Monday, December 29, 2008

The Esoteric Agenda

For those of you who found films such as The Pharmacratic Inquisition, Zeitgeist & the Addendum interesting, I would like to recommend The Esoteric Agenda. While there are a couple of inaccuracies and some of the claims are are pretty far out. Its maker defiantly does an excellent good job of presenting a possible "big picture" by weaving the Illuminati, occult, world banks, governments, churches and corporations into one giant network of conspiracies.

While I prefer to think along the lines of Terence McKennas idea that "what's even more frightening then conspiracy theory is the possibility that nobody is in charge". However also being a student of Robert A. Wilson, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Timothy Leary's work I believe that governments, corporations, religious and educational institutions have their own dark agendas that by one means or another. Essentially enslave all of humanity for their own benefit. So with that being said, my recommending this film does not mean I believe all of it to be the truth. But the ideas being presented are worth your consideration. If they interest you, do your homework and form your own version of reality. Think for yourself, question authority.

Download the torrent

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Panel discussion: Leary, Ginsberg, Burroughs, Hoffman, Corso, Di Prima + McKenna

corso ginsberg burroughs
From: The Psychedelic Salon

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Guest speakers: Terence McKenna, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Abbie Hoffman, Gregory Corso, and Diane Di Prima

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"There are no bad drugs. There are simply people who don’t know how to use them. Intelligent people use drugs intelligently, and stupid people are going to abuse drugs the way they abuse everything else. And our function is to raise the level of intelligence. We have to have a program of drug education." –Timothy Leary

"I don’t think there’s any problem with advancing consciousness and becoming more and more aware of the struggle, not with the world, not to convince other people to do anything. The really interesting think is the struggle with the self, and the relation with the self, and there is no end to the improvement that can be done there, the discoveries that can be made." –Allen Ginsberg

[NOTE: The following quotes are all by Terence McKenna.]

"To contact the cosmic giggle, to have the flow of casuistry begin to give off synchronistic ripples, whitecaps in the billows of the coincidental ether, if you will. To achieve that, a precondition is a kind of unconsciousness, a kind of drifting, a certain taking-your-eye-off-the-ball, a certain assumptions that things are simpler than they are, almost always precedes what Mircea Eliade called ‘the rupture of plane’ that indicates that there is an archetypal world, an archetypal power behind profane appearances." –Terence McKenna

"It occurs to me that at any given moment, because of the way the planet is as a thing, some percentage of human beings are asleep, always, and many are awake. And so if the world soul is made of the collective consciousness of human beings, then it is never entirely awake. It is never entirely asleep. It exists in some kind of indeterminate zone."

"Technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey-mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth, or redemption myth, to lay over the crazy, contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist, post McLuanist, electronic, pre-apocalyptic existence."

"I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying [than conspiracy theories]. The real truth that dare not speak itself is that no one is in control. Absolutely no one!"

"The global destiny of the [human] species is somehow unfolding with the logic of a dream."

"The carrier of the field of the cosmic giggle in most people’s lives is love. Love is some kind of output which messes with the entropic tendency toward probabilistic behavior in Nature."

"The primary contribution of 20th century thinking, if you will, is to have understood, finally, that information is primary. That this world, this cosmos, this universe, this body and soul are all made of information. … The implication for the digerati is that reality can therefore be hacked."

The Psychedelic Salon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Was Jesus a Mushroom?

Since the Shamanic origins of Christmas was so popular, lets take it take this a little further and think about the entheogenic origins of Christianity. Below are links to download a fascinating discussion by Martin Ball and Jan Irvin entitled "Was Jesus a Mushroom?" Jesus_Mushrooms

Available for free Mp3 download as a two episode podcast from the Entheogenic Evolution.

Was Jesus a Mushroom: Part 1
Was Jesus a Mushroom: Part 2

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This interview focuses on John Allegro's research with the Dead Sea Scrolls along with other evidence indicating that Jesus was not an actual person but rather a psychedelic experience. Many of the biblical stories were derived from pagan fertility cults who used the sacred mushroom as a sacrament.

John Marco Allegro was one of the worlds leading philologists, putting his neck on the line when he wrote, "The Sacred Mushroom And The Cross" which made numerous connections from sacred doctrinal enigmas and sacraments to the Amanita muscaria. He fearlessly attempted to expose the reality of the mushroom symbolism throughout the Bible, Apocryphal writings, and The Dead Sea Scrolls. He was fully aware of the criticism his book would draw, yet as a true scholar, knowing the importance of the information, he put self aside for the good of all. Most criticism surrounding Allegro is a remnant of the fundamentalist bashing he took for exposing the Jesus Myth. Jesus IS the mushroom Anthropomorphized just like Santa, Mithra, Chrishna, Rudra etc.

Jan Irvin is the co-author of the book Astrotheology and Shamanism, the co-producer of The Pharmacratic Inquisition, host of The Gnostic Media Podcast and the author of his recently released book The Holy Mushroom.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Aquarius Rising by Pierre Sogol

Project by:
Found by way of my friend Lorenzo

Aquarius Rising by Pierre Sogol.
Bringing a rare 1967 film documenting
hippie life in California back to life!

Grateful thanks to Bruce Damer, Rob Menzies, Leon Tabory, Al Lundell and many others, this classic documentary may now be seen online. This material is informing a number of projects including Holly Rae Harman's history of the Ben Lomond Holiday Commune and Ralph Abraham's HIP Santa Cruz History Project.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 1: (Above) Begins with flashing facts about the entheogen's impact on religion & civilization. Then documents a Be-In in Orange County, Various festivals in LA, the Sunset Riots and the resulting hearings.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 2: In this chapter they visit the “strawberry fields” LSD commune in the hills near Thousand Oaks, CA. They also stop in at the nearby Renaissance Pleasure Faire.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 3: In this episode, the gang goes to the “New Mecca” (San Francisco). Scenes from the Haight, hippie wedding, Summer of Love, Natasha’s tale, Oregon LSD trip, Nancy (who reappears frequently in other chapters), July 4th in Golden Gate Park.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 4: Here we hear from Nancy, and witness open drug dealing on the streets of Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 5: In this episode we have more scenes from OM Holiday Commune (Ben Lomond). Next we go to Love Street to Betty’s house (Elizabeth Gips) in the Haight for a group discussion. Then jump to a public hearing about hippies, end with Stephen on guitar.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 6: Here we witness Camilla (visiting the famous Betty) and tripping on LSD on the beach at Bodega Bay. Next a trip on OM Holiday Commune’s magic bus down to Ben Lomond Holiday Commune, Nancy the “Florence Nightingale of the Haight” arrives, and some good sitar was played.

