From the Newsletter of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
MAPS - Volume 8 Number 3 Autumn 1998 - pp. 48-49

The Literature of Psychedelics - Autumn 1998

Bob Wallace

This is a continuing feature of the MAPS Bulletin which we include in two issues per year.

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The Cosmic Game
Explorations of the Frontiers of Human Consciousness

Latest and broadest philosophical, metaphysical, and spiritual insights from Grof's research into non-ordinary states of consciousness, including his extensive explorations of the psychedelic mental states. The identity of the human psyche in its furthest reaches with the universal creative principle, the totality of existence, and the Divine Itself. Bibliography and index. (Stanislav Grof 1998; SUNY Press 0-7914-3876-7, 285 page paperback, $19.95; also in hardback)

The Heffter Review of Psychedelic Research Volume 1, 1998

Excellent new scientific journal from the Heffter Research Institute. This premier issue has ten research papers on psychedelics: psychiatric research with psychedelics (Grob), brain correlates of hallucinogen states (Vollenweider), medical chemistry of phenethylamine psychedelics (Nichols), entactogens, flashbacks, ketamine therapy for alcoholism, and ayahuasca research update. Very professional; recommended. (David Nichols (editor) 1998; Heffter Research Institute, 85 page large paperback, $9.95)

Zen and the Brain
Toward an Understanding of Meditation and Consciousness

Professor of neurology and Zen practitioner James H. Austin explains what we know about the brain mechanisms and anatomy of altered states of consciousness. The focus is on Zen mental states, but includes several chapters on psychedelic states and various others. Also includes background on neurotransmitters and brain anatomy. For general readers. Glossary, references, notes, index. (James H. Austin 1998; MIT Press 0-262-01164-6, 868 page hardback, $39.95)

An Anthology of Drug Writings

Older but still interesting selections by famous people. One section on ayahuasca, peyote, and psilocybin, with writings by Artaud, Burroughs, Wasson, Harner, Castaneda, and Terence McKenna. Another on mescaline and LSD features Huxkey, Michaux, Nin, Leary, and others. Also has sections on nitrous oxide and hashish. Altered state experiences are hard to describe; these articulate writers help us understand them. (Antonio Melechi (editor) 1998; Mono 0- 9532444-0-7, 251 page paperback, $17.95)

The Gift of Life
Female Spirituality and Healing in Northern Peru

Personal and professional anthropology story of becoming a curandero in coastal Peru, using San Pedro cactus to learn what (or who) is causing an illness and how to handle it. Discusses healing, sorcery, and shamanism, as well as the different focus of male and female shamans. Notes on the classic mesa, and the "dano" or illness caused by a "brujo" or sorcerer. Scholarly as well as personal; notes, glossary, references, and index. (Bonnie Glass-Coffin 1998; Univ. of New Mexico Press (New Leaf) 0-8263-1893-2; 262 page paperback; $15.95)

The Ecstatic Imagination
Psychedelic Experiences and the Psychoanalysis of Self-Actualization

General psychoanalytic theory of the psychedelic experience. The phenomenology of both Western self- reported and Native American cultural hallucinogen experiences joined with classical, ego psychological, and object relations psychoanalytic theories. Provides a rigorous approach to psychedelics and self-actualization. Bibliography and index. (Dan Merkur 1998; SUNY Press 0- 7914-3606-3, 240 page paperback $19.95; also in hardback)

The Evolutionary Mind
Trialogs at the Edge of the Unthinkable

Terence McKenna again joins Ralph Abraham, leader of the mathematics of chaos, and Rupert Sheldrake, biologist who created the idea of morphogenetic fields. New topics include: grassroots science; psychedelics and computers; evolution and Hawaii; the World Wide Web; psychic pets; fractals; time; utopianism and millenarianism. (Rupert Sheldrake, Terence McKenna, & Ralph Abraham 1998; Trialog Press (Dakota Books) 0-942344-13-8, 207 page paperback, $16.95)

The Cosmic Serpent
DNA and the Origins of Knowledge

Molecular biologist Jeremy Narby works with ayahuasca shamans and concludes they were given the knowledge of the DNA double-helix. Combines personal adventure, study of Amazon ethnobotany, and investigation into sources of knowledge, intelligence, and consciousness. Extensive notes, bibliography, and index. (Jeremy Narby 1998; Tarcher (Putnam) 0-87477-911-1, 271 page hardback, $22.95)

Acid: The Secret History of LSD
The history of LSD, from a British perspective.

