This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)
Entheogens are psychoactive substances that induce alterations in perception, mood, consciousness, cognition, or behavior for the purposes of engendering spiritual development or otherwise in sacred contexts. Anthropological study has established that entheogens are used for religious, magical, shamanic, or spiritual purposes in many parts of the world. Entheogens have traditionally been used to supplement many diverse practices geared towards achieving transcendence, including divination, meditation, yoga, sensory deprivation, asceticism, prayer, trance, rituals, chanting, imitation of sounds, hymns like peyote songs, drumming, and ecstatic dance. The psychedelic experience is often compared to non-ordinary forms of consciousness such as those experienced in meditation, near-death experiences, and mystical experiences. Ego dissolution is often described as a key feature of the psychedelic experience.
The neologism entheogen was coined in 1979 by a group of ethnobotanists and scholars of mythology (Carl A. P. Ruck, Jeremy Bigwood, Danny Staples, Richard Evans Schultes, Jonathan Ott and R. Gordon Wasson). The term is derived from two words of Ancient Greek, ἔνθεος (éntheos) and γενέσθαι (genésthai). The adjective entheos translates to English as "full of the god, inspired, possessed", and is the root of the English word "enthusiasm". The Greeks used it as a term of praise for poets and other artists. Genesthai means "to come into being." Thus, an entheogen is a drug that causes one to become inspired or to experience feelings of inspiration, often in a religious or "spiritual" manner.
Entheogen was coined as a replacement for the terms hallucinogen and psychedelic. Hallucinogen was popularized by Aldous Huxley's experiences with mescaline, which were published as The Doors of Perception in 1954. Psychedelic, in contrast, is a Greek neologism for "mind manifest", and was coined by psychiatrist Humphry Osmond; Huxley was a volunteer in experiments Osmond was conducting on mescaline.
Ruck et al. argued that the term hallucinogen was inappropriate owing to its etymological relationship to words relating to delirium and insanity. The term psychedelic was also seen as problematic, owing to the similarity in sound to words pertaining to psychosis and also due to the fact that it had become irreversibly associated with various connotations of 1960s pop culture. In modern usage entheogen may be used synonymously with these terms, or it may be chosen to contrast with recreational use of the same drugs. The meanings of the term entheogen were formally defined by Ruck et al.:
In a strict sense, only those vision-producing drugs that can be shown to have figured in shamanic or religious rites would be designated entheogens, but in a looser sense, the term could also be applied to other drugs, both natural and artificial, that induce alterations of consciousness similar to those documented for ritual ingestion of traditional entheogens.— Ruck et al, 1979, Journal of Psychedelic Drugs
Entheogens have been used by indigenous peoples for thousands of years.
R. Gordon Wasson and Giorgio Samorini have proposed several examples of the cultural use of entheogens that are found in the archaeological record. Hemp seeds discovered by archaeologists at Pazyryk suggest early ceremonial practices by the Scythians occurred during the 5th to 2nd century BCE, confirming previous historical reports by Herodotus.
Most of the well-known modern examples of entheogens, such as Ayahuasca, peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, and morning glories are from the native cultures of the Americas. However, it has also been suggested that entheogens played an important role in ancient Indo-European culture, for example by inclusion in the ritual preparations of the Soma, the "pressed juice" that is the subject of Book 9 of the Rigveda. Soma was ritually prepared and drunk by priests and initiates and elicited a paean in the Rigveda that embodies the nature of an entheogen:
Splendid by Law! declaring Law, truth speaking, truthful in thy works, Enouncing faith, King Soma!... O [Soma] Pavāmana (mind clarifying), place me in that deathless, undecaying world wherein the light of heaven is set, and everlasting lustre shines.... Make me immortal in that realm where happiness and transports, where joy and felicities combine...
The kykeon that preceded initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries is another entheogen, which was investigated (before the word was coined) by Carl Kerényi, in Eleusis: Archetypal Image of Mother and Daughter. Other entheogens in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean include the opium poppy, datura, and the unidentified "lotus" (likely the sacred blue lily) eaten by the Lotus-Eaters in the Odyssey and Narcissus.
According to Ruck, Eyan, and Staples, the familiar shamanic entheogen that the Indo-Europeans brought knowledge of was Amanita muscaria. It could not be cultivated; thus it had to be found, which suited it to a nomadic lifestyle. When they reached the world of the Caucasus and the Aegean, the Indo-Europeans encountered wine, the entheogen of Dionysus, who brought it with him from his birthplace in the mythical Nysa, when he returned to claim his Olympian birthright. The Indo-European proto-Greeks "recognized it as the entheogen of Zeus, and their own traditions of shamanism, the Amanita and the 'pressed juice' of Soma – but better, since no longer unpredictable and wild, the way it was found among the Hyperboreans: as befit their own assimilation of agrarian modes of life, the entheogen was now cultivable." Robert Graves, in his foreword to The Greek Myths, hypothesises that the ambrosia of various pre-Hellenic tribes was Amanita muscaria (which, based on the morphological similarity of the words amanita, amrita and ambrosia, is entirely plausible) and perhaps psilocybin mushrooms of the genus Panaeolus. Amanita muscaria was regarded as divine food, according to Ruck and Staples, not something to be indulged in, sampled lightly, or profaned. It was seen as the food of the gods, their ambrosia, and as mediating between the two realms. It is said that Tantalus's crime was inviting commoners to share his ambrosia.
Entheogen drugs has been used by humans since prehistoric times, their use started to be registered with the developing of scriptures, codices, and books. In the present their study is allowed to universities, laboratories or individuals with license to use this substances.
The entheogens mechanism of action in the body and human mind are as diverse as the number of active ingredients present in the worldwide diversity of entheogens drugs used by mankind, many of them activate neurological receptors such as 5-HT receptors, while others stimulate human organs and glands, or promote the production and release of hormones or other endogenous molecules.