Aquarius Rising Chapter 7: This last chapter or “appendix” shows various scenes and rolls credits and opinions.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Saturday Night Sessions DJ Mix Downloads


My old friend Reza has put some banging mixes online for free Mp3 download. I'm glad to see he is still living the life. Its been awhile since we partied & worked together. Nice mix Rene! I miss the good old days of partying with you all. Next time you guys are in Vegas, holler!

P.s. Where's the hommie Lenny V? How is he?

Here are some of the newer SoCal mixes. Just right click on Mp3 and save target as...

DJ Reza - Live in LA 08
Download: MP3

DJ Reza & Thee-O Live @ Lights Out 2
Download: MP3

Rene Ortega Live @ Miami Mansion Party 2008
Download: MP3

Junior Sanchez Live @ Miami Mansion Party WMC 2008
Download: MP3

Barry Weaver NYE 2008 DJ Mix
Download: MP3

For more mixes visit:

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Daniel Siebert: Salvia divinorum from A–Z

Daniel Siebert

Daniel Siebert
Everything you've ever wanted to know about Salvia divinorum.

From the Entheogenic Evolution

Part 1: MP3 Download
Part 2: MP3 Download

To download, right click and save target as.

Part 1 focuses on the Mazatec Shamans and their ceremonial use of Salvia and Psilocybin mushrooms. Since most of Salvia plants are propagated from cutting, technically all the worlds Salvia is from the same plant. Daniel also shares his thoughts and evidence that this "mother" plant may not even be originally from the Sierra Mazatec as commonly believed. Salvia divinorum is truly a mystery. 

Part 2 tells the story of how Salvia divinorum made her way in to modern western civilization and more recently to the global market. From the earliest specimens first brought back to the isolation and discovery of Salvinorin A. Daniel also talks about his pioneering experiments with Salvia and the possible future of the Sage.

You may also find my recent interview about the ethnobotanical industry of interest. I can be found at: EROCx1 discusses ethnobotanicals on the Entheogenic Evolution.

Please be aware that our friend Martin Ball's new book, The Entheogenic Evolution: Psychedelics, Consciousness and Awakening the Human Spirit is now available in paperback and PDF. I encourage everyone to consider purchasing a copy and help support the the Entheogenic Evolution!

If your interested in obtaining the very highest quality Salvia divinorum leaf and extracts. Please help support this blog by making a purchase from Gaian Botanicals.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

2008 World Psychedelic Forum: Panel discussion with Doblin, Mckenna, Pendell & Harrison

2008 World Psychedelic Forum


Everything you always wanted to know about psychedelics

As presented at the 2008
World Psychedelic Forum

Download Mp3: PART 1
Download Mp3:
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Courtesy of: Psychonautica

 Part 1 of the panel discussion from the 2008 World Psychedelic Forum, called "Everything you always wanted to know about psychedelics, a conversation between experts and users" featuring Rick Doblin, Dennis Mckenna, Dale Pendell and Kathleen Harrison. They discuss potentiating magic mushrooms with MAOIs, spiritual growth and psychotic episodes, integrating psychedelic experiences, Dennis Mckenna's psychotic episode/shamanic initiation in La Chorrera, schizophrenia and LSD, using psychedelics frequently at low doses, using LSD to treat cluster headaches, psychedelic drugs as painkillers, opiate addiction, MDMA and opiates, Kratom addictiveness and its use for overcoming addictions.

Part 2 the second installment of the 2 part panel discussion from the 2008 World Psychedelic Forum. The expert panel discusses the chemical composition of Kratom, use of the leaf vs extracts, the analgesic properties of Kratom and Salvia Divinorum. Determining the toxicity of drugs, laboratory testing of drugs on animals, avoiding fear on psychedelic trips, being open to the psychedelic experience, LSD to assist in openness, why bad trips should not be avoided, being convinced that you are dying/going crazy on a trip, keeping energy moving on a trip, getting headaches after a trip, the importance of keeping your body hydrated, using cannabis alongside psychedelics, the importance of diet before a trip, remembering psychedelic experiences afterwards, stating your intention before embarking on a trip, different varieties of Ayahuasca sessions, and the balance of masculine and feminine energies.

From: Psychonautica

Monday, December 1, 2008

The world's oldest stash of cannabis!

ancient cannabis


2,700 Year Old
Pot stash discovered!

27th November 2008

OTTAWA – Researchers say they have located the world's oldest stash of marijuana, in a tomb in a remote part of China.

The cache of cannabis is about 2,700 years old and was clearly "cultivated for psychoactive purposes," rather than as fibre for clothing or as food, says a research paper in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

The 789 grams of dried cannabis was buried alongside a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man, likely a shaman of the Gushi culture, near Turpan in northwestern China.

The extremely dry conditions and alkaline soil acted as preservatives, allowing a team of scientists to carefully analyze the stash, which still looked green though it had lost its distinctive odor.

"To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent," says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.

Remnants of cannabis have been found in ancient Egypt and other sites, and the substance has been referred to by authors such as the Greek historian Herodotus. But the tomb stash is the oldest so far that could be thoroughly tested for its properties.

The 18 researchers, most of them based in China, subjected the cannabis to a battery of tests, including carbon dating and genetic analysis. Scientists also tried to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache, without success.

The marijuana was found to have a relatively high content of THC, the main active ingredient in cannabis, but the sample was too old to determine a precise percentage.

Researchers also could not determine whether the cannabis was smoked or ingested, as there were no pipes or other clues in the tomb of the shaman, who was about 45 years old.

The large cache was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl, and was likely meant to be used by the shaman in the afterlife.

"This materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible," Russo said in an interview from Missoula, Mont.

"It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied."

The tomb also contained bridles, archery equipment and a harp, confirming the man's high social standing.

Russo is a full-time consultant with GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, a cannabis-based medicine approved in Canada for pain linked to multiple sclerosis and cancer.

The company operates a cannabis-testing laboratory at a secret location in southern England to monitor crop quality for producing Sativex, and allowed Russo use of the facility for tests on 11 grams of the tomb cannabis.

Researchers needed about 10 months to cut red tape barring the transfer of the cannabis to England from China, Russo said.

The inter-disciplinary study was published this week by the British-based botany journal, which uses independent reviewers to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of all submitted papers.

The substance has been found in two of the 500 Gushi tombs excavated so far in northwestern China, indicating that cannabis was either restricted for use by a few individuals or was administered as a medicine to others through shamans, Russo said.

"It certainly does indicate that cannabis has been used by man for a variety of purposes for thousands of years."

Russo, who had a neurology practice for 20 years, has previously published studies examining the history of cannabis.

