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Herbs of the Northern Shaman : A Guide to Mind-Altering Plants of the Northern Hemisphere Herbs of the Northern Shaman : A Guide to Mind-Altering Plants of the Northern Hemisphere
by Steve Andrews
Paperback - 109 pages (April 2001)
Loompanics Unlimited
ISBN: 1559502118
Dimensions (in inches): 0.43 x 11.01 x 8.52


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Customer Reviews
Reviewer: Midwest Book Review from Oregon, WI USA
In Herbs Of The Northern Shaman, Steve Andres draws upon a lifelong student of plant culture to produce a comprehensive and unique guide to the mind-altering plants which grow in the Northern Hemisphere. From standard relatively well known hallucinogens as Cannabis, Datura, and Peyote, to such garden commonplace and unsuspected plants as the Buttercup, Sassafras, and the Water Lily, Andres provides a detailed and authoritative description of effects and consciousness expanding qualities that have historically been found useful in aboriginal ceremonial and medicinal ministries. Herbs Of The Northern Shaman is very strongly recommended reading for students of botany and natural hallucinogens, as well as personal and academic psychoactive plants reference collections.

Reviewer: Peter Finch from Cardiff United Kingdom
If anyone can locate mind altering northern hemisphere plants then it's the bard of Ely (Cardiff) Steve Andrews. This easy to read, well illustrated and informative directory is about as comprehensive as you can get - how do you want your mind altered? How much do you want to pay? What risks do you run? is it illegal? Where do the plants grow? Can you nurture them yourself out the back? Steve does, shows how, explains and entertains. A must.

Reviewer: robert parker-munn from Wales, U.K.
Steve Andrews has been famous for guitar playing, folksinging, dwelling in strange places, transcending belief, druidism, getting drunk, singing hare krishna, advertising Ely and so on. One startling side to the multifaceted, whiningly persistent personality is a deep seated love of nature's creations, an articulate Latinism and a mature wisdom concerning the potency of eccentric natural phenomena. This book carries some ancient and modern wisdom with a healthy pagan respect to the powers of the herbal. From mushrooms to peyote, from digitalis to rhododendron, all is here in a new exciting readable format that makes you want to forgo that expensive Red Bull and put it toward a down payment on this work of eminence. Whether you are a retired hippy now paying rent on a residential caravan, a beach bum with a time share in Ibiza or simply a traveller seeking to catalogue the wonders of this ephemeral planet, take a look inside Steve's magic collection to expand your awareness of what is out there. (Have I done enough to get a free book yet Steve?)Rob Parker-Munn

Reviewer: chris stone from UK
This book is a mine of useful information for Cosmonauts of Inner Space, as well as for those merely interested in the more arcane aspects of gardening and naturalism. The plants are listed alphabetically by their common names, with their Latin names and other names added for clarity. For instance, did you know that Asafetida, well known as a curry spice, is also known as Devil's Dung? Or that Periwinkle is also known as Joy-On-The Ground? Clearly a reference to it's properties as a pleasure-giving plant.

There are a number of surprises in the book, and it is endlessly enlightening to find out what plants have been used for their mind altering properties in the past. Just to give one example: the writer points out that Caucasian peasants used Rhododendron for Shamanic purposes, and cites a reliable source as evidence.

There are lively descriptions of each plant, its appearance and use, and warnings where appropriate. This is particularly important as some of the plants, though possibly useful as Shamanic herbs, are also highly dangerous. The style is light and approachable, easy to read and entertaining, making the book far more than just a reference work. It is also a pleasure to read.

As well as the narcotic, stimulating or psychedelic properties of the plants, their medicinal uses are also listed, making the book an invaluable addition to the home-herbalist's library.

One finds oneself flicking through to read descriptions of plants one knows well, such as Cannabis and Peyote, just to find out what the writer has to say, which is always interesting and educative. The writer is clearly an expert in several fields, being not only an informed naturalist, an inspired horticulturalist and experimenter with odd additions to his house-plant collection, but a mystic traveller too. One feels a certain confidence in his sure-footed guidance around this obscure but fascinating area of knowledge.

So whether you merely wish to browse on the subject of alchemical gardening, or prefer to experiment with free and freely available mind-altering substances, this book is a must for you. Highly recommended.

CJ Stone.



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