Magic Mushroom Drug Lifts Depression in Human Trial - "The findings show that more research in this field is now needed. 'This is the first time that psilocybin has been investigated as a potential treatment for major depression', says lead author Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Imperial College London."
"The Manual of Psychedelic Support is a comprehensive guide to setting up and running compassionate care services for people having difficult drug experiences at music festivals and similar events." You can download it for free here.
How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
Tao Lin became very interested in Terence McKenna over the past two years, and now he's writing a weekly column about the man and his ideas for Vice. Part I: Beyond "Existentialism". Part II: Terence McKenna's Memes, featuring 30 of Lin's favorite memes propagated by the philosopher-explorer, touching upon entheogens, consciousness, evolution, belief, language, the internet, and mankind's search for meaning. If you have time on your hands, here's over ten uninterrupted hours of McKenna as referenced in the first column.
Expanding Mind - "This week's guest is Dennis McKenna, ethnobotanist, expert in the pharmacology of ayahuasca and other visionary plants, and brother of legendary mushroom bard Terence McKenna." (via) [more inside]
The Economist on Drugs -- Scientists in North America, Europe and Israel are studying the use of MDMA, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and other banned psychoactive substances in treating conditions such as anxiety, cluster headaches, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are supported by private funds from a handful of organisations: the Beckley Foundation in Britain; the Heffter Research Institute and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) in America. [related]
Biblical Entheogens: a Speculative Hypothesis. Psychology Professor Benny Shannon speculates that Moses may have been tripping when he saw God on Mount Sinai. [Via Mind Hacks.]
Peter Stafford, psychedelics investigator and author of the Psychedelics Encyclopedia (PDF preview), has died. [Via BB.]
Entheogens and Psychotherapy. A 2001 paper by Canadian psychotherapist Andrew Feldmar on the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics and his own experience with LSD. Now, because of this paper, he is no longer allowed to enter the U.S. [Via MindHacks.]
A landmark rigorous study, 36 years after Walter Pahnke's Good Friday study ocuments the ability of psilocybin - the chemical in "magic mushrooms" - to trigger mystical experiences. 16 of 24 participants, who had no history of psychedelic use, rated the drug episode (after 2 months) to be among the 5 most meaningful experiences in their lifetime. A longer 40-year follow-up by MAPS on those who took LSD under the supervision of psychiatrist Oscar Janiger in the 1950s, found qualitatively the same result.