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27 Sep 2021

Psychedelic Mysteries & Entheogenic Sacraments: A Critical Historical Perspective

Join renowned ethnopharmacologist Dennis McKenna in conversation with two leading psychedelic historians, Chris Bennett and Tom Hatsis, as they separate fact from fiction with regards to the ancient, medieval, and even modern use of psychedelics. From pagan mystery ceremonies, to questions of entheogens in Christianity, to the magical potions of medieval alchemists, witches, magicians, and beyond, McKenna, Bennett, and Hatsis will uncover, dispel, elucidate, and illuminate the variety of spiritual, magical, and medicinal practices of these timeless plants and fungi.


Tom Hatsis is an author and lecturer in the field of psychedelic history with four books published in the field: The Witches’ Ointment: The Secret History of Psychedelic Magic; Psychedelic Mystery Traditions: Spirit Plants, Magical Practices, Ecstatic States; Microdosing Magic: A Psychedelic Spellbook; and LSD The Wonder Child: The Golden Age of Psychedelic Research in the 1950s. He speaks widely at both solo events and large conferences, and has appeared on GaiaTV’s "Beyond Belief" with George Noory, Psychedelica, and Open Minds with Regina Meredith. Along with partner Eden Woodruff, Hatsis runs Psanctum Psychedelia, a non-profit psychedelics education and harm reduction organization that hosts a weekly open mic, organizes the Gaian Mind Psychedelic Conference, and curates the Psanctum Psychedelic Library.


Chris Bennett has been researching the historical role of cannabis in the spiritual life of humanity for more than a quarter of a century. He is co-author of Green Gold the Tree of Life: Marijuana in Magic and Religion (1995); Sex, Drugs, Violence and the Bible (2001); and author of Cannabis and the Soma Solution (2010); and Liber 420: Cannabis, Magickal herbs and the Occult (2018) . He has also contributed chapters on the historical role of cannabis in spiritual practices in books such as The Pot Book (2010), Entheogens and the Development of Culture (2013), Seeking the Sacred with Psychoactive Substances (2014), One Toke Closer to God (2017), Cannabis and Spirituality (2016) and Psychedelics Reimagined (1999). Bennett’s research has received international attention from the BBC, Guardian, Sunday Times, Washington Post, Vice and other media sources.


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