Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras

Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras
The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe

Psychedelic Press UK

"As far as entheogenic literature is concerned Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras is an excellent addition to the library; a scholarly, well-referenced work that is clear in its postulations. The text adds further weight to the burgeoning field of entheogenic historicism and does so in reference to the wider field of Mithraic studies, the upshot of which is to further legitimise the discipline in wider academia. Highly recommended for all those interested in entheogens."

The First Supper: Entheogens and the Origin of Religion
Aug 5, 2011

Read an excerpt from Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras at Reality Sandwich.

- Carl Ruck, Mark A. Hoffman, José Alfredo González Celdrán, Reality Sandwich


"Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras is an extremely well-constructed academic argument proving that it is impossible to deny the connection between the use of entheogenic substances and religious practice for generations across countries and cultures. The evidence is extremely well documented in art, literature (myths and oral storytelling), and architecture. Over time, all these forms of evidence become blended into cross-cultural metaphors and ideas that show the same information coming from multiple cultures."

Slug Magazine

"This book is all about the evolution of European culture, from ancient times right up through the advent and dominance of Christianity––and how it all started with and depended on shrooms. . . .  I feel like I took a class on the subject."

Wasson and the Psychedelic Revolution
Jan 18, 2010

"R. Gordon Wasson launched the 'psychedelic revolution' with his Life magazine article of 13 May 1957, in which he publicized his experience on the nights of 29-30 June, 1955, in the remote Oaxacan village of Huautla de Jiménez with the Mazatec curandera or shaman María Sabina, whose identity he tried to protect under the pseudonym of Eva Mendez, even being the first to use the embarrassing term of 'magic mushroom,' which was probably invented by the magazine's editor. As a professional international banker, he was a most unlikely candidate for this role."

- Professor Carl Ruck,

The Road to Eleusis is lined with…mushrooms?
Nov 24, 2008

"Mushrooms get a bad rap in English language and culture. We have only three words for mushrooms - fungi, toadstools, and mushrooms - and none is positive. Case in point: calling a pale complexion 'mushroomy' is distinctly unflattering.

But in other cultures, these versatile organisms are regarded with affection, respect, and even reverence. We might scoff at the phrase 'sacred mushroom,' but indigenous Mexican peoples regard certain hallucinogenic fungi as exactly that. Religions around the world have been using consciousness-altering substances in their sacred rituals for millennia. Even frankincense, a common element of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim ceremonies, has lately proven to be a mild psychoactive agent.

And then there are the Eleusinian mysteries. Considered so sacred that its participants were forbidden on pain of death to speak of them, these ancient Greek rituals have become a scholarly puzzle composed mostly of missing pieces. In The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secret of the Mysteries, ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson, chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann, and classicist Carl Ruck offer a solution..."

- North Atlantic Books Blog

Drug Use Among Ancient Civilizations: Everybody musta got stoned
Nov 2, 2008

"Academic resistance to claims about ancient drug use outside of medical practice are not new. Carl Ruck, a tenured classical studies professor at Boston University, endures what he calls 'official silence' over similar claims.

In 1978, when Ruck collaborated with the late Albert Hofmann — the discoverer of LSD — and R. Gordon Wasson, a mycologist, to write The Road to Eleusis: Unveiling the Secrets of the Mysteries, the idea that an important Greek ritual and secret initiation involved ingestion of a psychoactive chemical potion was extremely controversial."

- Mharrsch, Roman Times

Everybody musta got stoned
Oct 31, 2008

"Some of us wondered in geometry class how Pythagoras came up with his famous theorem regarding the relationship between the hypotenuse and the remaining two sides of a right triangle. Madison author David Hillman has a theory about the ancient Greeks that may grate on a few nerves in the classical studies world. It comes down to this: Maybe Pythagoras was smoking something.

'Everyone,' attests Hillman, 'was using drugs, from farmers up to [Roman emperor] Marcus Aurelius.'

Hillman's new book, The Chemical Muse: Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization, takes a closer look at the use of drugs by the ancient Greeks and Romans."

- Kevin Revolinski, Isthmus The Daily Page