Category: Psychedelic Book Review

Aldous Huxley's Hands

Aldous Huxley’s Hands by Allene Symons

Originally published in 2015 by Prometheus Books, Aldous Huxley’s Hands: His Quest for Perception and the Origin and Return of Psychedelic Science by Allene Symons is a fascinating, multi-layered story. Part personal account, and part Huxley biography, the book is a lucidly told tale of exploration and experimentation. Symons, a former...

To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic by Ben Sessa - Artwork by Emma Watkinson

To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic by Ben Sessa

Author Ben Sessa is a psychiatrist, and his novel starts with a psychiatrist character, Dr Robert Austell, having a violent fantasy where he cuts a patient’s throat with a scalpel and nonchalantly watches her bleed to death. The reader can be forgiven for momentarily wandering just how autobiographical the work is, and...

Visit to Godenholm

Visit to Godenholm by Ernst Jünger: A Story of Esoteric Psychedelic Initiation involving Albert Hofmann

This review first appeared in the Psychedelic Press journal 2015 Volume III Albert Hofmann in Godenholm Ernst Jünger’s short novel Visit to Godenholm, first published in Germany in 1952 as Besuch auf Godenholm[i], is now available in English language translation for the first time, thanks to the efforts of its...

The Museum Dose by Daniel Tumbleweed

The Museum Dose by Daniel Tumbleweed

The books I most enjoy reviewing are those that turn up unannounced on my doorstep. Books that haven’t been heavily marketed on the fact that you’re already aware of the majority of their content, or that slip into a reading category so rigid and pre-defined that its content is predictable...

The Domestic Alchemist by Pip Waller

The Domestic Alchemist by Pip Waller

Authored by Pip Waller and released earlier this year by Leaping Hare Press, the Domestic Alchemist seems to have been written for both the learned reader of herbalism, and the beginner. Since the recipes for vinegars, soaps, deodorants and the variety of different gargles all appear straightforward, once the ingredients...

Xenolinguistics

Review: Xenolinguistics by Diana Reed Slattery

There are many indications of the advent of a new era for psychedelics, at least in a medical context. Many scientists, academics and researchers anticipate a “mainstreaming” of these mind-altering substances in the near future. However, it is easy to see how some aspects of altered states of consciousness induced...

Magic Mushroom Explorer Artwork

Magic Mushroom Explorer by Simon G Powell

The story of the Psilocybin-containing ‘magic’ mushrooms, of which there are hundreds of varieties worldwide, is in many respects a mysterious one. While its ancient use can be attested to some degree in South America, it is only in the mid-twentieth century that the Western world woke up to its...

The Cactus of Love by Karl Eskelund

The Cactus of Love by Karl Eskelund

The 1950s was an important decade in the formulation of the Western world’s relationship with psychoactive substances. Scientific research with LSD, mescaline, and other hallucinogens gathered great pace; a spurt of new literature, most famously Aldous Huxley’s The Doors of Perception, explored the effects of these substances; R Gordon Wasson’s...

Essential Substances by Richard Rudgley

Essential Substances by Richard Rudgley

The history of humans ritually using psychoactive substances goes back beyond the written record, and stretches across the globe through many disparate and far-flung cultures. The ubiquity of psychoactive plants, and substances, is cogent with our world today. However, as Richard Rudgley notes in his excellent cultural drug survey Essential...

Decomposing the Shadow

Decomposing the Shadow: Lessons from the Psilocybin Mushroom by James W. Jesso

Originally published in 2013, ‘Decomposing the Shadow: Lessons from the Psilocybin Mushroom’ is written by James W. Jesso. The book, written partly from a personal perspective, examines the manner in which modern society and culture operate, and how the responsible use of Psilocybin-containing mushrooms can aid us in overcoming personal,...

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