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John W. Allen's Private Library Part 1:Amanita/Soma

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#1 No One of Importance

No One of Importance


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Posted 02 April 2010 - 07:12 AM

John W. Allen’s Private Library Part 1: Soma (Amanita)

Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality

The Major collection of first editions and all the literature of Amanita listed from “Teonanácatl: A Bibliography of Entheogenic Mushrooms" by John W. Allen and Jochen Gartz.


There are, in the Vedic scriptures, numerous Hymns devoted to praising the virtues of an unidentified drug plant referred to as Soma. The late ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson and his co-author Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty (Co-author of the third revised edition after the special Wasson hardbound and the first edition published for sales, both believed this ancient and mysterious drug plant was a mushroom which they have identified as Amanita muscaria (Fr.) Hooker.

Amanita muscaria is also known as and/or referred to as the 'fly agaric' mushroom or the 'fly killer' mushroom. However, it really does not kill too many flies. after a few hours of eating sugared flavored amanita, the flies get up and fly away stoned. They only get killed when they fall stoned to the tables or floor and then some old hag whacks them with a swatter. Unlike the psilocybine containing mushrooms, Amanita muscaria does not contain the tryptamine alkaloids psilocine and/or psilocybine. However, the Amanita muscaria and several related species contain several chemicals that cause inebriations and intoxications when eaten. Active ingredients found in these mushrooms include: ibotenic acid, muscimol, muscarine, Muscazone, and several other related compounds. Those same compounds have also been found in several other related species of Amantia muscaria.

The earliest reference confirming the existence of this magical entheogenic plant can be found in the ninth and tenth mandala of the Rig Vida, the most Holy and oldest of the ancient Vedic hymns. More than two thousand years ago, it's use disappeared and knowledge of its cultural importance is now reemerging into the 21st century of enthogenism.

Although this bibliography is far from complete, it should enable those who wish access to this information, a better understanding of the nature of this plant, it's chemistry and pharmacological actions, and it's relationship with the human element.



As in the Cross-Reference Index of the psilocybian section of this CD-ROM, all references in the Soma portion of this bibliography can be accessed by clicking on the individual authors name from the Soma Cross-Reference Index. However, this is not the cd-rom so none of the links connecting to the related materials will connect. However, the author-date reference posted here of which there are over 350 references pertaining to Soma and Amanita may be found by the author date system

The alphabetical letters posted at the bottom of each page of the Soma References in the cd-rom are used to access the particular page associated with the name of the author whose citations you are trying to access.

Soma Reference=360.
Soma Annotations=197.
Soma Related Photographs, book Covers, 1st-oages of articles, and mushroom photographs and graphic art images by John Allen and others.
Soma Cross-References=693.
Soma Cross-Reference Links Directly Posted in References=75.

Efron, David H. et al. 1967. Discussion of papers on Amanita muscaria. In: David Efron's (ed.) Ethnopharmacological Search for Psychoactive Drugs:441. United States Public Health Services. United Nations Publication No. 1645.
This was the first conference on psychoactive plant substances held in the United States, in San Francisco in 1967. Conference included lectures and slide presentations by Daniel Efron, R. Gordon Wasson, Richard Evans Schultes, Andrew Weil, Carlos Castaneda and Alexander Shulgin among others.
The Ethnopharmacological Search for Psychoactive Drugs, edited by David Efron

One featured article described the Siberian
use of Amanita muscaria by Koryak, Kamchandal and Chuckchee tribal group Shamans.

In R. Gordon Wasson’s classic Soma, research by Dr. Wasson correlated documentation that the Soma of the Rig Veda, primarily the Sanskrit translations by his colleague and co-author Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty came to the conclusion by data that suggested that the soma described in several hundred verses in the ninth and tenth mandala of the Rig Veda were positively the mushroom known as Amanita muscaria some verses which described the habit of urine drinking of the amanita by poorer users who would drink the urine, most likely filtered form consumption and would cause no ill effects in the second party who drank such urine. Since this was mentioned in the Vedic Hymns of the Aryans, it was also common among the Siberian groups who used the Amanita ritualistically in ceremonial harmony. Reindeers are also known to smell Amanita urine from 1000 meters away and allegedly have been known to maul to death, Siberians who would urinate in the woods after eating the Amanita mushrooms.

