Pharmako/Poeia: Plant Powers, Poisons, and Herbcraft by Dale Pendell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Poison have been used by seekers of wisdom for thousands of years. Ever since early prehistoric times the poison and the allies of the plant world have been teaching mankind sometimes directly and sometimes through animals. Dale Pendell has written a nice compendium of these poisons. Based on years of research and experimentation Dale describes the chemistry of these allies, how they are used by indigenous societies and how we may prepare them for today’s usage. The author also gives us associations connected with these plant allies that would jibe well with anyone who is interested in alchemy.
The allies are broken up into five allies and they are inebrienta,phantastica, excitianta,thanatopathia and Eurphorica. More than several allies are discussed many of which we are familiar with. Marijauna,wine, absinthe,mugwort,ether, laughing gas, opium and laudanum just to name a few. Read this book and you will get a glimpse into the history of these allies as well as an insight into their benefits and pitfalls.
The author uses poetic insight to inspire your imagination while you are reading. A huge plus and one factor that would encourage me to read the next two volumes of his work. While I am not sure I would wish to indulge in the poison path. As marijuana leaves me rather paranoid and reclusive. I hate being trapped in my own imagination. Ether and laughing gas do not seem a safe bet to abuse or use regularly. Forget about Opium and Laudanum as the poppy is not legal here in the states. Nicotine can be deadly with just one or two drops. It was used to generate a religious high. If I can try without smoking it hey I might be game.
Parts of the last section speak about The Greenman whose face it seems is on every cathedral and building in Europe some would call him Osiris or Robin Hood maybe even Dionysus. He is the god of revelry and intoxication. Highly recommended read.
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