Pagan Studies - Altered States

Piatkus Publishers Guide Books Series

Maya Prophecy, Shamanism, Color Healing, Angels, Tibetan Buddhism, Kabbalah, and Reiki
(a series of guidebooks from London) 
by Ronald Bonewitz, Gordon MacLellan, Pauline Willis, Paul Roland, Stephen Hodge, Paul Roland (again), and Penelope Quest (respectively)
Piatkus Publishers, Ltd.


London-based Piatkus Publishers has released a series of guide books on many different spiritual and magical paths. Written by an expert in each topic, these guides combine description and background material with exercises, visualizations, and resource lists to provide practical information for the seeker.

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Drugs of the Dreaming

Drugs of the Dreaming:
Oneirogens: Salvia Divinorum and Other Dream-Enhancing Plants 
by Gianluca Toro & Benjamin Thomas
Park Street Press, 2007


If you find the subject of chemognosis (magic practice done with entheogens) fascinating, then this is a book you’ll want to pick up. The authors explore how plants and animals can be used to enhance dreaming and cause other altered states of consciousness through ingestion or smoking. They also recount some of their own trials using different plants and animals to induce altered states of consciousness, noting whether the trial was a success as well as any harmful side effects felt.

I particularly liked the explanation the authors offer at the beginning of the book about what is classified as an altered state of consciousness and where dream-enhancing entheogens fit within such states of mind. The explanation they provided for the neurochemistry behind dreams was also useful in understanding what neurotransmitters are being stimulated when an oneirogen is taken.

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Introduction to Lucid Dreaming


©2012 Brand X photos

Introduction to Lucid Dreaming
Let Your Imagination Take Flight
by Mark McElroy

Each night, we lay down our heads and pass into unconsciousness. Although everyone sleeps, (and dreams), few of us make conscious connections between the world of dreams and that of waking reality. But what if dreaming could become part of our magical practice? For some people, it already is …

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Neurotransmitters: a Path to Heaven -- or Hell?

head_Kenaz-Filan_wp-24Mystics and addicts are more alike than we’d like to think.

For the past fifty years scholars have explored the role of hallucinogenic substances in religious rituals. Some have presented their work as proof that God/dess is just a pleasant drug/chemical-induced delusion; others have advocated psychedelics as potent tools to cleanse the doors of perception and make us all mystics. Psilocybin and muscimol (Psilocybe and Amanita spp. mushrooms), mescaline (Lophophora spp. cacti), and DMT/ MAOI compounds (Ayahuasca) are just a few of the mind-altering substances that have been studied in historical and contemporary accounts.

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