Years later in contemporary society, some authors have attempted to doubt the Wasson findings and have written papers on alternative substances in India that may actually have been the Soma rather than Wasson’s Amanita fungi.

Thomas J. Riedlinger. 1993, wrote in April-June of 1993’s, “The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs” vol. 25(2):149-156, “Wasson’s Alternative Candidates for Soma,” by citing recently published chalengesor R. Gordon Wasson’s identification of Vedic Soma as the psychoactive mushroom Amanita muscaria (fly-agaric)offering several alternatives for the Soma plant including Peganum Harmala, Datura, Cannabis and even Wasson suggested the possibility of Stropharia (Psilocybe) cubensis.

I would also like to bring to the attention of the student and scholars who read this lengthy study as part one of the books in my mushroom library, That I lectured at The Southeast Asian Conference on Biodiversity and Bioactivity" in Hua Hin, Thailand; at the Hua Hin Hilton along the Eastern coastline of the Gulf of Thailand in 1998 and my lecture was followed by Dr. Subrahmanian, a leading expert in both Sanskrit translations and of Soma and he, in his lecture, also expressed doubt that Soma was Amanita muscaria.

Now not to cause a great deal of confusion here, I have in my emails and records, a leading scholar who has informed me that he has recently identified the actual Soma plant that he will prove it is not Amanita muscaria as originally written by Wasson and other ethnomycologists, and entheogenic fungi researchers. While this scholar did not specifically provide me with the name of the plant, he is writing a thesis and book on his discovery and asked that I not mention his name or anymore information than that which I have just provided.

I am going to provide the list of the 360 known references to the Amanita muscaria and related species here below and place alongside the particular references, some of the photographs that accompany the references but first I want to provide the book cover literature written on Amanita which is the complete Amanita portion of my Soma section of my bibliography of Entheogenic Fungi which totals 2562 references on Psilocybian fungi, including the Kuma of New Guinea who use certain species of Boletes, Russulas and Heimellas. The complete bibliography is as follows for the data presented on the cd rom.
First I am posting the 22 major books on Amanita muscaria. The most popular book, unfortunately is in Germanand contains dozens of new articles including trip reports from supervices controlled experiments and many other interesting stories on the cultural history of amanita muscaria. After the 22 covers are posted, each willhave the reference to the book, however, following the 22 major books I will post the complete 360 references to all the published Amanita papers so members of Mycotopia may followup and discover on their own time, more about this mushroom then has ever been posted on the internet. Mark Hoffman of the Three beautiful full colored vols. of Entheos Journal was suppose to publish the Soma bibliography of mine but failed to do so. Currently, Dr. Tjakko stijve, ex-employee of Nestles in Vevey, Suisse, has written three reveiws on my bibliography soon to be published in European journals and I will post them here as he sends them to me. He also has written two reviews for my journal, Ethnomycological Journals: Sacred Mushroom Studies.

Now lets see if I can post the 22 images and then their references before the time limit clock runs out on me.

1. English translation of the Rig Veda. The 9th and 10th Mandala of these Vedic
Hymns are praises to Soma.

2. Andrija Puharich, The Sacred Mushroom, 1959.
Puharich, Andrija. 1959b. The Sacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity. Doubleday. Garden City, New Jersey. January 22.

3. Wasson's Special edition of Soma, 1968.

4. Wasson's normal edfition of Soma, 1968
Wasson, R. Gordon with Wendy Doniger O'Flaherty. 1968. Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality. Harcourt Brace. New York. Ethnomycological Studies No. 1.
A pre-history of the Soma complex by which R. G. Wasson suggests that the Soma of the ancient Vedic Hymns is actually the mushroom Amanita muscaria.

