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Drugs of the Dreaming
Oneirogens are plant and animal substances that have long been used to facilitate powerful and productive dreaming. From the beginning of civilization, dreams have guided the inner and outer life of human beings both in relation to each other and to the divine. For centuries shamans have employed oneirogens in finding meaning and healing in their dreams. Drugs of the Dreaming details the properties and actions of these dream allies, establishing ethnobotanical profiles for 35 oneirogens, including those extracted from organic sources--such as Calea zacatechichi (dream herb or “leaf of the god”), Salvia divinorum, and a variety of plants from North and South America and the Pacific used in shamanic practices--as well as synthetically derived oneirogens. They explain the historical use of each oneirogen, its method of action, and what light it sheds on the scientific mechanism of dreaming. They conclude that oneirogens enhance the comprehensibility and facility of the dream/dreamer relationship and hold a powerful key for discerning the psychological needs and destinies of dreamers in the modern world.