Synopses & Reviews
Pendell's ongoing subjects are the botanical allies' humans have always associated with, and the pharmakon, ' the drug that is both poison and cure. A poet, ethno-botanist and amateur chemist, he's the best writer on drugs to come along since the late Terence McKenna.-Richard Gehr, The Village Voice
There is genius to Pendell's approach, an erudite playfulness and poetic virtuosity unmatched by anyone writing about plants and drugs today. Pendell's books present a Pandora's box, and once opened, the steadfast and curious reader will soon find herself on the path.-Sarah Fox, Rain Taxi
Contemporary alchemist Dale Pendell completes his poetic study of botany, chemistry, spirituality, psychology and history in a volume covering the composition and uses of visionary plants. Chapters including Phantastica, Hypnotica and Telephorica explore the hallucinogenic plants, the bringers of sleep and the bearers of distance. Pharmacognosis is the branch of pharmacology that deals with herbs and unprepared medicines in their natural state, those whose cure is held in a deeper wisdom. Pharmako/Gnosis weaves together ancient shamanic rites, historic cultural lore and the contemporary use of plant poisons.
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, In addition, his work appeared in Entheogens and the Future of Religion, edited by Robert Forte. He has led workshops on ethnobotany and ethnopoetics for the Naropa Institute and the Botanical Preservation Corps. He lives in the Sierra foothills in California.
This is the third and final volume of North Atlantic Books hard cover 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/Gnosis: Plant Teachers and the Poison Path focuses on plant-based and derivative psychedelic "teachers" (including ayahuasca, peyote, LSD, and DMT) and on the "poison path" of substances such as belladonna, ketamine, and ibogaine. 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 includes the predecessor volumes Pharmako/Poeia (which covers tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opiates, salvia divinorum, and other substances) and Pharmako/Dynamis (focusing on stimulants and empathogens).
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 co-founder 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 in California's Sierra foothills.