“Drugs in different forms have served as stimulants for ecstasy in shamanism since archaic times.”
The Attraction of Peyote is an unrivalled exploration of the use of psychedelics in Native American spiritualities by one of the world’s foremost anthropologists of religions, Åke Hultkrantz. The author highlights how this psychoactive cactus began as a basis of shamanic power and eventually became a cult object and medicine for the initiated. He examines the formations and spread of Peyote-based religions and the extraordinary experiences that inspired them, showing the relationship between the trance states achieved in traditional “shamanic seances” and the effects of this potent hallucinatory drug. The book is nothing less than a cultural history of Peyote, in religion, symbolism, and practice, incorporating a consideration of Christian and inter-tribal influences on Peyote traditions.
Originally published in a European small press edition, The Attraction of Peyote is available now to the general public for the first time. Unique to this edition is the author’s memoir of his own Peyote experience with the Shoshone people.