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Persephone's Quest

Entheogens and the Origins of Religion
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Paperback Book
Yale University Press
August, 1992
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Now in paperback, this previously rare volume 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 used by different native peoples, here joins with three other scholars to discuss his discoveries about these fungi, which he has called entheogens, or “god generated within.”

Topics include: the soma plant and shamanic rites; “disembodied eyes” in ancient art as metaphors for the be-mushroomed state; ergot growth on barley as the possible “ecstatic lubricant” at the Eleusinian Mysteries in ancient Greece, and more.

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