Synopses & Reviews
***This paperback edition has a new introduction by the author and updated content.
This is the second volume of North Atlantic Books’ updated paperback edition of Dale Pendell’s Pharmako trilogy, an encyclopedic study of the history and uses of psychoactive plants and related synthetics first published between 1995 and 2005. The books form an interrelated suite of works that provide the reader with a unique, reliable, and often personal immersion in this medically, culturally, and spiritually fascinating subject. All three books are beautifully designed and illustrated, and are written with unparalleled authority, erudition, playfulness, and range.
Pharmako/Dynamis: Stimulating Plants, Potions, and Herbcraft includes a new introduction by the author and as in previous editions focuses on stimulants (including coffee, tea, chocolate, and coca and its derivatives) and empathogens (notably Ecstasy). Each substance is explored in detail, not only with information on its history, pharmacology, preparation, and cultural and esoteric correspondences, but also the subtleties of each plant’s effect on consciousness in a way that only poets can do. The whole concoction is sprinkled with abundant quotations from famous writers, creating a literary brew as intoxicating as its subject.
The Pharmako series also includes Pharmako/Poeia (which covers tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opiates, salvia divinorum, and other substances) and Pharmako/Gnosis (which addresses psychedelics and shamanic plants).
Dale Pendell reactivates the ancient connection between the bardic poet and the shaman.-Terence McKenna
In Pharmako/Dynamis, Dale Pendell continues his exploration of psychoactive plants begun in Pharmako/Poeia. Pharmacognosy is the study of the composition, production, use, and history of drugs of natural origin. Pendell covers these topics and more in this volume, charting a voyage around the world of plant teachers. Through poetry, chemistry, and a generous sprinkling of arcane lore, Pendell weaves and twists the many threads of tradition into a singularly bewitching brew. Pendell's voyage is a true circumnavigation. It divulges what Gary Synder called dangerous knowledge that is a formidable weapon against even more dangerous ignorance.
Dale Pendell is a poet, software engineer, and longtime student of ethnobotany. His poetry has appeared in many journals, and he was the founding editor of KUKSU: Journal of Backcountry Writing. He has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Botanical Preservation Corps.
About the Author
Plant student Dale Pendell established himself as one of the foremost popular exponents of shamanic ethnobotany with his unprecedented Pharmako trilogy. A noted poet, he was the founding editor of the avant-garde magazine Kuksu and a cofounder of the Primitive Arts Institute and has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Omega Institute. Pendell was part of the Oracular Madness theme camp at Burning Man for a number of years (his book Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man was published by Frog Books in 2006). Also an experienced computer scientist, he lives with his wife Laura in California’s Sierra foothills.