"I hope we can avoid some of the political liabilities of the issue," he said, referring to his latest paper.

The region of China where the tomb is located, Xinjiang, is considered an original source of many cannabis strains worldwide.

Posted by our friend James Kent on

Monday, November 24, 2008

Police Department advertises we pay snitches in newspaper!

Albuquerque police want ad: We need snitches
'Make some extra cash! Drug use and criminal record OK'
From: The Associated Press
Date: Nov 22, 2008

During these difficult times, as people struggle to pay for their homes and care for their families. Some turning to the classifieds looking for work will see "Make some extra cash! Drug use and criminal record OK". That right, the Albuquerque police department ran an advertisement that they will pay drug informants to drop the dime and snitch! Even if they themselves are convicted criminals. This isn't the first time they did it either. The last time a similar advertisement was ran so many phone calls were received that they were forced to turn off the hotline!

Is this the best means for the police to obtain accurate information that may be used as evidence to raid the homes of American citizens?

What about those who may pass on unreliable information just in hopes of receiving some desperately needed cash? Unhappy with someone, why not turn them in as retaliation and get paid for doing it? Who knows the motives of these paid informants. However enticing them with cash is only going to increase the amount of questionable information that is passed on to the authorities.

Through out history there have been numerous examples of tragedies created by paid informants. Ann Frank and her family were arrested and sent to Auschwitz based on information collected by a Gestapo paid informant. Turning people against each other have always been a powerful method to maintain control over a population and to imprison its "undesirables".

If you haven't done so already, please read my entry's Police raids end in tragedy and Police Raid Mayor's Home and Kill His 2 Dogs. The consequences of police raids are horrific to say the least. Not to mention the enormous danger the informants are putting themselves in. As was the recent case of 23 year Rachel Hoffman who was murdered for her involvement with the police.

Rachel Morningstar Hoffman 

For everyone's safety!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rupert Sheldrake: The Extended Mind

Google Tech Talks

Speaker: Rupert Sheldrake

Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 75 technical papers and ten books, the most recent being The Sense of Being Stared At. He studied at Cambridge and Harvard Universities, was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and a Research Fellow of the Royal Society. He is currently Director of the Perrott-Warrick project, funded from Trinity College Cambridge.

We have been brought up to believe that the mind is located inside the head. But there are good reasons for thinking that this view is too limited. Recent experimental results show that people can influence others at a distance just by looking at them, even if they look from behind and if all sensory clues are eliminated. And people's intentions can be detected by animals from miles away. The commonest kind of non-local interaction mental influence occurs in connection with telephone calls, where most people have had the experience of thinking of someone shortly before they ring. Controlled, randomized tests on telephone telepathy have given highly significant positive results. Research techniques have now been automated and experiments on telepathy are now being conducted through the internet and cell phones, enabling widespread participation.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Robert Forte: Cultural Healing Lecture

Robert Forte 

From: The Psychedelic Salon

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Guest speaker: Robert Forte

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Robert Forte studied the history of religion with Mircea Eliade at the University of Chicago, and the psychedelic experience with Stanislav Grof at Esalen.  He has worked for two decades to help western society understand and benefit from the fruits of psychedelic mysticism.   A former lecturer on psychology and religion at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and former director of the Albert Hofmann Foundation.


"Every revolution is followed by a counter-revolution, and the pendulum keeps swinging back and forth. No lasting change is effected by politics; it has to come from within." –Nina Graboi

"How is it that people fail to see that when the stream dies we die. We are that stream." Robert Forte

As presented at the 4th International
Amazonian Shamanism Conference:
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Book list:

9/11 Contradictions: An Open Letter to Congress and the Press
David Ray Griffin shows that the official story about 9/11 is riddled with internal contradictions. Two contradictory statements cannot both be true. These contradictions show, therefore, that individuals and agencies articulating the official story of 9/11 have made many false statements. Congress and the press clearly should ask which of the contradictory statements are false and why they were made.

This book is purely factual, simply laying out the fact that these internal contradictions exist. As such, the book contains no theory. Politicians and journalists who deal with the issues raised herein, therefore, will not be giving credence to some "conspiracy theory" about 9/11. They will simply be carrying out their duty to ask why the official story about 9/11, arguably the most fateful event of our time, is riddled with so many contradictions.

The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Expose
Griffin has now written The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, which provides a chapter-by-chapter updating of the information provided in that earlier book. It shows that the case against the official account constructed by independent researchers - who now include architects, engineers, physicists, pilots, politicians, and former military officers - is far stronger than it was in 2004, leaving no doubt that 9/11 was a false flag operation, designed to give the Bush-Cheney administration a pretext to attack oil-rich Muslim nations. 
The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11
Taking to heart the idea that those who benefit from a crime ought to be investigated, here the eminent theologian David Ray Griffin sifts through the evidence about the attacks of 9/11 - stories from the mainstream press, reports from abroad, the work of other researchers, and the contradictory words of members of the Bush administration themselves - and finds that, taken together, they cast serious doubt on the official story of that tragic day.

9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Vol. 1
Practically from the moment the dust settled in New York and Washington after the attacks of September 11, a movement has grown of survivors, witnesses, and skeptics who have never quite been able to accept the official story. When theologian David Ray Griffin turned his attention to this topic in his book The New Pearl Harbor (2003), he helped give voice to a disquieting rumble of critiques and questions from many Americans and people around the world about the events of that day. Were the military and the FAA really that incompetent? Were our intelligence-gathering agencies really in the dark about such a possibility? In short, how could so much go wrong at once, in the world’s strongest and most technologically sophisticated country?

Both the government and the mainstream media have since tried to portray the 9/11 truth movement as led by people who can be dismissed as "conspiracy theorists" able to find an outlet for their ideas only on the internet. This volume, with essays by intellectuals from Europe and North America, shows this caricature to be untrue. Coming from different intellectual disciplines as well as from different parts of the world, these authors are united in the conviction that the official story about 9/11 is a huge deception manufactured to extend imperial control at home and abroad.

The Psychedelic Salon

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bolivian president, "US encouraged drug trafficking" + Cele Castillo Videos

Evo Morales

LA PAZ (AFP) — Bolivian leader Evo Morales on Thursday accused the US government of encouraging drug-trafficking as he explained his decision to banish the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Morales, a staunch opponent of the Washington government, said the staff from the US agency had three months to prepare to leave the country, because "the DEA did not respect the police, or even the (Bolivian) armed forces."

"The worst thing is, it did not fight drug trafficking; It encouraged it," the Bolivian leader said, adding that he had "quite a bit of evidence" backing up his charges.

Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana presented a series of documents and press clippings at a news conference, which he described as "object data" that had influenced Morales' decision to suspend DEA activities last week.

Quintana said Morales was ready to present the evidence to incoming US president Barack Obama "to prove the illegality, abuse and arrogance of the DEA in Bolivia."

Throughout the 1990s, the DEA in Bolivia "bribed police officers, violated human rights, covered up murders, destroyed bridges and roads," said Quintana.

Morales earlier Thursday said that after a 1986 operation in Huanchaca National Park, it was determined that the largest cocaine processing plant "was under DEA protection."

He also charged that the DEA had investigated political and union leaders opposed to neoliberal economic policies, which he said amounted to political persecution.

On Wednesday, he had accused the DEA of shooting and killing Bolivians during their anti-drug operations, including members of the coca farmers' movement.

Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous president, has served as the leader of the Bolivian coca-growers union. The coca plant, from which cocaine is derived, has many uses in traditional Andean culture.

The Bolivian leader announced last Saturday he was suspending the work of the DEA in the impoverished Andean nation, and accused it of having encouraged political unrest that killed 19 people in September.

"From today all the activities of the US DEA are suspended indefinitely," the Bolivian leader had said in the coca-growing region of Chimore, in the central province of Chapare, where he was evaluating efforts to combat drug trafficking.

The DEA has denied Morales' accusations.

US President George W. Bush, in a finding released in September, added Bolivia to a list of countries that have "failed demonstrably" in anti-drugs cooperation.

Retired-DEA agent Celerino Castillo exposes the atrocities and drug smuggling involvement of the US government.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

EROCx1 discusses ethnobotanicals on the Entheogenic Evolution

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Recently I was a guest on the Entheogenic Evolution hosted by Martin W. Ball. For those of you who do not already know. Martin holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies with an emphasis on Shamanism, Native American Traditions, Entheogens, and Eastern Philosophy and Meditation. He is a musician and author of several books including Mushroom Wisdom: How Shamans Cultivate Spiritual Consciousness and Sage Spirit: Salvia Divinorum and the Entheogenic Experience.

I have shared correspondence with Martin for quite some time and have made a few posts about some of his work in this blog. So it was an honor for him to invite me on his show to discuss the FDA and the recent escalation of their role in the prohibition of legal ethnobotanicals and tradition plant medicines.

I would like to apologize for all my ummms and pauses in our conversation. It was pretty burned out when we spoke and this was my first time using Skype. I typically listen to Martin's weekly show on the same headphones I was using for the call. A few times I felt like I was listening to his podcast and thought, why isn't any one answering Martin? Wait he's talking to me! LOL. Also considering the potential legal risks that haunt the subject of conversation, I was a little hesitant about how much personal information was wise to publicly share. If I am ever invited on another podcast, I promise to do better ;-)

In this episode of the Entheogenic Evolution we discuss:

  • The origin of Gaian Botanicals and my passion for entheogens
  • The ethnobotacial market, regulation & prohibition
  • Thoughts on Amanita muscaria, Salvia divinorum and Kratom
  • My New York Times interview on Salvia divinroum
  • The Internet as a tool for for sharing and learning about ethnogens

I would like to expand a little more on the prohibition of plant medicines. This practice is in direct conflict with the ideals held by the Founding Fathers and framers of the supposed supreme law of our nation, The US Constitution.

Thomas Jefferson himself wrote, "If people let government decide which foods they eat and medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." and "The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture."

Dr. Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and Surgeon General under George Washington said, "The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for medical freedom. To restrict the art of healing to one class will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. ... Unless we put medical freedom into the constitution the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people who wish doctors and treatment of their own choice to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers."

Why then are people not only restricted from access to, but are also incarcerated for choosing to use plants as medicines or for spiritual purposes?

This is more of a rhetorical question as a serious effort to answer this question would be far too lengthily for a blog entry. I highly recommend reading Dr. Timothy Leary: Criminalizing the Natural. Also The Emperor Wears No Clothes or more relevant to entheogens is The Proemium from Jonathan Ott's Pharmacotheon. It is well established that the authorities do NOT want people using any plant that may cause euphoria or induce a visionary experience.

I believe we are now witnessing a new approach by the federal government to further restrict its citizens use and access to traditional plant medicines. The traditional process of of making plants illegal under the Controlled Substances Act is supposed to require sufficient scientific evidence that a substance is not only a dangerous, but has no accepted medical use. NO ethnobotanicals can honestly be scheduled under this criteria as they all have a long history of being safely as medicines for thousands of years (if not longer).

Thus a new prohibition tactic is to have Customs stop the import of ethnobotanicals and turn the shipment over to the FDA who challenges the shipment legality as "unapproved drugs". The Dietary Supplement Act clearly states the FDA is to regulate herbs as food, not as drugs. They only have the lawful authority to ban or restrict a herb if it has been openly proven harmful. Also be aware that the description used for the sale of any botanical product could classify it as an "unauthorized new drug".

The FDA has taken steps to reclassify virtually all vitamins, supplements, herbs and vegetable juices as FDA-regulated drugs. Even massage oils and tools would be classified as "medical devices" and require FDA approval. Another alarming example of the FDA's new authority is the Bioterrorism Act signed into law by President Bush June 12, 2002. This requires foreign botanical exporters to have a registered resident agent. If they do not have one, the recipient is listed as the registered agent.

So far most cases of Customs and / or the FDA holding imported ethnobotanicals have been eventually released if contested by the recipient. Sometimes the receiver is required to submit signed statements that the material in question is not for human consumption. However some imports have be straight out refused entry and the shipment must be either returned to the sender, re-routed to an alternate location outside of the United States or destroyed. Since there are no real clear rules or regulations being made available. It is important for the ethnobotanical / herbal medicine communities to communicate their experiences and insight with each other to prevent abuse by the authorities.

I one other idea I wanted to share about Salvia divinorum's remaining legal on a Federal level in the US. Over the years I have observed the governments response to Salvia divinorum with complete astonishment that it has not been scheduled or banned by the DEA or FDA. Could this be an experiment to see how states would react if the Federal Government did not criminalize a psychoactive plant or to see how the states may re-act should there ever be a repeal of the Federal Drug laws? Laws built upon a foundation of lies can not last forever. Especially in the information age. I have no evidence to support this, nor do I necessarily believe it. Its merely speculation on my part. But I thought I would put it out there to hear your feedback on the idea?

Gaian Botanicals
EROCx1 Homepage
Entheogenic Evolution

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Alex Grey's portrait of President-elect Barack Obama

Alex Grey's portrait of Presidential Elect, Barack Obama.

