*** - core curriculum


Peter Stafford

Psychedelics Encyclopedia

Comprehensive, conversational.

Andrew Weil and Carol Rosen

Chocolate to Morphine

Balanced coverage of all "drugs"; written simply and clearly for students and adults.

Jonathan Ott


Encyclopedic, beautifully written compendium of "entheogenic drugs, their plant sources and history."


Albert Hofmann

LSD My Problem Child

Hofmann's autobiographical account of his most famous discovery.

Richard Evans Schultes & Albert Hofmann

The Botany and Biochemistry of the Hallucinogens

Survey of the field.

Alexander and Ann Shulgin

***PIHKAL: A Chemical Love Story

Encyclopedic coverage of phenethylamines, a class of psychedelic chemicals; accounts of personal use, and extensive commentary on the chemistry and synthesis of 179 compounds.

Jonathan Ott

Ayahuasca Analogues

History and biochemistry of South American entheogen, plus survey of legal plants which could be used as mixtures utilizing same active ingredients.


R. Gordon Wasson

Soma, Divine Mushroom of Immortality

Wasson sparked the psychedelic revolution with his discovery of living mushroom cults in Mexico and elsewhere. His books trace the influence of entheogens on many cultures.

The Road to Eleusis (w/ Hofmann, Carl Ruck)

Describes theory that Eleusinian Mysteries of Ancient Greece and Rome were result of psychedelic potion.

***Persephone's Quest (w/ Kramisch, Ott and Ruck)

Overview of role of entheogens in religion and culture.

Michael Harner

The Way of the Shaman

Harner's synthesis of research on shamanism.

***Hallucinogens and Shamanism

Anthology on shamanic use of psychedelics.

Carlos Castaneda

The Teachings of Don Juan

A Separate Reality

Author's purported experience using "plant teachers" with a Yaqui Indian healer. Later debunked for factual content; may still be useful for heuristic value.

F. Bruce Lamb

Wizard of the Upper Amazon

The story of Manuel Cordova-Rios, and the use of Ayahuasca among South American Indians. It has been grouped by some with Castaneda as a book that may have heuristic value, but is fictional or greatly embellished.

Marlene Dobkin de Rios


Anthology on shamanic use of psychedelics.

Mark Plotkin

Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice

Work of American ethnobotanist to preserve indigenous knowledge of Amazon rainforest plants; student of Harvard's Schultes.

Carl Lumholtz

A Nation of Shamans

Reprint of turn-of-the-century ethnographic study of peyote-using Huichol Indians.

Weston LeBarre

The Peyote Cult

Ethnographic study of peyote-using American Indians.

Omer Stewart

Peyote Religion

Ethnographic study of peyote-using American Indians.

Thomas Riedlinger, ed.

The Sacred Mushroom Seeker

Anthology of essays; festschrift for R. Gordon Wasson.

Kathleen Berrin, ed.

Art of the Huichol Indians

Art book with reproductions of Huichol visionary art.

Richard Evans Schultes

Vine of the Soul (w/ Richard Raffauf)

Illustrated volume on ayahuasca use in South America, written by the premier ethnobotanist in America.

***Plants of the Gods (w/ Albert Hofmann)

Encyclopedia of psychoactive plants by two legendary scientists.

Peter Furst, ed.

Flesh of the Gods

Anthology on religious use of psychedelics.

Napoleon Chagnon

Yananamo, The Fierce People

Ethnographic study of Amazon tribe using ebene as ritual psychedelic.

John Allegro

The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross

Controversial book attributing founding of Christianity to use of amanita muscaria mushroom.

Mircea Eliade

Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

Study of shamanism by authority on comparative religion; concludes psychedelics are attempt to reconstruct primary religious experience no longer available to shamans.

Robert Graves

The White Goddess

Classical scholar's work on pagan mythology; assigns prominent role to psychedelics.

Joan Halifax

Shamanic Voices: A Survey of Visionary Narratives

Anthology of narratives by shamans.