Hofmann, Leary, the CIA, and other well-known players join Ronald Stark, the Brotherhood, Operation Julie, the Weather Underground, and the Italian Mafia in this history. Adds some information not found in the more complete Acid Dreams. Bibliography and index. (David Black 1998; Vision (Last Gasp) 1-901250-11-3, 208 page paperback, $16.95)

Psychedelia Britannica
Hallucinogenic Drugs in Britain

The cultural history of psychedelics in Britain. From Lewis Carroll's Wonderland to R.D. Laing and LSD therapy in the 50s, the Michael Hollingshead story (he turned on Leary) and Alexander Trocchi in the 60s, plus music from Pink Floyd to the rave scene, Ecstasy clubs, and the shamanic insurrection. Introduction by Albert Hofmann, bibliography and index. Fascinating history. (Antonio Melechi (editor) 1997; Turnaround (Last Gasp) 1-873262-05-1, 223 page paperback, $19.95)

Paddos: Our Little Brothers

Dutch book for new "magic mushroom" psychonauts, also great for anyone considering taking any psychedelic. Intention, set and setting, practical tripping tips, rituals, visualizing, hazards, resources. Recommended. (Translated from Dutch.) (Anonymous 1997; Egosoft 90-803696-2-4, 80 page paperback, $3.95)

Listening into the Heart of Things: The Awakening of Love
On MDMA and LSD: The Undesired Psychotherapy

Very interesting story of Swiss psycholytic therapy by one practitioner. Part one presents case studies to show how MDMA (and to some extent LSD) can be useful in therapy from a wider Jungian viewpoint. Part two focuses on love as the key element of ourselves. Part three covers the practical side of this therapy: the sacraments MDMA and LSD, set and setting, the therapist, body work, use of music, and counter indications. Written from the heart; not intended as a scientific study. Translation. (Samuel Widmer 1997; Basic Editions 3-9521250-2-4, 302 page hardback, $45.95)

Altered State
The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House

MDMA and dancing have a natural affinity. Though it started with the New York and Texas club scene, both the scene and the book soon shift to England and the house/trance rave experience. Many true stories of chemists and DJs, clubs and parties of the largest youth movement in British history. Notes and index. (Matthew Collin 1997; Serpent's Tail (Consortium) 1-85242-377-3, 322 page paperback, $16.95)

Salvia Divinorum Grower's Guide

Nice book on how to grow "Ska Pastoria," the diviner's sage containing salvanorin, an entirely new class of psychedelic. Rooting, humidity, soils, feeding, light, hydroponics, pests, problems, cuttings, seeds. Bibliography. (Sociedad para la Preservation de las Plantas del Misterio 1998; Spectral Mindustries 1-890425-01-X, 64 page paperback, $11.95)

Wasson's First Voyage
The Rediscovery of Entheogenic Mushrooms

Brief description of Wasson and his first meeting with Maria Sabina. Also has references and a Wasson bibliography. (John W. Allen 1997; Psilly Publications (Homestead), 31 page pamphlet, $6.95)

Maria Sabina
Saint Mother of the Mushrooms

(John W. Allen 1997; Psilly Publications (Homestead), 31 page pamphlet, $6.95)

Teonanacatl -- Ancient and Contemporary Shamanic Mushroom Names of Mesoamerica and Other Regions of the World

Introduction, then lists mushrooms by species with traditional names in Spanish, Mazatec, Nahuatl, etc. plus current names in English and other languages. Also species photos (black & white) and references. (John W. Allen 1997; Psilly Publications (Homestead), 49 page pamphlet, $9.95)

Magic Mushrooms of the Hawaiian Islands

Species identification with photos, historical and current use, bibliography. (John W. Allen 1998; Psilly Publications (Homestead) 158214-030-8, 52 page pamphlet, $11.95)

Some Recent Notes and Observations on the Occurrence and Use of Entheogenic Fungi in Third World Countries