5. John Allegro's, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. 1970.
Allegro, John. 1970. The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross. Doubleday. New York.
This book was originally serialized in The News of the World (an English tabloid newspaper from Great Britain). Also see Hodder & Stoughton edition. London. This book has also appeared in German and French editions. See next two entries.

6. Josep Maria Fericgla on Amavita Cultuvation. 1985
Fericgla, Josep Maria. 1985. El Bolet i la Gènesi de les Cultures. Gnoms i Follets:Àmbits Culturals Forjats per L'Amanita muscaria. Editorial, Alta Fulla, Barcelona, Spain.
In Italian.

7. Peter Gorman, High Times Oct., 1987.

A short essay on R. Gordon Wasson;s discovery of Amanita muscaria as the Soma of the vedic Scriptures in a special fall mushroom issue of October 1987 in High Times.

8. Integration, 1992, A special double issue in English and German with contributions on Amanita species by Clark Heinrick, Wolfgang Bauer, Jsep Maria Fericgla, Eberhard Waldschmid, Francesco Festi and Antonio Bianchi and Hartmit Gerken

9. Jonathan Ott, Eleusus, 1998.
Ott, Jonathan. 1998. The post-Wasson history of the Soma plant. Eleusis New Series Vol. 1:9-37.
This paper reviews the publications of R. Gordon Wasson on the identification of the ancient Aryan entheogenic plant. This article is also in Italian as "La storia della pianta del Soma le ricerche di Wasson" and is a revised and enlarged version of a Castilian article (see Ott, 1994).

10. Giorgio Samorini, 1998
Samorini, Giorgio. 1998b. Amanita muscaria. Autori Vari. A Cura di Giorgio Samorini. 62 pages Nautilus C. P. 1311 - 10100, Torino. Questi testi non sono. sottoposti ad alcun. Copyright.
A small phamphlet on Amanita muscaria with some data from other authors. Introduzione. L'uso dell'Amanita Muscaria fra le popolazioni della Kamchatka. In una yurta siberiana. Riconoscimento della specie. I principi attivi. Esperienze con Amanita muscaria. L'Amanita muscaria in Italia. Il nostro agarico muscario sperimentato come alimento nervoso. L'Amanita muscaria continua ad essere avvolta nelle spesse nebbie del tabù degli allucinogeni, un tabù che ha una lunga storia e che spiega, tra l'altro, quell'ingannevole teschio che ancora oggi marchia questa specie nei manuali per raccoglitori di funghi. In questo saggio sono stati raccolti scritti di differenti autori. In Italian.

11. Peter Lamborn Wilson, 1999
Wilson, Peter Lamborn.. 1999. Ploughing the Clouds: The Search for Irish Soma. City Lights Books. San Francisco, Ca.
According to Terence McKenna, This book "brings new perspectives to the problem of Soma and broadens and deepens the context of its discussion. Information on possible Celtic relationships with psychoactive plants and fungi are most welcome."

12. James Arthur, 2000a.
Arthur, James. 2000. Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion. The Book Tree. Escondido, Ca.
A study of the impact of mushrooms and humankind throughout the ages. This one is focused on the history of the alleged Soma mushroom Amanita muscaria from Egypt to the far east. Many illustrations. For related Santa/Amanita info see, Highfield, 2000; Unsigned, 1994.

13. James Arthur, 2000b
A video on James Artjurs thesis of christian use of mushrooms 2000 years ago.

14. Baeur, Klapp and Rosenbaem, 2000c .
(One of the best, all in German, dozens of articles and well illustrated).

15. Clark Heinrich 2002a.
Heinrich, Clark. 2002b. Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Park Street Press, Rochester, Vermont.
Magic Mushroom in Religion and Alchemy is an illustrated journey into the hidden truth about the use of psychoactive mushrooms to connect with the divine. Clark Heinrich provides a strong case that Amanita muscaria, the fly agaric mushroom, played a significant role in world religions. Only a few pages were devoted to the Psilocybe mushroom in this fine book. 222 Pages.