Shaman: The Wounded Healer

Illustrated book on shamanism.


Charles Tart

***Altered States of Consciousness

Pioneering anthology on the subject.

States of Consciousness

Further exploration of Tart's theories on discrete "states" of consciousness.

Transpersonal Psychologies

Anthology of various spiritual paths; informed by editor's work on altered states of consciousness.

Open Mind, Discriminating Mind

Further speculations on consciousness; drugs only small part of book.

Stanislav Grof

Realms of the Human Unconscious

Summary of Grof's legal research on LSD in Czechoslovakia.

***Beyond the Brain

Grof's LSD research placed in broader context of overarching theory of consciousness.

The Adventure of Self Discovery

Development of technique of holotropic breathing to produce state analogous to LSD influence.

The Stormy Search for Self

Further development of theories on psychological development emerging from "spiritual emergencies".

Christian Ratsch

Gateway to Inner Space

Anthology of essays on psychedelics in honor of Albert Hofmann.

Sophie Adamson

Through the Gateway of the Heart

Personal tales of MDMA use.

Sidney Cohen

The Beyond Within

Discussion of LSD by pioneer researcher who had reservations about dangers of LSD use by unstable individuals.

R.E.L. Masters and Jean Houston

The Varieties of Psychedelic Experience

Discussion of psychotherapeutic possibilities of LSD and techniques.

W.V. Caldwell

LSD Psychotherapy

Discussion of psychotherapeutic possibilities of LSD.

Abram Hoffer, Humphrey Osmond

The Hallucinogens

Leading researchers of psychedelic therapy. Osmond coined the term "psychedelic".

John Lilly

Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer

Handbook for use of LSD as "metaprogramming" substance.

The Center of the Cyclone

Autobiographical discussion of LSD, sensory deprivation tanks, and other techniques for exploration of consciousness.

Robert S. De Ropp

Drugs and the Mind

Early book on subject of mind-altering drugs.

The Master Game

Author's speculations on consciousness, informed by psychedelics.

Peter Stafford and Holly Golightly, eds.

***LSD, the Problem Solving Psychedelic

Anthology on use of LSD for treating alcoholism and other problems.

No editor listed.

The Uses of LSD in Psychotherapy and Alcoholism, 1961.

Collection of papers about various attempts to use LSD in mental health settings.

John White, ed.

The Highest State of Consciousness

Anthology on visionary experience, psychedelics-induced and otherwise.

Claudio Naranjo

The Healing Journey

Account of early therapeutic use of MDMA.

Norman Zinberg

***Drug, Set and Setting

Classic statement of case for positive use of psychedelics given proper preparations.


Leigh Henderson, William J. Glass

LSD: Still With Us After All These Years

Balanced summary about use of LSD in the 1990's.

Consumers' Union

Licit and Illicit Drugs

Balanced survey of the field by the Consumers Reports folks.

Bruce Eisner

The MDMA Story

History of growth and ultimate criminalization of MDMA use in the 1980's.

Andrew Weil

The Natural Mind

Argument that urge to alter one's consciousness is an innate human drive.

Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar

Psychedelic Drugs Reconsidered

Summary argument for reasoned approach to psychedelics.

David Solomon, ed.

LSD: The Consciousness-Expanding Drug

Anthology of essays by Huxley, Leary, etc.

David Ebin, ed.

The Drug Experience

Early anthology of first-person accounts of drug use.

Thomas Szasz

Ceremonial Chemistry

Treats criminalization of drug use as "ritual persecution".

The following 3 books were part of a zeitgeist of tabloid-type scare stories about dangers of LSD. Interesting for historical purposes.

Art Linkletter

Drugs at My Doorstep

Celebrity bashes LSD use following daughter's suicide.

John Fuller

The Day of St. Anthony's Fire

Attempt to cash in on LSD scare with account of ergot poisoning in France in 1950's.