This portrait was begun at the Rock the Ink Tattoo Convention, in Rhode Island on October 23, 2008, in front of a live audience.

See this work in progress on


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Start of the Sixth Day in the Mayan Calendar


The Fifth night of the Mayan Calendar which was ruled by the energy of Tezcatlipoca, the god of darkness, temptation and war has just passed. Now the Sixth Day of the Galactic Underworld begins [November 12, 2008] with Yohualticitl, the goddess of birth. This period is the renaissance of each cycle and this time lasts until November 2009. It is the time in which the flower blossoms. Look with in to propagate your flower. Grow spiritually and remain centered. Stay true to your self, stay connected to community and the environment. Practice reciprocity and random acts of kindness for balance and connection.

This is all very representative of our nations events over the past decade. So this ancient knowledge is very relevant to us today. During this transition, things may very well become even more chaotic, before they improve. However remember to keep focused the big picture and do your best to spread and maintain the positive energy that the world needs so greatly right now.

The last Sixth “Day” was the time of Beatniks, Flower Children, mass spiritual transformation, orbital satellites and global communication systems) or distilled down to its essence, profound change.

The Sixth “Day” of the last cycle was the beginning of the European Renaissance.

Life is a loop. Help make change happen.

Peace & Blessings to all,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Evidence that Hopi Shamans used magic mushrooms?


On a recent tip to Arizona, I visited the Navajo reservation, Hopi ruins, meteor crater, Sunset volcano and the Grand Canyon. This was an academic trip with my daughters school and I had a great time.

After reviewing my photos, one in particular from the Desert View Watchtower caught my eye. A portion of the Hopi Snake Legend mural appears to feature a fist full of Psilocybe mushrooms being passed from one man to another and near his feet is a very distinct smoking pipe.

The known sacred sacraments of the Hopi are:
Datura (Jimsonweed & Desert Thornapple)
Nicotinana trigonphylla & attenuata
Mirabilis Multiflora

I researched the Hopi ethnographic / ethnobotanical literature I had access to and found only vague descriptions of entheogens. I found no mention of mushrooms as shown in my photo (above). Kachinas, Hopi mythology and folklore are all very representative with those of a shamanic culture. The Hopi religion is rich mythology and has many sacred rituals. They are polytheists, having many supernatural beings or "gods". The head of each clan was a Shaman who had a number of initiated helpers. They believed the soul of the ecstatic could leave the body and visit the realms of gods, animal and ancestor spirits. They also brought the rains, ensured a good harvest, and healed the sick. Hopi ceremonies are for the benefit of the entire world.

Hopi is a derived form of Hopituh Shi-nu-mu, "The Peaceful People" or "Peaceful Little Ones". (Maria Sabina called Mushrooms "Little ones") The culture's religion focuses on spirituality, its view of morality and ethics. The Hopi follow divine instructions and prophecies received from the caretaker of this world, Maasaw. They are anti-war and have a total reverence and respect for all things, to be at peace with these things, and to live in accordance with the instructions of the Creator or Caretaker of Earth.

Why no reference to the mushrooms? This could be due to most traditional Hopi knowledge being passed down orally with very little existing in the form of written records. If a few generations did not have access to or use the mushroom, this practice could have been lost as was the case with many other extinct traditions.

According to the Hopi, they are a gathering of people from many separate tribes from distant areas. Should this be true, the Hopi ancestors would have had a very diverse pharmacopeia and Psilocybe coprophilia is native to the Colorado Plateau so it is plausible they were used. The artist of this mural is Fred Kabotie who was a Hopi born in 1900, was he trying to preserve this shamanic knowledge on the verge of being lost?

I would like to conclude with I am NOT an expert on the Hopi people and my research was somewhat limited. If there are any inaccuracies in this post or if you have any thoughts or answers about this mystery. Please do share them in the comments or email me. Thanks!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

R. Gordon Wasson audio recording of Maria Sabina

Mushroom Ceremony


Recorded by R. G. Wasson
Maria Sabina
in Huautla de Jiménez
July 21, 1956

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These Mp3 audio files were made from the nearly impossible to find "Mushroom Ceremony Of the Mazatec Indians Of Mexico" record. This recording was made by R. Gordon Wasson in 1956, in an attempt to chronicle a religious ceremony involving the investigation of psychedelic mushrooms by Indians who are attempting to communicate with the Divine Spirit. Lots of wild, hallucinatory chanting and the like, which might even appeal to fans of phonetic sound poems or dadaist utterings. Another unusual historical document that only Folkways would have released.

"Here is a shamanic performance complete. Gordon Wasson, a pioneer in the study of the role of mushrooms in religious ritual, gives us a transcription of an authentic "consultation" of the sacred mushroom, in sound. The occasion was the illness of a youth. The mushroom, through the mouth of Maria Sabina, a female shaman, decreed that the boy must die. He heard the bad news and died days later. Gordon Wasson taped the entire Velada. Wasson is able to prove that the words and undoubtedly the chant are pre-Cortes, going back for many centuries. Nothing like this record has been done for the new world; it is rivaled in the old world only by the Vedic chants of India".

Track list:

1. Chjon Nka
2. Chjon Nka Catsin
3. Santo...nana
4. Papa Papai
5. Na Ai - Ni Tso
6. Santo...Ji
7. Jan Jesu Cristo
8. Ji Nai
9. San Pedro
10. Soso Soso
11. Name of Plants
12. Pedro Martinez
13. Don't Be Concerned, Old One
14. Birds
15. Humming, etc.
16. Soft Singing
17. Finale

Recorded by R. G. Wasson in Huautla de Jiménez, in the Mazatec Mountains in the northern corner of the State of Oaxaca, July 21, 1956.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Jan Irvin: Announcing The Gnostic Media Podcast & The Holy Mushroom!

I would like to share with you an excellent new Podcast hosted by Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media. Jan is one of the researchers and producers who brought us The Pharmacratic Inquisition and authors of AstroTheology & Shamanism.


He is also the author of the recently released book:

The Holy Mushroom
Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity:
A critical re-evaluation of the schism between John M. Allegro and R. Gordon Wasson over the theory on the entheogenic origins of Christianity presented in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross.

The Gnostic Media Podcast!

Episode #001 is a recording he did back in April of this year, 2008. He went with Richard Andrew Grove of 8thestate media and Paul Verge of Divergent Films to the home of pioneering entheogenic researcher, Professor Carl A. P. Ruck of Boston University. Professor Ruck co-authored Persephone’s Quest with Gordon Wasson, he also co-authored Apples of Apollo with Clark Heinrich and Dr. Blaise Staples. He’s the author of the book Sacred Mushrooms of the Goddess, Secrets of Eleusis, and more recently he co-authored The Hidden World, Survival of Pagan Shamanic Themes in European Fairytales. This episode features the entheogenic rites of the Eleusinian mysteries, John Marco Allegro’s research in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, and Ruck’s upcoming books.