16. Mark Hoffman, Entheos, vol. 1(1), 2001a.
Hoffman, Mark and Ursula Hoffman. 2001. (Interview). Der Fliegenpilz!!!. In: Hofmann, Mark (Ed,), Entheos, The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality vol. 1(1):9-12. July.
An interview and discussion between Mark and Ursula Hofmann from Hoffman's journal Entheos. In this interview Ursula Hofmann discusses and reflects on her childhood knowledge of the Amanita muscaria mushroom, Santa Claus and Christmas. Five beautiful color photos.

17. Mark Hoffman, Entheos Vol. 1(2), 2001b
Hoffman, Mark. 2002. Huichol Wolf Shamanism and Amanita muscaria. In: Hoffman, Mark. (Ed.) Entheos, The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality vol. 1(2):43-48. June.
An extended version of this paper, Red Wolf Power: Amanita muscaria in the Americas, with additional illustrations will appear at Editor of Entheos, Mark Hofmann is greatly indebted to Dr. Jay Fikes for his input for making this unpublished ethnographic research available.

18. Mark Hoffman, Entheos, Vol,2(1), 2002a
Hoffman, Mark and Carl A. P. Ruck. 2002b. Addendum: Turner's vision of Medea. In: Hofmann, Mark (Ed.), Entheos, The Journal of Psychedelic Spirituality vol. 2(1):74-76.
Recalling more of the entheogenic symbolism found in some of J. M. W. Turners's Paintings. For related information see Wattiaux, 2002.

19. Giorgio samorini, 2002c.
Samorini, Giorgio. 2002. Animals and Psychedelics. The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness. See Chapter 4: Mushroom - Loving Reindeer Craving Caribou:38-42. Park Street Press. Rochester, Vermont. 98 Pages.
The author discusses how reindeer and caribou love Amanita muscaria and also how animals love to consume and then frolic while on the effects the psilocybian containing varieties of both Psilocybe and Panaeolus mushrooms. Translated from Italian by Tami Calliope with a foreword by Rob Montgomery, founder of the Botanical Preservation Corps.

20. Thomas Lyttle Interviews Clark Heinrich.

Lyttle, Thomas. 2003. Mushrooms of the Holy Grail: The Clark Heinrich Interview. (Int.). Heads Vol. 3(10):28-31.
An interview by Thomas Lyttle with Clark Heinrich, who discusses his new book, Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy. Inside page 3 says vol. 3(9). No Month Listed.

21. Jan Irvin, 2005.
Irvin, Jan and Andrew Rutajit. 2005. Astrotheology & Shamanism. Unveiling the Law of Duality in Christianity and Other Religions. The Book Tree. San Diego, California. Lavishly illustrated in Black and White. 215 Pages. Foreword by Jordan Maxwell and Illustrations by Nicolas Zervos. Dedicated to John Mark Allegro and with a special note from his Daughter, Judith Anne Brown. For cross reference see (Irvin & Rutajit, 2005), Contemporary Psilocybe References.

22. An Amanita muscaria batik frm the Tropen Museum Psychoactivity conference in 1998, Nederland.

The Bibliography of Soma (Amanita muscaria) and remember the links do not work since the bibliography is not posted on the web. Maps will have it first followed by Erowid by the late summer.

The very first reference that R. Gordon Wasson pieced together from the Russian literature, thanks to the language of his Russian born wife was from 1736. IT led to more the 60 references from travelers and shripwrecked foregners who crossed the siberian planes and first saw the shamanic use of the mushrooms in different tribal groups.