Many entheogen molecules are naturally produced and stored in the pituitary gland of the human body, they are called Endorphins, and are released during sex, orgasm, when listening to music, or when eating appetizing food such as chocolate and orange, they are responsible for producing the euphoric states. Research has demonstrated that meditation by trained individuals can be used to trigger endorphin release. Laughter may also stimulate endorphin production and elevate one's pain threshold.
Endogenous opioid neuropeptides and peptide hormones are produced by humans and other animals, the endorphin class consists of α-endorphin, β-endorphin, and γ-endorphin. All three preferentially bind to μ-opioid receptors. Some of endorphins functions are to inhibit the communication of pain signals and also to produce a feeling of euphoria very similar to that produced by other opioids. E
Endorphin production can also be triggered by vigorous aerobic exercise. The release of β-endorphin has been postulated to contribute to the phenomenon known as a "runner's high." Endorphins may contribute to the positive effect of exercise on anxiety and depression.
One of the most common active ingredient present in many entheogen drugs is the Dimethyltryptomine (DMT), it stimulate the pineal gland. DMT binds non-selectively with affinities < 0.6 μM to the following serotonin receptors: 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B 5-HT1D 5-HT2A, 5-HT2B, 5-HT2C, 5-HT6, and 5-HT7. Some preparation such Ayahuasca that contains DMT but also Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) with the purpose of allowing DMT to be orally active, MAOIs are also highly efficacious anti-depressants, as well as effective therapeutic agents for panic disorder and social phobia. In 2019 experiments showed that the rat brain is capable of synthesizing and releasing DMT. These results raise the possibility that this phenomenon may occur similarly in human brains.
Psilocybin, the active incredient of psilocybin mushrooms, is an agonist for several serotonin receptors, and indirectly increases the concentration of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the basal ganglia.
Uses and purposeEdit
Entheogens have been used by individuals to pursue spiritual goals such as divination, ego death, egolessness, faith healing, psychedelic therapy and spiritual formation. Entheogens have been used in various ways, e.g., as part of established religious rituals, as aids for personal spiritual development ("plant teachers"), as recreational drugs, and for medical and therapeutic use.
There are also instances where people have been given entheogens without their knowledge or consent (e.g., tourists in ayahuasca), as well as attempts to use such drugs in other contexts, such as cursing. In some areas, there are purported malevolent sorcerers who masquerade as real shamans and who entice tourists to drink ayahuasca in their presence. Shamans believe one of the purposes for this is to steal one's energy, power, or both, of which they believe every person has a limited stockpile.
Types of entheogensEdit
Naturally occurring entheogens such as psilocybin and DMT (in the preparation ayahuasca), were, for the most part, discovered and used by older cultures, as part of their spiritual and religious life, as plants and agents that were respected, or in some cases revered for generations and may be a tradition that predates all modern religions as a sort of proto-religious rite.
One of the most widely used entheogens is cannabis. The entheogenic use of cannabis has been documented in regions such as China, Europe, and India, in some cases for thousands of years. It has also appeared as a part of religions and cultures such as the Rastafari movement, the Sadhus of Hinduism, the Scythians, Sufi Islam, and others.
Entheogens used in the contemporary world include biota like peyote (Native American Church), extracts like ayahuasca (Santo Daime, União do Vegetal), the semi-synthetic drug LSD (Neo-American Church), and synthetic drugs like DPT (Temple of the True Inner Light) and 2C-B (Sangoma).
Judaism and ChristianityEdit
Many Christian denominations disapprove of the use of most illicit drugs. Nevertheless, scholars such as David Hillman suggest that a variety of drug use, recreational and otherwise, is to be found in the early history of the Church.
Polish anthropologist Sara Benetowa (also known as Sula Benet) argued that cannabis had been used in early Judaism, claiming in 1967 that the plant kaneh bosem (Hebrew: קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם) – mentioned five times in the Hebrew Bible, and used in the holy anointing oil of the Book of Exodus – was in fact cannabis. The Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church confirmed it as a possible valid interpretation. The lexicons of Hebrew and dictionaries of plants of the Bible such as by Michael Zohary (1985), Hans Arne Jensen (2004) and James A. Duke (2010) and others identify the plant in question as either Acorus calamus or Cymbopogon citratus. Kneh-bossem is listed as an incense in the Old Testament.
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (founder of Jewish Renewal) and Richard Alpert (later known as Ram Dass) were influential early Jewish explorers of the connections between hallucinogenics and spirituality, from the early 1960s onwards.[citations needed]
It is generally held by academics specializing in the archaeology and paleobotany of Ancient Israel, and those specializing in the lexicography of the Hebrew Bible that cannabis is not documented or mentioned in early Judaism. Against this some popular writers have argued that there is evidence for religious use of cannabis in the Hebrew Bible, although this hypothesis and some of the specific case studies (e.g., John Allegro in relation to Qumran, 1970) have been "widely dismissed as erroneous[;] others continue".
According to The Living Torah, cannabis may have been one of the ingredients of the holy anointing oil mentioned in various sacred Hebrew texts. The herb of interest is most commonly known as kaneh-bosm (Hebrew: קְנֵה-בֹשֶׂם). This is mentioned several times in the Old Testament as a bartering material, incense, and an ingredient in holy anointing oil used by the high priest of the temple. Although Chris Bennett's research in this area focuses on cannabis, he mentions evidence suggesting use of additional visionary plants such as henbane, as well.
The Septuagint translates kaneh-bosm as calamus, and this translation has been propagated unchanged to most later translations of the old testament. However, Polish anthropologist Sula Benet published etymological arguments that the Aramaic word for hemp can be read as kannabos and appears to be a cognate to the modern word 'cannabis', with the root kan meaning reed or hemp and bosm meaning fragrant. Both cannabis and calamus are fragrant, reedlike plants containing psychotropic compounds.
