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Ploughing the Clouds: The Search for Irish Soma

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  27 ratings  ·  2 reviews
The Rig Veda, written in India about 1500BC, praises a holy plant called Soma, which is sacrificed and consumed, granting the drinker an experience of enlightenment and ecstasy. The late Gordon Wasson identified Soma as a "magic mushroom," Amanita muscaria, and he and his followers discovered that such Indo-Europeans as the ancient Greeks, Iranians, and Norse had also used ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Publishers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Adrian Colesberry
Apr 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
At first this may seem to be a facile, free-the-weed-motivated ennobling of drug use. But the book turns out to have an interesting thesis. Basically, the writer posits, with much historical support, that religious experiences from the past were assisted by drug-induced hallucinations. (We well know that many Christian saints got visions by fasting, which produces hallucinations.) Here's a quote:
"There was no essential difference between ecstasy achieved by plant hallucinogens and that obt
...more
SA
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gosh, this was a weird one, even for a random library self grab. I don't really understand why it's a book -- it should be an academic monograph. The cover is entirely accurate and yet so misleading simultaneously.

First of all, if you don't have recent working knowledge of The Rig Veda and more generally Vedic cosmology extending into the The Brahmanas of the Vedas you will be absolutely fucking lost. Similarly, you need a solid grounding in Irish myth and legend, because Wilson does outline some aspects of
...more
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