and employed by different native peoples, here joins with three other scholars to discuss the evi ...more
Paperback, 257 pages
Published July 29th 1992 by Yale University Press (first published 1986)
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Erik Graff
Aug 25, 2016 Erik Graff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: students of religion
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
My dear stepbrother gave me, as he has before, a birthday gift card to Roger Park's last remaining bookstore, The Armadillo's Pillow. Planning to make it the gift that will keep on giving for as long as possible, I have made only one purchase so far, and this a good one. I hadn't known of it before, although I was familiar with authors Wasson, Ott and Ruck.

While subtitled "Entheogens and the Origins of Religion", most of this collection consists of the essays by Wasson and Ruck. These attempt to
Mar 19, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
This is an anthology of mostly papers from the 1960s-1980s on the subject of the use of psychedelic mushrooms in ancient times in ancient Greek and Indo-Iranian religion. The first paper is a summary of Wasson's book _Soma_. Most of the conclusions are pretty speculative and not necessarily backed up by field methods from anthropology. It is mostly based on textual analysis and folklore.
Aug 20, 2012 Tasos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Μια μικρή ανθολογία μελετών που συναντούμε κυρίως την εποχή απο 1960-80. Αναφορά επάνω στα ψυχεδελικά μανιτάρια, τις συνήθειες και τον τρόπο χρήσης τους στην αρχαία Ελλάδα αλλα και στην Ινδο-Ιρανική περιοχή.
Michael Rinella
Jul 03, 2010 Michael Rinella rated it really liked it
This book, along with The Road to Eleusis, was pretty much what launched my own study of drugs in ancient Greece, Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens (Lexington, 2010).
Feb 10, 2007 peter rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yes
unbelievably good
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“The Indian (or more precisely Amerindian!) communities that knew the sacred mushrooms continued to treat them with awe and reverence and to believe in their gift of second sight, - rightly so, as the reader will see when he reads our account of our first velada, pp 33-8. Traditionally they have taken the simple precaution not to speak about them openly, in public places, or in miscellaneous company, only with one or two whom they know well, and usually by night. White people seldom know the Indian languages and seldom live in Indian villages. And so, without planning, the Indian by instinct has built his own wall of immunity against rude interference from without.” 1 likes
“In the light of our Mexican discoveries, I was now asking myself whether Soma could have been a mushroom. I said to myself that inevitably the poets would introduce into their hymns innumerable hints for the identification of the celebrated Soma, not of course to help us, millennia later and thousands of miles away, but as their poetic inspiration freely dictated.” 0 likes
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