In his research, Professor Dan Merkur points to significant evidence of an awareness within the Jewish mystical tradition recognizing manna as an entheogen, thereby substantiating with rabbinic texts theories advanced by the superficial biblical interpretations of Terence McKenna, R. Gordon Wasson and other ethnomycologists.
The historical picture portrayed by the Entheos journal is of fairly widespread use of visionary plants in early Christianity and the surrounding culture, with a gradual reduction of use of entheogens in Christianity. R. Gordon Wasson's book Soma prints a letter from art historian Erwin Panofsky asserting that art scholars are aware of many "mushroom trees" in Christian art.
The question of the extent of visionary plant use throughout the history of Christian practice has barely been considered yet by academic or independent scholars. The question of whether visionary plants were used in pre-Theodosian Christianity is distinct from evidence that indicates the extent to which visionary plants were utilized or forgotten in later Christianity, including heretical or quasi-Christian groups, and the question of other groups such as elites or laity within orthodox Catholic practice.
The fifth of the Pancasila, the ethical code in the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhist traditions, states that adherents must: "abstain from fermented and distilled beverages that cause heedlessness". The Pali Canon, the scripture of Theravada Buddhism, depicts refraining from alcohol as essential to moral conduct because intoxication causes a loss of mindfulness. Although the Fifth Precept only names a specific wine and cider, this has traditionally been interpreted to mean all alcoholic beverages. Technically, this prohibition does not include light to moderate drinking, only drinking to the point of drunkenness. It also does not include other mind-altering drugs, but Buddhist tradition includes all intoxicants. The Pali Canon does not suggest that alcohol is evil but believes that the carelessness produced by intoxication creates bad karma. Therefore, any drug (beyond tea or mild coffee) that affects one's mindfulness could be considered by some to be covered by this prohibition.
In the West, some modern Buddhist teachers have written on the usefulness of psychedelics. The Buddhist magazine Tricycle devoted their entire fall 1996 edition to this issue. Some teachers such as Jack Kornfield have suggested the possibility that psychedelics could complement Buddhist practice, bring healing and help people understand their connection with everything which could lead to compassion.[self-published source?] Kornfield warns however that addiction can still be a hindrance. Other teachers such as Michelle McDonald-Smith expressed views which saw entheogens as not conducive to Buddhist practice ("I don't see them developing anything").
New religious movementsEdit
The Native American Church (NAC) is also known as Peyotism and Peyote Religion. Peyotism is a Native American religion characterized by mixed traditional as well as Protestant beliefs and by sacramental use of the entheogen peyote.
The Peyote Way Church of God believe that "Peyote is a holy sacrament, when taken according to our sacramental procedure and combined with a holistic lifestyle".
Santo Daime is a syncretic religion founded in the 1930s in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Acre by Raimundo Irineu Serra, known as Mestre Irineu. Santo Daime incorporates elements of several religious or spiritual traditions including Folk Catholicism, Kardecist Spiritism, African animism and indigenous South American shamanism, including vegetalismo.
Ceremonies – trabalhos (Brazilian Portuguese for "works") – are typically several hours long and are undertaken sitting in silent "concentration", or sung collectively, dancing according to simple steps in geometrical formation. Ayahuasca, referred to as Daime within the practice, which contains several psychoactive compounds, is drunk as part of the ceremony. The drinking of Daime can induce a strong emetic effect which is embraced as both emotional and physical purging.
Santo Daime churches promote a wholesome lifestyle in conformity with Irineu's motto of "harmony, love, truth and justice", as well as other key doctrinal values such as strength, humility, fraternity and purity of heart. The practice became a worldwide movement in the 1990s.[tone][citations needed]
União do VegetalEdit
União do Vegetal (UDV) is a religious society founded on July 22, 1961 by José Gabriel da Costa, known as Mestre Gabriel. The translation of União do Vegetal is Union of the Plants referring to the sacrament of the UDV, Hoasca tea (also known as ayahuasca). This beverage is made by boiling two plants, Mariri (Banisteriopsis caapi) and Chacrona (Psychotria viridis), both of which are native to the Amazon rainforest.
In its sessions, UDV members drink Hoasca Tea for the effect of mental concentration. In Brazil, the use of Hoasca in religious rituals was regulated by the Brazilian Federal Government's National Drug Policy Council on January 25, 2010. The policy established legal norms for the religious institutions that responsibly use this tea. The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously affirmed the UDV's right to use Hoasca tea in its religious sessions in the United States, in a decision published on February 21, 2006.
The best-known entheogen-using culture of Africa is the Bwitists, who used a preparation of the root bark of Tabernanthe iboga. Although the ancient Egyptians may have been using the sacred blue lily plant in some of their religious rituals or just symbolically, it has been suggested that Egyptian religion once revolved around the ritualistic ingestion of the far more psychoactive Psilocybe cubensis mushroom, and that the Egyptian White Crown, Triple Crown, and Atef Crown were evidently designed to represent pin-stages of this mushroom. There is also evidence for the use of psilocybin mushrooms in Ivory Coast. Numerous other plants used in shamanic ritual in Africa, such as Silene capensis sacred to the Xhosa, are yet to be investigated by western science. A recent revitalization has occurred in the study of southern African psychoactives and entheogens (Mitchell and Hudson 2004; Sobiecki 2002, 2008, 2012).
Among the amaXhosa, the artificial drug 2C-B is used as entheogen by traditional healers or amagqirha over their traditional plants; they refer to the chemical as Ubulawu Nomathotholo, which roughly translates to "Medicine of the Singing Ancestors".
