February 18, 2005
Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy
By Clark Heinrich
Publisher: Park Street Press/Inner Traditions (September 2002)
Pages: 221 - Price: $19.95
Review by Lee Prosser - email@example.com
Carl Heinrich is an internationally-known ethnobotanist. This book is an in-depth research into the use of mushrooms in religion, and discusses the impact of such religious ritual practices in the area of death and dying. The illustrations and text are concise, clearly explained, and educational.
An interesting discovery is how the mushroom symbols found in ancient Hindu scriptures fit perfectly with the ancient symbols of ancient Judaism, Christianity, the Grail myths, and alchemy. Heinrich advances the proof that the philosopher's stone of the alchemist was a metaphor for the fly agaric mushroom. The influence of this mushroom in many religious cultures is explained and documented.
The Christian references are exact and documented. The information is startling at times, and interesting all the time.
The affect and effect of magic mushrooms in religion as related to death and dying are fully explained. From a sociology of religion perspective, this is a highly accurate examination and the information is fascinating.
For something unusual in regard to death and dying, and religious ritual use of mushrooms, Magic Mushrooms by Clark Heinrich is a one of a kind book. Scholary and entertaining, it will hold the reader's interest from beginning to end.
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