Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca

Excerpts & Samples

By Ralph Metzner

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Ralph Metzner

Ralph Metzner
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., helped found the Harvard Psilocybin Project in 1960 and is now a psychotherapist and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including The Psychedelic Experience (with Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert More...



A compilation of writings on the chemical, biological, psychological, and experiential dimensions of Ayahuasca

• Includes 24 firsthand accounts of Ayahuasca experiences and resulting life changes, including contributions from J. C. Callaway, Charles S. Grob, and Dennis J. McKenna

• Discusses the medical and psychological applications of Ayahuasca

Ayahuasca is a hallucinogenic Amazonian plant mixture that has been used for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years by native Indian and mestizo shamans in Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador for healing and divination. Many Western-trained physicians and psychologists have acknowledged that this substance can allow access to spiritual dimensions of consciousness, even mystical experiences indistinguishable from classic religious mysticism.

In Sacred Vine of Spirits: Ayahuasca Ralph Metzner, a pioneer in the study of consciousness, has assembled a group of authoritative contributors who provide an exploration of the chemical, biological, psychological, and experiential dimensions of ayahuasca. He begins with more than 20 firsthand accounts from Westerners who have used ayahuasca and then presents the history, psychology, and chemistry of ayahuasca from leading scholars in the field of psychoactive research. He concludes with his own findings on ayahuasca, including its applications in medicine and psychology, and compares the worldview revealed by ayahuasca visions to that of Western cultures.

"Ralph Metzner, world famous pioneer of psychedelic research and consciousness explorer, brings together a masterful collection of writings exploring the nature of this extraordinary sacred potion, from its chemical and biological properties and psychological effects to its enormous healing and spiritual potential. This book will be an inspiration for lay audiences and a treasure trove of information for scholars studying consciousneess and the human psyche."
Stanislav Grof, M.D., author of LSD Psychotherapy, Psychology of the Future, and The Cosmic Game

"Thought-provoking, wide-ranging, and well-reasoned, Metzner's collection of essays and self-reports contains the widest representation of subjective effects and scientific information on ayahuasca in the modern West. It provides ideas for future research and is essential for beginners and veterans of the field."
Rick Strassman, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and author of DMT: The Spirit Molecule

"Metzner's book is a valuable investment in exploration of consciousness and an inspiration for further studies and personal experiences of the healing and spiritual potential of Ayahuasca."
Galina Vladi, Alaska Wellness, Vol. 13, No. 3, May/June 2008