Later in the late 1970s, R. Gordon Wasson met the only North American shamaness, Keewaydinoquay of the algonkian tribal groups of the ojibway tribe in Northern Michigan and Southern Ontario. He brought this woman to The "Conference on Hallucinogens and Shamanism in Native American Life" conference held at the Japan Trace center in San Francisco in the end of October and beginning of November in 1978 and announced his discovery of her story.

A tale written on a birch bark scroll over four hunred years how two brothers found the beautiful Crimson Red Amanita mushroom and it was their ritual which this shamaness told to the audience of scholars, students and those whose interest lies in the history of entheogenic plant use from printive times. Their tribes are the only known tribes in North America who used Amanita muscaria as a sacrement and never used any Psilocybes whatsoever,.

Now what was interesting was found later by Wassonin a letter from a Jesuit Priest in Quebec who wrote in 1676 to his brother in France, also a monk a tale of the Use of Amanita muscaria more than 100 years before the first report of its use came from Russia. Here is the tale as Wasson wrote of it from the letter sent from Canada to France making it the oldest known proof that canadian and northern Michigan Indians were ritualistically using a sacrement before the first reports of the Koryak, Chuckchee and Kamchandal Siberians stories first emerged historically from eastern Europe and Siberian.

R. Gordon Wasson (1979), writing in an issue of the
of “The Journal Psychedelic Drugs” brought to the
attention of Western Civilization, the fact that the
mushrooms believed to be referred to as Soma, of
the Vedic Scriptures, were being used by North
American Indians of Algonquian ancestry who
reportedly used Amanita muscaria for sexual
gratification and enhancement of the euphoric
effects associate with the symbiosis of humankind
when combined with certain species of fungi
reported throughout history as having aphrodisiac
effects. However, only one known reference stands
out and we can thank R. Gordon Wasson for his
retelling of this incident in his journal article
publication on, “The Traditional Use in North
America of Amanita muscaria for Divinatory
In this scholarly well researched studied backed by
historical letters of communication and facts,
Wasson wrote that, “Almost 20 years ago, shortly
after the [1957] publication of Mushrooms Russia
and History, Claude Lévi-Strauss, the famous
anthropologist, wrote us a letter in Paris calling
attention to a remarkable citation concerning
mushrooms in Jesuit Revelations. A superior of the
new Jesuit Order, Pére Charles l’Allemant in a
lengthy epistle dated 1 August 1626 from Quebec to
his brother in France, also a Jesuit Father, undertook
to describe the customs of the natives thereabouts,
an Algonkian group. Discoursing on their religious
beliefs he wrote (and I translate):
“…. They assure you that after death they go to
heaven where they eat mushrooms and hold
intercourse with each other.”
Dr. Wasson failed in this brief missive [in telling] us why they singled out
mushrooms to eat, nor does he tell us what kind
they ate. We can now say with certainty that those
mushrooms were Amanita muscaria. Let it also be
noted that Pére l’Allement’s letter to his brother was
dated 1626, a full century earlier than the earliest
reference to the Siberian mushroom practice, viz.
von Stranhlenberg’s few words published in 1730.”
A sad note to this mention of a sexual union
between the fly agaric mushroom, Amanita
muscaria and humankind in Heaven, is the only
reference found in the literature of the Middle Ages
regarding the possible aphrodisiac properties
surrounding the chemistry and symbiosis of this
species and humans recording in the literature of the
past. Some of the original creators of the Shakti
cults in Orissa were the Aryans who wrote of Soma.

Now lets see if I can get the references into the 22 photos above. before my time expires.

I took the photo of the amanita batik at the tropen museum. They had about ten but were blocked by so many participants I could only photograph about 4.

Continued in next post with 360 references to Amanita and related species. No links work but you can use the author date system if you go to the library at any university and most will have the older articles.

The Russian and early Amanita references can befound in Russia, Mushrooms ande History by Valentina P. and R. Gordon Wasson and also from the original Russian books or English books written by traverlers and exploreres of the 1700s to the 1900s. All references have been viewed and read by me over the years and in my copy of the Wasson 2 vols/

No One of Importance.