James A. Pike

The Other Side, (w/Diane Kennedy)

Author was Episcopal Bishop of California; after his son committed suicide during period of LSD use, tried to establish psychic contact.

Arnold Trebach

***The Great Drug War

History of the War on Drugs in America; particular attention to its intensification in the mid-1980's.

New Frontiers of Drug Policy (w/ Zeese, Shulman, Wall)

Anthology of varied voices calling for reconsideration of current government drug policy.

Drug Prohibition and the Conscience of Nations (w/Zeese)

Anthology of varied voices calling for reconsideration of current government drug policy.

Douglas Rushkoff


Draws the outlines of a culture borne of the synthesis of psychedelics and computer technology.

Timothy Leary

The Psychedelic Experience (w/ Metzner and Alpert)

A guidebook for psychedelic trips based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

The Psychedelic Reader (w/ Andrew Weil)

Anthology from the short-lived journal of the same name.

High Priest

Leary's own story in the form of a series of psychedelic trips.

Politics of Ecstasy

Collection of Leary writings from the 1960's.



Ken Babbs, Paul Perry

On the Bus

Story of the Merry Pranksters' bus trip, by one of the Pranksters.

Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain

Acid Dreams

A history of the spread of psychedelia, with special attention to Federal government's secret efforts to use LSD as Cold War weapon.

Jay Stevens

***Storming Heaven

Social history of the psychedelic movement.

Mary Matossian

Poisons of the Past

Traces outbreaks of ergot poisoning throughout history; related to Great Awakening in U.S. in 18th C., French Revolution, etc.


Thaddeus Golas

The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment

Guide for psychedelic trips.

Alan Watts

The Joyous Cosmology

Philosophical reflections on psychedelic experience.

Tom Wolfe

***Electric Kool Aid Acid Test

The story of Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters, and the early psychedelic movement in the 1960's.

Hunter S. Thompson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

The classic tale of drug-induced madness in the heart of America.

Ken Kesey

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Kesey's first novel, informed by psychedelics.

Sometimes A Great Notion

Kesey's second novel, informed by psychedelics.

Kesey's Garage Sale

Collection of writings from the 1960's, some specifically about psychedelics.

The Demon Box

Collection of writings from the 1970's and 1980's.

The Furthur Inquiry

Illustrated story of the Merry Pranksters' bus trip.

William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg

The Yage Letters

Letters of Beat Generation psychedelic pioneers.

Baba Ram Dass

Be Here Now

Reflections of psychedelic pioneer who moved "beyond acid".

Albert Hofmann

Insight, Outlook

Philosophical reflections by man who first synthesized LSD.

Richard Bucke

Cosmic Consciousness

Reflections on "cosmic consciousness" as manifested by luminaries from Walt Whitman to the Buddha.

Aldous Huxley

***The Doors of Perception

Seminal book relating author's experiences with mescaline.

Heaven and Hell

Further reflections on visionary experiences.

Moksha (ed. by Michael Horowitz and Cynthia Palmer)

Collection of essays, speeches on subject of drugs.


Novel setting forth utopia based on principles including use of "Moksha medicine".

Terence McKenna

Food of the Gods

Study of the role of psychedelics in human evolution.

The Archaic Revival

Collection of writings on visionary experience.

The Invisible Landscape (w/ Dennis McKenna)

Story of experiments with psychedelics in the Amazon.

True Hallucinations

Later re-telling of story in The Invisible Landscape.

Robert Anton Wilson

Illuminatus! (with Robert Shea)

Novel of conspiracy in the 1960's; gives central importance to psychedelics.

Cosmic Trigger

Autobiographical reflections on drugs, the occult and much more.

Sex and Drugs

Traces role of sex and drugs in human history.

Andrija Puharich

The Sacred Mushroom

Physicist's encounter with psychedelic mushrooms and the occult in the late 1950's. Author later became compatriot of psychic Uri Geller.

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