Paul Stamets, author of numerous classic books on mycology including The Mushroom Cultivator and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, give a slide show demonstration at the 1999 Psychoactivity Conference in Amsterdam.
Archive for December, 2009
“Heretical Visionary Sacraments Amongst the Ecclesiastical Elite” by Carl A. P. Ruck & Blaise Daniel Staples A talk presented to : The Italian Society for the Study of the States of Consciousness on August 30, 2003 at Perinaldo, Italy
BBC Documentary on the Babongo. The Babongo cultivate the drug Iboga for their ceremonies, and worship it as the source of spiritual knowledge. Some Bwiti scholars believe it is the Tree of Knowledge from the Garden of Eden. It comes from the bitter root of the Iboga tree, and is a powerful psycho-active drug – something like LSD, mescaline or amphetamines. Taking Iboga brings a sense of anxiety, extreme apprehension and visual hallucinations – effects which can be made stronger by darkness, ambience and suggestion. It makes you violently sick, can lead to a state of lethargy lasting four to five days and, in extreme doses, it can kill.
When Bwiti shamans eat Iboga, they are granted the power to see the future, heal the sick and speak with the dead. The Babongo use it as a stimulant before hunting and during initiation ceremonies. They believe that Iboga frees your soul to leave your body and go on a great journey, to speak with the spirits of animals and plants.
Ayahuasca is used largely as a religious sacrament. Those whose usage of ayahuasca is performed in non-traditional contexts often align themselves with the philosophies and cosmologies associated with ayahuasca shamanism, as practiced among indigenous peoples like the Urarina of Peruvian Amazonia. The religion Santo Daime uses it. While non-native users know of the spiritual applications of ayahuasca, a less well-known traditional usage focuses on the medicinal properties of ayahuasca. Its purgative properties are highly important (many refer to it as la purga, “the purge”). The intense vomiting and occasional diarrhea it induces can clear the body of worms and other tropical parasites, and harmala alkaloids themselves have been shown to be anthelmintic. Thus, this action is twofold; a direct action on the parasites by these harmala alkaloids (particularly harmine in ayahuasca) works to kill the parasites, and parasites are expelled through the increased intestinal motility that is caused by these alkaloids.
An investigation into the dramatic and mysterious world of the Huichol of Mexico – where perhaps the most traditional community of North America gave Benedict Allen the rare privilege of ritually taking their peyote, the hallucinogenic cacti, to bring him at last “face-to-face” with the gods.