Entheogens have played a pivotal role in the spiritual practices of most American cultures for millennia. The first American entheogen to be subject to scientific analysis was the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii). One of the founders of modern ethno-botany, Richard Evans Schultes of Harvard University documented the ritual use of peyote cactus among the Kiowa, who live in what became Oklahoma. While it was used traditionally by many cultures of what is now Mexico, in the 19th century its use spread throughout North America, replacing the toxic mescal bean (Calia secundiflora). Other well-known entheogens used by Mexican cultures include the alcoholic Aztec sacrament, pulque, ritual tobacco (known as 'picietl' to the Aztecs, and 'sikar' to the Maya (from where the word 'cigar' derives)), psilocybin mushrooms, morning glories (Ipomoea tricolor and Turbina corymbosa), and Salvia divinorum.
Datura wrightii is sacred to some Native Americans and has been used in ceremonies and rites of passage by Chumash, Tongva, and others. Among the Chumash, when a boy was 8 years old, his mother would give him a preparation of momoy to drink. This supposed spiritual challenge should help the boy develop the spiritual wellbeing that is required to become a man. Not all of the boys undergoing this ritual survived. Momoy was also used to enhance spiritual wellbeing among adults. For instance, during a frightening situation, such as when seeing a coyote walk like a man, a leaf of momoy was sucked to help keep the soul in the body.
In Hinduism, Datura stramonium and cannabis have been used in religious ceremonies, although the religious use of datura is not very common, as the primary alkaloids are strong deliriants, which causes serious intoxication with unpredictable effects.
Also, the ancient drink Soma, mentioned often in the Vedas, appears to be consistent with the effects of an entheogen. In his 1967 book, Wasson argues that Soma was Amanita muscaria. The active ingredient of Soma is presumed by some to be ephedrine, an alkaloid with stimulant properties derived from the soma plant, identified as Ephedra pachyclada. However, there are also arguments to suggest that Soma could have also been Syrian rue, cannabis, Atropa belladonna, or some combination of any of the above plants.
Fermented honey, known in Northern Europe as mead, was an early entheogen in Aegean civilization, predating the introduction of wine, which was the more familiar entheogen of the reborn Dionysus and the maenads. Its religious uses in the Aegean world are intertwined with the mythology of the bee.
Dacians were known to use cannabis in their religious and important life ceremonies, proven by discoveries of large clay pots with burnt cannabis seeds in ancient tombs and religious shrines. Also, local oral folklore and myths tell of ancient priests that dreamed with gods and walked in the smoke. Their names, as transmitted by Herodotus, were "kap-no-batai" which in Dacian was supposed to mean "the ones that walk in the clouds".
The growth of Roman Christianity also saw the end of the two-thousand-year-old tradition of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the initiation ceremony for the cult of Demeter and Persephone involving the use of a drug known as kykeon. The term 'ambrosia' is used in Greek mythology in a way that is remarkably similar to the Soma of the Hindus as well.
A theory that naturally-occurring gases like ethylene used by inhalation may have played a role in divinatory ceremonies at Delphi in Classical Greece received popular press attention in the early 2000s, yet has not been conclusively proven.
Mushroom consumption is part of the culture of Europeans in general, with particular importance to Slavic and Baltic peoples. Some academics argue that the use of psilocybin- and/or muscimol-containing mushrooms was an integral part of the ancient culture of the Rus' people.
It has been suggested that the ritual use of small amounts of Syrian rue[by whom?] is an artifact of its ancient use in higher doses as an entheogen (possibly in conjunction with DMT-containing acacia).
John Marco Allegro argued that early Jewish and Christian cultic practice was based on the use of Amanita muscaria, which was later forgotten by its adherents, but this view has been widely disputed.
The tales of the fida'is' training collected from anti-Ismaili historians and orientalists writers were confounded and compiled in Marco Polo's account, in which he described a "secret garden of paradise". After being drugged, the Ismaili devotees were said to be taken to a paradise-like garden filled with attractive young maidens and beautiful plants in which these fida'is would awaken. Here, they were told by an old man that they were witnessing their place in Paradise and that should they wish to return to this garden permanently, they must serve the Nizari cause. So went the tale of the "Old Man in the Mountain", assembled by Marco Polo and accepted by Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall (1774–1856), a prominent orientalist writer responsible for much of the spread of this legend. Until the 1930s, von Hammer's retelling of the Assassin legends served as the standard account of the Nizaris across Europe.
In general, indigenous Australians are thought not to have used entheogens, although there is a strong barrier of secrecy surrounding Aboriginal shamanism, which has likely limited what has been told to outsiders. A plant that the Australian Aboriginals used to ingest is called Pitcheri, which is said to have a similar effect to that of coca. Pitcheri was made from the bark of the shrub Duboisia myoporoides. This plant is now grown commercially and is processed to manufacture an eye medication.
There are no known uses of entheogens by the Māori of New Zealand aside from a variant species of kava, although some modern scholars have claimed that there may be evidence of psilocybin mushroom use. Natives of Papua New Guinea are known to use several species of entheogenic mushrooms (Psilocybe spp, Boletus manicus).
Kava or kava kava (Piper Methysticum) has been cultivated for at least 3,000 years by a number of Pacific island-dwelling peoples. Historically, most Polynesian, many Melanesian, and some Micronesian cultures have ingested the psychoactive pulverized root, typically taking it mixed with water. In these traditions, taking kava is believed to facilitate contact with the spirits of the dead, especially relatives and ancestors.
Notable early testing of the entheogenic experience includes the Marsh Chapel Experiment, conducted by physician and theology doctoral candidate Walter Pahnke under the supervision of psychologist Timothy Leary and the Harvard Psilocybin Project. In this double-blind experiment, volunteer graduate school divinity students from the Boston area almost all claimed to have had profound religious experiences subsequent to the ingestion of pure psilocybin.
