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The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The secretive Mysteries conducted at Eleusis in Greece for nearly two millennia have long puzzled scholars with strange accounts of initiates experiencing otherworldly journeys. In this groundbreaking work, three experts—a mycologist, a chemist and a historian—argue persuasively that the sacred potion given to participants in the course of the ritual contained a psychoacti ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by North Atlantic Books (Berkeley, CA) (first published 1978)
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I've kept an eye out for this book the last six months and finally ran across it the first six seconds I spent in a local book fair. I was just as surprised only dollar was being asked for it as I was that it has the appearance of having never been opened up in the thirty-five years since its publishing; someone (or several someones) didn't seem to know what they had. I had such high hopes for this book and I am happy to say they were greatly exceeded. It is one of my favorites now for the contr ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy buen compilado de ensayos y documentos. Este libro tiene doble interés. Por un lado, interesa como estudio erudito sobre la Grecia Antigua. Por otro lado, interesa como estudio sobre drogas alucinógenas o de viaje. La hipótesis central del libro afirma que la cultura griega -origen del mundo actual- deriva del consumo ritual de hongos psicodélicos. El himno homérico a Deméter parece bastante claro respecto a los misterios de Eleusis. El ritual habría nacido como mito del rapto de Perséfone, ...more
Erik Graff
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: classicists, students of religion
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: religion
I'd long known of this book but had never seen a copy of it until coming to visit my old high school chum, and former roommate, Mike Miley. As ever, he generously loaned it. It has since been returned.

What this amounts to is a series of essays. Wasson's contribution is minor, Hofman's a bit more substantial. Most of the text is by the classicist and that is a very scholarly, detailed study of the Greek traditions surrounding the rites of Eleusis--hard going for general readers. To the credit of
Jan 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Convincing study of the use of psychotropic substances in the ancient Mystery cults in various parts of the world.
Kjell DM
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Though Athens brought forth numerous divine things, yet she never created anything nobler than those sublime Mysteries through which we became gentler and have advanced from a barbarous and rustic life to a more civilized one, so that we not only live more joyfully but also die with a better hope." - Cicero

The first part of this review will be my summary of the argument of the book, the second part a short review of the experience of reading it.

The Eleusinian Mysteries was an ancient Greek bi
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Huippu! 5/5

Super mind-boggling juttua ainakin 1500 vuotta putkeen jatkuneista Eleusiin mysteereistä, jotka olivat antiikin kreikan tärkeimpiä uskonnollisia instituutioita. Kirjan teesi on se, että mysteerimenoissa käytetty kykeon-juoma ssa käytettiin ainesosana psykedeelistä ergotamiinia (josta LSD on johdettu).

Paljon puhuva on Ciceron lainaus mysteereistä:

“-- rakas Ateenasi on antanut ja suonut ihmisten elämälle monia loistavia ja jumalallisia asioita, eikä näistä mikään ole mainittuja mysteere
Maan Kawas
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book that provides new information about the Eleusinian mysteries in ancient Greece, focusing on certain types of mushrooms in the rites! I found the book informative and engaging, though I missed the documentations and references in the text.
Momo García
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
El nexo entre la Grecia clásica y el Mexico prehispánico no es la Atlántida, sino el uso de drogas enteogénicas (alucinógenas).
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
A very interesting and provocative fusion of chemistry, mythology, anthropology, archaeology, philosophy, and mysticism.

It propounds a radical and revolutionary thesis on ancient Greek culture and tradition. The implications of this thesis are simply mind bending. You have to read this book with as open a mind as possible (how I would recommend reading anything, personally).

The authors of this book (a classicist, a chemist, and a banker) have painstakingly pored over reams of ancient texts, do
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro si te interesa el estudio de la cultura griega. Por un lado habla del mito de la diosa Deméter y el Eleusis, y por otro lado de los enteógenos. El libro sugiere que en el Eleusis se utilizaban enteógenos en los rituales de iniciación, similares a ciertos hongos alucinógenos de México.
Joshua Dew
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating collection of original, well-documented scholarship examining the historical, botanical, chemical, and mythological aspects of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
short and persuasive framed by experts in fields of mexican entheogens, indiginous grains of the ancients.
Chris Allen
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
It is an interesting premise and possibly true. The authors are trying just a little bit too hard to show that their solution is the only true one.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting book about the use of an entheogen in the Eleusinian mystery cult. Sometimes a bit hard to follow when mythological stories are covered.
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book; anyone interested in psychedelics and their connections to the ancient world should definitely have this in their library.
Jun 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely Brilliant Book!
Jesus Cruz
Sep 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historia
Este es de los libros que tienes años en espera de ser leidos y simplemente no lo haces, hasta que un buen día de insomnio te ayuda a leerlo casi de corrido. Me gustó el tratamiento que cada especialista hace para salir de la ortodoxia de las explicaciones de los mitos Eleusinos y se arriesga decir que verdaderamente piensa que fueron y cómo se hacían, se han unido en esta búsqueda, así que le dan contundencia a su visión y en general, fundamentan bien lo que quieren probar: los mitos Eleusinos ...more
Nikolas Alixopulos
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is appropriate that a book dealing with mysteries from an ancient time would leave one with more questions than answers. However, the idea that a shamanistic rite of passage that lasted for centuries in Greece had such an impact on the deep thinkers of the day makes for an eye opening read.

"Though Athens brought forth numerous divine things, yet she never created anything nobler than those sublime mysteries through which we advanced from a barbarous and rustic life to a more civilized one, so
Constanza Gomez
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Though I really don't believe kykeon had the effect this book claims or other of its theories, I really loved it. Also, I'm suspicious about how accurate the translation of the Hymn to Demeter is (for example, Hades having "purple hair" only source I've found is this book) but again, this book is really exciting. ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A short history of LSD, and how to make LSD-like substance at home.
2 families controlled mysteries of Eleusis for 1000 years. Alcibades found out the secret, just as supposedly Socrates who was sentenced to death for it.
Mysteries ended 4th century, when Christians had no better things to do but to kill all the pagans.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Imagine, that the rituals which are often considered to be a basis of Western Civilization, have been persecuted and made illegal- at least, the modern-day elements of same, happen to be. An interesting look at how the Elysian rituals relate to the modern discovery of Dr. Hofmann's wonder drug. Essential for skeptics of modern era psychological repressions. ...more
Feb 22, 2009 rated it liked it
While I'm not sure I accept the actual substance used, I think the authors have a convincing case for some psychotropic substance being in the Kykeon of Eleusis. I would not want to experiment as they did, however. ...more
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was ok
Perhaps it was the era or the authors but I found it too highbrow and academically snotty. I read a good deal about the general topic but this book offered little enlightenment.
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Μια πολύ έξυπνη θεωρία περι του αρχαίου κυκεών, της χρήσης του αλλα και γενικός της ιεροτελεστίας πίσω απο τα Ελευσίνια μυστήρια.
Michael Rinella
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This book was pretty much what launched my own study of drugs in ancient Greece, Pharmakon: Plato, Drug Culture, and Identity in Ancient Athens (Lexington, 2010).
rated it it was amazing
Sep 20, 2011
Alexander Pelikan
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Aug 03, 2017
Leon Cowell
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Apr 03, 2021
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