The Mysterious Placebo Effect: How Culture, Meaning, and Belief Can Heal Us

The placebo effect remains as the most bizarre aspect of modern medicine. The placebo effect occurs when a patient is led to believe that they are receiving a medically effective treatment, when in fact they are receiving none. The most influential studies investigating the placebo effect usually involve sugar pills or ‘dummy pills’, the purpose…

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Ecological Messages in Native American Religion, Paganism, and the Psychedelic Experience

In this article, I would like to draw attention to the similarities between the ecological messages in Native American religion, Paganism, and those often conveyed in the psychedelic experience. Embedded in Native American religion is an ecological view of the world – the intrinsic interconnectedness of all things in nature. Unlike the Western world, Native…

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Ancient Motifs in Psychedelic Experiences

People commonly report a distinct cultural theme to the visual aspect of their psychedelic experience. Based on the patterns and images seen (either with eyes open or closed), people may compare them to the art and style of many ancient cultures: Egyptian, Aztec, Indian, Native American, African and Islamic. Particular ancient cultural motifs may also…

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Is the Santa Claus Myth Based on Magic Mushrooms?

The story of Santa and his flying reindeer, which we have come to associate with Christmas, may actually have its roots in Siberian shamanism and the consumption of the hallucinogenic mushroom, Amanita muscaria (also known as fly agaric). This is the easily recognisable toadstool mushroom, with its white stem and red cap dotted with white…

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Mythical Entities, DMT, and Jungian Psychology

Elves, aliens, imps, pixies, faeries, angels, demons, gods, goddesses, and ‘spirits’. These are all entities that have featured heavily in human culture. The earliest description of elves can be found in Norse mythology, Skaldic poetry, Norse legends and the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. Elves are also common in Germanic and Scandinavian…

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