Beginning in 2006, experiments have been conducted at Johns Hopkins University, showing that under controlled conditions psilocybin causes mystical experiences in most participants and that they rank the personal and spiritual meaningfulness of the experiences very highly.
Except in Mexico, research with psychedelics is limited due to ongoing widespread drug prohibition. The amount of peer-reviewed research on psychedelics has accordingly been limited due to the difficulty of getting approval from institutional review boards. Furthermore, scientific studies on entheogens present some significant challenges to investigators, including philosophical questions relating to ontology, epistemology and objectivity.
A State on whose territory there are plants growing wild which contain psychotropic substances from among those in Schedule I and which are traditionally used by certain small, clearly determined groups in magical or religious rites, may, at the time of signature, ratification or accession, make reservations concerning these plants, in respect of the provisions of article 7, except for the provisions relating to international trade.
However, this exemption would apply only if the plant were ever explicitly added to the Schedules of the Psychotropic Convention. Currently the Convention applies only to chemicals. The Commentary on the Convention on Psychotropic Substances notes, however, that the plants containing it are not subject to international control:
The cultivation of plants from which psychotropic substances are obtained is not controlled by the Vienna Convention .... Neither the crown (fruit, mescal button) of the Peyote cactus nor the roots of the plant Mimosa hostilis nor Psilocybe mushrooms themselves are included in Schedule 1, but only their respective principals, mescaline, DMT, and psilocin.
No plants (natural materials) containing DMT are at present controlled under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. Consequently, preparations (e.g. decoctions) made of these plants, including ayahuasca are not under international control and, therefore, not subject to any of the articles of the 1971 Convention.— International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), United Nations
Some countries have legislation that allows for traditional entheogen use.
Between 2011 and 2012, the Australian Federal Government was considering changes to the Australian Criminal Code that would classify any plants containing any amount of DMT as "controlled plants". DMT itself was already controlled under current laws. The proposed changes included other similar blanket bans for other substances, such as a ban on any and all plants containing mescaline or ephedrine. The proposal was not pursued after political embarrassment on realisation that this would make the official Floral Emblem of Australia, Acacia pycnantha (golden wattle), illegal. The Therapeutic Goods Administration and federal authority had considered a motion to ban the same, but this was withdrawn in May 2012 (as DMT may still hold potential entheogenic value to native or religious peoples).
In 1963 in Sherbert v. Verner the Supreme Court established the Sherbert Test, which consists of four criteria that are used to determine if an individual's right to religious free exercise has been violated by the government. The test is as follows:
For the individual, the court must determine
- whether the person has a claim involving a sincere religious belief, and
- whether the government action is a substantial burden on the person's ability to act on that belief.
If these two elements are established, then the government must prove
- that it is acting in furtherance of a "compelling state interest", and
- that it has pursued that interest in the manner least restrictive, or least burdensome, to religion.
This test was eventually all-but-eliminated in Employment Division v. Smith 494 U.S. 872 (1990) which held that a "neutral law of general applicability" was not subject to the test. Congress resurrected it for the purposes of federal law in the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993.
In City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) RFRA was held to trespass on state sovereignty, and application of the RFRA was essentially limited to federal law enforcement. In Gonzales v. O Centro Espírita Beneficente União do Vegetal, 546 U.S. 418 (2006), a case involving only federal law, RFRA was held to permit a church's use of a DMT-containing tea for religious ceremonies.
Some states have enacted State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts intended to mirror the federal RFRA's protections.
Peyote is listed by the United States DEA as a Schedule I controlled substance. However, practitioners of the Peyote Way Church of God, a Native American religion, perceive the regulations regarding the use of peyote as discriminating, leading to religious discrimination issues regarding about the U.S. policy towards drugs. As the result of Peyote Way Church of God, Inc. v. Thornburgh the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 was passed. This federal statute allow the "Traditional Indian religious use of the peyote sacrament", exempting only use by Native American persons.
Many works of literature have described entheogen use; some of those are:
- The drug melange (spice) in Frank Herbert's Dune universe acts as both an entheogen (in large enough quantities) and an addictive geriatric medicine. Control of the supply of melange was crucial to the Empire, as it was necessary for, among other things, faster-than-light (folding space) navigation.
- Consumption of the imaginary mushroom anochi [enoki] as the entheogen underlying the creation of Christianity is the premise of Philip K. Dick's last novel, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer, a theme that seems to be inspired by John Allegro's book.
- Aldous Huxley's final novel, Island (1962), depicted a fictional psychoactive mushroom – termed "moksha medicine" – used by the people of Pala in rites of passage, such as the transition to adulthood and at the end of life.
- Bruce Sterling's Holy Fire novel refers to the religion in the future as a result of entheogens, used freely by the population.
- In Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, Book 1 of The Dark Tower series, the main character receives guidance after taking mescaline.
- The Alastair Reynolds novel Absolution Gap features a moon under the control of a religious government that uses neurological viruses to induce religious faith.
- A critical examination of the ethical and societal implications and relevance of "entheogenic" experiences can be found in Daniel Waterman and Casey William Hardison's book Entheogens, Society & Law: Towards a Politics of Consciousness, Autonomy and Responsibility (Melrose, Oxford 2013). This book includes a controversial[according to whom?] analysis of the term entheogen arguing that Wasson et al. were mystifying the effects of the plants and traditions to which it refers.[page needed]
- List of Acacia species known to contain psychoactive alkaloids
- List of plants used for smoking
- List of psychoactive plants
- List of psychoactive plants, fungi, and animals
- List of substances used in rituals
- Psilocybin mushrooms
- Psychedelic therapy
- Psychoactive Amanita mushrooms
- Psychoactive cacti
- Psychology of religion
- Scholarly approaches to mysticism
- "CHAPTER 1 Alcohol and Other Drugs". The Public Health Bush Book: Facts & approaches to three key public health issues. ISBN 0-7245-3361-3. Archived from the original on 28 March 2015.
