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SOMA. DIVINE MUSHROOM OF IMMORTALITY (1968) by R. Gordon Wasson (Ethno-mycological Studies No. 1)

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SOMA. DIVINE MUSHROOM OF IMMORTALITY (1968) by R. Gordon Wasson (Ethno-mycological Studies No. 1)

295.00

Wasson, R. Gordon (with Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty)

Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality (Ethno-mycological Studies No. 1)

New York: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, 1968. Hardcover. Tall octavo. Cloth. xiii + 381 pp. 22 plates, 10 illustrations in text, maps and linguistic chart. 

Some very tiny corner creases to first few pages, otherwise near fine in like dust jacket. 

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One of the key enigmas of cultural history has been the identity of a plant called SOMA in the ancient Aryan religion. It was at once a plant, the inebriating juice of that plant, and an important god of the Aryans. Many half-hearted guesses have been advanced but none of them has enlisted support from specialists of the Vedic religion (this volume contains valuable contributions by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty). Mr. Wasson has now arrested the attention of learned circles by advancing, and documenting, the thesis that SOMA was a mushroom, the fly-agaric, Amanita Muscaria, an hallucinogenic mushroom that until recent times has been the center of the shamanic performance among the Uralic and Paleo-Siberian tribesmen of Siberia. He throws abundant light on the role of mushrooms in religious ritual - a field of study (Ethno-mycology) of which he is the noted pioneer.