Lesson one. Amanita muscaria.

Next I will work on the magic mushroom field guides of the past 39 years so that will be real important as many of you will probably never find half of the books in that part two of my library.

Over the years I lost the Xavier Hollander Duttch guide of the 1970s, the 2 british colombia field guides, andseveral from the early 1970s and my anarchist cookbook mysteriously disappeared one year and I lost about two dozen books inthe us mail moving here from hawaii that were nevr found. and about a dozen of Leary's papers from Harvard autographed to me and my original 1st edition of Weston LaBarres, The Ghost Dance signed to me, although I have another copy. ir disappeared from my apartment in Oahu one day with three copies of the journjal, of Ethnopharmacology that had my Hawaiian paper and my two on Koh samui, authors back then got 50 reprints and one copy each of the journal,

so up in the next reply I post the 360 references and thenanyone who wants to real study this page in history now has the fullest opportunity of their life. Avoid the Hawk and Venus people and their cultic Amanita group. They are quite strange, as I think their names are. Hawk looks like Christopher Lee as Sauramon in the Lord of the Rings.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 21Jan_Irvin2005.jpg
  • 22Amanita_Batik.jpg
  • 20Thomas_Lyttle2003.jpg
  • 19Samorinin2002c.jpg
  • 18hoffmanvol2_1-2002b.jpg
  • 17hoffmanvo1_2-2001b.jpg
  • 16Markhoffmanvol1_1-2001a.jpg
  • 15Clark_Heinrich2002a.jpg
  • 14Bauer_klapp,rosenboem2000c.jpg
  • 13James_Arthur2000b.jpg
  • 12James_Arthur2000a.jpg
  • 11Peter_Lamborn_Wilson_1999.jpg
  • 10Samorinin1998.jpg
  • 9Jonathan_Ott_Eleusis_1998-1.jpg
  • 8integration1992.jpg
  • 7hightimes1987.jpg
  • 6firicgla1985.jpg
  • 4Wassons_1st_reg_edition1968.jpg
  • 5allegro1970.jpg
  • 1Rig_Veda_9th_10th_Mandala.jpg
  • 2pucharich1959.jpg
  • 3Wassons_oma_specia_ledition1968.jpg
  • 0david_efron_editor1967.jpg

Edited by No One of Importance, 02 April 2010 - 02:03 PM.
Ass the 22 references for the photos and correct typos

  • eastwood, the_other_chap and Erkee like this

#2 Erkee



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Posted 02 April 2010 - 08:11 AM

Very kind of you to provide this.

Hope all is well with you.


#3 No One of Importance

No One of Importance


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Posted 02 April 2010 - 08:47 AM

I just spent four hours organizing and posting a reference gjide to Amanita muscaria and related species of 360 references and a cross reference index and I was told it would not post because of a missing security error.

That was a real waste of my time all night (4 and one half hours of work down the drain to post the 2nd half of this thread.

IF this continues there is no way I am going to post the 65 world wide magic mushroom field guides that most people around the world will never see/.

I am kinda ticked off that this has happened.


#4 Mrs.Hippie3



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Posted 02 April 2010 - 09:01 AM

Minor bug, just save your file and try again a bit later and generally it gets posted ok,

#5 HughMorrisLee


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Posted 02 April 2010 - 12:44 PM

Great post thanx for all the references :eusa_clap:bow::headbang:

#6 ggod



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Posted 02 April 2010 - 01:35 PM

Thanks John.

BTW... the references I received from you helped me greatly with my project. Due to the paper, I landed my scholarship. I can't thank you enough.


#7 wearegomba



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Posted 02 April 2010 - 02:06 PM

I cant seem to get this to work, am I just high or WTF.

#8 psilocypher



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Posted 02 April 2010 - 03:40 PM

You put so much effort into your posts John...

Thank you.. :)

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