Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index
Shaman Woman, Mainline Lady: Women's Writings on the Drug Experience.
Palmer, Cynthia, and Horowitz, Michael. (Editors). (1982).
New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc..
- ISBN: 0688013872 hardcover
- 0-688-01385-6 paperback
Contents: Preface, acknowledgements,
introduction, 8 chapters.
Barrett Browning, Charlotte Bronte, Pat
Lorna Dee Cervantes,
Sara Davidson, Marlene Dobkin de
Isabelle Eberhardt, Harriette
von Freytag-Loringhoven, Margaret Fuller,
Joyce James, Lenore
Kandel, Mina Loy,
White Lowell, Alice
Susan Nadler, Constance Anais
May, Pythia: The Delphic Oracle,
K. Rachlin, Charlotte
"Perdita" Robinson, Linda Rosenkrantz,
Bertha" Thompson, Alice B. Toklas,
Wasson , Edith Wharton.
Note: Available from
Flashback Books (who are also the authoreditors of this
book): 40 Fourth St., Suite 260, Petaluma, CA, 94952. It is a
welldesigned book with both aesthetic and intellectual interest.
Excerpt: Elizabeth Barrett
Browning, Edith Wharton, Louisa May Alcott, Margaret Fuller-these
women are part of a virtually unknown tradition in women's history
and a rich genre of drug and altered states literature. Shaman
Woman, Mainline Lady is the first collection of women's writings
on their experiences with mindaltering drugs. These powerful
memoirs, poems, short stories, and book excerpts span the Victorian
to the present postpsychedelic eras. ... The editors, who
direct the Fitz Hugh Ludlow Library,
have selected from hundreds of books and magazines, many rare
and out of print. They provide insightful introductions to each
era and writer. There are over 130 striking portraits and evocative
art work, including an illustrated essay on women and drugs in
mythology and history. (cover)
And there on the roof, and out of my head, the heavens
rent their veils and vision came clear. I saw Monty ... For an
instant my gaze held clear, but shame overcame and I hung my head.
The light was a great wide halo-from toe to the head to the sky,
and the light was myriad rays divided, and each pulsing
ray was the soul of a man. The multiple light of all men's souls
was forming the halo, like great shimmering wings, converging
his center which held them contained.
"Everyman must come through Me. For I am the
Way, and The Light of the World."
Thundering, awestruck recognition of the Christ
spirit, resident within him. That is the path that Everyman must
I know why people grovel and touch the head to the
ground before the radiance of The Light made human. One knows
one's humblest state on the scale of spirit married to form.
And as I, humble, worshipping, was ready to prolong,
from every part of consciousness the words blared forth as trumpet:
"DO YOU SEEK TO WORSHIP ME IN ONE OF MY CREATURES?
OPEN YOUR INNER EYE!"
I lowered lids, and there with the completest understanding
saw the center of creation-The Light of The World issuing from
Itself the Center, eternally departing triad, like a universe
of fleur-de-lys, golden moving of the lotus which is ever a becoming.
"I AM NO ONE, BUT ALL ... "
And light was sound issuing forth to penetrate the
ether, welding sound to thought to form, apprehended by the impact
of any eye. And as the sun to earth is, to the sun is this inner
model of a universe. (Joyce Shouted
from the Housetops: A Peyote Awakening, pages 206-207)
The question of validity has troubled every religious
group that has accepted the possibility of mystical experience.
As in the case of miracles, visions are subjected to the most
intense scrutiny. ... In the Western Christian tradition, validity
turns essentially on the relationship between an individual's
mystical experience and the religious beliefs of others. That
is, it is the miracles, the stigmata and the visions that come
to have relevance to the community of the faithful that are judged,
in the end, to be valid. In this sense the question of whether
or not LSD users have valid mystical experiences is beside
the point. (Margaret Mead, Psychedelics and
Western Religious Experience, page 208)
In his [Huxley's] interpretation, psychedelic drugs
become adjuncts to religious experience comparable to but more
effective than fasting, isolation, prayer, meditation and highly
controlled exercises in breathing or in taking physical postures.
The means are new, but the quest for religious experience is part
of an ancient tradition in which the individual who feels a vocation
makes a long, disciplined effort to attain a closer relationship
to the supernatural. Even when the vision comes to an unbeliever
like Saul of Tarsus, who neither sought it nor prepared for it,
the experience is within a living tradition. ...
From one point of view the battle between those
who wish to enlarge their experience through the use of LSD and
other drugs and those who are exercising all their powers to prohibit
this use is a very old one in Western cultures. On the one side
are those who believe that control over consciousness is crucial
to human living and that loss of control inevitably leads to the
emergence of dangerous, bestial impulses. On the other side are
those who believe that control of consciousness is itself inimical
to true spirituality. (Margaret Mead, Psychedelics
and Western Religious Experience, page 209)
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Compilation copyright © 1995 2001 CSP