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The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality
Other short articles are an interview with Rick Strassman and Staples's new translation of "The Phoenix" by early Roman-Christian Lactanius. In addition to a colorful cover, both back and front, visual attractions of this issue include several pages of color photographs of Amanita muscaria near the center of this issue. These are, I suppose, Entheos's contributions toward erotic centerfolds. Two articles "Conjuring Eden" and "Old Gods in New Bottles" are scholarly additions to the growing literature which gives a Wassonian interpretation to classical times and Western religious history. Both are heavily referenced, but numbered by endnotes so that reading flow is not interrupted. I particularly liked the presentation of the numerous pictures in a two-step process. First the whole item (painting, sculpture, artifact) is shown; nearby is a detailed close-up of, say, the mushroom depicted in the larger work. Doing a nice job of harmonizing print publication with electronic publication, another enriching touch is that additional images are "web-cited"; that is, they can be found at the publisher's website.
In keeping with their impressive scholarship in The Apples of Apollo - which examines with admirable thoroughness leads on entheogens in ancient Greek and related area cultures- in this issue of Entheos, Ruck, Staples, and Heinrich extend their myco-sleuthing into the Middle Ages and Renaissance. I expect we are getting an early view of information that will make its way into another book on the hidden story of entheogens during these periods. I hope so.
Mark Hoffman, Entheos's editor, has recruited an interdisciplinary group which establishes Entheos's credibility and its promise of future intellectual contributions. Its Executive Committee is Ruck, Staples, and Heinrich, and its Advisory Board consists of Frank Barron, Jay Fikes, Robert Forte, Mark Kasprow, Stanley Krippner, Dale Pendell, Daniel Perrine, and Peter Webster. These pretty well sample entheogenic interests from myth to mind to molecule. I hope Entheos will be able to publish articles from these specialties for the general reader without getting too specialized in its vocabulary or without requiring its readers to have specialized background knowledge. The premier issue manages it.
Entheos: The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality joins Eleusis: Journal of Psychoactive Plants and Compounds and The Heffter Review (pray for its rebirth) as the strongest journals dedicated to general entheogenic/psychedelic scholarship.
It's a welcome contribution, and its appearance marks another milestone in psychedelic/entheogenic scholarship.
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