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Reviews by Justin Case
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Do What Thou Wilt: A Life of Aleister Crowley
by Lawrence Sutin
Publisher:
St. Martin’s Griffin, New York 
Year:
2002 
Reviewed by Justin Case
6/20/2007

Sutin seems to have no agenda beyond telling us the story of his subject’s life as well as can be gathered from the source material available (which he seems to have studied well). Sutin makes no claims without verifiable sources, and he also does a fine job of carefully and fairly pointing out inconsistencies and differing accounts from different sources (or sometimes from different works by Crowley himself). This is refreshing, as most writers on Crowley seem to want to either condemn or praise him. [ read more ]

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Cannabis: A History
by Martin Booth
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press 
Year:
2003 
Reviewed by Justin Case
6/1/2007

...informative, well researched and well presented. Neither a coffee table book nor light reading, Booth’s work is an in-depth look at the cultural history of the cannabis plant that manages to be both readable and educating. [ read more ]

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Trialogues at the Edge of the West
by Ralph Abraham, Terence McKenna & Rupert Sheldrake
Publisher:
Bear & Company 
Year:
1992 
Reviewed by Justin Case
2/16/2007

Fans of Terence McKenna’s work will not find anything new from him in this book. However, it is interesting to see his peculiar ideas bounced off Abraham and Sheldrake. [ read more ]

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Entheogens and the Future of Religion
by Robert Forte (Ed.)
Publisher:
Council on Spiritual Practices 
Year:
1997 
Reviewed by Justin Case
10/23/2006

...an excellent book for those interested in the social, political, ethical, spiritual and historical aspects of the religious use of entheogens. Edited by Robert Forte, this collection includes essays, interviews and transcripts of speaking engagements from various authors with differing areas of expertise approaches the topic of the religious use of entheogens. [ read more ]

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Ploughing the Clouds — The Search for Irish Soma
by Peter Lamborn Wilson
Publisher:
City Lights Books 
Year:
1999 
Reviewed by Justin Case
10/2/2006

Wilson draws upon a variety of disciplines to tease the “Soma” out the Irish Celtic past. Anthropology, mythology, entheogen studies, comparative religion, linguistics and etymology, and other approaches are employed. He presents his theme as a reasonable suspicion, one that may lead to further evidence if experts in various fields should be inspired by his research. Writing on a more mythopoetic level, Wilson gives us a fascinating perspective on Soma as a tertium quid, a third dimension or reconciliation of a number of dichotomies… [ read more ]

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The Mushroom Cultivator
by J.S. Chilton and Paul Stamets
Publisher:
Agarikon Press 
Year:
1983 
Reviewed by Justin Case
9/21/2006

If you were to buy only one book on mushroom cultivation, this would be it. Armed with The Mushroom Cultivator, absolute beginners will not need any other book, as Chilton and Stamets provide all that the reader needs to know from the beginning to the end of the mushroom-growing process. Although psilocybian mushrooms are included, these are neither the exclusive nor main focus of the book. For the most part, the authors focus on legal edible mushrooms that can be grown openly in the home or yard.

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Trout's Notes on San Pedro and Related Trichocereus Species
by Keeper of the Trout & Friends
Publisher:
Better Days 
Year:
2005 
Reviewed by Justin Case
8/15/2006

One could say that Trout’s Notes on San Pedro is to Trichocereus cacti species what Alexander Shulgin’s TiHKAL
is to tryptamines. And just as only chemists with interest in tryptamines could fully appreciate TiHKAL, only botanists with a special interest in mescaline-containing cacti can fully appreciate Trout’s Notes. [ read more ]

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Ayahuasca Analogues: Pangaean Entheogens
by Jonathan Ott
Publisher:
Natural Products Company 
Year:
1994 
Reviewed by Justin Case
2/11/2006

Ayahuasca Analogues is certainly not light reading, although it is a slim book of a mere 127 pages. As those who appreciate the writings of Jonathan Ott would expect, this book is dense with information: detailed, technical, extensive, and thorough, for those who want to know all there is to know about the history, pharmacology and pharmacognacy ... [ read more ]

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