Shamans and Drugs

Presented by Stanley Krippner.

The pioneering ethnologist Mircea Eliade looked upon "narcotic usage" by shamans as an indication that their traditional practices had degenerated. Although Eliade was right about many matters, he erred regarding psychoactive drugs (few of them "narcotics"). What are today called "entheogens" were present at the beginning of shamanism, especially in Siberia and the Americas. Not all shamanic traditions use drugs, but those that do continue to surround their employment with safeguards and ritual. Ayahuasca, for example, was used in the Amazon for centuries before it became a sacrament in some contemporary religious groups. Peyote is a sacrament in the Native American church, and marijuana is sacramental among Rastafarians. Join Stanley Krippner for an in-depth look at the Shamanic use of psychoactive substances.


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