Magic mushroom tourism in Mesoamerica and Southeast Asia, with tips and stories. (John W. Allen & Jochen Gartz 1997; Psilly Publications (Homestead), 51 page pamphlet, $9.95)

Novel; tale of loner whose move to the mountains takes him on an odyssey mapped by hallucinogen experiences. Sixties man, primal man, shaman, nowhereman, everyman; enters the world of forests, fungi, and spiritual discovery on the trail of an ancient and holy mystery, with help from a curious psychologist. (Paolo Tullio 1998; Lilliput Press 1-901866-09-2, 220 page paperback, $16.95)

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Classic mind drug text: the Euphorica, Inebriantia, Hypnotica, Excitantia, and our friends the Phantastica, with peyote, cannabis, fly-agaric, several Solanaceae, caapi vine, and a few obscure ones. New preface by Bo Holmstedt; notes and index. (Louis Lewin 1924 (1998 edition); Inner Traditions 0-89281-783-6, 304 page paperback, $16.95)

The Unfolding Self
Varieties of Transformative Experience

New, revised edition of Opening to Inner Light helps us understand transformation with images of inner fire, death/rebirth, liberation, wholeness, return to the source, and other useful metaphors. Many examples from psychedelic experiences. (Ralph Metzner 1986 (1998 edition); Origin Press 1-57983-000-5, 344 page paperback, $14.95)

Drugs and Magic

Anthology, by culture, of the many ways people have used psychoactive plants and compounds for shamanic and magical purposes. Includes original cultural writings plus history and discussion. Covers many cultures: ancient, indigenous, medieval, and modern. Index. (George Andrews (editor) 1975 (1998 edition); IlluminiNet Press (New Leaf) 1-881532-12-7, 612 page paperback; $19.95)

Flowers of Wiricuta: A Gringo's Journey To Shamanic Power

True story of the author's work with the Huichols and with his personal spiritual and shamanic development. Many insights into Peyote, prayer, pilgrimage, and power. Chapters include Healing the Sacred Circle, Responsible Ecstasy, Spiritual Warrior, Sacred Marriage. (Tom Soloway Pinkson 1995 (1998 edition); 0-89281-659-7, 302 page paperback, $16.95)

The Serpent and the Rainbow

Excellent ethnopharmacological detective tale. Story of the Haitian people, their secret "vodoun" societies, and their use of potent plants (and animals) in the process of judging a wrongdoer, simulating their death, and then maintaining control over them (now a "zombi"). A compelling story and good ethnobotany. Wade Davis 1985 (1998 edition); Simon & Schuster (Ingram) 0-684-83929-6, 297 page paperback, $12.95)

Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft

This delightful book of psychedelic plant poetry is back in print! Work continues on the next two volumes; stay tuned... (Dale Pendell 1995; Mercury House 1-56279-069- 2, 302 page paperback, $16.95)

N e w  P e r i o d i c a l s

TRP: The Resonance Project, Issue 3

Vaporizer Review, Cult Secrets Revealed, Datura Eater, Datura: Yerba Del Diablo, interviews with Terence McKenna, Dr. Karl Jansen, Bruce Pavitt, D.M. Turner, and Ralph Abraham, plus news, book and music reviews. (James Kent (editor); Resonant Media, 68 pages, $4.95)

Eleusis: Bulletin of the Italian Society for the Study of the States of Consciousness, Issue 8

Papers on sacred use of psychedelics by Ralph Metzner and Nicholas Saunders; psychedelia in sixties Italy; the mushroom-tree of Plaincourault. (Giorgio Samorini (editor) 1997; SISSC, 52 pages, $8.95)

Psychedelic Island Views, Volume 4 Issue 1

The Shulgins, Owsley "Bear" Stanley interview (part two), and Douglas Rushkoff interviews, Nicholas Saunders, Elizabeth Gips, The Human Be-In (part two), Sandoz, raves, limericks. (Bruce Eisner, editor); Island Group, 64 pages, $4.95)

Where to get these books:
All books may be ordered from Mind Books, the author's company; of course many are available from other good sources. To contact Mind Books, call: 800-829-8127 or 707-829-8127, fax: 707-829-8100, E-mail:, Web site:
or write: Mind Books, 321 S Main St, #543, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

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