- Rätsch, Christian, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications pub. Park Street Press 2005
- Souza, Rafael Sampaio Octaviano de; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino de; Monteiro, Júlio Marcelino; Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti de (October 2008). "Jurema-Preta (Mimosa tenuiflora [Willd.] Poir.): a review of its traditional use, phytochemistry and pharmacology". Brazilian Archives of Biology and Technology. 51 (5): 937–947. doi:10.1590/S1516-89132008000500010.
- Rätsch, Christian, The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Plants: Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications pub. Park Street Press 2005
- Millière, Raphaël; Carhart-Harris, Robin L.; Roseman, Leor; Trautwein, Fynn-Mathis; Berkovich-Ohana, Aviva (4 September 2018). "Psychedelics, Meditation, and Self-Consciousness". Frontiers in Psychology. 9: 1475. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01475. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 6137697. PMID 30245648.
- Timmermann, Christopher; Roseman, Leor; Williams, Luke; Erritzoe, David; Martial, Charlotte; Cassol, Héléna; Laureys, Steven; Nutt, David; Carhart-Harris, Robin (15 August 2018). "DMT Models the Near-Death Experience". Frontiers in Psychology. 9: 1424. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01424. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 6107838. PMID 30174629.
- Millière, Raphaël; Carhart-Harris, Robin L.; Roseman, Leor; Trautwein, Fynn-Mathis; Berkovich-Ohana, Aviva (4 September 2018). "Psychedelics, Meditation, and Self-Consciousness". Frontiers in Psychology. 9: 1475. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01475. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 6137697. PMID 30245648.
- Letheby, Chris; Gerrans, Philip (30 June 2017). "Self unbound: ego dissolution in psychedelic experience". Neuroscience of Consciousness. 2017 (1): nix016. doi:10.1093/nc/nix016. ISSN 2057-2107. PMC 6007152. PMID 30042848.
- Godlaski, Theodore M (2011). "The God within". Substance Use and Misuse. 46 (10): 1217–1222. doi:10.3109/10826084.2011.561722. PMID 21692597. S2CID 39317500.
- Carl A. P. Ruck; Jeremy Bigwood; Danny Staples; Jonathan Ott; R. Gordon Wasson (January–June 1979). "Entheogens". Journal of Psychedelic Drugs. 11 (1–2): 145–146. doi:10.1080/02791072.1979.10472098. PMID 522165. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
- "Mescaline : D M Turner". www.mescaline.com.
- Rudgley, Richard. "The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Substances". mescaline.com. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
- "Peyote". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
- Carod-Artal, F.J. (1 January 2015). "Hallucinogenic drugs in pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures". Neurología (English Edition). 30 (1): 42–49. doi:10.1016/j.nrleng.2011.07.010. ISSN 2173-5808. PMID 21893367.
- Samorini, Giorgio (1997). "The 'Mushroom-Tree' of Plaincourault". Eleusis (8): 29–37.
- Samorini, Giorgio (1998). "The 'Mushroom-Trees' in Christian Art". Eleusis (1): 87–108.
- 1946-, Mayor, Adrienne (2014). The Amazons : lives and legends of warrior women across the ancient world. Princeton. pp. 147–149. ISBN 9780691147208. OCLC 882553191.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
- Staples, Danny; Carl A.P. Ruck (1994). The world of classical myth : gods and goddesses, heroines and heroes. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. ISBN 0-89089-575-9. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
- Cite error: The named reference
:4was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- Dfarhud D, Malmir M, Khanahmadi M (November 2014). "Happiness & Health: The Biological Factors- Systematic Review Article". Iranian Journal of Public Health. 43 (11): 1468–77. PMC 4449495. PMID 26060713.
- Dunbar RI, Baron R, Frangou A, Pearce E, van Leeuwen EJ, Stow J, Partridge G, MacDonald I, Barra V, van Vugt M (March 2012). "Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold". Proceedings: Biological Sciences. 279 (1731): 1161–7. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1373. PMC 3267132. PMID 21920973.
- Cite error: The named reference
Endogenous opioid families - 2012 reviewwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Is there a link between exercise and happiness?". 22 June 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- Boecker, Henning; Sprenger, Till; Spilker, Mary E.; Henriksen, Gjermund; Koppenhoefer, Marcus; Wagner, Klaus J.; Valet, Michael; Berthele, Achim; Tolle, Thomas R. (1 November 2008). "The Runner's High: Opioidergic Mechanisms in the Human Brain". Cerebral Cortex. 18 (11): 2523–2531. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhn013. ISSN 1047-3211. PMID 18296435.
- Kolata G (27 March 2008). "Yes, Running Can Make You High". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
- Anderson E, Shivakumar G (23 April 2013). "Effects of exercise and physical activity on anxiety". Frontiers in Psychiatry. 4: 27. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00027. PMC 3632802. PMID 23630504.
- Tupper, K.W. (2003). "Entheogens & education: Exploring the potential of psychoactives as educational tools" (PDF). Journal of Drug Education and Awareness. 1 (2): 145–161. ISSN 1546-6965. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2007.
- Tupper, K.W. (2002). "Entheogens and existential intelligence: The use of plant teachers as cognitive tools" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Education. 27 (4): 499–516. doi:10.2307/1602247. JSTOR 1602247. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 December 2004.
- Hearn, Kelly. "The Dark Side of Ayahuasca". Men's Journal. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
- Campos, Don Jose (2011). The Shaman & Ayahuasca: Journeys to Sacred Realms.
- Calabrese, Joseph D. (1997). "Spiritual healing and human development in the Native American church: Toward a cultural psychiatry of peyote". Psychoanalytic Review. 84 (2): 237–255. PMID 9211587.
