Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred Healing and Hallucinogenic PowersPaperback
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- Publisher: Healing Arts Press
- Format: Paperback | 208 pages
- Dimensions: 193mm x 262mm x 15mm | 839g
- Publication date: 14 December 2001
- Publication City/Country: Rochester
- ISBN 10: 0892819790
- ISBN 13: 9780892819799
- Edition: 2, Revised
- Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
- Illustrations note: 400 illustrations, (some colour )
- Sales rank: 25,957
Three scientific titans join forces to completely revise the classic text on the ritual uses of psychoactive plants. They provide a fascinating testimony of these "plants of the gods," tracing their uses throughout the world and their significance in shaping culture and history. In the traditions of every culture, plants have been highly valued for their nourishing, healing, and transformative properties. The most powerful of those plants, which are known to transport the human mind into other dimensions of consciousness, have always been regarded as sacred. The authors detail the uses of hallucinogens in sacred shamanic rites while providing lucid explanations of the biochemistry of these plants and the cultural prayers, songs, and dances associated with them. The text is lavishly illustrated with 400 rare photographs of plants, people, ceremonies, and art related to the ritual use of the world's sacred psychoactive flora.
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Christian Rtsch, Ph.D., is a world-renowned anthropologist and ethnopharmacologist who specializes in the shamanic uses of plants for spiritual as well as medicinal purposes. He studied Mesoamerican languages and cultures and anthropology at the University of Hamburg and spent, altogether, three years of fieldwork among the Lacandone Indians in Chiapas, Mexico, being the only European fluent in their language. He then received a fellowship from the German academic service for foreign research, the Deutsche Akademische Auslandsdienst (DAAD), to realize his doctoral thesis on healing spells and incantations of the Lacandone-Maya at the University of Hamburg, Germany. In addition to his work in Mexico, his numerous fieldworks have included research in Thailand, Bali, the Seychelles, as well as a long-term study (18 years) on shamanism in Nepal combined with expeditions to Korea and the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon. He also was a scientific anthropological advisor for expeditions organized by German magazines such as GEOand Spektrum der Wissenschaften(Spectrum of Sciences). Before becoming a full-time author and internationally renowned lecturer, Rtsch worked as professor of anthropology at the University of Bremen and served as consultant advisor for many German museums. Because of his extensive collection of shells, fossils, artifacts, and entheopharmacological items, he has had numerous museum expositions on these topics. He is the author of numerous articles and more than 40 books, including Plants of Love, Gateway to Inner Space, Marijuana Medicine,and The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants.He is also coauthor of Plants of the Gods, Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayasand Witchcraft Medicineand is editor of the Yearbook of Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness.A former member of the board of advisors of the European College for the Study of Consciousness (ECSC) and former president of the Association of Ethnomedicine, he lives in Hamburg, Germany.
"It contains an incredible amount of rigorous and fascinating information in a highly accessible, beautiful, and compelling format."