The Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness (SAC) has put out their theme for the February conference: Plants and Religion. Given that we’re actively working on establishing a Working Group on Plants and Religion, the timing seems remarkable. I need to start drumming up a good paper topic to submit, yeah?
In doing research for the new working group on psychoactive plants and religion, I came across an article by Ralph Metzner published in the Eleusis journal in 1997. In it, he puts forward the premise that a revival of animistic worldviews is necessary to combat the exploitation and destruction of the ecosystems of which we are ourselves part, and that psychoactive plants and the shamanic systems of knowledge within which their use has been situated are very likely to play a distinct role in any such radical change. Though the article was published in ’97, it’s no less relevant or timely now than it was then, and I found it distinctly inspiring. Having written recently on animistic worldviews and their relationships to an embedded and immediate sense of ecology, it makes me downright enthusiastic to read other work like this!