- Santos, R. G.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Strassman, R. J.; Motta, V.; Cruz, A. P. M. (2007). "Effects of ayahuasca on psychometric measures of anxiety, panic-like and hopelessness in Santo Daime members". Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 112 (3): 507–513. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2007.04.012. PMID 17532158.
- de Rios, Marlene Dobkin; Grob, Charles S. (2005). "Interview with Jeffrey Bronfman, Representative Mestre for the União do Vegetal Church in the United States". Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 37 (2): 181–191. doi:10.1080/02791072.2005.10399800. PMID 16149332. S2CID 208178224.
- Chen Cho Dorge (20 May 2010). "2CB chosen over traditional entheogens by South African healers". Evolver.net. Archived from the original on 3 September 2013. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization by D. C. A. Hillman PhD[page needed]
- Rowan Robinson, The Great Book of Hemp, Health & Fitness, 1995, pg. 89
- "Marijuana and the Bible= Erowid.org". 1 March 2002.
- Lytton J. Musselman Figs, dates, laurel, and myrrh: plants of the Bible and the Quran 2007 pg. 73
- Dan Merkur The Mystery of Manna: The Psychedelic Sacrament of the Bible (2001)[page needed]
- James D. Dure, Manna Magic Mushroom of Moses : Manna Botanical I.D. of a Biblical Sacrament (self published, 2000)[page needed]
- Merlin, M. D. (2003). "COVER ARTICLE: Archaeological Evidence for the Tradition of Psychoactive Plant Use in the Old World". Economic Botany. 57 (3): 295–323. doi:10.1663/0013-0001(2003)057[0295:AEFTTO]2.0.CO;2.
- Kaplan, Aryeh. (1981). The Living Torah New York. p. 442.
- Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible, by Chris Bennett and Neil McQueen, 2001, Forbidden Fruit Publishing.[page needed]
- "kanehbosm". Njweedman.com. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Conjuring Eden: Art and the Entheogenic Vision of Paradise Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, by Mark Hoffman, Carl Ruck, and Blaise Staples. Entheos: The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality, Issue No. 1, Summer, 2001
- Wasson and Allegro on the Tree of Knowledge as Amanita Archived 14 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Michael S. Hoffman, Journal of Higher Criticism, 2007
- Daturas for the Virgin, José Celdrán and Carl Ruck, Entheos: The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality, Vol. I, Issue 2, Winter, 2002
- The Hidden World: Survival of Pagan Shamanic Themes in European Fairytales, by Carl Ruck, Blaise Staples, Jose Alfredo Celdran, Mark Hoffman, Carolina Academic Press, 2007[page needed]
- O'Brien, Barbara. "The Fifth Buddhist Precept". about.com.
- Hajicek-Dobberstein (1995). "Soma siddhas and alchemical enlightenment: psychedelic mushrooms in Buddhist tradition". American Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 48 (2): 99–118. doi:10.1016/0378-8741(95)01292-L. PMID 8583800.
- Tricycle: Buddhism & Psychedelics, Fall 1996[full citation needed] https://tricycle.org/magazine-issue/fall-1996/
- Kornfield, Jack; "Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are", excerpted at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 October 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)/
- Stolaroff, M. J. (1999). "Are Psychedelics Useful in the Practice of Buddhism?". Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 39 (1): 60–80. doi:10.1177/0022167899391009. S2CID 145220039.
- "The Peyote Way Church of God » Overview". peyoteway.org.
- Mestre Irineu photos
- Bwiti: An Ethnography of the Religious Imagination in Africa Archived 28 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine by James W. Fernandez, Princeton University Press, 1982
- S.R. Berlant (2005). "The entheomycological origin of Egyptian crowns and the esoteric underpinnings of Egyptian religion" (PDF). Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 102 (2005): 275–88. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.07.028. PMID 16199133. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2009.
- Samorini, Giorgio (1995). "Traditional Use of Psychoactive Mushrooms in Ivory Coast?". Eleusis. 1: 22–27. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Ethnobotanical Research". ethnobotany.co.za. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "2CB chosen over traditional entheogen's by South African healers". Tacethno.com. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- The Nexus Factor - An Introduction to 2C-B Erowid
- Ubulawu Nomathotholo Pack Photo by Erowid. 2002 Erowid.org
- Cecilia Garcia, James D. Adams (2005). Healing with medicinal plants of the west - cultural and scientific basis for their use. Abedus Press. ISBN 0-9763091-0-6.
- "History : Oracle at Delphi May Have Been Inhaling Ethylene Gas Fumes". Ethylene Vault. Erowid.org. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
- "НАРКОТИКИ.РУ | Наркотики на Руси. Первый этап: Древняя Русь". www.narkotiki.ru.
- Allegro, John Marco (1970). The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross: A Study of the Nature and Origins of Christianity within the Fertility Cults of the Ancient Near East. Hodder and Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-12875-5.
- Taylor, Joan E. (2012). The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea. Oxford University Press. p. 305. ISBN 978-0-19-955448-5.
- Hodgson, Marshall G.S. (2005). The Secret Order of Assassins: The Struggle of the Early Nizârî Ismâʻîlîs Against the Islamic World. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 978-0-8122-1916-6. Retrieved 15 September 2010.
- "Macropiper Excelsum - Maori Kava". Entheology.org. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Psilocybian mushrooms in New Zealand". Erowid.org.
- "Benjamin Thomas Ethnobotany & Anthropology Research Page". Shaman-australis.com. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Singh, Yadhu N., ed. (2004). Kava from ethnology to pharmacology. Boca Raton: CRC Press. ISBN 1420023373.
- R. R. Griffiths; W. A. Richards; U. McCann; R. Jesse (7 July 2006). "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance". Psychopharmacology. 187 (3): 268–283. doi:10.1007/s00213-006-0457-5. PMID 16826400. S2CID 7845214.