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Episode #002 features an interview Professor John Rush regarding his new book Failed God: Fractured Myth in a Fragile World. This is the first academic book since the publication of John Allegro’s The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (1970) that argues Allegro was correct - and provides ample support for the mushroom foundations of Judeo-Christianity.

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Episode #003 features an interview with my friend & author Dr. Martin Ball, host of the Entheogenic Evolution podcast series. They discuss the spiritual use of entheogens, especially mushrooms and Salvia Divinorum, as well as religious vs. spiritual freedom. Do you think you have religious freedom?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

12,000-year-old shaman grave site found


Earliest known shaman grave site found!

Reuters: Nov 4, 2008
By Michael Kahn

An ancient grave unearthed in modern-day Israel containing 50 tortoise shells, a human foot and body parts from numerous animals is likely one of the earliest known shaman burial sites, researchers said on Monday.

The 12,000-year-old grave dates back to the Natufian people who were the first society to adopt a sedentary lifestyle, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher Leore Grosman and colleagues said.

"The interment rituals and the method used to construct and seal the grave suggest this is the burial of an ancient shaman, one of the earliest known from the archaeological record," they wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Shamans play an important role in many cultures, mediating between the human and spiritual worlds and acting as messengers, healers, magicians to serve the community, the researchers said.

The Israeli team found the bones in a small cave in the lower Galilee region of present-day Israel that was a Natufian burial ground for a least 28 people.

At the time of burial, more than 10 large stones were placed directly on the head, pelvis, and arms of the elderly woman whose body was laid on its side. The legs were spread apart and folded inward at the knee.

The special treatment of the body and use of stones to keep it in a certain position suggests the woman held a unique position in the community, likely some sort of a shaman, the researchers said.

"The burial of the unlike any burial found in the Natufian or the preceding Palaeolithic periods," Grosman's team wrote. "We argue that this burial is consistent with expectations for a shaman's grave."

The woman was also interred with some unusual grave goods, including the complete tortoise shells and select body-parts of a wild boar, an eagle, a cow, a leopard, and two martens, as well as a complete human foot.

The grave portrays several hallmarks that later become central in the spiritual arena of cultures worldwide, the researchers added.

"Tortoises, cow tails, eagle wings, and fur-bearing animals continue to play important symbolic and shamanistic roles in the spiritual arena of human cultures worldwide today," they wrote.

"It seems that the woman in the Natufian burial was perceived as being in a close relationship with these animal spirits."

Dr. Timothy Leary: The League for Spiritual Discovery

League for Spiritual Discovery

The Psychedelic Salon

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Jan 1966 Radio interview with Dr. Timothy Leary and Elsa Knight Thompson.


[NOTE: All quotations below are by Dr. Timothy Leary]

"Psychedelic art is the public face of the communication device of our new religion."

"Man’s attempt to turn on just staggers the imagination. There’s hardly anything that hasn’t been used one time or another, or in one culture or another, to get this [psychedelic] experience."

"We don’t care what method people use [to turn on]. We treasure and glorify any method that can get you high, that can turn you on. But we also insist that no one tell us that we can’t use our sacraments that seem to work for us."

"We’re convinced, and I think it wouldn’t be hard to prove my point, that most Americans are involved in a meaningless, robot, assembly-line series of activities. They don’t really know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, but they’re just pushed off to this assembly-line and off they go."

"[By drop out] we mean drop out of the meaningless and tune in to the productive."

"You have to go out of your mind to come to your senses."

"There’s no more room for mythological, supernatural religious teachers."

"We use this word ‘psychosis’ the way we used the word ‘devil’ or ‘devil-possession’ or ‘witchcraft’ two or three or four or five hundred years ago."

"When the time comes, let your kids turn you on. That’s my message to the middle-age, middle-class, whiskey-drinking American suburban family."

"So jail to us is not a middle class disgrace. Here I am, a former Harvard professor, I’ve been arrested three times in the last year. Isn’t that disgraceful? To me that just means I’m doing my job. And if I don’t get the establishment a little worried, I wonder if my message is not getting through."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dale Pendell: Anarchist to Vote!

From: The Huffington Post

This morning I awoke before dawn. I had been dreaming politics. The sky was pink and red in the east, and an owl was hooting -- a great horned, but young, with a high pitched voice. I had been dreaming politics -- action committees, meetings, proposals. I too have succumbed to the Great Hope.

I remember the last time there was Great Hope. Let me tell you about 1968. I was in prison, in Texas. It seemed like a lot of people were in prison that year -- not by today's standards, of course -- not by a long shot. The bull market in prisons was still in the future.

A black saxophonist from Las Vegas came and sat on my bunk and started talking about Robert Kennedy. I muttered something about George McGovern, the "peace candidate." Rocky just scoffed, and carried on and on about Robert Kennedy. It was the same with the Chicanos. They were the majority party and they were for Robert Kennedy to a man. The young Black revolutionaries were also for Robert Kennedy. There was great hope -- that "we" could win and end the war and stand united for social justice. Then the impossible happened. Robert Kennedy won the California primary and then he was dead. Martin Luther King had been assassinated two months before at the age of thirty-eight.

At the Democratic convention in Chicago the party bosses chose Hubert Humphrey -- not a "bad" man, just one who had not won a single primary. The police staged a riot. We watched the televised pictures of the beatings and the bloodied faces from our cells. And we got Nixon.

Would history have been different with Robert Kennedy in the White House instead of Richard Nixon? Duh, yes. Would it have been different in Jakarta and in Chile? Yes.

The last two presidential elections in the United States were stolen. As Larry Beinhart shows in Fog Facts, using any of the six proposed methods of recounting the votes in Florida, Al Gore would have been the winner. Would recent history have been different, if Al Gore had entered the Oval Office instead of George W. Bush? Yes.

Unless someone can explain to me why the exit polls in 2004 agreed with the tallied votes in states using paper ballots, but differed by huge margins in states using electronic machines -- the overwhelming evidence is that John Kerry won the election. Despite himself. Would history have been different -- perhaps a little kinder, with a little less bloodshed, with a little more responsibility? Yes.

After stealing the elections the thieves moved into the treasury and looted that. When such things occur in South America, in Africa, or in Eastern Europe, we are appalled but not surprised. But it is hard for us to accept that it could happen in the United States of America -- even when it happens right in front of us.

