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Persephone's Quest: Entheogens and the Origins of Religion

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  6 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 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
...more
Castro Panda
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Greg
Mar 19, 2008 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.
Tasos
Aug 20, 2012 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 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).
peter
Feb 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: yes
unbelievably good
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“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.” 1 likes
“under the Chairmanship of Carl Ruck to devise a new word for the potions that held Antiquity in awe. After trying out a number of words he came up with entheogen, `god generated within', which his committee unaninmously, adopted, not to replace the `Mystery' of the ancients, but to designate those plant substances that were and are at the very core of the Mysteries.” 1 likes
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