- MacLean, Katherine A.; Johnson, Matthew W.; Griffiths, Roland R. (2011). "Mystical Experiences Occasioned by the Hallucinogen Psilcybin Lead to Increases in the Personality Domain of Openness". Journal of Psychopharmacology. 25 (11): 1453–1461. doi:10.1177/0269881111420188. PMC 3537171. PMID 21956378.
- Nutt, David J.; King, Leslie A.; Nichols, David E. (2013). "Effects of Schedule I Drug Laws on Neuroscience Research and Treatment Innovation". Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 14 (8): 577–85. doi:10.1038/nrn3530. PMID 23756634. S2CID 1956833.
- Tupper, Kenneth W.; Labate, Beatriz C. (2014). "Ayahuasca, Psychedelic Studies and Health Sciences: The Politics of Knowledge and Inquiry into an Amazonian Plant Brew". Current Drug Abuse Reviews. 7 (2): 71–80. doi:10.2174/1874473708666150107155042. PMID 25563448.
- DMT – UN report, MAPS, 31 March 2001, archived from the original on 21 January 2012, retrieved 14 January 2012
- The Internationalization of Ayahuasca, page 327
- "Consultation on implementation of model drug schedules for Commonwealth serious drug offences". Australian Government, Attorney-General's Department. 24 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 November 2011.
- "Aussie DMT Ban". American Herb Association Quarterly Newsletter. 27 (3): 14. Summer 2012.
- Gunesekera, Romesh (26 January 2012). "Book of a Lifetime: Island, By Aldous Huxley". Independent UK. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- Schermer, MH (2007). "Brave New World versus Island--utopian and dystopian views on psychopharmacology". Med Health Care Philos. 10 (2): 119–28. doi:10.1007/s11019-007-9059-1. PMC 2779438. PMID 17486431.
- Sterling, Bruce (1997). Holy Fire. p. 228.
- Harner, Michael, The Way of the Shaman: A Guide to Power and Healing, Harper & Row Publishers, NY 1980
- Rätsch, Christian; "The Psychoactive Plants, Ethnopharmacology and Its Applications"; Park Street Press; Rochester Vermont; 1998/2005; ISBN 978-0-89281-978-2
- Pegg, Carole (2001). Mongolian Music, Dance, & Oral Narrative: Performing Diverse Identities. U of Washington P. ISBN 9780295981123. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
- Roberts, Thomas B. (editor) (2001). Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion San Francisco: Council on Spiritual Practices.
- Roberts, Thomas B. (2006) "Chemical Input, Religious Output—Entheogens" Chapter 10 in Where God and Science Meet: Vol. 3: The Psychology of Religious Experience Westport, CT: Praeger/Greenwood.
- Roberts, Thomas, and Hruby, Paula J. (1995–2003). Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments: An Entheogen Chrestomathy https://web.archive.org/web/20071111053855/http://csp.org/chrestomathy/ [Online archive]
- Shimamura, Ippei (2004). "Yellow Shamans (Mongolia)". In Walter, Mariko Namba; Neumann Fridman, Eva Jane (eds.). Shamanism: An Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture. 1. ABC-CLIO. pp. 649–651. ISBN 9781576076453. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014.
- Tupper, Kenneth W. (2014). "Entheogenic Education: Psychedelics as Tools of Wonder and Awe" (PDF). MAPS Bulletin. 24 (1): 14–19.
- Tupper, Kenneth W. (2002). "Entheogens and Existential Intelligence: The Use of Plant Teachers as Cognitive Tools" (PDF). Canadian Journal of Education. 27 (4): 499–516. doi:10.2307/1602247. JSTOR 1602247. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
- Tupper, Kenneth W. (2003). "Entheogens & Education: Exploring the Potential of Psychoactives as Educational Tools" (PDF). Journal of Drug Education and Awareness. 1 (2): 145–161. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 October 2007.
- Stafford, Peter. (2003). Psychedelics. Ronin Publishing, Oakland, California. ISBN 0-914171-18-6.
- Carl Ruck and Danny Staples, The World of Classical Myth 1994. Introductory excerpts
- Huston Smith, Cleansing the Doors of Perception: The Religious Significance of Entheogenic Plants and Chemicals, 2000, Tarcher/Putnam, ISBN 1-58542-034-4
- Daniel Pinchbeck,"Ten Years of Therapy in One Night", The Guardian UK (2003), describes Daniel's second journey with Iboga facilitated by Dr. Martin Polanco at the Ibogaine Association clinic in Rosarito, Mexico.
- Giorgio Samorini 1995 "Traditional use of psychoactive mushrooms in Ivory Coast?" in Eleusis 1 22-27 (no current url)
- M. Bock 2000 "Māori kava (Macropiper excelsum)" in Eleusis - Journal of Psychoactive Plants & Compounds n.s. vol 4 (no current url)
- Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing and Hallucinogenic Powers by Richard Evans Schultes, Albert Hofmann, Christian Ratsch - ISBN 0-89281-979-0
- John J. McGraw, Brain & Belief: An Exploration of the Human Soul, 2004, AEGIS PRESS, ISBN 0-9747645-0-7
- J.R. Hale, J.Z. de Boer, J.P. Chanton and H.A. Spiller (2003) Questioning the Delphic Oracle, 2003, Scientific American, vol 289, no 2, 67-73.
- The Sacred Plants of our Ancestors by Christian Rätsch, published in TYR: Myth—Culture—Tradition Vol. 2, 2003–2004 - ISBN 0-9720292-1-4
- Yadhu N. Singh, editor, Kava: From Ethnology to Pharmacology, 2004, Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-32327-4
- Media related to Entheogens at Wikimedia Commons