So I have succumbed to the Great Hope -- that the dark ages can end. The bills are coming due. The third notice from the credit card company is in the mail and the thieves are packing their bulging bags. And I think of Jimmy Carter -- another honest man -- who became president when the bills from the war in Vietnam had to be paid and how everyone turned against him.

This is not Spain. It is not 1936. We don't have a CNT or organized unions or collectives ready to take control of the country. Right wing calls for less government exempt the military and the police and the prisons and the judges who would even more callously defend big capital and an orthodoxy of superstition. At this point in history we have government and we must not ignore the choice. It is true that anarchism is an easier sell in dark times than in hopeful, but that is not enough reason not to vote for hope. A moderately progressive president will not solve the problems embedded in a global system based, at its corporate center, on greed and individualistic accumulation. Sullen opposition is less demanding than active politicking, but cynicism doesn't help us. Obama is our best chance to stop being the pariah of the rest of the world community.

Having had our hopes dashed and trampled so often, we -- my generation anyway -- approach it warily. But it is time to again accept a share of the responsibility for the United States of America -- even if it is only to get to the polls on November 4 and to vote for Barack Obama and the new generation. It does make a difference--even if the machines (again) are stacked against us.

Dale Pendell is the author of Pharmako/Gnosis, Inspired Madness, and Walking with Nobby: Conversations with Norman O. Brown. His talk on "horizon anarchism" is available for free Mp3 download from The Psychedelic Salon.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Disinformation: The Podcast series

Disinformation company, the people who brought us DisinfoCon: Featuring Robert Anton Wilson, Mark Pesce, Douglas Rushkoff, Grant Morrison, Kenneth Anger and other great thinkers / speakers. Also they published the works of Graham Hancock, Richard Dawkins, Jim Marrs, Robert Bauval, Preston Peet, Richard Metzger, Grant Morrison among many other excellent authors. Have teamed up with Raymond Wiley and Joe McFall, the former co-hosts of Out There Radio to bring us the The Disinformation Podcast series!

In this inaugural episode of the Disinformation Podcast, Raymond and Joe speak with author Robert Bauval about his new book The Egypt Code. Robert Bauval is the author of The Orion Mystery and co-author, with Graham Hancock, of Talisman. His new book, The Egypt Code, explores the relationship between ancient Egyptian myth, ritual, architecture and astronomy. Mr. Bauval discuss his life, his work and his philosophy.

Direct download: Disinformation_Podcast_1.mp3 (right click, save target as)

Visit Amazon Disinfo

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

All Hallows Eve

By: Charles Eisenstein
From: Reality Sandwich

Once upon a time, our distant ancestors were animists who believed in the innate divinity of all things. Spirit was a property of matter, and all things possessed it: not just plants and animals but also rocks, clouds, lakes, wind, places, and every natural thing and process. I said all things possessed spirit, but that isn't quite what the original animists believed. Spirit was not something separate from matter, to be possessed or not. Matter was inherently spiritual.

As the human realm gradually separated from the natural (in perception if not in reality), we began to separate spirit from matter. The first step away was to believe all things to possess spirit. This is the belief that characterizes the pagan religions. In ancient Greek religion, for example, everything from the ocean and the sky down to the smallest shrub or stream had a divinity associated with it. The ancient pagans still lived in a fully enspirited world where everything was sacred.

As time passed and the mentality of agriculture tightened its grip, the human and natural realms separated still further and we began to believe that some things possessed spirit and others did not. Spirit became increasingly abstracted from matter, culminating in twin developments at the dawn of the modern era. On the one hand, Protestantism reduced the participation of divinity in the world to the sole figure of Jesus Christ, replacing the Catholic pantheon of saints with a single divine individual, just as the saints had replaced the even more participatory pagan panentheism. On the other hand, scientists like Galileo, Descartes, and Newton reduced Creation to a single event as well in their conception of a clockwork universe, created and wound up by God to tick on, mechanically and everlastingly, henceforward. In the equations of Newton, the ongoing participation of a divinity in naure was no longer necessary.

The late stone-age people and early agriculturalists that we call pagan recognized, perhaps unconsciously, this progressive desacralization of the world. They knew that the separateness of the human realm is an illusion, that we too are bound by the laws of nature and that it is necessary sometimes to remind ourselves of that. It is necessary sometimes to remind ourselves of the sacredness and divinity of all things. It is necessary sometimes to reconnect to the Wild. Rituals developed to meet these needs. Some cultures recognized this explicitly, such as the Yurok of the Pacific Northwest who, in the words of Joseph Epes Brown,

"believed that, in the beginning, the world was inhabited by the wo'gey, or Immortals, who knew how to live in harmony with the earth. The wo'gey departed when the humans arrived. Yet, because they knew that humans did not always follow the laws of the world, they taught them how to perform ceremonies that could restore the earth's balance." [1]

Halloween originates in the same spirit. The holiday we celebrate today has roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhuinn, which, in the words of Philip Carr-Gomm, was

"a time of no-time. Celtic society, like all early societies, was highly structured and organized, everyone knew their place. But to allow that order to be psychologically comfortable, the Celts knew that there had to be a time when order and structure were abolished, when chaos could reign. And Samhuinn, was such a time. Time was abolished for the three days of this festival and people did crazy things, men dressed as women and women as men. Farmers' gates were unhinged and left in ditches, peoples' horses were moved to different fields." [2]

The agricultural mindset divides the world into two parts, the domestic and the wild, and seeks to maintain and expand the former as it conquers the latter. The domestic is good, the wild is bad. The corn is good, the weed is bad. The sheep is good, the wolf is bad. The orderly is good, the chaotic is bad. But the pagan farmer recognizes that this division is not the ultimate reality, and seeks to maintain a healthy connection to the underlying panentheistic truth, lest she forget that she too is governed by nature's laws. For she knows that to forget this spells doom -- the very doom we are facing today as we seek to maintain a system in flagrant violation of that primary natural law of cyclicity: that one being's waste must be another being's food.

The Samhuinn that Carr-Gomm describes is precisely such a reconnection. Here the order of the separate human realm was thrust aside. The inner Wild expressed itself as an abandonment of social structures, while the outer Wild was allowed to usurp the ordering of the land into domesticity. Animals were let loose and gates were ripped down. This was a time when all the wild spirits once again roamed free, wreaking mischief on the human realm.

The ancient farmer still believed in these wild spirits and knew they had to be propitiated. Can you see how the ceremonial offerings to the spirits became the goodies we offer trick-or-treaters today? These offerings were once an affirmation of our debt to the wildness of Nature, all-providing, as well as a token reminder that Nature's wild spirits must be respected lest they wreak havoc. How did these offerings devolve into mere candy?

Under the Catholic Church, divinity retreated from "all things and processes," but still resided in a wide pantheon of saints and holy objects that more or less corresponded to the original nature spirits. Samhuinn became All Saints Day or All Hallows Day, but people still believed in a colorful bestiary of spirits and magical beings. The Protestant Reformation removed divinity still further from the world, as science and the Machine completed the desacralization of nature. Ghosts and goblins, fairies and vampires, became mere children's toys, nothing adults took seriously. Halloween became a game arranged for children.

Why do the spirits we associate with Halloween have the reputation of being evil? The Church's effort to vilify pagan religion is only part of the explanation. In fact, the very concept of evil only arose with agriculture's division of the world. Before then there was no such thing as an evil spirit. Each being enacted its role to perfection in the harmonious operation of a greater whole. But when a separate human realm grew that needed to be maintained, with great effort, against natural forces that seek to reduce a field to weeds and a house to ruin, then the Wild indeed became a foe: a source of trouble, mischief, and even death. Tempting it is, then, to see Nature as an enemy to be dominated and conquered. The pagans, understanding the disaster inherent in such an attempt, therefore enacted rituals and festivals to keep their own connection to the Wild alive.

What began with agriculture accelerated with the ascendency of the Machine. From the perspective of the Machine, wildness is evil. Chaos, unpredictability, individual variation are at odds with the values of the Machine: uniformity, regularity, standardization. Modern religion, as servant to the Machine, abets its values by associating the divine representatives of nature's wildness, nature's infinity, nature's superiority to man, with evil. Saturn, the Devil with his horns and ram's foot, and numerous other mythic figures representing evil started out as deities from matriarchal nature cults, and became symbols of evil as nature became man's foe.

Halloween was not the only festival that attempted to maintain a connection to the Wild. Christmas and May Day were two other times when the Lord or Lady of Misrule took over and presided over the festivities. Christmas was very merry indeed: common surnames like "Prince," "Lord" or "King" are traces of the illegitimate paternity of children conceived in the merry Yuletide revels. On May Day, various pagan deities were fit onto the personas of characters from the Robin Hood tale. Madness reigned: "mad-merry marriages 'under the greenwood tree', when the dancers from the Green went off, hand in hand, into the greenwood and built themselves little love-bowers and listened hopefully for the merry nightingale."[3] Surnames like Johnson, Jackson, Robinson, Dobson, Hudson, Hobson, and so on remain with us as evidence of these revels, during which the usual social mores and civilized rules of conduct were suspended. During these times, the figures representing the newer patriarchal gods, representing order and control, were ritually overthrown, and the earlier matriarchal gods and goddesses took over.

Although patriarchy was well-established by their time, the ancient pagans understood that the shadow side, the uncivilized, out-of-control side of the human being, must not be completely suppressed. A society in which order over-dominates cannot last; nor can a farm that ignores ecological principles. Some wildness has to be let in, some chaos. When we lose this balance, then sooner or later Nature will provide a correction. The stricter the repression of the wild, the more violent that correction. When the wild breaks out today it can be violent indeed, whether in its human or environmental aspect, yet we respond by tightening its repression even more. More curfews, longer sentences, school lockdowns; higher levees, more pesticides, higher fences.

From this perspective, Halloween begins to look like a mere imitation of a holiday. Every vestige of wildness has been excised from it. No longer an interlude of chaos to reconnect us to the reality beneath our civilized forms and structures, Halloween has been made safe and orderly in every respect. No longer a "time of no-time," today even trick-or-treat takes place between the official hours of six and eight. In my own lifetime I have seen the last stage of this transformation. When I was a child, parental supervision of trick-or-treating was unheard of. We left home right after dinner, or even before, returning and going out again until we grew too tired to continue. Today I see children as old as ten or twelve walking up to each house as their parents wait for them at the end of the driveway or follow them around in the car. Needless to say, the pranks and vandalism of Mischief Night are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Halloween, All-Hallows Eve, a celebration of the holiness of all, has become yet another occasion for orderly consumption and profit. Like other holidays, it has become almost entirely a purchased celebration. The homemade costumes of my childhood have given way to bought ones, often of television and movie characters. The same is true of yard decorations: pumpkins, bales of hay, spooky dolls. Homemade treats are viewed with suspicion; only store-bought candy is acceptable.

I am not telling you pagans and animists out there to keep your children inside on Halloween night. I want you to know, though, that you are participating in a sham. The pagan roots of the holiday don't validate its present incarnation. They show us instead what has been lost. Lost to what? To the insatiable world-devouring machine, driven by usury, that cannot and will not stop until it has consumed every last vestige of natural, cultural, and spiritual wealth. Forests and seas, customs and traditions, stories and songs, communities and cultures -- all are grist for the machine that takes in beauty and spits out money.

Nothing can save or reform that machine, but as its furnaces consume the last bits of our heritage capital, it begins to sputter and stall. You can hear it choking already if you listen. Soon, from amidst the cold, dead hulk of its wreckage, a new culture will grow. Its seedlings, too, are visible already to those who care to look. They are the recovery of our lost connections. Through them, our animistic and pagan connections to a fully enspirited world will blossom into a future where control-driven technology retreats to its rightful place as one of many modes of creativity. In that future, our spirituality will, like that of the Samhuinn celebrants, function as a frequent reconnector to the Wild within us and around us that is the true source of all wealth.

In that spirit, let us not attempt to redeem today's commercial parody of a holiday that we call Halloween. Let it sputter on toward its final demise as we create something new alongside it. Something that truly invokes the deep-buried, paved-over Wild within us and around us. Something to remind us that the structures we have created are but temporary artifices, castles of sand aside an ocean of being. Better not lose ourselves in attachment. All will be swept away one day. As in the ancient traditions, death is an appropriate theme for the new Halloween. Death. The other side. The spirit world. The shadow. The unseen. The scary. The unknown. All that the temporary structures we have created exclude. We need occasions to remind ourselves that these structures are not the whole of reality, and indeed that the part they exclude is infinitely the greater. Whether it is inspired by the ancient traditions or something entirely new, let us find a way to go Wild this All-Hallow's Eve.

[1] Joseph Epes Brown. Teaching Spirits, Oxford University Press, 2001. p. 17

[2] Philip Carr-Gomm, The Druidic Tradition, Elements Books, 1996. Cited by Isaac Bonewits, [1]

[3] This quote and the argument of the paragraph are from Robert Graves, The White Goddess, Farrer, Strauss and Giroux, New York, 1948. pp. 396-8.


Halloween has roots in the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhuinn, a time of no-time, when order and structure were abolished, when chaos could reign.